My Wellness Journey
I haven't always had food allergies. I used to eat peanut butter by the spoonful as a kid. Cooking has always been a passion of mine. So much so, that I studied at the Culinary Arts School of Ontario in 2005 and became a chef. I wasn't expecting to have an adverse reaction to the flu shot in 2011 causing me to develop multiple severe food allergies.
My arm swelled after my injection and I struggled to finish my shift as the dinner chef in a nursing home. I had however cooked all the food and there were hungry residents waiting for their dinner. Two days later, I was still feeling off. My arm still hurt and I couldn't tell if I was coming down with the flu. I ended up fainting at work. Thankfully working in a nursing home, they were able to quickly check my vitals and decided to send me home where I made a peanut butter sandwich to perk myself up. I took three bites and my throat swelled.
I was going into anaphylactic shock!
I was so thankful that I had just refilled my inhaler as it was winter and the cold air was the only thing that seemed to trigger my asthma. I also took an antihistamine to help slow the reaction. Thankfully with it being my first reaction, it started to subside.
I quickly saw my doctor who prescribed an Epi-Pen and a rush visit to see an allergist where I found myself bombarded with the sudden diagnosis of multiple food allergies and sensitivities. These included eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas etc.), psyllium, bananas, sulphites, and MSG. After additional testing, I also found out that I was reacting to gluten.
It was a very intense list and the only advice the allergist gave me at the time was "Just don't eat those foods and you'll be fine". I also saw a dietician who presented me with the food pyramid and really didn't know what to do with me and all of my allergies. I was scared, overwhelmed and confused. My allergies made up 90% of my current diet and I had no idea how to feed myself properly, aside from being armed with an Epi-Pen that I was terrified to use.
I dropped 40 lb in an alarming period of time because it was simply easier to not eat and I was scared that whatever I put in my mouth I would react to.
My life was over-run by crippling anxiety, gastrointestinal issues, joint pain, fatigue, hives and other allergic reactions and specialist appointment after a specialist appointment. Still, no one was telling me how to get better or what I should eat.
I was forced to quit my job of 7 years that I loved as I would break out in hives simply from touching some of the ingredients even while wearing gloves. I ended up taking matters into my own hands and started studying at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.
I wanted to accomplish 3 things:
I wanted to educate myself on how to properly eat and nourish my body with my new found restrictions.
I wanted to help and support others on similar journeys.
Most of all I wanted to find a way to reverse my allergies and get back to living my life.
With my knowledge that I learned, I've been able to greatly reduce and even eliminate most of my allergies. I've also been able to better stabilize my hormones and start a family.
I want you to know I've been there. Let me be your guide to finding vibrant health. I can provide you with resources and knowledge that I've gathered and save you years of research. It can get better!
Wishing you love, health and happiness,
The Allergic Nutritionist
Breanne Mifflin R.H.N. NNCP