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!

Milestone’s – A Restaurant Chain I Trust with my Food Allergies!

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Have you found a restaurant chain that you trust with food allergies, whether it be your allergies or perhaps a loved ones allergies? There are only a few chain restaurants I trust very much with my allergies. Milestone’s is one of these. I have been to Milestone’s 3 times now in the last 2 years (Yes, I do not eat out much) and each time the waiter/waitress, chef and kitchen manager have gone above and beyond to make me feel understood and feel safe.

A little over a week ago, my boyfriend, my brother and I all went to the Milestone’s on 1210 Denman Street in Vancouver, BC and we had such a wonderful dinner experience. From the very start our waiter, Steve B. made me feel understood. After providing him a hand written list of all my “life-threatening” food allergies as well as my “sensitivities” he went over each with me, explaining where they might be found in the kitchen. I discussed with Steve B. whether or not he thought I could have a salad and if they could ensure that there was no cross-contamination. He promised that he would advise the chef of the severity of the allergies and minimizing cross-contamination. He spoke very confidently and was very re-assuring. I felt that that Steve B really cared. That in itself made me feel less anxious. Still on my guard but not as worried.

A few minutes later he brought out an amazing salad for me, that the chef, Michael had prepared for me in a separate area. He advised that the chef was wonderful and truly understood allergies.

WP_20150125_015Now, a week later, we had dinner at a Milestone’s on 700 Sussex Drive in Ottawa, Ontario. Our wonderful waitress, Alisha A. was very understanding as well and spoke with the kitchen staff and manager upon our arrival and provided the kitchen with a list of all my “life-threatening” food allergies as well as my “sensitivities”. Alisha A. was very caring and made me feel like my allergies were nothing to worry about and that the kitchen would be as careful as possible. I ordered the same salad I had in Vancouver with balsamic vinegar and olive oil to be safe and a baked potato.

Dinner was amazing!! I wanted more! :) Wouldn’t you?!?

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Have you ever been to Milestone’s with food allergies? Please share your experiences in the comments!

 

 

 

Where can “Priority Allergens” be found?

 

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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?

Soy… Oh the places you will find it!

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If you have an allergy like me, you might have had some moments as I have had where you find out something is made of soy and you had no idea!

Well… a while back I had this such moment when we were out looking to buy new pillows for our bed. We had tested a few and the sales rep came to me, was about to hand me a pillow that looked like this:

#7 Bio Green

and said “You will love this one! It is made of soy!”. I leaped up off the bed and was like “nope, lot trying this one!”.

Then, just a few days ago, I was looking at one of the boxes of tea on my desk that I had received for Christmas, only to find the following statement:

Soy Ink final

This was the first time I had found something I purchased had soy-based ink!

What items have you found where you had no idea your allergen would be there? Please share in the comments below!

Be safe.

Erika

Look no further! Cherries Breakfast Bistro is where the delicious food is at

ch0r12s b0rg1rDo YOU live in Victoria, British Columbia or visit Victoria on occasion.

Are you looking for a tasty meal out all the while feeling confident that the staff truly understand your allergies and sensitivities and take them very seriously?

And for a great price?

If you have answered YES, then I urge you to go for breakfast, brunch or even lunch at Cherries Breakfast Bistro!

If you want delicious, gluten-free food made by very allergy conscious kitchen staff then please look no further.

I went for brunch here with a good friend this past weekend and was in AWE about the attention both the serving and kitchen staff took to make sure I had the safest meal possible! They went out of their way to make sure that my meal was prepared with careful attention to avoid any possible cross-contamination and in the same time it took for my friend to get her not so complex request. Kudos to the staff at Cherries Breakfast Bistro for making two very happy customers. I guarantee we will be back. And I may soon become a regular of Cherries Breakfast Bistro, because their food is outstanding, AND they truly listen and understand my allergies.

When I go out for meals with friends, on several occasions I feel that the food is very over-priced for what it is worth, especially when I know I can make better eggs, bacon and potatoes at home. Cherries is food you will not regret and want to keep going back for more. Give them a visit and let me know what you think!

OH! And I hear they cater too! :)

Over and out.

Erika

A wet start to the week…

Today we woke up and opened the door to check the weather. Turns out today is a “heavy rain” day. One of many living here on the west coast of Canada.

On days like today I am always very aware of my breathing as after rain there is often mold. There are giant puddles everywhere! Days like today I think of how much fun we had as kids jumping in puddles and the water didn’t bother us in the least.

Allergy injection for me tonight. Then I am finally at my maintenance dose. After  3 months of trying to get to maintenance, I will be able to take the maximum dose, on a monthly basis, I am finally there!!!  Relief. Regular allergy injections definitely make my schedule busier as I have to wait at the walk-in clinic to get them. However, it is well worth the wait as the doctor administering the injections does her best to administer in a way that rarely triggers a reaction. I am fortunate to have found a really good doctor at the walk-in.

Asthma and Allergy goals for the New Year

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Happy New Year 2015!

Each year I make a vision board for the year ahead. The one above was my vision for 2013. Do you do anything to kickstart the new year?

Many people make resolutions to get healthier, eat cleaner and get fit. I have seen numerous people who hit the gum hard for the first 2-3 weeks in January and then start visiting the gym less.

Personally I prefer to set goals and determine a focus. I avoid the “get fit” resolution, unless I have a firm plan in place and have a way to be held accountable.

I also make goals for my allergies and asthma and treatment. I reflect on what worked in the previous year and what didn’t. I figure out what times of the year my symptoms were really bad and make sure they are in a journal in case it happens again this year.

When you have allergies and asthma it is very important to keep a journal or even some notes on your phone in a notepad app for your doctor. Your allergist goes by tests and what you tell them, so it is extremely important to be your own best advocate and keep track of things that trigger you as best you can.

My allergy/asthma goal:

In 2015, I will be more aware of what triggers me and continue to keep track of times when my asthma and allergies are worse and other circumstances around the same time, like being sick.

What will your asthma/allergy goal be for 2015?