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.
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!!
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.
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!