Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, MFA, MSW, LMSW, Psychotherapist; Specialist in Food Allergy Management, Speaking At Mylan Specialty / EpiPen Event (© Noel Malcolm 2013)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Some irreverent humor from The New Yorker and Paul Rudnik for those of us seeing movies and eating Chinese food this week. And the glorious tree in Rockefeller for those celebrating Christmas.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Noodle Kugel, Dairy-Free

More kugel from the New York Timesel.

"The traveling kugel had a beautiful balance of sugary sweetness and noodlely starch. The chewy bite, texture and caramelization were all so pleasing. It was perfect as a cold dessert as predicted but warming it brought out different qualities as the sugar and Schnapps liquefied to form a pleasantly gooey bottom. This kugel has the magical quality of giving comfort to those who make, eat or even hear stories about it."

This one is without diary. So next year for Rosh Hashanah this is SO on my list to try with gluten-free noodles.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Alcohol Allergies

Press release from AAAAI.ORG about alcohol and allergies from Allergic Girl colleague, Dr. Clifford Bassett:

MILWAUKEE – Toasting the New Year is a tradition that can cause more than a headache the next day. For some people, drinking may also trigger allergy and asthma symptoms, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).

“It is usually not the alcohol itself that produces the reaction. It is most likely ingredients, such as sulfur dioxide (metabisulfite), yeast and additives. Common allergic reactions include hives, skin rashes, flushing and warmth of the skin, bronchospasm or shortness of breath, especially in those with asthma,” according to Clifford W. Bassett, MD, FAAAAI, Chair of the Public Education Committee of the AAAAI.

The key preservative in wine is sulfur dioxide. It is naturally produced by wine yeast in small quantities during fermentation. Sulfur dioxide is also used as a preservative in foods such as dried fruits, baked goods, condiments, canned foods, shellfish, frozen shrimp, canned tomatoes, frozen potatoes and fruit juices. If you tend to have a reaction to these foods, you may also experience it with wine.

Histamine can be another culprit. Bacteria and yeast in the alcohol generate it. Histamine is naturally released by the body during an allergic reaction so even if you don’t have an actual allergy, drinking alcoholic beverages may cause a runny or stuffy nose, itchy, runny eyes or worsening of asthma symptoms. Red wines often have a larger amount of histamines than white wines.

If you think you are allergic to beer, it is most likely the barley, corn, wheat or rye in beer that may cause similar allergic reactions.

If you suffer from allergies or asthma, visit for more tips and information that can help you have a happy, healthy new year.

The AAAAI ( represents allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and others with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic and immunologic diseases. Established in 1943, the AAAAI has nearly 6,500 members in the United States, Canada and 60 other countries. To locate an allergist/immunologist, visit the AAAAI Physician Referral Directory at

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Metal Allergies, WSJ

From The Wall Street Journal (through Pat Kiernan of NY1)

"Yet thousands of women (to judge by postings on the Internet) and a growing number of men develop what's officially called "wedding-ring dermatitis"—not to be confused with the "seven-year itch"—and it can happen suddenly after years of ring-wearing bliss...Nickel allergies have been on the rise in North America in recent years and now affect 24% to 36% of women and 7% to 15% of men, according to the North American Contact Dermatitis Group, which named nickel the 2008 "Allergen of the Year." Women are more likely to have pierced ears, which can facilitate a sensitivity to nickel if earrings containing the metal contact broken skin. But men are closing the gap due to the popularity of body piercing."

More here from WSJ.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Gluten-Free Guidebook, Allergic Girl

One of my favorite GF blogs is Gluten-Free Guidebook. Hilary travels all over the world, writes for Frommers (about travel, natch) and has celiac disease. She is one of my GF heroines. I bet she’ll become one of yours, too.

If that weren't fab enough, she has a novel coming out next year -- some of which I heard at a reading a few months back and I’m on the edge of my seat to hear more. From Hilary: It's called THE DAMAGE DONE, and Forge (a division of St. Martin's Press) is publishing it in October 2010. The story is about a travel writer who is called home to New York when her sister is killed, only to discover that the body belongs to a woman who'd stolen her sister's identity, and that her sister has vanished. Here’s an interview with editor David Cranmer for more.

