I can’t help but to be frustrated right now. I have several friends that have children that are similar in age to my kids. And of course, my kids love getting together and being able to play. Recently, we had some time to spend with a friend who I have not seen in a very long time and her three little ones. We had a great time. But…..
She knows that my kids are eating gluten free. She knows that it is because of an issue they both medically have. She knows how much I struggle trying to make my kids feel like they fit in.
When she invited us over, she mentioned that we should come for lunch. I began to explain to her my hesitation…and went down the whole list. The foods contents, the cross contamination issues, etc. She still insisted. I offered to bring our own food, that I knew would be okay. I even offered to bring enough for everyone to share. She still insisted everything would be fine. But, if this lifestyle has taught me anything its to be prepared, so I brought food anyway.
And its really a good thing that I did! We got there, and the kids played for awhile, which was awesome. But then I noticed that she had thrown in a pizza. I knew immediately that it was not going to be anything safe for my kids. So, I asked her. I wanted to know why she was making a pizza when she had offered to provide a safe lunch. She then said, well it is a favorite of the kids, so I was going to give them that, and I have salad and fruits and veggies for your kids. I was appalled.
I, luckily, brought a nice hearty lunch for the kids. But, still not the point. She knows that I do everything I can to NOT alienate my kids. Sorry, but eating something that they can not have right in front of them is awful. To top it all off, she even offered me the pizza. I remained calm during the whole thing, but shortly after lunch my kids were getting tired and had asked to leave. I was more than happy to oblige.
While I did take the time to explain my frustrations to her, I still can not help but to be upset to this day. Please do not take medical issues, especially those revolving around kids, lightly. It is hard enough for the kids to feel like they fit in, try not to make it any harder.
Lizzie”s Wordless Wednesday
My princess always has to match what I do, and I love it…I would NOT ask for it any other way…. But that does come with its own set of drawbacks. This picture shoes why it is so critically important for me to follow a gluten free diet, even though gluten is not an issue for me. As parents, we lead by example, and in my case, I have my fantastic little copycats watching my every move. They are my reasons for living, my everything, and I owe it to them to provide the right kind of example to follow. Me cheating and adding gluten only cheats the people I hold dearest to my heart.
Awareness in the Food Service Industry
It was another one of those nights tonight…
You know, the whole, hey let’s try and go out and grab something for dinner. For those of you who can do this effortlessly, and without any kind of thought, I envy you…dearly. For us, it is a lovely game of first, finding somewhere safe, and then second, trying to find somewhere that my uber picky Bear will eat from.
After a long debate and thought process, we finally settled on somewhere. As usual, once we were there and getting ready to order, I went through our typical “we can NOT have anything with gluten, so I need to know what your ingredients are” speech. And this was met with the typical “Oh is this for an allergy” question. I begrudgingly say yes, not wanting to get into how it is NOT an allergy (that is another post for another day). But then, to my dismay, our server said they would have to go and ask someone else, and they would get back to us about what was safe. It took quite awhile, and finally someone else came out to talk to us, with a large book that they told me contained all the items they had and what was in each item. And I am NOT kidding when I say that this binder had to be 3 or 4 inches thick. At this point, we explained that we did not feel safe enough to continue our experience, thanked the establishment, left a small tip for our server ( I used to waitress, so I feel that it is only right to leave a little something for taking up some time at a table) and wound up back home eating leftovers.
But here is my point, I just feel like if you work in an establishment where food is served, you should be knowledgeable enough to explain to patrons what is or is not in your products. Not just for those with gluten issues or food allergies, but for anyone who asks. People are becoming more and more aware of what they put in their bodies, and typically most like to know what they are eating. I just find it amazing that in most cases the servers or counter staff typically have no clue what they serve. Even worse, as in our case, the management did not even know what was in the products they were serving. Um…what? While I understand that this may be a paycheck for you, this could be a life threatening mistake for someone else. I am not at all trying to downplay the need for us with food issues to do our homework…but it would be nice for places to start educating their staff on the make up of the their products. Also, maybe a bit of education on the plethora of food issues that people can have. It would be nice to walk into a restaurant and explain my situation and have it met with something more than a weird look. A bit of extra effort on the part of restaurants could do wonders for their customer service, and open up their businesses to a whole new market of people who may have previously been unaware that eating there was a safe place.
