Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, Food Allergy Counselor (Picture © Noel Malcolm 2013)
Showing posts with label diet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label diet. Show all posts

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.





Thursday, April 10, 2014

Food Allergy Counseling: Review of Sarah Wilson, I Quit Sugar

Copyright 2014 Clarkson Potter

I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson is not a food allergy related book nor focused on any kind of food allergy issue. 

I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson is about cutting out hidden, and not so hidden, sugars from one’s diet. 


Sarah (who has both Graves & Hashimoto diseases, both autoimmune diseases), found that being low to no sugar helped her body and her overall wellness immensely and almost immediately. If that might be you, too, then read on.  



***

I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson lays out an 8-week process of eliminating fructose and added sugars from one's diet to recalibrate one body. Sarah gives recipes to help one along with a sugar-free lifestyle quest.

Overall, I really like her attitude of approaching any new diet regime: be gentle and kind to yourself. 


The format is done well with many pop-outs of tidbits of info and bottom line dos and don’ts – easier to follow that way especially as the first third of the book is how her plans works; the second two thirds are recipe driven.

The book is informative but not deep research driven; it’s more lifestyle choices and how these choices affected the author personally. I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson is an easy read with some valid points about sugar consumption in America and sugar’s potential affects on the body.

I’m not a huge sugar consumer and not a major processed food consumer. Having said that there are plenty of places that I still cut corners, like buying and using pre-made organic tomato sauce (still filled with fructose) or a cookie every now and then or some food allergy free chocolate. It’s not a perfectly sugar-free diet however, my diet works perfectly for me. And the author also stresses that point (which I like and agree with wholeheartedly): there is no one size fits all diet for health. Do the best that you can with what’s available and what your body needs.

I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson has 108 fun, easy recipe ideas, if you know how to cook. This is not a beginner’s guide to cooking cookbook. However, as an experienced cook, I appreciate her “I use the same few ingredients multiple ways so you don't have to go out and buy fancy ingredients” approach. It’s how I cook as well.

It's worth noting the following: 


The recipes are written in a "throw in and bit of this and that" format. If you need more precise instructions, this book may not be for you. 


This recipes are also heavy on the use of tree nuts (including coconuts), eggs and cheese. Proceed accordingly.


By week 4, Sarah's weekly dietary instructions become more focused on feelings around food and social engagements around food; so, it's not a strict "eat this, not that" 8-week diet book.


Excerpt here via her publisher, Clarkson Potter

Having said all of that, if you are looking to cut sugars out of your diet, and already know how to cook and throw together meals, this may be a good resource to start that de-sugaring process.


As in all things, any dietary change should be in conjunction with a board certified medical professional who can address any medical needs that may be driving that dietary change.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Recipe: Irish Soda Bread: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Peanut-Free, Tree Nut-Free


I adapted my own Gluten-Free, Peanut-Free and Tree Nut-Free recipe from last year and made it dairy-free (and even better). 


Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread
Adapted from Glutino’s recipe and further adapted by Allergic Girl

1 box (15 ounces) King Arthur Gluten-Free Pancake Mix
2 large organic eggs
¾ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ cup golden raisins (soaked overnight in OJ)
2 teaspoons caraway seed
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1 tablespoon oil to brush top of bread (optional)

The night before or at least 30 minutes before soak the raisins in OJ, enough to cover them.


Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly oil an 9-inch cake pan or glass pie plate. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix all wet ingredients together plus caraway seeds and raisins in their OJ. Add the dry pancake mix to the wet mixture. Mix until it comes together. Spread into prepared cake pan.  Brush with 1 tablespoon oil (optional). Bake 35-40 minutes or until top is brown. Cool slightly. Cut into wedges and enjoy with butter (or butter substitute) and your favorite jam.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Allergic Girl: Interview, DNAinfo.com

A much beloved Kips Bay / Murray Hill neighborhood restaurant that was on the forefront of gluten-free dining and allergen-awareness here in New York City, Bistango, is opening a second location on the Upper East Side (1420 Third Ave at 77th street.)

I’ve been going to
Bistango for a few years now. I’ve consistently had safe and yummy dinners that were prepared by an allergen-aware staff.  If you’ve been there you may recognize it as the setting for the last scene of my Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies (Wiley, 2011) book trailer.



Last week, I was interviewed by DNAinfo.com to reflect on the news that
Bistango is opening a second location. A quote:

“[Owner] Anthony is a true restaurateur in that the customer comes first,” she said. “He focuses on what each customer needs and then tailors a menu to that.”

