February 2010 changed my life.  After some thirty years of migraines, upset stomachs, and a fear of eating out in public in case I became unwell I was encouraged by my wife to see a doctor about food allergies.

To say I gave a positive reaction to the tests is a gentle understatement.  I am very lucky and do not yet suffer life threatening reactions to any of my triggers, but have a long list of allergic triggers, and also a list of ingredients to which I am intolerant that will exaggerate any allergic reaction.

So what can’t I eat?  The list is such that I now print it on a card and hand it to staff when I dine out (giving a day or more advance warning where possible).  It reads as follows:

Please be aware that I am allergic to the following:

Grains; Barley, Oat, Rye, Wheat, Sesame Seeds.  In addition I am also allergic to Rice and Soy found in many “gluten free” alternatives.

All poultry: Including use in stocks & bases for sauces.

Oils: Soy, Olive, Nut Oils, Sesame. Including use in marinades and dressings

Dairy: Milk, Cheese, Butter

Beans, peas, squashes, zucchini, and mushrooms

All tree nuts, and also peanuts.

Also any soy or yeast based products.

If you have any questions, please ask me.

Thank you for your understanding.


2 thoughts on “About”

  1. It may also be very helpful to print on the opposite side of the card what you CAN eat (that is simple and easy to “digest” for those a restaurants, family, and friends alike. Perhaps even giving brands. BTW, what is the difference between “tree nuts” and “other” nuts?

    • The obvious nut first is the peanut, which isn’t a tree nut but is in fact a type of bean, a legume. Then you have nuts which are actually drupes (meaning they are covered by a leathery fleshy wrapper) such as almonds, walnuts, and pecans. Next there are the seeds; pine nut, Brazil nut, cashew. Pistachio is the seed of a drupe! By saying tree nuts I mean “all of the above” plus any other nut you may be thinking of!

      I considered a list of what I can eat, but it tends to fall under “everything else” and is a very long list of options. I usually find restaurant staff, particularly chefs like the chance to be creative beyond the normal fixed menu, and have eaten some lovely “original creations” after discussing my needs and using the card as a starter. In addition, the card makes it quick and easy to know what the staff have to warn me about. I was very impressed that Rustico (Alexandria, VA) considered the fact that although their oil was canola, and therefore safe, I could not eat their french fries because they had fried the pine nuts for salads in the oil the day before, thus risking cross contamination. This attention to detail makes a huge difference!

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