EAS 071: How to Track Food, Symptoms and Figure Out What’s Wrong with Laura Mulkerne, Creator of The Food Dairy Co.

EAS 071: How to Track Food, Symptoms and Figure Out What’s Wrong with Laura Mulkerne, Creator of The Food Dairy Co.

Laura is the creator and found of The Food Diary Co, the only diary out there to help you track your food and symptoms with the purpose of figuring out what’s going on with your body!

I found Laura on instagram and thought the diary is a fantastic idea! I knew I had to get her on the podcast to talk about how and why she created it. So that’s exactly what today’s episode is about. 

Laura shares her personal food diagnosis journey, discovering her coeliac disease and some other intolerances along the way. She tells me about what she’s learned, how she adapted her lifestyle, diet and how the diary was instrumental to gaining back control.

Top 3 Tips For Figuring Out What’s Wrong

  1. Keep a food diary, don’t change anything and write everything down
  2. Take the diary to a GP or nutritionist and asked them to help you to figure out what’s going on
  3. Remember, it get’s easier!

Leave a Review

Thank you to all of you who have sent me feedback! I love hearing your ideas and requests for new episodes or to share your story!

If you have 2 minutes spare, please would you leave a review on iTunes? It helps other allergy parents and adult allergy sufferers find it because it boosts its search ability in the iTunes directory. Click here to go to iTunes>>

Ask Your Questions

If you have a question about your own allergy journey or from the episode, leave a comment below or post in our very own Facebook Group.

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Join the Eat Allergy Safe Community on:

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Ask The Allergy Coach Q2: I’m only eating safe foods and I’m so hungry! Advice please?!

Ask The Allergy Coach Q2: I’m only eating safe foods and I’m so hungry! Advice please?!

Q: Currently only eating foods I know are for sure safe and I’m SOOOO HUNGRY. A diet of rice, broccoli, blueberries, lettuce, and coconut is not fulfilling. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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.

EAS 070: Allergy Cookbook and Lifestyle Guide by Jess #allergictoeverything

EAS 070: Allergy Cookbook and Lifestyle Guide by Jess #allergictoeverything

Jess is writing an allergy cookbook and lifestyle guide and has launched a campaign on Kickstarter (ending Mon 18 June 2018!). Today she is on the podcast to tell me all about it; the history, the inspiration and how she needs your help to get it published!

Jess calls herself a food allergy collector. Having grownup with a shellfish allergy as a kid she then developed more food allergies as an adult including corn, wheat, gluten, oats, soy and sesame.  I ask Jess about her journey getting diagnosed the process she went through and how she finally figured out what was causing her symptoms.

The lifestyle and cookbook started from a little note book Jess was keeping as she was trying to figure out how to make the foods she loved, before all her food allergies. 

Leave a Review

Thank you to all of you who have sent me feedback! I love hearing your ideas and requests for new episodes or to share your story!

If you have 2 minutes spare, please would you leave a review on iTunes? It helps other allergy parents and adult allergy sufferers find it because it boosts its search ability in the iTunes directory. Click here to go to iTunes>>

Ask Your Questions

If you have a question about your own allergy journey or from the episode, leave a comment below or post in our very own Facebook Group.

Connect With Me

Join the Eat Allergy Safe Community on:

Subscribe to the podcast on:

Support the Podcast:

Ask The Allergy Coach Q1: If you’re allergic to peanuts, does that mean you’re allergic to all nuts?

Ask The Allergy Coach Q1: If you’re allergic to peanuts, does that mean you’re allergic to all nuts?

Q: If you’re allergic to peanuts, does that mean you are allergic to all nuts?

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.

8 Allergy Travelling Essentials When Self-Catering

8 Allergy Travelling Essentials When Self-Catering

Over the first half of this year I have done an insane amount of travelling for a combination of work, holiday and moving house. So far my travels have had me in Bulgaria, England, United States and the Caribbean with weather ranging from freezing snow, pouring rain and blistering sunshine.

As all you girls will know, packing can be a bit of a nightmare with just a couple different functions to attend, let alone drastic changes in temperatures. So I try to make life a little easier by staying at self catering accommodation because at least then I don’t have to worry about my food allergies as well as the packing.

What are the benefits of self catering accommodation?

You might think that staying at a hotel is easier, which in some cases it is. You don’t need to cook, you don’t need to clean your room or make your bed. However, you do have to eat on the hotel schedule and what the hotel has chosen to cook. I’m not saying staying at hotels is never a good idea, and I do love staying at a nice hotel on occasion, I’m just saying there are benefits to self catering too.

