Often I get asked why I decided to go down the root of a vegan diet and the honest answer is predominantly because of a number of food allergies/intolerances that have come to the surface having visited a herbalist and practised an elimination diet for a period of weeks.
I was never a big meat eater as a child and was already well on the road to the being a fully fledged vegetarian for the good part of 10 years, occassionally eating fish. The first food intolerance that came to the fore was most definitely in relation to wheat. Pasta, bread, cake….all were a sure fire way to leave me in agonizing pain, bent in two on occasion and with a bloated stomach nothing short of the size of well blown up balloon.
For me it’s something that most definitely got worse and more noticeable over time which I personally attribute to over consuming the same wheat laden foods day in day out…too much of the one food group, does it cause intolerances?!
Baked Chocolate and Mango Banana Pancake -Wheat, Egg, Gluten & Dairy Free
Then came dairy. I can’t say it was something that I ever noticed causing me particular pain or discomfort but having visited my herbalist (I say that like I think she only sees me!) and explained how I have suffered from severe constipation for the best part of 3 years, dependent on medication to move my bowels which by a specialist consultant had been disregarded as being attributable to degenerative nerves, she suggested that dairy might be a contributory factor.
Spelt Bagels! – Wheat, Egg & Dairy Free
Dairy and wheat removed and I’m now a MUCH happier person. I’m not going to lie, I do occassionally still suffer stomach discomfort but more often than not this is simply due to having eaten too much food in one go!
Mock “Egg” Salad – Wheat, Dairy, Egg & Gluten Free
When I first considered giving up wheat, removing it from my diet completely I was a little bit perplexed as to what I could eat other than the premade gluten free breads and cakes that sit in their predominantly purple packaging on the shop shelves..why purple I do not know!?
Fudgy Banana Brownies – Wheat, Egg & Dairy Free
Enough digressing…not eating wheat does not mean you can’t enjoy all the foods you loved. I’m now a big, no huge fan of spelt and corn pastas, I eat a variety of grains from quinoa, to millet and also buckwheat which isn’t actually a grain but has all the fantastic savoury properties of one! Chickpea flour, spelt flour, rice flour…they all make for some fantastic breads, cakes and pancakes!
Meatless Meatballs – Wheat, Dairy & Egg Free
Lots more gluten, wheat, dairy and egg free recipes can be found over on my recipage!
When asked to fill in the tick boxes for a health screening I never filled in the allergies section and I still hesitate over whether or not I consider my intolerances allergies or not.
I of course did a little bit of research and turn out there’s a whole heap of conversation regarding non-celiac gluten and wheat intolerance seen as both are on the rise, wheat being one of the top 8 allergens. (If it’s on Oprah it’s clearly a hot topic!)
The intolerance vs allergy debate extends even further in my mind…
I had asthma as a child…or so I was told and I apparently grew out of it. It’s one of those things I think is most definitely overly and misdiagnosed and blamed perhaps for some people’s intolerances to certain substances that merely need to be controlled.
Are we born with a predisposition to develop and allergy or is it purely down to environmental factors?
Can certain environments or eating certain foods cause allergies to develop in children?
These are just a couple of the questions that I consistently ponder over! Well the perfect opportunity to pose them to an expert is forthcoming!
AXA PPP Healthcare are putting there knowledge to good use and are hosting an online discussion next Wednesday the 30th May at 3pm until 5pm. Being in work I’m not sure if I will make the live discussion but you can simply leave a comment here or contact them via Twitter or Facebook and they will have one of the experts responds!
Why now? Well the sun has begun to shine and we’re coming in to hay fever season quick and fast which over 12.5 million people in the UK suffer from.
You can join the LIVE CHAT here at the AXA PPP Healthcare Allergies Centre. Even if you can’t visit the chat the Allergies Centre is a great resource which you can visit at your leisure. It contains a range of facts, articles and healthy living guides to help you manage your allergies and ease, in some cases prevent, the disruption they cause to you day to day life.
Do you suffer from allergies? Do you have questions you’d like answered? Help or advice?
Join the chat and have your put your queries to bed
Post brought to you in association with AXA PPP Healthcare.