Wednesday 5 September 2012

Open Access Journal Bmc Plant Biology-Chronic Conditions-Endurance Athletes-Athletic Training

Can Athletic Training Cause Asthma?

An estimated 8% of Olympian athletes have asthma. In fact asthma is one of the most commonly seen chronic conditions among top athletes. It is endurance athletes who are seen to have the highest incidence of asthma. So is there any link between asthma and athletic training? And is it likely that athletic training causes [...] read more..

Pollen-Free House Plants For Hay Fever Sufferers

New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Plant Biology shows how targeting two bacterial genes into an ornamental plant (Pelargonium), can produce long-lived and pollen-free plants. Pelargoniums ('Geraniums' and 'Storkbills') have been cultivated in Europe since the 17th century and are now one of the most popular garden and house plants around the world... read more..

Sense Of Smell-Brain Changes-Mold Allergy-Summer Cold

Brain Changes After A Stuffed Nose Protect The Sense Of Smell

Has a summer cold or mold allergy stuffed up your nose and dampened your sense of smell? We take it for granted that once our nostrils clear, our sniffers will dependably rebound and alert us to a lurking neighborhood skunk or a caramel corn shop ahead. That dependability is no accident... read more..

Allergists Available to All at Aeriusa Allergy Clinic in Montreal and Laval Shopping Malls - Merck

From August 14 to August 26, the public will be able to meet allergists and ask their questions at the Allergy Clinics MONTREAL, Quebec, Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - Following the great success of the Allergy Clinics in past years, Merck Consumer Care is pleased to host for a third consecutive year, the Allergy Clinic in local shopping malls. read more..

Thursday 23 August 2012

Should Peanuts Be Banned From Schools?

Should Peanuts Be Banned From Schools?

The idea of banning peanuts from schools is not a new concept. Given that peanut allergy is common and frequently severe and life-threatening, parents of peanut-allergic children would be right to want to ban peanuts from schools. However, there are problems with such an idea....Read Full Post read more..

Scary Experience-Asthma Attack

Tips for Managing Asthma in School

Any parent who has helped their child through an asthma attack knows what a scary experience it can be and that parent will naturally be concerned about their child having an attack in school. So what can parents do to manage their child’s asthma in school? Speak to the school staff For younger children, parents [...] read more..

American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology dispels fall allergy myths

American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology dispels fall allergy myths

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 25 million adults and children across the country were diagnosed with rhinitis, or hay fever, within the last 12 months, which may lead many to believe they've caught an early-season cold. read more..

'Exposure Therapy' May Be Option for Kids' Egg, Milk Allergies

'Exposure Therapy' May Be Option for Kids' Egg, Milk Allergies

Small studies found some children could tolerate food 'triggers' with gradual, medically supervised treatment read more..

Saturday 11 August 2012

IMS Health Expands Access to Allergy Alert Smartphone Application for U.S. Consumers

IMS Health Expands Access to Allergy Alert Smartphone Application for U.S. Consumers

IMS Health, in collaboration with Ford Motor Company, has launched an enhanced Allergy Alert smartphone application accessible on the Ford SYNC in-car mobile device connectivity system, enabling drivers to obtain real-time, voice-activated information about local allergens to better manage their health condition. read more..

Child's Allergy Risk Higher If Same Sex Parent Has It

Researchers have discovered an interesting fact about the genetic basis of childhood allergic diseases: a child is more likely to have a particular allergy if his or her same-sex parent has it. So for example, a girl's chance of having asthma is higher if her mother has it, and a boy's is higher if his father has it... read more..

Lg Air Conditioners-Digital Technology-Air Conditioning-Mobile Handsets-Home Appliances

LG air conditioners protect against allergies

LG Electronics, world provider of digital technology, mobile handsets, and home appliances, recently announced that it had developed its Air Conditioning solutions so that they contain features that protect users from seasonal and chronic cases of allergy, and asthma. read more..

Violent Reaction-Violent Behavior-Adverse Effect-Allergy

Is my daughter's violent reaction to a drug an allergy?

My daughter was treated for anxiety with Zoloft around a year ago. However, her school reported alarming, violent behavior (she never had that before), and we stopped it after only a week. I always understood this to be an "adverse effect," but a nurse today told me it was an allergy. An allergy means she should never take it again, but an adverse effect could be grown out of, and doesn't rule out similar drugs. Was the nurse just dumbing things down, or was she correct? read more..

Thursday 9 August 2012

Pharmaceutical Company-Environmental Factors-Allergy Therapeutics-Grass Pollen Allergy

Allergy Therapeutics plc: FDA Clinical Hold Lifted

August 03, 2012 -- Allergy Therapeutics plc, , the specialist pharmaceutical company focused on allergy vaccination, today announces that the FDA has confirmed that the clinical hold in the US dated 2007 has now been lifted on the Company's grass pollen allergy vaccine clinical development programme, with immediate effect. read more..

Infants exposed to specific molds have higher asthma risk

In the United States, one in ten children suffers from asthma but the potential environmental factors contributing to the disease are not well known. Researchers now report new evidence that exposure to three types of mold during infancy may have a direct link to asthma development during childhood. read more..

What sets allergies in motion?

Scientists have identified a group of proteins that determine how cells react to allergens, and two of them may hold the key to future preventative medications. When the chain of events leading to an allergic reaction is fully understood, she says, drugs can be developed to inhibit the initial reaction, relieving sufferers of their symptoms. read more..

Chronic Inflammatory Diseases-Allergic Asthma-Airway Damage-Dna Circuitry-Immune Cells

Rewiring DNA circuitry could help treat asthma

Reprogramming asthma-promoting immune cells in mice diminishes airway damage and inflammation, and could potentially lead to new treatments for people with asthma, researchers have found. The researchers were able to reprogram the asthma-promoting cells (called Th2 [T-helper 2] cells) after identifying an enzyme that modifies the DNA of these cells. The enzyme could be a target for the development of new treatments for chronic inflammatory diseases, in particular allergic asthma, caused by an excess of Th2 cells. read more..

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Hypersensitivities-Peanut Allergies-Body Of Evidence-Type Of Cancer-Immune System

A Protein Group Identified That May Kick-Start Allergic Reactions

Allergies, or hypersensitivities of the immune system, are more common than ever before. According to the Asthma and Allergies Foundation of America, one in five Americans suffers from an allergy - from milder forms like hay fever to more severe instances, like peanut allergies which can lead to anaphylactic shock... read more..

Risk Of Brain Tumors May Be Lower In Those With Allergies

New research adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that there's a link between allergies and reduced risk of a serious type of cancer that starts in the brain. This study suggests the reduced risk is stronger among women than men, although men with certain allergy profiles also have a lower tumor risk... read more..

Arrowhead Regional Medical Center-Children And Families Commission-San Bernardino County

COLTON: Hospital receives grants for dental, asthma, programs

The Children and Families Commission for San Bernardino County, known as First 5, has awarded two grants to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center that will enable it to continue a dental screening program and asthma and allergy services provided by its Breathmobiles. read more..

Gluten Free Bisquick

Multi-purpose Baking Flour (aka Gluten Free Bisquick)

When I was ‘wallowing around in the mud’ after falling off the dairy and sugar free wagon, I found a few time savers that I really didn’t want to give up. Have you used gluten free Bisquick? Come on now, you’re among friends ;) I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to admit to using it here… [...] read more..

