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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Orange Sherbet

1 orange + 1 Tbsp sweetener (we're partial to agave) + 2 cups ice + Vitamix= Delicious orange sherbet

If you've got a bit of safe vanilla (careful- alcohol and glycerin are often corn derived, so we make our own vanilla from potato vodka and vanilla beans) put a splash of that in there and it'll taste like a creamsicle!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Breyer's (Unilever)

I'm seething right now. My kid has a 104 fever and my mom wanted to get him some popsicles. We called Breyer's about their All Natural Fruit Bars, which list citric acid and natural flavors in the ingredients (both of these *can* contain corn but it isn't a guarantee). They won't tell us. It's "proprietary information". I am not even kidding you, I can't make this stuff up. Since it isn't one of the main ingredients, it isn't required by the FDA to give that information out. We asked if they would give that information out out of niceness, since I have a sick kid with a corn allergy; and she said that if we get a doctor's note stating that he has a corn allergy, they'll tell us.

So......while it isn't going to help him today since it's Good Friday and the chiropractor isn't in the office to write a note, you can bet that I won't let the issue die until I find out.... and then I'll blab it all over the internets.

Breyer's and Unilever can suck an Easter egg.

FYI Edy's has corn syrup in most of their fruit bars. The one I saw that didn't have corn syrup was strawberry, and that has citric acid, natural flavors and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). We'll be calling when they open; but they're in California so 3 hours behind us.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

No Pudge!

Contacted the company, these do have cornstarch in them even though it isn't listed:(

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bob's Red Mill

Bob's Red Mill xantham gum is wheat based and corn free (yay!).

I'm a sucker for homemade frappacino. 

Instant coffee (I usually use decaf)
Stevia (make sure it's allergen free) or sweetener of your choice
Milk of your choice (we use coconut milk)
Xantham gum 

Put all these in the blender. Blend.

Add ice, blend until smooth. I have a Vitamix and I love it an insane amount.

Play around with the amounts of everything until you find something you like. I like to sometimes add some homemade chocolate sauce, vanilla or mint extract to create different tastes. It satisfies my sweet tooth for minimal calories.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sometimes I wonder...

Sometimes I wonder if all of this food obsession is worth the trouble. I mean, the soy is the only one that he's ever had a "real" reaction to. Maybe it's all in our heads.

I decided to do a blind test. Remember when I made the pretzels? I melted some Olivio coconut spread and also some butter. I put butter on everything but let everyone think that I had put Olivio on a batch that were just for Mr. Intolerance. Things were a bit hairy that night, but nothing too out of the ordinary......the Mr. had been gone showing the rental house, and things always get a bit crazy when he gets home because the kids are so excited to see him.

The next day, I went out shopping with the girls and my mother and left the boys at home. By the time we got back, my son was already in bed and not much was said. Then came Monday. Oh what a day. A day straight from the days before we knew of the intolerances. I said something to the Mr., and he said "Oh yeah, he was like that while you were shopping, I just forgot to mention it."

It's like he has zero impulse control. He can't stay focused on anything to save his life- he can't stop himself long enough to consider whether something is a good or a bad idea. Fling a pair of underwear at sister's head? Sure! Push her down because she made me angry? It's only fair! Go outside without asking? Done!

If he were in school (he's homeschooled) and on a regular diet, I can guarantee that he would be referred to be tested for ADHD. I have no doubt that this ADHD that is just controlled by diet. Obviously it's possible to do, but most parents don't have time/resources/knowledge/whatever to do so and instead go the medication route.

Milk takes a week or two to leave the body, so we're hunkering down and praying that this is over sooner than later and I get my son back.  The good news? We have reaffirmed that this is worth it. Totally and 100%.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chewy Pretzel Bites

Note: These were yummy! Easy to make, fun to eat. Delicious with mustard.

