It’s funny how a person adapts to food allergy. For example, I have celiac disease. This means that my immune system reacts abnormally to the presence of wheat in my food, drink or cosmetics. The result is stomach ache, bloating, pain, bowel problem etc (and the list goes on and on). Although it isn’t an allergy that will kill me instantly as in peanuts and eggs, it is a poison to my intestines, permanently killing the villi I need to absorb nutrients and vitamins. Even contamination from touching a gluten product (i.e. bread, spoon used on noodles with gluten, etc) can cause a severe reaction. At home, I buy gluten free products, I know what is in the meals that cook and I know which foods are deemed the rest of the family’s foods. 90% of the time, I prepare meals and eat without giving my allergy a second thought. It has become an instinct.
An Allergy Nightmare!
This weekend, I was away on a business trip and I was reminded how difficult it can be for a person with a food allergy outside of the confines of their home. I was at a social event where a buffet was presented for a dinner. The caterers had taken great care to label everything stating what it was and whether it was gluten free, vegan or neither. After passing the salad section of the buffet, I noticed there were two proteins: Breaded chicken wings and a bun with roast beef. The chicken wings stated they were not gluten free (not surprising because they were breaded), but the bun with roast beef stated “Gluten Free except bun”. Not wanting my meal to consist solely of salad , I inquired if there was any beef that hadn’t touched the bun. The caterer was confused so I explained I was allergic to the bun, but could eat the gluten free roast beef. She told me to take it off the bun. I explained that I couldn’t do that because of cross contamination. When I realized they didn’t understand I simply said thank you and walked away. Sadly, I heard one caterer say to the other, “we should have just taken it off a bun and given it to her, if she didn’t see it, she wouldn’t know.” Realistically, I would have been in pain within 10 minutes of consuming the meat and sick for rest of the trip.
Celiac disease, or a wheat allergy, isn’t the food related allergy that people suffer from. According Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), there 12 foods that account for over 90 percent of all food related allergic reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, gluten, sesame, mustard, sulfates, fish and shellfish. Having one food allergy is bad enough, but many people have a combination of 2 or more of these allergens. When shopping for products like bread, pizza and other baked goods, it is difficult find products.
A New Way to Enjoy Life to the Fullest
Enjoy Life Foods is a company that prides itself on offers 46 different allergy-friendly products, including cookies, cereal, snack bars, seed and fruit mixes, baking chocolate, chocolate bars and snack chips. They recently launched a line of baking products that are guaranteed to be absent of Canada’s top 12 allergens, while still providing the taste and texture that you look for in a quality baked good. All you do is mix the baking mix with little of water and oil, then bake! You can add in your favourite ingredients to create a mouthwatering treat.
Enjoy Life Ancient Grains Carrot Muffins
1 box of Enjoy Life Ancient Grains Muffin mix
3/4 Cup of Shredded carrots
1/2 cup of applesauce
1/2 cup of water
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 tsp of vanilla
a sprinkle of brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Grate carrots with food processor or cheese grater
- Mix all ingredient in a pan until well combined.
- Line a muffin pan with paper cups or grease well.
- Pour batter in cups and sprinkle brown sugar on top.
- Bake for 10-20 minutes until you can insert knife and it comes out clean.