Cascal Giveaway

A few weeks ago I tried a new-to-me soda that I quickly fell in love with.  Cascal Fermented Soda is a refreshing treat, especially on a hot summer day, which we have had plenty of this summer.


More about Cascal:

Cascal at a glance:

·Deliciously bubbly soda

·Fermented for a unique and sophisticated taste

·No sugars other than those from fruit juice

·Crafted with natural juices

·60-80 calories per can

·No caffeine

·Gluten free

While I enjoyed all of the varieties of Cascal, the Ripe Rouge is my favorite!

I am pleased to tell you that Cascal has offered to send one lucky reader a sample pack of Cascal Fermented Soda!  The winner will receive one of each of the five flavors (Crisp White, Ripe Rouge, Fresh Tropical, Bright Citrus and Berry Cassis) of Cascal and a cool insulated tote to keep your drinks cold!  All you have to do to enter is follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter box below. Good luck!

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Review: Goodbye Gluten Bread

You all know by now that I love to gush about products that I love, right?  Well, sit tight, because I have some gushing to do!  I was asked if I was interested in sampling a new gluten-free bread made by Goodbye Gluten Bakeries.  Of course I was interested, though I had never heard of the bread before.  The new bread comes in white and multigrain varieties and is certified gluten-free by the GFCO


More about Goodbye Gluten Bakeries:

Goodbye Gluten Brand Debuts With New Line of Gluten-Free Breads

Fresh-baked white and multigrain varieties provide long-awaited gluten-free alternative in the bread aisle

Horsham, PA (July 17, 2012) – Most Americans wouldn’t consider it an impossible task to find a fresh-baked loaf of bread in their grocery store. But for the millions of people across the country looking for a gluten-free alternative, the bread aisle has been a frustration zone with nary an offering of shelf-stable, fresh-baked options.

The Goodbye Gluten brand today introduced its two inaugural products – Goodbye Gluten White Bread & Goodbye Gluten Multigrain Bread – freshly-baked in certified gluten-free bakeries. The 20 oz. Goodbye Gluten loaves will have a suggested retail price of $5.49 and carry the Gluten-Free Certification seal from the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (  The breads will be available in key retailers such as Giant Eagle, Jewel-Osco, Cub Foods, Roundy’s, Kowalski’s, Lunds & Byerly’s, Super One and Hornbachers across the Midwest in the first phase of the Goodbye Glutenbrand launch.

“Millions of Americans across the country are living a gluten-free lifestyle and the numbers are expected to increase as more people decide if gluten-free products are right for them,” said Charice Grace, Brand Manager, Goodbye Gluten. “The need to offer gluten-free varieties of a classic pantry staple such as bread is more important than ever, and we are thrilled to offer a freshly-baked, shelf-stable gluten-free bread brand in the bread aisle.”

With 90 calories per slice, Goodbye Gluten bread is a nutritious foundation to endless meal solutions –from a myriad of sandwich possibilities, to gluten-free classic peanut butter & jelly, to morning toast with fruit preserves.  For more information on this product and the Goodbye Gluten brand, please visit our website

I was a little intrigued by the fact that this bread was meant to be stored on the counter, not the freezer.  I followed the instructions and it remained on the counter the entire time I worked my way through the loaf.  No mold, no deterioration in quality.  It took me roughly one week from start to finish a loaf.  I was thoroughly impressed with this bread!  It was so moist!  There was no need to toast the bread, in fact I loved the taste and texture so much right out of the bag that I never did toast a piece!  This bread held up very well to overstuffed sandwiches and peanut butter and jelly.  Simply awesome!


The multigrain with seeds.


White bread.

Multigrain: Goodbye Gluten Multigrain satisfies on multiple levels! The earthy goodness of flax and sunflower seeds pairs wonderfully with ingredients such as potato, tapioca, corn and rice, giving each slice a moist, wholesome taste that’ll have you coming back for more!

White: Introducing White Bread that’s not just gluten-free – it’s tasty! Ingredients such as potato, tapioca, corn and rice give each loaf a soft, rich texture and deliver a mouth-watering taste that you’ll swear was home-baked!

