Friday, May 24, 2013

Two New Mixes!! Fajita & Pizza!!

NEW!! Pizza Mix or Fajita's anyone?

Pizza Mix!  I use to love eating some chips flavored like pizza.  I love Kale Chips too but sooooo many have additives including MSG, corn starch, food coloring, etc that make them so bad for you!  Now, you can flavor your chips, pizza sauce, etc. and not worry!!  Our new Pizza Mix is FANTASTIC!!  It sold out the first week we had it at the Markets!  We have more now of course!  Only in a 4 oz bottle at the moment!  This mix is a wonderful blend of oregano, basil, parsley, bell pepper, fennel, thyme, marjoram, pepper, ginger, cayenne pepper, and dill weed.  To make pizza 'sauce', combine 2 tbsp with a can of tomato paste, add water to desired consistency!  It's that simple!  Enjoy!!  (photo coming soon!)    A 4 oz bottle is $5.00

Fajita Seasoning Mix!  Every mix I looked at had corn starch, MSG, or other ingredients that just didn't make sense to me at all!  When I cook scratch fajitas it is just spices.  Now get my fajita mix without all the preservatives and additives that others add!  A wonderful blend of chili powder, black pepper, cumin, Mexican Oregano, cayenne pepper, New Mexico chili pepper, and lime powder!  Just add a 1/4 cup of water to 1/2 a packet and you have TWO servings of fajitas! (photo coming soon!).  A 2 oz packet is $4.00.  Get it while you can!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May 16th, International HAE Awareness Day!!


HAE - Hereditary Angioedema.  A very rare, potentially life-threatening disorder that is under recognized, often misdiagnosed, and mistreated for many of us.  Today, May 16th is International HAE Awareness Day.  Please help me spread the word of what this disorder is.  Too many providers, nurses, and people in general just don't know what this disorder is.  It affects 1 in about 50,000 people and is on the Rare Disorders List in the United States and Internationally.

Just what is HAE?  HAE is a genetic defect in the 'complement cascade' of the immune system that affects the body's ability to control 'edema' (swelling).  There are various 'types' though regardless of the type, we all suffer with many of the same symptoms.  Some have a lack of the protein that keeps one from 'swelling'.  Others have this protein that is 'broken' and yet others they just don't understand yet what causes it.  That is very simply put.  It is actually quite complicated.

So, why do providers and health care professionals 'miss' this diagnosis?  It is very complicated to diagnose! Many times it can 'look' like something else.  It can look like an 'allergic' reaction, a stomach disorder, or something else altogether.  Additionally, the symptoms can vary from attack to attack.  One day it could be a 'facial' swell, the next it could be an 'internal' abdominal swell with significant abdominal pain, and the next time an 'external' abdominal attack where someone looks nine months pregnant when they're not!  An individual may also just get a hand or a foot swollen.  For me, it took 38 years to get a proper diagnosis (and that was just about 15 months ago). I would have 'attacks' of all varying degrees from very mild to quite severe.  However, my attacks are usually abdominal or facial.  And there are 'triggers' that can make it worse such as 'hormones', stress, food allergies, etc.  Why food allergies?  They're along the complement cascade as well.  Additionally, many of the 'foods' can have 'hormone' properties which are a direct trigger for it (e.g. soy).

A bigger issue now is that when a patient visits an emergency room they often are not 'believed' with what diagnosis they have.  Even with a definitive diagnosis, many emergency room providers don't know how to treat, are reluctant to treat effectively, wait to treat, or don't feel it is necessary. I personally have been told by an emergency room physician "I'm not going to treat you with a $10,000 shot for something you don't have."  How on EARTH could he say that to me after I WAS definitely diagnosed with this disorder and was struggling to breathe?  I personally believe often times, they don't like being 'questioned' or 'told' about 'how' to treat anyone.  However, this is one disorder that really isn't taught in medical school, is not taught to nurse practitioner students (I'd never heard of it until I was diagnosed) and most nurses don't know anything about it.  These providers need to understand that as patients, we are very well aware of what we are living with and how to treat it!  We have a wonderful organization that fully supports us and ensures we are aware of all that is available to us.  We have to do something to raise awareness and get patients proper care and treatment!  Without it, people can and are still dying from this disease every day.  Please help me raise awareness!!

Treatment for this disease is extremely, extremely expensive.  There are currently 4 'best' treatments that are injectable medications either through subcutaneous injection or intravenous infusion.  One 'infusion' whether it is subcutaneous or intravenous can cost at a minimum of over $7,000!!  A month's worth of medication can range from $20-36,000!!  A couple of these medications are used 'preventively' and a couple are used as a 'rescue'.  Many insurances do cover these medications as it is considered a life threatening disease but many insurances will fight tooth and nail to keep from approving it.  These medications also weren't available in the United States until about 4 1/2 years ago.  Prior to that the only medications available were metabolic steroids.  However, metabolic steroids have serious adverse affects on the body and are no longer considered first line treatment.  I was on steroids for a period of one month and it was horrible.  I had mood swings, trouble with my liver, high, high blood pressure, and more.  Not fun at all!!  I now have one of the new medications and it has been a Godsend!  I've only been to the emergency room once since I've started on that medication.  I was dehydrated and had a severe abdominal swell that was more 'internal' and couldn't be 'seen' until much later and then I looked like I was nine months pregnant.  It was agony to say the least.  I was 'allowed' to use my 'rescue' medication in the emergency room while they gave me fluids and pain medication and it slowly resolved.  I was still sick for a few days after but not like I use to be.

