How understanding my food allergies changed everything

Dairy Free Me

By Mayra Muñoz

Moo Free | Photo by Ryan McGuire (StockSnap.io)

Moo Free | Photo by Ryan McGuire (StockSnap.io)

Almost three years ago I was diagnosed with a dairy allergy that included eggs. I was confused as to why a twenty-eight year old would suddenly develop an allergy, so I did a lot of research to figure out what was going on. That's when I learned that in the past decade there's been a big boom of both food and environmental allergies

A lot more foods were being modified and engineered, and people like me started to develop a reaction. I noticed the strongest allergic reactions from dairy, so I stopped drinking milk and eating cheese, but somehow I was still reacting to something in the foods I was consuming. Every time I went to do groceries I would spend so much time in the aisles reading ingredients for absolutely everything that went into my cart. I was extremely shocked to see the ingredient modified milk in things that you would never imagine could contain dairy products. After even more research on the negative side-effects of diary, I knew I was on the right track with cutting it completely out of my life. This helped me realize that all sorts of extra chemicals were going into food, and pushed me to make the switch to organic.

You might as well spray paint | Photo by Unsplashed.com

You might as well spray paint | Photo by Unsplashed.com

I never really questioned the food I was consuming in the past, I just continued to buy the foods my parents bought, thinking that was the best choice. Now that I've switched over to organic foods, I've noticed that some fruits (for example pineapples, strawberries, and apples) no longer make my gums swell. I had previously thought it was the acidity in the fruit causing the swelling, turns out it was the chemicals those fruits are sprayed causing the reaction. Once I noticed this, I passed the information along to family and friends who suffered from the same reaction to fruits. They tested it out on themselves and immediately thanked me. I was happy to know that this little experiment not only worked for me, but for others as well.

I'm so thankful that going organic is trending. It's no coincidence that with all the food allergies people are having, organic foods have become more and more of a priority. Thanks to this very healthy trend, I am able to buy organic foods at a lot more grocery stores, rather than having to seek out specialty food stores. It's incredibly helpful for me, living in downtown Toronto with no vehicle, to be able to just pop by any store and have options.

Famer's Market | Photo by  Ed Gregory (StockSnap.io)

Famer's Market | Photo by  Ed Gregory (StockSnap.io)

When I first developed this allergy I thought it was a curse. Two years later, I'm actually thankful that I did. If it hadn’t been for this allergy, my stubborn ass would still be eating fast food. I've never felt healthier, more alert, happier, or more energetic in my life. I've not only seen a difference in myself both within and without (eating organic has had a huge effect on my skin as well), but I see it in my partner too. I’ve even had friends and family see the transition and become inspired to make the same changes. It makes me extremely happy to see those that are close to me learn from my experience. 

This is a journey that started out pretty tough, but I'm thankful it happened. Going organic is not as expensive as I thought it would be. The seasonal colds and flus have come around and around again, and I keep dodging them! The only thing that's really changed is my no-dairy and organic lifestyle. 

I will continue to go on with my organic hippie ways and hope that some of you jump onto this progressive train. Going forward I'm going to be sharing some of my best practices, tips, and advice on how I’ve made this lifestyle work for me – so that you can too! Join me then, on this life-changing journey!