Being diagnosed with a food allergy, or getting a diagnosis for one of your family members can be really hard. You might initially feel scared, confused, angry, or any of the other negative emotions while you try to figure out what life after the diagnosis will look like for you. You might even have a period of time when you grieve for the simpler life that used to be.
This is completely normal! I’ve gone through many of these negative emotions, both surrounding the food allergies that my son has. Life can certainly be challenging with a food allergy, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a bright side, or that you can’t find some positivity in that pain. As they say, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”!
In the case of my own family, we took our food allergies and turned them into this website. Writing this blog has had so many benefits for my family and I. First, it gave me an outlet and a way to reach out to other people with food allergies from around the world. I’ve made amazing friends over the years, most of whom I would not have met if it wasn’t for this site. Secondly, being a food blogger allows me to work with brands, like Hilary’s, who create allergy friendly food. Many of our favorite products came from the relationships I build with brands through the blog! I could go on and on about all of the other ways that this site benefits my family, but I’ll save you those details here. Just know that this is my way of turning our food allergies into a positive experience for us, and I’m grateful every day that I found myself here.
You may not want to be a blogger, and that’s ok – there are many other ways and reasons to stay positive with a new food allergy diagnosis. Here are three things to think about that will improve your outlook.
1. The food allergy community is STRONG!
As the incidence of food allergies increases, so does the amount of people passionate about awareness. These people, many of them moms just like me, are fierce advocates for food allergy awareness and will move mountains to help their children live the best lives possible. These are the people that you want on your team! As I mentioned above, the friends I’ve met because of our allergy diagnosis are so amazingly supportive. I don’t know where I’d be without their listening ears and knowledgeable advice. If you have recently received a food allergy diagnosis, go out there and find your community as soon as possible.
2. This is a perfect excuse to educate yourself.
Maybe you haven’t specifically been wanting to learn how to cook, or get a degree in nutrition, but having a food allergy in your home will force you to learn new things. Rather than thinking of this as a burden, embrace the opportunity to learn something new, and to become an expert in your particular food allergy. They saw that knowledge is power, and in this case, the more knowledge you have the healthier you and your family will be. Learn as much as you can, and reach out to your physician and your support group to learn even more.
3. Be grateful that you HAVE a diagnosis.
I think that the time prior to having a confirmed food allergy diagnosis is much scarier than the time after the diagnosis. If you can see your diagnosis as a positive step forward then you are on the right path. Prior to my celiac diagnosis, I was sick more days than I was well. Prior to my son’s food allergy diagnosis he was at risk for anaphylaxis on a daily basis and I didn’t even know. These diagnoses were a blessing for us, and continue to be, even now.
Cindy Gordon is a foodie who loves to blog about gluten free vegetarian/vegan recipes on her website Vegetarian Mamma. Cindy's family is dedicated to finding/creating recipes and products that fit their families dietary needs. Cindy resides in Ohio with her husband and two boys (born '07 & '10). She enjoys spending time with her family, the outdoors, gardening, wine and cooking!