Today, she posted a Q&A with this Allergic Girl but really it’s an excuse for me to tell you more about the lovely Hilary and send you to her site: Gluten-Free Guidebook. It has excellent travel info and restaurants and cities that are gluten-free friendly. Go Go to Gluten-Free Guidebook and then go travel somewhere fabulous and tell us all about it!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Ask and Re-Ask

When dining out, it is vital to ask and re-ask about your dish and its safety.

Even when you’re a regular.

Even when someone has your allergies memorized.

It’s always your job to keep yourself safe, not anyone else’s.

Take for example last week. After seeing Oleanna on Broadway (it was quite good, dated, but good) former WFD assistant and friend Ami and I went to Nizza for an after-theater drink.

The bartender overheard me bemoaning the lack of appetizer-sized socca. Without telling me, he ordered some off-menu panisse, little sticks of socca served with aioli. He knows my allergies very well by this point and can list them from memory. Sweet! But he also knows that I will ask him to check ingredients of dishes I eat all the time because I have to.

I was peckish, so when the panisse arrived in their golden glory, I was ready to tuck in.

“Thank you, so sweet. But aren’t panisse deep fried?”

He said, “No! They’re baked.”

“Really? Great!” I was about to pop one into my mouth (where my bets are that it would have been fine).

The bartender, watching me about to eat a stick said, “Wait!”

He double-checked with the manager whether their panisse are fried or baked.

The manager said, “They’re fried. She shouldn’t have them.”

They were whisked away, no harm no foul.

Seriously, always double check. Ask and re-ask. Smile, be your kind self, but do it!

Friday, December 04, 2009

The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook, Holiday Baking

Perfect for holiday allergen-free baking is a new book, from another allergic girl and colleague, Cybele Pascal, The Allergen-free Baker's Handbook. Disclosure: I gave her a blurb and really enjoyed the book. Press release below from Cybele.


Dear Friends and Colleagues:

My new cookbook, The Allergen-free Baker's Handbook (Random House/Ten Speed) is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

This comprehensive baking guide is free of all top 8 allergens, as well as gluten and sesame. In addition to being a fabulous resource for those with food allergies and sensitivities, it's also a great looking coffee table book and makes a fantastic gift! You can order it now for the holidays and ensure a Christmas delivery by selecting 1 day shipping at checkout. (It's only $3.99 for 1 day shipping if you sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime, which can always be canceled!)

Early Reviews:

“Few allergen-free cookbooks address the reader with the same grace, compassion, humor, and understanding of their core audience that Cybele Pascal’s does. With smart, easy-to-make, and beautifully pictured recipes, Cybele makes ‘luscious,’ ‘delectable,’ and ‘mouthwatering’ the new allergen-free baking buzzwords. Keep The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook in your kitchen for constant reference, and get your crumble on!”
Sloane Miller, president of Allergic Girl Resources

The Allergen-Free Bakers Handbook: How to Bake Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, and Sesame. "Using her Gluten-Free Flour Mix-a combination of Authentic Foods superfine brown rice flour (worth its weight in gold), potato starch and tapioca flour-author Pascal (The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook) offers baked treats for the 25 million Americans suffering from food allergies. With a well-stocked pantry, readers will be able once again to enjoy favorites like gingerbread, chocolate chip cookies, pizza, and brownies without fear of a reaction. Those without allergies can also benefit from Pascal's collection-100 dishes, in fact, are suitable for vegans. Though recipes call for more ingredients than bakers are probably used to-dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening, agave nectar, and xanthan gum make frequent appearances-Pascal's sage advice on substitutions (applesauce in lieu of eggs, canola oil for butter, rice milk for cow's, etc.) should relieve some of the sticker shock. For sensitive diners and those who cook for them, Pascal's winning collection deserves a look. (Jan.)" --Publishers Weekly


Happy Holidays!

Cybele Pascal

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Vegan Cookies, New York Times

Fun New York Times article about two sisters, one vegan one not.

Best line: "Brava. I think humor should be mandatory in every diet."

This means us food allergic peeps. Humor makes everything better.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Intelliject, Inc., sanofi-aventis

I’ve written about the Intelliject Epicard before for Health Central (here’s an interview with the twins who created the Epicard and who have food allergies!)

An excerpt from Health Central:

HC: How is the Epicard an improvement upon the current epinephrine injectors?

