It’s exhausting explaining your food allergies to each new person you meet! In this blog post, you’re going to learn to explain your food allergies without freezing, getting tongue tied, or frustrated.
Does This Sound Familiar?
Each time you’re at a restaurant, you have to tell the server your food allergies multiple times while they write it down, and then there’s the waiting while the kitchen checks if the food you’ve ordered can be prepared without your allergens…
You’re doing the right thing to keep yourself safe and so is the restaurant! It’s awful! It’s tiring! It can be frustrating and even a little bit embarrassing!
Welcome To Break A Recipe
My Name is Nina Blake, I’m a Grain-Free Lifestyle Coach and food nerd.
If this is your first time visiting, thank you for stopping by! If you are a returning reader, Grain-Free VIP, newsletter subscriber, or Facebook group member, thank you for all your help! You keep me on my toes. You inspire me to Break New Recipes each week.
Life is better with foodie friends, and I’m thankful to call you mine!
I’ve been cooking and baking without gluten, grains and other allergens since 2012!
Whenever I tell people I cook without gluten, grain, dairy, egg, soy, corn, almond, cashew, peanut, or sesame, they ask
“What’s left to cook with?“
I always tell them, “My secret ingredient is Unicorn Farts!”
After they finish laughing, I get to explain how I use simple ingredients to create foods with the appearance, texture, and flavor of the foods I’m craving.
Today we won’t be talking about recipes, we’ll be talking about avoiding allergens when we’re away from home, but before we do that. I’d like you to have my first cookbook as my gift to you, for when you need a mac’n cheese, pizza, cookie, or sandwich bread, that’s made without grains or other allergens.
It’s My Mission To Help You Simplify & Organize
Your Grain-Free Lifestyle!
I remember how much I struggled when I was new to the Grain-Free Lifestyle in 2012. I also remember how wonderful it was to have Grain-Free cookies that Christmas. Those cookies made me feel normal.
To help you simplify and organize your Grain—Free Lifestyle, I’d like to give you a copy of my cookbook 7 Simple Grain-Free Recipes.
Inside you’ll find recipes for fast mac’n cheese, pizza, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies that get rave reviews! While the recipes are simple, they give you the feeling that you aren’t missing out. They’re some of my favorite recipes for sharing.
Now Let’s Get Back To Avoiding Food Allergies!
How The Advocacy Card Works
There are 3 parts to your advocacy card:
- Your Allergens
- Your Safe Foods
- Your Safety Plan
First, you’ll need to list your allergens as clearly as you can in the largest possible font. This will help servers, kitchen staff, friends, and family.know the foods you are avoiding.
Next, you’ll list your safe foods. These are the foods you can enjoy safely. This will be the go to list when people wonder what to serve when you attend a party or gathering. It’s okay to leave off foods you dislike! If you list something here, there’ are good odds you’re going to be served that food a lot. If you dislike Avocados, omit them. Because if you list them as safe they’re going to be in your life more than you’d like!
Finally, don’t forget your safety plan. This should include medications prescribed by your doctor or over the counter medications you take if you are exposed to an allergen. It’s also a good idea to note where you keep them. This way if you are unable to speak for yourself those around you will know how to help.
Explaining Your Food Allergies Using Your Advocacy Card
Do you get tongue tied when you have to explain your food allergies? Even after 11 years of avoiding allergens, I still do!
Now that I have my advocacy card in my handbag, my desk at work, and in my car, it’s a whole lot easier to explain my allergies.
With Friends & Family
When someone asks about my allergies, I hand them my advocacy card. The can see which foods I avoid, which foods I can enjoy safely.
They still ask what I can eat, or if they know me well, they’ll ask why I’ve left Unicorn Farts off my safe food list.
We still talk about what I might enjoy at a party or get together they’re having or what they might bring to my house if I’m the one hosting.
It saves half the conversation and no one has to write anything down! I don’t have to count on them remembering my list because it’s already written out for them!
When At A Restaurant
When I’m out at a restaurant, I introduce myself to the server, as the guest with food allergies, you know that one who you wonder what you’re going to feed them. I hand them my advocacy card, and explain that I’ve checked out the menu beforehand. I believe I can enjoy their garden salad with salmon safely. I ask that they double check with the kitchen just to make sure.
