Wednesday, November 30, 2011

#NHBPM Nov 30th LAST ONE! Play that Horn

Prompt: Play that horn. Want to hear a secret? You’re awesome. (It’s actually not even really a secret.) This is going to be hard for you, O Modest One, but you gotta give yourself props today. Write three things you love about yourself – things you’re great at – or just want to share. Don’t you dare signpost or undercut those self-compliments!
  1. The fact that I created in middle school, and have developed it to what it is today. Not only that, but I'm the logistics chair for the AZ walk for Food Allergy--which is a lot of work! But well worth it on walk day :) Starting the club at ASU has been a challenge, but the fact that I'm attempting it says a lot. I'm very determined, an extremely hard worker, and passionate about health and helping others.
  2. No matter how many times I get kicked down, or tripped... I ALWAYS find a way to get back up and work hard to prove that person/thing wrong. I am capable of anything, as long as I put my attention and desire towards achieving the goal, I will do it.
  3. I am fearless. I go in to things head first, even if I know I'll be laughed at, or made fun of. I had an idea for my thesis that was not supported by my genetics professor, but I had the guts to present everything I had--to go into his office hours with only a faint idea of what I wanted to argue, and then to take the criticism and words from him saying it was most likely "not true." I don't stop there. I believe what I have is something to look into, so what did I do? Revised my idea, re-thought things, gathered more evidence, and narrowed my argument. Then I made an appointment with the Dean of the Barrett Honors College. In a personal meeting with him, I again presented everything I had. This time, I was on to something! From there, it's taking off. I will be meeting with some professors this week to secure an "adviser" to work with on my thesis. I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I'm ready to tackle it head on!
Thank you so much for following me on this new journey! I really enjoyed participating in the National Health Blog Post month! It was different, and I love trying new things! I look forward to participating again next year :) Keep checking back for new blog posts! Namaste, Andrea Garza

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

#NHBPM Nov29th Greeting Card Post

Prompt: Greeting card post! The greeting card industry is all about writing generally universal feelings in a presentable way that you can use to express yourself when you just can’t think of the words to say. Write a greeting card for someone in your community to help them express themselves about a new diagnosis, treatment, or experience.

Smile! No matter what happens, live life to the fullest. Your only task is to see beauty in all that your eyes see, every vibration, sensation, smell, sound, and heart-felt action. Love others, and soon you will feel love from within--continuously pouring out to uplift those around you. Live to Carpe Diem.   -Andrea Garza

Monday, November 28, 2011

#NHBPM Nov 28th Say WHAT!?

Prompt: Say WHAT?! What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve heard about health or your condition. Was there any context? What did you think at the time you heard it – and what do you think of it now?

The most ridiculous thing I've heard about food allergies... I guess the most recent ridiculous thing I've heard is simply the fact that allergies have went from 3 million to 6 million occurrences in the U.S within a couple of years. This is ridiculous-- what a rapid increase! What is more ridiculous is that we still don't have solid evidence as to "why." Although there are several hypotheses, no one has come out and praised any singly hypothesis as an actual theory.

I am working on pointing us in the direction that I think is the most accurate for my Honors Thesis. Stay tuned for the final product, coming next year!

-Andrea Garza

2011 Walk for Food Allergy

Hello Food Allergy supporter! The Arizona Walk for Food Allergy is THIS SATURDAY, December 3rd! Last year for our first annual walk, we raised $42,000+ and had over 700 participants! This was an amazing feat, and the event was a huge success. We are excited to have an even better turn out this year!

If you are interested in volunteering:

I would like to invite you to be a part of our second annual AZ Walk for Food Allergy this year. Please leave a comment for the Volunteer documents--a powerpoint and description of positions. Please note this does count as volunteer hours for scholarships/greek life/etc!

1. Also, we request that you sign up here as a volunteer (get your free t-shirt!)

2. And also register as a Walker, so we know you attended:

If you are interested in Walking:

Register here for the ASU team:

Please feel free to email me at with any questions, concerns, ideas!

Thank you so much, and I look forward to seeing you this Saturday, December 3rd 7AM at the Tempe Center for the Arts! Follow us on facebook:

-- Andrea M. Garza
Logistics Chair
AZ Walk for Food Allergy

Christmas Goodies [allergy free!]

Why hello! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I guess this is late, since you no longer are required to slave away in the kitchen, baking goodies for everyone. BUT, if you're anything like me, you can ALWAYS have a good cookie/brownie recipe, because they are no doubt good all year round :)

Feast your eyes on this!


SO GOOD!!! I highly recommend :) Easy, and delicious. They did stick to the pan, and the container we put them in after, but it's worth it!

These didn't turn out exactly right, but that was because we made an error--otherwise, I'm sure they would be great! They just turned out hard, but again, that was our fault. These are super chocolaty, and the recipe is on the bag!

These are the same product, ORGANIC, and they turned out DELICIOUS! They are a little more time consuming just because you have to put it in the fridge for a bit before you shape them, but that's ok. They are really soft and delicious. Perfect for dipping in some hot cocoa or coffee :)

That's all we had time to make this year! I hope you enjoyed!! What did you bake?? Post a pic/comment below!

-Andrea Garza

Sunday, November 27, 2011

#NHBPM Nov 27th Quote Unquote

Prompt: Quote Unquote. Grab a quote from this site (type in any word – see what comes up!) and use that quote to set you writing.

Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain. ~Author Unknown

This has always been relevant in my life. I'm not going to lie... I fail a lot. But the thing about me, is that I keep going. Failure simply ignites something within me that makes me want to beat it/get better for the next time. I work harder. Condition, so to speak, in order to get better and succeed. I may not succeed the next time or the next, but you can sure bet that I will keep taking small steps towards success. This is particularly relevant for my courses here at ASU. Grades have never come easy to me. I have to work extremely hard, and sometimes I still don't do as well as I should be/would like to be. But I keep working hard, and soon enough I will see the results that I'm looking for. No matter what, never give up on what is the most important to you, or things that are necessary for you to reach your ultimate goals.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

#NHBPM Nov 26th I Still Remember

Prompt: I still remember… Free write a post that starts with the line “I still remember…”

I still remember the moment I was officially diagnosed with all of my food allergies. The most vivid moment, was wheat. Why? Because I was praying the whole day that I would not be allergic to wheat, and the entire time the doctor was reading me the list of allergens, to myself I was repeating "not wheat, not wheat..."

The moment when he said wheat and gluten, my heat sank. It was devastating for me! At that time, my sister had already been living with a wheat and gluten allergen, and it was so hard... I didn't want to have that as well. Thankfully, times have gotten easier for those with allergies, and gluten free living has become much easier than it was about 8 years ago, which is pretty amazing if you think about it!

Friday, November 25, 2011

#NHBPM Nov 25th Never Have I Ever

Prompt: Never Have I Ever. You stick to your guns – now tell us about what. What is something you’ve never done but want to. What’s something you’ve never done and won’t budge on?

Ok, this is going to be an obvious one, but I'm going with it! Never have I ever killed anyone! And never will I ever :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

#NHBPM Nov24th My Mascot

Prompt: My Mascot! Give your condition, community, or self a mascot. Who is it? What do they represent? What is their battle cry?

I think the Food Allergy community deserves a Snow Leopard for our mascot. We need a fierce mascot- one that is not afraid to tackle rough terrain, that can blend in when necessary but demand attention at prime times. It represents strength, commitment, determination, and ability. Our battle cry is the fiercest of rawrs!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

After Hours--night out!

AFAA After Hours December 2011 and FoodAllergyTalk [ASU] has partnered with Arizona Food Allergy Alliance to bring you the next After Hours night out! See you December 19th!

Also, don't forget to register for the December 3rd Arizona Walk for Food Allergy! Click here.

-Andrea Garza

#NHBPM Nov 23rd Thanksgiving is here!

Right now, I'm sitting on my couch at home, watching TV. Just relaxing. Something I don't get to do often! I love it, and I'm so glad to be home and surrounded by my family. Yes, it's an awkward time to be writing, but this was meant for yesterday. Call me a cheater for completing prompts a day or too after the fact, but I say I'm fine--as long as I complete all of the NHBPM prompts! And thus far, I've been doing good :)

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Do you go home? Where's home for you? What are some of the traditions? Your favorite part of a Thanksgiving meal!?

