Have you made any New Year’s resolutions this year? Here are a few ideas that could keep you safer with life threatening allergies!
- Could being fitter mean fewer allergies? – If is well known that if you are fitter and healthier you may experience less and milder asthma and allergic reactions. If you have any fitness goals these may also affect your allergic health. If you struggle with your fitness, it doesn’t have to be hours of exercise. Just look at small goals, like a 20 minute yoga class or walk every day. If this sound unachievable, just try to do this a few times a week at first. If you need motivation, find a workout buddy to walk or practise with you. There are loads of free yoga lessons on YouTube – Yoga with Adriene offers a calendar you can follow which is completely free and I highly recommend.
- Try new foods– Finding new things that you CAN eat safely can be so exciting. Always check the ingredients and look for may contains to make sure, but there are new foods coming out all the time. Also keep an eye out when you go shopping for any new products on the “Free From” shelves. Check out the Free From Food Awards for inspiration!
- Experiment in the kitchen – Eating out is fraught with worries and potential disasters but eating in can get boring; cooking the same old bland meals and craving the very things you can’t have. Most recipes can be adjusted to accommodate allergies, and with a bit of practise and experimentation such as making your own pastry and Thai, Indian home cooking, you’ll be so amazed at what you can create. Trex, which is basically lard, is great for pastry and available in all major supermarkets. It’s even better than using butter.
- Reintroduce problem foods – Enjoying a varied and diverse diet is much better for your health than cutting out foods when you don’t need to. Sometimes our bodies develop intolerances to certain foods during times of stress and these reactions often recede, and with careful reintroduction can become part of your daily diet again. I reintroduced eggs (with specialist advice), and tomatoes, in that order, but if you have anaphylaxis don’t do this!. Speak to your doctor or dietician if you’re unsure of how to do this, or check out my previous blog post “Egg intolerance cured!”
- The early bird catches the worm – By setting the alarm clock for an hour earlier just think what you could achieve. That’s seven more hours a week, and more if you get up even earlier! Get the slow cooker on first thing so you have the rest of the day free, and return to the intoxicating aroma of a delicious cooked meal ready and waiting for you. Start the day with a run, build up from ten minutes to twenty, twenty five etc. then wallow in the virtuous feeling that vigorous exercise always leaves you with. It will set you up for the day.
- Renew your Epipens – It’s that time of year again when you get a new diary and transfer over all the birthdays, anniversaries and special dates. Make sure you know when your EpiPen expires and put a reminder in your diary to renew it. You can also get reminders from all the adrenaline autoinjector providers, make sure you register your pens online to get reminded. It’s a really good practise to do at the start of each year.
- Stop apologising for having allergies – I find myself often doing this, I start a conversation by say, Sorry, I’m allergic to dairy, nuts etc. I think we should all stop doing that! Immediately! We should not feel we need to apologise for anything.
- Own your allergies – Be confident and own your allergies. Linked to the previous point, if you struggle to articulate your allergies confidently, learn to use more positive, controlled language.
- Start advocating for allergy awareness – You can do tiny small things, just support other allergy advocates or get more involved. You don’t have to be blogging, sharing and fund raising to be a better allergy ally or advocate. Check out 20 tips for being an allergy advocate.
- Get therapy – You might not even think you need any therapy, or you might be really struggling. It can be really hard finding the help you need. Make 2023 the year you take control, even if that’s just confiding in another allergy or trusted friend, or your doctor. Take that first step towards living a better happier life, despite living with the risk or anaphylaxis. The following blog might help: Do you need help with your mental health?
- Write an allergy and anaphylaxis Action Plan – If you haven’t already done one of these, you should. Even if you believe you know exactly what do, others who might be caring for you might not. If you print one out and have it with your medication anyone can use it and give you best care necessary. Read Write your Allergy and Anaphylaxis Action plan here
My New Year’s resolution is to be prepared! It really does make living with allergies much easier; be prepared when eating out, going away, cooking at home, visiting friends, out shopping. Live your life to the full and enjoy it. Don’t sit at home feeling sorry for yourself. Get out there and make a difference.