• -Natalie

Cashew Complete. Next Up: Pecans!

After six weeks of dosing for cashews, starting at just 150mg and going up to 3/4 teaspoons by week 6, followed by challenging (I think it was 14 grams) of cashews at the clinic - I am now able to freely eat cashews!

For those of you new to my blog, I am going through a food allergy treatment called the Tolerance Induction Program available only at the Southern California Food Allergy Institute. I have been in the program now for two years, and when I started, I only had five safe foods, including olive oil and salt. To read about what I'm allergic to, click here.

The very first food I dosed for was almonds, and since then I have dosed for soy, hazelnuts, pine nuts, eggs, macadamia nuts, pistachios and now I just finished cashews.

I have also challenged various foods throughout this time such as lentils, chickpeas, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, oranges, melons and avocados. These are all foods that I became allergic to as a young adult, and due to my SLIT therapy (sublingual immunotherapy) for my environmental allergies, plus the treatment for various foods, I was eventually able to tolerate these foods again and challenge them without having to dose.

I now have 5 cashews daily added to my maintenance foods, but I am able to eat more if I would like to! I have now started dosing for pecans, which will take 7 weeks. I am looking forward to challenge and clear pecans in June because then that leaves with only one more tree nut: walnut!

During this last appointment, I had the pleasure to speak to Dr. Randhawa himself for a few minutes, and he let me know that if everything goes smoothly, I will start dosing for walnuts as soon as I finish pecans, which means that sometime in July, I will officially be able to say that I am no longer at risk for anaphylaxis from tree nuts!

Until my numbers go down completely to zero, I do not think of myself as officially not allergic, but I will be able to eat tree nuts freely, and tree nuts will not restrict my food choices anymore.

After finishing the tree nuts, I will be starting peanuts. Peanuts will take the longest to dose - around 4 months. I am most excited to start peanut though because once I pass peanut, I will be cleared to challenge all vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices. I have been living without eating any vegetables (besides sweet potatoes) for more than three years.

There is one spice that I am able to add back into my diet right now, before even starting peanut! And it's one of my favorite spices: turmeric. Dr. R has instructed me to eat turmeric at home as he knows I will not react to it. Once I reintroduce turmeric into my system, I can then try cinnamon as they are closely related. I am also cleared to try paprika and black pepper if I wish to, or I can wait until peanut when I know I will not react at all.

For now though, I must stay completely clear from cumin and sage until I clear peanut.

My goal for 2019: reach food freedom by the end of the year!

Follow my journey on Instagram at: @nonutsme

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