Valentine’s Day if you are the one with Food Allergies

If you are the one with Food Allergies, I have a few tips for you below.

Going out for a Valentine’s Day dinner?

  1. Call the restaurant you are going to ahead of time.
  2. Prepare a cue card listing all your allergies and level of severity before you go
  3. Talk to the waiter/waitress when they first come to your table and ask for drinks; that way, they may notify their manager about the allergies before you even order.

Staying in for Valentine’s Day?

  1. Be sure that the ingredients used for your dinner are safe and there is no cross-contamination
  2. If your date wants to make you dinner and you feel a little uncertain about cross-contamination in their kitchen, tell them that you trust them, however you would feel more relaxed if you could help prepare and cook – They will understand
  3. If you are concerned your date may eat something you are allergic to and then kiss you, speak up. Please do not sit all evening feeling stressed or anxious about what may or may not happen.
  4. Ask to have a completely safe evening, with only foods you can have, so you can kiss and not worry about what they may or may not have had

Receiving chocolates or another edible treat? 

  1. Double and triple check the labels – Look for a may contain statement which may not be close to the ingredient list.
  2. If you feel uncertain, let your date know that you appreciate the gift, however you’d feel more comfortable after calling the company to confirm that it was made in a safe facility without cross-contamination.
  3. Ask that your date not eat them either, in case they are not safe for you; tell your date that you would feel more relaxed knowing they had not eaten anything you may be allergic to.

When in doubt, just speak up! :)

Have a safe and romantic Valentine’s Day and please leave your thoughts and comments below!

Where can “Priority Allergens” be found?

 

p01n2ts

On Friday I shared a post about soybeans and 2 places I really did not expect I would find them – ink and pillows. This morning I thought I would share some information shared on Anaphylaxis Canada’s website about “priority allergens”, also known as food allergens identified as being the most common, based on Canadian food labelling requirements.

Here are the 10 “priority allergens”:

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Mustard
  • Peanuts
  • Seafood (fish, crustaceans, shellfish)
  • Sesame
  • Soy
  • Sulphites
  • Tree Nuts
  • Wheat

Anaphylaxis Canada – Priority Food Allergens

Anaphylaxis Canada has clearly outlined other names, possible sources and non-food sources for the different food allergens. Though the lists are not exhaustive, they are a great place to start if you are curious where some of these food allergens can be hidden.

Have a look and let us all know in the comments if anything surprised you. Are there other sources you have found for any of the 10 food allergens listed above that are not on Anaphylaxis Canada’s website?

Wish there were more Christmas parties to go to!

christmas_party

As I mentioned on Friday, we had a busy weekend ahead with two Christmas parties. They were both great fun! For the first, I was very relieved that we had eaten at home before going. It was definitely less awkward/uncomfortable for me as we had both eaten before the party. I am extremely fortunate to have a partner who will skip the meal too, so I don’t feel left out. We headed to the first party on a full stomach which is something I need to do more often so I don’t feel like I am missing out. I was so content with our delicious curried chicken dinner that I didn’t even feel like I was missing out on the wonderful desserts they had. I was glad I hadn’t tried to eat there as it ended up being a Chinese dinner, so I was very happy avoiding the food altogether.

After dinner Santa Claus showed up and each child got a gift! It was a great family oriented party and I made sure to wash my hands after shaking other people’s hands to be sure I wouldn’t have any allergens on my hands. I didn’t touch my face either, or brush hair away, to be sure I didn’t react from a previous handshake or from touching something. For me, it is important that I be cautious, and try to avoid being paranoid, so I take steps to prevent a reaction. We came home safe and sound!

After a good night’s sleep we were headed to the second party which was being held at the University of Victoria, here in Victoria, British Columbia. It was a beautiful location and we were lucky as it wasn’t raining too much. The second party, a Christmas lunch was much smaller than the Friday night one which was nice as I had been able to speak with the kitchen staff prior to the lunch. Once we arrived, we went to the kitchen staff and I introduced myself. They said that they had plates prepared for me and would bring them out the moment everyone else started getting their food from the buffet. They brought me a nice large salad with kale vinegar and oil, as I had asked for to be safe, and a second plate, the entrée, with turkey, steamed potatoes and vegetables. I was relieved when they brought out the 2 plates, as there was no dressing for me to worry about and no sauce on the turkey for me to be concerned about. When I am dining out, I much prefer plain veggies and meat as it’s one less thing I need to worry about. The food was delicious and by the end of it I was stuffed! However the fruit platter they had made me was irresistible, so I ate that too! I had a wonderful time, had no stress and spent a nice afternoon with colleagues.

All and all, a wonderful weekend. I just wish there were more! Unfortunately the other one we had planned to attend was on Friday night, so we couldn’t attend both. Next year, we are keeping our fingers crossed we will be able to attend all of them!

Have you had any Christmas parties yet? If so, how were they? If you haven’t had them yet, what are you doing to prepare for your Christmas party?

 

Teen dating with food allergies

“I think the big things for adolescents are really around dating with food allergies”

Interview around dating for teens by Lynn Desjardins from Radio Canada International. Be sure to listen to the recorded interview at the bottom of the page! :)

Kissing with Allergies – RCI

What worries you about dating with food allergies?

Question Mark

We all have some areas that we feel more comfortable in and others that we just don’t. Dating wasn’t always something I felt comfortable with. It took me time to get there. What questions do you have about dating with food allergies? What did you wish you knew? Is there anything you feel might prepare you or perhaps your child for entering the world of dating?

Is it the first kiss? Or a dinner date?

Leave a comment here and we’ll get the conversation going.

Livingwithallergies is in the news!

A terrific article in The Province by Lauren La Rose with the Canadian Press. Just in time for Valentines Day

@ WhyRiskIt, Anaphylaxis Canada, Sloane Miller

Communication, planning can help ease dating anxiety for people with food allergies

 

A weekend away

sun and beach

 

It’s Friday and time for a weekend away! We’ve stopped to get groceries and are good to go!  Nothing like a relaxing weekend away with safe food. Staying at a place with a kitchen makes my allergy worries dissipate. I don’t mind cooking on a retreat, holiday etc because I have sooo much fewer worries, than when I need to ask a chef and kitchen staff about all the meals.

What’s your ideal vacation? Eating out for all meals or having your own kitchen? I’d choose the kitchen every time!! :)