Why we're here...

The quick version :) We are a family of 6 (plus 5 if you count pets) living with severe food allergies (thus far dairy and beef, thinking the baby might add some to the list) and as vegetarians (mostly vegan), organically, and I generally attempt to do everything as quickly and easily as possible (think one bowl everything!).


The long version... This journey officially started one Saturday in April (2011) when my husband decided to let me (his very pregnant wife) "sleep in" and took our 18 month old son downstairs. The minute I fell asleep again they came back up, my husband said that Jake seemed tired again and wanted me. Byebye sleeping in. We settled back in bed, Jake on top of me, I dozed for a minute and opened my eyes admiring my boy. He sleepily opened his eyes and threw up all over my face, head, back (no idea how), pillows, you get the idea! To which I said "Change Jake, I'll be in the shower!" At which point my husband admitted "oh I gave him milk". At this point we knew only that he didn't like milk.

When I told his doctor this story in passing at his 18 month appointment she felt that was an unusual reaction and he should be seen by an allergist. Jake had never touched a milk product willingly, but we figured maybe an intolerance or preference. Clearly we were wrong when I brought him to be tested and the doctor said "he's allergic to milk". By the look on his face he did not think I was entertaining when I replied "Oh come on, that's ridiculous". Thus... I had to remove milk from his diet, as well as my own because he was still nursing. Which at first was tough due to my unnatural obession with ice cream, but there are enough milk substitues to deal with that. However, later this summer he was still having symptoms. Brought him to get tested once more and found he was allergic to eggs as well (again my "Are you kidding?!" was met with a quiet smile). (2014 Update: he's fine with eggs now, his milk allergy severity has sky rocketed, as well as a new beef allergy. and too many environmental allergies to list! But seriously, who cares if he cannot own a horse!)

Moral of this, I had a lot to change in the cooking department! I attempted to use vegan recipes. Thus, these recipes were born, and further, this website. Apparently allergies are occurring more and more but it is very difficult to find recipies to accomodate. My goal is to help that cause by providing ways to work around that and still eat well (and by well, I mean food that my chicken-wing-addicted-husband-who would-never-eat-anything-that-grows-in-the-ground-if-his- obnoxious-wife-does-not-nag-him-until-he-gives in- will actually eat. (2014 Update-This man has become a near vegan at home for his little man! He's a fabulous father! However, I learned quickly to cook for him!)


2016 update! we now have four children ages 6 to 6 months. Only one has confirmed allergies, but it's looking possible that this may increase by one or two (currently we are just watching and waiting :) Please don't take our peanut butter away!!


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hide and Seek

Tonight I played a frantic game of hide and seek. I lost.

After dinner we brought the kids for baths. Jake has been acting funny for a couple days, but it's been impossible to figure anything out. At some point I rationalized it with his less than  balanced, probably too low calorie and fat diet (yeah, I know, completely opposite of my issue! He's the only one in the house, including two cats and three dogs, that I am concerned because he's all muscle and bones! Also opposite of my issues!) At any rate, I noticed red marks on him in the bath. Looking closer I noticed they were hives. SUPER DUPER! Honestly, every time we've had a medical problem with us, kids, cats, dogs, it's been a Sunday night. I don't know about kids, but in case you were wondering, a Sunday night pet issue pretty much requires you to swipe your credit card to speak to someone, and then to walk in the Emergency Vet... yeah probably still paying it off 7 years later!

