Updated: Nov 29, 2020
Hey all you average goddesses and warriors. Anyone else ever use pranayama to get through an anaphylactic and diarrhea attack? Just me? Hmm. Simpler question: who has food allergies? It seems super common nowadays that everyone has at least one or two things that they are anywhere from sensitive to deathly allergic to. I wonder why that is; is it just part of our human evolution? Is it because of the way we have been growing, harvesting, processing and consuming food? Who knows? I’ve done a bit of research on allergies and what I have found is that there aren’t any really good answers for causes or cures. So there’s that. Last question: anyone else identify as a meat-eating vegan who should be living in a bubble? Again, just me? Okay, let’s start way back at the beginning and then I’ll explain how I ended up here and why I eat the way I do now.
Fun fact: my mom was vegan when she was pregnant with me. She has always been health-conscious, some may even go as far as calling her a hippie. I grew up eating tofu and rice and mainly a plant-based diet in my early childhood. In later years, throughout my pre-teens and teenage years I ate just about everything, including meat. A meal could have looked like pepperoni pizza, mac n’ cheese, hot dogs, turkey sandwiches, hot pockets, chili, etc. All normal things that any one of my friends also had at their houses. When I moved out on my own in college years and started being in total control of planning and cooking all of my meals however, I realized I didn’t eat as much meat as I used to. I just wasn’t drawn to it anymore. One reason being, I never learned how to cook it properly! I began to notice also that I felt lighter in my body when I ate only vegetarian all day or for a couple days in a row, and followed that feeling. My digestive issues eased up a ton as well. I always had stomach aches and really bad digestion coming and going and this change actually seemed to make a huge difference.
At age 21 while living in Los Angeles, I decided to try out for America’s Got Talent and thought it would be nice to lose like 10 pounds before auditions, so I decided to go all-vegetarian for two weeks and kick-start it with a 3-day liquid cleanse. I didn’t know how to do this properly and just made up the rules with no real knowledge on healthy ways of cleansing or experience or guidance. My liquid “cleanse” was made up of bottled pre-made smoothies, juices, tea, coffee; pretty much anything that I didn’t have to chew. After the 3 days I moved to my vegetarian diet. After two weeks I did lose 7 pounds total. I felt so good and energized that I wanted to keep my completely vegetarian diet going, so I told myself to go a month instead of just two weeks and then see how I felt. A month then turned into 3 months, then 6 months, a year, etc. I just kept resetting my goals to longer periods of time.
Eventually my “goals” just turned into a lifestyle that I didn’t even have to think about and I also discovered this feeling that came along with the vegetarian diet that didn’t have anything to do with my weight. I realized I had a lot of guilt built up from eating meat all those years. I always loved animals and realized I didn’t like eating them, and I felt lighter because I no longer was carrying guilt about this internal dilemma anymore. I fell in love with this change of lifestyle and continued to dive deeper into it by exploring many different variations throughout the years including juice cleanses, kitchari cleanses, watermelon cleanses, veganism, and more.
At age 29, and eight full years of strictly eating no meat, some crazy things happened to my body. Over time, I was starting to wonder if I had some underlying disease, IBS, or something wild like that, because I always felt tired, and my stomach issues were in full force again, seeming to pop up frequently and out of nowhere, no matter how “healthy” I was eating. I felt young and was living a healthy lifestyle, but looking back on it now, I can tell that these things were starting to weigh me down and took a toll on my mental health as well, because after all, feeling sick all the time is never fun and can be scary, especially if it’s longterm. I’m not sure if I ever would have found out about my allergies had it not happened the way it did, but apparently, they had built up over time and I guess some people develop them around their late twenties or early thirties. So the first time it happened when I broke out into hives all over my body, along with diarrhea and difficulty breathing, I had no idea what to think or what was going on. I quickly reviewed in my head if I had eaten anything out of the ordinary that day, and couldn’t think of anything. A normal day of eating looked something like: a smoothie for breakfast, chips and guacamole or hummus for lunch, some cashews for a snack, and a vegan pasta or veggies and tofu for dinner (and yes, every year I turn into my mom more and more). I had even started a food journal not too long before this to see what was triggering my stomach aches but couldn’t pin-point anything in particular that could be causing them. After ruling out food (or so I thought), I then guessed that maybe it was a bug bite or some new skin product I used. The symptoms went away and I kind of let myself forget about the incidence, until about a month later, it happened again and worse that time; along with all the symptoms from before, I could feel my throat swell up and I could barely breathe. I was alone and thought about racing to the emergency room but didn't think I could keep calm while driving, so I just got in the shower and focused on my breathing (thank you, years of pranayama practice!) and I calmed myself down and again, and the symptoms went away. This time the scare was real though and so I made an appointment with a doctor the next day.
