About #AllergicToEverything is a cookbook and lifestyle guide for people with food allergies and the people who love them. #AllergicToEverything was created for people with food allergies, but the book’s benefits extend to everyone! The recipes are whole-foods based and delicious (check out taste-testers Sabrina and Rachel, eating the goat cheese dates in the launch video!).
When you back the book, you get the book, which includes:
- 115+ recipes friendly to all Top 8 Food Allergens & more! Plus they are kid-friendly!
- 250 pages that walk you through navigating multiple food allergies, the elimination diet (including an allergy-focused symptom tracker), how to read ingredient labels, where your allergens hide, and essentials like what to keep in your allergen-free pantry - scroll for more details below!
Jess was diagnosed with multiple food allergies in 2010 and her journey was extremely challenging. Having no idea how to start navigating her new life, she wrote the book because she needed a one-stop resource to help manage the dangerous complications of food allergies. Eating has always been a simple task for most people but becomes scary and painful for the food allergy community. Jess’ experience, her trials and tribulations, and her time spent on this endeavor are what make this book so incredibly valuable to the food allergy community. This campaign funds the first print-run of #AllergicToEverything. Read on to learn more about the book, why she’s self-publishing and Jess' backstory.
Your pledge will make a difference.
Grandma Donna taught me how to cook for the people I love. She taught me how to set a table; how to make a bed; the beauty of sliced grapes in fruit salad; and, she taught me how to be smart with my money. Grandma Donna passed away on my mother’s birthday, December 3, 2015. Two years later, on the anniversary of her passing, I filmed the #AllergicToEverything® Kickstarter video (above) using the seed money she left me. I’ve used her generous gift along with every penny I’ve earned and saved on a teacher’s salary to make this cookbook a reality. This book honors my grandmother’s teaching legacy and gives me the opportunity to pay it forward for the ever-expanding and often overlooked community of food allergy collectors who don’t have a cooking resource like this one.
I had a feeling in my gut that drove me to utilize Kickstarter for my book launch! Gut feelings often necessitate taking great chances, overcoming great risks, and with your help, finding great rewards. Because Kickstarter provides a platform for like-minded people to rally behind the causes and efforts that are important to them, Kickstarter gives me the platform I need to bring this book into the world professionally and with all of my love.
As a little girl, I spent a great deal of time watching the Food Network, journaling, scrapbooking, and documenting everything. I supported my artistic endeavors by selling handmade greeting cards and confetti on my porch stoop, while other kids sold lemonade. This #AllergicToEverything® project is the natural extension of a life-long string of passion projects; it’s the push-pin I lovingly wrap cotton thread around as I settle into this journey point on this map of my life.
WHAT IF I AM ALLERGIC TO...?
Whether you are allergic to nuts, dairy, or salmon (all part of the "top eight') or a vegetarian, you will find that the recipes are easily adaptable to your dietary restrictions!
#AllergicToEverything® recipes are always free from gluten, wheat, corn, oats, eggs, shellfish, sesame, and soy. The recipes are also tailored to be flexible, including modifications and substitutions for a diet and lifestyle free of the top eight major food allergens (wheat, peanut, eggs, milk, soybean, fish, nut, shellfish). The "top eight" are identified in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which are responsible for approximately 90% of food allergic reactions.
#AllergicToEverything® also excludes from its recipes chemical additives; food preservatives; and, artificial flavors, which for many people are increasingly identified as problem foods and additives.
WHAT’S IN THE BOOK?
#AllergicToEverything® is a cookbook and lifestyle guide for food allergy collectors and the people who love them. I wrote #AllergicToEverything® over the last six years working on recipes in my kitchen. I embarked on my journey as a person with multiple food allergies in the hope that by helping myself I would one day be able to help others with the same allergy issues. #AllergicToEverything® is more than a dietary resource for allergy sufferers, #AllergicToEverything® is also diet-friendly for those with autoimmune disease, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal (GI) disease, and digestive and inflammatory issues.
The book is split into two main sections – the guide and the recipes.
