Sunday, February 5, 2017

Coaching Spots Available!

It's Super Bowl Sunday here in the US and I am taking a break before I eat too many nachos to let you know that I have some coaching spots available for February and March.

Why would an allergy parent need coaching you ask?

I've been coaching allergy parents for a few years now. It's been super rewarding to help create strong advocates for food allergic kids and their families.

Well, more and more, I had been getting emails from parents who need my help with managing food allergies in their lives..  Creating an action plan for parents new to food allergy was the logical next step in my mission to help those struggling as much as I did when Bella was first diagnosed (she's 12 now, can you believe it?).

My goal is to help families new to food allergies cope with the avalanche of information, questions, and anxieties that inevitably go along with being 'food allergy' parent.  I'll help you navigate the changes that need to take place in your lives and how to deal with things like doctors, anxiety, label reading, entering/surviving school, babysitters, special events, and those 'well meaning' family members who offer lots of advice.

At the end of our work together you'll feel more empowered to manage those food allergies (and not let them manage you)!

Sessions will be in-person and/or over the phone/Skype and will include scripts, articles and information packets to guide you each step of the way to becoming a strong food allergy mama/papa.

Does that sound like something YOU need?

If you are interested in coaching (food allergy or otherwise), or if coaching sounds like a great fit for someone you know, please email me at or book a complimentary consultation via the button below.

What have you got to lose?  Contact me to get started.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Please VOTE!

I may be too late to reach a good majority of you, but please if you haven't yet today (or were thinking of sitting this one out due to undesirable candidates)....

(source unknown)
No matter what others tell you, YOUR VOTE COUNTS.

And if anything, go vote on your state initiatives and representatives.

Be the change you want to see in the world!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New year, new hurdles.

Happy 2015!

I think I probably qualify as worst blogger ever since my time here is few and far between, but I thought I would pop in today for a few updates.

  • B is a middle schooler now!  How did that happen?  She goes to Outdoor Ed for 5 days next month and I am freaking out.  The camp has all sorts of things in place to ensure her safety but I'm an allergy mom so I guess there's no getting around the 'what if...?' scenarios.  I would love to hear how any of you out there have handled this.  I haven't sent her off to camp or anything so I am completely out of my comfort zone. No parents allowed - this is a first for me!!
  • Last month we had a blood draw for a RAST and Component Testing.  Saw our allergist a few weeks ago.  More on that in a second.
  • B finally feels ready to take part in the SAFAR trials, so I added us to the waiting list. Hopefully we'll get a chance to participate soon.  With the latest, incredible $24 million donation, the trials are very popular. It's definitely not an easy road, so it had to be her decision.  I'm glad she's brave enough to want to attempt it now. 
  • Speaking of being brave, B's anxiety levels are really tapering off.  She panics way less now about food related activities and we find ourselves going out a bit more to dinner and she eats at friend's houses without much issue.  Sure, there are some times that we go places and she doesn't eat anything (and is no doubt starving) because it doesn't feel safe to her, but I'm proud of her for learning how to navigate the world within her comfort zone.  I know it sounds weird, but I was really proud of her when she told me that now she'll eat something before she goes out, just in case she can't find anything safe to eat at her destination.  It just shows her thinking about this now - planning for the unexpected and still going somewhere that might not offer a safe choice - does that make sense to you guys?
  • I've been avoiding Facebook lately - does anyone else find it a HUGE time suck and anxiety causing, inferiority complex building, site from hell? All joking aside, I feel way less stressed now that I only go on occasionally (as in 3 times since the beginning of the year).  I am, however, on Instagram.  Follow me there if you'd like!
  • This latest discovery isn't helping my mood.  
So, here's our news for the RAST, Component and Skin Testing.

B is still allergic so we wont be changing the way we do anything around here.  So there's that.


Her negative RAST has now turned into a positive one (in the 'high' level) and her Component Testing showed her in the reactive range for ara h1 and ara h2 (see the chart on this page to see what that means).  Rats.  Throw in a nice big positive skin test and we stay in the land of the allergic.  So, when we saw the allergist, he strongly recommended the clinical trials at Stanford.

