Guest Blog by Caroline Moassessi - Gratefulfoodie
It’s more than a beverage to this family.
“We were completely devastated when our son was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE), we felt the world was over,” Amy recalled. Drew was diagnosed with EOE in first grade after he vomited for two straight weeks. With a family history of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerated Colitis, this diagnosis was very unexpected as Amy had never heard of EoE.
Following doctor’s orders, Amy and the family, in solidarity with Drew, followed an elimination diet. Amy chopped and cooked away using only limited ingredients as she followed the new diet closely while creating appetizing meals.
Turning a negative into a positive, Amy explained to Drew, “we’re not taking things away, we’re adding in foods that are healthier for you and will make you feel better”. Tapping into her food and nutrition background, Amy closely managing her son’s diet as she zeroed in on high-flavor, nutrient-rich and allergen-free foods.
Drew had been diagnosed with allergies to all fish and shellfish, “we carried two Epi Pens at all times: at home, traveling and school.” Amy also shared, “Drew loved sitting at the allergen-free table at school." Allergy savvy Amy hosted many playdates, not only to calm her nerves but to provide safe and tasty snacks for all.
“No one fully understands unless you live and breathe it yourself,” Amy explained, “you just can’t have a little.” A sentiment she remembered explaining to well-meaning family members.
Fun in Amy's house included lively discussions about how to read and understand food labels and learning about the benefits of vitamins, minerals plus micro and macronutrients. Her kids chatted about proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. She presented food as an exciting journey to good health and growing up. These practices turned out to be a life-saver when Drew needed a special diet and food was a culinary adventure in her home with new twists and turns.
Munching away at the kitchen table, she'd point out, "this food is feeding your brain and organs." Happily, Amy described how different foods help develop muscles or regulate and strengthen the immune system to fight off disease.
This foodie mom had tamed back the enemy and used it as a tool to heal and grow.
His EoE is currently in remission thanks to a therapy using Flovent, without it, he would be limited in his eating. “It’s been rollercoaster of emotions,” Amy reminisced thinking about the family’s early years of finding a new normal.
"Drew is my life, it was the hardest time I have ever experienced" Amy reflected.
Looking forward, I asked Amy about the OWYN beverage, she said, "I never thought of it as a beverage." I was confused by her answer. She explained, "I think of it as fuel. Good for the body in the same way
you'd eat fruits and vegetables". Amy indeed had turned lemons into lemonade.
A little OWYN secret: Amy’s husband Leigh confessed to wanting to erase the misconception that people with food allergies eat foods that taste like cardboard. He wants to see everyone eating healthy and nutritious foods that just happen to be allergen friendly and amazing.