Seroyal Genestra

Janet "professional line" will not disclose product ingredients etc directly, but will to practitioners (according to health canada regulations(?))...
in kanata area:
ottawa west nutrition centre, 50 jackson court (nutritionists) 613-279-1254
said all other in area are chiros, so would need appointment and be more costly.

I tried the number and Bell says its a long distance call. Since it's only a few blocks away, I figure one of the digits is off. More to follow.

FloraBear - not OK

FloraBEAR For Kids (http://www.renewlife.ca/products.php?id=49)

mag stearate: from vegetable
dextrose: from beets or sugar cane
N-Acetyl D-Glucosamine: from CRAB shell
active bacteria: from plant source
L-Glutamine: from sugar beets or cane

Suggested we check with this Genestra (based in USA as Seroyal) make exceptional line professional grade probiotics, usually by Rx by naturopaths
also identified natural factors(?)

not-so-Progressive Nutritional Therapies

Called Progressive Nutritional Therapies (Johanne at 1888-788-3396 x235) regarding two products:
  • multi-vitamins & minerals for kids, 60 chewable tablets, natural summer berry, UPC 37229 00032 LOT:8343161 EXP:12/2011
  • progressive complete calcium for kids, 60 chewable tablets, orange passion fruit flavour UPC 37229 00044 LOT:8352161 EXP:12/2011

    both labels claim "made with no added egg, milk, [blablabla]"

    Response was product did not contain any such ingredients, but there could be traces of gluten, soy, shellfish (calcium), strawberry (vitamins), and possibly a few others (that didn't concern me).

    Only upon further questioning did Johanne inform me that they are made in the same facility as peanuts, nuts, eggs, shellfish, milk, soy and more, and despite the precautionary measures, the manufacturer believes there is still the possibility of cross-contamination. GRR.

    I requested that information be made available on the label so I wouldn't waste my time and money buying the product, calling for info, waiting for info, then returning the product. She replied believing they were already in the process of updating the label due to the number of complaints.
  • 2009-12-28

    Volcano Cake Brownie

    Adapted from Vegan Hot Fudge Brownie Cake
    by Diane Hartman, Sep 2009

    Combine the following in un-greased 8-inch metal or glass baking pan:
    * 3/4 unbleached flour
    * 1/4 cup dairy-free cocoa
    * 2/3 cup sugar
    * 1.5 tsp baking powder

    Add the following to the pan, and mix well:
    * 3 Tbsp canola oil
    * 1/2 cup rice milk, room temperature

    In a separate container, combine the following and stir until dissolved.
    * 1 1/4 cups boiling water
    * 1/4 cup cocoa
    * 2/3 cup (120g) light brown sugar
    * 1 tsp vanilla extract

    Pour (do not stir) hot mixture over pan contents.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until surface appears dry.

    Serve warm or cool (with a cool glass of milk or rice cream).


    H1N1 vaccine

    just booked the vaccine appointment.
    told to expect 1.5-2hrs: start with egg scratch test, wait, test dose, wait, then administer full dose.
    They've done over 400 egg-allergics so far and all have been able to receive it.
    Were it not for the asthma being a complicating factor, I would have been inclined not to bother with it. (he's almost certainly been exposed to it already at school!)

    Nutritional yeast flake from Verve Naturals (Puresource)

    (originally posted 2009-12-03)
    Sue x292 normally product info, works M-W-F
    Lynn-Marie x311 and Elizabeth x298 work order desk and can also help w/prod info.

    Reached Elizabeth, asked for allergy profile. She indicated Purely Bulk is not prepared in an allergen-free facility; there could be nuts, soy, maybe others as contaminants from use within same building, maybe even same equipment. She will look into other possible brands/profiles of nutritional yeast and email me back.

    update (2010-02-13): She quickly called back to indicate that the "NOW" brand (that they also distribute) has a much better allergy profile. I have yet to find a store that carries them; even Rainbow can't get them from their local distributor... I suppose I'll have to try ordering their product online or by phone somewhere.


    Pumpkin Pie

    Milk-free Egg-free Wheat-free Peanut-free Soy-free Nut-free Pumpkin Pie
    Source: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology


    2 cups canned pumpkin
    3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
    1 1/2 cups water
    6 1/2 T. corn starch
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. ground cloves
    1/2 tsp. ginger
    pie crust*
    Topping (optional)
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup coconut


    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken, stirring constantly. Pour into pie crust. Bake for 30 minutes or until firm. Remove pie from oven, sprinkle coconut topping on top. Bake 5 more minutes.