Friday 20 July 2012

Trace Amounts-Nut Allergies-Baked Goods-Bakery-Peanut

Nut-Free Cookies? Better Read That Label Again

A reader recently notified me of a new nut-free bakery in nearby Rhode Island. I was so excited! I thought, this is great, more options! It just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it? Or so I thought. Here is what the website states:
"No nuts are present in our AIB-Certified facility, so our baked goods never come into contact with nuts of any kind. Our nut-free facility means that people with nut allergies can rest assured when enjoying our delicious baked goods."
That sounds good, right? It states that, however, right below their list of cookie flavors and the cookie flavors were concerning--they use M&M's. That's right, this "nut-free" bakery apparently uses plain M&M's. It's actually the first cookie flavor they have listed. One of the photos on their website looks like a brownie topped with M&M's.
"may contains" = risk of cross contamination
As most peanut and nut-allergic individuals know, plain M&M's packages bear "may contain peanuts" statements. That means there could be trace amounts of peanuts in the plain M&M's. In fact, recently there was a news story about a mother accused of murdering her peanut allergic child with plain M&M's.
The bakery's website further states "We make natural baked goods in a nut-free facility for restaurants, cafeterias, and other foodservice outlets." Yipes. Does this mean that restaurants and other businesses are then serving/selling what they believe to be nut-free baked goods? 
Yesterday, I sent an email to the bakery--Cross Country Cookie--to inquire about their use of M&M's as a "nut-free" bakery but have not heard back from them yet. I can't help but wonder, if they use M&M's, what kind of chocolate are they using? Their use of M&M's raises all sorts of questions about the nut-free nature of their baked goods or lack thereof. I suggested some alternative sources of chocolate and candy to them, with the hope that they will switch to nut-safe and peanut-safe ingredients. If they are going to use ingredients which bear "may contains" warnings, they should change the wording on their website and other materials, and not refer to their food as nut-free, or include the "may contains" warning on their own labels. I hope to hear back from them soon. I must note, the bakery is not new. According to their website, they've been in business for 25 years.
I write this post to remind readers that the terms nut-free and peanut-free mean different things to different companies and different people. Until the FDA defines what peanut-free and nut-free should mean on food labels, manufacturers will continue to use these terms (and terms like dairy-free, soy-free, etc.) how they wish. It's potentially dangerous but that's the reality. It's so easy to imagine how things could go very wrong when a bakery says it is nut-free but uses ingredients that contain traces of peanuts and/or nuts. Some nut allergic and peanut allergic individuals react to trace amounts. We know this. Some of us have experienced this ourselves, or witnessed it, or read newspaper articles about horrific reactions to trace amounts. You see where I'm going with this. I don't think I need to spell it out more. 
This problem is not limited to peanut and nut allergies; it's across the board, for all food allergies. A free-from food labeled as such, should actually be free of that ingredient. This is why I believe the FDA should set official definitions and thresholds for free-from food labels, but that's a story for another day. read more..

Saturday 14 July 2012

Parent Workshop-College Student-Food Allergies-Food Allergy-Workshops

Food Allergy Workshops for the College Bound, July 2012

Are you a parent with a freshman heading going off to college and want to ensure a safer and easier transition?
Are you the freshman (or college student) and want to talk to other students like you? (And with someone who’s gone through three higher degrees with food allergies, asthma and allergies?)
I’m thrilled to announce this pilot program with an introductory fee!
*Food Allergy Workshops for the College Bound*
For parents and teens in two [2] separate sessions
The sessions are:
    •    Run by experienced social worker, coach and consultant
    •    Solutions focused
    •    Include a clear plan of action
Thursday, July 12, 2012 Parent workshop
Thursday, July 19, 2012 Student workshop
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM Eastern Time
Prepare before you go
Consult and connect on site
Plan for various social situations outcomes
$149.00 per workshop*
*Buy 2 workshops and get 25% off
Workshop is limited to 10 participants, so register early to reserve your spot!
Email me for more information and to sign up today. read more..

Monday 9 July 2012

Symptoms Of Celiac Disease-Bodily Functions-Wings Of Hope-Gluten

A Guide to Living Gluten - Free

On the Wings of Hope, LLC is proud to announce their newest book, “A Guide to Living Gluten-free”, has been published and is available at numerous outlets including, and The digital version is currently available at This book is ideal for any "newbie" to the gluten-free lifestyle, but has useful information for those who have been living gluten-free for some time.
It covers the various emotions that can be experienced when switching to a gluten-free lifestyle - relief, fear, panic, denial, self-pity, anger and acceptance, to name a few. The book discusses brain fog and bodily functions. Yes, bodily functions, which can be such a large part of the Celiac lifestyle! Also covered are the challenges faced by different age groups. Each age group experiences a unique set of challenges with a gluten-free lifestyle. The book includes a two week sample menu and gluten-free recipes to help people who are just beginning their journey on a gluten-free lifestyle.
1 in 130 people have Celiac disease, which is an autoimmune reaction to gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye, which causes damage to the small intestine. The symptoms of Celiac disease can mirror symptoms of other illnesses, and many times is misdiagnosed. Undiagnosed Celiac disease can lead to other health conditions such as arthritis, malnutrition, migraines, internal hemorrhaging and cancer.
Previous books from On the Wings of Hope include a cookbook "Don't Feed Me - Gluten-free, Dairy-free Cooking" and a children's book, "I Can't Eat Your Treats - a kid's guide to gluten-free, casein-free eating". On the Wings of Hope, LLC is dedicated to helping children with Celiac disease and food allergies by providing needed information at On the Wings of Hope, LLC’s owner and president, Joyce Nielsen, has over 30 years of experience in researching and dealing with food -related health issues. She has four grandchildren with Celiac disease and Ms. Nielsen was diagnosed with Celiac disease in 2009. She believes in a holistic approach to health that deals with the whole person, rather than treating individual symptoms.
"We are all angels with one wing, we need each other to fly"
Joyce Nielsen, President
On the Wings of Hope, LLC
(formerly Don’t Feed Me, LLC) read more..

Thursday 5 July 2012

Summer Recipes-Summer Foods-Cold Summer

Easy, Allergy-Friendly Summer Foods

When the temperature climbs and you don't even want to be in your kitchen, let alone turn on the oven, what are you going to eat? Turn to these easy, allergy-friendly summer recipes for your next cool-down snack or cold summer meal:...Read Full Post read more..

Severe reactions to food more common than thought in young children

Severe reactions to food more common than thought in young children

Young children with allergies to milk and egg experience an unexpectedly high number of reactions to these and other foods, according to researchers. More than 70 percent of preschool children with documented or suspected food allergies suffered a significant reaction during the three-year period. Researchers also found that caregivers failed to administer the medication epinephrine in 70 percent of the severe and potentially life-threatening reactions. read more..

The European Academy Of Allergy And Clinical Immunology-University Of California, San Francisco

Protection Against Respiratory Infection Linked To Asthma From Dog-Associated House Dust

House dust from homes with dogs appears to protect against infection with a common respiratory virus that is associated with the development of asthma in children. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, present their findings today at the 2012 General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology... read more..

Allergies Become Epidemic: Food Allergy Sufferers Double In The Last 10 Years

This week the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) launched its Food Allergy Campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of the sharp increase of anaphylaxis in children, an allergic reaction that is severe and potentially life-threatening... read more..

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Mount Sinai School Of Medicine-Allergic Reactions-Young Children-Food Allergies

More Vigilance Needed To Prevent Children Having Food Allergy Reactions

Everyone knows the old story of the peanut allergy that seems to affect around one in 500 people, and can cause severe, even life threatening allergic reactions. There are, however, many other foods that can cause children to experience allergic reactions... read more..

Causes For High Rates Of Allergic Reactions In Children With Food Allergies Identified

A team of researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and four other institutions have found that young children with documented or likely allergies to milk and/or eggs, whose families were instructed on how to avoid these and other foods, still experienced allergic reactions at a rate of almost once per year... read more..

Black Beans-Tuna Salad

Dairy-Free Black Bean "Tuna Lettuce Wraps

I can't believe I got the boys to eat this!  And they liked it!  I made tuna salad without mayo.  It was just tuna, boiled egg, rinsed black beans, pickle relish, and a squirt of lemon.  We wrapped them in romaine lettuce.  Maybe that was the novelty? read more..

Community Foundation-Education Grants-Local Groups-Watertown

Local Groups and Schools Receive $43K in Grants from the Watertown Community Foundation

The following information was provided by the Watertown Community Foundation: The Watertown Community Foundation board of directors recently voted to award non-profit organizations in Watertown $43,300 in "Grants to Core Institutions" and "Education Grants." "We wish we could have funded all worthy applicants, but this year WCF received grant ... (more) read more..

