Food allergies and emotions


I have been very busy with research for upcoming topics and interviews to be shared on here soon. As many of you know, life gets busy. If you have commented on posts, I will be replying soon. In the interim, I would like to share with you a post I recently wrote on my other blog, about life with food allergies. The fear and worries as well as ways to overcome them. I have had food allergies my entire life and am only now sharing how it truly feels to the public. It is something that has been hard to open up about as I’ve often thought it was only me. After several comments and DM’s it is clear that this is a topic I need to explore more.

Please have a read and let me know what you think. Here’s the link to my article on http://www.livingwithallergies.ca

I am curious. What do you do to overcome your worries, stress or fear with other allergies? If you get hives from different fabrics, dyes or soaps, shampoos and lotions, do you feel that you have some fear or worry around trying new products? Please let me know in the comments below.

Have a wonderful day!

Erika

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Have an Allergy free Thanksgiving


Have an Allergy free Thanksgiving

(A repeat of my previous blog 11/15/10)

Wild_Rice_StuffingThanksgiving is just around the corner and my kids with allergies are coming for dinner. My family is allergic to gluten, dairy, soy and eggs. The turkey will be fine, but what about the dressing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie?

Turkey: Turkeys themselves are not usually a problem for people with allergies. Some commercial turkeys have been infused with a broth that may have wheat in it. Be sure to read the label carefully or just buy a fresh turkey.

Dressing/Stuffing: My favorite way to make gluten-free dressing is to use wild rice or a mixture of wild and long grain rice as the base instead of bread. I use the drippings from the turkey combined with enough gluten-free turkey stock according to the directions to cook the rice. In another pan, in a small amount of olive oil, I sauté chopped celery, chopped water chestnuts, and a chopped medium onion. Then I add the cooked rice, dried cranberries, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper and 1/4 c white wine. Everything you would use to make regular dressing except the bread crumbs. I don’t use a recipe, it all tastes good just mix it together, you can’t go wrong. If you can’t find gluten-free turkey stock, gluten-free chicken stock or a combination of chicken and beef stock work well. Or of course you can make your own.

Gravy: Do not use the prepackaged gravy that may come with the turkey or you can buy at the store, they contain wheat flour. I heat the turkey drippings with gluten-free turkey broth, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, then add tablespoon of corn starch or tapioca starch (it takes more of the tapioca) mixed with a 1/8 cup or less of cool broth or water. Hint: always mix your tapioca flour or corn starch with a tiny amount of cool broth or water before adding to the hot gravy mixture and stir constantly until mixture thickens, this help to avoid lumps. Only add a little starch mixture at first, more can be added as needed.

Mash potatoes: My family is allergic to dairy, so I use a little chicken broth for the liquid, and olive oil for the margarine. Use you favorite seasonings, the potatoes taste great and it also cuts down on calories.

Pumpkin Pie: Since my family is allergic to gluten, soy, dairy and eggs, this is a real challenge. The filling can be made using a traditional pumpkin recipe (on the back of the can) using almond milk or Coconut milk and EnerG Egg replacer instead of the usually milk and eggs. The almond milk is a little thinner than condensed milk, so it needs a little buckwheat flour or gluten-free oatmeal added to thicken it up a bit. There are gluten-free crusts available at the store, but they usually won’t work when there are other food allergies. I use crushed Rice Chex cereal instead of a graham cracker crust. One trick I love is to pour melted “Enjoy Life” semi-sweet chocolate over the crushed Rice Cereal and letting it set up, before pouring in the filling. The Rice Chex get a bit soggy if you don’t use the chocolate. As a special topping, there is a product called Rich Whip® Frozen topping, that is sold near the Coolwhip section, it has no wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts, or shellfish.

Hope these hints help to make your Thanksgiving Holiday happy and uneventful allergy wise.

