Red for Canada Day

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on July 1, 2011

Shortly after dinner last night, I enjoyed a small bowl of some new So Delicious frozen dessert that we picked up at the grocery store. I don’t usually buy frozen dessert unless I need it for a special dessert for a group (otherwise I just make Banana Soft Serve!). Normally, I buy Coconut Bliss frozen dessert, but the only problem is that it’s very expensive for a tiny container (around $7-8). Last night I opted for this new soy-based kind because it’s twice the size and a few dollars cheaper.


Not even 5 minutes after having a small bowl (maybe half a cup?), I immediately knew something was wrong. The centre of my face started to burn and I walked over to a mirror and my face was the deepest shade of red I’ve ever seen! I felt like I just got the worst sunburn of my life. The redness quickly spread down my neck, shoulders, chest, and arms, and I knew something I ate was not happy in my body!

Eric gave me a Benadryl pill and we headed for the hospital. I was burning up so I brought an ice pack with me in the car and held it on my red arms. My throat felt like it was a bit swollen and my voice sounded like I had a bit of a cold and I was worried that it would get worse. We waited for about an hour at the ER and then I was brought into see the nurse to get my vitals checked out. Everything was fine and a little while later my body just completely returned to normal, except for my throat which was still a bit sore and a lingering headache. The ER was absolutely packed (with over 5 hour wait time), so we decided to head home now that my reaction had subsided. This morning I woke up with a slight headache, but other than that I feel fine.

The only new food I can think that I had yesterday was this frozen dessert. Everything else I ate was stuff I normally eat every day.

When I got home, I checked out the ingredient list:


I looked up Chicory Root Extract and apparently it can cause reactions in some people. I wonder if it was that? I also had no idea that the product may contain traces amounts of tree nuts, dairy protein, and peanuts! I know my sister had a really bad reaction to pine nuts before, but I can’t imagine there would be much in that tiny bowl I had. I also had an allergy test a couple years ago and everything came back negative. Could it be the Chicory Root or maybe something else? Has anyone else ever experienced a reaction like that? I was just thankful I didn’t break out into hives!


On our way home, I picked up a few Canada Day flags for our get together tonight and also a Best Health magazine. Myself and three other bloggers who won the Best Health Blog Awards are featured in the magazine. This was possible because YOU voted for me, so thank you again for your support!


I have a big Canada Day/long weekend BBQ menu post planned, so stay tuned!


Happy Canada Day!!!!!!!!

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

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Meredith July 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Yikes! I’m glad your reaction went away; I’ve had the So Delicious ice cream a few times, and I’ve never had a reaction, but I tend to stay away from packaged vegan ice cream because of the high price – like you, I usually go for banana soft serve!

Happy Canada Day!


shannonmarie July 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I love the banana soft serve, too. Everyone seems to be doing it, especially in the past few years. Good stuff. My kids and I eat it all the time. My toddler really is a fan. Check it out: and

We also like the coconut stuff from the store. The one with the cherries is a fave around here.

I’m not Canadian (but I love a lot of Canadian music, movies, etc.) Happy Canadian Day anyway!


Candace July 1, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Hi Angela!
I love reading your blog! I’m sorry to hear about your reaction. I am an Allergist/Immunologist and work with allergic reactions just about every day. I would definitely recommend seeing an Allergist for testing, but if you have any questions prior to your doctors visit I would be happy to help!
Hope that you have a wonderful weekend!


Anne July 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm

My mom gets all red (and itchy) when she eats carrageenan…


Lauren @ What Lauren Likes July 1, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Happy Canada Day fellow Cannuck :) I am sorry to hear about the reaction!! glad you feel a-okay now.


chelsey @ clean eating chelsey July 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Oh no! I’m so sorry you had an allergic reaction! That’s my favorite ice cream, so I can’t say I’ve had any bad experiences with it – glad you’re feeling better!!


Rhona July 1, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Yikes, super scary! At least you caught it quickly. I saw that brand at Fortino’s last week but opted not to get it because even though “cheaper” it is still expensive for soy cream. I hope you are having a great Canada Day despite this incident. Happy Birhtday to our home and native land. Feel better.


Beki Smith July 1, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Just wanted to wish you a happy Canada Day, from Glasgow, UK. Hope the sore throat shifts quickly :)


Hannah (Culture Connoisseur) July 1, 2011 at 3:10 pm

I believe there’s some chicory root in this organic throat coat tea I drink when I feel a little ill. It naturally numbs your throat and warms your body….maybe you’re body took that to a whole new level! ;)


Amanda Jewell @ Science&Bananas July 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm

SCARY! It could definitely be the chickory root! Or do you think it could be the soy? The pint itself might have been contaminated somehow also! I’m happy you’ve got Eric by your side to take care of you at least!
Can’t wait to see the Canada Day menus!!!
P.S. You know those two royals are over there celebrating Canada today too?! I think they’re so cute (I’m lame, I know)


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga July 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Chicory root…not good for people with gluten issues, either, b/c when I was a *strict* GF person, and was also pregnant and trying to not drink coffee, I wanted to drink the coffee substitutes but they are often made with chicory root in them and it can cause issues in those sensitive w/ gluten.