1) Size - The current devices are marker-sized and bulky. Studies have shown up to approximately 70% of those prescribed epinephrine auto-injectors do not carry it with them at all times

2) Safety - The currently marketed injectors have a needle that sticks out post-injection. This presents a sharps hazard and risk of a needle-stick injury.

3) Ease of Use - Current epinephrine delivery systems were not designed for the end user and use-related hazards occur often. For instance, using the pen metaphor- the safety cap is covering a hole and when you remove it, you would think that it's protecting the needle "business" end. This is not the case, so users sometimes remove this cap, flip the device over to inject, and end up injecting their finger or thumb instead. In addition, the device incorporates our "prompt" platform that provides audible and visual guidance to a patient to assist them or a care provider with the administration of the epinephrine.


So now it seems we are closer to seeing the Epicard get to market through an infusion of cash and a North American distributor. From an Intelliject press release:

Intelliject, Inc. Enters Into Licensing Agreement with sanofi-aventis for U.S./Canada Rights to Novel Epinephrine Auto-injector. Upfront Fees and Potential Milestone Payments Total Up to $230 Million

RICHMOND, Va. (November 30, 2009) — Intelliject, Inc. today announced an exclusive license with sanofi-aventis U.S. for a novel epinephrine auto-injector, in the U.S. and Canada territory. Under the license, sanofi-aventis U.S. shall be responsible for manufacturing and commercialization. Intelliject will be responsible for the on-going development and for obtaining U.S. regulatory approval and has retained certain co-promotion rights in the territory.

Sanofi-aventis U.S. will pay an initial upfront payment of $25 million. Intelliject will also be eligible to receive development and commercial milestones of up to $205 million as well as tiered double-digit royalties on sales of any products commercialized under the license.

"We are delighted to have sanofi-aventis U.S. as our partner with their proven track record in and commitment to the allergy/immunology area. This partnership marks a key milestone in our quest to make our novel epinephrine auto-injector available to the millions of patients at risk for anaphylaxis. We expect it to create significant long-term value for the company; it marks the first step on our mission to bring the same innovation and patient-centric solutions to many different therapy areas. Intelliject’s unique model – drug development expertise combined with a proprietary, patient-centric delivery platform - has the potential to dramatically redefine the “Standard of Care” in multiple biopharmaceutical categories," said Spencer Williamson, President and CEO of Intelliject.

About anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that involves a number of body systems and can be fatal within minutes. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology estimates there are up to 2,000 episodes of anaphylaxis per every 100,000 people in the U.S. each year, although the precise incidence of anaphylaxis is unknown and is likely underreported.

Anaphylaxis can occur in people with allergies to certain foods, insect stings, medications, latex or other allergens. All published national anaphylaxis guidelines recommend epinephrine as the first choice treatment in an acute episode. The vast majority of deaths from anaphylaxis occur in individuals who do not receive epinephrine in a timely manner.

About Intelliject
Intelliject is a specialty pharmaceutical company dedicated to developing combination drug/device products that empower patients to control and gain freedom from their medical conditions. Each Intelliject product in development combines an established drug, an innovative delivery platform and a supporting dossier intended to show superiority, patient preference and cost effectiveness data.

Intelliject applies rigorous selection criteria to identify areas where its patient-centric approach and proprietary technology will offer superior solutions. The company only proceeds to an active development program once it has established that incremental clinical and economic benefit is achievable. Intelliject has a focused pipeline of active programs across a number of therapeutic areas, including small molecules and biologics.

Intelliject is a privately-held company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. For online information please visit

Intelliject Disclaimer
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the expected benefits of Intelliject’s collaboration agreement with sanofi-aventis U.S. Statements that are not historical facts are based on Intelliject's current expectations, beliefs, assumptions, estimates, forecasts and projections about the industry and markets in which Intelliject competes. The statements contained in this release are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, which are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed in such forward-looking statements. Important factors which may affect the expected benefits of Intelliject's collaboration and license agreements with sanofi-aventis U.S. include, but are not limited to, the risks that its novel epinephrine auto-injector may not gain market acceptance; Intelliject may not be able to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection for its products and technologies; and Intelliject may not obtain necessary regulatory approval. Intelliject cautions investors not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this release. These statements speak only as of the date of this release, and Intelliject undertakes no obligations to update or revise these statements, except as may be required by law. Intelliject specifically disclaims responsibility for information describing sanofi-aventis U.S. and its business other than the license with Intelliject.