Would anyone like to take over this allergy blog?


acz_50.gifI love writing this blog and hearing from people who are suffering from the same allergies I am. I like to think I have helped a few readers along the way. My life is very busy right now and I am finding I have less and less time to devote to this blog. I must simplify my life to survive. If anyone is seriously interested, let me know. I also own the matching URL allergycomfortzone.com , a Twitter account and Facebook account in the same name. This WordPress account gets about 100 visits a day.  This WordPress account is not monetized but it can be, by using the matching URL. I have not kept up with the Facebook and Twitter accounts lately.

May is Allergy & Asthma Awareness Month


May is a peak time for people dealing with allergies and asthma and a perfect time to raise awareness about these diseases.

What are allergies?

Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system to allergens that usually do not cause a reaction in most people. Some of the symptoms of allergies include sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and itching; some allergies (food or drug) can cause an extreme response (anaphylaxis) that is life-threatening, is a medical emergency, and is the most severe allergic reaction. If you or someone around you is having an anaphylactic reaction, please call 911 right away.

For those with extreme allergies that cause anaphylaxis, I suggest reading about them on this WebMD web site.

I’m having problems trying to eat all organic food


I have been wondering if the pesticides in my foods have anything to do with my skin allergies. I changed my breakfast cereal from GoLean (which contains GM soy) to Natures Path an organic cereal. I have also been trying to eat more organic foods. It’s not easy and it definitely is not cheap.

Organic foods are expensive and I can’t seem to find everything I eat in organic. I am lucky to live in an area with a lot of food sources. We have Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, many Farmers Markets, even my local supermarket has a large organic section. What’s my problem? Eating organic limits my access to my favorite things to eat. When you can’t find one ingredient you need and substitute something non-organic the whole meal becomes non-organic. I guess it’s best to use organic products when you can especially the worst offenders.

I have found some foods are more pesticide laden than others. They are called the dirty dozen. Here is link to a handy shopping guide: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/?tag=2012FoodnewsAd&gclid=CMOH-e2turICFYyPPAodkU8ABA A quick run down of the worst offenders in the food world: Apples, Celery, Sweet Bell Peppers, Peaches, Strawberries, Nectarines, Grapes, Spinach, Lettuce, Cucumbers, Blueberries and Potatoes.

Also I believe we should be concerned about Genetically Modified Foods. Here is a list of GM food to be watch for (GMO are not labeled in the U.S.): Rapeseed oil (Canola Oil), Honey produced form GM crops, Cotton, Rice, Soybean, Sugar Cane, Tomatoes, Corn (Used for animal feed, Oil, Sweeteners and Soft Drinks), and Sweet Corn, Potatoes, Flax Oil, Papaya, Squash, Meat, Peas, Sugar Beets and Dairy Products.

How can the public make informed decisions about genetically modified (GM) foods when there is so little information about its safety?

According to the FDA and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), there are over 40 plant varieties that have completed all of the federal requirements for commercialization.

Future planned applications of GMOs are diverse and may include drugs in foods, for example, bananas that produce human vaccines against infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B, metabolically engineered fish that mature more quickly, fruit and nut trees that yield years earlier, and plants that produce new plastics with unique properties.

“History has many records of crimes against humanity, which were also justified by dominant commercial interests and governments of the day. Despite protests from citizens, social justice for the common good was eroded in favour of private profits. Today, patenting of life forms and the genetic engineering which it stimulates, is being justified on the grounds that it will benefit society, especially the poor, by providing better and more food and medicine. But in fact, by monopolising the ‘raw’ biological materials, the development of other options is deliberately blocked. Farmers therefore, become totally dependent on the corporations for seeds.” – Professor Wangari Mathai.

Citation: Disabled World News (2009-09-22) – Genetically modified foods information including list of GM foods with dna changes and pros and cons of GM food: http://www.disabled-world.com/fitness/gm-foods.php#ixzz26e66RZHD

Is a food allergy to blame for for chronic skin problems?


If you read this blog regularly you know that I’ve tried eliminating certain foods from my diet to see if any of them were causing an auto-immune response where my skin would be more sensitive to dyes and finishes on clothes and other things in my environment.