I was talking to a friend earlier today and we were discussing some nutrition information and swapping recipes. This is something we like to do regularly. Some background…She has diabetes, and is very careful about what she eats, when, and what combinations of foods she eats at a time. So far she has been lucky enough to manage her condition by diet and exercise, although doctors are still keeping a close eye on her. Today, she said something that really got me thinking. In our conversation, I was teasing her about how meticulous she was with her measurements when it came to food ( all good-natured of course). And her reply was, “Well I am a diabetic, what do you expect?”. I found it interesting that she, and many other people who have diabetes, identify themselves AS the condition, rather than a PERSON with the condition.
I then emailed a friend who has Celiac and asked her how she identifies herself. She also replied that she, and many of the members in her support group, identify themselves as “celiacs”. There is just so much about this labeling that bothers me. There are many other conditions that are life long that people deal with all the time, yet they do not identify themselves AS the condition, they just say they HAVE the condition. So what makes conditions like Celiac and diabetes so different. Why are people relating themselves AS the disease?
I would really love to see people step away from this. Yes, you may have a condition, and yes it may be something that you have to deal with for the rest of your life. But, your disease DOES NOT define YOU! You are the only person that can do that. I think that the more we encourage terminology change (ie… I am a person with Celiac disease, or I am a person with diabetes) the more people with these afflictions will be able to feel more “normal”.
After I did some thinking, I called my friend back this morning and asked her why she identified herself in such a way. She seemed surprised that I brought it up and was genuinely thankful for my observation. She did not even realize the way she was referring to herself and her condition. She agreed that it was much more empowering for her to be a person with diabetes, than a diabetic. So, I encourage all of you to listen to when friends are talking…and if they do identify themselves as a condition they have… ask them why. Many may be like my friend and not even realize that they do it.
I would love to hear feedback on this issue. Please weigh in on questions and comments. Let me know how you identify yourselves and why. Or let me know if you think I am completely off track. I would love to hear everything!
New & Improved!
We have redesigned our page. We have added some features, like searching by a drop down list of categories. I would love it if you would check it out and give us your feedback! What do you think? I, personally, think it’s pretty snazzy, but of course that is a biased opinion!
Blog makes local newspaper!
The local newspaper in my town wrote an article about Allergy Warriors. Just wanted to share this with all of you who are not on my Facebook.
