CocoNutz Fuel

I had the pleasure of reviewing a pretty cool product over the past couple of weeks.  I often speak about the importance of fueling properly before, during and after my workouts and I am always up for new products to help me reach those goals.


The coolest thing about CocoNutz Fuel is the nifty container they come in!  The tube is refillable with packs of Coconutz so that they are easy to dispense mid-run or mid-ride.  More about the product:


Athletes have been forced to deal with:

  1. Bulky energy bars
  2. Sticky energy gels and gummies
  3. “Synthetic” nutritional products that can barely be passed off as food
  4. Unwieldy wrappers and packaging that keep you from your fuel during exercise

CocoNutz Fuel overcomes these obstacles through:

  1. Delicious, bite-size energy balls made with raw, all-natural ingredients
  2. An infusion of coconut oil—an energy producing superfood for athletes
  3. A handy flip-top tube, allowing for convenient fuel consumption during exercise
  4. CocoNutz Fuel is also vegan, non-GMO, and gluten free!

I sampled the Cherry Cashew Attack (I think – they weren’t labeled, but they had a cherry undertone to them) and was really impressed with the flavor and texture.  I love that I can pronounce the ingredients and that they played nice with my stomach, which isn’t always the case for me.  I used these mainly to refuel because I am so close to my fall races that I don’t want to mess with what is working for me during my long runs.  I love that I can have a couple of the CocoNutz energy balls after a workout to hold me over until I can sit down for breakfast.  I may have even been spotted carrying these in my purse and snacking on them in a movie theater as an alternative to candy!

CocoNutz comes in three varieties: Cherry Cashew Attack, Berry Almond Explosion and Mango Macadamia Madness.  The product can be purchased at a limited number of retail locations and online.

When I have reviewed or talked to my friends about this product and others containing coconut oil, I often hear that they don’t want to try said product because they don’t like coconut.  Here is what CocoNutz has to say about that topic:

But I don’t like the taste of coconut—will I enjoy CocoNutz Fuel?

Of course we’re biased, but yes, you will enjoy CocoNutz Fuel. In fact, the coconut oil and coconut flour impart a subtle flavor that does not taste like the classic sweetened coconut you’d find in most stores.
And we’re all about satisfaction with the product, so if you don’t like them, let us know and we’ll make it all better for you.

For a review from another gluten-free athlete who used CocoNutz Fuel for cycling nutrition, make sure to visit Erin’s blog.

**The product reviewed in this 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.

Thanks to the overwhelming number of people who entered my Rudi’s Gluten Free Giveaway!  To see if you won, click here!

Sweat Pink

You probably have noticed the Sweat Pink Ambassador badge on the right hand side of my blog by now.  I am thrilled to share that I am now a Sweat Pink Ambassador and hope to incorporate more fitness posts into a new page that you will soon be able to find on my blog.  I am healthier now through the gluten-free diet lifestyle and exercise at 39 than I have been in my whole life.


This all fits in perfectly with my quest to find a job as a personal trainer.  I can’t think of something that I would rather do more than help others reach their health and fitness goals!


The Fit Approach:

We believe that kicking ass is best done in pretty shoes. We’ve learned that real women sweat, and sweat hard. We know that assertiveness, strength, and ambition are the ultimate feminine qualities. We concede that sometimes it takes hours to get ready, but we’re also no strangers to just rolling out of bed and going. We’re convinced that we run faster in pink shoelaces. We believe in pushing ourselves, and we believe in giving ourselves a break, too. We’re all about the rush of endorphins and the thrill of the challenge. We’re all for looking great and feeling even better. We’re committed to finding our best fit, and making it stick.

Make sure to head over to check out the awesome Fit Approach/Sweat Pink blog and website.  There are some wonderfully inspirational stories to help motivate you to reach your goals!


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Weekly Menu Plan–August 19, 2012

The kids go back to school this coming Wednesday!  Monday will be spent running around to various appointments trying to get those last minute things done.  Tuesday, Hannah and I will go see a movie, most likely ParaNorman, and Wednesday it all begins!  It seems like they go back earlier and earlier each year.  I can’t believe I will have a 5th grader and a junior in high school!


