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I Love the Red Mango

July 24th, 2013
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Red Mango Frozen Yogurt

So summer is here and I have been feeling the heat. My son and I love to cool off with a nice frozen treat. What would summer be without ice cream, slushies and popsicles? The conundrum comes when trying to find reasonably healthy and allergen friendly options. Individuals that suffer from Fibromyalgia, Lyme and Lupus can often reap health benefits by avoiding sugar, artificial sweeteners, and gluten. That doesn’t leave many options for the quintessential summer pastime of kicking back with an ice cream cone.

Sundae Toppings

This year it seems that a self-serve frozen yogurt fad is taking over my town. There is an Urban Swirl, Orange Leaf, Pink Walrus, and Red Mango; a tantalizing treat on every corner. Fro-Yo places are springing up all over the place. So many flavors of yogurt — so many toppings to choose from. But is it safe to indulge?

Some of these fro-yo places make it difficult to tell what allergens are contained in each flavor. Most of them are have yogurt that is loaded with high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors. If you are following a strict gluten free diet, The Red Mango is the only chain that I know of that has every flavor of frozen yogurt certified gluten free. Plus their yogurt has the benefits of having probiotics added for your digestive health which means it is extremely beneficial for Lyme patients and those individuals with Celiac Disease.

At the Red Mango, the yogurt tastes like yogurt. The flavors are tart, not overly sweet. I love to pair my fro-yo with the fresh fruit toppings on the sundae bar. Fruit is always gluten free! If you have severe allergies, you will need to ask about the toppings as they very from store to store. The clerks will also cut your fruit fresh in the back if you are concerned about cross contamination.

We absolutely love the Red Mango. Give it a try and maybe it will become your new obsession!

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Purdue Bug Bowl 2013 Cake Entry: Stomp Out Ticks!

April 13th, 2013
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Bug Bowl LogoSo while I was brainstorming what to do for Lyme Awareness Month in May, I had a bright idea. My family lives near Purdue University and every spring there is a bug bowl hosted by the Entomology Department. Considering I had my brilliant thought of passing out materials at the event two days prior, I felt sort of in a pinch. This event is attended by so many people that I just couldn’t stand by and miss this opportunity. But I didn’t know what to do on such short notice.

One of the main attractions at the Bug Bowl is a cake decorating contest. I’ve always wanted to enter something, but you know I always think of things at the last minute. I’m happy to say though that I was able to work with my son to make a rice crispy cake shaped like a tick with tootsie rolls for legs. I think the cake and the cake board turned out kind of cute. I think this is the Centennial Bug Bowl, and people get very detailed with their submissions. I really don’t even care if we win a ribbon because we had so much fun making our little project. After all, my main mission was to reach out and educate the community about Lyme Disease (and have some fun with my son). We are both currently being treated for Lyme Disease.

I also printed out the Protect Yourself handout written by the Lyme Disease Association for attendees that wanted more information about Lyme Disease. I hope people found our display fun and informative. We love looking at all the entries every year and it will be nice to see our cake in the contest. I hope Corbin is proud of himself. I think he did a great job!

Take a Look at How We Made Our Cake

(Click Photos to Enlarge)

Corbin measures the Cocoa Rice Krispies

Corbin measures the Cocoa Rice Krispies

He starts mixing up the butterscotch chips and peanut butter.

He starts mixing up the butterscotch chips and peanut butter.

Son Grossed Out

After we pulled the body of the tick out of the freezer, Corbin acted “Disgusted”

Frosting a Cake

I think this is the first time I have let Corbin frost something on his own. Little ones grow up too fast.

Putting the crackle finish on the cake.

We wanted the tick to look shiny and have a crackled shell. We tried the crackle shell you pour over ice cream, but it doesn’t work so well at room temperature.

Tootsie rolls for legs

Daddy came to help make the eight legs out of tootsie rolls. Too Cute!

Labeling cake board

Corbin used stickers to decorate the cake board. He got to stay up extra late since he was working on a special project. See him in his cute jammies.

Finished Cake 2013

Our finished cake board has a little information about ticks and their habitat. Corbin glued poppy seeds and dill seeds on the grass to show the actual size of ticks. Man they are hard to see!

If you saw our cake at bug bowl and want to learn more about Lyme Disease, check out the resources below.

