Guest Post: Introducing Annie from Mimi’s Toast

From Bedridden to Healthy, Happy and all Gluten-Free
By Annie Phenix/ Mimi’s Toast

I knew that I was sick before any doctor agreed with me. I knew that because I used to be a Type A, driven and very successful publicist. I was also quite thin and had few major health concerns up until my early 30s.

Slowly, ever so slowly, I lost my energy. Then I lost my outer eyebrows. Next I lost my enthusiasm for life and all the things I once dearly loved, including my beloved horses and dogs. Then I nearly lost hope of ever feeling like me again. Thankfully, I found some very wise women on a Yahoo thyroid chat group and they gave me the gift of knowledge, and today I am quite healthy. I do still take hypothyroid meds (Naturethroid), adrenal meds (Cortef) and bioidentical female hormone meds and I might always have to do that but I don’t mind. I did mind feeling listless and sad and unfit and sick, sick, sick.

I am 44 years old and have only recently figured out that I have a digestive issue with gluten, corn and dairy (casein). First I stopped ingesting gluten, and while there is a steep learning curve there, the hardest ingredient for me to avoid is corn – it seems to be everywhere! I think the longest I have gone without an accidental corn ingestion has been all of two weeks. One time I found high fructose corn syrup in the “all-natural” applesauce I was eating. Another time I finally thought to look at my iron supplements, and there again was that ugly little phrase that causes me to feel sick for days: corn starch.

I am thankful that my husband is not only an excellent cook but that he loves to cook. I love how we now eat: fresh, raw veggies, low glycemic fruits, coconut yogurt, lean proteins, nuts and seeds and so very much more! The only grain we now consume is brown rice. I was never much of a veggie eater before so I am making up for lost time, and I have never, ever felt better or stronger in my life!

I want to jump up and down and wave my cyber hand high in the air to try to reach those of you still struggling with low energy and with food allergies. I want to encourage you that YES, you can eat well and you YES, you can get better. You will get better if you become mindful of what you eat. You do have to learn how to eat better but it is worth the time it takes to gain the knowledge to vastly improve your health.

I wanted to share one of favorite recipes and a few of my very favorite things to eat from companies who are catering to our needs. These companies are quite smart, as it is estimated that as many as 144 million Americans suffer from a gluten sensitivity.
Eat well and be well! Annie Phenix

Great Gluten-Free Products to Enjoy Today: — coconut yogurt, milk and more — almonds, almond milk and wonderful crackers — we only eat the Rice Chex — the only power bars we eat — you’ll never miss bread with these!

A favorite recipe for Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry from:

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner

I love that saying! LOL! Not really sure where it came from, but found this on Urban Dictionary. Speaking of chicken, we did have a great new recipe that my sister made for dinner that I will be sharing on in the next week or so. It was so good!

Now, onto the fun stuff. Thanks to all who entered the Yoplait Giveaway.

I used to choose the winner:

Min: 1
Max: 18

And, the winner is……….

Jessie C.
March 20th, 2010 at 12:43 am
@tcarolinep twitter follower

Congrats Jessie!! I am going to “tweet” you and you need to send me you address – you can email me

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Guest Post: Introducing Erin from Gluten-free Fitness

Hey everyone!

Many thanks to Kim for extending the invitation to guest post on her blog. I am Erin, the Gluten Free Fitness Nerd.

erin e

Yes, I’m a nerd. I have to admit it, I cannot lie. Although I have ditched the thick glasses I wore as a child (thank you, Laser Eye Surgery Center) I am still a nerd. I like to read. A lot. And I like to read research and sciency stuff.

More than that though, I like to figure out how that sciency stuff applies to real life. I am very fortunate to have learned, and to continue to learn from some very smart people. There is an overwhelming amount of information to sort through, and lots of times it is contradictory. So, I synthesize what I learn, and what I learn from others, to make an educated guess on what it takes to live a healthier life.

As you may be able to tell, I have a educational background in health sciences. I hold my Masters degree in Physical Therapy, and Bachelors in Health Science. I’ve considered going back for my Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD), but holding off for now. Probably forever.

I was diagnosed with celiac disease about 5 years ago-ish. Honestly my memory is not so good on that, but around 4 or 5 years ago. I had, like so many others, been diagnosed with the garbage can of GI disorders-IBS several years prior. I am a amateur physique athlete (figure competitions) and throughout the course of getting ready for a competition noticed an increased reaction to wheat products. Lo and behold, a new GI doctor later-celiac disease. Which in retrospect makes perfect sense. I had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, early osteopenia (despite lifting weights, having a calcium rich diet and being under 30 years old,) Raynauds’s syndrome, and sports injuries out the wazoo. Autoimmune disorders-all commonly associated with celiac disease. No one had ever put together the pieces.

