How to talk about food allergies – Huffington Post

It’s been a steep learning curve for me, figuring out the best ways to talk to others about food allergies.  Here’s my latest Huffington Post contribution:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johanna-bond/how-to-talk-about-food-allergies_b_7104290.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living

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Filed under Social issues

Spring!

Spring has arrived to the long snow-covered Rochester!  Yesterday my boyfriend, A, pointed out a green sprout (a chive) growing through a leaf that was on top of the soil.  Persistent little chive.  I bet it will have a bold flavor.

Sprout

As spring comes to life, we begin to see these sprouts and my stomach begins to growl.  Lucky for me, A has a green thumb and has planted garlic, bell peppers, and lettuce.  (The chives came about all on their own).  With these homegrown goodies on their way, I am newly excited for food.  I have my own ideas sprouting of what to cook when those veggies arrive.

Just as I’ve grown tired of my sweaters from the long winter, I’ve grown tired of my winter recipes.  I can make a really great vegetarian lasagna, and it’s a wonderful freezer-backup-meal, but I’m tired of it!  Time for grilled veggies, feta and orzo, and whatever else awaits inside those cookbooks I got for Christmas that I have not yet opened.

I look forward to posting soon with either recipe success or spectacular failure as we head towards summer cooking.  I promise to provide pictures, no matter how they turn out…

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Filed under Cooking

Support, meet challenge

I tell my clients that you can only challenge someone as much as you support him or her.  It’s a key part of my approach to counseling as I strive to keep challenge and support in balance in my work with clients.

I find more and more that this is something I should be keeping in mind for myself, too.

I can only challenge myself as much as I support myself.

We get supports and challenges from other people too, but it’s important to keep these things in balance for ourselves as well.  With food allergies, I’m realizing lately how much I have retreated from the world to protect myself.  I have not (knock on wood) had a bad reaction in months, but I also have not been challenging myself.  Perhaps I have given myself too much support in some areas, and not enough challenge.  I’ve retreated from trying new restaurants, travel, new social interactions, even happy hours after work.

Sometimes this is a good thing, and I feel justified in saying that going to a happy hour after a long work day when I know I can’t eat anything and would be having a drink on an empty stomach would not be fun or happy.  That being said, turning into a hermit is also not a good balance.

It’s time for me to put myself back out there in the world a little bit more.  No, I’m not hopping on a transatlantic flight to backpack around Europe, but I can go out to eat at a new restaurant this weekend.  In fact, that is exactly what I’m going to do.  I’m going to call ahead, like a good food-allergic individual, make a reservation for 5pm (not the busy hour), and invite a friend to join me.  And teach her how to use my Epipen, just in case.

Support, meet challenge.  Challenge, meet support.

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Filed under Personal