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Health & Fitness

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Gluten, Oat, Dairy, Egg & Nut Free Diet

Gluten, oat, dairy, egg, & nut free diet:

A lot of family and friends wonder what does someone with this many allergies eat? Well at first not that much. A very simple, strict and repetitive meal schedule. Slowly we trying new things that “state” they are safe but I am always weary.

This is what works for us. I’m not an allergist. I’m hoping this list can help other moms or people navigate their food allergies. Cooking and cross contamination are also very serious! Washing pans, cups, utensils etc is important.

Slowly we have started to eliminate the “bombs” in our house. Obviously we are a nut free home. Snacks and other crackers that contain 3-4 of the allergens are what we consider “bombs.” One example is cheese crackers, they have wheat, milk, egg, cheese etc. So when he has one of these its BAD! We have to be very aware and careful if we let our older son have something we are trying to avoid. (like cheese and chocolate milk are very hard.) Not only do we have to keep the house safe for our baby, our older son is like many kids and can be quite a picky and specific eater. We pick our battles. The great news is that our 4 year old is on top of it and knows what is safe and what is not. What big brother doesn’t like to tell their little brother “No!”??? LOL
Also just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s Gluten or NUT free! We say that he’s a combo of paleo and a MEGAN a meat eating vegan LOL. Allergy free or allergy friendly means it doesn’t contain any of the top 8 allergens.

Free from wheat/gluten, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy, fish, shellfish.

Some are also made without casein, potato, sesame & sulfites.

Here are some of the brands and foods that we often eat. You can get them at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Target, Walmart, Amazon or websites. I have included links. On some sites you can enter your zip code and see which stores carry their items.

Ian’s Natural Foods Ian’s Natural Foods

Enjoy life Foods Enjoy Life Foods
Thankfully he enjoys any and all fruits, vegetables and proteins!!!
He lives on these pouches (read labels some can say contains milk or wheat when you don’t think they do) these are his favorites

BREAKFAST & POUCHES

Ella’s Kitchen  Ella’s Kitchen

Plum Organics Plum Organics

Simply Balanced @ Target Simply Balanced Fruit & Vegetable

Peter rabbit Organics Peter Rabbit Organics

He eats anywhere from 4 to 8 pouches of fruits and veggies a day plus a cut up fruit and vegetable at every meal. LOTS of real fresh food. You name it he likes it. Strawberries, grapes, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, raspberries, apples, green beans, corn, carrots, potatoes etc.

Vans gluten free waffles Van’s Foods

Jimmy dean breakfast sausage Jimmy Dean

Oscar Mayer turkey bacon

Rice Chex cereal

Vanilla coconut milk from Trader Joe’s
On Saturdays I make pancakes and I’m happy to say they really aren’t bad.
1 cup gluten free Bisquick mix

1 cup coconut milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use Crisco)

1 egg we use EnerG egg replacer EnerG Egg Replacer

Earths balance vegan butter Earth Balance

Real maple syrup or agave Trader Joe’s

SNACKS & SWEET TREATS

Dum Dums

Gluten free Marshmallows

Enjoy life pizza crust, cookies, snacks and chocolate brownies

Immaculate honestly good baking Immaculate Baking (cookies, brownies) (using Earth Balance, Vegetable oil and Egg replacement)

Shaved ice (be sure to ask!)

Fruit strips (Trader Joe’s we call them laffy taffy even tho they are organic fruit)

We love juices too orange, Apple, peach or Capri suns and Ella’s are great!
We go to Tropical Smoothie Cafe Tropical Smoothie Cafe Menu

I just always request they clean the blender out special for him since he has so many allergies and we don’t want to cross contaminate with dairy or peanut or others OMG

LUNCH & DINNER 

Lean protein: ground beef, grilled chicken, turkey, chicken tenders, nuggets, beans

Oscar Mayer naturals turkey Oscar Mayer Naturals

Veggie straws

Potatoes

Glutino gluten free pretzels

Lays BBQ chips are vegan (Baked Lays contain milk)

Fritos

Gluten Free corn chips & salsa

Hummus (again check ingredients) Sabra and Trader Joe’s are safe for us

Perdue Gluten free chicken tenders and nuggets Perdue Simply Smart Gluten Free Chicken

(Trader Joe’s ketchup is the bomb!)

Ian’s potatoes are great Ian’s Natural Foods

(We have NOT found a gluten/oat free pasta that does NOT cause his eczema to flare up so we just don’t do pasta.)

Again he eats a fruit and vegetable at every meal.

These are just a few that I know work for us and our child. Please feel free to comment below with more ideas and suggestions. Again I am not a dietician or an allergist. I am just a mom trying to navigate this life called motherhood and help my children eat healthy foods.

