Lisa Lillien is the author of the popular Hungry Girl website and email newsletter, featuring smart, funny advice on guilt-free eating.
She is also the author of eight Hungry Girl cookbooks, five of which debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Read her PEOPLE.com blog every Monday for slimmed-down celebrity recipes and more.
Having a food allergy is a bummer, but take solace in this: You’re in good company (celebs from Zooey Deschanel to Busy Philipps have gone on the record about their various food allergies and sensitivities) and having an allergy doesn’t mean you need to give up delicious eats! Check out these dietary no-nos of the stars, and my picks for the healthy foods and drinks you can both indulge in.
“I am the worst person to ever eat with because I have all these stupid food allergies,” the actress told New York magazine. (Her other sensitivities: dairy and wheat.)
What could you eat if you hung out? Bake her a cake from a gluten-free box mix (found at any major grocery store; Betty Crocker even makes one) but, instead of eggs and oil, use one 15-oz. can of pure pumpkin. (This trick works for standard cake mixes, too!) The cake comes out super moist and delicious—even with chocolate cake mix—and is healthy, too: A whole can of fiber-rich pumpkin has only about 150 calories.
Peanuts may pack a lot of the protein an athlete like Serena needs, but the tennis pro is allergic to them, reports the New York Times.
What could you eat if you hung out? Switch to almond butter, which is also a great source of protein. Brand Justin’s makes fantastic almond butter in delicious flavors like maple (2 tbsp. have 200 calories and 17g healthy fat), and some of them even come in portion-controlled packs.
Besides suffering both dairy and wheat intolerances, Thornton is also allergic to shellfish, reports the Huffington Post.
What could you eat if you hung out? Make nachos by melting shredded soy cheese (GO Veggie! dairy-free cheese is a favorite of mine) over gluten-free chips (like Guiltless Gourmet yellow corn chips). If you use those two brands, a serving of the chips topped with ⅓ cup of the non-dairy cheese has just 210 calories and 9g fat. Other chip brands may pack way more calories and fat depending on if they’re baked or fried, so read labels carefully!
The Cougar Town actress opened up to Living Without, a magazine for people with food allergies, about her sensitivities to soy and gluten.
What could you eat if you hung out? Make a couple of light lattes using almond milk (my go-to is Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla). It’s soy-free and has fewer calories than plain nonfat dairy milk (30 vs. 83 in an 8-oz. serving). It also has more flavor, in my opinion. I’m not allergic to dairy or soy, but I love this stuff.
The actress tells Shape that going gluten-free doesn’t mean she has to cut out all carbs. “I do brown rice, I do potatoes—I love mashed potatoes. I do quinoa. I just need some kind of carbs in my diet. Otherwise, I just feel hungry!”
What could you eat if you hung out? You have a lot of G-free options now, and can even find delicious options at the grocery store. Van’s Natural Foods makes a great selection of gluten-free treats, like their Cinnamon Heaven gluten-free cereal (¾ cup has 120 calories and 1g fat) and the Say Cheese! gluten-free crackers, which come in pre-portioned 140-calorie snack packs—perfect for a snack on the go.
‘Til next time… Chew the right thing!