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Showing posts from July, 2012

Memories FC 2 Day Conference

Announcing a knowledge exchange two day all stakeholder Conference sharing the news on our football reminiscence project. The 29th& 30th November at Hampden Park Glasgow, Scotland's National Football Stadium will see two days that will likely have a number of different fora (academic, practitioner, carer, PWD). All will relate to Reminiscence and dementia.

Full programme to follow but for early expressions of interest mail Andy at

All I Know About Food Allergies, I Learned From Baseball

1. There's No Crying In Baseball! No wishing for a life without food allergies. No thinking about how easy vacations would be, or how limited restaurant choices are. No looking at the neighbor's horrible brat and wishing you could transfer the allergy to him. No pity parties, period. Every kid gets something, and you can't always see what they're dealing with. Just play the game.
2. Cover Your Own Territory. Yes, I'm sure I'm a great shortstop...and left fielder...and even pitcher. But I have my own game to play at my own position. I cannot save the rest of the team. (Repeat it to yourself, FAB - you cannot save the rest of the team! Stay off those unmoderated chat boards!) I cannot change how they play their game. A "you go, girl!" or a positive, very respectful tip once the inning is over is all I can do. When I start telling other players they're doing it wrong, or there's only one way to do it, it's probably time to take a time out.

3. K…

strawberry pickin' and a pie

Wanna know something? As a child I hated pies. Maybe it was the warm fruit thing or possibly that most didn't contain chocolate. Either way I think my fondness for pies as an adult developed from the same thing as my ever growing love for veggies as an adult.  I remember despising red peppers and mushrooms and now these two things are almost eaten daily, especially when in grilled form.

      I do have to say this post is coming something of late. I planned to post it right in the midst of strawberry season but unfortunately I'm just getting to it now and I thought you all might still like a little bit of pie peeping.

       Oh and by the way, that guy in the first picture? Thats my friend Scott. He wanted to part-take in some strawberry picking fun although I'm pretty sure he had more fun riding back and forth from the field to the farm on the tractor.   He also hates this picture of himself.  I thought he looked cute.  I just might not tell him its here.

For the re…

Have you heard about Students and Mental Wealth?

Mental Wealth UK was conceived; setup to 'bring mental health out of the shadowsthrough student-led initiatives'.
MW UK has held hundreds of events and campaigns on campuses across the UK, and the number of institutions with student-led groups has grown from 1 to 25. They hold national training events, funded projects, distribute information guides and posters, and nurture communities of students across the country that are committed to helping those that are suffering and to making campuses healthier, happier places for students.
Want to know more? Click HERE

Effective Practitioner Website

Walking the Street of Imaginary Grief

I really don't want to write about Aurora. But...I also haven't been able to write or think about anything else since the shooting. It cuts a little close to home for me, literally, as I lived about five blocks from both the killer's apartment and the movie theater after I graduated from college. I've thought about why that even matters to me, 25 years later, and the answer is simple: all tragedies are about me

It's human nature to personalize it all. We see ourselves in the shoes of the victim (and maybe even a little in the shoes of the killer, based on the amount of speculation about why he would do this). It's just a little easier in this case for me to put myself in those shoes because I actually walked those streets.

My guess, though, is that you ALL are putting yourselves in those shoes, way more, perhaps, than other mothers are right now. And, again, the reason is simple  — you've walked those streets. Not the streets of Denver around the med center…

Fall Planning and Ponderings

On a nice cool, overcast day (like today!), my mind wanders to fall, my favorite season!  Now is the time to think about fall and winter crops.  Previously SAGE has been focused primarily on summer production, but this year we're hoping to lengthen our growing season.  Root crops and brassicas (kale, broccoli, cabbage, etc) are perfect things to plant now for cool season harvest.  The great thing about harvesting them later is that frosts generally have hit before they're harvested and that brings wonderful sugars into the veggies.  Kale before a frost and after a frost are two totally different vegetables in my mind!     

