The Land of Can

Welcome to the Land of Can! I’m J.J., and I am 2019 college graduate living with food allergies. I’ve created this blog for two reasons: 1) to create an authentic resource for parents of children with food allergies and 2) to strengthen the emotional well-being of young people by empowering them to define themselves by who they are and who they can be, instead of by who they’re not! Please scroll for more. My blog. My rules. Bon Appétit!
— J.J. Vulopas

Guest Blogger, Jaime Gialloreto


A New Feature of the Land of Can…

The Land Of Can is entering into an exciting transition. The new Land of Can website will be unveiled in late August, and we’re working hard behind the scenes to make sure that it will reflect our mission of raising food allergy awareness and empowering young people and their families to soar. One exciting feature of the new site is guest bloggers! Different guest bloggers will be taking over the Land of Can blog for certain weeks. Along with me, they too will be able to share their voices and incredible wisdom.

As a preview of what’s to come, the first guest blogger takeover is this week! In her final week as Miss New Jersey, Jaime Gialloreto has the keys to The Land of Can.

Jaime was featured as a Food Allergy Can Opener last year due to her incredible food allergy advocacy work with her Don’t Get Nutty organization. During her reign as Miss New Jersey, Jaime regularly shared our Land of Not book with young people across New Jersey. It’s clear that her care for the food allergy community is genuine, and I’m honored to stand beside her as an advocate. I’m eager to read her posts.

I wrote this book for kids w/ food allergies, and educators say it can change lives.

Land of Not

When 9-year-old Collin moves with his family to the Land of Not, he is shocked to discover that everyone in his school is sad because they define themselves by what they can't do. Soon, he develops a plan to show his new friends, including a food-allergic student, that true happiness comes from embracing who they are, not who they're not. The message of the book, as one veteran educator said, will "Inspire, empower and transform every child to understand their possibilities rather than define themselves by their limitations." 




A post a day? Ambitious? Yep. Achievable? Absolutely. Every day I will challenge myself to create an incredible, fresh resource for young people with allergies and for the people who care for them. I challenge you to become an active voice in the Land of Can community. 


Below are the latest posts FOR THE WEEK

The archives

Did you miss a post? Want to get caught up? Below are my archives for each section. Enjoy!


Every Sunday, I’ll release a short, CANspirational video for kids and teens. Over the past year, psychologists helped me to develop tools that young people can use to get to CAN. Each week from my college apartment, I’ll focus on one of the Can traits and, in a few minutes, unveil a motivational talk that will appeal to all young people, not just those with allergies.


Each Monday, I’ll tell parents what’s really on my mind. I’ve lived with life-threatening food allergies for 20 years, and I have a lot to share. I’m not holding back, either. I have some strong opinions about what we need to do to help our children. I have strong opinions about what's right... and what's wrong in this industry. My blog. My rules. Watch out. 


When you have a food allergy, knowing how to handle a situation BEFORE it occurs is key. Experts say that children (and their parents) who know how to handle common food situations have less stress and are more confident in their daily interactions. Each Tuesday, I'll present a realistic, allergy-related scenario. Read them yourselves. Then review them with your children.


I love a photo that makes you think. Every Wednesday, I’ll post a pic & watch us play. Sometimes the photo will challenge you or inspire you or make you think or make you laugh or make you vent with like-minded friends like all of us!


I wish I didn't have my allergy, but since I do, I'm going to learn from it. Thursday, I’ll sit at a table with my allergy — Mr. A, I call him — and explore what having a life-threatening allergy in my life has taught me. Dare I say I'm a better person because of this stinkin' allergy? When the opportunity exists, reinforce these lessons with your own children.


Many people enable us to live in the Land of Can. Each Friday, I’ll present the "Can Opener" award — It’s my “thank you" acknowledgment to those who advocate for me and for those in the food allergy community. Hopefully, this inspires you to thank, and possibly nominate, a Can Opener in your life, too. 


My parents raised me with a CAN mindset. Each Saturday I’ll call home, and my parents and I will have an honest podcast discussion about the challenges of raising a child with an allergy. I’ve never really talked to my parents about the challenges they had raising me. I’m eager to find things out. Maybe their experiences might help someone else, too.