29 October 2014

What's all this teal pumpkin stuff about?



Holiday season is officially in full swing. For 220 million people worldwide, this can be one of the most challenging times in our lives. Especially for those diagnosed with multiple food allergies (kids and adults alike).

While Halloween technically celebrates the day of the dead, food (candy) is the most important prize. This is a holiday we somehow made into our own based on Mexico's Dia de los Muertos. We dress up in costumes, knock on strangers doors and encourage our children to beg for candy. A proper American Tradition now though.

We also celebrate the fall (autumn) season with pumpkins, fall leaves, hot cider and apple harvest in preparation of Thanksgiving by "harvesting" them and bringing them at home to further ripen on our front porch before we carve them or make pie out of them.

But things are changing in our society now. The rise of food allergies as well as the larger transparent food movement, has people thinking twice about giving our little "beggars" food (candy). We surely wouldn't want them sick because of something we dished out.
Cooper (FA Kid) in California shows off her Teal Pumpkin. 

A woman (Ms. Becky Basalone) in Tennessee came up with an iconic symbol this Halloween called the "Teal Pumpkin Project." Every cause has a color. Somehow Food Allergies got teal. (Although in food service the color to signify an allergen free meal is purple).

Becky decided to send a signal to all the Food Allergic kids and parents by painting a teal pumpkin and placing it on the front porch. This signals to families of food allergics that this house will give away non-food treats (pencils, pens, bracelets, erasers, spider rings, etc).

The movement has spread across the United States and has been reported being seen in UK and Canada. I was recently on a few calls where people knew nothing about food allergies and this subject came up, "I was wondering what all these blue pumpkins were all about."

If you'd like to participate in the 'blue' or Teal pumpkin project and let people know, click here.
How to participate:
1. Paint a pumpkin Teal
2. Grab some non-food items a (trick vs. treat)
3. List your house as a Safe for F.A. kids house, here. 


At Food Allergy Gal, we recommend baking/making special treats at home.
That means having a super fabulous, awesome meal at home that is made Free of Allergens (for that person) first. Perhaps make it ghost and goblin themed. Then have special treats ready that can be packed for trick or treating. (Rice Crispy Treats made with safe alternatives, Muffins, Dried Fruit, Pie Bites) 

Everyone is going to be reaching in and grabbing a little treat from time to time, so carry some "safe treats" with you as you go from door to door.

Enjoy those spider rings and pens and pencils and if candy is collected- donate it to the soldiers if you don't feel safe. 

Until you walk the day in the life of a multiple food allergic person, you may not know the pain we face with this season. Social functions include food everywhere that can make us extremely ill for weeks and/or kill us if aren't treated with epi right away. It's great to have people who actually care about us (food allergics) too.

Learn more about #tealpumpkinproject 

A Halloween Meal Plan Idea:


1.Beef back ribs (to resemble human ribs) Braise them in a balsamic vinegar and brown sugar rub and brushes them with homemade barbecue sauce before grilling them

2. Fried Cabbage Salad (to resemble fried worms) Add shredded cabbage, onions, carrots with rice vinegar, olive oil, teaspoon of sugar to sauté pan and heat it up until just a bit on the crispy side and then top off with some dried seaweed. 

3. Roasted Fingerling Potatoes (to resemble fingers) Wash potatoes and place on baking sheet. Drizzle salt, pepper and olive oil. Heat over to 425 degrees F. Roast for 20 minutes. Sprinkle Rosemary or Chives for color on top

4. Pumpkin Flan for dessert (this can be made with Rice Milk and dairy, soy free butter)  (Add 3/4 cup of whole pumpkin blend) Click here, for unmodified recipe. 

5. Tasty Drink (Adult version here): 1/4 cup water, 3 cups of pear or apple juice, 4 tablespoons of cinnamon, (optional 1 cup of whiskey) (Mix in a martini shaker and pour over ice) or warm over low heat in a sauce pan or crock pot and serve warm. 

13 October 2014

Allergy Wellness Summit Coming Up

Some of us are brand new to food allergies and some of us have been dealing with them for what seems like an eternity, either way lots of questions continue to pop up.

What's real?

What's a myth?

How do I tell Grandma I can't eat her famous apple pie anymore because of my food allergies?

Is spending $8 on a loaf of Gluten-Free bread really helping me feel better? 

Where does cross-contact happen? 

