June/July 2008

Features

Outward Bound - Traveling With Food Allergies

The thought of family travel can be daunting, especially if you plan to go overseas to remote and distant places. Add a child with severe food allergies to the mix and the idea gets downright overwhelming. When it comes to avoiding certain foods, many of the challenges are the same, regardless of whether your destination is Los Angeles or Laos.   More...

The Autism Puzzle - Understanding Autism Diagnosis

Goodbye Allergy Shots? If you’ve been wishing for an alternative to allergy shots to treat your child’s allergic asthma, researchers from the University of Genoa in Italy have good news. A review of nine studies that included more than 400 patients between the ages of 3 and 18 found that children with allergic asthma might benefit from oral administration in the form of tablets or drops. Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) was found in the researchers’ review to…   More...

Do I Have a Beer Allergy or Wine Allergy?

Though anaphylaxis is rare (alcohol accounts for only a small percentage of the United States' 150 annual food-related anaphylaxis fatalities), allergic reactions to wine and beer are relatively common. The causes of these reactions range from sulfites to sturgeon swim bladders. A single bottle of beer, for example, can contain more than 10 allergens, including preservatives, histamines, animal products, pesticides, wheat, yeast and corn. Why are these allergens added and what symptoms do they cause?   More...

A Toast to Gluten-Free Libations

Subscribers Only — Gluten-sensitive people used to stick to hard ciders as the next best thing to beer. These days, however, new options abound. Many smaller breweries now produce gluten-free beers. Giants like Anheuser-Busch are also joining the fray. Brewer Kristin Zantop says the company’s Redbridge is a sorghum beer without added wheat or barley.   More...

Life Story

Medicine Man - Celiac Disease Research

Living Without’s editor Alicia Woodward talks with Dr. Alessio Fasano, founder and medical director of the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for Celiac Research.   More...

Chronic Migraines - Solving the Mystery

About 4 percent of Americans suffer from chronic daily headache—a headache that occurs at least 15 days out of every month. The specific type I had, medication-overuse headache, occurs in about 1 percent of people in North America, Europe and Asia. Those years of daily dosing on naproxen had left me physically dependent on the drug; my headaches were withdrawal symptoms. A 2007 study found that in any given year, more than 17 percent of women and over 5 percent of men will experience a migraine. Of those, 60 percent suffer self-described "severe impairment," requiring bed rest. About 22 percent experience recurrent migraines that cause moderate-to-severe levels of disability, limiting their ability to work, attend school or enjoy family activities.   More...

Special Diets for Autistic Children

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, is a developmental behavioral disorder characterized by impairment in socialization and communication and by restricted, stereotypical patterns in behaviors, interests and activities. Children with ASD suffer from sensory hypersensitivity and have intense reactions to sound, sight, touch, taste and smell. They have difficulties with social integration and adjusting to new things and changes in their routines. They engage repeatedly in the same behaviors or thoughts, fixating on objects. For example, like most youngsters his age, Noah was obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine and Disney movies. Yet, unlike most kids, he would talk about these topics non-stop and every conversation would revert back to them. There are five levels of autistic disorders, according to the DSM-IV. On the higher functioning end of the spectrum is Asperger syndrome. On the lower end is classic autism, often called Kanner’s autism. Other types are Rett’s disorder, pervasive developmental disorder and childhood disintegrative disorder.   More...

So Good

Perfect Gluten-Free Pasta Salads

My first reaction to learning that I was gluten intolerant was not the loss of bread and pastries – it was the pasta. I simply could not imagine a happy life without it. Fortunately, there are plenty of tasty gluten-free pastas on the market. These products don't perform exactly like their conventional equivalents – cooking times vary, shapes differ – but they have excellent flavor and satisfying texture. Use gluten-free pasta to make your favorite noodle, macaroni or pasta salad. Whatever you call it, this versatile dish is quick and easy to prepare. We've added a healthy, dairy-free slant with recipes that punch up the nutrients by using fresh produce. And we've included several salads that have an exotic international flair to spice up this ever-popular picnic standard.   More...

