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Saturday, February 21, 2015

How to Make An Allergy~Friendly Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Egg-Free Dreamy Dreamsicle Smoothie!

This super easy to make allergy~friendly, dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free, nut-free and gluten-free smoothie makes me think of one of my favorite childhood ice creams! 
S.A.F.E. Dreamsicle Smoothie

Dreamsicle Smoothie
*Dairy free, Egg free, Peanut free, Tree-Nut Free and Gluten free

1/2 C Water
1/2 C Fresh Orange Juice 
2/3 C Vanilla protein (Arbonne) 
1/2 C Crushed Ice

Add ice...or NOT... mix in your blender or shaker cup! And you're ready to go!


Allergy Friendly Dreamsicle Smoothie Link

Would LOVE to hear any thoughts and/or suggestions about the Smoothie recipes and videos~ 
Ciao for now!

P.S. I use Arbonne Essentials Protein for ALL of my smoothies because they are dairy-free, egg-free and tree-nut free and are manufactured in a peanut-free facility.  They are also vegan and gluten-free certifiedkosher, AND non-GMO.  Let me know if you'd like to learn more ~

Friday, February 13, 2015

Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free Delicious Donuts!

Made about four dozen of these dairy-free, egg-free, totally peanut-free, tree-nut free (does CONTAIN COCONUT) donuts in the past few days, and they were a HUGE HIT!  I have made some changes from the original recipe, Heart-Shaped Donuts from Chockababy.  

Having kids who ALSO had NEVER had donuts,  these have become a staple in our home over the past few years. 

S.A.F.E. Dairy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free Donuts

Friday, February 6, 2015

Lemon Zest Smoothie Recipe - Dairy-free, Egg-free and Peanut-free

Here is the RECIPE for yet another 'Thirsty Thursday Smoothie' Allergy~friendly Smoothie!

Lemon Zest Smoothie
Thirsty Thursday Lemon Zest Smoothie Recipe
*Dairy free, Egg free, Peanut free, Tree-Nut Free and Gluten free

1/4 C vanilla flax milk 

1/2 C water
1/2 C vanilla protein 
1/2 lemon peeled and sliced; or 1 - 2 T fresh lemon juice
1 - 2 tsp stevia 

And it's easy to put this together when traveling or on the go~

Add ice...or NOT... blend and 'Down the Hatch' it goes! 

Lemon Zest YouTube Link

Would LOVE to hear any thoughts and/or suggestions about the Smoothie recipes and videos~ 
Ciao for now!

P.S. I use Arbonne Essentials Protein for ALL of my smoothies because they are dairy-free, egg-free and tree-nut free and are manufactured in a peanut-free facility.  They are also vegan and gluten-free certifiedkosher, AND non-GMO.  

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Chocolate SunButter Delight Smoothie Recipe - Dairy-free, Egg-free, Peanut-free and Tree Nut-Free

Below is the recipe to accompany my VERY FIRST 'Thirsty Thursday Smoothie' Video.  

I look forward to having you join me on my educational, light-hearted approach to living with food allergies.  ALWAYS guaranteed to be dairy free, egg free, tree nut free (with the exception of occasional coconut), and peanut-free.

Chocolate SunButter Delight Smoothie
*Dairy free, Egg free, Tree Nut free, Peanut free and Gluten free

1 C Vanilla Flax Milk 
1/4 C Chocolate Protein 
1/8 C Greens Balance (Arbonne)
1/2 C fresh, chopped spinach 
1 T Creamy SunButter 

Add ice...or NOT... blend and 'Down the Hatch' it goes! 

Here's to a Healthier You! 

Chocolate SunButter Delight YouTube Link

Have FUN experimenting with your favorite proteins, greens and fiber substitutions. 

P.S. I use Arbonne Protein for ALL of my smoothies because they meet my family's food allergy needs of being dairy-free, egg-free, tree-nut free and are manufactured in a peanut-free facility.  They are also vegan and gluten-free certifiedkosher, AND non-GMO.  

Would you believe I liked them so much, I started my own Arbonne business?!  Let me know if you have any questions about these products which help keep my family safe and healthy.

Vanilla Coconut Smoothie Recipe - Dairy-free, Egg-free, Peanut-free

Here is the RECIPE for another 'Thirsty Thursday Allergy~friendly Smoothie'!

Please NOTE a few clarifications.
2 'scoops' of protein is equal to 1/2 Cup.
'1/2 Cup' fiber was really 1/8 Cup using my personal scoop.

