I went to ‘In The Clear – Allergy Centre’ in Tunbridge Wells yesterday to see if I have any allergies that could be creating the rash that has flared up twice recently. I was initially very sceptical because much as I embrace a holistic and alternative range of health therapies, I do like some science behind them. I was expecting to give blood or have patches put on my skin to look for sensitivities. However, this clinic uses a technique of holding substances to your cheek and seeing if there is a muscle response. Despite my initial scepticism, I walked out of there impressed. I know I have some allergies and they were picked up (cats and grass pollen) even though I didn’t mention them. Plus I was reminded of one I had forgotten about (feathers) and several new ones were identified: hazelnuts, macadamias, lemon and yeast. I had guessed lemon and macadamia but was surprised by the others. I was also advised to cut out dairy (done) and coffee (no way!).
I had been having a lot of lemon this year because I was squeezing it in to water first thing every morning and adding lemon to a jug of water I kept in the fridge. Both new things in my effort to be healthier this year whereas I wouldn’t usually have eaten much lemon. I had given up dairy so was looking for alternatives and one of them was macadamia nut mylk which I was really enjoying. No longer though. I was also adding nutritional yeast to dishes to add a cheesey flavour as recommended by vegan Instagram sites I follow. So I was consuming more of all 3 then I would usually. In small quantities I had tolerated them but not in the increased quantities I was consuming them in this year.
I rarely eat hazelnuts so unless I have a ganache or Nutella, I wouldn’t eat them so hazelnuts should be easy to resist.
I also realised my duvet is a feather one and about a month ago I bought new pillows – feather ones! So they are now all stored away and all my bed linen is washed and feather free.
I feel relieved that I know that I have allergies which explain the rash. It is a relief to know what they are so I can avoid them. I am grateful to all my friends who suggested various illnesses I may have and provided information but I really do think the food allergies and the feathers created the rash and I have suffered the double whammy of catching the appalling sore throat and cough that is doing the rounds at work.
I still feel far below par but slightly better today than recently and the rash is going but only slowly. My sore throat is feeling a bit better so I think it is on its way out. I at least feel confident that I can recover and if I avoid certain foods, avoid the rash coming back.
When I got back from the Allergy Centre I made a large glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. I really wanted some orange juice but because I was worried about citrus fruits triggering the rash, I had not made any but apparently I am ok with limes and oranges, just not lemons.
For 2 days this week I have felt extremely ill with my cold so I have not eaten as well as I should have done. It has not all been bad.
On Tuesday I bought this delicious trio of salads from Food For Thought. I enjoyed the salad with a delicious vegetable goulash. Today I went out for lunch to an Indian restaurant called Imli Street on Wardour Street, Soho, London. I liked the minimal industrial style decor. I went with my team from work – it was fun to go out together. The menu was very interesting. They also did a set menu and a Thali menu. I chose the tandoori roti (unleavened bread so no yeast), dal makhini (a slow cooked black lentil dish, delicious but it had dairy in it) and smoked aubergine (tandoor-smoked aubergine with ginger and burnt chilli). It was all very tasty. Supper tonight was easy – I reheated a portion of the vegetable coconut curry we made on Sunday.
I am worried about the scales this week. I have not gone crazy but I have eaten too many calories each day and definitely too much fat. I have also been very inactive as I have felt too ill to do much and I have spent far more time than usual on the sofa or in bed. The scales will tell in the morning!