Wednesday, April 23, 2014

LUNA and the Bear

Reading my posts, you all know that this food allergy mama loves to sample her products but even (secretly) loves it more when only I get to taste them. Selfish...yeah but I think many moms will agree that once you have children, it's almost a fight to enjoy your own foods without little faces finding you wherever you may be hiding. Don't get me wrong- I absolutely love those little faces but I also love being able to start and finish a meal without the added bonus of backwash, teeth marks, second-hand slobber and so on. Come on mommies, don't make me look bad here...how many of you now eat standing at the kitchen sink in silence, hoping you can escape the pitter patter of little feet? (hand raised) It's not that we are selfish, it's that we are just hungry!


Backtrack to when I got this sweet package from LUNA Bar in the mail to try out. I mean how adorable is this? It's all matchy-matchy and it's got a theme to it. Mom's are suckers for themes! Along with the new flavors of Lemon Vanilla and Chocolate Coconut Almond, they sent over a headband, face towelettes, a nail file and lip balms that are in the same flavors as the bars!!! It's like a little mommy-spa box. I'm in!

So imagine my horror when I went to try it out and lo and behold, my goodies were already being put to the test! Who is sneaky and devious enough to accomplish such a thing? Never in a million years would I have suspected....

Gasp! Are you rubbing your eyes too?! I mean really, come on now! Mr. Bear- who do you think you are exactly? Taking my bars and trying on my headband, the nerve! (Although, he does look really cute and stylin', you have to admit). Ok, I'll let that one slide but let's get this put in a nice safe place for my product review later.

(Shortly in the near future) Mr. Bear, shame!!! You have already opened the Lemon Vanilla LUNA Bar and I haven't even picked it up yet! Well, you do look cozy and it does look mighty tempting so let's get a closer look at what we are dealing with here....Hmmmm. OK, I'll try it out. Do you have any coffee left in that teeny, tiny mug of yours to wash it down? Mmmmmm! It's creamy and lemony. Kind of like an iced lemon tartlette! Definitely an easy gluten free treat that I could eat again. Not too sweet but it has just enough to make me feel like I am eating something that I should not be. Good choice, Mr. Bear. Now let's wait until tomorrow to try the other bar, ok? (Mr. Bear nods and winks)

Mr. Bear, I almost stepped on you, what on earth are you doing down there? Oh, I see, you have gotten into the LUNA Bar box again! Very cute and yes, I cannot do that. Yes, it does look good, I do love chocolate and you do look extra cuddly like that. Alright, you win. Besides, is there ever a bad time for chocolate? I think not. Chocolate Coconut Almond LUNA Bar, here we go! (chewing, sharing with Mr. Bear because it is gluten free and he is allergic to gluten. Makes his paws swell.) Yum! It's like Hawaii meets an Almond Joy candy bar (sorry, LUNA, no offense by using the other product name, just my way to describe it). Wait, just to make sure, I should take another bite to confirm. Yep. Wait, maybe just one more. Oh my gawh..... good, so so good! I mean, both are good but I am partial to chocolate.

Wow, I am stuffed and I am ready to get back to work. Mr. Bear, I think it's about time you took your afternoon nap so that I can - Mr. Bear? Hello? I caught you! That's it- you are in a time out, buddy!


Many thanks to the folks at LUNA Bar for sending me such delicious samples to try out. I appreciate you allowing me to be a part of your products and what better way to be involved? For more information on LUNA Bars, please visit them at www.lunabar.com.

**Please note that while LUNA Bars are free of gluten, they do contain other possible allergens such as soy, milk and nuts. I recommend that everyone read the labels and check with LUNA Bar directly to ensure your safety. Always better safe than sorry.









Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Winner of the Blue Bear Aware Giveaway


After Easter and Passover, everything just feels so....I don't know, almost like how we feel after Christmas. The build up, the preparation and than it's all done. Now what, right? That's why I decided to have an additional Post Easter and Passover Giveaway (click HERE). Why not? There are no rules, right? So why not brighten somebody's day when I can?

What? You missed the announcement?! Ugh, well, the good news is that I am guaranteed to have some type of giveaway in future so don't be too upset. This time around, I have a lovely package coming from Blue Bear Aware. This package includes a Zipzicle, two coloring pages and a $25 gift certificate good toward your purchase at Blue Bear Aware. And not only did they send one but they sent two! (clapping) And who are these two lucky winners?

