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So what meat can you eat...birds and fish. The challenge I was faced with was I didn't want to eat birds pumped with hormones and antibiotics. That is a challenge, as today's poultry is mass produced and pumped full of junk. What I decided to do, and I know this is not for everyone, is I raised organic chickens.  I worked with a local farmer who allowed me to purchase some chickens, and to share in the expenses and chores. In the end, it resulted in a freezer full of almost a years worth of chickens. Organic chickens that are delicious, healthy and very affordable at $1.59 a pound!

It may be an adjustment for you to give up beef and pork, I know it was for me. You just have to get in the mindset of exploring different recipes. We are such creatures of habit, we tend to eat the same recipes over and over again.  See this as an opportunity; to be creative in the kitchen and to try new cooking techniques.  Maybe you can take a cooking class, they are offered all the time. I have found YouTube to be such a great place to search for recipes.  I love Laura Vitale!  She offers healthy, wholesome recipes, with plenty of bird and fish options to choose from.  Check her out.  

Change may be hard...but your health is worth it and so are you! 

Stay the course...



 
 
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Okay, why is a such a big deal for this allergy to go undiagnosed? Besides the obvious, the symptoms suck...it is creating havoc within your body.  As you will learn, I am not a big fan of pharmaceuticals, I have always taken a proactive approach to my health and it has served me well.  The thought of anyone having to take prescription drugs or OTC drugs as that matter without getting to the root of the issues seems ludicrous to me. That is exactly what will happen to those suffering from this allergy if they don’t get better informed and educated.  So keep reading...


Ultimately, the worst of my symptoms lasted for about a year, until I was able to pinpoint that meat and dairy were the issue  My symptoms were a lot less severe than what some people can experience with an allergic reaction, they were much more subtle. What the allergy was doing to my body over that year was taxing my adrenal gland, resulting in adrenal fatigue.  I had never heard of adrenal fatigue, though as I researched it I was shocked to all the symptoms of it that I experiencing. Here are some of the common ones I was dealing with:


*trouble getting out of bed

*not feeling alive til after 10 am

*afternoon crash and burn

*lots of energy after 6pm

*if I was still awake after 11pm, I would be wide awake til 2am

*craved salt

*couldn’t lose weight


Just to name a few.  You see, what happens when you are in a state of an allergic reaction it can really stress the adrenal gland and mess up your cortisol levels. The longer it goes untreated the longer it takes to regain your health. If your allergy has gone undiagnosed for a while, understand, even when you eliminate meat and dairy, your health may not be 100% restored initially. There may be some restoration to your body that may need to occur. The good is...you can recover from this!


Keep the faith though and stay tuned, you are not alone in this struggle and I am here to tell you...you can feel good again!!!

 
 
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My guess is that there will be many "Paleo" followers that frequent this blog, as meat is such a large staple in that diet.  I know for me, it really was the Paleo diet that brought my symptoms into light.  I was bitten by the tick in 2008, at the time I was not eating a lot of beef or pork. In fact most of my diet was made up of fish and chicken, though my consumption of dairy was high.  I was working a lot of hour and was eating a lot on the run, so I chalked a lot of my tiredness up to burning the candle at both ends. 

In February of 2011, I joined a cross fit gym and there began my love for the "Paleo" diet.  I loved red meat and pork, and really didn't buy into all they hype about the harm of saturated fat.  The diet worked for me, it gave me energy, I was satiated, and I loved what I was eating.  Several months after I joined, my eyelids started to burn, and itch.  At first I thought it was from my sweat or I was in some way detoxing.  I kept asking my training if anyone else ever had these symptoms from eating 'Paleo" , he stated no one had that he knew of.  Things just got worse, I was feeling run down, my eyelids were swollen, itchy and now scaly, mosquito bites began to really each and swell up, it was bizarre.  That is when I went to the doctor and eye doctor just to find I was allergic to something, which ultimately lead me to the naturopathic doctor and learning I was allergic to Alpha-gal.  

