I’ve been learning a thing or two about American culture with this whole food allergy ordeal. Or maybe I shouldn’t sell us short. Maybe not Americans, but just people in general.
We really value our food. We value it so much, that we see having a treat, or something we really love, as a right and privilege. We eat to celebrate everything— birthdays, Father’s Day, anniversaries. We take a lot of pleasure in our food.
And we love to eat out. Eating out is a lot more than something we do for special occassions like I think it once was. It’s a convenience when we are too tired to cook– and a big waste of money often times.
I have often seen a kid who is upset at something distracted by a treat of some sort.
And I’m not trying to come down on us too hard, but you know what?
It’s just food.
It’s just food. The pleasure of something good to eat lasts for what, a few minutes? It’s a rather fleeting thing.
So many people hear that I’m not eating cheese and say they can’t believe it… they could never do it. Now, I joke to people all the time about how I’m going to have a huge mango milkshake and mozzarella calzone, and now that I’m off gluten too… a big ole oatmeal cookie after Ada weans. And then I’ll probably feel sick.
And that will remind me that it’s just food. And no food is worth feeling sick over.
I want to have energy. I want to feel good. I hate feeling crappy and I want to feel good when I’m older.
I pretty much usually do feel good, but at the same time, now that I can’t have dairy or gluten for Ada, I feel even better.
I’m not the first mom to discover how food affects her body, being somewhat unaware of it before, for the sake of her kid. I’ve heard several moms in my same position say they feel so much better and are eating so much healthier.
I think I’m even discovering my own food intolerances. Now, I don’t know… maybe I’m slow. But until this all happened I didn’t know that everybody’s ears didn’t clog up and they didn’t have to blow their nose after they had dairy. I’ve menti0ned to a few friends of mine on this food allergy journey that I thought that was normal.
But in all my reading, I’ve discovered that anything that makes extra mucous and that cloggy-ear feeling, is causing a reaction in your body. So it only makes sense that I feel better off of dairy, and obviously, my little allergic baby does too!
just a side note… a food allergy occurs when a food triggers an immune response in your body, and a food intolerance or sensitivity is when a food is provoking a reaction in your body, but not an immune one. So I’m not saying I have a dairy allergy— a milk protein allergy– it’s very rare in adults. Babies are much more prone to allergies to things like egg and milk, complex proteins, b/c the lining of their stomachs are not totally formed yet and large molecules pass straight through to the blood stream, causing the allergy– Leaky gut.
That’s why most of the time kids outgrow childhood food allergies. It has to do with their digestive systems maturing.
As far as the wheat or gluten issue that Ada has, we don’t know yet if that’s an allergy that she will grow out of or a more longterm condition like celiac disease. Time will tell.
But everyone is so quick to assure me, “Don’t worry. She’ll grow out of it.”
I know they are trying to be supportive, but it’s like people can’t stand the thought of me and her being “deprived” of a certain food.
Dude… it’s just food. I’m not saying there are things I don’t want to eat that I can’t right now. But I want my kids to grow up putting food in it’s proper place. The fridge or cabinet.
No, haha. I mean thinking of it in the right way. If my tummy is full, and I have energy and feel well, does it matter if I ate a cake or a salad? A milkshake or a pure fruit smoothie? White bread or gluten free bread? A vegetarian meal or a meat meal? As long as I’m healthy, it doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t.
And me and Payman make great food. It’s delicious. I often feel like whatever Payman has made for dinner is better than anything we could get at a restaurant here.
I’m not trying to say it’s not hard. Being unable to have something, especially for people that struggle with multiple food allergies, is tough.
You can’t eat out, specialty food is expensive, you can’t just have a break from making every meal yourself, family gatherings or parties just pose temptations, annoyances and possible harm to you or your children.
So I’m not trying to say it’s all easy or diminish anyones struggles. But keeping this “it’s just one food out of an ocean of things I could choose to eat” mindset makes it easier for me.
I think so many people with these treatable conditions like type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension could benefit from this mindset. But our culture detracts from that. It tells us to reward ourselves with food. It tells us that we are entitled to junk food or we’re being deprived.
It makes it seem like if we can’t have a food we love it’s the end of the world. I know people that are eating themselves into the ground, instead of just stepping back, and saying, hey— I don’t need this food as much as I need vitality and health. What’s the big deal to just eat something different instead?
Anyway, me and P loved to eat out. We were spending too much money and not being true to our own healthy eating values. Ada, in her little unexpected way, has brought us back.