It is food allergy awareness week this week, and the month of May all the way through it is food allergy month!
So a VERY busy time and the PERFECT time to spread further awareness.
Today I wanted to share with you some advice I have learnt within my journey involving food intolerances and allergies and some products you need to try!
1. RESEARCH, I can't say or tell you this enough! Don't sit there waiting for answers. Go out there and find the answers for yourselves! You will have tonnes more fun, it will be a lot more rewarding and what you find will be more tailored around yourself.
2. Shop SMART, shop in places at first that you know cater for intolerances well with a wide range. It isn't helpful for moral or confidence to walk into a supermarket and there be nothing you can add to the trolley for dinner. Try at first shopping online, I recommend - Holland and Barrett & Goodness Direct. This saves embarrassment, helps you adapt, their wide range puts you at ease and it is SO quick and easy you aren't having to study labels. On Holland and Barrett you simply tick the allergens you have and it will show you products suitable for you. SIMPLE.
3. Products, please try: * Nak'd bars, raisins and nibble ranges! AMAZING. Made purely with nuts, seeds and dried fruit. WATCH OUT though, not all of their range are wheat free.
* Free and Easy dairy-free cheese sauce and gravy. Yes you can still have gravy on that Sunday roast with the family and make 'Mac and Cheese' whenever you want. Such great products. You simple add the powder to water, until you get the constituency that you desire and BOOM you have a dish like the rest of the family - YAY.
*Goodie Good Stuff Sweets, got that Meerkat code but aren't using it because you are shying away from the cinema as the snacks are too tempting and its hard for you to go and eat nothing. Don't feel like that - Goodie Goodstuff have a wide range of different chew sweets: cola bottles, sour sweets, peaches, gummy bears and more. Packets contain 100g which is what you would normally purchase off the pick and mix but they won't make you unwell. WIN, WIN. Get back down to the cinema with all your friends.
*Almond Milk, a great milk alternative with a nutty taste. Add to risottos, cereal, oats, smoothies, coffees, muffins - super yummy and if you buy Alpro you get the benefits of the added vitamins.
*Coconut Oil, this stuff is amazing, not only can you use it in your hair and on your skin but it is amazing to fry veg, potatoes, rice etc in. You can use it in pancakes, muffins and cakes instead of refined oils. Coconut oil is not only a healthy option getting more natural fats, with it not being refined it means less change of any reactions.
*Biolgan's Powders 81 nutrients in each serving, with a number of yummy flavours - cacao, tropical, berries and more. Add to smoothies, soups, salads and curries. Well worth a purchase and looking into.
4. Alpro, when buying a milk alternative whether it is nut based or soya based try and buy Alpro. I don't think the brand is available outside Europe! If you do live in Europe however and have access to it please purchase this brand. The added vitamins in their products will only help your health. They add B2, B12, Vitamin A and more to their milks. B12 especially is something we need to ensure is kept in the normal range levels as on a more plant-based diet that is normally what most people become deficient in. Lack of B12 can cause serious fatigue. So lets keep those levels healthy.
5. Dining out, a tough subject for me. I find it difficult to find anywhere that caters for me and I don't suffer for it afterwards. It is such a shame as eating out is my favourite thing to do with friends and family. However my advice is - ring ahead, offer dish ideas, take food with you that the chef can re-heat or use to create a dish, dine with understanding friends and family ( you don't need anymore embarrassment), start small and work up - so begin in more family run outlets that will be able to cater to you with not being a massive chain, over-run or 'too busy', before moving on to the busier, big and chain restaurants where they simply don't want to make the time to cater to you. It could cause hardships so be prepared.
6. Vitamins: B12 I recommend you take a tablet or use the sprays that are on the market. Apple cider vinegar, such a great help to digestion. Turmeric, really helps inflammatory problems. Papaya wakes up those digestive enzymes getting them ready to digest your food. If you suffer badly with inflammatory in your throat, digestive tract and joints Turmeric is brill and I highly recommend apple cider vinegar and papaya for digestive issues.
DON'T GO REACHING FOR THE PILL BOX - RESEARCH, FIND HERBAL & PLANT ALTERNATIVES. NOT ONLY WILL THEY BE MORE EFFECTIVE THERE ISN'T ANY FURTHER DAMAGE BEING DONE TO THE BODY.
7. Tofu- amazing meat alternative packed with protein. It can be cooked in so many ways like tofu scramble, added to pizzas, use it in sandwiches, baked in soy sauce with ginger & lime. Get excited and look up some recipes.
8. Plant sugars - unfortunately our sugars are refined and stuffed full of toxins which will only leave us open to more reactions. So switch up your sugar, you don't have to cut it out. Purchase stevia, trivia, date or agave sugars and syrups. They are just as sweet as sugar and of course you can use them in the same way you use sugar.
Stevia also have a fab range of 'Stevia Drops' there are a number of different flavours: caramel, lemon, chocolate and more that are fab to add to smoothies, cakes, baked good etc.
9. Sweet Freedom - CRAVING a hot chocolate? You can still enjoy them with Sweet Freedom's Hot Shot. With a number of different flavours you can still wrap up and enjoy those hot chocolates on a cold night. Sweet Freedom also have a great fruit syrup that is fab to use when baking!
10. Stay strong and positive. It is ok me giving you all these tips and advice but this is just a stepping stone - you must take the leaps. You can adapt and change to help heal your body's & eat without suffering. There is no point suffering and making yourself worse because you miss chocolate, find an alternative you enjoy! There is one out there, like I say RESEARCH is priceless. Yes it is so tough watching loved ones enjoy the foods you crave but we have to accept our alternatives and be open minded about them. The more you tell yourself and remind yourself that these foods mean you can carry out the activities you used to enjoy you become grateful for them and begin enjoying them more. With dietary requirements being a growing issues the industry is booming. Food manufacturers are working around the clock to create alternatives so we can enjoy the everyday celebrations ( Christmas, Easter, Birthdays ) We should always be grateful, there is always something to be grateful for.
There will be more to come in my next blogs, so don't miss a minute.
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Let me know what you have adapted into your diet or any new products you are enjoying at the moment.
Carry on having a blessed week & I will be back with some more tips and advice soon.
Love and peace
REMEMBER: WE ALL HAVE A RIGHT TO ENJOY LIFE TO THE FULLEST.