Living with Food Allergies: Tips and Tricks

When I was 16 years old, I was diagnosed with not one, but three different food allergies: gluten, dairy, and eggs. I basically thought my life was over. No pizza? Ice cream? It made going out to restaurants discouraging and frustrating, as opposed to an enjoyable experience. I was embarrassed because I thought I was being “difficult.” And what really bothered me the most? When the waiter or people I was dining with asked me if this was a choice.

While some people do eliminate certain items from their diet by choice, some of us are forced to ban these delicious foods from our lives. At first, I was beyond distraught that I couldn’t eat these foods (I use to have a recurring dream that I would eat three large pizzas and not have a reaction). But after a few years of trying different allergen-free foods, I have compiled an easy and healthy way to live with food allergies.

 

1. Protein and Vegetables

Not only are proteins and vegetables entirely allergen free (besides eggs – if you have an egg allergy, make sure they are thoroughly cooked), eating a protein and vegetable based diet helps you lose weight. Many weight loss diets are based around this meal plan and are typically a safe bet for people with food limitations. Just be cautious that there is no breading or filler in the meat for all of you fellow gluten-free people.

 

2. Larabars

Larabars are energy bars made entirely from fruit, typically dates. They are egg, gluten, soy, and dairy-free, so they’re safe for just about anyone. They also contain only a few wholesome ingredients, so you’re not eating processed foods. They are healthy, allergen-free, and they come in a ton of awesome flavors so it doesn’t taste like you’re eating a fruit bar. I highly recommend.

 

3. Dairy-Free Foods

Most of us cannot imagine living without dairy products. However, if you’re lactose intolerant or have a dairy allergy, it’s important to avoid this food group. Try dairy-free ice creams and dairy-free pizza. So Delicious and Ben&Jerry’s make amazing coconut or almond based frozen treats that can be found in your local supermarket. As for pizza, Amy’s brand makes great gluten and dairy-free pizzas. While it may not be as good as the real thing, it’s a lot healthier and won’t cause any stomach pain! Yay!

 

4. Beware of Soups

Not all soups are gluten, egg, or dairy-free. You may think that tomato soup would be free of gluten, right? Not necessarily. Many soups use thickeners, like flour, for a better consistency. Always read labels to see what allergens are in the soup you are about to buy.

 

Hopefully now, you won’t feel as depressed about living with food allergies. It’s tough, but definitely not impossible to live a healthy gluten/dairy/egg/nut-free life! Eat up!