Gluten Free Works: Triumph Dining Deal

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Katz Introduces Chocolate Hamantaschan

Though I have never heard of, nor tried Chocolate Hamantaschan, it sure sounds good to me.  I received an email from Katz Gluten Free about a new product just in time for Purim 2012.  While I have heard the term “Purim” before, I didn’t know what it was, so I thought it was high-time that I educate myself via Google &

Purim: Purim is a festive Jewish holiday that celebrates the deliverance of the Jews from their enemies in the biblical Book of Esther. Purim is celebrated on the fourteenth day of the Hebrew month of Adar, which usually falls sometime in February or March. Purim is such a popular holiday that the ancient rabbis declared that it alone would continue to be celebrated after the Messiah comes (Midrash Mishlei 9). All other holidays will not be celebrated in the messianic days. (source)

"Hamantaschen" is a Yiddish word meaning "Haman’s pockets." Haman is the villain in the Purim story, which appears in the Biblical Book of Esther. (source)

Back to the chocolate hamantaschan.  I am not sure that there is much that you could put chocolate on that I wouldn’t eat, within reason, of course. 


Katz is selling a package (6 oz.) of the chocolate hamantaschan for $5.99.  All orders over $30 ship for free.* 

Ingredients: GLUTEN FREE FLOUR (CORN, TAPIOCA, BROWN RICE, SORGHUM), SUGAR, SOY & PALM OIL, CANOLA OIL, EGGS, VANILLA (PURE), XANTHAN GUM, SALT, CHOCOLATE FILLING, (Water, sugar, cocoa, corn syrup, modified food starch, palm oil, locast bean gum, carrageenan, agar, glucomo delta lactone, titanium dioxide, salt, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate as preservatives, sodium, acid sulfate, natural and artificial FD&C Yellow #5 FD&C Yellow #6).

While ordering on the Katz website, consider trying some of our other favorites: gluten-free doughnuts, rugelach, rolls and cupcakes! 

*Restrictions apply on free shipping policy.  See the Katz website for more information.

Weekly Menu Plan–February 26, 2012

Can you believe that February is almost over?  I can’t.  Hockey season has ended and we get a chance to breathe.  It will be nice to have our weekdays settle down just a bit for a while.  Hopefully this gives me more time to study, too. 

This week I spent close to $200 at the grocery store, which is almost twice what I normally spend.  We were low on all kinds of things from hand soap to meat, like chicken & pork, so it was time to stock up. 

Sunday – Chipotle after yoga.  Seems funny since I just went to the grocery store, but it is more of a time issue

Monday – Shrimp scampi over gluten-free pasta, broccoli and salad

Tuesday – Bean & cheese burritos and salad (parent teacher conferences)

Wednesday – Bourbon Chicken, brown rice, green beans & salad

Thursday – BBQ pulled pork, sweet potato puffs and salad

Friday – Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday – Breakfast for dinner (omelettes or Belgian waffles)

Week in Review:

Bakery on Main is now certified non-GMO

Review: Lifeway BioKefir

BBQ Salmon Quinoa Bowl

How to tell if Drugs are Gluten-Free

Women & Hearth Health <—– If you are a woman, please take the time to read this

Hope you all have a great week!!  Don’t forget about Leap Day on Wednesday! 

NEDA Week–February 26, 2012–March 3, 2012

It is no secret that I have fought an eating disorder over the years.  There are still days when I struggle with body image, but as a parent and an athlete, I am much better prepared to handle it.  There will always be ups and downs, but as long as I am aware that those days will come, I can make it through them.  I know what the red flags are for me and I know that I have to tattle on myself when I begin to see them.

It seems that women (though some men do suffer from eating disorders as well) are under the constant scrutiny of society.  Models, actresses, singers….they are airbrushed most of the time we see them and yet we still feel the need to try to look like them.  It is so funny that I can realistically tell you that I know no one looks like that, but I still secretly want to look like that at times.  The key, for me, is not acting on that.  Focusing on appreciating my body for what it can do is what keeps me in line.

