Allergy Awareness

The information in this blog is the result of my own research into allergies.Some information is anecdotal but may be of use to other people trying to understand why it is that their body over-reacts to everyday substances.There will also be recipes added on a regular basis as I come up with alternatives to our favourite foods that we can't do without - Chocolate cake, pizza, nothing healthy! ;-)

Sainsburys first sulphite-free wine

Sainsburys has taken the first UK listing of a commercial wine made without the addition of sulphites. The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stellar Winery in South Africa will be part of Sainsbury's So Organic range. Priced at £4.99, it will be available from mid-March . (Ed. 2008)

For the full article read here - 

Posted by at Saturday, March 06, 2010 10:28 AM

Food "superallergies": The First Italian Study Proves That They Can Be Cured With The Incriminated Allergen

By setting an alimentary desensitization protocol against milk and egg proteins, the medical team of the Pediatric Clinic of the University of Trieste, located at the Institute of Child Health Burlo Garofolo, has demonstrated the possibility to reeducate the organism of "superallergic" children to accept incriminated foods without suffering from severe, and occasionally lethal reactions such as anaphylaxis or edema of the glottidis.

Read the full article here - 

Posted by at Saturday, March 06, 2010 10:24 AM

Overcoming Allergic Reactions To Soy

If you're allergic to soy, help is on the way. Two University of Illinois studies show that fermenting soy dramatically reduces its potential allergenicity and also increases the number of essential amino acids in soy products, making them a healthy and a safe choice for consumers. ...

Read the full article at

Posted by at Saturday, March 06, 2010 10:17 AM

What Is An Allergy?


Simply put, an allergy is when your body over reacts to what should be a harmless substance.

Your body will trigger an immune response to something that shouldn't cause any problems, a bit like when your body creates antibodies to fight off a cold or an infection.

Your body can react in different ways depending on your allergy. You can get itchy eyes, sneezing and a runny nose, as in hayfever. Or you can get welts on your skin similar to nettle rash. Allergic reactions can include asthma, eczema, headaches, lethargy, depression, sore throat, swelling, blistering, abdominal cramping, abdominal bloating, vomiting, diarrhea and potentially fatal anaphylatic shock.

Different people can react to different things. When somebody reacts to many things they are said to have multiple allergies.

I have multiple allergies

Posted by at Friday, March 05, 2010 7:13 PM

Why Do I Love Food That Doesn't Like Me?


There is a theory bouncing around that when you eat something that your body doesn't like, it produces certain chemicals to help it cope with the invasion. One of these chemicals is adrenalin. This will give you a short term feel-good factor which makes you feel, well, feel good! Sub-conciously you realise this and whenever you are feeling a bit low you will automatically reach for that something to make you feel good.

Unfortunately when you stop eating these feel-good foods you feel really, really down and low. The good news is that once your body has got used to not having them around you feel much much better.

The hard part is the one to two weeks that it takes for your body to work those cravings out.

Posted by at Friday, March 05, 2010 7:12 PM

Hidden Wheat Products


One of my allergies is wheat and although it is easy enough to avoid prepared foods that contain "wheat this" or "that wheat" there are some things which are just not as obvious. Although I am sure that this list is not complete these are some of the most commonly found ingredients that can be used in preprepared food in the UK which contain wheat.

  • Beer
  • Binder/Binding
  • Bread, Rye
  • Cereal
  • Cereal Binders
  • Cereal Protein
  • Couscous
  • Curry Powder
  • Dextrins
  • Edible Starch
  • Farina
  • Filler
  • Flour
  • Food Starch
  • Fu
  • Gum Base
  • Kamut
  • Lager
  • Liquorice
  • Miso
  • Modified Food Starch
  • Modified Starch
  • Monosodium Glutamate MSG
  • Mustard
  • Mustard Flour
  • Noodles
  • Pasta
  • Quorn
  • Rusk
  • Semolina
  • Soy Sauce
  • Special Edible Starch
  • Spelt
  • Starch
  • Suet
  • Thickener
  • Thickening
  • Vegetable Proteins

