Everyone is welcome here! Whether you have allergies, sensitivities, hypersensitivities, or intolerances, this blog is for you. While the primary focus is for allergies, I have all of the above and welcome anyone to my blog.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Purple Hair Lady is Moving

Purple Hair Lady, and the sister site The Baker's Acres, are moving to WordPress. I will no longer be updating this blog.

If you still want to follow Purple Hair Lady, come on over by clicking here! I'll have ways for you to follow the post and I will be updating soon. See you there!

Eventually this blog will be deleted.

Friday, January 24, 2014

"Musings of Hiding Food Allergies"

I was working on another food allergy post for today when I took a break and started browsing other blogs for a little reading and inspiration. I came across this post at Food Allergy Bitch.

While I don't hide my food allergies, I completely understand where she is coming from. I have a inner-struggle when it comes to allergy topics with other people. Those who have allergies are easier to talk to because they have some idea of what my life is like. Other times though, I feel lost and alone because, really... how many people are allergic to so many foods? Well, besides me and my kids.

Found on Search Quotes

When I talk to people who aren't allergic to anything and have no idea what allergies are, it gets frustrating and very depressing. I get rude comments, or I hear the comments come back to me through other people. Yes, I hear them all. I am sure many of you will recognize some of these comments:

  • "Well, you can have just a LITTLE bite then. It won't kill you!"
  • "But oranges are good for you! Why don't you eat them just once in awhile?"
  • "It's all in your head."
  • "You aren't REALLY allergic to that many foods. It's just that you don't like them."
  • "If you think positively when you eat peanuts, your mind will overrule your body and you won't have a reaction."
  • "If you don't know that you ate it, you won't react."
  • "How can you be allergic to rice but not beef?"
  • "Your allergies can't be that bad. You're just exaggerating."
  • "You can't be allergic to ___________. It's just not possible."
  • "Of course you found out you have allergies. If you look hard enough for a medical problem, you'll find one."
And these were the polite ones. I am constantly degraded, belittled, treated like a liar, and told that I am making this all up in my head or that it's just a psychological issue that happy pills can fix. Even after I bring up the medical testing that went with my allergies, I am told it isn't that bad. Even after going into anaphylaxis! I am still treated like it's no big deal. 

I feel like I am wasting my breath with a lot of the people who treat me like this. Their attitude towards me also builds a wall between us and puts a strain on our relationship. More than anything, it hurts to know that people I love and care about can act like this. 

Would they say these things to people who had, say, cancer? No. They would be supportive and kind and caring. But when it's allergies... why does it suddenly become okay to attack me and treat me horrible and act like I am beneath them because I am "sick". I am not sick. I have allergies. There's a difference.

Found on Wikimedia

That is one reason I started this blog. To educate people. To help others understand allergies. But not just for those who don't know about allergies. For those who are living with allergies too. To offer hope. To share tips for living your life to the fullest! To let people know that they are not alone.

In a way, I do feel like I should keep my allergies secret because it's almost not worth the weird looks. It's not worth being treated with so much disrespect, being treated like I am contagious, and being alienated by the people I love the most. 

It is frustrating and lonely. But for me, I am not going to stay silent about it. People need to be educated about allergies and hopefully one day people won't feel like Food Allergy Bitch or me. Like we can't really talk to people about allergies or like we're in a special club or that we have to keep it a secret. 

I think she said it best when she said
We need to just have those supportive conversations and stop caring so much about what the judgers of the world think. Time isn't limitless.
But it did make me wonder

Do any of you feel like she does? Because I sure do! 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Shampoo Allergy? What to do? Don't Shampoo!

I was talking to a lady the other day about shampoo. She mentioned how she hates washing her hair because shampoo itches so bad. I have so been there! I haven't found a shampoo that doesn't make me want to scrape the skin off my body when I am done showering. I've tried every kind of shampoo and finally gave up.

Then, back in 2012, I started something that I thought would be a passing fad for me. I figured it wouldn't last, but would be fun to try. 

I didn't use shampoo at all. None. Not even a little. Not kidding!

Usually I don't tell people this. They think it sounds weird and then, they assume I don't bathe. I don't. I shower. I hate baths. Showering is awesome! Until it's time to shampoo. That is, until I started trying this thing called No Poo. What... Don't look at me like that. That's what the movement is called. I didn't make up the name. 

I'll be happy to tell you: I have not used shampoo since 2012. My hair feels awesome. It's easy to brush. My scalp isn't itching all the time. Actually, it rarely itches. My hair is easy to brush. It isn't falling out. And the pompholyx on my feet is better. Not gone, but it is manageable now. A little lotion and you'd never know I had pompholyx at all! 