How can you help raise awareness?  Just spread the word.  Here is a list of Twitter posts that you can use each day this week to help get the word out!

10 Things That Make Me a Better Runner

When I first started running I thought that all I had to do was put on my running shoes & put one foot in front of the other.  While that may work for the occasional or casual runner, that doesn’t work for the one (ahem, me) that thinks she can take on the world of running.  I love a challenge and happen to be a very goal-oriented person, so it only stands to reason that I am always looking for a race to train for and possibly set a new PR (personal record).  But it isn’t that simple, or it isn’t for me.  Everyone is different and finds different things that work for them.  The following list is a list of 10 things that I have found that make me a better runner.


1.  Patience.  I like to set goals, but once I set those goals, I want to meet them now.  We all know that is not how it works.  Reaching goals takes time, well-thought-out steps and perseverance.  I like to write out my training plan on a calendar so I can see what I have coming up, and more importantly, see the progress I have made. 

2.  Listening to my body.  I grew up listening to my dad, a cyclist & former runner, say “No pain, no gain!”.  While it is true that there are times you have to push through, there are other times when you should not.  The trick is knowing the difference.  I would love to say that I know the difference now, but I think it truly depends on the situation.  Missing a run or workout is not going to make or break my race.  Missing a rest day or not listening to my body and taking that rest when I need it, just might if I ignore my body long enough.  It is much better to arrive at the starting line undertrained, than overtrained and possibly injured.

3.  Running Friends.  My friends that I have met through MIT are priceless motivators.  When it is pouring down rain or –5 degrees with 30mph winds, they are the reason I go run.  Misery loves company.  Yes, I may be a little sick in the head, but who better to be sick with than other runners, right? 

4.  Hydration.  Of course most runners know to hydrate during their run, but hydration is important all of the time.  I normally drink 80-100oz of water/day, but I try to increase that a little on the days leading up to a long run or race, especially if the weather is particularly hot.  I don’t drink Gatorade, but do drink Nuun hydration in the warmer weather.

5.  The ability to learn from past mistakes.  They say that you learn something new every day, right?  I log all of my training on Daily Mile, which is a website that is sort of like a Facebook for runners/athletes.  Not only do I input my miles/workouts, but I write a short blurb about how the run/workout went.  Should I encounter any issues, I can use this to look back to see what may have changed or led to the problem.  Not only can I track what I do, but I have met so many inspiring runners & athletes and can follow their training, too!  It also serves as a wonderful place to pick the brains of those much more experienced in hopes of improving training or answering questions. 

6. Max Sports Medicine.  Dr. Bright & his amazing team of professionals are the reason that I am running today.  I got myself injured by training too hard and had to learn the hard way.  By following the guidelines set out by Max Sports Medicine, I have been able to keep myself relatively injury-free while training smartly. 

7.  MIT aka. Marathoners in Training.  This kind of goes along with Max Sports Medicine, as that is how I found out about MIT.  Not only is MIT where I meet all kinds of running friends, but the training plans & experience of all of the coaches in the group are priceless.  MIT is where I learned how to properly train for a marathon and/or half marathon.  I learned that not every run should be run at or faster than race pace.  Apparently running your 20 mile run at the pace you want to run your marathon at is a bad choice.  Wish I would have known that prior to my stress fracture.  This goes back to learning from past mistakes

8.  Properly fueling my body.  This has taken much trial and error.  The error is not pretty, so I will spare you.  There is a delicate balance for me in what I can eat before & during my runs.  Then, once I think I am in the clear, I have to eat after my run, too.  Some people think I am nuts, as that is all they want to do after a long run.  I have no appetite after a long run, making it tough to eat, but refueling within 30-60 minutes after is imperative.  My muscles need to replenish their stores and the best way to do this is by eating something with a 4:1 ratio of carbs:protein.  It doesn’t stop there.  Breakfast follows about an hour later, as does food the rest of the day.  There have been too many times where I haven’t properly refueled and have really felt horrible for the remainder of the day.

9.  Good running shoes.  Do I like spending over $100 for each pair of running shoes I buy?  No.  Do I like being able to run pain-free?  Yes.  Having the proper running shoes for me is the key. 

