Things that make me Batshit Crazy

A person can only take so much shit before they lose it. I discovered this about myself the other night when I lost my shit in public. I’m not proud of it, but I’m also not sorry for it at all – and the reason is this: Those people were not my friends; they are merely gossip bottom feeders and shit starters that rely on fake friendships to feel better about themselves. At the very least, I hope I acted crazy enough so that they never fuck with me again.

In order to make myself feel better, I rely on nature and quiet times. When I moved to my house five years ago, it was a fairly quiet neighborhood. There was a tree line behind the house that I wasn’t aware until last year that blocked most of the traffic noise. Then someone built a house. It’s amazing how much trees can absorb noise. Unfortunately, overdevelopment has increased the amount of noise, as well as those stupid ass leaf blowers that never seem to turn the fuck off all over the neighborhood all days of the week, all hours of the day. And don’t get me started about the shitty dog owners that allow their big dogs to bark all day long. Too much “city life” type of living gives me anxiety, which is why I live where I do. But when I can’t even enjoy the place I live (and also work from home most of the time), I feel like it may be time to move on.

Some people think working from home means you don’t have a job, you’re available 24/7, and you will do things for them for free. I used to do things for free, but not anymore. When I see these same cheap asses shell out $300 for a name brand purse or some other sweatshop overpriced designer bullshit, then they can come up with the money for what I offer that I don’t sell out to children in a third world country. When they tell me they can get it cheaper elsewhere, go for it! You get what you pay for… and I have no desire to do anything for people that don’t value my work.

Something that not only feels like a waste of my time and my life, but also that I should never have to do, is someone else’s job. I am constantly finding myself doing the job of whomever at the VA or VA claims that can’t seem to find my paperwork or medical records. I’m at the point of about to hire an attorney, because I have literally spent HOURS of my life to get absolutely nowhere – for twenty years!

If I’m in a conversation with someone that is constantly checking or answering their phone, forget it. I give up. I have also been on (horrible) dates that have done this. Grow the fuck up and show some respect or get the fuck out. I actually have stopped mid-sentence and stopped talking altogether, because obviously what I have to say isn’t that important, so why waste my breath? It’s so inconsiderate to do that to anyone.

So imagine someone with depression, anxiety, and PTSD (during the holidays) being approached with all of the above in the same week or two… total recipe for batshit crazy.

Enough said.

Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatique Syndrome – Eating Habits – Part 3

In my first blog on this topic, I discussed how I had been diagnosed with these strange illnesses and how massage helped many of the problems. In my second blog entry, I discussed the food allergies I discovered and took control of.

Now I will discuss more about my eating habits. I grew up eating and loving Chef Boy Ardee and Spaghettio’s. In fact, I would have eaten it every day if I was allowed to – or anything with tomato sauce for that matter. Vegetables were nothing I would touch, unless it was a tomato or maybe a cucumber. Even as an adult, my eating habits didn’t change much until about a year or so ago when I was sick of feeling sick five or six out of seven days a week. So I began educating myself.

First, I started by finding out what may be the cause of aches, pains, and general feelings of discomfort. I began visiting health food stores and talking with others just like me who made some suggestions. One of them happened to mention the link between the pH in the body and the growth of disease. It reminded me of taking those little litmus test papers in school science class, but I was now beginning to understand what that was all about.

Balancing the acidity vs alkalinity in my body took on a whole new meaning of eating properly. I started to take notice of how my body felt when I craved and ate too much pasta. Without knowing how to fully describe it, I would say heavy, like a wet rag, and slightly achy – whatever it was wasn’t normal. I had no idea that pasta is considered acidic. Also, my love of tomatoes hasn’t died… add those to the pasta and what do you get? More acid in the body. My beloved morning coffee = more acid. So you get the picture. I was a walking body of acid. One conversation started to change that, however.

Having no idea what foods or drinks I had been consuming were acidic in nature, someone had informed me of taking an all-natural drink powder made with all organic green vegetables. Apparently, the powder is supposed to balance the acidity in the body and make it more alkaline. It wasn’t cheap, but it was well worth it when I discovered that this powder worked. The name of what I take is called Green Superfood, and it’s made by a company called Amazing Grass, runs for about $28 in the health food store for a 30-serving supply. One tiny scoop mixed with water looks pretty gross but the flavor really isn’t bad. I drink that if I tend to be consuming too much acidic food or drink and have noticed a huge difference in the aches.

