Archive for October, 2008

Quick and Easy Meals for Me: A Girl on the Go! The Best of Natural Product Expo East

Monday, October 27th, 2008

One of the things I hear the most that people miss after getting diagnosed with celiac disease or food allergies is the inability to have a quick, satisfying and healthy meal at their fingertips… the kind of prepared dinner that can be put in the microwave or oven and done in minutes time.

Well… get those microwaves and ovens warmed up! I found some true keepers!

These items are a bit pricey, but then again time is money. I will be on the look-out for specials and coupons for these items for the BeFreeForMe members – so stayed tuned!

 

Kettle Cuisine Soups: GF (http://www.kettlecuisine.com)

The Angus Steak Chili with Beans and the Chicken Soup with Rice Noodles is also DF.
Kettle Cuisine is a peanut free facility.
 
This soup has been an all time favorite of mine for many years! I was so excited to see that Kettle Cuisine has come out with single serving soup cups that are perfect for a gal like me that is always on the go!

The soups come frozen and can be quickly cooked in a microwave for quick and easy lunches or dinners. These are going to be a staple in my freezer all winter long.

My favorite is the Angus Steak Chili with Beans – which is packed not only with tons of protein, but flavor as well. This variety is also dairy free. This chili is a “meal” that satisfies. Coming in a close second is the Grilled Chicken and Corn Chowder. I love its richness and spiciness. The chicken used is also free of chicken antibiotics or growth hormones – which is always a plus with me.

 

Organic Bistro Whole Life Meals: GF (http://www.TheOrganicBistro.com)

I love these meals! What I love the most about them is that they have a “main course” along with two sides which consist of a type of rice and also a veggie. This to me is the composition of the microwavable meals I used to eat prior to my gluten free life.

The only difference is that these meals taste fresh and crisp… unlike any other frozen glutenized meal.

Organic Bistro meals are not only easy to prepare and have eight delicious gluten free varieties they are also all natural and use only organic ingredients that are rich in fiber, whole grains, lean protein, omega 3 fats, vitamins and minerals.

The varieties offered are: Wild Salmon, Ginger Chicken, Savory Turkey, Sockeye Salmon Cake, Chicken Citron, Spiced Chicken Morocco, Jamaican Shrimp Cake and Pasta Pattanesca.

With variety like that and a taste that will blow anyone away it is hard to believe these meals are gluten free. Enjoy!

COUPON / SPECIAL OFFER: As well as being found in the freezer case of your local retailer, you can also purchase them direct from Organic Bistro from their website. Currently there is a special savings of $6.00 off the purchase of six entrees.

 

Twin Hens Beef Pot Pie: GF, NF, SF, FF (http://www.TwinHens.com)

These are the type of pies you would make yourself if you had the time. The polenta crust adds a nice change to a traditional, usually non-gluten free, classic. All ingredients in this pie are items that you have in your kitchen.

The company founders are two busy Moms’ that are also professionally trained chefs. These pies simplify the family meal during busy times!

 

Helen’s Kitchen Indian & Asian Meals: GF, DF (http://www.helensfoods.com)
These meals are also free of meat, MSG & GMO’s. 

I usually don’t go for Indian or Asian entrees, but the organic ingredients and blend of flavorful spices had me hooked on Helen’s Kitchen’s Thai Red Curry and Indian Curry meals.

Both these meals are certified organic. They are also high in fiber and protein; as well as contain no MSG, trans-fat or GMO’s.

The Thai Red Curry is also low in fat and cholesterol, which was a bonus. The rice used in this dish is a brown basmati rice which I like a lot better than the white sticky rice usually associated with asian meals.

The Indian Curry Meal had just enough curry-spiciness and was not overwhelming by any means.

I was pleasantly surprised after trying both of these frozen and easy-to-prepare entrees. I am excited to include these meals on my lunch menu agenda!

