Wednesday, December 14, 2011

When we go grocery shopping, I always let Riley get a piece of meat from her deli bag. When she was a baby that's how I would make it through the trip. We would start out in the deli section, she would eat some cold cuts, move on to grapes, then finish it off with a donut. Well, Sunday she was w/ me and she grabbed a piece of meat - her million $ filler free, chemical free, allergen free meat. Within minutes she was complaining of being dizzy, then BOOM her chest broke out. While I was shoving Benadryl down her throat Evan was at the deli asking to see the meat to read the ingred list. It was ham, water and 3 chemicals, the only one I can recall is sodium phosphate. We've thought from the beginning that chemicals have more to do with her EE than anything and this just adds more evidence to our case. She had some GI problems later that night, not sure if the 2 are related or not, but it went in my "to be discussed w/ Dr" notebook". 

What i'm finding out in the cooking area is I can make her just about anything she wants (thanks for teaching me to cook Mom) but I suck at writing down recipes. I've made a chicken pot pie which she loves and has requested multiple times. I made a tortilla for a burrito, it was pretty good. It took a few tries, needs improvement, but did the job. The Nutritionalist we work with asked me to keep up w/ the recipes we have success with, b/c they don't have much to give to patients that require this Elimination Diet. Hopefully after Christmas is over i'll be better at this. Here's a few pics to satisfy you:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Getting ready for Christmas!

I love Christmas - the lights, decorations, family and the smell of the tree. This is our first year to not go to Bradbury Christmas Tree Farm and cut one down. Evan and I were doing that before Riley was even born. The allergist said to avoid the tree and fireplace so we are. We want to turn our wood burning fireplace into a gas one but it's REDONKULOUSLY expensive! Yes, I use redonkulous. I was sad about not being able to smell pine so Evan and Riley got me a pine scented candle. Our tree is huge! We got a black friday deal so it only cost $50 + free shipping. Sweet!!! 


Riley's Christmas Tree

Not much new on the EE issue. We miss cheese really bad. Gouda, swiss, american, cheddar, monterey jack, pepperjack....sigh. She is losing weight, she weighed in at 52 yesterday, which means she's lost 4 lbs in 3 or 4 weeks. I talked with the Dietitian yesterday and we can't give her the weight gain stuff b/c it has pea or coconut in it and she's allergic to those. Soo....steak, margarine (which we don't use b/c it's seriously 1 ingredient away from being plastic) bologna, cakes, cupcakes, cookies (which I have to make since she can't eat anything and i don't want to pay $397 for a cookie) have been increased. We're down with the steaks, I was pleased to hear that. I made her some cupcakes yesterday JUST LIKE THE CAKE from Thanksgiving that she couldn't get enough of. Well, turns out she only liked it in cake form. It took my whole $8 box of flour :(

She spent the night with her bff Kayla - 1st sleep away since the diet went into effect. It went very smoothly. I sent some food and Tricia is her 2nd mama so I wasn't worried about.

Adoption wise - nothing :(  but I did get to see S & S a few days ago. We only stayed for a minute, it killed me to leave but.....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Giving Thanks...

The past 10 days have been pretty weird - lots of happy times with family, but also lots of sad times missing S & S. I find myself still putting their favorite snacks in my cart at the store and wanting to make bottles at bedtime. These little mishaps are getting further in between, thank God. Those kids changed me forever and I hope they have an amazing life. Now happy times! Thanksgiving was great! We had it at our house so I was able to keep Riley allergen free. I made the Red Velvet Cake - minus the red. I used a recipe I got from and it was amazing. Riley ate 4 HUGE pieces the first day. You couldn't tell it was a specialty cake. My mother in law took these pics. I've got to step it up and start taking more pics.

Me and my Daddy

Me and my amazing husband/bff Evan

I look tired don't I? I was..still am...

Evan, Gayle aka Hunny, Blake, Ali

Sunday, November 20, 2011

home made luna bars, snack bars, whatever you fancy...

Before Riley was hit with this EE dx she loved Luna bars, Nutri-Grain Bars, Cliff Bars...things of that nature. I did too! It meant there was always a easy, quick fix for hunger. She could say "Mom, i'm hungry" and I would reply with "Get a bar!" Now when she's hungry it involves cooking, peeling fruits or veggies, mixing things together....I don't mind, I love her madly but it always seems to be she's hungry as soon as i've sat down for the first time in a long time. So I went to town on a bar and this one is a hit! We haven't decided on a name as of yet.

