Numbers and A Winner

Happy Tuesday!!  It is rainy & humid here.  Seems like Mother Nature can’t make up her mind whether or not to cool off outside.  I am sure the cool down is coming soon enough, so I will shut up & enjoy these days – rain or not.  I had a couple of weird number things happen first thing this AM.   First, when running on the treadmill this morning, my final time (including my cool down walk) was 4.11 miles in 41:11. Weird, right?  Then, I headed over to the gas station to fill up and the pump stopped exactly at $57.57.  Hopefully that means a day of good luck!  It is going to be a long one, so I hope it is a good one!!

You can check to see if you won the LUNA Protein bar giveaway here.  The winner was announced earlier this morning.

Lastly, I got a couple of awesome products to sample yesterday that I can’t wait to share with you!  The first is the new gluten-free cookies from Amy’s Kitchen – 3 different varieties!  Also, Larabar sent me their new flavor to review – chocolate cherry chip!  I can’t wait to try it and let you guys know how it is!  In the meantime, click here to enter to win a 16-ct. box of the brand new flavor!! 


I’ll leave you with this…


Story of my life! 

If you didn’t win the LUNA bar giveaway, make sure to enter to win the Yoplait “do the swap” giveaway


Do the Swap–Yoplait Giveaway

We all know the gluten-free diet is not specifically a weight loss diet.  Does that mean you can’t lose weight while gluten-free?  Nope.  A diet is what you make it.  You can eat 1800 calories of Twinkies a day and if that is less calories than your body needs/uses in a day, you will eventually lose weight.  Not the healthiest way to lose weight, but bottom line is that calories in need to be less than calories out.

I like to follow a much healthier, well-balanced “diet”, though I am not actively trying to lose weight.  For those who are trying to lose weight, Yoplait has launched a new campaign called “do the swap”!  Read on for more information:

Small changes can make a big difference over time. That’s why Yoplait Light has created the “YoplaitLight Swap” to remind people that by making simple substitutions, like swapping one item from your diet per day for a 100 or 110 calorie Yoplait Light, you can cut unwanted calories and help yourself feel great about daily diet choices. Through swapping tips for food, fitness, and fashion, the “Yoplait Light Swap” can help remind you how rewarding one simple change can be.

  • Yoplait Light yogurt offers 33 different options to choose from in fruit, pastry and dessert flavors that contain around 100 calories or less, providing endless swapping options.
  • Visit to share your favorite food, exercise and fashion swaps, find recipes and quizzes. Alison Sweeney, host of “The Biggest Loser” and author of The Mommy Diet, offers this Top Swap Tip on how she maintains her weight with a hectic schedule.
    • “I’m all about easy solutions, and making simple swaps in my diet helps me lead a healthy lifestyle while juggling everything else. I swap a slice of my favorite red velvet cake after dinner for a cup of Red Velvet Cake Yoplait Light which can save me almost 300 calories, without even thinking about it.”
  • Swap your way to fabulous with the following tips from fashion guru, host of the Style Network’s “How Do I Look?” and correspondent for NBC’s upcoming series “Fashion Star,” Jeannie Mai.
    • Swap the bus for a 15 minute walk on the way home, and you can save 60 calories.1
    • Boost your confidence in seconds by swapping more low-key flats for a pair of colorful heels.
    • Expand your wardrobe without breaking the bank by swapping clothes and accessories with your girlfriends.
  • You and your readers can visit to download a printable coupon* for $1.00 off the purchase of three (3) cups of Yoplait Light yogurt to get you started with the “Yoplait Light Swap” today!

*This coupon offer for Yoplait Light yogurt is not valid in some states, including California, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota and Tennessee.

In addition to Yoplait’s campaign detailed above, I am giving away a “do the swap” prize package here on my blog!  In addition to being a healthier diet choice than many I can think of (cake, pie, etc), Yoplait light yogurts have many gluten-free varieties.  Click here to view the complete list.  The prize package will include the items listed below:

  • (1) VIP coupon for a free cup of Yoplait Light yogurt
  • Insulated tote bag
  • Water bottle
  • Sunglass holder
  • Hardcover planner
  • Ballpoint pen (love this pen!)

“Disclosure: The Yoplait Light Swap prize pack, information and coupon have been provided by Yoplait through MyBlogSpark.”


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Pumpkin Plan

Yes, it is that time.  Pumpkin season.  That means pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin ice cream & pumpkin oatmeal.  Caribou Coffee has a pumpkin latte that is every bit as good as the one made by the people with the green straws that aren’t gluten-free-friendly.  I had my first pumpkin latte just last week and it was phenomenal!  I wanted another later in the week, but it was hot outside & I don’t see pumpkin making a good iced latte.


