Just call me the family filter

November 22, 2011 at 5:50 pm

The older I get, the more my body tells me (screams at me) that I can’t eat like a “normal” person.

This past week has alerted me to some additional food sensitivities (I have many) that I hadn’t been aware of before. That knowledge came packaged in a full week (and counting) of dizziness. I kid you not when I say there were some moments over the past week when I felt like I just might be on the verge of death (who knows, maybe I was?). Fun, fun. But all of it has helped me to piece together a bunch of puzzle pieces about my body that hadn’t made sense before. I will now be adding a lot of things (things I love to eat) to the list of foods I need to avoid (or eat very sparingly) in order for my body/mind to function well.

I have known since I was a teenager that I am allergic to mold, but I never really thought of it as a food allergy. We got an air filter (for my basement bedroom) and assumed my bases were covered. Turns out it is a food allergy (at least for me). And fungus is everywhere. Those mushrooms I binged on a couple of weekends ago… bad, bad idea.

Apparently people with mold allergies are also often sensitive to yeast in its many forms (good-bye bread), including fermented foods (good-bye probiotics). This explains why the homemade kefir made me dizzy and why homemade sourdough foods made me dizzy. And it’s a darn good thing that I’m a Mormon ’cause alcohol would be sheer poison to my body. This also explains why I felt dizzy while sleeping for two weeks in my dad’s (likely mold-infested) basement last summer.

So… lots of things are out for me now (though some of them I have already been avoiding). Depending on which website I consult, the list is longer (the long ones make me start to hyperventilate) or shorter, but these seem to be on all the lists…

- NO dried fruit
– NO aged cheese of any kind
– NO mushrooms or fungi whatsoever
– NO Leftovers- Eat within 24 hours
– NO Breads.
– NO Sauerkraut.
– NO Vinegar (distilled white vinegar may be OK)
– NO cider or fruit juice (juice contains mold as it is made with old fruit)
– NO Pickled and smoked meats and fish, including processed delicatessen foods, sausages, salami, bologna, frankfurters, corned beef and pickled tongue (oh darn!).

Many of the things (and vitamins) most people eat daily are made through a fermentation process, so I will need to dig further on that front. I will also be cutting out wheat and corn for awhile because these grains tend to harbor fungus from what I understand, and I have felt for awhile now that I’m sensitive to them (they make me feel drained and weak). Peanut products are probably also out since almost all peanuts are contaminated with fungus. Eggs may be out. I know “old” eggs make me nauseous, so I’ve been trying to get fresher eggs for a while now. Tap water often contains fungus, from what I understand, so I’m looking into getting a good water filter. I’ve been buying mostly grass-fed, free-range meats for awhile, but I suspect this will be even more important now. I have a hunch that if I’m eating animals who were fed fungus-infested grains that won’t be good for me (or anyone for that matter).

Getting extra vitamin d (sunlight), magnesium, garlic, coconut oil, chlorophyll, and using bentonite clay may also help me detox the funguses I can’t avoid.

This new development had me sitting on the floor a couple of nights ago, tears streaming down my face, telling my (patient, wonderful, supportive) husband, “I wish I could just be normal…”

Then my babies and I were playing in the dirt yesterday morning in the back yard. As I immersed my feet in that Arizona clay, I pondered my situation. And as I pondered, I realized that my body, though fraught with weaknesses, is also a blessing to my family. I am, quite literally, a filter for my family. Because I am so sensitive, I have become more and more particular about where we eat and what we eat. Because of my sensitivities, my children are blessed to avoid so many harmful things. Things that most people can eat without noticing any problem raise red flags in my body in a variety of ways (Remember the Doritos? Another bad idea.) It’s a curse and blessing, really. If I have to endure these “thorns in the flesh” for the rest of my life, I can at least console myself with the knowledge that my family’s health is benefiting.

So, if you see me at a social gathering and I’m not eating the food, please forgive me. Please don’t make assumptions. It’s not about being skinny, it’s not about being a “health food” snob, it’s not about making anyone feel bad. The one assumption you can feel free to make is that I will be wishing I could eat what you’re eating. So much of the connecting we do with other people revolves around food. When you can’t share a meal with others, you miss out. It makes me sad to imagine how often I may have to be an outsider in future food-bonding experiences.

Here’s hoping this will all go more smoothly than I expect.