About Us

Smiling Away Allergies

Faith: Another Level of Food Allergies

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The Art of a Messy House 

To start, I must admit that I am a strong believer in cliches and an even stronger believer in God working in life through the good and the bad.   With that being said, I am no expert and will never claim to be.   Instead, my faith and perseverance to do everything that I possibly can are my driving forces on this page, and in life.

Going back to cliches and beliefs,  “everything happens for a reason” and “God will never give you more than you can handle” are two pieces of daily motivation for me.   I believe that I was given this life and dealt its cards for a specific reason, or reasons.   It is in the moments that I feel a sense of inspiration that I must act.  This is exactly what I am doing by recreating this blog. Plus, someone very wise and dear to me sparked the fire in me years ago when he said, “prayer with belief is powerful.” Therefore, I have no choice but to pray the biggest prayers and believe with the fullest faith. They say that one’s true character builds during times of difficulty and struggle. When I gave my son his first taste of yogurt, I did not know that I would be thrown into the world of food allergies and forced to deal with a lot of my past I had been hiding away. Before that single taste, I had been naive about the severity and seriousness that could be associated with a food allergy, with a moment. It was extremely eye-opening on so many levels. How a moment can change everything.

The struggle with food was not a stranger to me. Throughout much of my life, challenges with food were definitely on my list of vices. After winning the battle against an eating disorder as a teenager on paper, I continue to have to catch myself during difficult times to ensure that I didn’t resort to old ways as a way of trying to control the inevitable, life.

However, battling for yourself is much different than battling for someone else, someone too young and innocent to know what is going on.  Someone too young to be scared and speak up from themselves.   Instead, someone who turns to you and says with no words, only with their innocent eyes, “Mommy help me.”

On Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 5 pm in the evening, just when I was getting into the routine of being back at work as a working mom, food challenged me to my biggest obstacle yet. Food allergies!

Back in March 2015, I started this blog as an outlet for all of the emotions I was feeling and information that I was learning. Instead of sending long-winded text message updates to everyone who simply asked how TJ was doing, I also saw this site as a way of keeping family and friends updated on our journey. By sharing our story and the valuable information that we learn along the way, I hope to help educate others about this world of food allergies and eczema. Most importantly, I want to encourage all who reads this blog to “let your faith be bigger than your fear.” 

 

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UPDATE (JANUARY 2019): 

Let’s try this again.  My name is Jen. I am follower of Christ, wife of an amazing man, mom of two beautiful kids, teacher, writer, runner, oiler, baker, and anything else life wants to throw at me. On this blog, you will find ideas, inspiration, encouragement, and hope.  There is always hope.  There is always a way.   My goal is to bring you just that. 

Three years ago, after about a year of blogging, I decided it was best to take a break.  And that is where our story became and continues to become much more than just food allergies…it’s an unfolding story of faith, motherhood, food allergies, writing, healthy living, teaching, heartaches, triumphs, love, and embracing life in the moment…in the mess.

Read about our comeback story here: (The Comeback)

Are you wondering? Why the name change? Here you have it: (The Name Change)

Thank you for reading and following our story and I look forward to hearing about your experiences as well.

Feel free to contact us at theartofamessyhouse@gmail.com.  We would love to hear from you!


Disclaimer: This blog is a personal blog and used as a way of sharing and connecting with other readers. The posts, articles, and stories shared on the site are meant as a source of encouragement. In this challenging world of food allergies, motherhood, and life, I have found reaching out to other parents and people in my shoes to be extremely resourceful and inspiring. Therefore, I want to give back and do the same. The information on my blog is not intended as medical advice so as always, please consult with your doctor.


 

96 thoughts on “About Us

  1. amommasview

    That’s a big challenge… I’m sure you will handle it well. So far my kids don’t have allergies and I’m sure happy this is the case. I can’t imagine how life must change and how much worries it brings to your life.

