Earth Day

Friday, April 22, 2011 is Earth Day.  What are you doing in celebration of the earth on Earth Day?  Both Caribou & Starbucks are offering free freshly brewed coffee/tea to those who bring in their reusable/travel mugs for a fill-up.  Make sure to check each website for the specifics before heading into the store.  I know I will be there bright-eyed & bushy-tailed after I hit the gym in the morning. 


*Image courtesy of xedos4

What are you doing to take action?  This website suggests pledging to take 5 small actions.  Here are some things we are doing in our home:

1. Recycle – We have multiple recycling bins that we fill each week.  We have not only cut back on the amount of “trash” that we toss, but the number of trash bags that we are buying.

2. Reuse – We all have water bottles so we aren’t buying cases of bottled water & then tossing the bottles.  I also try to pack Hannah’s lunch in reusable containers as opposed to Ziplock bags. 

3.  Use less water.  Turning off the water while brushing our teeth, not running the water non-stop while doing dishes.  Only running the dishwasher or washing machine when they are full. 

4.  Turn off lights when leaving a room.  I have gotten much better at this.  My children?  Not so much.  It is a learning process. 

5.  Commute less.  While I “work” from home, I do tend to run a lot of errands.  I try to map out my week so that I can try to hit all the places that are close together at the same time.  Not only am I saving myself money on gas, but I am not polluting as much when I am not using my car.  If there was a way for me to walk or ride my bike to stores & such, I would do it, but it isn’t feasible where I live. 

Did you take the pledge?  Care to share your 5? 

Peeps–Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

Peeps have been around for years.  I remember them in my Easter basket as a child, though I was never really a fan.  I was all about jelly beans (no black ones, please) and all things sugary.  I was not really interested in chocolate at that point in my life.   Sure I would eat it if it was put in front of me, but I was a fan of all things gummy.  I also remember these marshmallowy eggs with a hard candy coating – have no idea what they were called or if they are still made, but they were awesome! 

Peeps are gluten-free, so I thought that maybe I would try them again and actually like them as an adult.  I was wrong.  I still don’t particularly care for them.  They have new varieties, too, chocolate covered, chocolate dipped, multiple shapes & colors and they are offered pretty much year round and not just during the Easter season.  The chocolate covered Peeps aren’t bad, but not something I would go out of my way to find.  True Peeps fans & followers may disagree. 

Have you seen this website that shows 10 Things to do with Peeps?  I especially thought that the “Peepshi” was creative.  In case you were wondering, “Peepshi” is Peeps Sushi.

So, Peeps – Thumbs up or thumbs down in your book?

I Heart Bob!

Bob Harper is just awesome!  He is so inspiring to thousands and has helped numerous people reclaim their lives with The Biggest Loser.  Today he was on Rachael Ray, and while I haven’t watched the show yet, I still felt the need to gush about him.  Smile  While I wouldn’t mind getting my arse handed to me by Jillian, my heart lies with Bob. 

In addition to The Biggest Loser, Bob has many other things going on.  Following him on Twitter and Facebook are always exciting, as is keeping update on his website.  He has a You Tube channel  (Check out this Bikini Body workout – good grief!) where he shares workouts & challenges.  Always good for mixing things up.  After suffering from a running injury last year, I am really trying to focus on including cross training in my schedule.  Yoga, stretching & strength training are just as important as logging miles.  

The recipe Bob shared on Rachael Ray today is naturally gluten-free, so I wanted to make sure to point it out to you.  It combines the use of a variety of vegetables, healthy gluten-free grains and tempeh (please make sure to verify the tempeh you choose is gluten-free).  If you don’t like tempeh, consider subbing tofu or even a lean meat protein or garbanzo beans in place of the tempeh.  In fact, if there is anything you don’t have or don’t like, it would be very simple to omit it or sub out in this recipe.  I am such a huge fan of veggies that I can see making this many different ways. 