Wheat flour is also commonly used as an anti-caking agent. This is prevalent in Salt & Vinegar Crisp flavouring although I was okay with Salt & Vinegar Kettle Chips until I had to avoid Citric Acid too (Citric Acid can be derived from wheat starch or from citrus fruit)

The following are derivatives of wheat starch -

  • maltodextrin
  • glucose syrup
  • dextrose
  • sorbitol
  • mannitol
  • maltitol
  • xylitol
  • caramel colour
  • citric acid
Posted by at Friday, March 05, 2010 7:11 PM

Dairy, Wheat, Egg Free Butterscotch Pie Filling


Many moons ago I worked at the Milk Marketing Board. They had a wonderous canteen and one of my favourite things on the menu was the Butterscotch Tart. Well, my friend and I, being Tart by nature, flirted a bit with the chef that was bringing out the latest batch of Heaven on a plate. He was so sweet (like the tarts! LOL) and wrote out the recipe for us both. The filling was just divine but contained butter, milk and wheat flour. I adapted it (way hay!) and tested it (woo hoo!) and it works (praise be!). So, here it is...

Butterscotch Tart


Ingredient Quantity
Allowed Margarine 6oz
Soft Brown Sugar 6oz
Corn Flour 2 tbsp
Soya Milk 4 oz


  1. Melt the fat in a saucepan
  2. Add the milk and sugar and heat gently until dissolved
    Butterscotch Before It Sets
  3. Sieve the flour, and then, sieve it again into the sugar mixture, whisking continuously
  4. Slowly bring to the boil and remove from the heat
    Butterscotch In Pan
  5. Pour into a baked pastry case and leave to set
    Butterscotch Tarts

Okay, sometimes I can't be bothered to wait for it to set in a pastry case. It's really yummy served up warm in a bowl with a range of safe things to dunk. Yay for butterscotch fondue - bring it on!!! LOL

Posted by at Friday, March 05, 2010 6:44 PM

Citric Acid Allergy


This is an interesting one. From the information I have been able to gather Citric Acid is commonly used as an acidity regulator. It can be produced either naturally from citrus fruit or it can be a derivative of wheat starch.

At the moment I have not been able to find any tinned tomatoes in the supermarket that do not contain Citric Acid. Most soft drinks also contain Citric Acid. In fact most products in the supermarket seem to contain Citric Acid.

Personally, Citric Acid (and citrus fruit) triggers my asthma, so I avoid it. The only tinned tomato product to date that I have found that does not use Citric Acid is a catering sized tin of "pizza base topping" which is made from 100% tomatoes (nothing else - woo hoo!)

As I react to both Citrus fruit and wheat I do not know which derivative I react to. What I do know is that Citric Acid is also known as Acidity Regulator E330.

To confuse matters further the health guide on Mutual Benefit Marketing has this to say

Food acid, naturally derived from citrus fruit, although commercial synthesis is by fermentation of molasses. It is used in food as an antioxidant as well as enhancing the effect of other antioxidants, and also as an acidity regulator. Present in virtually all plants, it was first isolated in 1784 from lemon juice, by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele, and has been used as a food additive for over 100 years. Used in biscuits, canned fish, cheese and processed cheese products, infant formulas, cake and soup mixes, rye bread, soft drinks, fermented meat products. Damages tooth enamel. Most citric acid is produced from corn, manufacturers do not always take out the protein which can be hydrolysed and create MSG (621) causing reactions in MSG-sensitive people.

On my previous blog there were some interesting comments about this post left by some of the readers. I have taken the liberty of copying them here.

Nick (Visitor)
Monday, 09. Feb, 2009 @ 04:11:48
Citric acid triggers my asthma. It takes more than 2 cups of home made natural orange juice but even one piece of pizza that has citric acid added as preservatives creates problem for me. Today i ate ready to eat dinner. I thought citric acid is ok as preservative. But immediately after 20 minutes of eating dinner i am feeling mild asthmatic.

Kim Z (Visitor)
Tuesday, 14. Jul, 2009 @ 16:45:32
Depending upon my stress levels, I can have a citric acid reaction on a small amount of citric acid it seems. My skins burns from products including citric acid, particularly if I am not completely avoiding it in my food intake. In particular, I get a burning scalp from hair care products. They almost all have some short of fruit extract or something in them that causes me problems. I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions for good shampoo and conditioner that I can use? I read the labels, but I still seem to react. I think citric acid is disguised as other things. ??

