Adding more foods to our “no no” list…

The past two weeks have been extremely hard for me. I’ve been really wanting to talk about them while simultaneously wanting to crawl in a hole and hide.

I found out that I have Celiac Disease. If you’re like a lot of people, you may be asking, “What’s that?” For a great, thorough definition of it, click here. The short definition is, my body can’t process gluten correctly and when I eat it, it’s damaging my small intestine.

I’ve known something was wrong for quite some time. I went and saw a new gastroenterologist last July and he did bloodwork that pointed towards Celiac. He ordered a colonoscopy and endoscopy but due to insurance issues and a multitude of crazy one-offs, we had to reschedule the procedures multiple times. I finally had them two weeks ago and it confirmed that I did, indeed, have Celiac Disease.

Since then, I’ve been feeling a multitude of emotions: anger, sadness, and disbelief mixed with a little bit of relief to have an answer for the pain and discomfort that I’ve been feeling for so long now.

But the anger and sadness has been a little overwhelming. We already have to read so many labels. We already have to avoid so many foods. My daughter, Asa’s allergies mean that we already have to avoid peanut, milk, egg, and multiple tree nuts. Adding gluten to this long list just seems overwhelming. So many recipes that we have perfected now have to be changed all over again.

I’m angry at the additional cost this will add to our grocery bill. For example, gluten free bagels come with 2 less bagels in the package and cost literally $3.00 more… It’s insane! Our bill is already so high from the dairy-free milks and creamers, egg-less noodles, and special almond butter we have to order to make sure it’s not cross-contaminated. Now it’s going to go up even higher? Why is this happening to us?

Then there’s the sadness over the foods I will miss. It may sound trivial, but let’s be real… food is a part of our culture. We base so much of our life around food. I was joking that I don’t even feel like a true St. Louisian anymore because I can’t have Imo’s pizza, toasted ravioli, or gooey butter cake anymore. Who even am I? Not to mention that I can’t even drown my sorrows in my normal comfort foods because they are no longer things I can eat! It’s just depressing.

I am well aware of all of the amazing foods that exist that are gluten free now and I’ve already tried a lot of them! I am working my way through the stages of grief and will get to acceptance. I know that there are worse things in life than having Celiac Disease. But I also know that right now I need to feel my feelings, and that it’s perfectly acceptable to do so.

Changing your food habits is HARD. All of you in the food allergies community know this first hand. Altering recipes, finding new brands, researching companies online, looking up restaurant menus ahead of time, checking labels in the grocery store… all of it can be extremely stressful. But just know what there are others out here fighting the same fight with you. This community has been wonderful for me. And you’ve helped me navigate through my daughter’s allergies for 3 years. Now I hope you’ll help me navigate through my own food journey too!

My and my food allergy buddy. I told her we are in this together til the end! #myminime

Vegan Pancake/Waffle Mix!

When you have a child with milk and egg allergies, you spend a lot of your time re-vamping recipes to make them safe for your family. So many foods, especially breakfast foods, contain eggs and milk. Doing a google search for recipes sometimes leaves you with bland foods or gritty textures and can leave those of us that are used to “regular” recipes unfulfilled. But there is hope!

My husband spent a lot of time perfecting his pancake/waffle mix recipe and I want to share it with you all today!


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 egg equivalent of Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer
  • 3/4 cup of oat milk (you can use another dairy free milk, but we really recommend oat milk because we think it has the best consistency)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


Mix dry ingredients together first. Make your egg replacer by following directions on the back of the bag. After the egg replacer is made, mix the oat milk into the egg replacer. Add that combination to the dry ingredients and mix it all together. Then add in your olive oil, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. To get desired consistency, add water as needed (We normally add about 1-2 tbsp of water but it may not be necessary. We feel like it makes them fluffier, though.) Use can use this batter for both waffles and pancakes!

When I say that this pancake/waffle mix is delicious, I mean it! Trust me, you want to try this. You won’t be able to tell that it is egg and milk free. Everyone in our house loves it – our daughter with allergies, as well as the rest of us! In fact, my oldest daughter says that she prefers them to the regular ones! If you try the recipe, make sure to let us know what you think, and make sure to thank my husband – this recipe was all him!

