Friday, May 20, 2011

Cupcakes for All!

So, today Duncan and I visited a new friend, semi-old aquaintance, at home.  Last fall we met a family at Gymboree that we just seemed to get along with.   Then, they stopped coming to Gymboree and life just got busy.  But, through the magic of Facebook we've stayed connected.  Earlier this week Holly offered that if we wanted to bring Duncan  to Blake's 2nd birthday party that she would ensure there would be food and cupcakes that he could have!  What a special treat!  Anyone that's ever dealt with severe food allergies or dietary restrictions knows the sadness, frustration, anxiety and helplessness that food and social events can bring to a child, or family of a child, with food limitations.

So, today Duncan went on his first official play-date and Holly and I made yummy cupcakes!  We used the recipe that I used for Duncan's 2nd birthday cake.  We added a little extra dash of this and that and we had some yummy cupcakes!  Duncan seemed to definitely approve of his tester piece.  We adapted a recipe that Holly had for frosting with our ingredients and "Wa-La" we have some allergy friendly cupcakes.  They are free of corn, gluten, dairy, egg, gelatin, coconut, tree nuts, peanuts, soy and the list could go on.  What do they contain?  Rice, potato, garbanzo beans, palm oil shortening, canola oil, lemon, sea salt, organic sugar and organic colorings.  There are more ingredients for sure, but that gives you an idea of what actually was used. 

Tomorrow Duncan will go to his first birthday party (that's not for him, obviously.)   He will get to play.  He will get to ride a pony.  He will get to eat.  And,he will get to actually PICK a cupcake off of the same tray as other children!!!!  Tomorrow I won't have to say, "Sorry honey.  This one is for you."  Or, "Wait! Wait! Wait!  Don't touch that!" Or watch every other child, parent and animal around to make sure that he is not being cross-contaminated.  There will be non-allergenic cupcakes as well.  However, from what I understand this is a group of people who understand special needs.  Several of the other children and adults there also have severe allergies:  They "Get It."  So, I'll have extra sets of eyes just like mine automatically watching out for everyone.  :) 

I'm super excited to have a tiny bit of normalcy introduced into our routine.  It is extremely exciting!  I"m not sure that I can convey through a Blog exactly how much it makes my heart sing to know that tomorrow Duncan just gets to be another little boy at the party.  He's not, "The allergy kid" that has to be different than everyone else.  He just gets to run and play and eat fruit, veggies and cupcakes like everyone else.

*My heart is smiling*

Monday, May 16, 2011

Progress is well, Progress!

So, on Saturday we tried a new recipe for Duncan: Apple Cinnamon Bread.  This recipe, as we did it, was free of corn, gluten, egg, dairy, soy, yeast and gelatin!  :)  One of my friends from college started a Blog last fall called The Big Bread Theory, you should check it out, where she's trying to learn how to bake - well, bread.  

This was a huge hurdle for us to jump through because Duncan has been off of high phenol/sulphur foods for months now.  Lots of children with ADHD, Autism, Downs and Sensory Processing/Integration Disorder (as Duncan has) are very sensitive to phenol reactions.   Different foods cause different reactions for Duncan but we found that apples made him extremely fussy and disagreeable.  (Think one of the worst toddler melt-downs you could imagine but all the time over everything starting at about 16 months old.)  He CRAVED apples.  But, as it turns out, we usually crave things that either 1) We are deficient in or 2) Our body shouldn't have.  

He seemed to do well with the bread.  He LOVED it.  I loved it too!  It definitely was a wonderful baking feat to have a Duncan friendly bread that turned out so well.  By most people's standards the bread might still taste different or have a different texture.  But, when you're submerged in the world of allergy friendly cooking and eating your taste-buds and expectations change from expecting that standard American processed fare into having a taste-bud curiosity for things that are new and different.   

I have to say one of my 'favorite' parts about Duncan's allergies flipping our world upside down over a year and a half ago is that it has made us, especially me, be a truly healthy eater.  There are so many 'health food' items sold in the regular grocery stores that are definitely NOT healthy.  It's all marketing.  But, when you're cooking everything from scratch like June Cleaver and you are using the most simple, pure Organic ingredients you can find it really truly makes a big difference.  The big difference is not just in taste, but also in how your body feels and functions.  We weren't made to eat chemical compounds.  We were made to eat from nature.  

When I had to go corn-free literally cold turkey it was a very difficult feat.  Not because I didn't want to do it, but because corn is rampant in everything.  And I do mean everything.  How about 'pure' juice?  Well, it has Vitamin C generally which is ascorbic acid which is corn.  What about your seasonings in your cabinet that have potassium sorbate added as a 'natural preservativ?'  Well, potassium sorbate is corn.  The list could go on and on.  So, you get my drift.  But, when my taste-buds had to go cold turkey from typical American fare - even 'healthy' American fare - a miraculous change happens after about 3 weeks.  When you finally re-try the things you think you've been longing for, you realize that they really don't taste that great anyway!  

But, anyway, in my mind I'm rambling and I'm sure this post might seem jumbly.  But, it's what's flowing out right now.  So, I hope you've enjoyed this second post.  Please check out my friend Kristen's blog, "The Big Bread Theory."  She has some mighty tasting looking bread on there!

Best wishes,

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

First Post!

So, this is my first official post.  I started this Blog months ago, forgot about it at times, and at others just didn't have time to post.  However, more and more I'm meeting new parents and having parents referred to me for help and suggestions on what to do with their food allergic child, or just a child who doesn't seem to be doing quite well, or seems a little 'abnormal' but no one can put their finger on it.  

I would like to say I'm not a doctor, or a nurse, or a nutritionist.  I definitely don't know everything.  Though, we are beginning to seek out alternatives treatments for our little guy.   Because Duncan was a premie we have always taken a lot of care to keep his pediatrician and allergist in the loop and have them be actively involved in his care.  I will also say we have been extraordinarily blessed to have the fantastic doctors that we currently have to help us care for Duncan.  Not everyone is so lucky. 

I hope through this Blog we can share some of our experiences that might be helpful to others and even possibly help educate people who just want to learn more about severe allergies and how they impact day to day life not just for the person with the allergy, but for everyone and everything that's around.

Happy Reading!  I hope this blog will be helpful.  Ultimately it will document part of our journey that will give our little Duncan a window into his past from our perspective.