Category: Blog

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Knowing our alternative dietary needs, our friends are often on the lookout for different foods that we can eat. They discovered this amazing now grain free flour as it was part of a Kickstarter project and purchased some for us.

This has revolutionized my taco experience! I have been happy with the rice flour tortillas. They work. They’re good. Squash Flour tortillas are even better! They add a depth of flavor and an more pliable texture.

Check them out here. We are still exploring all the possibilities with these flours. Maybe you will discover something fun yourself!DSC_4365

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After a recent check up at the doctor, our family has embarked on a mission to find fish that all four of us like and will eat on a regular basis. The fish oil is good for brain health and for inflammation and for seasonal type allergies. Our son needs all these health benefits, but we haven’t found a fish oil (like in a bottle) that he can tolerate (either taste or rash). So we need to go to the source.

So far, we are just looking at fish and buying a few different types each week. My husband and I have never been fans of fish, so we don’t have a lot of information to start with. Thankfully my parents do enjoy fish, so we have tried a few types and have some general ideas.

We have tried Mahi Mahi fish sticks (homemade of course. Once we perfect it, I’ll post the recipe) and every one really enjoys it. Our son has cried both times we’ve had this now; not because he’s eating it, but because he ate it all gone! He wants more! This is a keeper. We even got Mahi Mahi from Costco.

Author - Valter WeiWe have tried Salmon with a rub and then the same Salmon in salad. Mom and Dad like it, the kids do not. We might try a few other things with Salmon and see if it’s a keeper or not.

We also have tried fish tacos with Tilapia and the whole family decided it’s not a keeper. Mom is the only one who even tolerated it for a second day (just to use it up!).  Our son did eat more than one bit, but wasn’t sold. We will keep working on this idea though. Fish tacos sound really exciting and yummy to us. We’ll just have to find a better fish that we all enjoy.

Our next steps will be to try some more types of fish and to continue browsing Pinterest for interesting fish recipes. I am pleased that we found a hit and a possibility so quickly. Onward and upward to better health!

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My children’s school is wonderful. They  have accomodated my kids’ allergies wonderfully and are so careful about asking if they can have things. They even let us know when there is a special project or treat coming later in the week or month so that we can plan ahead and acoomodate accordingly.

They are also great about helping us normalize the experience for our kids. Each year I’ve done a project in our daughter’s classroom so that her classmates can maybe understand and have fun with it too. This year we made our own coconut milk!

cononut_milkPrior to the classroom project, I set some coconut shreds to soaking in the blender. The children all washed hands. Then waited in line for a spot at the table. Someone got to push the blender button and everyone got to squeeze the milk through the cheese cloth. In the end we had plain coconut milk and vanilla coconut milk to try. We also brought some of our daugher’s special mini muffins to go with the milk for a special snack.

I had fun and our daughter had fun, though was a little more shy during the project than I’d anticipated.

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My husband introduced our daughter to Nutella over a year ago. She was a little nervous to try it at first, but quickly discovered that she loves it. She wanted multiple spoonfuls (we now serve her on a baby spoon) but was cut off after 2 I believe. She is still so happy to have one tiny spoonful just a couple times a month.

20121110_092050After Nutella, we have allowed her to try chocolate chips (she declared them yucky) and dark chocolate bar (also declared yucky). We have offered other tastes and she has rejected them, declaring “I don’t like chocolate.” We told her Nutella is chocolate and (hazel)nuts. So she amended her statement to be, “I don’t’ like chocolate, but I like Nutella.”

When in Germany we learned something fun about Nutella. My friend grew up in Germany being given “Nutella Spoon” (in German) as a treat. This is just a glob of Nutella on a spoon. She nannied in the US for a year and the children she nannied enjoyed the same treat when she introduced it to them. She translated and called it “Nutella Spoon” (in English) and it stuck. We all found it fun and interesting that we too called it “Nutella Spoon” for our daughter, though had never had it growing up and never discussed such a thing with our German friends before. This leads me to a question for you, the reader.

Have you ever had “Nutella Spoon” and what did you call it?

 

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Not quite a year later, we found ourselves at my husband’s parent’s house for Memorial Day weekend. It had been quite awhile since we got the kids actual treats (our special treat place has changed an ingredient and is not longer “safe”). We thought to make s’mores again while visiting Grandpa and Grandma.

