Email Subscribers & Followers


Just wanted to let everyone know, if you are a current email subscriber, you will continue to receive email notifications of new posts as before.  However, WordPress.com followers will only see new posts in the Reader. You will not receive email updates unless you subscribe to email notifications through our new site http://www.allergy-warriors.com.

Thank you so very much for your support!

We Are Moving!


We are officially moving our site to www.allergy-warriors.com.  If you follow our blog or subscribe via email, you will need to sign back up on the new site.  Our followers did not carry over to the new site.  If you do not sign up, you will not continue getting updates from us.  :0(

The new site is currently under construction, so please bare with us as we get new features and fun things set up.  The look will probably change a few more times also.  We are tweaking it to make it perfect.  We have a new recipe card program, and will be adding tabs for recipes, amazing products, and other great things.  The new recipe card allows you to save or print (in various sizes) right from the site.  We are excited to bring you lots more great things as we work on the new site and add lots more great features!

The www.allergywarriors.wordpress.com site will be shut down by the end of the month, and we will not be posting on this site after that.

We want to thank everyone for supporting us in this endeavor and look forward to seeing you on the new site!  Your support is greatly appreciated!  If you have a minute, we would love to hear your feedback about the new site, and get your input on things you would like to see on the site!

Allergy Warrior Annie & Gluten Free Gal Lizzie

Wordless Wednesday: No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks


Today is Bean’s last day of school! Welcome summer!

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This year Bean has had the best teachers and such a great, happy bus driver. They have all been so accomodating and so on top of things when it comes to her peanut allergy. I will actually miss them, but am so excited for her to be home for the summer.

Store Eggs vs. Farm Raised Eggs


For those of you who can eat eggs, and have never tried cage free eggs, this is a must read!  We went to Wallace Farms to pick up some grass-fed brisket.  My hubby loves using his grandfather’s Texas recipe for making brisket in our smoker.  They had a cooler with some cage free eggs.  I have heard from so many people that farm raised eggs are so much better than grocery store eggs.  I thought I give would a carton a try, and see what all the fuss was about.  Here is the sign that was on the cooler door.

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I loved the varying colors, and speckles on the eggs.
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So we decided to just take a store-bought egg and a Wallace Farms egg and scrambled them for a taste test.  I added 1 tsp of milk, scrambled it up, put it in a coffee cup, and nuked it for 1 minute in the microwave.  Immediatedly, the first thing I noticed was the yellow color of the cooked Wallace Farm’s egg versus the store-bought egg.  It looked smoother and much more yellow.

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So I tried a bite of each one, and it really did taste so much better! I was happily surprised.  Not only was the consistency of the egg better, but the taste was so good!  I am looking forward to trying them in recipes! I bet it would make the finished product taste much better too. I’m sold and will probably never buy store-bought eggs again. Not only do they seem healthier, but they just taste so much better. I had to share this discovery with all of you.

Disclaimer: I purchased these eggs and was not compensated in any way.  This review is my own personal experience and my opinions are all my own, and not influenced in any way.

Origins of Peanuts


So it seems that there is some confusion between peanuts and tree nuts. When I tell people my daughter has a severe peanut allergy they will usually ask if she can have other nuts like almonds or pecans.  I have a whole speech saved in my head for just that occasion. I explain that peanuts are a legume. Legumes are in the bean family and grow in the ground, while tree nuts (hence the name) grow on trees. I find it interesting that people are so used to shopping at the stores and finding things on shelves, that they don’t really know the origin of their food.  So let’s talk about peanuts…

According to Wilkipedia – The peanut, or groundnut (Arachis hypogaea), is a species in the legume or “bean” family (Fabaceae). The peanut was probably first domesticated and cultivated in the valleys of Paraguay.[1] It is an annual herbaceous plant growing 30 to 50 cm (1.0 to 1.6 ft) tall. The leaves are oppositepinnate with four leaflets (two opposite pairs; no terminal leaflet), leaflet is 1 to 7 cm (⅜ to 2¾ in) long and 1 to 3 cm (⅜ to 1 inch) broad.

The flowers are a typical peaflower in shape, 2 to 4 cm (0.8 to 1.6 in) (¾ to 1½ in) across, yellow with reddish veining. each Hypogaea means “under the earth”; after pollination, the flower stalk elongates causing it to bend until the ovary touches the ground. Continued stalk growth then pushes the ovary underground where the mature fruit develops into a legume pod, the peanut – a classical example of geocarpy. Pods are 3 to 7 cm (1.2 to 2.8 in) long, containing 1 to 4 seeds.[2]

Peanuts are known by many other local names such as earthnutsground nutsgoober peasmonkey nutspygmy nuts and pig nuts.[3] Despite its name and appearance, the peanut is not a nut, but rather a legume.