PART ONE: THE GUIDE
The Guide is a one-stop resource for navigating your unique food journey. The Guide is your step-by-step navigator, designed to walk along with you. It covers everything from in-depth information about how to read food labels to teaching you how to build a life around your specific allergens. The Guide includes a four-page symptom tracking tool (which is photocopy ready) and an elimination diet plan; including, shopping lists and substitution ideas for common allergens. A sample can be viewed below and will also be available as a PDF, in full-for free-to those who back the project. Additionally, information about what I keep in my pantry and fridge, along with the tools I use most in the kitchen, provides a much-needed starting point for people taking this step towards food allergy freedom.
PART TWO: THE RECIPES
The same things that cause reactions in food are often found in our cleaning and beauty products. It is because of this that I use a holistic approach in the recipe section, including 115+ recipes for food and for life. I’ve included everything from corn-free “Cornbread” Stuffing to beauty balms and cleaning sprays!
There are recipes for breakfasts, soups and salads, snacks, desserts, crockpots, and holiday favorites. The home-life recipes include beauty balms, tinctures, and cleaning sprays- many of which contain common allergens if bought from the store.
The recipes are affordable; I wrote most of the cookbook while serving as an Americorps VISTA and living on food stamps. Being a bargain hunter at heart I learned where to buy what at the best price, and developed ways to make what I could not afford. I have also included money saving tips, for example, how to shop in bulk sections for specialty ingredients.
HOW IT WILL BE PRINTED
The first print run of 750 copies will include first edition books, approximately 250 pages each, beautifully finished with full-page photographs and a hardcover.
A SNEAK PEEK OF THE REWARD TIERS
One thing I know for sure about Allergics is this: we grocery shop and we often have to bring our own food to the picnic to make sure we don't starve! This insulated bag doubles as a grocery tote and picnic cooler!
The original campaign ran for 33 days during Food Allergy Awareness month, we raised 96% of the funds. This time the campaign will run for 31 days.
Campaign Launch – JULY 31, 2018
Editing & Illustration – AUGUST to OCTOBER 2018
Printing – NOVEMBER to DECEMBER 2018
Distribution – JANUARY to FEBRUARY 2019
#AllergicToEverything: BEFORE KICKSTARTER
When my grandmother passed away and left me a small amount of money. I tucked it away in savings, knowing it would be a down payment on a house or a business one day. I held my breath, said a prayer, and decided to use it for the book.
I quit my job and I committed to self-publishing full-time, deciding to invest every penny I had saved into this project because I know it is important, I believe in it, and above all, because I want you to have the resource I wish I’d had when my journey started. I have never worked so hard at anything.
The cost of self-publishing is significant but important, which brought me to Kickstarter. With your Kickstarter support, I can publish #AllergicToEverything® the right way.
Initially, I wanted to go the traditional route, however, after reading this article by Nick Kokonas (about publishing the Aviary Cookbook), I came to understand the real costs involved in publishing cookbooks and learned about the value self-publishing offers authors. Big thank you to Michael for sharing this with me. It was invaluable!
The initial campaign launch for $33,111 because I am 33 years old and a little superstitious. I have been seeing “111” since I moved to California in 2013. I have been able to trim a few of the costs, which is why I am relaunching at $30,111.
But really, $35,000 is the minimum amount I need to publish properly. It took several months of budgeting and number crunching to determine my funding amount. $50,000 was my original number, but the idea here is to run the campaign for the amount you actually need to complete the project and with $35,000 I can make it happen. More would be even better!
It is a lot of money, two times more than I made in a year working as an Americorps VISTA while I wrote the book. The $35,000 will cover the cost of the first print run of 750 copies, hiring a professional editor, illustrator, and book designer, the shipping costs, campaign costs, taxes, and Kickstarter fees.
A little over half of this amount is what it costs to actually print the book. The remaining money will be spent on the final stages of the bookmaking process, including: editing, design, illustration, additional photography, recipe testing and groceries, as well as, the overhead costs of running the Kickstarter campaign, including: mailing out your rewards, taxes, credit card fees, not to mention paying my amazing illustrator and cameraman.
