Are you a fan of Allergy Girl Eats? If you're not familiar with the site already, visit it now! Jo and I love AGE because Kortney, its founder, shares vibrant recipes, travel tips, and relatable personal experiences. Food doesn't feel restricted or off limits when you see the creative dishes she comes up with.
For us 2017 is all about newer, better, and more often - so what better way to get a head start on that than by profiling one of our favorite allergy bloggers?
All photos used in this article are Kortney's own original works.
What inspired you to start Allergy Girl Eats?
It all started because I was going a little crazy: feeling alone and worried that I was overreacting about how cautious I was when it came to my food allergies. There was only so much I could vent about to my husband before I would eventually make him go crazy too. So, I turned to the internet to see if other allergy people felt similarly. While there were a few blogs and groups for allergic adults, I felt like there weren't many resources catering specifically to our audience.
Most of the resources, blogs, and support groups I found were geared toward allergy parents. This lit a fire inside me, and I was inspired to create a place for allergy kids to see what life is like when they leave home. I also wanted to stress how we need to give allergy kids space to do it on their own.
Plus I love to cook! I want to encourage people with food allergies to fall in love with cooking and as a result, feel empowered by their allergies not hindered. There are so many dishes that I make that are inspired by something I can’t have.
What is your favorite topic to write about?
I've developed a lot of my allergies in my late teens, which means I have memories of foods I once ate. I like to write about recipes that have been modified to suit my dietary needs.
Can you share a challenge you faced as a result of your allergies and how have you overcome it?
Does embarrassment count? I used to be so embarrassed about my allergies, whether it was talking about them or feeling that I was holding people back. Sometimes I would rather stay at home than go out because of this.
Honestly, the only way to overcome this is to embrace your food allergies as a part of your life. Unfortunately, they aren’t going anywhere. I still feel embarrassment creep up and instead of letting it take over, I own my allergies. Writing about the struggles of food allergies has helped as a release and knowing that my experiences with allergies are not unique.
Can you share a piece of allergy-related wisdom?
The one thing I tell everyone with food allergies is to have a chef card. I cannot tell you how many times this has helped me in a restaurant. Keep the chef card with your EpiPen; then you are ready for any spontaneous eating out adventure.
What free-from food (brand or single item) could you not live without?
We don’t have many free from brands that suit my needs in Germany, but more are rumored to be coming. I don’t have a 'go to' brand at the moment.
I can’t live without coconut oil. I don’t have a dairy allergy but love baking dairy free and this is all because of coconut oil. Plus it is so versatile, I use it to oil pull, as a lotion, or in your coffee scrub instead of olive oil!