Welcome to Allergy Free & Cheap Like Me!

gluten, dairy, egg & soy free

I’m so happy you are here! I hope to create a place for you to find lots of information about food allergies, as well as, lots of goodies to help you not only eat better, but more affordably! Please feel free to share all of your own tips, tricks, and recipes too! Thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you again very soon! You can read more about my allergy story here.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Healthy Crumbs Week: Feedback Friday: Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance

Healthy Crumb: Feedback Friday

Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance
I often get asked the question, what's the difference between having a food allergy and having a food intolerance?  A lot of times these two terms seem to get used interchangeably. Hopefully I will be able to help clear up any discrepancies you or others may have about food allergies vs. intolerances.  
The word “allergy” is frequently overused and misused to include any irritating or uncomfortable symptoms after eating. However, the term "allergy" should only be used for the symptoms which develop after eating certain foods that are part of the body's immune response. In an allergic reaction, the body’s immune system mistakenly believes the food is harmful and tries to protect itself. In doing so it overreacts and produces, harmful antibodies, called immunoglobulin E (IgE), and other chemicals such as histamines to fight the food “allergens”. This type of reaction can cause reactions, sometimes severe, that affect the skin, breathing, gut, and heart. IgE antibodies can also “cross react“ with other allergens, causing a person to become allergic to a related allergen. For example, a person with a birch pollen allergy can suddenly become allergic to apples or kiwi fruits. Also overexposure to certain foods can also cause a cross reaction, for example, a person could acquire a wheat allergy after working in a bakery. Food allergies often run in families, suggesting that the condition can be inherited. Food allergies can be triggered by even a small amount food and occur every time the food is consumed. 
Symptoms of a food allergy include:
  • rash or hives
  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhea
  • itchy skin
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • swelling of the airways to the lungs
  • anaphylaxis
An intolerance is a digestive system response rather than an immune system response. An intolerance occurs when something in a food irritates a person's digestive system or when a person is unable to properly digest or breakdown a food. Symptoms of a food intolerance can be similar to food allergy symptoms, but are generally less severe, which is one reason the two are so commonly confused. An intolerance is much less likely to be life-threatening than a true food allergy. People with food intolerances may not have symptoms unless they eat a large portion of the food or eat the food frequently.
Symptoms of a food intolerance include:
  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • gas
  • cramps or bloating
  • vomiting
  • heartburn
  • diarrhea
  • headaches
  • irritability or nervousness
Hopefully this helps show the differences between food allergies and food intolerances. Whether you have a food allergy or intolerance neither one is much fun, can cause many unwanted symptoms, and be overwhelming when you first learn you have them. But fortunately there are many great resources out there to help you along the way. Here are links to a few I have found helpful along the way.
Do you have any resources you have found helpful in your food allergy/intolerance journey?  Please feel free to share them with your fellow readers in the comments section!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Healthy Crumbs Week: New Product Thursday: New Genius Bread by Glutino!

Healthy Crumb: New Product Thursday

New Genius Bread by Glutino!
I am very excited to share with you the new Genius Bread by Glutino!  I was lucky enough to be able to sample this wonderful new bread by Glutino before it hits U.S. shelves.  Glutino has partnered with the UK"s popular Genius Gluten-Free to add a delicious bread to Glutino's already overflowing gluten-free portfolio. Genius by Glutino is a sandwich-ready loaf of bread that is available in both White and Multigrain Sandwich varieties. It becomes available nationwide beginning in August. 