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    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      Thank you for your comment, acknowledging the difficulty behind food allergies despite not experiencing them. While I was aware of how severe some allergies could be, I guess I didn’t quite understand how much they could affect one’s life until this experience started. Therefore, I think it is amazing that people like you who haven’t necessarily gone through any of this acknowledge the reality behind it. So, thank you again.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. amommasview

        How could you possibly understand? We don’t have food allergies but the youngest of my friend does severely and you suddenly realize what you really have to look out for. And it’s so much bigger than what you would imagine…

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Marianne @ Along the Side of the Road

    Just wanted you to know there’s another mom out here who’s been through pretty much all you have been/are going through. My first, a boy also, developed the “terrible 3” as our pediatritian called them: severe food allergies, eczema, and asthma. Eczema just after birth, allergies upon introducing solid foods to his diet, and asthma after the allergic reactions started. The good news for us at least was he outgrew everything except for the peanuts and tree nuts allergies. He was done with all the other allergies by the time he was about 3, and the eczema and asthma started to subside after he started school, and were gone by about age 10 or so. He’s 23 now and the only lingering effects of the childhood problems are he still has pretty dry skin and does have to watch that it doesn’t get sunburned, scratched up too much from outside work or bug bites, etc. Otherwise, he’s healthy and has lived a fairly “normal” life. Anyway, just wanted to tell you someone else has been where you’ve been and offer some hope that maybe all will get better over time. Blessings and good luck to you all … Marianne

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    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      Thank you so much for reading my blog and for this comment. From the very beginning of all of this, hearing from other moms/parents who experienced a similar situation with food allergies/ eczema is what really helped to keep me sane and taking the right steps. I love that your son has such a positive story despite the “terrible 3.” Thank you again for the blessings and hope. It’s beyond appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

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  3. joseelavallee

    Beautiful family! I work in a childcare, and food allergies are almost an everyday concern. We usually have one or two children who have anything from food sensitivities, to all out allergies…Scary stuff. It must be so difficult as a parent to deal with this daily. My heart goes out to you…

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    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      Thank you for this! You are once again too sweet! I am lucky enough to have my summers off with my son. However, now that makes the transition back to childcare with food allergies even more difficult. But, we, or rather I continue to get better with it all day by day. Thanks for the encouragement ! 😄

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      Thank you so much for this nomination. I am honored and plan to participate in this, nominating others, within the next couple of days. It’s been a hectic week preparing for daycare and the new school year. Thank you again for this encouraging and motivation. It means a lot! =)

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. tomashiar

        You are very welcome. It took me a few days as well because yes life is busy and we are moms. I certainly understand that. Hopefully, the nomination puts our blogs in the eyes of more viewers.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. sandhyakumar

    Lovely! I must say you are way too strong. I cannot imagine what I would’ve done had I been in your shoes. I will hope for things to get better for both of you just so you can smile more 🙂

    Thanks for liking my post. Really appreciate it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  5. jenniferpeck23

    I am inspired by your blog because it has highlighted an issue for me that I need to be more cognizant of. While my children do not seem to be afflicted by any food allergies (and I am very grateful for that), stories such as your keep a heightened awareness in the forefront of my mind. I think it is so important for parents whose children do not have such allergies to be extra vigilant of those children who do, because it could be so easy for us to accidentally expose another child as it’s not an issue we commonly deal with. Thank you for reminding us to be aware.

    Because of your blog, I am nominating you for a Sunshine Blogger award!!!
    http://jenniferpeck23.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      Thank you so much for your comment and for reading. My goal is to bring awareness to not only people with food allergies, but those without them. Your words are very encouraging and confirmation that although I have just really started this blog, that I am already doing just that. Thank you again. I really appreciate the nomination! =)

      Liked by 1 person

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  6. Britt

    I too believe God can help you through anything<3
    I am enjoying browsing your blog! Found you from the dream big community:) I invite you, for encourage ment and inspirational posts, to follow my blogging journey with me<3

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      Thank you for reading and your comment. Glad you found it interesting =) What is your child’s allergy to if you don’t mind me asking? If you know of anyone else interested in the topic of food allergies/eczema, please feel free to give my site information. Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. jacquelineobyikocha

        You are welcome. My child’s allergy does not emanate from food but from environmental effects, like pollen, dust mites, fumes etc. It hasn’t been easy to pin point what the root cause is precisely but we have been managing it well by God’s grace.Not a problem to recommend your site to any interested person. Kind regards

        Like

  7. Pingback: Blogger Recognition Award | Smiling Away Allergies

  8. Indira

    I’m a chronic allergy patient. Tried every therapy, yoga and breathing exercise, nature cure etc.etc. No relief. I believed that God has given me this so I can come up with some medicine to help others. I do experiment on my body. Till now not succeeded. My experience says irritation in intestine due to wrong food or some bacteria is the main cause for some types of allergies. There are other reasons also like dust.,pollen etc. One thing is sure. Never neglect your body. It never forgives you.

