You’ve been on Facebook and no doubt seen the days of thankfulness challenge. You know the one…Day 1 and I’m thankful for…fill in the blank. Although I don’t participate on social media, it is something I introspectively make room for every day…time to count my blessings.
Gratitude is a powerful tool. Outside of faith, I think it is possibly the only other action that gives us the perspective on life that we so desperately yearn for…peace.
So in honor of the countdown to Thanksgiving, here are 23 things that I am giving food allergy and/or gluten-free thanks for:
1. My son: As an almost 12-year-old, my son inspires me every day. He lives out loud that food allergies can only define you if you let it. You are beyond amazing, son, and I am so proud of your perseverance and determination.
2. Our allergist: I know you are reading, Dr. K and we are always so grateful for your guidance and wisdom. Thank you for knowing the true value of listening to a parent who knows their child better than anyone else! We need more doctors like you!
3. Food Allergy Research Education (FARE): This organization (formerly FAAN) has been an invaluable source of education and support from a time before online support groups existed. Thank you for the free resources you provide families, schools, and organizations. I’m particularly grateful for your advocacy efforts and all that you do to make the world a safer, more understanding place for people with food allergies.
4. Enjoy Life: This company makes a ton of delicious products that are free from the top 8 allergens. On any given day you can find our pantry stocked up on Enjoy Life granola and crunchy cookies…just to name a few of our favs. They continue to raise the bar in the number and quality of allergy-friendly products they offer. Thank you for all you do for the food allergy community!
5. SunButter: There are no words to convey my family’s love for SunButter or our admiration for their dedication to the food allergy community. This is our favorite sunflower spread on the market. Their new on-the-go SunButter cups are a simple and protein-filled compliment to any meal or snack.
6. King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour: It feels like I’ve tried every gluten-free flour mix known to man, and not a one of them has come as close to the real thing as King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour. I’m also loving the great gluten-free recipes you share on social media. Thank you for making such a quality product that is available at most grocery stores.
7. Izzi B’s: Making a gingerbread house every year has always been a tradition for me and my family when I was a young girl. At the onset of a food allergy diagnosis, that came to a screeching halt…UNTIL I found and fell in love with Izzi B’s amazing gingerbread houses! It is a holiday MUST! Truly, nobody makes allergy-friendly gingerbread houses like Izzi B. Order one today and beat the holiday rush!
8. Allergic Living Magazine: This a highly informative publication that has their finger on the trends in allergy and asthma living and research. I especially enjoy reading articles by contributor, Gina Clowes.
9. Mylan: The EpiPen saves lives and we are so grateful to have access to it. I’m especially thankful for Mylan’s commitment to the food allergy community in all that they do support schools and organizations. Their EpiPen app and autoinjector cases are just two more examples of their dedication and attention to detail. Thank you, Mylan.
10. H-E-B: This Texas grocery store chain has a huge variety of gluten-free and allergy friendly goodies at rock bottom prices. They are a food allergy family’s best friend! And did you know that if you don’t live in Texas and are hearing me rave about this store…you can now order online and experience the H-E-B goodness in your own home (delivery to 46 states)!
11. Stephanie Sorkin: One of my fav children’s books for food allergies is Nutley the Nut-Free Squirrel, by Stephanie Sorkin! She does an amazing job of educating children about food allergies! This book is a must have to share with your child’s class at school, church, or any extra curricular activities.
12. Canyon Bakehouse: This is my go-to gluten-free bread this year! I’m simply in love with their gluten-free bread, bagels, brownie bites, and more. This company takes great care in their work of producing a quality and delicious product. I’m also especially grateful to Canyon Bakehouse for supporting our FARE Walk team this year! This is an amazing company!
13. Carrabbas: We have one of these restaurant’s close by and they are phenomenal in meeting our food allergy and gluten-free needs every single time we visit their establishment. The whole family is able to safely eat at our local Carrabba’s and as most of you know, that in itself is quite a treat!
14. Kinnikinnick: This company holds a special place in my heart for bringing back the gluten, nut, and peanut-free donut. Thank you for making this a perfect Saturday morning treat!
15. Crave Cupcakes: There is no other way to say it. This company makes the. best. gluten-free. cupcakes. ever. No really…they do. The cupcakes taste sinfully delicious, are not at all crumbly, and simply melt in your mouth. Seriously, if there is a gluten-free cupcake of the month club here…it’s the perfect Christmas gift for me!
16. Walt Disney World: I’m so grateful to Disney for allowing the Magical Kingdom to be truly magical…even for those with food allergies. They are beyond wonderful when it comes to vacationing with food allergies. Thank you for bringing vacation back!
17. Conte’s: It’s hard to find a really good gluten-free pizza, but the whole family enjoys Conte’s pizzas. If for some reason you’re not crazy about the kind of pizza that comes straight from the box, you can buy plain frozen crusts (in a 2 pack) and make your own creation. We love it!
18. Liberation Gluten-Free Bakery: It’s almost criminal how easy Angela at Liberation Gluten-Free Bakery makes baking look. She offers a variety of confections from cookies, to cakes, to brownies, and so much more. She is our go to for delicious baked goodies on special celebrations.
19. Kids With Food Allergies and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: These organizations work together to provide outstanding coverage of food allergy education, advocacy, and resources. They so willingly give of their time and energy to support the greater food allergy community! Thank you, KFA and AAFA!
20. Trader Joe’s Raw Pecan Pieces: I’m so thankful for the special pecans I could find only at Trader Joe’s that are made in a pecan only facility. These particular pecans were a life-saver (literally) for my family when I needed pecans (with no cross contamination with other nuts) for my son’s pecan challenge. (And he PASSED the food challenge and I’m beyond thankful for that!)
21. Garth Brooks‘ song, “Mom”: It perfectly reminds me of my job as a mom…especially The Food Allergy Mom. I *heart* this song.
22. God: I honestly wouldn’t be where I am without my faith. Thank you, God, for walking my precious family through every single step of this journey and the blessings you provide along the way.
23. YOU: I am so thankful for my readers who support others in their food allergy journeys. Thank you for being a source of positivity for so many.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Wishing you much joy and many blessings,