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Apples & Allergies

Growing up, apples were my hands down, all-time favorite fruit. There was no such thing as too much when it came to apples. And my favorite was Granny Smiths! No other fruit compared to apples for me and I didn't really eat much else for fruit even though I had a major sweet tooth. Fast forward to adulthood or rewind about a dozen years. I lost apples. I couldn't eat them anymore when I got pregnant with my oldest. It was a very sad time for me. And I tried teasing out the new allergy, ever optimistic that maybe some varieties would still be okay. I developed that niggling, ticklish cough in my throat, which I'd learned for me meant that my body was clearly saying to stop eating *that*. Being stubborn on this particular new allergy, I wasn't going to give it up without pulling out all the punches.

In the long-run, it didn't matter the variety. My body was clearly saying NO MORE apples.

Oh, how I yearned for them. The crispy crunch.

The sweet & slightly tartness.

Caramel apples in Fall was a seasonal delight.

Apples during our family traditional holiday fondue with a movie marathon, mindlessly munching on all sorts of fruit, veggies & bread dunked in rich, velvety cheeses.

All gone in the blink of an eye.

Then doing food trials with both of my highly sensitive/reactive allergic kiddos. Neither of them tolerated this fruit staple so common in most households. Not ashamed to say that I wept, more so for them at this point than me. I was an adult after all. I could deal.

Did deal, even though I never liked it. My oldest, once tasting apples during a food trial fell in love with the delectable fruit. So, when their body clearly said NO, we both cried. They're taste of them at 2 years old imprinted so strongly that they have begged to re-try them every year since. So we did try for about 3 years to no avail. We officially threw in the towel when they were 5.

My youngest, we tried once & with the fail, we just didn't pursue it anymore with our track record. She doesn't even remember trying them.

Every step of this journey has been filled with learning, tweaking & adjusting.

Hunting for potential ways to try apples with more success. And we struck the mother-load today! Going back just a bit for highlights. We have figured out that synthetic chemicals & sprays are a huge culprit in our family's reactions. Over the summer, one of the farms we know through our local farmers market decided to try their hand at hydroponic strawberries (another HIGHLY reactive food for my oldest). Long story short, we trialed them with bated breath. And, strawberries are now on our menu with NO issues. ONLY these hydroponic ones. We'll take it & run ALL the way to the "bank". With that successful trial under our belt, we decided to tackle the elusive "spray-free" apple. That's been a chore in its own right. Apples are almost impossible to find spray free, as are strawberries & peaches. Two down, one to go...

We found a low spray, organic orchard a little over an hour's drive for us and decided to give it a go.

Fingers crossed.

Deep breathing.

Letting go of much needed vigilance from past years. Not spray free, but minimal & not corn-based (huge bonus).

Our family time today was spent with so much excitement and anticipation as we drove to this potentially magical place. The kids & I timidly split & tasted a couple slices of apple & a swallow of their apple cider, heavily armed with pre-dosed bodies & more allergy dosing on-hand if a reaction popped up. Hours later & so far, knock on wood...

NO ill effects.

Dare we actually get excited? Or will we jinx the allergy gods?! My whole body is all aquiver in anticipation of being able to eat my all-time favorite fruit again after over a dozen years! And the anticipation that my kids can have such an American staple in their menus... ...there are NO words. I'd love to have apples year round, but if it needs to be seasonal for availability to the orchard we found, so be it. We'll make it work. After this many years, we're pros at making things work out the best that they can/will.

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