Monday, October 27, 2014

OAS, Food Intolerance, and Paleo

Poor and Gluten Free (with Oral Allergy Syndrome): Oral Allergy Syndrome: Recipes, Information and Articles on Oral Allergy Syndrome a.k.a. Food Pollen Allergy *Living with Oral Allergy Syndrome Cookbook now...

I can't believe I found the above site. OAS PLUS recipes and all Gluten-free which can be adapted to a Paleo diet.

While I was a vegetarian (I'm not anymore) I was our chef's nightmare. I didn't eat meat, I am allergic to most raw fruits and vegetables, and I strongly dislike melons and cucumbers. Pretty much the easiest things for me to eat are mushrooms, lettuces, berries, grapes, orange citrus, and ripe bananas. It was easier to explain what I could eat, than what I couldn't. The Poor and Gluten Free (with Oral Allergy Syndrome) website has charts and lists about OAS foods and the pollen allergies they are associated with. Did I mention recipes? They have recipes!

It wasn't until years ago, while I was watching the old CBS Early show with Chris Wragge that I realized that what I was experiencing could be something that other people experienced too. There were two shows wherein they had raw fruit to taste and cook and he couldn't eat either fruit - peaches or pears. Peaches were the first food I was ever allergic to. I had cut one up as usual to put on my cereal, I took a couple bites, and BAM - I wanted to scrape out the inside of my mouth with a sharp razor blade. It was such a miserable feeling. Next, came carrots. Then, celery. 

As I have gotten older, even more food items have followed and are still developing. Basically I am allergic to everything on the Birch Pollen food allergy list except tomatoes and some peppers. I am also allergic to Avocado. I always just say "I'm allergic to anything raw with a pit, seed-core or that is a nut." I am allergic to almost every single ingredient in a Waldorf Salad. They should just call it "Death by OAS salad"And I also find it interesting that I have ragweed allergies and strongly dislike everything on that list except for honey and bananas. (i.e. melon-type foods) 

Enter the Paleo part of this equation.

Why on earth would anyone with food allergies start eating only fruits, vegetables, and healthy meats? Well, this is where it gets interesting. As I came to find out, and as is mentioned in the linked website, All of the OAS foods that I react to, I am able to eat once they cease to be raw. I can eat them cooked, canned, pickled, toasted, roasted, etc. Also, I have eliminated non-OAS yet questionable foods such as dairy, legumes, and grains. While I would have OAS reactions to raw wheat products, the others that I eliminated caused other issues within my system like bloating, tiredness, intestinal issues, etc. I haven't had to take a Tums or Pepcid since I started eating Paleo (we're almost to the 2 month mark). By researching so many Paleo recipes I am learning to once again eat the foods I have avoided for so long because of OAS. I'm learning how to cook them correctly, and to incorporate more variety into my diet. Ironic, huh? Cut out three entire food groups and my diet becomes more colorful. That's Paleo for you (and Gluten free eating for others).

Enough rambling and speculation. The bottom line is, for people with OAS it IS possible to eat many of the foods you are allergic to, and the Poor and Gluten Free website is a treasure for those of us experiencing food allergies, and/or are eating Paleo with OAS. To me, it is yet another light in my formerly dark kitchen where I was afraid of fresh food, grocery shopping, and cooking. 

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