Chilly Mornings

As I was lying in bed this morning, not wanting to venture out into the cold room, I was brainstorming about what warm, comforting breakfast I could make. I knew that coffee was first on the list, but wasn’t sure what I would eat. I remembered that I had a bunch of gluten-free instant oatmeal from Glutenfreeda and Organic Honeycrisp apples from Whole Foods and I came up with an amazing warm, fall breakfast!

First I chopped up my apple and placed it in a bowl topped with lots of cinnamon. I microwaved that for 2 minutes, then stirred, then cooked for another 1 – 2 minutes. Once the apple was “cooked”, I removed it from the microwave and put the oatmeal in. I cooked the oatmeal according to package directions, but added some cinnamon on top. I chose the Natural “flavor” so I could taste my own creation. After the oatmeal was cooked, I added in the apples & stirred. I decided it needed something else. Enter Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter. Tossed in a spoonful and that was exactly what it had been missing.

In my recent quest to get more iron in my diet, this was a good start for the day with 15% of the RDA just in the oatmeal.


This breakfast warmed me right up in a matter of minutes! Loved the fall flavors all in one big bowl, too. Hopefully this will hold me over until lunch time. 😉 If you haven’t tried Glutenfreeda’s Instant Oatmeal, you should give it a try. This whole breakfast took me less than 15 minutes to prepare from start to finish. Had I not been messing around, I probably could have done it in under 10 minutes. If you can’t find it in a store near you, has the oatmeal here. It is $30.77 for 8 boxes; each box has 6 packets in it. That is 48 servings for $30.77 for $ .64/serving. What a great deal! The shipping is free with the Super Saver Shipping option.

Celiac Conference Review

Last weekend I attended the 23rd Annual Celiac Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Fortunately for me the conference was local. Check-in and vendors opened at 7:30 AM and I was there with bells on. I had eaten a small breakfast before heading out not realizing what kind of spread lay ahead waiting for me. Note to self: no need for breakfast next year. I was floored at how many samples were there! I was happy to begin eating my way through the different vendors.

Shortly after I started making my way through, I spotted Jillian, from Udi’s, setting up. I was thrilled to meet Jillian, as she and I chat on Twitter frequently. She truly understands my love for Udi’s and their bagels. 🙂 Of course I had to sample the muffins and they were spectacular, as usual.

As I was making the rounds, I had the chance to speak with many of the vendors about their products and how they started. I will be writing individual reviews & reports of these encounters over the next few weeks. I was thrilled to speak with David from Outback Steakhouse about the possibility of adding bread to the gluten-free menu at more of their locations. There is a location in Atlanta (Roswell, I believe), that does have an extended gluten-free menu due to the manager or another staff member having Celiac Disease.

The seminar was great for those newly diagnosed or wanting to learn more information about Celiac Disease. The opening speaker was Dr. Jolanda Denham, who just happens to be the GI doctor that my kids go to. Dr. Denham is well versed in diagnosing & treating Celiac Disease.

The next speaker was Dr. Cynthia Rudert with a research update. Dr. Rudert practices in Atlanta, Georgia and was a pleasure to listen to. So nice to hear from doctors that “get” Celiac Disease and won’t stop trying to find the problem until their patient is feeling better. More doctors need to be attending seminars like this just to take notes on how to treat their patients!

Lunch was prepared completely gluten-free, but was a little disappointing. The meal consisted of meat loaf, mashed potatoes, canned carrots and peas, and cupcakes that disappeared before the first lunch session was even finished. It would have been nice to see salad and a vegetarian option offered as well. Many people were taking multiple cupcakes, which in my opinion was just plain rude. There were enough provided for everyone who attended the conference, yet many people were unable to enjoy them.

Before heading out, I made sure to stop by the Celiac Specialties booth to sample the most amazing gluten-free donut I have ever tasted. I kid you not. You can read more about the donut that Jon declared “The best gluten-free food E.V.E.R!” here.