I just checked my pumpkin stash and I have 3 large cans in my pantry!  Score!  I knew stocking up last year was the way to go.  After the shortage, I couldn’t risk being without again.  Jon has been begging for banana bread – I think he is going to get pumpkin bread instead.  Perhaps some of this:

Dark chocolate pumpkin loaf.  Enough said.

Or, this:

Pumpkin raisin bread.  A childhood favorite.

Oh, how could I forget, my pumpkin raisin scones!!

Think I have enough pumpkin to make them all?

Hannah is recovering nicely from her appendectomy last weekend and went back to school on Thursday.  Phew!  Hopefully we are on the mend now.  This week should be a little calmer & easier to cook.  I also planned a little better for meals, so we should be eating better, too.  It is amazing how long it takes to catch up.

Sunday – Aaron’s b-day choice – Lasagna

Monday – Rotisserie chicken, baked potatoes, steamed broccoli & salad

Tuesday – Easy enchilada bake, corn and salad

Wednesday – Inside out burgers, sweet potato puffs, roasted green beans & salad

Thursday – Sweet Thai chile salmon, creamy pumpkin brown rice, roasted beets/carrots & salad

Friday – MYOP with Udi’s gluten-free crust and salad

Saturday –  Leftovers or Chipotle


See the above information!

Don’t forget to help spread Celiac Awareness by entering the LUNA bar giveawayContest ends tonight!




This is what I saw as I looked out the door on Friday morning.  Absolutely gorgeous.  It was cool & crisp out, too, which means it is time for fall food.


I wanted to share one of my favorite fall recipes with you guys Cocoa Coconut Chili.  I need to make this again really soon!

If you haven’t had this, make it.  STAT!  So warm & comforting after a chilly day.

While I am not ready for winter to arrive anytime soon, I do like the glimpses of chilly weather we have been getting.

What is your favorite fall recipe? 

Review: Bakery on Main Instant Oatmeal

‘Tis the time of the year for warm breakfasts, right?  The chill is in the air each morning and sometimes it doesn’t leave all day.  I love the crispness and wish we could have days like this all year long with the occasional 80-83 degree day tossed in.  I don’t ask for much.

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Chilly mornings call for warm oatmeal.  Busy mornings sometimes get in the way, so Bakery on Main’s new instant oatmeals are debuting at a great time!  The Bakery on Main story:

It all started in the small bakery of a natural foods market on Main Street in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Founder Michael Smulders listened to his Celiac customers complain about the taste of many of the gluten free options available to them. He thought that no one should have to suffer because of a food allergy or other special dietary need, and made it his mission to create products that were good for them but taste like they aren’t.

Late in 2003, after tasting a granola recipe one of the bakers was working on, Smulders said, “these gluten free people need granola!” He walked through the store and gathered ingredients and baked the first batch that day. It took almost 2 years to find gluten free sources of all the ingredients and find a place where we could make the product without risk of cross-contamination.
Three years and two bakeries later, their gluten free granola is made in a 34,000 square foot manufacturing facility with state of the art quality controls and in-house gluten testing on every batch. Located just a few miles down the road from the original bakery, the plant maintains the small bakery quality by continuing to bake in small batches.

How can I be sure Bakery On Main’s products are gluten free?
We take every precaution possible to be sure our products are safe for people with Celiac disease.  Bakery On Main’s manufacturing plant is certified for gluten free production by the Gluten Free Certification Organization which means they visit our plant and audit us to be sure our products are gluten free.  Please refer to their web site at for their procedure and standards.

The new gluten-free instant oatmeal comes in 3 different flavors:

  • Strawberry shortcake
  • Maple multigrain muffin
  • Apple pie

The oatmeal cooks in 1.5 minutes in the microwave – that is it!  Check out these stats:

  • High fiber (5 grams)
  • Non GMO
  • Dairy & Casein-free
  • Low sodium (40 mg)
  • Gluten-free
  • Trans fat-free
  • Cholesterol free
  • Calories per package: 190-200
  • Protein – 6 grams per package

As much as I would love a single packet of oatmeal to be enough breakfast for me, it isn’t.  To bulk up my oatmeal, I add a tablespoon of almond or peanut butter and fruit.  I added fresh strawberries & almond butter to the strawberry shortcake version; cooked cinnamon apples & peanut butter to the apple pie; cooked cinnamon pears & peanut butter to the maple multigrain muffin.

My favorite version is the apple pie.  I love apple pie & this warm treat made the perfect breakfast!  Don’t get me wrong, the other 2 flavors are very good, but apple pie has a special place in my heart.  The oatmeal can be purchased online with free shipping for $5.99/10.5 oz. box of 6 packets and on store shelves this October.

