Christmas, fake trees, colds, honey-as-medicine, yummy cereal, CHICKEN MEAT ALLERGY, and fabulous gingerbread cookies

  • We all have a cold around here.  Not enough to be debilitating, thank God, but enough to sap our energy and make us all rather grumpy.  I’ve been trying to combat that by doing CHRISTMAS stuff, somewhat to no avail.
  • We finally put up our tree on Saturday.  🙂  This is our second year of a fake Christmas tree.  😦  We had the revelation a couple of years ago that Wesley’s asthma-like-clockwork which started in December of each year was tied to pine trees.  Duh.  We should have been able to figure that out previously, because he’d have asthma each time we went on vacation, too, which would — almost without exception — be to somewhere forested.  Ah, well. (Sorry for the lame cell-phone-camera pics.)

    Fiala exclaims, "Pribby!" (pretty!) and she's only broken two ornaments so far!

  • I read on Friday that raw honey was shown in a scientific study to be MORE effective than dextromethorphan (DM) to inhibit coughing in kids.  I put it to work last night!  I didn’t have raw buckwheat honey (as in the study), but I have YS organic raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized, super-enriched honey.  That stuff is the bomb!  It tastes weird if you’re used to normal honey, but I LOVE the taste now.  The same can’t be said of my dear son, Wes.  Last night, he was coughing up a storm, so I mixed up a little concoction of a spoonful of raw honey mixed into a few ounces of warm water, with some organic lemon juice, and a few droppersful of colloidal silver.  He was not pleased.  But, I made him choke it down, and, VOILA!  No more coughs.  All night.  You can bet I’ll be doing that again!
  • The good news?  My absolute fave gluten-free cereal (not that I can eat it right now), Erewhon’s Crispy Brown Rice with Mixed Berries is on clearance for only $2.24 a box at my local Fry’s grocery.  The bad news?  That likely means they will no longer carry it.  😦  (The last time I posted about my love for this cereal, Erewhon contacted me and asked if I wanted “samples” of their g.f. cereal.  I said, “Sure!” envisioning, you know… samples.  I was blown away when a large brown box containing SEVEN full-sized boxes of cereal was shipped to my home.  But, this was right after I started the phase of “only” eliminating Fiala’s 17 known allergens, and I couldn’t eat any of them, as they all contained one or more of her allergens.  However, the kids liked all of the cereals, especially the Aztec Crunchy Corn & Amaranth.  They also really liked the Strawberry Crisp, though most of the flakes were pulverized by shipping — I guess — and they were more like cereal crumbs with added strawberries.  Still tasty, though.)
  • This next thing is so weird it really deserves its own post.  First, I will state that I have had leg pain in my thighs for YEARS.  Years.  It’s deep in the muscle, from right above my knees, up into my hips.  It ebbs and flows, and at its worst, it will wake me up at night and I have to go take some Tylenol.  I have seen doctors about this, and the best that anyone can hypothesize is that since I have celiac disease, and don’t absorb nutrients well, perhaps my body is not absorbing calcium well, and, as one’s body needs to maintain a certain level of blood calcium, my body is pulling the calcium out of my largest bones, leading my bones/deep muscles to ache.  Now, this may still be true, but this past summer, a doctor finally ran a couple of tests on me, including several ways to measure the different levels of calcium in my blood, and they were spot on.  In fact, they were a tad too high, likely from me pumping the calcium supplements.  Well, a few weeks into the Total Elimination Diet with Fiala, I realized that my legs were not hurting.  At that time, I had the thought that maybe my leg pain was caused by some allergy in me!  I’m very slow to put two and two together — or, I’ll have some sort of revelation, then forget all about it, and be forced by my forgetfulness to rediscover it all over again.  However, after about the 3rd time trialling chicken — whereby both Fiala and I would eat a little portion,with no seasoning — I realized that a) Fiala didn’t like chicken at all, and b) about two days after eating chicken, my leg pain came back.  Every time.  HOWEVER, like I said, I’m forgetful.  So, this past Friday night, we bought a mess of wings for the kids, and I caved and gave a couple to Fiala.  By the end of the 2nd, her eyes were rimmed with red, and she was clawing at her face.  Duh.  I ate four.  Then, on Sunday (yesterday), I realized my leg pain was back, with a vengeance.  Double duh.  I had forgotten about the chicken=pain revelation of just a couple of weeks ago.  But, in a way, that was confirmation, because it was like running a blind experiment!  Ha!  I can’t find a whole lot of info online about chicken meat allergy, and the info that’s there is mostly of the “typical” allergy symptoms — Oral Allergy Syndrome, itching, wheezing, vomiting.  A couple of places mention joint pain, but although my hip joints do hurt, it mostly hurts deep in the muscle:  it feels like — honestly — like the muscle is deteriorating.  I don’t know how else to describe it.  When it hurts, I feel compelled to kind of punch my legs with the side of my fist, like a deep muscle massage.  But, that doesn’t help much, if at all.  Anyways.  The weird thing is, I have NEVER really liked chicken.  Give me a choice on a menu, and I will almost never choose chicken.  It’s not like I despise chicken;  it’s just never been my preference.  I love beef.  🙂  So, whether or not deep muscle pain is “supposed” to be a symptom of a chicken meat allergy or not, I can tell you that I will likely never eat chicken again.  I have the hint of exhilaration in my heart, with the thought of never having leg pain ever again.  I’m not sure how this is going to play out in my family, because my husband ADORES chicken, and there are many weeks where I don’t buy beef at all because it’s so expensive!  (And I really hope that this is chicken MEAT allergy, and that I’m not allergic to eggs.)  So, that is unresolved.
  • Mmmm...