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons diced jalapeños
  • At least 1 pound of vegetables, such as a mixture of sliced broccoli, sliced fresh mushrooms, julienned carrots, baby corn, sliced asparagus, sliced snow peas, julienned jicama or water chestnuts, bean sprouts
  • 6 to 10 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 package tempeh, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews

To find the complete list of directions, click here

What I really like about Bob is his down-to-earth philosophy.   Things don’t have to be complicated.  No gym membership or cardio equipment at home?  No problem.  There is always something you can do to get your heart rate up.  Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated.  Like I have always said about the gluten-free diet – eating healthy isn’t about specialty gluten-free items or processed foods – it is about whole foods created into meals by you.  Whole foods don’t have labels that need to be scoured for hidden gluten or aren’t filled with other chemicals or preservatives that could be potentially harmful to our health. 

Gushing is now over.  Carry on. 


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Everybody Eats Panini Party

Do you live in NYC/Brooklyn?  I sure wish that I did!  Everybody Eats is having a Panini Party on Thursday, April 28, 2011 from 6 to 9 PM.  I am green with envy!  Here is some more information:

Please join us at

Everybody Eats’

Panini Party

Just for fun!


      6:00 pm to 9:00 pm


Everybody Eats Kitchen Facility

294 Third Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 1121


Subway: R-Line, Union Street

Come as you are

R.s.v.p. 718-369-7444

I have had the chance to review several of the products that Everybody Eats makes and I am a huge fan.  My local health food store, Raisin Rack, carries several of their products, so I try to stock up when I am there.  If you are able to go, please make sure to share your thoughts! 

Spring Cleaning & Mrs. Alaska

Today was an unexpected day off for me.  On days like this I almost want to keep it a secret that I am off so that I can pick & choose what I do.  If I want to lay in bed and eat gluten-free bon bons all day, then so be it.  I chose to be a little more productive today and got a lot of cleaning & laundry done.  We are having company this weekend, so getting a jump start on the cleaning was the best option, though maybe not the most fun.  I found that once I got started, my list grew.  Don’t you hate how that happens?  It is like I have ADHD: Cleaning Variety.  I get started on one chore, then see something else that needs done or that I want to do and so on. 

Despite my scattered focus, I got a lot done.  Now I have less to try to cram in on Saturday after my long run and before I get my hair did (and boy, does that gray need help!).

While I was eating my breakfast this morning, I was surfing the web in between playing Words With Friends, and found an article about Mrs. Alaska having Celiac Disease!  Not only does Brandy Wendler have Celiac Disease, but she chose “Against the Grain: Raising Awareness forCeliac Disease” as her platform.  She is being sponsored by 2 familiar organizations associated with Celiac Disease & the gluten-free diet: Celiac Disease Foundation & Udi’s Gluten-Free Foods.  You can read more about Mrs. Alaska below and follow her blog here

Brandy M.H. Wendler is a board-certified Nurse Practitioner who works at a local Anchorage hospital. She is married to the love of her life, 1st Lt. JohnRoss Wendler, a pilot in the United States Air Force.  Together, they live in Eagle River with their two beautiful dogs. She enjoys rock climbing, photography and cooking and baking gluten-free meals. Brandy was diagnosed with Celiac Disease over three years ago, and she is proud to represent her platform "Against the Grain: Raising Awareness for Celiac Disease."

If you live in the area, make sure to check out Mrs. Alaska’s calendar to see if there is a time where you may be able to go out to meet her!

Now that I am winding down from all of my hard work today, I believe I am going to crack open a bottle of wine that I picked up last week at Trader Joe’s – Vola Sangiovese from Italy. 

Oh, before I go, make sure to check out this awesome contest that Udi’s is running – you could be the winner of a $500 Udi’s gift card.  Or, you can forget I mentioned it and hope that I win!  LOL! 

Heat Wave & a Menu Plan–April 10, 2011

Phew, it is hot out there and this is one girl who is NOT complaining!  Oh, how I have longed for the temperatures to be back in the 70s and 80s.  Today we are supposed to hit 84 – in April.  Nope, no complaints.  Oh, wait, I do have one.  My hubby turned on the A/C in the house.  WHAT?!  Not even a day to sweat?  I appreciate not having the allergens flying through the open windows, I really do, but I am ready to sweat!  Winking smile  Not sure how long this spell is supposed to stick around.  Seeing that we live in Ohio, it could snow tomorrow, so no putting those parkas away yet. 

