Review: Luna Protein Bars

It has been long known that Luna bars were off limits to those on the gluten-free diet due to oats and/or barley malt in the bars.  Yes, some oats are considered gluten-free, but those that are, go through a different process so that they are not contaminated with gluten-containing grains.  Just recently I blogged about the new Luna Protein Bars over on  Recently I was sent some samples from the nice people at Clif to review. 


There are 5 different flavors of Luna Protein Bars:

I have been able to work my way through most of the flavors listed above and have fallen in love with the Mint Chocolate Chip.  The mint bars is reminiscent of a Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie!  Oh, how I have missed those!  Not only is the bar gluten-free, but much healthier than a bunch of cookies, too!  The these bars don’t taste like they are full of chemicals like some off the protein bars on the market.  More about the Luna Protein Bars:

At the beginning of 2011 we started to transition the entire Luna Protein line to be gluten free. To do this, Clif Bar & Company has looked at all aspects of making our bars. Our ingredient suppliers have confirmed that all ingredients are gluten free, so they contain no gluten from wheat, rye or barely. Where we make our food is capable of making a gluten free food and we test our finished products to confirm that they are gluten free.

Our newest flavors, Mint Chocolate Chip and Chocolate, are already on the shelf and labeled as gluten free bars.

As of March, 2011, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cookie Dough, and Chocolate Cherry Almond will be transitioning to be gluten free, as well. We removed the barley malt extract, a potential gluten concern, from the rice crisps in Chocolate Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cherry Almond flavors. The new gluten free product will hit shelves as soon as March. You can tell if your LUNA Protein bar is gluten free by looking at the packaging.

While I prefer to eat whole, unprocessed foods, it is nice to have this option to keep in my purse when I am running around or on the road.  Having a “safe” food choice that provides close to 200 calories and 12 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber is important and much better than grabbing a bag of chips & a soda. 

Luna Protein Bars can be purchased at stores across the US and online.  Make sure that the bars you purchase and/or eat say “gluten-free” on the wrapper.  The old version of the protein bars were not gluten-free; the new bars clearly state that they are on the wrapper.  The bars cost roughly $1.25/each or $14.95 for a box of 12.  I have seen them for as low as $.99/bar when on sale. 

***These bars were provided to me free of charge for review.   The opinions in this post are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

When It Is O.K. to Have Chocolate for Breakfast

Wouldn’t you love to have chocolate everyday for breakfast & have it be “O.K.”?!  I know that I would.  Most things chocolate are gluten-free, right?   I can think of several instances where I consider it okay to have chocolate for breakfast and we all know that whatever I say goes, right? Winking smile

Example #1:

Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter aka breakfast crack

Example #2:

Raw Cacao Nibs topping my Dark Chocolate Dreams or almond butter & fruit spread


Example #3:

Dark Chocolate Hershey’s Kiss in a hot cup of coffee.  Brilliant, right?  I got this idea from a local newscaster on our morning news, Amy Lutz.  She tweeted about putting a chocolate egg in her coffee and I thought it was a fantastic idea!  I didn’t have any chocolate eggs, but I did have some DCHK.


Now, talk about a way to start out a Monday morning, right?  Not sure that combining all three options at once is a healthy choice unless you are really needing a chocolate fix.  Smile Sometimes a girl just needs her chocolate.  Welcome to Monday!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win a copy of Amy Green’s Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free cookbook! The contest ends tonight at midnight!

Want to ask gluten-free guru, Danna Korn some questions about the gluten-free diet and/or Celiac Disease?  Click here and submit your questions!  I’ll take questions for Danna up until midnight!

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the wonderful mothers out there. 

I would like to take this chance to wish my mom, the best mom in the world, a very Happy Mother’s Day.  I am blessed to have such a caring & loving mother who is also one of my best friends (my sister is my other best friend).  I am so grateful to her for all that she has done for me in the past and continues to do for my family and me.  It takes a very special person to be the kind of person that she is.  She is one of the most patient people that I know.  I only wish that I could have a quarter of the patience that she has. 


I love you, Mom! 

Now, I am off to prepare a yummy gluten-free breakfast of eggs, hash browns, fruit & toast for my mom.  Okay, maybe Aaron will make it because that is what he does – it is his thing.  He loves to make a big breakfast when we have company in town.  Love him!

A quick meal plan for the week:

Sunday – Leftovers from our get together on Saturday or take-out – Mama is not cooking!