Sunday 17 June 2012

Dairy Free Mashed Potato Recipe-Dairy Free Foods-Potato Masher-Potato Ricer

Mashed Potatoes

With Thanksgiving only a week away, I decided to post about the quintessential Turkey Day side: mashed potatoes.  Mashed potatoes are a favorite of mine, so I am the designated mashed potato maker for holiday gatherings.  I often talk about how dairy free foods should be enjoyable to those who consume dairy and those who do not.  This recipe is a perfect example of that because there have been multiple occasions where I have had trouble convincing guests that these mashed potatoes were not made with dairy!
When I make mashed potatoes, I do not use measurements and instead add a little of this and that.  For blogging purposes though, I was able to record a perfectly creamy dairy free mashed potato recipe!
 Mashed Potatoes
-4 large potatoes, boiled
-4 tablespoons of you favorite dairy free butter
-1 tablespoon salt
-Pepper to taste
On the stove, boil water in a large pot.  Chop the potatoes into halves or thirds in order to lessen the cooking time.  Place the potatoes into the boiling water for 20-25 minutes, or until a knife is inserted into the center with ease.  Drain the potatoes and let cool for about 5 minutes.
With the skins still intact, place individual potato pieces into a potato ricer (pictured above) and rice into the bowl of a stand mixer.  If you do not have a ricer, thoroughly mash the potatoes with a potato masher or pastry blender.
In a microwave safe dish, place the soy milk and butter into the microwave for 1 minute, or until the butter melts (this helps the potatoes stay warm by not adding cold ingredients).  Add the warm mixture to the potatoes and blend on low until combined.  Add salt and pepper and blend on medium-high for 30 seconds.  Add more salt and pepper to taste or more soy milk if the potatoes are dry.
These mashed potatoes are rich and creamy thanks to the double mashing/blending.  If you are looking for something extra special, try adding roasted garlic and parsley...yum!  Enjoy! read more..

Friday 15 June 2012

Food Allergies-Nut Allergies-Frozen Treats-Italian Ice-Ice Cream

Store-Bought Ice Cream and Nut Allergies: Here's the Scoop

With summer around the corner and warm weather taking over, lots of usare thinking about ice cream. Those of us dealing with nut allergies arewondering what ice cream we can possibly buy because store-bought ice creamoffers an allergy label minefield. In fact, ice cream labels withregard to nut allergies (and other food allergies) are some of the most diverse andinconsistent out there. It's crazy! So how do you know what is safe for your situation andwhat isn’t? In the last couple of weeks, I’ve taken another look at ice creamlabels from several different brands.
Here’s the scoop (forgive the pun): some labels are changing to includeallergy statements and some brands simply have no allergen information on themat all. In fact, this is true for most of the “big name” brands. When you callor e-mail (Häagen-Dazs, Ben and Jerry’s and Edy’s are three I’ve contacted) theymay tell you that the ice cream is made on the same lines with allergens but that awash-down is done between batches. For severely allergic people, the chance ofan allergen remaining, even in trace amounts, can be problematic, so personallyI avoid these altogether. However, you might feel OK with the wash-down; that's certainly up to you.Some brands (Cia Bella gelato, for example) have clearallergy warnings as follows: Made on equipment with eggs, wheat, peanuts andtree nuts.
Blue Bunny brand will tell you detailed allergen informationon their web site and packaging. Click here for a list. A very few (like the coconut milk-based So Delicious brand) give an allergystatement on their packaging that explains a wash down system/allergen testing they do for eachflavor, even though some of their flavors contain common allergens likepeanuts. While I appreciate the information, I don’t want stuff made on sharedlines, period. So I’ve skipped brands with those types of labels too, though Iknow some people don’t and haven’t had a problem. Like so many other foods orsituations, this one is personal call based on your doctor's advice, child's past reactions and general comfort level with the product.What about Popsicles and Italian ice frozen treats?I’ve had better luck with many of those over the years, simply for the factthat most aren’t sharing lines with ice cream that contains peanuts or treenuts. Luigi’s Italian Ice and Popsicle brand are two I’ve used without problems for years.However, I recommend calling to check each year—because the labels are changingand production practices change often. So if you see something you like andthere is no allergy info, it's a good idea to call or send an e-mail to the company.
What if the customer service lines are closed when you want to call? I stick to the when in doubt, do without rule. It's always better to at least know the facts when serving a food, so if you don't know if it's safe, skip it. I find that it helps to be armed with cookies, fruit treats or other goodies when attending parties or family member's homes so that you always have something to offer your child in case the "house ice cream" is off-limits.
Sometimes it just seems easier to make your own frozen treats, especially if you are dealing with multiple food allergies. I lovehaving an electric ice cream maker (from Cuisinart, about $50 but I use it a lot) because you can choose whatever ingredientsand flavors you like. You can make sorbet, ice cream, frozen yogurt—all withoutworry and with a lot less of the bad stuff like chemicals and additives. What if you want a quick treat and don't feel like waiting hours for your dessert to freeze? Have you seen the Zoku?  This fun little device makes ice pops and other frozen treats in minutes. These are so fun for kidsand adults love them too—I’m thinking of picking one up this summer. They aresold at places like Williams-Sonoma and other home stores—if the kids aredriving you crazy over summer break, this makes a fun project for them besidesa healthy sna read more..

Thursday 14 June 2012

Profound Mystery-Sweet Child-Christmas

Merry Christmas

Wishing you and your family a very merry and blessed Christmas!
O sweet Child of Bethlehem,grant that we may share with all our heartsin this profound mystery of Christmas.Put into the hearts of men and women this peacefor which they sometimes seek so desperatelyand which you alone can give to them.Help them to know one another better,and to live as brothers and sisters,children of the same Father.Reveal to them also your beauty, holiness and purity.Awaken in their heartslove and gratitude for your infinite goodness.Join them all together in your love.And give us your heavenly peace. Amen.Pope John XXIII read more..

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Identification Necklaces-Emergency Medical Record-Medical Alert Jewelry-Medical Id Medical Id

Allergy Alert Wear

Medical Alert Canada The MedicAlert Difference Only MedicAlert medical alert identification offers paramedics your emergency medical record with a 24 hour emergency hotline service. Thanks to No Child Without The Canadian MedicAlert® Foundation is a charitable organization which is the leading provider of emergency medical information services linked to customized medical bracelets and necklaces. We are pleased to be able to offer MedicAlert memberships to students (from age 4 to their 14th birthday) through the No Child Without® program in select schools. The financial support of the Government of Canada and Lions Clubs allows students to receive the MedicAlert membership for FREE.
Allermates Nutty and the gang, otherwise known as the AllerMates. This colorful crew is armed and ready to help identify and safeguard children with cool and kid friendly allergy awareness accessories
Mission Our mission is to offer kid friendly allergy awareness accessories to help identify and protect kids with allergies! We also love making kids feel good about themselves with the help of our Allermates characters.
Read my interview is with Iris Shamus, Founder of Allermates.
Medical ID Medical ID Marketplace, A Hope Paige Company™, headquartered in West Conshohocken, PA, mixes fashion and style with function and purpose as the market leader in contemporary medical emergency items, awareness jewelry and licensed designs. We strive to offer customers the very best in style, comfort and price while at the same time bringing the latest technology and products to market.
Lauren's Hope We provide a full line of personalized medical alert jewelry for those with any condition that requires you to wear a medical ID. Our classic designs include beaded and link medical ID bracelets that attach to a blank or custom engraved alert tag with the medical symbol, as well as personalized medical identification necklaces for men and women. Kids love our fun styles like the dog tag ID necklace, sports and flower medical pendants and waterproof adjustable medical sport bands.
Tessi Design Your medical alert ID bracelet shouldn't feel like another responsibility; if anything, it should be something you like enough to show it off! TASSI Design medical alert jewelry can be engraved with a name or message to further personalize it for you or a loved one. The durable, customizable bracelet is more than just a style statement--it could end up saving the wearer's life in an emergency. Why wait? Let a TASSI Design medical alert ID bracelet be there for you when you need it.
Don't forget to always wear your asthma and allergy medication, see list of Carrying containers for auto-injectors and other meds read more..

False Negative Results-Food Allergy Testing-Food Challenges-Eczema

Advice for Patients with Eczema

Advice for Patients with Eczema from WebMD
10 Tips for Living With Eczema
Children With Eczema: How to Stop the Scratching
Eczema in Adults: Dealing with Itching Posted at Allergy Notes. Stay updated and subscribe, follow us on Twitter and connect on Facebook. read more..