Xoxo

Just Happy Mommy

Food challenges

What do you think of when you read those words? Food Challenges

Do you think of an eating contest? A diet? Allergies? Picky eating? Sadness?

As a mom of a child with food allergies it is a roller coaster. Sometimes it’s easier and then it can be harder.

Our little angel is starting to notice, understand and get upset that he is eating different food from those around him. When GiGi comes to visit we usually go out to eat which is dangerous to begin with. She and big brother chose to go to Hideaway Pizza, a family favorite! When the food arrived he looked around at his plate and then at all the pizza on the table. He reached for bubba pizza and we all yelled “NO!!!” His little bottom lip folded over and tears started streaming down his face. He is beginning to notice. He says “I try it.” “Peeez!” Looking at me with such a sad and confused look, it made me hug him tight, carry him away from the table, and burst into tears myself.

It’s happening. We have been pushing it and we need to stop taking him places that are unsafe. This sucks because it starting to get harder and more cruel. We have to make a change but it is so hard. Once you see your baby in pain you want to protect them at all cost. Going to restaurants is an easy go to for all people and Mom’s are no different.  So it’s a little more complicated when your child can’t order anything.

Since it’s summertime and we have lots of celebrations, the allergies are at the top of my mind. Bubba and I make special allergy free food and treats so he can participate and feel included. We found out that shaved ice is allergy free!!! (be sure to ask.) Squints and YaYa.


Easy & common things you don’t think twice about until you are a parent of a child with extreme allergies include: cheese sticks, yogurt, Cheerios, pizza, cake, cupcakes, cookies, chicken nuggets, gold fish, and peanut anything etc.

We really do NOT expect anything to change or for anyone to make crazy accommodations for us. This is the world we live in. It’s up to us to protect and teach our kids what is safe for them. But should that include not taking them places out of fear? NO! He just started at a little nursery school and we love it. They  take his allergies very seriously and I feel he is safe, comfortable and happy there.

Anytime he has something in his hand that is not safe we used to scream “NO!!!!” Out of fear and now it scares him to tears. We are trying to be calm and say “no baby that will make you sick,” I reminded him that he can’t have those treats or he will get sick and have to go to the hospital. He says “k.”

Food is a big deal in American culture. Sometimes we affiliate it with family, celebrations and even love. When I think “ok I can do this,” then I slip and think,” but I want pizza, ranch, cheeseburger, or queso or a donut.” All terrible food choices I know, but man they are delicious and cheap.  I love the idea of becoming paleo and vegan but seriously the execution in Oklahoma is hard and expensive! Yes I am complaining. It’s really F-Ing hard when you can’t have wheat, oats, eggs, dairy or nuts. I go to 3-4 different stores to get all the things we need and like. But I’m starting to not mind as much it’s the new normal.

Today I saw new items from one of the safe brands he can have.

Enjoy Life Foods

I was so excited I called my mom and almost burst into tears. Sounds absolutely ridiculous but I have been waiting for this brands pizza crust and brownie mix to come to Oklahoma for 10 months. They are “Allergy-Friendly”

This is huge! It’s the little things in life that matter and being able to let him experience them not only brings him joy but all of us as well. When I showed him and big brother all the new “safe” foods bubba said “oh mama that makes my heart go up!!” As he beams his smile and hugs me tight. He is so protective, aware and helpful when it comes to baby brothers food and safety. For that, I thank God. When baby sees his food boxes he is thrilled, claps, smiles and says “Yay!!” It’s the little things that matter.

Of course we hope and pray he will outgrow some of these allergies. But how will we know?

Food challenges.

Skin testing.

Needless to say I was afraid to take him to get his skin tests. He was scared but he did amazing! I’m so proud of him! He’s mama’s tough, beautiful boy! Please read the next posts for more photos, videos and recipes.

Teaching him that things will hurt him and make him sick is crucial to this process. Empowering him to know he is feeding his body with the best food possible is important for his self esteem. Remember he is only 20 months so our allergy journey has just begun.

XOXO

Just Happy Mommy

 

 

Remember to Love the not yet Mom's 

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

I have been trying to think of a cute, heartfelt, and poignant post for this most important holiday. I think Mother’s Day is one of the best reasons to celebrate. We all love our mom, mama, mommy, madre. The woman that gave you life and would give her life to save yours. And I am so thankful I have 2 adorable, loving little boys. They are my reason for living and bring so much joy to me and our family.

I was woken up with smiling faces, hugs, kisses, hazelnut coffee, and a sweet card in bed. I mean does it get any better than that?!?! Yes. Yes, it does. The last week of my life has been the greatest gift and wish come true. We just got home from a family vacation to Destin, Florida. If you are contemplating a trip. Go. Don’t think. Just go.