I'll keep it short, so you can get back to that Turkey dinner, and to be with family!

Have a happy, safe Thanksgiving!

Andrea Garza

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

#NHBPM Nov 22nd Be Present

Prompt: Be present. Describe something peaceful with as much sensory imagery as you can. What are the sights, sounds, scents, and feelings?

For me, my destined home is the Ocean. When I am re-united with Ocean, my bare feet prance atop its moist sand like that of a giddy foul. I soon become calm when the idea that the wet sand has seeped between my toes, and some underneath my nails, like the Ocean couldn't resist becoming a part of me. I tiptoe with respect, slowly towards the edges of its beauty. I stop, predicting where the waves may end up. Here it comes. Sloshing water molecules, rushing over and between one another. Surging towards my bare naked toes. My eyes close in anticipation, toes wiggling and a smile as bright as the setting sun spread across my sun-kissed face. From deep within me, the prettiest of giggles emerges as I hear the wave, carrying seashells and mermaids, slowly emerges and indulges my toes, feet, and ankles. We are reunited at last.

To the Ocean,
Andrea Garza

Monday, November 21, 2011

#NHBPM Nov 21st Ekphrasis Post

The 21st prompt instructs me to"Find a Flickr Image in Creative Commons that inspires you in some way (positively or negatively) and free write about it."

I used the image that can be found here:

This image is beautiful! It reminds me of fall, and of the coming winter! My absolute favorite season is Christmas--I love everything about it. The snow, snowmen, polar bears, penguins, Christmas trees, stockings, Christmas lights, families coming together to share a warm dinner, children giddy with joy and anticipation. Time when people hold hot coffee near and dear, peppermint filling the air. Sugar cookies and baked pies: the familiar, welcoming smell fills homes as chimneys leak the smoke of crackling fires. Joy, love, happiness. Some may be distracted by the "greedy" shoppers who rush to sometimes selfishly grab the best deals, by the few grinches, and the people who are simply annoyed by the busy shopping isles and congested freeways. I think those who see these things are missing the point. It's not about getting the best gift for a loved one. For getting "just the right thing." Or trying to battle the other shoppers on Black Friday. I personally love Black Friday. Not because everything is on sale, but because me and my mom have made shopping together early in the morning a tradition. It was later to bloom, but we really have a good system down now. I don't care that it's crowded, and the lines are crazy. I love that I'm there with my mom, and we're both enjoying our time together. It's the small laughs that we have, perhaps just slap happy from being so tired. But it's fun! I love it. Cherish small moments like this. That is what the Christmas season is all about!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

#NHBPM Nov 20th LOL post

What makes you LOL? I seriously laugh at everything, and I'm proud of it! Laughing is healthy for you :) I also smile a lot--I like seeing others return the favor :)

Like I mentioned in my previous blog post, I have been crazy busy. Thus, I don't have a lot of time to spend on websites like Not to say they are meaningless though... they do have some good/random facts that are good to know :) For internet leisure, I like to spend my time on Tumblr, facebook, twitter, and looking for scholarships/research/travel opportunities. Since I haven't had time for Tumblr yet today (yes, I know I'm a day late for this post, please forgive me!) I will share a LOL moment that happened to me today in class.

In my plants and civilization class, we were talking about woods- and when we made it to the cork section, my professor posed the question: "where does cork come from?" This girl in my class shouts out "Cork tree." The guy next to me looked over at me like he was about to laugh, and I was doing the same. There is no "cork tree" per say--it's made from Oak. If anything, you can stretch it to calling it cork oak. But I was seriously about to start bursting out laughing during class! I had to try SO hard to hold it in...multiple times! haha I still haven't got the chance to release that laugh... lol perhaps later today.

Have you ever been in a simlar situation? Something silly just strikes you hilarious, and you're trying your hardest to hold it in! Sometimes you mine-as well just let it out though.
Haha have a great (funny) Monday everyone! It's a short week, and I am so excited! I get to go home on Wednesday afternoon for Thanksgiving. The break and family time will be amazing! Not to mention the traditional black Friday shopping with my mom :)

-Andrea Garza

Saturday, November 19, 2011

#NHBPM Nov 19th "Best of" post

Ok, so I just decided that I'm using one of my "pass" cards on the November 18th blog post. It was supposed to be "A Comment as a Blog Post" but I just don't feel motivated to do that right now... I have so many things to do, I just may explode.

For the "Best of" post, I'm rebloging a post that I had on my old blog host, It's regarding a new direction I'm taking with FoodAllergyTalk--I want to target universities and colleges around the world to create an international level of support for young adults pursuing higher education. Please read below and contact me if you are interested! Anyone can do it--I help you!

High school or college student? Help us go International!!

FoodAllergyTalk is partaking in a HUGE CHANGE that is going to blow you away! If you're currently in high school or college, then I'm looking at YOU!

" has been through many changes over the past 7+ years since I've been working on it-starting when I was in middle school. Please allow me to introduce to you our next mission!

FoodAllergyTalk is the one and only online international support group that is dedicated towards working with Universities and High school students across the U.S. and around the world to create chapters and clubs, which act as support and awareness groups for students in high school and college. These groups are created through FoodAllergyTalk, and together we will form an original, collective international level of support for teens and young adults. "

Visit our homepage (or for the new announcement as FoodAllergyTalk embarks on an INTERNATIONAL mission!!!Email me with any questions, and if you're interested in starting a club or chapter at YOUR school!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

#NHBPM Nov. 17th Let it Be.

Something that bothers me is when people fail to see the positive side of life. I'm sitting there listening to people talk about a problem or situation, but there are always positive ways to view things. It's hard to have this ability to turn things around, and I can usually point out things, but sometimes people would rather sulk in the problem/issue and dismiss the positive outcomes that result from the situation.

It's not that big of a deal for me, but it does bother me sometimes. From past experience, I've learned to let people just think/do what they want. I can't change their idea/perception and it's not always worth my energy to try and change someone else's viewpoint. As long as you think positive, you will surround yourself with positive people!

Andrea Garza

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

#NHBPM Nov. 16th Little Engine Post

I think I can make a difference in the community
I think I can help others transition into the allergy-free living
I think I can have an impact on our reasoning for the rise in food allergies
I think I can provide others with helpful, useful, and relevant information regarding everything it takes to live happy and healthy with allergies!
I think I can make an impact on obesity rates in America
I think I can be an effective health advocate
I think I can improve the lives of others for the better
I think I can form meaningful connections with others in the allergy community
I think I can approach allergies in an innovative way
I think I can stay focused, open minded, and strong-willed in the tasks that I take on
I know I can be the change
I know I can improve the lives of others
I know I can fulfill my dream of becoming a Naturopathic
I know I will be a leading health advocate and Naturopathic Doctor

FoodAllergyTalk Featured in an article by Kelsey Miller

I would like to send a HUGE thank you to Kelsey Miller for writing this amazing article! She did a really great! A must-read :)

Kelsey Miller
Trend Story
There’s no twelve-step plan. No guided relaxation or spiritual connection, and rarely a tearful testimony. But there is cake.

Gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free and dairy-free cake, that is.
As combination support and social groups, college and university students with food allergies are forming new clubs to share their experiences, lobby for change and exchange stories over allergen-free treats.

At schools such as Utah State, Northern Illinois University and the University of Oregon, students are aiming to improve the lives of those living with food allergies by creating these unique clubs, showing equal amounts of support and activism.

Though college and university dining halls have made improvements in their allergen-free practices, there are still flaws and limits in the system, students say. Clubs work with their school’s dining services to introduce more allergen-free options on and off campus. But this cannot happen without awareness, club leaders say, and students aim to help others realize the prevalence of the issue and the unique difficulties accompanying it.

Isabel Reckson, a junior University of Maryland student, has learned to manage her food allergy, but it was hard at first, especially when she faced the dining halls and late-night junk food of college life.
“I was diagnosed with Celiac disease a week before starting at school,” Reckson said, learning she had a gluten intolerance where wheat, rye, barley, oats and malt can degenerate the lining of her small intestine. “One of my main concerns was that I was never going to be able to eat bagels and pasta again. I started to freak out,” she said.

