Quarantine has been a great time for reconnecting with friends, and if you read my last post, you’ll know that I’ve loved talking with my friend Alexa more frequently. In fact, we recently video-chatted to catch up and talk about current events. So for this month’s post, we decided to do a fun little interview/collab about life as young adults with food allergies during quarantine (to read my answers, check out her corresponding post!).
J: Hey Alexa! It’s so great that we could Meet up on the Google today! It’s so great to talk with someone who just gets it. For my readers who don’t know you, how about you introduce yourself and your blog.
A: Hi Julia, thanks for having me! I am so glad we are able to connect virtually! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Alexa. I am allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish and legumes, and I write blogs on my website. Earlier this summer I graduated from community college and just transferred to an online college to finish my bachelors degree.
J: Awesome! I’m continually impressed by the stories that you’ve shared on your blog about spreading safety and awareness for people with food allergies. What’s one of your most defining moments as a person with/advocate for food allergies?
A: Wow, this is an incredible question! I think one of my most defining moments was when I realized that my food allergies were important to me and part of my values. When I started to value my food allergies, my family and friends also valued them, and took them more seriously. Instead of trying to play my allergies off as no big deal, I made them important, and they became things that those around me also cared about. By valuing my food allergies, my family and friends know that it’s important to me that I feel safe in social situations involving food.
J: One of the safest things for the food allergy community in quarantine was an increased reliance on cooking at home since restaurants closed down. What’s your favorite thing you’ve cooked/baked in quarantine?
A: My favorite thing that I have baked in quarantine was a celebration cake for finishing out my final semester on the newspaper staff! It was a simple vanilla cake with rainbow sprinkles and vanilla buttercream, and for decorations I literally just piped the word “End” on it. I love cake and being able to make my own safe one is really fun! The only thing I wish was different would be if the newspaper staff and I could have been together in person, instead of virtually, to share the cake!
J: Now that you’ve got more time on your hands, what have you been reading and watching?
A: Recently on Netflix I watched the movie Stardust, from 2007. I loved it so much I just got the book out of the library, now that they are doing online requests and outdoor pick up and drop off services. I have also been watching Anne with an E on Netflix, and when I finish the series I also plan to read the book.
J: I’ll have to check those out! For me, I’ve loved rewatching things that make me nostalgic during quarantine. In a similar vein, who is your favorite Disney princess, and if you could give them a food allergy what would they be allergic to?
A: I love Disney!! Choosing one favorite disney princess is so hard! Growing up Belle was definitely my favorite. Then with Wreck It Ralph 2, Vanellope Von Schweetz met the other princesses, as she is also a princess! I think if I had to give Belle and Vanellope allergies, Belle would be allergic to fruits, like her friend, Snow White, who didn’t do so well after eating an apple, and Vanellope would be allergic to vegetables, as she would definitely be into eating sweet things, like dessert!
J: In addition to those fun shows, what kinds of things have you been doing for fun virtually to maintain some semblance of social interaction despite staying at home?
A: I have been lucky enough to virtually line dance! I started line dancing in March 2019, and just before quarantine happened I was dancing 2 to 4 times a week! Recently I virtually learned the songs “Vacation” and “The Wolf”. It’s definitely different learning how to dance through a screen compared to in person, but I am glad that I can keep up with it.
J: What do you most look forward to doing when the world returns to as normal as it can be?
A: I can’t wait to return to my local YMCA group fitness classes! Before quarantine I was attending group fitness classes 5 to 7 times a week, and I loved them! I have been doing Pilates at home following YouTube videos, but I really miss having in person classes.
J: Ok, get ready for a round of Rapid Fire Allergy Would you Rather:
- Dine out or cook at home
- Cook at home
- EpiPen vs Auvi Q
- Purse or backpack
- Bug bites or sunburn
- I guess bug bites haha
- Skin prick or blood test
- I guess blood test
J: And finally, to finish out the set, what would you tell your younger self?
A: If I could tell my younger self anything I would tell myself that being different is okay! There was definitely a time when I was just trying to fit in, even though I knew that my food allergies made me different from others. I wish I would have spent less time trying to be who I thought I had to be to belong, and that I just accepted myself with all my differences sooner.
J: Thank you so much for joining me on my blog for this fun little interview. It’s been a really fun thing to do to escape the stress of this pandemic with a friend.