Vanilla Coconut Smoothie

*Dairy free, Egg free, Peanut free and Gluten free
**Includes Coconut

1 8 ounce container of Hemp Vanilla

1/2 C Vanilla Protein
1/8 C fiber
1/4 C unsweetened applesauce
1 T Toasted Coconut Flakes 
Add nutmeg to taste

Add ice...or NOT... blend and 'Down the Hatch' it goes! 

A Bientot! Until next time, as my dearest French friends say!

Vanilla Coconut Smoothie YouTube Link

Have FUN experimenting with your favorite proteins and fiber substitutions.  I use Arbonne
Essentials Protein for ALL of my smoothies because they are dairy-free, egg-free and tree-nut free and manufacturedd in a peanut-free facility.  Also, they are NON-GMO, kosher, vegan and gluten-free certified.   

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Allergies Suck... But It Could Be Worse - Lessons from an Unknown Soldier and George Samerjan

Have you ever had something happen to you which was life changing?  I mean... TRULY... personality, mentally, life altering?  I have been blessed to have such a thing happen.

For almost 12 years I have been managing food allergies with my kids.  Trying to keep them safe in their daily lives, school and in outside social settings.  And, I have complained, whined and felt sadness for my kids.  And then I met an Unknown Soldier and George.

Allergies Suck.. But It Could Be Worse.. Lessens from An Unknown Soldier

I am a flight attendant in my day job.  Am ready to complete 24 years of flying.  Last fall two men changed my life.  One a Vet from Vietnam... one from a much more recent war.  


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pacific all natural Hemp Non-Dairy Beverage - A Great Option for those Dairy-Free

I have a heck of time getting my dairy-free daughter to get enough calcium.  I am regularly trying out different dairy-free options to see if I can find one this rapidly growing tweener likes.  I was very impressed with our recent find - a plant based, all natural Hemp non-dairy beverage.  In case you're wondering, it's made from hemp seed, NOT hemp plant!!  

S.A.F.E. Review - Hemp Vanilla
It has a mild nutty taste, but is NOT as thick or sweet as coconut milk or as thin as rice milk. It's also vegan, organic, soy-free, gluten-free, parve, NON-GMO Project Verified AND contains 50% of one's daily amount of calcium needed - a HUGE PLUS for my daughter.  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

S.A.F.E. Food Allergy Labels - Brightly Colored, Simply Stated and Life-Saving

Scared to death someone in your home will NOT know what is SAFE for your food allergy kids to eat?  Worried daily that teachers or family members will NOT read the labels properly or will accidentally share something with your child they shouldn't?  I have an easy solution for you.  

S.A.F.E. Food Allergy Labels

S.A.F.E. Food Allergy Labels (go directly to STORE page)

As a full time working mom who also travels, keeping two food allergy kids SAFE is a necessity for me, my husband and anyone who interacts with them.  Two kids.. two sets of allergies.  Between the two of them, we have managed an ever changing array of food allergies including:  anaphylaxis to peanuts, dairy, soy, eggs, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, bananas, kiwi and avocados.  

Forget teaching others ALL that we have to avoid .  We just need people to keep them SAFE.  As young children, we needed something easy to designate what was SAFE for them to eat at home and at childcare.  Brightly colored stickers saved us.  Then I took it one step further and designed my own.

Monday, December 8, 2014

A & J Bakery Allergen Friendly Gingerbread Houses - A Giveaway You Don't Want to Miss!

We bought our first A&J Bakery Gingerbread House 2 years ago, and it has become an annual decorating tradition in our home ever since.  Personally, I love their products because they are made in a dedicated nut-free facility and we manage life-threatening peanut/nut allergies as well as a few other allergens.  It is also dedicated gluten-free, which will thrill many more families.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Delicious Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate!

When we first started managing our dairy-free lifestyle, I thought it was going to impossible.  Now I know NOT only is it possible, but there are substitutes for just about EVERYTHING.

S.A.F.E. Recipe for an Allergy~friendly Warm Up!
DF, EF, NF Hot Chocolate
Dairy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free

1 C of milk alternative (ie, Coconut, Flax and Soy)
1 tsp of cocoa (use carob if you can't use cocoa)
1 tsp of sugar

Mix cocoa and sugar in liquid while it's warming up.  Don't let it boil or you could get a film on the top of the liquid.  Top with your favorite allergy~friendly marshmallows!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

'Lactose intolerant vs Milk Allergy' - How My Young Camper is Educating Adults one Grown-up at a Time

As I was preparing to send off of my 11 year old, 6th grader with milk and tree nut allergies to an outdoor science camp, this food allergy Mama was a bit nervous.  Although I could attend the last 2 1/2 days as a chaperone, that left her with 2 1/2 days to be in charge of advocating for herself, if need be.  She proved that I had little to worry about.