Transitioning to a completely gluten free diet was a challenge in some respects and easy in others. It was challenging when it came to hidden gluten and labeling, as the labels have absolutely improved since my diagnosis. That may have been why I gravitated to naturally gluten free food-easier to navigate, and better for me. I once made myself very sick by making homemade chicken soup. I wasn’t feeling well, so I made some chicken and vegetable soup. With College Inn chcken broth. Which was not gluten free. I was so mad. I ranted on the phone to my Mom for a good long while on that on. It was easy in the sense that I felt so much better after going gluten free. The constant stomach pains, gas, bloating, all that fun stuff. It was gone. I would not ever want to feel that way again, not for any gluten-filled item. Just not worth it. Not even close. Not even for a Philadelphia soft pretzel from a street cart.

My diet is almost completely naturally gluten free. I do have gluten free oats, which I love, and gluten free Koala Crisp bars and Quakers Chocolate Crunch Rice Cakes as post workout fuel. I usually choose white/sweet potato or rice when I want a carb source. I don’t eat gluten free pasta-I use spaghetti squash if I want the “pasta” vibe. For treats I LOVE chocolate, and ice cream-or both together. I am a firm believer that no gluten free food is off limits-there are just better amounts and times to have certain splurges. You can certainly get fat on a gluten free “diet”, just like with anything.

Enough about me. My goal, what I want to do with my life, is to educate. To educate people to care for themselves better, do it well, and do it easily. I believe that we as humans have so much potential. I am saddened to see the food marketing to the masses, and the grocery carts full of “not food.” But I believe we can make a change, and that with some awareness, people will make better choices.

So I’m a nerd. But I’m a nerd on a mission. Gluten free, fit and healthy. That’s the goal.

Who’s in?

ING Georgia Half Marathon Recap

On Sunday, March 21, 2010, I ran my 2nd half marathon in Atlanta, Georgia. The weather was looking sketchy, but the rain held off and it only sprinkled during the race. I was expecting the race to be harder than it was because of the hills I kept hearing about. I made sure to constantly alter my incline on the treadmill back in flat Columbus, Ohio and I think that really helped. I felt strong the entire race. I helped a good friend, Ashley, finish under her goal time of 2:30. We did the half in 2:23 – which included stopping once for the rest room & to hug family & stretch. We also walked through the water stations, which was a first for me.

I learned & experienced things in this race that I never had or thought that I would enjoy. First one was running with no ipod. I always run with music, unless I am on a long run with friends, which I do 25 – 50% of my long runs. It was so exhilarating to run & hear all the excitement going on around me – to hear all the cheers of encouragement & experience all of the emotion. Truly amazing!

Next, walking through water stations. I had heard this was a great idea – but this was my first time putting the plan into action. Loved it. Plenty of water & hydration & I think this really helped conserve energy.

The volunteers were amazing! To stand out in the chilly weather & rain and cheer on all the runners – so selfless. Thank you to all those who were out there.

KT Tape. Runners if you have not tried this stuff, you are missing out. I stopped by the booth at the Expo yesterday and had them tape my right leg in the area of my IT Band. The difference was night & day. It wasn’t super painful or bothersome before, but just there. The support the tape gave me was unbelievable. I looked like a big dork, but who cares!! LOL! The roll of tape was worth it’s weight in gold at $13 for the roll. I would absolutely buy more. I followed these instructions when I had to re-tape my leg.

I had such a great time at the Expo yesterday. I got to meet Jeff Galloway – he was a member of the 1972 Olympic team. He has written many books on running – I have his half marathon book & read his book on women & fat burning, too. He was such a nice guy and so knowledgeable! Here is the pic I was able to get taken with him:

I still swear by my Zensah running sleeves – hands down best $40 I have ever spent. The really helped with the hills today. You can read more about them here.

And last, but certainly not least, the reason we ran today – to raise awareness for Micro Preemies. Micro Preemies are babies born way too early. My nephews, Wyatt & Jack were born at 25 weeks 3 days and sadly did not survive. You can read more about the March of Dimes & what they do here. Our team was called “Baby Steps”.

