Monday, August 31, 2009

Allergy PR

A lot of allergy information is being sent out to allergy bloggers right now. Must be back-to-school time.
  • Linda Coss's article, "Attack of the Peanut Butter Sandwiches," is still available at her site. It's a helpful resource for schools.
  • Children's Hospital Boston just posted the first in a series of videos about their first patient who is going through a milk desensitization study.
  • Simens Healthcare Diagnostics and Disney have written a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse book about environmental allergies. A free digital copy is available. The press release states that the book was introduced to clinical laboratory and physician communities at this year’s American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) Annual Meeting. The email I received also shared some of the results of a recent survey. "Allergy testing methods available for children include blood tests, skin patch tests, skin injection and the skin prick/scratch test. The survey indicated that while most U.S. moms (75 percent) know of the skin prick/scratch test, only a half or a third of mothers are familiar with the other options.
    Other important survey findings include:
    1) An average of 1 in 3 mothers reported that they do not know how accurate the various allergy test results are.
    2) The top three sources mothers said they would consult for information about childhood allergies and allergy testing are: A physician or other health professional (98 percent), health/medical web sites (73 percent), and allergy organizations (39 percent).
    3) Overall, the surveyed mothers gave online interactive Websites (42 percent) and books (35 percent) the highest marks as “very helpful” to teach their child about allergies." More information is available on their site, of course.
  • Gina Clowes and Enjoy Life foods share some food allergy back-to-school tips.
Whew! Speaking of back to school, I need to go fill out 3,210,698 school forms before all of our orientations and open houses this week.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Change diaper.
Turn on PBS.
Make coffee.
Make breakfast.
Explain concept of birthstones.
Feed children.
Say goodbye to husband.
Get dressed in preparation for 8-10 am cable guy timeslot.
Dress children.
Listen to fascinating Webkinz facts.
Take youngest child off of top of living room cabinet.
Change diaper of and redress youngest child.
Start laundry.
Explain why you cannot invite yourself to someone's house for a playdate.
Even someone with a cool Spiderman shooter.
Drink coffee.
Do dishes.
Make list for grocery store.
Stress about what activities you can create for eldest child's Mario Bros. birthday party.
Wonder where cable guy is.
Wonder if giant mulch pile counts as fun birthday party activity.
Look at clock: 8:40 am.
Change diaper.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

And all I got was this stupid recipe

You didn't think I forgot your souvenir from my vacation, did you?

My aunt made this appetizer/side dish twice the week we were there because we all loved it so much. She got the recipe from a friend.

Texas Caviar

Prepare at least 12-18 hours before serving.

1 can each of:
shoe peg corn (or frozen or leftover fresh, cooked corn)
black beans
black eyed peas

1 cup chopped celery
1 small jar chopped pimentos
chopped jalapenos to taste*

Heat together until the sugar is melted:
1 scant cup olive oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and marinate overnight. Serve with tortilla chips. (The scoop-shaped ones work really well.)

*The original recipe says to use a small can of jalapenos, plus red pepper flakes if desired. Since there were children eating with us, my aunt used about 1/3 of a can of jalapenos plus some seeded, chopped chipotle peppers. She served the additional jalapenos and chipotles on the side for those who wanted more heat.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

And the Regular Pediatrician said...

At the end of H's checkup yesterday, I pulled out the inhaler that Substitute Pediatrician gave Katherine and showed it to Regular Pediatrician. He looked at it, looked at K's files, and then proceeded to pull up a list of every medication containing dairy. (It's a looong list.) He read them off to me, made note of them in K's file, then refilled her prescription for her original, dairy-free inhaler.
Then he looked at me and said, "This is going to be a good day."
Me: "?"
Regular Pediatrician: "I didn't know dairy was in this particular inhaler. I learned something new today, so I know it's going to be a good day."
Me: "!"
Regular Pediatrician: "I have several other patients with milk protein allergies, but they're babies and aren't old enough for these medications yet. I wasn't aware that all of these medications contain milk protein. [Holds out his hand for me to shake.] You helped people today."
Me: "OK...."

He did not:
  • Speak disparagingly of his colleague
  • Defend his colleague
  • Act as if he knew something he didn't
  • Act defensive
  • Tell me the medication would be fine for her
  • Dismiss my concerns
Yay, Regular Pediatrician!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dear Substitute Pediatrician

Thank you for filling in for our regular pediatrician. I'm sure it was a busy day. Your nurse mentioned K's environmental and dairy allergies right away, so I know they are clearly marked in her file.

And yet.

It wasn't till we got home and I was looking for the instructions for the inhaler you gave* K. for her cough that I saw this on the box:

"The ASMANEX TWISTHALER 220 mcg product is a cap-activated inhalation-driven multi-dose dry powder inhaler containing mometasone furoate and anhydrous lactose (which contains milk proteins)."

Needless to say, I'll be talking to our regular pediatrician today.

I have no words, except to quote Governor Menelaus "Pass the biscuits, Pappy" O'Daniel, "Weeping Jesus on the cross!"

*Attention Health Care Providers: Patients really, really hate it when you question the decision of another doctor in your own practice, ie., "Huh. I wonder why he prescribed that inhaler. This one will work MUCH better." Etc. Perhaps he prescribed it because it WON'T KILL THE PATIENT, eh?

