I recently had a non-medical allergy test taken with the Amber Clinic in Westmeath (http://amber.ie/) due to my long term suffering from eczema and other skin irritations.Having lived in Australia for nearly 5 years, I was rarely bothered by this skin condition as the wonderful sun kept it at bay. However, since I’ve moved home this past year, it has been driving me crazy!The winter months were especially tough on my skin and it has taken months for the scars to heal with some spots like my shins being permanently scarred by the looks of it.
I started doing some research into the different avenues of allergy testing available on the Irish market and decided to go with the Amber Clinic due to its extensive testing (950 foods) and good value for money.
I had a sneaky feeling that I may have developed some new allergies over the years from living in a different climate and undergoing periods of high stress and so on, possibly changing my body chemistry. Low and behold, the results from the Amber Clinic confirmed my suspicions – with devastating results!
Being the Foodie that I am, I like to try out and use as many different foods as possible to create my recipes and feed myself well. From my previous posts you will probably notice a trend in certain foods that I use but unfortunately this will now all have to change.
The most prominent result from the test was that I have an extremely high level of yeast in my system causing my body to literally do nothing with any of the good, green and clean food I have been feeding my body with over the past couple of years. The yeast content in my digestive system is somehow blocking the breakdown and absorption of foods so in a matter of words, it basically means all my healthy eating and gym work has been in vain! I have to say as annoying as it was to find this out, it also gave me peace of mind as I knew there had to be something wrong when I go to the gym almost every day and I haven’t lost a pound!
Other food allergies that have been causing my skin to become so irritated are all fermented food products. This was also a tough one as it pretty much rules out all dairy products. Included here also are mushrooms and eggs which is a huge blow to my diet as I pretty much live off eggs and yogurt for my protein source. The test also revealed tomatoes and all tomato based products as something I’m highly allergic to so as a clean cook, this is another huge blow. Tomatoes and mushrooms are staples in my diet so I’ll have some big changes to make to my shopping list.
Due to my intolerance to all fermented foods, the test revealed I’m allergic to all alcohol except vodka and gin as they are distilled. No more wine! It is truly a sad day!
There are several other foods that came up on the test as showing to aggravate my eczema and thus have to eliminate from my diet. The consultant also advised that there were more symptoms of these intolerances such as low energy levels, weight gain or stagnant weight, low food absorption levels and headaches, all of which I could relate to. As much of a shame as it is to have to eliminate so many of my foodie favourites, I’m also excited to see the results of eating the foods I’m supposed to.
I wanted to share this with you all as I believe it to be important to know if you also suffer from any of these daily inconveniences. You will also see a change in my recipes as I will be using less of the foods I can’t eat anymore. However, for the sake of the Countertop, I’ll still be using some of the No No’s where I have to, I couldn’t let you guys down.
So the next move is finding alternative sources to protein other than meat and figuring out new meal options. The list of foods I can eat consists mostly of raw, lean vegetables and lean meats with some grains, beans and legumes. The No No list consists mainly of starchy vegetables, most fruits, all breads, muffins, cakes, most dairy products, fungi, caffeine and sugars (both refined and unrefined). So you can see from this list, there is work to be done.
I’ll be posting some pics and recipes of what I manage to come up with for my meals over the coming weeks as I learn more about what I can eat and how to create recipes using these ingredients. If you know of any good recipes, sites or tips that you think might help, feel free to share. I would really love any comments or emails you would like to share.
If any of you are considering getting an allergy test or have been thinking about it at all, I would absolutely recommend the Amber Clinic. They were great value, so helpful and are available to test outside Ireland as they’re a mail-testing lab. Check out their website http://amber.ie/