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.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Allergy Alerts for October 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Substitutes for Eggs

Egg allergies are no fun. Especially when you want to bake something fun to eat and it calls for eggs. Don't worry! I have a couple of substitutes that work just as well!

Egg substitute: Banana

I am allergic to bananas so I can't use this but my vegan friend always mashed up a banana for cakes, cookies and such. Before I knew I was allergic to bananas, I tried one of her brownies and it was AWESOME!

To substitute banana for eggs: substitute 1/2 a large banana mashed for each egg in the recipe.

Egg substitute: Flaxseed Meal

Once I found out what I am allergic to, I decided to try a few recipes but I can't have eggs. After a lot of research, I found a substitute that works pretty well, even for something that needs to be dipped in egg before rolling it around in a breading mix.

To substitute flaxseed meal for eggs: Mix 1 TBSP Flaxseed Meal with 3 TBSP water. Let it stand for 3-5 minutes. After it's done sitting, it will look slimy.

This is the mix you use as an egg for cooking or for breading something that calls for eggs to dip your food in first. I used this to cover some shrimp in a coconut mixture and it didn't taste any different than what I remembered.

If you can't find flaxseed meal near you, you can find it here. It costs about $3.50 to $4.00 for a 16 ounce bag and it has lasts me about a year (stored in the freezer).

Do you know any egg substitutes?

If you know of an egg substitute, let me know and I will add it to the list.


Check out the Allergy Alert page for undeclared allergens on food packages.

Monday, October 28, 2013

What Does Anaphylaxis Feel Like?

Lexii asked me a good question the other day. She asked "What does it feel like to go into Anaphylaxis?" We both know the symptoms of anaphylaxis because I have anaphylactic reactions to a few things. I never thought about it though. Someone who has never experienced before won't know what it feels like. 

So, here is my story of what anaphylaxis feels like. I'll give you two versions. One for turkey/pork and one for peanuts.

Going into Anaphylaxis with Turkey or Pork

If I had to pick a food that I had to eat and go into anaphylaxis, I would pick turkey or pork. It's not a painful as peanuts but it is just as scary.

If I touch turkey or eat pork, I go into anaphylaxis. Here is what it is like.

I can't breathe!
One day I was at my friends house and she made turkey. Her daughter was eating it and accidentally touched me. About 10 minutes later, I felt like I couldn't breathe. I started coughing violently. I could exhale in the form of barking coughs but I feel like I can't inhale. When I do, it sounds like air is screaming into my throat and my lungs feel like they could explode.

I get dizzy
With enough coughing and heaving for air, I start to get dizzy and feel like I could pass out. At this point, I try to sit down so that if I fall I don't hurt myself.

My chest hurts!
It is probably partly from the anaphylaxis closing my airways and partly from coughing and choking so hard... but my chest feels like someone has tried to break my sternum.

I get the sensation of burning and my face swells
After about a minute or two more, I feel like my skin is on fire. It's like someone poured acid on my face! My lips and tongue begin to swell.

I haven't made it past this point with these two. But that is very mild compared to peanuts.

Going into anaphylaxis with peanuts

About a month ago, I was driving home from Kalispell when I stopped at a gas station on the way and grabbed a bag of cashews. My line of thinking was "I am in a hurry! It's cashews. How many ingredients can it possibly have?" One too many is the answer to that. I flipped the bag over and saw "cottonseed oil" and didn't read any further. I missed the part where it said "AND/OR PEANUT OIL" and that was a HUGE mistake on my part.

I didn't feel right. I felt "off".
The first thing I noticed that should have been a red flag, even if a tiny one, was that I didn't feel right. I couldn't place my finger on it. I just didn't feel right.

The abdominal pain starts!
...and by abdominal pain, I mean that what started out as mild discomfort quickly turned into horrible retching pains that made me double over and start crying. I was doing the Lamaze breathing they teach you for childbirth. My gut felt like it was being twisted in two and eaten from the inside.

At first I thought I just had horrible gas or something but I quickly knew that wasn't the case and then...