After the initial shock, Reckson began finding gluten-free options at home. The true struggles, however, began when she walked into the dining hall, unsure of what was safe to eat.
“It was a really hard adjustment because freshmen are forced to have meal plans,” she said. “I was still learning what was okay and what wasn't.”

More than 15 million Americans have food allergies, according to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. This number is on the rise, as a 2008 study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported an 18 percent increase in food allergies between 1997 and 2007.

Jane Jakubczak has been the campus dietician for the University of Maryland for 10 years. She has seen an increase in students seeking her guidance for food allergies and intolerances to dairy, nuts, seafood or other ingredients.

A food allergy is defined as when the body creates antibodies against a food component, Jakubczak said. The result could be as mild as hives or a much more severe reaction, “as if the body is turning against itself,” she said.

Students with intolerances, however, are merely sensitive to particular irritants. Some even omit certain ingredients from their diets for religious, moral or other health reasons. This can be equally difficult, Jakubczak said.

“I let them know what nutrients will be absent from their diet,” she said. “You can’t just drop a food, you have to replace it.”

For most, this delicate balance is hard to maintain on their own and Andrea Garza, a junior at Arizona State University began as most do – searching the Internet.

Garza was in middle school when she was diagnosed with allergies to gluten, milk, eggs, corn, soy, peanuts, tree-nuts, garlic and other foods. After doing research on her own, she realized the need to create a forum where those with allergies could find resources and information. In the 8th grade, Garza started

“I wanted to localize all of the research and information I was having to track down to provide others with a one-stop website with all the information they would need,” Garza said.

When Garza entered her freshman year at Arizona State, she knew she wanted to start a club to give her online outlet a personal touch.

“I had to help people face to face,” she said. Garza founded her school’s Food Allergy Talk club that year.

Reckson also noticed the need to centralize information and provide support for those experiencing the same diificulties as her. This fall, she founded the University of Maryland’s Food Allergy Awareness Club.

“A lot of students have food allergies and the number is increasing,” she said. “I thought it would be nice for students to get together, so people can talk about their own experiences.”

Reckson is working to gain membership. At meetings, she makes allergen-free food and sets the chairs up in a circle, support-group style.

“Club members have the opportunity to meet students who have the same struggles as them,” Reckson said. “We want to help them learn the easiest and best ways to be gluten-free, dairy-free, whatever-free on a college campus.”

Students at Arizona State’s Food Allergy Talk begin by going around the room discussing recent experiences or concerns. The group then changes course, switching back to the social club format. Members discuss fundraising and events they are hosting, including an upcoming Health and Allergy Expo and Food Allergy Walk, Garza said.

Not all members have food allergies, and some students are just there to show support.
“It takes everyone to help those with food allergies, including family, friends, coworkers.” Garza said. “It means a lot to have a loved one with no allergies offer their time to learn about them.”

Though meetings are often social opportunities to chat with fellow students, club leaders emphasize their desire to raise awareness for a serious issue.

“We want people to understand we are not simply being difficult or picky,” Chelsey Lavere, a member of Ithaca College’s Food Allergy Awareness Club, said. “For some of us, if our dietary needs are not met it is risking our health and can even be a matter of life and death.”

“When people with food allergies consume something they can't, it can lead to serious health risks, sometimes anaphylactic shock,” Reckson added. Cross-contamination of ingredients and incorrect labeling can also be dangerous, she said.

Overall, clubs hope to make it easier for students living with food allergies, whether its through sharing tips or lobbying for safer dining halls.

“We hope to continue to expand our club and achieve dietary equality so everyone can feel comfortable eating on campus despite their needs,” Lavere said. “We act as advocates and supporters for each other. And [we] are almost always eating allergy friendly foods.”

Jakubczak feels clubs such as these are a great resource for students living with food allergies.
“Peer education is powerful,” she said. “[These clubs] show the university and administration that this is an important issue to students. There’s power in numbers and that can create change.”

Isabel Reckson,, 201-563-2906
Andrea Garza, 480-343-5036
Chelsey Lavere, 315-456-8122
Jane Jakubczak, 301-314-8149

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

#NHBPM Nov 15th This One's for you, Baby

My song dedication to food allergies would have to be "New Soul" by Yael Naim.

When you're diagnosed, especially to major foods like wheat and gluten, it is a total shock. From that point on, you're living in a new world. You have to figure out what you can and cannot eat... and maybe learn about foods and information that you had no idea about. You literally are in a new world--a new soul.

-Andrea Garza

Monday, November 14, 2011

#NHBM Nov. 14th Eleveator Blog

30 second pitch:

Hello! My name is Andrea Garza and I created back in middle school after being diagnosed with allergies to wheat, gluten, milk, eggs, corn, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, garlic, and more! With all of the research my mom and I were doing, I decided to centralize that information on a website! I also created the FoodAllergyTalk [ASU] club to help people in person, and especially focus on college living with allergies.

1-2 minute pitch:
Hello! My name is Andrea Garza and I created back in middle school after being diagnosed with allergies to wheat, gluten, milk, eggs, corn, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, garlic, and more! With all of the research my mom and I were doing, I decided to centralize that information on a website! I also created the FoodAllergyTalk [ASU] club to help people in person, and especially focus on college living with allergies.

I am the logistics chair for the Walk for Food Allergy in Arizona--we had over 700 people attend in 2010 and raised more than $40,000! My vision is to provide up to date information about allergies, raise awareness in the community and at Universities across the country. University awareness has become a strong interest for me since I am currently attending ASU. My goal is to have clubs initiated at Universities across the world that all have the title "FoodAllergyTalk [Univ]" with their university letters in the brackets. All of these clubs would be supported by and provided information to help found the club, tips on forming club goals, how to raise awareness in that community, etc. There is nothing like this for the food allergy community, and I think it will be a vital safety net to have across the board. I know that it would make me feel better to have a group to talk to as an incoming freshman with food allergies! Eating in the dining halls, or deciding whether or not that can be a safe option, can be tricky and a hard decision. Talking to others who have been through it is extremely helpful and helps lessen the burden of transitioning into college life.

-Andrea Garza

Sunday, November 13, 2011

TED Talk: "Mark Bittman on what's wrong with what we eat"

The most surprising realization for me while watching this video, was the statement that "experts who are serious about disease reduction recommend that adults eat just over half a pound of meat PER WEEK." We eat about 1/2lb PER DAY. "The most common argument is that we need nutrients. Even though we eat on average twice as much protein as even the industry-obsessed USDA recommends." "We don't eat animal products for sufficient nutrition. We eat them to have an odd form of malnutrition, and it's killing us."

If we could just reduce our meat consumption by 50%... that would be a great start, says Mark.
We need to eat more vegetables! This will  provide us with a healthier balance of nutrition and health! It just makes sense to "eat real food," and there is so much research supporting this! We know we should. BUT WHY AREN'T WE? It's your body, your health. Choose the path of nutrition and live a healthy lifestyle. It won't be easy, especially since society is not set up to support it... but it will be rewarding.

Do it for you, do it for your kids, and do it for our planet and the future.

"The main issue regarding global survival is the "overproduction and over consumption of meat and junkfood." -Mark Bittman


Arm Allergy Testing-- FREE, and easy to do.

Have you heard of the "Allergy Arm Test?" My Naturopathic Doctor introduced this to me as her patient (Dr. Orona). My family and I still use this to test things quickly on our own. It's extremely easy, fast, and very helpful! Of course the medical community has not endoreed it, and does not recommend it, because they would lose a lot of money from it if everyone only used it!

I will admit, it is a little hard to wrap your head around... but from experience I can tell you that it works. I don't recommend using this as your ONLY source of "testing," however. You should get tested by a medical or Naturopathic/holistic doctor. I would say to use this more as a tool that you can pull out when you're in need of a quick answer. Don't take it for definite (especially if you suffer from SEVERE reactions!!!) but use at your own risk and with you and your doctor's best judgement.
I borrowed the description of how to perform the test from this website--she does a great job of explaining!

"So, this is the technique. At first you will need a partner to do this. Hold the suspected substance (food, cleaning products, toiletries, etc) in one hand while you hold your other arm straight out in front of you or straight out to the side.

