We Interrupt Your Monday…

For the First Pumpkin Sighting!  The date is August 29, 2011 and there has been a pumpkin sighting.  Pumpkin ranks right up there with chocolate & wine for me, so I always have my feelers out looking for pumpkin goods.  One of my favorite companies came through. 


Kinnikinnick first launched their Pumpkin Spice Donuts last fall.  I couldn’t get my hands on them fast enough, and for good reason!  They are phenomenal!  Well, they are back, but only for a limited time, just like last year.  The donuts can be ordered from the Kinnikinnick website or they can be purchased in their Edmonton retail store.  The donuts are $6.59 for 6 donuts.  The shipping rate is a $10 flat rate fee.  Consider stocking up if you have an extra freezer to take advantage of the flat rate fee and to have these around for a long time. 

The donuts will only be available through November 30, 2011, so act fast!! 

Peeled Snacks: Review and Giveaway

Who likes dried fruit?  I do!  I can’t keep my hands out of it!  Last week I reviewed Peeled Snacks on Celiac-Disease.com.   Peeled Snacks are great for on-the-go snacks for school, gym or travel.  I love that they come in small, single-serve packs for easy portability and less waste.


I loved the apricots, but then again, they are my favorite dried fruit.  All of the fruit that Peeled sent me to review was very fresh.  In addition to eating dried fruit right out of the package, I also enjoy it cut up on my salads.

Would you like to win some Peeled Snacks? Follow the instructions below. Only the first one is mandatory, but complete one or more of the additional tasks for more chances to win!  This giveaway ends on Friday, September 2, 2011 at midnight!

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Weekly Menu Plan–August 28, 2011

Today is a very exciting day for a friend of mine.  Beth, featured here as a gluten-free marathon runner, is competing today in her first Ironman in Louisville, KY.  I can’t even begin to tell you all how excited I am for Beth.  I have know Beth since high school and we reconnected a couple of years back.  In case you aren’t familiar with the Ironman, here is what the event entails:

  • 2.4 mile swim
  • 112 mile bike
  • 26.2 mile run

Yes, that is right, a marathon after the other 2 events.  As if the first 2 aren’t taxing enough, right?  I bow down to those that complete the Ironman.  Perhaps I can see if Beth would like to do a follow-up to share how she fueled before, during & after this event.  GO BETH!

I have been working on my disaster in my loft, so I haven’t done much else this weekend.  This is also taper time for my half marathon that is a week from today, so not as much activity scheduled for the week so I have time to get antsy & run like heck next week. 

Meal plan

Sunday – Chipotle – So, I might be addicted.  Rice has lots of carbs, right? 

Monday – Bourbon chicken, steamed broccoli & brown rice

Tuesday – Enchilada Bake, corn & salad

Wednesday – Baked Ziti, steamed green beans and salad

Thursday – Leftovers

Friday – Breakfast for dinner – pancakes, turkey bacon and fruit salad

Saturday – MYOP (moved this week so I can have the same meal before my race)

Make sure to enter the giveaway for El’s snacks – only one day left!! 

Everything Spelt

Spelt is not gluten-free.  Why am I writing this post?  Education.  Spelt is not safe for those with Celiac Disease to consume. Spelt is a species of wheat.  Wheat is gluten.  2 + 2 = 4.  More on spelt from Wikipedia:

Spelt (Triticum spelta) is a hexaploid species of wheat. Spelt was an important staple in parts of Europe from the Bronze Age to medieval times; it now survives as a relict crop in Central Europe and northern Spain and has found a new market as a health food. Spelt is sometimes considered a subspecies of the closely related species common wheat (T. aestivum), in which case its botanical name is considered to be Triticum aestivum subsp. spelta.

I have heard may people tell me that I should try spelt pretzels or spelt bread.  No, it isn’t gluten-free.  I have read about people following the gluten-free diet eating spelt & promoting it as gluten-free.  No, it isn’t gluten-free.  I overheard some people talking about spelt being gluten-free the other day and wasn’t in a position to chime in.  This type of situation can be sticky, as I don’t want to come off as preachy, but I would hate for someone to unnecessarily get sick or feel bad because they were not aware. 

Nothing anybody says is going to make spelt safe to eat for those who have Celiac Disease.  If you happen to be following the gluten-free diet for some other reason (gluten intolerance, autism, allergy, etc) and choose to eat spelt, that is your own prerogative, but it still isn’t gluten-free.  LOL….I think I have made my point! 