    Darifree ice cream

    ok here's what I did: (will update later depending on results)

    bring 1L water to 60C
    pour 1cup 60C water into 24oz mason jar
    add 2/3cup darifree milk substitute
    shake/stir until smooth
    fill with 60C water till 16oz
    shake some more
    add 1 3oz pkg "All Natural! Cherry Jel Dessert"
    add 1/6oz (2tbsp) sugar
    (couldn't find egg replacer)
    (skipped the vanilla)
    2pinches salt
    2tsp canola oil
    shake until blended
    pour into large mixing bowl (metal so you can feel the temp)

    put a bit of cold water in the mason jar (avoid thermal shock)
    add a tray of ice cubes
    fill with cold water to 16oz line
    shake until all pretty cool
    pour into large mixing bowl
    mix until ice cubes gone/bowl cold to touch

    setup ice cream maker
    start machine and pour mixture in
    add 1/2 cup frozen blueberries (for the heck of it)
    (cross your fingers and) wait 25 minutes or so
    original recipe, from http://www.enabling.org/ia/celiac/rec/rec96-2.html#rec96-2g.9
    From: Karyn Friedman (KSPEACE@AOL.COM)
    Subject: Darifree Ice Cream

    Well, start checking out garage sales for an ice-cream maker, folks, or ask
    your friends if they have one collecting dust. This recipe's a doozy.
    Absolutely great.
    Took me all of 15 minutes.

    In a rubbermaid-type beverage container with a screw-on lid, pour

    8oz. warm water
    1/3 cup dry, powdered Darifree mix
    (or just use 8 oz. of other milk substitute)

    Shake until dissolved, then add

    1/3 cup sugar
    1 1/2 tsp. egg replacer (or 1 beaten egg)
    1 tsp. canola oil, if desired. Remember, kids need fat in their diets!
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    pinch of salt

    You could also add 1 T. liquid calcium, if desired. This is available @ GNC.

    Shake well. Add ice cubes to make 16 oz. of liquid. Once those are melted,
    this mixture should be cold enough to use in the ice cream maker, without
    further chilling.

    In lieu of an ice cream maker, pour into popsicle molds.
    You could double this recipe. It would take somewhat longer to solidify.
    I suppose you lucky non-allergics could add cocoa powder, chips, nuts, etc.



    facebook networking / coping

    joined a facebook group in support of the Zero8 resto-bar in montreal a few days ago. Today I get a friend request from this mother of three children of which one has severe food allergies asking me to check out her blog (http://aproposdesallergiesalimentaires.blogspot.com/).
    1. Didn't really expect to start networking that way, but I'm logging her blog address here anyway for future reference.
    2. Never suspected there might be so many different groups and websites trying to help people with food allergies. Kinda makes sense though, since (a) we each have to learn quickly to deal with it and we want to help others through that struggle (coping mechanism/empowering), (b) everyone's set of allergies is different so each feels like their case is special and what may be good for others isn't good for me so we're cautious/not trusting of other's claims, and (c) advocacy becomes a necessary part of our daily lives. Interesting.


    chocolate cake, a la Nathalie

    Got this recipe from a colleague whose (7?) year old kid also has numerous severe food allergies. (Haven't tried it yet, just posting it here FYI and in case I lose the email.)

    "Gâteaux au chocolat"

    Four = 350 F

    1 1/2 tasse farine
    1 tasse sucre
    3 cu table cacao
    1/2 cu thé sel
    1 cu table baking soda

    mélanger tous les solides et ajouter

    1 cu table vinaigre blanc
    5 cu table huile végétal ( canola)
    1 tasse d'eau
    1/2 cu thé canelle ( optionnel)

    cuire 15-17 minutes cup cakes ou 25 minutes pour un grand gâteau

    Glaçage= sucre glaçé+eau+ cacao ou colorant


    blood tests are in

    August 2009 unicap results IgE levels (and class), mean wheal dias, and chance of reaction:
    Peanut: 57.5 (5), 12mm; 95-100%, don't even consider a peanut challenge.
    Cow's milk: 30.9 (4), 6mm; 95%
    Egg white: 39 (4), 6mm; >98%
    Soy: 26.1 (4), 3mm; near 73%
    Shrimp: 2.25 (2); "may outgrow sensitivity, avoid for now"

    "One Australian study suggested that the following food allergies will not be outgrown if the skin prick test is/larger than a certain size. These are: Cow's milk 8mm (we're at 6); Egg 7mm (6); and Peanut 8mm (12)."