You need to hold your fist like you are carrying a bucket, horizontally, so you use the muscle at the top of your arm. Do not hold your fist vertically as if you are carrying a pitcher. This will use the wrong muscle (your bicep) to hold up your arm.

To test the substance, have your partner push down on your arm. If you are unable to hold your arm up with a reasonable amount of pressure pushing your arm down (a child can do the pushing), this substance is not good for your body, for some reason or another. It may be that your body can't digest it, or it makes your blood sugar go crazy, or it is toxic. You may not know the reason, but you will know you should stay away from this substance."


This process utilizes your body's energy field. For me, it is completely obvious when a food I'm holding IS an allergy. My arm goes down so fast, and no matter what I can't hold it up. That's when you can be sure the food/item you're holding reacts negatively with your body's energy field, and you should stay away from it.

If you find this interesting, I recommend looking into the NEAT Allergy test. "Natural Elimination of Allergy Treatment," is the only treatment that I'm aware of that actually works to TREAT the allergies (food, environmental, and chemical). Check out this website for more information about how the treatment works!
via Allergy Testing.

Andrea Garza

#NHBPM Nov 13th Open a Book

"Big shots are only little shots that keep shooting." -Christopher Morley

That's what I pointed to when I randomly opened "The Finish Line. Insights and inspirations that will take you there" by book that I had sitting on my desk. It's easy to say that people who have achieved success have only got there for various means, such as having money, their family helped them, they had connections, etc. We often think that we are not able to achieve what that person has, because we don't have exactly what they have. They had the resources--and we may result to thinking that we don't, and thus can't achieve the same. In my opinion, that is WRONG. Don't think that way! Yes, of course every single person has something that you don't have. People have access to different things. But there is one thing that no one else has- and that is your unique experiences, lifestyle, characteristics, and goals. You are a unique person of beautiful creation, and you can achieve whatever you have in mind.

They key is to NOT get bogged down on what others have, what you don't have, or things you "could have" or "should have" done. That will kill you and your dreams! You have to go with what you do have. Because that's what is the special key that will allow you to reach your goals in life. No matter what, you have to keep shooting. Don't let air ball, that could have won the game, lead you to quit basketball. If we always gave up things that were difficult, or that didn't go our way, then our world would be sadly deprived of many amazing people, inventions, and ideas. Not only that, but you will never know what potential you held! If you feel that you need to keep trying for something, then you NEED to keep going for it. If you think I'm being too emotional right now, then sorry, but I 100% agree in what I"m telling you. If you decide to take it as value, then you will be the one to benefit. It's hard sometimes, and I am fully aware of that. I can't even begin to tell you HOW many times I've been pushed down. But, I always get back up. I come back with determination to beat whatever it is that made me fall. I always remember, that because I always get back up and keep fighting, is why I am where I am today. I recognize myself for that, and you should too. I always think, if I were anyone else, they would have given up a long time ago. I've been through a lot. But I keep going. Because I know what I want to do in life. I WILL be a Naturopathic Doctor. There is no doubt in my mind, no matter what anyone else says. I will do something that changes society I will bring revolutionary ideas to the health and medical community. That's a given for me. I don't know exactly how, but that doesn't matter. As long as I know they will happen, they will. And because I made that decision-it will happen. It's unimportant to ponder how. Just know.

That's how strongly you should believe in yourself, and in your goals! So get out there, find what drives you, set goals, and work towards achieving them! Set your mind to it, keep making the small shots, even when you keep missing. You'll get them eventually, and that's when the magic happens!

Andrea Garza

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Is the CDC Deliberately Hiding the Truth about the Link between Autism and Mercury in Vaccines? | Welcome to the Alliance for Natural Health - USA

Is the CDC Deliberately Hiding the Truth about the Link between Autism and Mercury in Vaccines? | Welcome to the Alliance for Natural Health - USA.

I've heard of this before, but now it seems some major people have been "caught" in their own traps. This article is very interesting, to say the least! Definitely something work checking into, and following!

Andrea Garza

#NHBPM Nov 12th Teach a Class

One thing I can effectively teach a class about it food allergies (that's a given!) but you may not know that I'm also very passionate about GMO, organic, the use of pesticides and additives. I think it is important to not only look at allergies in isolation--especially when there is growing evidence between allergies, asthma, ADHD, etc. We know that our health is extremely interconnected with more than just one or two variables at a time. My class will help its students realize that we must look at health holistically. Our bodies are not isolated, but rather everything that we come in contact with influences our chemistry in some way or another. It is important to remember this throughout the course of this class.

Your first assignment? read a book by Dorris Rapp. Preferably "Is this your child's world?" or "Our Toxic World."
Both of these books are relatively cheap online... ESPECIALLY compared to typical college textbooks! Take it from me :)

I've actually read most of these two books- my mom bought them a long time ago when we were both doing research about allergies and environmental health issues. You will be VERY surprised about what you read in these books!!! I highly recommend reading them.

The first day of my class, I would ask the class questions regarding health, allergies, chemicals, pesticides, etc. I would test your knowledge to see exactly what you know, and what impressions the general public has about such matters. It would be a Socratic seminar of sorts, to make you think about the world we live in, and things that we often take for granted, and never really question because it is so common for us now.

In the future days of the course, I will present lectures regarding food allergies, environmental allergies, the use of pesticides, GMO, as well as diet and health topics. What do you know about our current diet? There are many surprises I can throw at you... including the obesity epidemic--one of my growing passions. Just take a look at the obesity rates mapped out by this diagram-- I was on the verge of tears when I first saw it. Just imagine how much more severe this will become in the coming years if we do not take SERIOUS action!
It is truly a depressing topic, but one that MUST be addressed--and action has to be taken. We will spend an entire lecture talking about obesity, and we will spend another lecture coming up with hypotheses for the rising obesity rates, why we have not done anything to correct it, why it is still rising although we know what we need to do to correct it (heat healthier, exercise more, and consume less calories per day). Is there a program you can come up with to implement, that would help others take control of their health? We will also discuss the links between the American Diet and rising diabetes and cancer rates. To discuss this, you will be required to read "The China Study" beforehand.
My lecute will be very hands-on, stimulating, and participation will be a large requirement. Our class is not merely for instruction, but for the facilitation of personal thinking, critical thinking, as well as allowing you to see the importance of advocacy as well as taking action about topics that are extremely important and relevant to health and the future of the human species.

Thank you!
Andrea Garza

Friday, November 11, 2011

#NHBPM Nov 11th If it's not broke, don't fix it

It's easy to focus on the negative-- things that are not going well, what's bad in the world, things that people/government/institutions are doing wrong, and what simply isn't going the way it should be. It's good to take a step back, and to reflect on the things that are working. To look at the glass half full. :)
What is going great in your life right now?

I'm grateful for my family and friends, for the internet/technology/computers, for having wifi in my house... for having a home, for being able to make a blog expressing my opinions, observations, and research. I'm thankful for attending ASU and the Honors College, for having unlimited opportunities, for a strong work ethic and drive for my passions. For people who support me and my ideas. The list goes on!

What are you thankful for? Please leave your response in the comments below!

More specifically focusing on today's NHBPM prompt... I think the fact that anyone can create a blog and begin writing about their passions is completely perfect. I don't ever want that to change. I think the feasibility of having all sorts of information is important in creative thinking. That's what it takes to think outside the box sometimes. It's always important to consider reliability, but when people can share their experiences and conclusions--that's priceless and should not ever be "fixed," because there's nothing broken!
Stay creative.

-Andrea Garza

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Goodbye Blogger, Hello Wordpress

Woah, I'm back! Yea... I'm not too happy with Blogger right now! If you've tried to visit in the past month or so...the domain name didn't work anymore. Why? Because the Blogger bots thought my blog was spam.

Sure, I know technology is not completely perfect all the time, and even computers can make mistakes...
But I was not happy with the amount of time, nor the unspecified and unclear process that was required to get my blog back up and running. It was at least several weeks before it was re-activated.

Since I'm trying to become a more avid blogger, I obviously couldn't just wait around and twiddle my thumbs.

So I started a new (version) of this blog with Wordpress. I will no longer be using Blogger, but this blog will remain active for however long Blogger lets it be.

I'm STILL BLOGGING! I just relocated to Wordpress. Please visit our new home!