The diarrhea starts 
Not to gross anyone out, but the next thing after the horrible abdominal pain was the massive urge to poop. I wasn't anywhere near a bathroom place so I told my son that we were stopping at the closest gas station because I REALLY had to go. 

Then the next moment, my bowels decided they weren't waiting and I pooped myself. Right there in the car. I was mortified. I was so embarrassed and I couldn't stop it no matter how hard I tried. So I changed plans and decided to go straight home.

This next part is gross and descriptive, if you are squeamish  you may want to skip it and go to the next part.

Flaming Cacti in my Crotch
As I was driving along and my bowels were trying to eject me from the car with force and pressure I hadn't felt before, I was trying to figure out what to do. I was driving my brother's car and now it stank like someone had poured rancid, viral infested poop in there with us. We drove with the windows down to help with the smell. 

Then I started crying because the crap that was forcing it's way out me was burning like someone had stuck a billion flaming cacti in my crotch and pounded them in with a mallet. It was burning quite intensely but I thought it was just... I don't know... I ate cayenne on something or something to that effect. I really wasn't putting two and two together and just told myself I must be getting a bug of some sort.

Orange Poop, a bowling ball, a grappling hook, and jelly!
When I finally got home, I wrapped myself in a blanket and headed straight to the bathroom! I immediately stripped off my clothes and tried to wash myself up as I sat on the toilet.

Wait... this part isn't any better than the last part. It's going to be gross too.

On that note, I noticed that my poop looked like it had a hint of orange. I thought that was odd but kept cleaning. The whole time my intestines were evacuating every inch of it into the toilet. The second it stopped and I thought I was done, more would come out. 

It got to a point where it felt like I had a bowling ball stuck in lower bowels that was trying to come out. It was like I was giving birth out my butt. I couldn't think of a nicer way to say that. 

I pulled my hamper over in front of me and laid my head on it. I was having trouble breathing from pooping so much and the pain was knocking the wind out of me... so I thought. Hold that thought for a second.

As I was doubled over on my hamper, it felt like an army of tiny small had taken grappling hooks and were now dragging them down every inch of my intestines. I could tell you the path of my intestinal tract now. And then it felt like I had straight, full on, watery diarrhea but it felt... weird. I looked in the bowl and saw a pile of what looked like snot, jelly, and brown mucus. It was sitting there piled in the bottom of the bowl and was still jiggling away like I had crapped out a jelly fish. 

I thought to myself "Did I just poop out my intestinal lining?" Yes. Yes I did.

Oh the pain! Oh the rash! Oh the... crap, this is an allergy!
So, I am in pain, my crotch is on fire, and I noticed I had a rash starting on my legs. My skin felt hot too. I managed to get off the toilet long enough to grab Benadryl and had to go right back. I figured the Benadryl would kick in and I would be fine. No.

Sometime between this and sitting on the toilet again, I double checked the ingredients. It was PEANUT OIL! I felt like a dolt.

As I went to wipe myself, it felt like I had taken sandpaper and razor blades and wiped myself. The intense pain of just touching my nether regions made me wince. I inhaled deeply trying to handle the pain like a big girl. 

When I inhaled, I am sure some ninja ran in and shoved habanero peppers in my nostrils. So I opened my mouth to try some mouth breathing instead... nope... habanero burn there too. My eyes even watered from the pain of the burning.

In fact, I wasn't crying, but my eyes had turned on the faucets and Niagara Falls was pouring down my face. I managed to gently dab myself clean but even doing that felt unbearable. I eventually broke down and cried on my hamper top.

When Benadryl Doesn't Work
After a half hour of waiting for the Benadryl to kick in, I felt like I was dying. Not the melodramatic "Oh. my. God! I felt like I was dying!" No, I mean, "Honest to God, I am sure I am dying right now, PLEASE take me to the ER!"

My friend drove me to the ER and I was taken back immediately. I was surprised actually. They aren't the greatest ER sometimes. I was expecting a wait or something. But i didn't even get signed in all the way and the nurse was out there taking me back.

