I began following a ketogenic diet in September, 2017 after watching a dear friend lose over 30 lbs in six months while eating bacon and eggs and adding heavy cream to his coffee. Meanwhile, I had been eating a vegan diet for a few weeks but had actually gained weight and felt terrible. (Don’t get me wrong, I know plenty of people who are vegans and are healthy, have lost weight and are thriving, but that was not me.) So I too lost weight, my cholesterol improved (though it wasn’t bad to start with), my arthritis pain went away and my anxiety and mood swings decreased dramatically. I also loved that my energy stayed even all day; no more feeling sluggish and sleepy after eating a carb filled lunch.
After about a year and a half of switching my diet to keto, I suddenly developed a deadly allergy to peanuts and all tree nuts. Doh! Nuts and nut butters were staples in my keto diet. I ate some form of them every day and literally, overnight, my body somehow decided, “No more nuts for you!” and I ended up in the back of an ambulance. Now I have to avoid all nuts and the people around me have to avoid them too because even if I don’t eat or touch them, if someone nearby is eating peanuts, I’ll start wheezing and break out in a rash. If any microscopic bit of a nut gets into my food or touches my plate, I go into anaphylactic shock (i.e. it’s hard to swallow, airway constricts, wheezing starts, horrible hives break out and a shot of epinephrine is needed and 911 has to be called). SO…since January, 2019 I’ve had to adapt my cooking, my work environment, my eating out, my socializing with friends, my travel planning and have learned to give myself an injection and carry a pulse oximeter and benadryl wherever I go. Doesn’t that sound super fun?
I am happy to say that I’m learning to cope and adapt to my new nut-free ketogenic lifestyle; and I’m purposely using the word, “lifestyle”, because a severe food allergy is more than a diet…it’s a way of living. It changes how you can interact with people and where you can go. It makes you hypervigilant because not paying attention can get you killed. That’s why I started this blog. I know there are others like me who developed adult onset food allergies or who were born with them. This is a place we can share recipes, coping strategies, products or foods we love, travel tips, recommendations for safe restaurants to eat at, and so on.
Please subscribe and please comment to let me know if, and what type of, food allergies you are living with. I would love to hear your tips and survival techniques and if you have a favorite food recipe that you’d like me to make allergen free and ketogenic, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.
Live, love, learn and share!