Please excuse the cell phone pics, they were taken in the midst of baking three batches of pretzels:)

From the blog Mel's Cafe:

Chewy Pretzel Bites*Note: if using active dry yeast, increase the yeast to 1 tablespoon. Proof the yeast in the warm water and sugar (let it bubble and foam – maybe about 5 minutes) before adding it to the flour and salt.*Makes about 2 dozen pretzel bites
Dough:2 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup (8 ounces) very warm water
Topping:1/2 cup (4 ounces) warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda
Coarse salt (optional)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Mix to just combine. Add the water and mix well, adding more flour, as needed, a bit at a time to form a soft, smooth dough that clears the sides and bottom of the bowl. Knead the dough, by hand or machine, for about 5 minutes, until it is soft, smooth and quite slack. The goal is to get a really soft dough that isn’t overly sticky. Lightly flour the dough and place it in a plastic bag; close the bag, leaving room for the dough to expand, and let it rest for 30 minutes or up to 60 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 500°F. Don’t be afraid of the high heat! This is what will help those pretzels to brown up perfectly and stay soft on the inside. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or lightly greasing them.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into about four strips of equal length. Allow the pieces to rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes. While the dough is resting, combine the 1/2 cup warm water and the baking soda in a liquid measuring cup (deep enough to dip the pretzel bites into). Make sure the baking soda is thoroughly dissolved. Sometimes I have a hard time getting the baking soda completely dissolved, so I just lightly stir up the mixture right before adding each pretzel.
Cut each strip of dough into about 6-8 pieces, about 1 to 1 ½ inches in width. You don’t have to be completely exact, just eyeball it. Dip each pretzel bite in the baking soda solution (this will give the pretzels a nice, golden-brown color), and place them on the baking sheets. Sprinkle them lightly with coarse, kosher, or pretzel salt. Allow them to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Bake the pretzels for 7-8 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Bake one sheet at a time – it won’t hurt the other pretzels to chill out for a little longer.
Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush them thoroughly with the melted butter. Keep brushing the butter on until you’ve used it all up; it may seem like a lot, but that’s what gives these pretzels their ethereal taste. Eat the pretzels warm, or reheat them in an oven or microwave on low heat.
Recipe Source: adapted from this version

Homemade Buttery Pretzels

Note: These were superb. These are a sweeter pretzel. Although good with salt, they would be FABULOUS as a cinnamon & sugar pretzel.....however, I was out of cinnamon (seriously, who runs out of cinnamon?!). I couldn't get the baking soda water to thoroughly mix, so my son kept stirring in between me dipping them.

I'm sorry the pics aren't the best- they were taken on the fly with my cell. Trust me, they were delicious!

From the blog My Litter:

Homemade Buttery Pretzels

  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in thecenter; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
  1. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
  1. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned.

Bread Machine Pretzel Bites

Note: These were very yummy. A good "dip in mustard" pretzel. Instead of forming into a pretzel shape, we cut them in 1-1.5" pieces. I thought it was going to be a lot of work to boil them and then bake; but it wasn't a big deal at all.

I'm sorry the pics aren't the best- they were taken on the fly with my cell. Trust me, they were delicious!

From the Blog Dine & Dish

Recipe: Homemade Pretzel Bites for the Bread Machine (from All
  • 1 1/8 cups water (70 to 80 degrees F)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • coarse salt
  • melted butter – not in the original recipe, but a must for mall food pretzel like experience
  1. In bread machine pan, place the first four ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons water or flour if needed).
  1. When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into eight balls. Roll each into a 20-in. rope; form into pretzel shape. In a saucepan, bring water and baking soda to a boil. Drop pretzels into boiling water, two at a time; boil for 10-15 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
  1. Place pretzels on greased baking sheets. Bake at 425 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with salt.

King Arthur Brand

King Arthur Brand flours are good to go. They do have malted barley flour in them, but I was told by the company that it not corn derived. I was so happy to hear this, as I love me some King Arthur's always fun to not have to change:)

That said, the son-son and I had a pretzel baking night. We tried 3 different recipes, figuring that at least one would come out edible. It turns out that we LOVED all three and will be adding them to our recipe collection. We used some melted Olivio Coconut Spread brushed on the tops, and King Arthur flour.

When a recipe calls for oil, I usually use coconut oil when possible. In these recipes, it was used to oil the counter. Normally I'd use olive oil, but figured that was too strong of a flavor for this and so I used canola oil. I'm still unsure of canola oil as I've heard things about how it isn't good for health reasons; but I'm not completely convinced. I just use it sparingly and as a last resort. Word to the wise- "vegetable" oil is most often corn or soybean oil.

Machine Bread Pretzel Bites

Easy Homemade Pretzels

Chewy Pretzel Bites

Friday, February 10, 2012


We found an awesome product, Olivio Coconut Spread, to use as a butter replacement. I've gotten used to it and have actually grown quite fond of the taste. It has a buttery mouthfeel and is kind of sweet. It melts like the real stuff and is fantastic on toast, especially with a bit of cinnamon sprinkled on top.