At any rate, hives. My first hive experience in a non-doctor setting. Sweet! The vomiting seemed less serious. (granted probably because I didn't know it was an allergic reaction!) So i race around trying to find the Benedryl that I am pretty sure we lost (yeah, I don't know either! ). I still have hope, and I am not interested in using an Epi-pen (although that would make the $30 for about 9 months worth it). My husband continues to yell from the bathroom that it will probably be fine because he seems fine and people get hives all the time, as he repeatedly interjects the questions what did he eat (k, two things here; 1. he sat next to him and watched him eat, do i really need to list it over and over? and 2. I am not suppose to worry but he practically makes me do the Heimlich every time our 9 month old does her new fake cough- which she does a lot because it's funny when daddy freaks out- much the same as Jake did because he too thought that daddy's reaction was hysterical, also why, if our child ever actually chokes I'll likely be busy laughing at a wonderful dad's hilarious reaction to coughing) . To make a short story longer, I did not find the Benedryl (Yup, lost the Benedryl). I didn't use the Epi-pen (I'm perfectly good wasting that money every 9 months!). And Jake is sleeping in our bed.

To make a long story short, it's nerve wracking having a child with allergies who has a reaction in which I have no idea what caused it. My husband was convinced, for a moment, it was the bubbles in the tub, until I (lovingly of course) pointed out that we'd used half the bottle already. Granted, Jake use to eat 2 dozen eggs a week and now is highly allergic to them. What do i know?! We never figured out if it was a skin reaction or food reaction. But I am going to buy Benedryl as soon as we wake up!!!

Anyone else have this experience? Did you figure out what the allergy was? How did you narrow that down? It's like a crazy game of Clue. I did use to love that game.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day Sweets and Sweeties...

After an early morning of painting (thanks to a Valentine present of paint)...

What does one make for Valentine's Day for a family diverse in it's pickiness and it's allergies? Well, apparently two things. Individual heart apple pies (which will not happen again for a looong time!) AND these, fabulous and easy cookies...

Delicious Allergy Free Oatmeal Cutout Cookies

Beat:

3/4 cup Earth Balance (or butter)
3/4 cup organic sugar
1t vanilla
1 T ground flax seed mixed with 3 T warm water (the warm helps to make it goopy) (or an egg )
3 T Rice milk (or alternative)

blend in:

2 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt

stir in:
1 cup oatmeal

Dough will seem very crumbly, use your hands to make a ball. Add a touch more flour or milk if needed. I refrigerated for about an hour, but that's not necessary. If you do, however, it will seem like the dough will not stay together, roll it out, it will.  Roll about 1/4 inch thick. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes until dough just seems dry.

I frosted by dumping confectioners sugar in a bowl (didn't measure), cut in earth balance and then added rice milk until it looked right :)

My only mistake was thinking a two year old would actually decorate cookies. i quickly learned when i found him sucking on the sprinkle shaker. Seriously, the child ate about a pound of sugar, including what he decorated. I am not kidding when I say that he dropped his cookie on his tray and frosting did not get on the tray because he had so many sprinkles. Let's just say it made for a very loud, warp speed hour. But, he was thrilled with the pink icing and sprinkles, and I was thrilled that I found peppermint sprinkles!

And I was thrilled with my kids and a wonderful husband (and pets of course!) who brought me some type of lemur looking animal with huge eyes that the baby loves! Or maybe it was all the sugar....

P.S. Thank the Lord for all his blessings! and for the person who made the paints washable!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Am I Alone here?

Am I the only one who has a two year old that does not know what candy is AND does not watch TV? Well, he does watch "the letter show" (wheel of fortune) and about 5 minutes of baseball... At any rate, when people ask if he can have candy and I say no I get crazy looks. And, when the doctor's office (for example) asks if he wants stickers with certain characters and he looks at them like they are speaking a different language and I simply state he does not know of those, people act like I am crazy. I am certain I cannot be the only one! For the very first time I was told "good for you" when sonny boy was offered a lollipop and the lady whispered it because she "didn't want to cause a tantrum if I said no" and I told her he doesn't know what lollipops are. The FIRST time, I've ever not felt like someone thought I was crazy! I literally, while getting my oil changed, had another mother ask what TV shows my baby (it was a while ago) loved, because her 5 month old had several. I won't judge, (although the American Pediatric Association states that any screen time is too much for children under two and may actually cause loss of skills and language) but I'd like not to be judged. Frankly, we don't have time to watch TV between all the playing, and LORD, it's takes an eternity for each meal! By the time I figure out what to feed Jake (does anyone else have trouble figuring out meals for their opinionated, allergic toddler?!) and then he takes an hour for each meal, who has time for TV? or candy for that matter! Truly, he eats the way we all should! (Were it not for my 3:30 carb binge, I'd be great!) And I am not really all that crazy, the child ate 3 cookies ("special Jakey cookies from Nana") after dinner!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine's Day; Love and Whining