    Last thing:  We made cookies!  Sunday morning, the helpers and I made the dough.  In the evening, we cut out and baked the cookies, and today we iced them.  We now have about 8 dozen  GFCF Gingerbread cookies, with royal icing thinned with lemon juice, and topped with sprinkles.  I altered my recipe just a tad, and they turned out even better.  Now, I just need a little of that self-control that everyone keeps telling me I have, because I’ve eaten three cookies.  These cookies are so good.  Seriously.  I should sell them.  I’m only about, oh, 60% confident in the wide appeal and money-making potential in most of the things that spring from my mind and hands.  But, these cookies (and the sugar ones, too, which we will make later this week or next) ROCK.  No gluten, no dairy — but they have that firm/chewy texture that cut-out cookies SHOULD have, and that gluten-free cookies rarely DO have.  The recipe has a lot of ingredients, but it’s worth it.  Make yourself some!!

  • Dear Glade:  Instead of filling my home with fake “homemade” gingerbread cookies from a chemical-laden candle, I’d much rather fill my home with the real aroma of real cookies, actually homemade.  Thankyouverymuch.
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About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 10, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I am a natural childbirth advocate and an erstwhile birthing class instructor. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on December 14, 2009, in Allergies, Christmas, Cooking/Baking/Food/Recipes, Holidays, Medical Stuff, Random Stuff, The Kids, Total Elimination Diet. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Your tree looks great! I may have to try that cookie recipe and see if my boys will eat it. We made some last year, but I can’t remember what recipe I used.

  2. Karen, is it possible the allergy is not to chicken meat, but to what the chickens have eaten, or been injected with? Do you know if grain-fed, free range chickens free from all hormones, and organic give you the same symptoms? Just wondering. And you are right. Your cookies ROCK. We had some one Christmas season, and I dream of them to this day. To me, they are the template for all cookies in all Cookeidom. Well done, my dear. Kathy

  3. woah! I just started typing out the exact thing as Kathy Beal just wrote and i looked up and saw she had already written in. backspace was a good invention, huh?

    at anyrate let us know how that goes. I’ve wondered about meat allergies myself.

    I wanna try the cookies, but I have a rule in my house – I do not bake yummies that I can not eat. I will makes some things I can’t eat – but not sweet. nope. that would be impossible for me to live with. I have to have enough self control out of the house- I can’t do it in the house too. so no gingerbread cookies for me right now… *sigh*

    BUT I have found/altered a recipe enough to create this fabulous bread… and then further altered it to make cranberry bread. (cranberry seems to be the ONLY fruit/berry Ven can handle in small portions, so it is my new favorite thing.)