Check the new blog frequently, because like I said, my goal is to become an "avid" health/allergy blogger. Since I'm currently a Junior at ASU, I'm still growing. I'm learning more and more interesting things, and learning how things are interlinked. Thus, my new blog may have more of focus on linking diet, health, nutrition, allergies, asthma, cancer, diabetes, etc. I'm on the verge of beginning my Barrett Honors Thesis... so you're going to want to stay tuned! Check back frequently, and join me on my very revealing journey.

-Andrea Garza

#NHBM Nov 10th The Future of Internet

"What's Tweeter?" Twitter? "Facebook is just trying to copy myspace..." Youtube, google, bing, tumblr, wordpress, blogger, TED, stumbleupon, and the list goes on and on. Remember, not so long ago, when all of these terms used to be completely arbitrary? When your reaction was, "What's what?"

Believe it or not, it wasn't that long ago. But now, we're all completely reliant upon all of these internet/social devices, and more! I'm the first to admit, that I love it.

I'm so thankful for the internet, and everything that it's become! Without it, we would still be waiting for the news to come on to see what was going on in the world. We wouldn't be able to know what our favorite celebrities are up to on Twitter, and it would be difficult to get our ideas out to the rest of the world. Thankfully, these are no longer a hassle. It's become a part of our everyday lives.

Just like anything that is constantly evolving, one must be excellent at adapting--otherwise, you'll simply get left behind. I'm excited for the many more gadgets and tools that are to come in the near future for internet users and bloggers. It's important to not get lost out there in the internet. It's important to understand how you will utilize the resources out there, and how you can use them to your (or your business/organization/mission's) advantage.

For me, my ideal use of the internet for would be to have a virtual community where people can literally interact via avatars (virtual people who act as the virtual version of yourself). Think of it as a a Sims land, but you create "you," and when you log on and talk to the other avatars, you are engaging with other avatars, that are real people on the other end. You will be able to target in on what is important to you. For example, are you having dinner at the hottest new gluten free restaurant? So is your avatar! Hungry? Wander over to the "dining" map and pop into a different location in your city to see what other food allergy individuals are eating there right now, in real life. This way, you will be able to connect with them in real life! Right there, you've made a meaningful interaction, all by using the internet as a tool to enhance your real life experiences.
That is just the start of the possibilities. What are your ideas? Keep your imagination open-there are no limitations!

-Andrea Garza

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

#NHBPM Nov 7th Case of the Mondays

Well... I didn't have enough time to post this yesterday...because it was Monday!

Sorry about that! To make up for it, you get to read two fabulous posts today :)

So, yesterday's prompt was "Case of the Mondays," what gets me down? Allow me to start off by saying that I am a very empathetic person, I'm a hard worker, and I always keep myself busy with work/extracurricular (sometimes to keep from thinking too much). That being said, I would say that there are a several things that can get me down...

First, I can simply get down by being overwhelmed. Like I mentioned above, I like keeping myself busy... and whenever something's not going right outside of school, I'll pile more things on my plate to make me even busier. It used to be a cyclic issue: I would stress about having so much to do, and then at some point I would realize I was trying to do too much, so I would drop something (I really hate quitting things, so it takes me a long time to get to that point; after my health and wellness have severely suffered enough to wake me up!) so that I could still do well in school. Now, my third year in college, I've become a lot more aware of my health, school, stress, and work balance. Being in tune with my body and my environment is key for me, and I'm still working on making that balance the best it can be for optimal (and healthy) performance.

Another thing that can get me down is whenever someone I love is not doing well. That can be in any sense-- either a loved one passed away, someone is going through a hard time, I personally haven't had enough time to spend time with family because of school/work, or I feel like the bond with a good friend is slipping, for whatever reason. Obviously, no one likes when any of this I don't think there's need for explanation. Again, I mentioned I was very empathetic, so sometimes I can really get hit hard by this kind of stuff.

Lastly, and kind of going of of the first point I made, I can also get down if I 'm not doing as well in a class/job/club as I would like to be. I like to be successful in whatever I do, and with as much as I do do... that can be hard. (Sorry for all the do doos :P

So how do I keep smiling, and go on to have an amazing Monday, Tuesday, Wed...and the rest of the week!? I keep my head up! I would say that best thing that I can do is to express myself. To express your feelings and emotions is so important, and it's a healthy way to deal with it. For me, I like writing poems on my tumblr page. Tumblr has really helped me to express myself. It's good to get everything out there, so I can clear my mind and continue with my day. Sometimes I will look online to see what others are doing who are going through similar things (or worse). If I need motivation for school, I can easily find it by looking at inspirational speakers online. The most important thing is to go by my motto: Carpe Diem! (Seize the day). No matter what, it could be worse! Go out and make the best of your day! Do something that will make you feel accomplished and proud by the time you go to sleep, and always know that someone loves you. Everything will be amazing! :)

-Andrea Garza

#NHBPM Nov (9th) My Personal Brand

Ha, it's very convenient that this prompt was today! Why? Because I attended a "Social Media: Marketing Me" by Barrett, the Honors College this evening! One of the things we talked about was making your personal brand (via social media).

As a health Blogger, and health activist, I want my brand to have sincerity-- I want my words to be powerful, clear, true, factual, and upfront. I want to test your knowledge, challenge your ideas, challenge society's perceptions of health, challenge our methods of treatment and conventional medicine, and in total, be the facilitator of intense and real collaboration and discussion regarding human health (specifically diet, allergies, asthma, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and how they all relate).
That, would be my ideal Personal Brand as a Health Activist and future Naturopathic Doctor, and this is exactly what I am working to achieve.

-Andrea Garza

ALCAT Article, Focus on Weight Loss Guest Post By Tom Hines

ALCAT Allergy Testing is Not Well Known but Could Reveal a Cause of Your Health Problems
Have you noticed that you are constantly complaining of inflammation within your body, a pain that never lets up? Do you notice that old injuries are sticking with you – not healing as they should? After you finish eating, are you bloated? Are headaches, muscle aches, and joint pain a constant part of your life? Does irritable bowel syndrome affect your daily activities? Perhaps you are constantly fatigued and don’t quite know the reason.

Are any of these conditions a concern for you?
Sensitivity to gluten
Asthma or other respiratory issues
Leaky gut syndrome or other similar conditions
Parkinson’s Disease
Autoimmune Disease
Intolerance to lactose
Periodontal disease
Skin rashes from no apparent cause
Metabolic syndrome

As you seek doctor help for these conditions, you can find yourself going from one medication to another without the results that you are really hoping for. You can continue to throw money away on hopeless cures and treatments that either yield no results, or just trade one condition for another.
What if, however, you could trace your conditions and illness to food allergies that you never knew you had? What if that was all there was to it? Well, the ALCAT test is a food intolerance test that you can rely on to provide you with the easiest answer you could ever get to your various conditions.

Food Allergies and Intolerance Deserve Immediate Attention
What you may not know about food allergies could be the very thing that is harming you. Those allergies and intolerances that you aren’t aware of could be causing issues with not only your digestive tract, but also with other symptoms that could fail to go away. While you may consider a food allergy to be shown with a red flag, they could actually hide within your immune system, attacking your good cells needed to cure your afflictions. In other words, food allergies could easily be the very thing that is attacking your body inside and out.

How could it be that food allergies could be what is causing so many health issues for you? Well, if you really analyze your daily activities, you will find one thing in common from day to day without fail – eating. When you eat foods that your body cannot tolerate, even if you aren’t given a red flag indicating an allergy or intolerance, these foods cause your immune system to go haywire, causing havoc amongst those cells that are repairing your conditions. On some days, you could find that your illnesses are full blown, your conditions are much worse – and it could all be from eating foods that you have a minor to acute allergy to.
Studies have been conducted to determine the role that food has on body changes and regulation. There are certain chemicals that are released by your white blood cells only, which interfere with obesity and weight gain. When you have a reaction to even the most minor of food intolerance, your white blood cells then release inflammatory compounds, which damage your other organs, including the heart and your blood vessels. Putting two and two together, if you have health conditions and diseases already, they can be severely worsened by these compounds.
When it comes to weight gain, the effect of food allergies is quite great. As your body begins to react to an allergy, the brain’s serotonin levels decrease, therefore causing you to have cravings and even begin to binge. In turn, you find yourself out of control, suffering from depression, and gaining weight at a steady pace.

