Category Archives: Uncategorized

Correcting Misconceptions About the LEAP Study

If, like me, you have been seeing and reading a lot of conflicting information on the LEAP study, this blog from FARE is for you. It clears up many of the so-called facts floating around in on the inter-webs.

FARE is committed to ensuring that individuals and families managing food allergies receive accurate, evidence-based information about the disease. Incorrect information can lead to worse outcomes and potentially dangerous errors when it comes to food allergy.

Recently, FARE has noted a number of misleading and inaccurate articles, summaries and blog posts about the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in February. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and FARE primarily funded this study.

A recent blog post by author and speaker Robyn O’Brien contains a number of important technical inaccuracies and misrepresentations that FARE is compelled to publicly correct:

O’Brien denigrates the study because it “threw out 10% of at-risk babies before it even started,” She states “it is akin to conducting a diabetes study on sugar, funded by the sugar industry, and throwing out the diabetics before…

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Food Allergies Can Transform Your Life!

This is Alanna. Her story of surviving a soy allergy is truly inspiring. I suggest you check her out.

Soy Allergy Survivor

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For every aggravation I have experienced due to my food allergies, there are TWO to THREE things that have happened in my life and in my body that are true MIRACLES.

Food allergies can completely disrupt your life in ways that only someone with food allergies can understand. It can take months or even years (as is my case) to find some of the allergens and how to deal with them. This is one of the biggest reasons why I became an AllerCoach so that I could help others find a faster path to their own transformation.

It has been a year now since I discovered my soy allergy, and below are the amazing things that have taken place in my life and my body:

  • My acid reflux went from needing extensive esophageal surgery to being controlled with one medication rather than two. (One of the medications had SOY in…

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LIFE OF A FOOD ALLERGIC, A BREAK FROM THE NORM

In the world of special dietary requirements there is much talk of how clean is clean. Delving into the minutia, constantly, makes one feel a bit cross-eyed not to mention the endless label reading, grilling manufacturers about their facilities, how their lines are maintained and cleaned between each product run wears very quickly.

There are also our interpersonal relationship discussions. What soaps do they use? Did they hand wash or use the dishwasher? Is this a home I feel safe in or wary? Please don’t put your lips close to my face if you’ve eaten something I’m allergic to.

And then there are the blessed weekends when we find a place where we feel like we belong. This last weekend was spent at special dietary needs conferences like Living Without’s Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest in Austin, TX.

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What a joy this conference was. It was a bit of a break from treading through the weeds to have the opportunity to pop up and say “hello”.

Hearing people’s stories, was so refreshing, so varied! Some shared stories of with long battles to get their diagnosis, some with being diagnosed years before there was much information or help, and others, just recently diagnosed desperately looking for help with their new normal.

There were some really fantastic vendors, as well. Not only were their products amazing, but they were extremely open about their manufacturing process – which was so refreshing. I love the small companies who are driven by all the right things: openness, quality, and genuine care for their customers. Amazing stuff.

But most of all, I loved seeing the support. How sweet it was to my heart to see someone walk in with their friend or relative tagging along for support! Yes, please! Life has its ups and downs. Not everything is going to go my way or be perfectly suited to me, but if I have the support and care of a friend, it makes all the difference.

Much of what I saw this weekend was a direct result of that very thing. People lost in the minutia, reading labels, going cross-eyed…one day deciding to take a leap and do it for others. The micro and macro are tied and intertwined together, each individual thread embodying its color coming together in a tangled mess to create a beautiful masterpiece.

As featured on Food Allergy Gal.

Product reviews from the Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest coming in next several weeks! Stay tuned.

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Excited about… Food Allergies

This past week I’ve been working on a “You CAN eat list” and menu for a client. It is such a thrilling and rewarding experience. We all know the feeling of leaving the allergist office with a list of things we can no longer have, and suddenly that list seems to be everything edible on the entire planet. It’s overwhelming, frustrating, terrifying, and confusing.

Thankfully, a “You CAN eat list” puts that other list into perspective.