Friday, August 21, 2009


It's hard to get back into the routine after vacation, isn't it? But you all have been very inspiring with your
For the past two days, I've been digging a trench and planting forsythia bushes for privacy and to keep the kids away from our neighbor's new slice-your-fingers-open, old-school, chain-link fence.

Hopefully that row of tiny plants will look like this hedge in three years:

Now I suppose I should do something more sensible, like dishes or laundry.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Miso Hungry

We had some wonderful eating adventures on vacation ($3.99/lb lobstah, baby!) Besides hitting most of our usual stops, we tried a new Japanese restaurant in Concord. While they do use butter on the hibachis (Who knew?), they cleaned our hibachi before cooking on it and used only oil for our entire party. I don't know what they would do if you had to share a grill with another family or if you have a seafood allergy and someone else at your table wants shrimp, but they were very accommodating about K's allergy, so I imagine they would work something out.

I did notify the server. And the bus boy, and the chef....
Those are the children's menu hibachi prices, BTW.

The kids loved watching the chef and they loved the food, especially the miso soup. Of course now I want to order some miso online to make some at home, but I know nothing about it. White miso? Red miso? What?

On our way home, we stopped at a Burger King in the Bloomsburg, PA area. I asked for our usual dairy-free substitution at the drive-through window. There was a pause, then, "Sure! Anything else?" And they got the order right, too. So some BKs understand. It shouldn't be that hard to be that accommodating in every chain, right?

One final note: if you're new to eating lobster, let your mom take off the shell before you eat it. It tastes much better that way.

See the bite out of the claw? My little Daryl Hannah. (Except he's a boy.)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Home again, home again

And wishing we were still on vacation. Sigh.

How've you been?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Oliver's Labels

We received a sample of Oliver's Labels recently. These labels and tags, like Mabel's and others, are for use on children's bags and belongings. They also have a special allergy line, which is what we were able to sample.

The labels are very cute. They prominently feature the child's name, along with an attractive "No Dairy" (or "No Wheat" or what have you) icon. They are easy to read and feature Oliver's Labels' Found It (TM) lost-and-found system, which enables people who find your lost item to help return it to you using the website and a nine-digit code on the label.

I like the lost-and-found option, and I like the clear graphics and the allergy images. I think these would be good for use where you might use ID labels. But for my child's desk, and EpiPen cases and other important locations, I want allergy alert tags that are red and attention-grabbing. I am afraid people might overlook the graphic and/or think it denotes a food preference rather than a serious allergy.

Oliver's Labels is kind enough to offer No Whey, Mama readers a discount. Use the code “SAFETYFIRST” (one word) to get a 10% discount code towards your purchase. Enter the code in the Agent/Reseller’s code area before checking out your shopping cart. Please note this code expires on September 30, 2009.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Green with veggies

I am incapable of turning down free produce. Which is why, with our refrigerator bursting with vegetables and vacation looming on the horizon, I accepted three additional bags of veggies. Bags filled mostly with green beans and zucchini because it's that time of year. The zucchini gets eaten or shredded and frozen for bread. The green beans? I've never had so many before. A good year for beans, I guess.

I've roasted them, which the kids really like, and made them into a mild dip, which everyone likes all right. Next on my list is the Dilly Beans recipe from our CSA newsletter, and maybe blanching and freezing some.

How do you like your green beans?

Dilly Beans, from Kretschmann's Organic Farm

"Cook or steam trimmed beans 3-5 min. Drain when beans are still bright green and just tender. Stir 2 Tbs. fresh chopped dill into warm beans. Combine 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/3 c. cider vinegar, 2 lg. cloves pressed garlic, and 1/2 tsp honey in saucepan and bring quickly to boil. Simmer 2 min., pour over green beans and mix well. Add 1 tbs vegetable oil if desired. Serve hot or chilled."

Monday, August 03, 2009

A La Mode

Remember when I said I was going to start inventing and making homemade snacks? Well, I was half right. I've been making a lot of homemade snacks--using other people's recipes. Why reinvent the wheel when other people have already written wonderful recipes for granola and granola bars and now... vegan ice cream.

I had the chance to read and cook from Hannah Kaminsky'snewest ebook, A La Mode, and it is wonderful. I made the Jam Ice Cream because we have tons of homemade jam on hand. It turned out beautifully--creamy and delicious. Katherine said it's better than Tofutti's Wild Berry Supreme, and even Scott liked it. True confessions: the raspberry jam I used was from a batch that didn't set up quite right but was perfect for ice cream flavoring.

While some of the recipes have slightly complex ingredient lists, others are very simple. The Jam Ice Cream has just three ingredients! I used our small gel canister ice cream maker, which was cheap as ice cream makers go. I think we're going to save a lot of money--and have fun creating our own signature flavors--with the help of Hannah's cookbook.

The recipes are:
Birthday Cake Ice Cream
Buttered Popcorn Ice Cream
Chai Latte Ice Cream
Cherry Cola Ice Cream
French Vanilla Ice Cream
German Chocolate Ice Cream
Jam Ice Cream
Maple-Pecan Ice Cream
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Ice Cream
Peanut Butter Bomb Shell Ice Cream
Peppermint Crush Ice Cream
Rose Petal Ice Cream
White Peach-Rosemary Ice Cream
plus variations on several of them

You can download this cookbook instantly for $5. Not a bad deal, huh?

This review written for Go Dairy Free.