Newly diagnosed with allergies (or looking for a special someone ) and you have no idea of which way to turn? No one around to show you the way, what to do what not to do and so many other things? Well, try putting on your detective-explorer cap and start having fun. Fun because there are going to be so many times that you want to throw your hands up in desperation and go back to eating the offending food(s). So fun right now maybe a bad word but this will definitely be an adventure, on the way to finding the fun. You get to explore the world with new flours and try new recipes. Baking breads and cupcakes and of course even pizza in this new world that taste great! Or if you are allergic to black pepper you get to enjoy the tastes of different combinations of spices. Even if you are not allergic to black pepper there are so many spice combinations to try. Plus with the expense of allergy foods there is a section of fun things you can do with food like baking soda as a cleaner to baking soda added to your shampoo.
So to start, start with reading all the ingredients on food and personal products that you use as well. For instance being allergic to wheat and that can even hide in lipstick. Plus you might have to learn the chemical names for the products that you are allergic to. After you have read the labels on your food and if you don’t feel like throwing your foods out then consider giving them to a friend or a food bank. I have become so used to reading food labels that if I don’t I some how feel like I neglected myself. Plus 9 times out of 10 when I do that it usually has something that I am allergic to. Formula’s do change on products so even with the stuff that you have started to use in your new lifestyle keep checking the ingredients to make sure the formula hasn’t changed, something that might seem really tedious right now will become second nature.
It may take a few days to feel better when giving up your allergic foods or even a few weeks to months. Don’t give up on yourself! A few weeks after I stopped eating my allergy foods I was commenting to someone that I feel like I got lifted out of a fog that I didn’t even know that I was in. So I keep on going with being a ‘label reader’ because I wanted to keep feeling better. So some of the thing I have learned are:
- Don’t panic! Yeah, I know, a whole lot easier said than done.
- Read ingredients – become an “Allergy Detective” It is almost going to be like a new language you have to learn when finding out everything on the label.
- Check out the ‘Flour Blends’ page to get ideas for baking (you can still have cookies, cakes, pies and even pizza just done differently) If you don’t want to do your own cooking for baked goods there are a number of delicious prepackaged items. Glutino pretzels are really good.
- Ask your health care provider if you should wear a MedicAlert bracelet. Consider one for peace of mind!
- Let people know about your allergies and if you are carrying an EpiPen (co-workers, church, other family members)
- Know that you will have days where you want to cheat but you shouldn’t.
- Let your pharmacy know of the allergies, they can be used in medications.
- If you are single with allergies decide on when you should approach the subject with a new partner. If you were diagnosed with allergies while in a partnership and that partner will not work with you or make sure that you have everything you need to be safe… seriously think about that one!
So now it is the start of deciding what you are going to eat. An easy fall back until you decide how you want to go is fruit and of course salads or rice. It all depends on your allergies!
Become an allergy detective! It is new idea true, it is not like the doctor is going to hand you a food kit on the way out suggesting this is how to eat from now on. In a perfect this might happen, but who has the sames tastes as another, or can afford sometimes what the other person eats. It really wouldn’t be bad if there was guidance on how to do this but as of now few people can understand that you can only get certain vitamins and or minerals from food that now maybe forbidden for you to eat. So, research, can be done to extreme but sometimes a necessary evil so to speak.
There will always be things that can excite you in your research and than deflate you just as fast. For instance, just the other day I thought soups were almost a safe bet, but I didn’t know that they could use potato flakes to thicken a soup. Plus having a black pepper allergy, try to find that NOT in a processed meal. So do your body and your mind good with reading labels. It does take a little, okay, sometimes a lot of self-control sometimes to be standing in the grocery and when you pick up every item to read a label. If you are ever in doubt, call the company that makes the product.
Here are some resources:
So, What Can I Eat Now?! is a healthy cookbook that contains tasty recipes that are 100% dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, gluten (wheat)-free and artificial ingredients-free.
The Healthy Gluten-Free Life – It’s a unique, gluten-free cookbook with everyday recipes that mix simple, home-style cooking with great taste and real, whole food ingredients. Every recipe is not only gluten-free, but also egg free, dairy free, soy free, white rice flour free, and bean flour free. Feel free to cheer!
The Allergy-Free Cookbook features more than 60 unique and delicious recipes for everything from breakfasts to desserts and includes a chapter on kid-friendly delights.
This will give you some idea about the books available to you! The Allergy Blues Store has over 100 books available, we have included a lot of options, dairy free, sugar free and more. There is a nice selection of children’s allergy and gluten free books available as well.