Product Review: Jay Robb Protein Powder

Today I am running the ING Georgia Half Marathon! I am running in support of the March of Dimes with 11 other friends & family of Kelly (my sister & her husband, Greg). My sister & her husband had twin boys prematurely on August 26, 2009; they were not due until early December. Wyatt & Jack both passed away in October – Wyatt on the 9th and Jack on the 31st. I scheduled this post to go up while I was running so you all had something to read & think about. If Wyatt & Jack’s premature birth could have been prevented or even delayed a few weeks, the outcome may have been different.

I thought that reviewing the complimentary samples of Jay Robb protein powder was appropriate today because it is what I use within 45 minutes of my long runs. I will be having one once I finish running today. Protein is important to help repair muscles after running – I found this explanation on – Sports Medicine

Protein Needs After Exercise
Consuming protein has other important uses after exercise. Protein provides the amino acids necessary to rebuild muscle tissue that is damaged during intense, prolonged exercise. It can also increase the absorption of water from the intestines and improve muscle hydration. The amino acids in protein can also stimulate the immune system, making you more resistant to colds and other infections.

Jay Robb sent me three different types of protein powder – whey, brown rice & egg white proteins – in vanilla. I blended each of them up with Unsweetened Almond Breeze (chocolate the first time, then vanilla the other times). I really enjoyed the flavor of the protein drink! There was no chalky texture.



As you can see, this is the one I mixed with the chocolate almond milk. Here are the nutritional stats for this product:

Jay Robb Rice Protein formula contains NONE of the following ingredients:

NO Acesulfame-K
NO Artificial Flavors
NO Artificial Sweeteners
NO Gluten
NO Artificial Colors
NO Aspartame
NO Sucralose
NO Lecithin
NO Sugar

Ingredients: Whole-grain sprouted brown rice protein concentrate, natural flavor, stevia.

ALLERGEN INFORMATION: This product is manufactured in a facility that processes other products which may contain soy, dairy, wheat, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, peanuts, and eggs, and may contain traces of all of the above.

SUGGESTED USE: Take one or more scoops daily to supplement your diet with additional protein. Mixes easily with water or your favorite beverage.

Serving Size: 1 scoop (30g)

Servings Per Container
12 oz Size: 11
24 oz Size: 23

Calories: 110
Calories from fat: 5
Total Fat: 0.5g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 15mg
Total Carbohydrates: 4g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Sugars: 0g
Protein: 24g

Vitamin C: 2% DV*
Calcium: 10% DV*
Iron: 30% DV*

Not a significant source of Vitamin A

*Percent daily values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Amino Acid Profile Per Serving
Isoleucine (BCAA) 1010mg
Leucine (BCAA) 1908mg
Valine (BCAA) 1378mg
Alanine 1247mg
Arginine 2101mg
Aspartic Acid 1977mg
Cysteine 560mg
Glutamine 3951mg
Glycine 976mg
Histidine 487mg
Lysine 781mg
Methionine 1251mg
Phenylalanine 1251mg
Proline 1143mg
Serine 1102mg
Threonine 1339mg
Tryptophan 845mg
Tyrosine 1239mg
Provides all the essential and branched-chain amino acids, plus all other naturally occurring amino acids.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Pretty impressive! Aside from the loving the flavor, I love knowing that I am getting the protein my body needs to stay in tip-top shape for marathon training.

You can find Jay Robb Protein Powder on their website, Amazon or in Kroger. Jay Robb’s site offers free shipping on all orders over $25 in the US.

Product Review: Jungle Grub Snack Bars

We received these complimentary samples of Jungle Grub Snack Bars just in time for a road trip! Gotta love that! I love portable, pre-wrapped snacks for traveling.


Here is some information about Jungle Grub Snack Bars:

Organic Nutrition, Inc. is dedicated to developing nutritious, organic, gluten-free snack foods for kids. Our first year was spent in product development going through countless focus groups and product tasting events to develop Jungle Grub™ Snack Bars.

Jungle Grub® snack bars launched with two flavors, Berry Bamboozle and Peanut Butter Groove in March 2007 at the Natural Products Expo West. In addition to the original two flavors Organic Nutrition is very excited about the addition of a New Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavor launching November of 2008. Organic Nutrition continues to work on new flavors for Jungle Grub® as well as developing additional gluten-free snack food products.

“Developing Organic Nutrition, Inc. has been far more rewarding than I ever envisioned. There is a strong feeling of awareness among consumers that we need to develop snacks that are nutritious for kids. We plan to be part of the solution, putting quality and fun first. Its an incredible feeling to watch children’s faces light up when they like something they are eating and you know its good for them.

“Kids should eat well and like what they eat!…Toss ’em a Jungle Grub!”

Steven R. Brandt, President and CEO
Organic Nutrition, Inc.

