Saturday, December 29, 2012

Reaction Record

After my allergic reaction last Friday, I was thinking about how it had been so long since my last reaction-probably over 2 years ago! Even though its great that it was so long ago, I don't remember any of the details of that day. I don't know how I reacted to the allergen or even what the allergen was! So today I wrote down last Friday's date, and described my allergic reaction. I explained what I ate before hand, what I think I reacted to, and all of the symptoms- which is probably the most important part. I'm going to make this my Reaction Record, and every time I have a reaction (hopefully they are few and far between) I'm going to describe what happens. Maybe this will be of some use to my doctors, or even just to me! I'll be able to learn more from my past mistakes when I actually remember what they were! I suggest you do the same!
Best of Luck!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Bullying and Food Allergies

Right now, I am sitting in my family room and while half-paying attention to the news, I suddenly heard "Food Allergies" mentioned. My head snapped up and I heard them say that many kids with food allergies are bullied! I immediately looked it up and found this article that shares some information about it! Read the article and tell me what you think!

Bullying and Food Allergies

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Facebook Cover Photo Contest WINNER!

Jordan, Age 8, is the winner of the Facebook Cover Photo Contest! She shares that even though people have allergies, you can still find something to smile at! Congratulations Jordan! You did a great job! You deserve plenty of praise, and great big SMILES :D

Merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

You Are Not Alone!

Having food allergies is a struggle, my situation yesterday really showed me that. However, I was able to pull through because of my family, and all those that care about me. My mom showed up at my school within 20 minutes, my dad right behind her. My sister immediately came to check in on me. My friend brought me down to the nurse with a lot of concern in her face, and then later with the help of another brought down my backpack when it was obvious I wasn't going back to class. When I was getting sick, my dad was wiping my face clean, holding an ice pack to my neck. As soon as I got home, my brother expressed his concern for me. He offered to make me toast, and my mom came to check in and see if I was okay multiple times. So many people yesterday showed me how much they cared about me and it was an amazing feeling. I would like to thank all of them! It meant so much to me and truly showed me how I am never alone in the struggle against food allergies, and neither are you!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Allergy Friendly (Not!)

Today was one of those days where I wanted so badly not to have allergies. We were having a class Holiday party today, the last block of the day before winter break. I made Donna's "Butter" Cookies and they were a great success! Everyone loved them! Another person brought in Lay's potato chips, which are also allergy friendly! I was quite happy with the food turn out! However, about 1 week ago, my friend told me she was planning on making latkas. She showed me a picture of the ingredient list and told me that they were going to be fried in veggie oil, and that was it. I was excited, I was going to get to try a latka, and it was allergy friendly without any recipe altering! So of course I told her yes, that I can eat them!

However, after eating just one, about 2 inches in diameter, I felt my stomach starting to hurt within the next 20 minutes. At first I just thought, no hoped, that maybe, just maybe, it only hurt because I had eaten too many cookies and chips. But we all know that there is quite a difference between a "belly ache" and an "allergy ache"...they are two completely different feelings. In the next five minutes, I could tell it was a reaction because my body was heating up and my stomach really hurt. My mom and dad arrived in the nurses office soon after that, and when my mom had to leave for a doctors appointment, she told my dad "Take care of my baby girl". She felt horrible that she couldn't stay when I was in so much pain, but don't worry mom, dad took care of me!

As I sat in the nurses office, school ended and everyone went home. But not me, I sat with the nurse and my dad for another hour and a half. Towards the end, I just wanted to throw up, just so I could get everything out of my system, and after starting to have an itchy neck, it finally happened. As soon as I was done, I felt 110% better and I, exhausted after a lot of Benadryl, went home. 