You say "I am allergic to peanuts and I ate peanut oil but didn't realize it" and they kick into high gear!

Sometimes, the doctor explained, oral Benadryl doesn't work (especially if you don't do something fast enough... I let it go too long before I realized what was happening.) It will work 99% of the time. But the injection of Benadryl works 100% of the time. So I got that and Ranitidine (zantac) injected in my IV and they ran a bag of fluids through me to help with the pain the next day.

Oh, and that feeling of having the wind knocked out of me and gasping for air from the pain... that was the anaphylaxis, not the pain. I am so used to choking, coughing, gasping, wheezing, and getting ready to pass out that I didn't realize I was having trouble breathing... I wasn't just having gasping from pain.

I was sent home under constant observation of my friend (or they would have admitted me if no one could watch me) for the next 24 hours, along with Benadryl and Zantac.

The Next Day... Oh, my aching body.
I am glad they gave me the fluids because when I woke up the next day, I could hardly move from the pain. Not just my aching anus from the fiery feces the day before, my WHOLE body HURT! Every inch of my muscles felt like I had been jumped by a gang of ninjas and beaten to near death. It felt like I had done a million sit ups, pull ups, push ups, and sprinted to the next town over and back. I was miserable.

My follow up appointment was that day. My doctor, after a little lecture, gave me a prescription for muscle relaxers. That helped a lot and I finally made it through all the pain and agony.

I learned a few things from this experience.

ALWAYS read the ingredients! No matter how much of a rush you are in, READ. THE. INGREDIENTS. Not just a quick scan, either. Read every last word in the ingredients list. Just because it's cashews and has 3 ingredients doesn't mean you can skim and go.

If you are in that much pain and your poop feels like fire, go to the emergency room and get some help!

Don't wait it out until your intestinal lining is swimming in your toilet. TAKE A BENADRYL IMMEDIATELY!

Understand this! Anaphylaxis can be delayed! It doesn't always happen within minutes. Mine took over a half hour to hit me. One allergist I had told me there is no such thing. BULL! There is such a thing! And I experienced it that day.

Always have your epipen handy. While I didn't use mine because I wasn't putting it all together that I was in anaphylaxis, I now know the other, ugly, scary side of anaphylaxis. If I start having a reaction like that, I will have my epipen ready!

Listen to yourself. I have an issue with this and second guess myself often. Don't do that. You know your own body. You know when something is wrong. Trust your gut, even when it's pushing a pile of poop into your pants. Don't ignore the little red flags and brush them off as the flu, a stomach bug, or something that must be going around.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Allergy Alert: Undeclared Milk in Certain Clic Brand Strawberry Flavored Marshmallow - Press Release - Digital Journal

This just came through my email. 

An Allergy Alert for certain Clic brand strawberry flavored marshmallows.

In case you don't have time to read through this, here is the basic information:

UPC 0 58504 63981 3 with a best before date of 17/01/2014 (17 January 2014).

Here is the official Canadian Food Inspection Agency website link with photos of the product.

Allergy Alert: Undeclared Milk in Certain Clic Brand Strawberry Flavored Marshmallow - Press Release - Digital Journal:

I will be adding an allergy alert page to the blog this week. That way I can keep you updated on any allergy alerts that come through my email.

Parenting a Child with Food Allergies | Life As Mom

Parenting a Child with Food Allergies | Life As Mom:

I just had to share this blog post about parenting a child with food allergies. My kids are older (teenagers) but she had GREAT advice about allergies in her post. You guys should check this out.

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Powdered Milk Substitute for Bread Machine Bread Making

I got this request: 

“I am looking for a substitution for dried milk so I can make breads in my bread maker. I cannot have cow's milk.

I've heard this question a lot, not just for bread making and bread machines but for other recipes also. I did a little research and this is what I found.

Milk Powder Substitute for Bread Machines

Leave it out. A lot people just leave the powder out of the bread machine recipes and like the results just fine.

