Product Reviews

The Planetbox Lunchbox

The monotony of school lunches wears on both Mike & I. Wake up. Stumble to the kitchen. Open the fridge. Hope for leftovers. No leftovers today. Get creative. Tomorrow, repeat. Yes, I'm shining the darkest light onto school mornings, when it's really not that bad. But it's the repeat part, every morning, that gets to us both. Sometimes I think it'd be easier if we could just make sandwiches every day (Ry can't have yeast, & we don't always have yeast-free bread made). Then when we do have bread around, it's not any easier. So really, it's just a lame excuse. A couple of weeks ago, we started using the Planetbox lunchbox. I had big plans to make a bunch of neat lunches, photograph them & then share them all here. However, it's dark in the mornings & I haven't made any mock lunches in the afternoon. So rather than wait any longer to share this amazing invention, I'm providing you with pictures of the lunchbox in all it's plain & simple glory. It really is glorious. I mean, who gets excited about a lunchbox? Well, me. Like, really, really excited. I'd read a lot of happy customer reviews, but wasn't really  sure if it could make the morning lunchtime routine actually easier. But it does. So much easier! Something about those little compartments, like there's an invisible note attached to each in, telling you what to fill it up with. A little bit crazy, yes, but truly, these things are awesome. Most importantly, Ry loves it. He's eating a lot more, & a lot more well-rounded. The fruit & veggies aren't returning home. Some examples of lunches we've done:

1. crackers; dairy-free cheese; hummus; lunchmeat; grapes & granola bar. An allergy-friendly, healthy lunchable.

2. sandwich; apple slices; cucumber slices; potato chips.

3. leftover rice & beans; strawberries; carrot sticks; black olives.

4. leftover enchiladas; grapes; granola bar; cucumber slices & hummus.

Sometimes we drop a few chocolate chips in the middle square, it's the perfect spot for a little sweet treat.

Mike said to me 'are you going to give this a good review? you should.' He doesn't really get excited about things like I do; in fact, this reaction to the lunchbox quite surprised me. But it also reiterates it's awesomeness. Plus, the additional two containers are a huge added bonus. We've been putting apple slices in the bigger one for snack time, & have used the small one for hummus or dairy-free ranch. The carrying case perfectly holds a water bottle (we've been putting Ry's small kleen kanteen in there), as well as the large dipper for snacktime. Inside, there's a place to put a napkin & utensils.

If it's not obvious, I highly recommend this- it's well worth the investment. I think it may actually be saving us money. We don't buy a lot of processed food, but I've been buying even less in the last couple weeks. The fruit snacks, applesauce pouches, granola bars, juice boxes, etc. haven't made their way into my grocery cart. It's being replaced by fresh fruit & veggies because it's actually being eaten in the planetbox (& the granola bars I referred to above, I made from scratch, inspired by this recipe). This particular model is the Rover complete set, it includes the carrying case, dipper set and decorative magnets. The magnets are a big hit with the kids. Not just for kids, the Planetbox is for anyone who takes lunch with them.

You can click here to go directly to the PlanetBox website, to purchase .

Disclaimer: Planetbox provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to write a positive review in return for the free product.

The Perfect Epi-pen Case

For quite some time, I've been using a bottle holder for Ry's epi-pen case. I didn't think much of it, until he started school. The school nurse was quite impressed by the little case- she uses pencil cases for each student, but they're a bit smaller & uninsulated. I like the insulation because epi-pens are supposed to be kept at or below room temperature (77 degrees). This isn't really a problem for us, but for those of you who live where the sun shines, it can pose a predicament. I've heard of people actually keeping their epi-pens in a cooler in the hot, summer months, especially when in the car. The bottle holder, while intended to strap onto your diaper bag for your baby, perfectly holds his double pack of epi-pens, a bottle of antihistamine & albuterol inhalor. All the while, being kept at a safe, cool temperature. I have two bottle holders, one for school & one for my purse. You can find them on amazon or I just ordered the robot from 6pm.com.  

all three products we keep in the case

The bottle holder full of all three necessary prescriptions...these are on us at all times.

 

Updated: Bob's Red Mill Review and GIVEAWAY

Please Note:

the date has changed!!!

I apologize for those of you anxiously

awaiting the results,

but I need to round up some more entries!

February 4th is the new end date.

Thanks so much!