If you know what allergies are present, you can avoid these foods, therefore allowing your body to heal from the inside out, allowing your intestines to heal and helping your other symptoms to subside. You can therefore handle more from other health conditions, enough to allow you a more comfortable life. Your healing resources from within are kicked up and you will find symptoms decreasing, diseases lessening in severity and even having a good reaction to treatment, and you will see your weight begin to level out.

Using an Accurate Food Allergy Test for Better Results
Alcat tests are a great way to introduce yourself to better knowledge about your own body, your own intolerance to foods, and begin your way to healing. With the ALCAT food allergy test, you are able to find out what foods you are allergic to or show intolerance to – even in the smallest degree. You can then avoid these foods, giving yourself a better chance at healing with a better rate of losing weight.

How the ALCAT Test Works
If you are familiar with IgG or IgF testing, you haven’t seen anything yet. You can expect something different from the ALCAT testing procedure, which will measure degranulation within white blood cells in reaction to certain foods. Degranulation is most commonly a signifier that there are more immune issues to come due to allergic reaction, even at the lowest level. The measurement of degranulation in the white blood cells is much different than other tests, and much more accurate and reliable as well.

You will have blood drawn and your blood will then be used to test with 100 different types of food. This same test can signify allergies or intolerance to mold, chemicals, and even dental metals that could be used in common procedures.

You can have the ALCAT food intolerance test kit sent to your residence, provided with instructions that will indicate where to go for your blood draw. Your blood is then sent to a specialized ALCAT testing lap at which point the blood is analyzed. You will be sent back a complete report, with results that you can speak over with a consultant over the phone and even a nutritionist. You can even get advice on a rotation diet for better eating habits. Get more information today about the ALCAT test and how it could be a great answer to many health issues.

About the Author
Tom Hines, co-owner of (Minnesota’s #1 Retailer of NOW foods source retailer), has been working in the nutrition industry since 1997, and is a retired powerlifter. He has a true passion for creatively helping others to learn about health and nutrition, which enhances their lives and well-being.. He lives on the prairie in West Central Minnesota, spends his leisure time coaching youth wrestling, working with his horses, and being play toy #1 for his 3 boys; TJ, Grady, and Brock.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

#NBHPM (The REAL Nov 8th) 3 Truths and 1 Lie

Oh my goodness!!! I am ALL over the place with this NHBPM! First I'm late, and then I read the wrong prompt! Silly me... my apologies again! Anyways, I am going to keep the "Nov 8th My Personal Brand" post as is... that's my post for tomorrow :) Just pretend I posted it three hours from now (midnight!)

Ok, so, for today's REAL prompt...
I'm going to give you 3 truths, and 1 lie... can you tell which is the lie??? Leave your response in the comments below!
1. I grew up in Tempe, Arizona
2. I am allergic to wheat, gluten, milk, eggs, corn, soy, peanuts, treenuts, garlic, and more.
3. I have a cat named Peaches
4. I created in middle school

Good Luck! Don't forget to state your guess below in the comments! Thanks :)

-Andrea Garza

Sunday, November 6, 2011

How to Get Motivated to Study | Personal Development

How to Get Motivated to Study | Personal Development.
Thought I would share!!
I think it's great to have a blog... not only for the obvious reasons, but also to act as a sort of library/bookshelf/journal to keep things all in one place. It saves paper and inc, and I can't lose it! ;)

-Andrea Garza

#NHBPM Nov 6. "If I could do anything as a Health Activist..."

If I could do anything as a health activist, I would drastically alter the American diet. This requires a lot of change, not only in what foods we have available to us, but how we approach eating, our ideas concerning eating and the purpose food serves in our lives, as well as a realistic look at our dietary trends and constantly rising obesity rates. If you just look at the time lapse of the U.S. map for obesity rates... it literally brought tears to my eyes (click here to view). What are we doing to ourselves? We are all fully aware of it, and we all know something should change, but we don't do it! The main problem is the over-consumption of calories. Our bodies have learned over the years, the importance to consume food whenever it's available (which was obviously very useful when we were hunter-gatherers). But now, with food literally everywhere you turn, we have to develop workshops and programs that teach us how our bodies are hardwired, and to recognize and accept this. By learning these important tools, we can work together to share tips, tricks and advice on how to master our own mind and body in regards to eating and consumption.

America needs to look at food much differently than we do now. Rather than seeing food as a treat (which it is...) we need to also recognize that it is energy for our bodies, and the chemical composition of that substance interacts with our body in very specific ways. I think having workshops and educational discussions about this can help people understand their bodies and our close relationship with food. It's not until we have this knowledge that we can begin making educated, controlled, rational, and healthy decisions. This information (and the latest research findings) should be constantly shared with the world in very public and up-front ways.

For one an essay I recently completed, I actually devised an entire plan/program that addresses these needs! Maybe I'll post it soon... or try to get it published?

I plan on becoming a health activist after I complete Naturopathic Schooling... so keep a look out for me! :)

Until then,
Andrea Garza

Saturday, November 5, 2011

#NHBPM Nov 5th: 5 things that changed my life

Hello! Sorry I've been late/missing prompts! I just may have to catch up..and "say" I did them earlier... don't judge! haha I am a busy college student after all!

Ok, so what are 5 things that changed my life, and how?

1. Getting diagnosed with food allergies in middle school. Without that, I would have never started, the FoodAllergyTalk [ASU] club, this blog, and I would have never had the amazing experience of being logistics chair for the AZ Walk for Food Allergy!

2. My mom taking me to a Naturopathic doctor rather than a M.D. My mom primarily made the switch when the medical doctors wouldn't believe the test results about me and my sister having "so" many allergies. They basically called her a liar, and wouldn't believe her or take her seriously. Thankfully, my mom was persistent and took us to a ND. Not only has that GREATLY improved my life and health overall, but this experience has also lead me to want to pursue naturopathic medicine as a career.

3. Going to Arizona State University. I have gone through so much growth, it's incredible. And I'm still growing. This has been a precious time of self-awareness, growth, and understanding. I am excited to see how much more I will learn in the coming year, and life at SCNM.

4. Having two great mentors. One, Dan--is my scholarship adviser, and now my good friend. He is extremely wise, and I know I can always go to him for guidance and help, and he's always there to support me. I don't know what I would do without him! The second, is my Barrett choir professor. He was the first one to ever believe in my singing abilities (even before myself). I'm still working on polishing up my voice, but I'm hopeful. He has been extremely dedicated, passionate, and helpful to me, and I am extremely gracious. Singing has always been a very important (secret) part of my life, and he is allowing me to let that part of me come to the surface, which I think is extremely important, and healthy for me!

5. I'm going to leave this one to the future. I know that I am still at the beginning of a very long, rewarding journey. It's going to be tough. Motivation can be hard to come by at times, and sometimes you just want to give up. I will doubt myself, be unsure of the future, suffer from lonely times, tough choices, and friendships that rise and fall. But in the end, I will be happy. I'm hopeful that a future husband, family, and being a Naturopathic Doctor and health advocate will be the ultimate determinants of "success" in my life :)

-Andrea Garza

Friday, November 4, 2011

#NHBPM Nov 4th What happens after you press “publish.”

Yes..I’m backtracking. Sorry! But I think it’s still important for me to publish about all of the topics :) After I press publish, I always view the post on my blog, and re-read it. I have it already set up to publish to my facebook and twitter pages :) I’m usually pressed for time, so I go back to checking emails and doing work/studying!

-Andrea Garza

Thursday, November 3, 2011

#NBHPM Nov 3rd Dear 18 year old me.

Dear 18 year old me,

I know it's only been 2 years, but I'll write this letter regardless. Please, start running NOW! You would have helped me out so much more if you already had a running routine solidified, so I wouldn't even have to think about it--I would just "do."

Please, don't eat so many cookies/deserts! I know they're good, but I'm pretty sure you have a legitimate addiction to chocolate now! Which doesn't help when I'm a broke college student, and don't have time to run to the store to get chocolate when you're super stressed and need a caffeine boost.

