Week in Review

Busy week here in our house ending in a larger than expected snowstorm that dumped 10 – 15 inches on us. That sounds bad, but when you see what some areas on the east coast got, we got nothing! DC got 30 inches so far & it is still coming down!

Several products have been recently certified by the GFCO (Gluten Free Certification Organization). From the GFCO’s website:

Mission

Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) provides an independent service to supervise gluten-free food production according to a consistent, defined, science-based standard that is confirmed by field inspections, in order to achieve heightened consumer confidence and safety.
Vision

GFCO envisions simplified consumer identification of gluten-free foods based upon the presence of the GF Certification Mark on product labels, and that this mark is known as the gluten-free standard for consumers.
Values

GFCO seeks to improve the health of those living on a gluten-free diet by providing a system that ensures standards, which are based on sound scientific research.
Overarching Principle

GFCO provides consumers and manufacturers confidence in knowing, that products labeled with the GFCO certification mark meet the strictest standards for gluten-free. These voluntary standards go beyond the requirements of government laws and regulations in order to ensure public confidence.
Goal

GFCO provides a uniform system, using strict standards to certify a product gluten-free and enables people to easily identify GF foods with confidence.
Objectives

GFCO’s primary responsibilities are to
1) Contribute to the health of consumers with gluten intolerance, by offering a certification mark for gluten-free foods that meet stringently high inspection standards, based on scientific research.
2) Recognize and support food manufacturers, who provide safe gluten-free products.
3) Make decisions and actions that which do not knowingly compromise or impair consumer health.

The most recent products are:

Fage Dairy USA
Wellshire Farms
Conte’s Pasta
Mary’s Gone Crackers
Nana’s Cookie Company

Medifast

Fresh and Ready Foods

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I have several new articles up this week. The following are all on the Examiner:

Recall for undeclared wheat

Gluten Nanny holding a workshop in Dublin

Raisin Rack’s February sales

Joan’s GF Great Bakes English Muffins Review

These are all on Celiac-Disease.com:

Trader Joe’s Women’s Once Daily Multivitamin & Mineral Supplement

Living Gluten-free – The Teenage Years

Traveling Gluten-free – Teen Version

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If you want to give Zing Bars a try, now is the time. There is a special discount code for my readers through the end of February. Please click here for more details.

Hope you all have a great Super Bowl Sunday! Who is your team? Jon is rooting for the Saints. Hannah is just rooting against Jon. LOL!

 

 

 

 

 

Luna & Larry’s Giveaway Winners

Thanks to all who entered the giveaway for the Luna & Larry’s coupons. I used Random.org to choose the winners.

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

16 22 1
Timestamp: 2010-02-07 00:14:58 UTC

#1 Elissa Mahler
February 4th, 2010 at 8:35 am
I would love to win one of these! I am always on the lookout for good gluten free food!

#16 Colleen
February 4th, 2010 at 9:29 pm
I love your blog and all your product reviews. I am a newbie and your advice and suggestions are excellent. I would love to try dark chocolate bars!

#22 Karen Grdina
February 5th, 2010 at 4:06 pm
We would love to try the chocolate peanut butter!!!

Please shoot me an email with your contact information & I will get the coupons out to you ASAP! kim@glutenfreeislife.com

Congrats!!!

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Barbara’s Puffins Update

As I posted the other day, I was confused about the labeling on the new Multigrain Puffins. I sent an email to Barbara’s and here is the response I got:

Hi Kimberly,

Thanks for your inquiry and comments about the oat flour in our new Multigrain Puffins.

Barbara’s Multigrain Puffins contain only “pure” oats, which are certified uncontaminated.

As you may know, for many years those adhering to a gluten-free diet omitted oats due to cross-contamination with wheat, rye and barley. Barbara’s commitment to a true wheat-gluten free product led us to purchase “pure” oats.

