Put yourself in the shoes of someone with a food allergy. You make your own dip for a party that is completely allergen free, you look away and someone else sticks a chip in (or anything that you are allergic to), causing you to no longer being able to eat the dip you made. Now imagine not having just one food allergy, but several. This is the reality of Mary Beth Eversole.
Mary Beth Eversole, a Colorado State University alumna, has turned a negative aspect of her life into a life-changing cooking show, inspiring thousands.
Eversole is an actress, musician, director and producer who has had great successes in her life, but lives with several severe food allergies.
Eversole’s severe food allergies include meat, fish, wheat, soy, corn, casein (which is in most dairy products) and shellfish. Her sensitivities, which means she can still eat them occasionally but she registers on the allergen spectrum, include celery, peanuts, oranges, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, hemp seeds and yeast.
Not only is living with severe food allergies a hindrance on anyone’s day-to-day life, but the societal pressures that come with it do not make it any easier. The skepticism that comes from people who cannot relate to having a food allergy do not make living with these allergies any easier.
“You have to constantly defend yourself when having a food allergy—especially being diagnosed with several because no one ever believes you,” Eversole said.
She has heard it all, from being called a liar to a hypochondriac all because no one understands what it is like. Eversole has often found that people only believe her when they see a full-blown allergic reaction, something that potentially threaten her life.
“I found that I have to do a lot of educating,” Eversole said. Because there are no permanent cures available to fix her food allergies the internet became her best friend after being diagnosed. Eversole has had numerous doctors tell her that living with food allergies is a learning process, which can be scary, she said.
It all started when Eversole was on the set of “American Horror Story” and was approached by one of the executive producers, whose son also had severe food allergies. She realized that the one problematic characteristic of her life also affects others in the same way and she wanted to take the bad and turn it into something beneficial for herself and others.
Eversole started a cooking show on YouTube called “Allergy Actress Cooking.” Her previous professions taught her to know how to act in front of the camera, never to operate the camera, but she was up for the challenge.
“I had no clue if this show was going to go anywhere or help anyone,” Eversole said. “It was just me and my camera in my kitchen.”
“I knew how to be the actress in front of the camera, my personality and to do a lot of good research,” Eversole said. “I wanted to make this show fun because it is so depressing to live with this. You feel inferior to others”
This cooking show is built on taking the isolation and the self-doubt that comes with having food allergies and turning it into something optimistic.
This cooking show brings a wide range of viewers: from people who also live with these allergies, use the autistic diet, anyone with a special diet or just people who enjoy trying something new.
“The show is about being able to eat safe and healthy and mostly to enjoy yourself while with other people, and that is what the show is about,” Eversole said. “I am bringing on people from all dietary walks of life, to touch on every special dietary need, even the ones I don’t have”
You can subscribe to her cooking channel on YouTube at “Allergy Actress Cooking.” This cooking show is strictly pro bono due to the financial restrictions that Eversole faces to put on such a show. If you would like to help Mary Eversole continue to help change the lives of many you can donate to the Allergy Actress Cooking: Making Food Fun for All on the Indiegogo website.