Disney and Food Allergies: Part Two

We just got back from Disney for my 32nd birthday! 32!!! Because Scott and I have only been married two years and have no kids, a lot of times I feel a lot younger than I really am.

Anyway…. Onto what the post is about…Food and Disney. If you missed my last post on Disney and Food Allergies from our visit in July you can find it HERE! This time we tried out some new places! Some where hits and some where complete misses!

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Animal Kingdom Quick Service:
Harambre Market
Harambre Market is inspired by the street foods of Africa. They had an allergy menu to choose from, but it wasn’t one of our favorites! Scott and I both had the Grilled Chicken Skewer which is gluten and dairy free. It is served with Green Papaya Slaw and Black-Eyed Pea, Corn and Tomato Salad. The Salad was very good, but the Slaw had too much vinegar for my taste. We didn’t order dessert, but I think they had a Gluten Free Cookie- probably from the brand Enjoy Life.

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Animal Kingdom Lodge
Boma-Flavors of Africa
Scott really wanted to try out Boma. It’s a family-friendly buffet that has flavors from over 50 African countries. Like with any table service, when we made the reservation we listed that I couldn’t have gluten or dairy. The waiter showed us to our seat and then the chef came out and walked us through the buffet, explaining the ingredients in every dish and letting me know what was safe and what wasn’t. The chef is extremely thorough and if you forget anything or have any other questions during your meal he will come back! There were a lot of things I couldn’t have, but what I could was WONDERFUL. Some of the highlights: Seafood Gumbo over Rice, Salad Bar with the Apple Dressing, and Steak with a dipping sauce that I can’t remember the name of now. I couldn’t have anything on the dessert buffet, so the chef made me my own special gluten/dairy free dessert plate. It had a cupcake, two chocolate cookies, a chocolate chip and sugar cookies and I think some DF ice cream. The menu for the buffet changes slightly from night to night, but I’m sure all the food is equally as great!

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Magic Kingdom Quick Service
Columbia Harbour House
The Columbia Harbour House is in the Liberty Square section of Magic Kingdom. They have a great Allergen menu! Complete with gluten free, dairy free chicken fingers and fries! I am a chicken finger and fries addict, so I looked no further on the menu than that! Here a little tip- There isn’t a chicken finger plate on the regular menu. It’s Chicken Breast Nuggets and Fish Fingers. So if you are more of a chicken finger fan vs nugget fan than order off the allergy menu. Here is what I really like about the Columbia Harbour House that is different than most quick service restaurants. When you order off the allergen menu, they prepare that food to order. They give you a pager and tell you to sit down and when your food is ready they will page you. Once it’s ready, one of the cast members will escort you through the line to the counter to retrieve your food. They also put the food that is ordered off the allergy menu on a separate tray, away from all the other food!

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Epcot Table Service
Coral Reef Restaurant
This is a restaurant you go to for the atmosphere. It sits next to the The Seas with Nemo & Friends and has panoramic windows so you get a great view of the coral reef and the 4,000 sea creatures! There allergen menu wasn’t extensive and it looks like they serve their diner menu at lunch, so the food was kind of heavy. Scott and I ended up splitting the Grilled New York Strip Steak. We ordered if off the allergen menu, so it came with steamed green beans and roasted whole potatoes. I also ordered the Frisee and Endive Salad with was very good! If goat cheese is a form of cheese you can have, make sure to tell them or they will leave it off.

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Disney Springs Table Service
The BOATHOUSE
If you followed along on my elimination diet, you may remember that dairy (specifically casein) was the only thing that showed up on my blood work that I was sensitive too. However, because of my autoimmune disorder, I was strongly encouraged to go gluten free as well. Because of this, I eat gluten every now and then and for the most part have a fine reaction. I just try to limit the amount. So, fair warning, the food I ate at The BOATHOUSE was not gluten free…. But it was delicious! I had the Coconut-fried Wild Pacific White Shrimp, with Orange- Chili Sauce and French Fries! It was soooo good! If you get a chance to eat here you need to and you need to ask for a table outside on the dock. The boats outside are owned by the restaurant and they are beautiful.

What’s in my purse?

Have you seen some of these lifestyle magazines where they interview a celebrity and then they ask them to show everything that’s in their purse! Some have a $500 wallet in their $1000 purse and you think- nope she is not like me, but others are normal and carry tissues and your like- YES! Thank you! Everyone has to wipe their nose!Anyway, I thought it would be fun to show you what’s in my purse!

Here it is! I’ll go clockwise-

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* Essential Oils Bag– This holds all my oils I carry with me. My staples that I carry every day are Breathe Again, Deep Relief, R.C & Lemon Mix, Season Trio Blend, Summer Perfume, DiGize and Peppermint Mix, Lavender, Peppermint, Valor, and Lavender Lip Balm. Clearly, we see I have an oil hoarding problem.
* Outdoor Spray and Thieves Spray
* iPhone and earbuds (never know when someone will go live on faceook or when there will be a good podcast to listen to. Most of my driving in spent listening to educational and business podcast or videos)
* Handheld diffuser- this is SO GREAT for on the go. Right now it’s filled with Release Oil because stress is not good. Release oil is good, stress is not!
* Notebook and pens (I always like to carry a small notebook with me. I’d much rather have my notes written down then in my phone)
* Financial Peace wallet- has my check books
* Wallet with cash and cards
* Gift Cards- because we started Financial Peace University and that’s how we are going to make it!

On a normal day my purse would also be full of receipts and tissues, but I cleaned it out this morning before work! I think I may need to get rid a few more things in it, because it is heavy! I’m sure the pound of oils I carry has nothing to do with that! lol

Elimination Diet Q&A

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This week starts week four of my elimination diet! It’s been rough, but everyone has been so supportive and great!
I’ve received a few questions so I thought I would write everything out in case you had some of the same questions!