Milk Powder Substitute for Other Recipes

Others add  Soy Milk Powder as a substitute. I also saw a few people state they have tried Potato Starch and like the flavor.

If you can handle goat’s milk, Meyenberg sells Goat Milk Powder. It has an excellent review on Amazon.com.

Milk Powder Substitute for Reconstituting

If you need your milk powder to reconstitute it into a liquid for a recipe (for example, hot chocolate or carob), then any powdered milk will work.

A word of caution!

Not all cow free milk powders are safe. Some milk powder contains casein, which is a milk derivative. Make sure you read your ingredients carefully. It might say “great dairy alternative” and be anything but that when it comes to allergies. 


The Little Scary Purple Disclaimer: Links in this post that lead to Amazon are affiliate links. When you buy something on Amazon, I make a little bit of commission. Basically, you help support this blog and help me with my coffee and chocolate fix. 

AND it helps me have a little spending cash to do things like try new products to tell you about, keep the lights on, keep my hair purple, and helps me have internet so I can post more often. 

If you do stop and shop, a BIG PURPLE Thank you! If you don't, that's okay too! I still love you all... and will try to make this blog as awesome as possible anyway!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Homemade Deodorant. Because Store-bought Deodorant Stinks!

I don't use store bought deodorant, except on rare occasions. This may sound odd to some, but store-bought deodorants make me stink. Not "oh that is a flowery smell, ew!" No, it makes me smell like "OH GAG! Did you just hug a goat in heat?" kind of funk. I reek and I know it! I can smell myself!

For years I thought it was just me. Then one poor day when I ran out of deodorant, and I wasn't desperate enough to use my son's Axe deodorant, I searched for something I could make at home. 

I found the easiest recipe for deodorant, EVER... It only has three ingredients.

Homemade Deodorant Recipe

You will need:
No, really. That's it!

How to make Homemade Deodorant

First, decide how much you want to make. You will need 1 part of each. If I am using 1 TBSP of coconut oil, then I add 1 TBSP of Arrowroot starch and 1 TBSP of baking soda. Need a bigger batch? Just add more. The largest I made was 1/3 cup of each. It was a huge batch!

Now, warm up the coconut oil. This doesn't take much. I put it in a metal bowl, then I sit the metal bowl in warm water. You're just trying to make the coconut oil soften or liquify. It doesn't take much.

Add the baking powder and arrowroot starch. Mix together well. If you want to get cute, you can scoop out a 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp size into small candy molds and let them sit in the fridge to set into a individual sized blocks of deodorant. One piece per armpit!

How to use your new deodorant

I know some people have posted that they shape their deodorant into deodorant bottles that you buy online and then use them like regular, store-bought deodorant. I tried and failed miserably. I ended up with a huge mess.

Instead, I take one of my individual pieces of deodorant and put it on my armpit, then put my arm down so that it warms it up. By doing this, it softens the coconut oil and makes it easier to rub around. Now just rub it around your pits. DONE!

How well does this work?

I was actually very surprised at how well this works. I don't stink and it has a mild scent. If you want to add essential oils to yours, you can. I don't because I don't really care for scented stuff. This one is my favorite recipe and works great!

What do you think? Do you have a recipe you use for deodorant? Did you try this one? Let me know!

The Little Scary Purple Disclaimer: Links in this post that lead to Amazon are affiliate links. When you buy something on Amazon, I make a little bit of commission. 

Basically, you help support this blog and help me with my coffee and chocolate fix. 

AND it helps me have a little spending cash to do things like try new products to tell you about, keep the lights on, keep my hair purple, and helps me have internet so I can post more often. 

Thank you if you do stop and shop. If you don't, that's okay too! I still love you all... and will try to make this blog as awesome as possible anyway!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Allergy News that Caught my Eye

I signed up for several email alerts related to allergies, anaphylaxis, and angioedema. I thought it would be nice to share some of those articles with you. Here are the alerts that caught my eye this week.

