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Rachel Packer's Blog (27)

Food Labels Leave Off Full Story for Food Allergy Sufferers

Below is an interview that I was a contributor for and my son was interviewed on WTOP radio. I am one proud mama.  
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Added by Rachel Packer on January 27, 2014 at 1:06pm — No Comments

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff...Not as Easy as it Sounds

The adage Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff really isn’t as simple as it sounds.  Sure, I would love to let the non-sensical things roll off my back while shedding all the angst, contemplation and anxiety that goes along with it.  I agree that the heart on my sleeve deserves a day off, as it has been working overtime lately. Admittedly, I have been guilty of sweating the small stuff, the big stuff, and all the stuff in between. This past November was my daughter’s bat mitzvah. Those of…

Added by Rachel Packer on January 17, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments

Facebook Forgiveness…Yom Kippur in the Electronic Age

I thought about writing this in my Facebook status box this morning…To all those I have wronged, I’m sorry.  Then, I thought, how disingenuous and trite that sounded.   As a kid, I used to nervously think about Yom Kippur and all its implications. Of course, the YK liturgy usually compounded my anxiety with frightening descriptions of angels trembling, the book of life, who…


Added by Rachel Packer on September 13, 2013 at 1:00pm — No Comments

My Big Fat, Vegetarian, Food Allergy/Cholesterol Free and Low Sodium Rosh Hashanah

The fact that Rosh Hashanah was so close to Labor day last week left me in a bit of a panic.  I'm not sure, but I think I heard my leather boots sniffling in the back of my closet, waiting to be called into high-holiday action. Yet, imagine their shock when I picked out something (gasp) sleeveless, not to mention that I went to high holiday services without... panty hose...(Please mom, don't judge me) still relying on my fading summer tan to complete…


Added by Rachel Packer on September 10, 2013 at 10:03am — No Comments

Diary of a Bake-o-Phobe-Just Another Manic Muffin Monday

I admit it.  I am a former bake-o-phobe.  Everything I touched turned to goo.  Gummy breads, hard rock  name it, I burned or charred it or set the fire alarm off.  Even the ducks at our local pond snubbed my baked goods.

When my son was diagnosed with multiple food allergies, I needed to roll up my sleeves and find a way to get over my bake-o-phobia.   It's been four years and I am happy to say that I have overcome my fears and I bring to you two awesome muffin recipes…


Added by Rachel Packer on July 7, 2013 at 2:50pm — No Comments

Running in Circles…One 5K at a Time

Ah….the year is finally winding down, yet, I am still running in circles. Camp forms need to be completed, sneakers need to be replaced, closets need expunging, duffle bags require fumigating.   I’m a one woman show.  I amass the camp clothes, label, wash all the pool towels on a regular basis and I wonder sometimes, do my kids actually know how much behind the scenes preparation it takes just so they can have fun? The answer is a…


Added by Rachel Packer on June 28, 2013 at 10:54am — No Comments

The Keurig Conundrum and Other Coffee Anxieties

My twelve-year old recently completed a semester of health class in middle school. I must tell you that the dinnertime conversations were truly peppered with some fascinating tidbits. I nearly choked on my chicken a few weeks ago when I got questions pertaining to menopause. Really? As if they don’t have enough to worry about in their young, hormonal, over programmed and pressured lives?

Then there was infectious disease week which brought on a serious fear of Rubella and Lockjaw.…


Added by Rachel Packer on June 26, 2013 at 10:47am — 3 Comments

Holiday Cooking

I have decided to get back to my Lick the Bowl roots. While this blog was originally intended to discuss food allergy related material including recipes and news items, I realized that my life was not just about food allergies. Don’t get me wrong, they take up a big chunk of my energy, but the blog seemed to take on a persona of it’s own and I liked the direction it took. Nevertheless, it’s holiday time and the one thing I love to do is experiment in the kitchen.

A few weeks ago, I…


Added by Rachel Packer on November 22, 2011 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

Coughing and Coffee are NOT Homophones

Wow! I have been sick. Sick as a dog sick. Sick, as I never want to be sick again for sickness sake sick. It all started out innocent enough. A cold. A tickle. An annoying drip. Who knew what a drip could do? Well, if a drip of water over millions of years could produce the world’s most humongous stalactites, I guess a drip in my throat for a month could build up just as well. So, perhaps there is a stalactite in my chest. Sure felt like one. A crushing, pressing, invasive, stalactite.… Continue

Added by Rachel Packer on October 28, 2011 at 11:18am — No Comments

Age 44 is the new 80?

It’s official; I am the poster child for Oral B hygiene. We now have a new gadget to add to our already expanding line of oral hygiene care. It seems both my husband and I have too much bacteria festering in our mouths, but for opposite reasons. I am overly aggressive in my dental care, and he isn’t aggressive enough. I told him that I could put up with many things that go along with aging, but teeth in a glass…deal breaker.

The dentist insists on a water pik twice a day,…


Added by Rachel Packer on September 20, 2011 at 11:14am — No Comments

Top Ten Travel Affirmations

This past weekend, I attended my niece’s bat mitzvah. Now, I could get maudlin and weepy, (which I’m known to do) and I could pontificate on the bittersweet subject of children growing up and time passing as the song Memories plays in my head.