Snacks, Snacks. I LOVE my Snacks!: The Best of the Snacks at the Natural Expo East

Friday, October 24th, 2008

 

 

I admit it. I am a snacker. I even love the way the word sounds! That little something a few hours after lunch, but a bit before dinner keeps me going. My goal at the Natural Expo East was to find a snack that was “just right” … not too much that it would ruin my next meal, yet enough to hold off my hunger pangs. Any with low-calorie counts (aka: guiltless) were a plus too!

Here is what I and my snack-a-holic colleagues at BeFreeForMe found:

 

Green Mountain Gringo Salsa: GF (http://www.greenmountaingringo.com)

This salsa has been my favorite for a long, long time. I found it at the Expo and decided to stay and munch for awhile! This salsa is fresh and crisp. Not soggy like that tomato-sauce consistency type of salsa that is mass manufactured.

The product is made by a family owned company and they’ve been making salsa since 1929. The ingredient list is stuff found in your own kitchen – all fresh and natural.

Comes in five flavors: Mild, Medium, Hot, Roasted Chili & Roasted Garlic. My favorite is the Roasted Chili. I love it smothered over grilled chicken too.

Green Mountain Gringo also makes tortilla strips that are gluten free and to die for too!

 

R.W. Garcia Tortilla Chips: GF (http://www.RWGarcia.com)

These chips pack a punch… they are gluten free and full of flavor! I tried the Veggie flavor and was surprised at the unique and robust taste. I couldn’t find any coupons on their website… but maybe soon.

 

Wise Acre Frostea & Frostbite Frozen Desserts: GF, NF, DF, SF, FF (http://www.wise-acre.com)

O.K. … I know these products market themselves as a dessert, but to me I love them as a snack. In a nut-shell this crazy guy from Maine (in the rest of New England we call guys like this Maine-iacs!) came up with this absurd idea of freezing tea, honey and a bunch of other good-for-you-stuff and marketing it…. Genius! Best yet… these are not only good for you but gluten, dairy, egg, nut, soy, corn and fat free. They are also free of refined sugars and cholesterol, full of antioxidants, sweetened only with maple syrup and…  only 40-50 calories each!

They have five flavors – Honey Love, Cool Your Jets Herbal, Jasmine Green Tea Light, Yerba Mate and Maine Maple Lemon (which is my fav)… Chill out with the Maine-iacs and enjoy! Found in your favorite grocers freezer section.

 

Glutino Cheddar Gluten Free Crackers: GF (http://www.glutino.com)

I found the replacement for my beloved CHEESE NIPS! These brand new crackers taste just like them! As any celiac knows, this type of “find” is a highlight in your life that you just can’t wait to share with others!  They’re shaped like a Ritz Cracker, which almost makes them more versatile (and dare I say “adult-like”) than a traditional Cheese Nip too! ENJOY!

 

Glutino Sesame Ring Pretzels: GF (http://www.glutino.com)
These pretzels are also casein free, milk free, egg free. Kosher and trans fat free.

These are just plain yummy! The ring shape makes them fun to eat – even for adults!

On another note to all of you Glutino pretzel fans: Glutino has also come out with Snack Packs! The small 2.6 oz snack packs make it easy to take with you -  put them in lunch boxes, diaper bags, or for a quick snack on the run.  Look for it your grocer!

The Best Energy Bars in Boston… with COUPONS! Natural Product Expo East 2008

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

 

There were so many bars that I checked out at the Natural Product Expo East over the past few days but a few really stood out as real keepers… the kind that you buy stashes of and keep in your glove compartment, desk drawers or brief cases. Keep in mind that these bars are marketed to adults (for the most part).  Kid-friendly bars will be blogged about later this week.

