Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Winston-Salem FARE Walk for Food Allergies

I am very pleased to announce that we are going to have our very own FARE Walk for Food Allergies in Winston-Salem, North Carolina!

This is a brand new development but I wanted to let everyone know as soon as I had a definite time and place.

Forsyth Country Day School has graciously agreed to host the site of our walk on Sunday, September 8th, 2013. Check in time is 1PM with a ceremony and the walk to follow immediately at 2 PM, rain or shine.

What is a FARE Walk?
More than just a walk, the FARE Walk for Food Allergy brings together thousands of Americans seeking a safe world for those living with food allergies. Your time and hard work will make a difference in the lives of those who live with food allergies. Your participation will not only be fun, but will also help Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) to fund education, advocacy and research in an effort to fulfill our mission: to ensure the safety and inclusion of individuals with food allergies while relentlessly seeking a cure.

How do I participate?
You can join the walk and participate as a walker, be a sponsor or donate to the cause. To join us, click for Team Nutrimom and hit "Join our team" located at the top right.

Is there a fee to participate?
No but FARE encourages each person to make a personal donation and raise funds to support their mission. Those who raise $100 or more will receive the official FARE Walk For Food Allergy t-shirt. Walking is the culmination of your efforts, but raising funds will help FARE to continue the safety of those living with food allergies while relentlessly seeking a cure.

Can I walk as a team with friends and family or my company?

Absolutely! In fact, most FARE Walk for Food Allergy participants form or join a team.

How long is the FARE Walk for Food Allergy?
Most FARE walks are between one mile and three miles. The Winston-Salem, NC walk will begin at 2PM (rain or shine) and is scheduled to be a 5K (a little more than 3 miles).

How much are t-shirts?
The t-shirts are our fundraising incentive; therefore, they are $100. All participants who raise $100 or more will receive the official FARE Walk for Food Allergy t-shirt. If you would like to receive a t-shirt you may make a $100 donation. To make a donation, click on Give Now.

If anyone has any question, please feel free to email me at Nutrimom@yahoo.com. Please share this information with anyone who can help us out- friends, family, teachers, businesses- everyone is welcome to join.

I look forward to seeing everyone in September!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Food Allergy Foodies

"Is it all clear? Are they gone?" He looks out the window, shrinking back behind the curtain.

"Yeah, they're pulling out of the driveway RIGHT now."
"No, but are they GONE?!"

"I said yes! What, are you paranoid now?"

"I just don't want them to come back and catch us." They look at each other, not believing that they are going to try to get away with this. They are adults, they are parents, how could they stoop to doing something so low? The husband hugs his wife and she stares ahead.

"Is it pure?"

"Yes," her husband assures her "The guy assured me it was pure, nothing else added."

"But what if something happens?" Her eyes are large and filled with concern.

"Nothing will happen. I told you, I will take care of you. Don't you trust me?"

"I do, I guess." She lets out a sigh and they start to lay everything out in front of them. The smell is unbelievably addictive and tantalizing. Her husband takes a deep sniff.

"God!" he yells, filling his lungs with the smell of it "I forgot how good this stuff just smells!"

"Well don't hog it all, leave some for me! You are not the only one going through withdrawal!"

"Age before beauty, honey, age before beauty." His wife smacks him and glares at him.

"It's beauty BEFORE age! What kind of husband are you anyway? What kind of support are you showing me here? I am freaking out!" He reaches over to her.

"Relax, honey. It will be fine. It'll all be fine. Just take a deep breath, relax and try some, you'll feel better. I promise."

"All right, ok..I'm going to try it."

"Here, your doing it wrong," her husband says, grabbing it out of her hands "Here, you have to cut it up really small to get the full effect."

"Well how am I supposed to remember when we haven't had it in so many years? What are you, an expert now?" She looks at him. Then, she realizes what's been going on this whole time. His eyes grow large because she knows what he's been doing behind her back without her. She looks at him, horrified.

"No, please tell me you haven't! Please tell me this whole time you haven't had this without me!"

"Maybe, just every once in awhile," he stammers.

"How could you?! I thought we were in this together! Why am I always the one sacrificing for our family and you- YOU go out and enjoy yourself whenever you want too!"

"I'm sorry, honey, I was weak! I needed it! I couldn't take it anymore! I was out with the guys and someone else had some and they offered it to me and just said yes. What was I supposed to do?"

"What were you supposed to do? How about think about what could have happened if you were to bring something like that home to your family? Did you even once consider what could have happened if your children had been exposed to it? Did you?" Her eyes were filling up with disbelief.

"I know, I know, I know!" he started to yell "I know! I couldn't help it!"
Shaking her head, his wife reminded him "We could have been right back in the Emergency Room again! Calling 911, dealing with all of the possible side effects and the dangers that come with it!"

