Tag Archives: Allergic Living

Against the Winds

I’ve never been a big Science person. Sure, I find some of the information and discoveries to be amazing; however, reading, writing, math and even art have always been more of my thing. But now I have a son who has a mind fascinated by science and engineering. So these concepts that I once found little interest in, I now find myself wanting to learn.

One concept that I read and learned more about this past year was the fact that planes take off against the wind.

My reading was inspired by Henry Ford’s quote, “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

Most people, including myself believe, it has to do with resistance. However, after some reading, it has to do with this being the way it requires less acceleration to get to a certain speed.

Basically it is the way to higher altitude using less time and less speed.

For many of us though, and figuratively speaking it may seem like a paradox. Taking off against the wind seems to be counterproductive.

But this brings us back to the biblical concept of leaning on God against the trials,

against the challenges,

against the changes,

against the discomfort…

against the winds.

“But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”(Matthew 14:24, 27 NIV)

God wants us all to do this. He doesn’t expect us to have the strength ourselves. He doesn’t expect us to have the momentum and power to take off alone. He wants us to lean in and allow Him to do His thing.

So today, no matter what we are up against, let’s praise God for it. Let’s be thankful knowing that he is using those very challenges, those very winds… for beauty… for strength even if we can’t see or feel it yet. For suffering is a moment compared to what eternity holds.

“Lean on me against the winds of each day. For true strength is built in this way.”

Therefore, today …

I am thankful for the winds.

🤍 For more imperfectly perfect posts, follow me ➡️ @theartofamessyhouse

Pandemic Puzzles

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

The past year has changed a lot! And yet one thing that remains through all seasons is the importance of self care.

If you are anything like me, the year has shifted and made us reevaluate a lot including this area. It has encouraged me to try out new activities like #walking, forcing the #runner in me to slow down.

But it has also added back some old favorites such as …

PUZZLES!!!!

We did puzzles and puzzles and more puzzles. And even if we lost a piece or two along the way, they were a great outlet.

Self care is not selfish. It is necessary. We are not created to be robots. Without caring for our own health, our bodies and spirits grow weak. Our hearts can harden too. We cannot serve others if our cup is empty. Start by filling your cup today with God’s word. Then, add in other activities that take care of you…. like a walk or a puzzle.

What kind of self care did you lean into this past year? What do you plan to continue into this new year? Better yet, what will you do for yourself today? ❤️

Invest in Rest

For those who know me, I am not one to rest. In fact, it is a challenge for me to sit still. But resting is one thing I am investing in this year.

Resting isn’t being lazy. It is not a waste of time.

Rest is a gift.

In fact, we are all called to rest. It is part of self care. It is part of caring for the physical body. (I learned that the hard way with my recent knee injury.) But it is also part of caring for the body mentally.

It is even asked of us in the Bible.

“Remember to keep the Sabbath as a holy day. You may work and get everything done during six days each week. But the seventh day is a day of rest to honor the Lord your God.”(Exodus‬ ‭20:8 ICB‬‬)

But I don’t know about you, but that’s where the questions arise. How will I ever get it all done in six days when I can’t even figure out how to do it all in seven?

God doesn’t expect us to understand it fully. He doesn’t expect us to figure it out. He just calls us to trust Him to hold true to His promises.

With that being said, He promises us that He can do abundantly more through us with our six days than we could ever do alone in seven.

So yesterday I started, I rested. Or I tried… but it’s a start! 😉

Do you take one day a week to rest? If not, join me in investing in this principle this new year.

refresh #renew #rest #dayofrest #trust #god #selfcare

speakup #everydayfaith #bekind #faith #christianity #children #kids #parenthood #motherhood

2020 Reflections

2020 was a lot. A lot of discomfort, change, loss, pain, challenges and the unexpected for so many. It was a lot.

Throughout #2020, I’ve learned a lot too:

⁃ A lot of people had struggles and experienced loss this year. I learned that even when I don’t know how to comfort someone or the right words to say, #praying is something I can always do. It is something we all can do. #alldayeveryday #everydayfaith

⁃ I learned that I #love and miss hugs more than I thought. (Guess I am a hugger at #heart.)