Read the full story here on DNAinfo.com.

I can’t wait to try it out. 


Best of luck to Anthony and the whole Bistango team!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Food Allergy Counseling: Doctor Radio: Food Allergy & Valentine’s Day

I know you have questions about living your best life with food allergies, food intolerances or celiac disease. 

I have answers. 

Tomorrow, February 6, 2014 at 10:00 until 11:00am EST you can hear me on Dr. Nieca Goldberg’s show on Doctor Radio on Sirius XM where I’ll be there the whole hour talking food allergies, lifestyle issues, dating, kissing, holidays, traveling and more. 



Call in to 877-698-3627 
Email your questions to docs@siriusxm.com 
Mention FOOD ALLERGY / SLOANE MILLER

Remember: Just because you have a restricted diet, doesn't mean you have a restricted life.

*A Special Offer for Sirius listeners and social media followers: Contact me for a 3-session sliding scale food allergy counseling program tailored just for you for the month of love!*

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Food Allergy Counseling: Interview: Cherrybrook Kitchen



**Stay tuned to my Allergic Girl Facebook page for a chance to win a grand prize of three [3] Cherrybrook Kitchen products of your choice. Details will be on my Allergic Girl Facebook page here.**


When I cut out wheat from my diet back in 2005, Cherrybrook Kitchen was one of the first nut-free, wheat-free baking mixes I found on the shelf at my local Whole Foods and tried and loved. (NB: I’ve been nut allergic since infancy, wheat intolerance is something way newer. Here a quick primer on the difference between an allergy and an intolerance.)

I’ve been writing about Cherrybrook Kitchen on my blog since 2007, here a list of those blog posts

Cherrybrook Kitchen has had some recent ownership changes and expansions and I had a chance to chat with them about what continues to makes Cherrybrook Kitchen an excellent option for those of us who need allergen-free treats. And really, who doesn’t need a safe treat once in a while? 

**

Allergic Girl: Cherrybrook Kitchen was started in the 2000s by the Rosenberg family. It is now owned by Healthy Brands.  Can you tell us more about your company, why Healthy Brands decided to acquire Cherrybrook Kitchen?

Cherrybrook Kitchen: Healthy Brands Collective was created from the need that co-founders Dan and Donna Ratner recognized when the 2008 recession hit the economy. As a result, good brands were unable to keep producing their products due to a loss of funding and access to investment. These were healthy brands in need of a sustainable solution in order to thrive.

“Our goal was simple,” said Dan. “My background in healthcare finance had given me experience working with medical practices where many doctors often share the resources of one office. Seeing potential in that industry’s standard practice, we wanted to recreate that model for health food brands. This is how Healthy Brands Collective was born.”  

Healthy Brands Collective includes brands that have similar points of distribution, retail customers, and share a common purpose – creating healthier foods for healthier lifestyles. Cherrybrook Kitchen was the first company to be rescued and natural, allergen-free treats were integrated into the Healthy Brands Collective mission.  The founder’s mission for Cherrybrook Kitchen has not changed since new ownership. 

“We decided to acquire Cherrybrook Kitchen because it was a respectable brand that had plenty of opportunity to grow and we felt that this target market also deserved to have its cake & eat it too!” Donna said. 

AG: What has changed with new ownership? What hadn’t changed with ownership?

CBK: Cherrybrook Kitchen was started in 2004 by the Rosenberg family. Since becoming part of the Healthy Brands Collective family, Cherrybrook Kitchen’s individual grassroots mission has not changed and the founder’s story is celebrated today. We continue to keep the essence of the brand in its original form. Recognizing the concerns of our audience, our social media has become an interactive forum and source for information on food allergies, and related topics. 

It’s a new experience for Cherrybrook Kitchen to be part of a family of brands that includes nine other siblings: Cell-nique Super Green, European Gourmet, High Country Kombucha, Living Harvest Tempt, Bites of Bliss, Lisa’s Kitchen, Funky Monkey, Healthy to Go and Yumnuts. In addition to the growing number of brands, the wellness-conscious team of people that manages and facilitates the growth of these brands is also increasing in numbers. Another new benefit is that Cherrybrook Kitchen now has the marketing funds to spread the word. 

Our growing family is what’s new!

AG: What are the core values of Cherrybrook Kitchen and of Healthy Brands?

CBK: Our core mission at Cherrybrook Kitchen is to create allergen-free sweets in a dedicated, safe facility where ingredient quality is of the utmost concern and focus. As a family-owned company, Healthy Brands Collective is comprised of a dedicated and passionate team, and products that promote healthier options for consumers. 

