Wednesday, April 29, 2009

AAT-Tree Pollen

Yesterday I went to my AAT appointment with hopes that my Wheat/Grains have been holding. It is(yeah!) so we moved on to some other things.

The doc tested me for heavy metals, which I had done some reading on in the last week or so after having to be retreated for Wheat/Grains. Apparently, there may be a link there with hard cases and having to be retreated. I seemed to test fine for the heavy metals, though, so that was a relief. He pretty much held the vials of the metals to my abdomen and did strength testing. He also tested my liver points, yeast/fungus and it all is looking good.

Once we got that done, he asked how I was doing symptomatically. I told him I am on the end of a cold, but have noticed obvious allergy symptoms now that the trees and lilacs have really started blooming. It turns out lilacs fall under "Flowers" with AAT, so we let the computer prioritize between Trees and Flowers and Trees won without a doubt. So, I had trees treated.

It took some time to get through the many many different tree families. I think we ended up with 9 families to treat, and then after that we had to break down some of the families to the little components and then have those treated. Of the 9 families of trees, I remember the following: Cottonwood(no surprise there!), Black Walnut, Scrub Oak, Sycamore, Yew, Cherry and Arborvitae(or something like that). I pretty much held my breath on the way to the van and then on the way to the house.

From here on out, I get to pick and choose what I want treated and when! At the top of my list is Coconut, as that is the hardest thing for me to avoid now, followed by nightshades, garlic, mushrooms, nuts, legumes, and some veggies and fruits.

Oh, and my AAT doc is getting his Allergenix system in 3 weeks, so perhaps I will hold out until then to go back.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Allergies and Ear Infections in Children

Since this topic came up recently with a friend of mine, I thought I would give my experience here as well.

When my daughter, Ivy, was between the ages of one and two years old, she had chronic ear infections. Sometimes I would be oblivious of the fact, since she has a high pain tolerance, and the doc would diagnose her when we were at the office for another reason.

Mind you, this was occurring before I became aware of how many allergies I actually had.

Anyhow, they persisted even through FIVE rounds of antibiotics, starting with the usual Amoxicyllin and working up to the Augmentin. Once we got to the Augmentin(twice), the family doc finally gave up and referred us to an ENT.

The ENT had Ivy's hearing tested, and she was indeed having some difficulty hearing everything. Not enough to be overly worried about, but enough to keep a close eye on.
We then had the ENT actually look in Ivy's ears, and sure enough he could tell she had obviously been going through a LOT of trauma due to the infections. He recommended putting tubes in her ears ASAP but could tell that I wasn't too hip on that idea if there was another option. I asked him about food allergies and his opinion on them in relation to chronic, persistent ear infections. He responded that he had actually seen a case in which the child was allergic to milk and had chronic ear infections and when the milk was taken out of his diet the infections went away. He was a bit skeptical at that point, as the ear infections came back a few months later, but his skepticism vanished when the mother figured out that the child was getting cheese at daycare(the daycare provider had figured that "a little wouldn't hurt"). Once the dairy(cheese) was eliminated from the diet, the chronic ear infections again went away.

The ENT suggested I go off of dairy myself(I was still nursing her at that time) and take Ivy off of all dairy. We did this, and at the next month's checkup, her ears were healed and her hearing was back to normal! The ENT and I were both thrilled with these results, and we obviously didn't get the tubes put in. Ivy and I both continued to be dairy-free until around June of the following year(about 6-7 months).

Once Ivy's ears were healed, I did use xylitol for Ivy as was used in this study. I used the powdered form purchased from the health food store, and figured out the proper dosage. I fed it to her from a spoon. Even now I give her gum with xylitol if she is fighting a cold(as that is what usually precedes the infections). I also gave her Sambucol to help boost her immune system if she seemed to be fighting something. If I was fortunate to find it, I gave her the Sambucol with Echinacea for 3 weeks, then the regular for a week, then rotated back to the Sambucol with Echinacea. You don't want to take Echinacea continually, because it loses its immune boosting power if you do.

Since that year(2007), Ivy has only had one ear infection(a year ago last April). She does get dairy now, but I cut way back if she is fighting a cold or other illness. I don't push the milk; she gets maybe a cup a day, if that. We do have kefir, yogurt and cheese, but not everyday.

