There I was at my doctor’s office staring at a lengthy allergy list; practically everything on it was a favorite food. His voice faded as my frustration grew.
I’ve learned a lot since then. Here are some more tips that can help you live with allergies:
What’s in this again? Cooking at home is the best way to know what’s in your food. Plus, you’ll find when you eat out again that your taste-buds have changed – greater incentive to eat at home.
“Fast Food” restaurants: If your meal is piping hot on your table minutes after you’ve ordered it … beware. Sure, no one wants to wait an hour but there’s a price to pay if you have allergies. Many chains heat up pre-packaged foods and have little control over what’s in their meals. I had an embarrassing experience once: “We don’t use MSG here,” yelled my waitress, after I’d asked about ingredients; multiple heads turned. Minutes later, the manager quietly told me there wasn’t any guarantee their foods didn’t have MSG in it as meals were prepackaged in an out-of-state factory.
Favorite spots: No one wants to cook every night. Further, where do you go on girls’ night out or on a date? Find places that are willing to accommodate you. If they’ll clean the grill, cook your food separately and use different utensils – keep ‘em.
Explain away: You don’t want to be reaching for an Epi-pen while on a date. Be selective – even "simple" looking meals are tricky. It’s a drag, but explaining your allergies to your server can make all the difference.
Say what? My rule-of-thumb is, if I can’t pronounce most of the words on the label and there are more than four lines of ingredients, I move on. Skip brands with paragraph(s) long ingredients and wordy tongue-twisters. Also, pursue other brands (especially organic)—they usually make healthier choices regarding ingredients.
What are some other ways you manage daily with food sensitivity and/or allergies? Tell us your experience. We would love to hear from you.