Review: Boundless Nutrition Oatmega 3 Wellness Bars

Saturday mornings seem like the perfect time to talk protein bars since I am normally doing my long runs as my posts go live.  As a runner, I have learned that what may work for one person, doesn’t always necessarily work for another.  As long as a product is gluten-free, I am willing to give it a try and then share my thoughts with you all.  With new products being introduced to the market daily, I like to know all the options currently available to me.

Not too long ago I did a review of Boundless Nutrition Perfect Protein Cookies.  They were awesome!  If you can give me a good reason to eat a cookie, chances are I won’t argue with you.  In addition to the protein cookies, Boundless Nutrition also makes a line of protein bars: Oatmega 3 Wellness Bars.

The Oatmega 3 Wellness bars come in 4 different varieties:

  • Dark chocolate peanut – Roasted Peanut butter with organic chocolate and oats – a healthy replacement for your favorite peanut candy
  • Dark chocolate mint – Organic Oats and Organic Dark Chocolate combined with peppermint oils make a delicious snack that tastes just like your favorite Girl Scout
  • Mocha – Delicious notes of organic chocolate with your favorite barista roasted
  • Blueberry pomegranate crunch – A crunchy berry filled treat with the purest blueberry and pomegranate

I was sent one of each bar to sample & review.  I’ll get to my thoughts in a minute, but first wanted to share some of the benefits of the bars:

  • Oatmega 3 Wellness Bars contain a proprietary mix of 3 Health Promoting Ingredients — EPA and DHA Omega 3, High Quality Protein, and Green Tea Antioxidants!
  • Between 120-190 calories
  • Between 10-14 grams of protein

The oats used in these bars are gluten-free (I made sure to check & double check before I sampled & reviewed).  I have now tried all 4 varieties and I think the mocha & the dark chocolate peanut were my favorites.  The flavor & texture of the bars was pleasant, and although there is fish oil in the bars, you can’t taste it!  Nothing like getting an extra bonus, right?  I did like the other varieties, especially the blueberry pomegranate, as it only has 120 calories and still has 10 grams of protein.  Protein is an essential component in helping to refuel after a long run or hard workout.  Those muscles that we work so hard to build up can’t repair themselves properly without the right fuel.  I used to be worried about calories & was hesitant to eat immediately after a workout because I knew I would be eating a meal within an hour or two.  Well, guess what?  I was only hurting myself by behaving that way; I would feel horrible after my long runs.  Since I have started to eat something high in protein and with a healthy dose of carbs within 30 minutes of completing my long run (on the drive home), I haven’t had a headache or felt the need to lay in bed all day to “recover”.  Now I eat on the way home and then I have time to stretch & shower before eating a real meal.  The real meal usually takes place 1.5 – 2 hours after my long run is completed.  I used to be a “scheduled eater”.  What I mean by that is that I ate my meals at a certain time & I didn’t like to get off of my schedule.  I have learned to let go and listen to my body, which knows more than my brain thinks it does.

The Oatmega 3 Wellness bars can be purchased online and in many stores across the US, including GNC and Whole FoodsHave you tried the Oatmega 3 Wellness bars?  Make sure to check out Erin’s (Gluten-Free Fitness) review of the bars if you get a chance.

***The products reviewed in this post were sent to me free of charge for review purposes.  The opinions stated here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

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Review: Kinnikinnick’s New Soft Bread & Buns

March has been an exciting month – Spring break, summer-like weather & Ohio State makes it to the Final Four!  To cap off a great month, we received samples of the brand new Kinnikinnick soft bread & buns to sample & review.  Perfect timing with the buns for some game day burgers & hot dogs!


The new soft bread & buns hit the market earlier this month.  More information from Kinnikinnick:

While many gluten free breads are dense and less than palatable, Kinnikinnick’s new soft bread is baked fresh and quick frozen, so it is soft and moist once thawed – no toaster required!

The result of nearly a year of research and development, Kinnikinnick’s new soft bread formulations were developed to offer consumers the most appealing combination of taste and texture currently available in the gluten free bread category. In addition to being gluten free, Kinnikinnick’s new soft bread is also dairy free, nut free and certified OU Kosher, making it ideal for those with special dietary needs.