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What if you aren’t a mommy?  Maybe you can’t become a mommy. What if you might never have the chance to have a child of your own? There are so many women struggling to have a baby.

I know there are so many ways to become a mother. Whether it is through the amazing gift of procreation, modern medical assistance with IVF, adoption, foster parenting or other ways.

But what if you woke up alone in a hospital bed? What if you were greeted by nurses, beeps, pills and questions? What if your body did not allow you to live a real life, let alone have the ability to grow and carry a child or even literally carry a child.

Some women with infertility issues, chronic illnesses, and debilitating diseases may never get the chance to be someone’s mother.

Could you imagine?

Simple freedoms. Things that we all expect to have until our health is compromised.

It’s almost like Alzheimer’s in reverse. Your mind is like let’s go and your body is like umm no what? Huh? slowing down.

While I complain that my baby has allergies or that we had to quit the country club and move from private to public school I have to stop myself and say STFU!

I bring these things up because, even though this is a day to rejoice and be thankful for mothers and all that they do for us, this is a day of pain and sadness for others. Death, loss, hopelessness, and fear.

The trivial things Mom’s complain about. The funny and disgusting things we talk about. The heart burn, morning sickness, laundry, dishes, wiping butts, and kissing booboos. Or wanting to pick up the phone and call your mom 19 times a day and remembering she’s not there.

There are women who are wishing they had those things to occupy their time. They want to have a baby, a butt to wipe, and little hand to hold, or have a mommy to hug.

Instead they are usually bombarded with questions. “When are you gonna have a baby?” “The clock is ticking.” “Are you trying?” “Are you gonna freeze your eggs?”

No shit. They know their clocks and they are consumed with conception, levels, medication and even staying alive. Whether it is infertility, cancer, rare and incurable diseases, there are women who are literally dying to be a mom.

Unfortunately this hits home to me as I have seen many friends and family members struggle. It has been at the front of my mind that the person closest to me for all of my life might not even have the chance to be a mommy. What if you are not able to take care of yourself but your mind sees and wants those normal things we all take for granted.

I want my sister to have a better quality of life. She has been in and out of hospitals for almost 8 years, and the last couple months have become worse, more serious, and concerning. She is embarrassed and doesn’t want pity. She is so strong it’s astonishing. Getting labs and blood work every week, doctor appointments, residents, hospital visits, infectious disease doctors, questions without answers, and the list goes on and on. Not being able to live alone let alone and keep a job or do daily tasks without feeling like hell everyday. If you can’t take care or yourself, how can you take care of a baby??

I could not imagine switching places with her and watching your sister and friends get married, have careers, and start families while you start a new IV treatment and look forward to a shower. That is torture. Yes, she endures all of this and still has faith and hope. But it’s wavering. So I decided to pamper her on Mother’s Day. I gave her a pedicure, blowout and makeup. Even with no where to be but in a hospital bed it made her feel special and loved.

 

My parents are at an impasse. They have done everything they can and still do not know how to help their baby.

You have a baby and love these tiny humans more than anything. I don’t know what might be worse than not being able to help your child’s suffering for so long and not being able to give them a good, happy, healthy life.

Mothers are the glue of this world. But we also crack and sometimes break. The love of our children helps keep us together. My mom is one of those people. She is the glue that keeps our whole family together. So selfless, compassionate, caring, and loving. I love my mom more than I love myself, and she has taught me so much. I can only hope to be the mother she is to me to my babies.

So not only tell your mom how much you love her. Tell the other women in your life how much you love and admire them. Do not pity or dismiss others challenges. Instead I challenge you to think of the women longing to hear Happy Mother’s Day.

Someone you know. Someone that is hurting. Reach out to them with a comforting text, phone call, or visit. I know in this day and age we are scared to pick up the phone and show true care and emotion. But, trust me, you have no idea what it might mean to someone that is struggling.

Some women chose not to have children for whatever reason. But could you imagine not having the physical ability to choose?

Happy Mother’s Day to my fellow mommies, the not yet Mom’s and to my beautiful Sissy. May God heal you and grant you a beautiful life you deserve. Remember

Just Happy Mommy

Xoxo

Plans

Plans 

Why do we make plans?

We aren’t promised tomorrow or next week or even next year. 

Plans make me happy and plans make me cringe. 

“So what’s your plan?”

We have been hearing this question for a majority of our lives.

“Where do you plan to go to college?”

“What’s your plan after college?”

“Where do you plan to live?”

“Do you plan on getting married?”

“Do you plan on having kids?”

“Do you have a retirement plan?”

“Health care plan?”

And it all comes full circle again when you are a mom… “Where are your kids going to school? What’s your plan?” We all have a calendar full of activities, events, parties and obligations. 