I guess when I told my friend that her latkas were safe for me, I was saying it not because it was true, but because I wanted them so badly to be safe. I let my feelings cloud my judgment, and endangered myself in the process. Today was my first allergy reaction in over 2 years, and I can easily say that it was a learning lesson for me. This time around, I'm going to try to stay allergy free longer!
Wish me Luck!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Things "They" Don't Think Of

2 years ago, I was scheduled to get braces. But before that was even planned, my mom took me to a dermatologist- for, you guessed it- allergy testing! I was going to be living two years with strips of metal in my mouth, and I definitely didn't want to be allergic to it!  For 2 whole weeks I had to wear a white bandage on my forearm while the testing was going on...I got many questions from people thinking that I had somehow hurt myself! Fortunately that was not the case. Though it turned out that I am allergic to magnesium- interesting, isn't it? That a person can be allergic to metal...Well anyway, magnesium was not an "ingredient" in the braces and I set my appointment. I have now been braces free for almost 4 months now and completely allergy safe!

However strange the idea of getting tested for allergies to braces may seem to outsiders of the "allergy world", it is a natural thought process for anyone with allergies! If anything is going to be in contact with you that you haven't been in contact with before, it is natural to get tested for it, including braces!It may not be something "they" (non-allergic people that is) would ever understand or even think of, but it's important to keep yourself safe! So even though it may seem unlikely that you'll be allergic to it, get tested anyways! As my dad always says "It's better to be safe than sorry!"
Best of Luck!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Facebook Page Cover Photo Contest!


I posted about 2 months ago on my Facebook page that once my page reached 100 likes, I was going to have a contest! Well, thanks to my many followers, I have reached 101 likes and its CONTEST TIME!!!

Here is your task:
Design a cover photo for my Facebook Page that is allergy-related!!!

As for the design of the photo, it is up to you! It can be hand drawn by your child, computer generated, or even a photo of something! Whatever you think is best! Just make sure the photo is going to fit as a Facebook cover photo!

I will be accepting photos until December 24th and will initiate the new cover photo on December 25th! (A pretty good Christmas present for the winner!) That gives  you 15 days! Spread the word around and Best of Luck!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Benefits of Food Allergies- YOUR Opinions!

Lisa says: "Helps us eat healthier and reduces the amount of processed foods in our house! Baking and cooking really is a nice family activity!"

Amanda says: "We eat so much healthier! I've lost over 20 pounds since my daughters food allergy diagnosis. Love providing my family with wholesome WHOLE foods to eat. Better for everyone!"

Jenni says: "I hate for allergies for many reasons, but one reason I am grateful for them is that they have forced us to reconsider what we all as a family put into our bodies, and we now eat healthier for it. And since being more aware of our daughters food issues, we have began listening to our own bodies more"

Shannon says: I am truly grateful for the social 'filter' that food allergies offer. While it took me a while to see it as a gift, I love how real and honest our friendships are with others. Food allergies gave us the blessing of understanding who accepts our lives as a family against those that don't. I came to realize that some people don't 'get it' or want to 'get it' and that's okay. When you meet those that DO care and completely support you for! That's a real friend!! Such a blessing!

Anonymous says: "[My son] has always been positive about his allergies but the positive he has is money money money. I don't mean we bribe him lol. His pocket money, birthday money, grandparents give him money, etc. Anyway my eldest son spends his on sweets etc but because the youngest can't he has a savings that is the envy of all. He always has money to buy what he wants. And to quote 'It's cool having allergies'."

These are all great reasons!
For me, I think food allergies have made me much stronger and even more independent than I ever would have been if I didn't have allergies. Think about it. Everyday we have to deal with watching what we eat. We also have to deal with others wondering why we don't eat what they eat and then having to give the whole explanation. (You all know the one!) But everyday I am proud to have food allergies! They have made me who I am, and if I was given the choice to be born without them, I wouldn't take it! They have taught me more about myself than anyone or anything out there. Sure, someday I hope I grow out of them, but for now, I'm happy as I am!


Friday, December 7, 2012

It's Been Approved!