Here is the link
Does my child have food allergies (please share with new parents)
I remember the exact moment when Bean had her first reaction to peanuts. Halloween was only a couple of weeks away. We were practicing saying “trick or treat” with her little orange pumpkin and the snack size bags of Reese’s Pieces. She was only 15 months old, and it was going to be her first Halloween out trick or treating. I was so excited about it. We were practicing, by pretending that she was going up to a door. I would answer the door, and she would say “trick treat”. She did it a few times, and finally she said, “trick or treat”! Her reward was she could have one of the bags of Reese’s Pieces. She ate TWO Reese’s Pieces, and her lips got very red, and her chin and cheeks turned red and got little bumps all over them. Neither my husband nor I have food allergies, so we didn’t have a clue what was happening. I took her into the bathroom and washed her face, thinking maybe she touched something. I never gave her Benadryl or took her to the doc. I think I might have put some Hydro-cortisone on her face. It took a while, but it did finally go away. After she went to bed, my husband and I were talking about what she could have gotten into that gave her a reaction like that. I remember asking him, “Do you think she might be allergic to peanuts?” We both dismissed the idea, because everyone has seen an allergic reaction on TV. There was no puffy face, eyes swelled shut, can’t breathe type of thing happening. Previous to that, we had been camping. We made scrambled eggs in Ziploc bags. It was a neat camping recipe I had found online. You crack an egg into a Ziploc bag, zip it closed, squish it around in the bag to scramble it, then place the sealed Ziploc bag into boiling water. It cooks it right in the bag, and you eat it right out of the bag too, with a spoon. That time her chin got red and got little bumps all over it. Again, we washed her face off, thinking she maybe got into some weeds or something at the campground. At her next appointment with the pediatrician, I mentioned it. When I told him it was an after thought… an “oh by the way” type of thing. I didn’t think of how serious it could be, until her pediatrician said he wanted to send her for food allergy tests and to keep her away from anything with peanuts and eggs until further notice. Her tests showed that she was (and is still) anaphylactic to peanuts, and that had a mild egg allergy(which she has since outgrown). We have come a long way in what we know now about allergies, but as first time parents who have never dealt with food allergies before, we were pretty clueless. I think back and wonder if I would have had any clue of what to do if she had actually gone into anaphylaxis from eating the Reese’s Pieces? Would I have done things correctly in time to save her? I didn’t have an Epipen yet. I am just thankful that her reaction was not worse than it was.
All that being said, PLEASE pass this info along to all new parents… you never know when they might need this information!
Wallace Farms – my first review AND giveaway!
I am so excited to being doing my first product review and giveaway for my blog! First of all, thank you WALLACE FARMS for supporting my new allergy blog, and for providing me with my first review and giveaway!
Wallace Farms (www.wallacefarms.com) is a family owned and operated farm located in Keystone, Iowa. Their mission is to bring superior grass-fed beef and other naturally raised meats and wild fish to all of their customers and their families. Wallace Farms is a worry-free alternative to food that is raised and processed in a factory-like setting. What are the advantages of grass-fed beef, you ask? Grass-fed Beef has low saturated fat levels (similar to the levels found in lean chicken breasts), high in “good fat” omega-3’s (also commonly found in certain fish, such as salmon and tuna), contains high doses of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)(thought by many to be a cancer fighter), there is a reduced exposure to E. coli bacteria, and is an agricultural process that is ecologically friendly.
It is common practice for cattle to be fed growth hormones and Genetically Modified Corn. I have even found information on the internet saying that cows are being fed candy and/or cookies to battle the rising corn prices. This is food we eat, and they wonder why allergies, autism, and obesity is on the rise??
Wallace Farms allows you to shop online, and then pick up at several Illinois and Iowa locations. Once your order is placed online, within a few days an invoice will be emailed to you. You can choose to pay it online, or you can pay at the time of pick up. There are only certain dates and times you can pick up your items, but they have a wonderful service that will send you an email reminder about your pick up! I picked up at the Naperville location, and was greeted by Lisa Wallace. I am not sure about their other locations, but you can pre-order online, or you can walk-in and shop during their pick up times. No order is necessary to go in and shop and browse all their products. They have several freezers there with everything from hot dogs to salmon to ham. Today they had cage free eggs too – not sure if these are available all the time or not. The place is SUPER kid friendly. They have a small room with a slide for children to play in. They also have coloring pages, tattoos, and pencils for the kids.
