ZonePerfect Debuts Gluten-Free Protein Bars

While you are reading this post, I am out finishing my last long run before my upcoming half marathons!  After my 12 miles today, I will be in taper mode.  Some people love taper, others hate it.  I believe that I am in the latter group.  The purpose of tapering is to allow your body to recover and prepare for race day.  I know from past experience that it is beneficial, but that doesn’t mean that I have to like it.  I end up feeling lazy, like I am eating too much, like I can’t sleep well and generally ready to run like crazy once race day arrives, which is the point.  So, I shall occupy my time with blogging and studying.


I found these new protein bars when I was browsing the aisles of Target for things for Jon and Hannah’s Easter baskets.  I didn’t notice the big “gluten-free” label on the front until after I read the label.  I started to put the box down after I saw “oats” and no further definition of them being gluten-free.  That is when I noticed the “gluten-free” label on the front.  I quickly turned the box back over to see if I had missed something about the oats being gluten-free, but I hadn’t. 


When I got home I visited the ZonePerfect website to investigate a little further.  I wanted to know more about those oats.  I emailed Abbott Nutrition to see if I could get some more information and here is the response that I received:

Hello Kimberly,

Thank you for contacting Abbott Nutrition.

We appreciate your interest in Perfectly Simple(TM) ZonePerfect(R) Nutrition Bars!

All 3 flavors of the Perfectly Simple ZonePerfect Nutrition Bars are tested and certified Gluten-Free. They meet the FDA definition of Gluten-Free as there are less than 20 ppm.

Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.


Consumer Relations
Abbott Nutrition

Case ID: {1408372}

CID: { }

OrderNo: { }

I emailed back to see if I could find out which certification company Abbott Nutrition used and will make sure to update the post when I hear back. 

The FAQ section on the website does have information about other products from ZonePerfect that don’t have any added gluten, but they aren’t tested for gluten that may be present. 

There are three varieties of the new Perfectly Simple Bars:

Peanut Crunch – Peanut Butter (Peanuts), Invert Evaporated Cane Juice, Soy Protein Isolate, Date Paste, Rolled Oats, and Coconut.

Cranberry Almond – Soy Protein Isolate, Apple Juice Concentrate, Sweetened Dried Cranberries (Sugar, Dried Cranberries, Sunflower Oil), Date Paste, Roasted Almonds (Almonds, High Oleic Sunflower Oil), Dried Pomegranate Seeds, and Cinnamon Powder.

Toasted Coconut – Invert Dried Cane Syrup, Date Paste, Soy Protein Isolate, Toasted Coconut, Roasted Almonds (Almonds, High Oleic Sunflower Oil), Whey Protein Isolate, and Natural Vanilla Flavor.

The bars range in calories from 170 – 200, 4-8 grams of fat and each have 10 grams of protein. 

I haven’t tried the new Perfectly Simple bars yet.  I was going to buy a box when I was at Target, but wanted to get more information first.  I will make sure to let you know what I think should I sample them.  Have you seen these bars in stores?  Have you tried them?  What about the other ZonePerfect bars that don’t contain gluten?

Review: Brad’s Raw Chips

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to sample & review some fantastic products from Brad’s Raw Chips.  I first tried kale chips almost three years ago.  I saw them on another blog and decided to dive in and make them myself.  A year or so later, I sampled some pre-made kale chips and fell in love, so when I was asked if I wanted to sample Brad’s, I was very excited!


I received three of the Brad’s Raw products to review:

Naked leafy kale – INGREDIENTS: Kale, Red Bell Pepper, Cashews, Sunflower Seeds, Lemon Juice, Nutritional Yeast, Himalayan Sea Salt.  I loved these!  I am a huge fan of nutritional yeast, so these made me very happy!  They had a wonderful, delicate texture and light crisp.

Vampire killer leafy kale – INGREDIENTS: Kale, Red Bell Pepper, Cashews, Sunflower Seeds, Lemon Juice, Scallions, Nutritional Yeast, Garlic, Himalayan Sea Salt.  These were very good, but I don’t usually eat a lot of garlic, so I am sticking with the “Naked” version as my favorite. 