With a nice rise like traditional bread, Kinnikinnick’s new soft bread is made with no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors; is fortified with five essential nutrients; contains at least five grams of fiber per serving; zero cholesterol; and lower calories making it one of the most nutritionally sound gluten free breads on the market today.

The soft bread line will be available at select natural and mainstream grocery stores throughout the U.S. and Canada this March, and is currently available for purchase via The line’s new compelling package contains 25% more product than other gluten free bread alternatives (16 slices in a loaf compared to 12!), features a gluten free certification logo that indicates the product is tested and contains less than 5ppm of gluten, and highlights a smart phone scan code enabling consumers to immediately access information while in the store. The SRP is $4.99 for the sliced bread and $4.59 for the hamburger and hot dog buns, comparably less than other gluten free breads on the market.

I couldn’t wait to dig into the new products!  I love that they don’t need to be toasted!  Jon had a couple of hot dogs on the new buns & really liked them.  I had a Sunshine burger on the hamburger buns and plan on using them for BBQ pulled pork this weekend.  The sandwich bread is pretty phenomenal!  It is bigger than your typical loaf of gluten-free bread, though I wouldn’t say the slices are “normal bread” size.  The flavor & texture is fabulous!


I am loving the gluten-free bread that has been hitting the market recently – I don’t think there has been one that I haven’t liked!!  This is quite a difference from when I first started the diet over 6 years ago and good, pre-packaged bread was virtually impossible to find and if you did find it, it had to be toasted.

To see where you can find the new soft bread and buns close to you, click here.  The bread is also available through the Kinnikinnick website and shipping rates are a flat $10.00. Have you tried the new soft bread & buns from Kinnikinnick?  What did you think?

***These products were sent to us free of charge for review purposes.  The opinions stated here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything. 

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win a copy of Elizabeth Gordon’s new cookbook!

Giveaway & Review: The Complete Allergy-Free Comfort Foods Cookbook

I love cookbooks.  I love to browse through them and of course cook & bake from them.  I remember being a little girl and sitting down on many occasions with my mother’s old Betty Crocker cookbook, which she still has in pieces, and paging through to make sure that I knew all of the recipes in the book.  I didn’t ever come close to making them all, but I wanted to be sure that I knew about them.  I remember cooking my first meal with my mom – fried chicken, mashed potatoes & some sort of vegetable.  It was quite the adventurous recipe for a beginning cook, but it was also one of my favorites.  After that experience I stuck to baking for several years, as I could make many of those recipes on my own.


My favorite part of browsing through cookbooks is looking at the amazing pictures.  The Complete Allergy-Free Comfort Foods Cookbook has no shortage of pictures.  I like to mark the pages of the recipes that I want to make with Post-It notes and my copy of this new cookbook may just have an entire pad yellow notes sticking out of the top of the book.  While Jon and I only need to eat gluten-free, every recipe in this cookbook is free of:

  • gluten
  • dairy
  • soy
  • nuts
  • eggs

Elizabeth Gordon, diagnosed with multiple food allergies, experimented with different ingredients until she found the perfect substitutions for her favorite foods.  More about Gordon:

Elizabeth Gordon is the author of Allergy-Free Desserts and the owner of the online gluten, dairy, soy, nut and egg-free bakery, Betsy & Claude Baking Co. A full-time mother and formerly an eating disorder therapist, Elizabeth has appeared on The Doctors and her work has been featured in many national media outlets, such as SELF magazine. Visit her at

The book begins with an allergy-free dictionary of ingredients.  I love how Gordon explains the ingredient & the purpose for each one in certain recipes.  Next up is a section full of substitutions.  This section is great if you are missing an ingredient that one of the recipes in the book may call for.

Sections with recipes:

Breakfast Goodies – Do you miss Jelly Donuts, Biscuits or Funnel Cakes?  Recipes for those plus many more goodies are included.

Starters – Pigs in a Blanket, Pot Stickers & Italian Wedding Soup are included in this section.

Salads – Avocado Salad, Tabbouleh (made with quinoa!) and Charoset (looks & sounds amazing!) all caught my eye!

