Get out of the box!

Back in 2008 I was hospitalized for a week and it felt like I had every test under the sun done! All of those tests lead to a diagnosis of Eosinaphilic Gastroenteritis aka a rare gastrointestinal disease that they don’t know much about; I’ve often had my GI doc call in his students and tell them “We pretend that we know what to do with her but truly we do not. We throw steroids at her but most of the time it really doesn’t take care of the underlying issue.” I am very blessed to have been at the right place at the right time, to have been hospitalized where I was and had doctors that were willing to work outside the box to figure out what was going on with me. After being released from the hospital I had to make huge adjustments to my “diet” and they were tough…it’s still tough almost 5 years later! So since there “is no cure” aka no medicine that will help me I have to help myself. You see, the majority of my flare ups occur due to food allergies. No I do not go into anaphylactic shock or anything (which is tough for people to understand) but it hurts my tummy. Once I knew what I was allergic to I started eliminating those things from my diet. Some were easy like various nuts, broccoli, cauliflower, green peppers, etc others are almost impossible to avoid on a daily basis such as soy and eggs. I’ve learned how to read labels a bit closer but clearly from my coffee creamer post I still slip up! Like I said, it’s tough! Well lately I’ve become more diligent about it because our son, Tedy was diagnosed with the same GI issue…hhmmm…maybe it’s genetic? I can deal with the occasional slip up, it sucks but I’m tough and know how to build a bridge and get over it. I know what’s going on with my body. My son on the other hand, not so much. It makes you feel terrible inside as a mother when you see the pain in your child’s eyes but you don’t know what to do to help him. We are still learning that’s for sure but we are making strides in the right direction.
Here is one big change I made and it’s an easy step to make for folks looking to be a bit healthier. As I said in my coffee creamer post, I noticed my creamer had a ton of chemicals – preservatives of course. Well there’s an aisle at the grocery store that I rarely go down because it simply annoys me. I go down it even less now because we are onto the next step in our journey but let me give you a hint…it’s an aisle with lots and lost of boxes and lots of those boxes read: “just add water” ding ding ding ding the baking aisle! Did you guess it? I’m not by any means ever going to say that you shouldn’t satisfy your sweet tooth but you should do so responsibly! I’ll also admit that I used to stock up on this aisle between frosting, funfetti cake and pancake mix. Well once we learned that Tedy had GI issues I ditched that crap and started making my own on a regular basis, especially pancake mix. Actually the other morning I made homemade blueberry muffins and they were scrumptious! Sorry I can’t give you my cookie recipes because those are fun chemistry experiments to me and no two batches are ever really the same; plus I’m so into cookies that mine are 100% household allergen free. Oh and I don’t have a brownie recipe for you because as Troy likes to say I know how to make cement and not brownies. Ok so here are a couple of easy peasy recipes Rambling Mom style interpreted from my favorite cookbook (Betty Crocker Cookbook – Everything You Need to Know to Cook Today) and a couple other tips that I’ve learned along my allergen journey if you’re ready to take it to the next level. Seriously though ditch the boxes it’s convenience food that’s way over processed and also ends up being more expensive.

Buttercream Frosting:
(Seriously folks this recipe is versatile and you can whip it up in no time at all)
3 c powdered sugar
1/3 c butter, softened (butter folks not that margarine crap but that’s a story for another day)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla*
1 to 2 tbsp milk*

Pretty much all you need to so is mix it all together. *vary it up a bit make it lemon frosting by omitting the vanilla and using lemon juice instead of milk and a bit of grated lemon peel. Or make it orange again by omitting the vanilla and using orange juice instead of milk as a bit of grated orange peel…ya get the point. Oh and for you peanut butter lovers substitute peanut butter for the butter and up the milk to 1/4 cup.

Blueberry Muffins:
(This is an easy mix the dry ingredients ahead of time to have on hand. Pinterest even has cute labels to help you do so)
3/4 c milk
1/4 c vegetable oil**
1 large egg**
2 c all-purpose flour (if it’s self rising don’t add the baking powder & salt)
1/2 c sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup blueberries (fresh, frozen, canned it doesn’t matter by golly it doesn’t even have to be blueberries it can be chocolate chips or some other berry if you’d like)

Preheat oven to 400. Line you muffin tin (makes 12) beat all the wet ingredients until well mixed. In another bowl mix all the dry ingredients. Stir them all together. Fold in the blueberries and evenly divide batter into the cups. Bake 20-25 mins and cool for about 5.

Mmmmm…
** if you’re ready to take it to the next level use a healthier oil like evoo for example. Tedy & I are allergic to eggs so a good sub for eggs is 1/4 c of apple sauce or 1/4 c Greek yogurt.

So now that you’ve ditched the box – Enjoy! I’m personally a fan of the blueberry muffins with the buttercream frosting 😉

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