Tuesday, 19 August 2014

ePetition to improve frontline care for those suffering from reflux and allergies

Readers of this Blog old and new will know only too well how poor the diagnosis and care of children with food allergy often is. We lag well behind other Western countries in our diagnosis and care of those suffering from allergies, and this is particularly shocking when you learn that the UK has the highest incidence of allergy in the world. Yes - in the WORLD.

Our rates of allergy - reported AND diagnosed/confirmed are soaring, particularly the rate of non IgE allergy. In babies and young children this often manifests as allergic gut with symptoms such as reflux and or motility problems. In the nearly seventeen years since I have been a parent of a child with such health problems there has been frighteningly little progress. 
(I have written about my reasons for setting this Blog up here. )



And what is MORE alarming is that when under-informed front line health professional blame the parents - or more often the mother. It is three and a half years since NICE published their extensive guidelines for Diagnosing and Treating Babies and Children with Allergy - and they clearly set out likely non IgE allergy symptoms - and contrast these with intolerances which are very different. Yet STILL our NHS is stuck in the Dark Ages and resources are misdirected.
 If you want to clue yourself up about the differences read this.

My children have multiple consultants when one Paediatric Allergist would most likely replace almost all of them. But the system prefers to crisis mange symptoms depending on their location in the body, rather than the underlying cause. Small wonder there is little funding left! 

Too many times I hear of families who are wrongly informed by so called professionals that their child cannot have a food allergy because skin prick tests are negative - this is incorrect, and yet it persists. 

Last Autumn I attended the All Party Group for Allergy at Westminster and heard more depressing statistics and how very far we have to go. But to my mind THE most important thing is that front line health professionals - Health Visitors, GPs etc have at least READ what is NOT new information. Is that really too much to ask??

Please, please sign this petition to help, too many mothers are blamed for symptoms their babies suffer because those they seek to ask for help fail them.



Thursday, 7 August 2014

Love Your Gut ahead of Gut Week (11th-17th August)

To mark this year's Gut Week (11th-17th August), digestive health campaign Love Your Gut reveals that behaviours, knowledge gap and lifestyle could be affecting the nation's health. The following report has been offered to The Recipe Resource to share.

Whilst covering issues beyond the remit of The Resource Resource it contains useful and insightful information!

The research was commissioned by Love Your Gut ahead of Gut Week (11th-17th August). For more information check out www.loveyourgut.com

The research has found some shocking facts including:
  • Millions of Brits are unaware that drinking, smoking and inactivity would increase the  risk of bowel cancer  
  • More than one third (36%) of Brits couldn't locate their stomach on a diagram of the digestive system  
  • Over half (62%) of Brits in a relationship would wait at least six months before talking about poo or pooing at their partner's house.
#LoveYourGut reveals a "toilet trauma" across the UK

To mark Gut Week (11 - 17 August), digestive health campaign Love Your Gut reveals that behaviours, knowledge gap and lifestyle could be affecting the nation's health


  • Over half (62%) of Brits in a relationship would wait at least six months before talking about poo or pooing at  their partner's house 
  • 91% of Brits have at least one concern about having a bowel movement in a public space
  • More than one third (36%) of Brits couldn't locate their stomach on a diagram of the digestive system
  • Millions of Brits are unaware that drinking, smoking and inactivity could increase the risk of bowel cancer
  • Over 40 million Brits worry about causing a smell when going to the toilet in a public place
  • Women are the worst culprits for social toilet activity, with almost one in four (23%) visiting social media sites whilst on the toilet.
Love Your Gut, a campaign that emphasises the importance of maintaining good gut health, has released the results of a UK survey which reveals a social taboo around toilet habits and a huge gap in knowledge when it comes to digestive health.
The Love Your Gut campaign is co-ordinated by Yakult UK Limited in association with leading digestive health charities the IBS Network and Core.

Behaviours
Research from Love Your Gut unveils a 'toilet trauma' across the UK, with 91% of people surveyed admitting to at least one concern about having a bowel movement in a public space. The most popular fear is causing a smell: based on our survey over 40 million1 Brits worry about this. Women are the most embarrassed, with almost three quarters (73%) citing this as a cause for concern, compared to just over half (54%) of the men surveyed.

The survey also found that around three quarters of Brits would not always be happy to use the toilet whilst shopping (74%), at the pub (74%) or at a friend's house (73%) and over half (62%) of Brits in a relationship would wait at least six months before talking about poo or pooing at their partner's house.

Dr Nick Read, physician, psychotherapist and Medical Adviser to the IBS Network says: "We should never ignore the urge to go to the toilet; regular bowel movements are completely normal and are important to maintaining good gut health."

Knowledge
As well as maintaining a healthy gut, Love Your Gut aims to raise awareness of possible symptoms of disease. Results show that almost a third (32%) of Brits wouldn't recognise obvious signs such as change in bowel habits that might indicate bowel cancer. In fact, two thirds (66%) of those surveyed admitted to regularly flushing the toilet without looking at their stools.

Dr Tom Smith, Chief Executive at Core says "Bowel movements are an essential part of everyone's health and we should all keep an eye on the frequency of bowel movement, colour of stools, shape and consistency. It's important to be consciously aware of changes in our routines, this helps us to identify any abnormal patterns and acknowledge symptoms much more easily."

