Weekly Menu Plan – May 30, 2010

I can’t believe that it will be June in 2 days! This year has flown by. I can also tell it is close to June because my eyes itch so bad that I can barely see! I have bad allergies, but my eyes only seem to be affected about 4 weeks out of the year. I am keeping these allergy medicine companies in business!

Last week of school for the kids, so a super busy week. Hannah is celebrating her b-day at school this week. Her b-day isn’t until August, but she always feels left out because school is not in session then. I asked her teacher if Hannah could bring in some treats to share, so Hannah chose Krispy Kreme’s. I shall live vicariously through them. 😉

Sunday – Italian turkey sausage and roasted veggies over pasta & salad

Monday – Steelhead trout, quinoa, asparagus & salad

Tuesday – Tacos, corn & salad

Wednesday – Burgers (Sunshine for me), steamed zucchini, sweet potato fries & salad

Thursday -Bonefish grill

Friday – Breakfast for dinner & fruit salad

Saturday – not sure yet

Baked Goods

Chocolate Chip Cake


Weekly Recap

Only 1 day left to enter to win a Better Batter sampler!!

Only 1 day left to enter to win Kroger gift cards – join the Pound For Pound Challenge.

Lesson Learned – Celiac Awareness

Pizza Bagels with Udi’s Bagels

Recall on alfalfa sprouts

French Toast with a Twist

Summer Salads

Summertime Grillin’

Review: Gluten-free Cafe Chicken Noodle Soup

Review: Ian’s Natural Foods

Washington DC Recap


Want to enter your Chex Mix recipe into a contest? Click here to enter! 5 finalists will receive:

  • $500 check
  • One year’s supply of Chex cereal
  • Katie Lee’s Basic Party Pack

Good luck!!

Have a great week!!

Better Batter Review & Giveaway

Better Batter has a wonderful line of gluten-free baking mixes. Better Batter Flour was created by Naomi Poe in 2006 after both her her children and husband were found to have gluten sensitivity. Naomi was tired of paying too much for baking mixes only to have them taste odd. She took matters into her own hands and her friend liked her flour mix so much that she offered to buy it and Better batter was born!

More from Better Batter:

Our Philosophy…

At Better Batter, we believe that you should eat freely.

We believe that everyone should eat real-tasting food, using regular recipes, at reasonable prices.

We’re committed to developing and marketing the very best in gluten free products, and we pledge to do everything we can to meet your dietary needs in an affordable manner.

From reduces shipping on case lots, to wholesale prices for bulk flour purchases, to our FreeFlour Rewards Program, you’ll always find ways to save money.

At Better Batter, we believe that we should give freely

We know that there is so much more to life than the bottom line.

We believe that we should give freely of our time, knowledge, and financial resources, both to the gluten free communities and the world beyond.

Our Commitment To You…

Here at Better Batter, you’ll find someone to listen, continually updated educational resources, and links to the best gluten free resources on the Internet.

We’re committed to giving the first portion of our net profits: to scholarships for those in financial need, charitable contributions, and corporate partnerships/grants for your local gluten free support organizations.

Feel free to contact us at any time with questions, suggestion, or new recipe requests. We look forward to hearing from you.


Naomi and the Staff

Better Batter was kind enough to send us some complimentary samples of their products. We received the Fudge Brownie Mix, Flour Mix and Pancake & Biscuit Mix.

I made the Brownie Mix first. I couldn’t not keep my hands off of these brownies. Perhaps I was thinking carb loading for my marathon? I don’t know, but I had to send some into Aaron’s gluten-free friends at work in order to keep the brownie eating in check. There are directions on the box to use 2 or 3 eggs depending on if you like your brownies fudgy or cakey. I am a fudgey brownie gal, so I only used 2 eggs. Even my gluten eater, Hannah, loved these! A+++

I used some of the flour mix to make my infamous Pistachio Cheesecake. I served this to my family at our mother’s day function to rave reviews. There was very little left over and Jon fought Lindsey for the few remaining pieces. **The crust crumbling was due to my not being able to get a picture until most of the pieces were gone & therefore attacked. 😉


The pancake & biscuit mix is a huge hit in our house. Jon loves to eat pancakes before school, so we make a batch on the weekend and then freeze so he can have a quick breakfast that he can make all by himself in the morning. He usually tops with Aunt Jemima, but always has to ask for some kind of chip (butterscotch seems to be a favorite) and whipped cream. I try to reserve those for special occasions, much to Jon’s dismay.

