Friday, August 29, 2014

Food Allergy Bloggers Conference- I Will Be the "Smartest" Blogger There

Those of you who follow my sites know that the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference is coming up in Las Vegas September 26-28th (yay!). Although I was unable to go to the first one last year, I was determined to get there this year! Between the guest speakers, the awesome line up of daily sessions and the swag (ohhhh, the rumors of the swag bags!) I cannot wait to get there and soak up even more food allergy knowledge to share with all of you. I do want to remind everyone that this would not be possible without my gracious sponsors that believed in me enough to help me make this into a reality.

With this being said, I would like to make a formal thank you announcement to my third wonderful sponsor Smart Flour Foods. 


Why I Love Them- I was lucky enough to find them at an expo in Georgia a few months ago. They were there, among the vast tables of foods but the pizza.. oh.. my.. gawh!! I tried to resist but between the smell, the oozy, fresh pizza and the taste- I could not help myself. I was in pure, gluten free heaven! Flash forward to me posting an ever-so delightful to do product review (missed it? No worries, you can read it now, HERE) and thus began one of the best, gluten free relationships I have had yet.

Why They Are So Special- We all know that gluten free products tend to be rice or potato based. Smart Flour Foods products have the advantage of being made with an ancient grains base, which include amaranth, sourghum and teff. Plain and simple- it means their products have more minerals, vitamins and fiber. And since everyone is always saying "You are what you eat" their items give you the added bonus of eating all of the right things and tasting delicious in the process.


Where You Can Try Them-  No worries, Smart Flour Foods is available in many places! Who has a Mellow Mushroom locally? (I do, I do!) I am happy to share that Smart Flour Foods gluten free pizzas are available all across the United States at the Mellow Mushroom. That means you can go out for pizza with your friends- woo hoo!

Smart Flour Foods also offers desserts, pizza crusts, gluten free flour blends and hamburger buns. Intrigued and ready to try them out? If you do not have close access to said restaurant, you can also use their product locator available right on their website at http://www.smartflourfoods.com. You can also catch them on Facebook or Twitter to see what other great information and deals they can offer you.

Again, a huge HUGE thank you to the wonderful peeps at Smart Flour Foods. I am honored and proud to be sponsored by your company at such an important allergy awareness event. I know together, we can rock the food allergy world one tasty meal at a time.




Monday, August 25, 2014

Even Nutrimom Can Lose Her S***

I, Nutrimom have failed as a food allergy mother for today. Or maybe for this year, I'm not really sure yet because I am still ashamed of myself. To make it worse, it's the first day of NutriSon starting eighth grade. The day started off perfectly, truly- the kids both made their own lunches last night (whoa! Whose kids are these?!), we were up and out of the house on time and then we got to sit in school traffic and we were late. But that is not the worst of it and not why I failed.

Flash forward to me returning to school later after all of the first-week-of-school parents have gone on to work and there is no more traffic. I strolled back into the school, medication bag in hand, go to the Guidance Office (he self-carries but I always leave a back-up bag with the school) and I tell them I am dropping it off. I also let them know that I completely spaced and realized last night, as I was printing all of his food allergy action plans, labeling his safe snack bags and trying to make sure everything was in order that I had not gotten the proper school forms for self-carrying and permission to have medication given filled out. I am not proud of this at all but ultimately, it is nobody's fault but my own.

The woman in the Guidance Office was nice, handed me the forms and stated "Just so you know, if something happens, I will not be able to administer any medications to your son." And, in pure Jersey/food allergy mom fashion, I immediately responded back "Well, just so you know, if my son has an allergic reaction and dies because you did not give him epinephrine, I will be really REALLY p###ed." ....did you hear the record scratch?

photo courtesy PandeMommium.com
I have to admit, she kept her cool and was completely polite and professional during my session of several unprofessional words leaping out of my own mouth while students and other parents were present. And, again, ultimately, I am the only person to blame. But reality hit me- how, how could it be possible for a person to tell me that they would refuse to give my son epinephrine if anything happens? Do people really do that, can they really do that? And me- what kind of mother, no what kind of food allergy mother am I to put my son in this position?! I know everyone has bad days, I know we all try to be super mom and do everything but in my eyes, my forgetfulness is unacceptable. If my son dies, it's my fault. Period. He has less than two hours of school left and all I want to do is run, take him home and just stare at him. But I won't. Instead, I am freaking out and writing this. Aren't you all overjoyed?