Waiting a Day on Oral Food Challenges Improves Results

Oral food challenges are the "gold standard" of food allergy testing, yet they can still have a 10% rate of false negative results. A recent study found that waiting a day and then repeating the oral challenge reduces the rate of false negatives....Read Full Post read more..

Food Allergy Initiative-Medical Advisory Board-Food Allergy Research-Pediatric Allergy

Dr. Wesley Burks Named Chair of Food Allergy Initiative's Medical Advisory Board

Newswise - Wesley Burks, MD, one of the world's leading experts in pediatric allergy, will become chair of the Medical Advisory Board of the Food Allergy Initiative , the world's largest source of private funding for food allergy research, effective June 1, 2012. read more..

Chicken Pot Pies-Gluten Free

Mini Chicken Pot Pies (dairy and gluten free)

Pot pie has always been a favorite meal, especially when I was younger. My mom’s pot pie was to die for, but I found myself rarely making it when I stopped eating gluten and dairy; primarily because I felt it was too much effort for one meal. Here is a recipe I did a while [...] read more..

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Food Allergy-Foodallergy-Tweets

Food Allergy Awareness Week Twitter Party Tips

An old post with some helpful tips about Twitter Parties...
If you're new to Twitter, attending a Twitter Party can seem pretty complicated and even a bit daunting. Fear not! A couple of easy steps, and you'll be ready to watch the Tweets fly, and maybe...before the hour's up, you might even decide to Tweet too!
Basic Twitter TipsIf you think you might want to Tweet during the party--and I hope you do, so we can make #foodallergy trend!--you will need to get a Twitter account. It's free and easy to do. They don't require much personal info at all to open an account. Just visit and click on the Sign Up button on the right. You will be asked to provide your full name, a user name, a password and your email address. Having a Twitter account means you can Tweet a message to everyone and anyone on Twitter, provided you keep it to 140 characters or less in length. You can follow other people on Twitter who you think have interesting things to say and likewise, people can follow you! If someone unseemly follows you, you can always block them.
When you rest your cursor on a tweet on your screen, you'll see you have the option to reply or retweet. If you read a tweet that you think is worth repeating to your followers, you can retweet. You'll see the tweet with a RT in front, ready to send. Hitting reply automatically puts the screenname of the Twitter user you are replying to at the beginning of your Tweet. For example, if you reply to a Tweet from me, your reply would begin "@FoodAllergyBuzz".
Attending a Twitter PartySo, you've signed up for Twitter. You get how to reply, retweet and tweet. How do you participate in the Twitter Party? A few important things will make it easy for you.
HashtagsFirst, you need to know what the hashtag is. For the Holidays with Food Allergies Party and all our Food Allergy Twitter Parties, we use #foodallergy. That means all tweets intended for the Food Allergy Twitter Party must include "#foodallergy" in that 140 character tweet or the people at the party won't see it! Using the hashtag enables everyone there to filter out tweets unrelated to the party. The tweets tend to come fast and furious during Twitter parties. It can be difficult to keep up. The last thing you need is unrelated Tweets interspersed with Twitter Party Tweets. That'll just confuse you and make your eyes go buggy!
Twitter SearchIf you want to keep it simple, use Twitter Search. You can just type #foodallergy into the search box on the right side of your twitter page about a third of the way down. That brings you "real time" search results for tweets with #foodallergy. Sometimes it does not refresh as fast as you'd like, and you'll find it's difficult to keep up because while you're waiting for your search results to refresh, people are still tweeting away. It keeps things simple and uncluttered, though, and you can keep your Twitter page open in a separate window in case you wish to Tweet, Retweet, or Reply.
Twitter DashboardsIf you are comfortable with a very minimal amount of learning an application/tool, try a Twitter Dashboard, such as Tweetdeck or Tweetgrid. There are many. I find using a Twitter dashboard makes it easier to keep track of replies, direct messages, and #foodallergy tweets simultaneously. I recommend Tweetdeck--it's free and simple to use. You need to download it, but it is well worth the memory space if you plan to use Twitter on a regular basis. For the party itself, I recommend using 4 columns: Mentions, Direct Messages, a column for #foodallergy search results, and a column for your tweets. That way, you can see all of the relevant info simultaneously.
What If You Just Want to Observe & Not Use Twitter? I am so glad that Robyn of Peanut Allergy Kid inquired about whether there was a way to make it easy for non-Twitter users to read the tweets during and after the party. Thanks to Robyn's suggestion, the party may be a bit more accessible to more members read more..

Gluten Intolerance-Gluten Sensitivity-Gluten Intolerant-Celiac Disease-Betty Crocker

Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cooking

Betty Crocker created a gluten-free line of some of their classics last year including cake, brownies, cookie mixes and even  Bisquick. They have now combined those mixes with a book on how to use them and incorporate them into a gluten-free lifestyle. Published by Wiley (also, my book publisher), Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cooking has 150 recipes, all gluten-free. They sent me a review copy to check out. (On their website they also have a listing of allergen-friendly cookbooks, not just their own, including my faves like Cybele Pascal’s Cookbooks:  )  What I didn't love about Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cooking:Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cooking: uses every allergen but wheat, barely and the major culprits of gluten. There are diary, eggs, soy, tree nuts, peanut, fish and shellfish ingredients all throughout Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cooking. So, if you have a celiac plus multi-allergy or multi-sensitivity household, Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cooking may not for you. Or if you want to be gluten-free but have severe allergies to any of those ingredients you will be making many substitutions and there is no way to know how the recipes may turn out as they don’t provide for substitutions. The recipes in Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cooking call for gluten-free items to be added (like yogurt or deli meats) but have no listing of where to get those items or what substitutions are safe (many specialty cookbooks provide lists of safe flours and purveyor, for example). For new gluten-free cooks, this will pose an issue and may cause some unintentional gluten-free mistakes. What I have mixed feelings about in Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cooking i.e. I see this as a con and a pro:The Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cooking recipes use a lot of American processed foods and convenience foods. Those foods are usually high in sugar, salt and fats.  However, Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cooking also gives the nutritional information so you can make an educated choice for you and your family about each meal plan and how much sugar, fat and salt intake you are consuming The recipes in Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cooking remind me of a baking or cookbook from the 1950s e.g. sloppy joe pie.  As I've never had tuna casserole or sloppy joe I don't know how these recipes stack up but I can say it seems the trend has turned to healthier choices. So, if you're a eating a classic bake, Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cooking has updated these classics adding the nutritional information per serving added as well as making them gluten-free. The good news about Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cooking:The information about celiac disease is correct which is not always the case with GF baking or cooking books. The recipes use both homemade flour mixes (the recipes for which they give but again no hint of which flour purveyor is safe) and Betty Crocker brand prepared mixes which gives the reader more flexibility. The recipes that use the pre-made Betty Crocker brand mixes look easy (NB: I haven’t yet tried them). For a newly diagnosed celiac or gluten intolerant person, Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cooking has lots of easy dishes both sweet and savory, appetizers and entrees that you can whip up in no time using both processed foods and fresh produce.  Upshot on Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cooking: 
There is no one book that is perfect for everyone. But the more books out there, the better for anyone who has celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or gluten intolerance. Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cooking will be helpful to many in the GF community who are newly diagnosed, teens just learning to bake, cook and experiment or extended family members just learning how to bake yummy GF treats for loved one. As for me, I've flagged three new recipes to make for my next dinner party: snickerdoodles, coffee cake and whoopie pie cake. And I'm betting, given the quality of the Betty Crocker mixes, they won't know the difference. read more..

