Easter Sunday & Weekly Menu Plan

Happy Easter!  It’s a rainy day here in Columbus, Ohio.  Fortunately for us our kids are old enough to not care that their Easter egg hunt is inside instead of outside.  My morning has been spent stuffing pastel Skittles into little plastic eggs. 


Of course a few of these made their way into my belly in the process.  I do have a little tip to share – Skittles don’t taste so good right after you brush your teeth. 

Weekly Meals

Sunday – Ham, garlic mashed potatoes, steamed green beans and salad *Not sure if your ham is gluten-freeCheck out this list of gluten-free hams.

Monday – Ham sandwiches, salads or frittatas, fruit salad

Tuesday – Easy Enchilada bake, corn and salad

Wednesday – Bison burgers, sweet potato puffs, sugar snap peas and salad

Thursday – Italian Chicken fettuccine Alfredo, broccoli and salad

Friday – Take-out

Saturday – Make your own pizza and salad (carb loading for race the next morning!)

Remember my friend Melissa?  I shared her story about being diagnosed with MS and our fundraising efforts for Team “Miles for Myelin” here.  We are over half way to our goal of raising $10,000!!  If you can help and want to enter to win a gluten-free prize package filled with over $50 of gluten-free goodies, all you have to do is donate a minimum of $5 and leave a comment telling me you did so!  I will randomly choose a winner on May 5th – Cinco de Mayo – the day after the Cap City Marathon. 


  Check out Melissa (in blue) photo bombing a picture of me with another MIT pace coach.  I can’t help but giggle when I see this picture!

Week in Review

Is your lipstick gluten-free?  Check out my new favorite lipsticks from Red Apple Lipstick

Review: FITzee Bar <—Delicious protein bars that taste more like dessert!

Healthy, portable snacks that pack 1200 mg Omega-3, 4 grams of fiber and have less than 100 calories!

Missing Pop-Tarts?  Don’t miss Glutino’s new Gluten-Free Toaster Pastries!

Have a great week! 


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Review: Red Apple Lipstick

When I first got the call from my doctor that I would need to start following a gluten-free diet, the last thing that crossed my mind was having to check my cosmetics for the presence of gluten.  Seriously?  Didn’t I have enough on my plate?  Yes, seriously.  Red Apple Lipstick helps simplify things a little with their gluten-free, paraben-free cosmetics.


While I had heard about Red Apple Lipstick, I hadn’t had the opportunity to try it out until I received some complimentary samples in the mail.  A little more about Red Apple Lipstick:

We help women, especially those with gluten intolerance and other sensitive allergies, feel great, look great, get compliments and enjoy makeup again!

All Red Apple Lipstick products are certified gluten free, paraben free, soy free, dairy free and allergen free. Our lipsticks are also vegan, natural and cruelty free, but you wouldn’t know it, unless you asked!

I feel like I always have chapped lips and I found the Rallye Balm really helped!  I really enjoyed the taste and smell of the balm and the Strawberry Lips lipstick.  They have more than just lipstick, they also have eye shadow!

What Are The Benefits Of Being A Red Apple Girl?

1 Trusted SafetyRed Apple is a gluten free makeup company! We started life catering to those who care about the quality of cosmetic ingredients, and how they relate to your health. All products are lab tested, batch tested, and stored like gold in Fort Knox!
2 Awesome Sheens & Finishes – All Red Apple Lipsticks, Glosses and Shadows are made to truly shine! Each one has its own unique sheen and finish, one so awesome, people stop and ask, "What Is It?!"
3 Moisturizes While You Wear It –  All Red Apple Lipsticks, Glosses and Balm are loaded with an all natural, but gluten free source of Vitamin E. This lipstick literally moisturizes while you wear it!
4 Can Be Worn Sheer or Full Bodied-  Red Apple Lipsticks start with a natural mineral base. This unique property allows the lipstick or gloss to be applied sheer with light application. Add a layer or two more, and the color will blossom to exactly the color YOU want.
5 100% Money Back Guarantee –  We understand that shopping online for makeup can be tough. We also know that "pressure" is no fun!! To help things convenient for you, every product is covered by a 100% money back guarantee!
6 Blend Lipsticks – To Make Custom Colors All Red Apple Lipsticks and Glosses are designed to be combined. Blend two lipsticks to create a new color, or blend with a gloss. Imagine always having the perfect color with only a handful of products!
7 Tastes And Smells Nice – Red Apple Lipsticks are designed to be a pleasant experience. No yucky chemical smells, no unnatural parfumes, no chemicals, but instead, a light pleasant smell and taste.
8 Great Looks, Get Compliments – Your everyday beauty enhanced! We truly desire that you feel great, feel confident, and feel beautiful every day of your life, naturally!
9 Stops "Celiac Chapped" Lips – The effects of gluten on your body are widespread, but we know one negative effect of gluten is dry, flaky, painful lips. All Red Apple Lip Products are designed specifically to end "Celiac Chap" once and for all!
10 Great Offers & Great Customer Service –  We know that you love great offers, great deals, great combos of makeup , and to be treated like the wonderful girl that you are. That’s exactly how we are going to treat you. Become a member of our VIP club for even more special offers.

The ingredients of all of the Red Apple products are clearly listed on their website. Red Apple Lipstick also offers a “trade-in” program where you can send in a tube of lipstick that you don’t like for a discount on one of the many amazing Red Apple Lipsticks.  Pretty cool, huh? 

What is your favorite gluten-free lipstick?  Have you tried Red Apple Lipstick?