I guess we have to eat this week, too, right?  Since I have modified my training plan and I am running the half marathon instead of the full, I feel like I have a lot more time on my hands and don’t feel nearly as overwhelmed.  I am playing catch up on a lot of stuff that I had been putting off and while I am not anywhere close to being caught up, progress is being made.

Sunday – Pei Wei take-out

Monday – Burgers on the grill (watch, it will snow), baked sweet potato puffs, green beans & salad

Tuesday – Mexican night – Burritos filled with turkey taco meat, refried beans, corn & cheese.  Salad on the side.

Wednesday – Breakfast for dinner (veggie omeletes), hash browns & fruit salad

Thursday – Spaghetti with marinutta sauce, roasted veggies and salad.

Friday – MYOP (Make your own pizza) with Kinnikinnick personal pizza crusts and salad

Saturday – Leftovers

Week in Review

2011 Easter Candy List

Kinnikinnick’s newest donut variety – Blueberry Glazed.  It is every bit as good as you imagine it would be!

Crunchmaster’s newest crackers

Gluten-free Dessert Tour in Columbus

Jennie-O recalls frozen ground turkey

Rice Krispies Gluten-Free–For Real!

I had heard the rumors a few months back that Rice Krispies were going to be gluten-free soon and even saw a picture of a box that said “Gluten-Free” on the front, yet Kellogg’s was remaining silent on the issue.  Until now.  Lookie here….

*Image Courtesy of Kellogg’s

Doesn’t that just tickle your fancy?!  I have been wanting to use that phrase for a while and am thrilled that I finally found a chance to do so.  Now, back to my post.  Winking smile  More on the Gluten-Free Rice Krispies:

Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® Gluten Free cereal

Where to Buy

Nutrition Facts

After hearing from so many gluten-free families out there, we’re happy to bring you NEW Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® Gluten Free cereal, made with brown rice.  It’ll be available in June, so be sure to ask your local supermarket to stock up!

View available sizes.


Ingredients: Whole grain brown rice, sugar, contains 2% or less of salt, BHT for freshness.

Vitamins and Minerals: Iron, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E (alpha tocopherol acetate), niacinamide, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B1 (thiamin hydrochloride), folic acid, vitamin D, vitamin B12.

Kosher Status


Anyone else really stinkin’ excited?!?  I don’t know if I am excited that I will have the Rice Krispies to eat again or if it is because another mainstream company that makes cereal is jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon.  There are gluten-free versions of Rice Krispies, but they aren’t the same.  In fact, I can’t wait to try them side by side to see how different (or maybe even the same) they are. 

I love that the ingredient list is simple.  No HFCS.  Yes, there is sugar, but I would much rather there be real sugar than a chemically altered sugar added.  Another bonus, the gluten-free version is made with brown rice, the original is not.  The gluten-free also has 10 less calories & 1 more gram of protein.  Little things make me happy. 

Once the product is on the market, you can go here and see where you can find it close to you. 

Now, I must go do my happy dance.

Missing Something

When I was visiting my sister in Atlanta a couple of weeks back, I went to a doctor’s appointment with her and while we were waiting for the surgeon to come in, I noticed a poster on the wall that was diagraming gastrointestinal diseases.  Obviously I was interested in the poster because I am weird like that.  But, I quickly became a little irritated, though, because I couldn’t find Celiac Disease on the poster.  It wasn’t there.  There were all kinds of other GI diseases listed on the poster – here are just some of them:

  • Crohn’s
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Gastric Cancer
  • Ulcers
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Colon Cancer
  • Acute Pancreatitis

What, is Celiac Disease not special enough?  Or, is it more of a case that Celiac Disease does not require medicine to treat it, like many of the other conditions mentioned on the poster.  Notice that the poster was made by Protonix, which is proton pump inhibitor, a medication used to treat GERD or gastroesophogeal reflux disease.  Maybe I am a little sensitive because I do all I can to educate others about Celiac Disease and the gluten-free diet.  According to the statistics, 1 in 133 people have Celiac Disease, yet 97% of those people are undiagnosed.  It would seem that if there is a poster hanging up in a medical office that Celiac Disease should be on that poster.  Awareness.  Of course there is not a lot of motivation by the drug companies because they don’t currently stand to make money off of people who are diagnosed with Celiac Disease, as the only treatment as of today is a gluten-free diet. 


