I have a complicated relationship with food.

classy eating

I love food. The photo above is me at a chinese buffet in 2005. You see, my friends would play a game where everyone would put their finished plates in front of me so when the waitstaff went to clear the table, it’d look like I was the girl who tore through seven plates of food. HA HA HA ohhh, friends are fun.

But yes. I love food. It sometimes does not love me back. This has been the case as I’ve stumbled into discovering my various food allergies.

Almonds were the first. I’d ordered almond chicken at a chinese restaurant. It was moderately tasty but I soon felt dizzy and sleepy. The sleepy I chocked up to eating a heavy meal, and the dizzy I was sure had resulted from the springy seat I was in at the restaurant. It wasn’t until I ate the leftovers the next day and it happened again that my now-husband became suspicious.

“Do you have any allergies?”

“What? To like… food? That would be TERRIBLE.”

“Yeah. I mean, it’s the only thing that I can think of.”

“No! Well, I mean, coconut makes me sick and my mouth itchy.”

“Uh huh.”

“I’m lactose intolerant.”

“UH HUH.”

“But yeah, no allergies!”

He can always figure out who the murderer is in movies before me, too. Sees the twist miles away. Clever duck.

This pattern would slowly come up time and time again as I encountered foods that bothered me. Once we made the adult decision to buy a 5 pound bag of pistachios at Costco and proceeded to eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They were DELICIOUS. On about day three, I noticed I seemed to be itchy. And covered in splotches.

“Nick, babe?”

“Yeah?”

(While shelling and eating pistachios.) “Have we changed laundry detergents lately?”

(Also eating pistachios.) “No. Why?”

“My skin is all itchy and unhappy. Maybe a mosquito got in? Are you bit?”

“Nope. That’s weird.”

“Huh. …god, these are delicious.”

“I KNOW RIGHT?”

A few hours later he whipped around in his computer chair and exclaimed, “THE PISTACHIOS!”

I recognize I am lucky in many ways. These allergies are not severe. Just enough to be inconvenient. I still have foods I can eat. But it’s still always a fun surprise to find out I’ve eaten something I shouldn’t have.

Working at the candy store, I was building a candy cake with the tasty taffy Bit-O-Honey. I might have been implementing the “two for you, one for me” method as I built the cake, sampling those whose wrappers were slightly marred in someway. I’d never had a Bit-O-Honey before, but they are delicious. The taffy is very simple: honey, almonds, coconut oil, and a few other random ingredients. YES. I KNOW YOU KNOW WHAT’S COMING. I was unaware at the time. It’s called Bit-O-HONEY, not Bit-O-Honey-and-Dash-of-Nut-Products. I genuinely just thought it was just honey taffy. Until my friend and coworker Rachel came up to me.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”

“Making a cake- say, have you HAD Bit-O-Honey? These are DELICIOUS!”

The rest of the conversation you know at this point. A baby shower I visited had a similar result when I thought I was eating a salad with sunflower seeds. I overheard two coworkers talking about it.

CW1: “This salad is delicious, what is in it?”

CW2: “Oh… [blah blah blah] almonds-”

Me: “I HAVE TO GO NOW.”

It’s weird, because Benadryl, if you’ve ever taken it, just makes you kind of dizzy and sleepy, so I’m often right back where I started. But at least I get a nap out of the deal. I haven’t found anymore food allergies. I just play things pretty safe. I just find it so funny that I’m juuust allergic enough to where it’s annoying. They say your allergies shift every seven years. Maybe I’ll give these nuts another shot? Or maybe not. I suppose I do still have peanuts and peanut butter. FUN FACT: the peanut is actually a legume (bean) and I am not allergic to it! …Except I have to limit my protein intake now because of kidney stones, which is a WHOLE other thing.

My recommendation, dear reader? Don’t turn 30. The whole thing is a sham.

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