Iron-Rich Foods & the Gluten-Free Diet

Recently I was told by my doctor that I have Anemia. Anemia is common among those with Celiac Disease, though mine is most likely self-inflicted, at least at this point in time. I have been donating blood this year and it seems as if I may need to take a break. Labor Day weekend was the 3rd time this year that I donated. Since then I have been tired and run down. I expected that for a week or two, but not this long. Additionally, my menstrual cycles are off, which is what lead to the testing to begin with. I opted to try iron rich foods for the next few weeks before looking to iron supplements. My stomach doesn’t do well with iron supplements, so I hope that this works. I will repeat my blood test in 1-2 months to check on my levels.

After doing some research, here are some iron-rich foods that I already eat:

  • Kale/Spinach
  • Dried fruit (raisins, prunes, apricots)
  • Beans & lentils

Some foods iron-rich foods that I am adding:

  • Bison
  • Red meat – filet mignon
  • Shrimp
  • Scallops
  • Vega Shake & Go Smoothie (30%-40% of the RDA for iron)*see my review below
  • Chia seeds

Last night I was piecing together dinner when I got a chance Рthe rest of the family had already eaten. I saut̩ed some kale & carrots in a touch of extra-virgin olive oil and added some black beans and gluten-free pasta for a huge pasta/veggie bowl. I tossed everything with some low-sodium soy sauce (La Choy is gluten-free) and then topped with some goat cheese. Awesome, iron-rich combo!


I can think of so many more combinations that would work well in this dish. I had the leftover kale & carrots with my lunch today. I had a tuna melt and spinach salad, which has become a lunch staple these days. I just read about how it is important to get enough vitamin C, as your body absorbs iron better with it.


I had the opportunity to sample the Vega Shake & Go Smoothies in the past month. There are 4 different varieties of the Shake & Go Smoothies:

  • Bodacious Berry
  • Vanilla Almondilla
  • Tropical Tango
  • Choc-A-Lot

I was able to sample all but the Tropical Tango. The shakes are simple to literally shake & go. Simply add 4 – 8 oz of water, shake & go. The flavors were tasty and the nutritional stats are good. Some of the additional benefits are listed below:

  • Two servings of veggies
  • 2500 mg Omega- 3-6-9
  • 11g complete protein
  • Only 100 calories
  • 1 billion probiotics cultures

The shakes are free from gluten, dairy, soy, corn, wheat & yeast and only have 6 grams of sugar per serving! Vega products can be purchased online or in stores (Whole Foods) across the US. I can see these shakes being useful during marathon training in addition to extra vitamin support while trying to get my iron level up.

Weekly Menu Plan & a Winner

Welcome to November! I can’t believe that 2010 is almost over! Seriously, wasn’t it just January? Halloween this year was much colder than last year. Jon decided to hand out candy, so he stayed back. Hannah bundled up and we headed out with my God daughter, Emma. We only made it through 2/3 of the neighborhood before both my friend and I declared it too cold to make the complete rounds. We were back inside and found we had only been out 45 minutes. BRRR!! My toes were frozen! Even with the shortened duration, plenty of candy was collected. Due to the festivities, we opted for Pei Wei take out last night. A little Pei Wei Spicy Shrimp warmed me right up!

The rest of the week is chock full of activities & anniversary celebrations. Aaron and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary on Thursday. 🙂

Sunday – Pei Wei/ToTing

Monday – Shrimp Scampi with gluten-free pasta, broccoli & salad

Tuesday – Burritos, corn & salad

Wednesday – Bison burgers, sweet potato puffs, zucchini & salad

Thursday – Grilled chicken, basmati brown rice, green beans & salad

Friday – Pizza and salad

Saturday -Anniversary dinner


Now I will announce the winner for the Old El Paso giveaway.

The winner is…

October 30th, 2010 at 9:47 am
Friday night could use a bit of spicing up, so we’d make that Friday Family Fun Fiesta!

Marie – please email me at with your info so that I can get it to MyBlogSpark.


Weekly Recap

Review of Celiac Specialties donuts & croissants – heaven on earth!

Crave Bakery adds fall treats.

Enter here for a chance to win the new book from Gluten-Free Girl & the Chef. 🙂


Have a great week! 🙂

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