Sunday, November 21, 2010

Alphabet Soup - A is for Allergies

Hello! Welcome to the first official post of my blog! How exciting is that? I've decided to follow the lead of some of my fellow blog-ettes, and start a theme day. Yes it's early days, but it will help me get into a rhythm and routine :) Every Sunday I will be waxing poetic about something that starts with the next letter of the alphabet. Alphabet Soup Sunday... Fun!

So... my original idea was to start a website, or blog, where I could share with the world how it is that I travel. Traveling seems like an easy thing to most people. Winning an all-inclusive week away at a fabulous resort would make most people ecstatic. For me, a week away would involve an extensive amount of researching and planning, and probably wouldn't occur at a resort. Why? Because my digestive system has decided that it doesn't want to deal with most of the common foods that most people enjoy. Eating out has become a thing of the past, and social dinners and brunches with friends now occur in my own kitchen.

Here's my list of absolute no-no's:

Gluten - Dairy - Corn - Soy - Caffeine - Coffee - Chocolate - Coconut - Sesame - Tomatoes - Garlic - Vinegar - Alcohol - Pork - Beef

Not to mention that I am also allergic to smoke and dust, and I am highly sensitive to scents and fragrances.

Traveling for me looks like vacation rentals with a complete kitchen, a map of the best and closest grocery stores, and luggage heavy with stowed food staples. Needless to say, since the uncovering of the bulk of these sensitivities, I haven't ventured farther than Canada or the United States.

Now, here's the twist. This has turned into more than just an allergy-free/travel blog. Yes, I will be posting recipes, and links to great new products and sharing with you how I managed on adventures away. Here's the difference... allergies aren't the only thing that make me sensitive. A few months ago I had a pretty severe breakdown. It was textbook PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and I realized that I had been living in a hyper-sensitive survival mode for the past 15 years or so. New people and new environments are daunting to me and I have days where leaving the house is an accomplishment.

And when all of these different sensitivities are combined, it can often make simple tasks completely overwhelming. For example, attending a group function, in another town, becomes a tactical challenge. It means thinking ahead to managing interactions with a large amount of unknown people, finding safe spaces to recharge, and drawing little attention to myself as I coordinate safe ways to cook, or bring in, my own food.

Okay, I know this sounds like it could all be quite a downer, for me the one living it, and you the one reading it. Guess what? It's not! Finding ways to eat safely has given me back so much of my energy - which on a good day is quite a lot! And the breakdown? I am so grateful it happened. It gave me the chance to finally put everything down, and start fresh. Rebuild from the ground up, and get the foundation nice and solid this time. The best part, (aside from the obvious, like having more confidence and energy, and being able to connect more with people), is that I've realized an artistic side of myself. I love to paint, draw, make pottery, and consider myself pretty talented too! A wonderful new to way for me to connect to me, and to the world around me.

So come along for the ride, if you'd like. It would be great to have you on this journey <3

Best Wishing!


Cinderita said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of writing! Welcome!

Lille Diane said...

I have PTSD , too, and started my blog in April 09 to help me heal. Art & photography are my favorites meds! I adore Picnik and have recently discovered I have lots of food allergies, too. Holy Cow...are we related?? LOL So nice to meet you!! I look forward to reading your blog & your recipes~

Noel said...

It made me so happy to read this first post, and you intention for your blog. Your courage and your words and your art and your photos are such a joy and inspiration! I'm so glad I found your corner of the web. :)