It was a Red Letter Day for me on Saturday! I can't even begin to describe just how excited I was. Let me walk you through it...
During my pre-teen years, my family lived in Kenya for 2 years. Up until that point, I could pretty much eat whatever I wanted. However, it only took 1 fateful night for that all to change. My family and I were on a much needed vacation on the coast of Mombasa. Per normal, we had picked up a ton of fresh fruit and vegetables for the day. Right before I went to bed, I snacked on a juicy and tasty mango. I promptly went to bed, not knowing that my entire world had changed. I woke up almost an hour later with a panic I've never known. I couldn't breathe, my face and eyes were completely swollen, and my throat was completely closed. I rushed into my parent's room in a panic. Thankfully, my mother, a trained RN, leapt into action. Although we had no Benadryl or anti-histamines, she knew enough to throw me into a hot shower with steam to try and ease my labored breathing. I spent almost an hour in there, gasping for breath. Finally, my breathing returned almost to normal, but my face was a different story. It took almost 2 days before my eyes and face returned to their normal state.
After that, any stone fruit I touched was pure Kryptonite for me. Pears, peaches, plums, cherries - all off limits to me. The fall apple harvest meant nothing to me. And being a vegetarian only made it more ironic.
But even though I'm severely allergic to them, I've always felt I would outgrow the allergy. About 5 years ago, I started trying a tiny bite of stone fruit every summer, just to see if it was over. Sadly, it was not. However, since I've been a vegetarian for the past few years, and trying to eat more vegan in the past year, I just knew this was the year for a breakthrough.
And guess what? I was right. I purchased some local cherries from the farmer's market this weekend and gave them a tentative taste. I tried 3 and felt barely a tickle in the back of my throat. I then moved on to a plum and felt nothing. So I kept going. And in the space of 24 hours, I consumed almost a pound of cherries, 4 pluots, and about 8 plums with nary a tingle.
You want to talk about excited?? I went to the grocery store and for the first time, gave my attention to the 3 rows of fruits I have been avoiding for 17 years. It's like a whole new world has opened up. I didn't want to push it too much on my first couple of days, so I stuck to the cherry/plum thing. But tomorrow I plan to add peaches and eventually pears and possibly some apricots.
I'm crazy excited. So don't worry if you don't hear from me for a few days - I'll be stuck somewhere in a bowl full of cherries....