Starting the gluten-free diet can be very intimidating.  You are getting information from all different directions and trying to figure out what is what.  For this reason, it is important to make sure that the information you are getting is correct.  Consulting a website like The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness helps to ensure the information is right. 

There are so many wonderful gluten-free flours out there that once you get acclimated to the diet and know what is what, things will be much easier.  There are really many more things out there that we can have, than can’t. 

Keeping Me Honest

Okay, it is really “Keeping Them Honest”, but there is no them here, just me.  Unfortunately Anderson Cooper wasn’t available to help with this project, he probably has more important things to do. 

At the risk of looking like a hoarder, I am about to share a picture with you.  I am sharing this picture to motivate myself to make a change.  It is no secret that I struggle with organization.  I have purchased (and put together) many different methods and have failed at most (okay, really, all of them, as I am still looking).  I ordered Stephanie O’Dea’s Totally Together Journal (will review it soon) and got it in the mail the other day.  I am getting ready to dive in and thought what better way to document this process than to share with you all.  Plus, it will hold me accountable (or should). 

This picture is my loft/office.  My whole house does not look like this.  My desk is a catch-all for paperwork that needs to be dealt with filed.  I work at keeping the rest of the house picked up for the most part, so this area gets neglected.  Part of the problem is that I share this area with Aaron, which really isn’t fair to him. 

IMG_3701 (640x427)

His desk…

IMG_3700 (640x427)

As you can see, he has every reason to be irritated with my disaster zone.  Every 3-6 months I will clean and file and make a promise to myself that I won’t let this happen again and it does.  LOL!  I think part of the problem is that I don’t go in the loft/office on a regular basis, so I forget about the mess.  I will often send Hannah or Jon up with papers & such that need to be filed and have them place them on my desk.  I think step 1 needs to be that I need to do it myself so I can see the mess every time I add to it.  It certainly can’t hurt, right?

I think I am afraid that I am going to throw something out that I need.  I know deep down that is very unlikely if it has sat on my desk for as long as it has.  I hate to part with school papers, but am getting better at choosing which ones to toss.  Hannah’s sad face as I am tossing doesn’t make it any easier. 

So, this weekend after my run, I will be getting down to business.  Wish me luck! 

In the meantime, be sure to enter to win samples of El’s Gluten-Free snacks

California Pizza Kitchen Continued

Earlier this summer California Pizza Kitchen debuted gluten-free pizza on their menu.  I was giddy.  I loved CPK pre-gluten-free and couldn’t wait to go back and try their new pizza.  Well, we did, and it was great, but our spirits were quickly dampened by the news that there could be major cross contamination issues going on in the kitchen.

I decided to go back and investigate to see what was going on and whether what I had heard about their procedures was indeed true.  I was saddened by what I found out.  While it had appeared that CPK went to great lengths to add the gluten-free pizza to their menu, they didn’t consider some of the most important issues.  Cross contamination is real and can be very serious.  Sure, some of those with Celiac Disease don’t react right away (or even at all), but some do and it isn’t pretty.  This doesn’t even take into consideration those that have a true allergy (to wheat or gluten) that results in anaphylactic shock. 

Emails and tweets were sent to CPK to try to get them to understand the seriousness of this situation.  If gluten-free pizza is going to be on the menu and more importantly, marketed to those on the gluten-free diet, the procedures needed to be changed or the pizza needed to be removed from the menu. 

Shortly after I tweeted CPK, I received this response:


While I haven’t heard anything from CPK since this tweet, despite my having tweeted them twice in the past week, I did hear some news today.  Gluten Free Philly reported on Facebook the following news:

Gluten Free Philly

California Pizza Kitchen has pulled the gluten-free crust option from its menu at all locations. CPK says that it is reviewing the pizza prep methods with an eye toward bringing it back in the future.

Kudos to CPK for taking the initiative to pull this menu item until they can work out the issues.  While I hope that they can bring the pizza back, I do understand that procedure changes need to be made across the company for this to happen.  Maybe they will take a look at some of the other companies out there who are making it work – Zpizza, Boston’s Gourmet Pizza, Naked Pizza, Mellow Mushroom and Uno Chicago Grill.

Bits & Pieces

Today I am sharing bits & pieces of things I have swirling around in my head.  It really isn’t enough information for one post, so I am making a conglomeration.

