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)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

FARE Walk, Westchester, NY, 2013

FARE Walk 2013, photo copyright Chad Phillips
For the fourth year in a row, I’m thrilled be join the Westchester FARE Walk for Food Allergy. I’ll be under the tent selling Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies (Wiley, 2011) and signing copies.

Make sure to stop by, say hello and grab a copy. 

Here are some nice words about Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies (Wiley, 2011) from Amazon: “As a 26 year old with a new and dangerous food allergy, I needed some more guidance. Sloane Miller's book was the guidance I needed.” 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Food Allergy Consulting: Expo East, Speaking 2013

*Update: I had to miss this event due to illness. Next year!*

I’m thrilled to be speaking again at Natural Products Expo East. This year I’ll be on a panel sponsored by Ian's & Elevation Brands discussing allergen-free foods. 

I’ll be joined on this panel by my esteemed colleagues: Thomas Grace of Bia Diagnostics, Dr Mike Pistiner of, and Tricia Thompson RD of Gluten-Free Dietitian.

Here’s more information about the event: Natural Products Expo East 2013: Exhibitor-hosted EventsAllergy/Gluten Free Foods Forum, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM Room 329, Presented by Ian's.

If you’re going to be at Expo East, make sure to drop in!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Gluten-Free, Nut-Free Coffee Cake Recipe

It’s been a long time since I’ve had coffeecake with streusel toping (I've been wheat-free since 2005, tree nut-allergic and thus nut-free since I was two) so I was super excited when King Arthur Flour sent me a sample of their new all-purpose gluten-free baking mix. Here is the nutritional information from the King Arthur Gluten-Free website. As it says on the King Arthur Gluten-Free website: “Made in a facility that does not process the top eight allergens.” However, the company told me directly that they only test for gluten and they recently had a label change to reflect that, see my blog post here. Please contact them directly about your dietary needs.

So, the review: this mix produced a delicious coffeecake! I made them as muffins instead of one large cake as muffins are a great way to keep things portion-size. The texture tastes and feels like a "real" muffin, slightly spongey with a nice crumb. The cake also had the right touch of toothiness, albeit on the lighter side, as many GF products are. The streusel, which is also made from the mix, has an edge of saltiness, from the leavening agent, I believe. Not unpleasant, and most testers didn't even notice it, but I made a note of it. Also the recipe as I made it (see below) was definitely a little greasy, as in there was an oil slick in the muffin tin once I took them out. Again, not unpleasant and the cakes were indeed very moist, but something to note. Speaking of testers, at brunch this past Sunday and during Pilates on Monday, I brought some to my tastes testers, none of who have any dietary restrictions. My testers unanimously loved the coffeecake muffin, saying they wouldn’t have known it was gluten-free if I hadn’t told them. They would be happy if I served that at a brunch and they'd be happy if I brought them more samples.

Here's the recipe from the King Arthur website.

Notes on the mix: I followed the directions on the package, making them lactose-free, using Spectrum Organic Palm Shortening for the streusel and Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the cake and Organic Valley 2% lactose-free milk. I’m sure you could make them completely dairy-free by substituting any of the dairy-free “milks” (soy, rice, oat, hemp, etc.). I used Sugar In The Raw for both streusel and cake. I also measured out by grams on a kitchen scale to get precise measurements. My muffin yield, using a quarter cup measure (not in grams), was only nine muffins, not 12 as the recipe indicated. Next time, I'd use a scant quarter cup to fill my tins. And you must let them cool at least ten minutes before moving them, the topping will slide right off if you try to move them before cooling.

Here are the ingredients I used

Here they are going in

Here they are coming out

I look forward to playing with this mix further. But so far, these coffeecake muffins were a complete hit. Great job, King Arthur!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act: New York Times, September 7, 2013

In Sunday’s New York Times opinion section, author Curtis Sittenfeld soberly writes about the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act and her personal connection to it through her food allergic child.

