Tag Archives: Allergy Friendly Companies

What are You Powered By?

In a life that tries to drive at 100 miles per hour, energy-wise it is often difficult to keep up. In fact, with balancing kids, work, and everything else, I am often asked, how do you find enough energy?

Honestly, there was a time when I was burnt out, and just going through the motions.   (A life of anxiety will do that to you.) I was emotionally and physically exhausted. However, once I broke free from the anxiety, it was more than a breath of fresh air, it was a new life. 

Now, there some days that I do feel exhausted but it is easy now to differentiate between physical exhaustion and just needing to slow down a bit.   It is all about slowing down these days…  in fact, it’s more about balancing my energy and learning how to best disperse it.

Since I don’t drink coffee, I cannot use it as a power source.  Instead, I have learned a few wonderful ways to maintain a healthy level of energy. No more highs and definitely no more crashing…. it’s all about balance.

Here are my sources of energy:

  1. Prayer: It will always my number one.  When I started to stress, I try to catch myself and pray.   I start each morning with prayer, reading the Bible, and writing.   All of these empower me to face the day positively and courageously.   A lot of my energy comes from this.   “Surely, God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” – Psalm 54:4
  2. Wolfberry: One of my favorite products by Young Living is Ningxia Red.   This supplement supports whole body wellness and sustains energy naturally. Even my husband enjoys an ounce or two of this drink.
  3. Kombucha: It has been noted that the gut is considered to be the “second brain.”  In fact, a lot of your immune system is located in your gut. Therefore, taking care of it is very important.   Kombucha has many benefits aside from immune health including being a source of energy.  My favorite is ginger; however, more and more options continue to emerge. Once again, my husband has become a fan of this source as well.
  4. A morning run, jog, walk, workout session:  This is such a huge source of energy for me.  Pairing this exercise with the right foods helps to ensure that the balance will be maintained throughout the day.
  5. A green morning shake up: Get that blender out (Vitamix in our case) and mix those fruits, seeds, nuts, and veggies up into an energizing morning shake. Here is my favorite recipe.)
  6. Lemon/celery juice: Drinking warm lemon water every morning was something that I started doing over four years ago after my miscarriage and “mysterious” medical issues.  I warm up about 16-20 ounces of warm and then add freshly squeezed organic lemon juice to it and sip before I eat anything.   however, after reading some of Anthony William’s books and resources like Celery Juice I also added in celery juice to my morning routine. 16 ounces of organic celery juice I blend and drink on the empty stomach then wait 15-30 minutes to eat.  I have been doing this:
    1. lemon water – Wait 30 minutes
    1. Celery juice – Wait 30 minutes then eat breakfast (However, I just recently switched this up and start with the celery juice instead.)
  7. Diffusing: No matter the mood or day, I can find the perfect oil to diffuse from joy to valor to even EN-R-GEE itself, they all life my spirits.
  8. Relationships: Who are we kidding? Relationships are exhausting or at least they can be… however, they can also be empowering.   That is why it is important to make sure to invest enough time and more importantly, love into our valued  relationships because they really do give us strength, energy, and life.
  9. Fresh air:  A friend and I made it our goal to go outside and walk during our Friday lunches.   While life got too crazy and this stopped for awhile, we are bringing it back. Get outside even on those frigid days.   Just breath in the freshness of pure air, God’s goodness at work.  It is one of the best sources of energy.
  10. Sleep: Get to sleep early and wake up early.   It truly makes a difference!

There was a time in my early 20s that I would travel around with a frozen bag of peas to help reduce the bags under my eyes (no joke…a little overboard … but then again that was me during my early 20s)  However, even as I near 40, frozen peas are long gone as they are not needed… even on my makeup free face.  Finally, my coffee mug may still remain empty; but I have a few other sources of energy up my sleeve… 

 

Where do you get your energy from? What are your main power sources?

‭‭Above the Noise
Proverbs‬ ‭3:1-8‬ ‭

When night falls
darkness tries to steal
do not forget His teachings,
but keep His commands in my heart,
for they will prolong
my life many years
and bring me peace and prosperity
for they make stand strong.

In a crazy world
it gives me pure and utter joy
to know that I come
from something so complete
from a truth above all else
where His voice I hear clearly
where His plan I trust
above the noise
it is where peace
is what I meet.

Let love and faithfulness never leave me;
bind them around my neck,
write them on the tablet of my heart.
Then I will win favor
and a good name in the sight
of God and man.
Hearing His voice over the others
and following it
walking though what I do not yet understand.

In a crazy world
it gives me pure and utter joy
to know that I come
from something so complete
from a truth above all else
where His voice I hear clearly
where His plan I trust
above the noise
it is where peace
is what I meet.