One of the benefits of self catering accommodation, when you have allergies, is that it allows for flexibility. You can choose to go out if you’ve found somewhere safe to eat, but you always have the fall back option of cooking yourself when you want, how you want and what you want.

Having your own kitchen means you have control over the food that you are eating and how it is being prepared. We all know cross-contamination is a huge risk and one of the risks that can be least understood, so cooking yourself reduces this and gives you more control.

8 Allergy Travel Essentials To Pack When Self Catering

I have done the vast majority of my travelling over the last 10 years, a combination of backpacking in India and across Europe, holidays in France, Bulgaria, USA, and now the Caribbean. Not to mention travelling in England since a kid for school trips and family holidays.

When you are on the road you don’t know exactly what you’ll need or when you’ll need it. When you rent self-catering accommodation they range from fully stocked to the bare basics and you never know what you’ll get where.

So, I now have a few everyday items I like to keep with me while I’m travelling. I have found time and time again I have to buy them and often you can only get big bottles or tins of this stuff which is never practical to haul around, not to mention expensive if you keep having to buy brand new ones.

I’ve also found these items will keep you feeling relaxed and add a little home touch to your holiday travels especially when you’ve had a long day of travelling and have just arrived at your destination.

Here is a list of my travel essentials to keep in your luggage when you’re on the road.

1. Salt and pepper

Some holiday rentals have salt and pepper, others don’t. Recently I’ve decided that I’m taking a little salt and pepper with me while I’m travelling so I can always season my food. It just makes food taste a little bit better when you’ve got few options to season. If you don’t have, or don’t want to buy a big bottle, I sometimes take some sachets from a canteen or cafe where I’ve bought a coffee. They’re often found next to the sugar and cutlery.

2. Your favourite seasoning

This is a home comfort for sure. Bring-a-long a little of your favourite herb or spice mix to add to your dishes. If you’re ever feeling home sick, something that smells or tastes like home is bound to make you feel more at home. Not to mention something you know is allergy safe for you.

3. Sugar sachets

Whether it’s for your tea, coffee or to add to your cooking, a few sachets of sugar have proved incredibly useful over my trips. A steaming sweet cup of coffee after a long day of travelling hits the spot, or I add it to the onions so they caramelise. It really brings out more flavour in a dish. If I’ve forgotten to pack sugar, I grab a few extra packets at a cafe where I get a coffee on my travels and pop them in my handbag for later.

4. Zip lock bags

This is a new edition to my travel bag, but I don’t know why I haven’t thought of it sooner. Always have about 10 zip lock bags handy. Perfect for food storage while travelling, keeping out the creepy crawleys in hot countries and also when you’ve forgotten your see-through toiletries bag for airport security. They also don’t take up much space and depending on the quality you buy have less chance of leakage than cling film.

Recently I’ve found them incredibly useful to make and store my airplane food. I was staying at a hotel on Saba island with a long couple days ahead of travelling to get back to England. I didn’t have a kitchen but could make sandwiches. I didn’t want to buy a whole roll of cling film or foil which I’d just leave behind. The zip lock bags were perfect and reusable!

5. Anti-bacterial wipes

You never know when anti-bacterial wipes will come in handy, but you centainly miss them when you don’t have them. You can get little packets of 10 tissues from most pharmacies and supermarkets. Use to clean your hands, wipe down surfaces and airplane seats, or to clean your feet off after walking barefoot – well, you are on holiday.

6. Coffee/Tea

I sorely miss coffee when it’s not available, and if I’m honest, I’m a bit of a coffee snob. Instant just won’t do. I’ve started carrying a couple sachets of fresh coffee with me for airplane rides and for my morning coffee after a late arrival and all the shops are shut.

7. Allergy Safe Snacks

Always a good idea to have a few snacks. When my boyfriend and I arrived in Anguilla (Caribbean Island) at 5pm having started travelling at 3am that morning we were hungry. We’d also realised that the Island was much more spread out than we’d anticipated. It was too late to go to the car rental office and the supermarket was too far to walk. Thank fully I had packed a lot of high protein food for us to eat during the day (8 sausages and 6 egg omelette, bananas, a box of gluten free crackers, gluten free cookies and some chocolate). We had just enough left by the time we arrived in Anguilla to have a little snack and then collapse into bed.

I can tell you I was incredibly relieved I’d packed that much, no one is very nice when they are tired and hungry.

