Food Allergy Podcast series is for food allergy parents and caregivers that need a bit of advice and support from someone who understand their struggle. The mission of the Parenting Food Allergies Podcast is to offer a reassuring voice for parents and caregivers of food allergy children. It is a place where they can go to learn about food allergies from a mom who has been there.
This week I had the pleasure of having Lisa Musician on the show. Lisa’s personal experience with food allergies lead her on a journey to understand the nutrition behind food allergies.
More about Lisa:
Lisa Musician, RD, LDN has over 17 years of experience working with a board certified allergist and is a member of several national and state organizations. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and earned her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition at Cedar Crest College in Pennsylvania. Her dietetic internship was at University of Delaware through a distance program. She holds several certifications of training as a Food Allergy Specialist and speaks professionally to organizations, schools and support groups about the management of food allergies and increasing optimal health. Not only does Lisa have experience managing her own food allergies, she is also the mother of two adult children with multiple food allergies and a history of anaphylaxis. Lisa has presented on food allergies for the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference, FARE and at numerous groups of nutrition professionals, nurses and other health care professionals. She is recognized as a food allergy expert and the Founder and President of Food Allergy Dietitian, Inc., where she brings together her professional and personal experience to help those with food allergies avoid their allergen and develop a safe, healthy and balanced diet.
Lisa is the author of Parenting a Positive Reaction-A parent’s guide to help promote safe care at school for your food allergy child.
More information about Lisa can be found at www.foodallergydietitian.com
She’s also on Facebook: Food Allergy Dietitian, Inc.; Lisa Musician, RD, LDN and Twitter @FoodAllergyDiet
Would you consider doing something outlandish for food allergy research?
Did you listen to my latest podcast? I interviewed extreme fitness challenger Mike Monroe. This guy is crazy! He is going to do three thousand burpees for food allergy research. Yes, I said three thousand. Did I mention it is going to be in less than twelve hours? Yes, I said twelve hours. Mike is going to complete this monumental feat on January 25th in Washington D.C. at Children’s National Medical Center. Children’s National is doing cutting edge research on cellular modification to prevent food allergy and Mike’s son Miles is a patient there. When we spoke, you could tell that the physicians and researchers at Children’s National not only do research but they also care deeply about their patients and Mike wants to further their cause.
Mike is a a former Marine and pretty serious guy. My guess is that he is one tough cookie. But as soon as we talked about food allergies and his son Miles, the emotional gate broke – just like it does with all food allergy parents, ex-Marine or not. He told me that Miles has dealt with multiple food allergies most of his life and how Miles is tougher than he could ever be. He shared the familiar story of being a food allergy parent and learning valuable lessons of resilience and fortitude.
Mike Monroe is doing something extreme to help our food allergy kids. Ways you can help get the word out and donate:
Copy and paste the following text above the video in your status, along with any other message you may have:
I’m so excited to support Food Allergy Dad Mike Monroe in his 3k Burpee Challenge. On Jan 25th, he will complete 3000 Burpees in 12 hours or less to raise funds for food allergy research at Children’s National! Please visit ChildrensNational.DonorDrive.com/campaign/burpeeproject to donate today! #foodallergy #3KBurpeeChallenge
Post on social media including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Last week new peanut introduction guidelines were released by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) and my head was spinning! I had so many questions regarding the study that I asked Dr. Scott Sicherer to be on my show. Listen to our discussion. Dr. Sicherer was one of the expert panelist members who made the recommendations. He answered many of the questions that I saw floating around social media the past couple days. After talking to Dr. Sicherer, my overall feeling about the recommendations is that each child is different and it is definitely a discussion to have with one’s own allergist or primary care physician. My advice is to do your homework and prepare yourself for the discussion by knowing what the recommendations entail. Click Here for the NIAID Addendum Summary for Parents and Caregivers.
Managing the psychological impact of food allergies on our children during the first years is just as critical as making sure the don’t eat a peanut or an egg. Having a better understanding of possible emotional issues arms parents and caregivers with knowledge to identify when a problem arises.
I was honored to have Dr. Linda Herbert as a guest to discuss her research. I read about Dr. Herbert’s work and knew I needed to have her on the show. Her clinical review Clinical Management of Psychosocial Concerns Related to Food Allergy opened my eyes to ways that my son and my whole family was suffering as we came to terms with his life threatening food allergies.
