Connecting the celiac disease and food allergy/intolerance community together by sharing our stories to food freedom. From our beginning struggles to striving after a diagnosis, we can all relate and help each other out by sharing what we’ve learned and our unique personal journeys.
Freedom Feature number 3 is coming at you today and I am more than excited to bring it to you! After my "What To Avoid" allergy series post on nightshades last week, Cristina and I connected and talked about doing a feature. Why? Well, Cristina is a food blogger who started her blog, "I Say Nomato", after finding out her husband had a severe nightshade allergy! She's now pretty much the authority on the subject of this lesser known allergy, so having her tell her story is the perfect way to show you all just how serious nightshade allergies are. I know you all all will find this enlightening and I'm proud to welcome Cristina to the Freedom Feature!
Background: Who are you?
Hi! I'm Cristina. I’m a teacher who hasn’t been teaching very much lately (at least in a classroom!). Four years ago my husband and I decided to up-end our lives and follow his dreams of being a doctor by moving to the Caribbean for school. Since then we’ve been very nomadic, living in Baltimore, Louisiana and New York, and I can’t wait to see where our adventures take us next!
What was life like before your diagnosis?
How did you find the right doctor and end up getting properly tested and diagnosed?
How did life change after diagnosis?
Why did you start your blog? What did you hope to achieve out of doing so?
What makes your blog unique and what does it (or what you hope) add to the community?
Do you have a Celiac/Food allergy tip to give?
Read. Labels. Learn their language. Through trial and error, we’ve discovered that things like ‘spices’, ‘vegetable starch’, or even ‘natural flavour’ can contain nightshades that the producers don’t have to specify. Don’t even get me started on how they put paprika in almost everything red, orange or yellow (lookin’ at you, cheese!)
Have any favorite gluten-free foods or brands to share?
We have yet to find a really good or reliable nightshade-free food brand here in Canada, but I have to say thank goodness for Kraft Old White Cheddar. The orange stuff has paprika in it, and I refuse to make this house cheese free!
Can you share your favorite recipe with us?
What do you hope to see in the future; for yourself and the gluten-free/food allergy community?
AWARENESS. So many people are out there suffering needlessly, ignored by doctors who don’t know it’s a even a thing and have given up on them. I cannot tell you how many e-mails I’ve gotten from people who know nightshades are the issue, but no one believes them or takes them seriously. It’s not a Top 8 allergy, but it’s there. Even arthritis sufferers find marked improvement when they stay away from nightshades.
For the future, I would love to see clearer ingredient labels. For people who don’t have a Top 8 allergy (and even if you do!), there is so much vague language, when all I want to know is if they put potato starch in it! I would also love to see this allergy being taken more seriously by medical professionals. It’s not even considered in most elimination diets. Please help spread awareness! Tell a friend today!