Whatever your concerns are, they’ll be covered in the Food Allergy Wellness: Powerful Paths to Courageous Living with Food Allergies Summit from November 3rd to 6th. 

During 12 interviews airing over four days, 12 experts share their tips for the many aspects of living with food allergies. 

Click here sign up today and get the tele-summit for Free.  Join Food Allergy Gal and 11 other all-star experts in this huge knowledge transfer!

Remember you must sign up before November 3rd to get it for Free! 

Don't worry about missing it, get it added to your calendar with a reminder- just click "Join" on Facebook.

If you have any trouble just e-mail: foodallergygal@icloud.com

12 October 2014

Navigating life post diagnosis

Even as Food Allergy Gal,  I often find myself frustrated, irritated, hopeless, and depressed about living life with multiple, late onset food allergies. I've been diagnosed with not only food allergies, but seasonal allergies and environmental allergies for 12+ years now.  If that's not bad enough, I also have to live on a healthy kidney diet for 20 years, (not something I like to throw into the mix when speaking in public.)

People outside of food allergy world, think they understand food allergies. I recently tried to help someone get a speciality caterer to host a 50 person party and the food world said, "anyone should be able to do that, they don't need to be specialized." YIKES! This is why I created Food Allergy Gal to begin with. It's really not that easy and not that simple to understand.

I spend countless amounts of hours reading labels- not just on food products but on soap, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, lotion, medications, vitamins. I also have to watch cross reactivity constantly.

Sometimes it's just a little bit of support, a little understanding and some "right now solutions" to my immediate problem that make all the difference in the world. You know someone to help me quickly identify what I can have and what I can't, someone who can cook or shop with me that knows what they are doing, someone who can relate to me, someone who will help me navigate. So.....

I got tired of waiting for the solution...

I heard, met, saw, spoke to those who left jobs for their kids who were severely allergic. I heard the cries from the adults trying to keep their jobs with severe allergic reactions. I wanted to create solutions while we wait for the cure, because goodness knows.... if it's taking this long to find a cure for cancer, it may take a lot longer to find one for food allergies.

I created a program called AllerCoach. See FARE is too busy and often unable to provide real support, right now to those who don't have HUGE federal cases going on. When I first called them, I knew I had a problem but I didn't even know where to start or what to ask for. They don't have time to figure that stuff out. They also don't make a habit of employing those with multiple food allergies. They hire training non-profit professionals who work on fundraising, board meetings, in politics and legal. They hire people from other non-profits and depend on volunteers for the Food Allergy experience (who already devote a LOT of time and often get burned out quickly.)

I wanted to help others start businesses with a purpose and a passion that had experiences managing food allergies already and could help others 1:1 daily if needed. Real people, real world, real experience to navigate the daily live challenges we all face.

So if you need support in your community- our certified AllerCoaches can help.

Allercoaches are not doctors. They will not diagnose you. These are people who are trained to help you talk to doctors and bring the right information. (They may even go with you to the doctor's office).

Allercoahes are not expert trained culinary professionals but they sure know their way around the kitchen and a grocery store (online and in small towns). They will help guide you to safe and unsafe products for your specific needs. Assist with menu development that works with you may be comfortable cooking already.  They will help you prepare a safe kitchen and help you avoid obstacles you may not think about.

AllerCoaches are not quacks selling any product. They are 100% service based. They can't cure food allergies or offer you some magic potion to take. AllerCoaches are kind of like hospice for food allergic living people. They are guides, teachers, practical thinkers, PRO assistance, aids, support, etc.

Find an Allercoach near you: Contact us. Become an AllerCoach, click here.



During 12 interviews airing over four days, 12 experts share their tips for the many aspects of living with food allergies. Click here sign up today and get the tele-summit for Free.  Join Food Allergy Gal and 11 other all-star experts in this huge knowledge transfer!

29 September 2014

Smell good, Feel Good. (Recipe included)

It's Autumn. My favorite time of the year. I love whipping out my boots, scarves and starting the layered look that will be on me for at least 6 months. Of course as a food lover, I equally love all my warm and full flavored, sweet and savory foods.

This summer I developed a brand new allergen, now making over 15+ foods that my body wants to freak out about. #darnfoodallergies

While giving up coffee was a big blow to my normal daily 6 AM and 10 PM routine, it is an even bigger blow to my pour a cup of hot coffee and take a walk in the cool autumn night walks routine. While green tea and honey are ok, my appetite for something better is starting to kick in.

