Monday, October 21, 2019

Strict Avoidance Diet for Food Allergies and Gluten Sensitivity


Ever have that awkward discussion with someone about your restricted diet???
I have, many times. It doesn't get any easier, but at least over the last few years I have learned what to say. Many times I have been accused of having social anxiety because I won't eat at church or family gatherings. Many times I have been told that I am just out of touch. Many times, I have been made fun of, looked at like I was crazy, or simply not taken seriously. But the truth is, I have to follow a restricted diet to STAY ALIVE!!!
FOOD ALLERGIES ARE REAL! They really do claim lives. An average of 5 people every day die of anaphylaxis, just in the USA! Thousands more end up in the hospital. Yes, it is real! Yes, it is to be taken seriously! Yes, there are preventative techniques. Avoid your known allergens. Carry two epipens at all times, and don't hesitate to use one if you experience difficulty breathing from an allergen exposure. Have an action plan, and make sure the whole family, friends, and coworkers know what to do if something goes wrong. Advocate for those with allergies, and stand up to the bullying regarding restricted diets!

Celiac Disease, and severe Gluten Sensitivity is real as well! It is not an allergy, but still requires complete avoidance. Celiac Disease is an immune response to ingestion of gluten. It harms the small intestine, leaving damage and causing malabsorption and malnutrition. It also carries many other symptoms.

Learn the symptoms. Recognize it. Follow avoidance diet, and keep yourself and those around you safe!

Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free, Allergy Free Day!
~Em Kennedy~

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Southwest Cabbage Roll Soup with antelope






Cut the core out of a head of green cabbage, boil till the layers separate easily (only a few minutes) Transfer the cabbage leaves to an ice water bath.

Peel, and finely dice 6-8 medium potatoes. Dice one large onion. Cover the bottom of a large pot in olive oil. Place 3/4 of the onion into the oil. Cook on medium high till half cooked. Cut 1/2 a large head of cauliflower and throw into the pot with onions and oil. Stir often. As the onions just begin to brown, add 3/4 of the diced potatoes into the pot. Slice and add in the middle piece of the cabbage where the leaves were too small to stuff. Salt well. Add water to make a soup base. Simmer while you make the cabbage rolls.

Mix 3/4-1 lb ground antelope (any ground red meat should do if you can't find antelope), add the remainder of the onions and potatoes and mix well. Cut the stems of the leaves down to 1/4 inch so they bend easily. Stuff the cabbage leaves with about an 1/8 of a cup of meat mix and roll them up, not forgetting to tuck in sides as you reach halfway while rolling.

Add the rolls to the soup base. Be sure to place them flap down so they will stay closed while cooking. Do not stir once rolls have been placed in soup. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.
Serve for a hot comfort meal on a cold fall day! Enjoy!
~Gluten Free Em~

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Reader's Favorite 5 Star Review for "Could it Be Gluten?"



For immediate release:


Author's new book receives a warm literary welcome.

Readers' Favorite announces the review of the Non-Fiction - Health - Medical book "Could It Be Gluten?" by EM Kennedy, currently available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1520530625.

Readers' Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the "Best Websites for Authors" and "Honoring Excellence" awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

"Reviewed By Renee Guill for Readers' Favorite

Could It Be Gluten? A guide to understanding the facts about the gluten free diet by EM Kennedy is a self-help book to help you get diagnosed to see if you need to adopt a gluten free diet. EM Kennedy explains how you should be tested for Coeliac Disease first before going on a diet. She talks about the symptoms and how they can be the same as other diseases like thyroid. She also tells you what foods and even non-food items have gluten in them and how to check for it. EM Kennedy even gives you recipes, though you need to get them at her website for which she shares a link.

