Let’s be honest, nobody loves food allergies. It is the most frustrating “illness” to deal with. In our case, we started a low carb lifestyle to help us to cope with food allergies. We have shared our story before.
Living with food allergies can be both a blessing and a curse. We were forced to turn our typical South African diet, filled with sugar, carbs and empty calories, into a balanced whole food diet (lifestyle) – thanks to Little M. Her food allergies include: wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, all nuts, soya, tomatoes, beef and pork.
Living with food allergies can be very difficult especially if you are so young. Not really understanding why you cannot eat certain foods or why you need approval for everything you put in your mouth. The great thing about food allergies – Little M eats a whole and nutritious meals – every meal of every day. No added sugar, plenty of healthy fat and no nasty additives or preservatives.
We also get to teach her about nutrition. I believe education is key and we try to teach her what she can and cannot eat – and also explain why. She is the only 3-year-old I know that can tell you why sugar is bad for you. I am so proud of our little warrior, facing daily temptation at school and never giving in. Just staring at friend enjoying ice cream or chocolates or cake, and she cannot have.
She is learning how to cook – making treats that is both healthy and allergy free to enjoy. We can only hope that this passion for healthy food will continue as she grows older. We know that we are guiding her to follow the healthiest lifestyle she can, and we are blessed to be able to share it with other low carb lovers.
Tomorrow we have to go for her 6 month follow-up and I am not looking forward to it. Knowing she will be in so much pain and discomfort – but also praying that her healthy eating habits will make her body strong enough to fight the allergies.
The one thing people do not understand about food allergies – you don’t look sick all the time! Many people will comment that she looks normal and doesn’t seem sick. I tend to get slightly annoyed by this comment. They do not see the internal pain she is living with. They don’t see her when she is suffering from a rash or bad stomach pain or even fever – all because of something contaminating her food. People don’t realize the amount of medication she needs to drink daily in order to enjoy doing things that kids should do – like rolling around on the grass or playing with their pets.
So why am I writing this post? People tend to say low carb is difficult. How am I suppose to live without bread or cake or coke. Low carb living is not hard. It is only as hard as you make it. We are grateful we found this lifestyle. It helped us cope with food allergies and other health issues – but we were willing to make the change. So next time you feel sorry for yourself about missing out on a slice of cake or a glass of coke – just think about how lucky you are to be able to eat a slice of cake or drink coke without landing in hospital.
Low carb is not hard – living with food allergies are hard. Dealing with cancer is hard. It is all about your attitude and your reason for changing your lifestyle. She is worth it and so are we!