Breath in, breathe out - you’re not allergic to air, right? Okay, just checking! Allergies can be a nuisance to keep track of and accommodate if you don’t have the right tools in place. We totally get it. No matter how hard our food scientists try, we can’t just throw a U-LUV chocolate brownie cookie at you to rid you of all your allergy-related issues. We know there’s a lot out there about what causes allergies and how to get rid of allergies, so let U-LUV be your guide. Start your SEARCH for allergy relief here:
Scan food labels. If you’ve been in the game for a while, this one is probably common knowledge. If you’re new to the game, let’s start with the basics. Look for allergens in the ingredients list of every product. Although labels like “nut free” and “soy free” have made it easier to eat on a restricted diet, those statements are not regulated by the FDA, so it’s important to dig a little deeper. Ingredients and food processing systems can also change without notice, so it is important to read ingredient lists thoroughly and often.
Be aware that the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) only covers the most common allergens: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and crustacean shellfish. Food manufacturers are not required to list scallops, oysters, clams, and other molluscan shellfish as major allergens.
Educate yourself on the latest in allergy research. Being an adult is like being in school all the time. It may sound daunting, but if you’re researching ways to live a better life it can be invigorating! Stay up to date on the latest with FARE, a nonprofit all about Food Allergy Research and Education.
Ask about the menu at restaurants. Don’t be shy! It’s YOUR body, own it. Call ahead and ask if the restaurant you plan to visit is set up to accommodate your specific dietary needs.
Rid your prep station of allergens. Karate kid your counters and cooking utensils with warm soap and water before you cook. Keeping your station clean ensures allergens don’t get transferred from one dish to another if you live with people who don’t share the same allergies.
Cook from scratch if you can. This gives you the most control over what ends up in your body by avoiding surprise allergens in prepackaged food. Remember, Gordon Ramsey only yells at you if you tweet at him. Don’t overwhelm yourself with any fancy recipes at first. Start simple and figure out what works for you.
Hoard U-LUV snacks! Desk drawers, backpacks, socks, curly hair -the world is full of places to stash allergen-free snacks. So grab your favorite gluten-free cookie from U-LUV that is also nut-free, dairy-free, and vegan. Tap into your inner squirrel (or kangaroo if you have nut allergies) and pack some U-LUV snacks so you are never left empty-stomached!