Adieu Allergy and Oh Hello to Organic products!

A few days before the the coming of the year 2014, I got sick. It wasn’t just an ordinary colds and cough that I can cure by just drinking water with lemon, then I will be fine the following day or a fews days after (it’s how I beat such virus and it worked for me everytime). However that wasn’t the case. I got allergy! and according to the specialist that I consulted it was extensive or extreme kind of allergy. Well I thought I was gonna die so I guess it was that extensive indeed. I was confident I was healthy because I had a general check-up few months earlier and all of the results were positive. My sugar, blood and etc were normal. But, truth be told that sometimes things happen beyond our control especially if God above decides to make it happen. What I hardly process is that I am not into alcoholic drinks neither do I smoke; I don’t even stay up late and I actually dont have any vices. After the said medical general check I was confident that getting sick will not be my concern. I was even bragging that I was perfectly healthy. I was wrong. No wonder arrogance is a sin.

Contrary to popular belief, people die of allergies absence of prudent care. I remember the news I heard (I forgot when) but it was a boy who died of allergy. The school where he used to study threw a little party and the boy, of course, ate whatever they served him. Unfortunately, right there and there the boy passed away. It turned out that he was allergic to one of the ingredients in the food he just had. He didn’t even reach the hospital. Tragic. Sigh! It may be an isolated case but we cannot ignore the reality that the proximate cause of his death was from something that we take in the ordinary course of life and if only utmost care was done this would have been avoided. Imagine, he was just a boy, had he been told or aware of what to avoid he could have had lived a longer life, experienced and discovered what he ought to do so. However, who am I to criticize the teachers well let us give them the benefit of the doubt. As to the parents, the pain that so profound will forever endure them. I have wintnessed my parents’ suffering when we lost my sister and I tell you the depth was beyond repair. Ergo, allergy or whatever health problems a person will go through should not be taken lightly. Hopefully, God will give us the chance to survive.

Anyway, I am now recuperating and just a couple of days from now I will be done taking my medicines ( In Shaa Allah, if God wills it). The doctor, however, warned me that the allergy will reoccur (ugh!) yes, it will and shall be part of my entire existence. “BUT” it can be prevented should I follow her instructions to the dot. What are they? Well, I can no longer eat cheese for as slong as I leave because that was the last thing I have eaten when the allergy occured. Scrue it! I can leave without eating it anyway; I also have to avoid. . . CHOCOLATES, what kind of world is this?? Imagine chocolates?! So, I can no longer have the pleasure to have a bite on one of the greatest joy a girl can have in the dessert department!! or even all kinds of people for that matter. Now this is really painful. Sigh! The doctor further said that there is something about chocolates that will serve as contributory factor to the reoccurance of the allergy. Uhm, it is my choice between the pleasure or the chance to live without having to go through the agony or worst that might cause my life. Oh well! I guess I will just have to pull through it. There are still other pleasure to be grateful for like the strawberry flavor, caramel, blue berries, it aint that bad right? Oops don’t tell me it’s not the same as I am trying to comfort myself here; also, canned goods like tuna-in-can anything mixed with preservatives is a big no-no, so condense milk and evapotared milk are not allowed, farewell to Crema De Fruta! Lately, I have been obsessed with Filipino foods which the cooconut milk is the main component, so after the warning I can’t use the one in a tetra pack. I have to buy the one that extracted from a coconut shell. The important thing she reminded me of was to gobble on a fresh cooked meals and If possible organic products. (light bulb!)

I was a vegan for a year before and adding organic to my diet was not new. Ok when I said “was” I meant I have done it before. Sorry being human I fall off from a wagon once in a while, maybe because of the people who were not into it plus due to material things as organic are pretty pricey, also, my research wasn’t sufficient that I had deficiencies in a few vitamins and minerals. Being vegan, vegeterian or what have you is a never ending learning process. You will always have to continue searching. Noted! After my father saw what happened to me, he decided to take a mile and drive me to the organic market once a week for the sake of my health. He couldn’t afford to lose another child. I am so thrilled that he became very supportive. Now, I get to eat organic products everyday (In Shaa Allah.) I started juicing again. I juice different green organic veggies, the tastes are no longer an issue for me since I have done it before. But, I am not 100% vegan anymore. No offense to my vegan friends please dont get mad at me. But just be happy for me that I have organic veggies included in my platter-everyday. The good news is that I stopped eating red meat when I started becoming vegan and even thought I wasnt perfect I never eat red meat ever again even up to this date. I’am proud of and grateful for what veganism has taught me. So far I only eat chicken or eggs as a source of protein and my favorite. . .Tofu. Let me show you some of it.

