Monday, June 28, 2010

4th of July Top Ten

by Kelley Lindberg

Here are the top ten things I love about the 4th of July:
  1. Sunshine and warmth after a long, wet spring.
  2. No school or work.
  3. A day to celebrate our unique freedoms, such as the freedoms of thought and speech, religion, the press, and the right to gather peacefully.
  4. Getting together with friends and family.
  5. The aroma of a barbeque grill, no matter what’s on it.
  6. The sound of kids squealing and laughing and running like crazy.
  7. A rough blanket beneath me and fireworks overhead.
  8. Cheap patriotic t-shirts.
  9. Firecrackers in the street (legal and safe ones, that is, with a water bucket and garden hose close at hand).
  10. Knowing we live in an amazing time in America, when information and communication can make even the most isolated of us feel like part of a community.
Thanks for being part of my community, and have a safe, fun, and meaningful 4th of July!

Monday, June 21, 2010

2010 FAAN Walk for Food Allergy in Salt Lake City

by Kelley Lindberg

Here it is, the first day of summer, and it’s finally warmed up here in Utah. That must mean it’s time to start thinking about fall, right?

Okay, maybe not, but it is time to start thinking about the annual FAAN Walk for Food Allergy (Moving Toward a Cure). This will be the second year that the Walk has been held in Salt Lake City, and we’re looking forward to a great turnout!

The SLC Walk will be held on Sat, Oct. 2, at Wheeler Farm (6351 S. 900 E, Salt Lake City). More than four dozen other cities will also be hosting FAAN Walks this year, including Los Angeles, Baltimore, Houston, Minneapolis, Denver, Long Island, and Las Vegas. (See a list of FAAN Walk cities here.)

The FAAN Walks are a significant fundraiser for FAAN (the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network), which provides advocacy and education while advancing research on behalf of those affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis. A portion of the money raised by our Walk will stay in our community – by being donated to UFAN (Utah Food Allergy Network) to support local efforts of education, support, and advocacy.

As one of the most important food allergy organizations in the country, FAAN has made a huge difference in the lives of food allergic people over the last two decades by being a reliable source of accurate information, important research, public awareness, and life-saving (or just life-improving) advice.

Last year, Salt Lake City’s first FAAN Walk for Food Allergy drew over 200 walkers and was a ton of fun. This year, we’re hoping to double or even triple that number of walkers!

Oct. 2 seems like a long time away, but the time to register is now. You can register as an individual walker or as a team of walkers, and there are all kinds of prizes, drawings, and incentives for registering early and for raising money.

Here are the details:
  • 2010 FAAN Walk for Food Allergy, Salt Lake City
  • Saturday, Oct. 2
  • Check in at 11:00 am
  • Walk at noon
  • Door prizes, music, face painting, crafts, games, and even race cars to check out!
  • All registered walkers receive one ticket for the door prize drawings, but there will be more ways to get additional tickets.
  • All children who walk will receive a Walk t-shirt. Adults who raise $100 or more will receive a t-shirt.
  • All donations received by Aug. 1 will count towards incentive prizes, which start with donation amounts as low as $250.
  • Want your team name printed on your Walk team t-shirts? Just raise $1000 or have 50 walkers registered in your team by July 31.
The direct site for the SLC Walk is here:
The incentive prizes are listed here:
We can sure use some sponsors to help make the FAAN Walk a success. Sponsors who contribute more than $2500 can have their logo on event posters, but the donation must be received this week (by June 23). Donations of $1000 or more get placement on Walk t-shirts – those donations must be in by mid-August. If your company or business would like to be a sponsor, see the sponsor information here:
So even though today is the first day of summer, Oct 2 will be here before we know it. Whether you’re a corporate sponsor, a walker, or a generous soul who can donate to help someone you know with food allergies, the 2010 FAAN Walk for Food Allergy is a great opportunity to make a real difference for people with food allergies everywhere!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer Travel Tips for Food Allergies

by Kelley Lindberg

Summer is a great time for family vacations. Whether it’s a road trip to see natural wonders in our scenic national and state parks, a weekend fishing at the lake, camping, or a flight to see grandparents, vacations are luring many of us away from home for summer fun.

Travel can mean extra complications for those of us with food allergies, but that doesn’t mean we have to stay home! All it takes is a little extra planning and smart packing to make your trip as safe as it is fun.

Here are a few tips that might help if you’re hitting the road this summer.

1. Embrace picnics. If it’s a road trip, pack a cooler with safe food for lunches and breakfasts, and stop at parks or rest areas for picnics. Bread, sandwich fixings, snacks, fruit, veggies (carrots, celery, etc.) all travel well in a cooler and make for a great picnic. It’s safer, healthier, and cheaper than all those fast-food places, too. And picnics are fun – even if the weather isn’t great and you have to hunker under a pavilion in the rain, it still can be an adventure and a fun story to tell later. Those are the memories your kids will still have years later.