Better Batter products are all free of gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanut, sesame, seafood (fish and shellfish), GMO. Better Batter can be ordered online at the Better Batter site, Amazon.com or found in stores across the country. I was pleased to see that my Whole Foods was carrying Better Batter the last time I was there. If you are unsure what to make with your Better Batter, make sure to check out the recipes on the website.

Now, it is time for the fun stuff! Would you like to win a Better Batter Product Sampler? Okay, here is how to enter (you can do one or more for extra entries, just use a separate comment for each extra entry):

1. Follow Gluten-free is Life on Facebook.

2. Tweet about this giveaway and make sure to include @kbouldin and the link to the giveaway.

3. Leave a comment telling me what you would make with your Better Batter samples.

4. Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment telling me you did.

5. Blog about this on your blog & link back. Leave a comment telling me you did.

The giveaway will end at midnight on Monday (Memorial Day). I will announce the winner Tuesday.

Feeding America – a Giveaway

The Kroger Family of Stores, General Mills, The Biggest Loser and several other sponsors are teaming up to donate $1,080,000 to Feeding America this year. Want some information on how you can help? More information from MyBlogSpark:

-Visit www.pfpchallenge.com/Kroger to make your pledge to lose weight and to get more information and to find tools to change your life for the better. It is free, easy and only takes a minute to make a change that can help you and help the hungry in your local community.
-Through June 30, 2010, for every pound you pledge to lose, the Pound For Pound Challenge will donate $.14 to Feeding America – enough to deliver one pound of groceries to a local food bank.
-As the official supplier of the Biggest Loser Ranch and partner of the Pound for Pound Challenge, the Kroger Family of Stores wants to help you achieve your goals. If you’re a fan of the Biggest Loser, you may have seen several great General Mills products featured on the show. These products, including Yoplait Greek yogurt, LaraBar, Total, and Multigrain Cheerios, are available at your local Kroger Family of Stores and can help you stick to your weight management plan.

What I love about General Mills is the new Live Gluten Freely site. Live Gluten Freely has a list of all gluten-free products made by General Mills. My favorite products are LaraBars, Chex Cereals and the Yoplait Greek yogurts. All of those products can help make up a healthy gluten-free diet.

Would you like to win $30 to the Kroger Family of Stores to try some of the General Mills products that have been featured on The Biggest Loser? Here is what you need to do:

1. Follow Gluten-free is Life on Facebook

2. Tweet about this giveaway and include @kbouldin in your tweet

3. Leave a comment and tell me if you pledged to lose any weight in the Pound For Pound Challenge and if so, how much.

4. Spread the word about the Pound for Pound Challenge (Facebook, Twitter, Email) and leave a comment telling me how you helped spread the word.

This giveaway will run through MONDAY at midnight.


**A special thanks goes out to MyBlogSpark, General Mills, Kroger & The Biggest Loser for the complementary gift cards.

Lessons Learned – Celiac Awareness

As I look back over the past 4+ years of being on the gluten-free diet, I realize how far I have come. I have grown so much. I have opened my mind to many new & exciting foods. I have grown stronger and wiser. No one can take that away from me. I am now taking what I have learned and am sharing it here so that I can hopefully help anyone out there who needs help. Whether it be a link to a gluten-free restaurant, a list of gluten-free foods, ideas for packing lunches or a new recipe – I love doing it all.

It angers me that some are classifying the gluten-free diet as a “fad diet”. While I am sure there are some people out there who may be following the diet because they think it is the new “South Beach” or “Atkins”, the majority of the people I have run across, both in real life and in cyber space, are on the diet for health reasons. Does that mean that the person following the diet has Celiac disease? Not necessarily. There is also non-celiac gluten intolerance, wheat allergies or even someone who just feels better on the gluten-free diet. It is frustrating to go through life not feeling well. Some people don’t get severely ill from consuming gluten, but they don’t feel 100%. These people may have been told they have irritable bowel syndrome or IBS (which I believe really stands for “I be stumped” and the doctors are out of ideas). They may have arthritis, neuropathies, fatigue, the list goes on & on. Does it matter what you call it if the diet is making you feel better? Not in my opinion and it shouldn’t in anyone else’s either.

