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
To help determine if you or your child has a food allergy, there are a few steps you must take.
- Keep a log – write down very detailed symptoms. Be sure to note the food and how much of the food caused the problem.
- Call your doctor – Bring your log with you and tell your doctor all about it. He will do an exam and further testing.
- Blood Test – If your doctor suspects a food allergy, the doctor will most likely send you for a blood test. A blood test measure’s your immune system’s response to certain foods known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. However, these blood tests aren’t always accurate, and produce false positives.
- Skin Test – This is typically performed on the back for children, and on the inner arms for adults. Your skin is pricked with a very tiny needle, and a tiny amount of the allergens are placed beneath your skin’s surface. If you are allergic to something, an itchy raised bump will form. The doctor will rate the size of the bump with the severity of the allergy.
- Restricted Diet – Depending on your results, you will be asked to remove certain foods from your diet. If the doctor thinks that you may have an intolerance or sensitivity rather than an allergy, he may ask you to remove certain foods from your diet, and gradually add them back in to check for specific symptoms when reintroduced. This will narrow down which foods specifically are causing the problem. If you are truly allergic, the doctor will recommend the food be eliminated from your diet completely.
- Oral Tolerance Test – This test is done in your doctor’s office or a clinical environment, where doctor’s are prepared with emergency medication. A small amount of the allergen is given to the patient to ingest. Typically they start with a very, very tiny amount of the allergen. If that it tolerated, then increasing amounts are given at set time intervals, typically a every half hour or so. If you don’t have a reaction during this test, you can typically begin including this food back into your diet again.
The Never Ending Skin War….
My kids tend to have a slew of issues with their skin, as does my husband. Mine is sensitive as well. When my husband and I were dating, he had mentioned that he breaks out in these little red dots if he uses the wrong detergent. So he explained to me how he would find a detergent and fabric softener combo that would work for a while, and then they would come back and he would have to find something else.
Over the years, we have gotten used to lots of things. Then, when we had the kids, we noticed the same thing, even with us using the specially formulated baby detergent. So, we had to play the game all over again.
Unfortunately, no one has ever been able to pinpoint what causes these little rashes, usually localized to their upper arms. So, we just deal with it the best we can.
You can imagine how elated I was when we had finally come across a combination of things that worked. And it was something we have been successfully using for the last few years…. YEARS!! And just when I let myself start thinking, “wow, I think we have finally figured this out”….BOOM! The rashes were back.
So, we went back to scouring the supermarkets and health food stores to try to see what we could come up with. When I say that we have tried everything, I literally mean everything…..we have made our own, used vinegar, used essential oils, used commercial products…. and every combination of those things. And we spent days looking for something new, all the while the laundry kept piling up.
That’s when I had decided I had enough guessing and called my naturopath. He knows our history and everything that we have tried. I asked him to recommend something new for us to try. That is when he mentioned All Free and Clear. He asked us if we had ever tried it, and I was surprised when I checked our list (yes I keep a list) and found that we hadn’t. So, we went out to get some and while we were at the store, also came across Downey Free and Sensitive Fabric Softener. We bought that as well, since we had not tried that one either. Imagine, both these things right under our noses and how stupid we felt that we had never noticed them!
We began using them just a bit ago and so far so good (knock on wood for me though, would ya?)! I am hoping that for now, we at least have this at bay.
If anyone else has had any experiences with this, I would love for you to share them with me!
First Dates and Revealing Health Issues or Special Diets
Winning the Food Allergy War?
Every day more and more children, and adults are diagnosed with allergies. Food allergies, environmental allergies, seasonal allergies. Oh, and don’t forget there is asthma and eczema included too. My almost 8 year old, has all 3, plus asthma, and we went through a bought of eczema this past winter. The child takes more medications than I do. Inhalers, nasal sprays, and pills. Packing her an overnight bag is like packing her a small pharmacy. I am seeing this more and more with children, and even adults are having seasonal allergies who have never had them before. It all makes me wonder WHY?
Scientists are doing a crazy amount of research to find out why, but no one really has a definitive answer. There are so many theories out there… GMO’s, fast food, lack of breast feeding, eating the allergen during pregnancy, the rise of planned c-sections, & use of hand sanitizer – just to name a few. The list goes on and on. There are many experimental food allergy trials out there, with things like desensitization (ingesting small amounts of peanut flour). Now they are saying to start children on foods with allergens as early as 4-6 months. Before they could not have peanuts until age 2. Do they really know what will actually help or are we all just guessing? They claim that they are making great strides in the right direction. Personally, it all sounds like a bunch of trial and error, along with lots of hoping that somewhere along the lines something will truly make a difference.
How do we truly know what will work to help win the food allergy war, until we know the cause of the war and what we are actually fighting against? Until they find a cause and a cure, I am thankful for support groups, and other Allergy Warriors who are fighting this battle right along side my allergic child and I.
Explaining food allergies to your child
When my daughter was diagnosed with her egg allergy and life threatening peanut allergy she was only 18 months old. I didn’t quite know how to explain it to her. An 18 month old doesn’t understand about life and death, and it was not something I was ready to explain to her. I just told her it would make her very, VERY sick. We got her an allergy bracelet for those “what if moments” at the suggestion of her allergist, and told everyone who came in contact with her about her allergies. We even kept her out of preschool an extra 4 months until I was 100% sure that it would be a safe place for her. We gave her the Epipen practice injector to play with and showed her how to use it. We also made sure she understood she could not eat ANYTHING unless Mom or Dad said it was OK, or packed it for her to eat.