I have been meaning to tell you all for a while now, but as of about 1 week ago, my Silver Award Project has been approved! This means that I can move onto my Gold Award. I plan on continuing Allergy Alli even though my project is over and am hoping that I can somehow incorporate it into my Gold Award as well!
Wish me luck!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Benefits of Food Allergies

Have you ever realized that people always talk of food allergies in a negative point of view? Why is that?!?! If you know how to live with food allergies and you understand them, are they really that bad? I want to composite a list of all your opinions. Why are food allergies beneficial to you and your life? Get your child's opinion as well!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Never Make Me Cry

In my English class, my teacher gave us an assignment to write a poem about something that has affected our lives. Naturally, I chose my food allergies and wanted to share the poem with all of you.
* Please note the reference to my blog in this :) *

Never Make Me Cry
Some may say I'm different 
Some may say I'm strange
But when I'm standing next to you
We look just the same

Nothing on the outside
 Is different, you see
It is something on the inside
That separates you from me

For me it's like a madness
That cut straight to the core
But when I realized God's there for me
It was a madness no more

I was constantly careful
I was nervous that the pain,
(If one thing went wrong)
Would start coursing through my veins

Now as I get older
I struggle less and less
I've come to understand
God gives the hard stuff to his best

I've learned to survive
To flourish, to withstand
Everything this has thrown at me
Especially when unplanned

To you it seems there's something wrong
Just from what you've read
 But really I'm living quite strong
In the shadow of what's ahead

I'm passing on my knowledge
To others just like me
I share my stories with them
And inspire them to believe

Someday its presumed
That they'll simply disappear
But the doctors have been saying this 
For a hundred thousand years

With this I was born,
And with this I will die.
But never will I let again
My food allergies make me cry.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

4th Grade Memories

Having food allergies can be hard, and having a reaction is even harder. But I've been lucky. My brother Peter and I have the same food allergies so we know that whatever one eats, so can the other. We also have very similar reactions to our allergens, which most of the time is vomiting. I remember one time in particular. I even wrote a story about it in 4th grade. Here's what I wrote (no edits):

I'm Proud of You 

     It was a normal time, of a normal day, of a normal year, but I'm not sure if my brother made it feel as...well as normal as it was supposed to be.

     Me and my brother were sitting in our (normal) family room watching t.v.. Everything was fine, until it happened.
     "Blegh!" My brother was starting to vomit. Not a good sign. I raced into my (normal) kitchen, grabbed an bucket and darted back into my (not so normal anymore) family room.
     "Mom!!!" I shout up the stais into my moms office. "Peter's getting sick!!!" I do this while holding a bucket under my brother's mouth.
    My mom reminds me of a fast racehorse racing to the finish line. The finish line? My brother.
    She sees me holding the bucket in front of Peter and tries to clean up everything he vomited on the carpet, the couch, and himself. as he finishes cleaning his stomach out of whatever irritated it, he starts to feel better.

     About an hour later afte everything (and everyone) was cleaned up my mom told me something.

     "Allison?" my mom says.
     "Yeah?" I answer.
     "There aren't many people, including me, that would hold a bucket infront of someone who's getting sick in the bucket. I"m proud of you."
     "Thanks mom."
     "Peter will always know that his sisters love him."

      I guessed it turned out to be a not-so-normal day after all.

I guess what I'm trying to point out here is that food allergies have impacted my life from Day 1. It impacted me enough that I wrote a story about it when I was 9! There has never been a day that I haven't thought and/or worried about food allergies. But you have to know you can still build a successful life around food allergies! I have so far!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Food Overview

The food in my house for Thanksgiving is simple-yet delicious! My mom is a wonderful cook, and even though I'll offer to help, she'll tell me I'm not fast enough at peeling potatoes. But its okay- watching her cook makes up for it!

