Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, MFA, MSW, LMSW, Psychotherapist; Specialist in Food Allergy Management, Speaking At Mylan Specialty / EpiPen Event (© Noel Malcolm 2013)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Allergic Girl, FAAN Walk Boston

What a wonderful day for a FAAN Walk in Hopkinton, MA, just outside of Boston. I was thrilled to meet so many of you who have already read the book and loved it – especially the grandparents, parents and teens – and to meet so many more of you who bought the book and are just getting started on this journey.

Some food allergy faves were there as sponsors like Cherrybrook Kitchen, Enjoy Life Foods, Home Free, Sunbutter, Safekeepers and Dey, makers of Epi-Pen. Two new food allergy supports were onsite and I was extra excited about talking with them.

Massachusetts General Hospital has a dedicated Food Allergy Center that is just about a year old. Here’s more info about them below and in the coming weeks, stay tuned for some interviews with the key players of this great team:

"We take a team approach at the Mass General Food Allergy Center, integrating the expertise of different clinicians to optimally diagnose and treat patients. Depending on symptoms and medical history, the care team may include:
• Allergists
• Gastroenterologists
• Nutritionists
• Psychologists
Having psychologists as part of our team is particularly useful in helping patients manage elimination diets and food aversions. In addition, we can bring in other specialists (e.g. dermatologists, pulmonologists and otolaryngologists) as indicated by your history. We are also happy to coordinate care with your existing care providers."

Also, Allergic Girl’s colleague Dr. Mike Pistiner was there with a handy tool for the food allergic community: a true or false test that is fun and educational (yes, even for lifers). Stay tuned for more info about, Dr. Pistiner and his colleague Dr. Lee.

Thank you, Boston for a great day!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

FAAN WALK Westchester, NY

I'll be here signing & selling books!

FAAN WALK Westchester, NY

Date of Walk: Saturday, October 1, 2011

Location: Glen Island Park, Pelham Road, New Rochelle, NY 10805

Check-In: 9:00 a.m. Walk: 10:00 a.m.

Distance: 2 miles


Friday, September 23, 2011

Gershman Y, 2011

What a lovely evening at The Gershman Y in Philadelphia, PA on Tuesday, September 20.

My favorite story was from Sherry, who has adult onset food allergies. She had read Allergic Girl before my arrival for the talk and told me that she had used the dining out protocol from for a work event. She was happy to report that she enjoyed her first allergen-friendly work event, ever. She even sent a handwritten thank you with the language I provided in the book and was thrilled when the restaurant replied to her note immediately and with gratitude. A great story from a great evening!

Sweet Freedom graciously provided treats that are dairy-free, casein-free, egg-free and gluten-free, without corn, wheat, peanuts, and soy. For more info here.

Thank you again to the staff of the The Gershman Y !

FAAN Walk in Boston, MA

I'll be at the FAAN Walk in Boston, MA signing & selling books!

Date of Walk: Sunday, September 25, 2011

Location: Hopkinton State Park (Main Beach), 268 Cedar St., Hopkinton, MA 01748

Check-In Begins: 9:00 a.m.

Walk Begins: 10:00 a.m.

Distance: 2 miles


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chef Kelvin, Strand American Bistro, NYC

Looking for somewhere to dine in the Fashion District? Look no more it’s Strand American Bistro and Executive Chef Kelvin Fernandez to the rescue.

I first saw Chef on the Foodnetwork show Chopped in August and was struck by this simple fact: he has a shellfish allergy and the competition involved cooking two dishes using shellfish. Chef Kelvin won those challenges - without tasting his creations, he’s that good.

He follows the same motto that I employ: Just because you have a restricted diet, does not mean you have a restricted life.

Watch as Chef Kelvin and I discuss the best ways to dine out with any dietary restriction and he makes me a lunch fit for this Allergic Girl!

NB: For the French fries in this segment, he poured fresh grape seed oil into a clean pot, and double fried hand cut French fries. Why go to all of that trouble? Very often (as in almost always) a restaurant fryer is used for multiple frying items and thus contaminated with allergens. Some restaurants do have dedicated fryers just for fries; always double check. However even then, it is rare that I will have anything fried. So this was a real treat. Chef even opened a new box of salt for the fries so the salt was also free of allergens from previous users' hands..

This wasn’t just special for me. If you contact Chef ahead of time and discuss your needs, he would do this for you too, happily. You can contact him at: and tell him I sent you. Use my dining out protocol from this blog or the strategies outlined in my book Allergic Girl and go!

Thank you Chef and The Strand NYC for a lovely and safe afternoon:

Strand American Bistro and The Strand NYC hotel
33 West 37th Street
New York, NY 10018
Phone 212.448.1024
CHEF's email:

Additional information about Executive Chef Kelvin Fernandez from a press release: Chef Fernandez, a native of NYC, was born in Harlem and discovered his natural culinary talent while enrolled at Long Island City High School in Queens, New York. It was a culinary course that first enlightened Fernandez to his inherent culinary intuitions and, at the young age of 15, set him on the path to pursuing a career as a professional chef. Shortly after graduating Chef Fernandez was selected for a prestigious apprenticeship working under Michelin-star Chef Georges Masraff at the Water’s Edge Restaurant in Queens, New York. The mentorship of Chef Masraff cultivated Kelvin’s culinary passion and eventually lead him to the C-CAP (Careers through Culinary Arts Program), a not-for-profit organization that introduces food service career opportunities to disadvantaged youths.

Monday, September 19, 2011

FAAN Walk Long Branch, NJ, 2011

What a great day. Thank you to everyone who came out to walk and especially to those who came out to meet me and buy more copies of Allergic Girl to support FAAN. Here are some fun pictures from yesterday's FAAN Long Branch walk, enjoy!

