Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Don't Donate Anymore Food Until You Read THIS

We all see them- the boxes at our local food stores. Around the holidays, they pop up like mad and you want to help, you want to give to a family that needs a little extra TLC. Who doesn't? Next time, stop and look inside those food donation boxes- what's actually in them? You will see multiple items from the food store that hosts it (which is wonderful) but mainly, you will see a lot of items that people with food allergies cannot use safely. As I have shared before, imagine being that person that has to make a choice between starving or eating a food that you know will make you sick. Or worse (yes, there IS something worse) being the parent of a child with food allergies and having to make this choice for them.

As a mother that has a child with food allergies, I cannot even fathom being in either spot. No matter what our budget or situation is, I make it a point to donate what I can, when I can. It's important. It's necessary. And the more that you donate allergy-friendly products, so will others. It's a visual share- those without allergies don't realize that other products can and should be donated. It's about raising food allergy awareness without even saying a word to anyone. The best marketing is seeing it, talking about it so why not be a part of it?


How to Donate on a Budget I am never one to judge because all families have their own time of need. Sometimes, we simple cannot donate as much as we want to fill the entire box for someone else; it's a choice between our family and another so we must choose our own for that space in time.There are ways to help others, even when you are in a tight spot as well. I am happy to share some tips here but in the meantime, just know that even donating one box is better than nothing. In your mind, you are probably asking "What can one box do?" but for a family that has nothing, that one box could mean dinner or several meals.

Donate Coupons This may or may not be obvious but I got the idea when I had a bunch of SunButter® coupons. Why not share them? If someone is receiving the product because they need it, then why not include coupons so that they can get more at a lower price? Or, for those who may not have tried a product like SunButter before, a coupon is a wonderful way to help that person try out a product and not feel as if they are going above their budget, especially if it is already limited. Shelf-stable products are acceptable within the food stamp item list as well which means SunButter would qualify as a healthy food that is allergy-friendly and increases protein without increasing money spent. All you have to do is attach some coupons to the jar and place them into the food pantry donation box.

Donate A Piece of Your Heart Since it is the holiday season, I also got the idea to attach an easy recipe using SunButter as well. Yes, my donations of SunButter were THE only donations that looked like holiday gifts but I was proud of that. If someone is not familiar with SunButter, then they may not know how versatile it can be as either. By sharing a personal recipe, you share additional choices that could help them through a rough patch but you are also sharing a a small piece of your heart. Essentially, you are letting them know that you cared enough to put it all together for them to share with their family, hoping they might start a new recipe tradition.




Why I Donate SunButter Our family has been a long time SunButter family. Their products have gotten us through times of need, inspired us to create new recipes and from a mother's point of view- it's a really easy way to add extra protein into the foods that any child eats (muffins, cookies, pancakes). I wanted to donate a product that I know we personally trust and that I know tastes goes too. My goal is to ensure that whatever I give can be enjoyed by many safely. SunButter is a company that works behind the scenes on so many levels to give back to our community. They are a part of amazing partnerships like Mend Hunger and  SnackSafely.com to ensure that nobody has to be fearful of their foods. Because SunButter is top 8 allergy free I know I am sharing products that will leave a smile on someones face at the end of the day.  And if giving a jar of SunButter can accomplish that, imagine the faces across the US if all of us shared our SunButter....am I corny? Heck yeah but am I sincere? Absolutely!

Take my SunButter challenge - share & donate.
Happy Holidays ~






Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the TreeTop


I am lucky enough to be approached by companies for samples and my opinions. What could be better? "Eat this and tell me what you think", right? But I am picky about what I do and don't try out. Does our family eat perfectly all of the time? No. Do I strive to find products that are healthier for us but will also save me time and not break the bank? Always. I guess you could say that I like products that multitask so I don't have too.