Also, when I was about 23, out of NO WHERE I ate shrimp one night at a restaurant and had spent a lifetime eating shrimp and other shellfish with no issues. And I had a severe, sudden, and life threatening anaplactic shock rxn to shrimp and that was the deciding day that I was not going to be a shellfish-dabbling every once in awhile eating type vegetarian. Nope. Shellfish is off the table and I have accidentally had it since then (shellfish touched over food/cross contamination in a restaurant meal) and ended up in the hosp AGAIN with a horrible near death reaction.

So it IS possible to just suddenly out of no where develop rxns to things!

Glad you are OKAY!


Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin July 1, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Wow that’s so bizarre, especially since you’ve never had an allergic reaction to foods before. I’d be so curious to find out what caused it! But I’m glad it wasn’t anything serious and that you’re okay now.

A few weeks ago I had a reaction to the Nuts to You brand of tahini… it must have been cross contaminated with other nuts. Guess I know not to eat that stuff again!

Hope you’re enjoying your Canada day!


Audrey July 1, 2011 at 5:53 pm

That sounds awful! I’m glad things are back to normal now!

I had no idea that product had traces of dairy in it. I guess it’s not vegan so I won’t be buying it.


Jackie Smith July 1, 2011 at 7:18 pm

I’m sorry you had such a bad reaction, but glad it subsided! that vanilla is ICK anyway.

I’m a tried & true Coconut Bliss fan.


Sharon July 2, 2011 at 6:42 am

Wow, how crazy! I had a similar experience a few weeks ago. I’ve never had an allergic reaction before but I came home from work and had a mango, some hazelnuts and coffee… all foods that I eat regularly. Within 5 minutes I started getting really itchy and my ears felt really hot. After scratching away for about 5 minutes I finally decided I must be getting hives. Sure enough, when I looked in the mirror my arms, chest and legs were covered in hives and my face was swollen and red. I popped a benadryl and then took a nap. When I woke up everything was back to normal. I didn’t know much about allergic reactions – still don’t, but a few days later I wanted to attempt to retrigger the reaction so I could figure out exactly what caused it (so I could later avoid that ingredient). I didn’t know that allergic reactions could get worse. No luck (or maybe good luck?) – nothing happened. I still don’t know what caused the strange allergic reaction but should probably invest in an epi pen just in case it randomly shows up again.


Liisa July 2, 2011 at 9:59 am

That chicory root does sounds suspicious, though it’s totally possible that you have developed an allergy to a food you don’t consume regularly, in this case perhaps dairy.

My older son is allergic to nuts and peanuts. The younger one isn’t. Our allergist made a point to instruct us to feed the younger son nuts as often as possible when we are outside our home and not with the older son (at least once a week if possible) so that he doesn’t develop a sensitivity or allergy to the nuts.

Oh, and yes, So Delicious and other soy milk products are known to have milk protein… our allergic-to-dairy little four-year-old friend only drinks rice milk or eats coconut milk-based products when she comes to our place.


Jena July 2, 2011 at 11:15 am

Tim Horton’s coffee has chickory root… Being Canadian, I’m sure you’ve had that before….


Jenny$1983 July 4, 2011 at 9:55 am

I missed this post until now, I just wanted to say I’m sorry you had a reaction like this, they’re very frightening: just over a fortnight ago I had a reaction to Quinoa which I’m only just recovering from. I’d eaten it previously and been fine, but this time it made me violently ill (not through a skin reaction, although I did some research and some people have what sounds like an identical reaction to yours, even if they’ve eaten it for years and been fine with it) and I was vomiting (and other things, not to put too fine a point on it) and felt woolly-headed until the day after. My digestive system, always a delicate thing, still hasn’t quite got back on track :( I’ve never had a reaction to anything else and I found it a horrible experience and I truly sympathize with you!


Jen V. July 14, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Hi Angela, I have had So Delicious by Turtle Mountain many times but I get the coconut based (non-soy) ice cream instead. Sorry to hear about your reaction, I hope you find out what it was that caused that. Years ago I went into a Victoria Secret store and sprayed a body spray on and ended up with welts and hives all over my body that itched like crazy. I had to go to the ER and get a shot of adrenalin to ease my symptoms. To this day I still have no idea what caused it.


Natalie December 7, 2012 at 2:42 pm

I recently had an allergic reaction to vegan cheese. I’ve been told that it was most probably the preservatives in it. I had hives all over. Has anyone had a similar reaction. I wanted to try eating the cheese again to make 100% sure that it was the vegan cheese. But my doctor told me not to because the next reaction might be worse. For the last few months I’ve been very tired & after loads of test, nothing was wrong. I then decided to keep a food diary because mydoctor asked me if I’m tired after eating. & it was the case,after having rice milk and refined foods. & then the hives after the vegan cheese.


Steve January 8, 2014 at 9:16 pm

My son had a serious reaction of this type that we believe was from chicory root. His allergist indicated there was no test for chicory root (or ginseng, another possible culprit). Several posts seem to indicate there is a common test for these substances. Can anyone help us find someone to do this test so we can narrow it down?



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