Learning to Rally: Obstacles Are Ours To Conquer

Learning to Rally: Obstacles Are Ours To Conquer

We don’t choose our parents, we don’t choose the circumstances we are born into, we don’t choose our bodies. These are a combination of other peoples choices and genetics, but once we are born, it is our parents, it is our environment, it is our body and we have not only the responsibility for our own lives but the choice to live it how we choose.

For those of us with allergies, we didn’t choose them, we don’t even know why our body has them or can’t tolerate certain foods and proteins. But how we manage them, how we approach the obstacles which are laid in our path are what will define who we are as people. Who we are as a person is far more important than our an allergy. An allergy is manageable because the beauty of it is that we know exactly what can make us sick. Who we are as people and how we manage the obstacles that come toward us has a far greater and deeper lasting on us and those around us.

I find that stress is a great way to test our personal strength, do you crumble or do you rally? but like everything in life, you always have a choice. To forget you have a choice, to ignore the choices you have, that you can create is to forget and ignore your own strength. Deciding to ignore your ability to choose is to ignore your own potential to grow and to become better. 

I always say that “allergies aren’t about missing out, they are about doing things differently.” I have made the choice that I am not going to miss out, to not miss out I am going to take actions and choices to make this so. That is my choice, my decision. I see a potential obstacle of ‘I can’t eat this cake because it has nuts in’ or ‘most cakes have nuts in’ so I learned to make my own. When I found gluten wasn’t good for me, my boyfriend and I were following a paleo diet but I really wanted something sweet. Unfortunately for me, most paleo recipes use nuts as a substitute – big no no for me for obvious reasons. This was an obstacle. Do I give up at this moment and say – well I can’t have cake anymore/forever? No! (My sweet tooth really wanted cake.) I made the choice to experiment! and experiment I did. It took at least 6-8 months to come up with a cake that actually tasted good and had a good texture. Each time something wasn’t quite right, it could be thought of an obstacle to a good cake. But I thought of it as a “that’s interesting, why did that happen?” I used it like a science experiment. The more things went wrong with my baking the more knowledge I acquired as to how different flours, oils, butters, and other ingredients interested together. I learned WHY some recipes were written in a certain way, I learned about the different qualities and characteristics of different gluten and nut free flours. I wouldn’t have learned this if it had all gone right fro the start. If it had, to truly and fully understand why things worked, to be able to teach other people, I would have had to back engineer the baking of my cakes and other creations, to deliberately make it go wrong to find out why it worked. I would have had to create “obstacles” in order to learn.

In business I used to get really upset when someone didn’t like my food. It would really cut me to the core and make me incredibly upset. In hindsight, some of these people had no idea what they were talking about, others did have some constructive criticism but it hurt. The hurt was my ego getting bruised. But these little obstacles, these little bumps to my ego helped me to learn about myself to make my food creations even better. After a bit of “oh woe is me” time, (Ali White podcast episode4/5 has a great technique, have a 5 minute blubber then carry on), I decided that I was going to develop recipes that no one could fault, I was going to make them so good that no one would be able to realise they were free from allergens. The obstacle in this instance was more my ego, my feelings and I needed to get over them because they stopped me from moving forward. 

Later, with some more hurdles to scale (mostly my own brain), I created a recipe book full of chocolate treats and desserts free from the top 14 allergens, which actually sold to people who weren’t just my family and friends. 

I think this gets to the heart of it. Obstacles help us to learn what we are made of. It helps us to learn where and how we need to grow more in order to achieve our goals. Our emotions are our own obstacles, our fears are our own obstacles. But thank goodness they are ours and therefore we have control over them!

 

Lockdown has been an opportune time to tidy, to organise and clear up direction. Some of that has meant cleaning up the files on my Dropbox. This was originally written 19th April 2017, with a few edits today (31st May 2020), and in this current Covid thing that’s going on, I believe the sentiments I wrote about still ring true.

How to Cater Allergy Safe at University with specialist Jacqui McPeake (JACS Allergen Management)

How to Cater Allergy Safe at University with specialist Jacqui McPeake (JACS Allergen Management)

Jacqui MacPeake’s interest in food allergies became a particular passion when her own daughter began to struggle with multi food allergies and intolerances at the age of 14. Jacqui’s unique position as a professional caterer and a parent of someone who needs to pay particular attention to her choice of foods enables her to provide valuable advice and a personal insight into this particular field.

Jacqui has also been awarded “Free From Hero Award 2018” for the work she has already undertaken to raise awareness of allergens in the University Sector. 

In this episode, Jacqui shares her personal story and how business can become more allergy aware and most importantly allergy safe.

2019 and Beyond: Living Proactively with Food Allergies

2019 and Beyond: Living Proactively with Food Allergies

Over the last 6 months I was unsure where I have been taking the blog and podcast. It got to the point where I was falling out of love with it.

The purpose and driving force behind Eat Allergy Safe has always been that allergies aren’t about missing out, they are about doing things differently. Since starting the blog in 2015 and the podcast in 2016, I have found there are SO many inspirational allergy bloggers and people out there.

