The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook

200 Gourmet and Homestyle Recipes for the Food Allergic Family

allergy cookbook

Monday, December 25, 2006

Dear readers:

Merry Christmas! I hope this holiday season has been good to you all.

My column on Lime went up last week and has several allergen-free recipes, as well as a couple that are just "healthy", so read carefully. The focus was "healthy holiday swap-outs". Allergen-free will return next month. For those interested in the new recipes, see
http://www.lime.com/features/holidays_for_the_health_glutton/story/6637/eat_well_and_be_merry

I took my sons and myself to a new allergist last week for testing, with some alarming results. The good news: Lennon tested NEGATIVE to dairy (YEAH, FINALLY!!!!), but tested positive to 16 out of the 24 allergens he was tested for. Apparently he is now allergic to shellfish, wheat (and other glutenous grains), and egg whites, amongst many other severe environmental allergies.

After my total-body hives incident right before thanksgiving, I suspected I was allergic to walnuts. Indeed, I am, as well as hazelnuts, wheat, oats, yeast, halibut, trout, salmon, flounder, shrimp (which I already knew), stone fruits like peaches and apricots, pineapple, and oranges.

Do any others of you out there have such long lists of allergies? Is this increasingly becoming the norm? Will my son continue developing new allergies or will he reach a point where this levels off? I now realize that some of his problems with paying attention at school must be due to the fact that he is literally ALLERGIC to the classroom. Everytime he sits on the rug for story time, he has an allergy attack, to dustmites, molds, etc. He is also allergic to our family dog. The poor child walks around having an allergic response just about everywhere he goes.

And I find myself wondering if I've always been allergic to these foods I test positive for, and have spent years feeling "under" because of them. Clearly my allergies are getting worse, as evidenced by the 4 days of total body hives from the walnuts. Anyone tried probiotics with success? I started taking them, but got sidelined. Think I'll start giving them to the whole family.


Speaking of the whole family, Monte was the least allergic, with very mild reactions to a few environmentals, but we're still going to keep him off dairy due to his occasional bouts of asthma. And next, my husband gets tested....

Expect lots more gluten-free recipes in the months to come.


Cassie:

Jane is right, the list in LIVING WITHOUT is too long to post all the restaurants, but I'm happy to post the NY ones, since that's where you live (and eat!)

Bloom's Delicatessen Cafe
NYC

Candle 79
NYC

Ciao!
Eastchester (in Westchester)

City Crab & Seafood Co
NYC

Curly's Bar & Grill
Lackawanna, NY

Ilio DiPaolo's Restaurant & Ringside Lounge
Blasdell, NY

Irises Cafe & Wine Bar
Plattsburg, NY

Josef's Gluten-free Bakery
Brooklyn

Mama's Italian Restaurant
Oakdale, NY

Pizza Plant
Williamsville, NY

Resaurant Luna
Mt. Kisco, NY

Rice to Riches
NYC

Risotteria
NYC

Sacred Chow
NYC

Soul Dog
Poughkeepsie, NY

49 Comments:

  • At 12:37 PM, Anonymous Jacqueline said…

    Hi Cybele -
    I've been reading your blog for quite a while and am sympathetic to your cause - my husband also suffers from many severe food allergies. In fact, his list may rival Lennon's! He is allergic to nuts, peas, beans, rice, chicken, eggs, potatoes, fish, and turkey. Amazingly, he can tolerate dairy and soy just fine (so unfortunately we can't use a lot of the recipes in your book - but I sure do enjoy reading about a family who has similar struggles!). Sadly, I can say in his case that his allergies have continued developing and have actually gotten worse as he's gotten older!
    I was kind of surprised to read about Lennon's reaction to the family dog. How has your family been able to have a dog around with his severe condition? Do you think you might end up having to get rid of the dog as his allergies warrant? My husband thinks having a pet would aggravate his conditions even more...but if you are able to give me some proof otherwise I would love to have a canine companion! :)
    Best wishes to you and your family and a happy new year!

     
  • At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This may seem obvious, but have you tried to put your child on Claritin? I'm generally against overmedicating but it's worked very well for me with little side effects. Seems safe to me.

     
  • At 1:47 PM, Blogger elleine08 said…

    Oh no! Poor Lennon! Poor you! That's awful Christmas news. I pray for you and your family so that you may be able to rise above all of this, which you have been doing marvelously. I really hate that you and your son have to go through all of this.

     
  • At 2:34 PM, Blogger Cybele Pascal said…

    Hi all:

    First, just to clarify, I hope nobody thinks I'm complaining. I don't feel that having multiple allergies is awful, so long as none of them result in anaphylaxis. I consider this a mild annoyance, but totally dealable. Re: Lennon and antihistamines, he was on claritin throughout ragweed season. He's been off for the past couple months, but now the allergist put him on a daily dose of clarinex. It's working well. Re: the dog, we're not getting rid of her. She's 8. We're going to put a special powder on her weekly which is supposed to help with the dander, and bathe her more often, and hopefully that will help. We've had her all Lennon's life, but never knew he was allergic to her till now. He doesn't wheeze, just has itchy eyes, and some congestion and what I call the "night cough". I think if it was causing an asthmatic reaction I'd have to get rid of her, but for now, it's manageable. That being said, our next pet will be a cat, to which neither child is allergic!

    cybele

     
  • At 4:53 PM, Blogger Nancy said…

    Hi Cybele,

    Merry Christmas!

    That's alot of allergies! The allergist told me after our family's testing that some allergies are "expressed" and some are not. Have you or your son actually had reactions to all the foods you listed? It seems, like in child development, that there are "critical periods". You may develop a full blown reaction or you may not. I wish I knew what the triggers are...

    Also, it seems to me that allergies wax and wane. I know that sounds weird but it seems to be true. For example, I was anaphalactic around dairy, chocolate, beef and eggs as a young child. Then I could eat them at around age 12 with no reaction at all. In college I ate tons of kiwi- I loved it! Then one day my throat itched and the next time I ate it my throat closed. Then eggplant, which I loved my whole life started to give me hives. Then, as an adult, I started to have reflux whenever I ate dairy or eggs. Over Christmas, hot chocolate made my throat itch (OK, this one makes me sad). I have to figure out now if it's the dairy or the chocolate (I hope it's not the chocolate :(

    School used to make my daughter Chelsea sneeze and wheeze. She was sick all the time. I always thought it was the chalkdust. Maybe it is the mold and/or dust mites. She has been getting allergy shots (cats, mites, mold, trees, grasses) for 15 months now and is doing astronomically better in school this year (hmmm...never made that connection before...)-she's a different kid now in school.

    Anyway, wheat is a tough one. Good luck... Let us know if probiotics improve anything. You have such a great attitude about allergies which will probably pass down to your kids. That's been my mistake...a bad attitude about it which my daughter has absorbed. There's always time to change, though...

    Nancy

     
  • At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi!
    Ive been reading your blog for a while now and im so impressed with your complete devotion to helping people with food allergies. i myself am allergic to a lot of things, only one of which is food, but i still have a hard time with it. wondering what it is? Beef. yep, i'm allergic to beef. its not normally a problem, but i run into trouble at functions where people are unaware of my allergy. this past summer, i went to a work camp and didnt eat dinner for 3 nights because they only had beef-centered food.
    along with that, my friends find it amusing that i am allergic to so many things, dust mites, fresh cut grass, trees of all kinds, soaps, fragrances...it seems like im allergic to the entire season of spring, but arent we all.
    also, my family has a dog too who sheds like crazy and im allergic to dogs, so i can understand why your son has been able to live with her for so long. what powder do you use on her? id love to be able to get closer to my dog without getting itchy eyes.
    i hope your new year will be great and good luck with all of the allergies!
    sorry this was so lengthy!

     
  • At 8:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Cybele,
    I'm 21, and have been dealing with environmental allergies most of my life. A cat for my 9th birthday discovered my asthma and all other allergies. I'm pretty much allergic to everything outside, and have developed an fragrance allergy as well as allergies to changes in temperatures.

    It does seem to have helped me though through cold season. My body has put up defences to everything else that it seems to be warding off colds.

    My last allergy test has discovered food allergies, luckily I'm picky and don't eat those foods anyhow, but it seems that I'll always be developing more and more problems.

     
  • At 10:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Cybele:
    Have you tried Aller-7™? No side effects and fast, effective results. I am allergic to trees, ragweed, goose feathers, dust, cat, dog (not as high on the chart). I was taking Allegra at first, but after learning about the severe long term side effects of that and Desloratadine, I bypassed my allergist and consulted a nutritionist who highly recommended Aller-7 (first I heard of it). I have family members both male and female that take Aller-7 as well because prostate cancer, breast cancer, and lymphoma run high in our family and we can't risk increasing the odds. I also have a mild heart condition and found that Allegra increased my palpitations. So far, Aller-7 has worked out very well for all. I control the dosage depending on surrounding environment ie: 1 a day for around my dog and 6 a day if I'm camping in the woods.

    Might be worth looking into for you and your family. Side effects are scary and all too real for adults and especially children.

     
  • At 11:39 PM, Blogger Sarah O said…

    A previous allergist once told me that most people "outgrow" their food allergies before they hit puberty if they are going to outgrow it all. He was a highly regarded allergist in the St. Louis area although I'm not sure how true his statement is as I have never researched it. That said, I did outgrow my wheat allergy around age 5 and dairy around age 14. I still go into anaphylatic shock with eggs, tree nuts and shell fish.

    I have 3 sibilings and each has their own set of allergies- none of which are to foods. Oddly enough, both of our parents have absolutely no allergies. Strange how some things work. I wonder how it is that 2 people who have no allergies can have 4 children that each have their own set of allergies....

    Without sounding like an alcoholic, I have learned that certain liquors contain allergens. My cousin alerted me to it a couple of summers ago when he found out he was alllergic to the way certain grains are distilled to make vodka and can now only drink a potato based vodka. I laughed it off and called him the alcoholic who had too much vodka one night and got sick from it and was claiming an allergy. Then, not 2 weeks later, I was at a bar with a friend and had a mixed drink. I ended up in the emergency room and had no idea how I could be having an anaphylatic reaction since I worked all day and hadn't had anything different to eat. I went back to the bar the next day and started to ask questions and they gave me the list of all the liquors that were in my drink. Unfortunately liquor bottles do not list ingredients. Luckily, through the internet, I found that a higher quality amaretto is made from an almond (FYI the cheaper is made from a peach pit). So no more mixed drinks for me!

    I may have been living in an allergy cave but would anyone please explain what a probiotic is?

     
  • At 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Cybele,

    I used to have alot of allergies as child but years of allergy shots put an end to them. It is worth a try.

    Also, all dogs are bad news for those who are allergic as it is the dander that causes the problem. Any dander at all will be no good.

    Hey, if you are allergic to Adam you can send him my way :)

     
  • At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    oh jesus christ anonymous you've got to be kidding me. Leave your fangirling for a different blog.

     
  • At 5:25 PM, Blogger Cybele Pascal said…

    Wow, what a fantastic amount of feedback! Thanks for writing, everyone!

    Nancy, in answer to your question about whether all the allergies have expressed themselves... GOOD QUESTION! Almost all of mine have in one way or another, particulary the fish, shellfish, and tree nuts. These are the most extreme for me. Some of my allergies manifest with hives, some with migraine and swelling, some with rashes, some with gastro symptoms, but some like the pineapple are just oral reactions. Like you, my throat also closes from Kiwi (forgot to put that on the list). With wheat, I can tolerate it in moderation, but after I eat a big plate of regular pasta, I'm a little sick all the next day. Also, I tolerate products made with sproated wheat much better than plain old wheat. However, I never suspected I was allergic to wheat, just intolerant. And so I was very suprised to test positive to it. The yeast, I never knew I had a problem with. And I don't think I've ever reacted to the oats.

    For Lennon, I don't think the egg allergy has "expressed" itself. I've been giving him eggs since he was 3 and it seems to be fine. I'm less clear on the wheat. He tested positive to all glutenous grains, and I know that allergic reactions can be delayed (manifesting within 24 hours), and i suspect that this is the case with him. I am putting us all on a GF diet for a couple of weeks to see if it makes any difference. He's never eaten shellfish, so it hasn't been expressed, and the allergist told me to keep him AWAY from it, just because of the potential severity of a reaction. His environmental allergies are certainly expressed

    I'm sorry to hear about your hot chocolate reaction. As a confirmed chocoholic, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that it wasn't the chocolate part.

    It's very comforting to hear that Chelsea is doing so much better. I am starting Lennon on allergy shots as soon as he's old enough.

    Today I started us all on probiotics, so i'll post about that.

    Anonymous, that is unusual about having a beef allergy. I have been told they are rare. Did you ever have a dairy allergy? I have heard there's occasional cross-reactivity.
    We are going to start using
    Allerpet D on the dog. You rub it into the dog's skin once a week.

    From most of your responses, i can gather my family is far from alone in their multiple allergies.

    I have to go make dinner, but I'll come back later to explain probiotics, discuss Aller-7, heart palpitations, and my husbands adoring fans, whom I really am fond of as long as they aren't mean to me (like the girl who made the You Tube video about murdering me -- that one I wasn't so fond of!)

     
  • At 11:25 PM, Blogger Sarah said…

    Do you mind if I ask if Lennon has experienced any side effects from the clarinex? I’ve been searching for a good medication to help control environmental allergies, but just can’t seem to find the right one. The one that has been the most effective so far has been twice-daily Livostin (sp?) eyedrops and nasal spray, but it just knocks me out. The allergy shots sound like something to look in to as well. Thanks!

     
  • At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    thanks for the name of the powder you use on your dog. ill definately have to try it out.
    about being allergic to beef, i dont know if i have a dairy allergy because its been a while since ive been tested but i do know that i dont do well with milk. meaning, that i cant drink a whole glass of milk without feeling a little queasy. ive always wondered if there was a cross between beef and dairy.
    thank you so much

     
  • At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Andrea said…

    Hi Cybele,

    I'm new to your blog (just got, and loved, your book!). My 13 month old daughter tested pos. to tons of stuff -- eggs, soy, dairy, nuts, dog dander, and even wheat (though that's low and it does not bother her). I really like how upbeat your writing is, how you look on the bright side, etc. I do agree w/the above poster, your attitude will make the diff w/your kids as far as allergies. I'm so impressed and hope I can do the same with my baby. In bad news, she has the appetite of a flea and will not eat a thing these days, which isn't fun, but not really allergy-specific, since it's all stuff she can it. She just chooses not to. Sigh, toddlers!

    Good luck w/everything, and i hope our boys are doing okay.

    Oh, by the way, ran out and got Spectrum shortening and some other stuff you suggest in your book, so excited to try it all, even if she won't eat a stitch of it.

     
  • At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Cybele:
    I am curious to hear your outcome on probiotics. It's interesting to read about all of the benefits of probiotics (like Primal Defense), but even better to hear if from someone actually in the thick of it. Let us know when you start feeling the results.

     
  • At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Rei said…

    Hello. I'm sorry that you and Lennon tested positive for so many allergens. He may outgrow some of his allergies. When I was younger i was very allergic to mangos. But i have since out grown it (I'm almost 18 now). Is Lennon taking any anti-alergie medication? Because many of my friends would have similar reactions to my school. I take Clariten (spelling?) because I am alergic to the family dogs and cats as well as cigeret smoke and everyone in my home but me smokes. Well, have a happy and healty new year!

     
  • At 8:42 PM, Anonymous jane said…

    Hi Cybele - sorry that your allergy situation is so bad. I can't help wondering why there seem to be so many around now.

    Cranberry sauce is one of my favorites, but it wasn't served at the Christmas dinner I attended this year, so on a whim I made your cranberry sauce and had it with your Greek chicken last night. They make a great combination, strange as it may seem. I've always made the plain cranberries, sugar and water sauce, and yours is much better. Delicious!

    You've asked for recipes a couple of times, so here's a rather humble, simple one of mine. (Please feel free to delete it if you don't think it's appropriate as an allergy-free dish.)

    Vegetable Creole

    1 small yellow onion, chopped
    1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
    4 tbsps olive oil
    2 carrots, sliced at an angle
    1 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    1 14 1/2 oz. can stewed tomatoes
    cayenne pepper to taste
    brown or white rice to serve 4

    Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet and add the onion and garlic. Sauté for a minute or two until softened, then add the carrots. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender. This takes a while, ten or fifteen minutes.

    Add the kidney beans, tomatoes and cayenne pepper. I add a couple of dashes of cayenne, but those who like things quite spicy will want to add more. The canned ingredients provide enough salt for me, so I don't add any. Simmer until everything is heated through. Serve over rice.

    Serves four generously, or more if used as a side dish.

     
  • At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Andrea said…

    Oh, Cybele, I almost forgot, there was an interesting article in this month's COOKIE magazine about a mom with a highly allergic son, and she, like you (and many of us) loves to cook and was quite thrown at first by his allergies, but has really regrouped and figured things out. Anyway, just another nice addition to the allergy literature out there.

    Best,

    Andrea

     
  • At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Cybele: some random questions for you

    When you cooked at your boarding school, was it a rigid schedule?

    Did you like the boarding school experience overall or did you sometimes wish you lived home and went to a public school?

    What was your favorite restaurant you ever worked in?

    Have you waitressed or were you working in the kitchen?

    Do you teach cooking classes now or do you primarily write full time?

    What is the one food you miss most eating now that you ate prior to finding out about your allergies?

     
  • At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Cassie Rivera said…

    You're not the only one. When I told Adam about me using your cookbook at the Goyband shoot and how I feel better. He was happy about it. Know that I am with my family in Georgia. (We moved like you guys did, but I grew up on Long Island.) We have six pets and every day I feel like I can't breathe through my nose. Or I have a constint head cold. Luckly I am under way and making progress to getting tested. I have always felt sick, like I always had a constint cold. So you could be right.

     
  • At 4:53 PM, Blogger Robin said…

    Hi Cybele,
    I really do appreciate your positive attitude when addressing living with allergies and all throughout your book. On the subject of dogs, I am so glad that you are keeping your dear dog, even though Lennon is allergic. Our dogs are like family members. For the future, consider poodles, as they have hair and don't shed. We have two poodles currently and they are intelligent and affable family companions. Ours are toy poodles, but they come in all sizes. Its just something to consider.
    All the best

     
  • At 9:57 AM, Blogger Cybele Pascal said…

    Dear Sarah:

    So far, no side effects from the clarinex. I'm thinking of taking it myself. For now, I take claritin. THe other ones, like zyrtec, give me dry mouth, which I HATE. He doesn't seem drowsy, nor is he reved up. In fact, it seems to be working like a charm. I need to do some more research though, on exactly how long he can stay on this. I am not giving it to him on weekends, just schooldays, since that's when he seems to have the most allergic reaction (I think to the dustmites in the rug in his classroom, primarily). I'll let you know how it goes.

    Dear Anonymous:

    We're all taking probiotics, but I think it's too soon to tell if they're helping with the allergies. But I do think they're helping with overall digestion. I will do a new post about probiotics, since I know I had promised to explain why people use them to help with allergies.

    Dear Andrea:

    Welcome!! Your daughter will eat. That toddler phase is brutal, I know. My son Lennon has gone through so many food lulls. But right now, he's eating like a horse. It's so satisfying. What did your allergist say to do about the wheat since she tested low? Thanks for the tip on "Cookie". I like that mag and was thinking about getting a subscription. Do you like it?

    Dear Rei:

    thanks for the well wishes! Happy new year to you too.

    Dear Jane:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU FOR THE RECIPE!!! It's really great and I'll try it pronto. I so appreciate your getting the ball rolling by sharing it. Anyone else have any?

    Dear Anonymous:

    Re: Boarding school.

    Yes, I cooked in the afternoons. It was like a job shift. It was my job to prepare the vegetarian dinner.

    Yes, I liked boarding school, but it was a hard adjustment at first. Are you looking at schools? IF so which ones?

    My favorite restaurant I ever worked in was called Pentimento. It was in Cambridge Mass. It's no longer around :(

    Yes, I have also waitressed. I have been a dishwasher, a prep cook, a cook, a waiter, and a host. I prefer being in the kitchen, but waitressing can be fun if you're really social.

    No, I don't teach cooking. Maybe someday. I write full time. I write articles, my column on Lime.com, and then I do my other writing, which is dramatic writing.

    I miss shrimp tempura rolls the most!!

    Dear Cassie:

    How about getting a Hepa air purifier for your house? With all the dander, no wonder you feel like you can't breathe!!

    Dear Robin:

    Thanks for the tip on poodles. I like the toy ones myself. In ginger/apricot. They are soo cute. IT's great to know they are more tolerable for those with allergies. Are their other dogs that are as well? I know that Siberian cats are supposed to be good for people with cat allergies.

    Thanks for all your comments, everyone.

    cybele

     
  • At 11:32 AM, Anonymous jane said…

    You're welcome - I hope you like the recipe. For any of you without allergies to wheat, eggs and/or dairy, I also like the Vegetable Creole over egg noodles (I'm not sure if there are any allergy-free noodles out there) and with a big dollop of ricotta cheese or vanilla yogurt to cool down the cayenne.

    I'm looking forward to your post about probiotics. There was a fascinating article in the New York Times Magazine a few months ago about how variations in the composition of benign intestinal bacteria necessary for digestion may have a profound effect on such things as weight gain.

     
  • At 1:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I heard somewhere that maltese dogs don't shed. But I'm not sure where I heard that so its not definite.

     
  • At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great breads for Allergies:

    Bedlington Terrier. With the look of a lamb, this terrier is a wonderful companion. Most often seen with a blue haircoat, this breed sheds little, resulting in less dander and easier breathing for the allergy sufferer.

    Bichon Frise. The bichon is not only a great lapdog, but the curly-coated white breed produces little dander, making the dog a wonderful companion for people with allergies. To keep him looking great, the bichon needs periodic trips to the groomer.

    Chinese Crested. This breed is slowly gaining popularity. Not completely bald, the Chinese crested has some puffs of hair on the head and may have a very spotted skin. Despite his weird appearance, the Chinese crested is a great family pet.

    Irish Water Spaniel. Even though he may look like the clown of the spaniel family, the Irish water spaniel is the tallest spaniel and a great water dog. The coat of the Irish water spaniel is his most distinguishing characteristic.

    Kerry Blue Terrier. The hair coat of the Kerry blue is silky soft and dense. The coat can be curly or wavy but should not be wiry or harsh. The Kerry blue does require frequent grooming

    Maltese. As the name suggests, the small Maltese originated on the island of Malta, in the Mediterranean. This diminutive breed looks fragile but is quite resilient. The long flowing white coat needs daily care but sheds little and produces small amounts of dander.

    Poodle. The standard, miniature and toy poodle make excellent pets. These dogs crave human companionship and, for the allergy sufferer, produce little dander. The breed does require attentive grooming to keep his coat in tip-top shape.

    Portuguese Water Dog. Bred to help the fishermen of Portugal, this breed is as happy on land as he is in the water. Another dog that produces little dander and doesn't shed much, the Portuguese water dog is a faithful and active companion.

    Schnauzer (Miniature, Standard or Giant). The most common coat color is salt and pepper but black is also available. In order to keep their coat clean and tangle free, frequent grooming and clipping is necessary.

    Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. A medium sized terrier, the wheaten seems to love life and human companionship. The color is any shade of wheaten. The soft coated wheaten has a soft wavy hair coat in any shade of wheaten.

    Xoloitzcuintli or Mexican Hairless. Comes in 3 sizes and in two varieties: hairless and coated. The colors are: black, bronze and grey.

     
  • At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I almost forgot... Labradoodle
    My friend has one of these hybrids (standard size) in cinnamon and it is the softest, nicest dog. They come in standard size and miniature. GREAT with kids. Here's a link:
    http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/labradoodle.htm

     
  • At 7:07 PM, Blogger Robin said…

    Wow, anonymous beat me to the punch about other breeds. But, I have to say again, that poodles are the very best. Since you mentioned that you are partial to apricot toy poodles, click on my blog to see a photo of the absolute cutest toy apricot ever:)
    Taffy is two years old, four pounds, and she rules the whole house. She loves everyone shes ever met and great with kids.
    Well, I'm off to make your Minestrone Soup!


    All the best

     
  • At 3:18 PM, Anonymous Madeline said…

    Cybele: Where can we find your other articles that you said you write?

     
  • At 2:28 PM, Blogger Cybele Pascal said…

    Thanks for the dog info. It's a great resource for all of us.

    Robin, what's your blog address so we can see your cutie?

    Madeline:

    My next article will be in "Living Without", the spring issue. I did an article with recipes on allergy-free Easter and Passover foods. And then there's my monthly column on Lime.com. I actually skipped this month, but it will be back up in February with valentines recipes. My last piece was in "Allergic Living", that's a Canadian magazine.

    Living Without is available at Whole Foods, and lots of health food stores. I'm not sure if you can fine Allergic Living here in the states... probably not.

    Thanks for asking!

    Cybele

     
  • At 12:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Cybele: what brand wheat allergy sensitive pretzel and dairy free chocolate would you recommend for chocolate covered pretzels?

     
  • At 8:46 AM, Blogger Cybele Pascal said…

    anonymous:

    re: Pretzels, I like Wylde Pretzels by Ener-G, and Enjoy Life Semisweet dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free chocolate chips. The chips are available at whole foods, and most health food stores, as well as online at places like the allergygrocer.com. the pretzels are available at health food stores, and also online. check the Ener-G site for distribution.

     
  • At 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    thanks for the swift reply! I'll head out to the store now and check your suggestions. I'm going to make the pretzels with my niece today:)

     
  • At 11:35 AM, Blogger Robin said…

    Hi Cybele, my blog url is http://taffysworld-robin.blogspot.com/

    if you go to my site, Taffy's World, you'll see the cutest dog ever! She has really cast her spell on us. You may see that we are not only poodle lovers, but, yes, fans of Adam. We first heard him sing on the dvd of Rent, but now, we have all his CDs. I took my daughter Amber, 14, to the 10/27 show(San Francisco). It was a wonderful night for us, the new music with Larry is AMAZING. He, of course, sang your song, "Cybele-See Me Shining" its so very beautiful. We can't wait for the new CD to come out. So, I had bought your cookbook after watching you on Martha Stewart, and I made a few of the recipes. I really like your use of alternatives to sugar, something I had never tried before. It is so cold here these days, I'm working my way through the soups(so far just the yummy minestrone). Hope you enjoy the photos of Taffy.
    All the best

     
  • At 6:00 PM, Blogger BohoRoohaha said…

    Hey Cybele, speaking of dogs, i was wondering if you'd ever heard of an allergy-alert dog? I have a friend that can't smell and is highly allergic to certain substances. She can have anaphlaxtic (sp?) or just allergic reactions to things like cigarette smoke, regular fire smoke, certains types of perfumes, and foods, to name a few. Tena is trained to alert her to these smells and maneuvure her around them. there are times when in can take her 5-10 minutes to travel a short distance because Tena won't let her move, because she can't find a way around the smell! (esp. in CA where everyone smokes!) Tena also carries her meds/enhaler/epipen in a pack on her back. before Tena, she had a hard time just getting out of the house and living, because of all the environmental allergens in the world. Dogs have an uncanny ability to detect when certain chemicals or moods in a human changes, and i think thats also what they alert to. also, I have a service dog that helps me with my ADD, esp. in school. i've found that when i'm petting him my mind has something to do, and i'm calmer, so i'm really able to concentrate and focus a lot better. Having the dog has also forced me to be much more sociable, since everyone comes up to me to ask about him, so i'm forced to talk to people. I just thought i'd mention that since i think you mentioned Lennon possibly having
    AD(H)D. and as far as service animals go, any breed of dog (or almost any animal for that matter) can be a service dog/animal. so if you could find a hypoallergic (is that the word) breed like a labradoodle, or poodle (yes, poodles are used as service dogs) then that could work. only a suggestion. i just wanted to mention it because my friend Nicki is allergic to almost everything and Tena has made her life SO much more enjoyable and tolerable.

     
  • At 4:25 PM, Blogger Jessica said…

    Hi Cybele and everybody!
    Cybele, I have already introduced myself to you via email, but I am the writer living in NYC that is allergic to soy products. Last summer, I had an accident with soy and it actually was because I had eaten chicken that had eaten soy. Yah, I hadn’t given it any thought when I bought the organic, free-range chicken (I can‘t remember the brand name at the moment). But in very fine print it said that the diet of the chicken was corn and soy.
    Sure enough, I ended up in the Brooklyn ER sick as one could be. The doctor explained to me a process called by-proxy something or other which means that if the chicken eats soy and I eat the chicken, then it will make me sick. I haven’t investigated this process any further , but curious if you had heard anything about this. Obviously, this has made me very weary of all meat products. I have been calling around to see what the chickens, cows, and pigs have been eating before I actually buy the product. I also eat buffalo and ostrich.
    So, I have gotten used to speaking with agriculturalists and in my last visit back home in the Great Lakes region I was hitting the trails on the skis and came across an old family friend who owns a large-scale farm. We entertained a brief conversation about crops and farming. Somewhere in the conversation, he was talking about cross-breeding or engineering of crops such as corn, wheat, and soy. I raised an eyebrow at this, of course, and I am wondering if a major problem with agriculture production is genetic modifications.
    When I was in Europe, there seemed to be serious debate over GMO and non-GMO produce, grains, and foods. I am curious why this issue isn’t a bigger concern in the States. I am wondering and will be doing further investigation with the farmer to see if food allergies could possibly be linked to genetic modification and cross-breeding. I have heard of this issue with strawberries being cross-bred with peanuts and anyone with a peanut allergy will have serious reactions with the strawberries.
    I am not trying to be an alarmist, but I have been reading your blog once in a great moon and everyone seems to have the same [good] question here - why are food allergies on the rise? I am thinking that perhaps the answer could begin with going back to the source of food production: the farms.
    By the way, I have developed an allergy to wheat. Because I am already allergic to soy products(which is in the majority of foods), getting around wheat seems to be a breeze. It took me about three months to figure out the wheat issue. I know what you mean though by going for a long time with feeling “under” or just not right somehow. I think that is what happened with me with the soy, but I learned what to look for.
    I am sympathetic and sorry to hear about your’s and your son’s allergies. But thank you for being so dedicated to helping all of us allergy-sufferers out.

    Best Wishes!
    Jessica

     
  • At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 10:57 PM, Blogger Cybele Pascal said…

    Robin:

    Your poodle IS the cutest dog ever. I almost can't stand it. And I'm thrilled you're such big adam fans!

    Bohoroohaha:

    What's your real name?! If you'd rather not give it, that's fine, but I feel funny addressing you like that. Thanks for your post! I had never heard of an allergy-alert dog, but what a brilliant concept. I had also never heard of a service dog for ADHD (ADD). What level school are you at? I doubt they'd allow that at my son's elementary. Though they should. How long have you had one? What did you do before the dog? Have you noticed a marked difference? Does your dog go everywhere with you? Does petting the dog give you something to do with your restlessnes, which then allows you to concentrate? I'm really fascinated by this, so if you feel like sharing, please do. You can always email me (just go to my profile). If not, thanks so much for the wonderful info you've already shared with us.

    Jessica:

    I owe you a Finnish Pancakes recipe!! I'm so sorry, I got sidelined.

    Okay, the by-proxy thing is terrifying. I'm going to check with the mother of a soy-anaphylactic boy I know and see if they've ever had problems.

    Re: GMOs, we're on the same page. It's not adding up. I'd love to hook you up with Nancy, who brought forth some enlightening info on GMO crops on this blog many months ago. There's no doubt in my mind that there's a connection, at least some of the time. Though it certainly can't be responsible for shellfish allergies... But soy, c'mon.

    I am going to say something inflammatory right now. I'm not sure I buy the hygiene hypothesis. Yup, that's right, it's not a good enough explanation for me. Listen, my son developed food allergies at 2 months old, and it had nothing to do with whether or not he was raised on a farm, because he hadn't had time for his environment to effect him. He was a tiny baby. And guess what? I WAS raised on a farm, and I still developed food allergies. I had every animal you can imagine in my household, horses, goats, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, etc, etc. and I still produce too much antibody-E. So then what's going on? You're right, this is the question we all keep asking. What is causing this????? I hope somebody gets to the answer as well as finding the "cure". There is so much attention being paid to finding a solution, without enough to finding the cause.

    Nice to hear from you. Check in again.

    all the best,

    Cybele

     
  • At 6:06 PM, Blogger BohoRoohaha said…

    they are actually called "Medical Alert Dogs" since they alert that person to a medical condition before it happens. My dog, Bennett, is a "Psychiatric Service Dog" (PSD). Actually, the service dog laws in the state of California (you live in LA, right?) are ridiculous, you could sprane (sp?) an ankle and say the dog is a mobility-support dog (almost kidding). Service dogs/animals are allowed access to ANY public place, including SCHOOLS and hospitals. as long as the service animal does not alter the practice of the business (say, bringing a dog into an allergy clinic where everyone is allergic to dogs- that would drive 'em right out the place! - but even then they are forced to accomadate (sp?) you). As far as I know, as long as no one in your son's class is deathly allergic to animal dander, and it can be trained to help him, then the animal is allowed. Access issues are a touchy and hot subject in the service dog world.
    Re: AD(H)D. I am in college. Though I wish I had a service dog through elementary and high school! I would probably have been less medicated, much more socially outgoing, maybe I could have given my teachers my homework and tests back with a lot less doodling (if and when I handed in my homework, that is!) Bennett goes to school with me and he lays at my feet. I have this command called "visit" where he puts his head on my lap so I can pet him. I've found that when I do this my mind has something to do, and I'm able to focus on the teacher and whats going on in class. so yea, it helps with my restlessness. we actually discovered that by accident when my friend's service dog (the one with the allergies) put her head in my lap during class one day. I've actually had Bennett since he was 7 weeks old! He was just going to be a housepet at first but a year ago my friend told me that he can be trained as a service dog. So we have been a service dog team for almost exactly a year. He is 3 years old. He's my best friend. we go everywhere together. You can train your own service dog, also. My friend is like a real-life Cesar Milan (the dog psychologist from "The Dog Whisperer"). That's all I can think of for now. Some great websites to check out are www.deltasociety.org, for service dogs, and www.psychdog.org for Psychiatric Service Dogs. You could sign up for their listserve too if you want. its full of great information...except that it doubles the amount of mail you get in your inbox! Anyways, if you have any more questions let me know and I can email you my email address. I also wanted to post this here as blatant shameless advertising for service dogs! Muayhaha! and if anyone else is interested in it let me know...also, you could go to http://groups.yahoo.com/alert_dogs. that's the yahoo group my friend and I set up. in case anyone wants to talk to her about medical alert dogs for allergies. Hope this helps!
    Cheers!
    Audrey and Bennett(PSD)

     
  • At 10:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Cybele- have you or your husband ever been exposed to higher levels of radiation before having children? My friend had radiation treatments for cancer at a young age and developed allergies. Theses allergies seemed to be magnified while she was pregnant and "passed on" by the birth of her first son (she also breast fed). Oddly enough, her oldest son is now being tested for ADD/ADHD/Asberger's syndrome (form of autism) under the suggestion of the school he attends. He's 6 years old.

    My friend has OCD since childhood and is also HPV carrier which her doc feels, along with the radiation, may be attributing to the behavior. Her oldest son is brilliant on the computer/video games, he started reading books last week on his own, he can socialize like a normal child, but he doesn't do well with eye contact or concentration in conversation or hugging, he walked on his tippy-toes for a while and is constantly climbing things which is also a sign. He is also an extremely picky eater.

    Her second and third born don't have seem to have the same behavioral problems, but they have food allergies. My friend is a vegan but her children/husband are not. However, she's careful to feed her oldest son foods that won't trigger additional behavioral problems instead of medicating him.

    Check out this article:
    http://www.healthalternatives2000.com/allergies-and-radiation-report.html

     
  • At 9:48 PM, Blogger Sarah said…

    Thank you so much for the info on zyrtec and clarinex - I'll definitely do some research on them!

     
  • At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Andrea said…

    Hi Cybele

    Our dr. actually said wheat was totally fine to give her b/c she had been eating it with no problem, but i decided to get everything out of her system for a little while. I'm bringing it back this week, so we will see!

    PS I'm on the fence about COOKIE mag, i like it sometimes and other times it bugs me. I'll just check out the web site for the time being.

    Best

    Andrea

     
  • At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Cybele -
    As many others have stated, I too LOVE your book! It is by far the best allergy-free cookbook I've come across since my son was diagnosed with many food and environmental allergies at age 6 months old (now 18 months).

    I'm wondering how often you and your family are tested for allergies. Our allergist wants to see my son every 6 months for re-testing. This seems too frequent since the tests can show a lot of false positives at this young age. Any thoughts?

    Again, thank you for compiling such great recipes - I really appreciate it!

     
  • At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Cybele,Hope you and your family are doing well. Okay so you pretty much have the most awsome husband in the entire world how can you stand it? LOL That one girl who said "If your allergic to Adam send him my way" That was funny you know all kidding aside it is possible to be allergic to someone...okay Im done thinking of the awsomeness that is Adam Pascal... now what was I saying??oh yeah (Okay Im such a fangirl ::rolls eyes:: lol) Okay on to the real reason im here something you said caught my eye about Zyrtec (sp?) giving you dry mouth MEEEEE TOOO I just went to the doctor and I found out that Im allergic to seafood is that strange..?

     
  • At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "Leave your fangirl comments somewhere else"..? Who the .... are you the blog police (Just so you know I didnt mean that to be mean) anyway I just wanted to say hello Cybele (I hope I didn't spell your name wrong) I hope things are going well for you and your family

     
  • At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Really interesting blog about vitamin and mineral and supplement. In a similar vain to vitamin and mineral and supplement, I've found the richest, purest omega-3 EFP fish oil supplement on the market. My health has improved dramatically - both physical and mental. I've been taking MorEPA now for about 6 months and I cannot emphasize how much this supplement have helped me to cope with anxiety and depression. The supplements can be ordered from **wwwomega3.com**. I'd also recommend daily exercise.

     
  • At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Heidi said…

    Hi Cybele!

    I purchased your book a month ago--I wish I would have found it earlier--I LOVE IT (I wrote a glowing review for it on Amazon :)!

    After reading your postings on you and your sons most recent allergy tests, I decided to post information that I have been collecting on my daughter's (Reidun) allergies. I plan on giving this list to her allergist when we see her for the 1st time.

    I dread introducing new to foods to her--when she has an allergic reaction it takes her 2 weeks to return to normal--hopefully testing will make for more positive food trials.

    I know reading your story has really helped me. Perhaps posting this will help someone else?

    __________________________________

    I am nursing my daughter who is currently 7 months old. When she was a month old we found out she had food allergies. Her main symptoms were blood and lots of mucus in her stools, behavior that seemed like severe colic and skin problems like severe cradle cap and acne. ALL of her symptoms went away when I removed allergens from my diet.

    Foods Reidun has been unable to tolerate through breast milk:
    •All dairy (including butter)
    •All soy (including soy bean oil/margarine?) (unsure of soy lectin)
    •Almonds (only nut trial) (only food that has caused a rash so far)
    •Eggs?

    Foods Reidun has been unable to tolerate directly:
    •Nutramagin (blood in stools after 24hrs, severe mucus, took 2 weeks for stools to return to normal)
    •Alimenten (immediate crankiness, small amounts of blood and mucus in her stools, took 2 weeks for stools to return to normal, seemed to respond worse to Nutramagin)
    •Oats (took 24hrs to notice blood in her stools, severe mucus, crankiness—took 2 weeks for stools to return to normal)
    •Banana? (many tiny brownish red strands in her stool—not like her usual bloody stools—possibly just fibers from the fruit, no crankiness or mucus)
    •Rice? (OK as long as she is not given over 1T daily—she was given more once—had blood in her stool, even with small amounts she acts constipated)

    Foods Reidun has been able to tolerate:
    •Rice? (OK as long as she is not given over 1T daily—she was given more once—had blood in her stool, even with small amounts she acts constipated)
    •Winter squash
    •Sweet Potato
    •Apple
    •Green Beans
    •Chicken

    Family History
    Paternal Side
    Father had severe eczema, lasted into his late teens. Both mother and sister have eczema. He is severely allergic to brazil buts, moderately to walnuts, mildly to peanuts. Might have allergies to cashews and macadamia nuts. Is OK with almonds and hazelnuts.

    He had GI difficulties as a child—unknown cause, possibly related to stress. His sister was in the hospital frequently as a child due to GI Problems?

    Maternal Side
    No food allergies. Multiple skin allergies: rug freshener, pesticides, grass?, fabric softener, lavender, some deodorants, soaps, shampoos, conditioners and fragrances.

    Had to be placed on massive doses of prednisone for almost 6 months after an allergic reaction (raised, weepy rash to entire body, one eye swelled shut) to a rug freshener with a pesticide in it in 2001.

    What we would like Reidun tested for:
    •All grains (rice, oats, wheat, spelt, barley, etc)
    •Corn
    •Tomato
    •Peanut
    •Tree Nuts (brazil, almond, hazelnut, cashew, macadamia, walnut, pecan, etc)
    •Lentil/Legumes
    •Seeds (sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, etc)
    •Meats (chicken, beef, pork, fish, shellfish)
    •Egg
    •Berries (blueberry, cranberry, blackberry, strawberry, etc)
    •Banana
    •Coconut
    •Chocolate
    •Mustard

    Possible allergy tests to perform?
    •Skin prick testing (SPT)
    •Total IgE
    •Allergen specific IgE
    •CAP RAST blood test (better for determining reactions to certain foods-tests IgG and IgE?)
    •RASP blood test (more sensitive to food allergies-tests IgG and IgE?)
    •ELISA/ACT blood test (tests for delayed hypersensitivity, type II, III, IV)
    •Secretory IgA Assay (measures the functional state of mucosal immunity)


    Thank you for everything!
    Heidi

     
  • At 11:14 AM, Blogger Kathy Schultz said…

    Hi Cybele,
    All I can say is thank God for your cookbook! You've helped me so much.

    My daughter had colic and eczema from day one. No vomiting or diarrhea, so no doctor suspected food allergies. At about 4 months she was put on Alimentum and the constant colic continued. At 8 months we decided to try a new formula which was cow-milk based (again, no doctor had ever mentioned a possible food allergy and we were only trying to calm her colic by soothing techniques and the eczema by topical creams) and she went into full anaphalytic shock. So scary. She's highly allergic to milk and eggs.

    Is there any evidence that she has less of a chance of outgrowing her allergy since her reaction was so severe? I keep hearing her chances are good, but not so sure considering I can't go on my front porch without an Epipen in hand.

    Again, thank you. I'm from the Northeast (Boston) and had just moved to Pacific Grove, CA, right before Caroline was born. We lost everything we owned in a moving van fire on our way out here and I was living in hotel for the latter part of my pregnancy. Dealing with all of this right after has been tough (without my family and friends here) so was absolutely relieved to have found you!

     

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