Gluten-Free Pasta 101

Subscribers Only — Gluten-free pasta tends to fall apart when cooked too long. Use plenty of water, stir at the outset and check early for desired doneness.   More...

Know Your Gluten-Free Noodles

Subscribers Only — You can find a selection of gluten-free pastas at www.bobsredmill.com. Here’s a pasta primer to help you select the perfect noodle for your favorite recipe.   More...

Fire Up the Grill for a Summertime Gluten-Free Barbeque

Here's a tempting summer menu that makes it fun and easy to cook gluten-free outside. It goes beyond the standard barbeque fare of burgers. Use your grill to make a complete allergy-friendly meal including salad, entrée and dessert. This method of cooking adds flavor and dimension to foods, enhancing simple, fresh ingredients to make them extra-special. Whether it's charcoal or gas, grilling ensures delicious results with minimal clean up.   More...

Gluten-Free Miso Makeover

I have spent many years avoiding miso, the thick, fermented paste that’s a key ingredient in Japanese cuisine and the base of miso soup. Miso, often made from barley, has been a no-no for anyone who’s gluten free. But recently I discovered several varieties of gluten-free miso made from rice or beans. In fact, there’s even miso made from adzuki beans or chickpeas that’s soy free.   More...

Gluten-Free Picnic Recipes

Subscribers Only — Picnics are a fabulous way to spend a summer afternoon, lazing in the grass, enjoying the scenery and eating favorite foods. Just about any meal seems to taste better when enjoyed outdoors. And with the wealth of gluten-free and dairy free recipe options available to those of us with food allergies you can’t miss this summer. A picnic can be happenstance or as elegant as one’s purse can afford. It can be enjoyed alone with a good book, with a friend or family or with the entire community, like on the 4th of July. It is the spirit, along with the food, that makes a picnic special.   More...

House Call

Pediactric Allergies Q & A - Seasonal Allergies

Solar urticaria is a rare type of allergy that people can develop to certain wavelengths of light, particularly sunlight. The condition can affect anyone, but usually is seen in people aged ten and older. Solar uticaria is normally a persistent, chronic condition in which hives appear on sun-exposed skin after less than 30 minutes or so of direct sun exposure. Very rarely, a person may also experience additional symptoms, such as headache, nausea, fainting or swelling of tongue or lips. Once sun exposure is removed, the rash disappears within a few hours.   More...

Try it

Living Without Favorites: Grilling Additive and Chemical Free

Would you like additives and chemicals with your burger? That may be what you’re eating if you grill using most commercial briquets. With ingredients like anthracite coal, sodium nitrate, sand, saw dust (and the hydrocarbons contained in painted wood scraps), clays, limestone and even borax, many brands produce smoke and fumes that aren’t healthy for cooking—or breathing.   More...

Living Without Favorites: Gluten-Free Beer

Quench your thirst with a frothy, cold beer. The selection of gluten-free brews available in the United States is growing and here’s a new favorite—Green’s Beer. Inspired by strong European beer and developed using a closely guarded secret recipe, Green’s is made with millet, rice, buckwheat and sorghum. No barley and no wheat.   More...

Living Without Favorites: Organic Infant Clothing

Want to give a gift that is sure to generate rave reviews at that upcoming baby shower? This beautiful bouquet won’t wilt but will blossom into a practical present for the new bundle of joy. The Baby Bunch offers a darling selection of organic infant clothing packaged to look like floral arrangements. Cleverly arranged among pretty fabric roses and leaves are flower buds carefully created with rolled-up bibs, T-shirts, hats, socks and onesies.   More...

Living Without Favorites: Organic Baby Food

Here’s delicious news for the little taste bud in your life. Petite Palate has introduced a line of premier baby foods that combine fresh flavor with the finest ingredients. The brainchild of two culinary-trained moms who began preparing baby food from scratch as an alternative to buying jarred products, Petite Palate uses organic ingredients to create flavors like Spinach Potato Puree, Apple Pear Blend, Banana Peach Blend and Split Pea Stew.   More...

