It’s Football Season

By Heather Legg

Football season is here, and with it comes tailgating. Tailgating is a huge part of the season, but for those with any number of allergies, it can become a dangerous time. Whether it’s food, ragweed, yellow jackets or smoke, there seems to be plenty of allergens lurking around the tailgate waiting to strike. But there are ways to have a good time and not worry, follow these tips and Go Team!

• For those with food allergies, bring a dish or two that you know is safe. There is probably something there for you, but to be on the safe side, supply your own. With tailgating, everyone usually chips in and there is plenty of variety. So whether you bring the chili or dip, you know you will have at least something safe to eat. See below for a great salsa recipe.
• For those with hayfever, be ready for the day. You may want to take allergy meds before you go as you know you’ll be outside. There’s not much else to do because you can’t really control the time or the weather, but be ready with your medicine.
• If you are allergic to bees, read the recent blog on yellow jackets and follow some of those guidelines. Stand away from the food if you can, especially the sweets. If yellow jackets are around, don’t swat, just walk away. Try not to tailgate near an open trash can, as that is haven for bees in the fall.
• Smoke, like pollen, is harder to control, but stay down wind from the grill if you can.

Here is my favorite salsa recipe for an allergen free dip. Serve with chips and homemade guacamole.

4 ripe tomatoes, washed and diced
1/2 red onion diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced very small
1 large handful of cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup diced pineapple
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin
juice from one lime
salt and pepper

Combine first three ingredients, toss and drain some of the juice from the tomatoes. Add the next three ingredients and gently toss, then add seasonings. Any of the ingredients can be adjusted to taste.

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