An excerpt:  "There is now an opportunity for similar legislation to be enacted nationally, in the form of the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, and I urge lawmakers to pass it. The House approved the bill in July, and it is likely to go before the Senate this fall..Much like publicly available defibrillators, “stock” or “undesignated” epinephrine — that is, not prescribed to a particular person — can save lives without stigmatizing recipients or potential recipients or creating restrictions for those without allergies. Currently 30 states allow schools to keep undesignated epinephrine, but only four states require it. In an ideal world, every child who has known allergies would have access to prescribed epinephrine during school hours. But any parent who’s ever made a special trip to school to drop off some item forgotten at home — a preschooler’s favorite nap time blanket, a fourth grader’s lunch or a sophomore’s soccer uniform — knows that few of us live in an ideal world."

Read more at the New York Times, tell your Senator and pass it along.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Food Allergy Counseling: Gluten & Allergen Free Expo, Secaucus, NJ

For the first time, the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo came to the east coast.

I was thrilled to be there selling and signing books on Saturday September 7.

From the crowds, starting at the early bird 9am start, I’d say it was a roaring success! I met many fans of Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies – thank you so much! 

I saw many of my colleagues there, Anthony from Bistango Restaurant, Marlisa Brown, RD, author of Gluten-Free Hassle Free, Chef Franklin Becker, Erin Smith of Gluten-Free Fun, Tamar Freuman, RD who wrote that wonderful article in US News & World Report. A few several former counseling clients of mine were there, too. 

And then there were the vendors, many of the community’s favorites were there and some I had only heard about. Here are a few shots from the day.

I LOVED this!

Michael from Freedom Foods. Based in Australia, I've heard about them for years and they are on their way to the US.
Mylan Specialty LP, marketers of EpiPen and Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis Program

King Arthur Gluten-Free flours and mixes which are also top 8 allergen free
Enjoy Life Foods: new formulations & packaging, same commitment to top 8 allergen free snacks and treats
HomeFree Treats - GF, nuts-, egg- and dairy- free and organic
La Veneziane corn-based GF fresh, vacuum-packed gnocchi

There were many more vendors to meet but as I was manning my area at the author's table, I couldn't' get to everyone.

Fantastic job, Gluten & Allergen Free Expo, and I look forward to be part of your growth in the coming years!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Recipe: Chocolate Cookies, Tree Nut-Free, Gluten-Free

For Rosh Hashanah this year, I tried a new recipe.  I always like to try one or two. This year it was these deceptively easy looking tree nut-free and gluten-free chocolate cookies. And easy they are, like a fallen meringue cookie without all the hard work of a traditional meringue. Delicate and chewy in texture, the taste is all pure chocolate. That also might be because I used what I had on hand, Enjoy Life Mega Chunks which made these beauties basically vehicle for getting those chunks into your face. 

Notes: My first batch tasted too heavily of vanilla (and alcohol) so I halved the teaspoon that is called for and changed the vanilla type. As I was using the Enjoy Life Mega Chunks, I only put in one and a half cups; they are just so big and chunky you don’t need two and a half cups as the original recipe on calls for. I tried a batch with cinnamon; I liked the depth they created, but didn't love the heat that lingered. I tried a batch without and then realized that it does need something, otherwise it's just straight chocolate flavor. I might try cayenne next time, or adding half chocolate half dried fruit. But that’s the extent of my substitutions. You can see brand names I used below; use whatever works best for your food allergic needs.

Here is the result right out of the oven to cool - don't touch! Divine Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookies


Fallen Meringue Chocolate Cookies: Tree Nut-Free, Gluten-Free
(Recipe originally posted on by Jestei further adapted by me)

2.5 cups Domino’s powdered sugar 
½ cup Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon 
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
3 egg whites (Organic Valley)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (Nielsen Massey is nut-free and gluten-free)
1.5 cups Enjoy Life Mega Chunks 

Preheat the oven to 350F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl of standing mixer or large bowl with hand held mixer, mix powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt on low. Stir in the egg whites with a stand or hand mixer until the batter is well mixed. The batter will look shiny and silky. Stir in the vanilla extract and chocolate chips by hand. 

Using a teaspoon, blob batter onto the baking trays, about an inch apart. They will spread a bit.

Bake until the cookies are cracking on the surface, about 15 minutes.

Let cool for ten minutes on the trays then carefully remove to cooling rack. This is a crucial step, you cannot move them if you don’t let them cool first, they will just break apart and you will have to eat the broken cookies.

Yield: 24 - 36 cookies depending on the size spoon you use scoop raw batter.