Finding out about food allergies

A question I get asked often…..How did you find out you were allergic to flour/wheat? 🌾

Soooo over a period of a few months I noticed some weird, irregular things happening with my body. After eating, I would get this unbearable itch in my right leg to the left of my shin. It would itch so bad I would sometimes scratch till it bled. Crazy I know! 😳

Other times I would get severe stomach pains that felt like my stomach was trying to rip itself out of my body. Sometimes that was followed by the runs. Or other times I would start to turn red and splotchy, get red bumps all over my body, start to feel really hot and itch a bit. As some people like to call it…..hot hives! 😩

I went to the doctor and they told me it was anxiety. It didn’t make sense. I don’t get anxiety after eating. I feel happy and content after I eat. So I brushed off that doctor and tried another. Who told he he had no idea what it was and maybe it would go away in its own. 🤦🏼‍♀️

It took me going to 4 doctors to finally have one tell me it’s possibly a food allergy. So he told me to fast for a full 24 hours to get everything out of my system. Then try one thing at a time and see the reaction. I started with fruits, then veggies, then meats, then cheeses and nothing was happening. One day I made a sandwich and BAM! Stomach pains and the runs. The only thing new I’d eaten was the bread on the sandwich! So I figured that was it! After a few more trial and errors I learned that I have a wheat/flour allergy. I tell people it’s a gluten allergy because it’s just easier to explain and I get less questions since gluten allergies are like a “thing” now. But for me it’s wheat and flour. Different types of wheat/flour affect me differently. Hence one time I’ll get hives, and another the runs. 🍴

My food allergy and my auto immune run hand in hand. They each affect each other. Turns out the itching in my leg is due to inflammation of the skin and tissue caused by eating wheat/flour. My body becomes inflamed, doesn’t understand what’s happening and goes on the attack. Therefore causing an itching reaction. It’s crazy but makes sense how one thing affects another.

I’m not missing out too much in life. People always give me the poor pitiful you look and ask what I can eat. Well I can eat pretty much what I want within reason…..fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses, etc. Instead of flour tortillas I do corn, when at a Mexican restaurant. I have always hated pasta so there was no loss there. They make gluten free bread/wraps and gluten free pizza crust so I can still enjoy a good sandwich or pizza when I want. I honestly don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. Going wheat/flour free hasn’t changed my life other than ridden me of stomach pain, itching, etc. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Pregnancy and Autoimmune

If you thought you were exhausted, achy, etc just being pregnant, try being pregnant while having autoimmune! My body is constantly overworked. It’s straining daily just to keep me and baby healthy while also battling against itself.

If you’re unfamiliar with autoimmune, it’s a non communicable disorder/disease. So you can’t catch it from someone sneezing near you, coughing, blood, inheritance, etc. They actually don’t know what causes autoimmune diseases.

In short, your body’s immune system protects you from disease and infection. But if you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake. The classic signs of an autoimmune disease are exhaustion and inflammation, which can cause redness, heat, pain and swelling. Depending on the autoimmune disease, for some the symptoms can actually be worse.

So for me, not only is my body working to grow a baby and protect the baby, but it’s also fighting against itself by mistake. My body feels overly exhausted daily. I also get a lot of non pregnancy related aches and pains. Combine that with pregnancy discomfort and I’m just one big ball of fun!

If you know someone who has autoimmune or even someone pregnant with autoimmune, give them a big hug or do what you can to try to be sympathetic! (Or if you’re like me, leave them alone and just be understanding 😂) They’re definitely fighting a difficult battle. 💪🏻

Pregnancy and workouts

I think it’s interesting to see a “new aged” doctors view vs an “old school” one. My first pregnancy I went to an older doctor. Despite being perfectly healthy, she put me on SO many physical restrictions while pregnant. She wouldn’t allow me to lift more than 20lbs or get my heart rate above 140. She told me to limit back exercises and avoid any workout involving my core.

This second time around I have a younger doctor. Her views are quite a bit different. She gave me no restrictions other than to not push myself too hard and to rest when needed. Since I lifted weights pre baby, she saw no reason to restrict my weight lifting. However, she recommended I not push myself more than my usual. Adding heavier weights than what I’m used to would obviously not be a good idea. But I was allowed to run, lift weights, etc as I please. She also saw no reason for me to worry about my heart rate. Since my body was used to workouts pre baby, and baby and I are currently very healthy, she saw no risks in me getting my heart rate above 140. She did say to make sure I could breathe well and wasn’t struggling or wheezing. You want to be able to get enough oxygen to your muscles and the baby.

I love how people are finally accepting fitness in pregnancy rather than running scared from it. Restricting workouts doesn’t benefit the mother (unless there is a physical need for restriction.) It actually has so many amazing benefits!