Last time I tried eliminating gluten from my diet for 6 weeks. I did not see any difference in my skin. It was very hard for me to eliminate gluten, I found it is in almost everything that is packaged or prepared. I stuck with the diet for the full 6 weeks and didn’t see any change.

I have also tried a dairy-free diet and I didn’t seen a change. This diet was easier for me because I love Almond Milk, and don’t eat much cheese anyway.

Natures Path CerealNow I am wondering what should be the next food to try to eliminate. Soy is a food that is genetically modified quite often and used in many foods, it could be the culprit. Soy is in a lot of things we eat. I eliminated Go Lean Cereal from my diet several months ago because I found out it had a large percentage of GMO Soy.  I really liked Go Lean Cereal so it was hard to find a substitute. I now eat one of the Natures Path Organic Cereals, They taste great, but they are not as high in protein and a little sweeter than I would like.

Maybe we should all try eating all organic foods for a month. Skin problems could be caused by the pesticides in our food weakening our natural defenses and causing autoimmune problems.  You are lucky if you live in a city that has plenty of stores offering organic foods like I do. The problem is they are very expensive. I know organic is better for us, but hate to raise my food bill so much.

I will ponder this problem and decide what step to take next. I will share the results.

Kashi Cereal has let us all down


I eat Kashi Go Lean Cereal every day, I love it because it has more protein than all other cereals. I thought it was safe and healthy for me. I figured all the sugar-coated mass marketed cereals had GMOs (genetically modified organism), but Kashi seemed above that. I was wrong, Kashi uses GM Soybeans. Well over 1/2 of all soybeans are GM, so it’s had to find organic or unadulterated soybeans. Even if farmers try to raise non-GM soybeans they can be contaminated by nearby GM fields.

If you want to know more about GMO’s, I have a quoted from  transformyourhealth.com
Just Say No to GMO’s Sowing the Seeds of Deception – Part 1 By Jeffrey M. Smith – Extraordinary Health Article
This site has a lot more information on GM foods and the dangers or eating them, so visit the site for more information.

More about GMO’s

“Perhaps not everyone is familiar with GM foods. For starters, genetic engineering is quite distinct from selective breeding because it involves taking genes from a completely different species and inserting them into the DNA of a plant or animal. The long term effects of this for our health and our planet’s biodiversity are unknown— and that’s cause for concern.

Fortunately, in the past, there have been institutions tracking unhealthy trends. For example, AAEM, an “Academy of Firsts,” was the first U.S. medical organization to describe or acknowledge Gulf War Syndrome, chemical sensitivity, food allergy/addiction, and a host of other medical issues. Unfortunately, the potential for harm from GMOs dwarfs anything they have identified thus far. The harsh reality is that GMOs can impact anyone who eats—in other words: everyone.

Here’s part of what we’re all facing: More than 70% of the foods on supermarket shelves contain derivatives of the eight GM foods on the market—soy, corn, oil from canola and cottonseed, sugar from sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, and a small amount of zucchini and crook neck squash. It doesn’t stop there, though.

The biotech industry hopes to genetically engineer virtually all remaining vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, and even animals.

You will be interested to know that there are two primary reasons why plants are engineered: to allow them to either drink poison or to produce poison. The poison drinkers are called herbicide tolerant. They’re inserted with bacterial genes that allow them to survive otherwise deadly doses of toxic herbicide.

Biotech companies sell the seed and herbicide as a package deal, and U.S. farmers use hundreds of millions of pounds more herbicide because of these types of GM crops. The poison producers are called Bt crops. Inserted genes produce an insect-killing pesticide called Bt-toxin in every cell of the plant. Not surprisingly, both classes of GM crops are linked to dangerous side effects.”

I’m going to search for an alternative to Kashi Go Lean Cereal today. I will let you know what I find that has as much protein. I am so sensitive to everything I eat or touch, maybe GM soybeans are causing my chronic rash.

Please comment below, I would love to hear what you have to say about GMO’s

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