Monday – Bison burgers, sweet potato puffs, asparagus & salad

Tuesday –Spaghetti & marinutta sauce, steamed broccoli & salad

Wednesday – Turkey tacos, corn, black beans & salad

Thursday – Bourbon Chicken, brown rice, sugar snap peas & salad

Friday – Pizza – make your own and salad

Saturday – Leftovers, rotisserie chicken or take–out

Have a wonderful week! 

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win a copy of Amy Green’s Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free cookbook! The contest ends Monday, May 9, 2011 at midnight! 

Want to ask gluten-free guru, Danna Korn some questions about the gluten-free diet and/or Celiac Disease?  Click here and submit your questions! 

Race Day Eve–Gluten-Free Food

As I mentioned in this post, I have become meticulous about my food the day before and the day of my long runs in preparation for my half marathon.  I have been eating the same thing the day before my long (Saturday) runs for almost a month now to make sure that my stomach agrees with what I have chosen.  So, beginning this morning, probably right as this post goes live, I will begin eating the following.


Large bowl of mixed fruit – I use whatever is in season, but lately it has been cantaloupe, pears, apples, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries & kiwi.

2 Quaker Rice cakes with Marnantha almond butter, fruit spread & raw cacao nibs

coffee with Silk Pure Almond (2 cups)

*Example of my fruit bowl, but from last summer.  Man, I wish watermelon, peaches & cherries were in season right now!


Spinach salad w/grape tomatoes (not the recalled ones…YIKES!) and Kraft Fat Free French dressing

Tuna melt on Trader Joe’s French Roll

Veggies on the side (probably sauteed zucchini, as that has been my go-to choice for the past few weeks)

Starburst Jelly Beans (a girl needs her carbs the day before a race, right?)


Pizza on Udi’s Gluten-Free or Kinnikinnick crust – toppings will be roasted tomatoes, mozzarella and a couple other roasted veggies (carrots & mushrooms) & finished off with avocado

Salad – not as big as my normal “kitchen sink” salad that I have nightly for dinner, as I don’t need to overly stuff myself with raw veggies (if you know what I mean)

Bowl of ice cream topped with chocolate chips & raw cacao nibs (again, a girl needs her race day eve carbs!)

That should do it!  I should be nice & fueled for my race after consuming all of that food.  Winking smile  I also have a habit of stuffing my face with raisins or dry cereal when I am preparing meals, so there is no telling how much of that I will consume.  I will also be drinking plenty of water to make sure that I am hydrated well.

Wish me luck! 

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win a copy of Amy Green’s Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free cookbook! The contest ends Monday, May 9, 2011 at midnight! 

Want to ask gluten-free guru, Danna Korn some questions about the gluten-free diet and/or Celiac Disease?  Click here and submit your questions! 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

Kinnikinnick Blueberry Donuts–Good & Bad News

It was just last month that I was able to sample the newest variety of Kinnikinnick’s donuts – Blueberry.  These were by far the best donut that I have tasted since starting the gluten-free diet!  I couldn’t get over how good they were!  I have good news & bad news about these donuts.  Which do you like to get first – good or bad news?  I always choose bad news first because the good news usually cheers me up a bit. 

The bad news is that they are not a permanent fixture in the line up.  The good news is that Kinnikinnick is extending the time that these are available until the end of May!!!!  Maybe if they get enough positive feedback they will add these to the permanent line up!  Make sure to let Kinnikinnick know your thoughts here on their blog or on Twitter.  The donuts can be ordered from the Kinnikinnick website which always has a flat shipping rate of $10, so stock up! 

So, 2 questions – are you a good news first or bad news first person?  Have you tried these donuts yet? 

If you haven’t already entered to win a copy of Amy Green’s new cookbook – Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free, make sure to head on over here and enterOnly 3 days left!

Want to Help Interview Danna Korn?

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month, right?  Who better to give us answers to any question we may have about Celiac Disease and the gluten-free diet than Danna Korn?  Don’t know much about Danna?  Read more below:

Danna Korn is considered one of the foremost experts on the gluten-free lifestyle. She is author of “Living Gluten-Free for Dummies,” “Gluten-Free Cooking for Dummies,” “Gluten-Free Kids,”  “Wheat-Free, Worry-Free,” and “Kids with Celiac Disease,” and appears frequently in national and local media.  Danna has been researching celiac disease since her son, Tyler, was diagnosed with the condition in 1991. That same year, she founded R.O.C.K. (Raising Our Celiac Kids), the largest support group in the country for families of children on a gluten-free diet. Today, Danna leads nearly 140 chapters of R.O.C.K. throughout the nation. She speaks frequently around the country to health care professionals, celiacs, parents of celiacs, parents of autistic kids involved in a gluten-free/casein-free dietary intervention program, and others on a gluten-free diet, and has been an invited presenter at two International Symposia on Celiac Disease, Danna is a consultant for a celiac testing company, and has partnered with General Mills on its gluten-free initiative.