What is in the new Genius Bread by Glutino?
The White Sandwich Bread ingredients are: Water, potato starch, corn starch, canola oil, tapioca starch, dried egg whites, rice bran, cellulose powder, yeast, inverted sugar, sugar, salt, modified cellulose, xanthan gum, calcium sulfate, and enzymes.
The Multigrain Sandwich Bread ingredient are: Water, potato starch, canola oil, corn starch, tapioca starch, dried egg whites, rice bran, molasses, cellulose powder, yeast, inverted sugar, sugar, modified cellulose, sugar beet fibre, salt, xanthan gum, calcium sulfate, and enzymes. 
So what did I think of the new Genius Bread? It tastes absolutely wonderful!  It comes in a pre-cut, normal sized loaf. Yes, that's right, I said normal sized. Each slice is the size of a normal glutinous loaf of bread! I was able to try the White Sandwich Bread variety and it tasted so yummy. I tried it multiple ways, not toasted, toasted, as sandwich bread, as cinnamon toasted bread, as garlic bread…there are so many possibilities; the options are endless! It tasted great every way I tried it. I can only imagine the multigrain variety will taste just as delicious. The White Sandwich Bread I tried made a normal sized sandwich any gluten eating person would be jealous of, including my husband. I am pretty sure I could have passed it off as regular bread and no one would have been the wiser. Yep, it's that good!
So come August, run, not walk, to your local grocery store and try the new Genius bread by Glutino. I promise you, you will not be disappointed. To locate a store near you that carries Glutino brand products click here.
As a side note, for those of you who are allergic to eggs this bread DOES contain dried egg whites.
*The opinions in this post are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything and I have benefited in no way by this review.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Healthy Crumbs Week: Guest Blogger Wednesday: Gluten Free Chocolate Raspberry Bars!

Healthy Crumb: Guest Blogger Wednesday
A very good friend of mine makes these delicious Chocolate Raspberry Bars. She has made them on several occasions and they are always so yummy I end up eating almost the entire pan myself!  The best part is they are gluten, dairy, and egg free! I asked her if she would be willing to share her recipe and be my guest blogger this month. She happily accepted, but wanted to remain anonymous so we will just call her Claire. She is shy like that, but it's one of the reasons why I love her so much! Not to mention she made an entire recipe just for me! Claire lives with her husband and three very cute dogs. I hope you enjoy! 

Gluten Free Chocolate Raspberry Bars
I first started making these bars when Elizabeth found out she was gluten, dairy, and egg intolerant.  She and her husband were coming over for dinner and I didn't want her to feel left out when the rest of us had my very non allergy friendly cherry cheesecake. So I came up with this little recipe and decided to try it out on her. To my utter surprise, she loved it! I was a bit skeptical and hadn't even tried it myself, but to my surprise it ended up getting eaten faster than my cheesecake and has fast become a favorite even among all of my non allergic friends. So thank you Elizabeth for getting us all to try what has become one of our absolute favorite desserts. :)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of a stand mixer mix together:
  2 1/4 cups gluten-free flour blend* (I use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Mix)
  1 cup almond flour
  1 cup sugar
  *3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (if not already included in GF flour blend)

In a separate bowl whisk together with a fork:
  8 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Spread (or similar butter substitute)
  4 ounces applesauce
  1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients slowly mixing on low speed until thoroughly combined.
Remove about one cup of the dough and set aside.
Add to the remaining dough that is still in the mixing bowl:
  1/3 cup cocoa powder
  1/4 cup allergen free chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips)
Mix on low, scraping the sides frequently until the cocoa and chips are blended in. (You could also do this by hand but I am lazy :))
Line a 8” x 8” pan with parchment paper or grease lightly with a little oil. Press the chocolate dough into the bottom of the pan and spread evenly. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and let cool a few minutes. Spread out over the cake to about 1/4 inch from the sides:
  1 cup raspberry (or any favorite berry) jam
Dot the whole thing with the remaining vanilla dough, dropping in small chunks over the raspberry jam.
Put it back in the oven for another 20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
Cool thoroughly. Remove from the pan and cut into bars.

Elizabeth's thoughts; I hope you guys enjoy this recipe, you really must try them they are absolutely delicious!  I must confess I have never actually made them myself because, well frankly, she makes them so well I don't want to ruin a good thing! But she says they are super easy to make and after reading the recipe, I agree, so I will have to give them a try very soon! Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Healthy Crumbs Week: Cheap Tip Tuesday: Healing Herbs

Healthy Crumb: Cheap Tip Tuesday

Healing Herbs
Plant a healing herb garden in your kitchen windowsill and save money by making these home remedies for common ailments.

