the ugly of food allergies

Food allergies are no fun. In the beginning they can stress you out, create all sorts of anxiety, take over your life as you research and learn what to eat. But, the stress never really goes away.

When I was tested I prayed not to have a gluten allergy, I saw that as the worst case. I had not heard of a corn allergy and I had no idea how much corn was in all the food I was eating. After my diagnosis the elimination trial began, when I took out all obvious forms of corn I saw immediate results and felt worlds better.  All the while researching corn free eating. I unearthed mountains of corn info. I was overwhelmed. I spent hours pulling my hair out, having a tantrum much like a 2-year-old, and crying. The immensity of a corn allergy was swallowing me whole. Corn touched almost every food.

Over a year later, I have conquered the grocery store and kitchen in regards to corn free. I make my own condiments, dressings, marinades, breads, spice blends, ice cream, coffee creamer, vanilla, etc..etc..etc… I am forced to buy expensive foods. That alone is infuriating.  (The cheap crap is bad for everyone.) Just a glimpse at my grocery bill will shock most. People tell me they could never afford it…I don’t have a choice. Our family sacrifices much financially so I can eat healthy and so I am not cooking 2 different dinners each night and worried about cross contamination.

Here is a peek into my grocery bill:

Milk: $5.99/gallon

Beef: $5.99/ 1 pound

Chicken: $9.00/ 4 breasts, not quite 2 lbs.

bacon: $5.99/ pound

Pasta: $2.99/ 1 pound

1 box of crackers: $3.00

Flour: $3.99-5.99/bag

Powdered Sugar: $2.99/ 4 cups

Eggs: $5.99/ dozen

Cream: $2.99/ pint

Butter: $5.99/ pound

Yeast: $2.99/3 small packets (other yeasts are grown on corn)

Safe loaf of bread (when I can find it) $4.19

And we all know organic produce is pricey. Eating non organic causes reactions due to the pesticides and gasses they use on the produce.

These are just a few staples I buy regularly. Just adding up the milk, eggs and meats for a family of 6 is ridiculous. My house payment is the only thing higher than the grocery bill, but not by much. It costs me about $25 to make 1 half-gallon of my coffee creamer and in a world of having given up a lot I am not sacrificing the coffee anytime soon.

Price is not the only issue. Convenience is gone. Not more pre-shredded cheese, lettuce, nothing pre packaged….If I want blue cheese dressing I buy the yogurt, blue cheese and red wine vinegar to make it. A pizza dinner means, make the sauce (30 min), shred cheese (15), make dough, let it rise and cook (2 hours), cook meat or chop other toppings, assemble pizza and cook again. Every meal takes 1 hour or more. If I have good help and we work fast I can get it to the table in 30, maybe.

I love to cook, I love to read cookbooks, I like entertaining and I enjoy eating. Well, most of the time. All of the above creates burn out. I can’t call for dinner to be delivered when I am too tired, not in the mood or need dinner in a hurry. Lately, making a weekly menu and grocery list is daunting and dreadful. This in turn creates feelings of not wanting to cook at all. But my choices if I do not want to cook is not eating or eating just fruits. Due to bread costs I don’t do many sandwiches. But even if I have bread I still have to cook the meat to go on it, make the condiments so it is not dry. Even making breakfast for dinner is not a quick fix. I have to choose eggs for a quick and easy meal or save the $6/dozen eggs for making other goodies and it will go farther.

I am just tired of making food items so I can then begin to make a meal. I think if I always lived this way it would be better. But I had 34 years of enjoying convenience and quick step solutions for a great meal. AND, I have not even talked about what has to happen to go out-of-town or be away from the house all day and still needing to eat. Not all places I visit have foods I need to make a meal. I call stores ahead of time, investigate possible restaurants, pack a cooler and a few grocery bags. Now don’t get me wrong, I am happier with the way I have been eating and feeding my family. I do not eat anything processed or unnatural. I eat foods the way God created, not man. My family eats very little processed foods. (For now I will continue to buy simple items for lunches  and snacks like; cheaper bread, Goldfish, graham crackers, and I am not making them give up cereal). I never feel icky after I eat and I don’t have gut issues. I am ever thankful that I found out why I had felt so bad for so long. I just wish sometimes it was not such a process to eat. Some days I just want a plate of food to be placed in front of me at meal time that I had nothing to do with but was completely safe to eat.

Well I took my $9 chicken out to thaw for dinner. No idea how I will prepare it since today is one of those days I just don’t want to do anything food related. But, who will feed the natives? Come 5 o’clock they get pretty restless.


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