Back-to-School can be a challenging time for kids with Celiac Disease.  In the past I have sent a letter to Jon’s teachers making them aware of his diet and what may happen should he unknowingly consume gluten.  If you have an older child following the gluten-free diet, make sure to check out this article I wrote for the Gluten Freely blog.  A few additional links to more back-to-school information:

BTS Gluten-Free Breakfast

BTS Gluten-Free

Packing a Gluten-Free Lunch Box

Sunday – Belated B-day Dinner for Hannah with my Dad and family

Monday – Brown rice spaghetti with marinara, steamed green beans and salad

Tuesday – Soft tacos with black beans, corn and salad

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

Thursday – Turkey burgers on Udi’s Whole Grain Buns, sweet potato puffs and salad

Friday – Take-out

Saturday – Make your own pizza and salad

Week in Review:

Review: Cascal Fermented Soda

Review: Crofter’s Organic Superfruit Spread

Review: NuGo Dark Chocolate Mint Bars

Katz adds Cinnamon and Powedered Donuts

Kings Island Gluten-Free

Last, but not least, don’t forget to enter the Rudi’s Gluten Free giveaway if you haven’t already!

Sunday Speakings

Are you ready for the news about the newest gluten-free celebrity?  Lady Gaga!  Thanks to Janelle, from At Breakfast with Janelle, for sharing this breaking news on Twitter yesterday morning. It seems that Lady Gaga will be going gluten-free to lose weight because we all know that it is the way to lose weight fast.  Like cutting back your food intake and burning more calories through exercise won’t do the same thing, right?  I love that more people are aware of the gluten-free diet; I hate that people are less likely to take those of us who really need to be gluten-free seriously because it has become the newest fad diet.  Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian and now Lady Gaga.  Rant over.

Have you seen the new Iam’s ad? 


More from Iam’s:

It’s important to remember that just because a brand of pet food has the word protein on the bag, doesn’t mean it is tailored to your dog’s life stage or lifestyle needs, or the kind you want. For example, Iams has 50% more animal protein and never adds gluten.

Pet foods now talking about gluten.  Brilliant!  Not only may the food be better for your pet, but there will be no worries over cross-contamination from pet food. 

Caribou Coffee has brought back the Pumpkin drinks!!  Take that competing coffee place with the green aprons that won’t talk about the gluten-free status of their drinks!  Seems they have a new one to add to their list: Pumpkin Chai!  I took the liberty of emailing Caribou to get the gluten-free status and received this response:

Hi Kimberly,
Thanks for the email!  We are so glad you are interested in Caribou Coffee and our products!  In regards to your question, all of our drinks are actually Gluten Free.  The only difference with the Pumpkin drinks is that it includes a sauce rather than a syrup, so it does contain milk in it.  Unlike our other syrups, they do not contain milk.
I hope this information is helpful and if you have other questions please let us know!
Customer Relations
Caribou Coffee

Hot diggity!  I can’t wait to head over to Caribou and try one!!  Make sure to let me know if you have tried one!

Kings Island Gluten-Free

Who is afraid of heights?  This girl!  Yesterday we went to Kings Island for Aaron’s company picnic.  Not only would eating gluten-free be a challenge, but secretly hoping that Hannah and her friend didn’t want to go on the crazy roller coasters and rides was another challenge.  Fortunately for me, they stuck to the lower-key rides and only made me go on one coaster and it was a tame one. 

I started my day by browsing the Kings Island website to see what my gluten-free food options would be.  Would I have to smuggle in a sandwich or protein bar?  At first glance I was disappointed because it seemed like my options would be Chik-Fil-A fries, Graeter’s ice cream, Dippin’ Dots and Starbucks black coffee.  Not ideal, but something is better than nothing, right?  I went back to the main page and click on “What’s New” and then “Upgraded Food Options” to find this:

NEW – Gluten Free Pizza

With approximately 3 million Americans with celiac disease, gluten-free pizza will now be available at the Yuengling and Sons Pub inside the Festhaus. Our gluten free pizza is as good as the regular! Be sure to try it during your visit to Kings Island.