Michael (Visitor)
Friday, 17. Jul, 2009 @ 19:37:09
I think you may find that the allergy to artificai citric acid is to the bug/mould they make artificial citric acid with - it is aspergillus niger, traces of which can be left in the artificail citric acid. It is a kind of mould. I am allergic to the tiniest traces of this - getting asthma - but not to natural citric acid. From my understanding it would be difficult to be allergic to natural citric acid as all our bodies contain citric acid - we couldn't live without it. So the citrus fruit allergy you have may be an allergic reation to some other part of the citrus fruit - hence your different reactions.

Posted by at Friday, March 05, 2010 6:00 PM

Simple Sesame Crunch Recipe


This delicious recipe is a cross between peanut brittle and sesame snaps. I either make it purely with sesame seeds or half sesame seeds & half coconut. Either way it's really tasty.

Sesame Crunch


Ingredient Quantity
Granulated Sugar 2 cups
Sesame Seeds 1 cup or 2 cups if you leave out the coconut
Dessicated Coconut 1 cup
Allowed Margarine 1 tbsp (I use vitalite)


  1. Put sugar and margarine in a pan and place over a low heat. Stir until the marg & sugar is mixed together. It should look a bit like this
    Sesame Crunch
  2.  In a dry frying pan, toast the sesame seeds until light golden brown. Add the coconut and keep stirring until the coconut starts to turn golden too. Remove from the heat.
    Sesame Crunch
  3. The sugar mix will start to melt and then clump up forming brown sugar lumps. Eventually it will melt into a smooth lumpless liquid.
    Sesame CrunchSesame CrunchSesame Crunch
  4. Tip the Sesame Seeds & coconut into the melted sugar and stir it in quickly. Then tip it out onto Waxed Paper, flatten it with the back of the spoon or a fish slice.
    Sesame Crunch
  5. When it has cooled enough to handle, snap the sesame snacks into bite sized pieces.
Posted by at Friday, March 05, 2010 4:49 PM

Allergens In Anti-Histamines


Since I've been trying to cut out everything I'm allergic to, I figured that I ought to change my anti-histamines so that I move onto one that is safe.

Strangely I have not been able to find an over the counter anti-histamine in either tablet or liquid form that does not have some form of potential allergen in it.

All the tablets that I have looked at are lactose based. Of all the liquid anti-histamines I have looked at only one does not contain Citric Acid, instead the Piriton syrup contains methyl, ethyl and propyl hydrobenzoates (E214, E216 and E218) - known asthma triggers.

I would have thought that common sense would kick in somewhere in the pharmaceutical industry and that somebody would produced a hypo-allergenic anti-histamine!

Thankfully, my milk allergy is to the proteins in milk not the sugars. This means that I am okay with the tablets. I'll be stuffed if I have to use the liquid anti-histamines though!

Posted by at Friday, March 05, 2010 2:27 PM

Gluten, Wheat, Dairy & Egg Free, Vegan Chocolate Cupcake Recipe


Chocolate Cupcake

I had a lovely gluten-free chocolate cake recipe passed onto me from a friend a few years ago, unfortunately it contains eggs, vinegar and rasperry jam. All of which I am currently avoiding. With a little adaptation I came up with this delicious cupcake recipe. As I use Vitalite margaine and AlproSoya Original soya milk it is also suitable for Vegans, substituting the Soya milk for a rice or nut milk would also make it suitable for a soya-free diet.

The cakes do not rise up in the middle which means they are suitable for icing, and, as you can see below, the cake is soft & moist inside without being dense.

Chocolate Cupcake

I make them in muffin cases (much larger than fairy cakes) and this recipe yields 24 cakes. I have never tried freezing them, but they have the potential to last for a few days if stored in an airtight tin.