 

As well as my all time favorites, ThinkThin and Lara Bar (see my Bar Junkie blog post), these new contenders are must tries & must haves for the die-hard Bar Junkie like myself:

 

 

 

NuGo Free Bars: http://www.nugonutrition.com  GF, DF, SF, FF

These bars are not coming out until November 1st – but line up folks and start waiting for them now! Why do I like these bars? Let me list thy reasons:

 

- Gluten, Dairy, Soy and Fish Free. Vegan and Kosher.
- Only 3 Weight Watchers points (for those counters!)
- Low glycemic.
- Three yummy flavors: Dark Chocolate Trail Mix, Dark Chocolate Crunch, and Carrot Cake

 

The oats used in the bars are also certified to be gluten free. These bars also use REAL chocolate! NuGo says they are the only nutritional bar in the industry that do so…Hello antioxidant benefits!
Snack away all!

 

COUPON OFFER / SAVINGS for NuGo Bars: Currently there is a 10% off coupon code on the NuGo website for current products only. Email them – tell them you read about their bars on BeFreeForMe and ask if there will be a coupon code for their new NuGo Free Bars! 

 

 

 

Enjoy Life boom Choco boom Bars: http://www.EnjoyLifeFoods.com GF, NF, DF, SF, FF

These NEW bars from Enjoy Life are booming with flavor! Rich, creamy and chocolaty… and these snacks are also free of allergens!

 

These bars will satisfy chocoholics of all ages. I would say they were good for your kid’s lunch buckets, but I think they would also make a good “eat-them-all-yourself-in-the-car- on-the-way-home-from-the-grocery-store” snack too.

 

Available in three flavors: Dairy Free Rice Milk, Dairy Free Rice Milk with Crispy Rice, Dark Chocolate. My fav? Dark Chocolate.
Chocoholics rejoice and “Enjoy Life”!

 

COUPON OFFER / SAVINGS for boom Choco boom Bars: Check out the Enjoy Life website for a 75¢ OFF coupon for the new boom Choco boom Bars!

 

 

 

Bakery on Main’s Gluten Free Granola Snack Bar: http://www.bakeryonmain.com GF, DF, FF

Three yummy flavors (Cranberry Maple nut, Extreme Trail Mix and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip) make these bars appealing both morning, afternoon and evening.

 

Bonus: cholesterol free, trans fat free, casein free… and DELICIOUS!

 

Give them a try and experience granola once again – 2008 style!

 

COUPON OFFER / SAVINGS for any Bakery on Main item: Join the “Eat better – Live better” club on the Bakery on Main website and receive a $1.50 off any product coupon sent to your inbox within 24-48 hours!

 

 

 

MarcoNutrient Gluten Free Bars: http://www.gomacro.com GF, DF, SF, FF 

 

Made with all organic ingredients, these bars are also egg free, have no trans fats, additives, preservatives or hydrogenated oils.

 

Come in three unique flavors: Cashew Butter, Peanut Protein and Tahini Date.

 

Their tagline is “Positively Delicious!” You’ll have no doubt how they thought that up after tasting one of these bars. 

 

COUPON OFFER / SAVINGS for MacroNutrient products: For savings…. Go to the MacroNutrient website, pull down the “product” menu, go to “Marcotreat of the Month” and save away!

 

Off to a Good Start at Natural Product Expo East with Breakfast Favorites

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Being the most important meal of the day, I was so excited about finding some truly standout gluten free and allergen free breakfast items at the Natural Product Expo East that took place in Boston on October 16, 17 & 18.

Following are my favorites:

Shelton’s Turkey Breakfast Sausage: GF, NF, DF, SF, FF

These sausages reminded me of the good ole’ fashioned sausage Mom used to make. They are made of naturally fed, free range turkey and carefully selected seasonings. These sausages are quick frozen for freshness. No artificial ingredients – No preservatives.

These sausages are for the lazy, laid-back Sunday mornings, since they are not pre-cooked. However, the taste is well worth the wait.

The Shelton website also has a gluten free product listing: http://www.sheltons.com/cgi-bin/sheltons/gluten_free.html?id=eS3hKmRy

Founded in 1924, Shelton has delivered old fashioned, all natural taste direct to the breakfast table even in 2008.