I also try to top up my stocks when I find a surprise allergy safe snack at a supermarket. Or at least to be aware of where to go to buy the snacks in preparation for departure. Just like when you’re heading out on holiday, you’re going to need snacks on the way back and when you’re not at home it takes a little longer to prepare.

8. (optional) Dairy free milk portions

I put this as optional because I personally haven’t started carrying these yet, but they are a very recent discovery while I was judging the Free From Food Awards the day before I was off on my USA and Caribbean adventure (posts coming soon). This discovery is UHT dairy free milk individual cartons! For anyone with a dairy allergy who can’t have their cup of tea or coffee without milk, this will be brilliant! There’s never a guarantee that you will find suitable milk, so taking a little supply will be so welcome. They’re also small enough to be taken through security! Wahey!!

 

 

 

So these are my allergy travel essentials when you are self catering. Thank you for reading. I hope you find my list useful!

Pin for later 🙂

8 allergy travel essentials when self catering

I’d love to know what you always have in your allergy travel essentials pack. Please leave a comment below and share your tips!

Plan an Allergy Safe Day Out in Liverpool & Things to Do

Plan an Allergy Safe Day Out in Liverpool & Things to Do

Summer is coming and that means days out in the sunshine! (*fingers crossed*) 

Over the last few months many of you in the Eat Allergy Safe Community have been emailing asking how to stay allergy safe this summer. One particular email asked specifically about Liverpool. (It is also around this time I started writing my Travelling with Allergies Guide – published soon!) A couple weeks later I was asked by the lovely people at Groupon whether I would write about things to do in Liverpool, the stars felt like they were aligning!

Liverpool is one of my favourite cities in England so I thought this was a great opportunity to talk about how I go about planning an allergy safe day out and some of the fun things you can do in Liverpool.

So lets get on with…

Part 1: How to Plan an Allergy Safe Day Out

  1. Research where you are going

Seems obvious, but it really is the first place to start. If you’re going to a new place don’t assume it will be the same as home. Depending on your allergies you may not find safe foods at take aways or restaurants, unless you know where to look!

Doing some research will also give you a feel for the place and give you an idea of not only what foods you want to try but also what sites you want to see. The docks and museums are my favourite place. 

  1. Make a list of all the things you want to do, places you want to see and restaurants you want to eat at

You probably have a limited amount of time so you will want to fit in as much as possible. Making a list will help you decide the places you most want to visit, and also give you a handy quick reference of where you need to do some allergen menu checking. 

When you make your list, remember to note down an email address and or telephone number too.

  1. Call or email ahead

Remember that list you just made and the contact details noted? Set aside 30 minutes to 1 hour to go through the list calling any of the places you think you may want to eat at. 

When you call, you are calling for information first. Tell them you are coming on holiday and doing some research on where might be safe to eat with your allergies and can you just ask them about their allergy policy. This is also the time you can tell them about your specific allergy needs and find out whether they could cater for you or not. 

If they say no, don’t be disheartened! It is better for them to be honest with you rather than you have a reaction because they lied!!

Read more about how to tell people about your allergies >>

  1. Have a schedule/itinerary (optional)

If you want to see lots and lots, having an itinerary listing out how to get places, what time to leave/arrive, where to get tickets, where to eat, along with contact numbers, can be incredibly handy! It takes some of the stress out the day because you know what to do when, and most importantly where you can eat! This means you have more time to relax and enjoy your day out on holiday.

  1. Double check allergen information with manager/caterer

As you do at home, when eating out or buying food, always double and triple check the allergen and ingredients labelling. This might mean reading a product packet or emailing a restaurant, and talking to the restaurant manager and your server when you arrive. 

In the EU, all food whether packaged or open must be able to give ingredients and allergy information, and we have the top 14 allergens.

Read more about my allergy travel hacks >>

  1. Pack safe snacks

Like you do at home, have an allergy safe snack in your bag. You never know if something unexpected will come up (that’s why its unexpected…) so its best to be prepared. I know I don’t think straight nor am I reasonable when I’m hungry, so having something I can nibble on and keep the hunger pangs at bay really does help keep me calm and meet a challenge head on.

Part 2: Things to Do in Liverpool

Now that you know how to plan a day out, here are some recommendations for restaurants and fun things to do in Liverpool!

Restaurants:

For dairy and egg allergy sufferers, there are now lots of vegan food offerings all over the city from small cafes to big chain restaurants. Nuts on the whole aren’t used in typical British food, but could be found in the ‘health’ food salads, and of course desserts are still a mine field.

