Welcome to ABC's and Allergies! I hope you will enjoy some of my thoughts and experiences with allergies and homeschooling, and try out some of my recipes. I have found a new passion for creating excellent meals that are free of Mandie's allergens, and are so yummy no one realizes they are "allergen free". I am also passionate about raising awareness of food allergies, and raising money for FAAN.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Turkey Broth

Today I made and canned 16 quarts of turkey broth. I only use store bought broth in the rare case of if I run out of homemade because it is one thing that I think has high potential to be cross contaminated with at least one of Mandie's allergens (many have caramel color or other allergens in them).  I start off by roasting a turkey for dinner, then saving all of the bones, leftover skin, neck, liver, etc.  I cook up the liver, neck, etc, and toss those and the cooking water in a huge stock pot (24 quart).  Into the pot I add 2-3 apples, which I quarter, 2-3 quartered onions, a head of peeled garlic, 3-4 stalks of quartered celery (leaves and all), a handfull of fresh sage, and a few stalks of fresh rosemary. (You can add salt if you like, but I find we don't need it with the flavor of the fresh herbs.)  I fill the pot with water to about 1" from the top, and bring it to a boil.  I like to simmer my stock for a good 8 hours, until the bones and meat are very tender.  Strain out the bones/meat/veggies/herbs.  Pour into canning jars (I like quarts), seal, and process for 25 minutes at 10 lbs of pressure.  The house smells AMAZING, and the end result is totally worth it!  We eat turkey several times a year and I always make broth afterwards.  I also make broth the same way using whole chicken (that we've roasted and eaten). 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Spinach Noodle Soup and Black Bean Brownies (top 8 free)

Tonight I tried a couple of new recipes with excellent success!  Together they make a nice light dinner and a decadent yet healthy dessert. 

Spinach Noodle Soup
6 1/4 cups gluten free chicken broth (I use homemade turkey broth)
8 oz uncooked dry spaghetti -style rice noodles (we used DeBoles brand),  broken into thirds
2 cups matchstick carrots
4 oz. snow peas, cut in half
4 cups packed spinach leaves
2 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. gluten free soy sauce (we like San J brand)
1/8 to 1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes

Bring broth to a boil in a Dutch oven over high heat.  Add noodles.  Return to a boil.  Cook for 4 minutes (2 minutes less than package instructions).  Add carrots and snow peas; cook 2 minutes longer until pasta is tender.   Remove from heat; add spinach, chicken or turkey, onions, ginger, soy sauce, and pepper flakes.  Let stand 4-5 until spinach wilts and flavors combine. 
This is such a quick, amazing soup!   We all enjoyed it very much.  It would be great with gluten free cornbread, or herb bread.

Black Bean Brownies
(top 8 free)
1 can black beans
1 box gluten free brownie mix

Puree beans in their liquid.  In a mixer bowl, add beans to brownie mix and combine well.  Spoon into a greased 9x13 inch pan.  Bake according to package instructions.  Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
These are super yummy!  They're very moist and fudgy.  The kids could not get enough of them.  The friend I got these from said that each piece is just 1 Weight Watchers point.  

Please vote for food allergy reasearch funding!

Please take just a minute to let your elected official know why funding is so important for food allergy research! All you have to do is click on the link and fill out the form and the e-mail will be sent to your local officials. Please join me in making some noise to get the funding this issue so desperately needs!


Our Favorite Gluten Free Bread recipes

Flour Blend*
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup garfava flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 1/2 cups millet flour
1 1/2 cups gf oat flour
2 cups tapioca starch
1 cup potato starch
2 Tbsp. espresso powder

Yummy Sandwich Bread
 (top 8 free) [makes 2 loaves]
4 cups flour blend*
1 Tbsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Vance's DariFree Non Dairy Powdered Milk Substitute
2 1/4 tsp (1 pkg) active dry yeast
3 Tbsp. flax meal dissolved in 9 Tbsp. warm water [or 3 eggs]
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup agave nectar (or honey)
2 cups warm (110 - 115 degrees) water

