My Personal Wellness Journey
After cooking professionally as a chef since 2005 in the Niagara Region, I had an adverse reaction to the flu shot in 2011.
My arm swelled after my injection and I struggled to finish my shift. A week later I still wasn't feeling right and ended up fainting at work. They checked my vitals and sent me home where I made a peanut butter sandwich to perk myself up. I took three bites and my throat closed. I was going into anaphylactic shock. Naturally, I panicked!
I had never had any experience with food allergies aside from being slightly lactose intolerant as a child. Thankfully, I was able to use some quick thinking to use an asthma inhaler and Benedryl to open my airway.
My doctor promptly prescribed an Epi-Pen and a rush visit to an allergist where I then found myself bombarded with the diagnosis of multiple food allergies and many food sensitivities.
I found myself allergic to eggs, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas etc.), psyllium, bananas, sulfites, and MSG. I was also gluten intolerant.
I was allergic to 6 out of the top 8 allergens plus some others which weren't always labeled. It was a pretty intense list and the only advice the allergist gave me was "Don't eat those foods and you'll be fine"
I was scared, overwhelmed and confused. What he had listed had made up 90% of my current diet and I had no idea how to feed myself properly aside from being armed with an Epi-Pen that I was terrified to use.
I dropped 40 lb in an alarming period of time because it was simply easier to not eat and I was scared that whatever I put in my mouth I would react to.
My life was over-run by crippling anxiety, gastrointestinal issues, joint pain and fatigue and specialist appointment after specialist appointment. Still, no one was telling me how to get better or what I should eat.
I was gutted when I had to quit my job of 7 years working in a nursing home as a chef as I would break out in hives simply from touching some of the ingredients.
I ended up taking matters into my own hands and started studying at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. (I graduated spring 2015 with honours!)
My goal to accomplish 3 things:
I wanted to educate myself on how to properly eat and nourish my body with my new found restrictions.
I wanted to help others on similar journeys.
Most of all I wanted to find a way to reverse my allergies and get back to living my life.
It's been 5 years since I was diagnosed and I've been able to greatly reduce the severity of my allergies! I've also become much closer to my ideal healthy weight in the process and my energy levels have skyrocketed. I'm on zero medication. I have a bit to go but I've taken the whole experience as a culinary adventure where I have been able to try new products and recipes.
I want you to know I've been there. Let me be your guide to finding vibrant health. I can provide you with resources that I've accumulated along the way and save you the trouble of years of research. It will get better.
Wishing you love, health, and happiness,
~Breanne Mifflin R.H.N., NNCP