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Is Medication the only Answer to your Allergies?

Do you have a runny, stuffy and itchy nose? Of course you do, it’s Spring! Unless you’re one of the lucky few who don’t suffer spring allergies, I would recommend that you keep reading to learn more about allergies and the many different causes; some that you may not even be thinking of!

When you flip on the news every morning, you hear the local weatherman talking about the pollen and ragweed counts so you know what to expect from your allergies for the day. But, did you know that your runny nose may not have anything to do with what’s going on outside your body? Instead, it may have everything to do with what’s going on inside your body. For many people, food allergies or sensitivities can cause allergic reactions very similar to your common seasonal allergy. If this is the case, instead of resorting to allergy medication, simply adjusting the foods that you eat could cure the allergy symptoms that keep you inside on these beautiful spring days.

Here are a couple of clues that you may be suffering from food allergies: If you feel like you’re constantly taking medication and never feeling better, this is usually a sign that your allergies may be food related. Also, keep in mind that you shouldn’t discount food allergies if they only show up during this time of year. For many, eating habits change when spring arrives because of the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are sometimes the cause of food allergies. If this is you, we recommended speaking with a dietitian to decide what’s right for you. With their expertise in this field, your dietitian can point you in the right direction and help you enjoy an allergy free life no matter the season! For more information, you can also check out The Total Food Allergy Health & Diet Guide at the NCES website. As always, our products are hand selected and approved by dietitians, so you’re sure to get the best information available!

5208 Total Food Allergy Health and Diet Guide

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What Makes Soy SOYummy!

Enjoy SoyThere’s no doubt that soy foods are becoming more and more popular. Today, soyfood products can be found in almost every aisle of the grocery store. From the pharmacy aisle to the dairy fridge, you’re sure to find soy based foods that are, most likely, lower in fat than their counterparts made without soy.

But, what is it about soyfoods that make them so appealing to a health conscious audience? One of the biggest benefits of soy is that it’s a great alternative to dairy for anyone with lactose allergies or sensitivities. Most products that contain lactose can be found in the grocery store with a soy substitute, giving your lactose-free clients the option to still enjoy many foods we take for granted, including ice cream, yogurt, etc.

Soyfoods also provide a great meat alternative. From chicken and deli slices to sausage and bacon, there are soyfoods option that are made to closely resemble these food items. They’ve developed quite a reputation over the years. But, you can’t really judge them until you give them a shot! Many of these foods taste just as a good as the originals. Plus, you can enjoy them without any guilt since their fat content is typically much lower.

Since April is National Soyfoods Month, we thought it was appropriate to take a minute to highlight the importance of soyfoods and why they are so popular today. Soyfoods can be found all over your local grocery store, you don’t have to go to a specialty store to find these great products. Although, if you do, you may find that you have a bigger selection to choose from. Soyfoods.org has put together a great chart for finding soy in the grocery store (http://www.soyfoods.org/soy-products/soyfoods-in-the-supermarket). So, when you make your next trip to the grocery store, print out the guide and challenge yourself to pick up at least one soy item. You never know, you’re next favorite food may be made from soy!

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Tips for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle

May is National Celiac Awareness Month.  In light of that, we have decided to highlight some of the ways dealing with the disease and the diet required for it, can be made easier. Having celiac disease can be difficult to cope with. It involves a major overhaul of your diet to ensure a healthy and long life.

Having celiac disease means that your body can’t break down the proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley. Not only do these grains not break down, but each time they are ingested, they damage the small intestine. It’s a very serious disease with serious consequences, but it’s manageable.

Not only do wheat, rye, and barley have to be avoided in foods and meal preparation, but people looking for a gluten-free diet (or a diet without gluten: the protein in wheat, rye and barley) have to avoid things such as grain that was processed in the same containers and plants as one of those three other grains, which significantly increases the risk of contamination.

A basic tip for those looking to make gluten-free meals at home is to separate the places in your kitchen between gluten-free and gluten-containing foods. You can separate them by shelf or cabinet, and have the containers marked in a special way so that you can tell at a glance which one is which.

Sheri L. Sanderson, author of “Incredible Edible Gluten-Free Foods for Kids” recommends even going so far as to double up on a few mixing and preparation items, so as to nix any chance of contamination that might occur in the kitchen area. Things like measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls and spatulas, or paring knives and cutting boards are cheap enough that you would normally have multiple ones in the kitchen anyway. By having doubles of these ready and at hand, you can mark certain ones for use in gluten-free prep, and the others for gluten-containing foods, and your stress level will go down as well.

Incredible Edible Gluten-Free Foods for Kids” can be found at http://www.ncescatalog.com, or in our catalog in the Food Allergies section (Item # 3242)