Brad’s raw chips (Red bell pepper) – INGREDIENTS: Carrots, Red Bell Peppers, Flax Seeds, Sprouted Buckwheat Groats*, Scallions, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Garlic, Himalayan Sea Salt, Paprika, Black Pepper.  Amazing!  I loved how crisp these chips were!  The flavor of the red bell pepper really came through without being overwhelming.

More about Brad’s:

Brad’s Raw Foods is the home of “The World’s Healthiest Chip.”

In 2007, founder and creator, Brad Gruno made significant changes in his life and discovered the health benefits of eating raw.  Despite the benefits of the raw diet, one thing he really missed was the crunch of a good snack. In 2008, Brad began making raw chips in his kitchen to satisfy that craving.  Just 2 and a half years later, he’s happy to be able to share his snack with others.

Our products are truly the “Healthiest Chips in the World”. Dehydrated below 115 degrees to preserve the nutrients and enzymes that aid digestion and keep you energized, you no longer have to feel guilty about indulging in your favorite snack!

In addition to being gluten-free and vegan, Brad’s Chips are also:

  • High in fiber
  • A good source of Omega-3’s
  • A healthy snack alternative for kids
  • Rich in vitamins and enzymes
  • Made out of fresh vegetables

Check out Hoda Kotb’s review – “They have changed my life!”


Brad’s Chips can be purchased in stores across the US and onlineHave you tried Brad’s Chips?  What did you think?  Have you ever tried kale chips?

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

Gluten-Free Makeovers Muffin Recipe

I love cookbooks!  Last fall I had the opportunity to review Beth Hillson’s new cookbook: Gluten-Free Makeovers.  Hillson was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 1976 and has been a pioneer in the gluten-free world.  I know that I depended heavily on the Gluten-Free Pantry’s products, specifically the chocolate truffle brownie mix, when I was first diagnosed.

I was looking for a muffin recipe last weekend so that Jon would have breakfast to grab and go before school this week.  I happened upon Hillson’s “A Basic (Not-So-Ordinary) Muffin Formula” in her newest cookbook and got down to work.  The recipe is a basic recipe with variations listed.  I chose to add chocolate chips – Jon’s favorite!


This recipe makes 12 muffins (I only got 11, but may have made them a little bigger than I should have).

  • 2 cups Self-Rising Flour* (I used Gluten-Free Bisquick)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs or 4 egg whites
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, applesauce or milk or choice (I used whole milk)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Additional granulated sugar for dusting, optional (I left this off)

1.  Preheat oven to 425.  Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with muffin papers and spray inside with vegetable spray.

2.  In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, both sugars, and baking soda & blend well.  In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla.  Add to the dry ingredients and stir with a fork or wooden spoon, just until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Fold in chocolate chips.

3.  Scoop batter into the muffin tins.  Sprinkle the tops with additional sugar, if desired.  Place on middle rack in over and immediately lower the temperature to 375.  Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.

*Self-Rising Flour Recipe

  • 1 1/4 cup white rice flour (6.5 ounces)
  • 1 cup sweet white sorghum flour (4 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup amaranth flour (3 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch (3.5 ounces) or potato starch (4 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch (1.1 ounce)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

From the book Gluten-Free Makeovers by Beth Hillson.  Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group.  Copyright © 2011.

**Note that the Self-Rising Flour recipe has baking powder, xanthan gum and salt in it. If you choose to sub a flour mix, please adjust accordingly.  I used Gluten-Free Bisquick, which contains leavening, salt & xanthan gum.

Jon absolutely loved these muffins!  In fact, they are gone (4 days later) and he requested more for the weekend!


Do you have a favorite gluten-free muffin recipe?  What kind of muffins are your favorite to make and/or eat?