Monday 4 June 2012


Choose your own adventure: small town edition

Grow up in small town with a father who is a very prominent citizen.  Have various teachers, etc., criticize father when teaching your classes, being parents of your friends, etc.  Swear you will never use father's name to your advantage.
Move away for ten years.
Have people make comments about you using your father's name to say, get a stop sign put in, even though you did not and he has no jurisdiction over local street signs.
Nine years after moving back, receive call from school principal, another townie, asking you to organize gift for teacher you don't like.  Do it, for the greater good and because you don't like to make waves.
Call parents of child's classmates, including father you went to school with who is local p0lice 0fficer, to organize gift.
The next day, drive two sick children (bronchitis!) to the pediatrician on road you drive 2-3 times a day.
KEY*red blob: stop signyellow blob: dead end street sign for road to left with blue blob on itbrown blobs: industrial buildingsblue blob: c0p carwhite blobs: other carsgray arrows: ONLY DIRECTION YOU CAN GOblack arrows: ONLY DIRECTION OPPOSING TRAFFIC CAN GO*Shalini makes this look way easier than it is.
Go through intersection, after briefly stopping, as you do every day.See flashing lights in rear view.Pull over.See HS acquaintance/father of kid's classmate/p0lice 0fficer approach.Give him license and registration, trying to remain calm and conversational for freaked out children in van and because you are hoping he will just give you a warning.Call pediatrician's office to tell them why you will be late. Receive $112 ticket for 'rolling through a stop sign.'Listen to 0fficer tell you how he classified offence so you don't get points on your license.Gee, thanks.Go to pediatrician's and tell receptionists (both HS acquaintances) what happened.  They reply, "What a JERK" and promise to charge him a triple copay next time.Go home and tell your mother, who was babysitting other children, what happened.She goes home and tells your father, who is, ah, angry.Wow.
You really aren't sure what happened at the intersection, although you always obey traffic signs and have never had a ticket.  You have a tendency to blather when you are uncomfortable.  Say, in a courtroom.  You blathered a LOT to the c0p because you were nervous and hoped he would give you a break.  Could he use whatever you said against you?  You do not have $112 to spare.  You are pissed.  You think maybe it is time to try to use your father's influence to your advantage, since people think you do it all the time anyway, so what the hell?  Husband thinks you should go just to waste c0p's time, figuring the more people who do that, the less likely he will give out this type of ticket.
Do you:Say you are guilty and pay the ticket.Let your father complain to mayor about p0lice shooting fish in a barrel instead of dealing with real traffic problems, which does nothing about the ticket but is satisfying.Say you are not guilty and wait to appear in front of the d!strict judge.  Who you also grew up with.Whose father shares office space with your father.Whose son is also in your child's class.Who you also called about the stupid class gift.Who goes to church with you.Think it is worth it to go whether you win or not just to draw attention to the ridiculousness of the situation.
If you go to court, do you:Take your father. (Hint: you don't have a choice here.)Take your husband.Both.Let your father get you a lawyer.  (Hee!  But seriously, he offered.)Think you can open your mouth without making an idiot of yourself. read more..

Allergic Reactions-Allergic Responses-Dietetic Products-Food And Beverage

Allergens in Alcohol

Allergens such as milk, eggs nuts and other allergens can be in alcohol drinks. My concern is not only for adults with food allergies, but for the parent who has a small drink with their spouse after dinner, then kisses their child good night. Always drink responsibly. List of drinks that contain nuts link
From Allergy Bureau
"Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies in relation to permanent exemptions from allergen labelling
The Scientific Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies of the European Food Safety Agency has recently released opinions on the likelihood of individuals suffering allergic reactions in relation to a number of processed foods. The Panel considered it “unlikely” that cereals, nuts or whey used in distilled spirits would lead to severe allergic responses. A similar conclusion was reached for vegetable oils-derived phytosterols and phytosterol esters from soybean and for natural tochopherols from soybean.
It was considered “not very likely” that wheat based maltodextrins or wheat of barley starch based glucose syrups would cause severe allergic responses. None of these products were determined to be of concern to coaliacs, provided the concentration of gluten considered by Codex Alimentarius for foods rendered gluten-free is not exceeded. It was also considered “not very likely” that isinglass would trigger an allergic response when used as a clarifying agent in beer.
The panel considered that milk and milk products used in winemaking may trigger allergic responses.
The panel was not able to draw conclusions in relation to fish gelatine and isinglass used in winemaking, or mustard seed oil due to the paucity of data."
From FAAN Whats in Your Drink
"Food allergens such as tree nuts and milk are found in many cocktails. Wheat is prevalent in many beers. Aside from being vigilant about the ingredients in beverages, adults managing food allergies must also take care to use caution with alcoholic beverages to ensure that their judgment is not negatively affected and that their ability to make decisions, recognize a reaction, and administer
medication is not impaired. Alcohol can influence how quickly a food allergen is absorbed into the body, resulting in symptoms occurring at a faster pace."
From Whats in Your Beer
"After a campaign for clear and accurate product labelling that lasted almost 20 years, the federal government announced new labelling rules for food and beverage makers in July, 2008. For the first time, wine, beer and spirit companies would have to list ingredients that are considered the most common allergens like milk, nuts, fish and wheat as well as gluten and sulphites. But just as these
important, potentially life-saving new rules were about to be approved, public opposition from a single powerful lobby group - the beer industry - has put them at risk Every other food and beverage product already has, or will have product labels providing important information for consumers. But this one industry wants special treatment by receiving an exemption from the new rules.
That is not fair!"
From Amateur Wine Makers of Ontario
"The array of clarifying agents available include; Activated carbon, Bentonite (wine grade), Casein and caseinates, Diatomaceous earth, Egg albumen, Gelatin (low bloom), Isinglas, Kieselsols, Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), and Sparkalloid. Commercial combinations of some of these are also available.
Fining agents work on the principle that all of the particles responsible for the clouding or haze in a wine or beer have an electrical charge. As an example gelatin has a positive charge meaning that it can attract negatively charged materials. In binding to the negatively charged materials the combined weight increases resulting in settling to occur. In practice it’s usually necessary to have finings agents of different charges added sequentially to the wi read more..

Friday 25 May 2012

Karlstad University In Sweden-Memorial Day Weekend-Chronic Diseases-Holiday Weekends

Infants' Bodies Absorb Phthalates In PVC Floors

A new study at Karlstad University in Sweden shows that phthalates from PVC flooring materials is taken up by our bodies. Phthalates are substances suspected to cause asthma and allergies, as well as other chronic diseases in children. The study shows that children can ingest these softening agents with food but also by breathing and through the skin... read more..

Enjoying Memorial Day, Allergy-Free

What are your plans for Memorial Day weekend? Whether you are hitting the road or hanging in the backyard, holiday weekends can hold food allergy risks. With a little advance planning you can still relax and enjoy your long weekend....Read Full Post read more..

Virginia Commonwealth University-Food And Drug Administration-Allergy Clinics-Aerius Allergy

Allergists Available to All Ata Allergy Clinic in West-Edmonton Mall

From May 24 to May 27, the public will be able to meet allergists and ask their questions at the Allergy Clinic EDMONTON, Alberta, Thursday, May 24, 2012 - Following the great success of the Allergy Clinics in past years, Merck Consumer Care is pleased to host for a third consecutive year, the Aerius Allergy Clinic in a local shopping mall. read more..

New Assay To Help In The Diagnosis Of Mastocytosis Approved By FDA

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new test to help physicians diagnose a group of rare cell disorders. The test, or assay, was developed by an expert at Virginia Commonwealth University in the field of mast cells. Lawrence Schwartz, M.D., Ph.D... read more..

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Nasal Allergy Symptoms-Symptoms Of Allergies-Honey For Allergies-Natural Therapies

Local Honey to Treat Pollen Allergies

Spring hay fever season finds people desperate to find relief from their nasal allergy symptoms. Natural therapies, without the use of medicines, are becoming more popular, especially among allergy sufferers. It is a popular notion that eating honey is a natural remedy for symptoms of allergies and asthma. Honey contains various ingredients, including pollen allergens and components of honeybees. Locally produced honey would be expected to contain local plant pollens to which a person would be allergic, and therefore is the preferred type of honey for allergies. It makes sense that consuming pollen-containing honey would improve allergies, much like how sublingual immunotherapy works. And, the fact that many people have experienced anaphylaxis from eating honey means that there may be enough pollen to stimulate the immune system. Read more to find out if eating local honey is a good idea for treating your hay fever symptoms....Read Full Post read more..

Sunday 20 May 2012

Television Commercial-Marketing Campaign-Epipen

New EpiPen Commercial By Pfizer Canada, Does It Hit The Mark?

Earlier this month, I expressed concern about the EpiPen marketing campaign launched in the US. Both the television commercial and the print ad for that campaign have now been pulled by Mylan Specialty due to the objections of advocates and food allergy organizations. You can read my thoughts about the US EpiPen ad campaign by clicking here.Today, I saw for  continue reading... read more..