The bars have pretty decent nutritional stats:

  • Only 100 calories
  • 4 grams protein
  • Only 8 grams of sugar
  • 1 gram of fiber
  • 20% RDA of Vitamin C & 15% RDA of Calcium per bar
  • Certified gluten-free & Organic
  • Only 2 WW points

Upon opening the bars I was a little shocked at the size; they are pretty small. There are 5 bars per box. However, these bars are not intended to be meal replacement bars, they are snack bars. Snacks for kids & adults should be between 100 – 200 calories, so these fit right in there. You can read more about kids nutrition here. Now, how do they taste? The bars are good. They aren’t the best I have ever tasted, but they aren’t bad. Jon like them, but commented on how small they were. Keep in mind he is 13 and growing before my eyes. My favorite flavor was the Peanut Butter Groove and Jon’s was the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

Want to try Jungle Grub Snack Bars for yourself or kids? You can find them here. You can keep up with Jungle Grub Bars on Facebook, too!

Yoplait Greek “Nourish Your Inner Goddess” Gift Pack Giveaway

This giveaway is brought to you courtesy of MyBlogSpark & Yoplait Greek Yogurt. I thought it would be fun to start this giveaway today and have it run through Sunday, as I will be traveling. Driving long distances makes me cranky, so I may be getting in touch with my “inner goddess” once I get to my sister’s house!  MyBlogSpark & Yoplait provided me with the “Nourish Your Inner Goddess” gift pack just in time!

I love Greek yogurt. I have been eating an awful lot of Oikos, Fage & Chobani over the past year. Now, Yoplait has come out with its own line of Greek Yogurt. Here is some information about the new Greek Yogurt from Yoplait:

With 12 grams of protein — twice that found in leading yogurts– new Yoplait Greek nourishes from the inside out. Available in four delicious flavors, Strawberry, Blueberry, Honey Vanilla and Plain, the brand’s newest offering has a unique thick and creamy texture with the unmatched taste expected of Yoplait.

To celebrate its new Greek yogurt and to encourage women to nourish their inner goddess, Yoplait has teamed up with actress Izabella Miko, who plays Greek Goddess Athena in the epic adventure new Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ film “Clash of the Titans,” in theatres April 2 in 3D.  Check out the trailer here.

So, do you want to win a Yoplait Greek “Nourish Your Inner Goddess” gift pack, which includes some other great items that will help you relax? Here is a sneak peek of the gift pack (which includes 2 coupons for free Yoplait Greek Yogurt):

yoplait greek web (final)

The Yoplait Greek Yogurt even says “gluten-free” right on the side!!


Here is what I did with my Yoplait Greek Yogurt the other night for dinner -as “sour cream” for my baked sweet potato & topped with cinnamon:


I loved the Yopliat Greek Yogurt! It tastes just as good as the other Greek yogurts I mentioned above and it is less expensive! It is only $.99/cup at our local grocery store. It is creamy & full of flavor.

The details on how to enter the giveaway:

1. Follow me on Twitter if you aren’t already and leave a comment telling me that you did = 1 entry.

2. Become a fan of Gluten-free is Life on Facebook and leave a comment telling me that you did = 1 entry.

3. Leave a comment telling me which flavor of the Yoplait Greek Yogurt you would like to try the most = 1 entry.

Good luck!!! The giveway ends at midnight on Sunday, March 21, 2010. Can’t wait to try the Yoplait Greek Yogurt? You can get a coupon here. *This coupon offer for a free cup of Yoplait Greek yogurt is not valid in some states, including California, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, and Tennessee.

Product Review: Jaxn’s Twice Baked Potato Stix

The number of gluten-free products on the market today is astounding. There is so much more awareness now, making shopping & eating out easier for all of those following the gluten-free diet.

I received some complimentary samples of Jaxn’s Twice Baked Potato Stix in the mail. I was excited to try these out because I love French fries and these certainly resembled them. Some information on Jaxn’s:


He Used To Be a Fry Baby, Now He’s a Twice-Baked Guy…

Jaxn is a bona fide French fry expert. The potato was his favorite vegetable and he never met a fry he didn’t love… and then eat. The road to Jaxn’s middle school years was littered with French fries.

But then, all these fries Jaxn was eating started eating at him. He didn’t like being heavy. Not in middle school with girls and basketball and girls. That’s when his Nana, Geraldine, the master baker of the family, decided to come up with a solution for the grandson she loved.

Jaxn hasn’t had to curtail his craving for that big potato taste. He has Nana Geraldine to thank for that. And now, so do you and your family.

