Dawn Riccardi Morris offers highly personalized, certified health coaching for food sensitive eaters of all ages. She is on a mission to prove that clean, allergen free eating can be simple, yet delicious!
It all started 20 years ago, when my 9 month old was diagnosed with a severe food allergy. She got hives all over her body, all from a trace of food. And I was told that the reaction could be a lot worse if she was exposed to it again.
Not having grown up knowing anyone with food allergies, I was perplexed as to how and why this was happening. But back then, I didn’t even have access to the internet to do research, and I didn’t know anyone else who had a child with food allergies, either. So I did what the doctor told me to do, and that was to simply avoid exposing her to the allergen in question.
Little did I know, but keeping my child safe was a whole heck of a lot more complicated than that! And life, as I knew it, would never be the same.
I went from auditing balance sheets to scrutinizing food labels, and boy oh boy, was it a frustrating, yet eye opening experience. Instead of being immersed in numbers, I found myself overwhelmed by strange, unrecognizable ingredients. Not only were many food allergens listed under different names, but it was like I had to learn a foreign language to figure out what was in the food.
I sorted it all out the best I could, with the limited information I had. I was so focused on avoiding the allergen (and rightly so), that for for the sake of convenience and socialization, I let some questionable processed foods slip in, and continued to cook with other highly allergenic foods that I thought were healthy choices.
I made some huge mistakes during those early years, but I didn’t know any better, at the time.
Despite our efforts to choose the cleanest, allergen free foods possible, my daughter was diagnosed with a serious digestive illness a little over 10 years after her food allergy diagnosis. At that point, I knew I had to figure out why she was having more health issues. So when doctors repeatedly denied that food had anything to do with it, I hit the books. And within 3 weeks of significantly changing to a gluten free diet, most of her symptoms were gone!
That wasn’t the end of her healing journey, though. It would be 4 long years before we were able to find the final pieces of her complicated health puzzle. And one of them was confirmation that she was indeed highly gluten sensitive, in addition to having a severe food allergy.
Since then, I’ve discovered that my son and I also have gluten and other food sensitivities, so my entire house is now free of most common allergens. But we each eat a slightly different version of a gluten free diet. Personally, I live closer to a grain/sugar/dairy free Paleo lifestyle, without the eggs.
So before I even started studying for my health coaching certification, and having to learn over 100 dietary theories, I had already researched and experimented with different gluten/allergen free diets. And there are many! Now I’m able to share my extensive knowledge and experience, so that other families don’t have to go through all that we did.
Are you looking for someone to personally guide you toward creating the healthy, food allergen free lifestyle that you and your family really love? Click here to see if I can help.
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Have a happy, healthy day!