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I am using my mother's not so primitive juicer but still uselful. Someday I will buy the portable one but for now this baby is all good.

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I just juiced this today: kale, spinach, bitter melon, lettuce and cellary

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It took me few min to drink it as the bitter melon and spinach dominated the over all taste.

The truth is that I have always been reminded of the basic principle of Veganism because that is also what is being taught in my religion, Islam. Basically, is to take care of your health like eating organic products, avoid food that has artificial preservatives, and patronize foods that are not harmful to the body, in Islam we call it Halal. In fact, we perform prayover to the body of a particular animal before we cook it. Prayover signifies that we are asking permission to take its life and we seek forgiveness to Allah(swa) for taking its life. So veganism have always been in my heart because of such principle.

Anyway, I came to a realization that the restrictions given by my doctor are not hard to follow after all. As I have had a grand time of my life for more than three decades. I have enjoyed the pleasure of eating different foods from various countries, places, cooked by several kinds of people: chefs, friends abroad and local and families. A little sacrifice from me will not hurt particularly if it’s beneficial to my health. (In Shaa Allah). Becides, I refused to go through same distress in my body, it was not a joke.

Whenever I reckon the agony of having the allergy, ugh! You my call me a “sissy girl” but it was major since it was my health that was at risk. It was Itchy and painful at the same time. I am sure you may agree with me that it is crucial whenever your health is being compromised. Because you are dealing with nature, hence, it is the will of God as being the most powerful above all the powerful. If he wants you to get ill, can you counter it; what if he decides to take away your life, can you even prevent it; as he is the creator of the all the creations. Whereas, if you were only been emotionally hurt. . . time will heal it or if someone have committed slight physical injury to you. . .doctor can prescribe medicines to cure it. Ergo, we have no control over things when God is involve, agree? Anyway, I will always mention this, I lost my sister due to Acute Myaloid Leukemia. So please excuse me if this is realy big deal for I get paranoid whenever I get sick. 😦

Sigh! I shall never forget that night that I woke up having rushes from head to toe, itching here and there and it was immensely painful to the point that I wanted to tear my skin apart hoping it will give me relief. It started from 11pm and I endured the pain at lunch time the following day. I tried to sleep through it hoping it will wear off when I wake-up, it didn’t help. I have never encountered this kind of discomfort, i got so scared that I even prayed asking, if God will take me I hope he has forgiven me. . . Yes, I was that paranoid that I submitted myself should I not last the day.

I had to wake up my father to show him what was happening to me. He gave me an ointment to spread on the affected area. It didnt help but I was able to sleep. Then my father woke me up at 8am to see a specialist. The painful itchiness continued when we were in the hospital, the doctor arrived three hours after and since it was almost lunchtime I had to take the medicines after lunch. Note, she didn’t give me any pain reliever to at least lessen my agony.

Alas! She gave me medicines. One is Kremil-S to be taken in the morning after brekky and 30 minutes after is Prednisone; and Xsal in the evening. For your information, Prednisone is a steroid, yep! On the first three days I have to take 60 mg of the Prednisone, then she tampered it down to 50mg, 40mg, 30mg down to 20mg until I visit her again for follow-up. So we had lunch and took the meds but the itchiness only wore off after several hours. That was the time I had a good sleep.

Unfortunately, the allergy was just the tip of the icerburg. The following day, in the middle of the night a certain unexplainable and extreme pain in my nerves and muscles had waken me up, it runs from my upper back, arms and down to my fingertips. Tears started pouring down because the anguish was above and beyond. Let me see if I can describe it through words: it was like my muscles and nerves were being squeeze in through the door, or something with tons of kilos in weight is being placed on my upper extremities, as if my bones are hammered down over and over. I didn’t want to make a move because the pain gets even worst.

Unlike the allergy I didn’t prolong the time, I woke up my dad so he can rush me to the hospital. He saw me crying. We reached the hospital at about 4am. The doctor’s medical diagnosis are: one, it was due to the effect of the steroids, he said that Prednisone should be prescribed with cautious and second it might have something to do with my nerves. Anyway, he prescribed a pain reliever to be taken after meal and if it persists I will have to take another one after dinner. Then return to the hospital because his second diagnosis might be the cause. Alhamdulillah! The pain was gone after I taking the pain reliever. So we dont have to worry about my nerves anymore. Check!! The doctor also prescribed B-complex to back-up the nerves while I was still taking Prednisone. Thank Goodness!