“The people who watch over these brands are all parents, the core of the family nucleus,” Donna said. “Every brand is treated equally as the saying goes, ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ This is our village.”

AG: What’s your best sellers? What’s your newest products?

CBK: All Cherrybrook Kitchen products are equally popular and we’re proud to offer a diversity of allergen-free baking mixes that includes a gluten-free line. New products include the ready-to-spread frosting and the carrot cake mix. Another big update is that our audience has grown tremendously and we’re always listening to the ideas that our fans love to share. They help give us direction and we will continue to facilitate dialogue and support awareness on topics related to food-allergies.

AG: What can we look forward to for the future of Cherrybrook Kitchen?

CBK: In the future, we look forward to growth and innovation here at Cherrybrook Kitchen! We’re present at many allergen-free events and actively work to introduce new people to Cherrybrook Kitchen every day. We plan to stay true to our roots, while continuing to explore new allergen-free products, share recipes, and alert our audience to resources that could be beneficial for the allergen-free food community. 

***

Here is Cherrybrook Kitchen's allergen information.

Please contact Cherrybrook Kitchen directly about your needs. 

And lastly,  Cherrybrook Kitchen has a box top rewards program and my book Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies (Wiley, 2011) is part of their program. Thank you, Cherrybrook Kitchen for the support

***

Thank you Healthy Brands Collective and Cherrybrook Kitchen for all that you do for our community!






Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Recipe: Short Ribs, Allergen Free

As I’m Jewish and don’t celebrate the Christmas holiday, these weeks are usually fairly quiet and relaxed, once everyone leaves New York and the emails slow down. But this year, I thought: why not throw a Holiday Party? So, we’re cooking for over a dozen people; ages 4 to 80; Jews, Sikhs, Muslims; family and friends.
The main rule of the party: no outside food allowed. Sure, flowers and wine fine but no food or candy. That rule makes it so much easier for this allergic girl. I can’t tell you how many people, all with completely wonderful and generous intentions, bring my allergens (tree nuts and fish) to holiday parties. So the rule, without apology is simply: no outside food, candy, chocolate or treats -  just come and enjoy!

This, of course, means the onus of cooking is on me, which I love. It gives me a chance to try out some new recipes as well as perfect some old realiables. 


Notes




***

Short Ribs, Allergen-Free 
Serves 6-8 people

Ingredients
10 - 12 beef short ribs, bone-in (or  3 pounds boneless)
Kosher salt to taste (I prefer coarsely ground)
1-2 T extra virgin olive oil (extra oil if needed for sautéing vegs)
1 yellow medium-sized onion, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
½ bottle 750-ml bottle good dry red wine (about 1 1/3 cups plus a few sips for the cook)
15 ounces of organic diced tomatoes 
32 - 48 ounces of water or stock (32 ounces if not bone-in; 48 ounces if bone-in) basically enough to cover the meat (I used Swanson’s 33% less sodium chicken broth, it’s GF)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. While you’re prepping the vegetables, take the meat out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature. 

2. Get your mise en place ready. Pat the meat dry. Season the ribs/rib meat on both sides with salt. Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed ovenproof pot over high heat. Add ribs and brown them on all sides. Work in batches so that the ribs aren't over-crowded.

3. Transfer the ribs to a plate. Using the fat that came off the ribs combined with the oil to sauté the celery, carrots and onion, stirring often, until softened, about 5 - 7 minutes. Then add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the wine, deglazing the pan, scraping off any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Boil the wine / veggie mixture for 10-15 minutes until slightly reduced and fragrant. 

4. Return the ribs and any juices to the pan. Add the stock and the can of tomatoes, making sure the liquid covers the ribs. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat; cover with foil (or pot top) and place in the oven. Braise the meat, cooking in the oven, until the meat is fork-tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Allow the ribs to cool in the liquid, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

5. The next day about one hour before you are ready to serve, remove the excess fat that has solidified at the top from the overnight chilling. Remove the ribs/rib meat; boil the liquid until it has reduced a bit, about 20 minutes. Taste for seasonings - should be salty enough from the chicken broth but if you used water, adjust seasonings. Place ribs/rib meat back into the pan with cooking liquid and cook over medium heat, uncovered until bones of the ribs have detached about another 20 minutes or the meat is spoon-worthy (yes you can spoon this meat dish!).  

