Allergies and the perils of racing through a capitalist society don’t exactly go hand in hand. As if rushing through the day on caffeine and takeaway meals wasn’t problematic enough, for a lot of people, there’s the added layer of stress; navigating allergies. Despite some chains making an effort to appeal to the variety of dietary requirements that comes with a city full of people, sometimes the effort just isn’t enough. Even finding a dairy-free, gluten-free sandwich at lunch time becomes a full time task. Not to mention the volume of products that detail what ‘may contain’ in terrifying small letters. But amongst the madness of lunch time trial and tribulation, there are a few pointers that could help allergy sufferers conquer that work/food balance.
An obvious, but important answer is to meal prep. Despite the extra time it may take in the evening, it will be worth saving those precious minutes at lunch time (and your sanity by not having to rush around town looking for a lunch that’s safe to eat). A few quick and easy meals to prep would be sandwiches, rice and veg or protein and quinoa; all tailored, of course, to your allergy.
A quick and easy solution to navigating a busy life with allergies is to always be prepared with an army of snacks. On the weekend, ensure you’ve stocked up on the snacks suitable for your allergies and carry a bunch around in your bag or leave a few in the office (or hide them).
Every day, (preferably every morning), make sure to take a multivitamin just in case you find yourself not being able to eat much (or at all). A great way to get all your nutrients packed in at the beginning of the day is to make a super smoothie. This can consist of any of your favourite fruits, unsweetened almond milk (or your preference of a dairy-free milk), protein powder, flaxseeds (for Omega3) and important vitamins that are harder to find. This includes your Vitamin K’s and C’s. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, a great way to pack in all those nutrients is to add sea moss gel to your smoothie, which may sound questionable but is a great way to sustain long term health.
Do some googling, and research the food that’s available in and around your workplace. There may be a restaurant that caters to your allergies or a shop that can provide the kind of food you need. To prevent taking too long scrolling on the website for what foods they can and can’t provide for you, don’t forget to download FoodLama to show you the foods you can eat without the faff.
Never be afraid to ask.
Finally, never be afraid to ask if a place can cater for you. This will save a bunch of time and will ensure the place you’re eating with be extra vigilant with the food they serve you. Even if you’re in a coffee shop for a quick stop, it’s still worth asking the barista if there’s any food they offer that tailors to you. And you never know, they might even being able to provide something off menu.