The Land of Can

Student & Advocate. Empowering children w/ food allergies & their families. “You are who you are & who you can be. Not who you're not.” #foodallergies

Food Allergy Dad vs. Plastic Vegetable Bag ... My dad said something recently that I had never thought about. He struggles opening plastic vegetable bags in grocery stores. ... "You know how sometimes people lick their fingers to open them," he said with a laugh. "I remember one time I had unsafe food for lunch and when I was at the grocery store later that day, I was worried about licking my fingers to open a vegetable bag. I could not get it open! I couldn't lick my thumb because then I was worried that I'd touch the bag which could then touch the tomatoes that you would eat later." ... That got me thinking. Without licking your fingers, what are some easy ways to open plastic vegetable bags in grocery stores? This could literally be the dumbest question I ever posted, but I really don't think my dad is the only one who struggles with this. Anyway, I'd love to pass a tip or two along. Thanks. ... #thelandofcan #thelandofnot #jjvulopas #canspirational #foodallergy #foodallergies #foodallergiessuck #foodallergymom #foodallergylife #foodallergyfamily #foodallergyawareness #foodallergykid #foodallergykids #peanutallergy #glutenfree #dairyfree #anaphylaxis #allergymom #canpaign @safeandincluded @faactnews @foodallergyfund @elijahsecho @redsneakersforoakley @kidswithfoodallergies @endallergiestogether @elijahsecho @kidswithfoodallergies
Situation Food Allergy: You find a full tree nut in your “allergy-safe” dish. What do you do? ... This scenario is taken from a real situation, which happened while my parents, sister and I were celebrating at what was one of my favorite national chains, P.F. Chang’s. ... Over the next few weeks, I will be writing a series of occasional posts about my incident, about my talks with their national headquarters, and about my takeaways. ... I have recommended P.F. Chang’s to a lot of people with food allergies over the years. After talking with P.F. Chang’s, I can’t recommend them to someone with a food allergy. More on that in upcoming posts. ... Today, let’s start with a scenario. ... Your family of four is celebrating a special dinner at one of your favorite restaurants. When you arrive, you follow the allergy protocol. You talk to a manager about your allergy, inform the waitress, and order from the special menu. When the meal arrives, you double check with the waitress that it is safe.Indeed, it looks awesome. ... Your family begins to the enjoy the meal. Since you also ordered a safe appetizer first, it takes you a few extra minutes before you dig into your main meal. As you always do, you give the meal a quick glance. That’s when you see it. ... “Dad, what is this?” ... Your dad grabs your fork and looks at the item. Is it garlic? A vegetable? Nope. It’s a tree nut. A full tree nut. ... Panic ensues at the table. ... “Did you eat anything yet?” he demands. ... "Are you OK?” my mom gasps. “Look at me." ... After he confirms you are OK, your dad grabs the plate and rushes to the manager. The manager’s expression tells you everything you need to know. Indeed, it is a full tree nut. Indeed, someone in the kitchen messed up. ... Your trust is once again shattered. The celebration meal is ruined. And your anger towards your allergy is as toxic as the nut you almost ate. ... What would each family member do in that situation? ... #thelandofcan #foodallergy #foodallergies #foodallergiessuck #foodallergymom #foodallergylife #foodallergyfamily #foodallergykids #foodallergymama @redsneakersforoakley @spokininc @elijahsecho @pfchangs @allergyeats
Over the past few months, I’ve had the great fortune to introduce the 13 words of The Land of Can to many elementary students. Yesterday, I was excited to read the Red Sneakers for Oakley Edition of the Land of Not to third graders in the elementary school I once called home, John Beck in Lititz PA.! - I’ll be writing much more about my visit in a future post. - To the elementary school administrators across the nation who open their doors to The Land of Can, I say, “Thank you! You get it, and our food allergy community appreciates you far more than any words I can post on my blog." - #thelandofnot #jjvulopas #canspirational #foodallergy #foodallergies #foodallergiessuck #foodallergymom #foodallergylife #foodallergyfamily #foodallergyawareness #foodallergykid #foodallergykids #foodallergymama #peanutallergy #glutenfree #dairyfree #anaphylaxis #allergymom #canpaign @safeandincluded @faactnews @foodallergyfund @elijahsecho @redsneakersforoakley @kidswithfoodallergies @endallergiestogether @foodallergy @foodallergyfund @nonuts4me