Even my husband likes it, and he doesn't like the taste of coconut.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

"Soy" sauce

This is spendy, so it's one of the items that I tend to only use in recipes that the whole family will eat- or he uses it on rice himself. For the rest of the family, we still use Bragg's Liquid Aminos. We find this at Whole Foods. Careful with it- the first one we bought exploded on the WF cashier when he bumped it on the counter (glad it happened in the store where they replaced it, rather than at home).

I like to wait to find it for $5.99 on sale and buy a few at a time so I have it on hand.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ketchup, catsup, call it what you will

Right now, we're using Meijer Organics ketchup. It does have vinegar, and I have no idea if the vinegar they're using is corn derived as I haven't called on it yet. I haven't noticed any reactions, but then maybe I haven't been observant enough- you never know.

I did call about the regular Meijer ketchup, labelled "no high fructose corn syrup". It does have "natural flavors" and those ARE corn derived according to Mr. Storm. He said that this is so it can be gluten free- which is fantastic, if you're gluten free.

I've been thinking about making my own, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Anyone have a recipe they'd like to share?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Vitamins and supplements

While I'm not a big fan of fructose in a vitamin or supplement, I'm willing to overlook it since it's nearly impossible to find products that fit our needs. Here's what my kids take: Nature's Plus Source of Life Animal Parade Children's Chewable Multi-Vitamin & Mineral Supplement with Whole Food Concentrate (or more simply "pews" as my 2 year old calls them). I called and the lovely Diane was able to answer my question with no problem, telling me that it is a common inquiry. Personally I'd put it right on the packaging or the website, but I guess I'm not in charge ;)

I'm going to be spammy here for a minute. We get most of our vitamins and supplements from Vitacost and (referral code HOB764). I've ordered many many times from both of these companies. I've never had a problem with either of them- they ship fast (and free, with a minimum order which I find is often easy to reach) and everything is well packaged.

Actually I take that back. My most recent order with Vitacost included 4 things of Organic Better than Boullion (2 beef, 2 chicken- I was told the maltodextrin for the organic- NOT the others- is not corn derived) of the beef flavor came with no safety seal, and this particular company doesn't have a seal under the cap as a backup measure. I called Vitacost- they apologized profusely, told me to toss the one without the seal, and shipped me a new one at no cost (I called Friday, the replacement arrived Monday).

I f you use my link for Vitacost, you'll get $10 (and so will I!) and if you use my referral code HOB764 at you'll get a free $5 and I'll get a percentage, which I'm always grateful for.

 As an aside- I will be linking a LOT of products. This is so you can see what I'm talking about, product-wise. I do not receive compensation for this. If at any time I will benefit from a link, I'll be honest with you and tell you (like I did above). I hate reading blogs that sound like a self promoting infomercial, and I don't want to be one of those ;)

 Back to supplements.....another that they take is DDS Plus Probiotics by UAS Laboratories.

 Yet another is fish oil from Childlife, in strawberry flavor. Neither of the kids really loves it- but it's fish oil so I'm just happy that I can get them to take it (they're not "allowed" to have the Animal Parades until they take it- yes, my poor deprived children think taking the chewable vitamins is a treat).

Monday, February 6, 2012

Treating the sickies is a whole new beast

My son woke up with a dry hacking cough and couldn't get back to sleep. We tried lemon water and honey, and it just wasn't cutting it. I ended up giving him a sucker (Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops) because I didn't want him to choke on a cough drop since he was coughing so hard and was in bed.

My kids are rarely sick, and when they are I do natural remedies whenever possible (the only medication any of them has ever had was when I had to give him Benedryl after the original soy incident ). When looking through medications, I can see that even homeopathic remedies are no longer "safe", as they are often cornstarch pellets.

This morning, I called Ricola to find out if they were safe. I was told that their "starch syrup" is corn based. 

Please remember to check the ingredients on everything, every time you buy it. Something that was safe last time may not be safe this time- companies change their ingredients and formulations all the time without warning.

Please don't trust me on things. Use this blog as a jumping off point to do your own research. What I've been told may not be fact, or maybe it was true when I was told and won't be true tomorrow.