Anyone else go to your child's end-of-the-year preschool party and realize that the ball00n artist greeting you enthusiastically was the guy who offered your junior high boyfriend a dollar to break up with you so he could date you?*  Just me?  OK then.
*My boyfriend refused, by the way.  And no, I don't condone dating in middle school. read more..

Subscribers Newsletter-Natural Resources-Pollen Forecast-Allergies

First Alert Pollen Forecast

If you suffer from allergies, you need accurate, reliable, timely information that allows you to consistently manage your symptoms and take control of your life! This local 4-day pollen forecast shows the upcoming airborne allergen conditions in your town. read more..

May 2012 Subscribers Newsletter

Welcome to the May Subscribers Newsletter. This month we investigate the complexities of prosecuting corporations accused of plundering natural resources in war; report from Ethiopia on the future of the pastoralist tribes and ask whether we can better use technology to tackle the eco crisis. read more..

Saturday 19 May 2012

Allergy And Immunology-Food Allergies-Video Lecture-Penn Medicine

Food Allergies - video lecture by board-certified allergist at UPenn

Mildred Kwan, MD, PhD, an allergy and immunology specialist at Penn Medicine, discusses food allergies (34 minutes). Source: the official PennMedicine YouTube channel. Posted at Allergy Notes. Stay updated and subscribe, follow us on Twitter and connect on Facebook. read more..

Food Allergy And Anaphylaxis Network-The San Francisco Bay Area-Environmental Allergies

How to Minimize Seasonal Allergies

There are not many things more miserable that a full blown, seasonal allergy attack.A As we transition from Spring to Summer here in the San Francisco Bay Area, pollen and other airborne irritants, combined with windy conditions spell itchy, swollen eyes, runny noses, and general malaise for millions of people. read more..

Rick Snyder declares May 13 - May 19 as Food Allergy Awarness Week for Michigan

Food Allergy Awareness Week is a relatively new concept.A It was created in 1998 to address the ever growing population being diagnosed with food allergies.A The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network started promoting this special week to education people on the seriousness of food allergies.A Unlike many environmental allergies that people face, ... (more) read more..

Food Allergies

Allergy-Friendly Businesses

We are fortunate to live in a time with many allergy-friendly businesses. As the number of children with food allergies grows, the condition touches the lives of more and more people. Some of these people are entrepreneurs who turn the challenges they have faced managing food allergies into business opportunities....Read Full Post read more..

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Medication-Health Tip

Health Tip: Having an Allergy to Medication

If you're allergic to a medication, you can take steps to reduce your risk of a reaction, which could be life-threatening. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any newly prescribed medication to be sure it is not similar to another drug to which you are allergic. read more..

I'm Baaaaaaaaaaack

After a long two months, I am back to blogging!  This last semester proved to be very challenging, and rewarding, to me and I let blogging fall to the wayside. 
I have truly missed posting and sharing dairy free info and cannot wait to get back into the swing of things! read more..

Brick Works-City

Free EcoCabs in Support of Evergreen Brick Works

ClaritinA Canada today launched Pedal for a Greener City , a month-long campaign offering free EcoCab rides and inviting Torontonians to help create a greener city by voting for one of three potential urban green projects proposed for Evergreen Brick Works . read more..

Skin Care Products

Skin Care for Sensitive Skin

The average person uses about seven skin care products per day. That is a lot, and if you are the low side, think about the people that are bringing the numbers up to seven! I know I use a cleanser in the morning, a moisturizer, sunscreen and a different cleanser and moisturizer at night. That’s [...] read more..

Kale Chips-Believer

Roasted Kale Chips

Um, okay. So I was NOT a believer of the whole kale chip thing. In fact, I was grotesquely confused by other bloggers’ obsession with them. I thought everyone was crazy. That I was the only sane person left on the foodie blogosphere. Come to find out, I was severely missing out. So this [...] read more..

Bee Venom

What You Should Know About Bee Venom Allergy

About 0.5 to 2% of the general population could be allergic to bee venom or the venom of wasps and kissing bugs, hornets, yellow jackets and so on. This means that other than the normal reaction that a person could have to being bitten by a bee – such as pain and swelling, a person [...] read more..

Seasonal Allergic Conjunctivitis-Ocular Allergies-Eye Allergies

Eye Allergies – Identifying Them and Getting Treatment

Eye allergies are also called ocular allergies and sometime referred to as allergic conjunctivitis. They happen when allergens come into contact with the conjunctiva, which is the membrane that covers the white part of the eye. Eye allergies are of two main types The two types are Seasonal Allergic Conjunctivitis and Perennial Allergic Conjunctivitis. If [...] read more..

Friday 11 May 2012

Asthma Inhalers

Some Schools Don't Let Kids Carry Asthma Inhalers

Policies run counter to law, place children at risk, experts say. read more..

Hot Days-Sex

Sex "Health | Explore methods of staying healthy during allergy season

Allergies make hot days into hot messes. Streaming eyes and running noses are unattractive and annoying, but there are ways to sidestep embarrassing symptoms. read more..

Individual Mandate-Strong Opinions-Poll Results-Medscape-Doctors

Poll Results: Doctors' Emotions Run Hot on Individual Mandate

A Medscape poll reveals doctors' strong opinions, both pro and con, on the arguments taking place before the Supreme Court, which will decide the fate of the individual mandate element of the ACA.
Medscape Business of Medicine read more..

Monday 7 May 2012

Cannabis Sativa Plant-Medicinal Marijuana-Hay Fever Symptoms-Allergic Reactions

Marijuana Allergy

Marijuana has become increasingly popular over the past many decades as a medicinal and recreational drug. While still outlawed in most states in the U.S., some states have approved the use of "medicinal marijuana". Derived from the buds and flowers of the Cannabis sativa plant, marijuana has been linked to many allergic reactions over the years. These reactions have included hay fever symptoms from the plant pollen, common in the summer months in areas where marijuana is cultivated or grows wild. Other reactions have occurred from smoking marijuana, due to not only the plant allergen but also as a result of mold contamination of the marijuana. Lastly, people have even experienced urticaria and angioedema from eating marijuana in herbal teas and in those infamous "brownies". Learn more about the possible symptoms of marijuana allergy....Read Full Post read more..

Vacuum Cleaners-Miele Vacuums

Miele Vacuums: The Best Vacuums For People With Allergies

I’m now the proud owner of a Miele® S6 Momentum Plus vacuum cleaner! This is a very big deal to me, because I’ve heard for some time that Miele S700, S5, S6 and S7 vacuum cleaners are the best ones around for allergic consumers.Miele vacuums are the best choice for people with allergies for a few reasons. First of all,  continue reading... read more..

Environmental Toxins-Seasonal Allergies-Immune System

Some schools don't let kids carry asthma inhalers

If you suffer from allergies, you need accurate, reliable, timely information that allows you to consistently manage your symptoms and take control of your life! This local 4-day allergy forecast shows the upcoming airborne allergen conditions in your town. read more..

Seasonal Allergies May Be A Good Thing

Seasonal allergies could, in fact, be a sign that the body is doing what it is supposed to do; that your immune system is protecting you from environmental toxins, which damage your health much more than pollen or other allergens, researchers from Yale School of Medicine andthe Howard Hughes Medical Institute reported in Nature... read more..

Everyday Household-Natural Honey-Allergy

Allergy to Honey: What Exactly are You Allergic to?

Honey has become such an everyday household word that having an allergy to it sounds so unthinkable!  It makes you think twice about using natural honey as a diet and baking alternative when you’re cutting down on table sugar.  It makes you look twice at that cereal box containing honeynut cereals or that biscuit pack [...] read more..

Sunday 6 May 2012

Beet Green Frittata-Breakfast In Bed-Mother's Day-Special Day

Allergy-Friendly Mother's Day Brunch Menus

Celebrate Mom's special day with one of these these allergy-friendly menus:

Breakfast in Bed

On her special day, give Mom the gift of a few more minutes of sleep. Then surprise her with this delicious, allergy-friendly meal on a tray. And don't forget to clean up the kitchen!...Read Full Post read more..