Living Without Favorites: Correcting Untreated Celiac Disease Nutritional Deficiencies

Untreated celiac disease can result in multiple nutritional deficiencies. Even after diagnosis and implementation of the gluten-free diet, many celiacs struggle to fully restore their health. Christine Doherty, a naturopathic doctor, understands the plight of the typical celiac. She suffered for years with complications from undiagnosed celiac disease. Her first-hand experience was the catalyst for opening her practice, Balance Point Natural Medicine, in Milford, New Hampshire. Doherty specializes in restoring health and lifestyle balance to people with food allergies, celiac disease and other chronic conditions. While proper diet is essential to the healing process, Doherty believes that nutritional supplements are also beneficial and she offers a complete line of certified gluten-free supplements.   More...

Read it

Living Without Books: Vegan Dessert Cookbook

While many high school kids might prefer to party or shop, 18-year-old Hannah Kaminski cheerfully chose to cook, concocting imaginative vegan desserts in her parents’ kitchen. Now her work is our reward in My Sweet Vegan (Fleming Ink), an impressive collection of luscious goodies, all vegan (no dairy, eggs or other animal products) with some also gluten free. From pies and snack bars to cookies, cakes and candies, Kaminski’s creations are inspired.   More...

Living Without Books: Gluten-Free Baking Cookbook

Here’s a great gift idea for anyone new to the gluten-free diet … or struggling to follow it. Bon Appetit Without the Wheat (Infinity Publishing), by Julie Ambrose, is an easy-to-follow guide for cooking without gluten. The main purpose of this cookbook? To make gluten-free cooking and baking as “normal” as possible, Ambrose says. Mission accomplished.   More...

Living Without Books: Recipes for Special Carbohydrate Diets

Navigating and adhering to any special diet can be a challenge and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) is no exception. A form of treatment for autism, inflammatory bowel disease and other conditions that impact the gut, the SCD excludes certain carbohydrates (e.g., bread, milk, pasta, rice, etc.) in order to relieve painful symptoms (e.g., chronic diarrhea, damage to the small intestine, etc.). When Raman Prasad first discovered the SCD, he was skeptical.   More...

Living Without Books: Organic Skin and Body Care

Take charge of your skin care and enhance your overall health with Organic Body Care Recipes (Storey Publishing) by Stephanie Tourles. A licensed esthetician and holistic skin care specialist, Tourles advocates a back-to-basics approach to healthy, vibrant skin, hair and nails that includes using herbs, essential oils and other natural ingredients in aromatic concoctions you can whip up in your kitchen. The book is loaded with simple recipes and easy instructions for facial scrubs, lip balm, hair conditioners, body moisturizers, bath and massage oils, foot powder—even bug repellants—that are safe, cost-effective and back-to-nature nourishing.   More...

Living Without Books: High-Functioning Autism

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be autistic, Born on a Blue Day (Simon & Schuster) by Daniel Tammet will give you a rare insider’s view. Tammet has both synesthesia and high-functioning autism (Asperger syndrome), a rare combination of conditions that gives him an extraordinary ability with numbers, along with poor social skills, hypersensitivity to sensory stimulation and a need for rigid order. Seeing numbers as patterns, textures and colors, Tammet can quickly solve complicated mathematical problems by simply visualizing the solutions.   More...

Food for Thought

The Silver Lining

I am not unhappy that my son, Kellen, has multiple food allergies. In fact, in many ways I'm grateful. I haven’t always felt this way. When Kellen was first diagnosed at 9 months old with what would eventually become a lengthy list of food allergies (dairy, wheat, gluten, eggs, certain nuts, to name a few), I was completely overwhelmed. A first-time mom, my only experience with food allergies was an uncle with peanut allergy and a grandfather with gluten intolerance. It wasn’t long before I developed tension headaches, induced, no doubt, by the stress of Kellen’s disturbing symptoms (hives, wheezing, vomiting and digestive problems) and the enormous responsibility of his care. What would I feed him? How would I keep him safe in everyday situations (playgroups, birthday parties, restaurant meals, holiday gatherings, school) where his risk of exposure was heightened? And there were desperate days when all hopes were dashed, as tests continued to reveal that he hadn’t outgrown any of his allergies, as doctors had suggested he might. Clearly, not the best of times.   More...

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