Our son has discovered chocolate. He has discovered that he loves chocolate (I feel another post emerging here). Unfortunately, chocolate is a high-ish nickel food so he cannot have much at one time at all. So it’s a rare treat for him. Our daughter announces every time she tries a new food that she doesn’t like, or any time someone talks about chocolate “I don’t like chocolate except for Nutella.”

So this time, my husband and I brought our “safe marshmallows” and some safe chocolate bars for our time around the fire. We left off the graham crackers since it really wasn’t much of a contribution last time, and our daughter was fighting a rash that they would have exacerbated.

Who knew marshmallows and chocolate could be so yummy together! ?(besides everybody)

Who knew marshmallows and chocolate could be so yummy together! ?(besides everybody)

The each got to roast 3 marshmallows! Our daughter ate them plain and was happy. And (proud mommy moment) she followed with picking some lettuce from the garden and eating that too!

Our son happily ate a plain one. Then we showed him marshmallows with chocolate. He was so excited! He said “nummy” many times and had a huge smile! The picture probably says it best. My husband, wise man that he is, managed to make the remaining 2 marshmallows and 2 small pieces of chocolate last through what seemed like 3 or 4 more morsels to our son.

Our son then requested to go inside to wash because he was sticky. “I sticky dada.” And (another proud mommy moment) he washed his hands and face and then insisted he brush his teeth! Then he came back outside for some more fun.

 

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Making Tortillas

Making Tortillas

After a recent check up at the doctor, our family has embarked on a mission to find fish that all four of us like and will eat on a regular basis. The fish oil is good for brain health and for inflammation and for seasonal type allergies. Our son needs all these health benefits, but we haven’t found a fish oil (like in a bottle) that he can tolerate (either taste or rash). So we need to go to the source.

So far, we are just looking at fish and buying a few different types each week. My husband and I have never been fans of fish, so we don’t have a lot of information to start with. Thankfully my parents do enjoy fish, so we have tried a few types and have some general ideas.

We have tried Mahi Mahi fish sticks (homemade of course. Once we perfect it, I’ll post the recipe) and everyone really enjoys it. Our son has cried both times we’ve had this now; not because he’s eating it, but because he ate it all gone! He wants more! This is a keeper. We even got a Mahi Mahi bulk bag from Costco.

Author - Valter WeiWe have tried Salmon with a rub and then the same Salmon in salad. Mom and Dad like it, the kids do not. We might try a few other things with Salmon and see if it’s a keeper or not.

We also have tried fish tacos with Tilapia and the whole family decided it’s not a keeper. Mom is the only one who even tolerated it for a second day (just to use it up!).  Our son did eat more than one bit, but wasn’t sold. We will keep working on this idea though. Fish tacos sound really exciting and yummy to us. We’ll just have to find a better fish that we all enjoy.

Our next steps will be to try some more types of fish and to continue browsing Pinterest for interesting fish recipes. I am pleased that we found a hit and a possibility so quickly. Onward and upward to better health!

 

 

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Our daughter got her first bee sting on Mother’s Day. We have been waiting for this day. My husband and I have been prescribed EpiPen’s for our reactions to bee stings. So we have kept Benadryl on hand “just in case” for everyone. Given other allergies, we have never been sure how the kids would react.

Arianne First Bee StingWe are pleased to announce that our daughter had a very “normal” reaction. She screamed, was able to tell us immediately that it was a bee sting and we picked up the kids to walk home from the park (praying the whole way that there wasn’t a life threatening reaction). She did so well! She cried and said it hurt but was able to converse about it the whole way home. She bravely endured the baking soda paste and got to watch a movie. The red area was gone by evening.

One kid reaction down, one to go (for now).

 

 

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There is a new development in our continuing family allergy adventure. Our son has had some asthma type attacks since last August. We’ve been working closely with the doctor trying to track environment and symptoms while attempting to find treatment for the actual asthma type episodes. He has not really responded to natural or conventional treatments.

20140309_095059Then we had an unexpected and curious break through. I asked my mom to keep the kids at our own house for a day (rather than watching them at her house). I thought the kids could use the “down” time and even experience possibly fewer allergens. Grandpa has a dog and they have different trees and plants at their house, you know. My mom told me part way through the day that he was breaking out in a rash. I dismissed it thinking he’d eaten something and it was his typical nickel rash that she was talking about.