These oats cost almost four times as much as conventional oats but the result is a truly wheat gluten-free oat. Our oat products are certified by the Gluten-free Certification Organization (GFCO) and tested by ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). Further, our production team follows strict protocols to make and package Multigrain Puffins to avoid possible cross-contamination. We test every batch through a third party accredited lab. No product leaves our facility until we get back the clean test results. By ensuring quality at each step, Barbara’s Bakery is able to guarantee a safe, delicious and nutritious gluten-free cereal.

What do authoritative organizations say about pure oats?
Recent studies show that pure oats can be safely eaten in a gluten-free food plan. Several authoritative organizations are now allowing for oats in a gluten-free diet:
– In April 2008, the American Dietetic Association’s hot topic on the inclusion of oats in a gluten-free diet stated, “although oats contain the gluten protein, avenin, research shows that pure oats in moderation (1 cup, cooked) are safe for most people with CD (celiac disease), however, most oats and oat products sold can be cross-contaminated with gluten-containing grains.”
– The American Dietetics Association’s Nutrition Care Manual patient education materials state, “In the past oats were believed to be harmful to persons with celiac disease. Based on recent research, moderate amounts of uncontaminated oats are now considered safe to include in a gluten-free nutrition prescription. However, commercially available oats in the United States may be contaminated with small amounts of wheat, barley, or rye.”
– Health Canada and the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) conclude that the “majority of people with celiac disease can tolerate moderate amounts of pure oats.”

Additionally, I asked about the PB, Cinnamon & Original Puffins and they are NOT gluten-free. Here is a list of gluten-free products that Barbara’s offers:

Below are listings of Gluten Free Products and products made with Gluten Free Ingredients. This information can also be found on our Web site at www.BarbarasBakery.com, click on Healthy Lifestyles, select Special Diets from the menu on the upper left corner of the page.

 

MADE WITH GLUTEN FREE INGREDIENTS: (Because we don’t test for gluten and do not manufacture in gluten free environments, we cannot guarantee that there is no cross contamination from gluten containing grains in these products.)

Cheese Puffs, Original
Cheese Puff Bakes, Original
Cheese Puff Bakes, White Cheddar

 

GLUTEN FREE (tested to contain less than 20 ppm of gluten)

Honey Rice Puffins Cereal
Multigrain Puffins (made with gluten free oats)
Brown Rice Crisps, Organic
Corn Flakes, Organic

 

We hope this information helps you out with your dietary needs.

So, there you have it. I am going to be on the lookout for the Multigrain Puffins so that I can give them a try. I love the Honey Rice Puffins – so I am hopeful! :)

 

 

 

Product Review: Lucy’s Cookies

I was lucky enough to receive some complimentary samples of Lucy’s Cookies a couple weeks back. Lucy’s cookies are now being carried in select Starbuck’s, along with a few other gluten-free snacks.

Who is Lucy?

When Dr. Lucy Gibney learned her child had severe food allergies, she got down to some serious medical research — in the kitchen. Today, Lucy’s® cookies stand as delicious proof that no one should have to sacrifice tasty treats because of their dietary concerns.

What makes Lucy’s Cookies so different?

Every crispy, crunchy, delicious Lucy’s® cookie is gluten free and baked without dairy milk, butter, eggs, casein, peanuts or tree nuts. But you’d never know it. They taste delicious!

Some awesome facts about Lucy’s:

  • Certified Gluten-free
  • Vegan
  • Kosher
  • Woman Owned Business

There are 4 different varieties of Lucy’s cookies:

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Chocolate Chip

Cinnamon Thin

Sugar Cookie

Oatmeal Cookie

These cookies are super good! You would never know that they are missing not only gluten, but dairy and eggs! The flavors & texture are awesome! The nutrition stats are decent at 120 – 130 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 4.5 grams of fat & 1 gram of fiber per 3 cookies. If I had to choose a favorite, it would be the Cinnamon Thin & Jon’s is the Sugar Cookie.

