Most of us with mast cell disease are on very restricted diets.
It’s an aspect of the disease that I was not prepared for whatsoever and it affects my life just about every single moment of every single day now.
It’s not just the fact that my life seems to revolve now around sourcing my ingredients (a couple of dozen or so at this point) that are “safe” for me to use. It’s also not that I have to cook everything from scratch now, either. I love to cook and bake! It’s more about the fact that I am plagued by anxiety whenever I think about food now or get a craving, which I get often.
When I went on a food elimination diet a year and a half ago I had NO idea that many of the foods I quit cold turkey would end up being off limits forever. I had no idea that I’d be sitting here all these months later craving foods spontaneously, to the point it almost hurts to think of never being able to eat them again.
I know it sounds a bit dramatic, but it’s a very real problem for me. I have been experiencing a lot of food cravings lately and also quite a bit of anxiety when I think about how many things I’ve had to give up (forever!). It’s worse when I have to walk through the grocery store or if we go out to eat and my choices on the menu are limited to the melon in the fruit bowl and plain water.
I encourage friends and family to go about with their normal culinary behaviors, even if it means I am secretly dying inside while they enjoy a world of flavors and textures that are no longer available to me. I offer to cook the hubby the “old stuff” we used to eat together, but he won’t let me, because he’s super nice that way.
I reward myself often with things I can have (and love), like fried chicken, roasted potatoes and oatmeal cookies, but it’s hard to kill a craving for prime rib, a loaded baked potato and blueberry cheesecake, believe me. I’ve tried to murder all of them but I may have to resort to hypnosis or something for the cheesecake cravings alone!
I am only half joking because it’s torture, to be honest, and sometimes it’s hard to swallow (har har) the fact that this is my new reality. I’m sure I’m not alone in having food anxiety along with a ridiculously restrictive diet so if you’re going through it, too, while I don’t have answers I do have a lot of sympathy!
Remember, we’re in this craziness together!