Beating Fibromyalgia and CFS, Allergy Tests – Part 2

Sometime around 2002 someone finally convinced me to get tested for allergies. Thankfully, I had insurance so the visits and tests were covered. I discovered through an allergist that I was allergic to grass, ragweed, pine, and milk. The pine allergy would definitely explain much of the misery I felt in 1997-1999 because I lived in northern Florida in the middle of a pine forest! As I had stated in my last blog, this is when the joint popping and cracking issues began.

Basically, I could do nothing about the environmental pollens because they surrounded me. I was given various allergy medications, such as Claritin D, which helped relieve stuffiness and post nasal drip, but did not fix my issues with the aches. Being sensitive to medications, I noticed I started feeling “loopy” (although some people might agree that is just my natural state, lol) after taking it. I felt as if I had the flu about 5 days out of each week. I was completely and totally miserable and hopeless. Exercise seemed to do nothing to help with any of the symptoms either, however, I also noticed a huge correlation between the allergies, the amount of sunlight I received, and the fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms.

Being a Florida girl, I grew up on the beach and the times when I did not get enough sunlight I noticed a difference in the way I felt. There were certain times when I would go for days without going out into the sun for at least 20 minutes, and I noticed if I did not go out at least every other day, by the third day I started feeling ill again. Anytime it rained, which is inevitable in a hurricane-fixated state, I could feel a huge amount of pressure in my joints.

I was eating better than before, but still not that well. Cutting milk out of my diet helped with phlegm and digestion issues, but I had a habit of eating bagels and cream cheese for breakfast or donuts because it was easy to make and I had a 45-minute drive to work every day. My diet consisted of that of the average working American, and we all know what that means.

Eventually, I decided to move to a more tropical area that wasn’t laden with trees and grass, which was a huge help on the environmental allergies. It really did make a difference, and I also started chiropractic care. The combination helped, but I was unaware that I had developed more food allergies over the years. In 2007, I had another series of tests and found out I was still allergic to all of the prior tested things, in addition to cedar and (of all things!) corn! (See blog about corn allergy here.) Corn was just about in everything in my diet, which meant having to completely change the way I was eating. That meant no more fast food, and it also meant that most things packaged in a box, can, or bag were also off the list. Even the things I thought were healthful contained corn ingredients of some form or another. I started feeling relief as soon as I cut those things out of my diet, and I could tell immediately when I ate or drank something that had a corn ingredient in it.

Unfortunately, I had to move away from the tropical area and back to the grass and trees. At least I knew what made me feel yucky and I am still learning to control it.

About two years after the corn allergy was discovered, I started to feel as if I were eating something else that wasn’t being nice to my system. I went back to an allergist and discovered through more tests that I now had an egg allergy. I had been eating eggs for breakfast almost daily! It was disappointing, to say the least, but cutting eggs out of my diet really has made a difference with the digestive issues and muscle aches I’d been having. Substitutions for eggs were a challenge as well.

Since all of these food allergy discoveries, I would say that it piqued a newfound interest in learning how to eat right. In my next blog, I will discuss in what ways I am educating myself on proper eating habits.

Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Part I

Shortly after my twenty-first birthday, I started noticing that I wasn’t feeling well most of the time. After visiting the doctor and coming back with normal blood work results, I was relieved that nothing “bad” showed up, but at the same time I was also disappointed that there was no explanation for my symptoms. The doctor I was seeing at the time diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a disorder that I hadn’t ever heard until then and knew nothing about. At the time, there was no internet access or much written information on the topic, but I did manage to find others that had the same problem. The more I learned about this incurable, debilitating disease, the more convinced I was that the doctor was wrong in his diagnosis. Since there was no exact way to test for this ailment, I convinced myself I didn’t have it. In my mind, I told myself there is no way in hell I’m going to give my life to this horrific disease.

