Healthy Living on March 1, 2011 by

Allergic Girl: Guest Post & Giveaway

I’ve been following Allergic Girl, Sloane Miller, on and off for the last few years. She writes a clever and wonderfully named blog, Please Don’t Pass the Nuts, that helps those with food allergies navigate all aspects of their life safely and with joy. I was really excited when she contacted me about her new book, Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies. She’s written you a lovely guest post and to help promote this amazing resource, we’re giving away a copy of her book and a $25 Bob’s Red Mill Gift Card to two lucky winners. See below for giveaway details and how to enter. Without further ado, here is Sloane…

People ask me two questions, a lot:

First:  Why write Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well With Food Allergies?

My Please Don’t Pass The Nuts blog readers who have food allergies and the friends and family who love and support them are the inspiration for Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well With Food Allergies. There is a real need for information and support in the food allergic community.  I want Allergic Girl to fill those needs.

I became a food allergy advocate because I am committed to helping people with food allergies live safe, effective and joyous lives.  Allergic Girl talks about the intimate feelings, concerns and dreams those of us with food allergies have and shares my experience and expertise.  I write about the practical realities of understanding and living with food allergies and I offer proven strategies for living well with food allergies.

I have always been an allergic girl.  I have had food allergies since birth and I developed environmental allergies in early childhood.  I am also a social worker and writer.  My work as a food allergy advocate—“Allergic Girl”—combines my commitment to helping people with my personal experience as someone with food allergies and my professional expertise as a social worker and writer.

Second:  What’s my one piece of advice to people with food allergies and the people who love and want to support them: Take your food allergies seriously.

Living with food allergies can be challenging—even scary.  It can and should also be joyful.  Reliable, clear information and support make the difference.  Allergic Girl offers my experience and my best therapeutic strategies for living safely, effectively and joyfully with food allergies.  And remember:  Be patient.  Living well with food allergies doesn’t happen overnight.  But, if you take your food allergies seriously and follow some basic rules, it can happen.


First of all, we’re not discouraging anyone from entering, but I must say this resource is invaluable for those with food allergies. I hope that anyone who wins will enjoy it and share this with someone who has food allergies and could use Sloane’s wonderful guidance. Even though celiac disease is not an allergy to food, Sloane’s book is a great resource for anyone with celiac disease as many of the same principles still apply.

To Enter:

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment here or on our Facebook page and tell us about your most positive food allergy experience, whether it was your own or a loved one. We’ll pick two lucky winners at random from all of your entries. You have until midnight on March 13th to enter. We’ll pick our two winners using on March 14th.


Libby M says:

A friend has an egg and dairy allergy. I was happy to share some vegan recipes (like waffles!) so that she could enjoy them again!

Wendy S. says:

My 12 year old daughter has life threatening food allergies to milk and peanuts. She also has asthma and eczema. She’s had all of these since she was a baby. It’s so hard when food is the enemy 🙁 My most positive experience in dealing with food allergies is my involvement with the FAAN Walk for Food Allergy in Atlanta. I Chaired the 2009 & 2010 Walks. Our walk is such an amazing, fun, happy day for these children and their families. I’m so thankful for all of the wonderful people out there who provide support and resources. Thank you!

George says:

My wife has several intolerances (no allergies), but we have friends with allergies. I have loved learning to cook in “alternative” ways and making food (especially baked goods) that people really enjoy. We went to a little church for a while and often took cookies. That moment when people would say, “That’s gluten free?!” was awesome!

Meghan says:

I was diagnosed with celiacs just a year ago and thought I was doomed to eat at home forever, until a Chipoltes opened up near us, they are very sensitive to food allergies and were very helpful in informing me how their food was prepared they even changed their gloves no questions asked so there was no cross contamination. More restaurants need to take an educated approach to food allergies as more and more of us are being diagnosed every day.

Laura says:

I introduced my nut-allergic sister-in-law to the wonders of tahini.

Jen says:

Learning how to cook for myself and child with allergies, this would be a great resource.

Jen Preston says:

My 3 yr old is allergic to wheat, peanuts and all outdoors. This makes life a little hard to go eat at friends. One of my best friends asked how she could make him food that he can eat when we come over:) what a special friend to want to do something so nice!

Bonnie says:

I was diagnosed with Crohns Disease about 3 years ago and suspect that I have had it all of my adult life. After being in the hospital for a while, I came home having to eat a bland diet. It took a long time to get to eating regularly, but I always felt bloated and was always constipated. After a few bouts, I decided to go on a wheat free, gluten free diet. I have to be careful not to eats nuts, seeds and spicy foods because of the Crohns. While these are not allergies, they are intollerances and GF foods were always hard to find around here. Finally, stores have started stocking some of them along with some health food stores that have sprung up near by, I can feel so much better. Am always doing research though.

Viki says:

I could sure use this book!! I’m allergic to: corn, wheat, gluten, sugar, dairy, walnuts and chlorine! I’m finding it hard to cook and could use the help! Thanks for the chance to win! Best of luck to all!