Jaxn’s Twice-Baked Potato Stix® are made with all natural ingredients and baked, not fried! As a matter of fact, we bake them twice for extra “kick” and goodness.

Bye, Bye Fries

Jaxn’s Twice Baked Potato Stix come in 3 flavors: Sea Salt with Cracked Pepper, Sour Cream & Chive and Chipotle Ranch. I received samples of the Sea Salt with Cracked Pepper. I passed on 2 of the 6 bags to Aaron’s gluten-free co-workers. Lindsay loved them! I loved the flavor of the potato stix. Perfect to go along side a deli sandwich & Kosher pickle. The potato stix are twice-baked (not fried or puffed), low in saturated fat and contain no trans fat. They are gluten-free, but do contain dairy. The only con I could find with these potato stix is that they seem to be in small pieces, like they were broken up. This obviously doesn’t affect the taste at all, I just expected them to be longer, as shown on the outside of the package.



Jaxn’s will be offered on Air Tran Airways starting this month, March 2010! How exciting! Jaxn’s can be found online here. They are $17.95 for a case of 6 bags.  Have you tried Jaxn’s Twice Baked Potato Stix yet? You can also keep up with Jaxn’s on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

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Shopping Tips & a Coupon

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!  Are you wearing your green today?  Do you know the history behind St. Patrick’s Day?  I didn’t until I read this at

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, his religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over a thousand years. On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast—on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

Do you think that means I can have a glass of wine?  I gave up alcohol for Lent and would love a glass of cabernet!  😉

Have you heard about Amazon’s “Subscribe & Save” program? This is one of the best places to get gluten-free groceries. The one (and only) downfall is that you order the product by the case. If you know you like the product you are ordering, you can really save by utilizing this program. You save 15% and you get free shipping. I know you are thinking that there must be a catch, but there isn’t. You do have to choose how often you want a shipment to go out (monthly, every 2 months, every 3 months or every 6 months). You can change these options at any time or cancel your subscription if you don’t want any more shipments. There is no additional cost to use “Subscribe & Save”.

Some of the products that I have purchased using this program:

Pamela’s Gluten-free Bread – $22.56/case – making it $3.76 each.

Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix – $28.77/case – making it $4.79 each.

KIND Bars – $10.01/case of 8 – making it $1.25 each.

Betty Crocker’s Gluten-free Mixes -$26.26/case – making them $3.76 each.

Enjoy Life Chewy Bars – $16.47/case- making them $2.75/box of 5 bars.

Enjoy Life Soft Baked Cookies – $15.33/case – making them $2.55 per box.

There are many, many more products, this is just an idea of the great savings & no risk program that Amazon is offering.

Have you tried Amazon’s “Subscribe & Save” program?


In January I did a review on Susta Natural Sweetener. I just received an email with a coupon code for you guys! Just go to Susta’s website and enter the code: SUSTALIFE – this coupon is good for $1.00 a box of Susta (50 packets) until April 30, 2010.

Product Review: NibMor Chocolate Bar

I was contacted by NibMor a few weeks back & sent some complimentary samples to review. NibMor makes a pretty healthy chocolate bar. A little background information on NibMor:

At NibMor we believe that the food we eat should be as simple as possible. That means using ingredients made by Mother Nature, not someone in a lab coat.

What happens in our kitchen? We combine the best of it all. Our ingredients are All Natural and Organic, and our batches are handled with care to create perfection.

We kicked refined sugar, dairy, gluten and GMO to the curb (bye bye off you go!). The result? A chocolate bar that is simple, healthy and delicious.

NibMor chocolate bars are Organic, gluten-free, vegan, raw, low-glycemic, all natural,non GMO & have no added refined sugar. I received the Original & Almond Dark Chocolate.



Original Dark Chocolate – Organic Cacao Butter, Organic Cacao Powder, Organic Agave Nectar, Raw Vanilla Powder, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Sea Salt, Non-GMO Soy Lecithin (an Emulsifier)

Almond Dark Chocolate – Organic Cacao Butter, Organic Cacao Powder, Organic Agave Nectar, Raw Almonds, Raw Vanilla Powder, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Sea Salt, Non-GMO Soy Lecithin (an Emulsifier)

I was very impressed with both bars. They had a rich, creamy dark chocolate flavor. The bars were a little softer than I anticipated, so I stuck them in the fridge. Perfect! Jon claimed almost the entire almond bar to himself! He really liked it.

NibMor bars can be ordered on their website or can be found at these stores. Make sure to check NibMor out on Facebook & Twitter!

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