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. Elouise

    Thanks so much for the follow! My only true food allergy happens to be chocolate! From an early age. Bummer! However, I do live with lactose intolerance and IBS–both of which do war in my intestines if I don’t mind what I’m eating (or wisely refusing to eat). Our bodies are so complex–a gift as well as a great mystery when it comes to the way they sometimes turn against us/themselves. Kudos for reaching out and getting support from others, and for sharing what it’s like and where you are with this on any given day!
    Elouise

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    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      Chocolate !?! There are so many other cool flavors these days that you aren’t missing much in my opinion. Thank you for sharing ! 😄

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  10. Uncle Mel

    Boy can I relate – my daughter developed food allergies to (wheat, dairy, beef, nuts, beans and shell fish) at the age of 12 (she’s now 30).People without food allergies can’t understand the severity of this condition.

    We have found a few substitutions for certain ingredients (so my daughter can have a more varied diet), but preparing food for her is still a challenge. Usually the non-dairy, gluten free products contain some kind of nut oil which my daughter can’t have.

    Between my wife and I we know every ingredient in foods (and medication) at the market/drug store. Educating yourself, a bit of creativity and eliminating all processed foods is the way to go.

    Luckily my daughter loves Japanese food and her body can tolerate the diet. She actually eats healthier than I do.

    .

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your experience with you daughter’s allergies. Does she still have all of the same allergies? In our experience so far, those are two positives of food allergies: 1) eating a healthier diet and 2) learning A LOT about food! Thank you again for sharing =)

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. Uncle Mel

        Yes, she still has the same allergies. Even trace amounts could set he off with a small reaction (hives,scratchy throat)..A full blown reaction needs the epi-pen, a trip to the ER and steroids (only happened once but that was enough).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

        I agree … We feel the same way. One full blown reaction is more than enough … My heart and prayers go out to those who have experienced multiple and I pray we never experience one like that ever again. Best wishes to your daughter and all of you.

        Like

  11. oneta hayes

    Hi, I’m here because you liked my “There Was a Little Girl” post. Thanks for reading and making contact. I see a few folks know here on you comment string. Good blogging friends. I found and clicked your follow button so I plan to see you more.

    Liked by 1 person

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  12. Rather Normal Photography

    Following! I am a food allergy mom as well and my little guy starting showing signs at 6 months , although I believe that he was trying to tell us something before he was born because he wasn’t growing as expected or doing “practice breaths”. He is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, beans, grapes and intolerant to soy in large amounts. He also has asthma. We have had a rough road and it has been scary (ER visits/hospitalizations) at times but he is 7 now and the light of my life. Looking forward to reading your blog posts!

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      Thank you for sharing your experience with your son and his allergies. Has he outgrown any? After finding out about all of TJ’s allergies when he was 7.5 months, I too saw earlier signs or what I now believe were signs. In hindsight, I may have been able to avoid that initial experience with anaphylaxis if I had really pushed and pushed our doctors to test him. However, I was following doctors’ guidance and looking back in that sort of way does no good. It happened for a reason….right? Anyways, thank you so much for stopping by and following. I hope that your son outgrows them and in the meantime is safe. =) Although I do not wish any of this on anyone, I do find it helps to find people who wear similar shoes.

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      1. Rather Normal Photography

        Unfortunately he hasn’t grown out of any. His first pediatrician tested him when I was still nursing him and he tested so high on everything we got a second opinion. The second opinion said to wait until he was on solid food. He didn’t show anaphylaxis until around 1 year and it was to everything he loved to eat. It was rough (food diaries, watching him, long nights) We were so heartbroken. Yes, it is so comforting to know there are others navigating this and we’re not alone.

        Here’s to hoping our guys grow less allergic as they age! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

    Well, I hope that your son has found other foods now that he loves. Already (and it has only been about a year), we have learned what a tricky, difficult journey all of this is to steer through. For example, right now, my son has a viral infection of some sort. (That includes not eating for days, other flu-like symptoms that I will leave out, red rashes, random hives the other morning, eczema flare up, etc) While doctors believe it is a viral infection, the added questions and concerns of food allergies and allergic reactions always come into play and complicate matters. It is during times like this week that I especially find comfort in knowing that we are not alone. With that being said, since you have a longer experience with the world of food allergies, feel free to add any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions at any point.