For the love of God, get voice lessons!!! You have talent, and you're singing voice is there, regardless of what you or anyone else thinks! Find an instructor who believes in you, and you'll shine :)
You're going to have a hard couple of years ahead... and I know you're not having the best of times now. But I'm sure my future self will be able to tell you that it's been all worth it :) Once you graduate from Barrett, ASU, and are admitted into SCNM (and eventually become a ND) you will be proud of what you've endured.

Keep your head up. Through it all, you'll have to rely a lot on yourself. At least you are at the moment. But that's ok. Don't be afraid... everything happens for a reason! You're never alone.
Andrea (age: 20)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

#NHBPM Nov 2nd My TV Show

Theoretically, if my blog was turned into a TV show I would definitely focus on life as a college student, living with food allergies! Following what I go through in the dining halls, how I battle simply hanging out with friends when we are social eaters, and how various factors influence me. I would be real, and let people know how things make me feel. That's important--and I thinking it would be great to follow my progress through the years as well as have interviews with others with their own stories they have to share.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

#NHBPM November=National Health Blog Month!

Oh No! I'm a day late... but I really want to participate in this!
Consider this my first post for the month :) you should get involved too! Making your own blog is easy. I think this is a great way to start off my new blog with wordpress... I just checked, and Blogger still has not re-activated my blog with them! How frustrating. It looks like Wordpress is going to be permanent. (Which is ok- I like them :)

Anyways, enough about that. What's my health blog about for today?
Why? Because I'm currently finishing off a 2-6am desk shift. Of course this time was not my choosing, but it had to be done. I only have about a month or so left of working this time block (thank God). I can just feel my organs inside me, upset that they have to keep working; their nightly regimen disrupted yet again.

Sleep is of the utmost importance to health! It is everything to our bodies. We need that time to reset--our bodies have to recover from the work we did throughout the day. It's a lot of work to maintain such beautiful systems that we have been blessed with, so make sure you get lots of sleep to help yourself out. Shoot for 7-8 hours of sleep. Make it a priority. Don't have time? Nonsense. If you have to be up at 7am to get ready for work, then make yourself go to bed at midnight, regardless of whether or not you still have things to do. If you do this for about a week, I promise you that you will start having time. Why? Because you will be more energized throughout your days! It's an investment. If you invest in sleep, you'll have more energy and be more productive: making the most out of each minute of work.

Besides, sleep is so wonderful. You owe it to yourself!
-Andrea Garza

#NBHPM Nov 1st (day 1) Titles of my future book

Working titles:
Life of a Teen "Allergist"
"No thanks, I'm good" Why I never eat what you offer
Surviving College with Food Allergies
Surviving College when You're allergic to Everything
Revealing the Rise in Food Allergies

My journey with allergies has been long, revealing, challenging, and one full of discovery. I've had a lot of trouble dealing with the fact that my body could reject something that it pivotal to it's survival. In fact, I still have not come to a satisfying conclusion. This book takes you through my past, emerges you in my thoughts and experiences, events that I have had to endure (including being made fun of for my allergies), how I transitioned to college living, and where I am today. As a Junior at ASU, I just started working on my Honors thesis, and you're going to have the backstage pass to see just what I'm up to.

-Andrea Garza

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Guest Post: "Most Common Food Allergies" By Tina Rose

Most Common Food Allergies
By Tina Rose

These days, food allergies seem to be the media darlings of the health world. And with good reason. According to the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FANN), they affect as many as 15 million Americans – and can cause a wide range of symptoms, including mild rashes, itching, wheezing and even death.

Of course, all foods have the potential to cause allergic reactions, but there are some serious offenders in our midst. In fact, according to FANN, only eight of the world’s food sources account for 90 percent of all food-allergic reactions. They include:

• Milk
• Eggs
• Peanuts
• Tree nuts
• Fish
• Shellfish
• Soy
• Wheat

So, what happens when you’re affected by a food allergy?

Basically, your immune system thinks that the offending food is harmful to your body. In an attempt to protect itself, your immune system will produce antibodies and release those chemicals into the blood stream, which then cause an allergic reaction – such as a rash, bloating or wheezing. This reaction will then likely occur each time you eat the food (or if you’re severely allergic to the food, touch or inhale particles of the offending item).

To ensure that 1) you’re actually allergic to the item and 2) that you can treat the allergy quickly and effectively when impacted, there’s no substitute for a trip to your allergist’s office. He or she can use one of several testing options to not only determine exactly what it is you’re allergic to, but to also determine the severity of your allergy. Once you know the results, your doctor can give you advice on treating your allergy with over-the-counter medication or give you a prescription to use on an as-needed or in-case-of-emergency basis.

Unfortunately, at this time there is no cure for food allergies. If you really want to make sure you’re safe and healthy and avoid any kind of allergic reaction is to avoid the allergic food altogether. You’ll always feel better that you did.

Tina Rose writes for, a health and wellness website focusing on what causes allergies and health tips to help you live life to the youngest. would like to thank Tina Rose and for this wonderful writing. It's always a good idea to go over the basics of food allergies--and especially helpful for those just getting diagnosed!

For information on click here!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Expanded Fast Food App for Gluten and Allergen Free Living

Added 6 NEW Restaurants:
Buffalo Wild Wings, Coldstone, Jack in the Box, Jason's Deli,
Moe's Southwest Grill and Pei Wei

Personalize each quick service menu for meal options from
26 chains reflecting over 3,000 menu items!

Hide items that contain your food concerns -
Eggs, Fish, Gluten, Milk, Peanuts,
Shellfish, Soy, Tree Nuts and Wheat.
21 chains address gluten with 8 GF menus!

Decide where & what you can order by
easily browsing options from:
A&W, Arby's, Boston Market, Buffalo Wild Wings, Burger King, Carl's Jr, Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, Coldstone, Corner Bakery, Dairy Queen, Domino's, Hardees, Jack in the Box, Jason's Deli, KFC, McDonald's, Moe's Southwest Grill, Pei Wei,
Pizza Hut, Qdoba, Sonic, Steak n Shake, Subway, Taco Bell & Wendy's

Buy Now for $2.99 for your iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Udi is good! :)

Hello all!

I was at a Naturopathic Convention last weekend, and as I was walking around the booths before they all closed down, I stopped by Udi's Gluten Free Foods booth. After chatting with the lady who was working the booth, she decided to let me have the remaining sample product she had at the booth, which was "gluten free vanilla granola."

I finally ate it yesterday, and it was SO DELICIOUS! I loved it :) The only problem is I haven't seen their brand in any local stores :/ Hopefully that changes though!

If you see this product, I recommend trying it out :) It's very allergy-friendly!

Have a great rest of your week,
Andrea G.

God Bless

My condolences to the families and friends of those who recently passed away.

Unfortunately accidents can happen, regardless of how hard we try to shield ourselves from the potentially deathly intake of a food allergen. Nearly 150 individuals are taken from us due to food-allergy related deaths each year.

This is why it's important to raise awareness about food allergies. We've made long strides in the short time since I was diagnosed nearly 8 years ago. We must continue our efforts boldly, continue to pursue, and soon succeed in our goals.

Again, my condolences, and God Bless.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Nuts in Crazy Places

Avoiding Milk Protein has found an alarming number of industrial products containing nuts. Instead of sand blasting buildings with sand some companies are using walnut shells, a possible airborne hazard for those with nut allergies.

Spray tans using walnut shells are also being used in some spas. Peanut fuel is an old bio fuel that does appear from time to time, even today. Another strange use for nuts, are mixing walnut shells with pool deck paint instead of sand to prevent slipping around the pool deck.

Crushed almond shells are even being used to manufacture building supplies. Some companies are experimenting with peanut and other tree nut shells in water purification.

Little is known about if the allergen proteins are still in these products.

Imagine a nut allergic chimney sweeper being called to clean a chimney or stove only to find out from a reaction that fire logs made from tree nuts were recently used in the chimney, or a stove was powered by peanut pellets, these products are currently being sold and used.