I have almost no back or hip pain this time around. I credit that to my workouts and the fact that I still have most of my strength. I have way less joint pain and I’ve had very few headaches compared to what I had the first time around.

Obviously you should talk to your doctor before participating in any physical activity while pregnant. But don’t be afraid to go for a walk, lift weights, etc if given the green light. Your body, and your baby will thank you!

Pregnancy Hangover

A few times a month I wake up feeling EXTREMELY hungover. It literally feels like I drank 2 bottles of wine to myself. Yet I haven’t had a drop of alcohol and I drank plenty of water the day before. 🍷

Apparently it’s the pregnancy hormones. They can actually give you a feeling of being hungover! 🤢

It’s one thing to consciously make the decision to drink, and possibly drink too much therefore leading to a hangover. I however have zero control over this feeling. It’s like my body just says, hey you haven’t drank in a while, let’s have some fun and make you feel hungover without the actual alcohol involved! 🤦🏼‍♀️

Seriously, pregnancy and hormones are so weird. And so not fun at times. 🤔

Pregnancy and workouts

Recently I bumped into someone (not a close friend) who seemed shocked to find out I was still going to the gym while pregnant. They gave me this confused look then the awkward “good for you” comment. 🤦🏼‍♀️

I’m really confused. Do people just quit going to the gym when pregnant? Or is it just assumed that with pregnancy comes laziness? Because in all honesty none of my friends have quit working out when they got pregnant. Maybe I’m sheltered and live in a little fitness bubble or something. I have been an athlete my whole life and I do tend to associate with people who have similar healthy lifestyles. So perhaps the general population is different?

Doctors encourage workouts when pregnant, as long as there are no current or potential complications at hand. There have been studies done that prove exercise to have benefit for mom and baby while pregnant and after delivery. So do people just not listen to their doctors and decide to use pregnancy as an excuse to forget about health and be lazy? I don’t know.

Working out is the one thing that keeps me sane and helps me manage my pregnancy. It eases the aching muscles due to growth and stretching of the baby. It also gives me more energy so I can make it through the day and still be able to chase around my toddler. I tend to have an upset stomach often while pregnant and even a little light cardio seems to settle it. I’m not big on taking medications so I use workouts as my medication.

I guess I have to remind myself that everyone is different and not everyone chooses the same healthy paths. If I ever get that comment again I’ll just smile and nod and remind myself that I’m doing what’s best for me and my little one. 😊

Children and sweets

I’m pretty particular about what my child eats. I give a little here and there. But one thing I don’t budge on is sweets. I personally believe we introduce candy and sugars into children’s diets at too early of an age. Most doctors and dieticians will recommend waiting till a child is at least 4 before introducing them to candy and sweets (longer if possible).

Hard or chewy candies are a choking hazard, and giving your child other treats like chocolate can contribute to poor eating habits as they grow up.

Candy is chock-full of empty calories, and you want to make sure your child eats more nutrient-packed foods. Because eating habits and tastes are learned early, what you offer your child now will affect them for the rest of their life.

Your child will figure out soon enough the appeal of sweets, but you can help them make smart choices. If you want to give your cold something sweet, safe and healthy options are fruit, yogurt, frozen yogurt, pudding, etc.

Help your child learn healthy habits early in!

Maternity clothes

This morning I was reminiscing back to our weekend in Vegas. It was a short trip but so much fun. Packing for the trip I was in serious panic as to what I was going to be able to wear out to a nice dinner. I hadn’t bought any nice maternity clothes. I had casual thingS like t-shirts and jeans. I literally went through my entire closet and I had only one dress that would stretch over my belly and not look like I was a piece of meat getting shoved through a tube! Not to mention my insecurities kicked in so I shot down a few dresses that were probably wearable but I just wasn’t comfortable in them.

I spent this week doing a little online maternity shopping. There are so many more amazing maternity options out there now than there were years ago. I’ve noticed more stores pop up in the last two years since I last bought maternity clothes!

I remember years ago seeing a few friends maternity outfits and thinking they just looked frumpy and boring. It’s as if someone made a last minute decision to make maternity clothes with little effort. I’m so glad someone realized there was a true market for it and that pregnant women care about style too. Just because you’re pregnant it doesn’t mean you just let everything go. Remember that saying…..“when you look good you feel good.” It’s so completely true. Especially when you have a body that’s changing pretty much daily!

If you’re struggling to fit into your clothes due to pregnancy and are on the hunt for some new things, you have options! My favorites are Pinkblush, Gap, Old Navy & H&M! Or of anything, you can always rely on Google search! 📱