The gluten-free diet being called a “fad diet” is bringing a lot of awareness and new products to the market. The downfall to this is that restaurants & manufacturers may not understand that cross-contamination is a real risk for those who do have Celiac disease. What can we do to help? Promote awareness. I love that Celiac Disease Awareness month seems to have much more promotion this year. There are giveaways, stores offering product samples, sales & much more. Mambo Sprouts joined forces with the NFCA to help spread the word.

What are you doing to help promote awareness?

Recovery & Menu Plan – May 23, 2010

This has been a long week. I have been recovering from my marathon last Sunday, which has been harder than I thought it would be. The hardest part? Staying away from the gym. My body craves exercise & I become a very cranky witch when I am forced to be idle. I saw the dr last Monday and he advised me to rest for a week and if it still hurt Monday, come back. I was very sore Monday & Tuesday, no problem staying out of the gym; I could barely walk down the stairs. Wednesday I started to feel better and get antsy. My foot was still sore, but the rest of my body wanted to go. I did a lot of yoga, stretching & foam rolling. My foot is still sore, though not as bad. I am going to call the dr tomorrow and probably head back in to be safe. I would hate to resume any gym activity (elliptical, bike, etc) and have a stress fracture. The plantar fasciitis is still there, but I know what that pain feels like. This other pain is on the outside of my right foot. It isn’t constant and has been improving. I would just hate to make anything worse. If it is just the pain from the plantar fasciitis, then I am fine to get on the elliptical, bike or even run slowly. I am heading to swim tomorrow and lift some weights in an effort to save my family from my crankiness.

Sunday – Steelhead Trout, baked sweet potato, roasted asparagus & salad

Monday – Turkey Burgers, roasted butternut squash, broccoli & salad

Tuesday -Mexican Pizzas, black beans, roasted corn & salad

Wednesday – BBQ pulled pork, steak fries, roasted carrots & salad

Thursday – Dinner out for mother-in-law, Mary’s birthday

Friday -Leftovers

Saturday -Breakfast for dinner – homemade waffles

Baked Goods


Chocolate Chip Cake


Weekly Recap

Jo-Sef Cookie Review

Jon’s DC recap

Gluten-free Vegetarian Burgers

thinkThin bars review

French Meadow Contest

French Toast with a twist (hint, I used an Udi’s Bagel!)

Mi-Del Cookie Review

Sales at Raisin Rack for Celiac Awareness month

Simply Heinz Ketchup – no HFCS!!


Hope you all have a great week!!

Pizza Bagels – Gluten-Free

I have a new love. No, I am not leaving my husband, as he is the love of my life, my new love is a bagel. Specifically, an Udi’s gluten-free bagel. I have had many a gluten-free bagel and not one of them lives up to Udi’s. Not only are they the best gluten-free bagel out there, but they are becoming more & more available across the US. The bagels can be ordered online or found in Whole Foods and other health food stores. Some lucky people are able to get them at Einstein’s, though I believe this is only happening in Colorado. You can read my complete review of Udi’s bagels here.

What I like best about Udi’s bagels:

  • no need to refrigerate
  • no need to toast
  • great for travel – just take along single packets of peanut butter & you have breakfast
  • can freeze for longer storage and then defrost on the counter
  • 6 grams of protein; 3 grams of fiber; 280 calories per bagel

Sundried Tomato Pizza Bagel

1 Udi’s Gluten-free Bagel (or as many as you need for 1 bagel per person)

Prego Three Cheese Sauce (marked gluten-free)

Mozzarella Cheese

Sundried Tomatoes – chopped

Fresh basil (I was out, so I used dried, but this would be much better with fresh)

1. If your bagel is at room temperature already, then begin by spreading the sauce on the bagel. If your bagel is frozen, defrost on counter or in the mircowave or lightly toast.


