Have you ever had a panic attack? Like the kind where you can’t breathe and need a paper bag? This has only happened once or twice in my life, but the feeling is not something that I will soon forget. My body was out of my control. This feeling was similar to when I first tried to figure out the food allergy world. If you are connected to someone with food allergies, you can probably relate! So, in that case, I wanted to give you my top 10 resources for food allergies, specifically the coping with them.
- The internet–NO, not WebMD, but the blog world! Some favorites:
Gluten Free Goddess
Gluten Free Girl
Smitten Kitten –she has a gf section
- Bookstores. I’d browse the health and cooking sections. At times I felt overwhelmed, but always felt empowered at the end. Top food or cookbooks:
Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
Corn Free Cookbook and Survival Guide
- Going to therapy. A life altering change to one’s body can really affect their life. A therapist can help you through the changes that you are enduring. Trust me, everyone at Mary Lee Kitchen has been through some sort of counseling.
- Walking. I went on so many walks. This helped me gain clarity and reconnect with my body. It wasn’t my form of exercise, it was just a way for me to clear my head.
- Community. For some, this is the blog world, facebook groups, and even support groups. Lucky for me, I already had friends who suffered with food intolerances and allergies. Not many, but just having a few people understand what I was going through made all the difference.
- Your local Farmer’s Market or CSA. I cannot stress how important this was for me. It put me in touch with people who care about food.
- The kitchen. It will become your best friend. Fill your pantry with food that you know that you can eat. Snacks that suite your diet. Stock the fridge with ready-to-eat fruits and veggies. You’re not going to want to cook all of the time, so prevent “hanger” by thinking ahead. Or make really simple foods, like the smoothie recipe below.
- Buy a food container that you like. When you suffer from food allergies, going out to eat is not an easy option.
- Reusable water bottle and coffee mugs! Drinks can contain hidden ingredients that can make you suffer, so to prevent that, bring your own.
- Invite friends over for meals. You don’t have to go through this alone. Let your friends come over and cook with you to learn about your new diet.
Of course, there are other formal and informal resources that can help. Some find their medical or naturopathic/homeopathic team essential. Others use art or creativity to cope. Do you have other resources that helped you cope with your food allergies? We want to hear them! We want Mary Lee Kitchen to be part of the online resources and communities that you lean on to cope, learn more, and connect with others.