I got a new cereal at Trader Joes the other day.
As is usually the case when it's a TJ product, there were the usual allergy warnings: Processed with nuts etc. This warning is important for allergy-sufferers like me to take note of, but I have learned that those words lead to a wide variety of outcomes. For example, the dry-roasted and salted Almonds at TJ's has this warning, but I have very little reaction, maybe a tiny beginning of a hive on my skin sometimes, whereas the raw almonds at Costco with the same warning cause intense itching in my mouth and throat...danger! danger!
So, I read this warning on the TJ Chocolate-filled whole grain cereal, and what I usually do is sample the product and wait. I usually know within 5 to 10 minutes if I can proceed with this item. In the case of the cereal, I had no adverse reaction, so I poured myself a bowl, and enjoyed the rich, chocolatey goodness of the cereal.
It was not until that evening when my husband was checking on the calories that he read the ingredients list (I skipped this over, and just scrolled down to the allergy listings), and there it was: HAZELNUT.
Hazelnut is something I have avoided since I was told I was allergic to tree nuts over 15 years ago. But, apparently I am not allergic to hazelnuts. This surprises me and also does not surprise me because I ate peanuts everyday of my life until I found out I am allergic to them about 2 years ago. I took a break from eating them even though I didn't believe the blood tests, and when I accidentally ate 1 chip that was made with peanut oil, I knew I was HIGHLY allergic to peanuts. On that same visit my doctor told me I was no longer allergic to almonds, and it took me a long time to believe her and try them. Those blood tests don't lie.
And they're expensive. My insurance does not cover allergy testing, and when I got retested a few years ago, it cost me a pretty penny and a half. But I did not include hazelnuts in my list, and now I want to know the status of pine nuts, because I pass on dishes all the time because of PESTO!
So, a gajillion paragraphs later, here is the list of what I think (know) I am allergic to:
I avoid all fish, though I remember tasting some trout once with no adverse reaction
most other nuts (exception almonds, haselnut?)
mango (not sure if I have proof, but I have a feeling I am)
It seems like there are more. I am so grateful I am only allergic to 40% of the 10 most common dietary allergies (indicated in red):
Gluten / wheat
This paragraph from the allergy101 website makes me think that I will never be completely out-of-the-woods in this area of my life:
"Allergies can change over time. In some cases, you can actually lose some allergies and gain others. You can also find that you add allergies over time. Be sure to stay aware of how you feel after eating and pay attention to your diet."
I am armed with 2 prescription allergy medications, an OTC one and an epipen, so I think I am safe!