Here's a hint for what's coming up.

How to No Poo

Okay, there is a little more to No Poo than just not using shampoo (or conditioner either in my case). 

Put 2 TBSP of baking soda in a large cup. Take it to the shower with you.

When you are ready to wash your hair, fill the cup with water, stir a little, then slowly pour it over your head. Massage your scalp and "scrub" with your hands like you had shampoo in your hair. Then rinse it out.

Sometimes I take a little vinegar in there with me and pour it on my head before the rinse. It bubbles and gives me the feeling of "shampoo"... that I don't miss... but I miss bubbles.

Let your hair dry when you are done showering. If you have time, let it air dry.

Some words of warning about No Poo

It won't be all WOW the second you start No Pooing.  There is an adjustment period where your hair is just weird and out of control. Like, wear your hair in bun or a ponytail kind of crazy hair. It will feel weird and greasy and some days you will want to just shampoo!

DON'T DO IT! I read that some people will take six weeks to adjust. I was washing my hair twice a week with shampoo before I started No Pooing and it took me about 3 weeks to get my hair to chill out.

Now, there was one time during 2013 that I used shampoo. Sucked. My hair freaked out! But it only took a week of No Pooing to get it back to my calm beautiful hair.

Read this from Crunchy Betty where she No Poos... and her before and after pictures are just... DAMN! You have to see them! I'll try to remember to hunt down my before and after pics to post here.

I can honestly say, I never plan on washing my hair with shampoo again. And I am not the least bit missing my shampoo either. I quite enjoy having all "happy showers" rather than having to pick which days I am going to live on Benadryl.

Not just being allergy-friendly!

Try it. You might like it. And you'll save a ton of money on shampoo too!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

ALLERGY ALERT: Rise 'N Roll Donuts for Undeclared Egg

From US Food and Drug Administration:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -January 17, 2014 - Rise’n Roll Bakery of Middlebury, IN, is recalling all its donut varieties and cinnamon caramel donut holes because they may contain undeclared egg. We are also recalling our Rise’n Roll Specialties Nutty Crunch in 8oz pouches because they contain undeclared peanuts. People who have allergies to egg, or peanut run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

Bad pic, sorry.

 Read more: Click Here!

To see more allergy alerts, click here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Foods that Contain Mold

While researching mold allergies, I learned a lot! Mold can be found in all the places you would expect

  • Warm, moist, dark areas
  • Mushrooms
  • Rotting logs
  • Compost pile
  • That stinky sponge near your sink
  • That pile of dirty dishes you forgot about 
But did you know that mold is actually in your food too? 

"Oh, sure Purple Hair Lady!" I can here you saying now, "We KNOW that! I mean, seriously, cheese and mushrooms. Duh!" 

Oh no, it's worst than that. Here are a list of foods to avoid if you have a mold allergy, compiled from around the web.

Source: Do Me a Favor

  • Dairy
  • Dried Fruits (Apricots, prunes, raisins, etc)
  • Bacon
  • Beer
  • Bologna
  • Bread (sour dough is the worst!)
  • Cheese that is aged
  • Chocolate
  • Cider
  • Citric Acid
  • Coffee
  • Corn (Why?)
  • Corned beef
  • Crackers
  • Dried Spices
  • Eggs
  • Frankfurters
  • Fungi of any kind (like mushrooms, truffles, even alfalfa sprouts!)
  • Grains that are more than six months old
  • Hamburger (unless freshly ground)
  • Hot dogs
  • Juices that are store-bought. (make your own. They are okay)
  • Leftovers of any kind
  • Liquor
  • Melons (except watermelon, if fresh and eaten the same day)
  • Milk products
  • Multi-B vitamins: use caution
  • Mushrooms
  • Peanut butter (Why?)
  • Pickled or smoked fish and meat
  • Pickled Tongue
  • Potatoes (see link "Mold Allergy and Vegetables" below in the useful articles list)
  • Root Beer (Home-made)
  • Salami
  • Sauerkraut
  • Sausages
  • Sour cream
  • Soy Sauce
  • Spices, dried
  • Tomato products (juice, sauce, ketchup... they are made from moldy tomatoes)
  • Vinegar 
  • Wine
Here are some useful articles I found:

Resources used for compiling this list
Mold Elimination diet information from ENT and Allergy Center in OK (with a list of foods you can eat)
I am missing two links. I will find them and put them here.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Hidden And Not-so-hidden Soy Ingredients

If you are allergic to soy, you may be consuming it in your foods without realizing it. 

