Dealing with a food allergy is difficult, to say the least. Walking down the aisles at the grocery stores becomes a chore. You can't just grab stuff off the shelf anymore and food labels become your best friend.
Melanie Beasley knows the hassle and the frustration. The registered dietician has been through the ordeal herself.
After recuperating from a back injury and surviving breast cancer in 2005, Beasley still wasn't feeling well in 2007. Finally she decided to see if the problem could be what she was eating.
She got tested at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and learned through the process that she is allergic to meat, gluten, flax and corn among other things. She also had her two daughters tested and learned they also suffer from some allergies. The diagnosis at the time seemed devastating.
"I thought, What am I going to eat? I was hungry," said Beasley.
For a while Beasley staed hungry and miserable, but then she got motivated. She started researching and found with a little creativity there's plenty out there to eat. Even pumpkin pie.
"God Bless the people that went before me," said Beasley. "There's a lot to eat. You just have to change your perspective."
After going through the process Beasley decided she wanted to help others in similar situations so she renewed her license and started Plenty 2 Eat in Rosemount.
She specializes in helping people with Celiac Disease and food allergies.
Two years after starting the business Beasley said she couldn't be happier.
"It's gone really well. I'm happy making a difference in people's lives," said Beasley.
The number of people suffering from food allergies has gone up in recent years said Beasley and more and more people are seeking help.
Beasley said she gets her business through referrals from area hospitals and clinics and through word of mouth.
Beasley has been a registered dietician for more than 25 years. She has worked in hospitals, clinics and prisons. An interest in health and wellness, drove her to become a licensed dietician.
Helping people with food allergies has become her full-time endeavor these days and Beasley said she wouldn't have it any other way.
"I want to help other people that are lost and hungry like I was," said Beasley.