First up, gluten-free ravioli or tortellini.  Jon asks me for this all the time, but I have never made pasta from scratch.  Ever.  Not before I went gluten-free and certainly not after.  I had to check out the link that Jules shared on how to make ravioli and tortellini.  She makes is sound so easy!  Could I do this without messing it up?  I really hope so!  I really don’t have an excuse not to try because I have a huge back of Jules Gluten Free flour in my pantry as I speak.  Wish me luck!

Subway began offering gluten-free buns & brownies earlier this year in a small test market in Texas.  They are now expanding this test market to include 100 Portland, Oregon locations!  I would love to see this go nationwide to add another option to the ever-growing list of gluten-free places.  To read more about procedures on how cross-contamination is avoided, click here.

Udi’s has re-designed their website and is giving away an iPad 2!  The new design is very pleasing to the eye and has lots of fantastic looking pictures that are making me drool!  More about the site:

“New Website Brings Community to Udi’s Gluten Free

Udi’s website has a new look. But it’s more than just new pictures and graphics. What’s really changed is how we communicate and interact with you. In today’s hyper-connected digital world, we want to make sure that our community lives up to your expectations. Now you can easily track down the gluten-free information you need, email us with any questions, see what’s trending on Twitter, and more!
Explore Udi’s New Gluten Free Website & Win an iPad 2

Udi’s Gluten Free Foods is celebrating the new look of our website by hosting a scavenger hunt to give new and loyal fans the opportunity to explore our site while searching for the hidden treasure. This hidden treasure could be your key to winning your favorite Udi’s Gluten Free Products and the chance to win the Grand Prize giveaway, an Apple iPad 2 engraved with a personal message from Udi’s.
The hunt begins August 19th.”

I had my yearly physical last week, which includes blood work.  In the past I have been anemic and had low vitamin D levels, so I was hoping that my increased attention to the food that I have been putting in my body paid off.  I got the results yesterday and all looked great!  Blood count, blood sugar, kidney function, electrolytes, iron studies, ferritin, thyroid tests & vitamin D – normal!  I also had my cholesterol checked:

Total cholesterol: 141 (goal <200)

Triglycerides: 50 (goal <150)

HDL: 75 (goal >40)

LDL: 56 (goal <130)

It was reassuring to see that my iron & ferritin levels were normal, as I quit taking my supplement a while back and have been focusing more on foods that are higher in iron.

School starts today – YAY!!  Who else is excited?  Well, last, but not least, I had to pick a new winner for the GF Bisquick contest because I never heard back from the winner that was chosen.  The new winner is:

Diane Bramos – CONGRATS Diane!!!  Please email me at kim@glutenfreeislife.com with your contact information.



Giveaway: El’s Gluten-Free Snacks

One of my favorite pre-gluten-free snacks was bagel chips.  I loved the crunch.  Nothing like a salty, spicy, crunch snack to wake you up in the middle of an afternoon slump.  I have missed that and haven’t really found anything to quite take the place of those bagel chips.  Until now.  Enter: El’s Gluten-Free snacks.  Not only does El’s Kitchen make bagel snaps, but a snack medley that contains some amazing textures & flavors.  Read my complete review of El’s gluten-free snacks over on Celiac-Disease.com.

Gluten-free Snacks from El's Kitchen

Want a chance to win some El’s Gluten-Free snacks?  Good, because I have partnered with El’s to host a giveaway for one of my lucky readers to win 2 bags of El’s Gluten-Free Snacks (one bag of each).  Follow the instructions below to enter.

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Weekly Menu Plan–August 21, 2011

Welcome to the end of August.  The end of another summer and the beginning of another school year.  The kids start back to school later this week, so they are enjoying their last few moments of summer freedom to the fullest.  Aside from Hannah breaking her arm, we have had a great summer!  We started out with a nice beach vacation in June, spent lots of time reading for the Summer Reading Program (I even took part in this) and finished off with lots of time at the pool once Hannah got the okay from her surgeon. 

The menu for the week:

Sunday – Chipotle

Monday – Rotisserie chicken, sauteed sesame green beans, coconut brown rice and salad

Tuesday – Soft turkey tacos, black beans, local corn on the cob and salad

Wednesday – Spaghetti with marinutta sauce and roasted vegetables and salad

Thursday -  Herbed Pork Tenderloin, baked potatoes, steamed broccoli & salad

Friday – MYOP – Udi’s gluten-free pizza crust with choice of toppings and salad

Saturday – Burgers on the grill, foil potato packets (sweet & white potatoes), roasted zucchini and salad

Baked Goods

Chocolate cake

Banana bread

Check back tomorrow for a fun giveaway! 

Have kids in your city started back to school yet?  If not, when? 

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