Unfortunately, these inspirational people can often get drowned out by a few negative vocal voices and newspaper stories. (I have definitely felt pressure from these negative voices and haven’t always known how to respond…) The fear mongering encourages others to believe they are victims and that the world owes them something because they have a food allergy. I believe this is wrong and destructive and does not allow each person to find their innate strengths.

Food allergy deaths have become popular topics for newspaper articles. Although the frequency of allergies being in the news is great for awareness, they serve also to fuel fear, anxiety and stress about living with allergies everyday. They have forced people to pay attention out of fear. This serves an initial purpose, but I believe only in the short term. If allergy education and awareness is to be a long term plan, we can’t go at it from fear because that just builds resentment. Not to mention, being an allergy sufferer I don’t want to depress myself by reading about a death that could have so easily have been me. For my own mental well being, I want to take action.

Through learning about my allergy I know I feel more in control of my life and ability to manage on a day to day basis. The more knowledge I have acquire I find I can understand more than just my own views, and that gives me perspective on the actions of others and helps me manage my emotional response to negative news articles or opinions.

Things Are Changing…

This said, things are changing on the blog and podcast. As some of you may have noticed if you follow me on social media, I’ve been posting very sporadically. This is going to continue and I have made the decision to log out of many of the accounts. I have an auto-poster app that I will use to share blog posts, but I will no longer be active on the accounts. This is for my own well being and also because I have come to dislike some of the bad human traits that social media encourages in general. (I’ve found over the last year that negative and angry posts get the most interaction and are promoted the most by social platforms – that is not what I want to promote at Eat Allergy Safe and it is not what Eat Allergy Safe is about.)

Instead I encourage you to comment on a blog post or, even better, send me an email through the contact form! I want to encourage actual communication rather than the fleeting comments or ‘likes’ on social media that we often make and forget so quickly.

Proactive, not Reactive: Information & Education

Content in 2019 is going to be focused on information and education about all aspects of living with food allergies so that we can make informed decisions.

If you are an allergy parent, your time will come when allergies won’t be a big part of your life. That is good and the natural order of things, but your allergy child will always have allergies. Allergies won’t go away, and the best protection you can give them is to arm your child with knowledge and confidence so they can own their allergy. 

I will look for your input over 2019. What information do you wish you could find? What practical information do you want? What are you curious about? The science and psychology of allergies? or food manufacturing? 

I want the content to be proactive rather than reactive, so that living with allergies is proactive rather than reactive.

What do you think?

Leave a comment below or send me an email, I’d love to hear from you.

Ask the Allergy Coach Q15: Should we make our home completely nut free for our nut allergic daughter?

Ask the Allergy Coach Q15: Should we make our home completely nut free for our nut allergic daughter?

Q: Our daughter was recently diagnosed with a nut allergy. My wife and I are used to eating a lot of nuts in our diet. We of course want to keep our daughter safe but wanted to find out could we keep nuts in our home or should get rid of them all? What should we do?

If you want to ask a question, send an email using the contact form here.

If you are interested in having 1-on-1 coaching, find out more on my Allergy Coaching page.

Ask the Allergy Coach Q14: Still getting stomach aches even after doing an elimination diet. Is this normal?

Ask the Allergy Coach Q14: Still getting stomach aches even after doing an elimination diet. Is this normal?

Q: When you do an elimination diet is there a “delay” in your stomach getting better? It took me over a month off the foods for my joint pain to subside, but I am still getting stomach aches nearly every day, usually right after I eat. But it doesn’t seem to matter much what I eat that I can tell, it happens after every meal of a reasonable size. I’ve been totally free of intolerant foods since early September…does it just take a while for the stomach to heal or am I missing something?

If you want to ask a question, send an email using the contact form here.

If you are interested in having 1-on-1 coaching, find out more on my Allergy Coaching page.

Ask the Allergy Coach Q13: Is it wrong to miss eating the allergens my child is allergic to?

Ask the Allergy Coach Q13: Is it wrong to miss eating the allergens my child is allergic to?

Q: My son is allergic to all nuts, sesame and egg. We don’t eat “may contains” and we don’t have his allergens in the house. Is it wrong that I really miss eating eggs and nuts but I feel guilty whenever I do? Even if he is not around?

If you want to ask a question, send an email using the contact form here.

If you are interested in having 1-on-1 coaching, find out more on my Allergy Coaching page.

Broccoli and Sweet Potato No Dough Pizza Base Recipe (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Legume Free, Paleo, Keto)

Broccoli and Sweet Potato No Dough Pizza Base Recipe (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Legume Free, Paleo, Keto)

I have long been fascinated by pizza, from trying to make it to watching the Pizza Show by Vice. Growing up my Mum would buy pizza bases and let my brother and I choose our toppings. One of the dinner time rules was we had to eat with a knife and fork, this included our pizza apart from the very last two slices. Unfortunately for me, I could never finish a whole pizza. Watching my brother, I was very jealous as he ate with his hands. 

ingredients for No dough gluten free broccoli and sweet potato pizza base paleo keto recipe

Over the last few years I have developed more intolerances and allergies which has somewhat diminished my ability to eat pizza. Put together gluten free, dairy free, corn starch free, nut free, paleo and keto there doesn’t seem to be much left on the list of ingredients you can use. This is when this recipe came into being, partly because I was hungry, bored, and a bit fed up. I wanted comfort food but didn’t want a stomach ache.

