Food Allergies & Intimacy—things you should know
Some things in life you just need to know, but you might be shy about asking. The Zestfull recently hosted an informative panel discussion that answers questions you might hesitate to voice. The panel explores intimacy with food allergies, from first dates and kissing, to long-term relationships.
The Zestfull is a non-profit organization co-founded by Kortney Kwong Hing and Shahla Rashid to empower, support and improve the emotional, physical and social well-being of individuals who manage food allergies and related conditions.
This video is a must watch for young adults, older teens and parents of teens with food allergies and is shared here with Zestfull's permission.
You can watch the webinar all the way through or, based on your interests and time, skip to specific sections.
Go to 00:55 — Meet the Panel
Disclosing your food allergy
A panelist offers advice on bringing up the topic of food allergy with someone you're interested in dating, or just going out with, or hanging out with a bit more.
Go to: 5:40 — Having 'The Talk': the what and the when
"It's just part of you taking care of you."
—Sloane Miller, Panelist
'The First Kiss'
Shares a panelist's experience learning about his wife's food allergies — how she approached the explanation and how it made the panelist feel.
Go to 9:54 — 'The First Kiss' when you're not allergic, but you're dating someone who IS.
"...When you find someone who's empathetic, that's a keeper."
—Javier Evelyn, Panelist
Getting to 'The First Kiss'
Shares a panelist's experiences — Like considering NOT asking someone out or shying away from making ask because of food allergies; Like wanting to initiate the first kiss, but not being sure if it's safe.
Go to 12:33 — The First Kiss' when you're allergic, but you're dating someone who IS NOT.
Go to 16:08 — The timing of disclosure, the context for disclosure, how we feel about disclosing personal information, how we get more comfortable about sharing personal information like a food allergy.
"Be confident in explaining. Allergies are part of your life...Don't be scared you'll scare people off."
—Matt Ford, Panelist
A clinical perspective on kissing & food allergies
Payel Gupta, MD, FACAAI and Medical Director at LifeMD shares the clinical perspective on kissing, having guidelines and communicating them.
Go to 22:30 —
Getting to know who you're with,
When the sparks start to fly
What the research shows about allergen exposure risk during kissing and how to minimize it.
The importance of communication
Feeling safe with your partner
The panel discusses having household rules or practices when living with a partner who is not food allergic — what can be done to make both parties in the relationship feel safe and happy.
Go to 29:16 — Surprise beard attacks
Go to 31:15 — House rules and the need for clear communication
A clinical perspective on sex & food allergies
Dr. Gupta covers the role allergens play in sexual intimacy, and how the rules/guidelines you follow to stay safe when kissing might be similar or different when it comes to sexual intimacy.
Go to 41:52 — What you want to know, but might be shy about asking
Go to 49.46 — Toothbrushes and allergen risks
Go to 51:57 — Summing it up
Go to 52.50 — Final words of advice and encouragement from the panel
"It's not only about communication, it's about being prepared. You can't predict every single situation. If everyone's prepared, everyone's informed, then everyone can stay safe."
—Dr. Payel Gupta, Panelist and Allergist
Don't miss this conversation moderated by Zestfull co-founder, Kortney Kwong Hing with Sloane Miller, Dr. Payel Gupta, Javier Evelyn and Matt Ford
Thank you, Zestfull, for allowing Allergy Force share this valuable (& rare) content with the Allergy Force community.
Zestfull is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Through programs, resources, grants and digital media, Zestfull’s focus is on education, advocacy and providing solutions to enhance the quality of life for individuals managing food allergies, asthma and eczema. The Zestfull team understands that food allergies, asthma and eczema are more than a medical diagnosis because they live with these conditions, too. Zestfull helps people living with food allergies thrive and celebrate life.
Kortney Kwong Hing, Panel Moderator and Zestfull Co-founder, manages asthma, eczema, environmental and food allergies. Kortney is a co-creator of the online community Allergy Travels and co-host of The Itch Podcast with Dr. Gupta.
Sloane Miller, Panelist, is a licensed master social worker, specialist in food allergy management and author. She is Founder and President of Allergic Girl Resources, Inc., a consultancy devoted to food allergy awareness. Don’t miss her award-winning blog, ‘Please Don’t Pass the Nuts’, or her how-to guide, ‘Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies’.
Javier Evelyn, Panelist, is the Founder and CEO of Alerje, a MedTech & Digital Health startup. He’s also a founding team member of MedTech Color, an organization aimed to advance the representation of persons of color in the medical device industry. He was recognized on the Crain’s Detroit Business 40 under 40 list in 2019.
Matt Ford, Panelist, is the Operations Manager and New Product Developer at Creative Nature, an industry-leading ‘free from’ brand. He studied Creative Writing and completed the Post Graduate Certificate of Education at university, starting his career as a Primary School Teacher before joining his wife, Julianne Ponan, at Creative Nature.
Allergy Force is committed to helping people with food allergies live freely — with less fear, less anxiety, more confidence — through technology and education. The Allergy Force food allergy app is peace of mind in your pocket.
Credits: Thank you Zestfull for giving Allergy Force permission to post and share this important content with the Allergy Force community, and to Tim Mossholder on Unsplash