Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Asking for help...with #Citrus Allergy

One of the more fun things about having a food allergy (at least for me) is getting to explore my local Whole Foods store.  Why would grocery shopping be a fun, not tiresome activity? Because the Whole Foods people consistently make an effort to find great, natural products that offer lots and lots of choices for their customers who have special dietary needs.  Like me!  (And by extension, you of course.) I always feel like I'm being taken care of -- just like when you have your safe friends or a safe restaurant that looks out for you.  It's comforting.  And empowering.  And makes me feel less like a food oddball (and listening to some of the shoppers talking, I KNOW I'm not the oddest ball, ha ha).

Also, Whole Foods puts a lot of effort into quality customer service. I've had several chats with department managers about ingredients that aren't listed on labels, or new products, and I've always gotten great service!  Knowing all this, a few weeks ago, I strode confidently into my local WF store with a big challenge: how to find Vitamin C without any citrus in it!  I've been traveling a lot for a new job, and was tired, and stressed.  My new boss is the same age as I am and also interested in natural health remedies.  She thoughtfully asked what I was doing to support my adrenal system (which gets beaten up as you get older, so you don't manage stress as well).  I already take Adrenal Health herbals from Gaia Herbs and Gamma amino butryric acid (GABA), which help with the stress and help me tremendously.  What my boss shared though was that you also need Vitamin C as well, which I haven't taken since I discovered my citrus allergy. (I confirmed this via my trusty Prescription for Nutritional Healing, btw.) She shared with me a special liquid Vitamin C she takes (LipoNano C), which contained orange blossom oil.  Citrus, even in blossoms, makes me react. Ironic that the stuff I was allergic to was the flavoring, not the ingredient, right?

Anyhow, undaunted, I started looking through the aisles to find a powdered vitamin C that was not based on citrus (didn't even know if there was such a thing) and was feeling kind of overwhelmed and discouraged.  Until the two helpful peeps pictured above accepted my mission!!! Together we looked through every single bottle on the shelf, and voila!  We found a Whole Foods branded version made with ascorbic acid!  According to Wikipedia: "Ascorbic acid is one form ("vitamer") of vitamin C. The name is derived from a- (meaning "no") and scorbutus (scurvy), the disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C. Because it is derived from glucose, many animals are able to produce it, but humans require it as part of their nutrition."'s sorta like ordering a generic version of your regular medicine, right?  And those of us with a #citrusallergy can get our vitamin C (and avoid scurvy too).  Moral of the tale? Ask for help!  Tap into the knowledge of people who are experts in their area.  Be bold and ask questions. I had no idea that ascorbic acid was vitamin C, and now I have yet another safe ingredient to add to my arsenal to replace citrus!


Juliet said...

I agree with you! If you are experiencing allergy symptoms from the food you are eating, it is time that you have to take precautions on the food you eat. Do not be ashamed asking someone. Some do not ask because they are afraid to be judged. Others are afraid to be neglected from the asking the service, especially on restaurants. But it is worthy when you have the courage to ask.

Carla @ Gluten Free Recipe Box said...

I have citrus allergies and use Twin Lab Allergy C. It is buffered Vitamin C.