Free, Family-Friendly, Fun: FAST
Good Things About Having Food Allergies
#1: You'll eat healthy, natural food while everyone else you know eats processed, artificial "junk."
#2: You will increase your knowledge of biology, chemistry, anatomy, etc.
#3: You will learn to slow down and take time for the important things in life.
#4: You can save money by eating at home, and learn how to cook home-made meals from scratch. You will become a more creative cook. It's surprising what you can make from your safe foods food list. Some of your recipes will flop, but many are great surprises. If a parent of an allergic child, everyone will think you're Super-Mom because you'll make everything from scratch.
#5: When at a party no one will harrass you to drink -- you might have the excuse of being on medication or being allergic to the ingredients within the alcoholic beverage.
#6: After knowing what it's like to be sick you will value every day of your life and the "little things in life" more.
#7: Instead of eating "just anything," you will think about and prepare your own meals, and care about what goes into your body.
#8: Eating healthier may lead to less physical problems associated with your allergies and other afflictions.
#9: You'll naturally ingest less artificial food colorings, flavorings, and preservatives.
#10: Learn about food processing and that a whole food may be divided into many derivatives, all called by different names.
#11: Be eligible to earn a college degree in reading illegible food ingredient labels (if such a degree existed!).
#12: Learn about plant and food families and which foods are related to each other (and which are not).
#13: Learn about foods of different cultures, and maybe even have them as major foods in the new diet.
#14: You will appreciate people so much more who stick by you despite your health problems.
#15: You will learn at an earlier age that you are not invincible, and that you do not have complete control over your life. This will lead to a knowledge that each day is to be appreciated and treasured.
#16: You will find out VERY quickly what type of people are genuine and real -- those are the people who will care about your health, and yet not define who you are by the health problems you have.
#17: YOu nOw hAvE A KnOwLeDgE ThAt yOu aRe sPeCiAl aNd uNiQuE.
#18: Become virtuous, empathetic, sympathetic, and perhaps more spiritual. You will develop prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance -- and possibly also develop faith, hope, and charity.
#19: You may save time at the grocery store because there are aisles that can be completely avoided.
#20: If you are egg allergic you can eat your homemade egg-free batter and not have to worry about getting sick from raw eggs!
#21: If you run out of one ingredient needed for a recipe, you'll know how to substitute.
#22: You never have to make lousy excuses for not eating at a friend's house who doesn't know how to cook.
#23: It is possible to experience some real family and friendship bonding as you work together to battle the disability and develop courage to stand up for the afflicted.
#24: You will learn to discipline yourself as you live with food allergies.
#25: You'll learn to stand up for your health or your children's health, no matter what others say. After dealing with doctors, pharmacists, friends, families, and acquaintances regarding the allergies, you'll be qualified to advocate for your children with regard to their health and their education.
#26: You'll feel better by following your allergy-free diet, and feeling good is great!
#27: You'll learn to be a cracker-jack researcher, while learning about your food allergies (you'll wish you got paid, though).
#28: You will find OTHER things to do with your friends besides eating out -- and find out more things you have in common other than liking to eat.
#29: If you are allergic to more "ordinary" foods such as dairy, beef and pork and like/love "exotic" foods such as escargot, calamari, frog legs and crawfish, you get to eat more of those "exotic" foods.
#30: If you are allergic to beef and pork, you do not need to worry about getting hoof and mouth disease, mad cow's disease or other diseases that seem to be exclusively carried by beef or pork.
#31: You are able to dictate to your close relatives where you want to eat (if you are capable of eating out) when you go out.
#32: You get to shop at smaller health food grocery stores and support "mom and pop" establishments.
#33: You'll "meet" so many great FASTers who will add to your life with their caring, understanding, and knowledge! Support is great!
#34: Looking for new foods in supermarkets, health food stores, catalogs, and online is like going on a treasure hunt!
#35: When you're out at the park, beach, or amusement park and everyone else is eating their boring old PB&J on plain white doughy store-bought bread, you and your family are eating a feast fit for a king and queen, because you are so prepared and accustomed to bringing everything along.
#36: You can become extremely happy over little things, like finding a new candy bar that is safe to eat. Other people will shrug, or look at you like you're a little kid on Christmas morning, because they need BIG things to make them happy. But, really, what's wrong with a Christmas smile in July?
#37: If your child has allergies, you will likely find alternative (non-food) rewards for good behavior and a job well done. Now and in the future, s/he won’t associate good behavior with food.
Thanks to the following people for this article: Amber, Anna, AnnaMarie, April, Donnie, Heather, Jean, JJ, Juliann, Kristen, Melissa, Pegasus, Shirley, Teresa. OF COURSE we forgot something! Send it in!