When I got home and saw him, I understood why my mom was letting me know he was breaking out. This was new and strange! It looked a lot like hives to me. He seemed mildly bothered by them. He didn’t scratch as long as he was occupied on other things.

Serendipitously, this was at our house! His most “controlled” and familiar environment.  I didn’t waste any time wondering and secretly blaming my mom’s house or dog or pine needles or dust or….I was able to start thinking right away of possible causes. All his foods had been normal and stable. I started noting and thinking of other symptoms. Of course, I alerted the doctor of this newest development too.

After a while I began to suspect, like myself, he was reacting to seasonal allergies (aka pollen).  I used to occasionally get hives too. So, the new question was how to treat this type of allergy. Is it something in our yard we can rip out? What if it’s in the neighbor’s yard? What if it’s too abundant to eliminate from our home environment? I mean, we do live in the Pacific Northwest! We have lots and lots of plants and trees and flowers.

The doctor asked us to try Benadryl for the hives. This was mostly to check that they were hives and it was a histamine response.  It also made for a very very grumpy boy the next day. Benadryl has all types of corn products swimming around in that pink syrup. Our family did not want this to be regular treatment. So we tried the homeopathic hay fever medicine that works well for my husband and I. It seemed to help.

This got us thinking even more. Every single symptom leading up to his asthma type attacks could be pollen allergy. The pieces were starting to fit together!  We now really think this is what causes his breathing issues. We have been able to control it with the homeopathic medicine and more recently with a supplement from the doctor. We’re finding the supplement works as a daily stabilizing factor. We now only use the homeopathic stuff when a symptom flares dramatically. I truly think we’ve recently avoided a breathing episode. He started to show symptoms. We tried these new treatments and they resolved.

I also found a website  www.pollen.com. It shows you the pollen levels in your area and offers a way to track your own symptoms. I’ve been tracking his symptoms with this and there seems to be a correlation.

Once again I’m amazed at all the tiny, seemingly unrelated, pieces God has place into our lives to make it all work out!

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My kids and I just hosted a play date today. It went well! One goal of the play date was to introduce some new foods to my daughter’s playmate. We thought that maybe seeing a peer eat something would encourage her to try it too. I think it worked! She eventually tried a couple things and we’ve shared some recipes and shopping tips.

This seems like a good time to post about our desire to be a helpful website and a helpful family. We feel like we’ve been liberated from food in such a profound way, we’d like to help others as they make their own journey. If our trials, shopping habits, Internet research, and experiences can be helpful to anyone we are so happy to share and help.

If you know us, and want to begin a journey like this, please let us know and we’ll happily help you connect to the right doctors, grocery stores, and information. If you don’t know us, reach out via this website and we can still share knowledge via comments or email.

*Sorry for the photo quality, my husband had the ‘real’ camera out at a job this morning so I had to use my cell phone.

 

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disaster kits

Kids’ School Disaster Kits

So there are a couple ways to plan for disasters. The first way was taught to me as a young child growing up in earthquake prone, southern California. This is when regions know their risks and plan as best the can on the family, community, school, and city levels. This is when families and schools stockpile enough food, water, and first aid supplies to survive unassisted for 3 days.

Another way is to plan for more of an economical or political disasters. This is when families and small communities stockpile food for months and develop ways to access energy and fuel and create farms and barter systems.

As I consider  the first type of planning, the type I’m personally most familiar with, and my families needs, I’ve come (sadly) to a screeching halt. I think where I’ve landed is not really changing anything. If it’s really as bad as “all that” then let’s survive and not worry so much about a rash or grumpy moods or achy joints or loose bowels, or….I mean really, we’re talking about survival. And just for days or weeks until the region recovers. This has also made me think of families with more severe reactions. How do they plan??

As my in-laws have consider the second type of disaster planning, they have graciously stockpiled allergy friendly staples for our family. They are thinking more in terms of months or years and then things like rashes, bad moods and loose bowels are more of a concern. This is especially concerning if you consider access to medical care could then be compromised as well. These are scarier thoughts for me. Though the more I understand my family’s needs, the more I know we can face just about anything. Even long term disasters.

How has your family prepared?