Food allergy testing is often the first step toward reclaiming your health at The Wellness Way. Getting the results can be exciting as you discover which foods have been contributing to chronic inflammation and health issues over the years. It’s like getting the first clue to your health mystery. But it can also be challenging –especially when you learn you have a tomato allergy.
GETTING YOUR FOOD ALLERGY TEST RESULTS
When you get your food allergy printout, you’ll see the foods that cause immune reactions in red. Those that don’t cause immune responses are in blue. Seeing “red foods” can cause a lot of emotions, including anger, frustration, and annoyance. These are often foods that you’ve been enjoying and eating regularly for years.
Anyone who’s taken a food allergy test has experienced the frustration of giving up a favorite food. However, those who have been through that process know giving up these foods is totally worth it. It’s easier when you know people have been through this before. Even if it doesn’t always feel like it, just know you’re not alone on this journey. Far from it!
A tomato allergy is often especially difficult to see on the list of allergens. After all, tomatoes are in almost everything –including some of our favorite comfort foods. Tomatoes are in salsa, chili, soups and stews, pizza sauce, and marinara for spaghetti — and don’t forget about the ketchup! If you have an allergy to tomatoes, it can feel like you won’t be able to eat anything. But this is far from true.
Here are a few easy ways to make navigating a tomato allergy far easier.
6 IDEAS FOR A TOMATO ALLERGY
1) HIT PAUSE
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the foods you cannot have when you get your allergy test results.
Take a breath and hit the pause button for a moment. Look at the list of all the foods you can still have and the many more that aren’t on either list. Don’t get frustrated by the “don’t” list when there is so much opportunity in the “do” list.
You will try new foods and new ways of cooking recipes you love. It takes time because your allergy list is unique to you. In the process, you will learn a healthier way of cooking and eating and mix up your menus. And that’s good! You’re helping your body and exercising your mind as you find new recipes.
Who knows? You may enjoy some of the new foods and recipes even more than the old ones!
2) ENJOY COOKING AT HOME
If you start cooking at home more often, it’s a good idea to keep it simple. Good food doesn’t have to be complicated. You can even make several freezer meals ahead, so you won’t need to figure out what to cook after a long day.
Cooking at home is the best way to avoid allergies and ensure that ingredients are whole, healthy, and organic. Packaged and restaurant foods often have unhealthy ingredients and added sugars. Did you ever look at the ingredients in a bottle of ketchup? There is a lot of sugar in ketchup! On top of that, high fructose corn syrup is a common way to sweeten this popular condiment. Replacing your standard ketchup is a good idea even if you don’t have a tomato allergy.
Do you find it difficult to go without ketchup? Well, we have some good news for you—tomato-free ketchup is a thing! Get the recipe here.
3) LEAVE TOMATOES OUT SOMETIMES
There are times when you won’t even notice the tomatoes are gone. Just leave them out of recipes like soups and salads. Instead, add other vegetables that aren’t on your allergy list. You won’t notice if you leave them off tacos. Speaking of tacos, let’s talk about salsas.
4) FIND NEW SALSAS AND DIPS
Everybody loves a good salsa, and you don’t have to give it up. You simply have to find an allergen-free option.
A favorite option at The Wellness Way is green salsa! Mix up tomatillos, cilantro, garlic, serrano peppers, onions, and salt. You can also find it commercially prepared at your local supermarket.
Another option is to try fruit salsa. Pomegranate, pineapple, strawberry, and mango are excellent options for fruit salsa. Avocados and cucumbers are good options, too.
You can also make cowboy caviar and leave the tomatoes out. Cowboy caviar is usually a combination of beans, corn, bell peppers, and cilantro with a fresh lime dressing. Roasted chilis make a great dip or condiment, too.
Guacamole is another favorite option for tacos or dips. All the healthy fats and nutrients from avocados are something your body craves. (Just watch out for any other allergies!).
5) WHAT ABOUT MY BURGER? HOW DO I REPLACE KETCHUP?
Ketchup is one of the most popular condiments, and it’s hard to imagine replacing it, but it is possible. In fact, it was recently replaced by mayo as the top-selling condiment. Switch up what you put on your burger. Try mustard, mayo, guacamole, or a healthy relish. Our dairy-free ranch is also a great option. Who knows? You may find a new favorite and want to stick with it, even if you get tomatoes back.
6) FLIP THE SCRIPT ON CHILI AND SAUCES
If tomato-free ketchup is a possibility, so are tomato-free chilis and sauces! You can easily use other vegetables as a base. Some Wellness Way favorites are pureed sweet potatoes, pumpkin, red bell peppers, beets, and butternut squash. For example, here’s a recipe for homemade pumpkin enchilada sauce.
Experiment with new vegetables as sauces or try different versions of chili. See out a white chicken chili recipe instead of the traditional red version. A healthy oil, like avocado with garlic, makes a great sauce on gluten-free pizza or gluten-free noodles. Try this Dairy-Free Chicken Alfredo recipe.
As more people become aware of their tomato allergies, finding tomato-free options online and in natural food sections gets easier.
LIVING WITH A TOMATO ALLERGY
A tomato allergy can be challenging, but it’s doable. Making changes to your diet is an opportunity for better health. A great mindset, support system, and access to healthy recipes will make following your food allergy lists much more manageable. Testing your food allergies and working with a Wellness Way Clinic can help get you on the right track to healing.