 

WholeSoy & Company Soy Yogurt: GF, NF, DF, FF

Using organic soybeans, this WholeSoy yogurt is a creamy dairy-like yogurt while getting all the benefits of soy protein. The creamy, rich texture is a welcoming breakfast addition.

I am looking forward to mixing cereal or fresh fruit into the WholeSoy for a quick and easy weekday breakfast.

WholeSoy is certified vegan and kosher, and contains no cholesterol, chemicals or casein.
Find out more at: http://www.wholesoyco.com

 

Lara’s Rolled Oats: http://www.creamhillestates.com  GF, NF, DF, SF, FF

Lara’s oatmeal is free of all allergens – egg, peanut, tree nut, dairy, soy, fish, seafood and gluten! It is also free of sulphites. It is just good old fashioned style (not quick cooking) pure oatmeal with no cross contamination with other grains such as wheat, barley or rye.

Lara’s says that there are about 4-6% of people with celiac disease who in addition to having the intolerance to gluten they have intolerance to the protein (avenin) in oats. However, the other 95% should be very happy to have this nutritious grain back in their diet.

Not only are these rolled oats great for a hot breakfast cereal, they are also good in breads, loafs and other breakfast bakery items. In addition, another one of Lara’s products, their oat flour, is whole-grain and a great flour to work with – similar to whole-wheat in terms of texture and density.

Yummy, delicious & versatile in baking, Lara’s Whole Grain Oat’s are a staple for any kitchen pantry.
Check out their website to find out where to purchase – both online and in-store.

 

Holly’s Gluten Free Hot Cereal: http://www.HollysOatmeal.com GF, NF, DF, SF, FF

Holly’s hot cereal is creamy in texture, healthy and tasty. The bonus is that this gluten, nut, dairy, fish and soy free hot cereal is quick and easy to prepare (only 2 minutes in the microwave).

The texture and taste comes from the hip variety of ingredients in this cereal; gluten free oats, quinoa, flax, whole grain rice, corn, white sorghum, and buckwheat. Fiber galore!

Holly’s Hot cereal prides themselves in using the highest quality certified gluten free oats.

I am looking forward to topping it with brown sugar and raisins.

You can buy on Amazon.com, direct on the Holly Oatmeal’s web site or at select retailers.

I am a “Bar Junkie”

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

I don’t leave home without it.

Although I love my American Express card with a passion (O.K. – I’m a Membership Rewards Point junkie too!) I am not talking about my card of choice, but I am speaking of “My Bars”. 

I admit it. I feel lost without having a protein / energy / meal replacement / whatever-you- want-to-call-them bar with me, safe on my person, when I leave home each and every day.

The reasoning is that I never know when I may need my “fix”. There have been times I have been stuck at an airport (think sitting in a plane on the tarmac for hours at Chicago O’Hare during a snowy March winter day), traveling on a business trip and not having one thing I can eat at a continental breakfast buffet, at an early morning meeting that turns into a mid-afternoon working lunch with allergen-ridden pizzas ordered in, or even the simple need for a quick energy boosting snack and knowing I can’t have a quick fix from a cafeteria vending machine.

I feel better and more at ease when I have one with me. I need one with me at all times.

My Bars are my “fix” when hunger pangs set in, when there is nothing in sight for me to eat.

 I am a “Bar Junkie”.

I know that I am not alone though. I found this out after attending a few food allergy / celiac support meetings and discovered others out there just like me.

It doesn’t matter what your food allergy / intolerance is: Dairy, Nut, Soy, Gluten… we are all in the same boat when it comes to feeling that sense of security knowing that you have a “little something” tucked in your bag and you aren’t going to starve to death.

I have some favorite gluten free and allergy free bars that I am addicted to, as noted below. I hope that you will share your Bar Junkie fixes too. Come clean. We all look forward to hearing from you.