I had suspected milk allergy in my second son, Hunter, as he also had a lot of ear infections as a toddler. I didn't have the knowledge of allergies behind me, though, to figure it out and help him better. I wish I had, and had been able to keep him from going through those painful times!

At the next visit to our family doctor, I reported our experience with the ENT and the success of avoiding the tubes simply through avoiding dairy in our diets. She replied, saying most people would rather just get the tubes than have to worry about what their kids are eating all the time. Wow. People would rather put their kids through (unneccessary, in the case of allergies) minor surgery(that carries risks) and antibiotics that further compromise the immune system just for their own convenience? Talk about treating the symptoms of the illness rather than dealing with the underlying problem! I am betting that those who ignore(or are ignorant of) the allergies will have it creep up later in life. An ignored problem doesn't always go away; it often has a habit of showing up somewhere later on...often more serious and harder to deal with.

As a sidenote--I think there is a correlation to my kids' ear infections and to the introduction of milk products at 1yo. I was still nursing when my kids were that age, so I didn't give them plain milk, but they were getting other milk products at that time, and that's when the ear infection problems started. So, that said, if you have allergy issues in your family, I'd recommend waiting way past the 1 year mark to introduce dairy products, as milk is the most common allergen in babies and children.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Homestead Musings-Chickens

We are toying with the idea of getting a new flock or two of chickens for this year. One that will perpetuate itself over the coming years so we will not have the need to buy chicks every few years.

The breed we are considering getting is Delaware. Depending on where you get your info, this is one of the breeds that is in need of a little help in keeping it around.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My Low-Allergen Personal Care Products

Corn allergy, Coconut allergy, and Soy allergy make it extremely difficult to find personal care products that you can use without having some sort of reaction. I have had all three of these allergies and struggled for a long time to find something that would work for me.

I began with cutting out everything that had Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocoamidapropyl Betain, anything PEG-, as these are pretty much always derived from coconut. There are lots of other derivatives, I'm sure, but these were the hardest for me to avoid. Every single storebought shampoo and body wash I checked contained these ingredients! Health-food store products were also big offenders for me; even though they didn't have the petroleum products and long words I could hardly pronounce, they usually contained coconut, soy and corn derivatives.

After much trial and error, these are the things that worked for me. At least, I could live with them. Depending on your allergies, your mileage may vary. Obviously, if you have allergies, do your homework and make sure you are not allergic to these things before you try them.

From Head to Toe:

I gave up on conventional shampoo and conditioner a year ago. I still put conditioner on my 3yo curly-haired daughter, but it eats my hands and they are raw and cracking for a few days after I do it. I've tried wearing gloves while doing her hair, but it's nearly impossible to work it through her hair wearing the gloves. I'm looking into alternatives for her, as I'm not real comfortable using something on her that eats my hands...although it doesn't seem to bother her in the least.

If you are looking for something you can buy in a bottle that smells nice...

Blue House Soaps offers a product called Crunchy Mama Shampoo. It is made from sunflower and olive oil, and contains no coconut oil or corn. (So far, the bar soaps DO contain coconut, so be alert when shopping there.) I have ordered from her a few times, requesting the Crunchy Mama Shampoo without the glycerine(which may be soy or corn derived) and ONLY ordering scents made with safe Essential Oils, not the fragrance oils. My personal favorite is the Lavender.

I began using the Crunchy Mama Shampoo, and immediately noticed that my head did not itch like it had for years! I think it was my coconut allergy(and the hair products I was using that were based on coconut) that was causing the itching all along! If you are going to use the Crunchy Mama Shampoo as your only shampoo on a regular basis, I recommend an occasional apple cider vinegar rinse after shampooing.

Some other products that I have tried with no reactions from Blue House Soaps are the Sweet Cheeks Facial Wash and the Skin Saver Facial Wash. If you're not into the smell of neem oil, I would recommend the Sweet Cheeks Facial Wash before the Skin Saver. Again, I requested them without the glycerine.

