As a baby, I was diagnosed with anaphylactic allergies to peanuts, nuts, dairy, egg, soy and all legumes, chicken, and certain fruits. My older brother was diagnosed with a peanut and nut allergy around the same time. And as I’m sure you can guess, our family’s whole way of life suddenly shifted. This was pre-internet and free-from food brands, so my mom spent a lot of time researching what exactly allergies were, how she could keep us healthy, and finding recipes that were safe.
I eventually grew out of several allergies but I’m still anaphylactic to dairy, nuts, peanuts, and legumes. It’s shaped so many of my character and personality attributes and I think it’s now, as an adult, that I’m really appreciating this. Years of sitting alone at the peanut-free table were isolating, but also taught me the importance of inclusion and independence. Standing on the sidelines during social situations (like birthdays or class parties) has taught me the value of good friends. And my collective experiences related to having an invisible disability have instilled in me a great sense of empathy towards others.
My site is geared towards teens and adults because my teenage years and early twenties were the most challenging in terms of dealing with my allergies. I was always searching for articles about people in my phase of life and I didn’t find much out there so I decided to create my own. I like to keep the site very positive and real, engaging, and of course humorous. My hope is that I’ll help empower and inspire confidence in people like myself who are dealing with the challenges of navigating their allergic life.