The wonderful people at Tree Top sent me some of their products but check out this adorable lunch kit and reusable Rubbermaid containers that they included as well. They must have done their homework because I am a self-professed Kitchen Geek who adores all kitchen items, especially those that are reusable. They thought one step ahead, knowing that NutriFamily are lunch packers and that the Lunch Blox kit and the adorable apple-shaped cookie cutter and container that also holds a dip for your apple slices (not pictured) would make me squee (yes, squee is a technical term). Just in time too as NutriDaughter was in need of a new lunch bag! Although TreeTop sent me their squeeze pouches of their apple sauce, they also make apple juice, other juice, organic juice boxes and fruit snacks (gummies, who doesn't love gummies?!).

You Wanna a Pouch in the Mouth?! This is an inside joke with my family but I digress.... TreetTop sent me their pouches. So you may ask "Nutrimom, why should I buy TreeTop products instead of my typical brand?" Good question because that was the first thing that popped into my mind too. Upon researching their website, I noticed that TreeTop applesauce pouches have some labeling information that your current brand may or may not have:

  • Their pouches are BPA free (this is HUGE to me, isn't it for you?)
  • No sugar added
  • No high fructose corn syrup (..shouldn't it just be apples? Pat on the back TreeTop)
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • Kosher certified
  • Gluten free
The ingredients? Just three- apples, water and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). 

TreeTop sent me three flavors- Apple, Strawberry and Tropical. Now, I am not a huge applesauce person although I use it for baking and recipes. And NutriKids are both teenagers now so I was kind of looking at the squeeze pouches like "Ummmm, yeah... do I pack one in one of the kids's lunches? Is that ok to do in Middle School? Will she even eat it?..am I over thinking this, I should just pack it and see what she says." To be fair, I also packed one in my lunch so that I could get the full experience too. I mean, if I was worried about using a product that may not be age appropriate, then me bringing it to work would have the same atmosphere, right? 

Just Squeeze It The results? NutriDaughter reported similar thoughts that I had and both pouches were consumed. We both concur that A) it's a bit of an adjustment to go from a spoonable applesauce to a squeeze pouch but it's not a bad thing and B) we both assumed that because there was no sugar added, the apple sauce pouch would be tasteless. I can assure you that no sugar does not mean no taste. These little pouches taste like they were just picked off the tree that morning, smooshed and whatever else they do and delivered right to our fridge. When I tried the Tropical- WOW! What a great flavor combination! The Tropical pouch was more like special drink and not an applesauce at all. Again, the flavors popped and tasted very fresh. No funky aftertaste, just freshness in a pouch. Their products are also free from: crustaceans, eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, soy, tree nuts and wheat.

Fruit With a Purpose You know I am also a sucker for companies that give back so when I saw the community information on TreeTop's information I smiled from ear to ear. Their videos explain how giving back is a huge part of their team mission and how they get their employees involved in their approaches. Can I just say that I wish they were located in North Carolina?! I would be banging at their door - This just in, Nutrimom found peering into the windows of local manufacturer. News at 11." (face pressed up against the windows, eyes wide) ... does this seem a bit creepy? Totally not meant that way! I would have ideas, so many ideas..TreeTop, we should collaborate to avoid that news headline. 

In the meantime, take the safe route and stop by their website, Facebook page, Instagram pageTwitter and Pinterest too. Please let them know that you read about them on Nutrimom's blog review (all I get is a thank you but I'll take it!). 






Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving Food Fun

Yes, it's November already and tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Some of us live in areas that already got their first snowfall while others are basking in the toasty, sunny rays of the South. Regardless of where you are, there is one thing that we all have in common- Thanksgiving means having empty time on your hands and not knowing what to fill that space with. Especially when younger children are involved or visiting relatives that need an easy way to pass the time and bond, it can be challenging.

I stumbled across this adorable, allergy-friendly pastime shared by Gimbal's Fine Candies. I love the simplicity of it and the fact that it's something that will end in being able to nosh while you create. Let's face it, we all love to eat and Thanksgiving is all about having those treats that we normally don't allow ourselves to eat too much of during the rest of the year. This food activity hits on all of the parental must-have's for holiday sharing amusement.