As I glanced around a new market we've opened in Atlanta and saw the selections of organic produce, I started to 'invent' some new warm fall recipes.

The nice part of this recipe is that while I am working in my busy day, I can take a 10 minute break (sometimes) and whip this up, pop it in the oven and set the "bake time" button timer that stops when it reaches it's time.

Cinnamon Baked Apples & Pears

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes


Ingredients:

2 large firm apples
2 large pears
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
10  large pitted dates (remove pits) cut into quarters
1/4 cup finely toasted, puffed quinoa
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons of soy, dairy free earth balance

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut apples & pears in halves  (remove core with a small pairing knife)
Sprinkle with apple cider vinegar
Place apples in glass baking dish
Mix other ingredients into a large mixing cup and pour over top of apples
Place foil over the apples

Bake for 35 minutes

Remove and serve in small serving bowls as a dessert or sweet side dish goes great with chicken or pork.


This cold day treat that makes the house smell good and is totally gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, peanut free, soy free... but to the non-allergic, don't tell anyone. Just make it up and let them enjoy the flavor.


If you have a great "allerfriendly" recipe you would like to write about or have published, please submit to Food Allergy Gal, foodallergygal@icloud.com


02 August 2014

Traveling with Severe Food Allergies

By: Christina Griffin 

First of all, I would like to thank Food Allergy Gal, Lara, for inviting me to be a guest writer for this article. I too am a Food Allergy Gal, with multiple food allergies.

I admit I have not traveled all over the world since my food allergies diagnosis in 2010 but I have acquired some skills in this area traveling both by car and plane.

As with anything related to food allergies like dining, socializing, school or work, you learn and learn quickly. So many things come into play when planning a trip across the world or across your state. Sometimes just thinking about it causes me to spontaneously nap! Although, it is very tiring and a lot of work to plan a trip, it’s worth it so you can be safe and have fun without much worry. I have a few tips that hopefully will help you in planning your next trip.



I have found the planning stage to be the most stressful. Asserting yourself is important here. Let all of your reservation agents know you have severe and life threatening food allergies. Here are some tips to help you in your planning stage.


Plan out restaurants you find that may be safe to eat at. Traveling in Europe or other countries, you can actually speak with your hotel to find accommodating restaurants. If you are traveling in the U.S. here is a fabulous resource.  www.allergyeats.com .


Find a safe and convenient place to rest your head and possibly cook your meals can be challenging. Be sure to tell them you are food allergic. You can request a refrigerator for your hotel room for medicine, as our food is medicine. If you tell them it’s for medicine most will provide one at no cost. Some accommodation ideas with kitchens:




Tip 1: When I am flying, I am sure to pack a crib sheet in my carry on, yes a baby crib sheet, it fits perfectly on the airplane seats as a cover.

Tip 2: I also pack moist wipes or baby wipes to wipe down surfaces like the arm rests and tables. And of course your hands before you eat.

Your medicine is just as important to pack on your carry on, be sure to have enough on hand for your flight and pack it all in a large Ziploc to go through security. Tip 3: Do not put your epi-pens through the scanners as it could lessen the effectiveness of them.

Food is very important when you have to fly and cannot eat the airplane meals.

  1. When you make your reservation, please tell the airline and your steward/ stewardess when you board, that you have food allergies.
  2.  Pack enough to get you through the wait at the airport plus the flight. Some suggestions of food to take are fruits and vegetables with dip, crackers, cheese sticks, pepperoni sticks, chips, hummus, cooked bacon, sun butter and jelly sandwich, cookies are just some ideas. 
Tip 4: Under ADA law (American with Disabilities Act), you can bring ice packs to keep food cold. If security gives you any trouble with this or your medicine make sure to tell them confidently, under ADA law you are to carry your medicine/ food and ask to speak to a supervisor. Usually that statement will stop them in their tracks and they will let you through without any further problems.

I hope some of these tips are useful to you all.  If you are traveling this year, be sure to be safe, speak up, but most of all have fun! Thank you again for having me as a guest on Food Allergy Gal. Happy traveling!

About the author: 



Christina is the author of the blog, Bubble Girl: Surviving Sjogren's and Food Allergies. She enjoys trips with her family, walks with her dogs, reading, writing and cooking.You can find Christina at  her blog www.bubblegirlhappily.blogspot.com and on Facebook as Bubble Girl






Do you have an interesting story, tip or product you'd like to write about on FoodAllergyGal.com? Contact Us. 



