Brooke's Pumpkin Dilema

Brooke’s Pumpkin Dilema

What’s up Pumpkin 😉 You itchy today?

In anticipation for the upcoming holiday of Halloween, we would like to share a story of one of our clients. This client had a reaction when carving her pumpkin for Halloween!

Who doesn’t like carving pumpkins? Brooke was no different than any other Halloween lover. When she was little, she would always watch her mom carve pumpkins. Her Mom would say, “when you get older, I will let you carve the pumpkins yourself.” When the time came, Brooke was so excited that she would finally get to carve the pumpkin all by herself. Unfortunately, her excitement soon turned into a disaster. As she started to carve the pumpkin, her hands started to itch. She was still so excited and tried to overlook the fact that her hands actually felt like they were on fire. When it came time to clean out the seeds and guts of the pumpkin, she was scooping out the guts with her hands. By the time she was finished, she looked down at her hands and she was covered in a rash all the way up to her elbows. She was pretty upset and felt miserable. She had no idea what had just happened. The anticipation of waiting all this time to carve the pumpkin herself had now turned into a miserable scratching fest! Unfortunately, the connection between the rash and the pumpkin was never even considered.

Several months later, Brooke was having some digestive issues and her mom decided to have Brooke tested for intolerances by 5Strands Affordable Testing. When she received Brooke’s results report, she was surprised to see that Pumpkin was listed as a level 3 (highest) reaction item on the Environmental Report. Now it clicked! She now understood what happened when Brooke was carving her pumpkin!

As much as she enjoyed carving her pumpkin, now Brooke realized that she was not going to be able to carve pumpkins anymore. This test saved her lots of pain and grief.

In honor of Halloween and since Brooke can’t carve her own pumpkin, 5Strands Affordable Testing has decided to have Pumpkin Carving Day at the office. We will dedicate one of our pumpkins to Brooke!

PS: Everyone at the office has been tested and no one has an intolerance to Pumpkin!


National Boss’ Day

National Boss’ Day

Today is National Boss’ Day

For all the brave men and women out there that dared to be bold enough to start their own business, we salute you!

Today I would like to acknowledge the woman that had the vision to start our company. Lisa Blaurock is the founder of 5Strands Affordable testing. After working with her husband in a very successful roofing business and two children later, she was struggling with her weight. She eventually decided to have the lap band surgery done. While finally losing weight, she started to develop what the Doctors thought were complications from the lap band. The recommendation was to remove the band. She went ahead with the removal, but the symptoms did not go away and the weight started creeping back on. Another Doctor suggested Allergy/Intolerance testing that would cost $850! Desperate for answers, she went ahead with the testing and found out she was gluten and dairy intolerant among lots of other things. She immediately eliminated all the items that she was intolerant to and all of the symptoms (heartburn, burping, upset stomach) she was experiencing started to go away. All of the issues she was having were from the food she was eating for years.

Several months later, one of her daughters that was a college athlete was complaining of a constant stomach ache and bloating. Lisa knew that she should be tested for intolerances also but did not want to spend another $850! She did some research and found another lab that would do the same type of tests for $250. After her daughter’s results were received, they found out she was gluten and dairy intolerant also!

The second daughter started complaining about similar symptoms and Lisa said there has got to be a cheaper way for these tests to be done. After long hours of research, she found a lab that was willing to partner with her in selling the test at an affordable price. Not really looking to start a new business but rather looking forward to retirement, she was actually pushed by a 22 year old family friend into starting this business to help other people that are in a similar situation. That is how Affordable Allergy Test was created. After several months of successfully selling the test for humans, people were asking about getting their pets tested. Being a pet parent to 4 dogs and 3 cats, it was natural that the next test would be geared towards pets. Hence the making of Affordable Pet Test.

Affordable Pet Test has taken on a life of its own. It has changed the lives of so many pets and her long term goal is to provide tests for shelters and rescue groups in order to help the pets with skin and allergy issues to get adopted.

It has been truly amazing to watch the growth and the inspiration that Lisa has provided to her employees and to others during this journey. We all can not wait to see what else she has in store for us all.



American Beer Week

American Beer Week

In honor of American Beer Week and Octoberfest, Affordable Testing is making a toast!

 It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right? You’ve had a long day at work and all you want to do is get out of traffic, grab a beer from the fridge and plop your feet up in front of the TV.

Being gluten-free is challenging enough, but beer being on the “do not consume” list makes it more frustrating. Good news! There are many alternative beers made with sorghum, rice, buckwheat, chest nets and millet, rather than the wheat and barley of traditional beer. When it comes to consuming gluten-free friendly beer, those with sensitivities should be diligent, read labels and ask questions. Is it gluten-reduced or gluten-free? Is it manufactured on dedicated or shared lines? Be aware that for a beer to qualify being labeled as gluten-reduced or gluten-free, the producer must test the end product with a result below 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. So, a small amount of gluten may still remain. As with everything else you eat or drink that is gluten-free, consume what tastes best to you and does not have a negative impact on your health.

Next time you need a cold one, here are 12 gluten-free beers to consider that really do taste great!

  • Dogfish Head Tweason’ale
  • Green Dubbel Dark Ale
  • Estrella Damm Daura
  • Stone Delicious IPA
  • Ipswich Ale Celia Saison
  • Lakefront Brewery New Grist
  • Harvester Brewing IPA
  • Omission Lager
  • Glutenberg IPA (my personal favorite)
  • Brunehaut Bio Blonde
  • RedBridge
  • Bard Dragon Gold

Gluten-free beer is great if you don’t want to feel extremely bloated after drinking one. It also helps keep the beer belly away! Potential benefits of beer are: it’s rich in antioxidants, contains vitamins and minerals, boosts heart health, improves immunity, aids digestion, and can reduce risk of diabetes.

When your buddy wants to grab a beer, enjoy raising your glass too! Cheers!