⁃ I learned that #healing is possible. I saw miraculous healing and protection this year in family and even in myself. I saw the #powerofprayer !

⁃ I learned that waiting is not time wasted. Instead, it is time to grow. (I learned #patience is still an area I’m working on.)

⁃ While on the growth topic, I learned that we limit ourselves when we stay inside our comfort zones. Growth often happens in the discomfort.

⁃ I learned different ways to connect through virtual teaching. I learned different programs, techniques and platforms to use. I learned a lot of technology that I otherwise would never have learned! (My eyes may argue that it is too much #technology though.)

⁃ I learned how to connect with loved ones on a different level and also that it is okay to need space and quiet time too.

⁃ After 15 plus years, I learned to not be addicted to #running and that stretching and core is so important too. I learned to not be reliant on working out (even if it took a knee injury to get me there.) @ thanks for helping with your great videos and workouts too. And for helping me think outside the box.

⁃ I learned that when a dream is on your heart and won’t go away, chances are- it’s waiting for you.

⁃ I learned that even a baby step is a step. Each step is important to the process even if it involves some backward steps too.

⁃ I learned to appreciate quiet moments, and the loud ones. I learned to appreciate the small moments and the big. And that sometimes the quiet, small moments turn out to be the greatest.

⁃ I learned how to #selfpublish a #book! Thanks to @ helping me through. #illustrator #talent

(❤️ This book is now available on Amazon here: Book 1: How to Be Kind

⁃ I learned to lean in more and #trust #God!

⁃ I learned that while our world and country needs a lot of work still, I learned that there are really a lot of #good and good people all around.

⁃ I learned that while I still have a lot of work I need to do, I can do my part here and now (just like everyone can)… despite the mess… despite the imperfections.

So 2021, I pray you bring blessings, laughter, health and love to everyone. I pray and believe for God’s hope and joy !!! I pray and believe. ❤️❤️❤️

#dreambig #hope #bethegood

#howtobekind #childrensbook #bookone #series

#speakup #bekind #faith #christianity #children #kids #parenthood #motherhood #authors #authorsofinstagram #writers #author #writersofinstagram #books #writer #bookstagram #writing #writingcommunity #writerscommunity #reading #book #write

(My top 9 pics were totally cut off but I decided to let it go… to let it be… and to embrace the #beauty in the #imperfections instead !

#theartofamessyhouse

#happynewyear

2020 Reflections

2020 was a lot. A lot of discomfort, change, loss, pain, challenges and the unexpected for so many. It was a lot.

Throughout #2020, I’ve learned a lot too:

⁃ A lot of people had struggles and experienced loss this year. I learned that even when I don’t know how to comfort someone or the right words to say, #praying is something I can always do. It is something we all can do. #alldayeveryday #everydayfaith

⁃ I learned that I #love and miss hugs more than I thought. (Guess I am a hugger at #heart.)

⁃ I learned that #healing is possible. I saw miraculous healing and protection this year in family and even in myself. I saw the #powerofprayer !

⁃ I learned that waiting is not time wasted. Instead, it is time to grow. (I learned #patience is still an area I’m working on.)

⁃ While on the growth topic, I learned that we limit ourselves when we stay inside our comfort zones. Growth often happens in the discomfort.

⁃ I learned different ways to connect through virtual teaching. I learned different programs, techniques and platforms to use. I learned a lot of technology that I otherwise would never have learned! (My eyes may argue that it is too much #technology though.)

⁃ I learned how to connect with loved ones on a different level and also that it is okay to need space and quiet time too.

⁃ After 15 plus years, I learned to not be addicted to #running and that stretching and core is so important too. I learned to not be reliant on working out (even if it took a knee injury to get me there.) @ thanks for helping with your great videos and workouts too. And for helping me think outside the box.

⁃ I learned that when a dream is on your heart and won’t go away, chances are- it’s waiting for you.

⁃ I learned that even a baby step is a step. Each step is important to the process even if it involves some backward steps too.

⁃ I learned to appreciate quiet moments, and the loud ones. I learned to appreciate the small moments and the big. And that sometimes the quiet, small moments turn out to be the greatest.