Some time during some earlier college years I visited the doctor that had known me since I was born. (His office visits were only $30!) I kept having throat problems with swelling and chronic bronchitis. He shot me up with some sort of steroid, and I found immediate relief with the swelling issues. He suggested that I probably had allergies and suggested that I quit smoking (yes, I used to have that nasty habit!). At the time I had no health insurance so I wasn’t able to get the necessary testing done, but I did quit smoking for good. Shortly afterwards, I moved away to attend a university; in the meantime, my old doctor retired.

Fast forward about five years later. I was a full-time college student and single mom, and I regularly worked out at either the school’s gym or at home. One day at home I was lifting light weights with my arms. As I lifted one arm, I heard a snap that sounded much like my shoulder came out of its socket. It hurt but not bad enough to see a doctor, so I figured I’d just pulled a muscle. But the unexplained snapping and popping continued with each and every joint in my body, along with flu-like muscle aches and hasn’t stopped since 1997. Several doctor’s visits over a few years without any results, I finally had somewhat of an answer three years later.

Another highly controversial syndrome among the field of medicine, fibromyalgia was my next diagnosis. The only problem that I found was that even though the known “pressure points” of fibromyalgia were supposed to be painful to touch on the person, for me it brought relief. Again, I was not sure that I was properly diagnosed, but it was something that I could work with as far as the treatment went. By then, the internet was becoming popular and it was easy for me to find information on the topic.

Massage was a huge relief for the muscle aches. I’d been seeing an excellent but pricey massage therapist who later told me she took insurance. When I learned she accepted my insurance and to find out more about it, I immediately contacted my insurance company and was told that massage is covered if written by a physician as a prescription. I was thrilled! I immediately went to my doctor (who had been trying to put me on pills that I refused to take) and told him of the great news about massage therapy with my insurance company. But he refused to write the prescription! He wanted to shoot me up with cortisone shots and give me more prescriptions. He told me that massage is only a temporary relief, that it may last only about a week and was a waste of time. I was furious with him because we obviously did not see eye to eye when it came to holistic healing vs meds that harm the body (not to mention that they are also a temporary relief and not a cure-all). So I marched out of his office and found a new doctor that believed in massage therapy.

That was just the beginning of beating fibromyalgia.

Today I still have the same muscle aches and joint popping and cracking without any explanation for it whatsoever. I have found ways that relieve these issues, however, and I have noticed what makes them worse. I am also convinced that all of these symptoms are related to allergies and stress.

Backtrack to around my twenty-first birthday. Stress was an understatement of how to describe my life at the time. I was a new mom, going through a divorce, and working full time. My body was still adjusting to the birth of my daughter and my diet consisted of mostly microwavable foods – many with starches and sugars that I now know contributed to many of the health-related problems I was facing. To top it off, I was a smoker.

Go You Chicken Fat, Go Away! (Please Get Out of My Head!)

The strangest things have been happening lately with songs popping into my head at random times. Although most may not find this unusual, it’s unusual to me because these songs are ones I haven’t heard in years.

For instance, this morning I woke up with a song in my head from the fourth grade. Our quad of teachers made students do exercises each morning in order to get us (or them) fit. The tune was “Chicken Fat/The Youth Fitness Song” and it’s one that once heard, you will never, ever forget.

I found that someone had put this song on Youtube. I wasn’t aware of the history of this song. According to WFMU:


The song was commissioned by John Kennedy for his new Youth Fitness Program. A copy of this record was sent to every school in the U.S. with the idea that it would be played over the P.A. every morning while students did calisthenics.

I recall participating in these morning exercises (begrudgingly) and watching all of the other miserable faces following along. For some reason it only lasted a few weeks or so and we stopped doing it – probably a complaint to the administration put a quit halt to it.

So why was this song in my head when I woke up this morning? Was it the Universe telling me I needed to get out of bed and make that chicken fat go away? Or is it because “Chicken Fat” is one of those songs that no matter how many years down the road you will never, ever forget it?

Mammograms Under the Age of 40

mammoA few years ago my cousin died of cancer that took over her entire body. Shortly after, a friend had announced she had breast cancer and went through radiation. My brother announced he had melanoma, and had to go through interferon treatment. I am determined that if I have some horrific disease such as cancer, I will not go through what my cousin did, for one.

