Thursday, July 14, 2011

The News We Have Been Praying For...

Once a year, we take a trip to our allergist's office. Our 6 year old daughter is skin tested with all of the things that she has shown to be allergic to. We have been doing this for the last 4 years. Often, we see some reactions decrease, slightly. Sometimes we see new ones emerge (cinnamon, popped up last year). Every since we have known about Ella's allergies, we have been told that it is statistically possible for her to outgrow SOME of them. Namely, wheat, soy and eggs tend to be allergies that people tend to get over as time passes. Often, this can happen when a child is between the ages of 5-7... or so we have been told. We have always had it in our minds that maybe, just maybe things could change. The nut allergies are different. The doctor has told us that it is unrealistic for us to think that Ella will ever be able to consume them. Or at least, it is highly unlikely. So we have focused all of our hopes and dreams on the possibility that she can eat wheat again. After all, this has been a very annoying thing to have to avoid. It is an expensive allergy to have (hello, Whole Food's grocery bills!) and it has been isolating for her, socially (birthday party, anyone?)

Skin Test. Photos like these are as common as school portraits in our house

Ella is pretty good with her skin tests. She despises getting blood tests and will do almost anything to avoid them. But I always try to pack lots of distractions and sweet treats. This time around we took 4 spools of crafter's lacing to make lanyards, a pad of paper to play hangman and a purse full of Dum Dum Pops.

Blue Raspberry Relief, courtesy of a Dum Dum Lollipop

Lanyard Bracelet. I'd show you our hangman games,
but she wiped the floor with me.
And getting beat by a 6 year old is pretty... humiliating.

We waited 15 minutes to see results. Ella was a little anxious because it was the first time we have skin tested her for nuts since she had a horrific reaction, 2 years ago. Our doctor came in, with her poker face and slowly charted the results. Ella, naturally, kept asking her, "Can I eat wheat now? Can I eat wheat now?" Dr. Baum is an ocean of calm. She never raises her voice, always is comforting... she simply asked Ella to wait a few minutes more.

Drum roll... ELLA IS NOT ALLERGIC TO WHEAT ANYMORE!!!!!!! The same thing goes for soy and cinnamon!!! Truly, this feels like such a miracle. Ella was practically floating from the news. Honestly, I have never seen her glow as much as she did in that moment. She was so happy. The doctor told us to approach this with baby steps and to not jump into eating bowls of pasta, at least for now. Maybe a bit here and a bit there. Possibly working up to more as time goes on. I could see Ella imagining all of the things that she can now eat, that she could not before... crackers, challah, pancakes, the cupcakes I make that she is never allowed to eat, breadsticks, CROISSANTS, pie and the list goes on. I told her, "You can also eat wheat pasta and Grandma's spaghetti sauce!" And she looked at me and said, without missing a beat, "Just because I can eat wheat doesn't mean that I now want to eat sauce, Mommy!" Ella hates anything saucy.

As for the tree nut allergies, the results were pretty much what we anticipated... she is still highly allergic to almost all of them. Same goes for peanuts and sesame. But we can handle that. SHE CAN EAT WHEAT!!!!

As a reward for her bravery and to celebrate her new ability, I asked her what she wanted to have for dinner. She opted for a pancakes at Du-Par's... a place in LA that makes the most amazing light and fluffy pancakes....

Just one pancake, but oh so blissful.

Now we have been handed a new deck of cards and it seems like this hand might be better. The one good thing about the wheat allergy is that it has limited the amount of possibilities for cross contamination with nuts. Wheat is in everything. So pretty much anything processed has been off the table. Now that she can eat store bought bread and snack foods, it seems like we are going to have to be much more careful about label reading. Same goes for restaurant "adventures". It has been hard to go wrong with a bowl of brown rice, steamed veggies and grilled chicken.

For the moment, I am just going to be happy for her and will try and hit "pause" on my worry button. I am just so excited for her, as the world just got a whole bunch more interesting.

To be continued...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hypoallergenic Dogs? Maybe not...

Growing up, we had a cockapoo who we loved for over 16 years. He never shed and we assumed he was "hypoallergenic". Both my sister and I had horrific environmental allergies, but we always never thought that it was because of our dog. (I still do not, by the way!) My Mom has a Bichon Frise, her third, and she swears that they are also hypoallergenic. I have never had issues with them but my sister has. That is why this new study intrigues me...

The Myth of the Hypoallergenic Dog

What do you think? Which pets have given you trouble? Which ones have not?

California Pizza Kitchen, Gluten-free!

GF Pizza with Mushrooms & Olives

We have been hearing rumors that CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) was getting ready to offer a gluten-free pizza crust option. The wait is over! Tonight, we got to try their new crust. The new pizza is part of a new menu that is packed full of Gluten and Wheat free options.

Pizza dough ingredients are said to contain: Rice Flour, Water, Corn starch, Tapioca dextrin, Non-Fat Dry Milk, Whole Eggs, Sugar, Salt, Xanthan Gum, Baking Powder, and Soybean Oil.

The verdict: We LOVE it! More importantly, Ella loves it. The crust was thin and was not overly seasoned, like other GF crusts that we have had. Making it easy for a 6 year old to love it. "It's just as good as a wheat pizza!" exclaimed Ella has she quickly gobbled down 4 of her 6 slices. Thankfully, she saved enough for left-overs for her camp lunch tomorrow.

As an added bonus, CPK does not charge extra for the crust and you can order it on most of your pizza favorites.

Our favorite GF pizza is still Pizza Fusion , but this is a close second. CPK happens to be near our house and our school often throws fundraisers there. Now we can order something beyond grilled chicken and steamed broccoli! Something tells me that we will be back soon.

Here is a link to other CPK Gluten-free menu items...

CPK Gluten-free Menu

Kids Bowl, Free?

Looking for something fun to do indoors this summer, to beat the heat? How about bowling? This is a fabulous deal worth checking out, especially if you have kids. Up to 4 adults can be listed on the Family Pass (including babysitters and grandparents) and they can bowl 2 games per day! You are charged a one time fee of $24.95, not including shoe rentals.

Monday, July 4, 2011

GF Cookies and Creme, no bake Cheesecakes

These look simply delightful and I had to share this link. Can't wait to give them a try.

From "Simply, Gluten-Free"...