Fuelling the family….

Life in the fast lane!!

Life in the fast lane!!

I have been thinking about my blog and the fact that I have not really posted regularly for quite a while. I think the main reason is that eczema and allergies have just become a normal part of our family life. I barely think about it anymore. Even when the husband was formally tested for allergies, and we found that he too is allergic to dairy, it was no biggy!

But then recently a friend questioned me on how we deal with Ayla and her allergies as a family, as it had been recommended that her young daughter eliminate dairy from her diet. I realised that things we now do automatically would seem and indeed were quite daunting when newly faced with a restrictive diet in a child.

So it left me thinking there is so much more to share. How we eat and cook when on holiday, when abroad, when camping, children’s parties, school dinners etc.

But added to this Ayla has made me so much more aware and interested in healthy living and nutrition. I would say I have always been healthy but as I have competed in more and more endurance events (half marathons, marathons, half ironman…) I am more and more conscious of how I fuel my body. I have read several books about ultra runners who have converted to plant based diets and much of what they suggest is in fact already part of our family diet due to the allergies. So I shall also include some super healthy recipes for the mums and dads or older kids.

After all…you are what you eat…!!!

Love Summer…..

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I have always loved summer….the sun, holiday, less clothes to wear, to wash, to dry!!

This summer we decided to stretch it out and spent 3 weeks in the South of France. There is absolutely nothing better for Ayla and her skin. The sun and salt water worked its magic along with a Mediterranean diet….she was silky smooth in no time. Seeing her on holiday you would never know how badly she has and still does suffer with eczema.

But it takes work….no wheat, no dairy, constant creaming up and a good healthy lifestyle.
It’s not hard work though, when you reap such wonderful benefits!

We have been lucky this year. The Summer in the UK was really quite good and only today 4th October does it look a bit grim outside. We can cope with this!! And will look forward to around three weeks in Europe next August :-)

Autumn = Porridge

Full of goodness

Full of goodness

Well the weather looks like it is changing. So it’s time for something warm in the morning. My little boy has always loved porridge but Ayla has taken some persuading!!!

I make a great big bowl, with oats and almond milk and sometimes add blueberries then add a little honey after it is done.

For me….I add chia and flaxseeds.

For birthdays…I add sprinkles!!! Birthday porridge!!!

Eat Study….

I know it has been too long. This winter I will start back with the blog and make more effort!! But for now just a quick update from our 3 year check up for The Eat Study.

We went down to London last week and Cade and Mummy and Daddy had skin prick testing….along with general height, growth for C. No surprises I came back completely clear. However Cade is allergic to grass like Ayla but Daddy has a whole host of allergies!!! I am not surprised as he has severe eczema and I am a firm believer there is always a trigger. So he is also allergic to grass, also pollen, house mites (dust) and big bummer also dairy :-(

In the evening when Ayla goes to bed we often break out the chocolate and ‘treats’…..so now it’s just me and Cade!! When Ayla went to gymnastics last week with Daddy, we dived straight into the Ben and Jerrys!!! I fear I am becoming a secret eater.

Luckily though…day to day eating is pretty much the same as we all generally follow an Ayla Friendly diet.

 

Coconut Oil

My new super food! Coconut Oil…..

I am in to smoothies at the moment…..and have been adding all the normal healthy things like frozen berries, banana, honey and more recently spirulina (green algae!). I usually use a base of soya or almond milk as I personally hate the taste of cows milk and obviously its just easier if we all have the same. I make a big jug and then share it out with the kids.

Recently I read about Coconut Oil and have been hunting for some. I brought a jar from Holland and Barratt so have started on it this week. For eczema it can be used both internally by adding to smoothies, cakes etc but it can also be used externally. Ayla has a little dry and sore patch under her mouth from licking (she has had this previously and it became infected). So I am know using the super oil on it the sore area. It spreads on her skin beautifully and much kinder for the face than steroid cream!

Coconut Oil has anti bacterial and anti viral properties as it contains lauric acid. And it is a ‘good’ fat. It is basically just pretty fabulous all around!

Sorbet!!

Why have I not thought of this before! SORBET!

I was out with Ayla today cutting through a big shopping complex heading to the theatre when Ayla’s eyes were drawn to the ice cream parlour! My initial thought was oh poor baby……then I saw ‘dairy free!’ So over we went to ask and not just the one choice but half a dozen sat in with the regular ice cream. I thought Ayla’s eyes would pop out of her head. She chose raspberry with sprinkles! Yum yum!

So now I will be looking for super yummy sorbets in the supermarkets. It is definitely getting easier to be wheat and dairy free!

Nettle Tea?!

I am a firm believer in trying to heal from the inside. I spend a lot of time researching on the internet what might work. Ayla has allergies to tree pollen and grass and has to take antihistamine medicine if her symptoms are bad. We have also been advised to take if something slips into her diet.

So my new ‘super food’ at the moment is NETTLE TEA! It is a natural antihistamine…

Not that we have been able to get Ayla drink it!! It is safe for kiddies to drink but Ayla is not one for hot drinks anyway. But MR G does drink it and thinks it does help. He too has a allergy to grass and after a recent flare up drank up to 4/5 a day and it definitely help calm his skin down.

Give it a try :-)

Eat Study…

Following a post earlier I thought I would write a post on The Eat Study – which my now 9 month old son is enrolled on. It is a big nationwide study (www.eatstudy.co.uk) being run at Guy and St Thomas’ Hospital in London. At the time I thought I was being sent info because of Ayla, however it turns out it was because I had just had a baby and they were looking for mums with babies under 3 months being exclusively breastfed.

“The EAT Study is testing the hypothesis that the introduction of six allergenic foods into the diet of infants from 3 months of age, alongside continued breastfeeding, results in a reduced prevalence of food allergies by 3 years of age.” 

We signed up straight away, not only because I am so interested in this field but it also meant we would have access to specialists in this area. At around 3 months we went down to London with Baby Bro and had some tests (inc skin pricks) and luckily everything looked good. We when then put into the early introduction arm which meant we were to introduce the six food into his diet after 17 weeks of age. Everyone enrolled completes a monthly questionnaire, which examines signs of eczema and respiratory issues to name a few.

BB has taken to food like a monster!! He will eat anything put in front of him – or out of Ayla’s hand if she isn’t quick enough. So far he looks like he is eczema free and isn’t showing a reaction to any food groups.

We will be back there around his first birthday and will continue to be monitored. I am really interested to hear the findings but also to see how the results on BB.

All the info is on the website if anyone wants to find out more.