My Story and My Mission

I’m 21-years-old, fresh out of college, and allergic to most foods that define a normal college experience. Herein lies my motivation.

The human body is a crazy thing. It’s so complex that even the smartest of doctors can’t understand every aspect of it. So imagine how I felt when mine was going crazy on me for reasons I didn’t know.

My whole life, I’d never had allergies. My sister was allergic to everything; cats, grass, pollen. My mom had seasonal allergies as well. I never did, especially not food allergies. Around middle school, I started feeling really nauseous before meals, especially breakfast, and getting stomachaches all the time. It wasn’t hard for my doctor to diagnose me with G.E.R.D., or acid reflux disease. I still think it was anxiety-induced, because it was the summer before I started high school, and while I felt fine, my subconscious was probably freaking out. Once I started high school, my G.E.R.D. and stomachaches disappeared.

Fast Forward to the end of my junior year. All of the sudden, I was getting horrible stomachaches all the time, mainly after eating. Sometimes, they’d be so bad I couldn’t move. My mom suspected I was lactose intolerant, so I went off diary, with no immediate luck. She then suggested I go off wheat, which actually helped a little bit. At this point, my diet consisted of wheat free cereal, apples and peanut butter, hard boiled eggs, and Mexican food when I could get it. It was difficult eating in my sorority when I stopped eating wheat, all that was really available to us were bagels, bread, English muffins, Eggo waffles, and cereal. Like I said, the diet change improved my condition sizably, but I still wasn’t cured and I didn’t know why.

When I moved home for the summer, my mom sent me to a Natural Path doctor. I described my symptoms and my current diet, and she started me on a few homeopathic remedies, including digestive enzymes and probiotics. A week later, I returned for an allergy test. I found out I was sensitive to not only wheat and dairy, but corn, tomatoes, potatoes, eggs, sugar, peanuts, amaranth, spelt, and oranges. No wonder my diet in the sorority wasn’t helping!!

So I started to go off those foods. I wanted to get healthy before I flew across the world to study in Greece for a month and a half. Turns out, I didn’t need to. While in Greece, I felt cured. I stayed away from wheat for the most part, but other than that I ate whatever I wanted, tried all the local food and cocktails I wanted, took my homeopathic medicines, and felt fine. In fact, I lost 7 pounds in that month and a half, even though I was eating fries, Greek yogurt, tatziki sauce, and feta cheese almost every day. Go figure. The wonders of the Mediterranean diet.

Back in the states, I wasn’t so lucky. I tried the whole “eat whatever I want” thing, but food in America just isn’t the same as in Greece, and all the old problems came back. I moved into a new apartment at school, so I could at least store and cook my own food. Problem is, I hated cooking. Despised it actually. It took too much time and effort. Plus, one of my roommates was always baking, while the other one was always cooking huge dinners for all the roommates. I avoided wheat and dairy as best I could, but it was very half-hearted. I was always tired and lethargic, and couldn’t snap out of it. I knew exactly why it was happening, but I couldn’t change my diet with the negative influences around me. I just didn’t care enough, I wanted to enjoy college. I’d be moving to L.A. in January; I told myself I’d start eating right then.

So I move to L.A., hoping things will change. But nothing changes the fact that eating right is hard work. I was trying, but I wasn’t paying close attention to ingredients or asking for special modifications at restaurants. I was experiencing L.A. and all it had to offer.

It was around February that I realized I was feeling sick again. I knew what I had to do, and I was finally truly motivated to make it happen. I made it my goal to give up all my off-limits foods for Lent. That’s where I am now. I’ve had a few small slip ups, but I’m getting more and more knowledgeable by the day. After reading Skinny Bitch, I’m also now inching towards becoming full vegan. I love animals and reading about the cruelty and corruption in the meat industry was sickening. But it’s a lifestyle change that will take a lot of work and willpower, and with my allergies, may not be feasible. I will try though, anything to become the best version of myself.

I believe we as humans aren’t made to digest certain things. Especially with the added chemicals we sometimes aren’t even aware of. When you think about it, the food we eat can actually be pretty disgusting at times, and when we eat it, it can make us feel even more disgusting. I refuse to live that way anymore. I will live a much happier, healthier and fulfilled life if I can simply pay attention to what I’m putting into my body. It’s that simple.

Where am I going with this? I want to help other people out there like me. I’m not implying they should all go vegan, or even give up everything they love. I just want to make people, especially college students, aware that they can change the way they feel. It doesn’t have to be a mystery, and it doesn’t have to be so hard. In this day and age, it’s still pretty hard to find resources for those with dietary restrictions. That’s where I come in. I want to change that. I want to become the face of easy allergy free living. I want to give young people a way to feel like they aren’t alone in their struggle for a better life. I want to show them that you don’t have to be an amazing cook or even like cooking to improve their diets. I want to show them that it can be easy and fun. It wasn’t for me at first, and I wish I’d had someone to tell me what to do.

So please, if you like my cause, if you agree with my philosophy, help me! Follow my blog, tell your friends, coworkers, random people you meet on the street about it. I promise, with your help, I can truly take this to a level where I can be a voice for other people like me. This problem will only continue to grow, there needs to be a solution. I will be that solution.

Thanks so much for your support. Contact me with feedback, I love to hear it!