Nameless (at the moment) Bar

2 1/2 cups rice cereal
1/4 tsp honey
1/8 tsp maple syrup
2 tbsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup sunflower butter * see below
1 cup Enjoy Life Choc Chips

Mix everything except the cereal and chocolate chips in a pan, cook on low until melted. Add in the cereal. Spread on a foil or parchment paper lined cookie sheet and flatten. 

Melt the chocolate chips and spread over the top. Place in freezer until the chocolate hardens, then cut.

Riley definitely approved of these!! They were also super easy to make.

The recipe calls for Sunflower butter, which i'm also making this myself. All the one's I have looked at contain soybean oil or were made in a facility that contains something she can't consume. All I do is pour a jar of salted sunflower seeds in the blender and add 1 tbsp of olive oil at a time,  while it's on the puree setting. Keep adding olive oil until it gets smooth.  I like to add a little bit of honey until it's got the sweetness I want. Very easy, cheap and delicious.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I tried my hand at donuts. It hasn't been that hard for me to replace eggs thanks to EnerG Egg Replacement. That stuff is amazing. We are using Rice Milk. It's pretty watery but has a decent taste. As for flour, my favorite so far is King Arthurs Gluten Free Flour. I've tried so many different kinds, even conjoining flours, but this one is the best, in my opinion. Anyways, the donuts were so ugly and stupid looking, but Riley loved them. The recipe could be tweaked a bit, but i'm logging it on here b/c they were pretty good ( and filling ). One thing about them is this: don't waste your time trying to make them pretty, GF flour, no eggs or milk = ugly baked goods. Pick your battles, right?
It's crazy messy, but that might just be me. I'm sure Evan would say it's me.

I did one where I mixed powdered sugar and vanilla rice milk for the glaze, and the other had cinnamon and sugar. We liked the glaze one the best. 

EE Friendly Donuts

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vanilla rice milk
  • 1 EnerG Egg replacement
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 + 2 tbsp cups GF flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or cinnamon ( used both)
  • Cooking oil (Canola is EE friendly, just make sure it wasn't manufactured in a place w/ soy)
MIx the sugar, rice milk and egg replacement together. Mix the dried goods together before you add to the liquids. Mix it all together and let it sit for a couple of minutes to thicken up.  Fry, yes fry. Everything in moderation. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


We've been sticking with this diet for 1 week tomorrow. I thought we would have noticed a change by now but it seems like her pain and regurgitating are getting worse. I don't remember her complaining about the reflux as much before - it might be because she just learned the word regurgitate. She's having a lot of stomach cramps also. Her next scope is scheduled for January 24th. I'm really enjoying this diet so far. I didn't realize how bored I was of cooking and now that I have to figure out how to make our favorites in a pure, clean, whole foods kind of way i'm remembering how much I love to cook. Our lives will be changing drastically next week when our foster babies go home. I'm sure i'll spend a lot more time in the kitchen to keep my mind busy. We'll go back on the adoption waiting list. This diet would be great for someone with not only food allergies but Celiac, Chrons, Ulcerative Colitis and a number of other issues. She loves blueberry muffins. I really like this mix.

 I used the back as a guide - i eliminated the butter and used 1 tbsp of canola oil and 1/2 a cup of applesauce, added 1 tsp of baking powder and a handful of brown sugar. They were actually the best bb muffins i've ever had. They were soft, moist and sweet. 

Her next request is for red velvet cake. I bombed on gravy and waffles. I feel like I should accomplish those first but I have a feeling in the next week i'll be needing major comfort food.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mama to the rescue!

My baby girl loves her rice! As long as it's covered in soy sauce. Quick story -  After I got the list of foods we have to eliminate I was nervous about anyone feeding Riley (except me) including her dad. I thought i'd give him a little test. Question - what's soy sauce made of?  SOYBEAN!!!  I thought i'd go with that, given it's in the name. I told Evan soy sauce has wheat in it - expecting to here "It also has soy in it smartie." Here's what I got - "I'm sure we can find a wheat free soy sauce."  WHAT?!? Really babe?

Well, we had rice last night and Riley was devastated she couldn't have soy sauce. I can't have that. took me awhile but I came up with a pretty close substitute!