10.  My family.  Last, but certainly not least, if it wasn’t for my family’s support, I couldn’t spend the time I do on running & training.  THANK YOU!!

***I am not a medical professional, nor do I play one on TV.  Please take care to get the okay from your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Women & Heart Health

There was a startling piece on the morning shows & news yesterday.  It talked about how younger women are less likely to have the telltale pain in their chest.  Instead, some of the symptoms are more atypical and may mimic other conditions.  This really caught my attention.  I know the feeling of going to the doctor only to be told that nothing is wrong.  In fact, I did it earlier this week for what I thought was a change in my breast & it turned out to be nothing.  Better safe, than sorry, right?  Here are the atypical symptoms that all women, especially those who are younger, should watch for:

Top 5 Symptoms of Heart Disease in Women

1. Fatigue

2. Shortness of Breath

3. Indigestion, Upper Abdominal Pain or Nausea

4. Jaw or Throat Pain

5. Arm Pain (Especially the left arm)


Please, please, please do not delay getting checked out if you have any of the above symptoms.  Younger women are more likely to die from a heart attack due to not recognizing the atypical symptoms & getting prompt medical attention.  Heart disease is the #1 killer among women.

Last month I wrote a blog post for The Balanced Platter on Staying Balanced & Healthy.  Eating healthy is a vital part of keeping your heart healthy, right along with getting enough exercise & knowing your numbers & risk factors.  Having a busy life certainly makes this a lot more challenging, but not impossible, as I describe in that post.  Rice bowls are one of my favorite go-to meals on a busy night.  I will often stray from my menu plan when last minute things come up, but instead of picking up take-out or heading out, I will make a rice bowl and salad with all kinds of heart healthy foods.  Here is my current favorite combination:


This combination was super simple.  I satueed some mushrooms in a touch of extra virgin olive oil & red wine and then tossed in some steamed carrots & chickpeas when the mushrooms were done.  I had some cooked brown rice on hand, but if you don’t, you can also use the frozen pre-cooked brown rice.  I added the cooked rice to the pan along with some low-sodium La Choy soy sauce.  Paired with a large salad chock full of dark greens, tomatoes, zucchini, pears, walnuts and avocado & I had a heart healthy meal.  Additionally, all of the foods that I used to make this meal with are naturally gluten-free, so there is no excuse!

February is Heart Health Month, so I want to share some additional tips with you all.

Not all fats are bad.  Notice how I added walnuts and avocado to my salad?  They are healthy fats (polyunsaturated & monounsaturated). Unhealthy fats (saturated & trans fats) are typically found in baked goods, fatty foods like French fries & the skin of chicken.

Aim to get exercise 5x/week for at least 30 minutes.  Walk to the store, pick up the kids from school, etc.  It all counts.

Know your numbers: cholesterol, BP, BMI, among others

Reduce stress – yoga is great for this!  Never taken yoga before?  No worries, check out YouTube, Netflix or for some free options.

Weight management – Aim to get your BMI within a healthy range.

Quit smoking – I know how hard this is, as I am an ex-smoker.  I quit smoking July 5, 1999 and it was the best thing I have done for my health.

Of course there are days when things don’t go as planned.  Life happens & adjustments must be made.  That doesn’t mean I quit.  I dust myself off and get right back at it the next meal, morning or workout.

What do you do to keep your heart healthy? 

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Technically since it is Fat Tuesday, I should be talking about pancakes, right?  I did that today on my post over at, so make sure to pop on over to check it out.  When I found a can of pumpkin looking lonely in my pantry, I knew that I had to do something with it.

A few weeks ago, I got sucked into the black hole that is Pinterest one afternoon when I should have been writing, and came across this recipe using just cake mix & a can of pumpkin.  It wasn’t a gluten-free mix, but I figured that I would give it a try and let you all know how it worked out.