Main Dish:
  • obviously the turkey!!!
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Onion Soup Mix Potatoes 
    • (not everyone in my family are mashed potato lovers-but I just don't understand it!)
  • Salad
  • Stuffing
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Assorted Vegetables (carrots, green beans, corn, broccoli, etc.) 
  • Apple Pie
  • Cinnamuffins 
  • Ice Cream (Sorbet for the Allergic)
    • By the time we get to dessert, we are all stuffed! So not a lot of effort is put into the dessert category... :)

  • Apple Cider
I meant to get this out before Thanksgiving, but there was a lot going on last week, and didn't have computer access until today! I hope everyone had a great allergen-free Thanksgiving!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving 101

As we all know, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This, (as says) is "a national holiday celebrated as a day of feasting and giving thanks". So pretty much its a day of giving thanks--and EATING! Now to most, this is the best holiday of the year. After all, who doesn't love food? However, to those with food allergies, its a day of celebration and anxiety. Whether you stay at home or visit someone else's house for dinner, there is going to be something to worry about. But do not fear! Allergy Alli is here! I'm going to share my favorite Thanksgiving foods and recipes and best ways to avoid allergens on this fabulous day of food! Follow my posts over the next few days and learn how I celebrate Thanksgiving with food allergies!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Flourish with Food Allergies

When I was little, I used to always ask my mom, "Why me? Why do I have food allergies?" Her simple response was that God has something special planned for me, and that I should have faith that He knows what He's doing.

As a little kid, to hear that I am special, changed my whole outlook on food allergies. My feelings of food allergies being a curse were replaced by feelings that food allergies are a blessing--that I'm meant for a greater purpose than just living day by day.

Never doubt that you are special, and that you are able to survive! You are strong because of your food allergies! Give yourself confidence! Food allergies should not control your life! You are better than that! You are meant to have food allergies for a reason and maybe one day you'll be able to help others cope, no, flourish while living with food allergies. Best of luck!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Does anyone have suggestions on what to write about next? I want my blog to help you so I want to hear what you think and what you want to hear! Please comment below or post on my Facebook Page! Thank you!

Allergy Alli Facebook Page

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Anyone else agree? !

I hope everyone enjoyed a laugh!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Recognizing Foods

Have you ever noticed that when it comes to what food looks and tastes like, its so easy to tell brands apart? I think this happens because we (those with food allergies that is) are constantly thinking about what we are eating.

The other day I was at a dance practice for my High School spirit week, which is pretty much a battle between the grades. Anyway, at this persons house, there was a bowl of potato chips. I could almost immediately pinpoint that they were Utz brand, which I am not allergic to. I was eating some, knowing that they were safe for me, when someone asked me: "How do you know you're not allergic to them?" I answered because they look and taste like Utz. Everyone around me gave me quizzical looks, and it wasn't until that moment that I realized other people don't have the same ability to tell foods and brands apart as I do. One girl went and grabbed the bag, and when she came back with an Utz potato chip bag, everyone was very impressed.

Looking back now, I know I definitely should have asked what brand they were. I was lucky this time in guessing right, but next time I might not be. Take this as a warning to all of you with food allergies. I know many of you are like me, and are easily able to tell foods apart- however it is not worth the risk it involves by guessing! Double check! Its better to be safe than sorry!


Saturday, October 13, 2012


Normally I have a little story or advice to go along with the pictures I post, but not for this one. I just thought it was funny! :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Oreo Muffins

I did not make these- my mom discovered this recipe on
Nabisco World and that is where the picture is from.
Milk, Egg, Peanut, and Nut Free

1-3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup cold milk free, soy free margarine
1-1/2 Tbsp. water, 1-1/2 Tbsp. oil, 1 tsp. baking powder (Egg Substitute- mix together in separate bowl before adding to the mix)
1 cup soy milk
16 Oreo cookies coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Cut in margarine with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Mix egg substitute together in a separate bowl and add in soy milk; whisk until well blended. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Gently stir in chopped cookies. Spoon evenly into 12 greased or paper-lined medium muffin cups.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Remove from pan; cool slightly on wire rack and serve warm.

I really enjoyed these muffins-- and my friends do too! They can be a little dry, but as I am not a professional baker, I cannot tell you how to fix that. If anyone makes these and figures out how to fix it, let me know! In the mean time, enjoy!

Please remember to double check all ingredients for your allergens!


Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Silver Award

As most of you probably know, I created this blog as part of my Silver Award project for Girl Scouts. I've been working really hard and as of yesterday, my final report has been handed in!!! Now I just have to wait for up to 6 weeks for the Girl Scout Council of Northern New Jersey to approve it! I'll let you know when I find out!


Friday, September 28, 2012

Feedback Please!!!

I've had this blog for almost two months now, and I would really like some feedback! I've gotten a lot of positive comments ---which I really appreciate!!!! They honestly make my day every time I read them :)  Well anyway, I want to know what you really like reading. Do you like the recipes, advice, or maybe stories? or maybe you like it when I post pictures and then make a connection to it? What don't you like about my blog? Whatever it is, I want to know! I want to make my blog the best it can be, and the only way to do that is to listen to you! So please comment on this post or comment on my blog! Thanks for following me!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

It's Not You!

Okay, so I'm a teen -- and from some of my good friends, I get questions about what it will be like dating with food allergies. What if my date wants to go out to dinner with me, or the movies? What happens if he wants to kiss me and he's eaten something I'm allergic to? (Sorry for this mom, I know this scares you). Well, I haven't yet come across this problem, but I know one thing. I cannot be embarrassed about having food allergies with my date, because at some point, if he doesn't know, it could be the matter of life or death for me. So I've thought about it, and I realized I have to be upfront about my food allergies. When the date first starts, I have to immediately tell him, "I have food allergies. I keep an Epi-Pen and Benadryl in my purse. If I ever have an allergic reaction to something I eat, you have to give these to me. Maybe sometime I can teach you how to use the Epi-Pen so in an emergency you can help me?" Not only would this little question help you stay safe, but it will also give you another opportunity to hang out with him! If the boy really cares about you, he will do anything possible to keep you safe! If he doesn't care, then maybe you should take a second look at the reasons as to why you're going out with him. Your safety is number one when it comes to dating, so don't let yourself be embarrassed. Remember that it's not your fault!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Close Call

The other day, I had a very close call- but because of my little brother, a food allergy accident was avoided. My brother had just gotten back from camp, and there was a bag of lemon snap cookies on the counter in a bag. I went in and grabbed some after checking the label. I asked my little brother, "Hey, are these lemon cookies good?" He immediately replied, "I don't know, I can't have them". (My little brother has all of the same food allergies as I do--except he's not allergic to carrots). I looked at him like he's crazy because I always look very carefully at labels. But just in case, I double check. He was right. At the bottom of the ingredients in small but noticeably bold type, it said "Produced on a facility that manufactures peanuts."

My brother has always been there to help me, and its been great growing up with someone that had to go through the same problems that I have had to go through. I've been able to avoid any allergic reactions for probably around two years now, and thanks to him I've been able to keep that streak going! He's the BEST!!! :)


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Egg Substitute

Milk, Egg, Nut, Peanut, and Soy Free

One staple in any baking recipe is eggs. But when you're allergic to eggs, it becomes a big issue to find a dessert you're not allergic to! In a FA cook book my mom has always had, there are multiple egg substitutes, but this is the one I've always used, and I hope it helps you too!

1 1/2 TBL. Water
1 1/2 TBL. Oil (not peanut)
1 tsp. Baking Powder

TWO EGGS (just double):
3 TBL. Water
3 TBL. Oil (not peanut)
2 tsp. Baking Powder

Please remember to double check all ingredients for your food allergens. I hope you can use this to your benefit!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Disturbing Experience.

Today I had an unusual experience, and I felt that it was something that needed to be shared with all of you.

