So I have this fearful, yet, joyous and passionate relationship with food.
Having severe food allergies since the age of two makes me see the realm of food differently from those who are blessed without this disease. Some foods are dangerous for me and will result in an anaphylactic reaction. These foods are dairy, egg, peanut, tree nuts, sesame/poppy/mustard seeds among others. I have been trained for almost 18 years to strictly avoid these foods because I am allergic. Throughout life, this brings many cases of uncontrollable paranoia, nerves, anxiety, and straight up anger sometimes. However, I love the food that I CAN eat.
I am incredibly passionate about cooking, baking, and Nutrition. I enjoy challenging myself by developing recipes that are allergy friendly so that other people in this community can enjoy them too. All of my years growing up in an Italian home, my family would always make homemade foods including an allergy friendly version for me- from pizza to apple crisp; from bread to non-dairy ice cream and everything in between. I thought this was the way that everyone did things. Because that was my normal, I had no idea people were buying prepackaged bread, pouring pancakes out of a Bisquick jug, or baking cake from a box...until I got older that is. I hope to lead by example and show people how fun and rewarding homemade cooking is for you; not only nutritionally but for your soul as well.
All of this leads to me embarking on a new journey about a year ago. I created an online community called "Nutritionally Nicole" where I am helping the food allergy community come together and enjoy amazing food. I self manage a Youtube channel where I post vlogs, recipe videos, food allergy advice, and share bits and pieces of my story with all of you. I also curated a blog where I post all of my allergy friendly recipes so that you can try them out for yourself!
By doing all of this, I hope to help those of you with food allergies looking for a place to communicate with one another or are looking for a place where someone understands what you're going through. I hope my journey with food allergies and healthy living will help you discover new and different ways to cook and bake with foods. Most of all, I hope by joining my community, you find a place of happiness and a place of belonging.
With love, Nicole Ciuppa.