How to Survive Dating with Severe Food Allergies
Dating can be hard, especially with food allergies. Learn how Jenna Schreck, the No Whey Lady has handled it.
What led you to advocating for those suffering from severe food allergies?
I thrive with a severe dairy allergy and a less severe but still very real gluten and corn sensitivity. While those have been a mainstay, I was dealing with debilitating gut issues about four years ago and found out I had idiosyncratic NAFLD at that time. Once I learned that my liver wasn't functioning at optimal capacity, I went off hormonal birth control, set off on a hormone balance journey (which, if we're being honey, is truly never ending), and now have a regular moon cycle, which feels really good.
How have your food allergies affected your dating life?
Dating with food allergies can be funny and you really have to own it and stand up for the health of your physical body. I've gotten better at this over the years and actually wrote an article all about it for Cosmo.
I went through a really significant break up a little over two years ago that was the catalyst for reigniting my spiritual and sexual journeys. It was a codependent relationship and I literally remember having a panic attack about a year before I finally broke things off that I wouldn't be able to do life alone - that no one else would be able to "put up with me" the way that partner did. When we step into our self worth and embody our truest self, everything changes...
What have your food allergies taught you?
The best lesson has been to learn about and stand up for my body. People have their own thoughts and feelings and everyone's body is different. I grew up in a time where people (doctors included) believed you could outgrow your allergies if you integrated those foods in your diet frequently - but not too frequently. That resulted in me being so sick in grade school. I finally cut it out completely and was almost instantly healthy again.
The only thing that matters is how you feel, no matter what anyone else says. You are your own best advocate. Same situation with hormonal birth control. Studies say that being on the pill for an extedned period of time does no damage, but my truth is it was a bandaid for the issues I was really dealing with. To properly address the root cause of a lot of the issues I was facing, I had to come off the pill and balance my hormones without the use of synthetic hormones.
How can someone who is undiagnosed realize they have food allergies?
- Listen to your body - keep a journal (food, cycle-related, mood).
- Seek our medical experts with different thought philosophies. There is most certainly a time and place for Western medicine, but it's worth seeking out thsoe who have explored Eastern medicine practices and finding someone who believes in you.
- Don't underestimate the power of the mind. Get quiet. Meditate. See a therapist. Your body is more than just the physical.
About Jenna Schreck
Jenna is a San Francisco-based writer, blogger, and healer (Reiki master) who focuses on sex and relationships, holistic wellness, and what she deems "cosmic love." Her mission is to empower women to feel good in their body and be able to feel and communicate pleasure with a partner through understanding how their systems work - both physically and energetically. She is also the founder of the digital magazine Her Pleasure Journey.
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