The answer is D. What if my food allergy was a real person? What if I could talk to him about what he's taught me over the years. Thursdays I get that chance... - Mr. A., my allergy, reaches into his bag and pulls out another package. And then another. And another. - "Did your Mom ever use these when you were a baby?" he asks, as he opens one of the packages. "I bet she was one of those thorough mothers who cleaned you really really really really well." - He laughs and I ignore him. Mom is off limits. - He puts the opened package to his nose and inhales deeply. - "I love this chamomile scent," he says presenting the package to me. - I wave him away. - He reaches into his bag again. And again. There are now six different brands of baby wipes on the table. - "Aren't you going to ask me why I have all these baby wipes?" - Read the full post. Link in bio. #thelandofcan #thelandofnot #jjvulopas #canspirational #foodallergy #foodallergies #foodallergiessuck #foodallergymom #foodallergylife #foodallergyfamily #foodallergyawareness #foodallergykid #foodallergykids #foodallergymama #peanutallergy #glutenfree #dairyfree #anaphylaxis #allergymom #canpaign @safeandincluded @faactnews @foodallergyfund @elijahsecho @redsneakersforoakley @kidswithfoodallergies
I was in the car crying because I had failed another food challenge. My doctor and parents had been exceptionally hopeful about this one, and I happened to believe their optimism a bit too much. The letdown hurt. _ On my ride home, my parents were trying to reassure me. They were giving all the “It’s going be OK” lines. I wasn’t having it. _ That’s when they pulled the car into a supermarket parking lot. My mom turned around. - “JJ, here’s another food challenge,” she said in an excited tone. “Let’s count all of the foods in here that you can eat.” _ I looked at her oddly. “I’m not getting out of the car, mom!” She wasn’t having it. _ We went inside the grocery store, walked past the carts, and stood at the base of the aisle. “We’ll start here.” _ My parents immediately started counting items in the first aisle. A few moments later, I joined them. We literally stood there counting out loud. I lost count after aisle three. _ My sense of “CAN” was born in aisle three, and it’s grown ever since. _ Read full post. Link in bio. - #thelandofcan #thelandofnot #jjvulopas #canspirational #foodallergy #foodallergies #foodallergiessuck #foodallergymom #foodallergylife #foodallergyfamily #foodallergyawareness #foodallergykid #foodallergykids #foodallergymama #peanutallergy #glutenfree #dairyfree #anaphylaxis #allergymom #canpaign @safeandincluded @faactnews @foodallergyfund @elijahsecho @redsneakersforoakley @kidswithfoodallergies @endallergiestogether @foodallergy @kidswithfoodallergies @nonuts4me
When your 14-year-old son, who is allergic to dairy and peanuts, tells you his club soccer team is staying overnight at an upcoming tournament, you immediately call the hotel to ask about the complimentary breakfast it offers guests. - After hearing the "menu," you tell your son he can enjoy three breakfast items: Apples. Bananas. Hard boiled eggs. In addition, you send an email to one of the chaperones confirming what your son can eat. - When the day arrives and the team approaches the breakfast bar, your son's friends immediately begin their attack. "Get enough to eat," the coach announces, as the kids rush everywhere. "You won't be eating lunch until later, and I don't want to hear anyone saying they're hungry." - Your son grabs a clean plate and two bananas. Then he walks to the hard boiled eggs, which just happen to be sitting directly beside the shredded cheese. (The picture above gives you exactly what he sees.) What does he do next? - #thelandofcan #thelandofnot #jjvulopas #canspirational #foodallergy #foodallergies #foodallergiessuck #foodallergymom #foodallergylife #foodallergyfamily #foodallergyawareness #foodallergykid #foodallergykids #foodallergymama #peanutallergy #glutenfree #dairyfree #anaphylaxis #allergymom #canpaign @safeandincluded @faactnews @foodallergyfund @elijahsecho @redsneakersforoakley @kidswithfoodallergies @endallergiestogether