Combine flax and water and let stand for 10 minutes.  Grease and flour two 8-inch bread pans.  Mix dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.  Set aside.  Place flax goo, oil, vinegar, and agave in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer.  With the paddle attachment, mix ingredients together for about 30 seconds. Add half the dry ingredients to the wed mixture.  Mix just until blended.  Add remaining dry ingredients and mix for about 30 seconds, until blended.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add warm water until well absorbed.  Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for 4 minutes.  Bread dough should resemble cake batter.  Spoon the dough into prepared pans.  Set aside in warm place to rise, about an hour.  While dough rises, preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place pans in preheated oven on middle rack and bake for 50-60 minutes until bread's internal temperature registers 200 degrees with an instant read thermometer.  Let bread cool in pans for 10 minutes.  Remove loaves from pans and place on a wire rack to cool.  
Mom makes 1-2 loaves a day for our family of 7.  This recipe is super easy and SUPER yummy!

Bread - before rise.

Finished loaf.

Bread - after rise, before baking.

Mock Rye Bread
(makes 2 loaves)
4 cups flour blend*
1 Tbsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. flax meal
1/2 cup Vance's DariFree powder (or almond meal)
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 1/4 tsp (1 pkg) active try yeast
1 tsp. espresso powder
1 Tbsp. caraway seeds
2 eggs, room temperature
1 egg white
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. unsweetened applesause
2 Tbsp. corn or olive oil
1 Tbsp. molasses
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. instant coffee granules
2 cups warm water or milk of choice

Grease two 8-inch loaf pans and dust with rice flour.  In a medium sized bowl, combine flour blend and dry ingredients.  Set aside.  In mixing bowl, combine eggs, egg white, vinegar, applesauce, oil, molasses, brown sugar, and coffee granules.  Mix on medium-low speed for 1 minute to blend.  Add water (or milk) to the wet ingredients and mix on low for 30 seconds.  Add half the dry ingredients and mix until just blended.  Add remaining half and blend.  Beat at medium-high speed for 4 minutes.  Spoon batter into pans and set in a warm place to rise for about an hour.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake for about 50 minutes or until internal temperature is 200 degrees.  If bread starts to darken too quickly cover loaves loosely with aluminum foil.

Egg bread
(makes1 loaf)
3 cups flour blend*
1/4 cup Vance's DariFree milk powder
1 Tbsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt
4 1/2 tsp (2 pkgs) active dry yeast
3 eggs, room temperature
 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. agave nectar (or honey)
1 cup warm water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9x5" loaf pan and sprinkle with cornmeal or rice flour.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine dry ingredients until well blended.  In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, vinegar, oil, agave, and water together.  Pour wet ingredients into the dry, mixing on medium speed until well blended.  If batter seems too dry, add water 1 Tbsp. at a time.  Beat on medium-high for 5 minutes.  Spoon the dough into the prepared pan.  Spray the top of the dough with baking spray.  use the back of a spoon to smooth the top.  Spray a piece of plastic wrap and loosely cover the bread.  Place in a warm place for 30 minutes or until dough reaches /4 inch from the top of pan.  Place in preheated oven on the middle rack and bake 35 - 40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 200 degrees.  Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

These recipes are modifies from http://www.livingwithout.com/, where you can find many other wonderful gluten free bread recipes.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Modifications on a cake mix

Yesterday I made a WONDERFUL apple spice cake starting with a box of Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake.  I added 1/2 cup of homemade chunky applesauce in place of the oil, and added about 1 Tbsp. each of cinnamon, freshly ground nutmeg, and freshly grated ginger. I added the rest of the things called for on the box, and baked as directed.  Even my gluten eating friends couldn't get enough of it.  I'm sure it will be wonderful with pumpkin instead of applesauce, and some added ground cloves along with the other spices.  I can hardly wait to try it!

Another variation I love is adding 1/3 cup of dark cocoa, and either extra vanilla, peppermint extract, or 1-2 tsp. of espresso powder or freshly brewed coffee in place of the water.    