For more information on the bread and specific ingredients visit the websiteClick here for a coupon for $1.00 off a loaf of Goodbye Gluten bread.

I am thrilled that this bread is available in our local Giant Eagle stores!  I love the ease of making a sandwich and not worrying about how it will hold up if I have to transport it for eating later in the day. 

Have you tried Goodbye Gluten bread?  What did you think?

Weekly Menu Plan–August 27, 2012

Welcome to the last few days of August!  First full week of school this week for the kids.  I plan on working on my resume this week.  I haven’t updated mine in over 10 years and don’t recommend doing that.  I am trying to work on finding a way to incorporate my past job experience with being out of the workforce for 10 years with writing and blog experience and my new quest to find a job in personal training.  I have my work cut out for me. 


Weekly Plan:

Monday – Italian grilled chicken, coconut baked brown rice, sugar snap peas and salad

Tuesday – Easy Enchilada Bake, corn and salad

Wednesday – Spaghetti with marinutta sauce, steamed broccoli and salad

Thursday –Breakfast for dinner and fruit salad

Friday –Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday –Take-out

Week in Review:

Review: Rocky Mountain Popcorn NottaTin

Wholesome Chow Baking Mix Review

Review: O’Dough’s Bagel Thins

Don’t forget to enter to win a chance for a free entry to the Pretty Muddy race.


Have a great week!

Different Types of Goals

In my mind, goals are usually set and achieved by my trying to better myself, my race times, etc.  When I really stopped to think about what the word “goal” meant, I decided to see what the dictionary said.

goal [gohl]


1. the result or achievement toward which effort is directed;aim; end.

2. the terminal point in a race.

3. a pole, line, or other marker by which such a point is indicated.

4. an area, basket, cage, or other object or structure toward or into which players of various games attempt to throw,carry, kick, hit, or drive a ball, puck, etc., to score a point or points.

5. the act of throwing, carrying, kicking, driving, etc., a ball or puck into such an area or object.

6. the score made by this act.

Today I am reaching for a different goal for me.  Normally when I run races I aim to complete the race faster than the last race of that distance.  However, my goal for 2012 was to run 5 half marathons bringing my total to 10 half marathons.  In order to accomplish that goal I needed to run 2 half marathons in the spring and 3 half marathons in the fall.  To break that down even further, I chose one of my spring half marathons to run as a training run and one to race; I then chose two of my fall half marathons to run as training runs and one to race. The half marathon that I am running today is one of those fall training runs. 


Emerald City Half Marathon 2011

Last year I ran the Emerald City Half Marathon for the first time in 2:06:39.  I am not aiming to beat that time, in fact I will be angry with myself if I do, because that means that I didn’t stick to my plan.  My LSD (long slow distance) runs are normally run around a 10:15 pace, sometimes a little faster depending on the distance and weather conditions.  My plan is to run between 10 – 10:15 minute miles coming in at roughly 2:11 or so.  I am planning on running this race with my friend Melissa who I paced to run the Cap City Half Marathon back in May.  The only deviation I can see from the plan I have laid out is up to Melissa – she ran Cap City (her first half) in 2:10:53 and if we are feeling good in the last three miles today, I have no problem with picking that up a little to get her in under her Cap City time.  However, that will mean that we both have to be feeling great and won’t be risking putting on training for our goal races on hold. 

Teaching my brain to work differently has been a challenge and probably will continue to be one.  I have to remember that faster is not always better.  I normally don’t race with my heart rate monitor, but I plan on wearing it tomorrow to keep me in check.  If there is one training device that I pay attention to, it is the HRM.  If my brain fails me, the numbers on the HRM should remind me to keep myself in line. 

Do you think I can do it?  Tell me no so I can prove you wrong!

Friday Fuel

I thought Friday would be a great day of food to share as I prepare for my 8th half marathon on Sunday.  I will not be racing the race on Sunday, but running it more like a training run.  I hope to PR in the Columbus Half Marathon in October.