The moral of the story is 

  • We all make mistakes. No matter how difficult is is, we all need to allow ourselves to make mistakes because it is impossible to be perfect, always. Mistakes help us see what to avoid in the future and mistakes give us the memory of what not to do again.
  • Know the laws. To keep your child safe when they are not with you, make sure you know what your state does and does not require. It's better to be prepared and that includes legalities in all formats. Like I said- imagine the thought of your child dying because of a simple piece of paper.
  • The Good Samaritan Law- Does your state have this in place? In the State of North Carolina, the law states that forms must be on file with a doctor's signature each and every year. But it also includes the Good Samaritan Law, which states "North Carolina (G.S. 143-508(d)(11) Certified persons are authorized to obtain prescriptions of epinephrine and to administer it and are granted Good Samaritan from liability." *
  • Remain calm unless you feel otherwise- Normally, I am professional and courteous to everyone but this rule changes when it comes to my children (allergic or not). I have said it before and I will continue to say it- never, ever put your child's life in jeopardy for the convenience of others. Sometimes simply being nice doesn't cut it and I'm sure all parents have flipped out at least once.
photo courtesy 123rf.com

I thought I was prepared. Actually, we were "prepared"- my son had his self-carry of epinephrine, his asthma inhaler, liquid antihistamines and a copy of his food allergy action plan all tucked into his packet just in case. But being prepared is more than just having the necessary objects. It's about knowing your child is safe and knowing that you are doing the very best that you can as a parent. But being prepared is also understanding when your not so nice food allergy mom voice is allowed to come out and roar.




* As written at  https://www.wildmed.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/legal-structure-of-teaching-adminstration-of-epinephrine.pdf

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dairy Free Butter?!

During my search for better foods, I came across Winona Pure Oils. Not only because of our food allergies but to live healthier in general. I am on a constant lookout to improve what my kitchen holds. And when I find foods that I believe in and trust, I share with all of you. It's something that I have a need to do- I just can't help myself from helping.

Recently, Winona Pure Oils sent me some of their Popcorn Butter Spray. I was intrigued.. the buttery taste of popcorn in a can without the dairy, soy or propellants, hmmmm. But what to do with it? I know, most would say use it on popcorn (which is fine) but all of you know that I strive to think outside of the box. And (this is the REALLY important part, PAY ATTENTION) Winona Pure has agreed that another giveaway of their awesome products is in order. Yay! Fun, a chance to get some great, healthy products right as school is starting, does life get any better than this? I think not! Sharing is caring- always! (unless it's a peanut or an egg, than uh..no!)

Giveaway Details? You want details...for the giveaway? Already? Sheesh! Patience please patience. I have a little insight to share with all of you first. As I was saying, I wanted to try out different things to use the Popcorn Butter Spray because look at this poor, lonely can. Do you hear the song playing in the background..."One is such a lonely number..." Why limit yourself to just popcorn? These are what I used my Popcorn Butter Spray for and not necessarily in any particular order (imagine me taking a deep breath and saying all of these really, really fast like in a commercial):

  • French Toast
  • Frosting
  • Pancakes (griddle, in the batter or on the pancake itself)
  • Waffles
  • Fries and baked potatoes (sweet potatoes too!)
  • Oven-baked chicken
  • Oatmeal or hot cereals
  • Crispy treats
  • Reheating rice or pasta
  • Grilled sandwiches
  • Into syrups, jellies and jams
  • Muffin tins
  • Fish
  • Grilled veggies
  • Marinades
  • Boiling water
  • Salads (pasta, potato and lettuce)
  • Homemade dips and spreads
  • Melting chocolate
  • Topping for baked, breaded items to keep them moist
  • Eggs
Basically, anyplace that you miss having that butter taste but can't use butter in, replace it with the Popcorn Butter spray. Hey,Winona Pure, maybe you need to rename the oil! After all, calling it Popcorn Butter spray kind of minimizes the potential of the oil. Just a thought. But alas, I am just a blogger ;)

So Who Wants to Win Goodies?