I had my first mammogram around the age of 30, because I had a lump-ish thing that turned out to be normal. (I was told it was often caused from too much caffeine.)  My insurance at the time covered it.

Fast forward to last year. There was another issue. I’d been having burning sensations in my chest area, on the upper part of my breasts. It almost felt muscular, but I’m not a doctor so I couldn’t judge what could be causing it. Well, let me back up a bit.

Ten years ago I did something sort of stupid, something that I was always against, but I was caught up in the moment and felt really insecure. I got breast implants. I loved them for about 8 of those years. But then I gained weight and they became tiresome… and heavy. I believe that was the reason for the burning sensation, so on my own dime I got them out. I felt so free and relieved to have this crap out of my body, and I still can’t believe I did it in the first place. My doctor mentioned doing a mammo, but we wanted to wait until I was completely healed. So I did.

Once my 40th birthday was coming into place (three months prior to), my doctor wanted me to have the mammogram. I still had some burning sensation, but not nearly as bad as I’d had while bearing implants. Apparently the doctor noted it on the referral as a “screening,” which insurance does not cover if you’re under the age of 40. It doesn’t matter if your birthday is 3 months, 3 days or 3 hours away – they WILL NOT COVER mammograms under the age of 40 unless there is a legit reason for it. (Because, like every other woman I know, we all volunteer to have our boobs squeezed to death by a machine just because we like it, right?)

I am still fighting with the insurance company, which claims it has no record of why I needed the mammo. I am working with the radiology center, which is the one that told me (after the fact) that it’s not covered if you’re under the age of 40. I said I don’t understand why the age of 40, because I know plenty of people that get cancer or whatever prior to 40, and why do a few months matter??

I am still attempting to contact my doctor (both of us moved) to straighten this out. So now the dilemma continues. Right now, I consider whoever writes these policies are the biggest boobs of all, especially after reading these articles:

http://www.today.com/id/4960650/site/todayshow/ns/today-today_health/t/im-under-how-can-i-have-breast-cancer/#.URm4VKVhqS0

http://www.seattlemag.com/article/best-seattle/top-doctors/breast-cancer-striking-more-women-under-40-ever

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barbara-dehn/breast-cancer-screening_b_1797583.html

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/moreinformation/breastcancerearlydetection/breast-cancer-early-detection-acs-recs

Less Allergies in Hawaii? Not.

OrangeBloss_wbI don’t understand why people think that when you move to certain areas you have less allergy problems. It depends on what you’re allergic to. I just had more tests completed and a new list has arisen, in addition to my old ones:

*oranges
*mustard
*brewer’s yeast (goodbye, beer!)
*molds
*dust mites
*weeds
*mesquite
*eucalyptus (tree, not sure if it’s the same as the plant)
*cats & dogs (no, I will not be giving up my babies)

On a scale of 1 to 5, each of these rated as a 1, the lowest. So it’s more like a 20% allergic reaction. A combination of these things increases it.

The orange allergy explains why my face keeps breaking out. I recently purchased a new line of skin care from Avalon Organics – all include orange. I loved the way it made my face feel at the beginning, but after a week or so my face was breaking out big time. When I applied lotion to my neck I itched until I wiped it off.

Dust mites is something that never showed up on other allergy tests, either. However, I’ve always had a suspicion, because when I’m in a dusty area my face and nose itch. Of course it doesn’t help that Idiot Neighbor is creating more dust.

As far as the cat and dog allergy, the doctor said that frequent vacuuming and laundering will help that.

So between the noise pollution, the new allergies, and the stress of moving in general, I’ve been pretty miserable the entire time here. This is not what I consider paradise.

Turbinate Coblation Option for Allergy Sufferers

A few years ago I was sent to an ENT (ear, nose, throat doctor) for allergies and was considering getting my tonsils out. However, I also had a lifetime of trouble breathing out of my nose. My first appointment was with a doctor I refused to see again because he was such an ass. He called me a wimp because I passed out when he inserted a tube up my nose. (While it’s true I am a wimp, he left the room when I passed out and had the nurse attend to me.) He also suggested an invasive procedure in which part of my bone would be shaved. As he described the procedure and I was still at half-mast, I told him he didn’t need to explain the gory details or he’d be cleaning up my lunch off of his shoes. His bedside manner probably wasn’t too far off from House.

