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Tracking allergies without counting calories!


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I just discovered this log on the forum and am very happy indeed to discover it. Part of going on whole30 for me is trying to track allergies. To date i have been using a calorie counting app which works but keeps insisting on telling me how many calories Ive consumed - not what I want to know!


My allergies are tricky beasts as I am allergic to a plant protein which in small doses has a negligible effect and in large doses caused a serious drop in blood pressure and/or anaphylaxis. Neither of which is very much fun. The tricky bit is almost all plants have the protein so its a question of density.


The protein itself can be destroyed by heat in most cases but if the plant has a vast amount of the protein it becomes un-killable. Tree nuts, except brazil and cashew, are all out for me - and macadamia is my nemesis - a smidgen of that and my throat closes up. That and fennel.


In the raw form I am super allergic to carrot - cant go into health food cafes for fear they have grated it in which case my eyes will start streaming and I will sneeze compulsively.


Grains are also out for me (separate to this diet) I can eat rice and corn with no impact ... and amaranth and millet but everything else sends my blood pressure plummeting and then I have to lie down for 90 minutes  - or faint. Its kind of funny i am like an old lady who has 'fainting spells'. Ah well compared to the health conditions of friends my sneezing and fainting are just a minor side show.


So today is day 4 and i feel fantastic - woke up with heaps more energy and sailed through a couple of deadlines at work. Had no desire for food and had to make myself eat lunch.


Food issues (i always have food issues because i am basically allergic to everything bar animal protein and dairy - so for me it is a question of intensity)


Breakfast  - 2 eggs, small piece bacon, cup kale, cup sweet potato - all fried in CO. All good - today is first day I have had the sweet potato and it worked to keep me satiated through to 1pm.


Lunch - grilled salmon, lettuce, caps, toms, broccoli and pumpkin with EVOO - mainly okay but dropped blood pressure a little ...


Dinner - chaos! My twin granddaughters came for dinner so i made tacos (i didn't eat tacos - just fillings). Grand daughters are 3 and dont like veges so i had hidden toms and carrot in mince. Anyway only got to eat some salad and a spoon of meat as girls were up and down like little yoyos. After they left I ate a piece of pineapple and then decided i needed more so fried some mince, mushies, caps and coriander - wasn't particularly glamorous but tasted okay (just). And now my eyes are itchy, skin itchy and sneezy. so am wondering if the cooked carrot caused it. The carrot was heirloom from farmers market. Oddly the risk of the protein is higher with properly grown veges as it responds to stress so something grown hydroponically is safer for me than an organic vege. But i am strongly opposed to agribusiness so I persevere with organics.


Summary - something in lunch was a bit dodgy and carrots may be a problem even when cooked.


Looking forward to tomorrow and fingers crossed the same level of energy 

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Note to self - you really, really, really can not eat beef!


Had a horrible night - couldn't get to sleep then tossed and turned really hot and then throwing off bedding so freezing. Woke this morning with classic allergy hangover - squinty puffed up eyes, no energy, no appetite (except a strong desire for anything sweet). Yuck.


I had forgotten beef does this to me. I haven't eaten it for years but because of the need to include more animal protein had bought some organic grass fed beef mince ...ugh. well that's a lesson learnt.


The thought of eating breakfast is very unappealing - and sitting on this couch grizzling is not getting me to work. 


As my friends in AA say - start at the beginning, that would be a shower 

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So coming to end of day 6 and I am tired! I just reread timeline which says day 6 is about being tired which is good to know - coz thats what im doing.


As well as being tired I am also quite proud of myself - today I shopped, prepped, cooked, served, sat thru and cleared up after a bbq for volunteers at work without making any poor choices. I was seriously tempted by crackers, cheese, sausages, fetta cheese and chocolates but managed to hang on to my resolve.


Allergy wise? not sure but after this mornings experience (see previous post) I am very wary of beef and will wait a good long while before I try again. 


Breakfast  - 2 eggs, small piece bacon, cup kale, cup sweet potato - all fried in CO. No issues


Lunch - chicken balls (chicken mince, daikon, spices etc), salad, sweet potato, handful cashews. No issues but not enough fat.


Dinner - will have - chicken laksa without noodles and salad - and lots of coconut oil 

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Pipi, it sounds like you are doing a great job at a tough task: complying with the whole30 rules alone is no joke and you've got it!


That said, you have me a bit worried with the allergy thing. Sometimes allergies can change from a minor annoyance to a major respiratory concern, and the small amount you tolerated yesterday might be too much today, that sort of thing. I wonder if you might consider eliminating the major offenders full stop (for the duration of your whole30 at least) and see if that changes things? I know it probably seems overwhelming already, but it is also very possible to do the whole30 without any tree nuts at all, and with only cooked versions of the veggies that irritate your system.