Mom of teen allergic to Axe (body spray) wants clean air 

Oh, how I feel for this mom, and her son! I prefer doctors offices that are "scent-free" because I have trouble breathing near some perfumes.  Unfortunately, her son is unable to go to a public school because Axe body spray sends him into anaphylaxis. That poor kid. 

Debate Rages over Schools Stocking EpiPens after Boy Dies 

Why do we wait until someone dies? This is so sad. I am moving on to the happier news now. My tear ducts need a break!

With Halloween coming up, it isn't as much fun for kids with allergies. My kids are older but they are allergic to a lot. If they go to a party or anything like that, they will most likely be excluded from the food portion. We are having a Birthday party for my 14 year old (turning 15) and all foods are going to be allergy friendly. But we are highlighting the games portion of his birthday to make it more fun for those who can't eat what we serve.

In exciting news! 

This is so exciting to me! Having spent a few evenings in the ER (A&E) for anaphylaxis and other allergic reactions, this actually makes me very excited! There is hope for those of us who have life-threatening allergies. I can't wait for the day when I don't have to fear turkey, peanuts, soy, heat, or citrus fruits. I will probably never eat them again, but it would nice to not be terrified of them.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Please Hold While Your Blogger Recovers…

I was working on a post for homemade deodorant but, I had three teeth pulled today and my jaw is absolutely killing me!

I promise to get that post finished and up but it might not be until tomorrow. I am healing still but OUCH! I really am really miserable.

Posting soon…

Purple Hair Lady

Monday, October 7, 2013

Blog Planning: Posting Days

I am really psyched about creating and running this blog! Allergies are one of my passions. It has to be. I live it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. 

I spent last week trying to figure out how I was going to do this blog, my other blog, write a book, make craft items to sell, sell items on Etsy and eBay, and still have time to clean house, shower, and have me time.

Then I had a realization. I can't blog every day on both blogs SO, why don't I plan out the posting schedule a little better. Instead of sweating it over posting every day; this blog and my other blog will alternate days... kind of.

Purple Hair Lady posts will be posted on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

My other blog will be posted on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. 

Sunday is my blog planning and a day to super attack the house or just be lazy and do nothing, if I really want.

I can handle writing and posting one post per day. I can totally do that and still get sleep! So, this week, I start anew with fresh ideas and I am really excited about this! 

I will also try to throw in an update on ideas on where I want the blog to go and get your input on what you want to see.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Homemade Benadryl Cream (for external use only)

When I am itching from an allergic rash or allergic reaction, I like to use benadryl cream to help relief the itching. But, since it is a little pricey for me, I started experimenting and making my own. This recipe works with liquid benadryl or powdered capsules. 

To make homemade Benadryl cream, you will need

Liquid Benadryl capsules or powdered Diphenhydramine (aka Benadryl). I buy my diphenhydramine in 50 mg per capsule form.

Emu Oil. I use 100% Pure Montana Emu Oil because we are about 90 miles from the farm where they make it and I like to support my state. But any brand of emu oil will work.

A spoon and scissors. Any kind will work for this.

Making homemade Benadryl Cream

I used the powdered diphenhydramine because that is what I have on hand but, I think the liquid actually works better.

Cut open the capsule and pour the powder into the spoon. If you are using the liquid, then squeeze as much of it out of the capsule as you can.

Add about 15-20 drops of emu oil onto the spoon for one capsule.

Mix together with another spoon until well blended. If you are using the powder form, you will want to let it sit for a few minutes.

How much will this amount of Benadryl cream cover? This amount of cream covered the entire back side of my hand from fingertips to wrist.

Sometimes, I make a larger batch of Benadryl cream to have on hand and store them in these "Mini-Dippers" containers or something similar.

If you use this recipe, let me know what you think. 

Leave a comment or email me. I've used this on a few friends with positive reviews. I would love to hear from others too!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Living with Sun Allergies

If you know me, you know I don't go out in the sun very often because I have a sun allergy. I'd like to share a little bit about it with you to explain what it is like.

What? You are allergic to SUN?

Yes, I am. But not anaphylaxis allergic or XP allergic

So what happens when you are in the sun?