Here's the story she told me, almost ONE WEEK after camp was over.  

As she was sitting down to have lunch, one of the counselors joined her.  This young lady struck up a conversation with my daughter about her allergies.  It went something like this:

S.A.F.E. - Sending my Food Allergic Daughter Off to Camp

Counselor:  " So you are gluten intolerant?".
Daughter:  "No, I have a milk allergy".  
Counselor:  "Oh, so you're lactose intolerant".
Daughter: "No, I am milk allergic".
Counselor: "Well, they are the same thing".
Daughter: "No, they're not". 
Counselor: "Yeah, they are the same thing".
Daughter: "No, they're not.  Lactose intolerant has to do with sugars in the milk.  Milk Allergy has to do with proteins in the milk".  
Counselor:  "Oh. How do you know so much about this?"
Daughter:  "Well, I am milk allergic and my mom is really on top of my allergies".

Food Allergies and Outdoor Camp - They Can Go Together

It's amazing to my daughter and me how often when people hear she has 'food allergies' they immediately ask her "are you gluten intolerant?", OR "so you're lactose intolerant?".  


Lactose intolerance  means you can NOT digest the milk sugar (lactose) in products.  It's usually NOT dangerous but symptoms can be uncomfortable.  You may have intestinal problems - bloating, diarrhea, stomach aches.  Some individuals can even take pills so that they can still eat dairy products with minimal side effects.

Milk Allergy is an abnormal response by the body's immune system to milk and products containing milk.  Cow's milk is the usual cause, but milk from sheep, goats and buffalo and other mammals can cause a reaction.  Signs and symptoms of milk allergies can range from mild to severe, sometimes causing anaphylaxis - a life-threatening reaction.

I can NOT tell you how proud I am of my daughter and how she so graciously handled this situation.  She then casually told me how she had a similar conversation with yet another adult at her school who works in the kitchen.  

I reminded her that it's NOT really about me being on top of it.  She IS the one who LIVES with the milk allergy EVERY. DAY. OF. HER. LIFE. 

Embracing our differences and being educated on our challenges makes us better prepared individuals.  My daughter now realizes that when it comes to food allergies, she sometimes DOES know more than others.  She is learning life lessons that even some adults have trouble grasping.  
  • Our Elders do NOT always know better.
  • Don't be afraid to speak up for your needs.
  • Being and Advocate for yourself is necessary, and could be life saving.
  • There are educational moments at the most unexpected times.
In the big picture, we ONLY have these kids for a short period of time and we need to equip them with the tools and confidence to know they can take care of themselves. What a relief it is to know that my food allergy kids are becoming adept at advocating for themselves. I wish the same for you ~

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Food Allergy Jams Kickstarter~ Guest Blogger, Kathy Thornburg shares about her Passion, Vision and Hopes of Producing this Educational CD

As a huge supporter of anyone trying to make a difference in the foodallergy world, I am pleased to share about another Food Allergy Mom trying to make a positive impact in the food allergy world.  My guest blogger, Kathy Thornburg, explains the WHY behind her project, and HOW WE can help make her dreams come true by supporting this Food Allergy Jams Kickstarter Project.  

Here's to someone trying to take some of the fear out of living with life threatening food allergies, and using music, fun lyrics and positive energy to educate the community!

The last day to support this project is Wednesday, November 19th! Please share with all of your food allergy fans, friends and family! 

Good Luck Kathy! 

Songs the World Might Never Hear…Without YOU!

Food Allergy Jams is a kids’ music CD that teaches important lessons about food allergies in a creative and musical way. You may have read about us on one of your favorite blogs or be following us on social media which means you probably already know our food allergy story. 

IF you haven't yet heard about us, check out our featured articles here:

What I want to share with you today is a little more about one of my favorite Food Allergy Jams songs and why this song is so important. The song is called, Cross Contact React. This song teaches a lesson that is so often forgotten and often misunderstood especially by people with no personal connection  to food allergies.

Even though a surface may show no visible signs of the presence of food, it may still be covered with allergens and food proteins that would be dangerous to someone else with a food allergy to an ingredient in that food. Many restaurants fail to follow safe food preparation practices like
  • changing gloves
  • having designated allergen free cooking supplies
  • thoroughly washing contaminated surfaces, and communicating cooking steps clearly
  • openly with customers. 
Cross Contact React is a catchy jazz inspired tune that will help remind your child to ask important questions when dining out at a restaurant or at someone else’s home.  They can start by watching how you ask questions and as they get a little older, they can practice being their own advocate with your encouragement!

