Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving has come and gone. After getting my hand in pretty good condition, I wanted to be *somewhat* good in order to maintain it.

The following items that I ate were BOP free:

-Stuffing (bread, eggs, potatoes, onions, celery)
-Hard boiled eggs
-Dinner Roll

The next list of items that I ate (it was Thanksgiving, after all!) did have some BOP:
-Sweet Potato casserole (cinnamon)
-Pumpkin Roll (cinnamon)
-Ravioli and Meatballs (tomato sauce)

Like every good holiday meal, I probably ate more than I should, but I definitely enjoyed myself. I only ate a little bit off the "no-no" list and I did not have any alcohol (fermentation process can really bother BOP allergies).

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chinese Take Out

I love Chinese take-out. While not necessarily the most healthy thing in the world to eat, I do love a good General Tso chicken and egg roll. However, add in an allergy to BOP (sodium benzoate is found in soy sauce), and Chinese take-out is off the list. However, I've learned to modify my eating in order to indulge just a little.

You see, when the hubby and I are craving Chinese, he orders whatever he wants (lucky bum!) and I order the steamed chicken and mixed veggies. You can find this under the "diet" section of most Chinese take-out restaurants. They steam the meat and veggies and put the sauce on the SIDE! You get white rice with the meal. So, once you bring the food home, just toss the sauce (that comes separately) and enjoy your rice, chicken and veg! No sodium benzoate, I get to have some Chinese take-out and it's fairly healthy to boot- win-win, if you ask me!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Swanson's Beef Broth

The weather in the Carolinas is cool and fallish. For me, that means it's perfect weather for a warm, comforting bowl of soup. French onion soup is one of my favorites, so my hubby and I set out to make it for dinner, tonight. While he was watching the little one, I went to the store for onions and beef broth. Guess what I found out? Swanson's Beef Broth (both regular and low sodium) contains tomato paste!! However, the store brand did not contain any tomatoes, benzoates or vinegar, so I bought that one (Food Lion My Essentials Brand). Goes to show- you never know where BOP will be lurking. READ. THOSE. LABELS!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pizza Un-Pizza

I never used to be a pizza kind of gal. Don't get me wrong, I liked pizza as much as the next person, but I never, ever CRAVED pizza... that is, until I got pregnant. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I CRAVED pizza. All of that baby weight? Well, it might as well been called personal pan.

I thought that this obsession with cheese and tomato smothered pizza crust would go by the wayside once my baby was here. It did not. Then, I found out that tomatoes were out of the diet due to Balsam of Peru. Bummer. Big Bummer.

So, rather than wallow in self-pity for what I cannot have, I decided to make my own pizza!

1 cup warm water
1/4 cup oil
2 cups of bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
3 TBS brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup mozzarella cheese
Toppings of your choice

Once the dough cycle is finished, I roll the dough onto 2 pizza stones. Cover with towel and let rise 30-45 minutes more.

Now, for the fun part! I like to drizzle a little bit of olive oil on my crust and season with Italian seasonings. Then, I add a liberal amount of torn spinach. I "glue" everything together with a healthy sprinkling of cheese. You can mix up the toppings to suit your taste. Pesto would be a great tomato sauce replacer, too!

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Mange!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Light Therapy?

Have you ever heard of Light Therapy for eczema? I went to the dermatologist's, today, and she is recommending it. In her words, "(I) would be a prime candidate because I have suffered from repeated eczema flare-ups throughout my life." I've done creams (oh, have I done the creams!). I've done the fragrance-free, hypo-allergenic, dermatologist-recommended shampoos, soups, creams, etc., etc., etc. I've done various pills, Rx, internal medicines in the hope (less) search for some relief from the red, irritated, inflamed, scaly, dry skin that has literally been a part of my life since I can remember. I am ready to try something else. I.Am.Desperate.

So, what is light therapy? Hmm... after a quick Internet search (and after consulting with my doctor), I found that light therapy for eczema is, "Exposing the skin to UV light suppresses overactive skin immune system cells that cause inflammation." http://www.everydayhealth.com/eczema/light-therapy.aspx. The goal of the therapy is to expose the affected parts to UV lights in order to suppress flare-ups. There are cons to this type of therapy listed on the link above. None of these are terribly bothersome to me except for one; I have to go three times a week to the doctor's office and I can't take my almost-two-year old with me. As a SAHM, I am my daughter's caregiver and finding alternate care- an hour, three times a week- can been burdensome.

So, in conclusion, light therapy seems like a viable path of treatment for my skin IF (big IF), I can figure out childcare for my daughter.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pre-Thanksgiving jitters

Halloween is over. Thanksgiving and Christmas are soon upon us. This should be a happy, joyful time full of fun times, family, relaxing and FOOD! Except, when you have a food allergy, this can be a pretty stressful time of year.

This is the first year that I will be dealing with not only my own Balsam of Peru allergies, but my daughters allergies to eggs, nuts and soy. To complicate matters, we are going to my aunt's house for Thanksgiving dinner where I have virtually no control over dinner. Dun, dun, DUN!

So, I'm racking my brain and trying to think of "safe" things to eat. As I think of them, and as I formulate a plan, I'll be posting recipes and ideas/suggestions on the blog of holiday fare. I am open to suggestions and I'm curious how those out there in cyberland are going to be treating this holiday season when it comes to eating with a BOP allergy. Let the suggestions an comments begin!!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts


1 lb. Fresh Brussel Sprouts
EVOO to drizzle
Salt and Pepper to Taste


Wash veggies. Cut off stems and outer leaves. Spread out onto foil-lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with EVOO and salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 30 minutes at 400 degrees F, stirring halfway.

I don't like brussel sprouts, usually, but I love them this way!