Ingredient Quantity
rice flour 125g
cornflour 110g
cocoa 50g
sugar 275g
gluten free baking powder 2 tbsp
margarine 150g
soya milk 250ml
very ripe bananas 2 large or 3 small


  1. Preheat oven to 180C (fan assisted)
  2. Line muffin pan with paper cases.
  3. Sift dry ingredients together (flours, sugar, cocoa, baking powder).
  4. Add margarine and milk, then beat with electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute.
  5. Mash the bananas. Add them to the mixture and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  6. Half fill the paper cases with mixture and bake for 25 minutes.

When they have cooled you can ice them if you want but they don't need it!

Chocolate Cupcake

Posted by at Friday, March 05, 2010 2:16 PM

Oak Smoke Flavouring Contains Phthalic Anhydride.


I bought some relatively harmless sounding Smoked Salmon as a treat for myself not thinking there would be much in that I could react to. The ingredients list was fairly simple: Salmon (97%), Salt, Sugar, Oak Smoke. I've never reacted to any type of fish so I was pretty taken aback when I started to swell around my mouth and face, broke out in welts and started to get breathless.

From investigating around the web I discovered that when Oak Smoke is listed as an ingredient it is because it is an added flavouring. Tests have been completed on aqueous oak smoke and it has been found to contain (amongst other things) Phthalic Anhydride.

Phthalic Anhydride is known to irritate the skin, eyes and upper respiratory system, in fact it's pretty nasty stuff -

From now on I'll be checking to make sure that if I am eating so-called smoked food it has actually been smoked and not just flavoured.

Posted by at Friday, March 05, 2010 1:56 PM

Gluten, Wheat, Dairy and Egg Free Deep Pan Pizza Recipe


When I first realised that I was going to have to avoid wheat and dairy again my first reaction was "No more pizza!" . Not prepared to face life evermore without pizza I started on my quest to make a decent deep pan pizza base. I was not prepared to have one of these 3mm thick biscuit bases either. I was a woman on a quest!

Eventually with a bit of research over various bread & pizza base recipes, I found a few that were pretty close. However they were still not right, and so I concoted this recipe. It is time consuming to prepare and the batter/dough is rather sticky but I reckon it is worth it. It's so yummy in fact that I barely notice the lack of cheese.

The batter/dough does need to be left in a warm place to rise. I preheat the oven to the lowest temperature (40c) whilst the yeast mixture is standing . Once the dough/batter is in my frying pan I place it in the oven (please check that your pan is suitable for oven use before doing this!)

Deep Pan Pizza


Ingredient Quantity
dried yeast 1 tsp
warm water 240ml
sugar 1 tsp
rice flour 130g
corn flour 100g
xantham gum 1 tsp
salt 1 tsp
olive oil 2 tbsp


  1. Dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Stir in the yeast and leave to stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Throughly mix the rest of the dry ingredients (flours, gum & salt), add olive oil and yeast mixture.
  3. Stir until you have a soft sticky doughy batter, similar to this
    Deep Pan Pizza
  4. Place the mixture in a well oiled frying pan and spread out with a wet spatula. Leave it in a warm place to rise for 20 minutes. Use this time to prepare your toppings.
  5. I opt for double concentrate tomato puree with oregano, basil and garlic as the paste, with sliced peppers, red onion, olives, sweetcorn and mushrooms for the topping.
    Deep Pan Pizza
  6. When risen place the frying pan on the hob on a medium/high heat. Lightly pan fry the pizza base for 5 minutes, then flip it over and fry the other side for 5 minutes. Both sides should be golden. Preheat oven to 180c whilst doing this.
    Deep Pan Pizza
  7. Lift the pizza base onto an oiled baking sheet and apply toppings. Bake in hot oven for 15 minutes. Eat As Soon As Possible!
    Deep Pan Pizza
Posted by at Friday, March 05, 2010 1:36 PM

Additives That Trigger Asthma


Benzoates and Sulphites are common triggers for asthma. They are widely used in the UK as preservatives in food. The following list is compiled from the Mutual Benefit Marketing Health Guide

