November 19, 2017

Embracing Cooking for Allergies

This month, we’ve begun focusing on embracing our family, our home, and even the circumstances we’ve been given.

I love the word embrace because it is such a customizable word. Everyone has different things they need to embrace. When I saw Brandy wanted to talk about embracing in the month of March, I immediately thought about cooking. It might seem a strange thing to have to embrace, but I have been struggling with it for a few years now.

Today, I am mostly just going to share my story of embracing this season of my life. One of cooking for multiple intolerances and allergies. Frequently I feel pretty lonely in this, but I know I am not. So, I hope to bless others walking a similar journey.

Honestly, as far as cooking for special dietary needs we have it pretty easy around here in that none of the foods my daughters or I cannot have cause anaphylaxis. But, still cooking a gluten, dairy, corn, soy, most tree nut, xanthan and guar gum, and egg-free diet is no picnic. At least not one where peanut butter and jelly is the obvious choice.

Over the last couple years we have found new restrictions. Each one meant spending more time in the kitchen. Let me just say, I will never underestimate how wonderful eggs are again!

A lot of advice to young moms with young kids revolves around taking it easy. Particularly in the food department (at least it seems like that to me). While there are definitely things I can do to make it easier in the kitchen, most convenience foods are too hard to get or too expensive to get on a regular basis.

Natalia Cooking

Almost a year ago I hit a brick wall. I guess it was one too many diet restrictions. I was sick of cooking, and began hating it. While it is has never been a big hobby, I have always enjoyed cooking so that was a big change.

I hated how much time it took. That I no longer could spend time crafting and drawing- my creative outlet. I hated how it was not uncommon for foods to be a complete and utter flop. But, like it or not I needed to be cooking. So, it ended up that rather than trying to run from it as far as I could, on a somewhat short leash, I embraced it full on.

Cooking became my creative outlet. I miss other crafts– but they will wait for another season.

I still have to remind myself sometimes, that that is fine.

  • It is fine that this season of my life does not involve a lot of home decorating.
  • It is fine that our food budget has increased drastically since needing to cut out nuts, eggs, and dairy.
  • It is fine that right now the special activities I do with the kids almost always involve them standing on chairs in the kitchen peeling garlic, or slicing bananas. That I am not some sort of freak because my son asks me almost every day “can we make something yummy mommy?”
  • It would be strange if the kitchen I cooked from scratch in as many times as 6 a day was always clean. (Don’t laugh šŸ˜€ realizing that was actually a pretty big relief)
  • Conversations made with my husband while he does dishes and I cook are still valuable conversations and quality time.
  • Cooking is a perfectly reasonable hobby. Just like painting, drawing, and sewing.
  • It is fine if cooking takes the front burner on my homemaking stove.
  • It is fine if I decide figuring out a good cake recipe before my daughter’s birthday party (3 months away) is worth a hundred failed mini batches.
  • It is fine if not only I cook, but that I also blog about food. That does not mean I am obsessed with food.
  • It is fine if my kids rarely have sandwiches (one of the hardest meals to make) and have a rather unique diet in general.

What about you? Do you cook for allergies? Did you have trouble embracing that the time that took was worth it?

What are some things you struggle to embrace?


  1. Wow! We have a nearly identical list of food sensitivities. I never really thought about how it would be odd for my kitchen to be clean given how much I cook. Thank you for that. I go through seasons of embracing it and seasons of wanting to just cook with whatever (and not pay through the nose for it).

    • Danielle says:

      My husband and son have developed allergies and over the last few months I’ve become overwhelmed and tired at the thought of creating a meal. We’ve done a lot of change in a short amount of time to address significant health concerns. Your post was so encouraging; I can identify with the feeling of hating to cook. I’ve tried to focus on the ingredients I do get to use v. the ones I cannot. And I’ve recently decided I need to find ways that we get ‘fun’ foods too; not just the nutritional, ‘fill you up’ stuff. My son’s birthday is a month away and I’ve tried to think through what cake/cupcakes we could provide for him too….I relate to you! Thank you for this!

  2. Hi, lm a lactose intolerant child growing up in the sixty. I was always sick, I missed most of first and second grade because of it. There solutation was jello,toast,pepto, stool softners. Didnt have many friends, I couldnt leave the house. Im intolerant to many fruits as well. Now being in my fourty I know. Do you know almost all process food have milk in them. So most of my foods are homemade.

  3. Chrissy says:

    We have lots of intolerances (I rarely call them allergies, though some of them are, because people hear allergy and think runny noses and anaphylaxis, our issues are all gut and behavior) and I have felt overwhelmed and lonely with it all many times over the years. We seem to be getting to a lovely place of all of us accepting it fairly well, I know lots of yummy things to make, more and more restaurants in our area can accommodate us and my kids have improved over time. Their sensitivity is a lot less now than it was originally. I still get frustrated with the small, stupid stuff…their school provides snacks but won’t bother to purchase snacks for my kids so I must…which is okay but they rarely remember to tell me they are running low until it means I have make a special trip that night or the kids have no snack the next day. Small stuff like that happens all the time and makes this lifestyle somewhat frustrating and tiring. It is always something. Always taking snacks in my purse, always bringing their dinner to parties, always having to eat at the same tiny handful of restaurants and never getting kids meal prices because the kids meals are breaded and/or cheese covered. Expensive.

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