List of unusual products made from nuts:

Provided by:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chex Cereal and Traveling the World

I got a kindle yesterday, and I absolutely love it! I was so excited to start using it, I began reading the Sundial book I posted about earlier. I will keep you in the loop as to how I like it :)

So, I was sitting here, in my dorm room listening to music, eating some Gluten Free Rice Chex when I thought I should share with you my appreciation for this cereal. Firstly, I simply love everything about it- I can eat it, no corn syrup, short list of ingredients, gluten free, and of course I love the taste, texture, and how it gets the perfect amount of "soggy" in my rice milk. Plus, it's cheap- perfect for a broke college student!!
I was reading the back of the box, and it read "Gluten free living doesn't have to mean saying no to all of your favorite foods... 'Live in the Yes'" -Chex.

I thought to myself.. now, there has to be someone at Chex that has food allergies, or knows someone who has allergies. Because being able to reply "yes" to a child's question of "Can I eat this?"... is a powerful thing. It makes you feel good inside to be able to simply say 'yes.'

"Live in the yes" (tm) is such a great statement, that I fully agree with. Even though I'm allergic to wheat, gluten, milk, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and garlic... I strongly dislike making that an option for avoiding experiencing my life to the fullest. For example, one of my biggest dreams is traveling the world. Yes, having so many allergies is going to be extremely tricky... but I'm going to find a way. There's no way I'm letting my allergies get in the way of my dreams and aspirations. I don't think ANYONE should let ANY disability/restriction LIMIT their L-I-F-E. It is YOUR life. LIVE IT TO THE FULLEST, no matter what. You have to make it work. Find a way to make things happen, rather than excusing the possibility that you can/can't do something.

Punch-line of my life:

CARPE DIEM. Seize the day.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hello everyone! I hope you had a very nice Monday :)

I just received an email, and I think this novel is very special! I haven't read it yet, but I am going to definitely keep an eye out for it! I think it's applicable to many people. Read below for the summary!

Enjoy :)




Authors: C.F. Fruzzetti and M.I. Pearsall of Pure Energy Books
Contact: Carolyn Fruzzetti
Phone: 703-798-3744
Media links: and

Feeling different is nothing new to Whitney Forbes – she has accepted that her psychic abilities set her apart. She thought her biggest problem was determining if there was more to handsome Reid Wallace than just his looks and popularity until it is revealed she has an evolved genetic makeup. Now she finds herself wondering if genocide could happen in America and if she has what it takes to stop it.

SUNDIAL explores choices, social isolation, trust and inner self-growth through an exhilarating story driven by compelling and strong characters.

“When you have a food allergy, taking an unnecessary risk is not an option. It requires vigilance, situational awareness, the confidence to communicate and the ability to surround yourself with trustworthy people,” said co-author M.I. Pearsall, whose daughter has a life-threatening peanut allergy. “These are survivor skills and they can give you an edge when life gets challenging.”

“SUNDIAL increases food allergy awareness as a subplot. This makes the book accessible and enjoyable for everyone. Knowing is half the battle, and by understanding the safety needs of food allergic teens it should reduce their feeling of social isolation and help others know what to do to protect a life,” said co-author C.F. Fruzzetti.

Several parents of food allergic children were beta readers for the novel. Katie Morgan, whose ten-year-old son is allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts and cottonseed and whose seven-year-old daughter is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, said, “I’m thrilled to see food allergy as part of a smart young adult novel. I like that while food allergies are an important issue for these teens, it is not the defining factor in their lives. They have to watch what they eat, but otherwise they are teenagers who are capable, athletic and intelligent and ready to take on the world – literally!”

An in-depth book group and educator discussion guide is available at to further promote relevant discussion and awareness of several issues, including food allergy.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

True Life: I'm allergic to everything

This is one example of why I want to be a Naturopathic Doctor...

I need to find a way to get ahold of this young lady- so she can start an awareness club at her university through FoodAllergyTalk!

You have to watch this!

Please watch, share, and educate!! Thank you


Monday, June 20, 2011

ASU Chapter creates 2011 Walk Team

The ASU Chapter, FoodAllergyTalk [ASU] has created their walk team for the 2011 Walk for Food Allergy, to be held at the Tempe Arts Park in Tempe, Arizona.

We are walking to support FAAN (The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network). They provide food allergy awareness, advocacy, and education, and they support research for the 12 million Americans, including 3 million children, with a potentially life-threatening food allergy. We encourage you to support this event by joining our team and/or making a donation. Our goal is to raise $1,500!

For more information about the FAAN Walk for Food Allergy, please visit

Thank you for your help in making a difference for those with food allergies!


"The Food Allergy Cookbook"


I hope you're all doing amazingly well on this wonderfully [hot] Monday evening. I wanted to pass this informaiton along to you all! I think this will be a great tool to help prepare amazing meals. I have requested that I review the book, as well as conduct an interview- hopefully I will have that information to you all soon! Keep in touch,




A Guide to Living with Allergies

and Entertaining with Healthy, Delicious Meals

By Carmel Nelson and Amra Ibrisimovic

Are you turning down social gatherings that revolve around food? Skipping lunch with your co-workers to avoid an awkward explanation? Deserting the dinner table on holidays so you don’t have to reject Aunt Sally’s home-cooked meal? . . . Or are you the one playing host to your friends, some of whom may have food allergies? The husband who lit all the candles, and turned up the Barry White, but doesn’t know exactly what’s safe to cook for a romantic dinner? For all of you, here is your resource to make alternative dining easy and understandable!

Don’t let restricted options consume the joys of cooking! Say “NO!” to cardboard-flavored daily sustenance and brick-hard bread that would be more useful in constructing a house than actually eating. If you or someone you love has food allergies but is passionate about the culinary arts, this is the book for you!The Food Allergy Cookbook contains 101 delectable recipes tested to perfection. Each and every recipe is accompanied by an irresistible, full-length and in color photograph that will make you salivate before even whipping up the treat!

The joint authors, Carmel Nelson and Amra Ibrisimovic, are among the millions of people struggling with food allergies. Over the years, their friendship has fostered support for one another as they discover new ways to live and eat enjoyably. They were disappointed by the lack of resources available on food allergies when they needed it the most, only a few years ago. Now that they are both in the know, they want to share their knowledge with you!

The Food Allergy Cookbook caters to those with dairy, wheat, oats, barley, soy, and corn allergies. It shows that you don’t have to give up your favorites, just alter them! It even comes with a special recipe for a flour mixture to do just that. There are every-day recipes plus entire meal plans for holidays so you don’t have to forfeit entertaining or being a guest. Instead, prepare a to-die-for meal that everyone will love! Don’t be surprised if they ask for the recipe!

Recipes include:

  • BBQ dishes such as Chicken Legs and Sloppy Joes
  • Savory Stuffed Peppers for the Vegetarian or Bosnian Style
  • Comforting classics like Chicken Soup with Dumplings and Chicken Pot Pie
  • A full-course Thanksgiving meal consisting of Roasted Turkey with Gravy, a unique Holiday Stuffing, warm Harvest Soup, Cranberry Sauce, Sweet Potato Puree, and for dessert—Pumpkin Pie!
  • Sweets for the adventurous eaters—Grand Marnier Cranberry Muffins and Apple Pear Quinoa Crisp—but also the staples— rich Fudge Brownies and Chocolate Chip Cookies!
  • Bread Sticks and corn-free Korn Bread
  • And many more!

But The Food Allergy Cookbook is not merely a cookbook! It also serves up a list of restaurants with alternative menus, tips on working with your doctor and traveling safely, a lesson on deciphering food labels, and tons of helpful resources. Carmel and Amra will help you concoct healthy and flavorful recipes that finally prove…it IS possible to easily serve, eat and enjoy allergen-free fare. Now go play in the kitchen!

About the Authors:

CARMEL NELSON has worked as a substance abuse counselor and mental health therapist. She has been published in Living Without and Alaska Wellnessmagazines.

AMRA IBRISIMOVIC is a project manager and computer engineer. She emigrated from Bosnia during their civil war and became a U.S. citizen in 2000.

Carmel Nelson and Amra Ibrisimovic are available for interviews, please contact:

Esther Bochner,

The Food Allergy Book

A Guide to Living with Allergies and Entertaining with Healthy, Delicious Meals

By Carmel Nelson and Amra Ibrisimovic

Skyhorse Publishing Hardcover

On Sale: July 2011

ISBN: 978-1-61608-297-0

Price: $17.95