Beet Green Frittata

I love beets. But I don’t like the greens how most people like them. I’ve seen people eat them like greens in a salad or sauté them in a little oil and eat them plain, but the texture always get me. I typically don’t like the texture of it raw OR cooked. [...] read more..

Talented Sister-Vegan Parmesan-Gourmet Food-Cheese

Vegan Parmesan ‘Cheese’

This is a recipe completely created by my super awesome and talented sister. She’s always had more of any eye for gourmet food, while I’ve always been more of the ‘down home’ country style cooking. Not sure what that even means really, but I think she makes much ‘prettier’ food [...] read more..

Allergic Contact Dermatitis-Skin Inflammation-Allergic Reaction-Skin Irritation

Is It Skin Irritation or Allergy to Detergent and Laundry Soap?

Nowadays, people have become so wary of a skin irritation known as Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD). Clinically speaking, the Mayo Clinic defines contact dermatitis as a condition wherein there is skin inflammation which manifests as rashes. These rashes result when your skin comes in contact with substances that cause either skin irritation or allergic reaction. [...] read more..

Friday 27 April 2012

The Journal Of Clinical Investigation-International Students-Inadvertent Changes

News From The Journal Of Clinical Investigation: April 23, 2012

GENE THERAPY: Inadvertent changes: how engineered viruses disrupt normal gene expression Gene therapy holds the promise of treating genetic conditions by restoring normal gene function. The field has developed slowly over the last several decades with high importance placed on safety to reduce the chance that introduced genes cause problems... read more..

Black Bean Cakes

The Hubs and I have gotten so we host some international students, from the local University, for dinner on Saturday nights. Aside from the general challenge of cooking something that is cost effective for a larger group of people, my biggest challenge is creating something that is new and interesting to the [...] read more..

International Journal Of Developmental Neuroscience-Autism Spectrum Disorders-Immune System Problems

Autism Linked To Immune System Problems, Further Evidence Found

According to a study in the April 2012 International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, the plasma of children with autism disorder (AD) had significantly lower levels of various cytokines, compared with that of unrelated healthy siblings from other families, who had family members with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)... read more..

Traditional Chinese Medicines-Dna Testing-Allergens-Toxins

DNA Testing Finds Allergens, Toxins in Traditional Chinese Medicines

U.S. experts say supplements made in America are different, but neither country tests for ingredients read more..

Computers Education-Dog Allergies-Religion-Books

Dog allergies worse

Beauty & Self Books & Music Career Computers Education Family Food & Wine Health & Fitness Hobbies & Crafts Home & Garden Money News & Politics Relationships Religion & Spirituality Sports Travel & Culture TV & Movies Humans may not be the only ones suffering more than usual this year with allergies. read more..

Spring Allergies

Do allergies benefit your health?

Depending on severity, allergies can range from annoying to deadly. Millions of Americans are familiar with the sneezing, itching and coughing that come along with spring allergies to toxins, while others suffer hives or even airway blockage if they eat the wrong food. read more..

Immune System

Why Do Allergies Make You Cough?

There are literally millions of “bugs” that can make us ill, but generally speaking, we remain healthy most of the time and for that we have to thank our immune system. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending how you look at it, the immune system has evolved to be able to catch all intruders that come in [...] read more..

Computers Education-Religion-Books

Dehydration-allergy connection

Beauty & Self Books & Music Career Computers Education Family Food & Wine Health & Fitness Hobbies & Crafts Home & Garden Money News & Politics Relationships Religion & Spirituality Sports Travel & Culture TV & Movies Water may be the cheapest and most overlooked 'antihistamine,' according to F. Batmanghelidj, M.D., author of ABC of Asthma, ... (more) read more..

Monday 23 April 2012

Chicken And Dumplings-Rotisserie Chicken-Salt And Pepper-Chicken Stock-Dairy Free

Chicken and Dumplings

For years, my family has made chicken and dumplings from The Colonial Williamsburg Tavern Cookbook.  I went without this creamy, savory dish after others told me that soy milk would never work in the recipe...until last week that is. 
I decided that it was worth a shot to make a dairy free version of chicken and dumplings and I am so glad that I did!  The dish came out perfectly and looked identical to my family's dairy version.  I am now kicking myself for not making a dairy free version years ago!
Chicken and Dumplings
-1 rotisserie chicken, diced or shredded
-4 cups chicken stock
-¼ cup of your favorite dairy free butter
-6 tablespoons flour
-? teaspoon paprika
-Freshly ground pepper (black or white)
For the dumplings:
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 tablespoon baking powder
-1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the dairy free butter.  Stir in the flour and paprika.  Stir until well blended and lemon colored, about 3 minutes.  Pour in the 4 cups of stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil, stirring often.  Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened and smooth, about 10 minutes.  Add the chicken, soy milk, and pepper.  season with additional salt and pepper if desired.  Reduce the heat to medium low and cook slowly while preparing the dumplings.
Into a large bowl, sift the flout, salt, and baking powder.  Blend in the shortening with a pastry blender or fork.  Add the soy milk and mix well.
Dip a teaspoon into cold water and then into the dough.  Spoon the dumplings on top of the gently bubbling chicken mixture.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes without lifting the lid (very important!!).  Serve at once.
Close up!This chicken and dumplings is a classic comfort food and is delicious!  It could easily be confused for a dairy laden version.  Enjoy!
My mini dairy free version next to my family's dairy version (I didn't want them to eat the dairy free version on the trial run in case it didn't work out!) read more..

Food Allergies-Peanut Allergy-Nut Allergies

Food Allergies and 'Safe' Activities: How Do You Decide?

One of the most frequent questions I hear from parents of kids with food allergies and peanut allergy, especially, is whether or not a certain activity is "safe" for their child. It stands to reason: Peanut residue (and tree nut, too, if you've got that concern as my family does), is all around us and often in the spots where you'd like to bring your kids. Events like the circus, baseball games, arena sporting events (like basketball or football), concerts, indoor playgrounds at the shopping mall -- just about every place you can think of might have a significant amount of allergen in the environment.
As parents, we might wonder: what are we supposed to do with this information? We can't keep our kids away from anything and most of us don't want to do that. This is one reason I'm so glad to see more and more baseball teams offering "peanut allergy-friendly" sections or "peanut-free" baseball games. Since peanuts are tradition at baseball, limiting them in certain sections takes a huge weight off parent's shoulders, especially those of us who've watched their child have a reaction during a regular game.
First, the bad news about nut allergies and whether or not to do something: this is not a question with a one-size-fits-all answer. I still struggle with it, depending on the activity or event. For one thing, a child's age and awareness of their allergy will play a role; so will their level of sensitivity to an allergen. If you have a child who is extremely sensitive, you might not even ask yourself if you can do something involving a lot of the allergen; you just don't do it. For example, with all of the peanuts everywhere, we don't feel comfortable bringing our daughter to a baseball game without a peanut-free section, especially at an outdoor field where weather, wind and peanut dust blowing around in the air is a strong possibility.(Be sure to ask your allergists about your particular situation; everyone is different.)
The event itself is a factor, too. How big of a role does an allergen play in this activity?Sometimes that will decide it if for you.
Now the good news: most of the time, you can find a way around allergies and do the activities you and your kids enjoy. And for the things you can't do or don't feel good about doing--it's OK. Your kids can still have an awesome, full and happy childhood.
I think it's important for parents to give themselves a break when it comes to dealing with food allergies. While it's important to find ways to do things that kids really want to do, we shouldn't feel like we have to take heroic measures to do every single thing. I mean, let's face it: even without food allergies, most kids can't do every single thing they'd like to do.
I remember when my daughter was first diagnosed with severe allergies at age 4. We found out in a very scary way--anaphylaxis following one bite of a peanut butter sandwich.
At the time, my daughter was in preschool and was beginning to get invited to birthday parties. Tea parties for the girls were big that year, held in special venues that catered to little kids. Of course, the main focal point of these parties was, you guessed it, food. Lots of unsafe food. Baked goods galore, sweets, sandwiches with PB & get the picture.
I got pretty good at deciding what parties we would go to and which ones we wouldn't. I'd ask a few questions. Was my daughter really excited about this party or person? Would she be devastated if she didn't go? If she did go, would it be worth it to send in basically an entire menu of separate food and then still be concerned someone would give her the wrong thing?
When my daughter was four, I also had a toddler and limited outside childcare (aka, grandparents, sitters), so I think that decided a lot of it for me, too. I couldn't drag my little one to every party and drive myself crazy trying to keep an eye on her and make sure anaphylaxis didn't happen, too. So we skipped a few parties read more..