Now, for the part that you have been waiting for- Details, details and details. Winona Pure Oils and I are going to be hosting a biweekly giveaway. 

Why biweekly? Just to ease into the return of the school hubbub. Winona Pure and I understand that as much as all of you love giveaways, you also have a family and other things that need to be taken care of. By hosting a biweekly winner, you and your family can still have multiple chances to win and relax at the same time.

Entering? Entering is easy- I am going to post a biweekly picture on my Facebook page of a food that I have used Winona Pure Oil in. To enter, simply like the picture and comment to be entered. You are welcome to comment as many times as you like. Remember, multiple guesses means more chances to win. I will only post one picture with one reminder each day so make sure you stop in daily to enter. You MUST comment with a correct answer to be entered.

Who Can Enter? EVERYONE! This giveaway is open to all and I encourage you to spread the word to get others entering too. Sharing is caring and you should share to give others a chance to try out some Winona Pure Oil items, right? Even if the people you tell about the contest don't win, they will have a brand new, allergy-friendly product to use, right? Yay!

How Long Will the Contest Run For? This I am not going to tell you! I like surprises so I will keep all of you in suspense! But this also means that at any given moment, the contest could end so make sure you comment each and every day for a chance to win.

That's It? Yup, simple and easy so what are you waiting for? Get over to my Facebook page, enter, share and enter again! Please take the time to stop over at Winona Pure Oil's Facebook page too and let them know that they are just plain awesome for sharing as well. (Sharing is caring but saying thank you is twice as nice). 

The only thing left to do is GO!!!!! 
Good luck to all of you! 


As always, thank you to Winona Pure Oils for allowing me to find and share different uses of their products and (of course) for sharing my wacky ideas. For more information on their products, please visit them at http://www.winonapure.com.

*Nutrimom is proudly sponsored by Winona Pure Oils for this years AANMA (Asthma and Allergy Network Mothers of Asthmatics) Anaphylaxis Summit.



Saturday, August 16, 2014

Spicy SunButter?!

You know that a a Food Allergy Consultant, Blogger and official SunButter Blogger that my mind is always pondering my next SunButter recipe. I try to come up with fast, easy and unique recipes utilizing SunButter because my philosophy is utilize the items that you can use. This also means thinking of ways to use them that are not the norm, giving you more of a variety and just because it's fun to do something different.

And so my latest summer creation evolved! Who loves to have a combination of protein, crunch and spiciness? Who is all for a fast recipe that can be put together in a flash,thrown onto the grill in some foil and served to last minute guests? I know that I do! And so I present my recipe for SunButter Bacon Jalapenos. (For a printable recipe, simply click HERE.)

SunButter Bacon Jalapenos
Jalapenos (cleaned)
SunButter Sunflower Seed Spread of your choice
Bacon

Slice the jalapenos in a "T" slice (across the top of the stem but not all the way through, then down the middle of the pepper). Remove the pulp. Fill with SunButter and bits of bacon. Wrap an additional piece of bacon around the outside of the pepper. Place in a foil-covered pan and broil until the bacon is sizzling and cooked.

Serving sizes vary depending on how many pepper you use.

I do advise less SunButter than more as the heat makes it bubble up and out. You may also choose to use a hotter, spicier pepper as cooking the jalapenos will remove some of it's spiciness.

As always, keep an open mind and don't be afraid to try new recipes in your kitchen. I know that half the fun is just getting in there and seeing what happens. Some of my best recipes have been foods that I just throw together to see what happens. But, of course, how can anything with SunButter be bad?

Happy munching!

*A hug of gratitude to SunButter for allowing me to "play" with their delicious products and for letting me be creative to show others how allergy-friendly eating can be scrumptious.





Thursday, August 7, 2014

North Carolina Welcomes EpiPens in School!!!


It's a wonderful day in North Carolina! 
I am so proud to share the news with all of you that because the people of our state want to protect our children, we are officially one step closer to being able to save multiple lives from potential allergic reactions!

