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Getting Garlic in your Gut (Infographic)

When we were touring for the Food Allergy Awareness Expedition, Natural Grocers was all about garlic. It was something they were promoting at most of the stores, and the information was quite helpful. With that in mind, I want to share another cool infographic with you, courtesy of Delicious Living.

Many of you may have noticed that on this blog, we don’t get into health foods, supplements, etc., and that’s done for a reason. No two people are the same. For some people, they have a garlic allergy, while others can benefit from the nutrients found in garlic. Food allergies and intolerances are such a personal thing, and we know it’s important to respect each person’s journey.

If you can have garlic, check out this infographic. Like our dear friend Krysten, from Krysten’s Kitchen, we love to add garlic to recipes. It has an awesome flavor, and added health benefits.

Kyolic Garlic Infographic

Kids and Food Allergies (Infographic)

Hey everyone. I wanted to share this infographic (courtesy of Delicious Living) with you that may be helpful to you. Currently, there are a lot of resources on the internet about kids and food allergies. Some websites you may enjoy are and Also, for those of you that are dealing with kids and 504 plans, Kristin Osbourne runs She is a disability and food allergy advocate, full of awesome information and help.

Kids and Food Allergies

Trip to Pressed Juicery by The Allergy Chef

A Fantastic Trip to Pressed Juicery

Have a dairy allergy? GO TO PRESSED JUICERY


On a clean or Paleo style diet? GO TO PRESSED JUICERY

Allergy Status: Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, Peanut Free, Yeast Free, Refined/Can Sugar Free, Vegan, Paleo, GAPs, Diabetic Friendly, Possibly Corn Free, Low Histamine, SCD Friendly, AIP Friendly, Nut Free Compatible

Before I lunch into the review, first, full disclosure. We were not paid or offered anything in exchange to visit PJ and write the review.

If you have a severe nut allergy, please call them first to make sure you’re comfortable with their handling of allergens. Some flavors do contain nuts. If you are corn free, again, call and make sure you’re happy with the sourcing of ingredients. On the surface, it should be safe, but those of us with a corn allergy know what that’s like. For those of you on a special diet such as SCD or AIP, be sure to get the flavor that’s right for you. For AIP people, coconut is one of the toppings available at the sore. On to the review! Read More

An App To Share

This was brought to my attention on Instagram, so I want to pass it along in hopes that someone out there can use it. It’s called My Friendly Reminders Essentially, it allows you to create a group of people, and manage who can’t have what. I’ve seen online lately where people without food allergies want to host their friends, but are unsure of where to start etc., and I can see this being a helpful tool. It also helps if you’re planning a larger event.

However, I will say, for those with severe food allergies, I doubt they would feel super safe allowing others to prepare their food just because of the cross contamination problems. Nonetheless, it’s little things like this that can help those with food allergies feel a little more included. Enjoy!

Free and Friendly Foods Traveling With Food Allergies

Traveling With Food Allergies, part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of the Traveling Series. This part will cover the night of departure, and the first full day of the trip, and a bit of what the kids did without me.

The Night of Departure
As expected, they didn’t leave on time. I was beyond exhausted, but of course, couldn’t go to sleep because I was trying to get them out of the house. As soon as they were gone I was out.

Meanwhile, in an RV far far away, well, not that far… The Papa and Grandma were driving the 4 kids to an RV park in Morgan Hill, which is south of us, by maybe a couple of hours? Maybe 90 minutes. The idea was that they would skip over all of the morning traffic, and “save” hours of travel time. It worked OK. Read More

Free and Friendly Foods Traveling With Food Allergies

Traveling With Food Allergies, Part 1

Part one will be covering all of the planning, and things that happened before departure.

Welcome to the very long write-up about how and your loved ones CAN go on a vacation. 10 years ago, I don’t know that this would be possible. 20 years ago, depending on the allergy, don’t even think about it. However, we live in a country that’s packed full of Whole Foods Markets, and few other big names (and little ones too) that have made it possible for people with food allergies to travel. Well, that and the internet. That last bit is important because putting in the time to research where you’re going is a big part of all of this. Traveling when you’re dealing a lot of people can be difficult. Traveling with people with multiple severe food allergies can seem near impossible. However, there’s hope. Here’s how we managed to pull it all off. Read More

So Much Has Changed, and We Won a Ribbon!

Shall we talk about the change, or the ribbon first? Well, let’s save the best for last.

Change. Lots of it! Our business is now up and running as an official LLC. We’re called Free and Friendly Foods now. I love the story behind the name… You know what it’s like trying to tell people that we’re gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, soy free, yeast free, GAPs friendly, and paleo friendly, and sometimes corn free, oh and vegan too. My fingers are tired just typing all of that. So, Free and Friendly. I thought it would be a great way to shorten things up a bit. Funny thing is, people without allergies, and sometimes older people ask jokingly if the food is free.

Besides the business launching, and do so much faster than I could have ever imagined, we PUBLISHED TWO BOOKS!!! Can you believe it? After years of working on them, they are the culmination of a lot of what we’ve learned. In addition to the books, we have another that will be released later this summer. We have a line up of 13 more books after that, including Pizza and Ice Cream.

Kit Cards are official too!!! The first ten cards have been released. I like to call these old school solutions to phony apps. They’re super glossy, so if you spill, you don’t ruin an expensive screen. They have all the ingredients pictured, so it’s easy to know what you’re looking for when you’re shopping. The first ten are items that have been very popular among the taste testers.