Smiley Sauce

2 Chicken Bouillon Cubes
1/4 tsp garlic powder
pinch white pepper
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp molasses
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 cups water
salt to taste

Mix everything except the water in a pot, let it get to a rolling boil and sit for 1 minute. Add the water and whisk. Get it to a slow boil, stir occasionally and keep doing this until it gets to the thickness you want. It took me about 15 minutes.

As you can see it doesn't make that much. After Riley tries it and tells me how amazing it is, i'll quadruple the recipe, sterilize an old Soy Sauce bottle and make a pretty label and there you have it!

UPDATE - She loved it! Evan said it's better than soy sauce. Lori 1 - EE 0

Dooms Day

Today was the day we went to Riley’s first appointment at the EOE (Eosinophilic Esophagitis) clinic. It went pretty good! We love Dr. Gibbons, our Gastro. He was the 1st (and only) Dr in the hospital that listened to us. He’s been honest and real with us 100% of the time and the realness is a quality I look for in Dr’s. We met our Allergist and i’ll never be able to pronounce his name, but I know it starts with a Q, so he will from now on be known as Dr. Q. He was pretty great too! Riley liked him and actually talked to him, which is a huge plus. She still hasn’t made eye contact with Dr. Gibbons, but he did give her a feeding tube so hostile feelings are expected here :) Dr. Q gave us the go ahead to start the elimination diet. For the next 8 weeks Riley can’t eat anything that is made of, contains, was made in a facility that contains, or could be cross contaminated with: peanut, tree nut, coconut (b/c these would sent her into anaphylatic shock) , wheat, milk, egg, soy, oat or fish. HOLY CRAP!!! The dairy somehow skipped my mind. We eat blocks of cheese every day. Cheese stocks will be going down thanks to us. Sorry Wall Street!! I’m doing this with her so she won’t feel left out. Until I can get my creative juices going she’ll be sticking with meat, fresh fruits and veggies. After 8 weeks she’ll have another scoping, we’ll see how her esophagus looks, then we’ll add in 1 of the demon foods. I’ll be begging for it to be milk. If the new added food is the culprit, we’ll cut it out and try the others. We’ll do this until we determine what’s causing the Eosinophils to grow. I hope it’s not milk - i’d rather it be all the foods except milk, than it be milk. Milk is in everything!
She had 1 emotional break down so i’m vowing here and now that i’m going to make this so easy and palate appealing to her that she won’t know what she’s missing. I know from 1st hand how hard it is to have food disabilities. I’m not letting my sweet baby girl suffer. Anyways…Saw was at school during this, Say was with us and was being a bootie-munch. Evan, being the amazing, amazing man/dad/husband he is, left work a lil’ early and came to the clinic to help. At one point Say was screaming so loud that Riley, the Dr and I just sat and looked at each other for minutes. Sooo, our adventure really begins now!!
Waiting in the waiting room. Being a Smith, our account # was mixed up w/ someone else’s so our wait was a tad longer while they worked out the kinks.
My goofy girl who reminds me more and more of her Aunt Kelly everyday. She’s been known to bust out in song and dance in the middle of the grocery store. I’m so proud the Chaney gene moves on :)

How did we get here?

Eosinophilic esophagitis is an allergic inflammatory condition of the esophagus.

Riley has always had a issue with texture food-wise. We never thought much about it. When she was 2 we found out she has anaphylatic allergies to tree nuts, coconut and peas. We've avoided these foods and have been problem free.... July 29, 2011 she started throwing up and couldn't stop. If she took a sip of water (tsp amount) it would make it halfway down, then come back up. I took her to the Dr on Aug 1st, they sent us home saying it was a bug, take Zofran and wait it out. Nope, not exactly the wait it out kind of mom, so we went to the ER that night. After we sat in the waiting room for 3 hours (watching kids that were running around laughing go back) without being seen, we had no choice but to wait until the next morning to get back to the Dr. The Dr agreed something was wrong and admitted us to Arkansas Childrens Hospital. We were there from Aug 2 to Aug 10. Along the way, after numerous inconclusive tests and procedures, we've found out she has EE. For the next 8 weeks she has to stick with a diet free of tree nuts, peanuts, coconut, peas, oats, soy, fish, milk, eggs, and wheat. Let's see how it goes!!