**The samples reviewed here were provided to me free of charge.  The opinions stated here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything. 

Review: Trader Joe’s Fig Butter

On one of my recent visits to Trader Joe’s, I discovered a new butter.  I was checking to see if they had pumpkin butter on the shelves yet when I came across a new butter: Fig Butter. 


l happen to have a very special place in my heart for figs, so I couldn’t go home without the fig butter.  I knew that I would be part of my lunch that day – the only question that remained was what I was going to do with it.

The fig butter did not disappoint!  I have now had it on waffles, on a bagel with cream cheese,  and on gluten-free crackers.  I am thinking that the next place to try it is as a glaze on salmon. 

Have you seen the fig butter yet at Trader Joe’s?  Have you tried it? 

Don’t forget to help spread Celiac Awareness by entering the LUNA bar giveaway!



Gluten-Free Menus: More = Good or Bad?

I don’t know about you, but after the debacle with California Pizza Kitchen, I am on the fence about the prevalence of gluten-free menus.  Yes, it gives me warm fuzzies when I walk into a restaurant and find out that they do indeed have a gluten-free menu.  However, 30 seconds later I begin to wonder if the staff really know what that entails.


My mind jumps to cross-contamination as my first concern and then ingredients.  Does the restaurant know that most soy sauces contain wheat?  Who developed the menu?  Was it someone well versed in Celiac Disease and the gluten-free diet?  These are all valid concerns.

Here are some pros &  cons that I have come up with:


  • Freedom of choice
  • Being able to join friends & family in meals
  • Not feeling left out


  • Cross contamination
  • Staff not properly trained on what the diet entails
  • Establishments marketing as a “fad” and making those with Celiac or gluten-sensitivity sick due to carelessness

Share your opinion in the poll below and feel free to comment below in the comments section.

The Shirt Saga

Sorry for the non-gluten-free post, but I have to share this.  Aaron thinks I am nuts; my mom, sister and several friends said they would have done the same thing that I did.

When Hannah broke her arm in June, I was wearing a grey Ohio State t-shirt.  I remember only because I was stuck in that same shirt for 24+ hours and I wanted out of it.  I washed the shirt and it went back in my closet until last week.

Friday morning I was getting dressed and wanted to wear something “Ohio State” because that is what we Buckeyes fans do on Fridays & Saturdays.  It was one of the only short sleeve OSU shirts that I had, so on it went.  It did briefly cross my mind that I hadn’t worn the shirt since that night in June when Hannah fell, but then left my mind as quickly as it entered.

As I was driving Hannah to the hospital on Friday night, I remembered the shirt.  I had the shirt on.  The shirt, that in my opinion, is now cursed.  I had to get rid of the shirt.  When we got down to the ER, I told Aaron about the shirt and he giggled.  He said I was crazy.  I might be, but I just felt that I had to get that shirt off.  As the night wore on, I was planning on hitting the gift shop as soon as it opened to find a new shirt and ditch the one I was wearing.  It finally dawned on me after Hannah was admitted and settled in her room that I could take the shirt off and put my fleece jacket on instead.  Apparently walking around in a bra is frowned upon.   On the way to the cafeteria I thought about where to ditch my shirt.  I wanted it as far away from me as I could get it.  I entered the cafeteria and walked to the far corner and stuffed the shirt in a trash can.  I felt much better now that it was out of my possession.  I realize that some of you are laughing at me, and that is okay.  I’ll deal with the giggles as long as I don’t have the shirt.

So, what would you have done?  Kept the shirt or ditched it? 

Don’t forget to help spread Celiac Awareness by entering the LUNA bar giveaway!



National Celiac Disease Awareness Giveaway

Today, September 13, 2011 is National Celiac Disease Awareness Day.  I am doing my part to help spread awareness by partnering with LUNA to offer one lucky reader a sampling of their new gluten-free protein bars!  But first, the awareness part.

One of my favorite websites for Celiac Disease awareness is the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness or NFCA for short.  Whenever I want to reference technical information about Celiac Disease, that is the site I always refer to.  It is so important to help spread the word so that people out there who are needlessly suffering can be helped.  I am sure with rising awareness most of us know someone, in real life, with Celiac Disease outside of our immediate family.  Do you know someone who hasn’t been feeling well, but can’t really figure out why?  Send them to this symptom checklist and have them browse the website.

