About

All about Rae Ann!

Hey Y’all, I’m Rae Ann!

Welcome to Almond Joys! My job with this blog is to tell you guys all about my journey of discovering my allergies to Gluten, Dairy and Nuts, how I’m coping with them and still maintaining my youth!

I grew up like a normal child, I ate what I wanted, when I wanted and thought nothing of it. My senior year in high school I started to realize that certain foods made me feel a little rough afterward but didn’t pay much attention. Fast forward to the end of my freshman year/beginning of sophomore, I had determined that my body could not digest lactose. Now that I’m in my junior year of college, I am still discovering different allergies that are developing, and I will probably continue to discover or even grow out of over time. Currently, my big three weaknesses are Gluten, Dairy and Nuts!

Recognizing that my body hates Gluten:

About 4 months ago I found myself constantly fighting the urge to sleep. I was always exhausted, whether I got a solid 8 hours of sleep or not I was looking for opportunities to nap through out the day. I blamed it on being a 21 year old in college trying to maintain a social life, school and working. I also noticed that I was constantly irritable, let me tell you, I was a DIVA. I stayed sick constantly, I am a regular at the local walk in clinic, seriously, I’m not joking. Well, after visiting my parents and scaring my mother to death by going to bed at 8:00 PM and sleeping until 11:00 AM, we decided it may be time to check some things out. Thus I give you: the Gluten Free Diva that I am.

Living my Life, Doing my Thing:

After learning about the different allergies that I’ve developed I spent a TON of time doing my research. Two of my favorite blogs are:

http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/

A guide to all things Gluten Free, living life and recipes galore!

&

http://www.theceliacdiva.com/

This site truly helped me understand what my body was going through, how to feel and how to make it work.

I also spent a significant amount of time wandering around different grocery stores in Abilene, where I go to school. I have found that the smaller stores do a much better job of catering to allergies. HEB has gone through a placed labels on every single shelf tag letting you know a variety of different things (sugar free, gluten free, low carb, etc). Personally, my favorite store in Abilene is Drug Emporium. They have dedicated the entire right half of the store to people who are leading a gluten free lifestyle. They have just about everything you could every imagine. I thought that it was going to be impossible to find a granola bar that was gluten free, nut free and dairy free but FEAR NOT, Drug Emporium has saved the day and my pantry is fully stocked. I was also pleasantly surprised that my grocery bill stayed around the same cost as before.

One thing a lot of people don’t realize is that allergies can develop over time. Growing up, I was never phased by sitting down and eating a grilled cheese for dinner. If I were to do that now, I might as well just dedicate my weekend to a bottle of Pepto, my couch and the bathroom. Most people also don’t realize that certain allergies have certain effects. Clearly the dairy allergy reacts with my stomach, this is extremely common- Lactose Intolerance. Only 40% of people maintain the ability to digest lactose after their childhood. My gluten intolerance, however, messes more with my body and immune system as a whole. Because of the different reactions, I think that a lot of people don’t acknowledge certain intolerances that they might have, chocking it up to heartburn, growing pains, etc. It is so incredibly important that you make it a point to not just brush off not feeling well. Yes, bodies are weird and sometimes feel odd for no apparent reason but if your stomach makes a habit of feeling like it might explode pretty regularly, you might have it checked out.

With that being said,

My point in all of this is that learning you’ve obtained a new allergy, is just that, it is learning something. This has been an amazing learning experience, an adventure. It is incredibly hard to describe in one post everything that I have learned over the past few months. I hope that you continue to check back and share in my adventure!

With GF, DF, and NF Lovin,

Rae Ann

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Finding Joy in Yeast-Free Living

Hey guys! I’m Peyton, and I’ll be bringing you the yeast-free portion of our blog!

As an athletics enthusiast, you would think that maintaining a healthy lifestyle has always been one of my top priorities. However, three years ago, I was a thirty-pounds overweight college freshman with non-existent ideas about health and nutrition. Hypothyroidism sent my body through a rollercoaster of weight gains, while a milk allergy left me bedridden for days at a time. Yet it wasn’t until the end of my first semester of college that I experienced a self-awakening.

In December 2010, my mom introduced me to yeast-free living after visiting The Hotze Clinic, and on Christmas day, my mom and I began the six-week, yeast-free challenge that would change my life.

At first, yeast-free meant giving up every food that I had ever enjoyed. My previous diet staples (sugar, bread, corn, and dairy) were all cut from my diet in the course of a day. The first three days of the program were a blur, containing cravings, hunger pains, and moodiness that only come from an extreme body detox. However, my mom and I persevered and we were rewarded at our weigh-in three weeks later, which stated we had both lost fifteen pounds. From then on, there was no looking back.

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Add a little joy to your life!

We are all about the main ingredients found in Hershey’s Almond Joy candy bar: Almonds, Coconut, and Chocolate. As sweet and satisfying as this treat may be, its ingredients are far from their natural state.  Instead of highly processed ingredients that are pressed into a sweet treat, we are using  all natural, high quality, minimally processed ingredients. Anything that involves any form of almonds, coconut, and dark chocolate, we want to talk about it!

We want to share our joy about these ingredients with you!  By providing information about each of these ingredients, their uses, where to find them, and how to incorporate them into your daily diet routines, we hope that you will have a newfound joy too.

From authors that have their own dietary boundaries, we will be talking to you from three different perspectives. We hope that these perspectives will provide support, information, and encouragement to those that may have the same conditions. We all have our own unique stories to share!

Bailey’s recipes are tailored to fit those with gluten, dairy, grain, and soy allergies. Many know this by the term “Paleo”. To learn more about the Paleo diet you can visit Robb Wolf’s website.

Rae Ann  and Peyton will tell you a little more about their dietary journeys in their ‘about’ posts.

 If you are living with any food intolerances, allergies, or are just looking for a lifestyle change we can’t wait to share that journey with you. Away with the doubt of never enjoying anything sweet and satisfying! From dessert recipes to easy on-the-go combinations we hope to give you something to look forward to.

Say yes to almonds. Say yes to coconut. And definitely say yes to dark chocolate.