Teeccino Herbal Tea Gluten-Free?

I first heard of Teeccino Tea a couple years back when a friend recommended I drink it instead of my caffeinated coffee. I went to the website to check it out and found that it contains barley. Umm….last time I checked barley contains gluten and you can’t pay me to eat or drink gluten. If I was going to intentionally consume gluten (which I am not), I sure as heck wouldn’t be choosing tea to poison myself. I would go big – steaming hot sourdough bread or a New York style bagel. Anyway, I digress.

After reading an update from Tricia Thompson on Teeccino, I wanted to make sure to share all of the newest information with you all. Tricia has covered this topic more than once, the most recent being an update from the CEO of Teeccino on 6/28/2010. Teeccino is standing by the statement on the package “brewed Teeccino is gluten-free”. Of course what is missing from the package, as Tricia points out, is the fact that in order to make sure the brewed Teeccino is gluten-free, one must make sure to brew the product with a paper filter to ensure that no particles end up in the finished product. Brewing the Teeccino in a mesh, reusable filter may not do the job.

I don’t know about you, but I know that I would not willingly depend on my brewing skills to make sure there was no gluten in my drink. We all know that human error is inevitable. I find coffee grinds in my coffee often enough and I use a paper filter each time. Is this worth being sick over?

Tricia also mentions that Teeccino may be in the process of developing a barley-free Teeccino flavor for their “Boutique Line”. If you are looking for an decaf drink, there are plenty of teas & coffees out there that are both gluten-free and decaffeinated. Some of those options include:

  • Folger’s regular & flavored
  • Starbuck’s
  • Caribou
  • Millstone regular & flavored
  • Peet’s
  • Berres Brothers – all
  • Green Mountain Coffee – all
  • Celestial Seasonings – read label – they will be marked “gluten-free” – here is a caffeine-free herbal tea.

As far as coffee goes, all 100% coffee is gluten-free. What you need to watch out for is the added flavorings. Tea isn’t so easy as barley can be used in tea. 100% tea, such as Luzianne or Lipton is gluten-free. Nestle Coffee-Mate is gluten-free and says so right on the bottle. If you are unsure about your flavored coffee, just use the Coffee-Mate instead. Another option is So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer. This creamer is gluten-free and is much better for you than the Coffee-Mate (sorry Nestle).

Weekly Menu Plan – June 28, 2010

I can’t believe that June is over and that Christmas is less than 6 months away!! Where did this year go? It seems like I blinked and it was gone.

I was so excited to see that baby back ribs were on sale this week! They were $2.49/lb, that is down from $4.49/lb. Of course I picked up a couple racks to make this coming weekend. Ground turkey was also on sale, so I grabbed a couple of packages to make turkey burgers and use for tacos. I have been appalled at the price of salmon – almost $9/lb, so I have been buying steelhead instead at $6.99/lb. I have been trying to keep our weekly grocery trips to proteins & produce because my pantry is full of staples like rice, quinoa and gluten-free pasta.

This week’s menu:

Sunday – Rotisserie chicken, steamed green beans & carrots, sweet potato & salad

Monday -Teriyaki (I use San-J or La Choy) steelhead, brown rice, asparagus & salad

Tuesday-Burgers, garlic rosemary potatoes, broccoli & salad

Wednesday -Pasta with roasted vegetables & marinutta sauce and salad

Thursday-BBQ baby back ribs (I use Sweet Baby Ray’s), baked potatoes, roasted zucchini & salad

Friday-Pizza night!

Saturday-Leftovers or breakfast for dinner

Baked Goods

Zucchini muffins



The week in review:

Bj’s Brewhouse does gluten-free pizza!

Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bread review.

Arrowhead Mills Bake with Me Cupcakes – kid friendly

Steelhead Trout – recipes & ideas

Gluten-free Hush Puppies

Interested in living a healthy, gluten-free life? Check out Erin’s new ebook!

Bisquick – gluten-free is coming soon!!

Support group to be held in Newark, Ohio.

Tomorrow is National Almond Butter Crunch Day.

Recall: on Marie Callendar’s Cheesy Chicken & Rice.

Check out Heidi’s homemade dishwasher detergent

Want to win some cookies? Heidi is hosting an Immaculate Baking Company Cookie giveaway!


Have a great week!!!