2. Top with mozzarella, chopped sundried tomatoes & basil


3. Bake at 375 for 5-7 minutes until warm and then broil until bubbly & melty.

4. Enjoy!

This recipe is so simple & can be modified to fit your likes. I could add so many more yummy toppings, but there is only so much room on a bagel. Some other toppings ideas are:

  • black olives
  • banana peppers
  • crushed red pepper
  • chopped spinach
  • parmesan cheese


I paired this with an extremely large salad and a glass of chardonnay. Perfect end to a Friday.

Watch for lots more fun ideas using Udi’s bagels to come! I love to create and what better to use as a blank canvas than my new love?

**Sending a thank you out to Udi’s for the complimentary bagels! We really enjoy them!

Product Review: Yes! To Cookies

I received some complimentary samples of Yes! To Cookies cookies a couple of months back. I don’t like to “sit on” reviews for this long, but I don’t like to write negative reviews either. I have been thinking about the “right” way to write the review and now believe that I am ready.

Yes! To Cookies were born when a man was trying to create a cookie for his love who suffered from severe insulin dependent diabetes. Traditional cookies with starch & artificial sweeteners caused her blood sugars to rise. After many, many attempts, he came up with the perfect starch-free, sugar-free cookie that didn’t cause a rise in his love’s blood sugar. Some Yes! To Cookies facts from the site:

  • Zero Sugar
  • Zero Starch
  • Zero Gylcemic Index
  • Zero Digested Carbs
  • Zero Worries

Cocoa-Licious flavor: Erythritol, Cereal Fiber Psyllium*, Butter, Egg, Whey Protein Isolate, Cocoa Powder, Psyllium Husk, Organic Gum Acacia, Natural Vanilla flavor, Spices, Cellulose HP-SA, Sodium Bicarbonate, Rebaudioside A (as a sweetener) and Salt.

Strawberry-Banana Blitz flavor: Erythritol, Cereal Fiber Psyllium*, Butter, Egg, Whey Protein Isolate, Psyllium Husk, Organic Gum Acacia, Natural Strawberry, Banana and Vanilla flavors, CelluloseGum, Sodium Bicarbonate, Rebaudioside A (as a sweetener) and Salt.

I have to honest here, we did not care for these cookies at all. The strawberry-banana blitz tasted like bubble gum. The cocoa-licious tasted chemicaly. Jon, Lindsey & I all sampled both flavors & we all had the same opinion. I do want to point out that we don’t have to follow a sugar-free diet, so there may not be many options out there available that don’t raise the blood sugar, which is a big concern for diabetics.

Yes! To Cookies can be purchased on Amazon.com, a location near you or on the Yes! To Cookies website. They are available in mix form or premade.

Have you tried these cookies?

Tart Cherry Juice

When I was at the Expo in Atlanta this past March to pick up my half marathon bib and swag, I sampled some tart cherry juice. Of course the sales/demo person was just spewing the benefits of the juice faster than I could listen, but that was his job. The juice was very good and very expensive. I filed that information in the back of my mind.

Fast forward to my shopping trip last night. First, I went to the store for Lactaid and completely forgot to get it. Nice, huh? There was no way I was walking all the way back in and to the back of the store, either! HA! My legs and right foot are improving, but they still hurt. Anyway, I had a coupon for R.W. Knudsen Juices and the Just Tart Cherry happened to be on sale (and gluten-free)! Score! I picked some up figuring that if the benefits of tart cherry juice are true, it may help me recover from my marathon a little quicker.


The rumored benefits of tart cherry juice are due to the anthocyanins and antioxidants in the cherries. Tart cherries have even more antioxidants than blueberries! Anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory properties and eating 20 tart cherries (or drinking the equivalent) a day could have the same effect as taking an ibuprofen or aspirin for pain relief. Tart cherries have also been found to contain high levels of melatonin, which is produced naturally in the body. Melatonin can help slow aging and promote sleep. More information on the benefits of tart cherries can be found here or here.

I am sure you noticed that I said “rumored benefits”. I said that because the FDA and the cherry industry are not in agreement on this. That is a shocker! LOL!