Along with Starbuck’s and on Lucy’s site, you can also find Lucy’s cookies in over 7,000 stores across the US & Canada! Please use the store locator to find a location close to you.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

Vita Coco Coconut Water

Have any of you guys tried Vita Coco Coconut Water? Another naturally gluten-free product. There is a deal right now on Amazon on this stuff. I tried out another brand of coconut water last week immediately after my long run of 10 miles & felt much better after rehydrating with that than I do when I use Gatorade. I love that there are so many electrolytes in it: potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, and phosphorous. I also just became of fan of Vita Coco on Facebook – I can’t wait to try this stuff out! I will make sure to write a review once I have tried it out for a while. :)

Starbucks Disappointment

It is not often that I write a post like this. I really don’t like to “dis” anyone, especially those companies that have gone to the lengths that Starbucks has to offer gluten-free products. However, I am very disappointed in my experience at Starbucks today.

As I went to get some work done this morning at home, I discovered that my internet service was down. I had some pressing things that had to get done, so off to Starbucks I went. I figured that while I was there, I could also sample the KIND bars they were supposed to be sampling today. I went in & ordered my coffee, 2 year old God daughter, Emma, in tow. I sat down, unpacked my laptop and went to get online. Well, that is not possible without a “Starbucks Card/Account”. No free wifi! WHAT? The nice woman sitting next to me told me that I could just sign up right there, so I tried to on the Starbucks website that came up on my laptop. Guess what? They send an email confirmation to your email address before your account can be activated. See where I am going with this? How exactly am I supposed to access my email if I can’t access the internet? I went up to the counter, Emma in tow, offering multiple customers her Goldfish, and asked the barista. Well, seems you can’t sign up in the store, you have to do it before hand. How inconvenient is that? If I would have known that in advance, I would have just gone to Panera or Caribou Coffee. I asked for my money back for my coffee, since the only reason I purchased it was so that I wasn’t in there just to use the internet. I didn’t feel bad because I hadn’t even taken a drink yet & now I had to pack up & head to Caribou, where I am now. As a side note, they didn’t even have any samples of the KIND bar out! I saw all of the gluten-free snacks on display for sale, but no samples.

I can understand a company or establishment not wanting people to come in just to use their wifi, but most people don’t do that. Most people will buy something. I think it is a huge turnoff to customers to charge them for something that they can get for free right up the road. A prime example – me. I am now sitting in Caribou, with a decaf cold-pressed iced coffee and my free wifi. I can guarantee that I will make sure to give my money to a company that looks for ways to accommodate their customers, not inconvenience them.

Product Review: Kay’s Naturals

I received a package of samples from Kay’s Naturals a few weeks back. Rebecca sent me a wide variety of samples that both Jon & I happily dug into.

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Some information from Kay’s:

Kay’s is dedicated to bringing a better alternative to traditional snacks and cereals to the health and fitness conscious consumer. Our products are delicious, made with all-natural soy protein and high-fiber. These products can help to sustain energy, manage weight loss, and stabilize blood sugar. They are an option for all ages and lifestyles and for anyone seeking sources of protein in their diets, including people with diabetes, bariatric patients, body builders, vegetarians, the elderly, and children. They are ideal for the office, sports, on the road, and at home.

The products we reviewed:

Apple Cinnamon Cereal

French Vanilla Cereal

Chili Cheese Protein Chips

Crispy Parmesan Protein Chips

Lemon Herb Protein Chips

White Cheddar Kruncheeze

Cinnamon Toast Pretzel Sticks

Jalapeno Honey Mustard Pretzel Sticks

Honey Flavored, Almond Filled Protein Cookie Bites

Cinnamon Flavored, Almond Filled Protein Cookies Bites

Out of all the products that we tried, we liked the Crispy Parmesan Protein Chips & Protein Cookie Bites the best. We enjoyed the other snacks, too. These were great for tossing in packed lunches for school or my gym bag or purse for a quick on-the-go snack or refueling snack after a run. For example, the Protein Cookie Bites have 10 grams of protein and 110 calories per 1 oz serving! I paired this with a small container of Oikos Greek Yogurt for a protein-filled snack! 25 grams of protein & 200 calories. Good bang for your nutrition buck.

