The Inner Heart of Allergies

Lily was so sad last Saturday.

It was supposed to have been a special family day. Lily had really wanted to see David Whyte, an insightful and inspiring poet, and we had planned a trip for all four of us to go up to Boulder to see him speak.

We were pleased that the venue was a Methodist Church because we assumed that there would be no eating in the church. We noted that there was a long lunch break as well as additional breaks in the all-day program.

Sitting in the pew, in the beautiful church, I heard the sound of a bar being taking out of a bag in the row behind me…that familiar crackle. Before I even turned around, I thought, “My God, this is gonna be nuts, and she’s gonna be nuts, and it’s over.”

There they were, two bars lying on the pew, and one being opened and eaten. You know the brand….so popular and so full of nuts.

Of course, Lily knew before I did because she has bionic hearing and x-ray vision that keep her safe…a fine-tuned skill that I am grateful for. This makes it very hard to be in your inner heart. Amazingly, somehow she balances it all.

Lily was lovely and tried to insist that the rest of us really needed this experience and should continue to enjoy it without her, but we were hours from home, and leaving her in the car with the keys for the day really was not an option. We took turns walking with her. My heart hurt that this allergy can sometimes be a thief…always a teacher…and then, often is a gift.

The next day, we went to a memorial service for a dear friend. It had never occurred to us that they would serve lunch, but as we entered the ballroom, pecan-walnut cookies from a favorite local caterer were everywhere.

We thought these two places were places where nuts wouldn’t be an issue. Yet two days in a row, two events that were meant to be heart-and-soul filling, were instead temporarily spirit-crushing disappointments for Lil. David Whyte’s entire talk was about the invitation of life. Two days in a row, Lily very much wanted to accept the invitation of life, and she couldn’t because of the limitations of the world. It is no one’s fault; nuts are great and good for most. It is a hard thing for our world to grasp that they are a serious life threat for others.

I realized that she doesn’t just carry the burden of keeping herself safe and alive. She also carries the emotional burden of not wanting the people who ordered the food to feel bad because avoiding nuts didn’t occur to them. (She left the memorial service quickly so they wouldn’t see her, wouldn’t realize why she couldn’t stay, wouldn’t have their day impacted).  The same burden she carried the day before, when her family had to leave David Whyte.

She’s had her heart broken so many times. And even though I know that our pain is our growth, it is heartbreaking for me. And it’s a heartbreak that can’t be avoided, because there’s no cause, effect, consequence. No control. No “do a good job, be earnest, and things will work out.”

At Don’t Go Nuts, our real reason for being is to be part of this fellowship for all of Lily’s life. Yes, we make safe food, which in itself is so very important. But most of all, we need to share with you our seasons of life, which include the inner heart of allergies.

Jane Pinto
Mother and Co-Founder


The City of Santa Fe would once again like to thank Don’t Go Nuts for the amazing customer service and products! We serve close to 1000 youth and teen participants a year. Due to the high numbers of participants with nut allergies, your products are the perfect solution. This past ...


“Thank you for keeping my family safe in this scary world of food allergies. Food allergies have altered our way of life and knowing there are conscious companies out there gives us a small sense of security :-).”



I just wanted to thank you for your product. I started on my healthy living journey about two months ago and I have a nut allergy. your bars have been a God-send! I'm the type of person who craves carbs/deserts and definitely doesn't crave protein. Your bars have helped satisfy my cravings while making ...


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