This song opens up the lines of communication between you and your child.  It gives you an opportunity to discuss more with your child about how to make safe choices to avoid cross contact. This is one of the many songs for Food Allergy Jams that is written from the perspective of a food allergic child and a song that, if funded, will be recorded with a talented child singer.

I envision Food Allergy Jams to be a special CD that combines a variety of musical styles, instruments, tempos, and topics to reach out to the millions of young children living with food allergies. This CD is also unique in that you can be involved in making in happen! 

Kickstarter is not just about money (although of course the money is very important to the project's success).  It’s about working together to create something special and helpful to the food allergy community. Becoming a backer not only gives you access to our product and provides us with the necessary funds to make it happen, but it allows you to be part of the creative process. 

By backing Food Allergy Jams, you become part of the team. You get to join us on the journey from the very beginning. You get to hear our songs before anyone else. You receive special updates along the way so you have the inside scoop of how Food Allergy Jams is taking shape. You MIGHT even get a say in which songs make the final cut (we have way more written songs than one awesome CD can contain and will have to narrow it down somehow!)

Many people have asked me as our days on Kickstarter are nearing an end, “What is your plan B if Kickstarter doesn’t work?” “Can you change the amount you are asking for on Kickstarter?” “Can you extend the campaign?”

The answer is NO. There is no plan B at this point in time. If the CD doesn’t receive adequate funding through Kickstarter, the songs will stay lovingly in our home and hearts. No, we can’t change how much we are trying to raise for two reasons 
  1. That’s what it costs to make the CD possible! 
  2. Kickstarter does not allow you to make those changes after launching your project.  We can’t extend the campaign to give people more time to back as this is not allowed by Kickstarter rules. 

This means if you want to see our CD become a reality, it’s not enough to merely hope it funds. If you want Food Allergy Jams to become a reality, you need to support it with your pledge and your voice! 

Check out Food Allergy Jams on Kickstarter TODAY and choose the reward that works best for you.  Then, tell others about this campaign and challenge challenge them to check it out!

Food Allergy Jams on Kickstarter here:
Food Allergy Jams Kickstarter Project 

Thanks! Kathy Thornburg

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Living with food allergies and stressed in so many areas it's overwhelming?  Still trying to understand your recent diagnosis?  Not knowing how to handle your new nutrition needs?  NO idea on how to manage child care/school needs with your kids?  Join me and 11 others as we offer invaluable ideas and suggestions to help you STOP FEELING ISOLATED AND LIMITED with your FOOD ALLERGIES.

November 3 - 6th  

Listen WORLDWIDE from any location
12 Phenomenal Speakers 
12 Impactful Food Allergy Topics


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Enjoy Life NOT NUTS! SEED AND FRUIT MIX - An awesome option for NUT-FREE Friends and Classrooms!

NUT-FREE Classrooms and NUT-FREE Schools can make those looking for alternatives a bit cranky, especially if they DON'T live in the life-threatening allergy world!

Here is a SOLUTION many will thank you for offering!  Think SAFE trail mix, SAFE cookies and/or SAFE holiday treats.  Low calorie, low sodium options with good fats from seeds AND antioxidants from fruit.  Even better, is that during October 2014, you may find these mixes ON SALE at your local markets.

S.A.F.E. NOT NUTS! Seed and Fruit Review

enjoy life not nuts! seed and fruit mix FREE of  the TOP 8 ALLERGENS, as well as casein-free, pototo-free, sesame-free and sulfite-free!  They are also manufactured in a designated gluten-free and nut-free facility. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Living with Food Allergies - Doing my part to help my kids take the 'NO BIGGIE' Approach

Preschool.. Back to school.. parties.. holidays... SOO  many reasons to be afraid of living with food allergies.  SOO many opportunities to raise awareness.

Kindergarteners - October 2014

Last week I was back in the classroom offering allergy awareness classes to two groups of kindergarteners.  I LOVE working with these age groups because we have SO much to learn from them.  They were open, caring and wanting to take care of their peers.  They are not yet afraid.  They speak back to the video as if Alexander the Elephant is truly speaking to them.  

Alexander the Elephant and his Mom

It's refreshing.  Encouraging.  And, Enlightening.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

O.M. Goodness - Divvies Nut-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free Kettle Korn is Awesome!