The thing that impressed me with Blue House Soaps' Crunchy Mama Shampoo was not only the fact that I had found a product that I could actually use, but that it was a product that I could use for many purposes. I use the Crunchy Mama Shampoo for:

Face Wash
Body Wash
Toothpaste-just wet your toothbrush and put a drop on your toothbrush and brush away-my teeth actually felt cleaner with this than with toothpaste!
Hand Soap
Dish Soap(add a bit of borax to the sink)

It is nice to have one bottle in the bathroom that I can use on my hair, face, body and also be able to use it for my teeth! Talk about a multi-use product(and not having all those bottles/containers all over the place!).

If you are looking for something alternative:

Hair: Although I still use the Crunchy Mama Shampoo when I want something nice smelling, I have experimented with baking soda and apple cider vinegar hair washing. Sounds a bit crazy, right? But it works!

I had tried the "No-poo method" involving only using conditioner to wash and condition hair, but have been unable to find a conditioner that did not contain any offending ingredients.

I have two approximately pint-sized plastic cups I keep in my shower. About two times a week, I wash my hair with this method. I put a few tablespoons of baking soda in one cup, and about 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar(not Heinz-it's corntaminated) in the other cup and hop in the shower with them. I wet my hair, then fill the baking soda cup with water and shake it until it's mixed up. I pour this over my head, concentrating on the roots/scalp. Massage it in. Rinse. Then I take the vinegar cup and fill it with water and shake and pour it over my hair, concentrating on the length and let it sit for however long and then rinse with cool water. Sometimes I add a bit of honey to the vinegar, as I recently read that it helps condition the hair(and I do notice a good difference when I do this).

Some people with oily hair have a problem adjusting--their hair gets uber-oily for a week or two, but if they stick with the program the body re-regulates oil production. Shampoo products on the market tend to overstrip the natural oils and cause the body to then overcorrect and actually produce too much oil. Once you do the baking soda/apple cider vineger regimen for awhile, the body figures out it doesn't have to produce so much and things get better.

To tame frizzies, I have been using Lily of the Desert Aloe Gel. It does contain corn deritavives, but did/does not smell or effect me as far as I could tell. Use it at your own risk if you are allergic to corn. I used it like a gel.

Face: I have in the last month or two been using honey and baking soda. I have a little glass jar of honey that I mixed a bit of baking soda into. All I do is wet my face and dip some out and massage it over my face and rinse. Whether using the honey/baking soda mixture, or just baking soda, my technique is pretty much the same.

I use Rose Water or Lavender Water after washing. I purchase the Rose Water from the Health Food Store, but make my own Lavender Water using distilled water and a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil in a spray bottle.

Teeth: Baking Soda/Sea Salt mixture mixed about half and half. I sometimes add a drop or two of peppermint oil in as well. I keep the mixture in a small tub in the bathroom. Wet the toothbrush, dip it in and brush away.
Unflavored Dental Floss.

Body Wash: Sitting next to my Crunchy Mama Shampoo in the shower is a bar of Castille Olive Oil Soap from an online friend that sells them on Etsy: Blue Savannah. I love these soaps! They lather beautifully in my shower pouf, and smell wonderful! If you order, make sure you are ordering the Castille Olive Oil Soaps from her, as I believe she offers other soaps as well that may contain allergens. The scents that I have tried(and love!) are Rose Geranium, Lavender, and Lemongrass Ginger. I have even used the Lavender soap as a light shampoo when I was in a pinch and didn't have my other stuff available.

Moisturizer: Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I use about a 1 ounce bottle in the course of just over a week. It doesn't take much! I get out of the shower and pat dry and then use about a dime-size amount of EVOO in my hand and apply it on my body and then use the residual amount left on my hands on the dry spots of my face.

Deodorant: If I was staying at home, I would use the salt crystal type deodorant. But I wasn't happy with that in the midst of hot humid summertime, and found that Mitchum Unscented did the trick. According to Skin Deep, it's one of the safest ones out there.

That covers the basics. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An AAT Setback

During this week's AAT appointment, I experienced a bit of a setback in my treatment. Late last week I started reacting at random times. I would try to figure out what was causing the reactions, with tree pollen being one of the top suspects, but most of the reactions occurred when I was indoors. I began suspecting something was up, since it was seemingly random reactions that I haven't lived with regularly since being treated for corn and the wheat/grains.

