Archives for January 2012

Zantac for a Food Allergy Stomach

I get a lot people landing on my site searching for a reason why they have a puffy or swollen feeling in their face or throat. I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I had this problem when I first changed my diet due to food allergies, but thought I would explain it further. I’m not a doctor, but I can tell you what my doctor told me that worked for me…

Back when I first began my stomach problems, before being diagnosed with food allergies, one of the first things my doctor recommended after hearing my complaints was that I needed to try some time of heartburn medication. At first I dismissed the suggestion “knowing” that I did not have heartburn. I thought only old people got heartburn. Turns out heartburn happens to lots of people.

Commercials always show heartburn sufferers looking like they have some sort of chest pain. My heartburn was mostly felt in my throat, sometimes even making my ears feel stuffy. My throat often felt so swollen it almost didn’t feel like there was room to swallow. I would often find myself with my cold hands around my jaw or neck trying to relieve the pressure and make myself breathe easier. Once, I even made a special trip to the doctor to have her look down my throat and make sure nothing was hindering my breathing.

Zantac (Ranitidine) completely illiminated the swollen feeling for me. After my diagnosis, my allergy doctor said Zantac would be the best thing for me to take if I ever ate something that made my stomach feel upset. In taking it for that reason, I realized the swollen feeling was taken care of as well. I’ve been taking it everyday since then. It’s perfect for an allergy stomach because it’s an H2 blocker, the same class as Benadryl, which means it works similarly in the body. I found this explanation:

H2 blockers, or histamine-2 receptor blockers, are medicines that decrease the amount of acid made by the stomach. Histamine, the same chemical that causes congestion in allergies, is responsible for stimulating acid production in the stomach. When histamine is blocked, acid production decreases.

For me, my diet changed drastically after my food allergy diagnosis. I think that the stomach pains I may have had before were multiplied when I eliminated the bread and pastas which may have helped soak up the extra acid, and added more acidic things like extra fruits. I’ve also learned that when I do start to feel a little swollen in my throat again it often helps if I just grab a small snack, sometimes it just means my stomach is getting too empty.

Hope this helps. 🙂

Wild Mushroom Venison Stew

I’ve only had venison a handful of times, and I had never prepared it myself. So I turned to a friend with more experience in cooking with venison… who gave me some great suggestions for how to prepare it. I haven’t always been too fond of stews, but this was so very good. This could easily be a beef stew as well, but I think the venison flavor made it even better.

This venison happened to come from an extra special source. While we were at Grandpa and Grandma’s farm last fall we got a chance to meet one of the hunters who hunts on their property. After getting to know him a little bit, we found out that he considers Jesse’s grandparents like his own… and he said that he would be more than happy to share some of his catch with us. He came back a couple of days later with a variety of cuts for us to enjoy. How’s that for getting our food directly from the source? So cool! Someday I’d like to live somewhere that we can hunt and grow our own food.

Anyway… back to the recipe. I made this stew using the venison chunks.


Cut the meat up into small cubes and place in crock pot. Mix together flour (I used arrowroot), salt and pepper; pour over meat pieces and toss to coat evenly.

Venison pieces

Then chop up all the veggies and add them to the crock pot.


Add the beef broth and other seasonings and stir to mix well. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 6 or until done. Stir as necessary. That’s it!

Stew mixture

I made mashed potatoes to serve the stew over instead of adding them to cook with the stew. And the flavorful gravy that this stew made was the perfect addition.

Stew dinner

Here’s the recipe:

1 1/2 – 2 lbs. stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/8 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 tsp worchestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp paprika
package mushrooms
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 small white onion, diced
1 stalk celery, sliced


Baby Steps Toward Foster Care

I’m proud of ourselves for taking several steps to getting us closer to our goal of being licensed for foster care. This weekend we took care of some small items that we kept meaning to get done, but never seemed to get around to doing. I feel like we are on a roll, hopefully it wont stop until everything is finally finished.

One thing we have to have on file to get licensed is background checks on babysitters. This is one of the first items we need turned in because it takes some time to run the checks and get them approved. Obviously, we’ve never had the need for a babysitter before so we used family members for now since it seemed weird to find and meet a babysitter and ask them for their social security number and all the other information we need to turn in… when we don’t even have someone to babysit yet. Now this is done and ready to be turned in!

We did much furniture moving and setting up in our spare rooms. We have all the main pieces, except for the crib, where we want them. The crib is scheduled for delivery some time in the next couple of days! We finally decided to give up on trying to find a used one that met all the current regulations. Since drop-side cribs were banned so recently, no one is getting rid of the kind we are allowed to have yet. Instead we invested in a brand new one. I can’t wait to unpack and set up all the things we have so far. No pictures until everything is finished!

After much debate about the best way to lock up all of our medications we finally decided to go the cheapest route possible. We probably should have decided on that a while ago, but we were also wanting to make sure it was still convenient for Jesse to be able to do his daily treatments. With Jesse having cystic fibrosis, locking up our meds is a larger project than it might be for the average person. We turned an under-the-stairs closet into a place to store all of his meds, any of our cleaning products, and other hazardous items that are required to be locked away. We were considering getting a fancy lock that we could open by punching in a number code, but those where so expensive and would require extra drilling in the door. We got one that is identical to the ones we have throughout the house for only $13. It looks the same as before only with the lock mechanism.

Door lockJesse installing lockFinished door

We also came up with a cheap solution for Jesse’s refrigerated medicines. We had been planning on buying a mini fridge with a lock, but were holding off because of the cost of them. Then we realized that if we organized things better, they could probably fit into a much smaller place than we currently had them. We bought a small cash box with a lock to neatly store all of his refrigerated medicines. Everything fits into neat compartments with room to store extra items under the cash tray. It only cost us $16. It’s not something you would expect to find in someone’s fridge, but I think it will serve the purpose.

Lock boxLock box keysTop medsBottom medsBox in fridge

Lastly, we took a quick trip to my favorite store… Goodwill. We purchased a bunch of fun books. We didn’t yet have any books with the hard, cardboard pages. We came home with 18 books for about $20. They are all in great condition and I just may have read them to myself while I was putting them away.


Even with the progress we made this weekend, we still have much to do. It’s hard not to get discouraged, but we are determined to make it happen!