Living with food allergies can be a hassle. It can be daunting and time consuming. It can be scary. Living with food allergies is expensive. HOWEVER, living with food allergies can also be a blessing.
First, why is life with food allergies all that and more? Well, life with food allergies can be a hassle because we always have to “think” about our food. We cannot just jump in the car and go to any old restaurant. We have to pack snacks in our purses because we cannot stop at a gas station for a candy bar. Life with food allergies is daunting and time consuming because there is so much to do just to avoid the offending food like reading labels, baking and cooking all your food, shopping multiple stores, and always having something on hand in the freezer. It is scary if you have an anaphylactic response to your food allergens and always need to carry an epi-pen. It’s doubly scary if you have a child with a severe food allergy. Allergy friendly food is expensive and that is if you do not even buy the prepackaged stuff. Gluten free flours, dairy free milks, alternative “cheese” and “butter,” sunflower seed butter, soy free shortening and more, all stack up to a large bill.
Nevertheless, being diagnosed with a food allergy can be a blessing and freeing. It’s not so dismal after all. You may now have answers to why you have been sick for years, or why you haven’t felt well after a meal in a long time. It may be the answer to your chronic fatigue, various gastrointestinal issues, chronic sinus infections, weight gain, skin problems, joint problems and much more. One you start eating appropriately (that means avoiding the offending foods), and you start to feel better, you are often glad to put up with the time consuming, expensive hassle of living allergy free. Then soon, it is not such a hassle after all…it becomes second nature. And while buying some special flours and dairy free milk may be expensive, the grocery bill may just balance out if you stop buying all the pre-packaged food like stuff.
Even better, having food allergies forces your hand into eating healthier. One starts to eat REAL FOOD, WHOLE FOODS, not processed, in a box, quickly throw-it-together meals. Aside from feeling better, one becomes better from the inside out. Eating REAL FOODS is great for your heart, waistline, and mental attitude. That is right. There is a direct link between food and mood.
After a while you will not even miss the “old” foods. You will start to LOVE natural, good for you foods. You will even start to feel sorry for those who are eating wheat, milk, eggs, soy and whatnot. Why? Because they are missing out on GREAT food! And there is a good chance they are missing out on not feeling well. Again, why? Because it is quite likely that someone you know suffers from undiagnosed food allergies or intolerances. (It is much more common than people think).
Many of you already know this, so why the post? To commiserate and encourage; to let you know you are not alone. And while you may feel this way (especially when you can’t eat much at the potluck), you are not. You can deal with this. It will become second nature. We are a community.
Please leave your comments. And stay tuned for part two!
Also shared at Allergy Free Wednesday .