A simple request from a family with food allergies

 
 

By Jasmine Jafferali

Healthy Jasmine

I am a picky eater, not to spite anyone or make anyone's life miserable. I am a picky eater because certain foods make my son and me sick.

People don't get it and many do not understand the food allergy world. We are picky because we have to be. It is my choice to eat the way I do, but boy do I feel good - and my son is starting to get better.

Remember a few weeks ago, my hunch on my son's salicylate allergies? It has been confirmed by two different doctors that yes, our food elimination diet proved to have his psoriasis clear up by going on a no Salicylate diet. Not only did his psoriasis clear up, he slept better and past 5 a.m. He was more calm; he played well; he was a different little boy.

But for my son, it is a little different. Right now it means no fruits, no herbs, no olive oil, majority of green leafy greens, tomatoes, certain potatoes, peppers, and the list goes on and on. It is frustrating even for a mom like me who is used to it and can accommodate food allergies, but this just takes it to a whole new level. I am determined to heal his gut and and am inspired by other blogs that have.

You know what bothers me the most? It is when folks tell me, "Oh I could never eat like you." Or, "I am sooo glad I don't have any food alleriges."

Really?

My response will be:

"Eat like me? You mean eat fruit, veggies, ancient grains, meats and beans but not processed foods? No donuts, no pizza, no burgers, no boxed meals, no crappy condiments or foods?"

And if you think you don't have any food allergies, think again … we all do in some way, shape, or form. Just keep in mind the foods we eat fuel our cells to the very core. When we don't eat well, diseases show up later in life: heart disease, cancers, asthma, insomnia, digestive issues, behavioral problems, sleep disorders, anxiety, depression. If you have an illness, you'd better believe it is diet that has caused it. When Hippocrates said, "Let food be thy medicine," he wasn't kidding; many people are reversing diseases through diet alone.

But don't worry, they make gluten-free crappy foods too. And while I can't go up to a Dunkin Donuts and buy a dozen to eat on a Saturday morning, I have happily made my own homemade donuts on a Saturday morning with dye-free sprinkles  for my kids to decorate. And you know what? That is fun! It is fun to make those memories.

No, I am not trying to prove that I am a better mom than you or show I am Miss Susie Homemaker. Us allergy-free moms do it so our kids can feel normal and be safe in our homes. We make the TIME to do it. We make the TIME to make homemade nutritious meals, we make TIME to prep... we have to make that TIME. We all have the same 24 hours in our days. Yes I know you are busy; I am busy, too.

We have our safe "go-to" packaged foods that are made with quality ingredients. Knowing the chemicals companies put in those shelf-stable products is really scary. The fact that Europe has banned or does not even allow those same chemicals that are allowed in our foods supply is alarming. Many of them are carcinogenic, and our cancer rates are alarming, too.

I am sad we have to cut out Chipotle, our former safe fast food. Now my son will have a flare up and he'll also turn into a little Tazmanian Devil.

Yes, we will miss tomato-based gluten-free pizza, and ketchup with fries is a no-no because tomatoes cause him to get a rash and get itchy. Most hot dogs will be out for him this summer. Yes it sucks, but we'll deal with it. I don't expect anyone else to. And no, it is not ok if just eats one bite either. Please don't ask or offer it.

So don't get upset with me because we are picky eaters. I am a picky eater because I feel better with the way I eat. It is a way of life and I don't complain one bit. I don't feel tired, bloated or moody. I can survive a day or two or forever without coffee.

I am a picky eater in a way that is healthy for me and my kids. They rarely get sick and overall are healthy, happy and thriving.

All I ask is that you don't make us feel like outcasts because of the diets that chose us. We would love for you to make us feel welcome and invited in your homes when we come over to eat. Don't worry, I will always offer to make something and I promise it will be good. And while I have some good friends that do go out of their way to make sure we have something to eat and I am grateful, I want you to be kind and considerate to the parent who has a child with one or more food allergies, at work, at school and at home. It is not their fault and the mom is not crazy.

Since BBQ season is coming up and if your family follows a special diet, I want to know how can party hosts help be accommodating and gracious when you come to their party?

 
 
 





 
 
 
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