Since, that time there is now more info about Alpha-Gal in the "Paleo" community, though very little by people actually dealing with it.  If you are eating 'Paleo" and you are having symptoms that have lead you to this blog, you may be onto something.  See the below link it will provide you with additional information.


http://paleozonenutrition.com/2011/11/08/red-meat-allergy-and-tick-bites/

 
 
If you are suffering with this allergy, there is a good chance your doctor will not be able to pin point what is causing your allergy.  Yea, he or she may suggest drug therapy....steroids, anti-histamines, are allergy pills, but all you will hear is that you are allergic to "something".  You see, I don't  like taking medications, I don't like their side effects and the effect they may have on my body in the long run.  I was more interested in removing the "something" from my life and eliminating the symptoms all together.  

I tell you this because I want you to know, there is hope out there, you do not need to suffer with these symptoms for the rest of your life.  Yes, you may have to seek an alternative approach, at this point anyway, but it will be worth it.   The first step, is figuring what is causing your allergy symptoms! Being that you are reading this post right now leads me to believe, you are a least considering this as a possibility... which if you are allergic to Alpha -Gal, is a step in the right direction.

Here is a great link on Alpha-Gal allergy Awareness... http://alpha-gal.org/

 
 
 
 
Mammalian meat is any meat that comes from a mammal including beef, pork, lamb, venison, goat and bison. Fish, turkey and chicken are not mammals, so they don’t have alpha-gal.

If you are like me,  this is a real drag!  Steaks on the grill were a staple at my house.  The reason my elimination diet didn’t work is because I had never heard of anyone being allergic to meat, so I didn’t eliminate it.  I was eating some form of beef or pork on a daily basis, because I was doing  cross-fit and eating a Paleo diet. Looking back that is when I really started to notice the symptoms.

My symptoms didn’t send me to the ER, they were much more subtle. As I mention in a previous post, my eye lids were very swollen and itched like crazy, causing them to crack and flack.  It was very painful and I looked terrible!  My body continued to weaken,  it was in a constant reaction mode,  and it really messed up my cortisol levels.  I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning, had no energy, increased allergies, and really craved salt, which we all signs of adrenal fatigue. The more meat and dairy I eat the more stress I was causing my body, and the worse my symptoms got.  They didn’t stop until I STOPPED eating meat and dairy products,  all together.

The good news… your body is resilient, and you can recover, it just may take a little time.



 
 
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Alpha-Gal, or Galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, is an allergy to mammal meat, that has a delay reaction, making it hard to recognize as the trigger to the allergy symptoms.  It is affecting more and more people each year. The allergy is  caused by a tick bite. People who are affected by Alpha-Gal allergy must pay very close attention to what they eat because an allergic reaction can be severe and even life-threatening.

Here are a couple of articles, that are very informative:

http://news.sciencemag.org/2012/11/ticked-about-growing-allergy-meat

http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/20/health/meat-tick-bite-allergy/

 
 
My Story...The answer just seemed to be nowhere in site...I was frustrated.  My eyes lids had been swollen, scaly and itchy for months, my doctor and my eye doctor...had no cure...they both said I had an allergy, an allergy to something.  They both suggested taking an antihistamine for the symptoms but neither could tell me what I was allergic to.

I was healthy, was not taking any medications and really didn’t want to start, something told me this was some sort of food allergy so I started an elimination diet.  I stated to eliminate foods that caused a histamine reaction in the body, I did this for almost a year.   Over the course of the year my allergy symptoms persisted and I began to feel downright run down.

I finally decided to take a holistic approach and sought out a naturopath, together we discovered I was suffering from an allergic reaction to a past tick bite called… Alpha-Gal.

Never heard of it???  I am not surprised, I hadn’t either. That is why I am writing this blog, to help educate those trying to get a better understanding of the condition; as many doctors are unaware of it and there isn't a lot if information available about it.

This can be a life-altering condition, especially in a “meat and potato” culture like here in the United States.  I've learned a lot along the way and my hope is to educate, support and empower anyone  who may be suffering from an Alpha-Gal allergy  and to offer hope for a healthier tomorrow.

Stay tuned...