Hello, we're Amanda Orlando and Joella Almeida.
Founded June 30, 2016. Everyday Allergen-Free is a lifestyle site for adults and teens dealing with food allergies. We aim to inspire confidence in people living with this invisible disability.
Jo and Mandy met at university, in Toronto, where they were placed together as roommates in residence. They were fast friends from day one. Mandy is allergic to peanuts, nuts, dairy, and legumes. Jo has no allergies (except the seasonal kind) but takes great care to ensure her friend is always safe and included.
In 2015, after nearly 12 years reaction-free, Amanda suffered an anaphylactic reaction due to improperly labelled bread that contained casein. Her relationship with food was forever changed. Having a reaction as an adult had vastly different effects on her than having one as a child. Suddenly she was riddled with anxiety and had strong distrust for food which disrupted her formerly healthy eating habits.
She leaned on friends like Jo to help her get back to "normal". But she wanted something more, a resource or community to read about what allergic people her age were experiencing and feeling. How do you manage your allergies on a business trip? How does it affect social situations? When she couldn't find the community she needed, she decided to start writing about her own experiences.
Fast forward a year later, when she and Jo decided that they could make a difference together. They formed EAF, a lifestyle site for teens and adults with food allergies. No topic is off limits, and outside allergy writers are welcome. From dating, work life, and bullying, to recipes, nutrition, beauty products, and entertaining, they cover it all.
Amanda is the author and food photographer of Allergen-Free Desserts (2015) and Everyone's Welcome (2019)
Kavita is our superstar assistant
Kavita is currently in her third year at the University of Toronto, majoring in Book & Media Studies. She loves Harry Potter, reading, travelling, and trying out new vegetarian recipes.
She is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, and is excited to work with the EAF team to raise awareness about food allergies!
Follow her on Twitter or Instagram @kavitagurm
This is Carmen, our fabulous artist
Carmen Szeto is a 25-year-old freelance illustrator, artist and photographer based in Toronto, ON.
Her passion for wildlife and travel emulates directly in her photography and realism artwork through a mix of brilliant colours and clean lines. Though her typical media of choice is acrylic, Carmen uses a variety of media such as oil paint and pen & ink. Her drive to challenge herself in creating a variety of work separates her style from others with the use of many techniques.
If you are interested in purchasing any of Carmen's prints and artwork, go to www.society6.com/carmenszetodesigns or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for special requests. You can find Carmen on Instagram @carmenszetodesigns and Facebook @Carmen Szeto Designs to keep up to date on her latest work.
Meet Emma, our new lifestyle writer
Emma Berglund is a 22 year old creative currently working at CTV’s Etalk.
In her spare time she enjoys working on passion projects and side hustles, creating Instagram flatlays, reading, fangirling, running her own local charity and trying new fitness classes around the city.
She is anaphylactic to dairy and eggs and is thrilled to be working with EAF to create more of a discussion and awareness around food allergies, sex and relationships.
And our nutritionist, Claudina
Claudina Covarrubias is a certified nutritionist from Mérida, México who now resides in Toronto. She is excited to share valuable nutritional info on our growing team. Clau has always had a passion for food and health throughout her life in Mexico. Since moving cities, this passion has grown even more whilst pursuing further studies at George Brown College.
Growing up in a sports atmosphere where she played tennis made her realize the importance of balancing a well-nourished diet alongside sports activities. Her mantra is "the more we know about our bodies, our food and our well-being, the sooner we can recognize that we have a powerful ability to impact the way we feel everyday."
She'll be giving us some tips on how to manage deficiencies that can be challenging when you have a food allergy by choosing the right nutrients to help support your immune system. Her goal is to empower you to live a whole and healthy lifestyle where you can feel your best.