I may have gotten up from my desk and danced, but you’ll never know! 


The pizza costs $10.99 and can be ordered right at the Yuengling bar area.  The pizza does take some time to make, so make sure to plan accordingly -I was told 15-20 minutes.  I was shocked to see someone ordering one while I was in there asking about them!  Kings Island does have staff trained on how to handle the pizza safely to minimize the risk of cross-contamination.  I didn’t end up ordering any while I was there because the girls were chomping at the bit to get over to the Scrambler and Monster rides. 

On our way out of the park I noticed that there was a wide variety of fruit and healthier choices located at the Coca-Cola Marketplace:

The Coca-Cola Marketplace offers a variety of healthy meal options including fresh house salads, fresh fruits like apples, oranges and watermelon slices, snacks and beverages.
Located in Oktoberfest.

We ended up having great weather, which I would never have believed would happen after the way the day started here, all gray and gloomy.


Have you visited a theme park and safely dined gluten-free or did you sneak your own food in?  There is a Chipotle right outside of Kings Island and don’t think for a minute I didn’t think about smuggling in a burrito bowl in my purse.  Turns out I would have probably been successful, as they didn’t even check my purse!

Review: Zico Coconut Water

Running in the heat and humidity that we have had this summer has definitely taken a toll on my body.  In my quest to stay hydrated this summer, I found and sampled a new-to-me coconut water last week.  Hannah and I took a road trip to Cleveland last week to see my Grandma and I stopped about halfway there for gas, restrooms and to grab a bottle of water.  To be honest, I am sick of plain water, but don’t always want the extra sugar of a Gatorade and don’t need any additional caffeine from tea or coffee.  As I was browsing the drink selections, I found a Zico Coconut Water.


I have tried some other brands of coconut water in the past – one I loved, one I really disliked.  I hadn’t heard much about Zico before I bought it, but thought it was high time I try it!  I was a little apprehensive upon taking my first sip, but quickly realized that I had no reason to be.  I loved the flavor of Zico!  I sampled the Natural variety, but Zico comes in several others including:

  • Chocolate
  • Pomberry
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Lima citron
  • Passion fruit

The health benefits of coconut water are pretty impressive.  In addition to being naturally gluten-free, coconut water is an excellent source of electrolytes!  Did you know that coconut water has been used as intravenous fluid?  More about Zico and coconut water:

For more than 4,000 years, coconut water has been revered as a natural source of nutrition, wellness, beauty and hydration. In times of famine and war, coconut water has been used as an intravenous fluid and saved many lives. It’s the only natural substance that can be safely injected into the human blood stream. Now modern science has validated its effectiveness, especially as a natural sports drink.

ZICO contains the five electrolytes that support your body with what it needs to stay hydrated and perform at your best. One ZICO has more potassium than a banana – 15 times more than most sports drinks – to prevent cramping. Drink ZICO before or during a workout for the natural energy you need for optimal performance. After a workout, ZICO replenishes and re-hydrates you to aide recovery.

I liked that Zico is not overly sweet.  There is no added sugar or sweeteners, which is always a win in my book.  Zico can be purchased right from the website or can be found in grocery, health food and convenience stores across the US. 

Have you tried Zico?  If not, have you ever tried coconut water? 

Don’t forget to enter to win my Rudi’s Gluten Free giveaway

Rudi’s Gluten-Free Giveaway

Rudi’s Gluten-Free recently added tortillas to their line-up.  The tortillas come in three different varieties: Plain, Spinach and Fiesta.  We like to use the Fiesta variety for our Mexican themed meals on Tuesdays.  Jon enjoys tacos and burritos with the tortillas, while I prefer a Mexican pizza.  I hope to use them the next time I make Easy Enchilada Bake for a new twist on the dish!

· Plain Tortillas (MSRP – $5.99) – Soft and pliable so they’re perfect for building a simple quesadilla or a loaded chicken burrito.

· Spinach Tortillas (MSRP – $5.99) – These delicious tortillas are made with gluten-free ingredients moms can feel good about. Their soft and pliable texture make them the perfect wrap for a variety of ingredients, from a chicken Caesar wrap to a morning egg and cheese delight.

