Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Get The Facts!

Before I divulge all of my secrets, let me be a little more specific about my allergies and briefly describe the two, but keep in mind I am not a doctor nor do I have any formal education in the medical or nutrition field; all the knowledge I’ve gained is a result of my own trials and tribulations. I should also mention that as a result of what I’ve learned and dealt with over all the years battling with the symptoms of my allergies, I lean pretty heavily towards a more natural approach to health and wellness. My goal is to utilize all the knowledge that I’ve gained, but have yet to find as being readily available or easily accessible, and bring it all together in one common place.

The protein in milk, from an allergy stand point, can be broken down into two main components contributing to the leading causes of a milk allergy; the casein or curd that forms when milk turns sour, and the whey or watery part that separates from the curd. Based on what I’ve read and been told the whey is the most common cause of a milk allergy, I on the other hand am allergic to the casein. That being said, and with the recommendation from those with formal education in nutrition, I decided from the beginning to cut dairy entirely from my diet.

As with many food allergies, the protein part of the food becomes the difficult part for the body to properly digest, and soy is no exception. Although soy is one of the most common food allergies, with potentially deadly consequences, because the dose required to produce a reaction is higher than that of other allergies some people allergic to soy protein can tolerate small quantities of soy oil or soy lecithin. Consequently I have found that I get a reaction to nearly everything soy, and for that I have cut soy and 90% of its aliases from my diet.

Now to clear up a few common misconceptions, or foolish mistakes that I’ve come across since my quest for a better lifestyle.

*No, a little butter in the water while boiling vegetables or pasta is not ok!
You wouldn’t believe how many times, after clearly stating my dairy allergy; I’ve tasted butter with the first mouthful. The response; “I put a little butter in the water; I thought it would be ok”. I realize I’m not a doctor, and I’m sure a little butter in the water won’t kill me, but why even go there. I think as a people, our biggest flaw is a lack of willpower, so why tempt. My advice with any allergy, is it’s best to avoid all foods that you know contain this allergen.

*Just because eggs are in the dairy aisle doesn’t mean they come from a cow.
It amasses me how many people think a dairy allergy means no eggs. I realize egg is a common allergen, and as with most allergy causing foods the body has difficulties digesting proteins, but I’ve never seen a cow lay an egg.

*Just because it says Organic on the label doesn’t make it an easy soy replacement.
Since going the healthy rout I’ve tried my hardest to eat organic foods when possible. I have since found that with packaged foods, it is just as difficult to find products without soy, as it is with non-organic, so read labels!


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