It is my very first night at the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference 2014 and I have eaten the entire bag of egg-free, dairy-free and nut-free Divvies Kettle Popcorn.  My gift bags are overflowing, but I'm quite content devouring this awesome popcorn! Can't wait to take some home to my allergy kids and see what they think~ I'm pretty sure they will be delighted!

S.A.F.E. Review - Divvies Kettle Korn

Divvies Kettle Korn, all natural, nut, egg and dairy free.  Made in our dedicated peanut, tree nut, egg and dairy-free bakery.  Manufactured at Divvies, LLC, Salem, NY  10590.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Allermates - Bracelets and Carrying Cases to Help with Your Allergy and Asthma Needs

The ritual of sending your kids 'Back to School' is in full swing!  Wanting them to be SAFE while out of your hands is at the forefront of every parents' mind.  Add in the challenges of managing allergies, asthma or autism and your worries just multiply.   

Allermates is a company which has resources available to help ease your stress.  Wristbands, carrying cases, lunchboxes, medical bags and ready to purchase labels may be just what YOU need to help make your food allergy journey easier.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Nana's Nola Gluten Free Granola Bites - An Organic, Soy-free, Wheat-free Option Many Will Enjoy

I was pleased some time ago when Nana's Nola contacted me and asked if I'd be willing to try out their newly marketed granola and offer a review.  One look at the ingredients and I knew this organic, soy-free, wheat-free and gluten-free product could be a great find for many of my fans.   

S.A.F.E. Review - Nana Nola's Gluten-Free Granola Bites 

Some granolas are very crunchy, almost too hard to chew.  Not this one.  The easy to chew crunchiness in this blend comes from gluten-free rolled oats, organic crisp rice, organic quinoa puffed and sunflower seeds.  I am already a huge fan of agave and like the sweetness it adds to this mix.  It is delicious with yogurt, blended in shakes or just on its own - as I can attest to as I happily munch on it as I write up this review.

Grandmother, Marie Lusin's original granola was served to customers at her 'Flying Changes Bed-and-Breakfast', in Oneonta, New York.  It was so popular she was encouraged to serve it to a larger population.  Being primarily focused on providing a granola to consumers with celiac conditions, she took up the challenge and perfected her organic, gluten-free whole grains granola mix.

Click on the following link, Nana's Nola On-Line Store, to purchase Nana Nola's Gluten Free Granola Bites.  If you live in the Oneonta area, you can find them at Daddy Al's, The Green Earth, Damaschke Field, Cooperstown All Star Village and at area Mirabito's convenience stores.

The only concern for some will be the following statement on the packaging:  Manufactured in a facility that uses peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy and dairy.  

Be sure to give them a call if you have questions about their manufacturing/cleaning practices.  It will be worth the time to know you can add this to your allergy~friendly cabinet~

Visit my Amazon Store for more Allergy~Friendly Product Recommendations

Friday, August 1, 2014

Julia's Special Cupcakes - A New Food Allergy Book Available in E-book Format

Monica Martinez, author of Julia's Special Cupcakes, recently reached out to me to see if I would review her newly published e-book.  Always looking to expand my food allergy children's book library, I was pleased I could download it on my kindle and read it as we headed out on our camping getaway~

S.A.F.E. Book Review

I think this food allergy story would be a fun addition for anyone having pre-school and early elementary aged children.  It's simply written, easy to understand and has colorful artwork.  What I appreciate the most is how it is pointed out that children with food allergies can still enjoy the same treats as every other kid AND have FUN doing it!

Friday, July 18, 2014

New U.S. Gluten-Free Standards as of August 5th - Is this Good Enough for Those Living with Wheat Allergies and Celiacs?

No-one in my family NOR am I gluten-free or wheat allergic.  But I have many friends who live gluten-free lives.  Those who live this lifestyle by choice are thrilled that there is going to be a more specific regulation in place to ensure more accurate labeling of gluten-free products.  I have heard from friends who live this lifestyle for medical reasons, ie., wheat allergies and Celiac's disease, that there may now be more confusion.

Gluten-Free Labeling - S.A.F.E. Review

As of August 5th, the FDA is requiring that pre-packaged foods with a gluten-free claim MUST contain less than 20 parts per millions (ppm) of gluten.  This standard covers ALL foods and dietary supplements regulated by the FDA, it does NOT apply to most alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, prescription and non-prescription drugs, pet food, and foods regulated by the USDA (such as meat and poultry).