8 Creative Allergy Advantages

Allergy Concept

Allergy Concept

Hi. I’m Harrison, an 18 year old university student allergic to eggs, dairy, soy, all nuts, all seafood, apples, cherries, and pears. If you count, that’s 8 allergies, so I decided to create the 8 creative allergy advantages list!

1.     Responsibility

When I was 7, I never forgot a toy at a restaurant, to tie my shoes, or to bring my homework while other kids my age left stuff all over the place. What was different for me? My auto-injector taught me responsibility; when I was 9. I was already remembering to bring it everywhere, and had the responsibility of telling my teachers I couldn’t eat their treats.

2.     You can’t eat many foods

Why is that an advantage you say? Because I don’t need to figure out what I’m going to eat or spend time or money trying new foods or recipes; I just eat the same 20 or so things over and over with small variations. As a result, I’ve gotten so good that I can even impress friends and my parents by cooking for them!

3.     Conversation-ing (because that’s a word)

Want to talk to someone? Here’s an example of how I do it. Just wait until your target is eating (should be easy because people eat all the time)

Harrison: What’s that?

Really pretty person who I want to talk to: It’s my lunch, its macaroni and cheese.

Harrison: Cool. Does it taste good? I wouldn’t know, I’m allergic.

Pretty person: Oh my gosh I’m sorry, should I not be eating this in front of you?

There you go, conversation. Do I want them to take pity on me, or do I want to be confident that I love myself? It’s all up to me, and that’s awesome.

4.     Familiarity with restaurants

The 2 or 3 restaurants I go to, I go to ALL THE TIME. I even know the waiters by name there, and when they come up to serve me they say “Hi Harrison!”, and then I just go “Hi (waiter’s name)! The usual please”, and BAM, there’s no non-allergy person who can order as fast as I can!

5.     Empathy

Having food allergies lets you relate and share something in common with other people with dietary restrictions, for example food sensitivities, diabetes, vegans, or lactose intolerance. From there you can share common experiences, tips, stories, and in some cases that’s how I met some of my best friends today!


7.     Character building.

Imagine a family vacation to Mexico where you’ll meet over 40 of your family members, half of which you don’t know, none of which have food allergies. And then imagine a careless cross-contamination incident at the restaurant and going to the hospital while these relatives are watching you, some not even knowing you had food allergies in the first place, some not even speaking English! Yeah, that was me.

I really learned to own and not be ashamed of my allergies in Mexico because I couldn’t hide what happened, so instead I came out of that hospital saying ‘Yeah it was an allergic reaction. I’ll talk to the chef about it next time. I’m ok now, no worries. Can we still go snorkelling please?’

8.     It’s you

Do you have someone you love so much that even with their negative traits (that you complain about to all your other friends) you wouldn’t want them any other way? Yep, that’s how I bet other people see you too! And sure I’m allergic to a lot, and sometimes I blow it out of proportion, but at the end of the day I’m glad it’s a part of me not only because there are 8 creative advantages, but because it’s me, and I love me and wouldn’t want me any other way.


Making Peace with My Food Allergies

Hello, my name is Harrison, and I am a grade 11 student. I am allergic to: eggs, dairy, soy, all seafood, all nuts, apples, pears, cherries. In other words, any food that ends in the word -chip, -cake, -muffin, -pie, -cream, or -&M. So for me, the problem isn’t what I can’t eat, it’s what I can eat. Despite all this, I think my allergies are a gift, not a hindrance, and I’m going to give several reasons why I choose to see it that way.

TeensWhen I was in grade one, my mom told me I had a “special tummy” and it couldn’t eat certain foods. Then she piled the list on me: eggs, dairy, soy, seafood, nuts, apples, pears, and cherries. My first thought must have been “are you kidding me? How am I supposed to memorize all that?!”

However this taught me at an early age how to be responsible for my own health and well-being. So there I was, a grade one student who already knew the importance of taking care of myself and to always have my auto-injector with me. I was so proud of myself 🙂

Fast forward to grade eight. This is where birthday parties, Halloween, loot bags, and many other candy-giving events were among the main social activities of my age-group. My Halloween candy was sorted into 2 piles; friends & family, and donations. At least I could make others happy with what I couldn’t have myself! Of course, I was somewhat upset that I couldn’t have all of the candy I collected. However, now I realize that my allergies help me avoid junk-food such as pretzels, chips, ice cream, pizza, chocolate, lollipops, gum and many greasy foods –  what a blessing! From a young age, I was already a pro at healthy eating.

Next came high school. You have to be true to yourself when you are a teenager. It’s tempting to take risks when you think it will make you more popular, but staying safe with my allergies were always my top priority. I have found that teens tend to be very accepting of other’s allergies and protective as well!

Do not worry about being embarrassed about allergies. For me, I ran into a group of amazing friends who would go as far as wiping my pencil down with a tissue before handing it back to me. Sometimes I feel like they are more cautious about my allergies then I am! I’ve found that friends who really care about you will treat your allergies seriously. If someone decided to tease or make fun of you,  they aren’t worthy of your friendship. True friends will stick by you no matter what health conditions you might have.

In the end, I have decided that complaining and worrying over my allergies does not do much good. Instead I’ve decided to think of all the ways that they have benefitted me and provided me advantages. How do you see your allergies?