All about Rae Ann!

Hey Y’all, I’m Rae Ann!

Welcome to Almond Joys! My job with this blog is to tell you guys all about my journey of discovering my allergies to Gluten, Dairy and Nuts, how I’m coping with them and still maintaining my youth!

I grew up like a normal child, I ate what I wanted, when I wanted and thought nothing of it. My senior year in high school I started to realize that certain foods made me feel a little rough afterward but didn’t pay much attention. Fast forward to the end of my freshman year/beginning of sophomore, I had determined that my body could not digest lactose. Now that I’m in my junior year of college, I am still discovering different allergies that are developing, and I will probably continue to discover or even grow out of over time. Currently, my big three weaknesses are Gluten, Dairy and Nuts!

Recognizing that my body hates Gluten:

About 4 months ago I found myself constantly fighting the urge to sleep. I was always exhausted, whether I got a solid 8 hours of sleep or not I was looking for opportunities to nap through out the day. I blamed it on being a 21 year old in college trying to maintain a social life, school and working. I also noticed that I was constantly irritable, let me tell you, I was a DIVA. I stayed sick constantly, I am a regular at the local walk in clinic, seriously, I’m not joking. Well, after visiting my parents and scaring my mother to death by going to bed at 8:00 PM and sleeping until 11:00 AM, we decided it may be time to check some things out. Thus I give you: the Gluten Free Diva that I am.

Living my Life, Doing my Thing:

After learning about the different allergies that I’ve developed I spent a TON of time doing my research. Two of my favorite blogs are:

http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/

A guide to all things Gluten Free, living life and recipes galore!

&

http://www.theceliacdiva.com/

This site truly helped me understand what my body was going through, how to feel and how to make it work.

I also spent a significant amount of time wandering around different grocery stores in Abilene, where I go to school. I have found that the smaller stores do a much better job of catering to allergies. HEB has gone through a placed labels on every single shelf tag letting you know a variety of different things (sugar free, gluten free, low carb, etc). Personally, my favorite store in Abilene is Drug Emporium. They have dedicated the entire right half of the store to people who are leading a gluten free lifestyle. They have just about everything you could every imagine. I thought that it was going to be impossible to find a granola bar that was gluten free, nut free and dairy free but FEAR NOT, Drug Emporium has saved the day and my pantry is fully stocked. I was also pleasantly surprised that my grocery bill stayed around the same cost as before.

One thing a lot of people don’t realize is that allergies can develop over time. Growing up, I was never phased by sitting down and eating a grilled cheese for dinner. If I were to do that now, I might as well just dedicate my weekend to a bottle of Pepto, my couch and the bathroom. Most people also don’t realize that certain allergies have certain effects. Clearly the dairy allergy reacts with my stomach, this is extremely common- Lactose Intolerance. Only 40% of people maintain the ability to digest lactose after their childhood. My gluten intolerance, however, messes more with my body and immune system as a whole. Because of the different reactions, I think that a lot of people don’t acknowledge certain intolerances that they might have, chocking it up to heartburn, growing pains, etc. It is so incredibly important that you make it a point to not just brush off not feeling well. Yes, bodies are weird and sometimes feel odd for no apparent reason but if your stomach makes a habit of feeling like it might explode pretty regularly, you might have it checked out.

With that being said,

My point in all of this is that learning you’ve obtained a new allergy, is just that, it is learning something. This has been an amazing learning experience, an adventure. It is incredibly hard to describe in one post everything that I have learned over the past few months. I hope that you continue to check back and share in my adventure!

With GF, DF, and NF Lovin,

Rae Ann

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