Getting Started – Day One

So here we are.  You’re on this random site that contradicts itself by saying that it is a “vegan” meateater.  Now, what exactly does that mean?  Let me explain…

About five months ago, I woke up one Sunday (after an awesome night out!), with an awful rash on both of my arms that were also covered in hives.  I immediately called my mom and she basically told me that it was most likely something food-related, and I needed to go to a doctor.

That day, I went on to ZocDoc and looked for a doctor near my office, and I found a dermatologist.  I wanted to make sure it wasn’t something different, that it wasn’t a physical allergic reaction, and just to rule it out, that it wasn’t something like bed bugs or anything dog-related like fleas or ticks.  He was very nice and very quickly ruled anything as such out.  Okay, doctor one was done.  But I still didn’t have an answer, and I was very itchy.  The best he could tell me was to make Allegra & Benadryl (if needed) my new friends.

I then found an Allergy Center, and scheduled an appointment with them.  She administered the pinprick test on my arms, and I walked away only knowing that I’m actually allergic to grass and some tree’s pollen.  Okay, so why am I still breaking out in rash every night?  Because my body is over-producing histamines?  Okay, thanks for the non-answer!  That was doctor two, and I still have no idea what’s going on in my body.

I went back again to Zocdoc, and this time found an General Practioner/Internest that may be able to pinpoint what’s happening.  He told me that I’m not dying, it’s nothing overly problematic but that he knows of a test where they run your blood against about 200 different food types, and that the results show what foods you are you sensitive to, but not allergic (i.e. non-life threatening).  It would take about two weeks for it to arrive, and then another two to three weeks to process it.  Awesome. Anything helps, right?

Well, fast forward however many weeks, and I found myself sitting in his office and trying to pick my jaw back up off the floor.  Apparently, I am sensitive to everything.  And when I say everything, I mean that they had to squeeze over 30 different food types onto a card that can fit in my wallet.  Here’s the list (in alphabetical order):

  • Black pepper
  • Blackberries
  • Bran
  • Buckwheat
  • Cinnamon
  • Cocoa
  • Coconut (this was in everything I was eating, I was even cooking with it!)
  • Cola
  • Corn
  • Cranberry
  • Chicken egg (had a form of eggs every day) (quail/ostrich/duck eggs are okay)
  • Dairy: including Casein & Whey proteins, and all Goat/Sheep/Cow’s milk/cheese/yogurts
  • Ginger
  • Gluten
  • Grape (including currants) (wine!)
  • Green tea
  • Kelp
  • Lemon
  • Licorice
  • Malt (beer!)
  • Millet
  • Nutmeg
  • Okra (good riddance)
  • Oregano
  • Pine Nut
  • Rye (bourbon!)
  • Sage
  • Vanilla bean
  • Walnut
  • Wheat
  • Whey

Quite the list, right?  I can easily that I had something from this list at least every meal, much less every day.

So, obviously these are major dietary lifestyle changes that I need to make.  Most breads contain at least one of egg, a form of wheat & gluten, maybe even coconut oil.  Most sauces have “spices”, which one can assume contains black pepper.  I used to eat seafood at least a few times a week, with ginger.  I had been cooking with coconut oil about a year ago.  I was eating eggs consistently throughout the week.  And my dog (Dante, he passed away three weeks ago, and I miss him dearly), he and I used to eat blackberries together, I can easily say they were one of his most favorite foods.  One for me, one for him, two for me, one for him.

That brings us to this blog: According to my blood test, I can have whatever meat & seafood I like.  However, any animal’s dairy and chicken eggs are a no-go for me.  Hence the “vegan”, because I just have to go with that approach for anything I didn’t make and what the food might contain.  I can’t have gluten either, but I don’t have Celiac’s disease.  And this blog is my exploration of new recipes, new foods, and hopefully serves as a spring board for someone else who might be in my situation.

I’m looking forward to exploring together!

Cheers, Melisa

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