  • It uses Gimbal's Fine Candies so the fear of cross contamination is not a concern
  • It allows time with anyone of all ages
  • It refocuses us away from our now typical routine of using electronics
  • It's simple- parents always like simple
  • It includes food which makes all of us happy
I'm happy to share the easy instructions!

Gimbal's Fine Candies Thanksgiving Tree

Materials Needed:
White construction paper
Brown, red, orange & yellow acrylic paint
Glue or glue dots

Instructions:
  1. Using a piece of white construction paper, start painting the base of the tree using the brown acrylic paint (Be sure to paint the top of the tree with branches to put the jelly beans on).
  2. Once the tree is complete, use the red, orange and yellow paint to fill in the branches with fall leaves (this will provide a nice base for the jelly beans).
  3. One by one, use glue or glue dots to paste Gimbal's Gourmet Jelly Beans onto the tree
  4. Once complete, hang the tree in your favorite spot to be enjoyed by all during Thanksgiving or frame it with a date to keep the memory for years to come.
*As always, everyone's allergies are different. Always read labels to ensure that this would be a safe item for your allergy needs. Visit Gimbal's Fine Candies for complete product information.

Will you try this out?
Share your photos & tag Gimbal's Fine Candies at:
Gimbalscandy on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest and gimbalsfinecandies on Instagram 
and tag ME at NutrimomFAL on Facebook and @TracyBNutrimom on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Saturday Allergy Checklist

It's that time of year when fall leave us with less options on how to spend our Saturdays but I have great news - THIS Saturday is the Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event in Greensboro. NC! What does this mean?


  • You have instant, budget-friendly plans ($10 adults, Children under 13 free and $8 Seniors/Military with your ID at the door)  
  • It's allergy-friendly  
  • It's family-friendly  
  • It's inside (so weather is not an issue)  
  • You get a bag of swag upon entering with your ticket
  • You get samples, information, meet product vendors, can attend open lectures & more
  • You can find ME in my SunButter shirt and I will give you a great big hug and some SunButter samples & coupons
...tell me this doesn't just sound like an amazing Saturday?! PS- for those who don't know, "swag" is a bag containing free gifts.

Who's Joining Me?
Saturday November 11th 2017
10 AM - 3 PM
3113 Cedar Park Road
Greensboro, NC 27406

Stop, Look & Listen
Another added benefit of this event are the free presentations. Join any or all of these sessions to see what you may be missing.


People To Meet

The Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event has sponsors and products galore! Check out all of the reasons to visit: Allergic Traveler, Anne's Heavenly Bites, Arbonne, Atlantic Foods, Bakery on Main, Deep Roots Market, doTerra, Enjoy Life Foods, FFarms, Garden Lites, Garnet Rose Soap Company, Greensboro Gluten Free Support Group, Guilford County Bee Keepers, Health 1st of the Triad, Honky Tonk Smokehouse, Infinity Holistic Health, JP's Pastry, Kalo Foods, King Arthur Flour, Mina's Purely Divine, Norms Farms, Paleo Love Company, Passanante's Home Food Services, Pure & Light MineralsSimply Gluten Free Magazine, Swerve Sweetener, THRIVE, Tito's Vodka, Whole Foods Bakehouse, WOW Butter, Yo Mamma's Style and Young Living Essential Oils. Thanks to all of the companies that are a part of this event and for your support to the food allergy community~



Can't wait to see all of you there!!


Friday, November 3, 2017

Plant-Based = Happiness


Plant-based. Multiple benefits. Hair. Skin. Nails. 
Does all of this grab your attention?