Archeologists have dated the oldest specimens to about 7,600 years, found in Peru.[6] Cultivation spread as far as Mesoamerica, where the Spanish conquistadors found the tlalcacahuatl (Nahuatl = “peanut”, whence Mexican Spanishcacahuate and French, cacahuète) being offered for sale in the marketplace of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City). The plant was later spread worldwide by European traders.

Although the peanut was mainly a garden crop for much of the colonial period of North America, it was mostly used as animal feed stock until the 1930s.[7] In the United States, a US Department of Agriculture program (see below) to encourage agricultural production and human consumption of peanuts was instituted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. George Washington Carver is well known for his participation in that program in which he developed hundreds of recipes for peanuts.

 

WholeLife Expo and Sephira, Cirque of the Soul Show


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What a fun, educational, and interesting day!!  Unexplained tummy tingles, guardian angels, and a beautiful cirque were the highlights!  I have shared quite a few pics of the cirque so you can see how amazing it was!

Yesterday Lizzie and I went to the WholeLife Expo in Schaumburg, IL, as official bloggers.  We were given tickets for entry to the expo, tickets to two of their workshops, and tickets to Sephira, Circque of the Soul show.  The Expo ran from May 31  through today, June 2nd.  We could not attend on Friday or Sunday due to previous commitments, but Lizzie and I attended Saturday.  When we arrived, there was some confusion getting our tickets, and one of our workshops was cancelled, because the speaker had a car accident on Friday.  :0(

A lot of the content of the expo was spiritual healing, meditation, angels, eco-fashions, metaphysical jewelry and stones, clairvoyants and psychics, chiropractic wellness care, and natural products like volcanic ash and essential oils.  There were 10 stages located throughout the expo with demonstrations, classes, and music.  There were yoga demonstrations, and speakers who spoke on everything from channeled healing meditation,  dreams, organic alternative products, inspirational music, whole body nutrition, planetary shifts, and a lot of speakers that discussed how to empower your life through mediumship, meditation, and metaphysical healing.

One of the workshops available on Saturday, that Lizzie and I thought would be really neat to attend was the Karen Paolino-Correia workshop called Meet Your Guardian Angels.  Karen is an angel messenger.

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 This was a two hour workshop, where she discussed that everyone has two guardian angels watching over them, who want to guide us in our lives, and also who want to help us achieve our goals.  She did a deep meditation session and taught us how to connect with our guardian angels.  She also gave out one card before the workshop and one after the workshop.  They were supposed to convey a message.
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My first card was friendship, and my second was break free “Try different ventures and experiences as a way to grow and learn.”  My own interpretation of the cards was that since I started this blog with Lizzie, that I have delved into a world of things I have never tried before.  I am learning so many things and experiencing things like this expo that I probably would not have even considered attending before.

I learned quite a bit about therapeutic-grade essential oils.  There are so many uses for them.  I will leave that for a whole separate post, because I could go on and on!
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I did purchase a Magnetite magnetic bracelet from Magnets and More.  Magnetic bracelets are used to alleviate a range of conditions.  There are several benefits of wearing a magnetic bracelet, including enhanced endorphins, releasing pain and discomfort, faster diffusion of ions and gasses through cellular membranes, i.e. lungs, circulatory system, etc., increased lymphocyte production, increased circulation, up to 80 percent reduction in muscle soreness after major workouts, boost the immune system, maximize the brain’s ability to function. The brain has minute particles of Magnetite, which causes the neural synapses to fire. Augmenting this Magnetite Field allows for the optimum usage of the brain increasing focus, clarity, and improved memory.  I have heard several athletes have begun wearing them also, so I thought, why not?

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Lizzie tried a Reiki.  If you are unfamiliar with Reiki, it is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.  Lizzie said she felt good and energized afterwards!

We both agreed to try a reality shift, by David Jepsen from Gadflyshifts.  He did each of us separately, and asked us both what we would like changed or made clear.  You may think we are crazy, but as I was sitting in the chair, I got this weird feeling in my stomach similar to pins and needles or a tingling feeling.  I looked at Lizzie with this “what the hell?” look and David said, “I am in your abdomen now making adjustments”.  He then said he was going into other parts of my body, and although I did not feel anything like the stomach thing, it was really trippy!  I did not tell Lizzie what I felt, and she went next.  When we were both done, she said experienced this tingling/pins and needles someplace else and THEN he told her that he was there too.  As you can see we were sitting in a folding chair, just like the one he was sitting on.  As Lizzie was sitting up there, I kept looking for some explanation as to why I would have felt the tingling inside my stomach.  I saw the rubber mat we were sitting on, but even with some kind of machine that would have caused vibrations, there is no way to explain only feeling it in certain parts of our body, and the feeling was internal, not external.  Yes, it was a very neat, but freaky, experience!

