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  1. #1
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    food allergies/sensitivities?

    Do you have food allergies or sensitivities that affect your health or riding? If you care to share it, please do I'm hypersensitive to yeast and mold. You wouldn't believe what a huge list of nonos this leads to. On a broad brush stroke, it menas no; bread, canned soups/stews, cheeses, chinese sauces, thai food, mushrooms of any kind, chocolate, and vinegars & alcohol. This rules out a lot of fast or junk food, which is ok, but it does call for creativity in planning menus. If I cheat too much, two things happen. My back muscles tighten up so much that it hurts all the time and makes normal flexing difficult. It also makes me angry as hell, and prone to explosive rage events that last about 15 minutes. Not good, so I'm pretty careful. How about you?

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    For me it's peanuts and milk products.

    Just try finding a cycling event where they do NOT serve peanut butter and various other peanut mixes like they were some sort of cyclist's staple food. And half the energy bars out there are "peanut butter" too.

    Peanuts are not an allergy for me, they are a sensitivity. I bloat up and then go through hours of excruciating cramping with them. Not exactly what I want to experience on a ride.

    Milk products can be OK for me sometimes ... especially when I'm feeling quite relaxed and not under any stress. But mix stress (like cycling a long distance event) and milk products ... and believe me the results are extremely unpleasant. No ice cream for me in the middle of my long rides!!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke
    Do you have food allergies or sensitivities that affect your health or riding? If you care to share it, please do I'm hypersensitive to yeast and mold. You wouldn't believe what a huge list of nonos this leads to. On a broad brush stroke, it menas no; bread, canned soups/stews, cheeses, chinese sauces, thai food, mushrooms of any kind, chocolate, and vinegars & alcohol. This rules out a lot of fast or junk food, which is ok, but it does call for creativity in planning menus. If I cheat too much, two things happen. My back muscles tighten up so much that it hurts all the time and makes normal flexing difficult. It also makes me angry as hell, and prone to explosive rage events that last about 15 minutes. Not good, so I'm pretty careful. How about you?
    Since I've been four, I've had allergies which induced chronic Bronchial Asthma and serious sinus problems which lead to constant sinus infections. Until I reached mid-teens, I was room-bound about two weeks a month. Failed the third grade because of it. Then they came out with drugs that worked to some degree and my life-style improved somewhat. A big drug break through almost set me free from the Asthma part about three years ago at age 63.

    Mold is a big component. We use a dehumidifier in the house to minimize it. My allergens include some foods, pollen (most of the year) and dust mites which are all over the place. It sounds like your list of allergens is larger than mine, but it didn't matter because, as much as I was allergen free, I still was very sick. The Asthma is also exercise and cold induced.

    I never thought to get angry about it because there are always folks who are a lot worst off. Anger is hard on your health by itself. There is an article on anger control which you should find helpful in the November 2005 issue of Scientific American Mind. Well worth the price of a back issue. Possibly available on line.

    Over the years got tested for allergies numerous times. Each time the results were somewhat different. Makes some sense as I've read that one's chemistry changes somewhat about every 7 years. No allergy specialist every helped. I helped myself more by experimenting with lifestyle changes to see what I could do to minimize the sickness. I got pretty decent at it. But the most help came from the drug companies.

    The most important thing is not give in to anger, but consider your problem a challenge that you can manage. You need to study the known causes and cures and become an expert on your problem and treatments. Don't cheat, except possibly as an experiment to define the boundaries of what you can and can't do. I wish I had the web when I was doing that.

    The most important factor for me is I always considered doctors as advisors. The advised me of my options, they don't tell me what to do. Medicine is still mostly art with a little science mixed in. For example, they would always advise me to not engage in physical activity. Finally, when my blood pressure went up, I ignored them and started jogging. At first my Asthma was worst, but I stuck with it and it not only cured the blood pressure, but it reduced the numbers and severity of attacks.

    Also, identify experts in the field and see if you can keep track of their articles. Some hospitals/research institutions have mailing lists. When I had my second bout of prostate cancer and about to embark on the only remaining possible cure, I even e-mailed one. Got an answer. If you can afford it, get a second opinion, preferably from the leading authority in the field. US News and World Report has an annual issue where they rate hospitals in various fields. A good place to start would be last years issue which might be on their web site.

    You have a challenge and you need to work hard to learn as much as you can.

    Good luck.

    Al

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    The doc tells me the anger comes when the immune system goes off. It's so overwhelming that I literally can't stand it. I have to believe him because when I go nuclear, well, I guarantee you have never seen anything like it. I went off on a cop one time and he was so stunned that he was just shaking. He didn't say a word when I got back in the car and left. Fortunately, by staying away from the wrong foods, I can avoid the problem. bk
    Last edited by bkaapcke; 09-30-06 at 09:05 PM.