· Fiesta Tortillas (MSRP – $5.99) – Spice up your favorite Mexican meal with these tasty tortillas made with red bell pepper, jalapeno, onion and garlic flavors.

Rudi’s has graciously offered to give one lucky reader a Fiesta Mexican Theme package!  Check out what is included in the package:


Fiesta: Mexican Theme

  • Avocado slicer
  • Tortilla warmer
  • Muir Glen Organic Salsa
  • Quesadilla maker
  • Table cloth
  • Product coupons & Rudi’s swag!

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Tuesday Tidbits

Welcome to Tuesday!  What are you doing today?  I am ready to make Tuesday a great day!  I have a couple of exciting things to share with you, so let’s get right down to it.

First, So Lucky Gifts has relaunched their blog: Inner Circle Chic.  The blog is a great resource for all things gluten-free, including an awesome giveaway running now!  I love that this company is run by three women and I love their blog line:

three friends on a journey…eating, living and building a business together gluten-free


Aren’t they gorgeous?  If you are looking for a great gluten-free gift for a friend, family member or someone recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease, you can’t find a better way to make them smile than by sending them a package from So Lucky Gifts.  Check out my review on the So Lucky Active Box.

Last night was a crazy busy night.  Even though school hockey doesn’t officially start until November, there is a pre/post season team starting now.  Jon had practice and then a parent meeting took place right afterwards.  I dropped him at practice and headed to Trader Joe’s to pick up some gluten-free staples.  I knew that I needed to grab a quick bite to eat, so I stopped into Red Robin.  I used to be afraid to dine alone, but I actually enjoyed this alone time to finish reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it, but I digress.  Even though Red Robin now offers gluten-free buns, I often opt to eat my burger protein-style.  I ordered a salad to start and then a turkey burger, protein-style, and steak fries.  My salad came out quickly, but my burger seemed to take forever.  I began to worry about getting back to the ice rink in time for the parent meeting and was relieved when my burger finally showed up.  The manager came over shortly after to apologize and explain what happened.

It seems that someone accidentally touched my food after touching a gluten bun and they re-made my whole meal to make sure that I was safe.  I was floored.  I applaud Red Robin Easton for a couple of reasons.  First, kudos for being aware that cross-contamination is a real issue.  Second, thank you for caring enough about my health to remake my food.  I can’t express enough how thankful I am for the awareness and dedication of Red Robin when it comes to allergens, and specifically this location.  Many restaurants wouldn’t have blinked if something like this would have taken place in their kitchen, let alone remake the food, and I may have never known unless I got sick.  I may have never have been able to pinpoint the cause, either. 

Have you encountered anything like this before?  I love to hear stories about restaurants really getting it. 

Weekly Menu Plan–August 13, 2012

This is the last full week of summer break! I can’t believe the kids are getting ready to go back to school just next week!  It seems like I need to cram all of the summer that I can into this week to take full advantage of it!  We will definitely be hitting King’s Island and hope to spend a few days at to pool as well.  The oppressive heat has given way to cooler temps and lower humidity, which allowed me to enjoy some of this on our patio last night:


Did you catch the closing ceremonies last night?  I had them on in the background, but had my nose buried in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  I can’t put this book down!!  Have you read it?  If you haven’t, put it on your “to-read” list!  It is being made into a movie soon, too!  Hannah had a good time watching some of the closing ceremonies.  She particularly liked the Spice Girls and Jessie J, including the Queen bit.  I am a bit sad the Olympics is over, but I am secretly happy that I won’t feel tied to my TV or DVR for the next month or so.  I set the DVR for 6 AM yesterday to catch the Men’s Marathon and was saddened to hear that Ryan Hall and Abdi Abdirahman dropped out.  I can’t imagine how hard that must be after putting all of that training in, putting everything you had into the event that happens once every 4 years.  I was pleased to see that Meb placed 4th!  Kudos to all of the athletes!! 