Don’t forget to head over to The FOGGY Awards and vote for Gluten-Free is Life aka. me!  You can vote once per day until April 30, 2012.  Thank you!!

Review: Mary’s Gone Crackers

Mary’s Gone Crackers is one of the companies that has been around since I first began the gluten-free diet in 2006.  At that time they only made crackers, but they now have expanded their product line to include cookies, “sticks & twigs” and crumbs.  In addition to being gluten-free, Mary’s Gone Crackers products are also vegan and free of nuts (made in a dedicated gluten- and nut-free facility).




Mary’s story:

Learning I had Celiac Disease

I started my career as a psychotherapist helping others to manifest their truest selves. It took a cherished chiropractor for me to realize mine. When I was 43, my chiropractor figured out that I had celiac disease; an autoimmune disorder that had left me debilitated most of my life, caused by an inability to digest gluten, found in wheat, barley, rye and most oats. Her wisdom and experience changed my life.

Transforming My Life

I cut out all gluten immediately, easily. I was so happy to finally understand the root of my distress. Suddenly I had energy to live my life, fully and with relish. My body was working with me instead of seemingly against me. Without even noticing the changes at first, I soon realized that I was happier and more energetic than I had ever felt. As part of my self-care (and self-discovery), I turned my lifelong passion for baking into creating all kinds of gluten free goodies—from crackers and cookies to pancakes and pretzels—I transformed my gluten recipes into delicious alternatives.
My favorite concoction was a whole grain cracker made with brown rice, quinoa, and flax and sesame seeds.

I took them everywhere. Before having the crackers, I’d watch my friends eat bread before our meals at restaurants, wishing I had something to snack on. Once I had the crackers, I’d bring them along in a little bag, munching contentedly while my friends ate the restaurant goodies. I brought them to parties and coupled them with soft cheeses, fresh guacamole, tangy salsas and other toppings provided at these events, no longer feeling deprived.

The products:

Cookies – Made with real food ingredients and low glycemic sweeteners, you can eat our love cookies anytime. Mary’s Gone Crackers’ love Cookies use coconut palm sugar, a pure, whole-food sugar that is made from the deliciously sweet nectar of the coconut palm tree. They also contain chia seeds, an ancient superfood high in healthful omega-3 fatty acids.  Come in 4 varieties: Chocolate chip, double chocolate, gingersnap and “N’Oatmeal” raisin.

Crackers – Our cracker is how it all started. The story that is now legend in our company is how Mary began to bake our signature organic, gluten-free, vegan and kosher cracker in her home after being diagnosed with celiac disease.  There are 5 different varieties: Original seed, onion, caraway, black pepper and herb.

Pretzel – Sticks – Our Pretzels, an organic, gluten free, vegan, crunchy snack, rekindles the enjoyment of snacking by combining wholesome nutrition with explosive flavor. Perfect alone or dunked in dips, our Pretzels are chock full of organic gluten-free ancient whole grains including brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, and millet, as well as tasty and nutritious seeds including flax, sesame and chia seeds.  There are 3 different varieties: Sea salt, chipotle tomato and curry.

Crumbs – At different stages during production we sift the crumbs from our crackers so they don’t get packaged. We’ve started collecting and packaging these crumbs for a tasty substitute to breadcrumbs. The crumbs are very flavorful and can be used in both savory and sweet dishes, wherever you would use bread or cracker crumbs.  There are 3 different varieties: Original, caraway and savory.

We have been able to sample the cookies, crackers & Sticks & Twigs.  I am in love with the cookies!  They are the perfect end to a meal and have just enough sweetness to satisfy my sweet tooth and I feel good about eating them!  I love the crackers & pretzels, but have to be careful because I can’t eat a lot of food with sesame seeds.  They are great in hummus, guacamole and salsa – yum!  We haven’t had a chance to try the crumbs yet, but I bet they are great in meatballs, meatloaf or used as breading for chicken.  For meal inspiration, make sure to check out the recipe section on Mary’s website.

