5 Things Food Allergies Taught Me

food-allergies copy

As you may or may not know (if you don’t already you should obviously follow me on Instagram) I have been on a restricted diet for 14 weeks or so. Not sure exactly, I’ve lost count.

It started with a visit to my chiropractor who told me off for “coming to me to get pregnant then not doing what I tell you to do”. But what would she know, right? I mean she’d only proven her effectiveness already by massively improving my immune system.

Then there was a doctor. Then an endocrinologist. And they all said the same thing. Have you tried fixing your stomach by restricting your diet?


Off chicken, gluten, dairy and egg I came. That’s in addition to my pre-existing allergy to raw carrot, intolerance to caramel, dislike of seafood and inability to deal with chilli.

What a fun dining mate I am!

The interesting thing about all this has been the things I have learnt.

1. Necessity is the mother of invention

When eating out is more effort than eating in, you realise that you do actually remember how to cook. And when you can’t trust takeaway to get it right even if they assure you they can, you will create meals from whatever the hell you have in the pantry and fridge.

I’ve made some pretty questionable meals over the last 14 weeks!

2. It’s really easy to cut things out of your diet when there are serious implications

If I eat something I shouldn’t, it means the amount of time I have to do thing gets extended. So the stricter I am with it, the sooner it will all be over.

Plus it means this happens:


I have had not a single bit of cheese, not a tiny bite of something, nothing I’m not supposed to have (except by accident) which has meant no chocolate, limited sugar, no chips, no ham & cheese toasties with chocolate milk (my comfort meal). Not even pasta!

I have never had this much self control in my life.

3. I love food

In retrospect I guess I already knew this but having so many of the foods I love taken away from me has only served to amplify it.

I love food!

I asked someone on the same diet as me how they were going and they said they had adjusted to it really easily and it just seemed like second nature now. They hadn’t even been doing it as long as me!

I spend my days feeling like someone spat in my gluten free, egg free, dairy free Cheerios.

4. Sometimes it’s easier to go without

Sometimes the thought of facing reading one more ingredients list or cooking one more meal from scratch is just too hard to take and I can’t be bothered facing it at all.

A few too many times I’ve ended up with cereal for dinner or scoffing a packet of corn chips.

5. Gratitude

By far the biggest thing I’ve learnt is gratitude.

Any time someone is willing to have me over for dinner, or choose a restaurant that can accommodate me, I am blown away all over again. I am so incredibly thankful to have friends who are understanding and supportive and are willing to rearrange themselves for me.

Sometimes I get so overcome with gratitude I almost cry and I wish there were some way of putting the enormity of my gratitude into words. But instead I’ll just say this:

Thank you!

Do you have food allergies or intolerances? Have you learnt anything from a restricted diet?

  • Gary

    Lactose isn’t my friend and I’ve noticed lately more bloating after eating bread. I don’t think by the strict medical definitions I have a full intolerance to any food but I can understand how you’re feeling. I hope it gets easier for you Tamsin.

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      I’m not sure if I do either, but it sure isn’t pleasant!

  • Tennille

    Earlier this year I confirmed an intolerance to dairy, egg whites and beans and have been trying my best to avoid them. I can relate to so much of what you have said. The key thing I have learnt from being on a restricted diet is read lables on EVERYTHING. Just today, I discovered that the charcoal tablets I had been taking after coming down with gastro on Sunday actually contain lactose. Turns out, they are probably the reason I still have diarrhea. So frustrating!

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      I hear you! Think it took me about a month to realise some soy milk contains gluten.

  • http://twitter.com/jrronimo jrronimo

    We’ve been eating on a very restrictive diet for a long time now. We’ve learned to take comfort in the few foods we *can* have, and find ways to make those interesting. After yet another freakin’ garlic+salt+pepper seasoned piece of lamb, sometimes patience wears out, but like you said: remembering the good that comes from it helps a lot.

    That said, I still miss properly glutened pizza. I’ve had some pretty okay GF pizza, but nothing compares to the Real Stuff… except for feeling like butt afterwards. :(

  • Ozgirl

    I hear you! You know I am GF, i never understood why you didn’t stick with it before and glad you are trying again – i know i am not perfect by any means but i do know my life is better now than before!

    I also feel for you regarding the other food you have had to give up. I appreciate diary sooo much more than i ever did pre GF. But as always please let me know if you want any meal tips :-)

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      I hate it! I’m not convinced I feel better. My stomach isn’t reacting, of course, but I have no energy. And thank youxxx

  • Pingback: "Nothing Tastes As Good As Skinny Feels" I Call Bullshit()

  • http://www.allplayingcards.com/ John Booker

    I like you blog very much ,thanks dear for sharing this.