I went to the gym this morning and as I was swimming, I had a lot of time alone with my thoughts. I am so used to listening to music while I run, bike or elliptical, that I don’t have a chance to really think. Yes, I can think while doing those other things, but not like I can when I swim. They have waterproof MP3 players, but do I really need to fork over more $$? No. In fact, this time spent alone with my thoughts may actually be turning out to be just what I needed.

As I was swimming I realized that I was motivated to compete against myself and swim faster than I had the previous time in the pool. I realized that while my body seemed to be working against me with my injury, I can fight back and still perform. I will adapt & make changes. I know that I said these things earlier this month, but I don’t think I truly accepted it until this morning. Then I recalled hearing something about the stages of grief and acceptance. Sure enough, I looked up stages of grief online and this is what I found:

The stages Kubler-Ross identified are:

Denial (this isn’t happening to me!)
Anger (why is this happening to me?)
Bargaining (I promise I’ll be a better person if…)
Depression (I don’t care anymore)
Acceptance (I’m ready for whatever comes)

While I didn’t lose a loved one, as in a person, I did temporarily lose my life as I knew it and was comfortable in. I lost my beloved pal – running. I truly think that I have now moved through those stages and am on the final stage – acceptance. I can think back over these past few weeks since I have become “Bootsie” and see myself in each of those earlier stages.

At my doctor’s appointment the other day I was told that I would not be able to run the marathon I was planning on running this fall. I had a suspicion that was coming, so it wasn’t a huge shock. However, I thought that I would still be able to run the half on 10/17, but that is up in the air. It really depends on how the rest of my recovery goes. I am still in the boot, though I am weaning out of it. I should be done with it by Monday or Tuesday of next week. That being said, I am still only allowed to swim or bike with no resistance. I see Dr. B again on 7/15 and he told me that if I was feeling fantastic the week before, I could try the elliptical with no resistance, but otherwise, status quo until I see him. When I see him in July, he will have a “return to running” program designed just for me. Basically it will be like starting over. These are the words that I think I have been afraid of this whole time. Starting over. The fact that I worked so hard to get to the point I was at. I ran a marathon! It just devastated me. However, it also hurt me. Physically. Obviously I am not going to be able to go right back out there & run 10 miles. That is just plain silly. So, now that I have all the facts, I can from a plan. Or, my doctor can since the plan I had landed me in a boot. 😉 I am now hoping that things go well & I can run that half marathon on 10/17, but if I can’t, that is okay. I will have even more time to heal & train for my next marathon in the spring.

Now that I have accepted my situation and I am not fighting it anymore, I feel so much better. I am not counting down the days. I am embracing each day and the activities that are kind to my body right now. I can’t run. I can swim. I didn’t like swimming at first, but you know what? It is growing on me. Shhhh….don’t tell swimming yet. Swimming & I are like 2 strangers who are really shy and hesitant to interact with each other. We start to get to know each other. We don’t really know what to think of the other, but are forced to spend more time together. Slowly, a relationship is forming and the feelings towards each other are much more positive than negative. But remember, don’t tell swimming yet.

Bakery on Main is Back in Business

I found out through Celiac Handbook that Bakery on Main had a fire and was out of production for a short time. I love their Granola & Granola Bars, so I am glad to hear that all is well now. What I loved most about the information from Celiac Handbook was this youtube video that Bakery on Main made to let all of us know what was going on.

Cute, huh?

For more on Bakery on Main, see my earlier review.

Living a Healthy Gluten-Free Life

My friend, Erin Elberson, has just released a brand spanking new ebook that I am so excited about! I wish this book would have been around during those first months of my starting the gluten-free diet. Erin has taken her research & compiled it into one neatly packaged ebook for easy reading. The ebook is broken down into sections making it easy to read, even for the busiest people out there.

Even if you have been gluten-free for a while, but are looking for a way to improve your diet, this ebook would be good for you. Erin emphasizes the use of whole foods and not processed foods. She includes grocery lists, hidden sources of gluten, safe kitchen tips and much more. There are recipes which Erin has called “Not-Really Recipes” that are quick & simple. You do not have to be a chef or even an experienced cook to prepare most of these recipes. The Chocolate Banana Protein Brownies are calling my name!

Right now is the time to act! Erin is offering a special introductory rate through July 6, 2010, so make sure to take advantage of this deal now. She is also offering a 50% discount for 60 minutes of individual phone/Skype consultation for a limited time. This also ends July 6th.

Click here to place your order now!

Bisquick – Gluten-Free

I was browsing around the Live Gluten Freely page the other day and saw some promising progress on the Gluten-Free Bisquick front. There is now a page up with more details about the product and many recipes.