The 3 Month Mark

    It seems hard to believe that today we are marking three months gluten free.  We got the green light from Mandie's allergist on 5/27, which happens to be the birthday of my husband's long time best friend so I knew it was a good sign.  I was so excited on that day because we'd done short trials of gluten free with Mandie and saw major improvements on those days, but had to wait for the go sign from Dr. Mary so that there was gluten in Mandie's system in case more testing was needed.
     As with most testing with Mandie, the test was inconclusive (though most gluten/celiac tests are said to have a very high rate of false negatives) but her food and symptom journals could not be more clear.  We FINALLY, after 3 1/2 years figured out that the reason for her red cheeks was her wheat allergy (which has recently progressed to airborne as well as ingestion - but that's another post). 
    In three months we've seen the disappearance of Mandie's red cheeks, nasty poo,  and stomach aches (except when she's gotten exposed to wheat or gluten).  Her appetite has increased and she seems to be more willing to try more foods again.  Her "toddler belly" is gone now.  I have noticed that I have more energy, am less bloated, and have no more weather related headaches.  My mom has noticed better memory, much easier movement, and less arthritis pain. 
    Going gluten free was remarkably easy to adapt to since I am used to having to avoid most all processed and pre-made foods because of Mandie's other allergies.  We already had to make most breads, crackers, cookies, cakes, etc. Avoiding gluten seems easy when we're already avoiding dairy, soy, sunflower, safflower, etc.  It was just a matter of learning about gluten free flours and grains, and experimenting with them to see what worked in which recipe, and learning to to use xanthan gum and other things like cider vinegar and seltzer water in breads.  After three months I feel like we have a good handle on things, and am excited to try things like donuts, waffles, and pie crusts. 
   In all honesty, I love being gluten free.  It is so nice to know that this is what is really necessary to help heal Mandie's system (her doc said she is most likely celiac), and if she is celiac I can still hope that maybe she'll heal enough after a few years to outgrow some of her other food allergies.  I love knowing that she will grow up gluten free and will likely be healthier because of it.  I love all of the things that being gluten free can likely prevent from becoming a problem for Mandie and I - such as thyroid issues, arthritis, osteoporosis, etc.    Mom and I are having so much fun experimenting with recipes, trying gluten free recipes and converting old favorites.  It is fun to create things in the kitchen that I thought we'd never be able to do. Mom has perfected bread making.  No one can tell it is gluten free. I have been making cakes, cookies, pancakes, etc.  We have found a great Philippine store in town where we get all sizes of rice noodles, as well as some rice flours and tapioca and potato starches.  The local Mexican grocery store has the best fresh tortilla chips, corn tortillas, and salsa.   If we weren't gluten free I don't know if we'd have checked them out and found some new favorites.  I think things will continue to get better, and am anxious to see where we are and what we've learned in another 9 months.  

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Please support me in the 2010 FAAN Walk for Food Allergies

I Need YOU to Help Me Reach My Goal!

What would you do if you couldn't eat or touch anything containing milk (in everything from lip balm to food to bath & body products), seafood, shellfish, palm (in bar soaps, crackers, cookies, alternative ice cream, in caranuba wax in fruit snacks, etc,), coconut (in most all liquid soaps and shampoos, detergents, many body products, sunscreens, etc.), sunflower and safflower (in chips, crackers, snacks, alternative milks and "ice creams', lip glosses, etc.), chamomile (in teas, homeopathics, soaps, shampoos, home fragrances, etc.), wheat/gluten (in food, cosmetics, pet foods, body products, etc.), soy, honey, or peanuts? Luckily we have an organization like FAAN that steps in to help with new diagnosis, offering recipes, information, how to deal with schools and food allergies, awareness products, and research.

I am participating in the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network?s (FAAN?s) Walk for Food Allergy: Moving Toward A Cure in Chicago, IL on October 17th, 2010. The event will raise funds to find a cure for food allergy and to educate others.

FAAN's mission is to raise public awareness, to provide advocacy and education, and to advance research on behalf of all those like Mandie, whose daily lives are seriously affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis.

Last year's walk was a great success. I'd like to double that for this year, but I can't do it without your help.

Please support my fundraising efforts with a donation. Your tax-deductible gift will make a HUGE difference in the lives of the estimated 12 million Americans with food allergies and their families. You can make your secure credit card donation by clicking on the link below.

Any amount helps me reach my fundraising goal. I greatly appreciate your support and prayers!

Thank you, Jen  and family

Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Allergies and Celiac Disease?

How Much Do You Know About Food Allergy and Celiac?