⁃ I learned how to #selfpublish a #book! Thanks to @ helping me through. #illustrator #talent

(❤️ This book is now available on Amazon here: Book 1: How to Be Kind

⁃ I learned to lean in more and #trust #God!

⁃ I learned that while our world and country needs a lot of work still, I learned that there are really a lot of #good and good people all around.

⁃ I learned that while I still have a lot of work I need to do, I can do my part here and now (just like everyone can)… despite the mess… despite the imperfections.

So 2021, I pray you bring blessings, laughter, health and love to everyone. I pray and believe for God’s hope and joy !!! I pray and believe. ❤️❤️❤️

#dreambig #hope #bethegood

#howtobekind #childrensbook #bookone #series

#speakup #bekind #faith #christianity #children #kids #parenthood #motherhood #authors #authorsofinstagram #writers #author #writersofinstagram #books #writer #bookstagram #writing #writingcommunity #writerscommunity #reading #book #write

(My top 9 pics were totally cut off but I decided to let it go… to let it be… and to embrace the #beauty in the #imperfections instead !

#theartofamessyhouse

#happynewyear

6 Years Ago & Grateful

This past weekend TJ had a moment of frustration about his allergies. It was the first time in 6.5 years of his life that he had spoken up and said that sometimes he gets frustrated. He is currently still allergic to dairy, eggs and peanuts. He went on to explain that he knows dairy is in a lot of foods. So he vented and we listened. Then we came up with a game plan for what new recipes we could try that were safe and yummy for all of us. That made him happy and so excited.

It was both heartbreaking and precious. But we also agreed we needed to continue to pray and believe that one day he would outgrow more, if not ALL of them. And trust me… we believe!

The next day as I was scrolling on my social media page, I saw a memory of TJ from 6 years ago. Those cozy, adorable pajamas were ones I could never forget. Instantly, I was brought back to that late afternoon. It was the last picture I had taken right before his first allergic and anaphylactic reaction…

6 years ago…

I remember it like it was yesterday …

It was a snowy, December evening when I gave him that tiny spoonful of yogurt for the first time.

I remember the highest level of fear I have ever felt. I remember the terrifying ride in the ambulance that had no epi-pen jr. in it. I remember holding an oxygen mask over his face, praying that he would continue to cry because… crying meant he was still breathing!

But I also remember 45 minutes later and being so thankful to have gotten there in time.

I remember the doctors in the emergency room being so comforting …

I also remember the triumph…

I also remember watching TJ’s resilience that those 21 food allergies could not erase. I remember his smile…

I remember his smile when he saw us standing there.

Back then I used to say, “I’ll be happy when …”

… all the allergies are gone …

Or

… when I have more money…

Or

… when I get to go to Disney World with my kids…

But then I see their smiles…

Then I saw his smile…

And I read God’s word more and more and I realized joy is not something we wait for.

Joy is a gift from the Lord.

So I celebrate the allergy count dropping from 21 food allergies to 3. I celebrate the here and the now because God is here and now. And He is always working!

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

So I am grateful. I am joyful. I am hopeful.

Right here and right now.

A Ladybug & a Laptop

Deeply broken then made whole
beaten and weary
life knows how to take its toll.
And still there is truth
there is hope on even the darkest night
for there is a purpose
found in God’s light.

The world tugs
and tries to convince us to flee
to give up and in
but that’s not who God wants us to be.

The worries knock
and they pound to get in
but God’s word reminds us
this is a victory He will always win.

So as they shout
and even through each doubt
God has a purpose
greater than what the world says it’s about.
So don’t run from it
don’t hide or flee
for you are God’s handiwork
created so wonderfully.
So trust and become-
all God created you to be.

🐞 For a few days now, there’s been a ladybug in my bedroom. I noticed it first on a part of the ceiling where I can’t reach. Then the day started and online teaching began, and it was something I no longer noticed. Then the next morning I noticed it again but in a different spot. Once again I could not reach it so it was soon erased from my sight and mind. But then yesterday morning as I woke up and went to get up, I noticed that this lady bug was no longer on my ceiling. Instead it had landed right on my laptop on the decal “Just be Who God Made You to Be.”