Maybe someday there will be a pill or a vaccine, but not today.  In the meantime, raising awareness is how we can make a difference, and there are so many ways to get involved. 

  • Simply talking to your friends, family and doctors is probably the best way. 
  • If you are on Facebook or Twitter, combine social networking with Celiac Disease awareness. 
  • Help support 1in133’s mission to raise awareness about gluten-free food labeling.
  • Join the mailing list at NFCA – the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month!  Educate, educate, educate!  That is my new motto.  The more people that know, the more people that get diagnosed (and no longer suffer), the better it is for everyone!!  If you are dining out and get glutened or strange looks when you mention gluten-free, educate the restaurant and staff.  Make sure to let the management know if you do get sick – this will help others who go in to dine there on the gluten-free diet.  Most restaurants are very willing (and I say most, because we all know that there are those out there that really don’t care) to learn and do what they can to make sure you are as safe as can be.  Educate the stores where you shop – ask for them to carry your favorite gluten-free products if they don’t.  If your doctor or other medical professional seems behind the times, try to educate them as well and if they are unwilling, move on. 

What are you doing to help spread the word?

Cha, Cha, Cha, Changes

I am pretty sure that I just wrote last week about being surprised at how good I felt after running my 20 miler on Saturday, March 26, 2011.  Apparently I shouldn’t make statements like that until I actually run again after said long run.  I took Sunday & Monday off, per my training schedule and then ran on Tuesday.  As I was running I had some knee pain going on that had not been there previously.  Are you kidding me?  Fortunately I already had a follow up scheduled with my sports doctor that day, so I chatted with him about it and it was being caused by a tight hamstring.  I was to stretch, ice, foam roll, repeat.

I ran again on Wednesday and the pain was still there, though the more I ran (and warmed up) the better it got.  I took Thursday off and spent the day stretching, icing & foam rolling and it still wasn’t much better, as a matter of fact, it now hurt when I walked instead of just when I ran.  I went back to my PT and started getting ultrasound treatments, which I will continue for 8 sessions.  Bottom line is this – I am going to drop down to the half marathon and not force my body to try to complete a full marathon when it is clearly trying to tell me something.  It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, but I have no interest in being sidelined from running again.  For me there was no joy left in running – I was too stressed about being injured and how many miles I had to run to meet my training needs.  I want to run for the rest of my life and this is the best way for me to do that.  I am going to focus on getting my body healthy and training for half marathons for the time being.

Onto a brighter topic – gluten-free food!!  We love food here (who doesn’t?) and I received 2 amazing cookbooks this week that I can’t wait to try out & share my thoughts about with you.  In addition to cookbooks, I also had the opportunity to sample some amazing new gluten-free products this week.  Fun stuff to come!

Guess what?  Got the results of my latest blood work and I have finally kicked anemia’s butt!  That took me quite a while – 7+ months to be exact.  What I have learned from this is that I need to make sure I am getting a well-balance diet.

This week’s menu is going to once again be based on using things up in my freezer and/or pantry.  It is that time of year where we took inventory & decided we really need to pay more attention when we are shopping.  I am such a sucker for a good sale.

Weekly Plan

Sunday – Pei Wei (see how good I am doing at sticking to using the stuff in my freezer?)

Monday – Baked Lemon Tilapia, roasted fingerling potatoes, steamed green beans & salad

Tuesday – Burritos with ground turkey, refried beans, corn & salad

Wednesday – Homemade macaroni & cheese, baked beans, broccoli & salad

Thursday – Grilled chicken alfredo with a side of gluten-free pasta, sugar snap peas & salad

Friday – Bison burgers, baked potatoes, roasted zucchini and salad

Saturday – Pizza with roasted veggies and salad

Week in Review

Check out the new movement for gluten-free food labeling – 1in133. Do what you can to help support this movement, even if it is just sharing with your friends & family.

Trusting restaurants

Delight Gluten-Free magazine announces some big changes

Recall: Jennie-O frozen ground turkey burgers

Recall: Trader Joe’s Pizza al Pollo Asada

2011 Gluten-Free Easter Candy List – make sure to check this out!

I hope you all have a wonderful week.  Maybe, just maybe it will get warm & stay warm!

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