When I was growing up my mom used to use Bisquick for a number of recipes. The one that sticks out in my head is a chicken and cheese casserole with Bisquick biscuits on top. I can’t even tell you what was in that casserole other than chicken and maybe cheese, but I loved those biscuits!

After browsing through the recipes on the Bisquick page I think that the Strawberry Shortcake will be added to my “must make” list, as will the Chicken & Dumplings and the Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake.

Keep an eye out for this box on the shelves in your local grocery store:


*Photo Courtesy of Betty Crocker/General Mills

The Bisquick is due to show up on shelves sometime this summer. Sign up here to get the Bisquick Newsletter. Do you have any recipes that you would like to share on the Live Gluten Freely site? If so, just submit your recipe here. Read the newest articles from the Live Gluten Freely Bloggers here. This month’s articles include lots of summer salad recipes, overcoming picnic paranoia and information on a new Celiac Disease Program.

Last, but not least, there are only 14 days left to enter the Chex Recipe Contest!

Product Review: Nature Valley Roasted Nut Crunch Bars

Last week I wrote about General Mills adding a couple more products to their growing gluten-free list. Since then I have been able to sample the bars. There are 2 different varieties of the nut crunch bars – peanut and almond. The bars are made up of a variety of nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and has 6 grams of protein.

*Photos courtesy of Nature Valley

Both of the bars are very good. I love the crunch of the bars. The flavor is great and they are not overly sweet. These bars are perfect for carrying in your purse or backpack for on-the-go snacks or emergency meals. I never leave home without some kind of bar in my purse. Some of the other bars I carry are:

Some people get scared off by the amount of fat in these bars. Most of the fat in these bars comes from nuts. Nuts are high in fat, but they are “good fat”. Nuts contain essential fatty acids that are vital for growth, healthy hair and skin, BP control and immune defense. The this type of fat does not raise blood cholesterol levels. Nuts contain monounsaturated fats (MUFAS) which are known to raise HDL levels (the good cholesterol).

If you can’t find these bars in a store near you, you can purchase them online here. Shipping is 100% free! Kudos to General Mills for being the leader in the mainstream grocery industry with all of these gluten-free products.

Do You Eat Your Fruits & Veggies?

Sometimes getting in enough servings of fruits & vegetables daily can be tough, especially for kids. I have tried to consistently offer fruit or vegetables or both at each meal throughout the day so that my kids are aware that they are part of a healthy diet and aren’t going away anytime soon. While my kids can be picky about certain things, I find that they both like a nice variety of fruits and vegetables.

Breakfast usually includes one serving of fruit. Hannah is big on blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe and grapes. Jon prefers strawberries, cantaloupe, grapes or if there is nothing else, a banana. Lunch will include another fruit and/or veggie, if packed for school or both if we are eating at home. Dinner usually includes a salad, veggie & fruit in addition to the protein and grain or starch. Now, of course there are exceptions. When we eat out, I don’t make the kids order a salad or fruit & veggie. Sometimes they choose to, others not. I know that at least 80% – 90% of the time they are eating well, so I am okay with them enjoying the few times we eat out.

Vegetables that are “acceptable” in our house are:

  • steamed broccoli
  • steamed green beans
  • steamed carrots (Jon) and raw carrots for Hannah
  • Peas (usually frozen & then steamed or tossed in risotto)
  • Corn (they prefer canned, I prefer fresh or frozen)
  • Mixed veggies (frozen – they pick out the green beans and lima beans)

I consider that a good variety for kids. They also love mixed greens for salad – I usually buy the Organic Spring Mix and they ask for seconds!! I do a sprinkle of shredded cheese (usually around 1 TBSP) and a few croutons (for Hannah) and crushed Glutino Pretzels (for Jon).

There are times when I bring a new vegetable into the house and I ask that everyone try it. Sometimes they really balk, other times they are all for it. I was sure that I would have Hannah’s support when I brought in our new vegetable this week.


Enter: Purple Cauliflower. The color made the chances of Hannah accepting it go up immensely. Hannah loves pink & purple, as most 7 year old girls do. 😉 The sign at the grocery store said that the taste was similar to broccoli, so I introduced our new friend as “purple broccoli”. If the word “cauliflower” were to leave my lips, my ship would have been sunk right there. Not only would the kids not have touched it, neither would Aaron. The texture of the flowers or “trees” was very similar to broccoli. The taste was also pretty similar to broccoli. I really liked it and Aaron said it tasted like broccoli. The kids were all for it initially, then they both declared they didn’t like the aftertaste. Well, at least they each tried and it had a serving of it. 🙂

Here is some more info on cauliflower from Wikipedia. I steamed the “purple broccoli”, but I bet it is awesome roasted! I love to roast veggies with just a little EVOO, sea salt & pepper.