  • E210 Benzoic acid
  • E211 Sodium benzoate
  • E212 Potassium benzoate
  • E213 Calcium benzoate
  • E214 Ethyl para-hydroxybenzoate
  • E215 Sodium ethyl para-hydroxybenzoate
  • E216 Propyl para-hydroxybenzoate
  • E217 Sodium propyl para-hydroxybenzoate
  • E218 Methyl para-hydroxybenzoate
  • E219 Sodium methyl p-hydroxybenzoate
  • E220 Sulphur dioxide
  • E221 Sodium sulphite
  • E222 Sodium hydrogen sulphite
  • E223 Sodium metabisulphite
  • E224 Potassium metabisulphite
  • E225 Potassium sulphite
  • E226 Calcium sulphite
  • E227 Calcium hydrogen sulphite
  • E228 Potassium hydrogen sulphite
  • E441 Gelatine
  • E539 Sodium thiosulphate (converts to sulphite and has similar side-effects)

It may seem a little strange that Gelatine is on that list as it is usually listed as an ingredient rather than an additive. However if you are sensitive to sulphites then you should be wary of eating anything with Gelatine in it as it can contain E220 (Sulphur Dixoide)

Other additives which can trigger asthma or cause breathing difficulties include


  • E102 Tartrazine
  • E104 Quinoline Yellow
  • E107 Yellow
  • E120 Cochineal (also carminic acid, ammonium carmine)
  • E122 Azorubine, Carmoisine
  • E124 Ponceau 4R, Cochineal Red A, Brilliant Scarlet 4R
  • E128 Red 2G
  • E129 Allura red AC
  • E132 Indigotine, Indigo carmine
  • E133 Brilliant blue FCF
  • E142 Green S
  • E151 Brilliant Black BN, Black PN
  • E155 (Chocolate) Brown HT
  • E160(b) Annatto, bixin, norbixin
  • E180 Lithol Rubine BK, Pigment Rubine

Other Additives

  • E413 Tragacanth
  • E414 Acacia Gum, Gum Arabic
  • E536 Potassium ferrocyanide
  • E621Monosodium L-glutamate (MSG)
  • E623 Calcium di-L-glutamate
  • E626 Guanylic acid
  • E627 Disodium guanylate
  • E628 Dipotassium guanylate, 5'-
  • E629 Calcium guanylate
  • E630 Inosinic acid
  • E631 Disodium inosinate
  • E632 Dipotassium inosinate
  • E633 Calcium inosinate
  • E634 Calcium 5'-ribonucleotides
  • E635 Disodium 5'-ribonucleotide, Sodium 5'-ribonucleotide
  • E928 Benzoyl peroxide
  • E930 Calcium peroxide

This is the list I manually extracted from hundreds of items. It is more than likely I have missed something, but at least it's a start!

Posted by at Friday, March 05, 2010 1:18 PM

Chinese Crumb Coat Chicken Nuggets


A couple of days after I made my Ginger Biscuits, I went to get a couple from the Ziploc bag I kept them in. Unfortunately they had all broken up and there was nothing in the bag except a load of biscuit pieces. Determined not to waste them, I decided to utilise them for a crumb coating.

Chinese Crumb Coating


Ingredients Quantity
Finely crumbled Ginger Biscuits 10
Ground Cinnamon 1 Tsp
Ground Black Pepper 1 Tsp
Ground Cloves 1 Tsp
Ground Ginger 1 Tsp
Ground Lemon Grass 1 Tsp
Lightly Toasted Sesame Seeds 2 Tbsp


  1. Crumble the biscuits up until finely powdered (I put them in a ziploc bag and then use a rolling pin to crush them)
  2. Thoroughly mix in all the spices and sesame seeds.

Chinese Crumb Coat Chicken

Chinese Chicken Nuggets

I serve these up with brown rice noodles and a side salad. There are no quantities because I just use a bit of crumb coat and a bit of milk at a time and top up the bowls when I require more.


