Hello and welcome to my nutrition and wellness blog!
My name is Amanda Arroyo. I am a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. I received my certification from AFPA in January 2019. I wanted to start my blog with sharing a little about myself and why my diet and nutrition needs have always had “a different beet“. (For the full story, visit My Story page.)
Food Allergies Then
I was 5 1/2 years old when I had my first allergy test. My back was so small they had to finish the test on the back of both my arms. I don’t remember much other than the itching and the fact they had to test me again on another day because my reactions were spreading and crossing barriers so that they couldn’t tell which was which.
It ended up showing I was allergic to dairy, soy, corn, most grains, most fruits and vegetables, pork and shrimp. I’m not even going to get into the seasonal and environmental allergies. I was a bubble child. A lot of my food allergies were not detrimental, but definitely lowered the quality of my life if I had too much.
My parents did their best in trying to make sure I was taking in what I needed to grow, enjoyed what I was eating, and able to eat with the family without eating too differently. That was hard to do in the early 90’s in a suburb town in Indiana. The small health food store had a few things, but most had soy or other ingredients I couldn’t have, so my Mom ended up making a lot just for me.
Food Allergies Now
I’ve grown out of most of my food allergies, but there is plenty I still need to watch out for. Soy and corn are the ones I constantly need to be careful with since there is so many products that have them in it. There are others but not as common. Dairy is something I keep away from on a regular basis, but there is a time for everything including cheesy pizza. There are times it’s worth it, and other times it’s not. My body definitely has no problem telling me what it can take, and what it can’t.
One thing that I’ve noticed is that if I keep my food allergies in check, my seasonal allergies are bearable with a little bit of attention and maintenance. With learning more, I figure it’s because I can keep my inflammation down internally by keeping my body and immune system from reacting to the food that I eat (something I can control) and my body only needing to focus on my environment (something I can’t always control). Plus the fact that I love being outdoors and having the windows open when it’s nice outside, which here in Texas usually means when my allergies are the worst, I need to keep what I can control in check so I can enjoy the little things in life and not have to worry.
Along with allergies, I also had eczema from the time I was born. My mom took out cow’s milk early on realizing it was making it worse. At that time, there was not a lot backing up that eczema was related to being an allergic reaction. How I wished I could have been a case study! My arms, the back of my legs, my face… everywhere. After my allergy test, allergy shots, anti-histamines, and avoiding my major allergies, it did get better. There was so much that effected my dry, itching, burning, and red skin that it was almost constant, whether relatively controlled or a full blown breakout.
Even now I deal with it, but I have been able to control it with diet and some lifestyle changes. It still shows up around my mouth and in the delicate skin between my fingers, but I usually can treat it naturally without steroid creams or medicated creams, and most of the time it gets better in a few days. I can keep it to where it looks dry but not red, inflamed, and burning. Of course hormones and stress levels effect it too, so there is only so much I can do there. I regularly have to manage it and sometimes it doesn’t matter how much I do, it’s just going to take time.
My Switch to Plant-Based
Along with watching my allergies, I made the jump to being plant-based. There was a time in my early 20’s that it didn’t matter what I ate, my stomach would cramp, and I would have IBS pain at least once or twice a day. Salads, smoothies, etc. It didn’t matter. I did better when I went back to my allergy diet when I was young, but even then I was still in pain. After a few documentaries (because it always starts with a documentary) I decided to try out a whole food plant-based life style and keep with my allergy diet. It was tough and took some planning, but I did it and within a week the pain stopped completely. Within 2 weeks I was sleeping HARD, and within 4 weeks increased energy and no desire to look back. I still have issues with IBS here and there when I get off track, but with my normal diet that I’ve found that works for me, I don’t have the pain anymore.
An interesting thing that happened was that I realized some of the foods I was avoiding by default from my allergy diet, I didn’t have much of a reaction anymore, if at all. Which I was grateful for since now my variety of food opened up. I have now been meat-free for over 5+ years, and dairy and egg free strictly 100% for 2 years, and about 90-95% of the rest of the years. However, it seems like eggs are making their way back in. Eggs were never a protein I had an allergy or issue with and knowing that some of the plants that are high protein like soy and some types of peas, eggs are making more of an appearance recently. We essentially need the same things nutritionally, but everyone has their own beat.
My husband on the other hand, is not plant-based. He’s made some healthy strides in the last few years. He’s slowly gotten off of fast food, stopped drinking sodas, and decreased his processed sugar intake, along with lessening his red meat intake. I made a blog, The Shared Skillet, to post about the meals I would make for us and now will be posting some of those recipes (some of them upgraded) here on this blog along with the nutritional benefits.
Thank you for stopping by and reading my first post! If you’d like to know more about my relationship with nutrition and food, visit My Story page. I look forward to sharing with you the things I’m currently learning, the things I have learned, the mistakes I’ve made along the way, and my recipes that my family enjoys. I’m looking forward to the upcoming years with this blog and I hope you can be a part of it too!