Red’s True BBQ – many of the menu items don’t contain gluten, and none of the mains items contain nuts (as of when I last went).

Trattoria 51  – said to be incredibly allergy friendly with understanding staff (that’s half the battle!) and a gluten and dairy free menu. 

Leaf – really good labelling of gluten free, contains nuts and vegan options. The menu looks delicious and I’ve heard some great recommendations!

Nation-wide Chains: Carluccio’s, Pizza Express, Bella Italia all have a gluten free menu and understanding when I say I have a nut allergy. Many have dairy free options too!

Food on the Go

There isn’t a one shop sells everything that is suitable for allergy sufferers unfortunately, not when you are in a hurry. So food on the go is picnic style. My standard way is grab some cold meats, cheese (there are many dairy free options now too), a take away salad or gluten free sandwich and some fruit and thats lunch. I usually have some leftover, so that’s the afternoon’s snack too. Here’s where I shop:

Marks & Spencers supermarket have without a doubt the best food-on-the-go selection! Their aim is the gluten free market however, their sandwiches don’t have nut warnings, nor do most of the cold meat selections. For nut allergy sufferers, items are clearly marked when they are not suitable.

Tesco supermarket is the next on the list of allergy friendly food on the go. Again, primarily targeted at the gluten free market, but they are starting to add in more dairy and egg free options for desserts and savoury crackers.

Places to Visit

Day at Albert Dock & the Museums

The docks are on the water front and you can see the old industrial architecture has been preserve. The buildings are now how to museums such as the Tate, Beetles Museum and the Maritime Museum. You could easily spend a day just on the Albert Dock and a picnic (if the sun’s shining) overlooking the water is wonderful!

Evening at the Theatre

Liverpool is a metropolitan city with a great night life. Part of that night life is the theatres. Many of the big London shows will tour to Liverpool on their way round the country and you have everything from Shakespeare to Pantomime, Ballet to Opera, and comedy! 

Things to Do

If you, or your kids, want a bit more adventure on their holiday, you will find something for even the pickiest! Get involved with activities such as paint-balling, bowling, funfairs, trampolining, treasure hunts and open air bus tours. Groupon on always has some fantastic deals for things to do in Liverpool so make sure click on the “Things to do” title above!

 

Pin for later 🙂 

how to plan Allergy friendly day out in liverpool groupon deals

 

EAS 069: Travelling & Living Abroad with Food Allergies, Allie Bahn, Miss Allergic Reactor Tells All

EAS 069: Travelling & Living Abroad with Food Allergies, Allie Bahn, Miss Allergic Reactor Tells All

Allie Bahn is a grownup allergy kid, blogger at Miss Allergic Reactor and one of the founding members of Allergy Travels.

I today’s episode Allie shares her journey growing up with her multiple severe allergies to peanuts, nuts, shellfish, potato and more, and asthma and environmental allergies. We talk all about what it’s like growing up with food allergies, how to transition to adulthood and our passion for empowering food allergy kids!

Allie shares how she manages to travel and stay safe with her allergies not letting her from travelling across her home country of America and living abroad in Italy! In her professional life Allie was a teacher, I ask her about how she communicated with her students about her allergy so she could stay safe in the classroom too.

Finally in this episode, I ask Allie’s opinion of the Peter Rabbit Movie. At the point I interviewed Allie it had just come out in the US but we were waiting for it in the UK. Now that it’s about to release on DVD, Allie shares her opinion on what she saw.

Top 3 Tips to Empower Food Allergy Kids

 

  1. Use a chef card (card describing your allergies to give to restaurant staff and chefs)
  2. Teach your kids to advocate for themselves by getting them to model you: including what to say, how to use medication, safe snacks and making no assumptions
  3. Always have your medication with you, it’s a non-negotiable
  4. It’s about making allergies part of your normal life

Leave a Review

Thank you to all of you who have sent me feedback! I love hearing your ideas and requests for new episodes or to share your story!

If you have 2 minutes spare, please would you leave a review on iTunes? It helps other allergy parents and adult allergy sufferers find it because it boosts its search ability in the iTunes directory. Click here to go to iTunes>>

Ask Your Questions

If you have a question about your own allergy journey or from the episode, leave a comment below or post in our very own Facebook Group.

Connect With Me

Join the Eat Allergy Safe Community on:

Subscribe to the podcast on:

Support the Podcast

EAS 068: The Future of Eat Allergy Safe – What is Allergy Coaching?

EAS 068: The Future of Eat Allergy Safe – What is Allergy Coaching?