My doctor suggested to take an allergy test so I went with her recommendation and after getting the results back, she literally turned to me and said, “Girl. You are allergic to everything! You are bubble-girl!” I’m not making this up. I had so many allergies and they were all so extremely high, she was shocked. They only tested for the basic common ones but I was pretty much off the charts for all of them, including all nuts, seeds, soy, wheat, shellfish, etc. etc, and a ton of outside things too like grasses and trees. So apparently, I had been basically poisoning myself while eating my mostly vegan healthy diet that I’d grown so comfortable with and now had to completely start fresh and cut out everything I was allergic to, which was a lot! My results also showed I was borderline anemic and would need to start supplementing B12 fast. With so many allergens, this is why I couldn’t find the source from my food, because I was eating something I was allergic to in nearly every meal and snack.
It was a big challenge to change my diet with cutting out so many things. Now I couldn’t snack on cashews or apple slices with peanut butter, or have hummus, tofu, tempeh, etc. The gluten was easy to cut out and swap for replacements since it’s such a fad now, just more expensive. I was left with fruits (except mango- that’s the OG allergy I’ve had since I was ten), veggies, legumes, and rice and quinoa, etc. It made it a lot harder, almost impossible, to find anything pre-made for quick easy meals. I did a lot of cooking and ate a lot of salads. I started incorporating cheese and eggs back into my diet more because I just felt like being vegan and not being able to eat seeds, wheat, & soy, etc, I still felt like I was lacking in energy. At the time, I was living on the island of Maui, Hawaii, and everywhere around me was the freshest fish you could get. This is why I decided after 8 years to give eating fish a try. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, since I never craved meat once during the whole time I was all-veg (except maybe in the first couple months), but I was surprised that I did enjoy it and like the taste again after all that time. I honestly started to feel way better.
After giving it about a whole year I can say it made a world of difference, cutting out my allergens as well as supplementing the vitamins I needed and adding fish to my diet. For the first time in my entire adult life, I felt normal. I had lived for years and years with constant stomach issues, pain, bloating, lethargy, faintness, etc., not to mention self-consciousness from not feeling comfortable in my body, depression, and other negative side-affects on my mental health. The worst part is that I had just learned to live like that, and accept that was “just the way I was”. With these changes I seriously felt like a brand new person. The following year after living allergen-free, I ended up changing my diet even further when I became pregnant because I craved meat like crazy! My body wanted everything from chicken drumsticks to grilled steak and bacon with eggs. It was such a weird feeling to crave meat that strongly. The cravings lasted throughout breastfeeding and slowly my diet has transformed to incorporate meat regularly (at least a few times in the week, if not more).
You’d think I would feel all that guilt again that I used to have before my vegetarian lifestyle journey, and sometimes I do feel it, but it’s a different kind of feeling. It’s more of an understanding and compassion towards myself, the animals, the Earth and all of the cycles of life. I was truly a happy vegetarian before I couldn’t eat half the things in my diet! I’m not sure why this happened and almost wonder if some of my extreme cleanses and diets contributed to my allergies developing, but I’ll probably never know for sure. I learned a lot throughout the years though, and my relationship with food has evolved many times over. I thank the animal for giving their life. I appreciate the nutrition I am receiving and the energy I get from the food to fuel my day. I pray a lot more than I used to, and I am conscious about my actions. I really listen to my body and go with my instincts, and try and make conscious decisions.
I also hope that someone else who ate meat their whole life will give vegetarianism a go for a while, and who knows, maybe they might find that they love it as much as I did when I first tried it out. I hope that everyone can have a more loving kind of relationship with food, the source where it comes from, their body’s digestive system, as well as their body image, and mental health, because it’s all connected. I hope we can all have compassion for one another and not be too quick to pass judgements. It’s all about conscious living and finding balance. And maybe everyone should get an allergy test just for the heck of it because it could be truly life-changing, like it was for me (especially if they have recurring stomach issues or other symptoms)!
Now to answer the burning question you’ve been wondering about through this whole article; what ever happened with America’s Got Talent? Well, go take a look yourself and google the season finale winner of the sixth season. It’s not me, but he sure is adorable and deserving.
Love & Light,
Your average goddess
Here is the simplest breathing technique you can use to slow your breathing down and is definitely not recommended to be used in replace of immediate medical attention ever:
Double the exhale-
Inhale deeply to the count of 3, exhale deeply to the count of 6.
Repeat 3 times.
Inhale deeply to the count of 4, exhale deeply to the count of 8.
Repeat 4 times.
Song of the Day: “Breathe” by Télépopmusik
Picture of me breaking out in hives after finding out that I was also allergic to sunflower butter when I tried to eat it with apple slices in replace of peanut butter. Oops (they didn't have sunflower seeds on the list).
Blood test results!
Picture of a mango tree just showing off all of the beautiful juicy mangos that I'm not allowed to eat.