  5. #5
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Bananas. They always serve them at bike events, and then when they mix up with/brush against the other fruit, I can't eat any of it. <sigh>

  6. #6
    Senior Member nostromo's Avatar
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    This thread is good to see, finally people with similar problems. I've had some food sensitivities for years. It started with seasonal allergies, then I could no longer tolerate milk or creams, cheeses, yogurts, then eggs. I tried oatmeal once (the real stuff) and my hands, feet and lips swelled up after taking 1 TBSP.

    I struggled with this stuff for years, the social aspects were hard to get away from. Then I got so tired of being bloated, trying stuff that just didn't work for me (whey protein) and put a stop to everything.

    Tough as it's been I cook EVERYTHING. I eat nothing unless I've either cooked it or I know exactly what's in it. I switched to organic foods a few months ago and my health improved even more.

    I played the hit and miss game for so long I don't know how I didn't just give up. But I kept at it and am enjoying the rewards of my hard work.

    All this work has made a HUGE difference in how I feel. My way of life is completely different and I finally feel good everyday. I've worked out with weights for years and this year (August) tackled cycling pretty hard. I can now gauge and prepare my food in such a way that I can extract top performances out of each workout, everytime.

    If I go out on weekends and I have an idea how long I'll be out I bring several tupperware containers of food (protein and carbs are separate) and whenever I need to eat I just eat. It took a long time to break the social barriers (work lunches, evenings out, etc.) but I kept at it and now people are used to it.

    I've turned it into a way of life, there is no diet or stopping, it's life long, just like exercise is for me.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by nostromo

    Tough as it's been I cook EVERYTHING. I eat nothing unless I've either cooked it or I know exactly what's in it. I switched to organic foods a few months ago and my health improved even more.
    It sounds like your food sensitivities have made you healthier, for the fact of your above statement. If more people cooked all their food from basic ingredients I feel that there would be less problems related to obesity. I do not have any food sensitivities myself but I make almost all my food from the basic ingredients that I buy. I know what goes into it and I know it is exactly what I like because I have made it. Of course I do not need to take the precautions of brining my own food everywhere; I can, if required, eat a bit of garbage every now and then without serious repercussions.

  8. #8
    Senior Member nostromo's Avatar
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    Actually over the past few months with the Organic food (and a pro-biotic suppl) my gut is much stronger. I even tried cottage cheese weeks back, and where it used to kill my gut and it would stick out 3" and I'd feel lousy for hours, I took a minor gut hit and was fine. Still can't injest dairy like when I was a kid, but at least it doesn't destroy me for the next 3 days like it used to.

    I can eat some junk now, but I don't get any cravings for the stuff.

  9. #9
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    i guess i'm pretty lucky. I have some food allergies- pistachios and cashews. I'm also a bit lactose sensitive. Fortunately, none of those have interfered with my activities. ALl i have to do is make sure i don't get a granola bar with cashews in it. I'm also not super allergic and it's not a threat to my life- but if i eat those nuts, my throat itches. Fortunately, i've never particularly liked cashews so it's not hard to avoid them.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  10. #10
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    Nostromo, I know what you mean about cooking your own food. I'm reluctant to eat anything that I don't control. People are often put off when I show up at a party or bbq with my own food. Going through the drill at restaurants can get really boring too. But it has to be done. Like you, I feel 1000% better for doing it. I do miss pizza and chocolate though. bk

  11. #11
    Senior Member nostromo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke
    Nostromo, I know what you mean about cooking your own food. I'm reluctant to eat anything that I don't control. People are often put off when I show up at a party or bbq with my own food. Going through the drill at restaurants can get really boring too. But it has to be done. Like you, I feel 1000% better for doing it. I do miss pizza and chocolate though. bk
    The most difficult thing is to convince yourself that basically you are an Athlete. What would an athlete do if preparing year long for a competition? You'd expect them to gear their whole life to performance, and that means food, recovery, stress levels, focus, training, etc.

    Problem is we're worker bees and people find all this 'athlete' stuff frivolous, primarily because it doesn't bring in money. If you can separate yourself from that thinking you'll emerge far better for it. I divested myself of that mire and moved much more forward, discovered new potential I didn't even know I had.

    I've gone to work lunches and brought my tupperware. It took only a few incidents at restaurants where there was cheese on everything and they made a big fuss to cook me something separate and ruined that too. I ended up always suffering for it, sometimes for days. Never again.

  12. #12
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    I've found through trial & error that I'm allergic to dairy and wheat (gluten) products. I can tolerate it in small amounts, which is unavoidable. So I cut them out as much as I can to avoid the asthma problems.

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