Chinese Crumb Coating
Soya Milk
Chicken Breast
Vegetable Oil For Frying


  1. Cut the chicken into pieces approximately 1cm thick by 2cm x 3cm.
  2. Pour some soya milk into a bowl and some bread crumbs in another bowl.
  3. Immerse each piece of chicken into the soya milk and then press both sides into the crumb mixture.
  4. Leave the coated chicken pieces in a pile until you are ready to cook them.
  5. Add more milk or crumbs to the bowls as you need them and save any left over crumbs in an airtight container for use another day.
  6. Pour approximately 1cm of vegetable oil into a frying pan and heat it up.
  7. Cook the nuggets by placing several pieces of chicken flat in the hot fat. Cook for a few minutes then turn over and cook the other side also. Cook the 'nuggets' until golden brown and the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Posted by at Friday, March 05, 2010 1:02 PM

Ginger Biscuits


I once borrowed a recipe book from the library called "Allergy-Free Food" by Tanya Wright and had a go at making the Millet & Rice Savoury Biscuits in them. Texture wise they were light and crumbly and not too bad. Unfortunately there was a bit of a bitter aftertaste which I assume was from the millet. So I adapted the recipe slightly to include ground ginger and some sugar in the hope it would disguise the taste. It was better, and the biscuits went rather nicely with banana smoothies at breakfast time.

This is the adapted recipe, it makes approximately 35 biscuits.


Ingredient Metric
Millet Flour 125g
Rice Flour 125g
Salt 1/4 tsp
Gluten Free Baking Powder 2 tsps I use Supercook Baking Powder with the white lid
sugar 75g
ground ginger 1 tbsp
Allowed Margarine 50g I use Vitalite
Water 100ml


  1. Preheat oven to 180c.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients together.
  3. Rub in margarine until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then add water.
  4. Mix together until thoroughly combined and the mixture resembles a soft dough.
  5. Roll out to 1/2 cm thick, cut into circles and place on greased baking tray.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes and then place on wire rack to cool.
Posted by at Friday, March 05, 2010 12:32 PM

Gluten, Wheat, Egg & Dairy Free Spiced Biscuits


These biscuits have a dry and crumbly texture making them perfect to have with a cup of tea or a smoothie. They are quite spicy and not too sweet, more for grown-ups than for children. This recipe makes approximately 20 large biscuits.

Spiced Biscuits  


Ingredients Metric
corn flour 150g
rice flour 150g
sugar 100g
gluten-free baking powder 2tsp
salt large pinch
ground nutmeg 1 tsp
ground ginger 1 tsp
ground cinnamon 1 tsp
allowed margarine (I use vitalite) 75g
soya milk 200ml


  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients into a bowl.
  3. Rub in the margarine until crumbly.
  4. Mix in the soya milk until you have a soft and ever so slightly sticky dough.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface (I use rice flour) and kneed slightly.
  6. Roll the dough out to half cm thick and cut out into large rounds.
  7. Place on a greased tray and bake in hot oven for 15 minutes.
  8. When cooked gently lift onto a cooling rack.
Posted by at Friday, March 05, 2010 11:34 AM

Chocolate Pouring Sauce / Chocolate Spread Recipe


This is another accidental recipe that occured when I was trying to invent a home made dairy free chocolate spread.

It is gorgeous hot straight out of the pan (would be good for chocolate fondue) and can be kept in a tub in the fridge and used on ice-cream, in fact it tastes very similar to the chocolate ice-cream syrup that you can buy.

It is simple to make and if you double up on the cornflour you get chocolate spread, although this thickens up when chilled and can be awkward to spread straight from the fridge.

The quantities are very versatile as everything is measured by volume. Just make sure you use the same size measure for each ingredient. As a guide I find that if I use 1 quantity = 1 tablespoon and double up on the cornflour I have enough chocolate spread for a few rounds of sandwiches. If I use 1 quantity = 1/4 cup (60ml) then I have enough chocolate sauce for a fondue or a tub of ice-cream syrup in the fridge.

The sauce works beautifully on Vanilla Swedish Glace and Raspberries.

chocolate syrup  


Ingredient Quantity
Cornflour 1 Double quantity if you want chocolate spread
Cocoa Powder 1
Sugar 1
Icing Sugar 2
Soya Milk 2


  1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a saucepan until well blended.
  2. Add enough Soya milk to form a smooth paste and then add in the rest of the soya milk.
  3. Place over a low heat and bring to the boil, stirring (or whisking) continuously.
  4. Once it has thickened remove from the heat.
  5. Either use as it is or leave to cool.
  6. If cooling the sauce keep stirring it from time to time, or place it in a food mixer left running on low speed.
  7. If making spread pour it into a clean, dry, warm jam jar.
Posted by at Friday, March 05, 2010 10:31 AM

Why Are Special Dietary Needs Foods So Expensive?


