Hi everyone, I hope you have enjoyed a lovely weekend.
This morning I heard some stats that Las Vegas is the hardest place to purchase fruit and veg in the whole of the U.S. Now I can totally believe this - as I struggled A LOT as you all know! However it helped to bring together UNITED TASTES OF AMERICA. So I won't be too harsh. This is however a massive issue! So many tourists flock to Vegas every year and whether these are people with or without allergies all you are faced with is 'fast food' joints, restaurants and outlets. Unless you are a millionaire and dine in top restaurants, which is only a small percentage!
I loved Vegas for the memories Matthew and I made, however you will learn more from my book about how my worst allergic reaction was actually in Vegas on the first night and the only fruit I got hold of/ ate the whole 3 days was on our final day. I got hold of a practically rotten apple and a black banana. I love my banana's ripe and that is the best way to eat them but I only got hold of these because the woman in the hotel clothes shop was about to throw them away!! I mean this is the drastic lengths I was going too.
My reaction on the first evening was also VERY scary. I practically passed out really, I had really bad brain fog, just felt SO sick, my stomach was cramping and I just made it back to the hotel ( not that I remember much ) and no I hadn't had anything to drink because we had arrived late in Vegas due to traffic and had simply dumped our bags in our room, did a quick clean up and headed out for food. The plan was to hit the casino's and have a cocktail after dinner. Yes, I just remember being at the traffic lights on our way back, slumped over, panicking that I wasn't going to make it back because the pain was getting so bad and I felt SO sick. As well from only being SO sick with sickness and stomach cramps only a month before I was getting myself worried that I was going to go through that again and end up in hospital. Matthew was also quite concerned and said just went ghostly white and was not really responding to him just looking through him. However he helped me get into bed and I managed to sleep a little but I felt rough for the next day or so. We think what triggered this reaction was the oil, my dish was just swimming in oil and I began feeling ill whilst eating it. It was a big dish however so at first I thought I was just full but then only about half an hour later I was suffering BIG time. I was devastated - we had checked out the restaurant, spoken to the chef and everything and I had looked forward to Vegas the whole trip and now I was in bed at 8pm on our first night. I was truly upset.
It did over-shadow my time here, as it didn't only make me really ill and miss the first night but the next day I was still feeling really unwell and we had so much we wanted to see and do that I didn't want to miss anymore experiences. We were only there for a short amount of time as it was. But feeling unwell and walking around in 42-44 degree C was also a major challenge and from then on I was, well I would say more afraid and anxious when it would become time to find somewhere to eat.
I feel this post today is also important because as you all know from yesterday's post it was my birthday weekend and I was SO blessed to spend it with my friends and dine out all together. However I think I made the mistake of picking a popular restaurant on a busy night. Even though I thought January would be quiet the restaurant was FULL and although they have catered for me well in the past I think they may have slipped up. As when restaurants are busy they pre-make dishes in order to speed cooking processes up, making more money and serving more people. Of course I ordered fries, boiled rice and veg with NO BUTTER OR OIL just water! I stressed no dairy too but like I said it was busy, there were 10 of us and although the waiter who had dealt with me before nodded and made it sound like he had everything I said he had written down - I don't think he did. I always try and order last too, so that it is fresh in their minds and so I can go over things and say it slower. However the food came, and the veg were covered in what I thought was oil but they did also serve my veg with new potatoes and I don't like new potatoes so I did give those to a friend but I didn't think about it until this morning but what are new potatoes cooked in - BUTTER! So consequently my veg had also been coated and cooked in butter. Although a little worried at the time about what I thought was oil, I just removed the veg from the bowl so I wasn't eating excess 'oil' and thought they would be ok! As I have the fries there and have seemed fine from them.
BIG MISTAKE. I know you should think at the time, and really be weary of these kind of things. Though it was busy, I didn't want to kick up a fuss, it was my birthday - I wanted to talk and spend moments with my friends not be fussing over food! I didn't even get round to ordering an alcoholic drink as I didn't even get through my diet coke I had first ordered, I was too wrapped up in talking. I was also hungry, I have eaten there and been fine before so I didn't see any issues. Nor do I believe that people with allergens should be on high alert all the time because that just feeds the anxieties and stops people from eating out or visiting that restaurant again. The restaurants, food manufactures and companies need to take more responsibility and be more aware and careful.
