Food | How I Manage My Food Allergies

As I promised yesterday on Das Gram, where I posted my sad Caprese salad because I literally had -5,983 calories left for the day because, PMS, and my app was totally fat shaming me, I realized that there were HELLA tomatoes on there and since I haven't blogged in a couple of years, some of you were probably wondering why I was about to commit suicide by tomato. 

Well, I'm cured, bitches! No longer allergic to tomatoes!

Lol/jk, I can eat tomatoes in small quantities now. We're talking like, half a plum tomato at the most. Which, let's face it, is a huge step forward for me considering that four years ago, I couldn't have a tomato touch my finger without it eating through my skin and I wound up in the ER with a severe reaction to regular weekly spaghetti dinner. I went from being fine with tomatoes to being deathly allergic overnight. 

I wound up seeing an allergist and went through the scratch test nightmare. Of course I'm not allergic to common things, I'm allergic or tested sensitive to weird stuff like tomatoes, cherries, pineapple, corn, barley, oats, and Russian men. No rhyme or reason to any of it. 

I decided to go with a combination of immunotherapy and gradual reintroduction of the food. Kind of a long shot for food allergies, but when they do work they work. I missed tomatoes. It's so hard to live life avoiding tomatoes. 

Every treatment plan is different because allergies are so weird and individualized. I went through an entire month of shots, shots, shots. So many shots, I almost quit. After that, shots once a week for another month, and reintroducing slowly with something like a little ketchup on a hamburger. 

I tolerated small amounts without any reaction, so I increased my tomato consumption from there, but never anything too crazy. Even with a lifetime of twice monthly maintenance shots, I'll never be able to sit down to a huge helping of tomato bisque. If I eat spaghetti marinara I'll get a little rashy, but nothing too horrible. 

It's just nice to relax and enjoy life not having to actively avoid anything. I couldn't even go into Mexican restaurants without my throat closing. White pizza gets boring, and I freaking love Caprese salad. A salted tomato wedge drizzled with balsamic vinegar brings me joy. 

I don't think I'll do anything for the pineapple or cherry allergy because I just naturally hate them and avoiding them doesn't impact my life at all. The other foods were just sensitivities and I don't notice them bothering me. 

If you don't mind needles and getting stuck for a few months, and then twice a month for eternity, I think it's a good avenue to try if you had a late onset food allergy, and you miss that food terribly, or living your life with the allergy is inconvenient. Just remember to be safe and always have Benadryl and your Epi on you if your allergy is serious, and always, always, ALWAYS listen to your doctor. This is not something you can just do yourself. 

Dammit, now I want a Bloody Mary. And guess what? I can have one now!


Jennifer Gulbrandsen