With Everything In Life There's A Silver Lining, Even With Food Allergies
This is a post to recognize all the good that comes out of having food allergies. When you have food allergies it's easy to get caught up and frustrated about all the bad things in having food allergies, but if you stand back and look at the bigger picture there's a lot of bonuses to having food allergies. So if your having a bad day and feeling frustrated about your food allergies this post might be good to read. Even if you're an exhausted parent, tired of stressing and having to deal with food allergies, here's the silver lining.
1. When you have food allergies you grow closer to family and have a better relationship with your parents. Like any family that has hardships or disabilities the family has to come together and work as a team. When I look at other kids that aren't close to their families, I realize just how lucky I am to have such a strong bond with my family. My mom is my best friend and there's a trust there that can't be broken. You don't even feel the same with your closest friends.
2. You pick out people in your life that genuinely care for you and your health, and weed out self centered people. They don't label you or define you by your food allergies. They don't make you feel like your food allergies are a problem. You tend to surround yourself with better people and you get to hang out with thoughtful people that make you a better person.
3. You learn to have a voice and speak up for yourself. By doing this you make others think before they act and try and put themselves in your shoes. If you're a parent, you learn to stand up for your child's health, no matter what others say.
After dealing with doctors, pharmacists, friends, families, schools, and teachers, you know how to advocate and are not afraid to stand up to others.
4. Through having food allergies you develop a skill. A skill of being compassionate. You know what it feels like to be singled out and have to sit at your own allergy table, left out of every single birthday celebration. You quickly learn how to show empathy and compassion to others because you know what it feels like to be left out of different.
5. You learn that sitting in a corner rocking yourself, and feeling bad for yourself doesn't solve any problems and gets old REAL fast. You have to be proactive. As my mom reminds us, we are not victims unless you allow yourself to be.
6. You don't take things for granted. There is a lot of things people without food allergies take for granted that we don't. For example, we are very grateful and cherish our families, our health outside of food allergies, and even food. You're probably thinking 'Health? We have food allergies! What health?'
Food allergies don't solely define your health. If you look at some other lives out there, compared to your food allergies, there are worse things that you could have been born with. Everyday, we should look at just how fortunate and lucky we are to have clean food and water, shelter, and even just family and friends. I sure would pick food allergies over not having a roof over my head, any day. After knowing what it's like to be sick you value your life and the small things that matter.
7. You appreciate the smaller things in your life, like finding a new allergy safe restaurant or food. Other people shrug and might look at you like you're crazy, but you feel like a kid on Christmas morning.
8. You eat healthier and more natural foods. Most people walk into a store and grab any sweets and snacks off the shelves that look yummy. Most of the time these turn out to be VERY unhealthy. Instead of this, people with food allergies take the time to read through their ingredients and think about what we're eating and putting into their bodies. My mom and dad always say, we get one body in life, so take care of it. My mom tells me how I have made them all so much healthier and she is grateful for that. You also become more creative in the kitchen which can be fun.
9. When you're out at the beach, theme park, or any social events you can feast on a gourmet dish while you watch others eat lousy under cooked, over processed hotdogs, or a slice of floppy turkey placed between what looks like two pieces of cardboard, because you're prepared with a cooler jam packed with delicious and healthy, allergy friendly snacks. Also, bonus is that a lot of theme parks only let people with food allergies bring in outside food.
10. You get to shop at healthy food stores that are better for your physical health.
11. If you're making a recipe and you forgot to buy just 1 ingredient, you know just about EVERY "shortcut" or substitute, or if you're like my mom you will learn to be confident and wing it and who knows maybe it'll taste even better.
13. If you don't want to eat at a friend's house, whose mom cooks horribly, you don't have to make up any lame excuses.
14. You have a reason to opt out of any events you don't want to go to. Yippee!
15. You are able to pick where you want to eat (if you are comfortable eating out) when you go out.
16. You make friends with the servers and restaurant managers, store owners. People get to know you by your name.
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