Easter was particularly a challenge. For breakfast I had New York Crumb Cake made by me, and tea with milk and then we went to church. On the way to church I was having the itchy throat/sinus drainage stuff going on.
Church went fairly well with no reactions that I can remember.
We went to my sister-in-law's house for lunch and spend the afternoon/early evening there. I did eat ham that as far as I knew only had corny ingredients so was probably ok. I also had asparagus(which I've done fine with eating occassionally), a few ripe and green olives, carrots, and a roll that I had made with safe ingredients for me. I ended dinner with angel-food cake (purchased variety with no palm oil) with strawberries and my real whipped cream on top.
I didn't have any immediate oral reactions as far as itchy throat or ears, but I could tell something was up as the afternoon progressed. I nearly fell asleep on the couch (which is unusual for me) and I was just feeling really sluggish and thirsty.
I must have had at least 3 large glasses of water while there.

Oh, and the carpets had been cleaned recently and the smell was starting to bother me.

By the end of the afternoon, I was experiencing the brain fog/inability to concentrate/irritability/headache symptoms. We finally decided to head home.

Once home, I took a Benadryl (on top of the Loratadine I take every day) and sat down to take it easy for a bit. The fog actually started to lift within 10-15 minutes and the headache left me.

Then I got dinner for the kids and ran the dishwasher. That was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back.

The kids' dinner consisted of Garlic Spaghetti(Garlic is a known allergen for me) and the dishwashing detergent is suspected by me to have an allergen(coconut?).

The itching throat/ears/runny nose/sneezing and irritability came back in a rush. I was so ready to put the kids to bed. Once they were down, I went to bed by 8:30 and was dead to the world by 9pm. I didn't even hear the phone ring when a friend called!

The next days, I was feeling 'not right'. The seemingly random oral itching/ears itching/runny nose/slight headache/brain fog/sinus problems were just bugging me!

My AAT doc went through the things I have been treated for, and come to find out, I needed more treatment for Wheat/Mixed Grains! Apparently, I am one of the 15% minority who needs to have something re-treated. So we spent the appointment time working through all of the little components of the grains. A few of the things I remember that came up were phytic acid and rice bran.

Hopefully this time it will stick!

One interesting thing the AAT doc said was that somehow he knew that I was "reversed". I don't recall the exact term he used, but he said that the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body. But, part (20%?) of the nerves of each side of the brain cross over somehow. He said that my body was using the 20% to function, not the 80%. So he had to do a reversal technique before the testing and treatment. I don't understand how it all works, but based on how I was feeling, I believe I was working on 20%!

Looking back, I can see why Easter gave me so much trouble--I had grains so many times that day, and THEN I assaulted my body with known allergens! My bucket was just too full and couldn't take it any longer.

Normal protocol for AAT is to avoid what you were treated for for 2 hours after treatment. I did have some whole wheat breading on a veggie last night, but I think I will be staying away from regular servings of the grains for a bit...just because.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Book Review: Seeds of Deception

Americans are consuming Genetically Modified food every day and the majority of the people are not aware of it. Unlike Europe, where GM foods are clearly labeled(if they are even offered), Americans have been kept in the dark as to what has been happening with their foods. Except for a few sparks of concern(Starlink Corn, for instance), it has mostly been held under wraps.

Seeds of Deception, by Jeffrey M. Smith is a book that was written to educate the public about this very serious issue. It is not fear-mongering, as every claim, point and study that is talked about is cited in the back of the book. Smith names names and gives you the connections of the people involved in the Genetically Modified foods and how they are pushed on the American people.

Genetically Modified foods have the potential to effect our immune systems(ie. cause allergic reactions, diabetes, etc), contain unnaturally high doses of toxins, and forever change the DNA structure of the plants this earth currently produces. This is only a small part of what has been scientifically proven, but has been held under wraps by the likes of Monsanto and the FDA.