We had a booth at the San Mateo Maker Faire. Remember that thing about it all happening so quickly? Yes, it’s true. In a little over EIGHT weeks, we had the books done, kit cards done, business all official, and put together a booth at the Maker Faire. It if weren’t for our awesome friends and kids that came to help, there’s simply no way this could have all come together. It was so amazing to see how God was able to pull so much together. It was all nothing short of a wonder miracle, and blessing of course.

OK, so the ribbon. At the Maker Faire, we had the pleasure of meeting so many people with food allergies. Not many had multiples, but I simply had no clue we would meet that many people. There were several parents on the verge of tears when they learned I had something their child could eat. Towards the end, we were approached by Sonia, a wonderful lady, who had selected us for an Editor’s Choice ribbon. It was such an honor.

So what’s next? We have so many things that we would like to do. Seeing that we were so well received, we now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that people need what we know. We have plans to bring knowledge, resources, and food to people with (and without) food allergies.

Be sure to check out We have a write-up of the Maker Faire there, as well as books and kit cards that are for sale. We will also be hosting workshops here at our office in July. There’s so much on the horizon, so be sure you check back often.

An Updated Corn Free List

If you haven’t had a chance yet, head over to Corn-Free Foods (click here). They recently posted an updated CF list for all of us. What’s nice is that there are a lot of comments, such as “If you’re really sensitive, don’t use this product.” What I find to be interesting is that as I’ve been sick, I sometimes think reactions are all in my head; however, several products that I stopped using this year have comments like “reactions reported.”

I suppose I say that to be a good friend to you and remind you to go with your gut. None of us are the same, and none of us have the same exact reactions. Over the past couple of years, I’ve really had to remind myself of that.

On a side note, have you heard of Badger Balm? As of this writing, they are safe to use. I’ve been using the lip balm for a couple of months without a problem, which is really exciting. I buy it at Whole Foods, however, I’m sure it’s also available online.

See you next week for cookies 🙂

Storing Mushrooms

During my last big Costco trip, I was able to purchase organic mushrooms while I was there, which is quite exciting considering the price (and how pretty they look). Sadly, I didn’t get to them right away, and I hate wasting food. I set out on an internet search on how to preserve or freeze them, and I came across this article. I decided to go the steaming route to freeze the mushrooms.

I noticed that when I steamed them, the water in the bottom pot consistently boiled up and made water go into the top pot, even after taking some of the water out. At one point, I tilted the top pot so there was a gap for some of the steam to escape. After the steaming was done, I placed all of the mushrooms on a paper towel to cool off, and then I put them into a freezer baggie.

About 8 days later, I pulled out my baggie to see if I could really eat these mushrooms. The first thing I noticed is that even though I tried to “separate” the mushrooms in the baggie, they all clumped together. I held the bag at the top, swung hard, and let it hit a cabinet. After doing this a few times, they all broke apart quite nicely.

I cooked this in a pan on medium heat with onions and put some rice in there too. It was soooooooo good. No really, it was that good.

In terms of texture, it wasn’t so bad. Most of the mushrooms held their texture well. However, I could tell which ones had been touched by the water during the boiling, as they were slightly mushy.

Just Been Diagnosed With a Corn Allergy?

So, you’ve just been diagnosed? Let me start with a web hug. To be honest, I’m sure you’ll need more than just that one. Being diagnosed with a corn allergy or intolerance is insane. There are a few key resources that helped me endure, and I want to share those with you.

If you have more than one allergy like me, hopefully this site will help you succeed in the day to day kitchen drama. If this is all new and overwhelming to you, take a deep breath. In the American culture, and even in many others, everything revolves around food. If you are only having a problem with actual kernels of corn, then it’s not so bad, I promise. However, if you are allergic/intolerant to corn and all of its derivatives, then I so know what you’re going through.

I have to say, day one was the hardest for me. Actually, I think it was day three, when I went to the grocery store. I had a list in my hand of everything I couldn’t have, and well, there wasn’t much else to buy. With multiple allergies, you won’t be able to find regular alternatives that meet your needs. This is where I would like to be your friend in the kitchen, and help you one post at a time.

This is a link to what I call “The corn lady” and when you see her list of things to avoid, you may start calling her that too. This is THE BEST list I have found. She is only allergic to corn however, so in the area where she lists what’s in her pantry, there may be a lot of things you can’t have.

This is another site that I like going to. They keep a running list, and update it as well.

Beyond that, be aggressive with your online searches. If you have a question about a specific company, call them. Take into account how they speak to you as well. I once called a company, and the guy on the phone was giving me major attitude, so I decided not to buy what I needed from them and kept looking instead.

If you’re going to the dentist, ask them to use Carbocane on you. It’s supposed to be corn free.

If you need medicine from the doctor, you will need to talk to them about possibly creating a special compound form of the medicine. Be sure to know what the active, and inactive ingredients are.

When picking produce, go for un-waxed items, and try to stay organic. Personally, I have a hyper sensitive system, so organic is the only option. You will have to make a decision on this, depending on your personal reactions.

No two people react the same, to the same things. If you ever thing you’re having a reaction, you’re not crazy. Trust your gut. Be sure to keep a food journal of what you’re eating, and any symptoms you may feel, even if it’s minor. Through food journaling, I’ve been able to eliminate many products that were “corn free” from my diet. One last resource that I want to share is

Their forum is amazing. You can ask all sorts of questions for you or your children. Good luck to you.

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