I’ve Been There, And I Can Help
Learning that a member of your family has been diagnosed with a food allergy or food sensitivity can be overwhelming – you’re suddenly in a new situation and there’s so much to learn: first and foremost, “How do I feed my kid?”
I know that feeling because I’ve been there, three times. Two of my sons almost died of anaphylactic reactions to food as babies – one when he was eleven months old, the other when he was six months — and my third son had a rare condition caused by chronic, ongoing food allergies that made his esophagus close to 1/10th the normal size and was misdiagnosed for years until we finally, in flat-out desperation, made a visit to the Oz-like Mayo Clinic. The list of foods my sons couldn’t eat, taken together, had thirty-plus items on it.
You Can Be “Normal” – And Better Than Normal
I worked for years to find hands-on, day-to-day answers, recipes and techniques to help keep my sons physically safe and thriving, and also to deal with the even bigger emotional piece of the allergy puzzle that emerged as they grew older. They were just kids, after all, who wanted to go to birthday parties and Cubs games and most of all to fit in.
As your health counselor and family health coach, I’ll share everything I’ve learned with you, including how to help your child feel “normal” in the cafeteria from pre-school through high school and college; how to manage sleepovers and school trips; and how to cook a Thanksgiving meal that nobody will notice is gluten-free and dairy-free.
Small Steps: The Three “R’s”
Step 1: Reinvent
In our work together, we’ll address the specifics of your family’s unique allergy issues, and we’ll also talk about some positive ways to think about the bigger picture (a talk I wish somebody had had with me years ago as an overwhelmed young mom!). Your first step after a food intolerance or food allergy diagnosis can be stated in one simple phrase: learning how to live with the allergy, rather than fearing what you’ll end up living without.
Yes, you have to reconceive your life and rebuild, but if you think of this as a chance for a fresh start it can actually be a great adventure, and my clients often end up feeling better and more in control than they did before their diagnoses.
Step 2: Reorganize
We’ll talk about which specific strategies and recipes will help you the most given your current work and family schedule (if your plan isn’t based in your real life, it just isn’t going to work). We’ll take a good, hard look at how you’re stocking your kitchen, how and where you shop, and how to work with your child’s school system, in both the administrative offices and cafeterias. I’ll help your family meet the challenges of parties, restaurants, adolescence and the college scene.
Step 3: Refresh
My recipes have been tested over the years by family, friends and clients, and I can offer options you might not even imagine exist: replacement products and ingredients, weekly menus, and “reverse engineering” (bring me your family’s favorite recipes and we’ll figure out how to make them work, and taste great, with new ingredients and processes that meet your allergy realities).
I’ve been there, I’ve done it, and I’d love to share my experience with you.