AMBER BOWMAN &
JULIE BROYLES HERTZOG

Congratulations and thank you for participating in this giveaway! Amber and Julie, please email your shipping information so that I can get these packages out to you.  Please allow 7-10 business days for your package to arrive.

Thank you to Blue Bear Aware for not only making such cute and awesome allergy-related products but also for so generously donating these items for the giveaway. You can visit them at http://www.bluebearaware.com and you can stop at their Facebook page to see what's going on there are well.

To everyone else that participated in the giveaway and are a part of my page and blogs, thank you too! Because of all of you, I can do what I do!

Monday, April 21, 2014

If You Like It, Put a Surf Sweets Ring On It

What is one of the best parts of what I do? Product reviews! Of course, I am always honored when companies contact me and ask if I would like to try out their new products but I do admit....I am a product review junkie! Between you and me, it's like having my own stash of presents being sent to my home. Sometimes I share and other times, I just have to try them out alone. Oh, the delicious pressure of it all.


This time I was lucky enough to get some Watermelon Rings and Peach Rings from Surf Sweets. Now anyone who is familiar with food allergies most likely knows that Surf Sweets products have no artificial colors or flavors, no corn syrup and their products are organic. And, as an added bonus, they are also gluten free, dairy-free, casein free and they are produced in a facility free of the top ten common food allergens. All in all, they are one of the safest companies when it comes to allergy-friendly treats. Of course, everyone's allergies are different so I recommend that you always read the labels and check with the company directly to ensure they are completely safe for you.

Woah, Watermelon! I am a fan of watermelon so I couldn't wait to see what these tasted like. Can you see the gummy, stretchy goodness? The rings themselves were just as easy to bite into as the other gummies available but the larger size makes them seem a bit sweeter than they are (in my opinion). Maybe it's the added sugar in a larger amount? Either way, still a great little morsel to have for a treat, a snack for lunch bags or even to put on top of other treats (say, a cake or cupcake?) Wait, did I say little morsel? Gasp! Not so- the size is definitely not little! Apologies.

Now the flavor. This is were it gets tricky just a bit. Absolutely great tasting but we had a family vote and found that we felt the taste was not really watermelon but something closer to bubble gum. Like I said- still very good so no complaints, just our observation.

The other? Just Peachy! The peach rings were just that- peachy. There was no question that these tasted like a peach. Again, same great gumminess (is that a word?) and that extra little punch of sugary sweetness. So delightful that you could see the enjoyment that was had by many of the NutriFamily.


I do have to say, in all honesty, that I have never had a bad tasting Surf Sweet. Ever. I've covered them in chocolate, I've used them in other recipes and I have eaten them plain. The fruit flavors are always juicy and flavorful- never any type of aftertaste that you might have noticed with some other gummy products made by other companies. I also love that Surf Sweets is involved with so many great causes as well (click HERE to see all the awesome causes so you can help too!) This tells me, as a Food Allergy Consultant/Blogger/Mother/Author that not only do they care about what goes into their products but they also care about how to keep their consumers and our planet on the same track and I love that.


You can find Surf Sweets in many local stores or you can purchase them right from their website at http://www.surfsweets.com/buyonline.php. They are also on Facebook so make sure you check in with them there too (Psst! They have giveaways there too! Bonus!)

 As always, thank you to Surf Sweets for allowing me to be a part of what they do. They have been a part of our family for awhile and I even listed them as an allergy-friendly product in my Ebook "The Stepping Stones To Food Allergies" because I think so highly of them.  After all, couldn't we all deserve to have a little sweetness added to our lives?

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Food Allergy Princess Saw and Believes

Where do I start except to let everyone know that this food allergy princess feels as if she believes there is good in the world. Among all of the horrible chaos and the unfortunate allergy-related deaths this year, I feel as if there are people out there that truly do want to help make a difference. I have seen and worked with many different companies over the years and some have shown me that they seem to be doing their job for the good of the cause but in fact, they don't. But one company has proven time and time again that they are in it to help raise awareness, to be a part of the necessary changes and that they are in it for the long haul. The company that I am talking about is Mylan Specialty (makers of EpiPen).

