By Shelby Ward

My tongue felt itchy for the first time. I was an older toddler visiting my cousin’s house. I don’t remember what games we played, but I never forgot that itchy feeling on my tongue after eating a banana-nut muffin. It was the first time I had eaten tree nuts.

I am one of the 3 million Americans with a tree nut or peanut allergy. Since my teenage years, I have been one of the over 7 million Americans following a vegetarian-based diet. My vegetarian life is a choice while my tree nut allergy is not.

Unfortunately, having a tree-nut allergy presents challenges when following a vegetarian diet. Vegetarian and vegan options at restaurants commonly contain pine nuts, walnuts, or other nuts. Imagining wanting to try that vegan macaroni pie, only to find out the cheese is a nut based cheese. 

I know more about food allergies since that day my tongue itched for the first time. I’ve also grown in my vegetarian life by learning how to navigate the vegetarian landscape to find safe, nut-free options and take precautions while dining. Thankfully there are a lot more options now then there were before. So is it doable with a nut allergy? Definitely!

For more information on how to eat planet based while your allergic to nuts, visit onegreenplanet’s 8 things you can do.

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