And I think that's about it.  I've been working, crafting (proof is on Instagram), decorating my new place, and still seeing the caddy.  Life's good.  Hope it's the same for you.

Stay safe out there.

xo G

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Happy New Year

Most people attribute this quote to Buddha, but it's actually 
from a character in a Carlos Castaneda book.  
But still, it's true.
It's already 2014.

How did that happen?

I must say, some pretty awful stuff happened since I last blogged.  I was glad to see 2013 end.  The last three months were crapola.

My mom died on November 25th, just a couple of days before Thanksgiving.

October started innocently enough. I turned 44 and Bella turned 9.  We had a dinner to celebrate both on the 5th - my mom had gone in for testing the day before for what she thought was a GI issue.  She was concerned but not too worried.

She was diagnosed with cancer (affecting multiple organs, but originating in the colon they believe) the next Monday, October 7th, went through two rounds of oral chemotherapy, and ended up succumbing to the disease the evening of of Monday, November 25th.

So, 6 weeks, beginning to end.  It's still so surreal.

(This certainly isn't the way I was expecting her to go, the way I worried she would go.  Isn't that life though? The things you worry about don't ever really happen, do they?  It's the stuff that hits you on the side of the head that really take it clean off and shake you up.)


She's gone.  And I'm devastated.  My father, her husband of over 50 years is too.  My brothers, sisters in law, nieces, nephew, and friends are as well.   She was quite a lady.

But I'm also thankful.

Thankful for the goodbye we were able to have.

Thankful she didn't suffer long.

Thankful for 6 weeks in which Bella and I (and Bella's dad, and my entire immediate family) were able to be with my mom and sit with her and talk with her and tell her we loved her, to tell her what she'd taught us and to thank her for being such a good mom.   How lucky were we to be able to do that?!?

Thankful I got to ask her questions about her life, go through her recipe book with her, hear her stories one last time, burning every moment in to my brain to celebrate her life beyond her passing.

And I'm thankful that I got to hear my mom tell me how she felt about me (my parenting style, my love life, etc.) and being thrilled to bits that it was all good.  That may sound a bit selfish, but having your mother tell you that after 44 years, that you're on the right track?  It just feels great.  What a tremendous gift!

I still want my mom back.  So badly.

There's just never enough time.

She's always with me though.  I heard her talking to me over my shoulder when I was making Christmas dinner.  Spooky, but true (to me at least).  I hope it wasn't the last time.

I guess that's all I wanted to say.

Peace and love to you all in the new year - love each other (even if you're mad at someone, take a stab at forgiving them) because life truly is too short.  I've already taken my own advice and have begun to patch up some broken relationships hurt during my divorce.  It feels good.


p.s.  PLEASE get preventative testing done if you can.  push your doctors for you to stay on track with mammograms, colonoscopies, whatever.  own your health as fiercely as you own your or your child's food allergy safety.  please.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Hi Everyone!  Long time no blog, right?  I wont even bother apologizing for not blogging over the summer (what's the point - you know I still love you guys, right?) - life just, well, HAPPENS.  I take it as a good sign that I only have time to post bits and bobs on Facebook (if you don't follow me over there, please join me - you'll see much more Peanut Free content that way).

Here's a small glimpse into what's going on in our lives right now:

B started 4th grade!  I can't believe it - 4th grade.  She starts middle school next year (yup, our district has middle school 5th through 8th grade and the whole idea of it makes me insane), so I'm just enjoying my little girl. The big changes this year are that she doesn't carry her epinephrine to the playground any more (her principal takes all the kids epis in a cooler each day to the yard) AND she's not sitting at the peanut free table anymore.  She was really starting to feel self conscious, and since she isn't airborne reactive, we are trying out her sitting at the regular tables with a buffer.  All of her classmates have known her for years, so they instinctively know not to sit next to her if they have peanut butter in their snack or lunch.  It's been working out great so far, and she feels less like the 'allergy kid'.