In our house, we love Bob's Red Mill. They have a multitude of products we can use, which in itself is amazing, but they also have great texture and taste fantastic. Some of the flours we use on a regular basis include teff, sorghum, brown rice, white rice, arrowroot and tapioca, but the list does not stop with the flours. They also have creamy brown rice farina (have you seen this before?). I must admit I was excited when I first discovered this, it's the perfect oatmeal alternative for my boys. It's also quick to cook up. When done, I add a couple squirts of agave, chopped dates or raisins and a dash of cinnamon. They love it and I do, too.

Bob's Red Mill also has teff grain, not just the flour. It's another great item to use for a hot breakfast cereal. Just like the farina, throw some dried fruit, sweetener and spice and you have yourself a tasty morning meal. I'd also recommend throwing a little flax seed, hemp oil or other good omega's in there, Ry doesn't seem to do well with seeds, but we'll have to try them again soon, it's been quite awhile. Teff is also highly nutritious. Here's some more info on it from Wikipedia.

Recently, we received a bag of teff, sorghum, tapioca and arrowroot flour to sample. I loved them all, of course! The pear muffin recipe I posted earlier today has both sorghum and tapioca flour in it, but you could substitute the tapioca with arrowroot starch. Teff makes great pancakes and has a fantastic flavor.

In addition to reviewing these Bob's Red Mill products, what about winning some of them? Yep, that's right, three lucky readers are going to win themselves a bag of Bob's Red Mill Teff flour. If you haven't tried it yet, this is the perfect time to check it out and hopefully get yourself a bag, absolutely free! Want the details? They're posted below, so go ahead and take that one step to get yourself in on this giveaway. Leave ONE comment below, after you've followed Allergic Adventures. Looking for extra entries? Look below and leave one comment for that, as well. Good luck!

  • Visit Bob's Red Mill's website, to check out all their amazing products, especially for those of us baking gluten-free, but you don't have to tell me :) Just enjoy their products and I hope they come in good use for you!

Thanks so much for entering, the giveaway will run for one-week, ending Friday, February 4th at 8:00 pm, Alaska time (which is four-hours behind the East Coast :) ) The 3 winners will be selected from random.org and will be posted on Sunday, February 6th. The winners have 48-hours to contact me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

Disclaimer: Bob's Red Mill provided me with a free sample of these products to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review in return for the free product.

Review: Tropical Traditions Gold Label Standard Virgin Coconut Oil

I am excited to review my very first product, especially because this is a great one. Tropical Traditions Gold Label Standard Virgin Coconut Oil is amazing- the taste, texture and versatility. Coconut oil is solid until it reaches 76 degrees, then it liquifies, which means you can use it for a number of things. It’s a great oil to cook with. The coconut flavor is not overpowering; however, if you want to taste the coconut, use it when making a dish such as curry. I like using coconut oil as a butter alternative and enjoy it in the mornings, melted on gluten-free pancakes. It’s also a perfect addition to fruit or green smoothies. Excellent, kitchen-tested recipes can be found on Tropical Traditions Free Coconut Recipes blog

One thing I especially like about this coconut oil, besides it’s great texture and flavor, is that it comes in a glass jar. I am trying to move away from using so much plastic. I want to finally take the plunge and invest in some glass ‘tupperware’ and recycle all the plastic stuff we have. With all the talk about BPA, I am always searching for a ‘BPA-free’ label on plastic containers. However, with a glass jar, that’s not a requirement. Plus, the jar is a great shape to reuse, whether it’s for food, spices, beads, buttons, etc. 

Tropical Traditions exports their coconut oil from the Philippines, where small-scale family businesses produce this product. You can check out this video, titled “How We Discovered Virgin Coconut Oil - An Interview with Brian Shilhavy, CEO Tropical Traditions”  to learn more about this company.

The Gold Label Standard product provides the most antioxidants that are found in coconut oil; it’s of the finest quality. This coconut oil is also organic and I always appreciate that. I try to buy organic whenever I can, but it is expensive. So when something is both affordable and organic, I get excited. 

Check out Tropical Traditions for all their great sales and specials. Also, for my readers, Tropical Traditions will give you a complimentary copy of their Virgin Coconut Oil book, if you take part in their referral program. This is exceptionally easy- when placing your first order, choose “Referred by a Friend” and enter my userID: 6512018. Then your book will be added to your order, absolutely FREE! If you need any help checking out from Tropical Traditions, you can contact their customer service.

Tropical Traditions also offers many other great products, including palm shortening, which I am anxious to try. They also have poultry, which are raised on coconut-based feed. This means they are soy-free and with the holidays fast approaching, their turkey’s are a great option for that Thanksgiving feast.

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review in return for the free product.