Monday, February 8, 2010

Healthy Bread Allergy

Between Steve's post about fast, healthy breads and this rip roaring headache I've had continuously for over a week with the only let up being a couple of days I didn't eat rice. I'm wondering if I'm allergic to rice, the rice is contaminated, or it's just coincidence. But it got me thinking about how I became allergic to whole wheat…

I guess it was around 1995 (or maybe it was 1996, who can remember?) that I became allergic to whole wheat. It was just out of the blue one day.

As a kid I hated whole wheat, I thought it was disgusting and only wanted to eat Wonder Bread. Then in high school my mother made me eat two slices of whole wheat toast with butter for breakfast every morning. Disgusting, gross, usually soggy and cold by the time she'd yelled enough to get me out of bed and to the breakfast.

Finally once I hit college I no longer had to bother with the horrible stuff… Not till i was on my own after that and started eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on thick, whole wheat toast for breakfast every day (made my own way, fresh out of the toaster, gooey peanut butter and no sogginess!).

I did that for a few years until I got sick. It just happened one week, every day I felt sick, kind of a fever, with my fingers and toes aching, then my arms shaking and a headache with a little nausea. Then on the weekend after not eating my workday breakfast I felt better.

The next week, by Tuesday it occurred to me that I woke up every morning feeling fine, it was only after breakfast that I started to feel sick, so I figured it was something I was eating.

I'd heard of peanut allergies, so that seemed like a logical place to begin finding out what was causing it, by skipping the peanut butter. But no go. The next morning I cut out the raw eggs in my chocolate milk, but still got sick.

Then I skipped the peanut butter and jelly sandwich altogether and felt fine, so I decided it must be the bread.

For the next few years I ate my morning PB & J's with mainly oat bread, and the occasional potato bread and didn't have any trouble (except the time I tried even healthier oat bread with oat bran and holy shit did that knock me for a loop, even worse than regular whole wheat).

Every now and then I eat some whole wheat, never on purpose and it usually doesn't take long for me to feel it. Just a few bites and my tongue gets an uncomfortable tingling, followed by my fingers, toes and then my arms and a headache and all that.

On the other hand, after all the years of my aunt trying to get my mother to get me to eat whole wheat and my resisting, now I have an excuse not to eat it.

For tomorrow morning I'll try breakfast without rice as I usually have here in India (e.g. dal chaval (well, okay, I quite this a couple of years ago, I simply can't stand it anymore), chicken curry in rice, dhansak with rice, mutton koftas in rice, etc.). I'll have mutton frankies in maida parathas...

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