(Information from foodallergy.org and livingwithout.com)

1.) How does food allergy differ from food intolerance?

a) Food intolerance does not involve the immune system

b) Food intolerance is not life threatening

c) Food intolerance is not real

d) Food intolerance is not serious

Answer: a & b – symptoms may include abdominal cramps, bloating, and diarrhea

2.) Food allergy occurs when . . .

a) The immune system mistakenly attacks a food protein

b) The immune system mistakenly attacks a pollen grain

c) The immune system goes haywire

d) The immune system is working properly

Answer: a

3.) What are the top eight food allergies in America?

a) Milk, soy, egg, wheat, chocolate, treenut, fish, and pears

b) Milk, soy, egg, broccoli, peanut, treenut, seafood, & peas

c) Milk, soy, egg, wheat, peanut, treenut, fish, and shellfish

d) Milk, clams, fish, peanut, sunflower, palm, coconut & nuts

Answer: milk, soy, egg, wheat, peanut, treenut, fish, & shellfish. Canada’s are the same with the addition of sesame and sulfites.

4.) Approximately how many Americans suffer from food allergies?

a) 5 million

b) 12 million

c) 20 million

d) 30 million

Answer: b) 12 million, or 4% of the population, which includes one in 17 children ages three and under

5.) What are the top five causes of anaphylaxis?

a) Food, drugs, alcohol, and gluten

b) Food, medication, latex, and chemicals

c) Medication, latex, insect stings, and alcohol

d) Food, medication, insect stings, and latex

Answer: d)

6.) How long after ingestion of an allergen can anaphylaxis occur?

a) 2 minutes to 5 minutes

b) 2 minutes to 30 minutes

c) 2 minutes to 2 hours

d) 2 minutes to 2 days

Answer: c)

7.) What are the symptoms of anaphylaxis?

a) Tingling sensation, itching, metallic taste in the mouth

b) Hives, sensation of warmth,

c) Wheezing, difficulty breathing, coughing

d) Vomiting, diarrhea, cramping

Answer: All of the above are potential symptoms, which if untreated can lead to drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and possibly death

8.) Celiac disease is an intolerance to . . .

a) Gluten

b) Wheat

c) Rice

d) Corn

Answer: a) gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, and rye

9.) Celiac Disease affects how many people in the US?

a) 1 in 10

b) 1 in 100

c) 1 in 1,000

d) 1 in 10,00

Answer: b) 1 in 100, most of which are undiagnosed

10.) What are some symptoms of celiac disease?

a) Vitamin deficiency, migraine, anemia

b) Stomach cramps, bloating, weight gain

c) Chronic fatigue, depression, weight loss

d) Bone and joint pain, diarrhea, infertility

Answer: All of the above are possible symptoms, though celiac disease is often silent and symptomless, causing damage with no visible signs.

I am selling teal ribbons for $1 each to help raise money for our family to walk with the Illinois Valley Food Allergy Support Team in the FAAN Walk for Food Allergy in Chicago on October 17th. Please see me if you’d like to purchase one to help support our team and show your support for and awareness of food allergies. More information about our team will follow in a future article. Thank you, Jen Lane

Making Nut Butters

I made some wonderful nut butters this morning!  Since Mandie can't have peanuts anymore, we enjoy almond butter and most recently cashew butter.  Finding safe almond butter (ie: without sunflower or palm oil) is difficult and expensive - and finding safe cashew butter is impossible.  Thus, my adventures into making nut butters.  I am not a fan of the store-bought almond butter that Mandie so dearly loves, but after making some today I have changed my mind.  Homemade is YUMMY!  Here's how I did it.

Almond Butter
2 cups whole unsalted almonds, toasted
1/4 cup corn or olive oil (or any safe oil)
pinch of sea salt
pinch of sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place almonds on a baking pan.  Bake for 15 minutes or until they start to smell fragrant.  Cool until you can comfortably handle them.  Place cooled almonds, salt, sugar, and oil in your blender.  Process until it is the texture you prefer.  Store in the fridge.

Cashew Butter
2 cups whole unsalted cashews, toasted
1/3 cup corn or olive oil (or any safe oil)
pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cashews on baking pan and bake for 10-15 minutes or until they are fragrant.  Cool until you can handle them.  Place cashews, oil, and salt in blender and process to desired consistency.  Store in the fridge.