 

Think Thin Bars:  http://www.thinkproducts.com 

I know how this company came up with their name: Whenever I eat one of these Think Thin Bars I think of eating a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup but being able to stay thin since they are so good for you.
Jammed packed with flavor, 20 grams of protein, gluten free and no sugar – these bars rock!
My favorites? Both the creamy peanut butter and the chunky peanut butter, as well as the Chocolate Fudge.
They also have tons of specials and free shipping offers if you order on line… so you can save money too! Check out their specials at: http://www.thinkproducts.com/specials.php. (Currently: With any purchase over $60.00 you get FREE shipping,  FREE recyclable canvas shopping bag and a FREE thinkFruit Bar!)
 

Larabars:  http://www.larabar.com

These bars come in some yummy flavors like Apple Pie, Ginger Snap, and my fav, Cinnamon Roll. They are great for an inexpensive (and even planned) breakfast-on-the-go as well as for quick hunger fixes.
Larabar’s are gluten free, dairy free and soy free. They currently have one flavor that has peanuts in it – but all products containing peanuts are made in a dedicated manufacturing facility.
These bars are also good for diabetics and are free of colorings, additives and preservatives and are approved by the Feingold Program.  http://www.feingold.org

Natural Products Expo Eats (Whoops… I meant East!) Here We Come!

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

The Natural Food Expo East is taking place in Boston this coming Thursday, Friday and Saturday (10/16, 10/17 and 10/18).  BeFreeForMe is eager to explore, EAT and express our expert opinions regarding the “best” of the food industry’s allergy free offerings!

Over the next few days I will be writing a series of posts regarding the items we find at the Expo that are “must knows & must haves” for the BeFreeForMe members. We commit to pound the pavement of each aisle, searching & seeking (& tasting!) the best-of-the-best and reporting it back to our members. It’s our duty and we are ready for the task!

After the show, and a BeFreeForMe staff consensus, I will blog each day about the best products in these specific categories starting on Monday, October 20th:

- Breakfast Items
- Snacks / Energy Bars
- Main Courses / Ingredients
- Quick & Easy Items / Meals
- Kid Friendly Products
- Health & Beauty / Non-Food
- Desserts / Sweets (Expect this category to be a big one, since it is a fun one to taste and try!)
- The New Product / BeFreeForMe’s Best of Show Award

I will also blog (or write articles) about specific products we discover that cater to specific allergens needs (egg replacements, nut butters,  gluten free breads, etc.). Look for them over the next few weeks.

Natural Product Expo East… Here comes BeFreeForMe.com!

Stayed tuned for the blog postings starting on Monday, October 20th!

I am a Celiac.

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Welcome to my Blog.

My name is Kathleen Reale. I am the creator of BeFreeForMe.  I am a daughter… a sister… an aunt.  I love to save money whenever I can, learn about food intolerances and allergies, and share my experiences and knowledge with others. I am a serial entrepreneur. I am a celiac.

Whenever I am asked to describe myself, such as in those “10 words or less” get-to-know-you games,  I always describe myself as being a celiac. Having celiac disease means that I have a lifelong intolerance to gluten, a protein found in many grains – including wheat, barley and rye.

I finally asked myself why?  Was this diagnosis really making that big of an impact on my life?  Was it making me connect to others? Connect to myself? I have decided, after a lot of thought, that I describe myself as a celiac because it has made me who I am today.

And who is that? What has a positive diagnosis of celiac disease help me become?

Being a celiac has made me a better person and has taught me a lot about myself, others and the world around me.

Here are a few things that randomly pop into mind of what being positively diagnosed with celiac disease has made me become or made aware of:

I Feel Alive.

After years of living – I finally feel alive after going gluten free. I thought that everyone in life always felt the way I did before being diagnosed with celiac disease. I had no idea what feeling really, really good both physically, but more so, mentally felt like until after living a gluten-free lifestyle.

 

Letting Go Of Things I Cannot Control.

Since going gluten free, I am more accepting of others around me, as well as myself.

