I was born with a severe peanut allergy, into a family that had no idea what a food allergy was. Three years later, my brother was born, and had a whole list of allergies affecting him. My mom always jokes that I was her test baby as the first-born, and even more so with the struggle of having to learn and adapt to life with life-threatening allergies.

Fast-forward 24 years, and here I am married, working in Los Angeles, finished with my Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development, and I am still learning and trying to find different ways to cope with my food allergies. I have been severely allergic to peanuts since I was born, and therefore avoid all nuts in case of cross contamination, but along the way have developed even more allergies. My senior year in high school I also became severely lactose intolerant, and a couple of years after that, learned I was severely allergic to shellfish. No nuts. No dairy. No shellfish.

Learning to deal with food allergies from birth until marriage can prove challenging (especially when you pick up more allergies along the way!). Dating, new jobs, college, wedding planning, and tons of new people to have to explain your allergies to can be a bit daunting.

Growing up seems hard enough, but adding in some severe food allergies can make it even tougher.

I am thankful to have been blessed with a loving husband who continues to find new restaurants for date night (which is not very easy!) and has had to give up peanut butter and trail mix (his favorite foods before we were dating) in order to keep me safe. I am also blessed to have a loving and supportive family that continues to try new safe places and recipes for me.

Now it’s my turn to want to share that help and support that I’ve received with others struggling with food allergies. My goal is to lend a hand to those kids approaching young adulthood and facing these new challenges, the friends in my same food-focused generation battling food allergies, and the parents watching their little ones go through these battles. I am hopeful to share allergy-friendly recipes, safe places to eat, and tips for allergy issues (dating, new jobs, heck, even wedding planning!). I hope that more relevant resources can be made available to this new generation of children growing up into adulthood with food allergies.