Did You Know?
97% of Americans estimated to have celiac disease are not diagnosed.
Most people who have celiac disease don’t know it.
Associated conditions can develop if people with celiac disease continue to eat gluten.
Symptoms of celiac disease are vast, and include headaches, fatigue, weight loss or gain, gastrointestinal distress, joint pain, and even infertility.
One in nine U.S. households has chosen to watch, reduce or avoid gluten intake due to celiac disease or for other dietary reasons.
According to a recent study, as many as 1 in 20 Americans have some kind of gluten sensitivity

I have been offered the opportunity to interview Danna and share a video of her responses with you all.  How cool is that?  So, here is what I need from you guys….questions.  What do you want to know about Celiac Disease and the gluten-free diet?  I am going to compile my list of interview questions straight from the questions that you guys leave in the comments section below.  I need to have the questions submited by May 9, 2011.  Once I have the video of Danna’s responses, I will post it here for you all to view.  Ready, set, ASK

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win a copy of Amy’s newest cookbook: Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

Gluten-Free Favorite

I am always on the lookout for new-to-me gluten-free foods.  I especially like naturally gluten-free foods and have been making a real effort to try fruits & vegetables that I once passed over thinking I didn’t like them.  In all reality, when I asked myself why I didn’t like some of those foods, it wasn’t because I had tried them and didn’t like them, but that I had never really given said food a chance. 

Last year I went out on a limb tried papaya and hated it.  Fortunately that experience did not ruin me and I picked up a mango this past week at the store.  Once I figured out how to cut the darn thing, I fell in love with it.  I started to cut it like I would an avocado.  Clearly just because they are shaped similarly doesn’t mean that they look the same on the inside.  Some people may have picked up on that quicker than I did.  I butchered my way through enough mango for my breakfast fruit bowl and then set out to find out how I am really supposed to cut a mango.  I figured that finding out the correct way was in my best interest if I wanted to keep all of my fingers attached to my hands.  This is what I found, complete with instructions & pictures.  I do best when pictures are involved.  Who knew that the “pit” wasn’t round?  I didn’t.  Apparently it is a “flatish, oblong pit” that must be cut around.  It is a good thing that the mango is super tasty, otherwise this seems like an awful lot of work!  LOL!  I assume that it will become second nature over time, just like cutting an avocado, watermelon or cantaloupe.  I wonder if there is a special tool like my combination apple/pear corer/slicer.  That is one cool gadget that I don’t want to be without (my fingers are pretty happy about this one too).  While I am searching for a mango cutter, I probably should pick up a cherry pitter since cherry season will be upon us soon. 

Back to eating the mango.  It rocked!  I wonder why it took me so long to try it?!  Not only did I add it to my fruit bowl for breakfast, I added it to my black beans & rice dish that I ate for lunch.  I can’t wait to add this into my rotation of fruit!  As I was watching The Biggest Loser last week, they had a recipe using mango with quinoa and black beans that sounds fantastic!  Here is the recipe:

Naturally gluten-free!! Perfect summer treat!

Mango Quinoa Salad

Ali Vincent’s protein-loaded treat!

Season 5 champ Ali Vincent showed contestants this week how to make this delicious snack. Or you can have it with fish as a side dish for dinner or put it in a wrap.

2 cups cooked red quinoa (at room temperature or cold)

1 mango diced

1 handful of chopped cilantro

1 15-ounce can of black beans

1 red bell pepper chopped

6 green onions thinly sliced

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoons fresh lime juice

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, oil and lime juice. In a big bowl, combine all other ingredients. Drizzle liquid mixture over the salad, and toss until well combined. Chill for about an hour.

Makes 6 servings

Per serving: calories 240; Total Fat 8g; Sat Fat 1g; Cholest 0mg; Sodium 10mg; Total Carb 34g; Fiber 7g; Sugars 9g; Protein 7g.