I was in my gym after school waiting for my coach to arrive, as were a bunch of other students. A boy came up to a girl near me and asked for a sip of her water. The girl said no. So the boy comes up to my friend behind me and says I can't believe she didn't let me have just a sip of her water. So my friend picks up a random water by someone's abandoned backpack and says here. He asks her if its hers and she says no, but that it doesn't matter. I proceed to watch him take a gulp of this water bottle and then put it back down on the ground as if nothing had happened while my friend walks away. I turned to him in rage. I told him "You know if that person has food allergies and you ate something they're allergic to, they can get really sick!" He calmly told me that he didn't have any nuts that day so they would be fine. I said NO. I told him "There are other food allergies out there besides nuts! I'm allergic to milk, beef and egg and someone could get really sick  by drinking something that has been contaminated with any trace of their food allergen!" He just looked at me dumbly and said "You're allergic to steak?" I couldn't handle it any longer. I stomped away in rage knowing that the owner of that water bottle did not in fact have any food allergies, but stupefied that this person could not comprehend that someone could DIE if they came in contact with the allergen.

This whole situation frustrated and scared me at the same time. A person doesn't fully understand what a food allergy is unless they have it themselves, and that ISN'T RIGHT! People need to be aware of how dangerous food allergies are and realize its not that they can't eat a food, but if they do they become sick! I hope there are more people out there that aren't dealing with this problem or have never had to. I hope someday my whole school can really understand what food allergies are all about, and that schools across the globe learn the same.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Potato Chip Cookies

Milk, Egg, Peanut, Nut and Soy Free

1 cup milk free, soy free margarine
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup crushed potato chips

Roll into balls and bake at 350 degrees on ungreased sheet until golden. (About 8-10 minutes)

This is a very simple recipe, but as a salty snack lover, they are great!

Please remember to double check all ingredients for your food allergens. Enjoy!


Friday, September 7, 2012


School has started back up again (I've only had two days and I already wish it was over!), and sometimes kids just don't understand what it's like to have food allergies.

When I was in first grade, there is one thing I clearly remember. It was my turn to play a computer game, and all I remember about it was that it involved ants stealing food from a picnic blanket. One boy came up behind me and in the most mocking-tone possible, he said something like "Make sure you don't eat the peanuts, Allison". Now for whatever reason, this made me cry uncontrollably. Looking back now, I don't exactly remember why, but I know it hurt my feelings.

My food allergies were misunderstood by this one kid. To him, I was the allergy girl. To myself, I am an ordinary girl who just happens to have food allergies. When people let food allergies define who they are, that is when they become misunderstood. Most of the time, when I eat around people and explain that I have food allergies, they are normally like "Really? I didn't know!". I make people remember me for who I am, not my food allergies. Don't get me wrong; I embrace my food allergies with confidence and do not shy away from situations that involves me explaining them. My Aunt shared this picture with me, and this is exactly what I've been trying to say.

My struggle is food allergies. But I am not food allergies. I will not let people define me for my food allergies, and neither should you! Best of luck!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Turkey Meatballs

Milk, Egg, Nut, Peanut, and Soy Free

1 1/4 lb ground turkey
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Use hands to mix ingredients into the ground turkey. Take spoon-fulls of the meat and roll into balls. Put meatballs on a cooking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and put in oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Flip over and cook for another 10 minutes.

Please remember to double check all ingredients for your food allergens. Enjoy!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Facebook Page

I just created a Facebook page to spread the word about my blog. Please visit and like the page! If you have any ideas for posts, let me know!

Visit Allergy Alli (on Facebook)


Sunday, September 2, 2012

More Than The Meter

About 1 year ago, my cousin was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. He was used to eating everything he wanted, whenever he wanted. But then suddenly, that was all taken away from him. To an 8 year old kid, that is a life changing disaster. He would sneak into his pantry at night just so he could have a snack he really wanted. My Aunt has had to struggle with her school system; trying to get them to understand the needs of her child. My Aunt has created a blog about her and her son's struggles with diabetes. I know this isn't exactly about food allergies, but I do know that diabetes is another struggle with food. Please look at her blog and spread the word if you know someone with diabetes!