2. A UFAN member on the UFAN email forum suggesting taking a crockpot and plugging it into an adapter that runs off the car’s power. Put dinner in the crockpot in the morning, and by the time you reach your destination, dinner’s ready! Sounds good – but it could be dangerous in a crash (boiling grease flying through the car = bad). But taking a crockpot and letting dinner cook in the hotel room while you’re sightseeing sounds like a VERY good idea. Who needs room service?

3. If you’re flying somewhere and can’t carry a big cooler, invest in a collapsible cooler that fits in your suitcase, or buy a super-cheap Styrofoam cooler at a discount store at your destination. I have a small lunch-sized insulated bag that fits in a day-pack, so I can carry my son’s sandwich whenever we go on day-trips. I also have one of those larger collapsible coolers that fits in my suitcase, for carrying picnics and drinks to the beach. Then I pack (or buy) a bunch of Ziploc bags to hold ice as well as food. Here’s a tip: fill a Ziploc bag with water, lay it flat in the freezer, and let it freeze. Presto—an icepack for slipping into that lunch sack.

4. Plan your route and scout out hotels or condos that have microwaves or kitchenettes in them. You can fix easy meals in the room that way. Not only is it safer allergy-wise, it saves money, too.

5. When you arrive at your destination, plan to grocery shop on the first day. The internet is great for finding health-food or gluten-free stores, so do a little research before you leave to find a likely grocery store. If there is a product you love that you don’t know if you’ll find where you’re going, pack it. I always take a jar or two of Sunbutter in my checked luggage, just in case.

6. On an airplane, carry plenty of safe food in your carry-on luggage. I pack granola bars (even if you don’t much like them, they can be a life-saver if you’re stranded in an airport because of a missed connection or mechanical trouble). Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain bars are nut-free and egg-free. Cascadian Farm Harvest Berry granola bars are nut-, milk-, and egg-free, and Enjoy Life Foods bars are free from the Top 8 allergens. I also pack fruit snacks (don’t carry fresh fruit if you’re going internationally, however), safe cookies, or other treats, too. We have been stuck in airports for up to 13 hours before – it may not be the most nutritious day of eating, but at least we don’t starve if I’ve got a box of granola bars in my bag.

7. If you’re traveling with other people, let them know before-hand about your family’s allergies and the best way to handle them on the road. Ask them for help in keeping your child safe.

8. Pack your own soap, shampoo, and lotion. Those cute little bottles and soaps in the hotel are appealing, but if they don’t have an ingredients label on them (and most don’t), don’t use them. Too often, they contain nut oils, soy products, milk, or other botanical products that you may be allergic to. It wouldn’t be much fun to slather on that nice-smelling lotion, only to discover that you’re breaking out in hives and have to be rushed to the hospital.

9. Carry a pack of hand-wipes at all times. Great for cleaning all the surfaces in an airplane (armrest, tray-table, seatbelt buckle, and window shade), as well as for cleaning any other surfaces in fast-food places, restaurants, etc.

10. Order a medical ID bracelet or tag for the allergic person. My son wears a cool nylon sports-band ID bracelet from American Medical ID that lists his allergies and my cell phone number. For my own diabetes, I have medical alert tags from Sticky J on my key ring and on my purse (I’m allergic to metal, so I can’t wear them on my body).

11. Traveling internationally? Visit to order translation cards – they say things like “I have a life-threatening allergy to…” and you can list all the foods you’re allergic to, and choose from a staggering array of languages. They also offer cards for other illnesses and conditions, in addition to allergies.

These are just a few tips to get you going. If you have more tips to share, be sure to post them in the comments section.

Happy travels!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Flourishing with Food Allergies Book Review

by Kelley Lindberg

Today’s guest blogger is Cynthia Roark, UFAN board members and head of UFAN’s Utah County chapter (our newest chapter!). Cynthia has read and reviewed Flourishing with Food Allergies, by A. Anderson. Thanks, Cynthia!


I enjoyed Flourishing with Food Allergies tremendously! A. Anderson did a great job of getting right to the point and keeping it a smooth read. I didn't want to put it down! It’s highly informative and emotionally stimulating.

It’s full of really helpful tips and resources for families living with food allergies (which I learned is also known as “the invisible disability”). I highly recommend it as a must-read for any family that is challenged with a food allergic member or members. It doesn't matter what stage your family is at with regards to food allergies, be it the newly diagnosed to those veteran families that have managed it for years, this book will offer something for everyone.

I would also recommend having anyone who is in the food allergic person's life – such as grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even teachers – read it in order to fully understand the impact in the food allergic person’s life and to learn how to help create a safe environment.

It’s filled with individual stories of how different families have dealt with their food allergy issues, as well as a section called “Theories, Facts and Findings” where the author explains her ideas and research into some of the theories about food allergies.

This is also an easy book to pick up and read in bits and pieces – helpful for any busy adult.

For more information about the book, visit the Flourishing with Food Allergies website, at