Some plants you have growing nice and big right now just might continue to provide you food now and through both the fall and winter.  This is what our kale will do! It's GORGEOUS right now and will be able to struggle through and provide greens in the winter when we're all craving a reminder of the sun.  Chard is another that may last …

Food Allergy Vigilantism

I recently joined Twitter. I was disturbed the other day to see a whole series of posts targeting a local bakery that apparently had a "nut free" sign, yet served cookies with M&Ms.

I'm not saying restaurants should declare themselves nut-free if they're not. However, in this particular case, the Tweeter targeting the restaurant had not even spoken with the owners. She had emailed them once without response and decided to take her case to the Twitterverse and blogworld. Hey, she might have saved a kid from a reaction, so no harm done, right? Except to the restaurant's reputation...the same restaurant that was trying to accommodate us (even if doing it badly).

Another incident from this week. one of the boards (don't remember which) posted a picture of the new Smarties candy label. Instead of just the regular ingredients statement, there's also now a statement on the bag about what the candy does NOT contain.

Half a dozen moms immediately piled on with co…

The National Confidential Inquiry in to Suicide and Homicide by people with Mental Illness (Annual Report)

Click here to read the Annual Report published this month.

Press: Don't Bottle It Up Campaign

The Records piece on the armies anti-stigma campaign. This article can be accessed if you click here

50 Shades of Food Allergies

The day he walked into my pharmacy, time stood still.

Tall...dark...beautiful. Everything you would expect from the proverbial hero. From his rich, raven locks to his crisply tailored suit, to his European shoulder bag?

"Christian Gray," he said, looking me up and down as if I were a streetlamp. I must have hesitated too long, because he cocked an eyebrow, leaned forward and whispered "PreSCRIPtion?"

I felt as though I had been shot. With a syringe. And, God knows, I knew what that feels like.

"Oh, yes, sorry," I mumbled.

"Sorry, WHAT?" he barked, a glint in his eye.

"Sorry, Sir?" I offered, backing away from the counter. I could tell my life had changed. I just couldn't tell yet exactly how.

As I handed him the box, his eyes traveled yet again over the length of me, like I was a piece of wood he was measuring for a a spanking paddle. As he tucked the box into his beautiful, Italian leather bag (which was growing on me by the minute), he …

Pediatricians Cause Food Allergies!

You may have seen media references to a new study out this week: Infant Feeding Practices and Nut Allergy over Time in Australian School Entrant Children

The headlines have been quite sensationalistic:

Children With a Regular Doctor More Likely
To Have Food Allergies!

Seeing The Pediatrician Linked To Allergies

Child Have An Ear Ache? Think Twice About That
Routine Trip to the GP...

I'm sure you've seen these headlines splashed across your various news feeds.


Well, how about these then?

Exclusive Breastfeeding Linked To Food Allergies
Breastfeeding Mum Should Not Eat Nuts,  It Can Cause Allergy to Your Child
New study shows breastfed children 1.5 times likely  to develop nut allergies
Oh, yeah, those you've seen! 
Here's the thing: the study referenced above actually found a correlation between both things. Children who were nursed exclusively during the first six months of life were slightly more likely to have a nut allergy. About the same level of risk was found for child…

Summer Swarm

While finishing up a few tasks on Monday morning, Lille (one of the new Sustainable Ag interns at SAGE) and I noticed a cloud gathering over the hive in our Bee Garden. The buzzing could be heard from 50 feet away!

For a few minutes we stood on stumps and were immersed in a blizzard of thousands and thousands of bees. Suddenly, and all at once, they began funneling down into three distinct balls on the branches of a nearby tree. Within the hour they had formed one large swarm, with a second small swarm on a branch just a few feet away.

Local beekeeper Payse Smith, a friend of Lillie's and an experienced swarm catcher, was in the neighborhood and arrived on the scene. Over the course of a half hour he and I managed to manipulate all of the bees into the main swarm and secure several obstructive branches out of the way with cords. Payse climbed a ladder and prepared to shake the bees off their branch while I held up an empty deep super for them to land in.

On the count of three he gave…

Mommy Guilt, Or How I Caused My Child's Allergies

I caused my son's allergies.

I know I did. I just don't know how I did it yet.