One example: Roundup Ready soybeans, engineered to be able to withstand high concentrations of Monsanto's herbicide named Roundup, are known to contain a much higher amount of tripsin inhibitor. One study found that a certain strain of GM soybeans contained as much 27% more tripsin inhibitor than do natural soybeans. There is no separation of natural soybeans and Roundup Ready soybeans, with the exception of Organic Soybeans(which cannot be grown 'naturally with herbicides/pesticides' and cannot be GM). Tripsin inhibitor has been identified as a major allergen. The UK does extensive research on allergies and food sensitivies, and found that in March 1999 soy allergy jumped a whopping 50%. The soy that was in the UK at that time was primarily imported from the US and a significant percentage of that was the Roundup Ready variety. Not long after this, Ireland also experienced the jump in soy allergy. It was during this time that the UK banned GM foods until they were further tested and proven safe BEFORE being put on the market. (page 160)

Some other examples in this book are: GM corn causing respiratory, intestinal and skin reactions in 39 people living adjacent to a GM(Bt) corn field and breathing the pollen when it was pollinating, GM foods not having the same nutritional value(often far less) as natural foods, problems with antibiotic resistance as a result of Antibiotic Resistant Markers being placed into the DNA of foods, and the list goes on.

This is definitely a book to get your hands on and find out for yourself what is going on in our food supply and what is going into our bodies without our being aware of it. Only with this knowledge can we avoid GM foods and attempt to get our government to care more about the people and less about the money.

Here is a site to get you started and keep you updated on the newest happenings regarding Genetically Modified foods and other related issues: Seeds of Deception.

After reading this book, I am looking at my personal experience with allergies. I have had pollen allergies as long as I can remember, but the food allergies didn't really hit full-force until I moved to OH, in the farmhouse surrounded by corn and soy fields. I wonder whether my already-compromised immune system just couldn't handle the corn and soy anymore? I wonder whether there was some biological shift from my breathing in all the pollens of GM corn and soy(not to mention the Roundup) and that was what caused me to start reacting to many many foods? Just a thought...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Got (Real/Raw) Milk?

I had the pleasure of picking up my first week's supply of Raw Milk today. I have been waiting since last summer to get this privilege!

Why Raw?

Pertaining to my health:
~The cows eat primarily what cows are made to eat--grass. They do get a small amount of non-GMO(and I believe organically raised) corn at milking time. Because the cows are free-range, their milk contains the Omega-3's we need (and that most Americans are deficient in). Conventional cows are fed corn and soy and thus can't naturally produce the Omega-3's in their milk.
~It DOES NOT contain rBGH (bovine growth hormones) that are in much of the storebought milk.
~It DOES NOT contain antibiotics that are present in storebought milk.
~It DOES NOT contain the added vitamins A and/or D that storebought milks contain. This is important to me, since I know that most of the fortifications in storebought milk are in a corny base and cause problems for corn-allergic people. Even though I am no longer avoiding corn, I still want to avoid GMOs, so prefer raw milk to storebought.

~In obtaining this raw milk, we are supporting people(and animals) who are living sustainably. We are in turn NOT supporting the crowded dairies that are putting the hormones, antibiotics and GMO corn into the food supply.
~I've found someone who is like-minded and am starting to make connections and figure out how to pull out of the commercialized food industry(and to me, that's a good thing!)

Now, off to see about skimming the cream for butter or real cream in my tea, making kefir with it tomorrow and perhaps pudding or........

Some links for more info on raw milk:
Weston A. Price Foundation
A Campaign for Real Milk

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Book Review: The Omnivore's Dilemma

I just finished reading The Omnivore's Dilemmaby Michael Pollan. This is an excellent read, giving insight into our food supplies and how things are done behind-the-scenes. He writes with witty humor and is easy to follow as he describes his findings to the reader.

In this book, Pollan describes the unique problem we as humans have of determining what exactly we should be eating. We have such a vast array of foods to choose from; will they be good for me now, for the long term, or will they harm me(immediately or in the future)? This is the Omnivore's Dilemma. There are very few species on earth that have the amount of choices in food as do humans.

In our modern society, most people have no idea where our food really comes from. We assume it's safe to eat if it is bought from the store and often leave it at that. We know very little about what it took for the food to arrive at the store, ready for us to purchase and consume it. If only we knew.