How did I receive this wonderful and vast knowledge? I could tell you that I had an epiphany or that I am psychic but it was as simple as having the honor to be invited back to another Mylan Specialty Blogger Summit.This was the third time and I am always so excited to see who will be there and what information awaits all of us. This time was a bit different- we got to see the new corporate headquarters of Mylan in Pennsylvania. As previously done, I was whisked away to have a wonderful dinner followed by an exhilarating day of unknown agenda. I'm not sure how the other bloggers feel but I am always left in suspense since we are never told ahead of time what is planned. It's like having a super secret covert allergy spy mission that unwinds into yet a bigger and better future.

But how, where, when?! I have to say that I always feel overwhelmingly spoiled on these trips. I am literally given door-to-door treatment which is so far beyond my everyday routine. And I even meet the most interesting people on the way there and back. This was Louis (everybody say hi Louis!) He was my first driver and he was awesome! Soon I arrived in Pittsburgh and was ready to jump in and see who was here this time. I met some new bloggers this time around but everyone is always filled with the same great focus and passion and we are truly on the same mission- to help others and to stay together doing it.

Ahem, Agenda, Please After a sweet and completely labeled continental breakfast, we were seated in one of Mylan's board rooms....can you say "Wow!" because I did. Don't get me wrong- I know that all of the bloggers are important but it seems more official when you are in such an official looking room. We got to meet Tony Mauro (President of Mylan Specialty) as well as many other key members of the Mylan team
such as Julie Knell, Sherry Korczynski, Bruce Lott and Siobhan Cavanaugh. We were able to view some new campaigns and we discussed how we, the voice of the food allergy community, would want to see future information passed on in the most effective way. Feelings expressed the need to educate even beyond the food allergy community because we all understand that food allergies do not just affect those with the food allergies themselves. Food allergies touch so many other aspects of our communities now- doctors, schools, friends, people that we may never even know sitting next to us in a restaurant. The more people understand food allergies, the more we can all work together to prevent future, unnecessary allergic tragedies. Dr. Ruchi Gupta showed us the proof that this knowledge is much needed in her research findings. (BTW, love Dr. Gupta, she is funny, sweet, compassionate and just down to earth).

We also had the pleasure of meeting Michael Tringale of AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America), Becky Fry & Terry Koontz of the American Red Cross and Allison Rosen of 3D Communications who gave us some valuable pointers on how to keep our audiences interested.  And just to show you how powerful a voice can be, I want to share with all of you the amazing feat that all of us accomplished within an hour's time. While discussing policies and procedures with Becky Fry regarding their CPR and Babysitting courses that are offered, our group asked her why the American Red Cross did not simply make EpiPen training a part of both of these courses rather than optional. She requested that we urge people to contact the American Red Cross to recommend that they rewrite the policies and she also stated that she would find an answer for us. After several minutes of our blogger group grilling her (nicely) and all of our posts and tweets asking for our audiences to help get these policies updated- BHAM! Confirmation that we were heard and that the polices are, indeed, in the process of being rewritten! If that's not proof of a community coming together to make an important change, I don't know what is. And regarding that entire agenda, I want to thank Becky for being so patient with us, the American Red Cross for hearing us and responding so quickly and all of you- YOU, the unheard voices that helped us get that change done! Everyone's voice is important and the next time you ask "What can I do?" just remember this situation, smile and change that to "Look what I did!"

And, Where Does This Leave the Princess? As always, I am even more hopeful for the future of food allergies. I always feel recharged and full of new ideas on how to continue doing what I do. I am also so grateful that Mylan Specialty continues to work with all of the bloggers as well as continuing to provide and give back to our community. They have proven their sincerity time and time again through several programs that they offer including their new My EpiPlan app, the EpiPen $0 Copay offer and EpiPen4Schools program. In times like this, we need to know that somebody has got our back. I think it's best described
as stated in Mylan's mission "At Mylan, we are committed to setting new standards in healthcare, working together around the world to provide 7 billion people access to high quality medicine, we innovate to satisfy unmet needs; make reliability and service excellence a habit; do what's right, not what's easy; and impact the future through passionate global leadership." This rings similar to what I hold true, which is "Don't stop when you are tired, stop when you are done" and this food allergy princess has only just started!


