What happens when a teenager is forced to embrace a healthy diet due to health issues or allergies? How does he or she cope when everyone around them is eating pizza, soda and cake?
Erica Brahan has written an excellent resource for teens titled “A Teenager’s Perspective on Food Restrictions.” She writes from experience. Erica was an active cross country runner and softball player until her chronic joint inflammation and tendonitis sidelined her.
During her sophomore year of high school, Erica found hope when she embraced a gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free, sugar-free and soy-free diet. Her book offers encouragement to any teen trying to improve their health through diet.
“You go from being a normal-ish teenager, as normal as any teen can be that is, to being labeled as kind of weird. Your friends will try to understand, but it is hard for them. They will offer you food you can’t eat, even though you have explained it many times.
There is not a lot of support to be offered. It can be lonely. It’s likely your group of friends is not going through what you are, and you might not meet anyone who is.”
That’s why Erica has written this book. So a struggling teen will not have to experience total isolation. Erica offers recipes, tips for attending a social gathering, suggestions for goal setting and much more.
She even includes Colin’s story! (Read his Real Food Journey here.)
Erica concludes her book by challenging teens to think outside the box when it comes to normal – especially when you “want to be normal and eat like everyone else.”
“By not being normal, you may also have some amazing opportunities to share your story and what you are going through. Every struggle you have can be learned from and turned into something positive that can inspire and help others. You never know the impact your story, actions and attitude will have.”
What a great message for teens – as well as adults.