Tag Archives: allergen friendly

Tropical Coconut Ice Cream

It’s the last night of Spring Break here in Georgia, and the Masters Golf Tournament, which is less than one mile from our apartment, has just finished.

I ate too much food and drank too many Azaleas this week. Tomorrow I will definitely make sure to eat a little more “green.”

But tonight, it was one last hoorah for me.  A big plate of homemade french fries and my new favorite summer-y ice cream.

This is a recipe that my cousin made for me every night I was staying at her home in Nashville last time I was there.  It’s so good that I knew I had to share it.  It’s perfect for anyone who wants to escape to the island (especially a dairy free one)!

Tropical Coconut Ice Cream

For the base, you’ll need So Delicious brand French Vanilla Coffee Creamer because it’s thicker than milk.  You can find this at any health food store and also in the organic section at stores like Kroger.  Try some in your coffee, and then make this for dessert.


Tropical Coconut Ice Cream
  • 1 cup So Delicious French Vanilla Coconut Coffee Creamer
  • ½-1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen tropical fruit blend (mine was strawberries, pineapple, mango)
  1. Pour the creamer in your blender.
  2. Add frozen fruit.
  3. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides when necessary. Be patient rather than adding more liquid or it will not have ice cream consistency.


Danielle’s News: Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Greetings from Columbia!


I’m typing this as I have just gotten done with exams. Talk about stressful. I’d rather sit in a room with 2 gastroenterologists than sit through another art history exam.  But, it’s done and done. Now I can focus on summer and keeping healthy.

What I would really like to talk about right now though is somewhat of old news to me, but it may be quite interesting to some of you. For years now, I’ve been prone to easy bruising, limber body parts, and flexible joints. I thought it was just another quirk about me.

Around the age of 18 (I’m 19 soon to be 20,) I started to have pain all over my body. I had intense pain in my toes, my chest, and my wrists. It got to the point where I couldn’t open a door without my wrists feeling like they were going through a shredder.

My parents took me to several different doctors, including a rheumatic specialist. I received MRI’s on my wrists and chest, and guess what? I had broken cartilage in both of my wrists and torn cartilage in between my sternum and my rib. I couldn’t take a breath without it hurting my chest and I couldn’t cut my steak without wincing.

The doctors said it would heal with time, but they didn’t really have reasoning as to why it had happened. There were theories about me working out too hard, but those theories seemed to disappear when I stopped working out and I didn’t get any better.

Anyways, after months and months, I got an interesting phone call from Dr. P (Phillip Putnam in Cincinnati, basically a miracle from Heaven.) He said that he and his team had been doing a lot of research, and there was a high correlation between people with EE and people with something called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS.)

We immediately flew up to the dreary state and met with about 11 different doctors, who at the end of the week diagnosed me with EDS. Don’t worry, I’m not going to die anytime soon (hopefully,) but basically EDS is a culmination of symptoms that affect all connective tissue. Connective tissues include things like your blood, joints, cartilage, and ligaments. Within EDS, there are 6 main types. I’m not going to go into all of it here, but basically each type of EDS defines what’s going on with your body.

Personally, I have type 3, which is hypermobility. It explains why I can put my thumb behind my middle finger (it’s a sight to see,) and when my legs are straightened they actually go past 180 degrees.

While in Cincinnati, I met with pain psychologists, pain management, and juvenile rheumatologists who specialized in EDS. I was told that because of the EDS my body was going to take longer to heal the cartilage. I was told that while physical therapy wouldn’t heal me, it would strengthen the small muscles around my joints, in order to protect them in the future.

This hasn’t really been a “feelings” post, but more of an informational post. Dr. P told me that there is a high correlation, so just pay attention. Read up about it, be informed, but don’t bite your nails off in the process.

While I have encountered obstacles, (swimming and my shoulder pops in and out like a Pop-Tart, taking off a shirt and my shoulder blade gets locked, things like that) I have also learned that it’s just another bump along the road. Yeah, it can be embarrassing sometimes. I went from being an SEC athlete to having to squeeze a dumb little rubber ball. I went from putting 200 pounds on my back to having to open the door with my elbow. But then again, it gave me the opportunity to tell you guys about it. To keep you informed. To maybe give your child a light for the future. And in the end, that’s what matters. I guess that’s it for now! If you have any questions, feel free to email (since I don’t have to sit in art history anymore ha ha.)

Clean “Tuna” Salad

Allergen Information: Free of the top 8 allergens

Special Equipment: Food processor

I know it’s kind of weird to have the word tuna in quotation marks.  You’re probably wondering, “What crazy thing is she having us eat now?!”

Here’s the thing. I don’t like tuna.  In fact, I’ve never had it.  It really just grosses me out.  I’ve never had a cat, but it smells like what I imagine canned cat food smelling like. Yuck.