After the server checks with the kitchen, they give me the inside scoop on what I’ve ordered. Sometimes, I’m told the salmon is usually marinated, but they have some plain salmon which they can prepare due to my allergies. I can be certain that I will eat safely and I’ve saved our server and the kitchen staff a lot of time!
Using Your Advocacy Card
Keep these in your wallet, in your handbag in your car, in your desk at work, and in your kitchen!
Whenever you need to explain your food allergies, you simply take out a card, read the allergens and hand the card to the person who’s asking!
I have 500 at a time printed up and I give them to anyone who asks.
Servers delight when they don’t have to write down or remember the list of food allergies! Friends appreciate having the list of safe foods, and you will have a much easier time eating safely because of it!
A Slice Of The Grain-Free Lifestyle
Using my Advocacy Card eliminates 90% of the trouble I have. The rest of the time it comes down to the host’s or restaurant’s care and knowledge base.
What Do I Mean?
If my host has read the label of the marinade she’s using I’m in good shape. Should I ask so the see the ingredients in the marinade–Yes! Why? Because I know much more about my allergies than my friends do, and if there’s a mistake made, I’ll be the one dealing with the bloating, inflammation, digestive discomfort, brain fog, migraine, and hives. So I check, and I’m able to eat safely!
Sometimes we find a hidden allergen such as maltodextrin, a sugar made from corn, which I can’t have because I’m allergic to corn. I don’t expect my host to know the name for all the ingredients. I’m so thankful that they tried their best. I usually bring a dish to share so that I won’t be left without anything to eat. I often bring a back up cooler just in case.
The Other 10% Of The Time….
If the restaurant educates their staff, I’m likely to have an excellent experience. However when neither the kitchen staff nor the server knows that edamame is soy, it will likely end up on my plate.
It doesn’t always go easily. This summer, I used my advocacy card while dining out with a family member. I ordered a vegan salad “bowl” and asked to add some salmon. The bowl came with rice, and I explained I’d like to have my salad without it. I asked for plain olive oil as dressing, all the other vegetables listed were safe for me. I thought I had taken care of everything!
But when the salad arrived at my table…it was loaded with edamame. If you’re not familiar with edamame, they’re soybeans. Huge problem for a person with a soy allergy! The server explained the kitchen thought they’d give me some edamame in place of the rice. Neither the server nor the kitchen knew that edamame was soy!
The advocacy card isn’t perfect, but it can save us lots of work. My family & friends appreciate not having to ask about my allergies every time we get together. I appreciate not having to explain them over and over again.
They still ask questions about safe foods. But, by using my advocacy card I can put most of my focus on my time with my friends and family, not on my allergies!
You Don’t Have To Do It On Your Own
Would You Like To Level Up ⬆️ Your Grain-Free Lifestyle?
As a Grain-Free Lifestyle Coach, it’s my mission to help you add flavor and variety to your table. I teach cooking and baking classes and provide One-On-One support to help my VIPs organize and simplify their Grain-Free Lifestyle.
My Grain-Free VIPs learn to simplify their Grain-Free Lifestyle with cooking classes, baking classes, and One-On-One Support. In just a few months time, my VIPS go from struggle to success.
If you’re ready to stop working for your Grain-Free Lifestyle and make your Grain-Free Lifestyle work for you, I’d like to invite you to become a Grain-Free VIP.
Can I Print My Own Cards?
Of course! You can even purchase business card templates which are perforated for printing!
Where Can I Get These Cards Printed?
I have mine printed by Vistaprint. Staples, or anywhere that prints business cards is a great place to get yours.
What Do I Put On My Card?
Allergens, Safe Foods, Safety Plan.
Breaking Recipes, teaching cooking classes and helping others simplify and organize their Grain-Free Lifestyle is my mission! My VIPs learn to Break Their Family Recipes so that they can once again enjoy them without grains and other allergens!
I’m always impressed with how my VIPs break their favorite family recipes so that they can enjoy them safely!
If you’re ready to add flavor and variety back to your table, use the link below so that we can connect. There is no cost to this call. I’m committed to supporting you on your Grain-Free Journey.
Thank you again for reading this blog post. I look forward to connecting with you soon.
You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest using the links below. I really enjoy your feedback and comments. I can’t wait to hear how your recipe turned out!
Come connect with others who cook without grains. Life’s better with Foodie Friends. We’d love to have you join us in Grain-Free Lifestyle And Support Community.
Wishing You Safe & Delicious Foods,