Mary’s Gone Crackers sells their products in many stores across the US and onlineDo you have a favorite Mary’s Gone Crackers product?

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

Don’t forget to head over to The FOGGY Awards and vote for Gluten-Free is Life aka. me!  You can vote once per day until April 30, 2012.  Thank you!!

Easy Weeknight Stir-Fry

When we get a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, we often have leftovers.  Sometimes I will use them to make chicken salad, sometimes I will toss in a large garden salad and sometimes I will make a quick stir-fry.


This stir-fry was one of the best I have had in a long time!  It was so simple, I  couldn’t believe that it was so good!  When we get Pei Wei take-out, I always get extra order rice. An extra carton of brown rice is $.50 – how does one pass that up?  By having that rice and leftover chicken in the refrigerator, all I had to do for this meal was to quickly stir-fry the snow peas.

Thai Peanut Chicken Stir-Fry

  • 3-4 ounces chicken breast, cut up
  • 1/2 to 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 to 1 cup snow peas
  • 2 TBSP San-J Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce <—-This stuff is where IT is at!

1.  Saute snow peas briefly in a touch of extra virgin olive oil.

2.  Add cooked rice, chicken and 2 TBSP Thai peanut sauce.

3.  Cook until warm through.

4.  Enjoy!

I think the whole process took maybe 15 minutes and was the perfect meal to make after yoga class when I all wanted to do was melt into a chair.

**If you are using a rotisserie chicken, please check to make sure it is gluten-free.  Some stores offer gluten-free rotisserie (Costco), many don’t.

Don’t forget to head over to The FOGGY Awards and vote for Gluten-Free is Life aka. me!  You can vote once per day until April 30, 2012.  Thank you!!

The FOGGY Awards

Some exciting stuff going on in the gluten-free world!  Have you heard of the FOGGY Awards?  The FOGGY Awards are new this year, brought to you by Find Me Gluten Free.



The FOGGY (free of gluten) awards are given to those that shine light on the Celiac and Gluten-Free Community.

Voting has already started and goes through April 30, 2012.  Winners will be announced on May 1, 2012, which also happens to be the start of Celiac Awareness Month!  You can see the 2012 Nominees here.

Make sure to pay special attention to the “Top 40 Under 40” category, as yours truly was nominated along with some pretty wonderful people.  I am honored to be considered among the nominees and would love your vote!


So, don’t waste any time!  Head over and place your vote now!  You can vote once a day!  🙂

Gluten-Free Weekly Meal Plan–April 1, 2012

Did you play any April Fools’ jokes on your friends or family?  I came home from my 4 mile run and told Aaron that I ran 20 miles and he looked at me like I was nuts, especially since I had just run 11 miles the day before.  I excitedly said “April Fools!”, but he didn’t find much humor in that.  It probably didn’t help that he was still half asleep.


Have you ever been called for jury duty?  I have been called for the first time and will go twice this week twice again in a couple of weeks.  No, this is not an April Fools joke!  There is a possibility that I won’t have to go at all, but I have to be honest, I am kind of looking forward to it.  I am curious to see how the system works and it will be a nice change of pace for a couple of days.  I am not sure I would feel the same way if I had to go every day for a week or two.

Onto the meals.  Here is the plan for the week – let’s see if I can stick with it this week, shall we?

Sunday – Rotisserie chicken, brown rice, snow peas & salad

Monday – Chicken fingers, sweet potato puffs, steamed broccoli & salad

Tuesday – Fajitas, black beans, corn & salad

Wednesday – Grilled chicken fettucine Alfredo, roasted zucchini and salad

Thursday – BBQ pulled pork sammies (never made last week), steak fries, steamed green beans & salad

Friday – Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday – Take-out

Week in Review:

Gluten-free Matzo for Passover

P.F. Chang’s expands their gluten-free menu.

Dogfish Head Tweason’Ale – new gluten-free beer review

Review: Pastariso Gluten-Free Instant Mac & Cheese

Review: 4 Ingredients Gluten-Free Cookbook

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

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