Welcome to Allergy Free & Cheap Like Me!

gluten, dairy, egg & soy free

I’m so happy you are here! I hope to create a place for you to find lots of information about food allergies, as well as, lots of goodies to help you not only eat better, but more affordably! Please feel free to share all of your own tips, tricks, and recipes too! Thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you again very soon! You can read more about my allergy story here.

Friday, April 27, 2012

HAWMC Day 27, 5 Challenges. 5 Small Victories

Today's topic is, 5 Challenges. 5 Small Victories; Make a list of the 5 most difficult parts of your health focus. Make another top 5 list for the little, good things (small victories) that keep you going.

5 Most Challenging Things About Having Food Allergies

  1. Sometimes it is just plan hard. I'm not perfect and there are days when I wish I could just be "normal" and eat whatever I want without any consequences. I'm sure everyone with a food allergy or intolerance has those days and with time they occur less often, but occasionally those feelings still crop up and I have a rough day or I "cheat" and eat something I know I can't have just because everyone else can!
  2. It can sometimes be overwhelming. This was true especially at first, but still gets me occasionally. It's overwhelming to scrupulously examine every single food label or try to explain my food allergies, time after time, to the waiter at the restaurant. It's overwhelming to go into a grocery store and feel like there is nothing I can eat. 
  3. Allergen-free food is expensive. Eating allergen-free can get very expensive. Items such as specialty flours, xanthan gum and egg-replacers are pricey, even when bought in bulk. Even more expensive are pre-packaged foods, such as frozen meals, a box of cookies or crackers, or even a loaf of allergen-free bread.  
  4. Remembering not to skip out just because it's easier. Sometimes it is hard to deal with people's lack of understanding about food allergies and it becomes easier to just say no. Going out sometimes becomes a stressful experience instead of something to be enjoyed. At times I feel it's easier for me and others to just stay home, not go out to dinner, conveniently miss a work party, or postpone get togethers with friends. I have to remember when I feel this way that it is not about the food, but about the experiences and memories of the events I don't want to miss.
  5. The feeling of "missing out" on things. There are times when hanging out with friends I watch them share a dessert and I feel left out. It's selfish, believe me I know, but I'm jealous they don't have to think about food in the same way that I do. Occasionally I have a bad day and put too much focus on the food and everything I can't eat on the menu instead of the environment, experiences, and memories with friends and loved ones that surround the food.

5 Small Victories or Good Things About Having Food Allergies

  1. I am healthier. Because of my food allergies I'm healthier. I eat better; I eat less "junk". This is probably because it is a lot harder and more expensive to find the "junk" allergen-free foods. It is also a bit harder to go through the drive-thru because it is convenient and on the way. I eat in more which is always healthier and cheaper. I have also become more aware of what is in the food I am eating. I hardly remember a time that I read the labels on the food I ate before I found out about my allergies. Now, however, I can tell you what is in everything I eat. This has made me aware of not only things I am allergic to on food labels, but also all the nasty stuff that is in some of the foods I used to eat. Many times, even if it is safe allergen wise, if it has things in it that I am not comfortable with eating I just skip it. Knowing what is in the foods I eat helps me make better choices. Another benefit to eating healthier is that I get sick a lot less since I found out about my allergies. I maybe get sick once or twice a year and it usually isn't as severe as before.
  2. I feel better. When I don't eat the things I am allergic to I feel better, not just stomach wise, but my entire being. I don't feel lethargic, I'm not always tired, I have more energy, and I can concentrate better. 
  3. I've met some wonderful people along my journey. Because of my allergies I have met some amazing people in the allergen-free community that I would have never met before. It helps me to know, especially when I am having an off day, I am never alone in my journey. 
  4. I'm happier. I suppose this goes back to feeling better and being healthier, but overall I am simply a happier person than I was before. 
  5. I'm more confident in myself. I feel more confident in my daily choices. I have also found I am interested in a lot of things that I never knew I was before I found out about my allergies and started blogging about them.

What are a few small victories and challenges you have experienced along your allergy journey?

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