I was fine just after eating, although full. But it wasn't until my food had reached my stomach about 1am which was approx 4 and a half hours after eating did I begin being sick and my stomach cramps came on really badly. It was then 6am because I replied to a message to Matthew about plans for the next day that he had left after I had already gone to bed, telling him not to come round when planned that morning because I was just getting back to bed and hoped to sleep. ( I didn't sleep as my stomach was still really upset. )
I had also got plans for dinner with my friend who I hadn't seen for 2 months that evening and she was coming all the way over to me to go out. I didn't want to miss that, so despite not feeling 100% , I ensured I had bland, starchy but not heavy meals - so a smoothie, cereal, a wrap with tofu ( just in soy sauce not tofu scramble with spices ), raisins, prunes and salt & vinegar peanuts then of course I went out for tea and had fries, corn chip, rice and a salad. We went to somewhere I knew could accommodate me in some way and that Jourdan would also enjoy. I had eaten here only 2 week prior to this visit and managed to get steamed veggies, however yesterday I was told they cooked their veg in butter and they couldn't make the changes for me, plus two weeks ago I asked for just corn chips and again they wouldn't do it for me but yesterday they did. Now the staff are lovely and I appreciate the changes they did make like boiling my rice etc but the I feel that there isn't any constituency in most restaurants I have visited. Perfect example above you think you are ok, you have eaten there before, you know the menu, the food you can have etc and then you arrive to find you can't have that dish or the dish makes you ill. This I feel is a HUGE problem!! The amount of anxiety and stress ( not only for the person but for friends and family also dining alongside you), the research that has been done beforehand, all this just isolates people more. Their fears become heightened and more intense, they don't want to dine there or go out as much because they don't want to be unwell.
I feel that the bad reaction I had on the Saturday night effected me so much yesterday too when I ate and dined out because my stomach was already upset and it was struggling already. Yes maybe I should have rescheduled, but I shouldn't have to put my life on hold, miss out or feel unwell. This is why I create my books my blog posts, my recipes, my videos and try all the products I do because food allergies have already prevented me from missing so much that I wasn't willing to allow that to happen anymore. As I know full well and as you can see from my experiences above the road is bloody hard, the fight is challenging and when you are feeling rough it is difficult to want to continue the fight. I have to use my frustrations for the better though and use them to inspire me to help myself and all of you.
I am not one to give up. Yes I have a little cry and break down on days like today when the fight is challenging but then I motivate myself and bounce back. This issue is a growing problem among our society and I hope the devastating news earlier in the week regards to Megan and her untimely death wakes more people up over this issue. She was enjoying a simple pleasure - a takeaway! Something we should all be able to do and it cost her, her life. This is mirrored in dining out, travelling, eating at a friends. All simple activities we should be able to enjoy and engage in. Not miss out, through fear or being unable to be accommodated for.
With my birthday tomorrow ( yes I am getting old ) I am simply having today video editing, blogging, getting products ready for my book signing gift bags and just time on my own. To re-group, motivate myself that what I am fighting for has a strong purpose, rest up a little and be ready for a better day tomorrow. I have lots of '23' birthday associated videos I hope to shoot throughout the week and probably into next week, as this week is looking to be busy.
I think for the time beginning I won't be visiting the restaurant I dined at on Saturday as I did eat there the month before going on Route 66 and although I was told I had got a virus, I did end up in hospital and this happened after dining here again about 5 hours after eating. I am not saying that I won't ever eat there again or I am letting these 'blips' effect me and 'defeat' me. I am just working so hard towards gaining me back and working with foods that don't make me ill causing me to lose weight overnight. I am and have been working too hard to have it all disappear in a few hours. I'm a fighter but my health is and has to be my number one.
I apologise for this post being quite a negative one today when we should be in the 'birthday celebration' mind-set but I feel like this issue needed to be raised today.
Thank you to all my friends that did make this weekend special for me and I have lots of great memories still, so thank you.
I didn't film yesterday due to feeling unwell, but I did have an awesome time with Jourdan, we talked for hours ( you know how girls are ) and I really appreciate her putting herself out or me, it wasn't that I didn't want her part of my videos or anything silly like that.
Let's make this week a lovely week, I will (MAKE) myself have a little bit more of a chilled week this week but let's bounce back and know that fight is a difficult one but so worth it.
Love and peace. xoxo
Feeling sluggish and rubbish when you have woken up? Get boosting up on bananas the more the better - they will help settle your stomach, boosting digestion, they are a mood enhancer, they will give you the energy you need and keep you full. Buy my book for banana receipe ideas.
Wake up every morning and ATLEAST have one glass of lemon water before doing anything else! Ideally try to drink a litre of water. The lemon wakes up your digestive system ready for the day and has great cleansing properties.
Check your dairy and meat intake - dairy can sit in your system for up to seven days unable to digest properly. Meaning other foods also get neglected and nurtients aren't absorbed properly and you feel extremely bloated. Go and smell your food bin, your stomach will be in that state. Rotting foods in your belly - hmm nice.
DO NOT FEAR CARBS - THEY ARE NOT THE ENEMY! CARB UP!!
Bananas, Rice, Potatoes, Leafy Greens, Corn, Beans, Lentils etc PACK THEM IN GO MAD.
NEVER COUNT CALORIES - NEVER RESTRICT!! These restriction 'starvation' diets who tell you to only eat 500 calories a day then have a treat day - where you binge out and eat WAY too much, is simply messing up your metabolism and on your binge days yours body stores all the fat meaning you gain weight because it knows it is going to go back into starvation mode and needs to hold onto every little thing it can. HELLO WEIGHT GAIN.
Life is too short not to live it to the full, making yourself happy.