I thought that Could It Be Gluten? by EM Kennedy was extremely informative. I liked that she reminds people, in capital letters, that they need to be tested by a doctor first. I also liked how she tells readers what tests to take and what’s involved in the testing. EM Kennedy also explained how to do the elimination diet to find out if you have it. She mentioned all the foods involved. I was wondering what was left. She even mentions non-food items like toothpaste and shampoo. Who knew? She was extremely thorough and not too technical, so even I could understand it. It was a pretty quick read. I know I think I might have this, so if anyone even suspects they have a gluten issue, I highly recommend you read this book. It might help ease some of your anxiety."

You can learn more about EM Kennedy and "Could It Be Gluten?" at https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/could-it-be-gluten where you can read reviews and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages.

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Thursday, August 1, 2019

Why the Gluten Free Diet?



For many years my kitchen has been gluten free. For many years I have been on  a strict gluten free diet. For years I have been enjoying the benefits. But many times the question has come up, Why? Why do some people need a gluten free diet? What is it that causes some of us to struggle digesting this popular food?
There are so many possible causes for a gluten sensitivity. I have compiled a list of some of the most common. THIS IS BY NO MEANS AN EXHAUSTED LIST!

1) Celiac Disease: an autoimmune disorder where ingestion of gluten produces autoimmune damage to the villi in the small intestine. Malabsorption and many other symptoms can be associated with this disease. A gluten free diet is a MUST to treat this disease.

2) Gluten Sensitivity: A health problem where the ingestion of gluten causes many negative affects similar to Celiac Disease but without positive tests to prove Celiac Disease. Malabsorption, digestive issues such as IBS, or chronic diarrhea can also be related to this kind of reaction to gluten. Inflammation in any part of the body can result from eating gluten if you have a Gluten Sensitivity.

3) Hashimoto's Thyroiditis: This is an autoimmune disease of the thyroid. It causes your body to attack your own thyroid. It is very damaging to the body and can result in many other problems. Many people who have this disease also need to avoid gluten for inflammation reasons. In many cases, a gluten sensitivity is also an issue with someone who has Hashimoto's.

4) Lactose Intolerance: This is a difficulty digesting the sugar in milk called lactose. It often results in gas, indigestion, and in some cases severe stomach pains, headaches and much more. Those with this issue tend to have other digestive problems, and struggle to digest the complex protein found in wheat we know as gluten. Lactose intolerance doesn't "cause" gluten sensitivity, but may be helped by the avoidance of gluten containing foods. Many times the underlying cause of Lactose Intolerance is a sensitivity to gluten.

5) Chronic Inflammation: This is a health problem that manifests in inflammation of the body that is continual. It can lead to or be caused by many problems, such as heart disease, lupus, or other autoimmune disorders, and even muscular or connective tissue issues. Those who experience inflammation on a constant basis may benefit tremendously from a gluten free diet. In some cases a dairy free, low histamine diet would also benefit someone in this case.

6) Mast Cell Disorders: This term can be used to describe Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, and some other allergic type diseases. In many cases, the symptoms include anaphylaxis, severe asthma, chronic hives, and severe digestive issues. Those with a Mast Cell Disorder react very easily to gluten, and in may cases also have a gluten sensitivity. Those with these disorders usually have to avoid high histamine foods, as well as other known triggers that cause them anaphylaxis. Gluten promotes inflammation and thus would exacerbate the symptoms of a Mast Cell Disorder.

This is only a few, many more reasons for needing a gluten free diet exist. The gluten free diet isn't for everyone. I'm not one of those who believes in a "fix all" diet. There is no way that everyone of us would be enough alike to all need this diet modification. But the truth is, many out there who suffer needlessly would benefit tremendously from simply avoiding gluten! The key is to find out for yourself if the health problems you are experiencing could be helped by a gluten free diet! To do that, you need to try an elimination diet. The details of Why, When, and How to go gluten free can be found in my book, "Could it be Gluten?" and is available on Amazon as kindle eBook, or paperback version. Get your copy today! 