Have you tried a mango before?  Do you have any favorite uses for mango?  Care to share them with me?

Don’t forget that today is the Gluten-Free Food Labeling Summit!  Click here to read more about it. 


Giveaway: Amy Green’s Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free Cookbook

You all many remember Amy Green from a guest post she did here back in March 2011.  Amy authors the blog, Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free, and brand new cookbook, Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free: 180 Easy & Delicious Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or LessThe cookbook is just gorgeous and I am thrilled that I had the pleasure to review a copy and now give one away to one of my readers! 

A little about Amy:

Amy Green, M.Ed., authors Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free, ( a blog about eating well, eliminating refined sugars and wheat, and maintaining a healthy weight. Her first cookbook, Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free: 180 Easy & Delicious Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less, has been on Amazon’s best seller lists since its release in February 2011.

Amy has been living free from white sugar and wheat since 2004 and, as a result, is maintaining a 60+ pound weight loss. Over the years she’s learned that eating healthier doesn’t equal deprivation. She was recently interviewed on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Talk 980 USA, appeared on Channels KTEN and Channel 33 News, was featured in The Plano Profile, and will be in the April Edition of D Magazine. She is a field editor for Healthy Cooking Taste of Home, freelance writer, does recipe development, and teaches local sugar-free, gluten-free baking classes. Amy lives with her husband and four dogs in Dallas, TX.

Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free has so many appetizing recipes in it, I didn’t know where to start!  I seriously needed to sit down and make a list of the different foods that I want to make from the book.  I like Amy’s no nonsense approach to cooking & her methods for cutting down time spent in the kitchen; we can all use a extra time to do the things we really love to do, right?  For me that is running & spending time with my family!  Instead of using refined, white sugar, Amy uses a variety of sugar substitutes, such as palm sugar, agave nectar, banana, liquid stevia and more.  I am thinking the Peanut Butter Hot Fudge Cake sounds like the perfect dessert to make for our Mother’s Day get together, which also happens to be the same day as my upcoming half marathon. 

Would you like to win a copy of Amy’s new cookbook?  Here is what you need to do to enter:

1.  Leave a comment on this post, not on my Facebook page.  Tell me what your favorite sugar substitute is. 

For additional entries, please complete any 1 or more of the following, leaving a separate comment for each one completed.  (This helps me count entries).

2.  “Like” Amy’s Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free Facebook page and leave a comment.

3.  Follow Amy on Twitter and leave a comment.

4.  “Like” Gluten-Free is Life on Facebook and leave a comment.

5.  Follow Gluten-Free is Life on Twitter and leave a comment.

This giveaway will run from Monday May 2, 2011 through Monday May 9, 2011 at midnight.  The winner will be announced Tuesday May 10, 2011.  I will randomly select a winner on May 10, 2011.  Good luck to all who enter!!! 

Amy’s book can be purchased on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble.  This is would be a fabulous Mother’s Day gift for your wife, mother, mother-in-law or grandmother. 

***I received this book free of charge to review.  The thoughts & opinions of this book and/or the recipes are my own and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month.  That is probably not the first time you have heard that and it certainly won’t be the last.  At least it won’t be if I can help it.  I feel part of my duty as a gluten-free blogger is to bring awareness to the gluten-free diet & Celiac Disease.  Some quick facts about Celiac Disease:

  • 1 in 133 people in the US actually have Celiac Disease
  • 97% of those people are undiagnosed
  • Celiac Disease is not an allergy – it is an auto-immune disease

For more information on Celiac Disease, symptoms, testing, etc, please visit the NFCA (National Foundation for Celiac Awareness).

Wondering why I have a picture of Barbara’s Multigrain Puffins up there?  How about the penguin?  Isn’t he cute?  These Puffins are one of my favorite gluten-free cereals to eat straight from the box!  Mambo Sprouts is helping to promote Celiac Awareness during the month of May and offered to send me out a box of Puffins to sample & share my thoughts with you. More from Mambo Sprouts:

Celiac Awareness Month and a Gluten-Free Giveaway!

Mambo is proudly supporting Celiac Awareness this month! We are having a Gluten-Free Giveaway and to enter you must comment on our sponsored Celiac Brand Pages. Simply comment about their products and you will be entered to win a package of free products, coupons and goodies!

Start your comment posting now and visit our Sponsored Brand Pages!  Barbara’s Bakery, Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery, Cocomama, Nature’s Path, San-J, thinkThin, Udi’s Gluten Free Foods and Crunchmaster Crackers!