The best thing about fruits & veggies – they are naturally gluten-free!! Gluten-free foods don’t have to be complicated or expensive. Some of the most delicious gluten-free foods are right under our noses in the produce department.

True Blogger Confessions Part 2

Last time I wrote True Blogger Confessions I wrote about hidden confessions. My hidden confession at the time was that I did not floss on a regular basis, but I was trying to get into the habit. I wrote that on April 24, 2010. Today is June 18, 2010 and I was doing so well up until I went on vacation. I blame the boot. LOL! Even though I proclaimed that I was able to floss with the boot (hehe), I have had a major #fail while on vacation.

My second confession is that I am a major schedule freak. Yes, I said freak. You would think I was a child when it comes to how screwed up I get when I am “off schedule”. I like routine. I like predictability. I don’t like surprises. I am a planner, through & through. I come by this honestly. My sister is the same way, if not more regimented, as is my Dad.

These past 2 weeks have really messed with me. Not only am I in running “prison”, but I am away from my home and my day-to-day routine. I found a gym, The Fitness Studio, that I have gone to for all but the 2 days they were closed. Cindy (the owner) and all the people there were so nice to me. Being able to hit the gym every morning really helped my mental status. Not only was I able to hop on the recumbent bike daily, I was able to take 2 Power classes taught by Cindy, herself. The best $50 (for 2 weeks) I have ever spent. I am sure you have seen the “Mastercard – Priceless” commercials, right? That is what this was worth to me (and my family – trust me, they need me to be happy, not witchy with a capital “B”).

I have had a really hard time being away on this trip. I am not able to do “my thing”. I have suffered from an eating disorder in the past and those habits tend to come to the surface when I am under stress. Under normal circumstances I consider myself to have a very healthy relationship with food. Enter stress. Then I find myself reverting back to old habits. I see red flags raising all over the place. I am subconsciously doing things I haven’t done for years – counting calories, restricting foods, etc. What am I afraid of? I ask myself this question. What is the worst that is going to happen here? Why? Why is it necessary to seek comfort in denying myself the food that nourishes my body? I have “lost” my main outlet of stress -running and exercising as I know it. I am forced to either succumb or find a way to make it work. I struggle. I struggled for a couple of days. I will struggle with this for the rest of my life. This “disease” may be lying dormant deep within me for years, but it lies there waiting to resurface when I am least expecting it.

I have come out on top once again, for the time being. I have won another battle and I intend to win the war. I have an amazing support system in my husband, family & friends. I found a way to do what I need to do for exercise that makes me feel good. Believe it or not, I can get my heart rate up sufficiently on the recumbent bike without resistance. My new favorite motto is “Where there is a will, there is a way”. I pray that I can resume my “normal” routine in the next week and remove some of this stress. If not, I will form a new plan. I have to be proactive to keep myself healthy.

I have been given lemons, as a lot of people have. I refuse to let that keep me down. I will make lemonade until the cows come home. Being told to follow a gluten-free diet turned out to be one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I didn’t think that at the time, but I know it now. Doing so has give me a completely new outlook on life.

Well, well, well…..Starbucks to offer free Wi-Fi

Imagine my surprise when I read this article yesterday about Starbuck’s beginning to offer free Wi-Fi beginning July 1, 2010. I wrote an article in February expressing my disappointment in Starbuck’s charging for Wi-Fi. I have to say that this is a long time coming and a little behind the times in the market. Caribou Coffee, Panera Bread and even many Mc Donald’s locations have been offering free Wi-Fi for a while.

Some of the highlights on the details:

  • Free – Wi-Fi – no Starbucks Card required
  • One-Click – no username or password required
  • Unlimited – no time limit – there used to be a 2 hour restriction

Since I dissed Starbuck’s in my previous post, I thought it was only fair to report that they will be catching up with the times shortly. Starbuck’s does offer a variety of gluten-free snacks and drinks. Please be cautious when ordering any of the Frappaccinos, as there have been some changes made to the base mixes. You can read more about the changes here and there is some clarification here.

Now, back to business – laying on the beach! 😉

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