The Boardwalk:

FAAN set up this great table for me and my books:

Our friends at Epi-Pen setting up:

Lovely Lori of Divvies setting up:

Food allergies and Star Wars - they just go together:

It was windy, but thank you Lori for taking this shot of me and my Team Allergic Girl tank!

Everyone coming back from their three mile walk including Gwen from Allergic Living magazine:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Anaphylaxis, Allergic Living

I had a chance to ask noted allergist Dr. Phil Lieberman all about anaphylaxis. Think you know everything about ana? As children are starting grammar school, teens are starting high school, young adults are starting college and the rest of us are out in the world every day - we can all, always, use a refresher course.

Read the full story on Allergic Living Magazine website.

For more information go to:
Your board certified allergist

For more about Dr. Lieberman:
Dr. Phil Lieberman is currently Clinical Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics (Divisions of Allergy and Immunology) at the University of Tennessee - College of Medicine, Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Phil Lieberman is former president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, and the American Association of Certified Allergists. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. He is the author of over 225 scientific publications and is co-editor of the text “Allergic Diseases.” His present investigative interests are in the fields of asthma and anaphylaxis.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Allergic Girl, the Gershman Y, Philadelphia, PA

I'm thrilled to be going back to the Philly-area!

I will be presenting/book signing at the Gershman Y.

Tuesday, September 20 · 7:00pm - 9:00pm

401 S. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147

And there will be treats provided by Sweet Freedom Bakery.

Join us!

Friday, September 09, 2011

Allergic Girl, Orlando, FL


Florida food allergy friends, I’m speaking via SKYPE in Florida. Join me and spread the word.


Saturday, September 10 · 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Orange Country Library - Orlando, FL

101 E. Central Blvd., Orlando, FL 32801

An Afternoon with Allergic Girl: Sloane Miller

Location: Albertson Room


Thursday, September 08, 2011

Allergic Girl, FAAN Long Branch Walk

This year I will be the honorary chair of the FAAN Long Branch Walk.

And if you buy your Allergic Girl book in advance and I'll be there to sign!


Date of Walk: Sunday, September 18, 2011 · 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Location: The Great Lawn, North of Pier Village at McKinley St., Long Branch, NJ 07740

Check-In Begins: 12:00 p.m.

Walk Begins: 1:00 p.m.

Distance: 3 miles


Restrictions: No pets, glass bottles, bikes, roller skates, or skate boards. Baby strollers and wagons are welcomed.

We Walk Rain or Shine.

More Info FAAN walk site.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Artist’s Palate, Poughkeepsie, NY

At the end of August, I was in upstate New York for a week. Dear graduate school friend Linda, president of the Hudson Valley Celiac Support Group and local swing dance teacher, lives nearby. It took us about 20 minutes to figure out where to eat that was gluten-free for her and allergy-friendly for me. The choices were slim to none. We had almost given up when Linda suggested the Artist’s Palate.

So, I started my dining out protocol. (Read more here or for the full version, check out my book Allergic Girl).

I looked online first, specifically at their mission statement: “A gracious knowledgeable wait staff will guide you through the many offerings, from meat and fish to vegetarian and gluten-free offerings.”

That was a good sign, so I perused the Artist’s Palate menu, saw a few dishes that looked/sounded yummy and, on the surface at least, seemed allergen-friendly or easily changed to be so.

Next, I called and spoke with Artist’s Palate, telling them that I have severe food allergies to nuts and fish. This conversation is where I lost some confidence. The sever that answered the phone said they dealt with allergies all the time. As we went through possible menu options together, he suggested the fries.

“No fries for me. Usually other foods are fried in there, like seafood. Yes?”

“Yes, we fry seafood in there,” he said, “but how severe is your allergy”

“Death. My allergy could lead to possible death,” is what I replied. (On August 23, I Facebooked this exchange – scroll down to read the conversation.)

“OK, then no fried foods for you. But bottom line, we do understand allergies, we are happy to accommodate your needs and we will make you anything that you want.”

That last line was enough to warrant a visit to the Artist’s Palate. I brought a backup lunch in case we got on site and there was not enough trust for me to dine. Linda had been there before and felt they did a decent job with gluten-free but gluten-free does not equal allergen-friendly, in foods, training or in restaurants.

On-site, our waitress (Diana) seemed knowledgeable, offered to get a manager but said she could help me. I gave her my whole spiel, ordered a Sloane-safe meal (Kobe beef burger, no bun, no fries with a dry side salad), asked about using a separate clean pan, clean utensils etc.. She seemed knowledgeable and relayed all my questions to the kitchen and came back with positive answers. Our dishes came out gluten-free for Linda and allergen-friendly for me and were delish.

Here’s a picture of my The Artist’s Palate burger.

We had a chat with The Artist’s Palate Chef/owner Megan afterwards. Here’s our picture:

She mentioned that once my server relayed my food allergies and that I asked for a clean pan, she knew she was dealing with a severe allergy, not just a preference. She in turn re-sanitized her whole station, knives, cutting board and cleaned a pan just for my meal. (Thank you, Chef!)

What did she need from me? Clear communication about my food allergies and what I wanted to eat. She said they have many requests and are happy and able to accommodate them when they are able and if they can’t safely they will communicate that as well.

The person who picked up the phone said some confusing messages but ultimately said the right thing to get me in the door: we understand the seriousness of food allergies and can accommodate you safely. And make you anything you want. I always appreciate that level of hospitality and service and flexibility.

Thank you, The Artist’s Palate - I look forward to returning.

The Artist’s Palate
307 Main Street
Poughkeepsie, New York 12601
Tel: 845-483-8074

Thursday, September 01, 2011