Michelle B says:

Before I moved to New york, I lived in a small town with relatively zero celiac awareness/bakery options. I went through a really stressful time with my living situation and had to move right away. My sister (also celiac) had visited Babycakes NYC on one of her trips to New York. She knew what I was going through, so she and her boyfriend sent me a gluten free care package from Babycakes with red velvet, vanilla & chocolate cupcakes, and bite-size brownies (YUM!); it was the most caring and thoughtful gesture! I’d never had gf cupcakes or brownies, and if you’ve ever been to Babycakes, or tasted their allergen-free treats, you know how amazing they are (and you don’t feel sick after you eat them). Now it’s always special to find dairy-free, nut-free and gluten-free recipes that I can enjoy, and that I know I can share with others as well (b/c the best part of baking is giving it away 🙂 )

Sarah A says:

My 6 year old is allergic to tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and soy. She is also highly allergic to environmental allergens like pets, grasses, pollen, mold, and more, all of which trigger her severe asthma. One of our most positive experiences was at a recent birthday party. The birthday girl’s mother helped me by tling me ahead of time what the cupcakes would look like. We brought a matching cupcake with frosting from home, added a matching clean cupcake topper at the party. The mother served our cupcake right along with the others and none of the other kids realized that my daughter brought her dessert. She felt like for one of the first times, she didn’t stand out. Another great friend hosts allergen free parties for my daughter and another friend with allergies. The feeling of inclusion is priceless. I’ve been wanting to get a copy of this book since I first heard of it! Thank you to Sloane Miller and to Bob’s for being a huge part of our lives.

jujey says:

does cooking for a child that has an imaginary allergy to all fruits and vegetables….b/c i have had to come up with some sneaky ways to get it in foods without her knowing 🙂

Other than that, cooking for someone who cannot have dairy has been quite a challenge, but searching online has helped a lot!!

patty crawford says:

Phenomenal transformation describes the positive changes I have felt since going gluten free. Words don’t contain enough content to relate the overall feelings both physical and mental. “Born again” gluten free comes close to the enthusiasm I have about being free of inflammmation and brain fog. Your products are a delight. Thank you for creating foods with no worry of contamination.
With gratitude
Patty Crawford

Justin L says:

This story happened when I was about 4 years old. Just some background info first though…I am from Niagara Falls, but my dad was from a little rural city in Ohio called Lake Milton (about 3hrs away). It was the summer of 1984 and we were down visiting Grandma as we usually did in the summer.

One morning I decided to have some cereal for breakfast as Grandma’s cupboard was stocked with all the latest “heart stopper,” cereals which I would never see in our cupboard back home. These cereals were just loaded with sugar, chocolate, marshmallows etc.. Anyways, I decided on a cereal called ET Cereal. I guess it was sort of a promotional cereal as the movie just came out about a year prior to this. This cereal was like “Rocky Road” on steroids, it had all the good stuff that a 4 year old would love. Needless to say, I poured a very sizable bowl, filled it with milk and began to go to chow down!

About halfway through the bowl, I wasn’t really feeling too good. I went outside and told Grandma that the cereal didn’t taste very well and I couldn’t finish it. Grandma replied like a Grandma would with, “You poured the bowl, so you are now going to have to eat it!” I went back inside and continued to eat the bowl until it was essentially finished and then went outside. I guess I must have looked quite pale as Grandma shrieked when she saw me. She called to my dad who was in the backyard who immediately threw me in his truck and sped out of the driveway down the street.

Just so you have a visual, Lake Milton is in the middle of nowhere, with no hospitals for miles which made this even more difficult for my dad. My dad did have some experience in the healthcare industry, so after about 15-20 minutes or so of driving, he pulled into a convenience store parking lot and purchased me a bottle of C-Plus Orange Soda. He told me to drink this soda immediately. As I did this, I began to violently get sick. Dad got back in the truck and we sped off again. As he was driving, I had my head out of the side of the truck, vomiting the contents of my belly, i.e. the ET Cereal.

I was immediately feeling better but was still very nauseated. We finally made it to the hospital; I think it was in Youngstown, OH where they checked me out to ensure I was OK. They concluded by saying I should get an allergy test done when I got back to Canada. We left for home once we left the hospital and did exactly as told and went to my family doctor before we even went home. He did a test and the results were in…

I was allergic to all nuts, with Peanuts being the worst, which coincidentally represented the third largest ingredient in the ET Cereal behind Flour and Sugar of course.

To this day I am still deathly allergic to peanuts and will always remember that day. I was such a minority in those days as maybe 2 or 3 people in my whole school had this allergy and now so many kids have a nut allergy it’s crazy!

Glad I am here to still talk about it but still to this day, I have not even been able to watch the movie!


Shakti says:

My most positive experience since having to give up wheat is that for the most part my diet has improved considerably. Since wheat is in so many things, I have really stopped buying most processed foods. I notice that when I am shopping, my items in my cart are so much healthier than ever before.

I have also been forced to learn to cook. Even though I still kind of hate cooking, when I do it, I am better at it. So I guess that is also positive.

Rishell Graves says:

I have to say that Bob’s Red Mill has been such a great help in my allergy to gluten. Their gluten-free mixes and availablility make life so much easier!

Jana says:

After years and years of horrible stomach issues, I was finally told that I have major food allergies after experiencing the wonders of anaphylaxis shock. It seems my body finally said “enough is enough”. Now, I am sorry to say I have to stay away from tomatoes, grapes, jalapeños, and
shellfish. Sadly, I can’t even cook with tomatoes for other people any longer, I sniff them and wham, Where’s my epi pen. :-(.
I have to eat at certain resturaunts, no Italian for sure. I can’t have grilled meat, ( most places use BBQ sauce right on the grill).

I learn, sometimes the hard way, but I learn. Can’t wait to read this book, looks like a good one. Did I mention my favorite food was SALSA. Bummer:-)

P.s. Do you know that after an episode of anaphylaxis shock, your body, including my eyeballs hurts for days…… That’s a big incentive for getting this book.

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