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Here's what worked for me..

I cut out all preservatives - these bother me the most of anything
-sodium benzoate
-potassium sorbate

not sure about other preservatives, and also not sure about anatto, carob bean, guar gum, xanthan gum - i just avoid them until I can figure it out

There is no test for these as far as I know

Also an allergist did a skin prick test of like 40 foods and the doc told me I was allergic to milk, chicken, beef, cabbage, soy, peanut, malt, possibly barley, other tree nuts like pecans, eggs and vanilla. This wasn't on the test but I think gluten also bothers me.

I then did a RAST test and EVERYTHING was normal. I did a 3rd test that was available on the internet, and they told me that I was allergic to the exact opposite of what the skin prick test told me - so I knew that wasn't correct either - since I had been eating those foods with no problem. I understand some ppl only respond to the rast test or another type of immune response test, and also that the skin prick test finds a lot of false positives.

So here's what I eat - I buy cereals like Envirokids corn flakes and rice puffs and non-rice chex brand Chex, (since they use barley malt), and Bob's Red Mill products. I use rice milk or Almond Milk (buy the Pacific foods brand as it's 40 cents less than Almond Breeze). I go through about 10 cartons / week. I also use almond milk in my smoothies.. blend it with frozen mango, strawberry, bananas, blueberries, blackberries, pineapple, etc. I do a lot of shopping at Trader Joes! For bread I eat Almond bread from food for life, and I just started eating Millet bread which isn't as good. They're like $5 a loaf which sucks. For lunch I either bring lunch or I eat at Chipotle or some place that doesn't use preservatives - never fast food. I have to be careful of Soy oil so really eating out anywhere is tough. For dinner I eat a lot of beans, corn, rice, pork, seafood and lots of vegetables. I gave up beer and only drink liquor once in a while. I started drinking red wine, but some ppl may have a problem with the sulfites. I do drink a lot of juice and water, and I avoid most sodas - but I do like those natural sodas.

My grocery bill is really high, but I've learned where to shop. I never eat fast food anymore, or pizza. It sucks. But I'm also healthier than ever. My face is almost always clear and I don't get colds. I used to get sinus infections a lot (from the preservatives). I sometimes break out slightly, so there may be something I haven't figured out yet, as I do add in new foods from time to time, sometimes a few at once, and it's hard to know which food is causing the breakout. But it's not bad and I can live with it. This year I may do the elimination diet to pinpoint things further. I also just learned that you can make a skin prick test at home by taping the food to you for 24-hours and if you have a raised mark, it means you have an allergy. Not sure if it works. But that would certainly be cheaper than the skin prick test, which was like $500.

Good luck to everyone, and I definitely recommend trying to discover your allergies rather than using medication. The meds will only mask the problem until you go off of them, and then you'll break out again. Plus those pills like accutane can do horrible things. I know I took them!


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