Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Book Review of "The Food Allergy Experience" by Ruchi Gupta M.D. and Denise Bunning


“The Food Allergy Experience” is one of the best books I have read lately on the subject of living with food allergies.  After reading numerous excellent reviews on it, I picked up a copy off of Amazon and devoured it in less than 24 hours!  The authors are both parents of food allergic children of different ages, and Dr. Gupta is also a food allergy researcher and practicing pediatrician at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.  Denise Bunning is co-founder of MOCHA(Mothers of Children Having Allergies), which is an allergy support group for food-allergic families in the Chicago suburbs.   

The book is arranged in four parts: THE BEGINNING, RELATIONSHIPS, SOCIAL WORLD, and EVERYDAY.  Each part has several smaller chapters that are arranged into practical, easy to read and digest tips from parents and doctors who live with allergies every day.  My husband can tell that the book is relevant and useful by the number of page tabs and hi-lights I put in the book as I read it.   Even though I’ve been dealing with my daughter’s food allergies for over 6 years now, I learned so much and connected with so much in this book.  There are many wonderful reminders, new ways to approach things like talking to parents and caregivers, and how to help your children learn to manage their allergies.  

The end of the book has a wonderful section of sixteen glorious pages full of resources for things such as national and international organizations, 504 plans, support groups, magazines, books, summer camps, travel resources, and related disease information.  It also contains sample letters to family and friends to help explain your child’s allergies, sample letters that school principals and teachers can use, and FARE’S Emergency Action Plan along with their website info (       I am co-founding a local allergy support group this fall, and this is the first book I plan to recommend to anyone who lives with food allergies or loves anyone with food allergies!

You can pick up your copy of the book, or preview it at,  or

Mandie - safe "Fudge" Pops


These are the reason I made the Carob Syrup recipe in the first place - so that I could make "fudge pops" for Mandie like I was going to make for the boys.
For the carob "fudge" pops - Put 1-2 Tbsp. of Carob syrup into a small glass jar.  Add safe milk (for Mandie it is Living Harvest Hemp Milk or Pacific Hazelnut Milk), and shake to combine.  I pour mine into silicone molds, like these from and freeze for 24 hours.   This is what they look like when they are done... a very happy little girl!

For the boys, I simply chill a carton of Chocolate Coconut Milk in the fridge, then pour it into their molds.  We use separate colors for each child, so we avoid mistakes and cross contamination. A very simple, safe way to help the kids enjoy summer!

Carob Syrup

I found a wonderful recipe for homemade chocolate syrup the other day, and decided to modify it for Mandie, so that she could enjoy "carob milk" when the boys are drinking chocolate milk.  When it was finished I poured it into a clean glass maple syrup container.  It has stored wonderfully in the fridge, and Mandie's loving having carob milk once or twice a day!

1 cup cane sugar
¼ cup carob powder
1 cup water
¼ tsp. homemade vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. baking soda
Pour water in to a small saucepan and whisk in carob until dissolved.  Heat over medium heat, adding sugar and continuing to whisk.  KEEP WHISKING and watching the pot as it heats, as it boils over very easily.   Once mixture is boiling, turn heat to medium-low and whisk for 10-12 minutes until mixture is reduced and thickened.  Remove from heat, add salt and vanilla.  After 3 minutes whisk in baking soda.  It will foam quite a bit, but whisk until mixed and let cool.  Whisk once again, and pour into a glass jar (old maple syrup jars work well) and store in the fridge.  Use 1 Tbsp. syrup per 8 oz of hemp or hazelnut milk.   It also works wonderfully poured into freeze pop molds and frozen.  Mandie LOVES it!!!

Linked to Healthy Vegan Fridays