The product I am reviewing today is Nick’s Sticks (www.nicks-sticks.com) for Wallace Farms . They contain NO antibiotics, NO hormones, NO msg, NO red dye, are Gluten Free, and shelf stable. After we picked up our items at Wallace Farms, my youngest daughter Bubbles said she was hungry. I opened the packages of the Grass-Fed Beef Snack Sticks and instantly they smelled so good. I could not wait to try them. I split one of the sticks with Bubbles. She said it was “soo yummy”, and I agree! Normally snack sticks are greasy or are too spicy, but these were perfect. Very flavorful, with just the right spices added to make them so very yummy! Then we tried the Free-Range Turkey Snack Sticks and those were just as good. I asked Bubbles which one she liked better, and she said she liked them both very much. I was in the same boat, and loved both the turkey and the beef just the same. As I am sitting here typing this, Bubbles said, “I really wish I could have more of these.” so I gave her another stick. I think they are a favorite for her! When my older daughter, Bean, got home, I let her try them too. She said, “I don’t like these.” I was shocked and surprised. Then she yelled, “I don’t like them, because I love them!!” These are such a great product – an easy, healthy snack that you feel good about eating and giving your children. Plus you can take them along anywhere. The packaging is sealed so well, that you can throw them in your purse, without worry that your purse will end up smelling like meat snack sticks or that they will accidentally open. Having two kids who seem to always be hungry for a snack, I am thrilled about this product! They are portable, good for you, a great source of protein, convenient, and a non-messy snack that can be eaten anywhere!! They are great before workouts, sports practice, or a snack any time of day! Best of all, they are ALLERGEN FREE! I love these so much, I am taking two of the four packages that I was given, and would like to do a giveaway so someone else can try them and fall in love with these too! One lucky winner will receive a package of Free-Range Turkey Snack Sticks, and a package of Grass-Fed Beef Snack Sticks. These can be ordered online at http://www.nicks-sticks.com (nationwide shipping!) or through Wallace Farms (www.wallacefarms.com) website.
GIVEAWAY LINK: Please click here and follow instructions on my Facebook page!
Giveaway is open to the continental USA and ends on February 28, 2013. Winner will be selected at random from all eligible entries by Rafflecopter. I will contact the winner by email.
No purchase necessary to enter or win. Odds of winning are not increased by a purchase.
All opinions given are my own, and all information provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.
Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance
The internet is a fantastic tool with so much information at our fingertips. However, people tend to jump on the internet and self diagnose themselves with things. One thing in particular is self diagnosis (with no medical testing) of food allergies. What millions of people assume is a food allergy, is actually an intolerance. Knowing the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance is very important because it can be life-threatening, if not handled properly.
Food reactions are common, but most are caused by a food intolerance rather than a food allergy. However, a food intolerance can cause some of the same signs and symptoms as a food allergy, so people often confuse the two.
A true food allergy actually causes an immune system reaction that affects numerous organs in the body. Even a minuscule amount of the allergen can cause an immediate, severe, and life threatening reaction. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, cramping and diarrhea. Other symptoms can include a tingling mouth, hives, and swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat. Anaphylaxis can result which causes breathing trouble and dangerously low blood pressure. If you have a food allergy, avoid the allergen COMPLETELY.
With a food intolerance, symptoms generally come on gradually. Also, they don’t involve an immune system reaction. People with a food intolerance, is usually able to eat small amounts of the food without trouble. You may also take steps which allow you to eat the offending foods. For example, if you are lactose intolerance, you may be able to drink lactose-free milk or take lactase enzyme pills that aid digestion. Food intolerance symptoms are typically limited to digestive problems.
Some causes of food intolerance:
- Absence of an enzyme needed to fully digest certain foods – Lactose intolerance is a very common
- Irritable bowel syndrome – the condition causes cramping, constipation, and diarrhea
- Sensitivity to food additives – The sulfites used to preserve dried fruit, canned goods, and wine can actually trigger asthma attacks in sensitive people
- Celiac disease – unlike other food intolerances, Celiac disease does involve the immune system. It is triggered by eating gluten, which is a protein found in wheat and other grains. However, Celiac disease symptoms stay gastrointestinal and Celiac disease does not cause anaphylaxis.
If you have a reaction after eating a particular food, see your doctor to determine whether you have a food intolerance or a food allergy. Even if your past food allergy reactions have been mild, you are at risk for a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). The more you ingest the allergen, the worse the allergy and reactions can get.