Visit More Than The Meter


Monday, August 27, 2012

Kid's Day

As another part of my Silver Award, I assisted a woman who is in charge of a food allergy support group that meets about once a month. Last week I went to one of the parent meetings and talked to the parents about living with food allergies, and today I talked to their kids at Kid's Day. She created Kids Day as a party for kids with food allergies that didn't involve food! So we made crafts, read stories, played games, and even had a piƱata that was filled with toys that the kids could play with! Overall, it was a great day for kids with food allergies because they could see that there are other kids out there in the same situation. I know I had fun meeting these really cute kids and I hope they had fun too!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Back to School, Back to Allergies

Over the summer, I feel like everyone with food allergies gets a break. You mostly eat at home and don't have to worry about eating at school or any cross contamination's from your friends' food. But in a little over a week, school is starting up again, which unfortunately means our break is over.

When preparing to go back to school (elementary school in this case), make sure you talk to not just the nurse, but your teacher as well. The nurse may be the one you give your medication, but you are more than likely to be with your teacher when you start reacting. Make sure your teacher knows the symptoms of an allergic reaction because you might not notice it at first. Just a suggestion, but see if your teacher can get trained in how to use an Epi-pen, it could always come in handy if the school nurse isn't available.

This year, I'm going into High School. I've known how to use an Epi-pen since third grade (check out my previous post CBS Family Interview), but it was last year that I was officially trained. In my high school, we are allowed to carry around a bag, so I'll be carrying around my own Epi-pen, Inhaler, and Benadryl, and I suggest you do too. Its still a good idea to give your medication to the nurse, but if there ever comes the time where you need any of it, its easier and safer to you have it on you.

When it comes to lunch time, I highly suggest that you bring your own food. It is definitely safer than eating something in the cafeteria, because there is always the risk of cross contamination. However, if you feel that your cafeteria staff is really good and it will be safe, go for it! HOWEVER, make sure you talk to the cafeteria staff before school starts to tell them that you have food allergies and they can help you figure out what you can and can't eat. I never risked buying cafeteria food, but occasionally one of their packaged snacks that I could read the label of.

Well, good luck on the first day of school! If you have any questions, just ask!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Donna's "Butter" Cookies

Milk, Egg, Peanut and Nut free

2 Sticks of milk free, soy free margarine
2/3 cup sugar
Egg Substitute for 2 eggs: 3 T. water, 3 T. veg. oil, 2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour

Mix all ingredients together.
Drop by teaspoon-full onto an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.

These cookies are delicious! Credit goes to my mom's friend Donna who gave my family this recipe and credit goes to my mom for changing this recipe to be allergy friendly!

Please remember to double check all ingredients for your food allergens. Enjoy!


Party Time!

So you're going to a party, and of course...there's going to be food. Some people are only allergic to one or two things so they are able to find something allergy friendly, where as me, its the whole shebang. I have to bring all my own food. At a party, maybe I can eat the chips, but that's about it. So how do I make bringing a meal less awkward? When I'm invited to a party, I ask what they are going to be having. If they are having pizza, I make sure to bring some Italian-type food like pasta. If its a barbecue, I bring a turkey burger or chicken dog. This way, my food blends in. People are still going to ask you about it, there's no avoiding it, but it will be slightly less awkward. Don't let your allergies control your life. Don't decide to stay home instead of going to the party because you know you won't be able to eat anything! You can still have fun at a party with food allergies, so enjoy yourself!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Birthday Cake

Milk, Egg, Peanut, and Nut Free

3 cups cake flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup orange juice (or soy milk) & 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup shortening (I use Crisco)
3 T. water, 3 T. oil, 2 tsp. baking powder mixed together
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease (with shortening) and flour cake pans. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Using an electric mixer, beat until well mixed, approximately 4 minutes. Pour batter into cake pans. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks. Frost when completely cooled.

My family has been using this recipe for forever! Whenever my friends come over for my birthday they love it as well! They tell me it tastes exactly like regular cake! And if you want to make it a funfetti cake, just add sprinkles into the batter while mixing. This is a double layer cake recipe and you can use two different cake pans of your choice. With the cake to the left we used two different sized pans to make it layered. All props go to my sister Claire for decorating!

