My Journey

If you've been experiencing a vague sense of feeling "not quite right", I can certainly relate. As a child and young adult, I never knew what it was to have a happy tummy. After a case of food poisoning that lingered far too long, I pushed my doctor to test for Celiac. The test confirmed what I had long suspected. I did have Celiac Disease.
That diagnosis was only the beginning a of my personal path to wellness. As you may already know, changing both diet and lifestyle is not easy to do. Ten years ago, there weren't many resources available to support people with food intolerances and allergies. And if you are like most people with food sensitivities, you soon realize that your "finely tuned" body is sensitive to more than one food group or environmental allergen. It may take a several tries to identify all of the tweaks you need to make to your diet and surroundings to finally feel better.
After changing my diet, but still feeling not quite well, I eventually realized that I am the best advocate for my own health. I ask a lot of questions, and if I don't feel comfortable with the answers from my doctor, I do some research, ask more questions and talk to other people on the same journey. Sometimes I change doctors when I don't see results my body needs. Over time I found a whole new team of healthcare providers. And after some more tweaks, I started feeling truly healthy.
I am passionate about sharing my hard-won knowledge and teaching others how to become their own best health advocate. A few years ago I became a community educator for gluten-free eating and an advocate for others with gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease. I've served for many years on the leadership team of the Austin branch of the Gluten Intolerance Group of Central and South Texas and helped coordinate a Gluten-free Education Day with Scott & White Hospital in Round Rock, Texas. In addition, I've led gluten-free store tours at Whole Food Market's flagship store in Austin since 2007 and taught Gluten Free 101 and other cooking classes at the Whole Foods Market Austin Culinary center. In 2012, I started seeing my own clients.

My Education and Experience:

I received my B.A. in Psychology from the University of Texas in 1992. Over the last two decades, I've worked as a project manager in the telecom industry and as an IT Senior Analyst for Whole Foods Market. Recently I followed my passion and in 2012 earned my certification as a Nutritional Consultant from Global College of Natural Health.

Testimonials

"I used to be among the masses that thought weight management is simply a math problem: burn more calories than you take in, profit! However, what the math ignores is that WHAT you eat is probably just as, if not more important, than HOW MUCH you eat. Setting aside any discussion on food allergies, I've found this out firsthand when following the meal plan and guidance of Anne Allen.

"The premise was simple: cut out carbs and sugar as much as possible. Easier said than done, since as a society we have become truly hooked on processed carbs. Think bread, pasta, flour, and lastly, sweets. Those darn sweets! Try cutting out juice, and cake, and pizza, and all the things we like and see what a change it brings! Definitely tests your resolve, that's for sure.

"But that's where Anne comes in. She's given us fabulous meal plans in which to follow, because I, for one, will tell you the single most difficult thing about changing one's diet is coming up with the things to eat. If left to my own devices, I'd eat about three things, rinse and repeat, for lack of any imagination of coming up with something else. In essence, I'd eventually starve if I had to come up with all this myself. Anne provides really simple, yet tasty recipes in which to follow, and good substitutes for those hard to give up items (like pumpkin pancakes!).

"Getting back to point, in order for this diet to take effect, it has to meet several criteria:

  1. It has to be simple, which I've covered. "So simple a caveman can do it!" I am that caveman.
  2. It can't break the bank. So far, we're not spending any more than we used to since we're not spending money on juice, pasta, bread, etc. However, we did amp it up with the number of organic products we buy so it's a wash for us. People could eventually save money if they don't want to get all tree hugging Whole Foodsy about it and buy nothing but organic.
  3. It has to taste good. Otherwise, what's the point of living?
  4. No cheating. Yes, that means you! The idea is to ween your body off the dependence of these items. Cheating just keeps the addiction going. But seriously, you'll cheat. We cheated. This is like saying "don't sin". Yeah, right. The idea is to try not to cheat, and if you do cheat, don't go full on and have a big stack of pancakes moment. Just eat a little bit and move on. It gets easier, trust me.
  5. This is a family thing. If you think you can do this by yourself, while your spouse stuffs their face with chocolate cake, good luck. Your chances of making it are slim without the support of everyone involved. Cue the resentment music if you don't get your better half eating the same thing...

