Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Greetings and welcome to ‘Hey, I Can Eat That’! However you found your way here, I do hope you enjoy your stay and plan to visit often.

Before I get in to the fun part of this blog, I need to say a few important things, upfront. First, I am NOT a doctor. I’m not a nutritionist, either. Never at any time will any of my posts substitute for the advice or instructions of your doctor or a certified nutritionist. And really, that’s not the sort of thing this blog is about. What this blog IS about is keeping dietary restrictions from turning into a huge, massive, ill-tempered, culinary boa constrictor that will strangle all the pleasure and life out of eating. While much of my attention will be for food allergies, when I have good information and suggestions for other types of dietary restrictions, I’ll certainly cover those, too.

The next, obvious questions you should be asking are, “How do you plan to accomplish this,” and “What makes you so smart, woman,” and “Why do you care, anyway?”

“How” is really quite simple. We’ll talk about shopping for food, alternatives to different foods, experimenting with new food combinations and just generally cooking the heck out of food we can actually eat without sacrificing all the things we love about eating.

“What” is easy, too. I have a list of food allergies longer than my arm. I promise I’m not exaggerating. They are really oddball sounding, too. For example, I’m allergic to lemons but limes are just fine. Chicken is okey dokey but turkey is EVIL. And tell me, are any of you allergic to coffee? I could go on but I think you get the point. The allergies were identified via allergy testing (the skin prick variety) about five years ago after I had a sudden, significant hive reaction to something. We never did identify the exact trigger of the reaction but found so many environmental allergies (which were already known to me) and food allergies (that I’d never known about) that we figured it was just one of those unlucky combinations of events. At any rate, my diet changed radically after that. Frankly, I didn’t do a very good job of it for quite awhile. Fear was a huge motivator. I really feared another reaction and even though my doctor had given me the go-ahead to experiment and add some foods back into my diet, I was very reluctant. Still, I couldn’t go on like that forever. It wasn’t any fun for my family, either. Add to that a husband with Type II Diabetes and the rather capricious appetite of a seven-year-old boy who is a natural-born Vegan and you get and idea of what cooking dinner is like in my house. Over time, I learned to cope and you get to be benefactors of my trials and errors.

Why? Well, having done a poor job of coping with my dietary restrictions, I’d like to spare others from making the same mistakes I did. Food should be more than just something to keep your stomach from growling embarrassingly during meetings. It should be enjoyable in every sense. Cooking for and with your family should be a pleasure (or at least, not onerous) and you shouldn’t have to prepare multiple meals every evening just so everyone gets some dinner. In other words, I just don’t think being diagnosed with food alleries or sensitivities needs put you at odds with eating. It might be a bit of a challenge at times but if we can learn to look at it as a creative challenge rather than a painful drudge, how much better it is for all concerned.

So, here’s the plan. I’m going to pass on things I find helpful and interesting along with plenty of recipes for you to try. Naturally, I’m eager to hear your ideas because, after all, what better way to learn than from the voice of experience?

Are you on board with this? Excellent. We’ll jump right in with our next post and talk about some basic substitutions for some food allergens, both common and more unusual.

Until next time, let’s go eat that!

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Awesome idea....Thanks for giving the food-challenged some upbeat ideas on how to spice up their lives.