Super Simple Fried Ice Cream!

Ever wanted friend ice cream but didn’t want to mess with actually having to deep-fry something? Well look no further! Here is a super easy 5 minute recipe! Added bonus – you can even make this vegan!


  • Vanilla ice cream of your choosing (I used a vegan ice cream to keep it allergy friendly!)
  • Corn flakes (or you can substitute Frosted Flakes or Honey Nut Frosted Flakes)
  • Sugar
  • Margarine or butter (again, I used a vegan margarine to keep it allergy friendly)
  • Honey and/or chocolate syrup


  • Scoop out your ice cream and put it in the freezer.
  • Add margarine, corn flakes, and a bit of sugar to a small pan and sauté the corn flakes for a few minutes. If you choose to use Frosted Flakes or Honey Nut Frosted Flakes (like I did here!) you can skip the extra sugar.
  • Lay the corn flakes onto a plate and gently roll your ice cream in the corn flake mixture. You can use your hands to add extra of the corn flake mixture into your ice cream.
  • Drizzle with honey (pictured), chocolate syrup, or any topping of your choice. You could also add whipped cream and a cherry if you want to get extra fancy. 😉

This super simple treat is so yummy! Enjoy!

The Anxiety Returns

My son turned 6 months old about a week ago. He’s the final piece of the puzzle to our little family and has been such an amazing blessing! He’s rolling, laughing, and sleeping in his own crib in his own room. He’s growing up and it’s so fun to watch. Every milestone he hits makes me proud and emotional. But there’s one milestone that I’ve been secretly dreading…

I’m terrified of starting to try foods. Up until this point he’s been solely breastfed. As we begin to try solids, my nerves about food allergies start to rear their ugly heads.

We didn’t discover his big sister’s food allergies until she was almost a year old. (To see how we discovered her allergies, click here.) She had also been exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months and she had a hard time learning to eat solids at the beginning. She was a little behind physically for awhile which made eating harder for her. (We got PT for that and it was AMAZING! But that’s a different story…) Because of that, we didn’t introduce allergens super early on. I also had basically no understanding of food allergies at the time so I had no idea about the research about how introducing early can help prevent allergies.

This time, I’m a little more well-informed. There is a lot of research about the benefits to introducing top allergens like peanut and egg earlier rather than later. (For some great links and articles, check out this page of the Food Allergy Research and Education’s website.) When we took Ezra to his 6 month appointment this week, his doctor recommended that we try peanut butter soon.

On one hand, I’m thankful for a progressive doctor that is trying to watch out for him! On the other hand, I’m terrified. I know that we need to do it. And in some ways, I feel more prepared this time around, but I can’t shake the anxiety and fear that comes with it. I’ve wondered since I was pregnant if he would end up with food allergies just like his sister. I’ve wondered what it would be like to have to worry about BOTH of them daily. I’ve wondered what we would do if he ended up with different allergens than Asa and we had to change our lifestyles once again.

Food allergies are one of those things that you don’t really understand until you’re faced with them. As least, I know I didn’t. I knew about them, but only in a hypothetical way. I didn’t know the reality of them. And the reality is plagued with lots of fear, frustration, inconvenience, and sometimes even anger. You wonder why this is happening to your child. You deal with the fact that not many people will understand the daily struggles you face. You pray that one day your child with grow out of their allergies or that a cure will be found.

I will most definitely update after we begin to try foods with him, but in the meantime, please be praying for us as we face a fear!

The Dreaded Accident…

The past two weeks have been rough. We spent a week in the hospital with my son who had RSV. Thankfully, he is all better now, but that week was hard. There’s not much worse than watching your child in the hospital and feeling like you have no control. The day after we got home from the hospital, I got a call that my grandpa (PawPaw) was in the hospital. It quickly progressed to a critical situation. I was able to visit him in the hospital just hours before he passed away. Our new year was off to a really rocky start.