Well, obviously because it's a limited market and the companies that produce the food need to make sure that their running costs are met and they don't have as high a turnover as regular brands. Just supposing though that the companies that produced these foods, manufacter and market them just the same as the larger food companies. Just suppose that Mrs Crimble was as well known and popular as Mr Kipling, surely the costs of these products would fall.

Until that happens though ( as if but it's a nice thought ) carefully check the food that is readily available in your regular supermarket. If you are wheat-free (as opposed to gluten free) you will still be ok with Ryvitas, Nairns Oatcakes and Kallo Rice Cakes. Vitalite is dairy and soya free, plus it's now suitable for Vegans, it's a fraction of the cost of the specialist margarines.

In fact everything that I use in my recipes, with the exception of Xantham Gum, I buy at my local Tesco Store.

I tend to avoid the 'health food' section at Tesco as the prices are up there with the Specialist Diet ranges, but check out the prices in the World Cuisine sections. You can pick up a 1.5kg bag of Natco Rice Flour for less money than the 1kg of Doves Farm Rice Flour. Tesco stock many other Natco items in their Indian cuisine section, including chana dal and dried chick peas. The Natco red split lentils are cheaper than the Tesco own brand and if you use a lot of them you can buy them in a bulk 2kg bag which works out even cheaper.

I was concerned about the effect my special diet was going to have on my families grocery budget, but thankfully a bit of careful research has paid off and we know a variety of regular brands which we can just buy straight off the shelf.

Posted by at Friday, March 05, 2010 10:17 AM

Can A Breastfed Baby Have Allergies?


Quite basically, yes, and they can have intolerances too.

Last time I was pregnant, my allergies/intolerances seemed to reduce in severity. Initially they got worse, then as the pregnancy progressed they improved and I didn't react anywhere near as violently as I had done previously - hence the drop in the blog submissions!

When my baby was 3-months old she had not stopped coughing, wheezing or having snuffly nose since she was born - so I started looking into the possibilty that she may have a dairy allergy. Not to my milk but to the few milk proteins that are passed on to her through my milk. I found out that other allergens which can be passed on through breastmilk are wheat, eggs, citrus and peanuts.

I rarely ate peanuts so it had to be something that I had in my diet every day. My egg allergy was disgnosed at 6 weeks old, so I went wheat, dairy and egg free again, in the hope that it would help clear up my snuffly baby.

An interesting article called "Milk: Does it Really Do a Body Good?" written by Dr Jay Gordon can be read at It is quite informative and discusses the contents of milk, symptoms of intolerances/dairy and reactions of breastfed babies to changes in the diet of their mother.

I still watch what I am eating as once my hormones levelled out after giving birth my allergies/intolerances returned, but at a level which I am more able to tolerate. I like this because it means once a week I cheat and eat something 'naughty', the next day I don't feel great but for the most part it's bearable and I can continue with life quite normally, for me!

Posted by at Friday, March 05, 2010 10:16 AM

Welcome To Allergy Awareness


Nearly 39 years ago I was diagnosed with my first allergy. I was 6 weeks old. Despite the medical profession assuring me that I would grow out of my allergies I never had. It is true that a lot of children will not carry their allergies through to adulthood, and it is true that at certain times of my life my allergies have been less sensitive than at other times, but on the whole I still have my allergies and I still take medication for them.

Simply speaking I feel that the medical profession has not done all it could for me and has let me down considerably and consistently.

I have multiple allergies and it is practically impossible to avoid everything that I am allergic to. I try to do the best that I can and have done an extensive amount of research into exactly what causes my symptoms. It transpires that I react differently to different allergens and require different medication depending on the symptoms.

This blog is intended to document my studies in the hope that it will save a lot of leg work for anybody else researching allergies and intolerances.

Posted by at Friday, March 05, 2010 10:08 AM