Trust in the Lord with all my heart
and lean not on my own understanding;
in all my ways submit to Him
and he will make these paths straight.
Do not be wise in my own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to my body
and nourishment to my bones.
This is where He always provides.

In a crazy world
it gives me pure and utter joy
to know that I come
from something so complete
from a truth above all else
where His voice I hear clearly
where His plan I trust
above the noise
it is where peace
is what I meet.

-JK


© Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House (theartofamessyhouse.com), 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Store Bought Favorites

Oh how busy life gets! There is always something to prep, cook or bake for, but not always the time to do so. Since TJ’s diagnosis, more and more great companies have been creating delicious treats... aka tasty time savers.

*Of course, always make sure to check ingredients and labels every time to ensure it is also safe for you and your family. Check labels with each purchase as companies do change the recipe here and there. Better safe than sorry … so cliche but true.*

Here are some of our favorite go-tos.

1) Mo’Pweeze Cupcakes: Mo/Pweeze Bakery

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2) Abe’s Crumb cake: https://www.abesmuffins.com/the-muffins

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3) Abe’s Muffins: https://www.abesmuffins.com/the-muffins

4) Azure’s Bagels: Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

 

While TJ’s teachers always have a box of Oreos as his special treat in case we don’t know about a party or event at school, we ask for a monthly schedule at the start of each month to try to prevent that.  Therefore, during the crazy weeks where dinner time is late and bedtime is even later, we are blessed to have found such amazing products and trustworthy businesses.

Reading Food Labels

Throughout our journey with food allergies so far (especially at the beginning), one of the more confusing and frustrating parts was/is reading and understanding food labels.   These two articles discuss this topic…

You Asked: Can I Trust Allergy Warnings On Food Labels?

Source: http://time.com/


http://snacksafely.com/2015/07/time-article-can-i-trust-allergy-warnings-on-food-labels/

Source: http://snacksafely.com/


It’s almost Friday so we smile on…

tj cartoon

Favorite Finds Friday: Seventh Generation Free & Clear Products

This Friday’s favorite find will not be food related as it has been a tough week with food here due to the flu.   However, we are very thankful for several non-food products from companies like Seventh Generation. According to their website, they state that…

“For more than 25 years we’ve been formulating plant-based products that are safe and that work.”

From our experience with my son’s skin sensitivities, eczema, and allergies finding safe products that work are difficult to come by.   However, for months now we have been using the following Seventh Generation Free and Clear Products with great success.

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While everyone is different, Seventh Generation’s hand soap, laundry detergent, and dish liquid have been safe products for my son so I wanted to share. With that being said, we smile on to a must-needed, “free and clear” weekend…

tj cartoon

Snack Safely – Safe Snack List (Updated on October 6, 2015)

With Halloween just around the corner, Snack Safely updated their “Safe Snack Guide.” Because this list helps to keep our children safe, we smile on…


Snack Safely – Halloween Edition

Weekly Smiles (Events)

Here is a list of Smiling Away Allergies’ weekly events:

TIPSy Tuesdays

On Tuesdays, I plan to post tips that we have found helpful or something that we have learned during this journey so far. I call it “TIPS”y TUESDAYS not only because I must admit to being a bit corny at times, but mainly because I want to help others be prepared.  Therefore, once a week we will CHEERS to being prepared so we can smile on…


Worry-Free Wednesdays

Each Wednesday I will try to post a quote or lyrics to a song that I find inspirational.  Words that help me see past fear and worry, enabling us to continue to smile on…


Tbt (Throw Back Thursdays)

On some Thursdays, we will throw it back to some of the earlier signs and experiences with food allergies/eczema as well as what we have learned through it. Regardless of what should have or could have happened, we smile on together in trying to educate others about the world of allergies…


Favorite Finds Fridays

I plan to post a “favorite find” on Fridays.  It may not always be directly relate to food allergies and eczema.   However, it will always be something that has helped us a lot with TJ’s experience, allowing us all to smile on in faith…


SMILING ON...

(Source: http://www.firstcovers.com/userquotes/39076/let+your+smile.html)


Snack Safely – Safe Snack List (Updated on September 10, 2015)

Here is Snack Safely’s updated safe snack list for home and/or school.  Check it out!

Snack Safely List – Updated September 10, 2015

SNACKS

TIPSy TUESDAYS – Always Read Labels – The Reality of Hidden Allergens

From food to non-food products, it is extremely crucial to be on the look out for hidden allergens. Reading food labels and learning about ingredients becomes second nature when living with food allergies.   However, even when you are comfortable with a product, it is important still double check the label especially since companies can change the makeup of their products. In addition, the ingredients in many everyday items will amaze you at times.   I know that I continue to be surprised by many of the components of common foods and non-food products.

Here is some of the information about coconut, oats, dairy, and peanuts/nuts that I have learned throughout the course of this journey so far. (It does not include every location of these allergens as we are still learning.)