    And right back at ya…Cheers to hoping our guys will grow less allergic and even outgrow these allergies. (My husband had horrible eczema and an egg allergy and outgrew both by the age of 8. I hear stories about outgrowing all the time. So we are hopeful but loving life in the meantime despite the challenges and it sounds like you are too. =) Thanks for sharing!

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  14. sportsattitudes

    Allergies are among the most frustrating and mysterious ailments modern medicine faces. My wife and I always joke about that’s why they say doctors are “practicing” medicine. Because quite honestly after all this time we still know so little about why each person reacts the way they do to bacteria, viruses, infections…why they have little or no immune systems working in their favor, etc. I myself struggled with ear and sinus infections from early childhood all through my 40’s before I finally decided to get tested for general allergies. I think they gave me 40 different exposures and I came up positive on all but two. In short I am allergic (nature-wise, not food-wise) to essentially everything out and indoors. So…I did a little reading and now am on a program of self-sinus cleansing (neti pot) which is so much easier and less gross than it sounds. And I haven’t had a single issue in ten plus years now. Once the light bulb came on it didn’t have to be “just the way I am” and I could do something about it I did. But all those years of suffering…I wish every child and adult could go without that. Your blog is important and you’re obviously helping everyone who reads it. All the best!

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      Oh wow! That is A LOT of allergies! I agree that it is such a frustrating and mysterious ailment that just keeps getting more prevalent. Instead, it should be the opposite. Modern medicine should be bringing us more answers….but I pray that that comes with time. Thank you for sharing your experience with allergies. I am glad that you were able to find a program that benefits you. I am trying everything possible to learn everything possible and then advocate/educate others in this area while first and foremost always keeping my son’s best interests and future in mind. =) Thank you again for reading, commenting, and your encouraging words. They mean a lot!

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  15. The Way to Nourish for Life!

    Beautiful. I came into this world as a rather sickly child, myself, premature, long ago, very soon diagnosed with asthma. Therefore, however, I have such precious memories of my mom (who’s now in her 80’s) being there for me always, up many a night with (for) me, thanks be to God.
    More recently in my life, I have suffered from food sensitivities (non-allergic/non-IgE adverse food reactions) which has led me to specialize in this area within my profession, and to have a greater understanding of food allergies as well.
    How complex, and beautifully made we are!
    God bless. (:

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      Thank you so much for reading and briefly sharing your story. It’s such a frustrating, yet interesting field to work in. I wish you only the best health and it brings me great hope that there are people like you specializing in this area. Have a blessed day! Thank you again for stopping by. 😄

      Liked by 1 person

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  16. nadine

    Hi, Thanks so much for liking my post at simplyfrugalhome.wordpress.com. Your food allergy journey with your son makes my personal struggles with eczema seem so much smaller. My daughter is just 4 months younger than your son! Our little people are so important to us aren’t they? It is incredible the power of love motherhood evokes within us, and pulls us to new heights trying to protect our children. Blessings from the Father upon you as you journey through this challenge. It is in our weakest moments that His strength comes through and others cannot help but see He is great 🙂

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    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      You are very welcome! I was so happy to find your blog this morning. Battles with eczema are trying with or without food allergies. My husband had horrible, horrible eczema as a child and only an allergy to eggs back then. And the stories they tell me put our situation in perspective sometimes. Anyways, thank you so much for the blessings. It is only because of our faith that we continue to walk this journey smiling on… I appreciate your words and encouragement more than you know. I totally agree that these little guys and girls inspire us to reach heights we never imaged we could. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. =) God bless your beautiful family.

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  17. BWSBL

    I’m glad I decided to click on this story. Your opening of believing “everything happens for a reason” and “God will never give you more than you can handle” sounds like I wrote it myself. Being a mother of 3 children without food allergies, I can only imagine the struggle and fear of giving your child something new to taste. However, I have met many moms along the way that were dealt the food allergy card and they learned and are hypervigilant about what foods their children eat. Just in reading this one post, I can tell you are going to be just fine. You will learn too. You’re on the right path. “Let your faith be bigger than your fear.” Perfect advice. I needed that one this morning. Thank you.

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    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      I am so glad that you clicked on this too! Thank you for your beyond encouraging words. They means so much to me and honestly give me more strength to battle through this with a smile. I truly believe that everything even the crappiest of things happens for a reason..a reason that sometimes we don’t understand fully for years or maybe not ever. However, the purpose is always there. My goal is to continue to figure that very purpose out though while protecting and advocating for my little guy. Thank you again for stopping by, reading, and sharing. =) It made my day!