As she got older we had to explain death to her when we had to put our dog down, and again when her fish died. We explained that they both went to Heaven, which was an amazing, beautiful place that both our pets would love. It eased her mind on where they were going. However, as she got a little older I explained that if she ate peanuts she would get very VERY sick and could die. She told me it was OK because she would go to Heaven, and Heaven was an amazing, beautiful place. It did not convey the seriousness of what would actually happen to her, based on our description of Heaven. I finally ended up telling her that although Heaven was a great place to go, that she would not be able to be with Mommy or Daddy or Sissy anymore, and that would make me very sad, and I would miss her very much. I don’t know if this was the best way to explain it to her, but it did make her understand the seriousness of it, and she did not like the idea of not being with us. We have not had any family members die, so the concept of a person dying is not something she really comprehends yet.
Now that she is going on 8 years old we have emphasized more and more how very sick she can get, how she would have to go to the hospital, how her throat would close up and not allow her to breath, and how she would need shots (which she hates). I know it scares her, but it is a fear that I want her to have, to make her understand how very serious this truly is. I hope this fear will make her choose not to take chances on things she is not 100% sure of. This past Halloween, we made her go through her candy with us, and taught her how to read labels and decide if the candy would go in the safe or unsafe pile.
I don’t want her living in constant fear, but having a life threatening food allery is a scarey thing – VERY SCAREY, and fear may just save her life one day.
Product Review: Crunchmaster
**I was provided free product in exchange for my honest opinions. I received no financial compensation and all opinions contained in here are my own and in no way influenced by an outside party.**
When I am looking for snacks that are safe for our house, I can NOT even begin to tell you how much of a pain it is to find ones that taste good! I walk down all the aisles with the kids and of course they look and want everything. And I know that even if I didn’t…they would see their friends with “normal” snacks and wonder why they have to be so different. And sometimes, I can’t help but wish we could just buy whatever we wanted without looking. Luckily though, I found a company that really has that in mind when producing their snacks. Crunchmaster!! Check out their website here.
The kids and I were so excited when our product got here… I could barely get a picture before the kids wanted to tear into them!
We were able to try Crunchmaster’s two new kids snacks, Cheezy Crisps and Grammy Crisps. And we also got to try the Rosemary and Olive Ooil Multi Seed Crackers. We were very happy with each item, which is unusual. For those of you that follow this blog regularly, you know how much of a challenge it is for me to find something both kids will like and agree on.
The Cheezy Crisps were the first things the kids wanted to try, and I was all for it. After checking the nutritional panel to see about a serving size, I was even more excited to give these to the kids. 60 of these crackers make up an adult serving for 120 calories! That’s quite a s snack! I portioned out half that amount for the kids and the full amount for myself and got to sampling. Before I even tasted them, I was worried that like so many other cheese snacks, they may have that fake flavor. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they did not. They are made with a great blend of real mozzarella and cheddar cheese and you can definitely taste them. They are light and crunchy and have a fantastic texture. There is enough cheese so that you know you are having a cheese based snack, but its balanced well and not ever overbearing. These snacks are great all on their own. The kids and I also mixed them in with some cereal and pecans and dried cranberries for a nice little trail mix.
Next up was the Grammy Crisps. These have a suggested serving size of 25 crackers for 130 calories. Still not a bad deal in my book, especially because both of their kid centered snacks are made with whole grain. So the kids each got a few and off we went to taste them and see how we can incorporate them into other things. These by far were my favorite of all the Crunchmaster items we sampled. They are nice and crunchy, and have this amazing blend of cinnamon and sugar. These definitely took me back to when I was a kid and the cinnamon and sugar toast that we would have with breakfast. I was so happy to find something that allowed me to share these kind of flavors with my kids. The kids could not get enough of them and were quickly coming up with some great recipe ideas. These are amazing all on their own or in our nice little Smores mix. The kids actually came up with this one…and we mixed the Grammy snacks, some mini marshmallows and mini chocolate chips and had our own version of easier to eat, no heat Smores! This is something we will definitely be making again, it is a great little snack mix to have for play-dates or get togethers.
After the kids had their fun with the new snacks and building new recipes, my husband and I set out to try the more “adult” type snack from Crunchmaster, the Rosemary and Olive Oil Multi Seed Crackers. They are super thin and all natural and nice and crispy. They have a great blend of seeds including sesame, quinoa, flax, and amaranth. They are great right out of the bag, with nice undertones of Rosemary and Olive Oil. I was a little nervous that the Rosemary would be overwhelming but it was not at all. My husband was totally content to eat them just plain, but I could not help but wonder what sorts of topping would work best for these awesome little crackers. I tried various cheeses, and our favorite was a New York Extra Sharp Cheddar. I also had a dinner to attend with some friends and wanted to bring something along. I used these crackers and make up some Bruschetta. What a great combination!!! My friends at the dinner party could not get enough of them and just had to know what kind of crackers I was using. They are such a great substitution for bread in dip like recipes and I cannot wait to try therm with other options.
All in all, before trying these Crunchmaster products I had come in contact with mixed reviews from other people I know who have tried them. I was a little hesitant, but I am so glad that I was given the opportunity to try them for myself. I am excited to say they are one of the better gluten-free snack companies out there. For those of you interested in trying them for yourself ( and I highly recommend you do!!) check out this link for a great coupon! Also, please check them out and show them your support on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest! And don’t forget to share your opinions with me!