I figured if this didn’t work, I would have something I could share with you all NOT to try at home.  I opened up the box of cake mix, dumped in the can of pumpkin (15 oz can) & turned on my KitchenAid mixer.  I mixed until everything, all 2 ingredients, were well blended.  The mixture was thick, but I had confidence.  Worse comes to worse, I could smear some almond butter or frosting on top & I am sure I would be just fine with the results, right?  I mean come on, pumpkin is involved here!


I baked the cupcakes for about 23-25 minutes at 350 degrees.  The box said 18-23, so I checked them after 18 minutes and they weren’t quite done.  I let them cool before I frosted them with cream cheese frosting.  They still had a bit of a rough top to them, so I will definitely be smoothing them out more the next time I make them.  Please forgive the messy frosting job – I was trying to bake brownies & cook dinner at the same time that I was frosting these.  Thank goodness for green sprinkles to hide my mess!!


I couldn’t wait to eat dinner so I could bite into one of these!!  They were every bit as good as I thought they would be!  Next time I will be experimenting with Devil’s Food cake mix + pumpkin – can you imagine?!


Perfect texture, moist and the cream cheese frosting was the most amazing complement!  Put pumpkin & Betty Crocker Gluten-Free cake mix on your grocery list and make these STAT!!

Check to see if you were the winner of my Yoplait Lactose Free Giveaway!!

Much Needed

Thank goodness I got a good night’s sleep last night.  I was running very sleep deprived for the past several days and my body finally said “enough” at roughly 8:30 PM last night.  After waking up 2-3 hours early, for no reason, for the past 3 days, and not being able to go back to sleep, it was time to get some good sleep.  By dinner time last night I was a super-cranky Kim & mom and knew that no good could come from my staying up.  I had tried to sit down to write and sat & stared at the computer for 10 minutes.  The good news is that I got 9-10 hours of sleep and feel much better.  The universe tried to throw a wrench into my day, but I am choosing not to let it get to me.  I accidently deleted this post the first time I wrote it, so this is now round 2.  I took a deep breath & moved on.  I am ready to take on the day!

Since our day was so crazy yesterday, I will be hitting the grocery store today.  My menu plan is also a day behind now.  LOL!

Monday – BBQ chicken breasts, cheesy chili potatoes, steamed carrots & salad

Tuesday – Taco Tuesday, black beans, corn & salad

Wednesday – Chicken fettucine Alfredo, steamed broccoli & salad

Thursday – Bison burgers, sweet potato puffs, roasted asparagus & salad

Friday – Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday – take-out

Don’t forget to enter my Yoplait Lactose Free giveaway that ends tonight!

Like chocolate?  Check out this awesome Devil’s Food Cake from Simply Organic.

Want to make getting your probiotics fun?  Check out Attune probiotics bars!

Review: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking

Is Wine Gluten-Free?  Check out the discussion & weigh in.

Have a great week!!

The Quest for Warm Toes

After solving my frozen & numb hands problem with new running mittens in December, I moved onto the quest for warm toes.  To be honest, I had put it off because of our unseasonably warm winter.  Thankfully when I ordered some Little Hotties hand warmers, I got some sample foot warmers.  Did you know that had body warmers?  How has this escaped me in the past?! I need to remember this for hockey season next year, as sitting in the ice rink can be brutal!


These arrived just in time, because the past 2 weeks have been less than ideal for outdoor running and it has actually felt like winter here in Ohio.  The instructions say to place the warmers either under or on top of your feet.  I chose on top of based on the recommendation of a student that was with my sports doctor the last time I saw him. 


These worked like a charm!  I ran 7 miles outside with a wind chill of –5 and 30 mph winds and my feet were warm, with the exception of a short period of time of numbness on 1 toe, the entire run.  This is a huge improvement over my past runs without the warmers. 

The following day I ran 3 miles outside and added a layer of tape outside my shoes to help block the wind, which worked until it fell off mid-run.  I hear that duct tape works best for this, but I didn’t have any on hand. 


The temperatures are much warmer now and are predicted to stay this way, and even hit the 50’s next week!  I hope that we have seen the last of the single & negative digit temperatures so I can avoid dressing like this again:


Have you tried the Little Hotties hand or foot warmers?  Did they work for you?

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