Checking in...

It's been a little quiet around the blog lately! I haven't gone anywhere, but boy, have things been busy at home! A couple of updates...

I've been taking a little break from blogging and from designing, mainly to focus on some health issues I've been dealing with. It's thankfully nothing too serious, but I have been pretty sick since I was pregnant with Riley, and I finally took the time worked up the nerve to go see a doctor. As it turns out, in addition to a vitamin D deficiency and a sluggish thyroid, I have a whole host of food allergies. My diet has caused migraines, joint pain, nausea, stomach upset, bloating, and exhaustion, to name a few symptoms. I was afraid I had a more serious autoimmune disorder (which it's too soon after pregnancy to draw a conclusion from my test results); I had no idea food allergies could cause similar symptoms!

My blood test revealed I am majorly allergic to corn, wheat/gluten, cow's milk and cheese (excluding yogurt), peanuts, and eggs, and have minor allergies of almonds, cashews, walnuts, oats, rye, bran, barley, and salmon. I know, right. What's left? Well, bacon. So, at least there's that.

Completely eliminating these foods from my diet for at least the next six months is proving to be a daunting task. I thought avoiding gluten was difficult, but CORN is in EVERYTHING! And if something doesn't contain corn, it contains eggs. I have to avoid any foods containing corn syrup or corn oil (or unspecified vegetable oil), and ketchup, barbecue sauce, Ranch dressing—so many of my favorites are out! I can't even marinate burgers or steaks in Dale's. Many of the gluten-free foods contain corn, eggs or some substitute that causes the same reactions the allergens do, so many of the manufactured allergen-free foods are out. Yes, I threw myself a mini pity party last week!

You know what this whole discovery has revealed? How strong of an emotional attachment I have to food. I LOVE to eat! I love trying new restaurants, new recipes, meeting friends for a quick dessert or dinner. It's going to require a complete lifestyle change to avoid all of these allergens. So, of course, I'll be blogging about it. And come the holiday season, I'll probably be whining about it, so consider yourself warned.

Another thing I'm discovering: it's incredible how connected the foods we eat are to our overall health. It just reinforces that our bodies really were designed to function on certain foods. The old adage is true: garbage in, garbage out. In my case, anything other than fruits, vegetables, and meats in, and my body goes berserk.

I ordered a few cookbooks last week, and I can't wait for them to come in. I'm hopeful that I'll find some new favorite recipes that our family can enjoy. If you suffer from food allergies, you might find these helpful (click on each to view on Amazon.com):

http://www.amazon.com/Against-All-Grain-Delectable-Recipes/dp/1936608367/ref=sr_1_1_ha?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402952015&sr=1-1&keywords=against+all+grain


http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Allergy-Free-Comfort-Foods-Cookbook/dp/0762777516/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1615190538/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Do you have any food allergies? If so, I'd love to hear your stories, tips on eating out, recipes, etc.!

As you have probably guessed, a lot of my energy the past several weeks has been directed towards researching, grocery shopping, and recipe testing. I'm eager to get back to work and business as usual!