Outsmart Food Allergies

Cougar Town’s Busy Philipps shows how you don’t have to sweat living a life without wheat.

Linda Childers

How does she do it? Here are her secrets for eating well and feeling great:

Eliminate the guesswork.
Before she goes to a restaurant, Busy calls to ask about the menu and makes a point to inquire about soy. Many restaurants cook in soybean oil because it’s the cheapest vegetable oil. And for grab-and-go peace of mind when she’s filming Cougar Town, Busy relies on a delivery service that brings gluten-free meals to her home. “Bringing healthy prepared meals to the set with me takes the guesswork out of making sure I get the calories and nutrition I need while avoiding foods that contain gluten,” she says.

Make it work for you: If a delivery service is out of the question, order gluten-free meals and products at sites like glutenfreemall.com and grandmaferdons.com.

Tame your tension. 
For Busy, who often works 14-hour days, taking a run with her husband is her preferred stress-buster. “It’s not only good exercise, it also gives us time to catch up on our day,” she says. She also attends spinning and yoga classes. While exercise may not be your chosen tension tamer, it’s important to find one that works for you. A study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology found that people with digestive disorders, including food allergy and intolerance, have higher levels of stress and anxiety. And according to a study in The American Journal of Pathology, stress can exacerbate reactions.

Make it a family affair. 
Focusing on what you can eat, rather than what you can’t, helps put a positive spin on food allergies. It also encourages you to make healthier choices. Busy believes the whole family can benefit from better nutrition. “At my baby shower, a friend gave me a baby cooker, which makes it simple to blend your own baby food,” Busy says. “I buy fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s market and use the baby cooker to make Birdie everything from baby food to soups to smoothies.” As a result, “Birdie has become a really good eater!” Busy says, and that’s not all: The strategy also reduces Birdie’s exposure to the gluten often used as a thickener in processed foods. 

February 2012