Condiments, Dressings, and Basics – Love the Dijon Vinaigrette!  I am also looking forward to the Tomatillo Salsa & homemade Ranch Dressing!

Main Courses – Shepard’s Pie, Tamale Pie, Stuffed Peppers, Black Bean Burgers & Individual Chicken Pot Pies are all on my list of foods to make from this section.

Sides – Hush Puppies.  Enough said.  Okay, seriously, there are many great looking dishes in this section – Potato Latkes, Irish Soda Bread, Rosemary Smashed Potatoes.

Desserts – Mint Thin Wafers, Golden Sponge Cakes w/ Cream Filling (aka Twinkies*), Smores Cookies, Whoopie Pies and Pumpkin Pie Bars w/ Oatmeal Raisin Crust.

The end of the book has a section on where to shop for specific ingredients that are used throughout the book, which is very useful.  Nothing like finding a recipe that you want to make and not being able to find a key ingredient.  Kudos to Gordon for including this!

*My personal opinion.

Now, how would you like to win a copy of this new cookbook?  Just follow the simple instructions below to enter to win!

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Naturally Gluten-Free: Kumquats

Have you ever had a kumquat?  I hadn’t until the other day.  I was shopping at Trader Joe’s with my mother and as we headed to the back of the store to check out the samples, I saw some little, orange fruit cut in half.  They looked like miniature oranges.  Surprisingly I grabbed one without finding out what it was, confident that it was gluten-free because it looked like citrus to me.  It was sweet, then tart.  I looked around & found out that it was a kumquat!  Oooh!!  I really liked these!  Of course I picked up a container to bring home with me so I could add them to my morning bowl of fruit.

I was surprised that the skin of the kumquat is eaten right along with the rest of the fruit.  It looks a lot like the skin of an orange, but it is much thinner and it isn’t tough to chew at all.  The skin is actually the sweeter part of the fruit, while the flesh/inside is the more tart part of the fruit.


More about kumquats:

Fortunella margarita, also known as the oval kumquat or the Nagami kumquat, is a close relative to Citrus species. It is a small evergreen tree, that can reach more than 12 ft (4 m) high and 9 ft (3 m) large. It is native to southeastern Asia, and more precisely to China. The oval kumquat has very fragrant citrus-like white flowers, and small edible oval orange fruits. The oval kumquat is an ornamental little tree, with showy foliage, flowers and fruits. It is also fairly frost-hardy, and will withstand negative temperatures such as 14 °F (-10 °C), and even a little lower for very brief periods. It can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 9 and warmer, but can also be tried in sheltered places, in USDA hardiness zone 8. Unlike most citrus species, the oval kumquat has a shorter growth period, and goes into dormancy fairly earlier in autumn. This partly explains its better frost hardiness.

Kumquats are often eaten raw. As the rind is sweet and the juicy centre is sour, the raw fruit is usually consumed either whole—to savour the contrast—or only the rind is eaten. The fruit is considered ripe when it reaches a yellowish-orange stage and has just shed the last tint of green.

Culinary uses include candying and kumquat preserves, marmalade, and jelly. Kumquats can also be sliced and added to salads. In recent years kumquats have gained popularity as a garnish for cocktail beverages, including the martini as a replacement for the more familiar olive. A kumquat liqueur mixes the fruit with vodka or other clear spirit. Kumquats are also being used by chefs to create a niche for their desserts and are common in European countries.

Potted kumquat trees at a kumquat liqueur distillery in Corfu.

The Cantonese often preserve kumquats in salt or sugar. A batch of the fruit is buried in dry salt inside a glass jar. Over time, all the juice from the fruit is diffused into the salt. The fruit in the jar becomes shrunken, wrinkled, and dark brown in colour, and the salt combines with the juice to become a dark brown brine.

In the Philippines and Taiwan, kumquats are a popular addition to green tea and black tea, either hot or iced.

In Vietnam, kumquat bonsai trees (round kumquat plant) are used as a decoration for the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday. Kumquat fruits are also boiled or dried to make a candied snack called mứt quất.

Variants of the kumquat are grown specially in India.