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Motherhood Maternity-Maternity Clothes

19 Weeks And Counting...

I'm at the 19 week mark as of last Thursday.  This week will put me at the half way point.  I feel like things went really slow in the beginning, but now they seem to be flying by.This week I have my monthly O.B. appointment and my level 2 Ultra Sound (which I swear they did at my genetic counselling appointment, but when I questioned them on it, they said no).I did manage to run out last Sunday and buy some maternity clothes.  I won't tell you what I spent because you'd fall off your chair, but I got everything I need for right now (except I could use a few more tops, but I don't like maternity T-Shirts so I'll keep looking).  I bought:4 pairs of pants4 tops2 packages of maternity undies (I realize these aren't for everyone, but they work for me.)2 maternity P.J.'s1 Dress (for Easter and for the Little Man's First Communion)I found my items at J.C. Penney and Motherhood Maternity.  I like J.C. Penney the best.  I feel like they had nice things, at good prices for "the older mom".  I'm pregnant.  I don't need to be trendy, just comfortable.Speaking of comfort, my back has been bothering me.  I did not have back pain with the other two, but this time I have lower back discomfort.  It's not debilitating, but I prefer not to have to bend over or bend down too much (I think weeding the flower beds will be out for me this year).  Due to not wanting to bend down, I've taken to only wearing slip on shoes.  Again, they may not be fashionable but they do the trick.  
My shoe of choice:  Crocs.  Luckily we have a Croc outlet not too far from our house, so I already had a nice supply of Crocs on hand.
All of these are Crocs except for the black shoes with the gold buckle.  A girls got to do what a girls got to do.
I also purchased a few baby items with week. I bought a few outfits, some bootie socks, burp cloths, and the travel system.  The travel system cost more than I wanted to spend, but I really wanted a light weight stroller.  Our last one weighed 25 pounds and it was almost impossible to load and unload from the back of our SUV.  This one weighs 16 pounds and folds smaller.
I also wanted a good infant car seat.  This baby has already been in one car accident (back in early December before I even knew I was pregnant) so I want to make sure that he's as protected as he can be.  I shopped around and I found the best price on  It was about $70.00 cheaper than Babies R Us and it had free shipping.
So things are moving along nicely.
And in other news:  The boys are back to being healthy.  But Hubs now has it.  Keep your fingers crossed that I don't get it.  I feel like the last man standing.
Well, it's dinner time and I can hear hungry grumbles coming from the basement (they are watching NCAA and the Cavs at the same time) so I better get off the computer and get cooking.
Have a wonderful week! read more..

Chardon High School

Things Like This Don't Happen Here

Chardon High School Shooting: 2 Dead
But unfortunately today, they happen everywhere.  And even in your own community.  You can't run from it.  This isn't our high school.  But it's in a neighboring community and only about 15 miles down the road.  It's close enough that you know families in that school or people in the community.  It's close enough that you realize that YES these types of things can happen here.
Chardon High School is considered one of the better public schools in the area.  It's a mix of people from different socioeconomic back grounds.  To have a student bring a gun to school and gun down 5 class mates is unthinkable.  But you have to think about it.  Even if it didn't happen in your area.  It can happen.
We can't live in fear but we have to live in awareness.
The shooter was allegedly a bullied kid with a bad home life.  He had problems.  He was at Chardon High School to pick up a bus that takes him to a school for "at risk" kids.  Clearly people knew he had some issues.  But can you ever really know the extent of those issues?  Lots of kids are bullied and they don't bring guns to school and kill kids.  Why was this kid so desperate that he felt he had to kill someone?  Were there warning signs missed?  Or was he just touched by evil and no one could have seen this coming?  I'm not sure we'll ever know the answers to these questions.
How safe is your child's school?  Would they know what do to if a gunman opened fire in the school?  Chardon High School and law enforcement did a fantastic job under the circumstances.  They had drills for this type of situation and the teachers and students jumped into action and did what they had trained to do.  Law enforcement quickly jumped into action and secured the site so that EMS could get in quickly and help the injured.
I remember having fire drills and tornado drills when I was in school.  We never had to have a drill for an "active shooter".  As sad as that is, clearly it's necessary in today's school climate.
My heart breaks for the families of the dead students.  And my prayers go out to the injured, the students at the high school, and the entire community of Chardon.
Luckily my kids were shielded from most of this yesterday.  But they did see a small piece of news on a television at an after school activity.  They had questions and we answered them the best we could and in a way that would make sense to a seven and ten year old.  We've been leaving our television off and won't have it on for a while.  I don't want to scare them but we also know that this is their reality today and we need to discuss it in an age appropriate manner.
For more ideas on how to talk to your children about violence, see the Washington Post article The Answer Sheet: How To Talk To Kids About Violence
For some ideas on how to keep your kids safe at school see What Parents Can Do To Keep Kids Safe At School from the National Crime Prevention Council , Strategies To Keep Schools Safe, and Educators Guide to Cyberbullying, Cyberthreats and Sexting by Center for Safe and Responsible Use of the Internet.
It happened here.  It can happen anywhere.  I pray it never happens again, but in the mean time, we need to teach our children to be aware, to not be afraid to tell if they hear or read someone making a threat, and probably most importantly we need to teach our kids to be kind to everyone. read more..

Thursday 12 April 2012

Completely Dairy Free-Marshmallow Creme-Cup Dairy-Soy Milk

Dairy Free Fudge

CAUTION:  In order to sufficiently prepare to read this blog post, you may want to get a drool bucket.
That's right...this creamy, chocolatey, decadent fudge is dairy free.  No kidding.  And it also happens to be incredibly delicious, but that's just a bonus.
Back in my dairy consuming days, my mother used to make marshmallow topping fudge, and boy, was it good.  I had yet to recreate a dairy free version because I wasn't sure if I could do it justice without evaporated milk.  This past weekend, my sister and I decided to give it a go since we had a serious craving for holiday treats.  To replace the evaporated milk, we simply reduced soy milk over the stove (instructions are in the recipe).  This worked perfectly!  The fudge set up with no problems, and when we gave a sample to our mom, she was shocked that we had made it completely dairy free.
-2/3 cup dairy free evaporated milk (instructions follow)
-3/4 cup of your favorite dairy free butter
-1 package (12 oz.) of your favorite dairy free semi-sweet chocolate chips/pieces
-1 1/2 cups (1 container) marshmallow creme
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine sugar, dairy free evaporated milk, and dairy free butter in a large heavy saucepan.  Heat the mixture to a boil.  Stir constantly for about 5 minutes over medium heat or until the sugar has dissolved.  Remove from heat.
Add the chocolate, marshmallow creme, and vanilla.  Stir vigorously until well blended and the chocolate has melted.  Pour into a greased 13x9x2 inch pan.
Cool for about 3 hours, or until the fudge is cool throughout.  Cut into squares and carefully remove (I used a tiny spatula) from pan and place on wax paper.  Allow the fudge to dry out for another hour or 2.  Package the fudge into air tight containers with wax paper in between each layer.  The fudge can be left in a cool place (such as a basement or garage in cooler climates) or in the refrigerator.
Makes about 3 pounds of fudge.
Dairy Free Evaporated Milk
-Dairy free milk (I use soy and have only tried this with soy)
In a sauce pan, add soy milk in twice the amount that the recipe calls for evaporated milk.  For instance, the fudge recipe above calls for 2/3 cup evaporated milk, so you would use 1 1/3 cups soy milk.
Bring the milk to just a boil and stir constantly until it has reduced to half of its amount, about 5-8 minutes (depending on the amount of milk).
If you are unsure if the milk has reduced to the necessary measurement, pour it into a glass measure and then pour it back into the pot to continue to cook down if it is not sufficient.
The pieces of fudge are firm enough to hold up well, but are super-creamy in the middle...Mmmm!  They make great gifts when packaged into small holiday tins.  Enjoy! read more..