    I am making a food blog… I just haven’t transferred all my recipes yet. actually I’ve only done like two…but Ven has been up like every 45 mins for a week or two now! I’m pooped!

    nibblesandvittles.com – take a sneak peek if ya wanna 😉

  4. “Dear Glad” cracks me up! 😉

    You know, I’ve experienced much the same leg pain phenomenon. Hmmm, never thought about another allergy. It did seem to lesson when I increased magnesium intake but now I’m wondering if it could also be due to milk or some other culprit. Well, hopefully I don’t “forget” this little exchange because the up at night with deep pain between knees and thighs is awful. Weird! Thanks for posting it you’ve inspired me to track it down more thoroughly.

    I hope its not chicken, 🙂 i like chicken.

  5. I’m allergic to chicken, and I, too, have never been a big fan of the stuff. It wasn’t until my second child was about 8 months old that I realized I wasn’t merely grossed out by chicken, but that I was, in fact, reacting to it. Chicken causes anaphylaxis in me. Not shock, but anaphylaxis in the sense that it effects multiple systems. Chicken and eggs both make my skin itch and burn. Chicken upsets my stomach, causes digestive distress for the rest of the digestive process, and makes my heart do flip-flops.

    I’ve never heard of leg pain as a symptom of an allergy, but it’s good to know. I’m glad you documented it online so that others can benefit by that bit of experience.

    A friend of mine has an on again/off again relationship with eggs. She can eat eggs in the summer, but not in the winter. She has Celiac Disease and wondered if it was a difference between the chickens foraging in the summer and being grain fed in the winter. Maybe that’s what’s going on with the chicken. My Dad has always said that about all of my allergies, but really, if you can’t be sure that the meat would be safe, what difference does it make?

    • I thought of you when I made the chicken connection, Esther! I was 99% certain you are allergic to chicken, and I was hoping you’d chime in.

      Like others have posted, I do find myself wondering if it may be some sort of chemical additive, instead of the chicken itself. However, as I was laying in bed, awake last night, unable to sleep because of the pain in my legs, I thought, “I so do not want to run that experiment. It’s not worth it.” No matter the source, I’d rather just avoid chicken and not suffer the pain.

      I am really, really, really, really hoping that eggs don’t cause problems, too. I will have to experiment (eventually) with that.

      • It seems that if it was a chemical additive, you might compare chicken with other meats, maybe even other birds. I am allergic to all things bird – eggs, meat, feathers and dander, but not everyone is. The allergens in the meat, white and yolk are not the same, but I’m not sure if there’s some component in each that would connect them, allergenically speaking.

        My poor grandmother! God bless her! She was allergic to eggs, and we were so ignorant of food allergies, etc. (If I could go back and change one thing in my life, I would go back and advocate for her. I am confident that her life would’ve been much different had we gotten to the bottom of her dietary ills.) I don’t think she was allergic to chicken. She never complained of that, but she was always sickly, so she could’ve been allergic to any number of other things and just didn’t make the connection or say anything.

        I’m taking a poll on FB. I know of a couple of people on there with egg allergies. We’ll see what they have to say.

      • Oh, and I sort of veered off the track in that first paragraph. I wondered if a comparison could be made of the kinds of things chickens and other livestock are fed or exposed to which might help rule out chemicals. IOW, if chickens and cows are both exposed to Agent X, but you can eat beef without a problem, that would rule out Agent X. Kwim?

        • Okay, so we’ve got 1 egg allergy w/o chicken, 2 chicken allergies w/ eggs (1 which is intermittently reactive), and I’m waiting to hear from one other person who has probably been sleeping for a couple of hours cuz it’s 1:30 a.m. in Michigan. I’m almost positive she’ll comment tomorrow. One of her kids is allergic to eggs but not chicken, I don’t think. We’ll see.

          I wonder if your leg pain is referred pain and not pain that is actually originating in your legs.

  6. My sister is allergic to eggs, but I don’t think she’s ever thought about whether she might be allergic to chicken! She still suffers multiple symptoms despite being off of a plethora of different foods, her naturopath has told her that basically she can’t eat anything.. but she has to eat Something!

    So frustrating. I’m glad that I only have reactions to wheat and gluten, if I stay away from that I feel well. I have no idea what kind of allergies my son might end up with, his cousins sure have a wide range! 😛

    Those cookies look awesome! I have a gingerbread recipe, too, that made some awesome gingerbread men. I’m going to make a cookie tree out of star-cut cookies, but I’ll save that for the week before Christmas! I don’t want it going stale.

  7. Book marking this post for your honey treatment!

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