When I first found out I had food allergies to cow milk, chicken eggs and a slew of other things, I kept it a secret particularly to my parents, wonderful people who cook the most delicious Filipino dishes many of which contain eggs and dairy like Leche Flan, Babinka, and my mom's lumpia. She throws egg in there.
I kept my allergies a
secret from my parents mainly because anything health related they take to
heart immediately which means my mom will no longer make or let me eat all
those foods she makes which can make me feel bloated, gassy, and sometimes
Food and culture
But see, I don't care, and I didn't want my mom to start being food police. I suck it up because one, I don't get to eat my parent's cooking that often and two, these foods are a part of my culture, they are delicious and comforting, and I feel like giving up my Filipino foods would be like giving up a part of who I am.
I'd rather be puffy and gassy then start feeling like I have to give up parts of me even for my health's sake. That is until a doctor tells me I have to stop or I'll die, need major surgery or lifelong stays in the hospital.
I'm not saying my outlook
is right or wrong. I'm not advocating that you defy your food allergies and
doctors, and continue to eat those things that make you feel un-well. I'm just
saying I get it, and saying that there is nothing weak or wrong with you if
you're like me.
We're human and living in society where food like cow meat & milk based products, wheat, and corn are pervasive, and tied to foods that we all love to enjoy. Twice a month, I'll eat some ice cream or cheese like at the Cowgirl Creamery's Artisan Cheese Shop in the SF Ferry Building. (picture above) I do find that if I eat organic or raw cheeses, and in small doses, my physical reactions are minimal.
Again, you should always follow what your doctors say, and if you break that, be aware there are consequences. But like I said, I do feel you. It's tough feeling like you are missing out.
I finally fess up
So, earlier this year, I told the folks about my food allergies. They were supportive and a little shocked because neither one of them have food allergies. Dad wondered where the allergies came from, and I have to say, I wonder the same thing all the time.
And like I predicted, mom started food policing, but it’s really not that bad. One of my rituals with Dad is to go to Costco, shop, and then get a slice of pizza in their cafe. We still do that because like I said, I’d rather have that time with my dad than sit there and eat nothing. Now, I just peel off the cheese.