I want to thank everyone who helped in this effort- families, friends, coworkers, workers of the State of North Carolina- you are all part of the answer. I also want to extend a heartfelt thank you to Mylan (makers of EpiPen) for continuing to help us all in making the lives of our families that much safer.

And now, without further adieu, I am proud to share the press release from the North Carolina Pediatric Society
N.C. Pediatric Society Applauds State Lawmakers for Protecting Students with Undiagnosed Allergies by Requiring School Access to Emergency Epinephrine
State Budget Requires Schools to Stock Epinephrine & Train Employees to Administer to Students Having an Allergic Reaction
RALEIGH, N.C. (Aug. 7, 2014) – The North Carolina Pediatric Society, the state chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, today applauded Gov. Pat McCrory and state lawmakers for enacting as part of the fiscal year 2015 budget legislation a provision requiring schools to store epinephrine auto-injectors in case of emergency. The legislation also requires schools to develop an emergency action plan and train at least one employee to administer the treatment to any student believed to be suffering from anaphylaxis – a potentially fatal allergic reaction.

This requirement, which was originally introduced in 2013 as Senate Bill 700 / House Bill 824 and passed by the House, makes North Carolina the 45th state to allow or mandate school epinephrine access through legislation or guidelines. While North Carolina students with prescriptions could previously carry and self-administer their own epinephrine, those with undiagnosed allergies did not have access until now, and school employees were not fully protected against liability for administering the medication.

“With one in 13 children living with food allergies, providing access to emergency epinephrine in schools will save lives across North Carolina,” said Dr. John Rusher, president of the N.C. Pediatric Society. “Children spend half their day in school, where they can encounter life-threatening allergens, such as bee stings, for the first time. All students need access to epinephrine, which slows the effects of an allergic reaction in the critical minutes following exposure. We applaud Gov. McCrory and state legislators in the House and Senate for working to protect our students and save the lives of children with undiagnosed allergies.”

According to a 2011 study published in the medical journal Pediatrics, food allergies affect one in 13 (or 8 percent of) American children under the age of 18. Food allergies are the most common trigger of anaphylaxis – a severe, potentially fatal, systemic allergic reaction that occurs suddenly after contact with an allergen. Epinephrine slows down the effects of an allergic reaction in the critical minutes following an exposure, giving emergency and hospital personnel time to treat the victim and often saving the victim’s life.

I think I can sum all of this up as stated by Mylan "Life Happens. Be Prepared" and because of this, we can.



Saturday, August 2, 2014

I Love To Help But You Can Too!

Being a Food Allergy Consultant, I love to share to help others. Recently, I became an official member of the Blogger Team for the Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event in Raleigh, NC. This time next week, I will be meeting tons of wonderful companies, people and finding yet even more information to share with all of you. I am thrilled to be a part of this and to help out.


Did you know that you can also help out at this event? They are seeking volunteers for the Raleigh, NC event. As a volunteer, you will have your admission paid and be an important part of many of the day's events. You also get the added bonus of being surrounded by a room full of gluten free goodies and wonderful people. Tell me that's not an easy way to help and have fun.

Who's interested? If so, please contact Nikki Everett at gfafwellnessevent@gmail.com.

Still need some more information on what the Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event is all about? I invite you to visit their website to see what it's all about at http://gfafwellnessevent.com/  but here is a fast and easy rundown of it all-

WHEN:     Saturday, August 9, 2014 

TIME:       10 AM - 4 PM
  
WHERE:   Double Tree Hilton Raleigh Brownstone University
                 1707 Hillsborough Street
                 Raleigh,NC

COST:     Approved Volunteers- FREE! 
                Otherwise, $10 per adult
                Children under 13 are free
                College students get $3 off at the door with student I.D.
                Tickets are available for purchase at the door.

Sponsors include Udi's Gluten Free, Glutino, Enjoy Life Foods, Simply Gluten Free Magazine and many, many more awesome vendors (see the webpage for a complete list).



I also want to say thank you to A Special Needs Plan for partnering with me at this upcoming event in order to capture the day's events in the best way possible. Thanks guys!!!
Can't wait to see everyone next Saturday!