Like if you agree. One of the missions of my blog is to introduce young people who have food allergies to the Land of Can. We must teach our children how to have a healthy relationship with the “nots” that are beyond their control. They can’t ignore a not obviously, especially if it’s a health matter. But a child with a food allergy can learn how to balance safety with normalcy.  Safety with normalcy. Safety with normalcy. Your child is more than a food allergy. Read full post. Link in bio. #thelandofcan #thelandofnot #jjvulopas #canspirational #foodallergy #foodallergies #foodallergiessuck #foodallergymom #foodallergylife #foodallergyfamily #foodallergyawareness #foodallergykid #foodallergykids #foodallergymama #peanutallergy #glutenfree #dairyfree #anaphylaxis #allergymom #canpaign @safeandincluded @faactnews @foodallergyfund @elijahsecho @redsneakersforoakley @kidswithfoodallergies @foodallergy @endallergiestogether @foodallergypi @foodallergyfund
Each Saturday my parents and I have an honest podcast discussion about the challenges of raising a child with an allergy. I’ve never really talked to my parents about the challenges they had raising me. I’m eager to find things out. Maybe their experiences might help someone else, too. This week we talk about my goals for 2019. Listen to the full podcast. Link in bio. #thelandofcan #thelandofnot #jjvulopas #canspirational #foodallergy #foodallergies #foodallergiessuck #foodallergymom #foodallergylife #foodallergyfamily #foodallergyawareness #foodallergykid #foodallergykids #foodallergymama #peanutallergy #glutenfree #dairyfree #anaphylaxis #allergymom #canpaign @safeandincluded @faactnews @foodallergyfund @elijahsecho @redsneakersforoakley @kidswithfoodallergies
What if my food allergy was a real person? What if I could talk to him about what he's taught me? Thursdays I get that chance... - Mr. A, my allergy, is waiting at the table when I sit down. - "One, two, three..." - “What are you doing?” I reluctantly ask as I place my bag on the back of my seat. - “Just counting crumbs,” he says with a sly smile. "Boy, the person who sat here before was a slob.” - "Four, five, six…" - “And I think they’re cupcake crumbs,” he continues as he picks up one and puts it in his mouth. “Yes! Extra milky! Looks like you’ll have to wipe the table!” - "Seven, eig—" - I grab my bag and walk to another table. He stumbles a bit before standing up, falling back, and eventually following me. - “Don’t you ever get tired of moving to new tables?” he says, half out of breath. “You just can't let your guard down.” - I ignore him. - He continues: “Remember sitting in spilled milk in middle school? I still laugh out loud at the expression on your face.” - I roll my eyes. - “In front of the whole cafeteria, you walked like a robot to the nurse that day," he adds. "Then you cried like a baby until your mom came to pick you up.” - “I was embarrassed,” I say. “But what happened the next time I had to go home to get changed?” - He stops and thinks. “I don’t think you were ever sent home again.” - “Exactly,” I counter. “The next day I brought in an extra change of clothes to the nurse’s office just in case. I rose forward.” - “Rose what?” - “Forward,” I say with emphasis. “You taught me to rise forward.” - Read the full post. Link in bio. @redsneakersforoakley @faactnews @foodallergy @endallergiestogether @foodallergyfund @shmallergy @jennyfabc @spokininc @foodallergymama @allergysuperheroes #thelandofcan #thelandofnot #jjvulopas #canspirational #foodallergy #foodallergies #foodallergiessuck #foodallergymom #foodallergylife #foodallergyfamily #foodallergyawareness #foodallergyfriendly #foodallergykid #foodallergykids #foodallergymama #peanutallergy #glutenfree