25 July 2014

Food Allergy Ironies

I grew up in an agricultural zone. My life was lemons, limes, oranges, strawberries, avocados, bagging tree nuts and basically living off the land. While I had medical issues growing up, no one ever said, "allergy or asthma" to me.

Today, my children are primarily city kids, although the first few months of my son's life, he lived on that same ranch I grew up on. Both children visited our ranch often and spent lots of days with chickens, cats, dogs, dirt, dust, grasses, and fruits.

Our family business was running farmer's markets, delivering produce to commercial kitchens, having roadside fruit stands and a little work behind the scenes in restaurants, bakeries and cafes. Our primary products for sale to the public were hydroponically grown tomatoes from a few years before Luke was born until last year. Before that it was lemons, oranges, strawberries and avocados primarily.

Luke, my son, has always been a bit more picky of eater since I weened him from breastfeeding when he was 6 months old.  He is 15 years old now and up until a few months ago, he had never had an noticeable issues with breathing, swallowing or digestive. He is also a very level headed, even tempered young man.

Liah, my daughter, is 12 years old. She was born in Denver, CO. I breastfed her as well. Liah will eat almost everything now and has zero issues with allergies except one medication that was used to help her sleep at one time. Most of her life has been in the city or at the beach. Oh, something I will say is that Liah was a difficult pregnancy and I had to take lots of antibiotics via IV while pregnant with her. Six days after she was born, she and I came home from the hospital together. She lived in an incubator after birth due to complications. She has been very healthy and thriving ever since. She is an exemplarily student and athlete.

Now the Irony. 

I prepared a family meal one late afternoon in Georgia. Just after departing from the table, Luke came outside and said he wasn't feeling well. I looked at him and observed for a moment but within moments he made a dash for the bathroom and began vomiting.  His hands and feet began to go numb, then he had trouble breathing and red splotches came and went over the core of his body. I reached for my epi pen while dialing the paramedics, just in case. While the paramedics tried to convince me this was not an allergic reaction, but rather an anxiety attack he was having, the ER confirmed it was anaphylaxis shock and promptly prescribed an epi pen.

I began a food log immediately and monitored all the input and output of food and activities constantly for the next week including that day, we thought we may have narrowed it down to watermelon, raw tomato, or avocado and some ragweed or grass allergy.

The blood test results came back a few days ago. Guess what?
Luke is allergic to raw tomato and like his mom he also carries the peanut, soy & sesame seed allergy. But his highest rated allergen was grass.

That day of his allergic reaction, the pollen count was high and his seasonal allergies which weren't diagnosed at that time, were kicking off. He ate watermelon, tomato, wheat and corn products (all things he was allergic to at the same time plus his outdoor allergies were in full effect). It created a perfect storm for his anaphylaxis reaction. I suggested that he may have seasonal allergen cross reactive syndrome going on. The nurse practitioner didn't seemed too thrilled that I knew what that was.

I was 22 when I first found out about my food allergies, after suffering serious prolonged illnesses. The first two were peanut and tree nuts (things I was eating a lot of then.)  A similar situation to Luke's had happened to me in my 30's. I was marinating a large salmon with fresh squeezed orange after eating hummus and crackers. I has already experienced two seizure like episodes that week and found myself having a hard time breathing that afternoon while cooking. (Within 2 days I was tested and diagnosed with orange, salmon, cranberry, banana, sesame seed, vanilla, ginger allergy)

Again about 16 months later, even with the warnings from my doc to avoid legumes due to my peanut allergy being so severe, I was still eating some soy and having some really crazy reactions. It ended up that despite my best efforts to switch to oat milk- it was both oat and soy bothering me. (Now I have over 14 food allergies)

 The things I am allergic to today are the very things I ate daily and grew up with. Suddenly my body decided it didn't want to process those things any longer.

While Luke's allergist recommended I not take him off the foods he tested positive for, because he may not be reacting to them, my allergist in California recommended I not only stop eating these foods but also avoid cross reactive foods.