A total of 10 winners will be selected!

Barbara’s Puffins come in 2 gluten-free varieties – Honey Rice & Multigrain.  I love them both, but choose the Multigrain if it is available.  The Multigrain version does contain oats, but they are certified gluten-free.  I seriously do eat these straight from the box at times, though they are really good with Silk Pure Almond milk as well.  More about Barbara’s:

Barbara’s Bakery Introduces New Gluten-Free

Multigrain Puffins Cereal

Delicious, Gluten-Free New Addition To Puffins Family Features 8g Of Whole Grains,

Prebiotic Fiber, and Much More!

PETALUMA, CABarbara’s Bakery cordially invites you to join us in celebrating the birth of a welcome gluten-free addition to the beloved Puffins family of cereals: Multigrain Puffins!

Every bit as hearty, healthy, and highly irresistible as its Original, Cinnamon, Honey Rice Peanut Butter and Peanut Butter & Chocolate siblings, the new gluten-free Multigrain Puffins is both delicious and nutritious, containing a full 8g of whole grains per serving (16% of our recommended daily intake); and 1.07g of Nutra-Flora per 30g serving (a prebiotic soluble fiber that promotes healthy digestion, enhances mineral absorption and reinforces immunity).

Consumers today seek out gluten free products for a variety of reasons: doctor diagnosed or self diagnosed with celiac disease (at least 3 million Americans have celiac disease, but only 1-in-4,700 is ever diagnosed, according to the National Institutes of Health), because of a sensitivity to gluten, to boost energy, or simply because they believe that avoiding products that include gluten is a healthy way to eat.

With gluten-free products growing three times faster than the cereal category, Barbara’s Bakery Multigrain Puffins offer a delicious, gluten free option for the entire family. Featuring a gluten free seal, this new cereal does not contain any species of the grains wheat, rye or barley – or any crossbred hybrid of these grains.

In addition to being gluten free, Multigrain Puffins are:

  • Fat Free
  • Low Sugar – only 6g
  • Low in Sodium
  • A good source of fiber (3g)
  • An excellent source of calcium, iron and both vitamins C & D (one serving provides 25% of your daily calcium and vitamin D needs)
  • Free of hydrogenated oils or trans fats
  • Free of artificial flavors, colors or preservatives
  • Wheat-free
  • Cholesterol-free
  • Kosher

“Puffins Cereals have really taken on a life of their own with our customers and I’m confident they will quickly and warmly welcome our new gluten-free Multigrain Puffins line to the family,” said Kent Spalding, VP of Marketing for Weetabix North America, the parent company of Barbara’s Bakery. “It’s very rewarding for all of us at Barbara’s Bakery to offer a line of products which not only provide great taste and the finest possible ingredients, but that is also designed to meet the specific dietary needs of our consumers, such as an intolerance to gluten.”

Almost 20 years ago, Barbara’s Bakery became a dedicated supporter of The National Audubon Society’s Project Puffin, which has successfully been restoring puffins to historic nesting islands in the Gulf of Maine since 1973. This partnership is reflected on the Puffins™ cereal packaging. Attracted to the puffin’s inspiring come-back story as well as their adorably hearty personalities, the puffin seabird inspired the name for the Puffins™ family cereal line. For more information, please visit

Barbara’s Bakery Multigrain Puffins are available in most natural supermarkets and at select mainstream nationwide. SRP of $3.99 – $4.29.

About Barbara’s Bakery

Founded as an organic bakery in 1971, Barbara’s Bakery, a Weetabix North America company, helped launch the natural foods industry. Barbara’s is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary. Located in Petaluma, California, Barbara’s is committed to providing great-tasting, all-natural products and to making a positive contribution to the world with donations to national and local non-profit organizations involved in environmental, hunger, and children’s issues. For more information, please visit

Smile Now, if they would just make the Peanut Butter Puffins or the new Peanut Butter Chocolate Puffins gluten-free…..oooooh!

Speaking of awareness, don’t forget to head over to 1in133 to help support the first Gluten-Free Food Labeling Summit on May 4, 2011 in Washington, DC.  If you are near by, consider attending to watch the building of the world’s largest gluten-free cake from 11:00 AM – 4:30 PM.


**The box of Puffins and the penguin were sent to me free of charge.  The opinions in this post are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Related Posts with Thumbnails