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March 20, 2013

I'M ALLERGIC TO W.H.A.T.????


So, remember back around the holidays when I quit paleo?  Yeah....well...about the same time I began to get a mysterious rash on the side of my stomach, and sometimes on my back.  I chalked it up to stress.  We were in the middle of moving from one house to another, and...we lived with my parents for three weeks...three....whole...weeks....

That last part - living with your parents when you haven't in almost 20 years - yeah, that's enough stress to drive anyone over the edge.

At any rate, we closed on one house....closed on the new house...spent a week getting moved in....got unpacked....settled in...less stressed...life was good....but yet, my little gross rash continued.   

I finally decided to figure out what was wrong.  I haven't changed soaps, detergents, lotions, anything.  I am not stressed in the least (anymore so than my normal OCD/AR stressed-outness causes me).  I am back to Crossfitting (more on that later) and really really thinking about running again (a big step, these days).  The only logical explanation is food.

F.O.O.D.

I began the process of slowly eliminating various food irritants.  I started with the obvious - wheat.  I was certain that was it...and honestly, I hoped that was it.  It would give me an easy excuse to say 'no thanks' to breads, pasta, waffles, pancakes, cupcakes, donuts, brownies, cake and any other  wheat-filled products.

I noticed some days were better than others, but by and large the rash was still there.  So, I went to the next logical irritant - dairy.  I don't drink milk so I had to be a little more intentional with this one.  I ate alot of cheese and didn't blush by how much sour cream I put on my non-paleo baked potato for a solid week, to see if it would get remarkably worse.  And then, I cut it out for a week, to see if it got remarkably better.

Nothing remarkable happened except that I found out that I can eat an entire block of cheese in one day.  I might need to remember that, lest I ever enter an all-you-can-eat-cheese-eating contest.

I spent the next few weeks trying to eliminate all the weird stuff - anything "enriched," hydrogenated oils, soy protein isolate, maltodextrin, monoglycerides, cellulose gum, Polysorbate 60, and calcium sulfate....

On a side note, REALLY people look at the ingredients list on the foods you are serving your family....the above ingredients can all be found in hamburger helper (barf), swiss cake rolls, twinkies, and lucky charms.

At any rate, as I begin to eliminate, overcompensate, and just eat happy and crappy, I noticed that there was one common theme to my rash:

It happened when I ate processed foods.

So, if it isn't the wheat, the soy isolate, the MSG...then what the heck is it??????

The only thing left....is.....

S.U.G.A.R.

After many trials and errors (most notably with dark chocolate almond milk), I seem to have contracted an irritation or intolerance to refined sugar (I eliminated fruit, as well, in one of my experiments, with no adverse side effects).

And after some pretty extensive Google research, I guess I'm not alone.  Apparently, cutting out entire food categories, can cause a reaction when those foods are reintroduced.  The research shows that it may not be a temporary reaction either - it may be an intolerance all along that was overlooked or attributed to something else.  A good read on this sort of thing is Wheat Belly by Gary Taubes, with the case of wheat (duh), or Your Hidden Food Allergies are Making you Fat by Roger Deutsch and Rudy Rivera, M.D. (for pretty much everything else - try to get past the marketing aspect of having a full blown lab panel...yes, it's quicker but I got to the same point and didn't have to pay a deductible).

So, where do I go from here?

 My only suggestion thus far is to eat a cupcake laced with Benadryl. 

Since that's not very practical - Benadryl knocks me out for 6 hours minimum - I guess I'm going to have to....try....to...give...up....really...crappy....food.

Like cupcakes, and brownies, and ice cream, and chocolate milk, and Chick-fil-a sandwiches (the marinade's first ingredient is sugar), and barbecue sauce, and heath bar blizzards with extra heath bar, and blue cheese dressing, and EVEN coconut milk ice cream sandwiches.

I would be depressed just thinking about it, except that I've lost 2 pounds just in the last two days.  I'll keep reminding myself of that statistic everytime I feel weak-kneed around a honey bun.

On a completely unrelated, but related, statistical note: My Google stats show that I've had almost 41,000 views of this blog.  41,000 people - probably just 6 who really really  like me - have clicked on my profile 41,000 times.  41,000 times.  That's amazing and creepy all at the same time.

Have a great Wednesday.  

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