🐞 And that moment hit me like it was a way to slow me down and bring me back to the basics… to who I am… to who God created me to be.

🐞 We are all created with a distinct purpose. We are all God’s handiwork. We are born that way and yet from an early start the world throws challenges and distractions at us that can make steer away from that purpose. It can make us think that we must be who the world wants and needs us to be. And in that, everything can become confusing.

🐞 But God’s word and purposes are true and clear. They do not bring confusion.
They bring clarity.


So we must pray to God for it.

🐞 We must pray for those God-given purposes to be revealed, sharpened and used. We must pray to stay aware, connected, and aligned with His wisdom, direction and strength with it. And we must stay aware that the reminders will come when we need them.

God knows what we need.

🐞 We must just be open and ready to see and more importantly, accept them, swallowing away the pride and making the changes we need to make. We must use the reminders to bring us back to reality… to bring us back to what God has created us to be.

🐞 So be ready for those those moments that stop us. No matter how big or small they are, you’ll know them when they come. Pray for the wisdom, acceptance and obedience to be renewed by them too. For God is trying to do such a great work in you.

🐞 And much like that ladybug who held on tight as I walked the laptop downstairs and outside to set her free…
we must hold on tight to God’s word…
for it too will set us free.

Fun Fact: l always assumed a ladybug was a beetle that got its name because of his polka dots. The polka dots leaned towards a female and thus it was a LADYbug. I was wrong in my assumption. Instead, ladybugs are named after one amazing lady, Jesus’ mother Mary. While it is unknown for sure why, many theories state it symbolizes the red cloak Mary is often seen wearing in paintings. There are other theories too related to Mary. Those theories all point to being a gift from God. I always thought ladybugs were pretty but now their beauty has taken a whole other beautiful meaning. 🐞


“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭NIV)‬‬

Prayer:
Dear God,
You created it all for a purpose. Your purpose reigns above it all. Forgive us when we steer away from what you created us for. Empower us with the Holy Spirit and fill our lives with wisdom, direction and clarity on our purpose. I pray for the courage to be obedient to it today and every day. I pray for a world where more and more people learn to do this too, all for your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Peach Cobbler Cookies (Dairy free, egg free, peanut free)

 Who doesn’t love a good cookie? Cookies are one of my favorite types of desserts to eat and also experiment with. This summer when I was looking for something new to bring to barbecues, I stumbled across some recipes for peach cobblers. Since my son has dairy, egg and peanut allergies, he cannot eat dessert unless it is made by us or purchased from one of our reliable companies. Therefore, I tend to like to bring desserts to events so that he can be included too. Everyone deserves to be included!

The following recipe is a play on peach cobbler. It is dairy, egg and peanut free as well! Add some ice cream to the top or sandwich it in between two cookies! You will want to put those summer diets aside for this one.

However you decide to eat them, they are promised to be delicious and totally worth the mess on the counter.

 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup Vegan butter

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup applesauce

1.5 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract

2 Tablespoons dairy-free milk (We used almond, cashew, pea called Protein Milk by Silk because of its thickness and richness)

3 cups flour (We used organic, whole wheat but it can be substituted for a gluten free one)

1.5 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup chopped peaches (skinned and cut into tiny pieces)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Skin and cut the peaches into tiny pieces.
  3. Mix melted butter and sugars in a bowl.
  4. Add the extract, milk and applesauce.
  5. Add flour and the rest of the ingredients into another bowl.
  6. Mix both bowls together.
  7. Stir and fold in peaches.
  8. Grease trays with non-dairy butter.  Press cookie circles down with a fork. We made them about 2 inches in diameter.
  9. Bake for 16 minutes.
  10. Enjoy by themselves or with some dairy-free ice cream.  Our favorite to eat it with is vanilla cashew ice cream by So Delicious.

Watch it Spin

Could even our biggest challenges like food allergies and anxiety spin into something positive? Could our greatest hurdles turn into the type of strength and perseverance that can be used for future races, experience and life?

