Allergic Girl by Sloane Miller

Sloane Miller’s Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies is a great book. It is definitely a must read for anyone with food allergies or anyone who cares and cooks for someone with food allergies.

Allergic Gril

In my never ending google-ing for information to make my new, food-allergic life easier, I came across a blog called Please Don’t Pass The Nuts. I discovered that the author of the blog had also written this book. Sloane is a psychotherapeutic social worker who coaches people on how to live with their food allergies. I found that since she deals with multiple food allergies herself, she had tons of helpful advice and stories that I could relate to.

Here is what I learned from Allergic Girl:

1. Know when you’re having a reaction, and when you’re not. Let me explain. One of the first things that my allergist had me do after the results of my allergy testing was start keeping a food diary. I wrote down every single thing that I ate and any reaction I felt as a result. I now think that was the worst thing I have taught myself to do. Before long I couldn’t tell if I was imagining symptoms or actually having them. I was concentrating so hard on every little throat tickle that I was afraid to eat. I began crossing more and more foods off of my safe list. This book let me know that I was not alone in my ability to worry symptoms into reality. Now when I feel something I take a deep breathe, drink some water, and reevaluate when I’m calmer.

2. Love your food. I’ve always loved food, especially pasta and sweets. For a while I felt like my world ended when everything was eliminated from my diet. It wasn’t that I was going hungry, but I sure wasn’t feeling satisfied with my food life. This book helped my to start to discover my inner foodie by focusing on all the foods I could have instead of the foods that I couldn’t. I’ve been enjoying foods I’ve never had before and never would have been willing to try before. Cooking is still difficult because it still takes a LOT of planning, but it is also fun and exciting!

3. How to eat away from home. I haven’t tried this one out too much yet. I feel so much more comfortable at home where I know every ingredient and exactly how everything is prepared, but eating at home is not always possible. I’ve learned to trust that other people are just as capable at cooking within my new rules. I feel more confident that I can communicate my needs to others and still stay safe. This will really be put to the test this summer, as we are planning a trip. We will be away from home for a whole week (yikes)! When the idea of the trip was first presented to me I thought there was no way that I could go, but now I’m determined to work it out. Even though I’m still a bit scared about the idea I know that with some extra planning it can be done.