This is what caught my eye over two years ago when I began re-evaluating many areas of my life. I was feeling kind of like I was finally a grown up but still hadn't quite figured it all out. I've been on a food allergy journey myself and elimination runs hand in hand with symptom tracking. When I first found out about SeabuckWonders products, I was skeptical (to say the least).  But after many years of not feeling like I was my old self, I began to notice some changes after I began using their products that brought a smile back to my face. And without meaning to sound egotistical, I may have found my own personal Fountain of Youth (AKA The Goddess) and I think ALL of us need to feel this way! The part that I love the most is that the products are plant-based, Non-GMO and I truly feel like I glow from the outside out since I have begun using their products. I have proof! Here are my before and after pictures (don't laugh!).

Lisa Rutter (No Nuts Mom Group) & Me 
Ta Da and it continues to grow!
    
Recently, one of my close friends and blogger buddy Cindy aka Vegetarian Mamma asked me about SeabuckWonders and if I recommended them. Since the products are plant-based, Cindy was intrigued. I explained that I had found great success in healthier, longer hair using their Ultimate Hair, Skin & Nails supplements and that I was a huge fan of how their skin care products made my skin look and feel. I followed up with her to see if she had decided to use them and what her thoughts were.

NM: What initially drew you to the SeabuckWonders Hair, Skin & Nail supplement?
VM:  Your recommendation. :)  I was most excited about the potential it could give my hair. 

NM: Are there any specifics about the product that you felt were unique to their product vs. others?
VM: For me it was important that somebody I knew recommended it and had tried and loved it.

NM: Has anyone commented that they notice a difference since you began using the supplements?
VM: Yes, my hair stylist

NM: How long did it take for you to notice a difference?
VM: My hair stylist noticed within about 5 weeks of me taking it. And I wasn't taking it consistently. She noticed new growth and the speed that my hair was growing.  I noticed  after her initial notice :)  

NM: Can you share some of the things that you noticed?
VM: I notice that my hair seems softer and healthier and thicker! It seems thicker, which is HUGE for me. It is certainly growing faster!

NM: Would you recommend SeabuckWonders to anyone else?
VM: YES! :) 

Special thanks to Cindy for sharing her thoughts with me- so glad she is seeing results too! It's the small details that keep us all smiling and feeling as good on the outside as we do on the inside. 

Are YOU Intrigued?!

If you would like to see all of the benefits of SeaBuckWonders visit them at https://www.seabuckwonders.com/, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+



Monday, October 9, 2017

Teal Pumpkin Bundle Giveaway


With Halloween creeping up on us, I wanted to give all of you a chance to seek out your sweets safely. With costumes on my mind, pumpkins popping up on porches and the need to show our families that food allergies make us all stronger, I am excited to host a giveaway with Allergy Superheroes. Why? Well, for one they are pretty cool people to meet in person but mainly because their lives, just like ours, are touched by food allergies. And like many of us, they have decided to stand up and empower their family to show that food allergies are a part of us but don't engulf us. Trick or treating should be no exception.


Teal is the Real Deal Just in case you missed it (don't think you did but who knows, right?) teal is the official color of food allergies which brings us to our beloved teal pumpkins. How amazing is it to show our support by placing a teal pumpkin on our front porch to let others with food allergies know that we are a safety zone for them. So what if we could take that silent sign of support to the next level? What if I told you that you could win your very own teal pumpkin to trick or treat with? Nooo, not a real pumpkin but a reusable teal bucket that anyone else with food allergies would recognize instantly? Unlike a real pumpkin, it will still be ready to go for next Halloween all year round! Heck, since we are going all out, why not mention that you could even wear a teal pumpkin glow-in-the-dark food allergy slap bracelet and have a set of teal pumpkin leaf bags so your decorations are complete. You could start a trend in your neighborhood, you could be the first at your school to have all of these or you could even keep some of it and share some of it. Whatever you decide, you need to enter for a chance to win all of these before it's too late. Teal power!