I don’t see myself going as far as to make jelly with the kumquats, but I did enjoy eating a handful of them chilled out of the refrigerator.  Have you ever tried a kumquat?  What did you think?  Do you have a recipe that you use them in?

Choices, Choices

When I was thinking about dinner on Friday, I couldn’t decided between pizza, my Friday staple, or rotisserie chicken that I had just picked up from the store.  They both sounded good, so what does a food blogger do?  She combines the 2 together.  I have never been shy about combining foods.  I recall mixing up food into one large bowl as a child & family members would just shake their heads. 


Doesn’t that look good?

Roasted Chicken & Asparagus Pizza


Udi’s pizza crust

1/4 cup pizza sauce (I used Kroger)

3-4 ounces roasted chicken

1/4 cup chopped mushrooms

1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped asparagus (I previously roasted the asparagus)

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

Frank’s Red Hot (optional – sprinkle on top before eating)


1.  Preheat oven as directed on the Udi’s pizza crust package. 

2.  Top crust with sauce, asparagus, chicken, mushrooms & cheese.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Check progress & bake until cheese is melted or the crust begins to brown.

3.  Slice & enjoy. 


I see this pizza making another appearance very soon in our house!  This served one (me), but ingredients can be adjusted to accommodate more people. 

Schedules & Menu Plan

Spring break is over.  Kids are headed back to school tomorrow.  Time to get back to the routine.  Oh, wait, my routine will no longer be the same.  In addition to writing, I was watching a friend’s little boy every day.  They ended up moving, so now I am going to focus on finished up my NASM personal training certification and writing.  What I need to do first, though, is to develop a schedule of some sort so that I can stay on track.  My goal is to take the NASM CPT exam by the end of May (I have until the end of June).  I am about a third of the way through the curriculum right now. 


Flower in our backyard – so early!

This first week will be an experiment in what works best for me in terms of study time, writing time, workouts, family & household duties.  I hope to shift my workouts from 5 AM until after I get Hannah to school so that I can hopefully get on a better sleep schedule.  I realize this will take some playing around, hence the “experiment week”.  Oh, can’t forget, I got called for Jury Duty in April.  Good times.

Sunday – Thai peanut salmon, mashed sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli & salad

Monday – Italian chicken breasts, gluten-free pasta, green beans & salad

Tuesday – Taco Tuesday, refried beans, corn & salad

Wednesday – BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, steak fries, sauteed zucchini and salad

Thursday – Leftovers

Friday –Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday – Take out

Weekly Recap

If you miss rye bread, please check out this review of Canyon Bakehouse Colorado Caraway.

I glutened a meal that my sister was trying to make gluten-free

Udi’s debuting new products this summer.

Review: Schar pizza crust – Jon’s new favorite!

Participate in this poll on the gluten-free diet: weight loss or gain.

Have a great week!!

Review: SunWarrior Raw Protein Powder

Just because I was “on vacation” didn’t mean that I didn’t get my miles in.  My mom & sister snapped this picture on their way to take my nephew to school.  Fortunately they caught me before I hit the killer hills and felt like dying.


After my tour of the hardest hills I have run in a long time, I had a chance to experiment with some new protein powder.  Lord knows I needed to refuel, STAT!  My step dad, Joe, was in Atlanta as well and he had some SunWarrior brown rice protein that he was kind enough to share.


I have tried many protein powders over the past few years, but have never had a chance to try SunWarrior.  As much as I don’t feel like eating right after weight lifting or running, I know how important it is.  What I love about this is that 1 scoop = 80 calories, 1 gram fat, 2 grams of fiber & 15 grams of protein.  I added one scoop to 8-10 ounces of unsweetened Silk Pure Almond milk.  What I ended up with was a compact, nutrition filled drink to help me refuel without choking down a bunch of unwanted food.