Now, for the down & dirty facts:

Celiac and Gluten-Free Fast Facts:

  • Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.
  • One in 133 Americans have celiac disease.
  • An estimated 3 million Americans across all races, ages and genders suffer from celiac.
  • 95% of celiacs are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions. (Source: Fasano A, et al. Arch Intern Med. 2003;163:286-292.)
  • 6-10 years is the average time a person waits to be correctly diagnosed. (Source: Daniel Leffler, MD, MS, The Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center)
  • 5-22% of celiac patients have an immediate family member (1st degree relative) who also has celiac.
  • Celiac disease can lead to a number of other disorders including infertility, reduced bone density, neurological disorders, some cancers, and other autoimmune diseases.
    Learn more about Related Diseases »


Another favorite website is 1in133.  They have successfully helped to re-open the Gluten-Free Labeling proposal for an additional 60 day comment period.  Want to help?  Complete this form & submit before October 3, 2011.

LUNA is now offering 5 gluten-free protein bars.  I am a huge fan of these bars and like to use them after my long runs to get a quick burst of protein within that important window.  I will usually eat one of these bars while I am driving home and then eat my real breakfast an hour or so later.   The bars come in 5 flavors: mint chocolate chip (hello Thin Mint!), peanut butter chocolate, cookie dough, chocolate and chocolate cherry almond.  One lucky reader will win a sampling of all 5 bars to try!  All you have to do is follow the directions below in the Rafflecopter box.  The giveaway will run until Monday night at midnight.

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Phew…what a week that was.  Friday started out a normal day and then ended with us in the emergency room with Hannah.  After dinner on Friday night Hannah began to complain of stomach pain.  While I love Hannah dearly, she tends to complain of the littlest aches & pains so I don’t always jump when she says something hurts.  She is a little like “The boy who cried wolf”.  I asked if she had used the bathroom and she said yes.  I asked her to show me where it hurt and she pointed to her belly button and off to the right.  Okay.  I didn’t think much of it at the time and went back to folding laundry & cleaning up the kitchen. 

A short time later Hannah was still complaining, so I told her to head up to my bed, she could sleep with me, and I would be up in a minute.  In the meantime, Aaron had asked me which side the appendix was on and I said the right.  I, too, had been thinking this in the back of my head.  I had just finished a book about a little boy that had appendicitis, but his was missed and he ended up very sick and almost died.   He looked up some information online and I headed upstairs.  I had Hannah lay down and I pressed on her lower right side.  She jumped!  I told her to get her shoes, we were going to the Children’s Urgent Care up the street.  I think I freaked her out a bit, so I spent the trip to the urgent care calming her down. 

We got right in and back to a room, which is really odd, but I wasn’t complaining.  The doctor came in and I gave him the run down.  He did an exam, looked at me and shook his head yes.  He sent us downtown to the Children’s hospital because they didn’t have the CT scanner at the urgent care to confirm, and if it was positive, as we expected it to be, Hannah would have to go downtown anyway.  Aaron met me at the urgent care and we headed downtown. 

The urgent care doctor had called ahead so we were placed in a room in the ER relatively quickly.  That was the only quick thing about this entire journey.  We were in the ER for 7 hours.  We arrived around 10:30 and they were taking their computers down for 8 hours at midnight (a once a year occurrence – lucky us!).  Everything would have to be hand written.  After umpteen residents and doctors came in to evaluate Hannah, a CT scan and blood work confirmed that Hannah had appendicitis and would need surgery.  Her pain had intensified and by 2 AM or so, so I asked for some pain medication for her.  Once they made the decision to admit her, things moved a lot faster.  We were taken upstairs, seen by a resident surgeon and placed on the list for surgery on Saturday morning. 

Hannah had a successful appendectomy on Saturday morning and was home less than 24 hours after her pain began.  What a whirlwind!  She had no other symptoms other than that stomach pain that began on Friday night.  The doctors said they normally don’t catch it this early and that we did the right thing by bringing her in when we did.  Her appendix was definitely inflamed/infected when they removed it.  This poor girl has had quite the year!  First, the broken arm & surgery to repair in June and now this!  Hopefully this recovery is a bit easier than the arm recovery.  She will be out of school for most of this week, but we hope she can continue the PT with her arm so as to not miss out on the window of opportunity to gain her ROM back. 

Needless to say, my menu planning didn’t quite get done, so I am cooking out of the freezer this week.  There were also a couple of meals from Pei Wei & Chipotle, my go-to gluten-free take-out places. 

Here is Hannah waiting for surgery – they have internet TV in the rooms, so at least she was entertained when she wasn’t sleeping. 


Things I have in the freezer to cook:

  • chicken breast
  • ground turkey
  • edamame
  • Sunshine burgers
  • bacon
  • Enchilada bake that I made & froze last week


  • eggs
  • cheese
  • veggies


  • potatoes
  • quinoa
  • rice
  • pasta
  • Prego sauce
  • tuna
  • Trader Joe’s GF Mac & Cheese

I think that the theme of the week is simple. 

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway that ends tonight for Stephanie O’Dea’s “Totally Together Journal”. 

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