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      Thank you for those encouraging words and for stopping by. I am far from perfect and have my ups and downs with all of it. However, I too believe in the power of having a “fighter’s heart.” I really appreciate your support and encouragement! Thanks also for stopping by =)

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      Oh wow! Does everyone have different allergies? Thank you so much for the nomination! I will definitely participate and looking forward to it. Sometimes, depending on the week, it takes a bit longer to post than I would like. =) I appreciate the nomination and you stopping by more than you know! Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. thatnewcrunchymom

        Yes, but our base allergies are the same: gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, rice, corn and oats. Then they spread out from there. My hubby is allergic to tomatoes, peppers, guar gum, etc. I’m allergic to millet, arrowroot, chickpeas, fish, etc. It’s kind of nuts at our house, I cook all of our meals. SO. MANY. DISHES. I need a maid. 😉 Haha You are welcome! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

        Wow! That is soooo many! I always say that our saving grace is rice and corn. I give you so much credit for managing and cooking for all of those limitations. Props to you! I need to read more of your blog and learn some of your tricks. 😄 Thanks again !

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Tony

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and liking something. I take my hat off to you on your study of food in relation to allergies. I am sure it is a lifelong venture. Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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  19. amanpan

    Food allergies are very serious – much more than some may imagine. I had food allergies as a child, grew out of them, and have different food allergies as an adult. Go figure! Yours is a great blog that addresses a very important subject. Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      Thank you for the words of encouragement and for stopping by. I really appreciate it! If you ever have anything to add or any insight, feel free to share. =) Thank you again!

      Liked by 1 person

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  20. Pingback: Tbt – The Early Signs of Food Allergies | Smiling Away Allergies

    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      Thank you for stopping by! While I started my blog due to my son’s experience with food allergies, I do post a lot about food allergies and health in general. I hope that you can find some of my posts informative and helpful. =)

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    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      Thank you so much for the nomination. I really appreciate. Due to some personal “things” I need to figure out, I need to take a week or two off from blogging a lot. A temporary shift of focus… However, when I get back, I will try to respond to the award. Thank you again for the recognition and congratulations on your award. =)

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      Thank you again! I just read through the power point. It was great and now saved on my computer. Interestingly enough, we were both treated for Klebsiella pneumoniae after being exposed and around someone who had it twice. Even though it was thought to be very rare to catch it with little exposure, my son had pneunomia and I myself had the “medical mystery” that I wrote about today for over a month. I am interested in knowing your thoughts on that post. However, it is a long one. Anyways, I did not realize that this was a bacteria that we already may have in our systems? Or am I wrong? It is that preterm babies can have this?

      Anyways, thank you for the link as it was and is very informative. My son has been taking a probiotic with one of the two strands that they discuss for a year now twice a day. I am wondering if I get pregnant again, if I should also take this strand. Have a great day!

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  21. Laduchessederat

    Hi ! Thanks for dropping by in my blog. We’re a family of food and I must admit, the first 2 years of my daughter have been a real challenge for us all (Milk, eggs, grapes and egg plant). Things got a little better for her but I still have my celeri allergy which is a real problem in my my country where there is celeri in almost in dressing ! We have a reintroduction protocol here in France, does it exist in your country too ?

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    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      Hi! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog too. I apologize that it took awhile to respond. I have taken a brief break from blogging due to some other things going on. However, thank you for sharing your experience with your daughter. Food allergies are definitely tough. I had great difficulty in those first months and even the course of the past year. Milk and eggs are definitely tricky allergies but aren’t they all? I have yet to introduce grapes and eggplant to my 20.5 month old son. We took a very conservative approach after his anaphylactic reaction and other skin reactions. We do have a protocol here or at least that my allergist uses. Blood or skin test to see level and if low enough or no loner present then a oral food challenge with the allergist. How about in France?

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    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      Thank you so much for the nomination ! I really appreciate it! I will hopefully respond and participate when I return to blogging. I’ve Been taking a brief break to figure some things out. Thank you again though! 😄

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. smilingawayfoodallergies Post author

      Hi! Yes I am still working through some medical issues. Therefore, I decided to take a break but I will definitely be back… Healthier and smiling on … Thank you for checking in. I hope you and your family are also doing well. 😄

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  22. Cezane & Michelle

    You have a quite interesting blog , having read few of your posts already has captured a lot of my interest hence the follow. Looking forward to reading more of your posts! – Cezane 🙂

    Like

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