If we reach $33,111, the project gets funded and everything I have laid out in this Kickstarter will be delivered upon and my cameraman will get paid!
Beyond $33,111... more will be revealed as we hit our project milestones!! I can tell you this: I have big surprises in mind for you. Think symptom trackers and free books for the people who need them! I grew up with a single mother and have worked with low-income kids as a teacher for the last five years. I was raised to leave the world a better place than I found it. I want to make sure everyone can have this book, regardless of cost.
HOW I BECAME #AllergicToEverything
For the last six years I have lived and breathed multiple food allergies, a lifestyle no one can plan for. A lifestyle no one should have to live, but if in fact, you do have to live it, you know as well as I do just how hard it is. My guess is that even if you aren’t a food allergy collector, you love someone who is. When I began my journey, there was no go-to one-stop resource for building a life around multiple food allergies, instead, there were blogs and books and recipes for singular food allergies or for singular health issues. Mixing and matching and trials and errors became a way of life. The research was unending.
EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON
Bloomington, Indiana – 11.1.2012: I am either dying of cancer or I have food allergies. My body had stopped working. The doctors didn’t know what to do. They just continued prescribing steroids and antibiotics. It was here that I realized my only choice was to change my food. My life as I had always known it would never be the same. This is what I looked like.
I’d been seeing dermatologists, allergists, gastroenterologists, specialists for everything I could think of trying to find a reason I was experiencing a plethora of miserable symptoms. During that time, I got several food allergy screenings. Using those, I finally started an oral food challenge (the elimination diet). It was during this time that I realized I was #AllergicToEverything®. I had so many food allergies that I wanted to have them tattooed on my arm. I mentioned this once to an elderly lady who turned to me and said, “Oh honey, just get a card.” So, I did.
Things slowly began to improve. I began to match symptoms to foods and began to develop ways to eat the foods I missed most. I collected and documented the process as I went.
One day a couple of years ago, my friend Phil came over for dinner and asked about the recipe. Without much thought, I pulled the notebook I had started keeping. I’d been recreating my favorite foods for about three years at that point. He looked at me and said, “Jess, you should publish this.” Two years later, running with that advice, I am finally doing just that.
With your pledge, not only are you funding a cookbook, you are giving a gift to a community of food allergy collectors who need it and who don’t have any other resources like this one. Please help me bring #AllergicToEverything® to life. Please support my campaign. Please share my story. And please keep cooking for the Allergics you love.
I need your help to make #AllergicToEverything® be all it can be.
All my love,
See the food @HashtagAllergic.
Special thanks to my incredible cameraman, Johnny Mark (@johnnymarkfilms)!
Risks and challenges
The good news is that the book is written and most of the design work has been done. While there are risks in all projects, I am confident knowing the work that remains is doable no matter what. Primarily what we have left is editing and printing. I have a talented team ready to get to work. Once the book’s finalized and the PDF files are sent off to the printer, the lead time on printing is 5 weeks.
Delays in editing and printing may come up. In the nine months that it took me to prepare this Kickstarter launch, I have learned to push through obstacles as they arrive with perseverance. I have learned everything takes longer than anticipated, which is why I have padded my lead times on delivery, allowing for that extra (and necessary) time. I deeply believe in learning through other’s experiences, I have built a community of support around this project and I have people I can count on when I am lost or stuck.
The greatest risk is succeeding and getting this campaign funded. I am ready for the challenge. The pressure of giving you the best book I can inspires me. I have risked my own safety net to bring this project to life and your pledge will only drive me to work even harder to finally, after all these years, bring #AllergicToEverything® to life.
UPDATE: The greatest challenge has been being able to reach food allergy collectors online. Most of the groups and organizations I continue to reach out to are not allowed to endorse "fundraisers." Please help me spread the word, you can share this URL (which goes directly to the Kickstarter): www.HashtagAllergic.com.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter