Food can be a huuuuge part of this disease. Many of us are on extremely restricted diets and some of us only have a few foods that don’t trigger us to have a total mast cell meltdown. It can be a real challenge to source fresh, “safe” ingredients all day, every day, for ever.
So how do we make it easier on ourselves? Is that even possible? Actually, surprisingly, yes! There are ways to make this easier, I’ve found.
For one, my local grocery store has a lot of organic choices and began offering delivery for a small, reasonable fee not long ago. I can’t tell you what a blessing that was! I had already been ordering all of my bulk dry good supplies online. It’s the fresh, organic ingredients like fruits and veggies that are my biggest challenge keeping on hand because I go through so much of them and they must be fresh.
It complicates things further that we are miles from town, and I am an empty nester and can’t drive anymore (boo!) thanks to my fainting/seizure problems. So for them to offer delivery really made things so much easier for us.
That’s my first tip, actually:
Order online and find out if your local organic grocer delivers!
Almost everyone now delivers, so that’s a huge bonus.
Some of the organic ingredient companies I use, like Enjoy Life, let you order directly from them, too. It definitely adds up, though, I won’t lie. This diet can be expensive as heck (!) so I am constantly watching the ads for savings and buying extras to freeze or store when I find one of my ingredients on sale. The websites themselves sometimes have codes to punch in so I watch for those, too.
I sometimes order fresh herbs but have (thankfully!) found McCormick spices to be the safest and least triggering so I use a lot of their stuff, too, but all herbs and spices are potentially dangerous because of the risk of cross-contamination, (not to mention they are spendy to order fresh).
To help cut risks and cost we cut out the middle man by adding a kitchen herb garden, which brings me to my second tip…
Grow your own safe foods or find someone else who will!
In most areas you can find enough space to at least grow your own culinary herbs. Also, almost everywhere I’ve been there are farmer’s markets and raw food co-ops you can join. We have that option here, thankfully.
Most places have local hobby farms who raise fresh meat, too. We are raising our own chickens, ducks and turkeys for fresh meat and eggs now and are putting in raised, organic garden beds once I know I can manage the maintenance on them.
We are a bit lucky in that we live in the country on a full acre so we can keep poultry and even a cow, if we wanted to.
Another option (for us) is hunting and fishing and foraging for some of my “safe” foods. We live with Yellowstone as our “backyard”, which means we are within an hour’s drive of some of the best hunting and fishing in the world.
Which brings me to my third and final tip…
Hunt/Fish/Forage For Your Supper!
Of course one has to have the access and the energy to do this last one and going out into the wilderness brings its own set of challenges and potential mast cell triggers, so local fresh fish/game delivery may be a better option if it’s available.
In my case that just means giving the hubby the green light to go hunting and fishing without me (we’ve always done it together, boo!). He’ll be more than happy to deliver us some fresh fish (yuck!), venison and pheasant (yumm!) when he returns, I’m sure.
These are just a few ways I’m tackling the challenge of getting all my “safe” foods the quickest, easiest and cheapest ways possible, and as always, YMMV.
Good luck and happy “safe” food sourcing!