Please remember to double check all ingredients for your food allergens.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Explaining Food Allergies

Okay, we all know it. When it comes to explaining your food allergies to someone, they never understand it, especially at first. Someone offers you something to eat, and you are given two choices.

Option One: Simply say "No Thank You". There's no explanation necessary-they just assume you do not like the food offered or are not hungry.

Option Two: Give the full out "I have food allergies" speech. Tell them no thank you and explain that if you eat something that you are allergic to, that you can become very sick. Try to make the situation light, add a joke and speak in a care-free tone. This will get the point across that food allergies can be dangerous, but you're not worried about it.

I know these situations can become awkward-trust me, I've gone through plenty of these talks. Sometimes they start to apologize repeatedly and to us, it just becomes annoying, but to others that don't understand, they probably are truly sorry. These are the conversations that you just have to muddle through...because in the end, its important that people know that you have food allergies so you can stay safe when eating around them.

So when it comes time to give the "I have food allergies" speech, don't be afraid or embarrassed and do it confidently!


CBS Family Interview

This is a picture of me and my brother when my family was interviewed for a CBS news segment. One of our neighbors and family friends Jen Singer (her blog is is a friend of the producer at CBS news. When the producer went to Mrs. Singer looking for a family dealing with food allergies, she gave them my family's name. CBS came to our house at the end of the same week and recorded us for 6 hours for a 5 minute segment called Living on Edge with Food Allergies. To watch the segment, click this link:

This was about 7 years ago when i was in 3rd grade, now I'm entering 9th and my brother is entering 6th. We still help each other to, in his words, "Stay Stafe".


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Generosity Gone Wrong

I was 2 years old on a long car ride to visit family. In the car was my sister Katie, age 6, my sister Claire, age 4, my mom and my dad. My mom was up front handing out sandwiches to me and my sisters. She just handed both my sisters their peanut butter sandwiches and was about to get my jelly sandwich, when my 4 year old sister Claire decided that she felt bad that I had to wait for my sandwich. She ripped off the corner of her sandwich and I quickly ate it unknowingly. This tiny corner of sandwich could barely have been considered a piece of crust, with hardly any peanut butter at all. Yet, I was throwing up within minutes in the backseat and turning as red as a tomato.

From this, my mom simply learned to give me my sandwich or meal first, so that way my sister didn't find it necessary to give me any more sympathy food...


Here to Help!

My name is Allison, and I have been living with food allergies for the entire fourteen years of my life. I was diagnosed with food allergies when I was about 4 months old. I was born with hives all over my body and the doctor dismissed it as a new born rash. We now know it was probably eczema. When my mom went back to work she started feeding me formula, which was when we found out I am allergic to milk. Throughout my first year, I kept on throwing up every time she fed me something new. Finally the doctor said you might want to go to an allergist, she may have food allergies. When I was tested, they found out I am allergic to milk, eggs, beef, peanuts, lamb, sesame, carrots, strawberries, and nuts. Not to mention animal fur and every seasonal allergy under the sun. If you're reading this, I’m sure you know the scale that is used to measure food allergies. If you are under the certain number for the food, you are not allergic. For example, milk is a 6. This means that when you are tested, if you are a 6 or under, you are not allergic to milk. When tested as a toddler, I was over 100. Now, I am around 72. The doctors originally said I was going to grow out of my milk allergy at 5, then they said maybe 9, then they said puberty, and yet, nothing. I am not alone in this though. I have two older sisters, now 16 and 17. I also have a little brother, who is going to be 12 in a few days. He has food allergies too, and luckily it’s to everything I am allergic to. So my parents are not just taking care of one child with food allergies, but two. My family, my friends, and my faith have helped me deal with food allergies, and as I've gotten older, I've learned to deal with them in my everyday life. As part of my Silver Award for Girl Scouts, I've decided to help you understand them better as well. Know that you are NOT alone! I'm going to post recipes, stories, and little tips on how to make food allergies easier. Comment, share your stories, or ask questions, I'm here to help!