I figured that it can’t hurt to drink the tart cherry juice, right? Not only that, the juice is darn good! I just had a glass of the Just Tart Cherry while writing this post and am thinking about getting some more! This juice is not low in calories, it contains 130 calories per 8 oz, so drinking more than 4 – 8 oz per day is not advisable. I typically get my calories from food and not drinks (unless you count wine 😉 ). One 8 oz serving does count as a serving of fruit.

While I am in this recovery phase, I am really trying to focus on getting as many nutrients into my body as I can. The way I look at it is the faster that I can recover, the faster I can get back out there & run! 🙂

R.W. Knudsen has a large product line of juices. I am actually interested in trying out the Very Veggie, which contains water, carrot, beet, spinach & red grape juice concentrates.

Follow Up

So, I sent a follow up email to the school district including the link that Michelle left in the comments. The link was to an article that showed that a school district not too far from ours had adopted some very healthy practices in their schools. Here is my original post.  This is my follow up email:

To Whom it May Concern:

The other day I wrote an email about the current state of the school lunches in the our school district. I was able to find the article below showing that a change can be made without too much additional cost involved. The cost of school lunches will only go up $.10 next year, a cost that I know I would be more than willing to pay if my child were being served much healthier, homemade foods. Please read the article. The school district in the article is Granville in Licking County.


I just received a response from our district’s Superintendent:


Thanks for the info – I am forwarding your original email on to food service. We will be in touch.

I removed his name from the email for privacy. I had sent the email to food service initially, but it is good to see he is forwarding it on from him. I will keep you all posted.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

Marathon Recap

As most of you are aware, I ran my first full marathon on Sunday, May 16, 2010 in Cleveland. I had run 2 half marathons previously, with my first one being in October 2009. I have had so many emotions from the time I crossed the starting line, I can’t even begin to go through them all here. I went from “Yeah, I am rocking this race!” to “OMG, what the heck was I thinking 18 weeks ago when I started this journey?”. I encountered obstacles that I didn’t realize I would face on this day. I fought through a foot injury and overcame that only to be faced with a stomach and intestinal issue during the race. I have learned so much over the past 18 weeks and know that this experience has made me stronger.

The morning started out beautifully. I got up at 4:00 AM and ate an Udi’s Gluten-Free Bagel with peanut butter & fruit spread. I took my allergy medicine & started to prepare. I got dressed & geared up. I was ready to kick some marathon butt!


I had my Clif Shots (gluten-free) and water. I could not drink the PowerAde on the course, as it is not gluten-free. That was fine by me, as I did not train drinking any sports drink other than Vita Coco coconut water after I finished to replenish electrolytes. I wore my Zensah compression sleeves that I have worn on every run since I bought them in January. Seriously, if you have shin or calf issues, go buy these today. I got a massage yesterday & the massage therapist was amazed at how good of shape my calves were in after running a marathon the day before. My quads, hamstrings & feet were not so lucky, but Zensah has no control over that! 😉 LOL!

The weather was around 50, so I just tossed a sweatshirt on to head down to the start. Before starting the race, I had the opportunity to meet Sam from Operation Jack. Sam is the father of 3 kids. Sam’s middle child, Jack, has autism. Jack is 6 and a half and was diagnosed just after he turned 3. Sam is running 60 marathons this year in an effort to generate attention that will raise funds and awareness for Train 4 Autism. Truly an inspirational guy. Sam rocked the marathon & finished in 3:08:32! WTG Sam!


Getting to the starting line proved to be tough. I had stopped to use the rest room in the Marriott at about 6:45 AM to hopefully avoid using the porta-pots on the course (little did I know….). There was a wall of people, half spectators & half runners trying to get to the course. There were fences blocking off the road to keep spectators back, but they were keeping the runners off the course! Someone must have moved them because all of a sudden things opened up and we were on the road. I hopped in right by the 3:50 pacer. I had no intention of running that pace, but figured it would be better than trying to work my way back further.

Miles 1-2 flew by. We ran through the city and headed west.

Miles 2-3 included a huge hill. Seriously, I thought this hill would never end. It didn’t slow me down too much at this point in time, but I was trying not to exert myself too much, as I wanted to conserve my energy.

