Monday, February 11, 2013

Days 66-72 "Milk Allergy road to health"

Food allergies require people to read labels, learn what 6 syllable ingredients really are, and look into manufacturing and handling practices on foods to avoid cross contamination. Food allergies initiate the science of knowing what you are eating, where it is coming from, and who is handling the food before you touch it and it goes into your mouth. With all of this knowledge we are transformed out of the chronic stage of blissful food ignorance and into the enlightened stage of being terrified about what we are really eating and annoyed at the false advertising! With food allergies aside we are eating some pretty scary things! We are chemically wired (literally) to want  unhealthy high fat, high sugar, and over processed foods. The thought of having to remove these convenient comfort foods from ones diet stirs up some defensive responses in the general public. People struggle with this "sacrifice" so much that, even though the majority of these foods are unsafe around a child with a life threatening food allergy, people have a hard time putting the needs of others before the wants of themselves.

I recently visited a vegan cafe called Happy Healthy Human with very little expectations. My little darling is so allergic to milk proteins that we cannot (ever) go to a restaurant because she will break out into a case of hives escalating into more severe reactions. We choose not to take reckless risks on her behalf and, therefore, never put her into obviously dangerous environments. I found this vegan cafe with the hopes of taking Sophia out to eat in public where she can order anything off the menu---something she has NEVER been able to do. I expected this place to have a full assortment of fruits and veggies but what they had to offer blew my mind. The food was truly exquisite. It was beautiful, fresh, full of flavor, and creatively delicious. They have the most wonderful cheeses made from nuts and gluten free crackers made entirely from vegetables and legume proteins! The portions are very generous as well. For the first time in her away from home dining experience, she was never in danger of having an allergic reaction. She was able to be carefree in public and, as her mother, it was a very special moment to see her in this light unmodified by her condition.

There are so many misconceptions in the mainstream American diet. My daughters food allergy has triggered me to learn about foods and what their health properties are for us. I've known vegetarians and always wondered if they get enough of what a body needs. I've always thought that they must be deficient in protein getting it only from beans and nuts. I'm learning a whole new world of protein dense foods full of nutrients instead of toxins and fat. I am inspired by creative Chef's that use all natural, fresh ingredients to nourish body and soul. I am grateful that we can eat out together as a family without fear of anaphylaxis all while enjoying super healthy meal options. Vegan foods feed the heart, soul, and belly for those affected-- and the families living with milk protein allergy!

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