Obviously, I'm not a doctor, just a volunteer mod on this website BUT I do know  that in my own experience, eliminating allergens completely worked, where limiting them or eating them in moderation did not. I'm more than a year from my first whole30 and I think I do better when accidentally dosed with small amounts of allergens now (for me: gluten, dairy and soy), but I needed to be away from them completely for a good long while in order to heal and get to this point.

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MissMary thanks for the comments - and very good timing


I have been having the same thoughts myself - provoked by feeling less than perfect and that being Friday there are not a lot of veges left in the fridge to choose from. The only root veges I have left are parsnips - which being a cousin of carrots are high risk for me. I looked at the parsnips and had that feeling of not being up for another reaction quite yet.


This process has already been very useful in terms of making me face how significant my allergies are. I have always eaten whole foods and never eat anything processed, have very low grains and sugar so didn't expect any significant change - i was wrong! 


I also think using this log is very helpful for me in terms of actually making myself write down what has happened. I have had allergies since my teens and always but my physical health a distant second to the other aspects of living and suspect I have got into a process of denial where i minimise and avoid the actual impact. Writing what happens is bringing up a whole lot of emotional issues which are very strongly based in childhood. I feel like I am whinging and attention seeking. My parents were very stoic!


When I woke up this morning I had to have a stern talk with myself that this was my journey and my log and that no one has to read these entries so i wasn't imposing myself on anyone (another emotional issue - i loathe imposing myself especially around health). 


All of which means I will  persevere with daily posts because as uncomfortable as it is it does force me to face the issues.


So ...

Last night I was exhausted - almost fell asleep at 6pm. Made a deal with myself that I could ignore housework etc but I had to eat properly. I thought I had makings of instant dinner - chicken laksa. I dug out frozen stock, some coconut milk, frozen chicken and frozen veges and then discovered the frozen veges id purchased not only had carrot but also baby corn. Threw them in the bin and found some spinach, cooked sweet potato, caps, mushies, beans. Threw it all in a pot with garlic, chilli and ginger. It was fine to eat but 10 mins later the back of my throat swelled. Its hard to describe this feeling but similar to when you feel a tickle in your throat and think you might be getting a cold. I know the symptom well enough to know it will either get worse quickly or just sit there, which is what it did.


I was asleep by 8.30 and slept for 10 hours. This morning I feel okay but a bit daunted. Finding 'safe' food is not easy. I will think about further today but for now I think cutting out the bacon is a good start. I have never eaten much pork so wouldn't have a clue if its safe or not but given my reaction to beef I think its worth at least cutting it out for few days and testing. Its at this point I start getting nervous "but what about eggs, what about sweet potato" and i have to force myself to do one step at a time ..


Fortunately it is Friday and I have 2 days to plan my next market shop - and loads of time on Sunday to actually enjoy the market experience.  

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Today was good - steady energy and no large dramas with food. Some bloating after lunch which was probably broad beans - not sad to put them on no-go list.


I did have a big breakthrough on the allergy front which was to discover significant drops in blood pressure is a form of anaphylaxis. This is an enormous relief for me after years of wondering if it is some other health condition that is undiagnosed and therefore untreated. The bad side is i am pretty pissed that I have spent years (and serious money) with neurologists and cardiologists who knew i had significant anaphylaxis but didn't make the connection (grrrr!). It also makes sense of some of my reactions as there is a 72 hour window between exposure and reaction - so no wonder I could never see a pattern between what i ate and my blood pressure dropping. And it makes keeping a food diary critical (boring!)



Breakfast - 2 eggs, kumera and spinach

Lunch - chicken, kumera, radish, broad beans, red onion, lettuce

Dinner - laksa (same as yesterday)

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good day


realised that i have less muscle pain tiredness than I am used to - its a lovely surprise that something i hate (making old person when i get off the couch!) has just lifted. Surprising and inspiring



B - 2 eggs, mushies and kumera in a load of ghee

L - lamb garlic lemon and olive oil, broccoli and beans

D - smoken salmon cutlet, lettuce, tomato and cucumber

Plus handful walnuts and some blueberries 


I did notice that snacking mid afternoon stuffed up my hunger at dinner and I had to eat not hungry which is no fun

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Grand day - happy and energetic all day which was joy. Got to see Julia Gillard speak and receive several thunderous standing ovations.


Only food issue was a slight IC flare from chilli - which is familiar if annoying  


B - egg blueberries and kumera (fridge empty!)

L- chicken, caps, snow peas and zuch stir fry - discovered I hate taste of coconut oil, back to ghee for me

D - fish, cauli, caps, tomato and cucumber


Next few days are ridiculously long so not sure how virtuous i will be with this log - but I am about to pack myself a stack of lunch boxes to be ready so all going well my meals should be okay

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