Thriving In The Face of Life Threatening Food Allergies with Kathlena The Allergy Chef – The Fed and Fearless Podcast Episode 163

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Is it possible to live a “normal” life in the face of severe food allergies? Today’s guest, who has hundreds of severe food allergies, has done just that. It takes experimentation, self-advocacy, and perseverance, but it is possible to not just live with allergies but to thrive.



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About Kathlena, The Allergy Chef™

Kathlena has over 200 food allergies and intolerances, and can’t drink most water. The members of her household also have food allergies and special diets, none of them the same. After being told she had 30 days to live, she made it her mission to help the food allergy and special diet communities thrive.

Three years after her lowest point, she and her team have published several cookbooks, started a bakery, done local and nationwide outreach developed hundreds of free recipes and resources, and much more.


Every Case is Different with Food Allergies

As someone with multiple extreme allergies, Kathlena understands as well as anyone could the impacts of food allergies on well-being. In this episode, she describes how this made her an advocate for others who may not be able to put a voice in their situation. Especially when it comes to young children, it is important to recognize the symptoms of food allergies and seek interventions before they lead to bigger issues. 

Everyone’s case is different too. Kathlena explains why this diversity of allergic reactions makes them difficult to study. That’s why it’s critical to truly listen to each individual and provide personalized care. Kathlena urges everyone to find a doctor who completely supports them in their healing journey.


The Role of Mindset in Living with Food Allergies

Mindset is a central part of how Kathlena lives with her allergies. She’s found that maintaining a positive perspective in the face of challenging circumstances is the difference between merely surviving and thriving. For Kathlena, this centers on her desire to make the world a better place. Not only does she want her own life to improve, but she also wants it for everyone else too. Even with all her health concerns, Kathlena remains incredibly optimistic in a contagious way.

This comes from a recognition of everyday wins, no matter how small or trivial. It begins with perseverance and an understanding that we may never reach our goal, but there is success in trying. By celebrating every forward step, we become capable of progress that may have once seemed out of reach.

How do you persevere in the face of extreme health challenges? Leave a comment below! 


Got a question you’d love to hear me answer on the show? Leave me a voice message here!



  • How a grim diagnosis led to Kathlena’s mission to change the world [3:00]
  • The challenges of studying and treating food allergies [13:30]
  • Working with and understanding the different definitions of food allergies and intolerances [23:30]
  • Developing a mindset around the possibilities, not limitations, of living with severe food allergies [30:15]
  • What it means to be a hero to others and to yourself [43:30]
  • Resources to find meals for any diet [53:30]



“I look at where I’m at now as the culmination of what happens when you take an undiagnosed person and you keep exposing them to food that causes harm. What happens to the body? I’m the answer.” [9:52]

“No one is the expert the way you are. No one is as invested as you are.”  [20:26]

“Courage starts with these tiny steps; just these little baby steps. And we can all do them every single day.” [46:33]



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Mama Knows Gluten Free

Review Fed and Fearless on Apple Podcasts! Send a screenshot of your review to hello@lauraschoenfeldrd.com or send me a DM on Instagram, and I’ll send you my Overcoming Undereating eBook. If you post your favorite episode in your Insta stories and tag me @LauraSchoenfeldRD, I’ll also send you my 14-Day Calorie Challenge Recipe Guide!

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I'm a women's health expert and a registered dietitian (RD) with a passion for helping goal-oriented people fuel their purpose.

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