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“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Like Colossians 3:2 states, perspective is a major key to one’s happiness. Life was never promised to be easy, but also can see in scripture the promise of “beauty for ashes.” This was the promise for God’s people to be delivered from their plight. Though it was promised way back when, it can still give us hope and encouragement during the most difficult times and situations we experience now. Therefore, we must remember to embrace and accept the challenge as an opportunity to learn, to grow, to change, to be ultimately blessed for the troubles and pains. Like John Wooden’s quote, “Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out,” take the bad and find the good. We must teach ourselves to find the positive spin.

Since May is food allergy awareness month, let’s use our experience with food allergies as an example. So, let’s go back to that first reaction, an experience no one should have to experience

Saturday, December 13 was a typical snowy evening.   As I was setting up my son’s dinner, I was excited because it would be his first taste of yogurt. After two small spoonfuls, the verdict was in: he seemed to love it!

However, within a minute it all changed.

He started to fuss and rub at his face. Turning red, his lips and mouth swelled up as huge blotches formed all over his face, neck and chest. Although just an infant, fear was written all across his face.  After calling 911, an ambulance arrived after what felt like a lifetime.  In the ambulance, his state continued to get worse. I held an oxygen mask over his now slightly-blue lips.   As he started to zone out, I prayed that he did not lose his breath. Every time he cried, I felt a second of relief for he was breathing.

Asking the EMT repeatedly about his state, I now know that she too was worried.  Her silence spoke louder than any words could have. They did not have an EpiPen with them in the ambulance and called to meet up with another team on the way to the hospital. However, due to the snow, that did not happen. As the doors to the ambulance opened, they sprinted in holding my son as I ran behind them, helpless.

The hospital staff administered epinephrine, Benadryl, and a steroid then reassured me that everything would be okay.   It was 40 minutes after ingesting that tiny amount of yogurt and I now know that we were beyond lucky.  Not everyone gets those 40 minutes.

A moment of relief soon turned into the reality of what had happened. It mixed with guilt, throwing me into the most difficult place I had seen. That night, I slept on the floor next to his crib waking up every hour to check for breathing.  Yet, even in his sleep, TJ smiled on…

We soon learned that TJ was allergic to and needed to avoid milk, eggs, wheat, oats, barley, rye, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, sesame, soy, peas, and tomatoes. At first, I spent those early months trying to defend myself to others as a good person who did not eat too many or too little peanuts or eggs during my pregnancy.  Or, explaining why I chose to continue breastfeeding despite these allergies.   I was explaining myself to everyone to try to prove that I did not cause this and I was not an awful mom.  However, I had no one to prove myself to. It was not my fault. I did not need to sit with the guilt either. It was unhealthy and I needed to shift my focus to best help myself so that I could best help TJ.

What I did not know at the time was that I was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder afterwards as well. It was a time of great fear and challenges. Not only did he have these food allergies, he had also developed viral-induced asthma and seemed to be sick all the time, needing breathing treatments daily. Events with family and friends became difficult for so many reasons so I just avoided them. It appeared to be one hurdle after another during that time. Then, mix in a miscarriage, the loss of my close friend’s baby, postpartum anxiety and some medical issues plus a lifetime of anxiety… those mountains seemed way too high to climb.

That’s where the spin comes in… I seemed to be spinning out of control but that did not mean I could not learn to spin it the other way. My perspective had to change before my situation did.

Therefore against the intense anxiety, guilt, exhaustion and pain, I turned to reading scripture, praying and writing. I had always been good at seeing the good in other people but it was a challenge to do this for myself, my own experiences, my own life. I had to teach myself to find the positive or else I would never break the cycle… I had to reverse the spin.

Despite the fact that food allergies, anxiety and health issues are all incredible challenges, there is also a lot of good all around, waiting to be discovered or even seen through these rocky journeys.

Spinning forward and ahead…

1) Allergies have taught us to eat much healthier. It has opened our eyes and thus our mouths to a much more nutritious, organic and wholesome cuisine. It shined light on many misconceptions regarding health, food sources and fat, by allowing us to find great resources like Robin O’Brien. I still remember how I was pumping breast milk during my break at work when I got the message from an amazing nurse Kathy who sent me a video on her. I have not stopped following her since. Through the years, we have also found many companies and brands to trust. We have learned a lot.

