I completed my third Hot Yoga/Bikram class at Geezum Crow Yoga last night and it was AWESOME!! I really feel much more supported there than at Bikram Stowe and I’m going to try to make a point to go there more often. In the meantime, to make things a bit more affordable I’m looking for a good iOS app for Hot Yoga. After scouring reviews it looks like Hot Yoga Doctor is the most robust app with actual full spoken classes, despite their website being abhorrent. I wish I could find an actual video. I was surprised that My Yoga Online doesn’t have one (I highly recommend that site, btw).
Yesterday I received back the results of my food allergy testing. I had IgA, IgE and IgG testing done against 96 foods. It was done by Green Mountain Natural Health (processed at US BioTek) and I’m extremely grateful that my insurance covered the test in full.
I had the testing done because I’ve always had digestive issues and for the most part I’ve just accepted that and try to ignore it. I’ve had acid reflux since I was a kid and that’s the only condition I really had diagnosed and treated. I used to be on daily prescription meds but got off them with the help of a change in diet, and adding in yoga and abdominal massage (speaking of which if you are ever in the NH area I highly recommend seeing Kym Feltovic for Maya Abdominal Massage). That was probably one of my first forays into the power that a change of lifestyle has.
On top of the acid reflux, I also struggle with bloating, stomach pains after eating and lower GI inflammation. Those things have become so common that I thought they were part of life. I’ve been on many types of diets. Some due to dating partners with diet restrictions, some for fun, and more recently some elimination diets. I’ve done two elimination diets (cleanses) and both times I found I had sensitivities to dairy and gluten. Dairy was no surprise, I eat sundaes with the full knowledge that I’m entering a world of pain. Gluten was annoying to find out but it makes sense. I also noticed from those diets that I do much better with very little sugar. This was also no surprise as both my Mom and I struggled with an overpopulation of yeast and my Dad and his Dad struggled with issues with diabetes. Since those diets I’ve significantly cut back on dairy, gluten and sugar.
Yesterday I was handed a large booklet and finally got the results in full technicolor:
I only photographed what I was allergic to. I’m thankfully not allergic to any meat/fowl/eggs or any vegetables. I am allergic to all dairy, coffee, sugar cane, brewer’s yeast, cranberry, clam, crab, kidney bean, corn, all wheat, oat, rye, sesame seed, spelt, and sunflower seed.
I posted the results to Facebook yesterday and had the most comments I think I’ve gotten to a post ever. Food issues really rowel people up. I’ve learned nutrition is a very personal thing with lots of different opinions and if you’re not already used to a restricted diet it can seem like the end of the world. Let me be clear, this is not the end of the world at all. I’m actually super-excited that I can now start working on these allergies and see how they will change my body!
The big surprises were cranberries and sesame seeds. That means no more cranberry juice in my smoothies and I have to find another gluten free cracker that isn’t sesame-based. I already knew dairy and gluten would be on there. Brewer’s yeast is unfortunate, especially since that rules out making nut cheeses with nutritional yeast. Crab and clam is annoying, but I eat them so infrequently that I’m not going to let it bother me (and I’m still going to rock soft-shell crab season). And thankfully I had already quit coffee, despite my undying love for both roasting and drinking it.
Since I had already intuited a good chunk of these allergies and started being very strict about my diet since March 1st, I’ve actually lost 7lbs and my belly isn’t sticking out like a pregnant woman anymore (still a bit poofier than I’d like but, meh). So I already know there’s truth to this test and I will feel better if I eat the foods that fuel and nourish my body. I really didn’t mean to lose weight that quickly, just strictly cutting out dairy, gluten and sugar made an enormous difference.
The next step now is to do an elimination diet with the foods I tested as allergic to. I let the doctor know that I’m going to cheat on St. Patrick’s Day and on a long weekend I might have coming up in Boston. But, I don’t intend to cheat excessively. After that I’ll be doing two solid weeks of elimination. Then I need to add in one allergen at a time and note my reaction. What surprised me is that my doctor said once I know how each effects me there are treatment options so it’s possible that I won’t have to cut these foods out of my diet for good. I don’t yet know what the treatment options are (one of my packets mentioned acupressure), but I’m curious to find out.
I was asked by a couple people if I’m actually allergic to these foods or if I just have a sensitivity to them. I technically have an allergy to them, but not a fatal allergy. The consequences are bloating, acid reflux, lower GI inflammation, fatigue and insomnia…with possibly more symptoms to discover as I do the elimination diet. Dairy also gives me some respiratory issues, coughing from phlegm. As far as food allergies go, I do consider myself very lucky. My throat doesn’t swell up, I don’t have trouble breathing, etc. So if you want to call it a sensitivity I suppose that would be accurate, but this test sitting next to me is calling it an allergy. It’s basically all semantics.
I’d love to hear from others out there who have been through this or who are curious about it! I’m also on the hunt for more recipes that fit my diet, have anything good? The first on the docket is a recipe for hummus without tahini. Must go Google now!