Along with school came B's anxiety.  BIG TIME.  She's just a creature of habit, and the beginning of the school year always brings a lot of anxiety until she's settled.  That, coupled with her existing anxiety over her food allergies makes it challenging!  How are you all dealing with anxiety??  We are lucky in that B's teacher is so supportive and helpful - don't know what we'd do without her!

Speaking of B, her birthday is next month (the day after mine!) and we are throwing a Candy themed party for her at her dad's house.  So fun!  I have a Pinterest board full of ideas - cannot wait to get all crafty!  p.s. you can follow me on Pinterest if you want - I have an allergy board too as well as all sorts of random things.

Enjoy Life Decadence Bars
The fine folks at Enjoy Life sent us a box of each of their new Decadence Bars.  Holy cow they are awesome!!  B's favorites, in order, are:

  • S'mores
  • Cinnamon Bun
  • Cherry Cobbler
  • Chocolate Sunbutter

I tried them myself and every flavor is DELICIOUS (and I'm not just saying that) and the textures are great.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, you really cannot go wrong with this brand.  The care they put into their product development is outstanding and so apparent when you taste their products.

Thank you so much to Enjoy Life!

Mondo Beyondo
This is a personal one for me.  I'm taking an online class called Mondo Beyondo and I'm just loving it.  This is my second time and it's even better this time around.  I highly recommend Andrea's classes.  They really just help let your dreams out so you can make them a reality!  No affiliate links or ads here, just my personal opinion.

B has asked for a day costume and an evening costume (jeez, what did I agree to??).  Each year, B goes out trick or treating, gets all the candy she wants and then we either trade out unsafe candy for safe candy or she leaves the majority of it out for the Halloween Fairy and gets a treat in return (usually a small lego set or something equivalent). The funny thing is that she's a candy hoarder.  I still have a bag of her halloween candy in the freezer from last year! I should probably throw that out LOL...

I'm still seeing the same guy. He's still traveling around constantly for work but his home is here with me and for that I am extremely grateful. Life is GOOD! :-)

Hope you are all doing great too.  Please do join me over on FacebookPinterest, or Twitter.  I love interacting with you all and seeing what you're all up to!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Camp Blue Spruce Is Accepting Camper Applications!

I got an email from the folks at Camp Blue Spruce recently - they are holding their allergy free camp again this year and are accepting camper applications!  Here's the skinny on Camp Blue Spruce:

Camp Blue Spruce, a worry-free camp for kids with food allergies, is like any other sleepover summer camp EXCEPT the food is prepared without any of the top food allergens.  Located in Banks, Oregon, just 30 miles from Portland, the camp is five days and nights, August 18 – 23, and is loaded with fun for boys and girls ages 9 to 14, including:
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Field Games
  • Campfires
  • And More . . .
The camp is free of the foods that cause more than 90% of allergic reactions, including: dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, soy, gluten and sesame. 

To learn more and register, visit or “like” them on Facebook. You can also contact them at 503-726-8886 or

And from their site:

"Camps are an excellent way for children to become independent, develop new friendships, learn about teamwork and grow as individuals. Unfortunately, it is very hard for a regular camp, often with hundreds of children, to ensure that children with food allergies are safe and eating healthy food.
Kids attending Camp Blue Spruce will have a true camp experience without the worry and anxiety they experience daily with their food allergies. Camp Blue Spruce parents can be worry-free, too!2013 DatesCamp begins Sunday, August 18 at 4pm and ends after lunch Friday, August 23.Daily ProgramDays and nights at Camp Blue Spruce are filled with fun indoor and outdoor activities.
We have a swimming pool, a big playing field, and a creek. A professional Outdoor Educator teaches outdoor skills and leads hikes and other adventures.
We have a well-equipped art room with painting, ceramics and beading supplies. All art supplies are reviewed to ensure that they are safe for the children to use.
Kids can also enjoy fun music activities and cooking classes.
Each night there is an all-camp activity such as a campfire, a carnival, guest presentations, or a scavenger hunt.RequirementsBoys and girls with food allergies, ages 9 - 14, can attend the camp. Friends and siblings without food allergies can attend if there is space. Camp Blue Spruce can accommodate 56 children at a time.LodgingFor one week this summer, Gales Creek Camp - normally a camp for children with type 1 diabetes - is providing their lovely facility and their guidance to Camp Blue Spruce. Gales Creek, located near Banks, Oregon, less than 30 miles from Portland, has been hosting kids with diabetes since 1952. The camp has two large cabins - one for girls and one for boys. Each cabin sleeps 28 kids.CostThe tuition for one week of Camp Blue Spruce is $525.RegistrationJoin us for a fun-filled week at Camp Blue Spruce! Hurry, we only have room for 56 campers.
Register your camper now!"
I can't wait until B is ready for sleep away camp - this will be perfect for her!  If your child attended last year (or is going this year), leave me a comment and let me know.  Also, if your child goes to sleep away camp, let me know how you worked with the camp to keep your child reaction free!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hello 2013!

Me & B - San Francisco, Dec. 2012
Hey there - is this thing on?

Boy, it's been a while - how are YOU?

If I'm being honest, 2012 pretty much sucked.

Don't get me wrong - lots of GOOD things happened. Work is great.  My home is great.  I'm seeing a wonderful guy.  Most importantly, B is great!

The #1 best thing that happened in 2012 - and just under the wire - I'm divorced!!  I know it sounds terrible to make that a good thing that happened, but it was something that should have happened a LONG time ago.  I'm not against marriage, don't get me wrong, I'm just against marrying the wrong person.  I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders and that I am finally living an authentic life.

But the best thing I got from my marriage was Miss B - ain't she just the coolest (I know all moms say this, but I think THIS photo proves that maybe I'm not merely biased:
B looking sassy before dinner, Dec 2012
Only this child could pull of being this bad-ass  We went out to dinner the night I took this and on the way back to our hotel, we got out of our cab, and someone on the street looked at her and gasped "She is SOOO San Francisco!".  Love her!

We had an allergy checkup in December that showed B's allergy as definitely NOT being gone.  PLUS we added cats officially to the allergy list.  Oh well.  At least we haven't added any foods - and we were reaction free in 2012 - well at least peanut allergy wise - woohoo!

I think the thing that 2012 taught me most was that you can never get too comfortable with anything or assume anything.  Case(s) in point:

  • I assumed B's peanut allergy would be gone at this year's appt.  I was wrong (and there was a HUGE wheal to prove it on the SPT). Crud.
  • I assumed that during my divorce things would remain civil with my ex (they didn't)
  • I assumed our collective friends would be grownups and remain friends with us both (they didn't)
  • I assumed I could count on the very close friends I had to watch my back (I couldn't - in fact, one of them is dating my ex-husband now.  I know quite a few of you are saying to yourself "what a @!#!@%" - you wouldn't be the first to do so.  Yes we were friends when they started seeing each other and yes she kept it from me and NO we aren't friends anymore LOL).  I think out of everything, this was the worst betrayal of the whole divorce, isn't that strange?
But you know what?  I have ZERO regrets about how things have gone down.  I'm so much happier, and lighter now that I know where things stand (plus un-friending on Facebook helps!).  Quality over quantity!

So now, I'm starting with a clean slate for 2013.  I'm figuratively burning the sage around here to cleanse my life, my heart, and my most important my attitude about things (this, especially, spoke to me).  I'm responsible for me this year, no one else is.  

And that, friends, is my rant.

Yeah, I know this didn't have much to do with Peanut Allergy on the surface, but my divorce isn't much different from peanut allergy.  It's a crap hand to have dealt to you and what makes all the difference is how you handle it. No one understands it until they've been through it, family and friends disappoint you like crazy, and you feel alone. A lot.

But you figure out your way, slowly, until that pinhole at the end of the tunnel gets bigger and bigger.

And it's light again.