Was it the peanuts I ate (or didn't eat) during pregnancy? The medication I took? The hospital birth I chose, where my child was a) exposed to horrible bugs, and b) delivered via c-section, putting him at higher risk for allergies? Was it the formula the nurses gave him while I slumbered away, oblivious, sleeping off the effects of the anesthesia and pain killers?

What about the ear infections he had? We must have given him gallons of antibiotics. Or that horrible illness he had when he was so very little and the doctor told us to alternate Tylenol and Ibuprofen until the fever finally dropped? Did I damage his gut with all the medication so those sensitizing proteins could find their way in?

Or maybe it was the vaccines. Vaccines just feel wrong and they were given right around the time of that first allergic reaction.

Or maybe it was just our yuppie lifestyle. We live in the suburbs. We painted an…

What Causes Food Allergies? The Smoking Gun.

I've always thought the hygiene theory, at least as most people interpret it, was pretty stupid.

Supposedly, the story goes, our immune system is bored and therefore misbehaves. Like a kid in the classroom watching the clock, it focuses on the wrong things because it doesn't have enough stimulation (illnesses and germs) to keep it busy.

Keep in mind that this is the same immune system that has evolved over 100,000 years of humanity. Surely in that time, some of our ancestors experienced periods of relative boringness, immunologically-speaking.

But there's another way to interpret the hygiene hypothesis, one I've mentioned before in my blog. Instead of theorizing that the immune system is bored, some scientists believe the immune system is missing a key component as a result of our overzealous hygiene.


People are not singletons. We are a conglomeration of organisms, including many bacteria — 100 trillion of them, to be more or less exact. The purpose of the 5-year

On the Threshold of...

AllergyMoms reposted this week about the SLIT interview Gina Clowes did with Dr. Demetrios Theodoropoulos from Associated Allergists of LaCrosse. It's an interesting interview. You should read it. 

SLIT is something that has a lot of history in Europe, particularly for environmental allergens, and there has been some compelling research about the sublingual area being a better way to introduce proteins for tolerance induction.

The main criticism (or strength, depending on your viewpoint) of SLIT is that it generally uses very small amounts of protein for desensitization. The thought process behind it seems to be almost homeopathic—that somehow a greatly diluted poison will cure an ill. In this case, the theory seems to be that the immune system has to "get used" to the protein, and can do so through very small exposures.

Two SLIT studies, both published this year, show an interesting contrast. The first found that, after therapy, only one of the kids in the SLIT group passe…

Food Allergy Bitch: Top 10 Posts Index

Your Favorites: 

1. Hello, Muddah
A food-allergy version of the classic camp song involving schools, Cupcake Queens and social posturing.

2. The Ethics of Converting Allergy Slacker Moms
About the Mylan "let them eat cake" ad and the necessity to get all moms to carry an Epi-Pen.

3. Weed the Peanut Kids Out of the Gene Pool
Why people who make horrible comments about food allergy kids need to start seeing food allergies as a warning for all of us.

4. Exclusion, Accommodation, Inclusion: Three Choices
Sure, our schools may "accommodate" our children. But is that really the same as fully including them? This post includes a matrix of typical school activities and the options for schools.

5. Competitive Parenting And Blue-Ribbon RAST Scores
Is a high RAST score the same as a serious allergy? What do RAST scores even mean? (And do we really use them to compete against other mothers and "prove" our child is more allergic?)

6. Why Cupcakes Trump Children
What in the worl…

summer days

So, I really really wanted to make ice-cream. Good ice-cream and considering I don't have a ice-cream maker it was gonna pose a bit of a challenge and we all know that the business of this creamy cold treat is in that maker and without it the ice-cream tends to fall a little flat or hard in this case.
 It's really all about the churning capabilities of said machine isn't it?  I think so.
While my ever-so addicted eyes were browsing pinterest I found a pretty awesome recipe for no-churn cheese cake ice-cream.  The cheesecake part pretty much had me but even more so was the no-churn process of course and the outcome? Pretty tasty and I think my mom loved it even more.

Head on over here for the recipe and check out the chocolate sorbet I did a while back. Which I think I must make again soon!