• -Natalie

Pecans Complete. Next up: Walnuts!

Just under two weeks ago, I completed my treatment dosing for pecans and challenged 30 grams at the clinic, which is about 20 pecan halves. Pecans are big, and 20 halves is a lot - I think by the end I kind of had to force myself to finish it!! But after seven long weeks of dosing, with a starting dose of just 50mg, I was so happy to move onto my next food: walnuts!

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, cashews and now I have just finished pecans.

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 8 pecan halves daily added to my maintenance foods, but I am able to eat more if I would like to! I have now started dosing for walnuts, which will take 6 weeks. I am looking forward to challenge and clear walnuts in July because then that means that I am... COMPLETELY CLEARED FOR ALL TREE NUTS.

Currently, I freely eat brazil nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, pistachios, cashews and pecans. That leaves with the final tree nut: walnut, which I will hopefully clear on July 24th.

This is extremely exciting to me for two reasons.

1. I guess I will no longer have to or be able to say that I'm allergic to tree nuts?

2. I will finally get to start dosing for peanuts, which is supposed to clear me for almost all remaining fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices that I am still reacting to.

Although I am so grateful and happy to have come this far, I have to say that I genuinely cannot stand the taste of pecans. First of all, they make my mouth so dry.. is that just me? Second of all, 8 pecan halves is literally so much, especially compared to my quantity of other nuts!! All the other nuts are also much smaller in size, so they are easy to eat.

I have to confess, eating the pecan halves makes me gag. So although I eat all my other nuts in their full forms, I crush the pecan halves into tiny crumbs and mix them with chocolate, because otherwise I just cannot get them down for the life of me. It truly does the trick - I don't taste it, my mouth doesn't feel dry, I don't gag. I think it's psychological. Who cares though? I'll eat them whatever way I need to eat them to ensure that I maintain my tolerance so that I am not at risk from anaphylaxis!!

I can definitely say that pecans are not a food that I would freely eat. For example, pecan pie? Definitely not my thing. But it's so nice to know that I have the option to eat it if I ever acquire a taste for it, and it's even nicer to know that if my food is ever cross contaminated with pecans, I have nothing to worry about.

So, I will keep crushing my pecans until my brain is able to accept the full pecan half. And until then, I will keep dosing my walnuts and hope that everything goes smoothly so that I can start dosing for peanuts at the end of July!

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

Follow my journey on Instagram: @nonuts4me

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