***

Serve over a starch of your choice - potatoes, rice or gluten-free noodles. 

Method With Pictures

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. While you’re prepping the vegetables, take the meat out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature. 

2. Get your mise en place ready. 

Vegs cut, ingredients all ready, surfaces all cleaned and cleared

Pat the meat dry. Season the ribs/rib meat on both sides with salt. Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed ovenproof pot over high heat. Add ribs and brown them on all sides. Work in batches so that the ribs aren't over-crowded.

Don't move them as they brown, they won't stick, I promise
Here they are, browned on one side

3. Transfer the ribs to a plate. Using the fat that came off the ribs combined with the oil to sauté the celery, carrots and onion, stirring often, until softened, about 5 - 7 minutes. 

Happy sautéing vegs

Then add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the wine, deglazing the pan, scraping off any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.   

This is the brown stuff on the bottom that you want and will deglaze with the wine

Boil the wine / veggie mixture for 10-15 minutes until slightly reduced and fragrant. 

Wine and veg about to meld flavors as the boil and reduce

4. Return the ribs and any juices to the pan. 

You want those juices from the browned meat!

Add the stock and the can of tomatoes, making sure the liquid covers the ribs. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat; cover with foil (or pot top) and place in the oven. 

Looks grey at this stage but it will reduce and become simply wonderful

Braise the meat, cooking in the oven, until the meat is fork-tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Allow the ribs to cool in the liquid, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

5. The next day about one hour before you are ready to serve, remove the excess fat that has solidified at the top from the overnight chilling. 


Meat removed, excess fat removed

Remove the ribs/rib meat; boil the liquid until it has reduced a bit, about 20 minutes.
Reducing, reducing
Taste for seasonings - should be salty enough from the chicken broth but if you used water, adjust seasonings. Place ribs/rib meat back into the pan with cooking liquid and cook over medium heat, uncovered until bones of the ribs have detached about another 20 minutes or the meat is spoon-worthy (yes you can spoon this meat dish!).  


Spoon-worthy!
Serve over a starch of your choice - potatoes, rice or gluten-free noodles. 


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Interview: Anna Curran, Cookbook Create

Anna Curran of CookbookCreate.com (Photograph Copyright Anna Curran)

When a family receives a diagnosis of food allergies (or celiac disease, FPIES, EoE or EGID) it can be a challenge for everyone, especially in the kitchen. "What’s for dinner?" turns into "What’s safe for dinner?" 


As food allergy families learn how to cope with these challenges, many of them start amassing specific recipes for their specific needs. Also, friends and family will ask, what can I cook for you? Wouldn't it be great to have a personalized cookbook dedicated to your food allergic loved one’s needs and their favorite, safe-for-them dishes?

Enter, CookbookCreate.com.
 

Anna Curran and I met through the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance several years back and she is the founder of a print-on-demand startup CookbookCreate.com

From Anna: 
CookbookCreate.com combines the best of Web 2.0 and print-on-demand technology delivering a fun, easy to use tool to make your own custom cookbooks. Prior to founding her startup, she was selected by Startup Weekend as the New York co-founder of the pilot program called The Startup Foundation sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation. Current and past client work as a digital strategist includes Lama Surya Das, a national best selling Tibetan Buddhist author; America: Now and Here, a cross-country journey of art and artists with Eric Fischl, Paul Simon and Chuck Close; and Personal democracy Forum— the leading conference on politics and technology. She is formally trained artist, printmaker, and dancer. Anna is a Pipeline Fellow and is the founder of Startup Weekend's Partnership Series that brings together Fortune 500 companies who want to collaborate with startups. You can keep up with her on Twitter @AnnaCurran.


Recently, I had a chance to ask Anna a few questions about Cookbook Create. Read on!

Allergic Girl: Can you tell us, briefly, the history and mission of Cookbook Create?


Anna Curran: We help people tell their story through food by providing a print-on-demand platform for cookbooks. Our product helps people collect recipes from different sources and design their own custom cookbooks to be ordered by mail. Here's a video about

Cookbook Create.


AG: Super fun! What was your inspiration for Cookbook Create?


AC: I was inspired to found this company when one day I was looking for my grandmother's chocolate drop cookie recipe in my mother's cookbook. My Aunt had given my mother this notebook in 1969 with a dozen handwritten recipes, and my mom added to it over the years. 