I make my nut butters in my Magic Bullet - but any blender or food processor would work.  We love our nut butters on fresh gluten free bread with jelly for sandwiches, in cookies (recipe for cashew butter cookies coming soon), and are looking forward to trying them in fudge in place of peanut butter.  Mandie also LOVES to dip her apple slices in almond butter.  It's an almost daily snack or meal for her. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Brownie Pudding - Top 8 Free!

Brownie Pudding

1 cup gluten free flour blend (we use Bob's Red Mill)

1/2 cup sugar

6 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Hershey's Dark)

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 cup hemp or rice milk (or any milk of choice - I usually use almond)

2 Tbsp. oil (I use corn or olive)

1 tsp. xanthan gum

1 tsp. vanilla

2/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized mixing bowl stir together the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder, baking powder, and xanthan gum. Add milk, oil, and vanilla; stir until smooth. Tansfer to a one quart baking dish.

2. Combine the remaining 4 Tbsp. of cocoa powder and the 2/3 cup of sugar. Slowly whisk in the boiling water. Pour gently over top of cake batter. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until cake is no longer spongy. Serve warm. Serves 6-8.

Optional: for a mocha cake, add 4 tsp. instant coffee granules with the boiling water.

Coconut Free Products for bath, body, dish, laundry, etc.

Eliki Olive Oil Soaps (www.elikioliveoil.com)

Kiss My Face Bar Soaps (Walmart, Whole Foods, etc.)

Dawn Dish Soap

Soapnuts (www.buysoapnuts.com)


Arm & Hammer Powdered Laundry Soap

Mango Moisture Hair Wash by Alba Botanica (Walmart, Whole Foods, www.albabotanica.com)

Olive Oil Formula Conditioner by Palmer's (Walmart)

Walmart brand baby hair detangler

Renew lotion by Melaleuca (www.melaleuca.com)

Keys Tortuga Super Emollient Lotion (www.allergiesandme.com)

Neutrogena Sunblocks

Coppertone Waterbabies Sunblock SPF 50 (the only one)

Baby Magic Hair & Body Wash

This is what I've come up with so far. If anyone has anything to add, please feel free. I'm constantly on the look out for more things Mandie can safely use.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Urgent Care Visits with Allergies and Celiac Disease

Last week I learned an aspect of allergies and celiac that most people don’t often think of: what happens when you visit the ER or an Urgent Care facility. Mandie had a visit to our local Immediate Care center on 8/9 to remove a thorn from her foot. Both the staff and I learned a whole lot from this incident.

When a patient has severe allergies and/or celiac disease, extreme care must be taken to make certain that all forms of the allergens do not come anywhere near the allergic patient. This includes common objects such as gloves, bandaids, medications, and cleansers which may have recently been used on tools, chairs, or tables in the room in the case of airborne allergens. In Mandie’s case this included making sure nothing that touched her contained any traces of dairy, iodine (because of her shellfish allergy), palm, coconut, gluten, sunflower, safflower, soy, chamomile, etc. Most of these allergens are very common ingredients in medications and cleaners, so wiping surfaces down with alcohol or another disinfectant that does not contain the allergens should be strongly encouraged before anything touches the patient, and all medications and creams MUST be verified to be free of these things before they come near the patient. Even small amounts of gluten in a cream used on a patient, or in a medication to be ingested, can harm a celiac patient, and any trace of one of Mandie’s other allergens could cause a life threatening reaction in her via contact or ingestion. Thanks to the advice of Mandie’s allergist, her treatment room was prepared very carefully.

Even if extreme caution is taken, accidents can happen, especially when a patient has multiple, severe allergies and tends to be extremely reactive. After any new medication or substance is used on the patient, an epi-pen should be nearby just in case of an unexpected reaction. We found this out when Mandie’s foot was numbed with lidocaine. Luckily the doctor mixed it with epinephrine, which only resulted in a light dusting of blood red hives across Mandie’s face, that faded on their own after about 15 minutes under the nurse’s observation. If the epinephrine hadn’t been mixed with the lidocaine, we could likely have had to use the epi-pen. Because of the nature of the injury, Mandie needed a tetanus shot, which she’s never received due to her allergies. Our allergist decided that a safer option would be the administration of Tetanus Immune globulin in an emergency room setting with a 90 minute observation period immediately following the shot. Luckily Mandie tolerated this extremely well, and the ER staff was wonderfully knowledgeable about allergies, and trusted our ability to spot and recognize a potential problem.