Things have drastically improved since I've been on the type of medication I now have.  However, awareness still needs to be raised all over!  Too many are going undiagnosed, under treated or untreated because too many just don't know about it.  Please help us raise awareness for HAE!!

For more information, go to the Hereditary Angioedema Association's website!  Have a great day!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pet Peeves of Illnesses

Tonight I saw a post by Huffington Post about the 'Pet Peeves' of Gluten Sensitivity/Allergy.  In fact it became a trending topic on Twitter!  When I responded on Twitter tonight, many of the same 'pet peeves' that were answered were the same as I had which got me to thinking - everyone with healthcare issues has to have 'Pet Peeves' about their illnesses, what are yours?  I'll start by listing a few of mine.

I have not only severe food allergies including wheat but also Hereditary Angioedema; a rare and potentially life-threatening genetic immune disorder (HAE Day is May 16th by the way!).  As far as my allergies go, it annoys me to no end to be in a restaurant and treated as though I'm 'making it up' to be 'difficult' for the server or chef.  If I could eat what they put in their food, I would prefer to order it that way!  Please don't just 'remove' what the allergen is, I can still have a reaction!

Another issue is people making comments such as 'Oh, I couldn't give up bread.'  Well, I hate to tell you but you COULD if your life depended on it!  You can give up any food, any substance, anything if your life depended on it!  Trust me, I've given up far more than the average person!!  Try living without the following foods just for one week: wheat, rice, chicken, pork, turkey, olives, cinnamon, lemon, grapefruit, millet, barley, honey, bay leaves, bananas, buck wheat, rice, garlic, onion (all alliums including green onions and leeks as well), all melons (watermelon, honeydew, cantelope, etc.) paprika, turmeric, kiwi, tuna, avocados, raw tomatoes, raw potatoes (when peeling them), pitted fruits (peach, plums, cherry, etc), pumpkin, cucumber, hops, soy (including soya lecithin), lentils, walnut, pecans, celery, squash (all including zucchini, spaghetti, etc.), spelt, apples, and all the artificial food dyes.  I think that about sums it up.  Yep, those are the things I am allergic to.  Makes it near impossible to eat!  Also, many, many, many of these items are HIDDEN in other things!!  Things such as the 'spices' (garlic, onions, turmeric, etc.) or even lemon, soya lecitthen, soy sauce, etc.

I hear all the time as well 'Oh my God, what do you eat?'  Not exactly a 'nice' thing to say to a person.  It's hard enough!  Or when I DO tell them we eat 'other things' like gator or frog legs, I hear 'Oh, you're just disgusting'.  Gee thanks.  So, you would rather I eat these other things that will outright make me ill?  I don't think so!

Another question I often get asked is 'So, if you eat it, what happens?'  What difference does it make!'  I can't eat it!  Period!!  Just be understanding and move on.  Or better yet, "So, we can't make you anything to eat anymore, I guess you'll have to bring your own."  Have a little understanding and ask for a recipe of something!!  It's hard enough for us with these kinds of illnesses every day, do you have to make it harder on us?  We enjoy going out just like everyone else.  If you KNOW we have this going on, communicate with us to ensure we can be there and enjoy ourselves like everyone else.  It's really not that hard.

So, on to you all - what is YOUR pet peeve with your health conditions?  I know there are many!  Feel free to post them but be polite and clean!  Thanks for opening up the conversation Huffington Post!  One thing I have learned from all of this - read labels, plain and simple.  It sure saves a headache!!  It doesn't mention what we do from here though..... Ideas anyone?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mother's out there!! While it's too late to order for mother's day, it isn't too late to order for another day!!  How about graduation or father's day?  They're coming up as well!!  How about a gift box of spices for dad?  A body care gift set for that grad?

Next week (hopefully!) we will be debuting a new blend!!  Pizza anyone?  Just mix this in some tomato sauce and voila'!  Pizza sauce!!  So, stay tuned for more to come!!  Ciao!!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Only One Week Left!!

Mother's Day is One Week from Today!!

Don't delay!  Get your mother's day gift baskets now!  Order by Wed night at midnight to ensure on-time delivery by Saturday for mother's day!!  Just go to our Holiday Specials page and order from there!  If you live in the immediate Columbia area, free delivery (it may charge, but will be refunded for Columbia, SC residents!)!!

New product as of today!!  Whipped Shea Butter Body Butter!!  Still need a photo to put it up but feels oh so amazing!  A wonderful thick rich shea butter whipped with arrowroot powder, vitamin E oil, and we can specialize it with a fragrance if you like (essential oils).  Just $9.00 for a 4oz jar!