Salmon was on sale at the grocery store yesterday, so my dinner plans quickly started to revolve around that.  The kids aren’t crazy about salmon, so I picked up a rotisserie chicken for them. Lots of melon, berries, green beans and corn in the produce department!  I love summer!

Sunday – Thai peanut salmon, brown rice, sugar snap peas and salad

Monday – Hockey meeting – Jon and I will probably get take-out; Aaron and Hannah leftovers

Tuesday – Easy enchilada bake and salad; Hannah has a b-day party to attend, so eating when we can.

Wednesday – Brown rice pasta with Tuscany pumpkin sauce, steamed green beans and salad *Review of this sauce to come later this week!

Thursday – Turkey burgers, sweet potato puffs, corn on the cob and salad

Friday – Make your own pizza and salad or take-out

Saturday – Thai peanut chicken & noodles and salad

Week in Review:

Gluten-free Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Gluten-Free Classic Pumpkin Bread

Review: Gluten-free Mozzarella Sticks

Recipe: Vanilla Bean Summer Cocktail

Meijer offering gluten-free waffles

Review: Wholesome Chow chocolate lavender cake mix


If you have kids, when do they go back to school

Review: Pure Bliss Gluten-Free Products

I love healthy, snacky foods.  I know snacky is not technically a word, as Word and the dictionary just told me, but I am going to use it anyway.  Foods that I can put in my purse for food emergencies (times when I need food NOW) make me happy.  I like my snacky foods to be of some nutritional value so I can save my “junk” food for dessert. 

Pure Bliss Organics makes a nice variety of portable gluten-free snacks.  In addition to their gourmet nuts, there are two varieties of gluten-free energy bar bites.

pbapple     pbpb


More about Pure Bliss Organics:

Mission Statement

To produce artisan-quality products from scratch, in small batches, using original recipes. We don’t cut any corners, and you can taste the difference.

To source exclusively organic ingredients for optimum flavor, nutrition and sustainability. Our products are made with organic grains, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, all-natural extracts and minimally-processed sweeteners.

To create a great work environment. Our employees are family, and we strive to create jobs that are challenging, fun, steady and rewarding.

To be environmentally- and socially-conscious in all aspects of our company’s operation. Your purchase helps us support organic agriculture and Food For Life Global, a nonprofit relief organization.

To give first class service to our customers and treat with respect and fairness all individuals and companies that we do business with.

Pure Bliss Organics does offer a number of gluten free products, but not all our products are officially gluten free.

With the exception of Blissful Trails, our organic Gourmet Nuts ARE gluten free.  In the near future, we plan to introduce two new gluten free Energy Bars & Energy Bites.

At this time, our organic Granola and organic Energy Bars & Energy Bites ARE NOT officially gluten free.  The reason for this is that these products contain organic oats, which are commonly grown and processed alongside wheat.  Consequentially, it’s possible that trace amounts of wheat gluten may occasionally spread to the organic oats used in our production.  Since even a small incident of cross-contamination may sicken a person with extreme gluten sensitivity, we recommend such individuals avoid these products.  Those customers who simply wish to cut the gluten out of their diet should enjoy our products, as no wheat is used in anything we make.

I had the pleasure of sampling the new gluten-free energy bar bites.  The bites come in two different varieties:

AppleachiaIngredients: Organic Dates, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Agave, Organic Apple Pieces, Organic Almonds, Organic Flax Meal, Organic Brown Rice Crisps, Organic Walnuts, Organic Apple Powder, Organic Cinnamon, Sea Salt

PB & JIngredients: Organic Dates, Organic Agave, Organic Fresh Ground Peanut Butter, Organic Almonds, Organic Peanuts, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Brown Rice Crisps, Organic Flax Meal, Organic Grape Powder, Sea Salt

I really enjoyed both varieties of energy bar bites.  The PB & J does taste a lot like the old favorite without the bread!  The Appleachia has a wonderfully creative name and a great flavor!  These are snacks that I feel good about eating, as they are good for me.  An added bonus – they won’t melt in my car!  They would make great snacks to pack for school snacks or lunches. 

Pure Bliss Organic products can be found in stores across the US and online

*These products were 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.

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