 

With no cauliflower in the shops I used whatever I could find. This is recipe is incredibly simple, tastes great hot and cold, really versatile and you don’t need tomato or cheese for it to taste great.

No dough gluten free broccoli and sweet potato pizza base paleo keto recipe

No dough gluten free broccoli and sweet potato pizza base paleo keto recipe with basil and olive oil

Broccoli and Sweet Potato No Dough Pizza Base (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Legume Free, Paleo, Keto)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20-30 minutes

Makes: 2 bases

Ingredients

  • 220g florettes of broccoli, wizzed in blender
  • 400g  sweet potato, peeled and grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Pinch of sea salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (fan oven). Line 2 baking trays with grease proof paper and rub a little oil over it.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl mix the sweet potato and broccoli, cover and put in the microwave for 7 minutes on high.
  3. Uncover and mix to cool the vegetables slightly. Mix in the eggs, oil and salt. Divide the mix in half. Spoon each half onto a baking tray. Use the back of a spoon to smooth the mix into a pizza base shape. 
  4. Put the trays into the oven and bake on the first side for 20 minutes until the edges have gone golden brown. Once done, turn the bases over and cook on the second side for a further 7-10 minutes.

Use these as bases for your favourite pizza toppings or, an antipasti by drizzling with extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil leaves.

No dough gluten free broccoli and sweet potato pizza base paleo keto recipe

slice of No dough gluten free broccoli and sweet potato pizza base paleo keto recipe

 

For more #freefromsummer recipes check out my lovely friends below:

Dairy Free White Chocolate Cheesecake by Midge at Peachick’s Bakery (DF, GF, Ve)
Boozy Summers Pudding by Rebecca at Glutarama (DF, GF, Ve)
Ask the Allergy Coach Q12: Can an adult suddenly develop a peanut allergy?

Ask the Allergy Coach Q12: Can an adult suddenly develop a peanut allergy?

Q: Can an adult suddenly develop a peanut allergy? Last night it occurred to me it was the second day in a row that while eating peanut butter filled pretzels I developed a horrible tight cough immediately. Although we have epi-pens in the house for my son’s allergies, I’m too scared to try peanut butter again. Is this possible?

If you want to ask a question, send an email using the contact form here.

If you are interested in having 1-on-1 coaching, find out more on my Allergy Coaching page.

Ask The Allergy Coach Q11: What sauce can I make/buy that is free from egg, dairy, gluten and sugar?

Ask The Allergy Coach Q11: What sauce can I make/buy that is free from egg, dairy, gluten and sugar?

Q: Looking for some sauce ideas. I can’t have egg, dairy, gluten or high sugar. I’ve been using Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce to throw on meat but it’s too much sodium. Anything I could make or buy?

If you want to ask a question, send an email using the contact form here.

If you are interested in having 1-on-1 coaching, find out more on my Allergy Coaching page.

Allergen Sneaky Hiding Places: Gluten & Wheat

Allergen Sneaky Hiding Places: Gluten & Wheat

I’ve compiled a handy list of foods containing gluten to help you know where some sneaky gluten invaders that could be lurking. 

Use this to help you do your food shopping and avoid being glutened again.

Don’t Get Glutened! List of Foods You Would Never Know Contained Gluten

  • Wholegrains (oats are often bulked with wheat or grown in a field next to wheat, spelt, couscous)
  • Deli Meats (sliced ham, beef, chicken, salami and other dried meats)
  • Burgers and Sausages
  • Marinaded Meat, Fish and Vegetables
  • Dry Roast Nuts
  • Sushi (Barley)
  • Crisps (such as Doritos, Cheese and Onion flavour, etc)
  • Chips (cross contamination through fryer or coating)
  • Mashed Potato
  • Soups
  • Ground Spices (wheat flour could be used as an anti-caking agent)
  • Stock Cubes
  • Pickles (malt vinegar, made barley, is often used to pickled eggs or vegetables)
  • Salad Dressings (often the thick creamy dressings can use wheat flour as a thickener. Vinegarettes are usually ok, but still check the ingredients label.)
  • Dips (Taramasalata and other dips could have wheat flour as a thickening agent)
  • Mint Sauce (barley malt vinegar can be used)
  • Soy Sauce
  • Mustard (such as English mustard can often contain wheat flour)
  • Mustard powder (can often contain wheat flour)
  • Asfoetida (used in Indian cooking and can often contain wheat flour as a bulking agent)
  • Icing Sugar
  • Chocolate
  • Ice Cream
  • Quick Action Yeast
  • Baking Powder
  • Beer and Ale
  • Medicine – Check your calpol, contraceptive pill, vitamins and mineral pills

 

Have you found gluten or wheat lurking in other products? Leave a comment below and let me know where else we should be aware of.