    Good to know he could outgrow the "sensitivity" to shrimp! Would be nicer though if it was a food group we actually ate every once in a while.


    Allergist follow-up

    Went for annual follow-up last week. He took the battery of skin tests like a pro. He confirmed the food allergies, and tested for distinct grasses (+ve for most/all). He gave us a referral for blood tests; hopefully some will be low enough we can proceed to the ultimate test, the oral challenge...


    Preheat griddle (med-hi)
    Mix dry ingredients in large bowl:
  • 1.5 cups buckwheat, spelt and/or ww flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
    Pour in:
  • 1.5 cups rice milk
  • 3 tbsp (canola) oil
  • 2 tsp maple syrup (optional)
    and mix lightly.
    Spoon onto griddle (add a few choc chips if on hand), flip once.
    Add water to mix if too thick and fluffy.

    Sweet variation:
  • 2 tsp maple syrup (optional) with wet ingredients

    Spiced variation:
  • 1 tsp (total) cinnamon AND/OR ginger (if fresh grated, blend well with wet ingredients first); or
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg; or
  • 1/8 tsp cloves; or
  • 1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice

    Inspired by the Allergy Self-Help Cookbook (Marjorie Hurt Jones)
  • 2009-07-26

    SISU recall



    watermelon becoming iffy...

    last few times he's eaten watermelon, he's had hives around his mouth. he still loves them, so i'm wondering if it's only a contact reaction maybe, and otherwise safe to eat? is that even possible?

    regardless, we're hoping the reactions (all very minor) were caused during preparation (they were all from the same melon that was cut and stored in the fridge in one large batch). we'll be trying again.

    UPDATE: It wasn't the watermelon at all - we have since found the culprit.


    kiwi challenge ok!

    We're taking the little one on a Caribbean cruise in a few weeks' time, and wanted to be sure he wouldn't react to kiwi. Results were negative when skin-tested year and a half ago, but we wanted to be sure before the trip. So, last night, after making sure all important stuff was done and we could spend the next few hours in hospital if anything happened, we offered him a piece.
    "No, don't want dis" was the automatic reply.
    We pursued.
    "No, don't like dis" he insisted.
    Ok, that's a little more concerning. We pressed on anyway, though a little less sure of ourselves. Turns out what he didn't like was the whitish middle part of the fruit.
    He ate the rest of the piece (approx 1cm cube) and we gave him his promised reward. That was 18hours ago, and I'm so pleased/relieved that everything is still going well. :)


    what salmonella contamination?

    The bright side of a peanut allergy: we don't have to worry about the ongoing salmonella recall.

    Schools and other institution that have gone peanut-free are also sheltered from this risk. Good for them! :)


    vigilance and prevention

    from http://www.allergicliving.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4216

    The hives, swelling and severe breathing difficulty that people may experience during an allergic reaction are not symptoms of a “psychogenic illness,” but rather an unbelievably frightening and dangerous response of the immune system to certain foods the body misinterprets as harmful. The fact is, food is the leading cause of anaphylaxis outside the hospital setting, and many children and adults die each year because they ate something they thought was safe. Once a reaction begins, no one knows how bad it will be, hence the worry and fear that is part of living with food allergies.

    [...] Currently, avoidance is the only way to prevent an allergic reaction for a true food allergy.

    When you tell the parents of a child with a food allergy that their child could suffer, wind up in the hospital or worse unless they follow strict instructions from a doctor, you begin to understand why parents of children with food allergies are so vigilant. For those parents raising children with food allergies, educating others to take food allergies seriously is vital to preventing a reaction.


    D'Italiano breads

    Found my notes from a telecon I had with Nathalie at Weston brand breads last summer regarding potential allergens in their D'Italiano breads.
    She indicated that most of their bread products contained (or may contain traces of) egg, dairy, soy, and/or more, but their Thintini breads (original and whole wheat) are allergen-free and are made in a dedicated facility.

    Kudos to them also for posting their ingredients, allergy warnings and nutritional info so clearly on their website!