Ok, I’ve got that out! I really do feel better 😉

I understand you might like tuna.  And guess what? That’s ok! My hubby LOVES it.  And we coexist!

I make sure to buy him a good brand that’s wild caught and sustainable (I’ve found at Kroger and Earth Fare).  No, Bumble Bee & Starkist will not cut it.  Try Wild Planet Tuna!

But for those that want to try something new, don’t like tuna, or must avoid it for health, allergy or elimination diet reasons, try this salad out!

Clean Tuna Salad

I LOVE having cold salads in my fridge (ones that last for days!).  It certainly makes lunch easy.  Try this tuna salad, our Cranberry Quinoa Salad, Poppyseed Pasta Salad, or our Broccoli Raisin Salad.

My suggestion for lunches as the weather warms up is to make a few of these cold salads on Sundays, maybe 2 salad dressings, and cut up some fruit and some salad toppings.  Your week will be done, you’ll save money, you’ll feel better, and feel a sense of accomplishment!

Tuna Salad 2

I put this “tuna” salad on top of Gluten Free Food for Life English Muffins, which I love!  The next day, I took this salad to the beach, and took these Mary’s crackers (found at Kroger) and just scooped! It was perfect!

Note: I have made this same salad using almonds, and it was delicious, too!  If you aren’t tree nut free, you could try that version, too.  Make sure to still soak the almonds. To avoid soy, make sure to use the soy-free version of Vegenaise! Otherwise, regular is fine!

Clean "Tuna" Salad
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup raw (shelled) sunflower seeds, soaked at least 2 hours
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • ¼ cup organic dill pickles, chopped
  • 3 T Vegenaise
  • 1 t Dijon mustard
  • 1 t coarse ground mustard (optional)
  • 2 T pickle juice
  • ½ t garlic powder
  • ¼ t sea salt
  1. Drain the sunflower seeds and rinse.
  2. Pour on a kitchen towel and pat dry.
  3. Put in a food processor and pulse a few times until the seeds resemble a "tuna" like texture. Do not pulse too much--you do not want it to become mush.
  4. Add the processed seeds and the rest of ingredients into a bowl and mix with a spatula until combined well.
  5. Chill for best flavor.
  6. Store leftovers in fridge in an airtight container for a few days.
  7. Serve with bread of choice or crackers!


Green Tea Berry Smoothie

Allergen Information: Free of the top 8 allergens

Special Equipment: High Powered Blender

Green Tea Berry Smoothie 2

It’s no secret that I. LOVE. SMOOTHIES.

They are so good.

They are beautiful.

They are easy.

They are filling.

They are nutritious.

I really could just go on, and on, and on.

But like anything, smoothies can get boring if you don’t change it up.  That’s why you’ll probably see more smoothie recipes from me than any other recipes.

You have lots of options, so there’s no excuses, k??

I love this one because it’s light and sweet and has the awesome benefits of green tea.  Remember, though, that all tea is not created equal, and there can be some bad stuff lurking in it.  I stick to Traditional Medicinal and Numi brands tea because they are easy to find.

In this particular smoothie, I used Numi’s brand Jasmine Green tea, but any variety would work.  The easiest thing to do is make the tea the night before and put the cup in the fridge so it’s easy as pie (oh no, now I’m thinking about pie….).

Not only does the green tea do some great things for your body, but so do the chia seeds and goji berries!

Try this one soon and let us know what you think!!

Green Tea Berry Smoothie
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • 1 T goji berries
  • 2 cups mixed berries, frozen
  • 1 T local honey
  • 12 ounces chilled green tea (I heated 12 ounces of water and added one tea bag, and let steep for 10-15 minutes, then chilled)
  1. Put ingredients in a high powered blender in the order shown and blend until smooth! Enjoy!


Sweet Mint Dressing

Allergen Information: Free of the top 8 allergens

Special Equipment: Blender

Sweet Mint Dressing

SaladThis week, I grabbed some fresh mint at Earthfare to use in a smoothie, and decided to come up with this concoction just so I didn’t waste the rest.

And what happened? I think this might be my new favorite spring dressing!

This dressing is light, yet flavorful.  All the flavors (lemon, honey, mint, and white wine vinegar) blend well to create a subtle and fresh tasting dressing.

Enjoy this over some organic greens and your favorite toppings!  I like it with dried cranberries, almonds, sprouts, seeds, and just about anything in my pantry.

Put this on your “to make” list for the week! You’ll love having this dressing ready to go!

Sweet Mint Dressing
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • Juice from two small lemons
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped mint, packed tightly
  • ¼ cup local honey
  • 2 T white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • pinch of sea salt
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Store leftovers in an air-tight jar in the fridge for about a week.