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You can find Kay’s Naturals products right on Kay’s site, on Gluten-free Mall or on Amazon.com.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

Product Review & Giveaway

I had the pleasure of receiving some free coupons from Luna & Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss a few weeks back. I have 3 to give away to 3 lucky readers!

Coconut Bliss is soy, dairy & gluten-free. It is organic. It is vegan. It is sweetened with agave. Does it get any better? I think not.

Some more information on Coconut Bliss:

About the Company:

Our company, Bliss Unlimited, LLC, is dedicated to creating unique and exquisitely delicious desserts, consciously prepared from the most nutritious and wholesome organic ingredients available, and bringing them to market in ways that express our reverence for both people and the planet. We are located in Eugene, Oregon (the home of many wonderful natural food companies), where we make Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss with care and love.

About Luna & Larry:

People are continually asking us how we came up with Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss. We’d like to say we are entrepreneurial geniuses, but the truth is much humbler—we just wanted a tasty frozen dessert that we could enjoy eating without feeling bad afterwards. We had both given up dairy for health and ethical reasons, and tried all the soy- and rice-based alternatives, but weren’t satisfied with any of them. They either didn’t taste good, or we felt sick after eating them, or they had a long list of ingredients that didn’t really sound like food. One day Luna said ‘what about coconut milk?’ We’d used it a lot in Thai-style cooking and it seemed ideal. It was naturally rich and creamy and had great nutritional properties. So with the aid of a two-dollar hand-cranked ice cream maker from Goodwill we made our first batch. As soon as we tried it, we knew we were on to something special. As time went by and we shared it with our friends, who also loved it, it became apparent to us that we should focus our energy on this and make it available to more people.

Luna Marcus and Larry Kaplowitz, founders

Flavors:

Pints
Pineapple Coconut
A creamy, luscious, piña colada
Ingredients: Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut, Water, Guar Gum), Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Pineapple, Organic Pineapple Juice Concentrate, Organic Coconut Extract, Organic Rum Extract (view nutrition label)

Naked Almond Fudge
Coconut amaretto Bliss with toasted almonds and fudge
Ingredients: Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut, Water, Guar Gum), Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Chocolate Fudge (Organic Agave Syrup, Water, Organic Fair Trade Cocoa [processed with alkali], Organic Vanilla Extract), Organic Almonds, Organic Dried Coconut, Organic Coconut Extract, Organic Almond Extract, Organic Vanilla Extract (view nutrition label)

Chocolate Peanut Butter
The classic combo, elevated to art
Ingredients: Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut, Water, Guar Gum), Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Peanut Butter (Organic Peanuts, Organic Peanut Oil, Salt), Organic Fair Trade Cocoa [processed with alkali], Organic Vanilla Extract (view nutrition label)

Naked Coconut
The pure coconut experience
Ingredients: Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut, Water, Guar Gum), Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Dried Coconut, Organic Coconut Extract, Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Extract
(view nutrition label)

Dark Chocolate
Dense and silky, deeply satisfying
Ingredients: Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut, Water, Guar Gum), Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Fair Trade Cocoa, Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Extract (view nutrition label)

Vanilla Island
Rich vanilla with a tropical undertone
Ingredients: Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut, Water, Guar Gum), Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Extract, Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Beans (view nutrition label)

Mint Galactica
Exhilarating mint with dark chocolate flakes
Ingredients: Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut, Water, Guar Gum), Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Fair Trade Dark Chocolate (Organic Chocolate Liquor, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Vanilla), Organic Peppermint Extract, Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Extract
(view nutrition label)

Cappuccino
A complex and enlivening infusion
Ingredients: Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut, Water, Guar Gum), Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Fair Trade Coffee, Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Extract, Organic Ground Fair Trade Coffee Beans
(view nutrition label)

Cherry Amaretto
Cherries swirled in an aromatic blend
Ingredients: Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut, Water, Guar Gum), Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Cherries, Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Extract, Organic Almond Extract
(view nutrition label)

Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge
A deep chocolate Bliss sundae
Ingredients: Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut, Water, Guar Gum), Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Fair Trade Cocoa, Organic Hazelnuts, Organic Chocolate Fudge (Organic Agave Syrup, Water, Organic Fair Trade Cocoa, Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Extract), Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Extract (view nutrition label)

Strawberry Lemon Love (soon to be discontinued)
Strawberry sweetness embraces lemony tartness
Ingredients: Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut, Water, Guar Gum), Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Strawberries, Organic Lemon Juice, Organic Strawberry Juice (view nutrition label)

Coconut Bliss Bars
Naked Coconut Bars
The pure coconut experience on a stick
Ingredients: Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut, Water, Guar Gum), Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Dried Coconut, Organic Coconut Extract, Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Extract
(view nutrition label)

Dark Chocolate Bars
Dense and silky, deeply satisfying
Ingredients: Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut, Water, Guar Gum), Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Fair Trade Cocoa, Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Extract (view nutrition label)

I tried the Dark Chocolate flavor & instantly fell in love. Y’all know how I feel about chocolate and this dessert is over-the-top (okay, maybe I have been watching too much Guy Fieri & Diners, Drive-ins & Dives). I enjoyed this topped with raw cacao nibs and also mixed in with some Breyer’s Overload Cherry Ice Cream. I can’t wait to try the Cherry Amaretto, Cappuccino & Chocolate Peanut Butter.

Now, the fun stuff. All you have to do to enter to win 1 of the 3 free coupons is:

1. Leave a comment below telling me which flavor you would like to try.

2. Tweet about this contest: “Enter to win a free pint of @LunaadnLarrys Coconut Bliss @kbouldin”

3. Blog about this & link back

4. Contest will end Friday at midnight! I will mail the coupons out on Monday morning, assuming I have all the mailing information by then.

Good luck!!

Barbara’s Puffins – Gluten-free?

Gluten-free or not? That is the question. Yes, Barbara’s Honey Rice Puffins are gluten-free – they are made with no gluten-ingredients and are marked “gluten-free” on the box. I eat them all the time with no issue and both Jon & I are very sensitive.    Now, there is a new variety of Puffins that is marked “gluten-free”. Multi-Grain Puffins. Here are the ingredients:

Ingredients: Corn Flour, Dehydrated Cane Juice, Brown Rice Flour, Whole Oat Flour, Fructan (NutraFlora® Natural Dietary Fiber), Oat Hull Fiber, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Flavor, Baking Soda, Natural Caramel Color, Sea Salt, Ascorbic Acid, Iron, Annatto, Vitamin D, Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols [Soy]).

Allergy Statement: No peanut ingredients used in this facility. Made on equipment that also manufactures products containing soy, wheat, milk, almonds and hazelnuts.

Free Of: Artifical Flavors, Colors or Preservatives. No Cholesterol, Hydrogenated Oils or Trans Fats.

There is nothing on the site or box that I could see that specifies whether or not the oats are certified gluten-free. I sent an email to Barabra’s yesterday and am waiting to hear back. I would love it if they were made with the certified gluten-free oats because I am a huge fan of Puffins and would love to have another variety to enjoy!

What are certified gluten-free oats? They are oats that have not been contaminated with gluten from the gluten-containing grains they are processed with.

I am patiently awaiting a response from Barbara’s. I will make sure to update here when I hear something.

Gluten-free Sales

I had to post a quick note about this – way too good to pass up. Amazon.com is having a sale on Betty Crocker Gluten-free Mixes. 30% off! That is huge!! Combine this offer with the “Subscribe & Save” program (free shipping too) and you only pay $16.68 for 6 mixes!! That is only $2.78 per mix! Stock up on these while the sale lasts!

You can read my reviews of the mixes here:

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Raisin Rack is also having some great sales this month. You can check out some highlights here.

 

Okay, back to my crazy day! Stock up!

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