My intuition nudged me to get a second opinion, so I did. The next ENT I visited said that the first doctor’s recommendation wasn’t necessary – that it wasn’t my nasal bone that was the problem – it was due to hypertrophied (enlarged) turbinates, located inside the nose and often cause problems with allergy sufferers. I was scheduled for a turbinate coblation the following week, prescribed a valium, and told it’s very simple and would not hurt.

(One thing I suggest is that if you are planning to have a turbinate coblation and you have a weak stomach, do not view videos beforehand! My first mistake was looking up this procedure online and finding a video on Youtube that almost made me puke.)

Not wanting the valium to wear off too quickly, I took half of the valium before I left the house, then the other half on my way to the doctor’s office (yes, I had a designated driver). But my nerves seemed to overtake the valium’s effects. I probably should have left coffee of the breakfast menu, too (oops!).

The first part of the procedure included shoving a tissue filled with a numbing spray up my nose and leaving it there for a good 10-15 minutes. Next thing I know, this big wand thing is being shoved up my nose. It didn’t hurt. Much. Yes it did. It stung like a bee. I squirmed. My eyes bugged out. I thought to myself, You S.O.B., you said it wouldn’t hurt! I saw blood. I passed out. Thankfully, it was all over within 10 minutes, even though it seemed three times that.

To help with the healing, I started doing a saline sinus rinse after a few days. (I prefer the NeilMed brand, and it’s different from a neti pot.) Once the scabs healed, I could breathe again!

I hadn’t realized how badly I needed this procedure and wished I had it sooner. I started sleeping better because I could breathe better. When allergy season picks up, I continue to use the NeilMed sinus rinse as needed and it seems to help do the job. It’s been a few years, and I’m wondering if I may have to do it again. One of the ways that I determine if my turbinates are enlarged is by lightly pulling/pressing my cheeks near my nostrils as if to separate them. If I can breathe better while doing that, then I know something in there is swollen.

Fibromyalgia Strikes Again – a Pattern of Stressful Events

I’ve been under a considerable amount of stress this summer. Nothing bad, just a lot of life changes that are extremely stressful to the body. I’ve done my best to eat well and try to keep my mind stable, but it’s nearly impossible when major things have to be dealt with for weeks on end without rest. Now that rest has happened, so has fibromyalgia. I hadn’t recalled the last time I felt this way until I went back to my blog entries and saw it was about a year ago. But this time is even worse and has been going on for more than a few weeks, especially the last week when the fibro “fog” has moved in.

Trying to understand this condition is baffling, but there is a pattern I have noticed. Whenever I have a major stressful event (good or bad, stress is still stress) and finally rest, my body decides to have a mind of its own. It seems that everything is “normal” during the time of stress, but when it’s time to rest, that’s when the symptoms come out. I believe there are other triggers, such as chemicals, that provoke these symptoms. I was recently in a home for a period of time that had automatic spray air fresheners. These types go off on a motion sensor, which means you can be sprayed right in the face – which is what eventually happened. The first day the sprays didn’t bother me, but by the third day my throat and eyes were irritated, and I noticed a loss of smell and taste. Then I began to hate the odors, even got nauseated by them. Since consumers aren’t told exactly what is in these sprays, I can only imagine I’ve been inhaling something poisonous the last few weeks that has left me in this situation.

It’s extremely frustrating to not be able to enjoy vacations or time off because the body isn’t cooperating. Right  now I feel like my blood is on fire. My joints and muscles ache. I’ve been drinking plenty of water, but I’m not in a situation to where I can juice my fruits or veggies, so cleansing has been on my wish list. I’m not running a fever, but I feel like I am. I feel like I’m coming down with something, but with fibromyalgia it can be difficult to tell one way or the other. The thing with fibro is that it lasts for days with the same flu-like symptoms, whereas a cold or flu would come, show its ugly face and leave. I don’t remember feeling this badly in a very long time.

 

Living With Corn Allergy is a Pain in the Maize – Ingredients and Solutions

I wanted to reblog this, since it seemed to have gotten lost when I transferred everything from my other blog.