Most sincere thank you's to Mylan Specialty for their hosptiality, Suzanne and Christine for making everything go so smoothly and to my fellow bloggers for continuing to do what they do best too.

*I disclose in any communication made by me about EpiPen(epinephrine) Auto-Injector (registered) and/or Mylan Specialty Blooger Summit that such communication is at my own discretion and based on my own opinion. I also disclose that my travel expenses were compensated by Mylan Specialty in exchange for evaluation and feedback on information presented during the meeting.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Got the Holiday Blues?

photo courtesy 123rf.com
How many of you are upset because you did not win my Easter & Passover Giveaway? Awwww, no worries and it's ok that you are feeling a little blue because I have a last minute extra giveaway for you! No, it's not the Easter Bunny and no, it's not your favorite family member that you like to see during Passover...it's a bear. (Pssst, what is she talking about?! Has she gone bonkers??) Bonkers, well maybe but in fact, this giveaway is hosted by a great company that I just came into contact with. And what better way to show all of you who they are than to offer an extra giveaway. Are you smiling now?

Everyone, I would like to introduce Blue Bear Aware. Blue Bear Aware, these are the people that I told you about. I know everyone will get along nicely and I'm happy to show you the wonderful things that Blue Bear Aware has graciously sent to give to two winners. They have sent a Zipzicle, two coloring pages, a gift certificate for $25 for purchase of Blue Bear Aware items and they have secured it all together with an even cuter paper clip. How can you beat that?!


I bet you are wondering what the heck a Zipzicle is, right? You know all of those corn syrup-laden ice pop treats that everyone eats? Well, this is their wonderfully healthy version of how to make your own popsicle. Not only can you pick healthier, safe ingredients but wait until your child gets to make it themselves! I warn you that there may be a fight over who gets to try them first.

Now although this is great, I do recommend that you also check out all of the other awesome items at their site. They have badges, temporary tattoos, clothing auto injector pouches, books and they are all allergy-related with a twist of coolness.

Ready for the Giveaway Rules? I will post a Blue Bear Aware logo on my Facebook page every day now through April 21. When you see the Blue Bear Aware logo, click "Like" and comment on how "I am aware because". Two winners will be chosen and announced on April 22. As always, I ask everyone to share the contest links as sharing is always nice.

Only two winners will be chosen BUT you may enter as many times as you want too as long as you have clicked "Like" on the Blue Bear Aware logo reminder.

A special thank you to the folks at Blue Bear Aware for allowing me the honor to spread the word about their great products! Please visit their site at www.bluebearaware.com and let them know that Nutrimom sent you.

Ready....Set..GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Who Gets A Bag For Easter & Passover - Winners!

Wow! Can I just say thank you to everyone for the amount of attention this giveaway received? This includes the wonderful companies that participated, the other great pages on Facebook and Twitter that shared my announcements, and best of all- ALL OF YOU! The comments were awesome, the participation was overwhelming and it makes me so happy to see so many of you excited about this too!

Before I continue, please makes sure that you stop by the websites of all of the participating giveaway suppliers and let them know how much it meant to you. Big shout outs to SurfSweets, Winona Pure Oil, S.A.F.E. (Smart Allergy-Friendly Education), Enjoy Life Foods, Team Nate-the-Great FARE and SnackSafely.


SO WHO ARE THE WINNERS?!!!!!

Jennifer Johnston McFadden (Easter) 

Lisa Blocher Klein (Passover)

(crowd clapping)

And what will they get? (Get ready to be ultra jealous!)

Easter Bag:                                                  
~ 1 EACH (2.75 oz) SurfSweets Organic Jelly Beans, Sour Worms, Organic Fruity Bears & 1 (8 oz) bag of Organic Spring Mix Jelly Beans
~ Winona Pure Oil- 1 EACH (5 oz) can of Olive Oil and Sunflower Oil
S.A.F.E. (Smart Allergy-Friendly Education)- 1 Set of Food Allergy Labels
Enjoy Life Foods- 1 Box Soft Baked Snickerdoodles
Team Nate-the-Great FARE- 1 "I Love Someone With Life Threatening Food Allergies" car magnet
SnackSafely- 1 "Warning Mother of a Child with Food Allergies" mug
+ 1 (16 oz) jar of SunButter Natural Crunch  and 2 Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery Free Product coupons from none other than ME, Nutrimom!


