Food Challenges Round 31- 35: Cindy vs. Peanut Butter and Pretzels, Sauteed Onions, Special K, White Wine, and Almonds

Lots of food challenges to catch up on. Things have been hectic with a ton of weddings, switching jobs, and holidays. But here’s the deal:

Most of the challenges went swimmingly. I can now have 3 tsps of peanut butter, Utz Halloween pretzels (in case the factory processes the regular pretzels differently), ALL ONIONS (the third challenge of onions opened all those doors up — and shallots and leeks, too!), Special K cereal (and cereals with similarly low trace amounts of wheat, though I should still avoid them if I can), and sauvignon blanc.

I can’t have almonds, as I learned today. Today, I bit into the top of an almond, chewed it, paused, and put the rest on the allergist’s desk. “No more. I want medicine.”

My lip was tingling and my ears were starting to burn. I’ve gotten really good at sensing the beginning of a reaction. The other foods just felt like foods when I tried them, but this almond tip felt like poison and anger. But now I know: I avoid traces of nuts for a reason.

Thank God I didn’t need epi – just benedryl, steroids, and sleep (why is it that steroid injections don’t make me as weird as the pills?). My throat is aching, my face is mildly swollen (I can feel it and I can tell, but unless someone’s used to my face, they wouldn’t know that my right cheek is over-puffing and throbbing). But I’m ok. I caught myself before I got too far. Now I know — no nuts.

Maybe when I’m off the meds I’ll console myself with a nice bottle of wine, because I CAN.

Sidenote: tonight is the Jewish New Year for trees, and it’s traditional to try new fruits and to eat almonds. Good timing, right, Cind? Guess I’ll just find a bonsai tree or something to celebrate.

The tip of one of these had me sleeping all day.

The tip of one of these had me sleeping all day.

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Food Challenge Round 5: Cindy vs. Onion

It’s hard to believe that I’m already up to my fifth food challenge. Considering I have what feels like a billion more to go, it’s actually kind of seeming like time flies. Wheat still feels new, I’ve still only had the one beer, and I already figured out how to compensate for the lack of pasta. And with my 7:30am doctor’s appointments, I haven’t even been late to work these last few times. You know how some people miraculously find time in their week to go to the gym, and they keep that routine for the foreseeable future? That’s how my food challenges are. Once a week, I wake up early to dedicate an hour or so to my health. Only, instead of working out, I eat while my doctor watches me.

That’s the same, right?

Anyway, on to the topic at hand. Onions. Or, should I say, a sweet yellow onion cooked in a soup or stew or the like (ie: boiled). Because that’s what I challenged today. The results are only applicable to sweet yellow onions cooked in soups or stews (yes, that includes cholent) or the like (ie: boiled).

The good news is, the results are positive! I can now eat sweet yellow onions cooked in soups or stews or the like (ie: boiled).

Just barely, though.

As my mother said when I made my weekly, “post challenge debriefing call,” — “You can’t barely pass a food challenge. It’s not like a math test where you get a 65, not a 64, so the teacher lets you pass. You’re either sick or you’re not.”

Well, I guess foods are more like math than I thought (maybe that’s why I’m so bad with them!). See, I was fine. I was “perfect” as the doctor joked. Except, while eating my chicken soup, I got a crazy sinus headache and felt all funny but not bad funny, just not normal funny. I wasn’t sick enough to give up onions for good, but I also wasn’t interested in finishing the whole bowl of soup (though, I did finish the half of the onion. Like a certain person I know at the Brandeis Chabad. Though, J, you can have the onion, every time. Not interested).

The doctor said it was not enough of a reaction for a Benadryl, but an Allegra, Zyrtec, or Claritin might do me well, if I had one on hand. I didn’t. He said next time, bring one (Claritin, because I already take Allegra and Zyrtec daily). This time, just move on with my life.

It’s also totally possible my reaction was due to the pasta reaction followed by an airborne horseradish reaction, followed by a feverish virus, accompanied by jetlag. My body might just be rebelling. In any case, I did learn that I have to be a little careful, as in avoiding leafy greens and other occasional airborne allergens when I eat sweet yellow onions cooked in soups or stews or the like (ie: boiled).

So it was an iffy, pass which is why I think I only passed onions in this very specific form, but hey. It’s something. Onions in soups are kind of a big deal. And I hate sauteed onions anyway. And onion powder – not something I miss in my own cooking but at all. Sure, it would be nice to eat it in other forms, but whatever. Next time. Like lifting the heavier weights at the gym…sometimes you just tackle that hurdle the next time.

Food Challenge Tally

Cindy – 3

Allergens – 2

Up Next: Tahina

Anyone who has awesome, simple homemade tahina recipes, please let me know!