Luke is having breathing difficulty daily and now has an inhaler, daily allergy pills, an epi pen and a prescription for another anti-histamine. He refuses to cut out the foods he is allergic to. What he doesn't know is at least when he eats at home, he will not have peanuts, sesame or soy. What I can't control is what he eats outside of the home. Since he has a job and money of his own, he has free will to purchase foods I won't buy. (We just had another vomiting & breathing difficulty incident this week- 2nd ingredient in what he bought was high fructose corn syrup.) Yes, he has a corn allergy. No more corn for Luke. Another doc told him when 2 or more body systems are affected, it's time to use Epi.

He would rather use the inhaler and test his luck daily than give up foods to feel better. (Even though
his mom is Food Allergy Gal.) While I have devoted most of my daily life to education, awareness, better living, better cooking with multiple food and environmental allergies for myself and others. It doesn't seem he wants to admit there is a problem and help himself.

I find that it is very ironic that both of us have lived in rural areas, been exposed to lots of germs, traveled internationally to over 6 countries and throughout most of the United States. Both of us have been immunized, both of us have eaten a variety of foods. We were both born in the same hospital, one floor apart in fact. We were both breastfed. So all these theories on food allergies really disturb me, because they don't fit.

There has got to be better explanations and more links to this autoimmune disorder called food allergies. Certainly there is a link with seasonal, environmental, chemical, medications and food allergies and that's becoming more and more known today. But what's the catch here?

We need more allergist and immunologist to work together including their staff members, ask better questions to patients, record information, report information, share information to find the patterns.


Stay connected @Food Allergy Gal on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Share your thoughts and comments with us.





17 July 2014

Fundamentals of Food Allergies Training

Hi, I'm Jack. I was diagnosed with 10 food allergies, 4 years ago and I still feel lost sometimes. I feel much better now that I know what foods were causing my illnesses, but it's still tough. I work in the hospitality industry and food is everywhere. My wife and daughters get sick of my dietary restrictions and don't quite understand how much it impacts my life. My co-workers make fun of me and often forget how serious my food allergies are when they offer me food or drinks. I invited them to participate in Food Allergy Gal's Fundamentals of Food Allergies course via my AllerCoach and it's made a big difference in my life.

Whether we just left the doctors office with a piece of paper listing new food allergies diagnosis or we just have a friend who has food allergies, we all have questions.

There is so much misinformation floating around about Food Allergies today. People hear food allergies and think "Gluten" or "Peanuts." Some don't believe food allergies even exist.

Join Food Allergy Gal on this special Fundamentals of Food Allergies course. Invite friends, family, schools and restaurant professionals. Call a food manufacturer and ask them to participate.

A normal 3 hour certification course is reduced to 1.25 hours including an open question and answer session. The cost for Food Allergy Gal's Allercertification is normally $125 but for this August 19th session only, Food Allergy Gal is giving the training away for just $35 (no test or certification)- just real information and a Q&A session.

Sign up today, by clicking my picture.  Food Allergy Gal will send you all the details you need to know.

Date: Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Time: 11 AM (EST)
Location: Online WebEX with Live Call in
Get the NEXT class dates and times, click here. 


Connect with Food Allergy Gal, here. 





09 July 2014

IgEvil vs. IgGhost: What's the difference

It's very late and I've had a very long few weeks but I am ever so thankful for my Food Allergic Adults support group calls weekly.  Tonight we discussed 3 fabulous topics but IgE vs. IgG is one topic we discussed in great detail.

I have no ideas what my levels are because I've only ever been tested via skin (by 2 allergist) but even if I did have a number, I'd probably forget it. I'm more focused on what I know will kill me or make me super sick than whatever the test says the number is. Others in our group have been both skin and blood tested some just blood tested.

When you have been tested for food allergies and food sensitivities via blood you will find out what your IgE or IgG level is. It's kind of like gauging "how allergic are you." The problem is the accuracy of any food allergy test is not that great. I also know it's scary to test the accuracy of the test though. Pregnancy test are far more accurate than food allergy test.

We came up with a clever way to remember IgE vs. IgG tonight though:  "IgE-vil" is because those are the allergens that react quickly and can be deadly within seconds. "IgG-host" can sit rather silent but is always there, sometimes it gives you a scare and other times nothing happens when you consume the food at first, it may take several hours.


All Allergies can be severe and we need to be very careful. Anyone can develop an allergy at any time in their life, from babies to seniors. The focus on being allergy aware is important but equally important that those with the allergy understand what's what in their diagnosis and autoimmune disorder. 
"Ig" stands for immunoglobulin.  "G & E" are the types of immunoglobulin. 