Most people don’t understand the impact that allergies can wreak on someone’s life. A few years ago I was diagnosed with a corn allergy. On one hand, knowing why I was having the health issues that were occurring was a huge relief because it gave me the choice and the power to change and control it, and I have adjusted well. On the other hand, it has made going out to eat and being a guest at places much more difficult for others because choices are limited. My biggest problem has been other people who don’t have food allergies or understand the effects they can have on a person.

How did I find out I was allergic to corn?
Everyday I brought my lunch to work – usually a turkey sandwich, carrots and dip, a snack, and Gatorade – and everyday after lunch I started to feel like I was coming down with the flu. Many other times I would eat or drink something and have an overall feeling of not feeling well. I was sick of being sick, and all of my blood tests had come back normal. There was no reason for me to be feeling so badly. I had a gut feeling that it was something I was consuming. I was given a series of allergy tests, and when the doctor said corn was a culprit, I was shocked.

Who is allergic to corn? I thought to myself. After much research, I found many others just like me.

Mixed drinks? Fuggedaboutit. Almost all drink mixes contain corn syrup.

Ingredients 

Being aware of the allergy, I knew to avoid… well uh… corn, popcorn, corn starch, corn syrup… all of which seemed to be listed on every food and/or drink label in our kitchen. A change of diet was necessary, and the next shopping trip for groceries took about twice as long as usual due to having to read every label. But that didn’t seem to solve the problem.

There were those “other” ingredients that I’d never taken a second consideration to because, like most people, I was simply uninformed. I found out the turkey in my sandwiches contained corn, and the bread I was eating contained corn. Since I couldn’t continue drinking my beloved Gatorade, my husband purchased some Crystal Lite powered packets that I could add to my water bottle at work. I enjoyed about half of my first bottle, and all of a sudden I began to cough and choke and wheeze. I knew that it was something in the drink, but we didn’t see any ingredients labeled as “corn”. That’s when Google came to the rescue.

I began Googling every single ingredient listed on the packet, and there it was – maltodextrin. I had never even heard of it before. It was corn derived. Then I learned more – dextrose is corn derived and so is just about anything with “dex” in it. It wasn’t until I had a “sugar free” Coke Zero and about choked to death that I learned the caramel in the soda is made from corn. I started doing some heavy research and found some wonderfully informative websites about the lists of ingredients to avoid, which unfortunately, seem to be in almost everything made in America.

Not only did I learn what ingredients I had to avoid, I also learned quickly how each of them affected me. Not everything with corn caused me to choke or cough or wheeze – that was mainly the maltodextrin or “dex” based products. When I accidentally drank something containing corn syrup (including the high fructose version), I found a sudden change in my overall body – almost the same feeling people get when they’re coming down with the flu, but slightly different and with a rapid heartbeat. I also noticed a sudden change in my personality – irritable, withdrawn, and I was even told my entire face changed. Even after only three sips, my body tells me something is wrong. Regular corn and popcorn made my throat itch. And worst of all, most of the allergy meds I was taking contained… you guess it – corn. No wonder I was so miserable!

How has this affected my life?
Going out to eat is almost impossible. Basically, if it’s a chain restaurant, I have to avoid it. Other people do not understand and insist there isn’t corn in the food because steak and mashed potatoes don’t contain corn, right? At my own house they don’t – that is partly correct – but the preservatives that are used are usually corn based. And you aren’t getting the best meat at chain restaurants, so what do you think they are feeding the cows before they become steak. You got it: corn. Unless the food is made with basic scratch ingredients, most restaurant food contains some derivative of corn. You know that California roll in your favorite sushi restaurant? The krab (not real crab) contains corn.

Fast food is out of the question. At first I thought I was safe with eating at Panera, especially when I specifically asked someone if their bean soup contained corn and was told no. When I started the coughing/choking after a few bites, I asked to see the ingredients. Surprisingly, contained corn oil.  Although I was never a big fan of it, I do sometimes miss a nice hot burger from BK or a Taco Bell taco… and I really, really miss Doritos and Coke. The only corn-free soda I can drink is soda water and Sprite Zero, which no restaurants bother to carry. With most breads, ketchup, and BBQ sauce containing corn syrup, eating at BBQ’s is a challenge. Since most people do not cook from scratch and are not aware of corn issues, eating at other homes is an issue for them. And don’t get me started about the movie theater – I am only safe drinking their water, as long as it’s not Dasani!