"I'm sorry, I said I was sorry! Here, take it all, I don't want any of it... just take it and keep it away from me to keep the kids safe!" He pushed it toward his wife. She looked at it carefully.

"What, and waste it? Seriously? No!" she said, shoving it into her mouth, chewing and swallowing as fast as she could.

"What are you doing?" asked her husband.

"I'm getting rid of the evidence, that's what! I don't want the children to now that we had this. I am so ashamed..just so ashamed! What has happened to us? When did we turn into these people?"

"Wait! Shhh!!!" motions her husband and he turns off the radio. "I heard something!" She laughs at him.

"Now you are the one who is paranoid."

"No, I mean it! I heard something! Didn't you hear it to?"

"Crap, yes! Oh my God, we have to clean this up! We have to get rid of it and clean it all up!"

"Where is the sponge?"

"No!" she screams "You can't use the sponge, it will just smear!! Get the Lysol wipes! Hurry up!"
Just then, the door flies open and their children come running in, followed by their Grandparents.

"Sorry, they forgot their-"the kids step forward.

"Mom, Dad? Is that cake?"

Dedicated to all of the food allergy parents out there that continue to crave the forbidden foods that can no longer enter their homes. Your secret is safe with me!

Monday, March 11, 2013

20 Things I Never Would Have Said 20 Years Ago

This year is a biggie for me....I am turning 40! And the biggest part of what floored me is not the age that I will be (because in my mind, I am still 28) but that somehow, I was thinking that I had one more year until I was forty. How did I just lose an entire year? Do I feel old? No but I am pretty sure that I am mad about becoming old (er). After all that I have been through and all that I have done, I realized that maybe it's not my new age that is bothering me but that, perhaps, it is certain things that I have caught myself doing that make me think I am starting to get old (er).

By the way, by me using the term "old(er), this means I am not actually old :)

So what have I noticed to bring me to this conclusion? I'm sure you can agree that you start to say things that you would have never imagined that you would be saying twenty years ago. Now, I realize that my life is much different now then it was then but once I started to actually write down some of what I was saying, I thought it was interesting.

"I wish these boxes of quinoa came in a larger size."

"I need to get more reusable grocery bags."

"Do white chia seeds and black chia seeds taste the same?"

"Can I actually eat the honeycomb?"

"Ooohhh, hummus is on sale!"

"I need a second shelf for my gluten free pasta."

"I can't eat that, it has yeast in it."

"That coffee filter is biodegradable."

"I didn't know that had antioxidants in it too."

"OMG, try this almond milk pudding- it's amazing!"

"I use a compounding pharmacy."

"Here, I have a coupon for those organic gummies."

"Who ate all of the sweet potato chips?"

"Wait- make sure you wash that banana before you eat it!"

"Oh, this deodorant has hops in it..bummer."

"I'm in the middle of blogging, what's up?"

"I found the Dryer Balls on sale this week."

"I tried this recipe for Pecan-LESS Pie and it was delicious."

"Go wash your hands, you just ate something with eggs in it."

"My son has life-threatening, multiple food allergies."

What we all need to keep in mind is that our life is a journey- where we are now is because of everything that we have done and been through to bring us to this point in time. Who cares if I am old? (Well, I do a little...) but what worries me even more is what I have done with my life and what I expect to do going forward. We get one life and what we do with it is our choice. I choose to be a better person, to help other people as much as I can and to continue to figure out how I can make myself better. I may be old (er), I may not be the best but I strive to be and that's what counts.

Now, you will have to excuse me as this happens to be the day that all gluten free items are 15% off at the health food store :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Life is a Greener with Crispy Green

Over the years, my family has tried many different products during our food allergy journey. As a mom, I am also always on the lookout for foods that my children will not only like to eat but that are healthy for them. In this day and age, you have to be sneaky and use your resources!

One of our favorite snacks is something that is simple and healthy- Crispy Green fruit crisps. I happened to find them at our local food store and I have been hooked on them ever since. Not only are they healthy but they are convenient because of their single serving sizes. I keep a few in my car for my sudden hungers, we pack them when we go for walks and they are great for school lunches (and allergy-friendly too!).

Crispy Green is just dehydrated fruit. So why is that so great? Well, if you are a mom then you understand that handing your child a piece of fruit as a snack has not always ended in the best reaction. If you hand them a snack that is delicious and crunchy, chances are that they will surprise you by fighting over not wanting to share them. Imagine that?!