2) Companies aren’t the only sources of great information. We have also met and/or spoken to so many other allergy families. We have shared ideas, joys and challenges. A support system is key and food allergies have allowed for that. They are all around. Sign up, join or boldly start your own.

3) We have been given a platform to teach to the ignorance and shine empathy on so many. In being able to educate others even our own family members and friends, relationships have taken on a whole new perspective and level.

4) Thinking outside the box – Having food allergies has really allowed us to get creative and go beyond the typical to ensure TJ, Madison and all of those with allergies are included. Why cry over the spilled milk and sheet cakes you can’t buy for birthday parties, when you have so many great alternative milks out there to purchase and so many cakes and recipes to experiment with and love! As we continue to add to our allergy-safe cookbook, we have fun with it.

5) It continues to teach us to appreciate the little things in life a bit more. We celebrate and praise God at the alter every time another food item is added back into our diets. Heck, we have even celebrated peas … shhh don’t tell my kids I’m not really a fan. Still, we are grateful for each blessing.

6) It develops self advocacy in children at a young age. A few weeks ago at a church class, teachers were switched without us knowing and the message about TJ’s allergies was not relayed. However, TJ spoke up for himself when they tried to give him goldfish which have dairy. Strong advocates with brave hearts will continue to make a difference in this world. I know I want to raise that type of child.

7) And the greatest blessing of all is the testimonies we have of God’s work. We were told TJ would have asthma until at least eight if not his whole life. – TJ no longer has asthma. He stopped daily treatments before he was 2.5. He hasn’t needed a breathing treatment since before he was 4. At 5 now, he is allergic to only dairy, eggs, and peanuts. Three allergies is a huge improvement from 21! While he used to be sick a lot, he has barely been sick this entire year and doesn’t even need an asthma care plan for kindergarten. We have a lot to be thankful for.

And when you ask TJ who took away the stomach bug he had in December, the breathing treatments, the other 18 allergies… His testimony is simply perfect. God!

Since beginning this journey, I have already learned to smile differently because:

1)      Special kinds of people wear these shoes.  Wear the label often thrown at you with pride. For you are special.

2)      Make the most of it, don’t let challenges like food allergies define you. Only YOU can define yourself.

3)      Ignorance is not bliss and needs to be educated. Let’s help share awareness with an open mind and heart.

4)      Let your faith be bigger than your fear.  Two thoughts cannot exist at the same time. A fearful one cannot remain when a faith-filled one butts in and takes charge. Trust your instinct but always be prepared and hopeful.

5)      Educating means advocating. Never apologize for it. Your child’s life, your life never requires an apology.

Last, but definitely not least, people with food allergies, old and young, continue to inspire us each and every day. They radiate so much strength, courage, and goodness. Don’t get me wrong, food allergies stink. However, we must keep focusing on the blessings while we keep safe, praying and believing God is continuing to use all of this as a testimony of his amazing love and healing power.

 

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So if it means having a house that’s a little messier and some challenges we know we will rise above, we’ll take it. We’ll use it all to continue to do our part to teach the merry-go-round of life to see the good all around and learn to spin the other way.

Food Allergy Awareness Week- May 12-18, 2019

This week is food allergy awareness week. It is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness about food allergies and anaphylaxis, and help remove the isolation that can be associated with having an allergy.

Food allergies like many diagnosis in life have the ability to isolate, ONLY if we let it…

The first step in eliminating ignorance is to EDUCATE! So here it goes…

  • 1 in every 13 children in America has a food allergy. That is two in every classroom!
  • Food allergies can be life threatening and need to be taken seriously.
  • Strict avoidance of the allergen is the ONLY way to prevent a reaction.
  • 35% of children with allergies have been bullied due to their allergy. That. Is. Not. Okay. Bullying is NEVER okay!
  • People can be allergic to ANYTHING! However, 90% of children are allergic to the top 8 allergens:
  1. Milk
  2. Eggs
  3. Peanuts
  4. Tree nuts (all nuts other than peanuts)
  5. Fish
  6. Shellfish
  7. Wheat
  8. Soybeans
  9. Sesame (which still does not yet have to be labels on food packaging)
  • The top 8 allergens must be labeled on packaging.
  • However, more than 170 foods have been reported to cause allergic reactions.