Things that are safe:

Honey...Don't Cough- this is 100% pure buckwheat honey in individual packets

Bee M.D. Organic Honey Throat Drops by BestSweet, Honey Lemon flavor- organic brown rice syrup, organic eucalyptus oil, organic evaporated cane juice, organic flavors*, organic honey. I was told by Miss Rita at BestSweet that there is no corn nor corn derivatives in this product or the other flavor.

I'm waiting on a reply from:

Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Cough Ease for Kids Homeopathic Cough Syrup- citric acid*, honey, purified water, sodium benzoate, sucrose*. This also states that it contains 0.001% alcohol which I'm also questioning, as alcohol is often corn derived. I will update when/if I get a reply.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Why the blog?

I feel so alone in this. I get so frustrated when I go grocery shopping, having to scrutinize every label. By the end of the trip I'm usually exasperated, putting things back on the shelf a little harder than I normally would because the disappointment of seeing ingredients that he can't have or that I'm unsure of (citric acid is a biggie because it's in a TON of stuff and may-or-may-not-be corn derived) is exhausting.

My mother continually says "why don't you blog about it, so you can share what you've found is safe and different recipes that you use; before it becomes overwhelming and you forget stuff and what it was like for you in the beginning". Yes, she does always boss me around like that ;)

So, here I am. I hope I can be of some help. I'll tell you- corn is our worst enemy. It is in (it sometimes seems) everything. Even stuff you'd never dream of (did you know the wax they use on fruit and vegetables is often corn based? yeah, me neither). With soy and milk being part of the "big 8" allergens, they are listed as a warning if they're in a product. Since corn isn't part of the big 8, you're pretty much on your own as far as figuring out if it's hidden somewhere in your food.

One blog that I've found extremely useful is I love the list here, it is a great jumping off point. Like she states, not everything on the list is for sure from corn. One day, maybe another family will be linking here and saying how much I've been able to help them.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

How we found out about the intolerances

We found out that our son was intolerant to corn and milk after having NAET testing done by an awesome chiropractor that specializes in pediatrics, Dr. Don Galovich. If you're anywhere within driving distance (he's in Michigan), I highly recommend him (no, I am not being compensated in any way for recommending him). He was recommended by another fantastic (or so I've heard, since I don't have personal experience) chiropractor on the other side of the country, in Nevada- Dr. Shadia Koury.

 If you've never heard of NAET testing, I suggest you do a bit of research on it. I can tell you- it isn't for everyone. Even I thought it was strange, and I'm a bit out there as far as alternative treatments and testing. But you know what? We kept an open mind, figuring if it didn't work then we'd go for further testing (blood tests).

And work it did. We went from having daily meltdowns, behavioral issues and him not being able to focus for more than 30 seconds at a time to having age appropriate meltdowns, behavioral issues and being able to sit and focus for a normal amount of 5.75year old boy time.

Now, I'm not saying that we removed corn/soy/milk from his diet and the clouds parted, the sun shone down and rabbits started pooping rainbows. He's still a 5.75 year old boy with a ton of energy and an "I know more than my parents because I'm almost 6" attitude that I would expect from a teenager rather than a kindergartner.
But the difference is like night and day, and I can tell when he's ingested something he shouldn't have.

You might be thinking "yeah, but how much of the difference is just that he's getting older/maturing?" To be honest, I'm sure that's part of it. However, he attended individualized play therapy for an hour a week for over a year with almost no progress. After a few days of removing the offending foods there was a noticeable difference, and after a few weeks he was like a completely different kid (in a good way!) I don't know how it works, and to be honest I really don't care because it has changed our lives for the better.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The beginning

At the age of 4, my son was diagnosed with a soy allergy after he had a reaction to edamame. He woke up in the middle of the night crying, saying that his throat itched. I didn't think much of it until I saw the rash the next morning.

Due to the fact that his throat was involved, we now carry an Epipen Jr. in case he accidentally ingests some soy and has a severe reaction.

In July of 2011, we found out he is intolerant to corn and milk. Not cheese (I think the enzymes play a part in this, but to be honest I don't know all the ins and outs of this yet). I think casein/lactose may be the difference. Who knows.

When we found out, I was all "oh corn, no biggie. We just won't give him corn." WRONG! Corn is the devil. It's pretty much in everything, just under sneaky names. Needless to say, we've had to change the way we eat to cater to these issues.

This here is my first post about living corn, soy and milk free (as much as possible). I hope it can help someone, somewhere, who might be feeling as frustrated, beat down and alone as we are.