Passover Bag:                                                  
~ 1 EACH (2.75 oz) SurfSweets Organic Jelly Beans, Sour Worms, Organic Fruity Bears, Peach Rings & Watermelon Rings
Winona Pure Oil- 1 EACH (5 oz) can of Olive Oil and Sunflower Oil
S.A.F.E. (Smart Allergy-Friendly Education)- 1 Set of Food Allergy Labels
Enjoy Life Foods- 1 Box Soft Baked Snickerdoodles
Team Nate-the-Great FARE- 1 "I Love Someone With Life Threatening Food Allergies" car magnet
SnackSafely- 1 "Warning Mother of a Child with Food Allergies" mug
+ 1 (10.5 oz) box Yehuda Gluten Free Matzo-Style Squares and 1 (8 oz) Jennie's Macaroons from me again, Nutrimom!

Please allow 7 - 10 business days to arrive for shipping. If the winners do not respond within 7 days of this announcement, an alternate winner will be chosen.

I can truly say that I am grateful to all of you!

Thank you for participating and for being a part of what I do~

Tracy

*Photo courtesy 123rf.com

Friday, April 4, 2014

Easter & Passover Giveaway


Who loves Easter & Passover? 
Who feels like the kids are the only ones to get some goodies? 

I am happy to announce that thanks to some wonderful companies, we are sending out 1 Easter gift bag and 1 Passover gift bag that has some sweets and goodies for both parent and child! Are you curious yet? Good- check out what you could win ~
photo courtesy 123rf.com

 Easter Bag:            
Surf Sweets- 1 EACH (2.75 oz) Organic Jelly Beans, Sour Worms, Organic 
   Fruity Bears and 1 (8 oz) Bag Organic Spring Mix Jelly Beans
Winona Pure Oil- 1 EACH (5 oz) can of Olive Oil and Sunflower Oil
S.A.F.E. (Smart Allergy-Friendly Education) - 1 Set of Food Allergy Labels
Enjoy Life Foods- 1 Box Soft Baked Snickerdoodles
Team Nate-the-Great FARE- 1 "I Love Someone With Life
  Threatening Food Allergies" car magnet
SnackSafely- 1 "Warning Mother of a Child with Food Allergies" Mug
PLUS- 1 (16 0z) jar SunButter Natural Crunch and 2 Rudi's Gluten-Free
   Bakery Free   Product  coupons of yours truly, Nutrimom

photo courtesy 123rf.com
Passover Bag:
Surf Sweets- 1 EACH (2.75 oz) Organic Jelly Beans, Sour Worms, Organic Fruity Bears,
Peach Rings and Watermelon Rings
 Winona Pure Oil- 1 EACH (5 oz) can of Olive Oil and Sunflower Oil
S.A.F.E. (Smart Allergy-Friendly Education) - 1 Set of Food Allergy Labels
Enjoy Life Foods- 1 Box Soft Baked Snickerdoodles
Team Nate-the-Great FARE- 1 "I Love Someone With Life Threatening Food Allergies" car magnet
 SnackSafely- 1 "Warning Mother of a Child with Food Allergies" Mug
PLUS - 1 (10.5 oz) Box Yehuda Gluten Free Matzo-Style Squares and 1 (8 oz) Jennie's Macaroons also from yours truly, Nutrimom



READY TO ENTER? Click "Like" on any of the Giveaway posts that I share on my Facebook page and tell me why you love your holiday (please specify if it's Easter or Passover). Reminder posts will be shared daily and the more times you comment and like, the more chances you have to be entered to win! Sharing is optional but very much appreciated. Contest is open to all.

2 winners will be chosen (1 for Easter and 1 for Passover). Contest ends April  8th at 12 Midnight. The winners will be announced on my Facebook page & blog. If the winners do not respond within 7 days of the announcement, an alternate winner will be chosen. Please allow 7-10 days for the package to arrive. Short & Sweet, right ?  (get it sweet?!) 

Now get to work and enter NOW! Good luck to everyone.