Pollan attempts to make us aware of where our food comes from by following the making of three meals from the very beginning plants and animals, through the production process, all the way to his table. He includes the Industrial(based on Corn), Pastoral/Organic(based on Grass/Sustainable Agriculture) and Personal/Hunter-Gatherer (based on the Forest/Foraging/Gardening).

Had I not already battled Corn Allergy, I would have been skeptical about what Pollan writes about how corn has infiltrated our food supply. Having gone through the whole avoiding-corn thing, I find it heartening that others that are not allergic to corn are also becoming aware of this and spreading that awareness. Pollan explains how the Industrial food system became dependent on corn, and how corn ended up being in so many of our foods. One main point in this section is how "You are what you eat" is very true, but it also extends into "You are what you eat eats, too." It is amazing to see how much we rely on corn, not only for food but for many other things as well.

I found the Pastoral/Organic section of the book inspiring. Pollan interviews various "experts" in each of the types of farming/food production. One such person who was interviewed was Joel Salatin, author of Everything I Want to Do is Illegal: War Stories From the Local Food Front, as well as a plethora of other books in which he shares his farming experiences and techniques. Pollan's perspective of the Salatin farm(Polyface Farms) is entertaining as well as educational. I have put some of his ideas and techniques in the back of my mind for future use and hope many others are also planning on utilizing them as the need for Sustainable Agriculture comes to a head.

The Personal/Hunter-Gatherer section of the book was a rather insightful section as Pollan dealt with the whole aspect of hunting and gathering from nature and how these things are viewed both from the hunter's perspective and from the "outside". He also dances around issue and option of vegetarianism, with respect, and comes to his own conclusions based on what he has seen in each of these arenas of food production.

I highly recommend this book, whether you are interested in raising your own food, eating healthy foods, or making food choices that are environmentally friendly. It's good to know where your food is actually coming from. Ignorance is not always bliss.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Cross-Contamination Issues and The Full Bucket

Last night I made pizza. I made a Butternut Squash pizza for myself (that I actually like), and I made a veggie pizza for the rest of the family.

I used separate pans, and made mine first and baked it before making and baking the family's pizza.

The family's pizza contained the following of my allergens: Garlic, Tomatoes, Peppers, Mushrooms.
As I was making/baking their pizza, I experienced the mild stinging in my face and the little shooting sparks of pain, but it went away.

We ate our dinner. I was doing fine allergy-wise. Then, while I was cleaning up, I picked up a piece of the Butternut left on the pan and ate it....and had near immediate itchy ears and throat, sneezing, runny nose, and tons of gook down the back of my throat. Ugh! There had to have been some cross-contamination between the two pans, probably garlic, and my body obviously still doesn't like it. I got over it within the hour without taking any Benadryl, but it wasn't fun.

I think the trees are pollinating now, as I have had random bouts of itchy palate/ears/sneezing/runny nose the last day or two. Or, it could also be the new dishwasher soap I got(Ecover). I had to get a different brand at the health food store since they were out of the brand I have been using with little/no problems. I have found that Wave dishwasher detergent in Lavender scent seems to give me the least trouble. I think the Ecover brand is giving me problems(coconut?).

So, with the trees pollinating and the potential dishwashing detergent problem, my allergy 'bucket' is probably full to brimming. It sure didn't take much of whatever was on the Butternut (a tiny granule of garlic powder?) for me to react!

I can't wait until Tuesday, my next AAT appointment, when I plan to have Trees treated! Hopefully it will drain the bucket so I can have fewer and fewer reactions!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My Conventional Allergist Appointment--or--No More Shots For Me!

I went to the Conventional Allergist yesterday for follow-up. I have stewed about this appointment for months now and was glad the day finally came so I could talk to him about my experience and how much better I feel (giving credit to AAT, not the shots). I could have called him long ago but I do SO much better with face-to-face conversation than I do with conversations over the phone.

As I have mentioned before, the Conventional Allergist was not overly enthusiastic about AAT. He had said that there is no scientific proof that it works. I ended up going the way of AAT in hopes of at least getting some of my foods back, and have been feeling so much better--better than I have felt in years!

I had dropped a 2-page letter off at his office last week in hopes that it would do the job of describing my experience and asking for his opinion as to what to do in regards to my allergy shots.