Have food allergy questions, ask Food Allergy Gal or come join the conversation in our support group #FoodAllergicAdults. 

08 July 2014

Simply Stated

Recently at the FARE 2014 Leaders Summit, one of the presenters brought up an excellent point, the overall literacy rate in the US is 5th grade level. We must use plain, simple words to explain things, but especially medical issues to every person. Food Allergy Gal says, go way beyond that. With 9 of 10 consumers demanding transparency in products, it's critical to use common words to describe all ingredients in products of any kind- from toothpaste to tomato sauce.

Consumers are demanding we simply state what things are in the plain english, the majority of us have learned in grades 1 to 5. With over 170 foods known to cause allergic reactions, plain english is super important. We generally can't remember all the scientific names of our life threatening food allergies- especially when we have multiples.

It's much easier to understand "yeast" than "candida." Simply state "coconut" instead of cocos nucifera.

If you have an Oat allergy for example, it's not required to be listed on packaged food products nor on personal hygiene products. Oats can cause allergic reactions that can be painful, unpleasant and make someone ill for weeks.  You'll have to remember all the names of oats if you have an oat allergy, and are shopping for products, because the US doesn't  require all products including medications to list ingredients in plain english.

Alternative Names for Oat:

Avena, Avena Fructus, Avena byzantina, Avena orientalis, Avena sativa, Avena volgensis, Avenae Herba, Avenae Stramentum, Avoine, Avoine Entière, Avoine Sauvage, Cereal Fiber, Dietary Fiber, Farine d'Avoine, Fibre Alimentaire, Fibre Céréalière, Fibre d'Avoine, Folle Avoine, Grain d'Avoine, Green Oat, Green Oat Grass, Groats, Gruau, Oat, Oat Bran, Oat Fiber, Oat Flour, Oat Fruit, Oat Grain, Oat Grass, Oat Herb, Oat Straw, Oat Tops, Oatstraw, Oatmeal, Oats, Paille, Paille d'Avoine, Porridge, Rolled Oats, Son d'Avoine, Straw, Whole Oat, Whole Oats, Wild Oat, Wild Oat Herb, Wild Oats Milky Seed.



28 May 2014

Grow away from the negative

There is so much going on in life.  Today is more than just about food allergies.  Today is about life. Don't be afraid to move away from people, places, or things that don't make you feel good.





We could apply this to almost any aspect of our life from food to work to relationships or anything else we may be struggling with moving on from.

I look at all the times I've been called a "run away," but also look at all those things I overcame in life (way more than I wish to divulge here.)  Despite being told I'd die because the doctors had no idea what was wrong with me medically, I overcame.

I moved away from the doctors. I moved away from the medications. I moved away from things that troubled me or didn't make me feel good.  While I loved food just about as much as living, I now wonder if I didn't love all those things because I was told to.

I was afraid that not eating everything would make me be un-liked or labeled. I loved the social experience of food. I learned to love cooking. I loved watching food put smiles on people's faces. I loved how food brought people together. I loved the love that seemed to be shared around food. But I was not an under stress eater.  I was not a closet eater.

No one ever asked me how food made me feel. Furthermore no one around me ever stopped to think how food or my environment might be impacting my medical condition. (If you could not treat it with radiation, chemotherapy, a glass full of pills or some other medically diagnosed 'thing,' then it wasn't a real condition or it was all 'pie in the sky.')  This is a very typical American attitude and one that has lingered on for ages. In fact society as a whole isn't ready to talk about how food may or may not be impacting our health.  It took a long time for food to make us sick and it may take a long time for food to make us well again.

I'm not suggesting that we move away to just get away. As my mama taught me in my teens, "No matter where you go, there you are." My daddy said something similar, "you will attract the same people and same life, if you are not aware."

For nearly 20 years,  I believed deep down, I was the problem. After a lot of work, internal reflection, and just plain action (research, elimination, pushing for answers, testing, asking questions, journals, etc.) I figured it out enough that today, I am living way better than I ever have before.

The moral of the story: Surround yourself with things, people, places, and food that make you thrive and grow. Put people in your life who don't just believe in you, but support you and your thinking. Move away from food for a second if you feel crappy. (Start with the elimination diet). Push to see different doctors. Journal your life. (Then read it and find the patterns). Break the patterns and cycles and see if you feel better. Notice how your actions impact your life. Grow away from the negative.

To your health (physical, emotional and mental),

Lara "Food Allergy Gal" Holland