If you are reading labels carefully, you might see a label that states "contains soy". Then you read the ingredients but can't figure out where the soy is in your canned soup. Well, that's because some ingredients aren't called soy, but come from soy.

Here is a list of things to look for on your food labels when you are trying to figure out if it has soy or not. The ones with a * MAY contain soy.

I am listing the obvious ones (like soy protein isolate) and the not so obvious ones (like Almond Milk which has soy lecithin. While some can have soy lecithin, others, like myself, must avoid ALL soy products.)

Soy Plant
Source: Wikipedia

  • Almond milk * (may contain soy lecithin)
  • Asian cuisine *
  • Artificial Flavoring *
  • Baked goods *
  • Bean curd
  • Bean sprouts *
  • Bouillon Cubes *
  • Bulking Agent *
  • Candy *
  • Canned broths *
  • Canned meat *
  • Canned soups *
  • Canned tuna *
  • Cereals *
  • Chicken (raw or cooked) that is processed with chicken broth *
  • Chicken Broth *
  • Chocolate *
  • Cookies *
  • Crackers *
  • Deli meats *
  • Di-glycerides 
  • Dofu
  • Edamame
  • Energy bars *
  • Guar Gum *
  • Gum Arabic *
  • High-protein energy bars *
  • High-protein snacks *
  • Hydrolyzed plant protein *
  • Hydrolyzed soy protein 
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein *
  • Imitation dairy foods * (like cheese, milk, etc)
  • Infant formulas *
  • Kinako 
  • Kinako flour
  • Kori-dofu
  • Kyodofu flour
  • Lecithin *
  • Margarine *
  • Mayonnaise *
  • Miso (fermented soybean paste)
  • Mixed Tocopherols *
  • Mono and di-glycerides
  • MSG (mono sodium glutamate)
  • Natto
  • Natural Flavoring *
  • Nimame
  • Nutritional Supplements (vitamins) *
  • Nutrition Bars *
  • Okara
  • Peanut butter *
  • Processed meats *
  • Sauces *
  • Sausages *
  • Shoyu
  • Smoothies *
  • So Delicious Dairy Free Frozen Desserts
  • Soya
  • Soybean Curds
  • Soybean granules
  • Soy 
  • Soy albumin
  • Soy bran
  • Soy butter
  • Soy cheese
  • Soy concentrate
  • Soy fiber
  • Soy flour 
  • Soy grits
  • Soy ice cream 
  • Soy lecithin (some soy-allergic people can consume soy lecithin)
  • Soy milk 
  • Soy nut butter
  • Soy nuts
  • Soy oil (some soy-allergic people can consume soy oil)
  • Soy protein
  • Soy protein concentrate
  • Soy Protein isolate
  • Soy sauce
  • Soy sprouts
  • Soy yogurt
  • Stabilizer *
  • Tamari
  • Tempeh
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • Thickener *
  • Tofu
  • Vegetable gum *
  • Vegetable Shortening *
  • Vegetable starch *
  • Vegetable broth *
  • Vegetarian Meat Substitutes *
  • Vitamin E *
  • Vitamins *
  • Yakidofu
  • Yuba 

Is this list a little long? Don't panic! Kids with Food Allergies has a printable card you can take with you to help you remember these. Not all soy ingredients are on the card since I am getting the list from a few sources. It will give you a good head start though. 

Printable Cards! From Kids With Food Allergies

You can find the printable soy allergy travel card here.

Here is a larger one that you can print and put on your fridge. Click here to see it.

See something that needs to be on this list?

Did I miss something that contains soy? Shoot me an email and I'll add it to the list.

Around the web:
So Delicious does carry soy-free frozen desserts. My favorite alternative to dairy ice cream!

Resources for this post
My experiences with trial and error

Thursday, January 16, 2014

ALLERGY ALERT: Undeclared Milk in Premium Belgian Chocolate Coins

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - January 14, 2014 – Paskesz Candy Company, Brooklyn, New York is recalling its Premium Belgian Chocolate Coins Hologram .5 oz bags because they may contain traces of milk. 
People who have allergies to milk run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products. To date one parent has reported that her child took ill after eating one of these coins with the production code P233. Subsequent testing of a sample by the FDA showed that the coin contained .000041 parts of milk (41 parts per million). Out of caution we are recalling all production codes.
Source: Bakersfield News

 Read more: Click Here!


To see more allergy alerts, click here.