 

Patience.

I have learned to be patient with other people and also with myself – my body.

Healing takes time.

 

Enjoying The Little Things.

A hotdog at Fenway Park.
Hot buttered popcorn at the movies.
Splitting a six-pack and a pizza with Sue, my college roommate.
I’ve learned that the little things can sometimes turn into the biggest memories. Hold them close.

 

Realizing that Talking to Strangers is O.K.

During Sunday morning grocery trips to my local Market Basket, I feel an instant bonding and connection to any other shopper I see that has a variety of wheat free goodies in their cart.  If I notice something atop their cart that I’ve wanted to buy and try, but have been leery, I don’t hesitate to ask them what they think of the product.
A stranger with gluten free in the cart suddenly becomes an instant friend.

 

Looking On The Positive Side.

There could be a lot of worse things in life to go without besides bread.
Enough said.

 

Focusing On My Goals.

I now focus on something I am passionate about. Whether it be making a new gluten free recipe. Sending information along to a newly diagnosed celiac. Discovering a new gluten free restaurant. Or starting BeFreeForMe. Being passionate about your goals makes working for them that much easier.

 

Discovering Food is Powerful.

I had never put much thought into food until I was diagnosed with celiac disease. Now it seems that each and every thought is somehow related to food. Food is powerful. Food is powerful because it supplies bodies with nutrients. But food is even more powerful because it is emotional; a social and cultural glue. It took me awhile to reconnect with myself, and also with the world, when I was first diagnosed with celiac disease.

But now I am back into the world, stuck on being me…gluten free.

 

 

 

I Started “Clipping” in College: Confessions of a Gluten Free Coupon Junkie

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Ask any of my friends or family. I love coupons. I clip them and feel like I have an extra dollar tucked away in my wallet.

I am not one of those people that feel embarrassed to use a coupon. I feel clever. I’m on to something that others are not. After all, if the manufacturers, restaurants or retailers didn’t want us to use the coupons why would they have them? They want us to use them. Using coupons lets these folks know we want to try new things and we need a little marketing enticement to do so.

I started “clipping” in college when money was tight and a deal was meant to have. I admit it – I was a coupon nerd. I had a Pendaflex coupon book when I was in college. I was just waiting to get an A+ on that next coupon deal.

I was the one who got the Sunday paper and sifted through the advertisements searching for the coupon inserts.  Clipping and categorizing each one so carefully into my well-stocked coupon book. Each one filed away just waiting to allow me the pleasure to gleam with joy at each dollars saved during each grocery store visit. After the initial embarassment, my roommates loved grocery shopping with me. Their $50 a week shopping budget lasted at least a month.

After college it was no surprise to my family & my roommates, who got jobs at large accounting, high tech and financial institutions, that I was starting a grassroots start-up company that distributed samples and coupons to shoppers from card tables set up at the end of grocery store aisles. No one ever worried. I guess they knew all knew I would never starve since my coupon clipping prowler habit would get me through those lean entrepreneurial days.

Coupons became my life. I searched them out. I clipped them. I used them. I saved money with them. And, amazingly, I had actually found a way to incorporate them into my professional life.

Then things changed. I got diagnosed with celiac disease and I needed to be on a gluten free diet. I sifted and sifted, searched and searched … every week I continued to pour over each page of the Sunday paper coupon insert reciting internally “I can’t eat that”, “I can’t have that” and “no more of that”. My Pendaflex coupon book became empty.

What was a gluten free coupon junkie that was in the food sampling / coupon business to do?

Welcome BeFreeForMe.com. I decide to start my own coupon book euphoria. A coupon book that had my scissors going clipping crazy away. A coupon book that included coupons for each and every gluten free or allergy free coupon junkie. A coupon book that would leave folks like me smiling and clipping. Smiling and clipping.

I’m now reliving the good old days, and yes…entrepreneurial life is good now that I have a well stocked Pendaflex coupon book.

