Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Where I like to hang out online

I haven't really figured out my relationship to this blog, even though I've been writing it for FIVE years now. I can't believe that can possibly be right. Some days I feel very share-y about our journey with food and allergies and health in general and other days I feel quite private about all of it. And sometimes those private days stretch into weeks and months.

I also think about privacy as Ellie gets older and I realize that this is her story as much as it is mine. I'm not sure how I'd feel if my parents had broadcasted my health history to the world during my childhood. Seems quite weird.

I wrote this blog in the early days because I needed to. I needed the writing to process what was happening and to get validation from other parents who were having similar struggles. I think I still have that need, but it isn't nearly as big now that I have more years and more knowledge under my belt.

Sorting out what to share and what to keep private has generally been a tricky thing for me in this new age of social media, an age I did not grow up in. My family got a computer when I was in high school and it was used very rarely, mostly for typing up really important assignments or gathering as a family and writing a group email to my brother once he left for college.

As a stay-at-home mom I find that I crave the connection social media offers me, but I want to share things in my way, on my own terms. I may give a peek into our life, but no one except my husband and children truly know what our family life is like, and I think that's as it should be.

But I do love social media because it opens doors to connect with like-minded people. I've made a wonderful friend who read this blog religiously, reached out to me and shared her painfully similar circumstances and now we are Facebook friends. Even though we've never met (I live in Portland, Oregon and she lives in New Zealand) I treasure that friendship because she gets it.

Recently I've been embracing Instagram as a fun way to explore my love of photography and have coincidentally connected with quite a few other homeschooling moms, which has been so nice on those lonely "Am I the only person homeschooling in the world" days.

When I started this blog I got quite a few comments on each post. I think part of it was because I was starting the GAPS intro diet at the same time as quite a few other people, and we built community by following each other's blogs. But over time that connection seemed to fade. A surprising number of people still read this blog, but there are few comments, so I don't know who they are! The sense of connection went away. (I am sure my extremely sporadic posts didn't help in this regard.)

At any rate, I thought I'd share where I hang out online these days in case there are others looking to connect. On Pinterest you can find me at and on Instagram you can search for annieandfam.

I will continue to write here as the inspiration strikes. If you're reading this, I'd sure love it if you'd leave a comment and let me know why you're here - do you have a kid with allergies? Are you on a special diet? Do you have Hashimoto's? Did you Google GAPS? None of the above? Are you a family member? Haha :) Hearing from you might help me figure out how to best use this space. 


  1. Hi Annie, I've been a secret (but grateful) reader (blog stalker?) for a while now but found your site after my youngest son had an anaphylactic reaction after starting solid foods last May. It started me down this rabbit hole of not only food allergies, but special diets, GAPS, paleo, discovering my own problems (also Hashimoto's), etc. Pretty much a life-changing journey; as you well know. So I have not only appreciated your blogging about all your experiences but have found motivation and inspiration in your journey. And so many resources and ideas. Thank you for all of it. Just wanted to say hi and that I'll be happy for whatever you post in this space going forward! :-)

    1. Hi Carissa,

      Thanks for your comment! I'm so glad this blog has been helpful to you.

      It is indeed a life-changing journey and I'm so glad I was able to be a small help for you on yours.


  2. I found you when searching for Ketotifen and fatigue - I have reactions and sensitivities to all foods, have been on a whole foods diet for years and only meat (no fruits or veggies) for a year due to sensitivities, I have SIBO I've had to treat over and over, hashimotos etc.

    I read in your most recent post that treating SIBO was very helpful for her - as it has been for me in the past. But these things always come back, I think due to poor (nonexistent?) digestion I'm guessing is caused by my hypothyroidism. I'm starting thyroid meds again soon.

    May I ask how the Ketotifen worked out?

  3. Hi Karima,

    Ketotifen is one of the top tools in our tool box for Ellie's health. She has gone off of it a couple of times in the past few years and every time it's been a disaster. She is sensitive to high salicylate foods and for whatever reason Ketotifen is very effective in helping her body handle those foods better. The reaction Ellie gets when eating high salicylate foods is hyperactivity, hyperverbosity (can't stop talking), tummy ache and symptoms of interstitial cystitis. Ellie also has some oral allergy syndrome cross reactive foods, like banana and carrots, and that's where I noticed an improvement after we treated her SIBO. I'm not sure what exactly the connection is there other than that gut health can impact food allergies.

    Supporting digestion is definitely key! I've learned that through treating Ellie's allergies and food sensitivities and through treating my Hashimoto's. We have dabbled with all kinds of digestive support, from bile salts, to HCL, to apple cider vinegar before meals, to digestive enzymes.

    I would definitely recommend getting the support of a functional nutritionist to help you navigate this stuff - SIBO and Hashi's and food sensitivities are so complicated! Wishing you the best.