  • Foggy head, try a rosemary bath. Rosemary clears out phlegm with invigorating, muscle-relaxing camphor. Crush leaves from three or four rosemary sprigs, then place in the toe of an old hosiery or muslin bag. Throw into a warm tub and soak for 20 minutes, squeezing to release additional oils. 
  • Sore throat, try a sage tea gargle. Sage is anti-inflammatory. Create a strong tea by adding 2 teaspoons of crushed fresh sage leaves in 8 ounces of hot water. After steeping for 20 minutes, strain the tea and stir in a 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Gargle for 30 seconds then spit. Repeat several time per day.
  • Clogged sinuses, try a thyme steam inhalation. Thyme’s anti-bacterial thymol can help unplug sinuses. Pour 3 cups of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of crushed fresh leaves in a medium bowl. Place your face above the fragrant water, close your eyes, and breathe in deeply. For best results, cover your head with a towel to hold the healing vapors in.
  • Stomach cramps: try peppermint tea. Peppermints cooling menthol will help ease stomach cramps from an intestinal bug. Pour 8 ounces of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of crushed peppermint leaves. Steep for 30 minutes, strain, and drink.

By following these home remedies you can make at home you may be able to save hundreds of dollars on over the counter medicines and doctor's visits a year. And they are often times just as effective or even better than traditional medicines. Remember as with any remedy, natural or otherwise, be sure to consult your healthcare practitioner if you are pregnant or have other health concerns.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Healthy Crumbs Week: Mindful Monday: Natural Health Tips

Healthy Crumb: Mindful Monday

Most of us know and have heard of all the general healthy living tips, but how many of us actually follow them daily?  Here is a list to use as a quick reminder of the natural health recommendations we should all be following daily. 

Natural Heath Tips to Follow Daily
  • Eat 5-8 cups of vegetables daily
  • Eat 1-3 card-deck sized lean protein servings daily
  • Chew your food to a liquid state and do not drink anything while eating. If you need to drink while you are eating, you are already dehydrated!
  • Drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily. (So if you weigh 150 pounds you should be drinking 75 ounces of water daily!) Drink throughout the day and stop drinking by 7pm.
  • Dry skin brushing: Stimulate circulation by a thorough gentle brushing of all your skin. Use short, very light, frequent strokes from fingertips & toes towards the heart for 2-4 minutes. Best done on dry skin before a morning shower. Use a vegetable fiber brush, natural brush or loofah sponge. 
  • Hydrotherapy: End your warm shower with a cool to cold spray, starting with the extremities and finishing with the lower back, for 15-20 seconds to return blood flow to your internal organs.
  • Deep Breathing: For your lungs, do a minimum of 10 deep belly breaths daily! 
  • Exercise: Move your muscles daily. Walk a minimum of 30 minutes daily, 5 days a week. 
  • Sleep: Go to bed at the same time every night and awaken at the same time every morning. Avoid TV before bed. Good sleep improves memory, helps balance hormones, and aids weight loss. 
  • Laugh: Take time in your day to laugh with family, friends, coworkers and at yourself!
  • Clutter: Get rid of extra clutter in your life, identify it, address it, get rid of it!
Follow these daily healthy recommendations and I promise you, you will feel better, have more energy and improve your overall health!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Mambo Sprouts Mystery Giveaway!

Mambo Sprouts is offering a mystery giveaway!  Mambo Sprouts is giving away a mystery prize daily for the next 20 days!  To enter all you have to do is "like" Mambo Sprouts on Facebook! Good luck!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Gluten-Free Novak Djokovic Wins Wimbledon!

On July 3rd, 2011, Novak Djokovic made history by winning the 125th Wimbledon mens singles title, underlining his new status as the world's top tennis player. Becoming the No. 1 player in the world is an outstanding accomplishment, especially for Djokovic, who is playing in one of the most competitive eras in men’s tennis.

And if you haven't heard Novak Djokovic attributes his sky-rocketing success this year to living gluten-free! His streak of wins during 2011 is being credited to his nutritionist’s determination last year that he was allergic to gluten. Last year, Djokovic's nutritionist discovered that Djokovic is allergic to gluten, the protein found in common flours. Djokovic banished it from his diet and now says he now feels much better on the court.

A gluten-free diet can have implications far beyond the physical, especially in tennis, which taxes the mind like few other sports. The season is 11 months long, matches are grueling and can last for hours, and the slightest dip in a player's confidence can derail months of hard work. There's never anyone else to blame for a match gone awry. And living in a "gluten fog" - like so many of us have experienced, can't help the mental game.

Whether Djokovic's recent winning streak is truly due to eliminating gluten, increased confidence in his performance, or a combination of both, it is exciting to watch him play and win. Having a champion athlete like Djokovic helps increase awareness of gluten allergies and the benefits that a gluten free diet can provide and that is always exciting!

To learn more about Novak Djokovic check out his website here.

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