It’s hard dealing with food allergies. And since more and more people have some sort of food allergy or intolerance, I know I’m not alone.
A few years ago I noticed that 90% of the time after eating I would just feel plain awful. At first I attributed it to stress but as time wore on I realized it was a bit more than that. I met with my allergist and after a round of skin tests and a round of blood tests to be sure, the results came in. I was allergic to corn, soy, walnuts, spinach, and peas.
Of course, my first reaction was shocked, especially to corn and soy since they are in just about everything. Cookies, crackers, baked goods, you name it, it’s there. I had to say goodbye to some of my favorite foods such as cornbread, chicken teriyaki and frozen yogurt (sniff).
The good news is, while there are many items I can’t eat, there are just as many I can eat! After doing a little bit of research I discovered new brands, stores and restaurants that carry allergy friendly products. Some of my favorites include:
Bob’s Red Mill – has a wide variety of baking flours and mixes (tons of gluten-free options too!)
Hain Pure Foods – their baking powder is made with potato starch and I use it in all my baked goods
Pamela’s Products – another good set of allergy-friendly baking mixes
So Good Gluten Free – I basically love their cupcakes
True Food Kitchen – this restaurant is pretty much a dream for anyone who suffers from food allergies.
In addition to finding new things I could eat, I also started spending a lot more time in the kitchen as well, making all sorts of things including homemade grape nuts, pasta fagioli soup, and grain-free ginger spice cake. And you know what? Making your own food is a lot of fun! (and healthier too).
The moral of the story is having food allergies doesn’t mean you don’t get to enjoy food anymore. In fact, it’s far from it. I now make more conscious decisions when it comes to choosing what I want to eat and try to eat local and organic whenever possible. If something has corn in it, I try to make my own corn-free version of it (want to attempt to make homemade pop-tarts soon), and overall I am healthier because of it.
If you have been recently diagnosed with food allergies and are looking for tips and tricks, be sure to send me a note at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The links below are excellent resources as well: