Friday, June 17, 2011

The 'V' Word!! Think V when you think food allergies and intolerances. The Blue Collar househould's healthier staples.

I know it's been a while since my last real post but, life seems to have gotten away from me these last several months. I found out my children have more food allergies and intolerances, there have been med changes and now we're at that time of year where there are 3 - 4 appointments a week to boot. Throw in colon surgery for my mother and her heart stent, then moving her to her new apartment, then the's been absolutely nuts around here.

I have posts lined up for this upcoming Sunday and Monday but, in the meantime, I wanted to share with you all some things that we've found helpful or addictive in our lives as we deal with allergies and protein intolerances. Things that have brought either the boys or myself some kind of pleasure as they've made the transition to mostly organic, vegan foods and I myself, have begun to transition albeit a lot slower because on a VERY tight budget, some organic, hypoallergenic and/vegan foods can be expensive! We've had to find the things that we eat or love the most and go with those first and foremost to spend the money on. and then if there is extra, fill in the rest.

First I cannot stress enough that while most health food stores like Whole Foods, do a great job of carrying products that mark whether an item has specific allergens in it like, milk, nuts, etc. If you've a child with allergies it is still important to periodically check the ingredient list to make sure that they've not changed a thing.

Ok, onto our favorites, you should know that my boys help me pick out this list! :D First up, the one thing this household CANNOT live without, Daiya Cheese.

Why Daiya?? I'm sooo glad you asked. Daiya is one of THE best Vegan cheeses you will EVER come across! It actually melts when cooked or heated and the taste is incredible. They now make a pepperjack flavor too. You can do anything with these cheeses too. We make homemade pizzas, hot turkey and Daiya sandwiches, cheese roll ups, chicken and cheese roll ups, etc. There is nothing better than this cheese if you miss cheese and cannot have milk proteins or are allergic. My toddler can't keep his hands out of an open package even!

Another reason why we love them here. They were forwarded a letter that I wrote to another company who uses their cheese for their product and were incredibly helpful and wonderful to us. Trust me when I say our love for these products and the following companies runs deep because of not only their GREAT products but, because of how they are as companies to their consumers...and no not a single company is paying me to say any of this. We just love them all!

Second can't live without product in our food allergy & intolerance home is, Cherrybrook Kitchen's Pancake mix.

My son couldn't live without his buttermilk pancakes and for months now I've tried every recipe, box, etc of pancake  mix ever made. Not a single one made a blip on his radar. In fact, he outright refused most after simply a few bites! Which, if you knew how much he loved pancakes, broke my heart. This mix is nut/peanut, gluten, milk, egg and wheat free. We mixed ours up following the directions using the oil and "milk" of our choice. Put some of DW's "butter" on them and he was hooked after simply one bite! Just a sniff of just the powdered mix alone is heaven.

The company is a family company founded by a women who found herself with food allergies just 11 short years ago and like most of us dealing with allergies, had a hard time finding good food that didn't taste like cardboard. Their website shows all their products, the company history and even gives you links to other allergy helpful sites if you're looking.

The third thing we can't live without here is Tofurky Cheese Pizza.
Made with Daiya cheese, it boasts a crust that is neither too crunchy nor too mushy but absolutely perfect. The taste of the pizza is literally to die for. They have an Italian sausage and a pepperoni pizza as well. Their website itself even has a recipe section and as for the company, they made a fan of my son for life. They send my son a lunchbox, stickers, and a coupon in the mail. He absolutely adored them. This is the company that passed my letter to Daiya cheese. Instead of taking credit, they humbly passed it on to Daiya. In this day and age, that is almost a rare thing. So, for all those reasons, it will always be a staple in my house.

Fourth thing, is quite honestly my addiction and becoming my toddler's now too as he constantly runs by asks me for a drink and gives me the cheesy, 'you know you want to' face! :D It's Steaz's Sparkling Green Tea, black cherry flavor.
Steaz is the great company, that makes these incredible green tea drinks with zero calories. They also make the full calorie one, iced teas and an energy drink as well. As a person that never, ever liked green tea, I was surprised to find myself LOVING these drinks! They antioxidants and B vitamins in them and the green tea alone is worth a try.

Fifth, is another thing brought to us by Daiya cheese. In their response to my letter, they sent me the link to Amy's. Where I was told there would be a macaroni that my sons could have. Their website was amazing. Tons of recipes, product and company information. Really worth the time to peak at it.

Amy's makes two kinds so just be aware of that this one though, is soy free, casein/milk free, gluten free and no GMOs are used in it either. Did I mention it's delicious?! Extremely rich and again, made with Daiya cheese, you won't even know that you're eating macaroni that is not really macaroni. My boys can't get enough of it.

These are the organic, vegan, hypoallergenic staples in our home now and the boys and I wanted to share them with you. If you've never tried any of these, when you get the extra few dollars or are already vegan or eating for allergies, I recommend all of these highly!

Until Sunday, I hope you all are having a great weekend and being safe if you're in flood areas, the areas where the tornadoes have ripped through everything or out west, where the wild fires have a mind of their own.

Have a great weekend and take some time to try one of these great items!

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