Today has ended up being one of the best Valentine's Days I have ever had though. Not because my boyfriend sent me flowers or because we had our skype date (He is in London), but because I was inspired and surprised by the love of a complete stranger.
Sharing my love and passion for this business and my story on food allergies has brought me new friendships and relationships I would probably not have otherwise. My compassionate heart bleeds for fellow people suffering with this illness and other food related illnesses.
In the last few months I was contacted by a woman who read this very blog post and came across the ilaraholland.com website. She and I spoke at length on the phone and our common topic was of course food allergies. We talked in/out/up/ down/around about food allergies and the business behind them. Caroline of the Grateful Foodie Blog, did what any great journalist does, she recorded everything we discussed and wrote an article about our conversation. I didn't know when, where or how it would come out but this morning, first thing I received an email from Caroline who shared she had just posted this: http://www.gratefulfoodie.com/food-allergies-solutions-part-i-eating-out/ . This is what I call LOVE and the best Valentine's Day gifts of all time, a beautiful article and exposure to her network.
Love comes at us in all sorts of forms and expressions, it's up to us how we receive and accept it.
My LOVE and Passion is in food and helping those with food allergies and those who have to deal with the food allergic they love.
Last night, my daughter asked me to make cookies with her. Why would she do that? Not just because she wanted cookies, but because she knows that due to my food allergies, I would not be getting chocolate or indulging in dessert any time unless we made something at home. Why? Because of my 9 food allergies- there is next to nothing I can safely eat that doesn't have butter, vanilla, nuts, or citrus in it. She loves me and wanted to share a Valentine's Day treat together. That's LOVE!
There are some chefs and business owners out there that say, "Tough luck- cook at home. Not our job to serve everyone. Learn to cook." You are right, it is my responsibility to prepare my own food and honestly, I love to do it because I love to create wonderful dishes everyone can enjoy- but how awesome would it be if Food Allergic Foodies could actually eat outside of the confines of the own kitchen on special holidays. And why can't you, many might ask. A food allergic knows they can never just "order of a menu" especially when it is a Prefixed menu. A food allergic also knows they dare not step foot into a restaurant when it is busy, because it is WAY too Risky.
I can only hope this begins to bring messages which reach far and wide on the importance of having specialized menus for the food allergic as well and from there that will spill over to food manufactures.
My mission this year to educate at least 150 different food establishments on food allergens, the importance of understanding this is not just being socially responsible but it also represents REVENUE to the business that decides to take this on.
I ask you to start with this important step and share this information- Please join our online training and certification course, via AllerCert.
Happy Valentine's Day Readers. Share the Love.