When I know that I have a long run coming up on the weekend, I start to really watch to make sure I am eating and drinking enough several days in advance.  Carb loading the night before a race is not a bad idea, but I have read many articles about there being some benefit to starting even sooner so that your body is prepared for those miles.  I thought that sharing the “fuel” would be a nice way to get a glimpse into what works for me.  Please feel free to make fun of some of my food choices and combos if you see the need to.

My day began at 6 AM when my alarm went off and I headed out the door to meet my friend Tara for a 4 mile run.  I grabbed a handheld bottle filled with Gatorade and out the door I went.  When I returned from my run I headed right upstairs to do 30 minutes of strength and core work and immediately refueled with a Chobani Apple Cinnamon yogurt.  I have learned that grabbing something quick and high in protein is imperative to recovery.


After I had a little food in my belly, I headed to the shower so that I wouldn’t offend anyone that ventured near me.  This also gave me a window of time to get Hannah to school before stuffing breakfast down.  When I got back and realized that it was National Waffle Day, I knew what I was having!


I like a little fruit with my waffles!  I topped my waffles with Betty Lou’s Powdered Peanut Butter – so much easier to spread on waffles than regular PB and blueberries.  Of course I forgot to take pictures of my 2 cups of coffee.  Oops!  This breakfast kept me full for a few hours while I ran errands and drank more Gatorade.


I was starving by the time I got home from running errands and quickly made a salad, turkey and cheese sandwich and grabbed a handful of Snyder’s gluten-free pretzels.



A little sweet treat after lunch – Rocky Mountain Popcorn Caramel Corn


After I picked up Hannah from school I was snacky, so I grabbed a can of Cascal while I sat down to write and then a bowl of watermelon while I decided what I was going to make for dinner.  I had just received a shipment from Gluten Freely with Udi’s Whole Grain Bagels, so I couldn’t stop thinking about what I could have that included them.



Dinner quickly came together – bagel with melted Colby Jack cheese and a huge salad with cucumber, tomatoes, radishes, peaches, Enjoy Life Mountain Mambo Nuts & Seeds and Raspberry Merlot dressing.



That cheesy bagel was just what I wanted!  I managed to save room for a couple of scoops of Breyer’s Natural Strawberry Ice Cream topped with some chocolate chips.


I feel like I was a little light on the veggies today (for me), but that is typical as I get closer to a race day to help ward off race-day tummy troubles.  Operation veggie will resume after the race on Sunday.

Don’t forget to enter to win an entry to the Columbus/Zanesfield Pretty Muddy race!

Review: Cucina Antica Tuscany Pumpkin Sauce

It is that time of year again: time to start obsessing about all things pumpkin.  Cucina Antica helped me kick off my obsession by sending me a Tuscany Pumpkin pasta sauce to review. 


First and foremost, I love that the front of the label says “gluten-free” right on it!  Bonus points for not making me search the label or get online to find the answer.  Here is a little more about the Tuscany Pumpkin sauce:

Inspired by Italy’s rustic harvest, Chef Neil Fusco brings you Cucina Antica Tuscany Pumpkin Pasta Sauce. His all-natural artisanal blend of peak harvested pumpkin, flavorful San Marzano tomatoes, and an aromatic combination of garlic, rosemary and sage, is simmered with a touch of cream and perfected small batches. With a delicate hint of honey and cinnamon, this soul-warming sauce achieves a well-balanced earthy character robust enough to be tossed with cheese ravioli, and yet light enough to drizzle over a sautéed medley of fresh vegetables. Simmer with cream for a Cream of Pumpkin Soup. The possibilities are endless with a sauce as savory and versatile as this!

I have really enjoyed playing around with this sauce!  The rest of my family refused to try it because they are freaks, and I mean that in the most loving way possible.  I enjoyed the sauce alone over fusilli brown rice pasta; I enjoyed it tossed with garbanzo beans over pasta; and lastly I enjoyed it as my sauce base on an Udi’s gluten-free pizza crust that I finished off with arugula and goat cheese.  I know, right?  Absolutely amazing!  I was in pumpkin heaven!  This sauce is seriously the answer to any dreary fall or winter day.  If you can’t smile after having a bowl full of yumminess with this sauce, I don’t know what to tell you. 