With Endurance We Conquer… Words of Wisdom for Food Allergic & Celiacs

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Ernest Shackelton was someone I had never heard of until yesterday during a presentation by a luncheon keynote speaker Margo Morrell.

Leadership expert and best selling author of “Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic explorer – Ernest Shackelton”, Morrell explained this gentleman’s model of great leadership and, in particular, a master of guidance in crisis.

Her presentation moved me. By the end of my meal (yes…gluten-free!), I felt as if I could wrap my arms around this man’s model of great leadership style, and embrace his knowledge and passion for excellence, not only in my professional life, but also in my personal life as it pertains to the challenges of living with celiac disease and food allergies.

Sir Ernest Shackelton was an Antarctic Explorer who’s most noted exploration was in 1914 when he and a crew of 27, the largest group he ever lead, set sail for the last unclaimed prize in the history of exploration: the first crossing on foot of the Antarctic continent.  With less than 90 miles of Antarctica their ship Endurance became trapped and crushed in ice. With no communication to the outside world their long and historical ordeal would last over a year and a half. After his death in 1921, Shackelton was an unknown and little mentioned until the end of the 20th century. Around this time he became a cult-like role model for leadership and became remembered as a leader who always kept his team together in spirit and approach.  

According to Morrell, Shackelton had a certain style of leadership that consisted of four components, all playing together to make him one of the greatest leaders of all times. 

In order to lead a family, new school teachers, friends or extended family with information about newly diagnosed gluten intolerant or food allergic children, these components should be considered and embraced.  They are the components that keep a group together while working toward a common goal, assist in keeping the discontented & frustrated positive, brings regulation and triumph to a chaotic environment and allows hope to be spread throughout each day. These components encourage leaders to go in advance and show the way to others, and more so how to motivate and inspire all others around them. 

1.) Lead by Example: Shackleton never panicked in an emergency situation. He held strong and first thought of the men beneath him. It is easy to panic, when you or your child is first diagnosed with celiac or a food allergy. However, hold strong. Know that there is help and support through friends, family, medical facilities, on-line support groups, and even, grassroots’ community organizations. There are an abundance of information in libraries and on the world wide web. Shackleton believed, “If you’re a leader, a fellow that other fellows look to, you’ve got to keep going.” 

2.) Communicate Effectively: Whenever Shackelton spoke he gathered everyone around him, together in a group, so everyone could hear the same message, at the same time. He spoke simply and calmly. He never lost his optimism. Try this approach with your family when explaining the importance of a gluten free diet or foods that cause allergies and must be avoided in your household. Write a letter explaining the dietary requirements and distribute to not only teachers, but also parents of friends, baby sitters and extended family. Speak simply and optimistically. Everyone in your child life plays a crucial role when it comes to the strict adherence to special diets. The same message must be simply reiterated to everyone.  

3.) Keep up the Morale: Try to stay positive and upbeat. Remember that difficulties are just things to overcome – one day at a time. Let go of the past – don’t waste time or energy regretting past mistakes. Remember who you are fighting for and it is easy to keep up your battle to stay positive. It is also important to schedule “me” time when the times get trying: a pedicure, an hour to read a book on a hammock, a bubbly bath.

4.) Maintain a Positive Attitude: Shackleton just didn’t tell his men not to worry, that things would be alright; but he believed it and held true to that belief each and every long day. Shackelton knew that often a leader has to keep the bad news to them self. There were days that he could have stated that things were “absolutely horrible”, but instead he phrased the situation as; “Things could have gone a bit better.” Keeping a positive attitude when speaking to your child or others about gluten intolerances or food allergies is one of the most important things to always remember.

In trouble, disappointment and danger Shackelton lead by example and communicated through his high spirits and positive attitude. His style motivated his men to follow him and be lead by a wisdom that we can apply to our everyday lives while living with a gluten intolerance or food allergy. Like Shackelton’s family motto: By endurance we conquer.


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