The symptoms can range from mild to moderate ones like hives and stomach pain to severe ones like anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction). Reactions are NOT all the same. Symptoms can change from reaction to reaction. Just because someone didn’t have an anaphylactic reaction the first time, doesn’t mean they can’t the next. Also, just because you were not born with an allergy, does not mean you can not develop one.

* These facts are not to provoke fear, but instead to spark awareness and instill understanding. Once we have the facts, we combat the fear that tries to associate itself with it all … with faith.

“But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

https://www.bible.com/111/isa.43.1.niv


What is important for us all to know?

  • Reactions DO NOT just happen when someone ingests the allergen itself.

    • They can happen due to cross contact (the presence of unintended allergens), inhaling it, and from saliva (sharing utensils, instruments, chapstick, drinks, kissing).

    • My son’s last reaction at the age of 2.5 was this type of reaction. He had tried a new oat milk and while the company did not have the container labeled for it, the production lines were not thoroughly cleaned from his other allergens. Thus, it caused a reaction that was less severe and very different from his initial one, but still needed epinephrine and a trip to the ER.

    • Cross contact issues and food allergies in general take diligence. Just because the product dues not have the cross contact information labeled doesn’t mean we don’t need to call the companies or do more researching and double checking on line. Also, even products that we have used for years, we still must double check their labels as companies sometimes change the makeup and ingredients in their products. It is not a burden; it is a way of life that ensures safety.

  • Many of these people must carry EpiPens (Epinephrine) with them everywhere they go. It’s beneficial for everyone to know how to use an EpiPen. So reach out to someone who is trained in it and ask to learn. It does not take long to learn, but it also does not take long to react and need assistance. So spend the time now. It is greatly appreciated.

What can we all do? – nationwide initiatives to get involved with

Join the Teal Pumpkin Project

  • Halloween can be a difficult time for those with allergies.
  • This project promotes safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies.

How can you participate?

  • Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters (see FARE website for suggestions)
  • Place a teal pumpkin (the color of food allergy awareness) in front of your home to indicate you have non-food treats available
  • Spread the word! Tell your families, friends and neighbors about this initiative.

Snack Safely

  1. Check out the Snack Safely website.
  2. This is a site that has safe snacks and foods for those with allergies.  
  3. Schools use this. We all should use this. 
  4. When you are planning an event or party, check it out to ensure everyone is safe and included. It’s not always easy or convenient to “think outside of the box.” But, that’s often where the difference is made. What may seem small to one person is huge to another.  “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”Aesop

Turn It Teal

  • Teal is the color that represents food allergy awareness.
  • This initiative started in 2014 and now their mission has expanded into going throughout the country, lighting up buildings, bridges, and attractions in teal everywhere.
  • You don’t need to light up a building to spread awareness. You can do this at your school, work or church, by setting a day in May to “turn it teal” and encourage everyone to wear teal! We are doing this at my work this Friday!
  • For more information: Turn it Teal

What can we do? – ways to help everyday

Be Mindful

  1. Wash your hands after eating.
  2. Wipe down surfaces after eating an allergen.
  3. Don’t share food or utensils.

Empathy/Ask

  1. Get the specifics. Find out which foods your friends, family members, classmates, co workers, church members, etc. are allergic to and what the symptoms of a reaction are.
  2. Simply be aware and have an open mind to it. Empathy goes a long way.
  3. If hosting an event, ask what products and foods are safe.
  4. Take it seriously. It is not a joking matter.

Like with anything in life, listening wholeheartedly and empathetically goes a long way. So while our messy counter top may not have everything others have on it, we all deserve to feel included, safe and loved.

For more information, visit: FARE website

 

 


“Peace requires everyone to be in the circle – wholeness, inclusion.” – Isabel Allende

 “When everyone is included, everyone wins.” – Jesse Jackson

 “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

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