Thursday, 15 November 2018

Discoloured Epi-Pen

Do check your Epi-Pens from time to time. The Epi-Pen injector on the right in the picture above is discoloured. The epinephrine solution has turned cloudy and opaque. It should not be used. The one on the left is still clear. Even though the Epi-Pen on the left has expired, I'm still keeping it as a back-up due to the Epi-Pen shortage situation.

The FDA issued a statement in August 2018 that some Epi-Pens could be safe to used FOUR months after expiry if kept in proper conditions. Click HERE to read about it.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Allergy Fact 8 - (Cashew Nut & Pink Peppercorn Allergy)

People who have an allergy to cashew nuts can be allergic to pink peppercorns as they are related. They belong to the Anacardiaceae family. Pink peppercorns are aromatic berries from the cashew family.

Not only pink peppercorns belong to the Anacardiaceae family. Pistachios, mangoes, poison oak, poison ivy and poison sumac belong to this same family!

*It is believed that the allergenic substance in the pink peppercorns could be urushiol, an oily substance present in some of the Anacardiaceae family. In mangoes, urushiol is found in the skin. While in cashews, it is in the shell of the cashew nut. In poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac, urushiol is found in the sap.

*taken from HERE

Click on LINK to read more about cashews.

The World Allergy Organization Journal recorded a rare case of a woman who went into an anaphylactic shock due to consuming pink peppercorns. This woman has had an allergy to cashews since she was 18 years old which resulted in anaphylaxis attacks. To read about this case in detail and to further understand the cause of the anaphylaxis attack when she consumed only pink peppercorns and not cashews, click on LINK.

**Pink peppercorns are not related to the Southeast Asian black pepper family at all! The tree which the pink peppercorns grow on are known by many names: Brazilian pepper, Peruvian pepper, Peruvian mastic tree, Baies Rose, California pepper tree, American pepper tree, Florida Holly, Christmasberry, and peppercorn tree.

**Even the berries are known by many names: Christmas berries, rose berries, false pepper, pink peppercorns, pink pepperberries, pink berries and rose baises.

**taken from HERE

Pink peppercorns have become mainstream in many chefs' gourmet dishes. They are added for their attractive pink colour. They also give a sweet and lighter peppery taste unlike the black peppers. The pink peppercorns are used to flavour ice-cream and even chocolate! Some craft beer brewers add them to their beer to produce unique flavoured beers.

Click on TREE NUT ALLERGY to read more about nut allergies.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Thermomix Steamed Wrapped Chicken Balls in Chinese Cabbage


1. 500gm of minced chicken
- seasoned with sea-salt, white pepper (optional), chopped carrots, fresh mushrooms (optional), cooking oil, cornstarch (you can use potato starch)
2. Chinese cabbage (wash the leaves and set aside to dry)
3. Toothpicks


1. Fill the TMX jug to the number 2 mark.

2. Place the TMX jug onto the machine. Place cover and MC.

3. Set 30 minutes/100C/Speed 2.

4. Each chicken ball should be about 1.5 inches in size. Wrap each chicken ball with a cabbage leaf and stick a toothpick through it to hold it in place.

5. Place the chicken balls on the Varoma tray.

6. Once the temperature reaches 100C, remove the MC and place the Varoma tray on the TMX jug. Cover the Varoma tray.

7. Allow it to steam for about 15 minutes.

8. Once it is cooked, remove the balls and place new ones and continue steaming until all are cooked.

9. Serve them hot with soup or rice.

Bon appetit!

I did not have enough cabbage leaves. I steamed them on their own. It was delicious too!

Friday, 5 October 2018

Food-Dependant Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis

Back then when I had my first anaphylactic attack, I was told of a true story by the doctor who attended to me while I was in the ER. She told me that there was a young man who had no history of allergies. He had gone to the gym as usual. After his gym session, he went to the bakery to buy a bun as he was starving. He then wolfed the whole thing down. He was on his way to the car (he was lucky he was still in the mall) when he suddenly felt ill. He was having an anaphylaxis attack! Before he collapsed, he staggered back into the bakery, demanded for a pen and paper and wrote down his wife's phone number. He then collapsed. The people at the bakery called his wife who then called an ambulance to be sent to where he was.

The ambulance came and sent him to the hospital and he was lucky to have survived without an EpiPen.

Turned out he had food-dependant exercise induced anaphylaxis.

What is food-dependant exercise induced anaphylaxis?

It is a reaction of food plus exercise.

It can happen when one consumes food before an exercise session OR immediately after an exercise session. It can even happen when the person consumes the trigger food on the day of the exercise and not necessarily immediately BEFORE or AFTER the exercise session.

It can also happen when a person takes aspirin on the day they exercise!

The first ever report of this food-dependant exercise induced anaphylaxis was in 1979. The most common trigger in the West is wheat and Asia, shellfish. The exact mechanism of why this happens is still unknown.

To read more about this, click on LINK.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Keep Your Expired Epi-Pens!

As there isn't news on when the Epi-Pens shortages will be over, we are now told to hold on to our old and expired Epi-Pens.

Click on LINK to read more about this.

Malaysia does not bring in any other adrenaline auto-injectors other than the Epi-Pen. With this worldwide shortage, that was what I was adviced. Just make sure that the liquid is clear in your Epi-Pen. There is a window on the pen where you can check.

Thursday, 30 August 2018



1. 4 slices of bread (old bread) 
- many recipes remove the crusts. I did not as I did not want to waste them.
2. Butter
3. Sea-salt


1. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Preheat oven at 180C. 

3. Place the 4 slices of bread on the baking paper.

4. Spread butter over the bread generously. 

5. Sprinkle some sea-salt.

6. Cut the bread into cubes.

7. Place in oven and bake for 20 mins (or until golden brown and crispy).

8. Allow to cool.

9. Keep in airtight container. 

10. You can enjoy them with soup or eat them on their own.

Bon appetit!

Thursday, 23 August 2018

It's About Time!

The F.D.A. has finally approved a generic Epi-Pen!

The no-stock, malfunctioning pens and sky rocketing prices have gone on for far too long.

Click on LINK to read more about the generic pens.