More about Cucina Antica:

Our business is conducted so that it always gives the human person preference over any material gain. Although we recognize the importance of profits because they ensure the efficient operation of our business, for us making a profit means the following: to satisfy a true and authentic need at a just price (and with an awesome flavor)! Equally important, we seek to work with those in the various areas of production, sourcing, etc., that are respectful of the human person and are consciously good stewards of our earthly planet. At Cucina Antica, it is not just a way of doing business, but a way of life. In every jar of sauce, there is Quality, Pride and Integrity, and il sapore – THE FLAVOR ™!

At Cucina Antica, the value is in the people, from each employee to the customer who brings the sauce home for a delicious meal. Putting people first puts a great product on the shelf!

In summation, we at Cucina Antica want to do good for the common good. Chef Neil says “It is not what one can take from the table, but rather what good one can bring TO the table that makes the difference!”

Are your sauces gluten free?
Yes, they are certified gluten free. Please note that our production facility also produces products with nuts, wheat, rye, barley and oats, however our equipment is thoroughly sanitized to avoid cross-contamination.

Are your products vegan?
All red sauces, ketchup, extra virgin olive oil and pastas are vegan, the vodka sauces and dressings are not.

Are your products vegetarian?
Yes, all products are vegetarian.

The Cucina Antica products can be purchases in select stores and online.  I realize that $7.99 for a jar of pasta sauce is more than one would normally pay for a traditional jarred sauce, but if you want a special treat, this is the sauce to splurge on! 

*The product reviewed in this blog post was sent to me free of charge for review purposes.  The thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Pretty Muddy Giveaway

Ohio ladies, listen up!  Sorry, gentleman, this one is for the girls.  Have you heard of the women’s only mud run series called Pretty Muddy?  Well, grab a beverage (coffee is my choice this early morning) and read on.


The Columbus area Pretty Muddy Women’s Mud Run will take place on September 29, 2012 at Mad River Mountain.  This is one event I really wish I could do, but seeing as it falls right in the middle of my fall half marathons, I can’t take the risk.  I really should have “klutz” tattooed across my forehead.  More about the event:

Pretty Muddy is a 5k adventurous obstacle course mud run for any woman
who wants to get outside, spend time with friends and have fun.
— 5k Course (3.1 miles, run or walk)
— Women Only (sorry, guys)
— Mud (lots of it!)
— Architectural Obstacles (much better than shabby hay bales and shaky plywood)
— Pretty Epic Finish Line Party (Entertainment, music, drinks &
celebration galore)

Pretty Muddy has graciously offered to give one lucky reader a free race entry and T-shirt to the September 29, 2012 event!  Additionally, they are offering a $10.00 discount to Gluten-Free is Life readers who sign up for the race!  How cool is that?  Follow the simple instructions below to receive $10.00 off of your race entry:

Visit the registration page and enter code “glutenfreeislife” when asked for the promotional code.

Pretty Muddy costs $69.50 plus a fee of $4.81, so a $10.00 discount is a great way to save a little dough!  To enter to win a free entry, please follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter box below.

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Big Gluten Freely News

I found out some super exciting news on Monday afternoon that I had to keep quiet about for 2 days.  This was not easy, if you know me and how much I like to talk.  I did tell Aaron, he puts things in “the vault”, but I couldn’t share with any of my online friends or blog readers. 

Are you ready for the news?  Elisabeth Hasselbeck has partnered with Gluten Freely!  You can find her information, blog and episode 1 of “The Joy of Gluten Free with Elisabeth Hasselbeck” on the Gluten Freely website.  Click on the “Community” button towards the right hand side of the page and Elisabeth Hasselbeck is listed under “Our Bloggers” and more importantly, right above my name!  LOL! 

Elisabeth’s nogii bars are 20% off right now and her cookbook, Deliciously G-Free, can be purchased from the site as well. 

Welcome to Gluten Freely, Elisabeth!!  I look forward to reading your blog postings and viewing future episodes of “The Joy of Gluten Free with Elisabeth Hasselbeck.”

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