This is part of the reason I’m looking forward to the Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest at the end of this month.

They are the “You CAN” conference for those with food allergies and intolerances.

So tired of “nos” and so looking forward to the positive!

Hope to see you there! I’ll be in booth 102 – 104, stop by and say, “Howdy!”

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Word Counter

I’m amazed, when I look back over the past several years, how my vocabulary and knowledge regarding food allergies have grown.

My past struggle to explain food allergies (who, why, when, where, how), has been replaced with gauging how much is too much.  A good indication is “The Look”, glazed over eyes and periodic sighing, the tale-tale signs you’ve lost them in an information over-load. I’m glad for the growth but sometimes all that knowledge can make things difficult.

A question came up recently in a food allergy group that touches on this issue.

“What should I put on a medical alert bracelet?”

Good question. Space is limited and you need to communicate the most important things for first responders. This is not the place for a detailed medical history or the nuances of your diagnosis.

The situation is critical and you need the first responders to know… what? I would suggest these guidelines:

  • What would make things worse? Do you have drug allergies, do you take a critical daily medication, do you have an implanted medical device, etc?
  • What are your conditions? Do you have food allergies, a major organ condition, etc?

Use these questions to make your list. Brevity is the goal here. So make your list as long and detailed as you like then start widdeling it down. Try to get one or two words for each item.

Allergic to five different foods, no need to list all five, instead list “Multiple Food Allergies”. This let’s them know you have food allergies and to use caution and gives them a clue as to what is going on if you are non-responsive. The point is to give the first responders information that will help them treat you without making you worse. Remember, their goal to stabilize you and get you to the hospital. At the hospital, their goal is to get you out of danger and well.

When brevetity matters, what would your bracelet say?

Thanksgiving

This weekend I spent a few hours combing through hundreds of recipes from my late grandmother. She was an excellent cook. Sifting through her recipes brought back memories of being in her kitchen and watching her cook. She taught me how to fold ingredients together to make a light fluffy cake, how to make a sauce, and pan gravy. She taught me so much, things I still benefit from.

My grandmother was such a wonderful, loving person, her cooking was just the icing on the cake. Every time I make one of her recipes, I know I am in some small way carrying on her memory. So, in preparation for Thanksgiving, I made her pumpkin pie. It calls for real-whole pumpkins – she was that kind of cook.

I was reading her recipe and reminded again of my grandmother’s gentle humble nature. The recipe is literally a list of ingredients with measurements. No directions, no how-to, just a list. In her humility she genuinely believed her cooking was so ordinary that anyone could do it. There was no need for step-by-step directions…why everyone knows how to make a pie and pie crust from scratch. She was so unassuming, she just thought if someone wanted her recipe, they just wanted to know what she used.

It is such a contrast to today’s society when everything is pre-made, boxed, and effort free. It is a hard transition to come from a place of buying pre-made items and adding water or just heat and serve to actually having to cook…with the ingredients in their natural state.

Although that transition can be difficult – it is possible, and I must admit the training I received in my early years has served me well. A good recipe, a few modifications to adjust for allergies or intolerances, opens up a world of freedom. Once a skill is learned it can be applied over and over again.

The really neat thing, the thing that humbles me the most, the little treasures my grandmother invested in me, I am now investing in the younger generation. I now have a little helper in the kitchen who I am showing how to make a pie crust and make pumpkin puree from scratch. In addition to the lessons I learned and am now passing on, I am also teaching about food allergies. Lessons in action about cross-contact, substitutions, etc, are now a part of what I am passing down.

This year, this season, I am thankful for those who invested in me. It takes time and effort to pour yourself into someone else simply for their benefit. I am blessed to have had many people in my life who loved me sacrificially and poured themselves into my life. Those moments have made it possible for me to flourish despite and through my food allergies.

FARE’s new president

As you may or may not know, FARE has elected a new president. Dr Baker has served as interim president since the previous president resigned in August. I invite you to read Dr Baker’s interview on the FARE blog.

FARE’s Blog – Dr Baker Interview