Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, Food Allergy Counselor (Picture © Noel Malcolm 2013)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Food Allergy Counseling: Adults with Allergies blog, Anaphylaxis Canada




My esteemed colleagues at Anaphylaxis Canada have launched a blog for adults with food allergies. From their website:

Kyle Dine, who manages the blog for Anaphylaxis Canada, explained: ‘Many websites and resources are aimed at parents of allergic children. We want to, however, make sure everyone affected by food allergies has support and access to relevant information on topics that are important to them.’ The blog covers situations that allergic adults can appreciate such as food allergies and relationships, allergies in the workplace, alcohol ingredient labeling, international travel, and lifestyle articles such as food allergies and pop culture.”

You know Kyle, right? He’s an allergy educator and musician and together we sang this song about how "Allergies Don't Need To Stop You!" 

He kindly asked me to write something for their new blog and here it is live.

Please, spread the word. And spread the link!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Recipe: Pasta with Lemony Arugula

Rice pasta, arugula and lemon
After a long day filled with food allergy coaching client sessions and meetings and an evening out with friends at an art opening at a very cool venue, I arrived home, starved and dinner was unplanned. Add to this that I had an oral allergy syndrome reaction to something I ate at lunch (probably the raw tomatoes and bell peppers). So my mouth needed something non-nightshade based, something way safer on what was clearly a high pollen day. 

My fridge was filled with stuff for salad (like more peppers and tomatoes) and the huge box of arugula. In the back was one portion of pasta still in the bag. And I had a bunch of lemons in the bin. 

A hop over to Google and I found two easy recipes, one from Epicurious and one from Martha Stewart that I quickly combined to create my own. In the time it took to make the pasta (about ten minutes), voila! Not only was dinner done but I had a delicious, vegan, light, non-oral allergy syndrome inducing delight.

***

Rice Pasta with Lemony Arugula
Adapted from Epicurious & Martha Stewart

Ingredients
1 portion safe-for-you pasta, dry
Splash of olive oil like Lucini EVOO
1-3 gloves sliced garlic (as desired)
Juice and zest from one lemon (organic if available)
Handful of baby arugula (or any greens you have on hand, kale, spinach, broccoli)
Accompaniments: freshly grated Parmigiano-reggiano, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, squeeze of lemon, red pepper flakes

Preparation

Cook safe-for-you pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain BUT reserve some of the cooking water. In same pot, heat oil and sauté garlic on low heat until fragrant. Add lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper and pasta water. Bring to a gentle simmer, reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. Add the handful of greens to the lemon and EVOO “sauce” and stir until bright green and warmed through. Add pasta. Stir until mixed. Adjust for seasoning. Transfer pasta to your dish. Top with additional grated Parmigiano-reggiano, a light sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice, if desired.

Variation
I added a variation the other night: butter beans with lemon, EVOO, salt & pepper on top. Oh yum!

Vegan, easy. yum!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Allergic Girl & Social Media: Allergic Girl Facebook Posts

I noticed recently when I held an Allergic Girl Facebook Page contest, I had to re-run it, The winners didn’t respond to my messages that they won, no matter how many times I Facebook emailed or tagged them. What exactly was going on with Facebook? 

I had heard about Facebook's new changes to fan pages like my Allergic Girl Facebook Page but it wasn't until this recent contest, I began to see the evidence of it. And then I read Erin Smith of Gluten-Free Fun’s blog post which led me to a Derek Halpern article. (Big shout out to fellow blogger and incredible celiac disease advocate Erin Smith for her blog post on this issue.)

Facebook wants me to pay for you to see my Allergic Girl Facebook Page status updates when they used to be free

Here are some things YOU can do to ensure YOU are getting my regular Allergic Girl Facebook Page updates. And if, for example, you won a contest, you’d get the notification!

1. Make sure to Like my Allergic Girl Facebook Page and check the Get Notifications tabHave a look at what I mean below. This is crucial.


2. Follow me on Twitter. I post on there a lot and very often link back to my Allergic Girl Facebook Page.

3. Sign up for my free newsletter where I post free content, contests for free great stuff and very often link back to my Allergic Girl Facebook Page.

I hope this helps those contest winners see that they won!

As always, thank you for your readership, support and Allergic Girl Facebook Page "likes"!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Food Allergy Counseling: Eater.com, "How Restaurant Pros Are Handling the Surge of Food Allergies"

Gluten-free, nut-free & fish-free pasta at Maialino


Eater National published an excellent profile of how one restaurant in Austin, Texas called Odd Duck is striving to handle patrons dietary needs when it comes to severe life threatening food allergies, celiac disease and a host of other medical needs. They profile several restaurant groups and leaders in the field, including me! Have a read here.

Thank you to Amy McKeever and Eater.com for this excellent job tackling a complex issue.

***

Want to know how I dine out safely and often?

1. Check out my book: Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies (Wiley, 2011).
2. Read out this article in Allergic Living magazine.
3. Contact me for a more personalize program of lifestyle coaching around dietary restrictions.





Friday, June 13, 2014

Food Allergy Counseling: Custom Chef Cards


A recent food allergy coaching client of mine showed me the chef card she created for her son, who is allergic to dairy and sesame. 

She gets compliments on it all the time from chefs. They love it. And I can see why. Courteous, clear and direct; it opens doors and opens up conversation.

How are you communicating with restaurants about you or your loved one with food allergies about your needs and dietary restrictions?



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Product Review: King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Doughnut Mix


When I was little, there was a butcher store near our country home called Dressen’s that my parents would take me to for powdered doughnuts  - the deep fried variety. I have very specific food memories of their texture and taste: fresh fluffy cake, with a deep fried edge of brown dough, covered in layers of powdered sugar was so thick, it would get everywhere. Part of a child's delight. In the same area, there was another doughnut that competed for my attentions: the apple cider doughnuts made at the Milk PailThere were sold in a pack of a dozen, in a plastic bag, also light and cakey, with the deep brown deep fried crust and color. But no powered sugar. I liked them equally.

In 2000, when I was still eating wheat (I’ve been wheat free since 2005 due to an intolerance), my then boyfriend (Henry in my book: Allergic Girl) would bring me boxes of Krispy Kremes. Wow, did I love those – deeply vanilla scented dough, not cakey but soft and sweet with a slick white vanilla glaze. We’d inhale half a dozen before we even got home. 

However, I haven’t had a wheat-based doughnut since 2005. Really. So, when I saw one of my favorite allergen-friendly companies, King Arthur Flour came out with a doughnut mix, I had to try. King Arthur Flour was kind enough to send me samples to try and try I did.

Here’s the ingredient labelI made the recipe as directed, using Organic Valley organic butter and Organic Valley organic lactose-free 2% milk.

The cake was light and yellow with an excellent crumb. It reminded me of Dressen's doughnuts without the deep fried crust. It even smelled doughnutty. The texture wasn’t grainy or dry, which can happen with GF. It was moist, light. And even though baked, tasted decadent.




Since I haven’t eaten wheat regularly since 2005, my taste buds have changed. So, I gave doughnuts to two wheat-eaters, who devoured the samples. They said it tasted very close to the real thing and they would happily serve to guests. I gobbled three during taste testing and then two after lunch yesterday. 

Irresistible is my verdict!

Thank you, King Arthur Flour for making another hit.

***

A note about allergens: King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free regularly tests for gluten in their dedicated facility. This facility is also free from the top 8 allergens, however they do not test for any allergens outside of wheat. If you have questions about your needs, please contact them directly.