Right after learning that he had passed, we had to take the kids to the doctor so that my son could have his follow-up appointment from the hospital stay. I didn’t want to miss it, so we sucked it up and went even though I wasn’t in the best place mentally. After we returned home, I loaded up my arms and unbuckled my two-year-old daughter like I always do since she sits on the passenger side of the van like me. I had her in my left arm while I also tried to balance my purse, her diaper bag, and my coffee cup from that morning. All of the sudden I heard her say, “I take a drink of Mommy’s cup!” I looked over, and she was sipping from my straw!

I immediately jumped into panic mode. I had coffee in the cup but I also had creamer in it – creamer that contains traces of milk – milk that she is allergic to…

I yanked the cup away as fast as I could and started talking loudly… “No! Asa you can’t drink that! Oh crap! Ryan, help me! She drank from my cup! No!” I ran up the stairs and into the house as fast I could while still balancing everything in my hands. I threw everything down and started examining Asa immediately. I knew that I had finished my coffee already before the appointment, but it was iced coffee, so the ice had melted leaving some watery-coffee at the bottom of the cup. I asked Asa if she actually took a drink. She said yes. I asked her is she actually tasted it in her mouth (trying to clarify is she REALLY took a drink). She said yes. My husband ran for the Benadryl as I stripped off her clothes so I could keep an eye out for hives. I started asking if she felt itchy and she said no. Then I started lecturing her. “Asa, you can’t drink out of people’s cups, baby! Remember that you have allergies? Remember? Like the BugaBees?” (see my previous blog post to understand what this is…) She could sense my fear and tension and she started crying. She didn’t understand what she had done. Why was I lecturing her? While I did want to explain and help her understand why she can’t just grab someone’s drink, I shouldn’t have acted mad at her. It was myself I was mad at…

After we gave the Benadryl, I held her close to me. I felt bad that she was crying and then went into Mama Bear protective mode. I wanted to comfort her. I held her close and apologized for scaring her. I kept asking if she felt ok and she said yes. I kept watching her skin but it stayed clear. I asked if her throat felt ok and she said yes. Once I started to settle down, I began crying…

How could I let that happen? How was I so stupid? Why did I have that cup anywhere near her? How could I have put it right by her face without thinking? Why wasn’t I more careful? Why was I so irresponsible? How could I do this to my baby? I couldn’t even think about another hospital visit – not after the week we had just had. Two hospital visits were enough. The thought of another one was enough to make me cry. But the thought that I would have been the one to send her there was so much worse. The thought that she could need an epipen because of me was horrible. And the thought that she could die… well… I couldn’t even let myself go there.

After the shock and severity wore off and after I knew she was ok, I had time to think. I was still beating myself up pretty hard. The anxiety and fear that parents of kids with food allergies face is so real. It’s hard to explain to anyone that’s never had to deal with it. The pressure that a parent feels when they have a little one with food allergies is so intense. Your child relies on you for everything. They rely on you to feed them, and they rely on you to keep them safe. One small mistake can be catastrophic to a kid with food allergies. You have to be vigilant at all times, and that can lead to constant anxiety. The fear is tangible all the time. It never goes away. Even those of us that are really cautious, and yes – even those of us that run food allergy blogs and long to help educate others – even we make mistakes. The problem is, it only takes one mistake to possibly end in tragedy.

We were lucky this time, but not everyone is.

To those of you that navigate this food allergy world like we do, I see you. I feel your pain. I know your anxiety. I feel your fear. And I’m here if you need to talk, vent, cry, or complain.

To those of you that have never had to worry about this before, I hope this helps you get a glimpse of the pressure and anxiety that we feel every single day. We aren’t crazy. We are just scared – and you probably would be too if faced with the reality that we are daily.