More about Dr. Herbert:
Dr. Herbert is on the forefront of food allergy research. Dr. Linda Jones Herbert received her PhD from the University of Maryland Baltimore County’s Human Services Psychology program in 2011. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology & Behavioral Health at Children’s National Health System in Washington, DC, where she is the Director of the Division of Allergy and Immunology’s Psychosocial Services Program.
Dr. Herbert is an NIH-funded clinical researcher, whose research interests include the identification of medical and psychosocial factors related to youth adjustment to pediatric food allergies, the development of clinical interventions for youth with food allergies and their families that support anxiety management and adherence to food allergy guidelines, and the implementation of mental health screening in tertiary medical clinics. Dr. Herbert regularly speaks at child health community events as a volunteer for FARE, a national non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of children with food allergies and their families, and presents her research at national conferences.
Abstract from Clinical Management of Psychosocial Concerns Related to Food Allergy: Current estimates indicate that 4% to 8% of children in the United States are diagnosed with food allergy, and more than 40% of US children with food allergy experience severe allergic reactions. Families trying to avoid foods that may trigger an allergic reaction and ensure adequate treatment of allergic reactions that do occur face numerous challenges. The rise in the number of children diagnosed with food allergies underscores the importance of food allergy-related interventions to address elevated psychosocial concerns, such as parenting stress, anxiety, and worries about bullying. This review provides an overview of common psychosocial concerns among children with food allergy and their families across the developmental spectrum, and offers guidance to medical providers regarding the identification and treatment of food allergy-related psychosocial challenges.
Not often do you get the chance to interview a rapper. Ok, “not often” is probably not the best phrase, how about, I’ve never interviewed a rapper. Ok, so I could even go one step further and say I’ve never even talked to, let alone interviewed, a rapper.
Rapper Repak – Reed Pake
Boy, oh, boy it was not what I expected!
Rapper Reed Pake is probably the most polite college student I’ve ever talked to. (Sorry kids-for-whom-I-gave-birth…the truth hurts sometimes.) He throws out “yes ma’am” and “no ma’am” like I throw out the junk mail. A 20 year old sophomore at Emerson College in Boston, Reed studies visual media arts with a concentration on writing and has been writing rap and spoken-word poetry as a hobby for 5 years. He is serious about his passion.
Reed is a kind and mature young man so it’s not a surprise that his song lyrics are reflective beyond his years. Allergic to peanuts, eggs, dairy, tree nuts, mustard and sesame, Reed is inspired by his life experiences and writes about it. When I asked about the story behind his song What It’s Like (with Kendall Renee), he said, “I have always been an advocate for my condition. I served on the Teen Advisory Group Boards for FARE and FAACT in High School, volunteered at FARE walks, educated my school staff and local restaurants on food allergies. But I felt like writing a song would be the most accessible way for others to learn about the seriousness of anaphylaxis.”
I loved the song but since I am not a teenaged boy I figured I’d run it by Joe. I’ve heard Eminem blare from his room for years so I knew he would be a fair critic. I also wanted to see if he heard the same message of hope and perseverance for food allergy people that I heard. I had Joe listen and then I wrote down what he said.
These are his exact words:
Hit me deep
I felt like he was me
Wow! Hearing Joe say that that Reed’s lyrics touched at the heart of his food allergy life was a gift. I big gift. I am keenly aware that I will never fully understand what it is like to have a food allergy. I can help carry the burden but I will never really get it.
Thank you Reed for using your experience to impact the live of others with food allergies. I can’t wait to see how you will continue to spread your creative talent and message of hope and strength despite food allergies with the world.
Looking for just the right gift for your loved one with food allergies? We’ve made it easy on Episode 6 of the Parenting Food Allergies Podcast! Allergic Living Magazine Product Editor and the Grateful Foodie Caroline Moassessi and I had a blast reviewing several different products that we love…and deem REALLY COOL holiday gifts for your loved one with food allergies. Below is a partial list of the gifts we discussed on the podcast. For a list of all the gifts highlighted in Allergic Living Magazine sign up for their free e-Newsletter.
Growing up in a large family I understood that even though we all had the same parents, lived under the same roof and had the same opportunities in life, we all were on different journeys with different obstacles.