I always had a plan. I was a go getter as long as I could get sleep and some cocktails. As a young journalist you take any job you can get in tv. Then you fake it till you make it. In my case the job was assignment editor. What you ask? Exactly. Think of it like the air traffic controller of a newsroom. You don’t care about them until they F$&@ up or until you have to fill in for them. Basically you plan the news for a living. I made it my plan to master this position and I ended up making it my bitch! RIP deuce desk 

I knew I was going to get married at 25 and I did. I wanted to have kids at the exact same ages my mom did 29, 32, and I did. Who knows maybe we will have #3 in 5 years hubby LOL! He’s done I’m still open to the plan. I knew I wanted to be a mommy and raise my family in Tulsa. Always liked the idea of moving away but it’s never gonna happen. 

So Here’s the deal. Plans are bullshit. We plan and plan and then plan the plan. Since becoming a mom I have started to sometimes loathe plans. Simple example, kids get sick. Can’t plan that. Although I can usually predict it because we will have some BIG plans it could potentially ruin. Case and point this week. We are leaving for the beach at the end of this week. We have planned this for months and it is a much needed getaway for all. 

Come on robbers hope you like stealing dishes in the sink, clothes from old navy and mountains of laundry. My husband always says I should not post that we are out of town for fear we get robbed. But I say the most valuable things we have is our kids and yes we are taking them to the beach too! It’s a family vaycay. 

    
Our little boy has a compromised immune system (for any new readers) and has extreme allergies to food and the environment. So today I took him to see our sweet pediatrician because he has been coughing and breathing rapidly, congested and feverish. We decided since we are leaving town and our deposit is NON refundable,  we better check everything off the list. 
So we took chest X-rays, nasal swab for flu and throat swab for strep. NO fever, no flu, no strep. Chest X-ray not so good. She called it fluffy. Possibly the start of pneumonia. If you have never experienced a child getting a chest X-ray it is like a mid evil torture device. The tears stream and baby cries mommy until it’s over. As a mom this is one of the worst sounds. 

  
This evening daddy comes home with a bag full of drugs (costing more than my car payment) and we begin our new plan. Our new normal. I will be administrating breathing treatments everyday even after he is done being sick and finished the antibiotics. 

   
 A mother never plans for her baby to be sick. A baby who is sick has got to be the saddest and most painful thing. And for a mom who helplessly tells them it’s going to be ok and begging to God to help her child or take their place, it is exhausting. 

I see this in my own mother. She shows so much grace and strength while helping me and telling me it will be ok. All the while I know her aching heart yearns for her baby girl to get better. Your baby is your baby. Whether they are 18 months or 31 years they are still your baby after all. Our health is our wealth. 

Please click below to learn more about food allergies.

Living with food allergies 

As people we are taught to follow a plan. We thrive on plans. We have safety plans.We have goals. We have agendas. We have tasks, events, celebrations and expectations and obligations. 

I kinda hate the saying “it’s always something.” It comforted me until recently. I know we all have pain, triumphs, struggles and things going on. But when someone says “it’s always something,” isn’t that just a nice way of saying tough shit move on?!? Or am I my usual sensitive Sally?!?

I think I have fallen short on some of my promises I made in my first blog posts. I promise to keep it real. Well here’s the real deal I can’t do it all. I can’t be a super me! Everyday I try to get up and be the super mom and a super wife and super friend and super daughter and super sister.  

Thing is I’m exhausted and need to realize over and over that

 I am enough. 

Just me being me. 

I can’t plan for everything that gets thrown in my way. 

I really admire other moms and bloggers who really have their shit together. Pretty Instagram pictures, lighting, poses and real posts. I have ideas and try, but fail miserably. 

I want to keep hustling my blog, my brand and make extra money for my family. That’s why I took this picture tonight. If you can’t plan your posts to promote yourself and your business then do it all in one. I’m a wife, mommy, writer, hustler and swag lover! I hope this makes you chuckle ???? links below

  

Like I planned on posting about my 60 day beach body reveal well here is the reveal!
I didn’t change shit and I look the same. Chips and salsa erryday! Mommy pops, donuts, smoothies and currently a big bowl of spaghetti! ????????????????????????????????

  
I wanted to do a cute pinteresty post about how to perfectly pack the family for a beach vacation. At this point we will be lucky if we get to go. I’ve gotten this far… I love this plan from Pinterest and 

40 Beach Tips & Tricks
  

So I sit in the bathtub with my wine and baby monitor on full blast and think I hate plans but I know I need them. 

I hope & pray everyone stays safe during these storms. It is important to have a safety plan in case of a tornado. 

Xoxo

Just happy mommy 

Swag photo cred: Hubby and links below 

Fabulous Earrings by Abby Sparks
Lip Sense Lip Gloss
My IT WORKS!
Mom Life Tee & Sunnies