Hi! My name is Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino. I have life-threatening food allergies called Anaphylaxis. I realized the other day that I'm a little caught up in just trying to avoid allergens myself, stay healthy and thriving. I've been in that mode a little bit as I noticed inflammation was creeping back into my life and I needed to control it better. I've been feeling better for a few months now.
That's when another teenager died from food allergies. I believe the teen died from eating a cookie that contained allergens.
These moments with kids dying, create this inner voice in me telling me I need to be more vocal and increase awareness and do as much as possible to help us all stay alive and thrive with food allergies. I've had these allergies now for 20 years. We're in this together and we need to increase safety, awareness and acceptance and take care of the mindset of those with the allergies.
Anyone with food allergies or who knows someone with food allergies knows the day in and day out of living with food allergies is full of incredible anxiety!! From the fear of dying, fear of someone making a mistake around you or your child, dangerous or awkward social situations, school bullying, adult bullying, teens forgetting to carry their Epi-pens, dining out dangers, trying to be polite to others who offer you food, workplace food issues, airline experiences and so much more. I could go on and on. I say this not in woe is me mode, but rather, stay alive and thrive with food allergies.
Over the years, I've gained experience in dealing with food allergies and anaphylaxis and so I thought I would share my story.
I'm Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino and am now 47 and a mom of four sons. I'm a very proud author with Hay House and The CEO and Founder of The Best Ever You Network CEO. I live my daily life with life-threatening allergies called "Anaphylaxis" to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.
In 1998, I had a very serious brush with death and nearly lost my life due to an allergic reaction to almonds. When I arrived at the hospital my blood pressure was 60/38 and was put on a cart. I woke up with beeps, drips and kidney machines, my parents completely freaked out, my husband and kids wondering what in the world happened and a stay in the hospital to get things functioning again.
The doctor told me I had a food allergic reaction called Anaphylaxis and was lucky to be alive.
In 1999, I had an even more terrifying near-fatal allergic reaction, while 6 months pregnant with our third son, Cam, after which we were hospitalized for more than a week in Burnsville, MN.
My luck had not run out yet. But I was feeling very much like a victim and was mad at myself and the world at this point. While sitting in a rehab facility with my dad who had survived a stroke, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and made a decision to turn these challenges that people have into a mission to help people live and thrive and be their very best. I began writing my book PERCOLATE in a journal. It was then called the ABCs of Life.
I began to understand the process of change, positive thinking, taking action and finding community.
In 2006, I became a food allergy spokesperson for MedicAlert Foundation and appeared on their magazine, which was mailed to over one million members. This is a role I continue today, working closely with their executive team, appearing on their website and raising food allergy awareness internationally. I also appear with Jerome Bettis in the book, One of the Gang – Nurturing the Souls of Children with Food Allergies by Gina Clowes.
In 2008, recognizing the need for people with chronic conditions, life-altering events, or just people who want to improve themselves, I founded The Best Ever You Network. The network is now a leading multimedia provider of lifestyle and self-help content with a mission to inspire you, to raise awareness and to promote greater excellence within each of us and in the world. Best Ever You is a place to discover your authentic, best self and create a plan and practice for yourself where each moment in your life matters. My goal is to help connect you to yourself, others around you and the world as a whole. You are never alone.
With Brian Hom in 2011, I co-founded the Food Allergy Zone to help people stay alive and thrive with food allergies. FAZ also hopes to help us find a cure and the cause of food allergies. Brian and his wife lost their son to a peanut allergic reaction.
In 2014 Elizabeth became a spokesperson for FAACT - Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team. FAACT is your home for education, advocacy, & connection with others affected by life-threatening food allergies & anaphylaxis and is founded by my good friend Eleanor Garrow-Holding.
For many years now, I've hosted and co-hosted “The Best Ever You Show” on BlogTalkRadio. The show, which is also on iTunes has over millions of global listeners. Our guests share their stories in an effort to help us all be our best. We've done a number of food allergy shows and will do more in 2017.
In 2012, I was signed a book contract with Hay House. Percolate: Let Your Best Self Filter Through was released 4/14/14. My goal with Percolate is to empower readers to implement powerful, positive change to thrive in every aspect of your life. I guide the reader through The PERCOLATE Process, which is a 9 point plan for allowing your best to filter through and change your life from living to thriving. I think it's quite a valuable tool because it combines inspiring, practical exercises and my story and along with empowering psychological principles. The process is based on my own method of change and discovery. In 1998, after nearly losing my life to the first allergic reaction, I chose an “I will survive and thrive” attitude instead of giving up.
Motivated by having two small children, moving forward required a first step of accepting this new "Elizabeth", and being bold enough to allow my confidence to surface and constantly remind herself, "I am enough." combined with authentic action.
I believe the Percolate Process allows us to never ever give up and to discover the power we have individually and collectively in order to bring about positive lasting change within ourselves … and what we percolate into the world. When we use the Percolate Process, it helps us discover our greater role in the world and also shows the incredible power we have when we work together. When we Percolate Peace, we lead our lives with purpose, meaning and the ability to inspire ourselves and others.
If there is anything I can ever do for you, answers questions, or help you not feel alone with food allergies, please reach out. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino
Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino is a mom of four, bestselling Hay House author of PERCOLATE, speaker, trainer, entrepreneur and a recognized leader in personal development and optimal mindset strategies. For more than 20 years, she's been teaching entrepreneurs, educators, corporate leaders, and people from all walks of life how to illuminate their light within and help them reach their highest, best potential.
As an expert in mentoring people to market their strengths and achieve brand excellence, Elizabeth is ranked in the Top 40 Social CEOs on Twitter. In 2011, Fast Company, named Elizabeth a "Top influencer," and The Shorty Awards recognized her in 2013 as "Top 3 - Best in Social Media". Best Ever You has also been a top 200 company recognized by StartUpNation in 2009 and 2011 (Ranking top 100 in 2011). In 2016, as one of Oxford Said Business School's top and favorite CEO's on Twitter, Elizabeth was recently interviewed and featured in their study by Tong WU.
As the founder of The Best Ever You Network, she created a brand with more than a million followers in social media & 2 million radio downloads, and is on a mission to inspire you, to raise awareness and to promote greater excellence within each of us and in the world. Elizabeth has been featured on US News and World Report, Hay House Radio, Blogtalkradio, Playboy Radio, Huff Post Live, Fast Company, Start Up Nation, Sirius XM Canada.
Elizabeth graduated with honors a year early from high school and college. Elizabeth attended the University of Iowa and is an honors graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. She has several certificates in Business Leadership and Project Management from St. Thomas University in Minneapolis, MN and is also a Certified Professional Life Coach and certified Food Over Medicine instructor.
ps- You may find a typo or two in this. Just let me know. I didn't have anyone edit it and I'm the Ruler of Typoland.