Here's why I do not enjoy shopping... well, probably because I cannot buy whatever I want! Here's another reason... fellow shoppers. I am not talking about the lady at Target who made me laugh by warning me before she knelt down not to worry about her when i heard cracks, it was just her knees, she'd be OK. Ha ha! I replied that she should worry if I cried a little when i stood up (let's not talk about a huge wipe out I had while running with my dogs...). Anyway, we laughed and moved on into the pink and red mess of Valentine stuff that in no way paid homage to Saint Valentine. I heard a little girl (maybe 5) asking for the super fun Valentine's that come with candy and other fun junk. I believe she said something to the effect of 'I want those mom, but we can keep them at home and not give them to anyone else.' Ummm... what?! Be mine? I think not! When her mom replied something to the effect of 'you don't need those and they are expensive', this sweet little Valentine yelled "just use the credit card mom!" People laughed, on the outside. While they had, I'm sure, many secret negative thoughts on the inside that Saint Valentine would NOT have spoken out loud either. But I'm sure he heard and mentioned that to someone up there. DON'T be mine!

On the other hand, we had a peanut allergy scare. My son, previous to our knowledge of each allergy, would go full force (like two dozen eggs a week! and he's now really allergic?) with something and than completely give it up (well he never touched milk, but everything else) and we'd end up finding out he was allergic to it. Let's just say when he completely starting refusing peanut butter a few weeks ago I was a little nervous yesterday when he wanted some on his "doast". I sat there with my hand on his possibly expired epi-pen and stared at the poor child. I'm certain he wondered why his crazy mom wasn't blinking and kept asking questions he had no understanding of, while looking like she might stab him with some strange (possibly expired) potion. Good news, we were all good! Might I add, epi-pen people, that if you put an expiration date on something, can we make a bit more specific than an entire month? I will be giving you more money tomorrow for a new one anyway!

To make a fun Valentine's smoothie, add more strawberries and it will turn red! Our Valentine treat will be mini heart shaped apple pies! Except the cute little pie maker is missing a piece and i have to go back to Target to exchange it, this time with two kids. Happy day to me! But they know not of credit cards, and even my two year old will share! (well, not pickles or veggie chips)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New Year Smoothie!

I am sorry that I haven't updated! We've been through a lot since i last posted! Christmas, New Years, the joys of explaining a hundred times why my child cannot eat cookies (except his special cookies that Nana made him) and why I'm not just being grinchy. In hindsight, maybe i did get grinchy... Might be having to explain that butter is made of milk ten times! At any rate, I'm back! I have reinvented my smoothie (after finding out the calorie count on my previous!) It's allergy free and full of secret hidden good stuff! We call it special ice cream! It is special because i can put virtually anything in it and as long as it tastes fruity, everyone will eat it!! (well except my husband!)

1cup rice milk (or whichever you'd prefer)
1/2 avocado
1.5 cups of shredded kale (or ripped)
a mango (well, i was lazy, i used as much as i could cut easily)
2 frozen bananas
2 T flax seed

Put milk, kale and avocado in blender, blend
add mango and flax
add bananas in pieces through top (unless you have one of those super sweet, super expensive blenders that could probably blend a car into a smoothie!)

enjoy! feed to kids, watch them enjoy and laugh evilly that they are getting super healthy stuff and liking it!

stay tuned! i will be back shortly with many more inventions! and bad (aka fast) typing!

P.S. in case you need a chocolate fix, ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips are dairy, and nut free! but only in the smaller packages. Weird, i know, but delicious!