The research also revealed a worrying lack of knowledge among participants' own bodies. More than one third (36%) of Brits couldn't locate their stomach on a diagram of the digestive system and only 36 per cent were able to pinpoint the small intestine. On a whole, men were the least gut savvy with just over one third (41%) labelling the gut correctly compared to over half (52%) of women.

Lifestyle
A worrying amount of participants were also not aware that their lifestyle choices can increase their chance of developing gut diseases including bowel cancer. Based on the survey, almost two thirds (62%) of people in the UK wouldn't realise alcohol can be a risk factor, while 72 per cent don't realise that smoking can be a factor and over half (59%) don't realise inactivity or being overweight can also be a risk factor.

Toilet Trivia
The survey also revealed some interesting toilet habits across the UK... Men are the most likely to take a phone call on the toilet, although this is not an uncommon practice as one in six (18%) surveyed admitted to this! Women are the worst culprits for social toilet activity with almost one in four (23%) visiting social media sites and nearly one third (30%) sending a text message whilst on the toilet.

More information on getting gut-friendly can be found at www.loveyourgut.com, including expert advice and tips, interactive quizzes and games and the latest gut-friendly recipes.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Pancakes on Holiday!

NB This is not a paid review, I discovered this product on holiday in Norfolk and tried it out - and was so impressed I decided to Blog about it.


On holiday in Norfolk we were running short of the usual "freefrom" breakfast cereal and my twelve year old suddenly announce he "needed" pancakes. Of course he did. But it got me thinking!

We holiday in Stiffkey - I cannot recommend it enough! What was *such* a wonderful discovery though was "Stiffkey Stores" a veritable treasure trove of lovely things, retro and classic novelties and the most wonderful selection of original books for children and adults.
And coffee. Did I mention the coffee?! And best of all for us, they stock quite an impressive selection of #freefrom foods. (Please bring back Nak'd Bars for next year though!)

So that was naturally our first port of call. But in fact it was in Holt on a day riding the Poppy Line that I discovered the Larners of Holt Foodhall.  What a wonderful place! Again, a refreshingly impressive selection of freefrom foods. So I stocked up! (slightly regretted that on the train journey home...) 

Obviously, with a child "needing" pancakes this was a priority. I had tried several before and had heard of the Hale and Hearty mix but had not previously managed to obtain it.

I bought the twin pack - perfect for experimenting and feeding several hungry children! First I tried it with rice milk - worked well (top) but needed about 50ml more than the suggested 200ml of milk.

Second I tried with coconut milk - and did not need to add the extra liquid. (bottom)

The Verdict

The kids loved both, but preferred the rice milk option. These worked as savoury or sweet pancakes, there is no sugar  unless you add your own. By FAR the best mix we have tried, but it contains egg - and I didn't try without/with replacer as we had limited resources on holiday.

I would love to hear your views on mixes you have tried - visit our Facebook Page or join our chat group and share your stories!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Afternoon Tea

An old one but a good one... these Banana Muffins are a firm favourite of ours!



Dairy free, Gluten free, Soya Free

Monday, 21 July 2014

VBites/Redwood "Wot, no Dairy" desserts recalled

Unfortunately, at least these flavours of the "Wot no Dairy?" Redwood desserts are now being recalled as they contain milk. 




Just as I get my daughter eating them! (Might explain current gut flare though!) The Food Standards Agency have flagged up the raspberry and black cherry and our local Holland and Barrett have removed all the peach flavours also.

This is from the Food Standards Agency page:-




Saturday, 12 July 2014

Coconut and Cranberry (Tiana) Bites

Today I made a variation of an old favourite:-



Check out the Tiana coconut flour recipe here for the basic "cookie" recipe. 


In May I adapted this to make some similar treats which contained extra protein for those on exclusion diets, since this often means omitting many proteins. Check out the "Protein Power Bites" here.

Today's Recipe is just the first one with 1/2 cup of dried cranberries added. Really easy!


Link up your recipe of the week

Monday, 7 July 2014

Raspberry Muffins

This is a variation on the Blueberry and Lemon Muffin recipe published a few months back.

Dairy free, soya free (depending on flour used), wheat free, gluten free, could be egg free



These are delicious iced but are equally good "plain". I guarantee these won't last long either, best fresh from the oven!

Ingredients 
  • 100 g Sunflower Oil (NOT olive oil, this is too heavy)
  • 100 g Caster Sugar 
  • 1 Egg (or equivalent egg replacer, used above)
  • 150 g Self Raising Dove's Farm Gluten Free Flour 
  • 1 tsp Xanthan Gum (if tolerated)
  • 125 g Fresh or frozen raspberries 
  • 6 Paper Muffin Cases (or 10 smaller cupcake cases)
  • small quantity of icing sugar (optional)

Method
  • Beat together the oil, sugar and egg well until batter starts to thicken. 
  • Add the lemon juice
  • Mix in the flour. 
  • Mix in the raspberries. 
  • Spoon into paper muffin cases standing on a baking tray. 
  • Bake in a pre heated oven for 20/25 minutes.
  • Mix up the icing sugar and drizzle on top once cool - if desired.
I think I will be making double quantity next time!



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