1) COCONUT/COCONUT DERIVED PRODUCTS are present in…

COCONUT 

  • many cakes, candies, chocolates, cookies, ice creams      
  • some Thai and Indian foods
  • some shampoos, soaps, lotions, sun products, and cosmetics

NOTE: Everyone’s body tolerates and reacts to foods differently.  For example,  TJ mildly vomited (spit up) the coconut milk that he drank at his last food challenge. Therefore, his body does not tolerate coconut milk and he is allergic to it.  However, the toddler soy formula that he has been drinking since June contains coconut oil which his body does tolerate.  In addition to this, Exederm, the shampoo/body wash we use for him contains Decyl Glucoside, an extract from coconut oil, glucose, and palm kernel oil. TJ’s body does wonderfully with this as well.  His body tolerates the oil but not the protein.

Coconut Allergy Resource 1

(Source: http://www.allergy.org.au/)

Coconut Allergy Resource 2 (Derived Ingredients)

(Source: http://coconutallergy.blogspot.com/)


2) OATS are present in…

OATS

  • many granola bars, cereals, cookies, puddings
  • oat based milks and creams
  • some moisturizers, face washes and scrubs
  • the Aveeno products that we had been using
  • some beers

Interesting article regarding foods with gluten and how oats are related to this

(Source: http://www.diabetes.org/?loc=logo)


3) MILK (DAIRY)/MILK DERIVATIVES are present in…

Aside from the obvious dairy foods like all of the varieties of cow’s milk, creamer, butter, creams, cheese and cheese products, yogurt, and ice cream, dairy crosses your path more than you think. Here are some other places that milk proteins and lactose exist…

COW

  • some baking mixes, baked goods, breads, cookies, crackers, granola bars
  • some cereals (For example:  Honey Bunches of Oats contains whey from milk.)
  • some chewing gums (http://www.recaldent.com/c_where_find_recal.asp) and some breath mints
  • some caramel and candies
  • some non-dairy creamers and lactose-free milks (This includes my favorite “non-dairy” creamer that contains sodium caseinate, a milk derivative.)
  • some soups, broths and gravies
  • imitation syrups
  • Lactose is used in some prescription and over-the-counter drugs and vitamins.
  • Casein is in some art supplies like some types of chalk. (Check out the article below.)

Chalk & Dairy Allergy

(Source: https://www.navanfoods.com/navanblog)


4) PEANUTS/TREE NUTS are present in…

  • Because I could not compile a better list myself, I wanted to share this amazing resource as we read and smile on to a great week…

Peanut Allergy Avoidance List & Travel-Size Cards

(Source: http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/)

peanut


  • Additional peanut/tree nut articles that I found interesting and informative.

Medications & Peanut/Tree Nut Allergies

(Source: http://www.peanutallergy.com/)


“Stupid Things That Contain Nuts”

(Source: https://itsahardnutlife.wordpress.com/)


TIPSy TUESDAYS – Always Read Labels –


Favorite Finds Friday – Happy Family Allergy Chart

This week’s “Favorite Find” isn’t a specific product, but instead a resource that I am thankful some companies are starting to make available.

To start and as a side note, I started reading food labels as a middle school student.  I found some kind of control and comfort in it during a very sensitive and transitional time of life. Back then, I was developing an irrational obsession with my weight and food which did later lead to an eating disorder in high school.   But that’s a whole other story to tell.

Now, 20 years later, I am “obsessed” with labels but for a much different reason, my son.  Sounds strange but due to my struggles with eating, I have a great deal of knowledge of food which does help a lot now.  Because TJ’s multiple food allergies are to common every day foods/ingredients, his diet is very limited for now.  Therefore, I am always looking for new ways to safely broaden his menu options, spending much time reading labels on everything.

Back in May when TJ’s blood results showed a major increase in his dairy IgE levels, I started to double, triple, and quadruple check everything he was eating.   Because I feared cross-contamination was causing this jump, I reached out to several companies and asked about the cleaning procedures and product ingredients.  One company that was sooooo helpful was  Happy Family.

One of my favorites things about this organic company was that their website had an allergy chart.   Because TJ eats several of their products like other kids his age, I am extremely thankful for them and the comfort their allergy chart gives me. Therefore, my Favorite Find for this fabulous Friday is their chart below that encourages us to safely eat and smile on…

HAPPY FAMILY- ALLERGY CHART

NOTE: Even with helpful charts like these, it is extremely important to read all food labels to double check. For example, a UD symbol may or may not be safe for an individual like TJ because it probably means the product(s) was/were processed on equipment that handles dairy as well.Therefore, we make sure to double check.

Here is a link of how to read these labels.

 Labeling Symbols

https://theartofamessyhouse.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/f0970-hfamilyhighreslogo_102711.jpg