"So, we've been doing this since mid-October (it's now March as I write this). I haven't exercised any more or less, which is to say I'm about the same sloth as I was before. But I've lost twelve pounds, and my wife has lost around 21 pounds. I've sort of found an equilibrium for the past couple of months as I've lost the pounds I had intended to and now it's just maintaining my fighting weight. Keep in mind this is different for everyone so the takeaway here isn't the raw values, but to illustrate that we've lost this weight without having to put in a bunch of overtime at the gym. In fact, we haven't gone to the gym at all. All this is from cutting out carbs and sugar!

"And if you're wondering how this has affected my mood, or energy level, it has affected it, but in a positive way! I don't get the post lunch crash, nor do I get the urge to constantly feed the carb beast within. I fall asleep better (faster), and my energy level is great (no need for afternoon coffee!). My skin doesn't look as radiant as Anne's, but hey, whose does?

"All in all, I'll take these past months of this Paleo diet as a huge win for me and my wife. It's been a great lifestyle change for us, and Anne has definitely helped keep us on track. And she doesn't even guilt us in our moments of weakness either! She knows this ain't easy, and instead of a drill sergeant approach, she's more like that forgiving wise aunt that loves you anyway, despite having prior eating habits she had nothing to do with, and despite the constant whining about eating cauliflower rice instead of real rice (I'm Asian, dammit!).

"p.s. If you can't overcome numbers 4 and 5 above, then I wouldn't even go here. Best of luck!!"

~Phillip

"After years of feeling bad and not being able to pinpoint why, Anne was the first person to truly understand what I was going through and she provided me with honest answers and real solutions. She's incredibly knowledgeable about food intolerance issues and provided great recommendations on how to make the seemingly difficult transition to a gluten- and dairy-free diet not only doable, but even enjoyable. When you follow one of her plans, you'll know you're eating healthier than 99% of the population and you'll feel better. I know I do."
~Rich

"After years of feeling bad and not being able to pinpoint why, Anne was the first person to truly understand what I was going through and she provided me with honest answers and real solutions. She's incredibly knowledgeable about food intolerance issues and provided great recommendations on how to make the seemingly difficult transition to a gluten- and dairy-free diet not only doable, but even enjoyable. When you follow one of her plans, you'll know you're eating healthier than 99% of the population and you'll feel better. I know I do."
~Rich

"I met Anne Allen through a mutual friend who knew my son was recently diagnosed with food intolerances. When I spoke with Anne, I told her I was interested in private cooking classes, but it was going to be a challenge. My son was recently diagnosed with a gluten, dairy, egg and peanut intolerance. She asked me about the types of foods he liked to eat and my level of comfort with cooking. She provided me with twelve recipes to choose from. I chose three entrees and one dessert for our two hour session. We met at Whole Foods and she gave me a tour of the store. She showed me a variety of products such as chips, crackers, dairy free cheese and chocolate that were all gluten, dairy, egg and nut free. We purchased our products and headed to my home to start cooking. Anne made thumbprint cookies first from sunflower seeds and added melted chocolate to them. I didn't think the cookies would be a hit with my 4 year old but he loved them. Next we made vegetable fried rice, pasta with chicken, spinach and peas and finally a beef and chocolate chili. We had my son be the taste-tester and he gave all of her recipes two thumbs up. When my husband and 14 year old stepson got home that night, we all ate Anne's dishes. I was surprised that they ate everything and didn't know even notice they were gluten, dairy, egg and nut free. Anne also provided me with book recommendations, magazines, newsletters and websites to help me prepare meals. I feel more confident in my ability to accommodate my son's dietary needs after meeting with Anne. I would highly recommend Anne for private cooking classes if you are gluten intolerant. She is smart, sweet and very knowledgeable about gluten intolerances because she lives it every day."
Katie West
Austin, TX

"I met Anne while participating in a 90 day fitness challenge and she was our nutritional consultant. Let me tell you, Anne was amazing! Anne created customized menus for us on a weekly basis and monitored our progress continually making recommendations whenever necessary especially if we had specific medical conditions (Thyroid) that impacted how our bodies reacted to food or hit a plateau during the program. She was an incredible resource on food (good and bad food), grocery shopping and recommending helpful books. Thanks to Anne I lost 23 pounds and 7% body fat during this challenge and she has taught me a new way of life when it comes to food! She has helped changed my life - I feel like a whole new person mainly because of what I am fueling my body with now. I know I can be successful for the rest of my life given the tools that Anne provided me."
~Kellie
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