This allergy awareness month, we are featuring allergy mom Abby, who is also a Child and Adult Clinical Psychologist based in Toronto.
Abby is an allergy super mom! She did not see her son’s food allergy diagnosis a negative. Instead, she set out to help her family and other families feel more confident in their food allergy management. She co-founded Belay shortly after her son was diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies (tree nuts and sesame) and asthma. Belay is a digital healthcare platform designed to help families manage food allergies.
What food allergy mom, Abby is loving…
This May, Abby shares how she is staying healthy, active, and creating a space to love. Take it away Abby!
ONE | Infrared Saunas: I’ve become one of those nerdy biohackers – or as my husband often says, I like to “hack my bio.” So I’ve been doing infrared saunas a few times a week. You enter this small, hot cocoon and shut the world out for 45 minutes. I then do an ice plunge or take a freezing cold shower. It’s a mental and physical challenge to withstand the extreme temperatures, but I’m thoroughly addicted.
TWO | Monitoring: In keeping with “hacking my bio,” I started wearing a continuous glucose monitor on my arm. I, fortunately, do not have diabetes or insulin issues but we should all be mindful of our blood glucose levels and being able to get real-time data as to how food, stress, and exercise affect our biology is quite fascinating to me. Quite frankly, if I have my way, I will eventually have sensors all over my body so I can track every little detail – at any given moment.
THREE | My bike: It’s finally spring, and getting on my bike and into the forested trails is helping me feel a little less like a caged animal.
FOUR | Art: For this past Valentine’s Day, my husband got me a piece of art by Stephanie Schneider, an artist whom we both enjoy, who creates these ephemeral, dreamy images, using expired Polaroid film to capture trailer, subculture communities living in the California desert. We love this red-headed beauty in particular, whom Stephanie often photographs.
FIVE | My home office: This might sound like a lame one, but once working from home became a full-time thing, and I had to stop traveling for work due to Covid, I decided to put more effort into making my home office a place where I really like to be.
And c’mon, 2020? I had to level up my Zoom background. Over the years, I have taken pictures of people I love so I created a gallery wall of photos. I finally bought myself a great shelf for books, art, and objects that make me happy to look at. I’m always burning essential oils in there (total nerd, I know). There’s a small corner where I can meditate, and you will never walk into my office and not hear music playing. Before Covid, my office was a bit of a disaster, and now it’s kind of a heavenly escape. I feel joy when I walk in there to work each day.
Want more of this allergy mom?
- Instagram: @WeBelay
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WeBelay/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/WeBelay
- LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/abby-herzig
A few of our favorite allergy mom self-care essentials
About The Zestfull 5
The Zestfull 5 is a corner of our magazine that peeks into what other atopic folks are loving. From a book, they can’t put down, a lip chap they have no idea how they lived without it, to what’s cooking on repeat in their kitchen. This is a tiny spot to find out what someone is getting up to because there is so much more to life than food allergies and this is where we celebrate that.
Kortney is your typical atopic triad! She manages asthma, eczema, environmental and food allergies. Kortney is a co-creator of the online community Allergy Travels and co-host of The Itch Podcast. She wants to spread joy in a community that can easily see the hard side of life with atopic disease and believes that you can have a full life with food allergies, it may just be lived a little differently!