Photograph Copyright Anna Curran

As I turned the pages, I saw recipes from my great grandmother, Aunt, and grandmother's recipes from both sides of family. Paging through the notebook that was coming unbound, I realized that this cookbook, was the story of my family told through food. On that day after looking through my mother's cookbook, I was left with a question that inspired me to found Cookbook Create, "What is digital version of this cookbook?"

Photograph Copyright Anna Curran

AG: What does Cookbook Create do?


AC: Cookbook Create helps you keep all of your recipes in one place and make a personalized cookbook with any recipe you have saved.


AG: Who is the ideal user of Cookbook Create?


AC: Initially, we are focused on helping families preserve their recipes. Many of our customers will make family cookbooks as a gift, collecting recipes from various family members and compiling them into a gift cookbook. We also see a lot of cookbooks made as wedding gifts.


AG: How can we get started with
Cookbook Create?
 

AC: Visit us on Cookbook Create, and create an account. Then you'll be able to add your own recipes and collect them from friends. Any recipe you save to your account can be used in making your own personalized cookbook with color photos and custom fonts.
Social Links
Twitter: www.twitter.com/cookbookcreate
Facebook: www.facebook.com/cookbookcreate
Website: www.cookbookcreate.com




Thank you, Anna of Cookbook Create.  

Stay tuned to my Allergic Girl Facebook page for details on how to win a gift card for Cookbook Create!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Product Review: Dark Chocolate Morsels, Enjoy Life

Image courtesy of Enjoy Life Foods

FREE GIVEAWAY CONTEST UPDATE: RULES BELOW


Recently, one of my favorite and trusted food allergy-friendly treat manufactures, Enjoy Life Foods, released a new product: Dark Chocolate Morsels with 69% cocoa for baking. They sent me a sample of the
Dark Chocolate Morsels to try and although I haven’t yet baked with them I did taste them. And taste them again. Ahem, and again. The Dark Chocolate Morsels have a slightly fruitier taste as they are higher in cacao with a lower percentage of sugar.  But still, de-lish. 

I had an opportunity to ask Enjoy Life Foods more about this new product. Feel free to contact them directly about your food allergy needs.

***

Allergic Girl: Why
Dark Chocolate Morsels?
 

Enjoy Life Foods: We have featured semi-sweet chocolate chips for years, and about two years ago, when we introduced the Mega Chunks, we produced those in the standard semi-sweet format as well. Both products are doing extremely well in the marketplace. But our consumers kept asking for more. When we looked to introduce a third product, we saw how much people love dark chocolate, and we all know the great health benefits that Dark Chocolate offers people, so we decided this was the way to go. Early sales results indicate that we are right on target.
 
AG: How are they different from your Megas or Minis? For example 69% cacao, yay but what is the “normal” percentage for your chocolate chips?

ELF: The current Cacao % on our minis and megas is 52-55%.
 
AG: What does a higher percentage mean and why is that desirable in a chocolate confection?
 
ELF: The higher the percentage, the more pure chocolate in the product. One of the unique attributes of the Enjoy Life chocolate is that we do not use any soy lecithin in our product, which means more of our product is made up of pure, premium, high-quality chocolate. It is why our product tastes as good as it does, and also why it is slightly more expensive that those offered by companies using soy lecithin as a filler.
 
AG: How do you ensure that your chocolate is free from the top 8?
 
ELF: Our product is manufactured under strict guidelines to make certain that it remains Free from the Top 8 Allergens. While there is dairy in the particular facility where the product is produced, we do a double-clean out along with swabbing all equipment before and after product is produced. We also test our finished goods to make certain that there are no unstated allergens in our product.
 
AG: What is the ideal use for the Dark Chocolate Morsels?
 

ELF: People love our Dark Chocolate Morsels in all of their baked product, but we also find that people use them as a topping on yogurt, pancakes, cereal, oatmeal, etc. As well, many people love them right out of the bag. Guilty!
 
AG: Any recipes to share? Or links to recipes that use these Dark Chocolate Morsels?
 

ELF: There is a great recipe on the bag of Dark Chocolate Morsels, with more to come that will be introduced on our website,www.enjoylifefoods.com.
 
AG: Where can we buy or find more info?
 

ELF: As is true with many new products, it takes awhile for the new product to end up on the store shelves. Currently, the Dark Chocolate Morsels can be found at your local independent natural food store. They will soon be on the shelf at Whole Foods as well as many other supermarkets. As is true for all of our products, they can be ordered online at www.enjoylifefoods.com.

***

FREE CHOCOLATE GIVEAWAY CONTEST on Facebook.  Please go to my Allergic Girl by Sloane Miller Facebook page for contest details!