Kids with food allergies are destined to a journey much different than other people, even the people they live with each day, but it doesn’t necessarily make it a journey to be dreaded or loathed. In fact, it can be a context for life lessons that create character and sets them on a life course that is utterly amazing. It can bring out parts of them that may have never been uncovered. It can make them more of a whole person.
This week I had Dereth Adkins on my podcast. Dereth shared her own food allergy daughter’s life lesson journey. It is easy to understand how special a mother that Dereth is. Her kindness and good nature comes through on the show. I think Dereth can teach us all a bit about parenting with compassion and grace when our journey is not what we expected either.
Here is a bit about Dereth:
Dereth is just a bird loving mom (flying by the seat of her pants most days!) trying to manage her life, one list at a time. She started Bird With A List because she believes in supporting other caregivers and advocates by providing simple solutions and actionable advice for every day problems. As a mom of a teen on the autism spectrum, a teen with life threatening/terrifying food allergies, and an active 11 year old she knows how difficult it can be to balance it all.
Dereth’s website Bird With A List is a fantastic resource that supports the caregiver. Dereth is also available for advocacy consulting.
After recording several Parenting Food Allergy episodes, I realized I needed to lighten things up. Not every day is a chore for food allergy parents. In fact, most days are mundane but quite often funny, absurd and profound moments occur. So, in the spirit of keeping it real, this episode I tell about accidentally injecting myself with an EpiPen. I also recount the ridiculous lengths I went to in search of a dessert that my food allergy child could enjoy at a holiday party.
Vacationing with food allergies is difficult. A great deal of time is spent researching, making calls and fretting over food. It’s like an advance team on a presidential campaign but instead of a Secret Security detail securing a location for a future leader, a food allergy parent secures a path for their child.
On this vacation, not unlike many other trips, I called ahead to several restaurants and made sure our rental apartment was within walking distance to safe food establishments. In the back of my mental Rolodex, I remembered the name of a bakery in New York City that was allergy friendly*. I recalled being touched by a television segment with the baker. (As an aside, this is all pretty funny because I have no idea what I had for breakfast let alone the name of a bakery in New York that was mentioned on a show a decade ago.) Anyway, I looked up the establishment, Erin McKenna’s Bakery, and to my delight it was only a few blocks from our rental.
We arrived in NYC, left our bags and went to the first restaurant on our list of safe restaurants. After eating I announced that I had a surprise for the entire family. We walked a few blocks away and entered the cute little bakery. My allergic teenager gave me the familiar look, the I-can’t-eat-anything-here-and-you-know-it-and-it-stinks look. I paused and said, “Guess what, you can have ANYTHING in this bakery!”
It was magical, Joe had wanted a donut since conception and right before him were cases of beautifully displayed donuts, cookies, cupcakes and more sweet treats.
He was stunned and overwhelmed. He literally didn’t know what to choose because this one time his choices were more than just Italian ice and Oreos. He chose a donut. We all picked our treats and sat…and watched….as he took his first bite of a donut ever. The tears rolled down my face as he enjoyed what most people take for granted each day – a simple donut.
For the remainder of our vacation my son walked to the bakery each morning and was the first in the door to buy a donut.
It was a parenting food allergies win kind of day.
*Medical disclaimer note: allergy-friendly to our children may not necessarily be allergy friendly to other food allergy sufferers.
On this episode of Parenting Food Allergies I spoke with food allergy expert organizer and founder of Thrive On Consulting, Tami Pyles. From conversations with Tami, I was quick to realize that she has a gift for organization and personal management. I could have definitely used Tami’s help when I first started our family’s food allergy quest.
More About Tami:
Tami Pyles is founder of Thrive On Consulting. She works daily to help those with food allergies learn practical day-to-day management strategies to Thrive On with food allergies. She also creates education and awareness so that everyone is prepared to help those with food allergies Thrive On. She is a certified AllerCoach, a food allergy mom who manages her daughter’s several life-threatening food allergies, and a food allergy advocate. She is co-chair of the 2016 Louisville Walk for Food Allergy and the co-founder and group leader for the Louisville Food Allergy Support Group. She has been a featured speaker at national food allergy events and has written several articles on food allergy awareness and management, including guest blog posts for FAACT and Kids with Food Allergies Foundation.
Prior to founding Thrive On Consulting, Tami worked for over 15 years in higher education and training and development where her responsibilities have included overseeing the direction and success of programs at major universities and leading a Fortune 500 company’s training and development team.