Could It Be Gluten?: A guide to understanding the facts about the gluten free diet. (Gluten Free Em Book 1) by [KENNEDY, EM]

Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Day!
~Gluten Free Em~

Friday, June 21, 2019

How to Recognize an Allergic Reaction to Food

When it comes to food allergies, to many people are still in the dark.
This life-threatening condition should get more public attention as it could mean sparing a life.
Every 3 minutes someone is sent to the ER as a result of a life-threatening reaction to food according to www.foodallergy.org.
It is more than just a dislike for a food, as a matter of fact, I positively adore nearly every food I am allergic to, but I don't dare eat even the smallest crumb or risk my throat closing up. What exactly are the symptoms of a food allergy? I have written many blog posts and social media posts on this topic before, but I think it bears repeating. In fact I want to flood the internet with articles on how to recognize the symptoms of  a food allergy in hopes of saving a life.
The symptoms of a food allergy varies from person to person, but here are the main signs:

Mild to moderate symptoms... (can be one or many of the list below)

Hives (reddish, swollen, itchy areas on the skin)
Eczema flare (a persistent dry, itchy rash)
Redness of the skin, particularly around the mouth or eyes
Itchy mouth or ear canal
Nausea or vomiting
Diarrhea
Stomach pain
Nasal congestion or a runny nose
Sneezing
Slight, dry cough

Severe symptoms may include one or more of the following...

Swelling of the lips, tongue, and/or throat that blocks breathing
Trouble swallowing
Shortness of breath or wheezing
Turning blue
Drop in blood pressure (feeling faint, confused, weak, passing out)
Loss of consciousness
Chest pain
A weak or “thready” pulse
Sense of “impending doom”
Severe symptoms, alone or combined with milder symptoms, may be signs of life-threatening anaphylaxis. This requires immediate treatment.

For some of us, the main symptom is difficulty breathing and feeling faint. Others may be more subtil and persist as IBS, or other digestive disorders. The most important thing is to respond quickly to any sign of a severe reaction!

Here is an example of how one of my reactions can manifest: (This one I am about to describe has actually happened.)
I accidentally consume a "safe" food that was cooked in a pan that was previously used for eggs and not washed properly. My lips start to tingle. My head feels a little dizzy. My asthma kicks in and I feel like it is hard to breathe in. My tongue gets itchy and my throat starts to close up. My blood pressure drops, and I feel disoriented. I can recognize that I am having a reaction, but I may not be capable of thinking through my plan of action, and thus may have to rely on someone else to administer the meds to stop the reaction. All this can progress fast within a few minutes, but for some of my other food allergies, it may take up to 30 minutes for symptoms to peak. This is called anaphylaxis and is a medical emergency treated with epinephrine. (Because of my other health issues including allergies to nearly all prescription and over the counter drugs, I use a natural antihistamine called Quercetin on first sign of an allergic reaction and at times it is sufficient to stop the reaction. This should only be done upon consent of an allergy doctor, as in most cases it is not strong enough to stop the reaction in a normal person. Epinephrine is the safest option for most people.)

Do you know anyone who is dealing with the symptoms of food allergies? Share this post with them and help spread the information. It may save a life, and that life may be of one of your loved ones. Together we will win this war against food allergies by being an advocate for those who suffer on a daily basis with this health problem.
Here's to life!
Have a Happy Healthy, Allergy Friendly Day!
~Gluten Free Em~

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Seriousness of Cross-Contamination



Do you ever find yourself wondering what the right thing to do is in the case of cross-contamination? Do you feel pressured to just give in? Do you find yourself second guessing your decision to completely abstain?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this post is for you! READ ON!

Many years ago when I first went gluten free, I knew nothing about food allergies or intolerance. I simply knew I wasn't feeling well and wanted things to change. My doctor suggested a gluten free diet to help my body heal. I listened to her, did some research and found out about Celiac Disease. I didn't wait to be tested for Celiac, I just went gluten free. Long story short, my life changed drastically! Things weren't perfect, but the difference was huge. I faced the music from friends and family concerning the diet...as I am sure we all do...and began to give in. Just a little here and there. I shared microwaves with them. I would hang out in the kitchen as they were preparing a gluten filled meal, or baking a cake. I would even allow them to bring their food into my kitchen thus contaminating it. I knew it made me sick. I felt it. I really couldn't deny the obvious result was that just a little bit of contamination was all it took to make me SICK! I thought it was just in my head at first and did some serious research. I found that people with Celiac experience intestinal damage by even the tracest amount of gluten ingestion! 

