Thursday, October 3, 2013

Furlough day 3: A saucy day

Today's decluttering was again food-allergy related. When I saw my allergist last week I got the final list of everything I'm allergic to. It took this long because I had some unusual tests done. Boy does it explain some things though. 

I already mentioned that I was allergic to my anti-depressant. I've known for decades about the cinnamon allergy. But what I didn't realize was that a common preservative, sodium benzoate, produces an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to cinnamon. But here was the big shocker: I'm genuinely allergic to aspartame. 

It explains a lot about the issues I've had with my eating disorder and artificial sweeteners. My stomach was always very irritated because the t-cell reaction I get can produce inflammatory symptoms for up to 96 hours after exposure. I don't think I've gone 96 hours without diet soda in the last decade. I wonder if it's part of why I inevitably binge within 48 hours of drinking diet soda. 

So anyways, I've gone a week without diet soda. I got rid of everything in the fridge with sodium benzoate. I also tossed the last few things that contained "natural flavors" or "spices,"  at my doctor's suggestion. Cinnamon and its derivatives don't have to be labeled explicitly in the US, they can just be lumped under one of those two term. I also gave the box of fig newtons I had to the homeless man by the grocery store. Apparently they have cinnamon in them. 

The rashes have been around for years. I usually walked around looking like the picture on the left. When I didn't look like that it was because I was wearing foundation. Once I made the dietary changes, voila, one week later, I look normal.


I celebrated by doing some re-cluttering, though. I found six cruets for a total of $14 and today I had enough time courtesy of my furlough days that made my own salad dressings. I am a salad addict and most dressings contain spices, natural flavors, or sodium benzoate. Ketchup apparently contains cinnamon. Recipes are linked below. 
From L-R: italian, ranch, ketchup, balsamic vinaigrette, Colonial Williamsburg's malt vinaigrette, honey mustard
making ketchup
I used to buy expensive salad dressings, like $3-4 per bottle and I go through a couple bottles a month. This should end up saving quite a bit of money over the long term. Not to mention, now I don't have to take all of these pills for my allergies and the stress caused by them!


  1. That's rad! I'm glad you found a root cause & were able to see some quick results.

  2. The difference is amazing! And so great that you can get rid of all of those pills from your life :)

  3. I so totally understand what you're going through. "Spices" and "natural flavorings" are the bane of my existence. And I can't even tell you how wonderful it was when I finally figured out that it was my shampoo that caused me to have hives every. single. day.

    So... my favorite salad dressing recipe:

    one cup plain yogurt
    one cup mayonnaise
    half a cup of Parmesan cheese
    one tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar
    half a teaspoon of garlic powder
    half a teaspoon of onion powder
    a few shakes of black pepper
    salt to taste

    I'm so glad you're feeling better! :-)


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