Do you see the lucky coin? There it is, the bottom right of the picture. I got it this year. And that means one thing: It’s going to be a fantastic 2019. On New Year's Day, our family cuts the vasilopita tsoureki to bless the house and bring good luck for the new year. Vasilopita, pronounced vah-see-LO-pee-tah, is the Greek lucky new year’s bread that has a coin hidden in it. It is tradition for each family to have their own vasilopita and a piece is cut for each family member. If the coin is in your piece you supposedly have good luck for the rest of the year. I got it this year! My grandmother always hides the lucky New Year’s coin in the tsoureki, which is the traditional Greek sweet bread she makes for New Year’s and for Easter. And do you know why I can enjoy it? Because when I was younger, my grandmother went through the ingredients and made substitutions so the bread is now dairy and tree nut free for our family to enjoy. Baking tsoureki is a time-consuming process so making simple substitutions, and keeping the taste similar to what people have enjoyed for centuries, isn’t as easy as it sounds. But she did it for me. And it tastes amazing. Happy 2019. Let’s make it great. #foodallergy #foodallergies #foodallergymom #milkallergy #dairyallergy #dairyallergies @endallergiestogether @elijahsecho @nonuts4me @redsneakersforoakley @faactnews @foodallergy @foodallergyfund #peanutallergy #nutallergies #nutallergy #tsoureki #thelandofcan #thelandofnot #landofcan #landofnot
Food Allergy Can Openers: My Family When you come from a big Greek & Italian family, food plays an integral role in everything. The accommodations my extended family have made for me over my life are truly extraordinary. Many of our larger family events were made entirely milk and tree nut free so I could enjoy myself like every one else. To this day, my extended family accommodates my allergy in amazing ways. I’m certain it wasn’t always easy, but I promise you it was always appreciated. Thank you for understanding the severity of my allergies, for demonstrating what family truly means, and for helping me to Live in The Land of CAN! You all are my Can Openers. How does your extended family help you live in Can? Contact me. I'd love to hear about it. #thelandofcan #thelandofnot #jjvulopas #canspirational #foodallergy #foodallergies #foodallergiessuck #foodallergymom #foodallergylife #foodallergyfamily #foodallergyawareness #foodallergyfriendly #foodallergykid #foodallergykids #foodallergymama #peanutallergy #glutenfree #dairyfree #anaphylaxis #allergymom #canpaign @safeandincluded @faactnews @foodallergyfund @elijahsecho @redsneakersforoakley @kidswithfoodallergies
Like. Follow. Share. Enjoy. ⠀ ⠀ What if my food allergy was a real person? What if I could talk to him about what he’s taught me over the years? Thursdays I get my chance.⠀ ⠀ BLOG POST #305 — I'm walking down the street when Mr. A., my food allergy, runs up beside me.⠀ ⠀ "Hey," he says. "I didn't think I'd see you today."⠀ ⠀ I nod and keep walking. The streets are busy with people. Lots of tourists. Walking in front of us is a father holding his child on his shoulders.⠀ ⠀ "Remember when you used to carry me on your shoulders," Mr. A says to me. "You looked so silly because I weighed so much more than you and you were so, so small."⠀ ⠀ I keep walking, ignoring him.⠀ ⠀ "That must have made you tired," he continues. "Everywhere you went, I was on your shoulders. I loved it though. I had the best view around."⠀ ⠀ "I remember it well," I finally concede. "I did carry you for far too long when I younger. I felt like I was carrying an elephant everywhere I went."⠀ ⠀ Mr. A. smiles.⠀ ⠀ "But then I learned something," I say. "I learned that just because I have you does not mean I have to carry you. So I dropped you."⠀ ⠀ Mr. A. frowns. I smile.⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #thelandofcan #thelandofnot #jjvulopas #canspirational #foodallergy #foodallergies #foodallergiessuck #foodallergymom #foodallergylife #foodallergyfamily #foodallergyawareness #foodallergyfriendly #foodallergykid #foodallergykids #foodallergymama #peanutallergy #glutenfree #dairyfree #anaphylaxis #allergymom #canpaign @endallergiestogether @foodallergy @kidswithfoodallergies @allergysuperheroes @zanestealkitchen @spokininc @redsneakersforoakley @elijahsecho @foodallergyfund @safeandfair @aafanational @allergycloud @allergiclivingmag @childrensphila @faactnews @safeandincluded @allergymama333
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