Just say no to corn chips.

Solution
How do I handle all of this? Simple. I eat the way people used to eat 100 years ago. I eat fresh foods, and I eliminate products containing corn. I cook everything from scratch. There are very few packaged products that I enjoy AND can tolerate. Amy’s Lentil Soup is one of them. I found organic ketchup that tastes exactly the same as regular ketchup but without the corn, and I use it to make my own BBQ sauce – which I take with me to BBQ’s now.

At first, I didn’t think I could live without “regular” food, but once I became used to not having all of the junk ingredients in my body, I started to feel like a new person. I am now completely aware and sensitive to anything that seems foreign to my body.

Unfortunately, corn isn’t the only food allergy I have, but it has become the most problematic because of it’s many derivatives. Hopefully food manufacturers in the U.S. will take notice of the many corn allergy sufferers in this country and find new alternatives to use. One day I dream of safe fast food to eat!

Feeling the Aches of Fibromyalgia

It’s days like today that remind me that I have fibromyalgia. It seems that sometimes it flares up out of nowhere. Today is cloudy, damp outside. This is the type of weather that makes my body ache. My muscles ache deep within. I’m unable to sleep it off, thanks to the cat pouncing on me in bed. But I’m feeling the ache again, feeling like a wet rag.

Alternative Foods for Corn and Egg Allergies

Having food allergies can put a real cramp in making dinner plans with friends because most people don’t understand the seriousness of food allergies. Sometimes planning an outing is difficult, so I must be sure to bring some of my own bread, ketchup, or Vegenaise. It took some getting used to at first, but now I am used to it. It’s the other people around me that have the problems. 🙂

I often get asked what I do when going shopping or out to places that serve food that I can’t eat. It’s taken some time, but luckily, there are some great products out there I have found.


Ketchup – Most ketchups contain corn syrup. I found an organic store brand (Publix) that does not. There are many others becoming available, mostly in the organic food sections.

Mayonnaise – Since mayo is made with eggs, there is no way around it. Most mayo also contains corn syrup. I found Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise – it’s lighter but pretty much the same consistency of regular mayo, and it’s made with grapeseed oil. It’s not as flavorful as regular mayo, but it does the job.

Bread – Most store bought breads contain corn syrup or another form of corn, so I try to stay away from them. However, fresh bread does not last long without preservatives, and I don’t eat it every day. Pepperidge Farm Whole Wheat Deli Flats are excellent, as is Toufayan Whole Wheat Pita Bread.

Sports Drinks – I used to love Gatorade before I found out about the corn allergy, but I had to give that up, too. Living in Florida, it’s important to keep hydrated, and sports drinks are a great way to do so. So far, Powerade Zero is the only sports drink I can find that does not contain corn ingredients.

Chips – Obviously, corn chips are out of the question, and many regular potato chips contain corn oil. Two great brands are Stacy’s Pita Chips and Kangaroo Pita Chips. I also enjoy the salted Genisoy Soy Chips.


Cheese – I also have a milk allergy, so ordering pizza is a crisis. I have found, however, that some of the more expensive deli cheeses (not the name brand packaged kinds) are okay. Someone also suggested that I try raw cheese or organic cheese, which I did both, and was able to enjoy them in small amounts.

Tacos – Since tacos are generally served on tortillas and other corn-related foods, I either substitute a taco shell by wrapping up the ingredients in a large piece of lettuce or take a whole wheat tortilla and lightly singe it in oil for about 30 seconds (enough to slightly harden it) and use that as the shell. It’s healthier both ways and still tastes just as good.


Pre-packaged foods – I’m generally out of luck with anything pre-packaged, even when it comes to canned soups. However, one of my favorite canned soups is Amy’s Lentil. Many of the Amy’s brand foods are safe, as long as I read the ingredients.

If your grocery store doesn’t carry these products, ask them to. All you have to do is go to the customer service desk and put in a request. Most of the time they listen.