Join our celebration of all the things that our food allergies, celiac disease and other challenging diets make us thankful for!
Sign our Manifesto in the comments below, and add what you're thankful for!
We as custom eaters are thankful...
... for the privilege of fighting these food battles in the here and now, with all that we know and all that we have and all that the internet can bring to bear - rather than in the relative dark ages of 20 years ago, or 50, or 100.
... for all the food allergy, celiac, diabetic, crohns and other custom eater families that have come before us, warriors who helped to pave the road.
... for the universal well of creativity that we all tap into when we create a recipe that works with what we've got - without the bits that make us sick.
... for being able to read the ingredients on the foods we buy.
... for the EMTs and the race-car-fast ambulance drivers and the ER staff who are there night and day to catch us when our precautions fail.
... for the research scientists who get up every morning to go do one more iteration on an experiment that just might one day cure food-related diseases and save lives.
... for immunologists and endocrinologists and allergists and osteopaths and holistic practitioners and nurses - and all the others who dedicate their lives to helping diagnose and treat food "issues" in people like us.
... for the food scientists who delve into what's in our food at an even deeper level than we do.
... for the dietitians and the nutritionists that work hard to educate us all on what we are putting into our body and what's going to happen once it gets there - even when we don't listen very well.
... for EpiPens and Auvi-Q and insulin and all the other life-saving medications that help us protect our bodies from their reactions to food.
... for the pharmacists who keep a watchful eye for gluten and dairy and lactose and soy to make sure our medicines make us healthy and not just a different kind of sick.
... for the family and friends and waiters and perfect strangers who don't really get it but are willing to support our eating restrictions any way.
... for the brands that are making free-from food into sustainable businesses with big enough distribution to be a safe friend in every port of call.
... for the "mom and pop's" that craft a free-from recipe that "works" and then turn it into free-from products the rest of us can buy - so we don't have to make up our own.
... for the ADA and IEPs and the new school epinephrine emergency access law, making it safer for our kids to go to school with your kids.
... for finding each other, building communities, sharing the recipes that are not just food but lifelines - and discovering that we are not alone.
... for the passion and the generosity with which other custom eaters share what they know - about their bodies, their foods, their go-to brands and their recipes.
... for every recipe we find or create that is freely edible for us - each a victory, each a problem solved.
... for rice milk and oat milk and hemp milk and almond milk and all the other milks that work when dairy milk doesn't.
... for the chefs and the restauranteurs who are "getting it", taking a leap, being trained and welcoming us back into the fold that eats out.
... for the grocers that are taking a risk and stocking product with ingredients they've never heard of before, because they don't contain the ingredients that they know.
... for the millions who are experimenting with gluten-free because they can - creating a market that leads to products for those that are gluten-free because they must.
... for the complicated mechanical devices that so many in our community require for the "simple" and "natural" act of digesting our foods.
... for the donors and the volunteers and the food pantries that do their part to make sure we all can eat a meal that's safe for us.
... for the chance to tuck a healthy child into bed.
... for our food - for all that is freely edible for us.