Needless to say, all of this preparation and monitoring leads to long waits. It’s important to be as prepared with diversions as possible before you leave for such a visit.

I learned that Mandie’s MedicAlert bracelet and card were absolutely invaluable in getting her allergies taken more seriously. Everyone from the admitting nurse to the treatment nurses, to the attending doctor carefully went through her information and made photo copies for her records. Every single allergen and it’s main symptoms and severity, as well as current conditions and medications are recorded with the MedicAlert system. This helps a flustered parent not to forget something important during a time of stress, and again, helps medical staff grasp the severity of the allergies and know better how to treat the patient.

I also learned that it is extremely important to be able to be fluent in my child’s condition, treatment, allergens, and reactions. It is also important to be able to state why a proposed treatment should or should not be considered. For example, during the initial consultation with the doctor to determine the problem and course of treatment, I was confronted by the doctor about why Mandie has had no vaccinations. He went several rounds with me over that subject, and didn’t believe the seriousness of potential allergic reactions to vaccines until I showed him her MedicAlert card and he had spoken to her allergist. After he got off the phone with Dr. Mary, his entire tune had changed and he quickly told me that I was correct and that Dr. Mary had repeated almost word for word what I’d said, and told him exactly how she wanted things prepared, what he could and could not use, and that she wanted Mandie in the ER for the administration of the tetanus immune globulin.

Another thing I learned is just how important it is to have a doctor or allergist who is really behind you and will advocate for you. We consider Dr. Mary to be Mandie’s primary doctor because she knows every single aspect of Mandie’s allergies and thus all of the conditions in daily life that are affected by them. Dr. Mary made sure to tell the Immediate Care doctor why it was so important that Mandie not receive the regular tetanus vaccine, why she was not vaccinated, and exactly what could and could not be used around Mandie. An example is after the thorn was removed, the IC doc immediately put aside the triple antibiotic cream, and told me that Dr. Mary had insisted that they not open it, but instead that they use the lavender oil that she knows I keep in the medicine bag with the epi-pens and Benadryl. The Immediate Care doc had never heard of its use, and asked me what it does (it is antibiotic, anti fungal, antiviral, and antibacterial – and is tolerated extremely well by Mandie) and why the doc had requested it. He and the nurses were very interested in learning more about it.

Lastly, and probably most obviously, is medication. Mandie was given prescription for antibiotics for the infection, which we had to take to our local compounding pharmacist to fill, in case they needed to make a form that was free of all of her allergens (including gluten), and so that they could make sure it would not interact with her other medications and supplements. A good pharmacist is absolutely essential for a person with allergies and/or celiac. As you can see, nothing is as simple as it seems.

A little bit about me and why I'm blogging.

       First and foremost, I am a mom to three wonderful kids.  Truman is 7, Hunter is 5, and Mandie is 3. 
Secondly, I am a wife to Bud, who has been my best friend for over 12 years (married for 9).  I am a homeschooling mom, and an allergy mom.  The first role I chose before Truman was born.  The second role I was thrown into when Mandie was a couple of months old.  Both roles are challenging, but both are also extremely rewarding.    My other job is as a school bus driver, which is also a challenging and rewarding job.  I really enjoy driving the bus, and having students from grades K-8 makes every route different and fun.  I have a great group again this year.    As if that weren't enough to keep me busy, I help Mom tend the large gardens, harvest and can the produce, keep up with the yard and chickens and cats and dogs.  In my "spare time" I love to read, write, and sew - both by hand and machine.  I have also taken up running (though it's just indoors for now), and am writing a cookbook/resource book for people with multiple, severe allergies and celiac disease.
        I am writing this blog to share my experiences as the mom of a severely food allergic child, and to share some recipes that Mom and I create for our family.    I hope that what I share can help someone else navigate this crazy world of food allergies.