I have, at most, 15-20 minutes in the sunshine before a few things happen. The first thing I notice is that my lips start burning. Then, I feel like my skin is burning and turns into a sensation that someone poured acid on my skin and it ITCHES! It's a deep intense itching that itches down to my bones. When I finally get out of the sun, I usually end up looking very flushed, break out in bumps, or even a rash. Here is a picture of a VERY mild bumping and rash on my cheeks. 

I put a red circle around the bumpy part of the rash. I am not sure if you can really see it in this picture but my forehead is a bit blotchy also.

The rash is only on the one side because I was sitting near my sliding glass door. I did get a little redness on the other side because I was out in the sun for a few minutes after the initial eruption on my cheek. It still burns a little and my forehead itches pretty bad but with my homemade benadryl cream, it feels a LOT better. I'll post that picture tomorrow.

Do you never go outside then?

Oh no! I do go outside. I try to limit my time in the sun though. I take advantage of shaded areas, wear long sleeved shirts and cut a thumb hole at the bottom of the sleeves. If I am not on Benadryl already and I need to go out, I put on a face sun shield and cover up as much as possible. I don't like doing this very often though. Usually, I will just take Benadryl and be fast about getting back home.

I also tend to be a night owl. I sleep during the day. Since I live in Montana, I only have to worry about the summertime because the rest of the year it gets dark pretty early. Once it's dark, I am free to go outside as much as I want!

Why would you NOT want to wear your cover up?

Because I tend to scare the bejeezus out of people, have had the cops called on me, and have been followed by the police too. I have had people freak out when I went into a gas station for a drink and let's not even talk about the bank!

After all, if you look like this in Montana...

people automatically assume you are training to be the next unabomber. Dress like this anywhere and go to any store and they will think you are planning to rob the place. 

So, no, I try not to cover up. But, I may very well have to eventually because the burning acid on my skin and itching to my bones is horrible! 

Any suggestions for clothes, cover up shirts, face mask, etc for me for my sun allergy?

I do highly suggest Coolibar products though. That is where I got my face shield and they have a lot of sun cover clothes. I am always looking for more places to try products from. If you know any, let me know and I will try it out and report back!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Gluten-Free Pancakes

One of the hardest things about a gluten-free diet is missing those comfort foods that you eat on cold mornings, like pancakes. For the longest time I longed to have a pancake on a weekend morning, or make my kids pancakes on a snowy morning.

One day I started experimenting with pancake recipes and finally found a recipe that tastes like pancakes, at least to me.
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All you need to make Gluten-Free Pancakes is:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/4 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk
  • up to 1 TBSP sugar (you can leave this out if you want. Depends how sweet you like your pancakes)
  • 1 Cup Sweet Rice Flour
To make the Gluten-Free Pancake mix:
  • Mix the eggs, coconut milk, and sugar in a medium sized bowl until well blended.
  • Add in Sweet Rice Flour and beat with a whisk until the batter is smooth. It is normal for it to be a little lumpy.
Cooking your Gluten-Free Pancakes:

On a skillet heated over medium heat, place a small pad of butter, and pour 1/2 cup of the batter mix into the skillet.
Rice Pancakes 023

Wait for bubbles to form on the batter. Here you can see a few bubbles starting to form. When plenty of bubbles have formed, flip it over. I usually check to make sure the underside is nicely browned before I start flipping.

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Here you can see the beautiful browned side. Let is cook in the skillet for about 2 minutes or until it is baked all the way through.

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I like to put a pad of butter on each (you can skip this too) and dip them in syrup, or you can smother them in syrup.

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Either way is just as delicious!

I had a friend come over and try them and photographed her eating them. Here she is devouring them!

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First she dipped them in syrup and checked them out.

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Then finally tried them and loved them so much, that I got this wonderful picture of her!

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You're welcome Lexii! Glad you loved them!

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GIRL! Swallow the food in your mouth before stuffing more in! At least they are tasty!

I hope you all enjoy them as much as we did!