Allergies and processed foods

This topic is a can of worms... or worse, Pandora's Box. I have a few things to address on this issue.

The first is a commentary on my own new allergies. I have never been allergic to anything, that I know of. Now, it is apparent that I cannot eat any fake-chemical sugars, and I have a sad, sad feeling that Stevia is becoming something of an issue as well.

A few years ago, when I began my effort to kick sugar, I found some "sugar free" candy by Hershey's. It was a small bag of Peppermint Patties... and I ate them all! Oh, how I paid and paid. My belly swelled up as big and tight as could be. I suffered the most terrible colic pains... horrible, horrible belly ache that made me feel so awful. I lay on the bed in agony until I started tooting it out, and it took hours to get real relief.

After that, I slowly tried other "fakes" and discovered, one by one, that I have the same disasterous symptoms. I didn't really want to be eating them anyway since I don't believe we truly know their effect on our bodies (or water systems, when we pee them out) long term... rumors of cancer and so forth make me hesitate. Still, I hated how I felt when I crashed from sugar so from time to time I tried some things. And now I know I cannot ever eat fake sugars. In any form.

Even now, after using Stevia for a few years, I am starting to discover that it too makes me a little gassy. Not nearly as colicky as the others, but that is how it starts; a little reaction, and then, boom! On to full blown allergy. Damn. I have also noticed how terrible I feel when eating super processed foods too... after eating raw all summer (easy due to so many farmer's markets!) I can see the difference, eating a winter diet of cooked foods. I don't feel well, and gained a little weight... isn't it sad! My body only wants the best of the best to be completely happy. So sensitive!

Which brings me to another point. Allergies. I feel people are suffering from these more now than ever before. Is it because of environmental causes, pollution and lawn chemicals and too many other types of crap in our air and water? Or is it because children aren't playing outside and eating dirt, rolling around with dogs, like they used to? Another favorite theory of mine is diet. Too much sugar weakens your immune system, and processed foods as well... how would we all feel if it just wasn't available, if all you had to eat was good whole foods?

Sometimes I wish that junk food wasn't so readily available. My life would certainly be better, without the endless battle of sugar and all that. Especially now that I am learning that my body simply does not like anything that isn't straight from this earth, direct.