He read my letter and we had a lengthy discussion about sublingual drops(not yet approved by the FDA but he is considering offering them to some of his patients). I was thinking Why are we having this lengthy discussion about something I didn't even address in the letter and has nothing to do with my concerns? I finally realized he brought this up to let me know he is not *against* therapies that aren't 'scientifically proven' or that are considered alternative medicine. He just doesn't want people "throwing their money" at them and hoping for a miracle cure. Took me awhile to realize that was what he was getting at.

He then recommended that I stop the shots and continue the AAT treatments and as long as I felt fine and was happy with AAT, there was no reason to come for further testing with him unless I was simply curious as to where I stood with the allergies, or was having some difficulty with allergies still and wanted to start up the shots again.

So, as far as I am concerned, I don't plan on going in for the shots anymore. I plan on letting my focus(mental and $) be on AAT as far as allergy treatment. Once I have been treated for everything that bothers me, perhaps I will go back in for selective allergy testing--the 13 or so foods I reacted to before, plus the pollen/mold/weed mixes...out of curiosity.

I am thankful for a Conventional Allergist that is not closed-minded(but cautious), and that I can pursue this alternative treatment with a clear mind.

I hope maybe I have planted a seed in the world of Western Medicine, and maybe he will mention AAT to someone else suffering with multiple allergies as I have.....maybe. Or maybe if asked about AAT again, he will at least say he knows of someone who has been helped by it and not just say "it's not scientifically proven, don't throw too much money at it".

Monday, April 6, 2009

I Survived Eating Out!

Our Outback experience was overall a good one. The people that helped us/checked on us(there were I think 5 total) were very efficient and seemed to be knowledgable about allergies. They didn't seem perturbed or annoyed with me and my requests either, which is a remarkable and encouraging thing to encounter.

I ended up ordering:
~A Melbourne Steak(hey, I wanted leftovers!) without their usual seasoning. Instead I asked for sea salt and pepper only.
~Seasonal Veggies(in this case it was carrots and yellow squash-had to opt out of the broccoli and snow peas).
~Sweet Potato with sour cream and brown sugar.
~Iced tea with lemon

All of this was wonderful. The steak could have been a bit more flavorful, but it was good. The filet portion was much more flavorful than was the New York strip portion, so in the future(whenever that would be) I will probably order the Victoria filet and not opt for the huge steak.

I did order the Classic Cheesecake with the chocolate drizzle for dessert. I don't know whether it was because I was so full, the cheesecake was so rich, or whether there might have been something I missed in it that I am allergic to, but it was very difficult for me to eat it. Between Randy and I, we managed to polish it off. I didn't have any reactions that I could detect, so I think I've got a basic "eating out" plan for the future(probably minus the cheesecake)!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Let's go Outback To(morrow) night!

After much research, a phone call, and multiple emails, my restaurant of choice is going to be Outback Steakhouse.

They have been the most helpful to me in letting me know the ingredients in their foods and how to go about ordering. Also, I have found in asking around on various boards that other people with allergies have had a good experience there.

Sounds promising.

Especially since it looks like I can have the Classic Cheesecake--I might get dessert! Yeah!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Our Anniversary--What to Do?

I am a bit frustrated in my attempt to come up with an idea of what to do in celebration of my and Randy's 12th Anniversary.

Even though I have been set free from the ties of corn and soy allergy, eating out is still a precarious experience.

The main foods I am avoiding at this time are: Garlic, Mushroom, Nuts(including coconut and palm oil), Celery, Cauliflower and Broccoli, peas and beans.

I am really wanting a grilled steak and maybe some onion rings and a nice salad. So far, I have found that Texas Roadhouse basically tells people with peanut allergy(read: me) to go someplace else. The Applebees site is absolutely no help as they don't have an ingredient list, and has a disclaimer saying they aren't responsible if you get something you shouldn't.

I really don't care to go the fast food route, but at this moment in time they seem to be the most helpful with accessible online ingredient information! My choices are limited, but at least I know what my choices are...

There is one place I have to call. It's called The Revolver, and serves locally grown food. It's very high-end and pricey, but may be worth it if they can offer anything I can eat!