American Lyme Disease Foundation
Find out general information about Lyme Disease

Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Lyme Disease
by Bonnie Gorman, RN
Article hosted on the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation (CanLyme)

Publishes Lyme Times

Proper diagnosis and treatment is essential. Find a Lyme literate doctor (LLMD) near you. Click on the “Flash Discussion” link on the left hand side. Find the discussion “Seeking a Doctor” to get a referral. Many doctors have lost their practice for treating this controversial disease, so patients are referred very discretely.

Under Our Skin
A documentary about Lyme Disease available via Netflix Streaming

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Gluten Free Gifts for Your Sweetheart

January 31st, 2013
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Katz Gluten Free Cookie Gift Box

Katz Gluten Free Cookie Gift Box

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and you may be struggling with what to give your gluten free sweetie. You and your loved one may just be learning the ropes of the gluten free lifestyle. The last thing you want to do is make your loved one sick on one of the most romantic days of the year, so here are some affordable and delicious recommendations from trusted gluten free vendors.

Assorted Cookie Box by Katz
The Assorted Cookie Box by Katz includes a delightful assortment of their best cookies. Share a gift of sprinkle cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and raspberry tart’s that come packaged in an elegantly presented box. Estimated 25-28 cookies per box at a cost of only $20 plus shipping. See Other Katz Gluten Free Gift Boxes

Sweet Pete's Valentine
Chocolate Box by Sweet Pete’s
Sweet Pete’s gift box is filled with delicious, all natural, gluten free, vegan sweets. The sweet box consists of: Dark Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, Dark Chocolate Pretzels, Dark Chocolate Potato Chips, Pecan Chocolate Bar, Sweet Pete’s Vegan Gummy Bears, Hand Pulled Taffy. At a cost of $26 plus shipping, this would be a delicious and affordable gift. I absolutely love the the caramels and the chocolate dipped Kinnikinnick cookies. See My Sweet Pete’s Review

More Gifts from Sweet Pete’s
Vegan Valentine’s Chocolate Heart Box (Medium- 12 Pieces) $20.00
Valentine’s Chocolate Heart Box (Large 28 Pieces) $40.00
Chocolate Dipped Sandwich Cookies (White Chocolate) $13.50
Valentine’s Sweets Gift Tower $45.00
Valentine’s Chocolate & Candy Basket (Large)$60.00

Giovanni's Chocolate Factory
Chocolates by Giovanni’s Chocolate Factory
This beautiful heart shape box is the perfect way to say I love you. The box holds 12 or more of Giovanni’s finest chocolates and truffles. Available for $15 plus shipping.

More Gift Boxes from Giovanni’s
Gourmet Chocolate Truffle Assortment – 16 pc $16.00
Velvet Heart Box of Assorted Chocolates $17.00
Gourmet Chocolates and Truffles (48 pc) in a Jewelry Box $60.00
Golden Gourmet Chocolate Gift Box – 4 Tier (64 pc) $70.00

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Beyond the Bandaid: Invisibly Ill Documentary

January 22nd, 2013
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Beyond the Bandaid GraphicIf you suffer from a chronic invisible illness you may be interested in a new documentary. Here is the synopsis from the director’s website:

Written, directed and produced by Bec Mills founder of Beyond the Bandaid Invisibly Ill is a documentary series designed to help educate and raise awareness on the important role that stealth pathogens and other environmental factors play in chronic fatiguing, neurodegenerative and neurobehavioural disease.

Discover, explore and understand stealth pathogen. Invisibly Ill helps you understand the concept of a stealth pathogen, the damage they cause, signs and symptoms and what can be done about them to help get you back in the drivers seat. Interviews with international guest speakers such Californian Microbiologist Professor Garth Nicolson and New Jersey Psychiatrist Dr Robert Bransfield get you started with understanding how imbalances between the nervous and immune system contribute to symptoms such as pain and cognitive impairment. Learn about how oxidative damage plays a part in mitochondrial dysfunction, how often many illnesses can easily be misdiagnosed. Invisibly Ill also follows the lives of various Australian patients suffering from a wide range of illnesses such as; Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Chronic Fatigue, Autism, Morgellons, Lyme Disease and various others- as they begin treatment for their conditions. Learn about the Chlamydia, Borrelia, Mycoplasma, Babesia and Bartonella species and the vital role they play in chronic pain and illness. Treatment for these infections is more then a bandaid. Go beyond the bandaid and get better.

Download the full documentary from the Beyond the Bandaid store for a cost of $18.

The website also has many great resources and articles about chronic illness. Read More Here

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