Thursday, April 16, 2009
Corn Allergies Suck on Roadtrips
So, my little family's packing up and driving to San Diego tomorrow. It's usually just annoying because a toddler on a 6 hour drive is awful if he's not sleeping. Now it's going to be much worse. This will be our first roadtrip since I found out that I have a corn intolerance. I'll have to make and pack some food for myself for the weekend, and I've contacted our favorite stops to see if I can eat anything there. I'm still waiting for Starbucks and In and Out Burger to get back to me, but I already know about Paradise Bakery, Chipotle and Cold Stone Creamery. I can have the chocolate ice cream with either almonds, pecans or walnuts from Cold Stone, and I can have the burrito bowl with carnitas or chicken and sour cream, rice, cheese, pico de gallo and pinto beans from Chipotle. Paradise Bakery doesn't have a single corn free item (including the salads!) I'll be baking muffins and rolls today, bringing pretzel chips and my own corn-free mocha mix for the road, and bring my corn-free baking powder and shortening so my daddy can make me tortillas when I get there. Well, it's not all bad...
Of course I was shocked to discover how many foods had corn in them. There are the foods with the word "corn" or "dex" in them: cornstarch, corn syrup, corn oil, cornmeal, corn flour, dextrose, maltodextrin, polenta and corn solids. Then there are the devious hidden corn products. These don't always have corn in them, but can, so I have to avoid them just in case: vanilla extract, vanillin, citric acid, artificial colors, artificial flavors, distilled vinegar, white vinegar, baking powder, powdered sugar, food starch, vegetable oil and vegetable shortening. So, no ketchup, mustard, barbeque sauce, pickles, store-bought bread, relish, salad dressing, baked goods, ice cream (except some Breyer's flavors,) candy, olives, tortillas, hotdogs (except Hebrew National,) most cereals, and anything else without a label. Then there's the obvious popcorn, corn on the cob, tamales, corn chips, and anything fried in corn oil. Sigh. I miss eating whatever I wanted. I miss not having to contact a company to find out if I can eat something without getting horrible stomach pains.
The good news is that my allergist told me I may be able to get rid of this and keep it from becoming a full-blown allergy. For the past month I have given up anything even remotely related to corn and I'll be keeping this up for another 5 months. I also take a probiotic or eat plain yogurt once a day. After the 6 months, the allergist said I can try to eat something with a tiny amount of corn in it, like a baked good with baking powder in it. She said to try to build up to eating corn products, and eventually corn, again. She told me that a large dose of antibiotics, which I was given around the time I developed the intolerance, may have killed off all the bacteria in my digestive system that I need to eat corn, and that laying off the corn while taking a probiotic to build up the bacteria again, may do the trick. Here's hoping!
In the meantime, homemade mochas are tasty, I make some of the best bread I've ever had, and fruits and veggies (except corn) are always corn free. This just may be the healthiest 6 months of nutrition I've ever had in my life.