I was supposed to visit the specialist on allergy a week after but because of what happened to me I paid her a visit earlier on. She was surprised as it was the first time she heard of my case. Whatever! It happened to me anyway. 😦 Somehow, she changed the dosage, I was taking 30mg but she stopped it. Instead, from 30mg down to 20mg, 10mg and 5mg. Afterwards, Xysal will be taken in the morning rather than in the evening, and Hydroxyzine after dinner-both will be taken for a week.

After all those agony I am feeling superb and wonderful (In Shaa Allah) Should the allergy reoccur( I hope not) I have Xysal and Hydroxyzine in my pocket. The Prednisone–I shall never take it again, ever, as per my doctor’s instruction. Was it an honest mistake prescribing it to me? This is a mystery that I prefer to leave it behind me.

I hope someday I won’t have to go through the same difficulties in my health. I have decided to embrace the changes in my life. I will acknowledge that chocolates will never be part of my life. If it will give me a longer life and shall give me a worry-free mind then so be it! There are millions of things to be grateful for, so many bounty to appreciative of, and face all kinds of circumstances with a kind heart and an open mind. (In Shaa Allah). You know what I am tinking that when I am fully recovered I shall climb the Mt. Apo as a starter of my relieved body from the frightening allergy, why not!!

Anyhoo, thank you for sparing your time listening to my drama moment. God is still the most merciful and beneficient. Let us all live a healthy lifestyle and don’t forget to put a little organic to your diet.

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This is my good friend Isabela I have been her customer for years that I don't remember anymore. You can find her organic products at Centris in Quezon Avenue every Sunday and at Market Market Monday to Saturday. Please relay her my name "Amecks." I am not a stockholder etc., she is just nice to me that I promised I will promote her business in my Facebook and blog account.

Cooking Filipino food is Easy Breezy and Delish.

Decades ago, our kitchen was the hatest part of our house by yours truly. I despised it! as I didn’t like the idea of perspiring, getting your hair messy while cooking, the smell on your hands particularly when you use garlic and onion as part of the basic ingredients. My mother would trick me so I could hangout in the kitchen but really couldn’t stand the idea of staying there even for a second. Ugh! I would literally run as if there was something horrific about the kitchen. ( wierd? Yep!)

However, when I entered college I was forced to learn to cook because I had to tighten my budget and prevented myself from ordering out otherwise I wouldn’t last until my next allowance. What an experience I tell yah. I started from frying stuff so it should be easy, right? Except all of my cooking were fried so I said hello to fattening food from brekky, lunch to dinner. Mind you, there was a time I tried to cook Adobo or Kare Kare (chicken stew) and when you look at them it seem perfect and palatable but the tasting part was a different story. ROFL!

My younger sister (next to me) would adjust the flavor, of course she couldn’t comment because im older so she would do it politely. Fast forward today, I think I survived the dillema and I ended up falling inlove with it. Because cooking is also a form of art imagine the possibilities of creating a masterpiece that after making it you realized your capabilities are endless. Life is like that you have to go for it in order to discover your assets, gift, and limitations. Wow! I am speaking like a master chef, haha! Sorry I got caught by the moment. But I am pretty sure you know what I mean. Definitely, there are thousands of things to learn I am just proud of myself that I can do things that I thought I would never do. Going back to reality, the best part, you get to cook what you crave for, that you know what is in your food and you are assured that it was cooked with respect, passion and utmost care. I dont know if you will agree with me but sometimes you could tell the emotion of the cook by the end of the product?

Anyhoo. . . I aint perfect, I am moody person which reflects in my cooking in particular. You could tell in the finish product if it was made by a happy person or an irritated cook- guilty. Although, I couldn’t change the person that I am, however, I can tell that I have come a long way from a girl who used to curst the part of the house that others loved and adored to a woman who could do magic out of her hands for as slong as she is in the zone. At least now I know wherever fate will place me in I am confident that I will survive.

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These are one of the delish I am proud of and I cook them with pride, of course when my mood would let me.

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This is what we call Pansit Canton. It's noodles but in the Philippines we have variations on how to cook em. With modesty, I fell inlove in this kind that I have became so expert in cooking it.

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These white ones with corns are what we call "Maja Blanca," made of coconut milk, cornstarch, cream corn and condense milk-- viola! my father loved this so much.