Tag Archives: Health

Death by Tomato

If you could choose how you die, would you choose death by tomato? You see, tomatoes are everywhere, so the threat is everywhere. They are in salads, hamburgers, pasta sauces, soups, and sandwiches. They are hard to avoid. For someone like me, with a severe tomato allergy, this vegetable (or fruit) is something like the plague. And for all you food allergy sufferers out there, I’m sure you know how I feel. A death by tomato is not pretty.

It’s more challenging to eat healthy.

When I try to eat healthy by ordering a salad, I find most types of salad have tomato in them. A garden salad, for example, has those deadly red bombs – I mean vegetables – in them. I could order a caesar salad, but that has a lot of cheese, which isn’t the best idea if you’re keeping your calories down. Same with soup. Most soups are tomato based, so my non-tomato-based soup choices are limited.

Most hamburgers and sandwiches have a slice of tomato in them, so either I try to eat it, or perform surgery and remove the threat. It is more difficult, if not impossible, to remove the threat from a slice of pizza unless I resort to the child-like skill of lifting up the topping and scraping off the sauce. If I want pasta or mussels with broth? I have a choice of tomato or cream. For example, a tomato-based pasta sauce with vegetables or peppers, or the fattening alfredo, three cheese, or mushroom in cream sauce.

If tomato weren’t widely available enough, someone decided to make vegetable juices, and clamato juices so that you can find tomatoes in your juice aisle and at the bar. It’s possible to get a tomato buzz with a Caesar cocktail and a double shot.

Even your food options include tomato to make your food taste better! Ketchup for your fries. Ketchup for your hot dogs, omelettes, hash browns. Just slather that deadly stuff on everything.

You might ask, if tomatoes are everywhere, then how do you avoid them? The answer follows.

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Pizzas are tasty and filling but we must not forget that tomatoes are hidden away in there.

Living with food allergies is challenging but doable.

Sometimes I succumb to the temptations of food containing tomatoes and pay the price. I enjoy pizza and hamburger. But seriously, pizza without tomato sauce is not pizza. And lasagna without the tomato sauce is not lasagna.

So I’ve learned to live with allergies. I eat the tomato, I break out in hives and eczema. My skin turns red and ugly. I become an avid user of bandaids. My skin looks terrible so I wear clothes that keep me covered up and give people the impression I lack self confidence because I wear long-sleeved, ankle-length baggy clothes. Truth is, I need to hide the scars as well as keep my clothes airy and breathable so my skin isn’t irritated or exposed to unclean surfaces. I avoid activities that aggravate my allergies, such as hot yoga, because the heat makes my skin itchy. I carry antihistamines with me at all times and got a prescription for an epi pen because on really bad days, my eyes swell shut, and on super bad days, I can feel my throat closing.

I am grateful that my allergies don’t kill me instantly. I know that there are allergy sufferers out there who will end up in hospital from coming in contact with a piece of fruit.  I also heard about a guy who had a kiwii allergy. His lips became swollen after kissing his girlfriend although he hadn’t touched kiwii. But his girlfriend had eaten kiwii for lunch.

Sometimes I wish I were allergic to chocolate. It’s not part of the essential food groups for keeping you healthy. Having a medical reason for avoiding it would be a bonus. But for some reason, tomatoes were chosen as my nemesis.

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Half of this delicious salad seems to be tomatoes!

What can tomatoes teach you about life?

First, I’ve learned that tomatoes are a popular item in our food. We really like tomatoes as an ingredient. Whole tomatoes, sliced tomatoes, crushed into paste tomatoes, and tomato juice.

Second, I’ve learned that something that is harmless and healthful to one person can be deadly to another. I have met someone who is allergic to chocolate, and I would say chocolate is found in many food items as well. On the bright side, my friend loves tomatoes, so at a barbecue, she gets my share of the tomatoes in the veggie platter.

Third, life is about adaptation. I might not be able to do hot yoga but I can always try yoga at room temperature. My skin might not be pretty, but I look for beauty elsewhere.

Do you know any allergy sufferers/ survivors? How do they cope?

 

 

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High Heels and Healthier Feet

I love a pair of tall, black, sexy leather boots.I bought a pair during the post Christmas sale. Boots add style to an outfit whether it’s a shirt and jeans, or a slinky evening dress.  I know a lot of gals that love them too because of the way these boots make us feel: confident, deserving, and bold.

And I want to feel just as great when I get home after a day of back to back meetings, or a night about town, and slide them off my feet. Because there’s nothing as unsexy as feet screaming from the pain of a day in heels.
The secret to foot care is a finding a dazzling pair of shoes.

Start with measuring the correct shoe size.

The best time to measure your shoe size is in the afternoon, because your feet swell during the day. Having the right shoe size can prevent foot problems such as blisters. Keep in mind that one foot may be slightly larger in size than the other, so it’s better to take the measurement of the larger foot. Also, your feet may change  shape over time, so it’s recommended to take a more recent sizing.
I like shoes that have high heels despite the health problems associated with them. Some say heels make the wearer appear taller and their legs more slender, giving them a feeling of empowerment overall. Interestingly, some say it was men in the 1600s European aristocracy who wore heels to show their status as a class that didn’t have to work, and thus could wear impractical footwear. Over time, women’s fashion evolved to copy men’s shoes, to be demonstrate masculine empowerment.

Wear heels no higher than three inches.

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Wear heels with care

Additional height puts more stress on the balls of your feet because of the displacement of your body weight. Heels these days can tower over five to six inches, resulting in more injuries from twisted ankles, stumbles, and falls. However, shoes that are closer to the ground can have problems also. Ballet flats and flip flops are two types of footwear that don’t offer enough arch support. Arch support is particularly critical for those who have flat feet. If you definitely want height in your shoe, three inches is the classic height, although they recommend two inches or less to have the least disruption to the natural biomechanics of walking.

Even after settling on the ideal height for your shoe, you still have so many options available to choose from… and these options are like the sugar candy of shoes and the bane of foot health advocates.

Choose chunkier heels and wider toe boxes.

Stilettos can turn the heads of admirers, but the wearer must be able to balance their body weight, which is being pushed forward, as well as focused on a tiny area of the heel. This design decreases the body’s ability to absorb shock, and can result in knee, hip, and back pain. A chunky heel is better able to distribute body weight.
Pointed toes are another popular shoe design. Unfortunately, a pointed toe can cause problems such as hammertoes and bunions over time, because of the pressure on the sides of your toes and ball of your foot when your weight is shifted forward. A wide toe box reduces the long term risk of problems such as bunions. Another solution is buying a shoe which starts to narrow at a point further from the tips of your toes.

Wear heels but take care of your feet.

If you are like me, and can’t resist sacrificing style over comfort, you can take care of your feet and still wear those boots with four inch heels.
  1. Invest in a pair of inserts  to cushion the sole and ball of your foot.
  2. Buy shoes with good shock absorption and arch support.
  3. Alternate between wearing heels and wearing flatter soled shoes.
  4. Incorporate heel lifts and drops into your exercise routine to strengthen your ankles.
For me, I want to have feet that look good underneath that pair of gorgeous new boots. Wouldn’t you?

 

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