Freedom from Allergies

January 7, 2009

There certainly have been times in my life when I wished I was free from allergies and the like but lately I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve gained courtesy of having to watch what I eat and where I spend my time. The crazy part is that I’m writing this while suffering from a food induced headache right now, thanks to a work lunch earlier in the day.

Dietary restrictions have the biggest impact on our daily lifes since Kevin and I both have them. It turns out the impacts aren’t all negative. Some of the great things we’ve gained from having to watch what we eat include:

  • how to cook!
  • how to make things from scratch
  • how to balance our diets
  • new friends (it’s easy to spot another special diet person when you are one yourself)
  • proficiency in adapting recipes to our own tastes
  • a greater awareness of where our food comes from and what’s in it
  • a taste for ethnic dishes (sort of – I can’t eat rice)
  • an appreciation for local foods
  • the knowledge for where to find “odd” ingredients
  • increased environmental awareness
  • increased social awareness
  • less packaging
  • less waste
  • a commitment to growing our own produce
  • motivation to maintain our own compost – more on that in another post!

… and I’m sure many other things I haven’t thought deeply enough about yet.

All this is not to say it’s all peaches and cream having special diets, but really, the benefits are now starting to outweigh the annoyances of bringing our own food or dealing with inept kitchen staff on those rare occassions when we eat out.

There are some handy things we’ve come across in our journey to eat healthy. By far, the most helpful cookbook has been Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer’s How it all Vegan.

How it all Vegan

No, we’re not vegan but vegan recipes are a great place to start when you can’t tolerate milk or eggs. This book is especially helpful because it includes recipes for the sorts of things most people buy in a jar with a label of foreign names. Some of my favourite recipes are zesty garlic toss for pasta, cajun spice and perogies.



  1. I love this cook book! Another one of my go to staples is the Hollyhock Cookbook. Many healthy and yummy recipes mostly vegetarian and Vegan!

  2. I’ll have to take a look at that. Not being able to eat dairy or eggs I seldom look at regular vegetarian books, but I seem to recall looking at their website before. Did you reference it on your blog?

  3. Yes I think so. the website is Hollyhock.ca. I think you can buy the book if you order it on Amazon or Chapters. I would take it out from the library first though to see if you like it. There are a lot of vegan substitutions in the book if I recall correctly. Viva La Vegan By Dreena Burton is also a good one to check out.

  4. I have that one and I love it! I’ve been thinking about getting her newest book too but our latest dietary challenge has been Kevin’s gluten intolerance so we’ve been focused on finding things for him lately. Thanks for the hollyhock recommendation though, I think I might just act on it this time!

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