Why all the test to go on an elimination diet, couldn’t you have just cut out food yourself?
I’ve tried this a few times and here is what I’ve ran into. With an autoimmune disease that specifically effects the thyroid, I read anything from just go gluten free all the way to only eat autoimmune paleo. And there are A LOT of things in between. I really wanted to find how my body was handling food and what my body would react to! And I’m glad I did! I figured I would have to go gluten free for the elimination diet, but my test showed my body reacts to Tapioca and Amaranth- both found in gluten free flours and goods. So if I wouldn’t have had the test done, I would have been putting things in my body that it was constantly reacting too.

Why did you pick the nutritionist you did?
I’ve talked to a few people about nutritionist and they have given me great recommendations. I ultimately decided to go with Jessica at Simple Steps Nutrition for a few main reasons: 1) She also has an autoimmune disease and thyroid problems, so she knows exactly what I am doing through and how I feel 2) She is familiar with Young Living Essential Oils so I was very comfortable discussing the oils I am using with her 3) She did a 20 minute free call to make sure we were both on the same page and to talk about my goals. During that call there were a few things that she said that really sealed the deal- the first being that she was going to perform the extensive test needed to truly test my gut and the second being that she doesn’t up-charge for these test. She charges you her cost, plus shipping and some other little fees. If you have ever priced some of these test then you know they can be expensive!

How long do you have to stay on the elimination diet?
Three months! I’ll be honest, some days it seems like it will be over in no time and all and then other days it feels like a lifetime! After three months, I can slowly start introducing foods on my “No” list back into my diet. With a few restrictions- 1) No dairy at all 2) Limit gluten as much as possible/ try to go gluten free if I can 3) Limit sugar and sodas 4) If I feel my body having a reaction to the food (headache, stomach cramps, things like that) then stay off those foods. I will retest again after the 3 months to make sure my gut has healed.

How do you go out to eat?
Very carefully! I good news is, I’m not allergic to any of these foods- so cross contamination isn’t as big of a deal for me. Most restaurants have an allergen menu and I study that before I go to the restaurant. I make sure to tell the waitress I can’t have gluten or dairy when I order and I order everything with no seasoning and butter. My favorite place to eat so far is Henry’s. We have been eating there for years and know the wait staff and I’m very comfortable with how they prepare my food! 90% of the time I’m eating plain shrimp and veggies. Every now and then I’ll have a steak somewhere-but I’m picky about where (because let’s be honest, no one wants to pay $15 for a bland steak so Henry’s is pretty much my go to for a steak)

Have you cheated any?
I have- There are sometimes that I feel if I have to drink another glass of water I will throw up. So I will order a sweet tea, take my medication with it and leave it at that. Normally it’s only about 1/2 a glass. And this is only once a week- if that. Also, I have four chemicals on my “No” list and two of those chemicals are pretty much found in all foods. (They are chemicals that are found in food as it starts to age or ripen- think ripe veggies, or aged meats and vinegar). So I’ve been able to try different foods that have these chemicals in them and see how I react. Like today- I had homemade pickles with my Gluten Free black bean burger patty- Bad Idea!! They were good, but the headache I’ve had for the past three hours after eating them wasn’t worth it!

So- that’s about all! If you have any questions feel free to ask!

The little duplex on Third

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Anyone who knows me and Scott, knows we love a good fixer upper. When we were looking for houses, no electricity and holes in the roof were the norm. Both of us have always wanted to be involved in renovation and restoration some how. When I was doing my radio and television internships in college, when I was asked what I wanted to do it was always the same answer- host a renovation show on HGTV. Scott and I have been looking at different rental properties to fix up since late last year. When we walked into the little duplex on Third we knew it would be our first project!

Isn’t it just the cutest! The house was built in 1941 and still has the original hardwood floors, fireplaces, even bathroom tile! The place hasn’t been touch in almost ten years and one unit was pretty much demolished.

We still have a lot of work to do! First order of business is

  • Take all the plaster off the walls and ceiling
  • Take out the bathroom tile (this breaks my heart, but there is MAJOR water damage in the bathrooms
  • Fix the holes in the bathroom floor
  • Figure out the central air and heat situation
  • Fix the wood boards on the outside of the house
  • Take down the walls between the dining room, living room and kitchen(check!! Scott took care of this over the weekend!)
  • I’m ready to get the demo done with and start on the next phase. I quickly learned that demo is not my thing! I can’t wait to share with you some of my ideas for the new space!

    Kitchen Renovation Inspiration!

    When we bought our house the kitchen was the first thing I wanted to fix! We didn’t have it in the budget for the fully renovated Ikea kitchen that I dreamed of, so we tackled the important things. 1) Taking up the linoleum floor and restoring the original hardwood floors (labor of love, or something like that, for Scott) 2) Painting the cabinets and 3) getting a new stove (somehow in the inspection we missed the stove being broken). Those things have been done for a while now and I’m itching for a completely NEW kitchen! It also doesn’t help that we made a trip to Ikea last month. I have a whole Pinterest Board dedicated to my dream kitchen but here are a few pictures that I just love!

    Source: Ikea

    Source: Ikea

    Source: Ikea

    Source: Ikea

    Scott likes the look of butcher block counter tops. I’m coming around to the idea, especially if it’s this dark color! Basically I would copy the look of this whole house, because it’s gorgeous! {Click on picture to see the house}

    Source: ALLA BILDER

    Source: ALLA BILDER

    I am still a lover of the look of White Cararra Marble (just maybe not in marble because I’ve heard it stains and chips easily).

    Source: Rick Robinson Builders

    Source: Rick Robinson Builders

    So which one do you like better? The butcher block counter tops or the marble look?