There was no getting around the truth. I couldn't afford to get exposed to even the smallest amount of gluten equaling the size of a crumb. One crumb was all it would take to make me sick.
The truth was devastating at first. But it did confirm my suspicion based on my symptoms. The next step was to completely rid my life of gluten. So I did. My life is so much better now. My kitchen is safe from gluten contamination. My soaps, meds, and even my supplements are free of gluten. But every now and then I get exposed when out of the house. Those infamous cramps, diarrhea, brain fog, inflammation, moodiness, and much more symptoms all come back for a few weeks until my body is able to rid itself of the gluten.

Of course, food allergies are different...but still very serious. One trace amount of one of my food or drug allergies can cause me to go into anaphylactic shock! So cross-contamination is truly a big deal with allergies as well.

The bottom note of this post is this: Cross-Contamination is serious and must be avoided at all cost!

Don't second guess your decision to avoid gluten at all cost, just do it! You know what is best for your body. The Glute Free diet isn't all fun and games but it is a life necessity if you are Celiac or sensitive to gluten. Do the right thing for your body and avoid Gluten!

Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Day!
~Gluten Free Em~

Monday, March 4, 2019

I'm Hard at Work on Something Fabulous!

I am sorry that I haven't been posting much lately...

But I have been working on some amazing research that will no doubt make a huge difference in my life and the lives of many who are also gluten free! 

Finding healthy sources of nutrition that won't set off a reaction can be daunting and sometimes seem impossible...but with knowledge, there is hope!

I still have a ways to go in this research, but I do hope that you will bear with me as I spend less time on this blog and more time in the books... as I am currently working on a new book that will discuss the different nutrients that our bodies need to work properly and the various food options for obtaining those nutrients.

The idea behind this book is to offer those of us on a limited diet new ideas for ways to maximize our nutrient intake without making ourselves sick with a food our body reacts to.

Please stay tuned for updates as the work progresses... and for new posts, because I am first and foremost a blogger at heart!

Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Day!
Em Kennedy

Friday, February 15, 2019

Gluten Free Thumbs Up

Just a little Friday Humor!!! Happy weekend, Y'all! Have fun and stay safe!
Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Day!
~Gluten Free Em~

Monday, January 7, 2019

Why I am Gluten Free Em

Check out my new awareness product designs on Amazon by clicking here:
Here at Gluten Free Em, we are striving to promote awareness of three major health issues...Gluten Sensitivity, Food Allergies, and Celiac Disease. They are not the same thing, each one is a different issue, but they all involve what you eat, wash with, put on your skin, etc. There is a big need out there for awareness to these three health problems. So many people think that avoiding a certain food just means you are picky. Well, sometimes people do avoid foods for those reasons, but those with these three health problems are avoiding certain food to STAY ALIVE! There is such a big difference!
Let's break each one of these issues up into more detail for you:
Gluten Sensitivity is a term used to describe a health problem where upon ingestion of gluten, or anything cross-contaminated with gluten, the person becomes very ill. Digestive problems, forceful vomiting, itchy or burning rash, brain fog, trouble thinking and remembering, anxiety, depression, failure to thrive and grow (for children), and much much more are all possible symptoms of this issue. It can be related to a delayed food allergy, a insufficient amount of digestive enzymes, or even undiagnosed Celiac Disease.
Celiac Disease is an autoimmune reaction to ingestion of even the tracest amount of gluten proteins (found in wheat, rye, barley, oats, etc) where the body will actually attack itself causing damage to the small intestine. This creates a big problem as nutrients are unable to be absorbed properly due to the damage. It carries much of the same symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity.
For more information on Celiac Disease please visit celiac.org.
Food Allergies are when upon ingestion of a particular trigger food, the allergic person has an allergic reaction (which may be life threatening). This is an immune response brought on by a certain food. The symptoms range from digestive distress to hive, itching, rash, headaches, swollen mouth, tongue or throat, asthma, and even a life threatening situation called Anaphylaxis which can be fatal. There are many more symptoms of an allergy, these are just a few of the most common.
Please visit foodallergy.org for more information on food allergies.
So to sum up this post, if you don't already understand about these health problems, learn as much as you can! You may be able to spread awareness by wearing one of our products as well. Remember: knowledge saves lives, and every life is precious!
Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Day!