In the last episode I was open and honest about where Eat Allergy Safe is right now and my efforts to keep it going. The solution is to make it a viable business both to keep the blog, podcast and me in house and home.

What viable business could I make? Much of my time is spent answering questions via email and on social media so I thought the most sensible solution is to start personal consultations, a.k.a Allergy Coaching. In this podcast episode I talk all about Allergy Coaching: what is it, who’s it for, why it would be useful to you, where it happens and how you can book in.

I will charge by the hour at $60/£40. If you would like to book for a session, book a free 15 minute consultation and find out some more information, send me an email today.

EAS 067: My Financial Dilemma and the Future of Eat Allergy Safe

EAS 067: My Financial Dilemma and the Future of Eat Allergy Safe

If you’re on my email list, you will have received this email last week. Although this wasn’t comfortable for me to write or record, it’s time I ask for help.

Like most people, I  choose not to openly discuss money issues. But I’m going to put that to one side because I think it’s more important to tell you the whole truth of my own finances and therefore the future of Eat Allergy Safe…

Eat Allergy Safe Now

I run Eat Allergy Safe out of my own pocket and have done so for the last 3 years. I have a few products I sell including Chocolate Truffles and my first recipe book Chocolate Treats. But the majority of content I do for free, including:

  • Blog posts
  • Podcast and video episodes
  • Recipe posts
  • Email list hints and tips
  • Answering private messages asking for advice about allergy management (this takes a lot of time)

Costs

The truth is, book and truffle sales are enough to cover only a small portion of running Eat Allergy Safe. The rest of my expenses are covered by my freelance tutoring (for GCSE and a-level students) and from my savings. These costs include:

  • Website hosting
  • Podcast hosting
  • Recording equipment
  • Food for recipes
  • My time, which I can’t spend on other money generating activities

The Future of Eat Allergy Safe

To keep this project going, as well as keep myself in house and home, I have to start changing the mix of free vs paid services I offer. The things I will keep doing for free are:

  • Blog posts
  • Podcast episodes
  • Recipe posts
  • Allergy Show talks

What I Will Start Charging For

Most of my time is spent answering people’s questions online or via email. I realise that this information is valuable, and after positive feedback a couple months ago,  I have designed a consultation service, a.k.a Allergy Coaching $60 (or £40) per hour, which will be conducted by phone or online via Skype.  Allergy Coaching can be 1-on-1 for you and your spouse, or family sessions. 

I think this is the most reasonable solution to keep Eat Allergy Safe and myself going. Without it I have to spend more time on other paying jobs and you would receive much less valuable information as a result. 

If $60 / £40 per hour is too much for you but you would still like to ask questions and get advice, please ‘reply’ to this email. I may set up a private paid group for those who want to pay less. In there you’d be able to ask questions online as long as you are subscribed.

What My Boyfriend Said About This

It has been really tough to write this email. (I tried 4 times before it was even semi coherent.) The idea of charging for something that I would happily give away for free is terrifying! And how do you put a price tag on it? When I came up with £40/$60, I told my other half and he said, “well that’s cheap, mines $150 p/hr!”. 

How You Can Help, Without Spending Anything

If you are not in a position where you need allergy coaching please pass my information on to another parent who is in the first phase of dealing with an allergy diagnosis. Here’s the link you can forward: www.eatallergysafe.com/coaching

Finally

I really want Eat Allergy Safe to live on and become something that helps people every day. So that you don’t feel alone or helpless in the overwhelm of diagnosis, or feel guilty that your child has a food allergy but that you can give your child the life you dream for them. I feel the only way to make this happen is to turn Eat Allergy Safe into a viable business, and the larger it becomes the more people we can help who’ve just received the dreaded allergy diagnosis.

Thank you for your understanding and for helping me take this idea forward.

Nina Modak

P.S. Here’s the link you can share with details of Allergy Coaching: www.eatallergysafe.com/coaching

P.P.S You can find out more about coaching by listening to the next episode, click here>>

What Food Allergy Resources Do You  Need?

What Food Allergy Resources Do You Need?

So, Allergy Awareness Week UK is over, and Allergy Awareness Month USA is here! During Allergy Awareness Week I got some messages asking about how to travel with allergies and live with allergies, this has spurred me on to develop the Allergy Coaching and make some e-books and resources. So to make sure these resources cover everything and that they are useful to you I have created a short 10 questions survey. Please can you fill it in with as much details as possible and pass it on to any other allergy mums or allergy sufferers you know?