Miles 3-11 went relatively smoothly. Not having any pain really, unless I was on an uneven surface and then my plantar fasciitis in my right foot was not happy with me. I was taking Clif Shots every 3 miles, as recommended by Clif on the pace band for a 4:15 finish. I was doing well and was on pace to finish at 4:12 at this point and had planned on picking up the pace after the half point or once I was closer to 20.

Miles 11-13.1 included that hill again. It seemed a little longer this time, though I am sure that had a lot to do with the fact that I now had 10 miles under my belt! HA! I was feeling strong at this point.

Miles 13.1 – 17 sucked. I wasn’t feeling bad, but there was a stong head wind along the lake and we were running right there. This slowed me down considerably. I couldn’t settle into a pace because the wind was really strong. The view was gorgeous, but I really didn’t have a chance to appreciate it at this point. My Mom asked me later on if I saw the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and many other things and I didn’t because I was just focusing on the run.


Miles 18 – 22 were not fun. My intestines were acting up and I thought I was going to puke. I had taken my last Clif Shot at mile 15 (I had 5 total) and could not do anymore. I had to find a porta-pot twice and almost didn’t make it once. I don’t think I have ever considered going in the woods before, but I did that day. You gotta do what you gotta do, right? LOL! I am glad I can laugh about it now. These miles were so long b/c I was constantly looking for a bathroom. I continued to drink small amounts of water, but that is all I could handle. Taking in any more Clif Shots would have made me puke and I was worried about losing fluids. I was passed by the 4:15 pace group.

Miles 22 -26.5 (long course – thanks Cleveland) weren’t much better, but I had some support. I saw my aunt and step dad at mile 22 and about had a breakdown. I was so frustrated that my legs & feet were fine at this point but my stomach & intestines were not cooperating. I felt so nauseated. In hindsight I should have just puked & I probably would have felt somewhat better. My aunt walked with me for a block or so and then 2 girls came up, cheered me on and asked me to run with them. Debbie & Colleen were their names and I am forever grateful. Debbie has run 57 marathons!!! Colleen was running her first. I ran slowly with them for a mile or 2 and then had to walk some more. I did a lot of walk/running at this point. I was passed by the 4:30 pace group and started to get teary eyed. Then I remembered how far I had come. I was running a marathon and I was going to finish and my time did not matter. I am so darn competitive with myself! I needed to let go of that and concentrate on the one task at hand – finishing. My Garmin beeped & said we hit 26.2, yet we were not at the finish! NOT FAIR!!! LOL! I ran across that finish line with my head held high! I did it! I completed a marathon!!! My time was 4:37:41.


Looking back I am pleased with my time given all of the obstacles that I faced. Just coming off of an injury in the past 3 weeks and then the head winds and then the stomach and intestines having a mind of their own and I still finished under 4:45. I know that I can do whatever I put my mind to and the obstacles that I face along the way will only make me stronger and smarter. I am now armed with more knowledge to carry into my next marathon that I hope to run in October.

Getting my feet taped after the race. Both were killing me at this point. I grabbed some potato chips (gluten-free, THANK GOD) and my Vita Coco and plopped down in this chair as soon as I saw the “Foot Care Tent” sign.


Yesterday was a day of rest. I got out of bed and couldn’t really walk. No surprise there, right? LOL! I knew I was going to hurt, but I had no idea. I had run 20 miles and not felt this bad. I guess that extra 6.5 really did a number on me! I scheduled a massage and made an appointment with my sports dr to check out my foot. I knew that my foot would hurt, however I was having some pain in other areas of the same foot and wanted to make sure that I didn’t have a new injury. The doctor said that he sees this pain a lot in marathoners and that I should just take it really easy this week – no exercise, ice aggressively and stretch. If it is not better by Monday than I have to go back in. It could be a tiny stress fracture, but he said the majority of the cases like this he sees end up going away on their own. I am already noticing a small improvement over yesterday, so let’s hope it keeps up.

Sign that my mom & sister made to motivate me. I have been a Bon Jovi fan since I was a teen, so they used “She’s OUR Little Runaway” for the one side:


And the flip side:


I want to thank everyone for all of the amazing support. The people in my life who made this possible, I couldn’t have done it without you!! The friends I have on Twitter, Facebook, Daily Mile have been wonderful as well. I can never thank you all enough. 🙂

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