I could obsess over the fact that we all have a few more lines on our faces, or grays on our heads, or muse over the palpable absence of loved ones, the aunts and uncles whom we elevated to immortal status , and yet eventually succumbed to the… Continue

Added by Rachel Packer on September 13, 2011 at 10:19am — No Comments

Clean Towels Really Shouldn’t Be a Passion

I realize that I haven’t written much lately, and maybe that’s because I just haven’t felt passionate about much over the past few days. Sure, school started, along with all of the crazy that accompanies those first few days, but I managed to get through it without too many tantrums (by me, that is). Life has fallen into a new routine, which is really the old routine –the sequel. Slowly, I have come to accept that I have crossed summer’s finish line, and entered the Fall zone without too…

Added by Rachel Packer on September 1, 2011 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

The Camp Chronicles: D-Day and Beyond

Well it’s hard to believe that my daughter finally came home from camp a mere four days ago (can you see me grinning from ear to ear?) I couldn’t stop touching her the entire day, as if she was an apparition about to slip through my fingers. She looked great, albeit tired, but had an air about her that clearly indicated… a change. A new self -confidence, or perhaps a bit more independent ... nevertheless, she was home!

I have finally made amends with the postman, though; he is still a… Continue

Added by Rachel Packer on August 25, 2011 at 1:33pm — No Comments

The Camp Chronicles: Throwing Out the Seeds of Doubt

Well, we are in the home stretch! The letters arrive a bit more sporadically and are no longer gut wrenching essays.

Camp is now being described as a “home away from home.” My girl is blossoming, absorbing, and taking it all in. She is thriving, smiling, and enjoying herself to the fullest. She is described by camp counselors, liaisons and friends as a model camper; the kind that every camp needs and promotes. She has made the definitive decision to return next year…four letters ago she… Continue

Added by Rachel Packer on August 16, 2011 at 5:43pm — No Comments

The Camp Chronicles: The Banana Bread Blues (Self Help Through Baking)

We are now down to 11 days before my girl comes home…but I’m not counting. The reports I receive indicate that she is doing great…I’m glad. However, I am still not used to the sensation of not having her around. While her days are filled with sports, swimming, and special projects, mine are restricted to being in the house alone at my computer, and while I relish the quiet, I can’t seem to quell that little anxious part of me that just wants her home already.

Yesterday, I walked…


Added by Rachel Packer on August 10, 2011 at 11:41am — No Comments

The Camp Chronicles

Sending your ten year old off to sleep away camp for the first time is rather comparable to a new pregnancy. After all, everyone has advice both good and bad, most people think they know more than you, and anticipation, doubt and nervousness are the emotions du jour. Throw in weight gain, breakouts, sleeplessness and lethargy, and I could be pregnant, or I’m just reacting to a difficult transition (trust me…it’s option #2. Option #1 would be a very different blog post).

It’s funny,… Continue

Added by Rachel Packer on August 1, 2011 at 11:17am — No Comments

The OB/GYN Secret Sister Society

This was a personal essay that never got published, but I always think these same thoughts everytime my yearly exam is on the calendar....Let me know if you ever feel the same.


Strangers are truly the common denominator of our daily existence, and while we train our children to avoid them, as adults, our interactions amongst them are inevitable, if not routine. However, there are those moments when we are profoundly affected by those strangers…


Added by Rachel Packer on July 14, 2011 at 11:46am — No Comments

Bad Hair Days and Wednesdays Always Get Me Down

Allow me to wallow in a vain, aesthetic and self-absorbed fashion. See, after a week or so of dealing with the ravaging effects of eczema on my child’s entire body along with multiple phone calls from the camp nurse and derm appointments (where I get yet another prescription for toxic steroid cream). Not to mention the sleepless nights full of worry that the kids will make fun of my son and it will affect his social standing throughout life because he is constantly scratching from head to toe.… Continue

Added by Rachel Packer on July 13, 2011 at 11:35am — No Comments

There's a Toothache in My Heart

A very well known and loved Rabbi, Rabbi Sidney Greenberg, (who incidentally was one of the many Rabbis who participated in my wedding), used this phrase, there’s a toothache in my heart, when refering to a friend and colleague who had fallen from grace…enough said. The saying struck me as so poignant and descriptive because we all know how brutal toothache’s can be, and that is exactly how it feels in our hearts when we are saddened or deeply troubled about something.

At 12:30… Continue

Added by Rachel Packer on July 8, 2011 at 10:31am — No Comments

From Chick-Lit to Social Awareness: The Books We Read and What They Say About Us

I am the first to admit that reading a book is more of a luxury these days than a reality. It ranks at the bottom of my priority list…what a shame, because I love to read. Unfortunately, after the dinner dishes are cleared and the kitchen tidied, no sooner do the nighttime rituals begin with showers and other assorted bedtime antics. Then, there is still work to be done like lunches, errant laundry, camp bags and if there is any energy remaining… a half-hearted workout. By the time I get to… Continue

Added by Rachel Packer on July 6, 2011 at 2:28pm — No Comments

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