~Gluten Free Em~
 Valentine's Day longsleeved Tshirt


Navigating the Sticky World of Sugary Sweetness--Valentine's Day

Do you celebrate Valentine's Day with your kids???
This holiday is like all the rest with candy, and kisses, you must be on the look out for hidden sources of gluten, (and food allergens if you are a food allergy parent).
Most of the time, our favorite trusted brands change things up for the seasonal candy. I learned this one the hard way a few years back when I gave my little one a Reese's peanut butter cup Valentine's version. Of course, I only did it once as the cross contamination was enough to make him very sick.
So does that mean I can't give them candy for Valentine's day? My answer is simple, Of course I can! But I buy them traditional candies that are not packaged or shaped for the holiday at hand. This goes for Christmas and New Years all the way to Halloween. Most seasonal candy is unsafe for those of us with Gluten Sensitivity and Food Allergies.
What about you? How do you handle the sweetness of Valentine's Day? Share your story with us, and how you navigate this sticky world of sugary sweetness. Comment here or follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GlutenFreeEm/!
Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Day, and make it FABULOUS!
~Gluten Free Em~

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

How my Gluten Free journey began...

Well, we've started a new year!!! I can't help but think back 7 years to the beginning of my own gluten free journey. It all started as a result of an endocrinologist's recommendation. I was dealing with autoimmune thyroid issues which had me feeling pretty worn out. My thyroid numbers had actually gotten back into the "normal" range, but my symptoms had remained. My vitamin D was borderline low. My energy was missing, and my hair was falling out. Nothing that I had tried had helped, and I was beginning to think there was no answer to the chronic fatigue that I had faced for many years.
"Have you tried a gluten free diet?" she asked. Me, I'm like, "What is gluten?"
Her response was pretty lame..."Go home and research it on the internet. I think it may be able to help your fatigue." I was like...whatever....but I did take her advice and looked it up.
I found out that gluten is a hard to digest protein in wheat, barley, oats, and rye which can create digestive issues with those who are sensitive to it. Digestive issues is something I had dealt with since a child, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to try. Boy was I in for a life changer!!!!! The fatigue was relieved, the pain was lessened, the digestive discomfort left, and I felt like a new woman after only a short two week abstinence from gluten. The rest is history...but here I am 7 years later, still gluten free and still researching how I can improve the lives of myself, my family, and others out there who are still looking to find answers when gluten may be at the root of their problem.
The gluten free diet is NOT for everyone, but there are a lot of people out there who do have a sensitivity to gluten and are feeling the negative health affects from it, just as I was. There are also those out there who have an autoimmune disease called Celiac Disease which causes severe intestinal damage, etc. because of gluten ingestion.
To learn more about Gluten, and whether or not the gluten free diet could be for you...Check out this book that I wrote explaining in detail, everything about going gluten free. It is available in kindle and paperback form. (See Below!)
Could it Be Gluten? A guide to understanding the facts about the gluten free diet. by Em Kennedy


Here's to better health!
Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Year!
~Gluten Free Em~

Do you have questions for Gluten Free Em??? You can reach her by the contact form on the desktop version of this blog, or by her Facebook page... https://www.facebook.com/GlutenFreeEm !!!!! Don't be left in the dark, find out today if you would benefit from a gluten free diet!