Supporting Your Friends with Food Allergies During the Holidays

Yesterday we had our last family Christmas of the season. This was our first holiday season dealing with all of Asa’s food allergies. Group settings and parties are constantly scary and full of anxiety when you are living with food allergies. You’re eating meals that other people cooked, you’re usually surrounded by allergens, and it’s hard to keep track of if people washed their hands or wiped off their mouths after the meal. Kids are running around and you never know what they are going to put in their mouths. You try to watch your kids vigilantly, but even that is daunting when they are trying to play with their cousins and you’re trying to catch up and chat with your family. Food labels aren’t usually available to read when it comes to home cooked meals – especially ones that people have brought with them from home to contribute to the potluck-style dinner. It can be exhausting. Thankfully, we made it through multiple events with only one small skin reaction that we are pretty sure she got as a result from a kiss on the cheek. A little hydrocortisone cleared it up quickly. It could have been way worse.

But as we were driving home last night, my husband and I were talking about how thankful we were for multiple people that we spent time with throughout the holiday season and the way they handled Asa’s allergies. And it got me thinking about things you can do that go a LONG way to people with food allergies or parents of kids with food allergies. So I complied a list of things that you can do to be supportive of your friends and family with food allergies during social events:

1. Ask questions.

Simply taking time to understand their food allergies goes a long way. I love when people ask me questions about Asa’s food allergies. It lets me talk about it without having to bring it up myself; it allows me to get some of it off my chest. And, hopefully, it also educates others during the process! Even asking little things like how we found out about her allergies or how severe her reactions are tell me that you care enough to want to know more. Asking about the things we deal with day to day makes us feel not so alone.

2. Be inclusive with your food.

We were super lucky to have several family members make things just for Asa or bring alternatives for her. Yesterday we had someone bring a salad but also bring along all the ingredients individually so that we could check the ingredients and give her food accordingly. She even brought vegan dressing for the salad! (It was delicious by the way.) At Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law literally brought the container for every single ingredient she used! It was a good thing she did since one ended up containing an allergen (see my former blog post called “Every Label. Every Time” for that story). We had both of our parents cook with alternative ingredients to accommodate her at all the holidays this year. My mother-in-law even went as far as making a dairy/egg free pumpkin pie from scratch that included evaporating her own almond milk (like… what?). It was awesome. There is nothing that makes you feel more valued and loved than when people take the time to make you and your kids feel included.

3. Help keep the person with food allergies safe.

This one may sound like a no brainer, but doing everything you can to personally keep the person safe is huge! Wash your hands. Don’t double dip. Be cautious. My mom made an announcement before the meal at both Thanksgiving and Christmas with extended family to remind them of Asa’s allergies and ask them to wash their hands and mouths after the meal. This took a lot of stress off of me. When you have a kid with allergies, it’s easy to feel like a nag who has to constantly lecture people about what they need to do around you. Someone else making that announcement for me meant more than my mom knows (Shoutout, Mom!) and it helped keep Asa safe during the festivities.

4. Don’t feed anyone’s kids without asking!

I’ll say it again for the people in the back. Don’t feed anyone’s kids without asking! In general, giving snacks and treats to kids that aren’t yours without asking probably annoys more parents than you think. But to a kid that has food allergies it can be deadly, especially if not caught in time. So please, just don’t do it.

5. Talk to your kids about food allergies.

This one can be huge. Kids just don’t always know better. They share food without thinking. They don’t always wash their hands unless we make them. They constantly share germs without even knowing it. But they can also share allergens without knowing it too. So talk to your kids about food allergies. Make sure they understand that they can be deadly. (We don’t shy away from this word in our house. I need everyone to know the severity of it!) Make sure they wash their hands after eating. Keep snacks that contain another’s child’s allergen away when you are near them. One of the kindest things that my friends or family have done for me is to only pack “Asa friendly” snacks when they know we are going to be together. Eliminating the allergen from the kids means there won’t be any accidental mishaps. And it takes away the fear and anxiety that a parent has when they know other kids are snacking on things that could send their child into anaphylaxis.

By no means is this list exhaustive. There are a lot of other things you can do to be supportive. But it’s a great place to start! Again, never be afraid to ask questions! There are no stupid ones, and like I said earlier, just asking lets us know you care!