Although their flavors include Apple, MangoAsian Pear, Banana, Cantaloupe and Pineapple, our family absolutely LOVES the banana chips (sorry Crispy Green...don't hit me!).  And I do admit that there have been a few occasions that I, well... I made the healthy into unhealthy. I was a slave to my curiosity and I had to try it but YUM! When in doubt, cover it in chocolate. I ask that you not share the picture as this was purely a secret treat for just me.

So what about the company? Crispy Green uses fresh fruit, sourced from certified, carefully selected growers who complete a strict audit review process. All fruit is processed and freeze dried according to the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system, an international standard that identifies critical control points, sets safety procedures and preventive measures, and maintains strict policies for this. The company's manufacturing facilities are kosher certified by Orthodox Union and they are peanut and tree nut free!

I also want to thank Crispy Green for recently sending me samples to give out at a local event. All of the people that I spoke with were very excited to know that there was a product like theirs available for them. Thanks for being so generous and sharing with us!

Information on Crispy Green and their products, please visit their website and stop in and say hello on their Facebook page.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saffron Road, What a Tasty Road to Travel

A few weeks ago, Saffron Road Foods was (again) kind enough to include me in a taste-testing of some of their newer products. I am excited that I have been seeing more of their items at our local Whole Foods but I am like a kid in a candy store- I get excited when the brown truck pulls up with a package for me. This time, even the kids were excited because they were frozen items and they got a kick out of the dry ice keeping everything cold....I am sensing that my family is just way too easy to please.

I received three tasty Chapatti wraps to try (Chicken Tikki Masala with Basmati Rice, Chana Saag and Keema with Chicken & Basmati Rice) as well as a Chana Saag entree. Yum, yum and yum! These were perfect for my recent hectic schedule because I truly was limited on time to cook.

The Chicken Tikki Masala with Basmati Rice wrap was my first experiment. Simply chicken,
basmati rice and spice. It was slightly hot as far as spiciness goes but it wasn't overwhelming. The flavor combinations were like a chicken rice burrito who married a touch of India, if that makes sense. It had a good combination of flavors and I was very pleased with the taste. I do have to admit that although wraps generally come in a limited amount of sizes, I wish this was slightly bigger...just a smidge!

The Chana Saag wrap was my next on my list. This was a combination of chick peas and spinach with spices. I do have to be honest and say that I was very skeptical on this one. My first thought was that it was VERY green and the overall texture was not as sturdy as the other wraps. I think the green was juts taking over my initial perception. But behold- it was really, really good! The flavor was nice and the mixture of spiciness was perfect. Definitely something I would have again.

See all of that green? It's tasty, don't judge!

My next tasty attempt was the Keema with Chicken & Basmati Rice wrap. This featured chicken,
scallions, red peppers and peas. Yes, peas....I did hesitate again but I am an adult and I forged forward. To me, this wrap was the most mild one out of the three and it had a tiny aftertaste of spiciness. As you can see, it was a hearty little wrap (minus my messy cutting skills).

My final tasting was the Chana Saag entree. This was a combination of chick peas, spinach and spices. It also comes with a side of cumin rice which I did not realize until after I opened the package and I had already prepared some quinoa. I mean, it does say it right on the packaging (silly me). I heated it up and it was another item that was chock full of greenery. But this time was easier to dig in since I already knew it would have a good chance of being good. Spoonful one- Mmmmmmm! Spoonful two- uh huh, defiantly yum! The only difference between the entree and the wrap was that the entree had a creamy aftertaste that I did not notice in the wrap.

I do want to make sure that everyone is informed and knows that the wraps do contain wheat and milk and the entree also contains milk. Being a Food Allergy Consultant, I want to do my best to keep everyone aware of the product labeling to avoid an allergic situation.

Overall, I have never had any bad samplings from Saffron Road Foods. Each product has always been a pleasant surprise as they are combinations that I normally would not try out when I am doing my own cooking at home. I am pleased that they are kind enough to include me when they are looking for some product feedback as I am always happy to oblige! To see where to find their products locally, please check their store locator for availability.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Nutrimom is Partnering with Surf Sweets!

I am pleased to share the news with you that I will be partnering with Surf Sweets Organic Gummy Candy!

What does this mean?

Each month I will post a blog on their website. I will also be answering questions from readers about living with food allergies. The hope is that anyone who has a question will have easier access to the answers that they are looking for. 

I will also have some of my recipes featured in their next recipe book that is due out in the Summer.

Where should you submit your questions?

Please submit your questions on the Surf Sweets Facebook page using the reference "Question for Nutrimom" or to Jennifer@trusweets.com. Of course, you are always welcome to visit my Facebook page as well for additional information and support but to have your question included in one of the blogs, please post on Surf Sweets' page.

The first blog will be posted on March 15th. I look forward to getting out some great information!