Sunday, May 4, 2014

Winter, Food Allergy Style

Now that Spring is FINALLY here, I can share this post with everyone. I'm not sure about all of you but this winter was just a long, cold, grey blahness that felt as if it would NEVER END. And in my defense, having grown up in the North and now living in the South, I guess I have become a cool weather wimp. I know this may seem like I am complaining or making fun but being cooped up in the house made all of us stir-crazy. What bothered me the most were the days when the school board decided to close due to it being too cold. Yes, I am serious. Not ice, not fourteen feet of snow but because it was cold. In the winter. Wow, that must have snuck up on them huh?

Photo found on Pinterest
This was basically me by the time the sunshine was finally back-
This being said, I wanted to share a few photos to make you chuckle. My main purpose is truly only to (hopefully) make some, if not all of you laugh. Laughing is essential- it must be done, always! And if you cannot laugh at yourself, then somebody else will so why not be the first to have a crack at it? Besides, in a world full of the emotional ups and downs of food allergies and usual day-to-day stresses, laughter is the only universal medicine that is both free and is allergy-friendly. 

Had I still been living up North this winter, I would have been just as grumpy only I would have been buried under several feet of snow and I would have still had to have driven in it. Now as much as I do love the fact that the Southern states literally close up when there is even a flake, I find that sometimes, it's almost comical watching people freak out over a few flakes of snow. I came across this video clip posted by Vic Dibitetto that seems to hit the nail on the head-

My Southern peeps- please don't think any less of me! I can say that I am one of those people also running to the store for bread and milk too! There is a huge difference between people who don't have food allergies and those who do with what we have left as far as varieties after the snow crowd has made it's way through. Need specific examples? Gaze upon Exhibit A which is a photo I took in my local food store of the bread aisle-

Exhibit A
I cannot even make this stuff up. This just shocks me. Perhaps THIS is the reason that there are so many people with gluten issues- simple overload! Could it be that the insistence of having bread products in our homes in order to outlive a snowstorm and then having to eat it up quickly before it goes bad after the storm
be a piece of the never-ending question of how gluten is destroying our gut? Inquiring minds want to know.

Now I bring you over to the dairy aisle but this photo is of the area that I shop in (aka non-dairy milks). Please see Exhibit B-

Exhibit B
I see this as a definite positive to having food allergies, wouldn't you? All of the other people are now cursing out the store manager for not having enough milk for the storm while we are calmly picking up our usual varieties and going home. Who says food allergies are always stressful? In this case, it seems to be quite the opposite.

While everyone else is stocking up on products such as peanut butter, bread and milk (check, already go that), packaged goods and whatever else they can find in a can what do families with food allergies hoard? Well, this is a peek at what I rush out to get to have in our home in case the power goes out-

See the difference? Still thinking that your neighbor who doesn't have food allergies has it better? I think not! Having food allergies means that we take a longer look at our foods and how they are processed. This then leads to eating better and healthier foods all around. I'm not saying that my family lives on frozen packaged items but I do keep them in case I need something fast and safe that I can heat up on the grill during a power outage. No peanut butter in our homes but you will find SunButter and Barney Butter (we are not almond allergic). No bread but we do have gluten free waffles and rice tortillas.Gluten free pasta, fresh meats, safe frozen chicken nuggets, such as Applegate are life savers, even for mom.

The other thing that I tend to do when a storm is coming is "binge cooking". This means that after I get home from the mad rush at the store, I go into auto pilot and cook various meats and meals so that (again, should the power go out) I will have plenty of foods to simply heat up that I know are safe for everyone. The difference between what I do as a food allergy mom and what others do that don't have food allergies? What I am cooking is healthier, does not contain all of the harmful and fattening foods that often have chemicals and additives and unlike all of those who are left eating up their breads, our foods can simply be frozen for later use or (even better) gives me a few nights off of no cooking.

The moral of this is that sometimes life hands us situations that we cannot understand or control at all. But I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, as it should. Just because we may not understand it when it happens does not mean that it's a change for the worse. I have said it before and I will continue to say it forever more- I feel blessed because of my son's food allergies. What I thought was the end of our world as we knew it was actually the beginning of so many other positive changes in our lives. Every day, every hour, every minute can bring us challenges but within those challenges I find us walking away with more strength and knowledge than we had before.

In the words of Ferris Bueller "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." I choose to laugh and embrace everything in life and I hope you do the same~

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