Contest Rules There are always rules so let's share them so that we are all on the same page

  • 1 Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter
  • Contest is open to US residents only (I know Canada, apologies!)
  • No purchase necessary (although you are more than welcome to shop. Please note that shopping will not increase your chances of winning)
  • None of your information will be shared or sold
  • If the original contest winner does not come forward within 48 hours, a runner up shall be selected randomly
STEPHANIE GRANT
You Are the Winner!


Didn't Win? Great news!
You can save 10% on all Halloween merchandise at AllergySuperheroes through 10/31/17 
when you use promo code 

NUTRI10 



Thank you to Allergy Superheroes for reaching out to request a giveaway. I love sharing with everyone and I am glad you guys too! Be sure to check them out on their website, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Google+.









Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Light of Your Life Could Be Hurting You

Over the years, I have researched multiple factors that foods have on our overall health. I have learned that our bodies react on so many different levels that it's almost breath taking. I have learned that other factors also effect our bodies and to try to achieve optimal health, we need to put the puzzle pieces together. This means that we have to think beyond just our food. What is found in your surroundings can even be one of those pieces. Unsure of what I'm getting at? Let me try to explain it because we all deserve to figure out how to feel better every single day.

Cortisol Just as an FYI cortisol is a big part of what goes on in your body. It needs to be balanced just like the other areas or it will also decide to act out. Cortisol acts as a regulator and effects or helps to control things such as histamine. When your body is stressed, (ex: when you eat an offending food) cortisol helps to reduce the inflammation by suppressing the immune system (this is NOT a treatment for an allergic reaction). If your body is on high stress mode and produces increased amounts of cortisol, this can put your body into overload or exhaustion mode. My point: if you are overly stressed, always bombarding your body with various stressors, then there is a greater chance that you will push yourself into adrenal fatigue.

Melatonin Studies have supported the idea that melatonin has multiple benefits as well. This is a natural hormone secreted by your body that is also fragile. If your melatonin is too high or too low, it can begin to show in other areas of your daily and nightly life patterns. There has also been mention that food allergies are a common sleep interrupter. With more and more people wanting to become knowledgeable about their foods, how they are effected by foods and how to regain control over the effect of their foods, things like food triggers are also becoming an important part of their personal research. Doctors are becoming better at listening to us but sometimes, many of us feel it is necessary to figure out our own health plan.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel This brings me to a product that I found out about- Wake Up Lights. It may sound corny to some of you but I feel the difference during the week when I am jolted out of bed to the sound of that annoying alarm buzzer vs. the weekend when I wake up to the sunlight so I am truly curious about this! Unlike a regular alarm clock, the wake-up light is supposed to help you feel more energized by helping you wake up in a more natural way. The sunrise simulation is said to help your body increase cortisol (the hormone that eventually helps you wake up) while also helping you control your melatonin level and reduce it in the morning. For those who are visual (me, that's me!!) watch how it works- I may be a geek but it's pretty intriguing.




Choices Since we have different budgets, I was happy to see there are several different options for this product. There are some differences for the prices but all of them are options that could be for just about anyone.
  • Philips HF3520 This model offers the most features for it's price. Pro's: no need to change the LED bulb, includes an FM radio and has an adjustable brightness level.
  • Philips HF3505 A bit better on the pricing end. Pro's: Very easy to use and also includes an FM radio.
  • Lumie Body Clock Active 250 made by Lumie - a company that produces wake up alarms and sad lights (yes, this is a thing too!). Pro's: includes a backup battery and a one year warranty.
I admit, I am intrigued and am considering giving one of these items a try. Especially with the Fall mornings waking me up while it's pitch dark outside- ugh! If this will help me wake up in a better mood and offer more support to keep my inner self balanced with my outer self, I am game. Please remember that this may not be something that works for you but I love to share new products that could make a difference to someone. Everything is an option. There are additional models and companies available so be sure to read reviews and get more information before buying your wake up light. 

Has anyone tried any of these products? 
What was your experience (good or bad)?