More Information on Sunwarrior Protein:

  • Made with 80% protein, Sunwarrior has the Highest (non soy) raw (Not Heated over 90 Degrees) whole grain sprouted vegan protein on the market.
  • By using a third generation process, we have created the best tasting vegetable protein on the market that has a silky smooth texture that blends well and tastes great compared with other chalky & grainy vegetable proteins.
  • We use an old world process of combining the sprouted endosperm and the bran from Raw Sprouted Whole Grain Brown Rice. This unique process creates the first complete hypoallergenic Protein which is made up of all 9 essential amino acids and other non-essential amino acids in a perfectly balanced amino acid profile.
  • Sunwarrior has a 98% Correlation rate to Mothers Milk and a 98.2% digestion efficiency making it one of the highest digestibility and efficiency ratings of any other protein sources (compared to whey and soy).
  • Highest Net Protein Utilization score of any vegetable based protein and the highest ratio of amino acids converted to proteins.
  • Sunwarrior is created with a Low Temperature natural Enzyme process that does not use any chemicals or acid hydrolysis (like most proteins do).
  • Sunwarrior Protein is naturally rich in Vitamins and Minerals and contains high amounts of Antioxidants, Tocopherols, Tocotrienols and other essential nutrients — such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorous, iron and potassium.
  • Using Sunwarrior Increases the efficacy and absorption of vitamins and minerals. There has been a direct correlation between the use of Sunwarrior Protein and the absorption of vitamins.
  • Because Sunwarrior Protein is so digestible it can be easily assimilated by infants, the elderly and adults — The World Health Organization may be using Sunwarrior Protein in the future to feed malnourished individuals because of the hypoallergenic profile and superior absorption that Sunwarrior has been shown to have.
  • There is currently a clinical trial which shows promise that Sunwarrior Protein aids in the absorption of vitamins in Aids patients. There has been a direct correlation between the use of Sunwarrior Protein and the absorption of vitamins in Aids patients where other proteins do not provide such synergistic affects during the intake.
  • Weight Loss – Clinical studies in Japan have shown that by providing Rice Protein as a staple in a diet it can act as a weight control vehicle. This is especially because of superior absorption rates.
  • Cholesterol – Clinical studies have shown promise that Sunwarrior has cholesterol lowering potential and the USDA is currently using Sunwarrior in trials to see if it may help control high blood pressure.
  • Unlike the extraction processes of other proteins, our method of extraction uses neither chemicals nor acid hydrolysis. We only use Organic Enzymes during the process and our process is 100% Organic Compliant.

Are you wondering how the shake tasted?  It was really good.  I thought it would have an odd taste or be chalky, but it wasn’t.   It was a little hard to mix in a shaker, so I recommend a blender.  I liked the protein powder so much that I purchased some on  No excuses for not properly refueling.

The protein powder comes in 3 different varieties – chocolate, vanilla and natural.  SunWarrior also has a new protein blend (Warrior Blend) that uses a combination of proteins: pea protein, cranberry protein & hemp protein.  The powder can be purchased on the SunWarrior website or on other online websites like

Recipe: Goulash

Hopefully you had a chance to read the post my sister shared earlier this week on feeding gluten-free guests.  She sure fed us well while we visited!  The food was so good, that I wanted to share another meal that she cooked for us.  She made a recipe called “Paula Deen’s Goulash”, but changed some things around & made it her own. 

Here is my plate, just after I dug in.  I realized that I needed to capture how well the pasta held up during the cooking process.  We used Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta.  Many varieties of gluten-free pastas will not hold up to this much cooking, so use caution when purchasing.  I like Ancient Grain or Tinkyada for recipes that call for extended cooking. 


This dish was a hit with everyone (even picky Hannah and Jon!).  What a perfect meal for carb loading, too! 

Gluten Free Goulash


2 lb. lean ground beef

2 large yellow onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups water

28 oz. can tomato sauce (check to ensure that it is gluten-free)

28 oz. can diced tomatoes

2 tbsp. Italian seasoning

3 bay leaves

4 tbsp. brown sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups Gluten Free Elbow Noodles (I used Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta)


In a Dutch oven, sauté beef over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Break up the meat while sautéing. Spoon off any grease. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and sauté until they are tender (about 5 minutes). Add 3 cups of water, along with the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Stir well. Place a lid on the pot and allow this to cook for 15-20 minutes. Add elbow macaroni and stir well. Return the lid to the pot and simmer for about 30 minutes (add additional water if needed). Turn off heat, remove bay leaves and allow the mixture to sit about 30 minutes before serving.

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