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We walked the entire expo a couple of times, and watched a few of the other speakers on the stages, but since our other workshop got cancelled, we were left with some spare time, before the Circque.  It was dinner time, so we decided to take the free trolley from the convention center to the Woodfield Mall.  I had never been on a trolley before, so this was a fun new experience for me!  We walked around the mall for a little while, and got some dinner while we were there, then took the trolley back to the convention center.  It was great, because it was pouring and the trolley offered door to door service!

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Then it was time for the Sephira, Cirque of the Soul.  It was an AMAZING show!  The acrobats were amazing and the things they did were even more amazing.  We were both riveted to our seats watching all their talent!  It was a beautiful end to a nice day!
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Disclaimer: We were provided with passes to all of the things mentioned above, but were not compensated financially in any way.  All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

So excited to be going to the WholeLife Expo 2013


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Tomorrow is going to be a very exciting day.  Lizzie and I are going the the WholeLife Expo in Schaumburg tomorrow as official bloggers.  The WholeLife Expo is one of the largest natural health and holistic expos .  They have 240 exhibit booths, health products, 10 stages of classes, music, and demos, and over 200 hours of live sessions!  Plus at the end of the night, you won’t want to miss the Sephira Cirque of the Soul show Tree of Life!  The expo started on Friday, but due to Bean’s doc appointment and my hubbies doc appointment, I was unable to attend.  It is being held at the Schaumburg Convention Center all weekend, so don’t miss out!!  The show is Saturday 10am-9pm, and Sunday 11am-7pm.  Daily admission is only $20, and you can purchase passes to certain workshops too.  They have lots of workshops on all different subjects.  You can buy tickets here.

Hope to see you there!

 

We Love When Food Makers Reply! This Time its Gluten


We Love When Food Makers Reply! This Time its Gluten.

Toasting Coconut


A quick online search will lead you to about a million and a half different ways of toasting coconut. Since we often want to incorporate this into our meals, I really wanted to learn how to do it properly. Well, I tried quite a few of the methods I found online and found that none of them worked to my satisfaction. So, through some trial and error, I was able to come up with my own way of doing it and it works great. I wanted to share this with you guys so you don’t have to go through all the mistakes and mess that I did.

First, you are going to make sure you prep your coconut. Once you have cracked the coconut and have pulled away the meat, get out your old fashioned kitchen grater. You know, that bulky metal thing that always happened to just be in the kitchen? It always looked so scary to me as a kid, but I love how many things I can use it for now! But, back to business… Take your chunks of coconut and start grating them on the grater. Tip: Only grate as much as you’ll need for your recipe and maybe a bit extra for snacking later… coconut keeps longer in larger chunks than after it has been grated.

Once you have your small pieces of grated coconut, you’ll have to decide how toasted you want it. It really depends on your preferences and what kind of crunch you want it to have. If you are mixing in the coconut, or prefer slightly less crunchy toasted coconut, then use the frying pan method.

To do this, take a medium sized frying pan and spread your coconut out in a single layer. Turn your heat to high. As soon as you see the coconut begin to tan (about a minute), turn your heat down to medium low and stir the coconut around while continuing to toast until it reaches desired color/texture. Note: this method does not toast coconut evenly, so I would not recommend this method where the presentation of the toasted coconut will be visible. The advantage to this method, is you get the great coconut flavor without tons of crunch as soon of the coconut stays a bit on the softer side. This is great for those who have issues with texture differences.

However, if you are looking for either more crunchy or more uniformly toasted coconut, use the oven method.

To do this, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread your coconut in an even layer on a cookie sheet and place into the oven. Let it roast for about 5-7 minutes and give it a good shake and stir to ensure even toasting. Continue toasting until desired level of color and crunch is achieved.

Store your toasted coconut in an air tight container. If you happen to have any left that is! I hope this helps out those who are looking for a better way to toast their own.

If you haven’t tried toasted coconut, I highly recommend it! Its a great addition to salads, main dishes, and desserts. Its also great to have on hand as a quick snack!

What to Do if a Restaurant Doesn’t Have a Gluten-Free Menu


What to Do if a Restaurant Doesn’t Have a Gluten-Free Menu.

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