*The products reviewed in this blog post were sent to me free of charge for review purposes.  The thoughts and opinions shared here have not bee influenced by anyone or anything.

Review: FITzee Bar

I love when protein bars taste like a decadent treat!  The FITzee Bars I sampled recently reminded me of apple pie and chocolate chip blondies!  What better way to refuel after a hard workout or hold me over to my next meal?


More about FITzee Bars:

We offer you our FITzee Bars with confidence – not just because people love them,but also because they’re made with the best ingredients. The perfect balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats keep your body going strong. FITzee Bars are very easy to digest and eliminate the feeling of hunger. And better yet, they’re certified gluten free by the GFCO!

The FITzee Bar is perfectly balance with the right amount of carbohydrates, protein and fats:  22% protein, 39% fat; 42% carbohydrates.

There are three varieties of FITzee Bars:

Apples ‘n Oats: With delicious apples and hearty gluten free oats, these freshly baked FITzee Bars have been designed to replicate a balanced meal. Having an ideal carbohydrate:protein:fat ratio makes the bar very easy to digest and eliminates the feeling of hunger. An amazing energy bar that is suitable for every person and any lifestyle. And to top it off – it’s certified Gluten Free!

Chewy Chocolate Chip: With chocolaty chocolate chips and hearty gluten free oats, these freshly baked FITzee Bars have been designed to replicate a balanced meal. Having an ideal carbohydrate:protein:fat ratio makes the bar very easy to digest and eliminates the feeling of hunger. An amazing energy bar that is suitable for every person and any lifestyle. And to top it off – it’s certified Gluten Free!

Coconut Almond Chip: With flavorful coconut, chocolaty chocolate chips and hearty gluten free oats, these freshly baked FITzee Bars have been designed to replicate a balanced meal. Having an ideal carbohydrate:protein:fat ratio makes the bar very easy to digest and eliminates the feeling of hunger. An amazing energy bar that is suitable for every person and any lifestyle. And to top it off – it’s certified Gluten Free!

I have to admit that I was a little concerned when I saw butter was close to the top of the ingredient list.  Don’t get me wrong, I like butter, but I am not sure that I can recall seeing it in any protein bar that I have tried before.  I am sure some of my concern comes from butter getting a bad rap about being an “unhealthy” fat.  There are some health benefits of butter and that is why FITzee Bars are formulated using it as an ingredient.  If you don’t believe me, simply Google “health benefits of butter”.  My theory is everything in moderation, right? 

Now I can tell you what I thought about the bars!  I loved them!  I swear I thought I bit into an apple pie when I tried the Apples ‘n Oats Bar! Check out the chunks of apples:


The Chewy Chocolate Chip Bar tasted just like a blondie with chocolate chips added in – YUM!  The Coconut Almond Chip was also very good, but my heart lies with the Apples ‘n Oats.  FITzee Bars can be purchased onlineHave you heard of or tried FITzee Bars before? 

*These bars 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.

Recipe: Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

Easter is less than a week away now.  What better way to celebrate than with a gluten-free carrot cake?  This cake does take a bit of time to make, but I promise it is well worth it! 


Carrot Cake

**Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook, modified to be gluten-free by me

  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 large egg, 4 egg whites
  • 2 cups Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 cups shredded carrots (5-6 medium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe to follow)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 2 8 or 9-inch pans with Pam.  **You could use a 13 x 9 inch pan if you like.

2.  Shred the carrots in a food processor (messy job, but so worth it)

3.  Mix sugar, oil, applesauce and eggs in a large bowl until blended and then beat for 1 minute.

4.  Mix in remaining ingredients, except the raisins & nuts.  Beat for 1 minute.

5.  Stir in carrots & nuts and pour into pan or pans.

6.  Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or the round pans or 40 – 45 minutes for the rectangle.

7.  Frost and enjoy!

Cream Cheese Frosting

*****recipe courtesy of the same Betty Crocker cookbook

  • 1 package low-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup of butter (1/2 stick)
  • 2 tsps skim milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

1.  Beat the first 4 ingredients together until smooth.

2.  Start to mix in the powdered sugar a little at a time.  The frosting is ready when it is smooth & spreadable.

So good! 

Weekly Menu Plan–3-24-2013

It hardly seems appropriate that I should be typing the date for the end of March when we are getting a spring snowstorm.  I have heard varying reports of accumulation totals, but they range from 3-10 inches.  Clearly someone angered Mother Nature because she just won’t quit!  Each time we have an extremely cold day, snow or ice I try to boost my spirits by telling myself this will be the last one until fall, only it isn’t.  Did you hear about prosecutor in Ohio that has indicted Punxsutawney Phil?

Funny, but maybe this guy has too much time on his hands.  You think? 

The Plan

Sunday – Rotisserie chicken, coconut baked brown rice, broccoli and salad

Monday – Turkey burgers, baked steak fries and salad

Tuesday – Taco Tuesday – Soft corn tortillas, black beans, corn and salad

Wednesday – Take-out

Thursday – Grilled chicken fettucine Alfredo , sugar snap peas and salad

Friday – Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday – Breakfast for dinner (Protein-Packed Breakfast Sandwich) and fruit salad

Weekly Recap

Help find a cure for MS by donating to Miles for MyelinA $5 donation will enter you to win a gluten-free gift box worth over $50!

Don’t forget to enter to win gluten-free bread from Canyon Bakehouse!

Ways to not Dread the “Dreadmill”

Review: Goodbye Gluten Wraps <—Spectacular!

Keeping Gluten-Free & Allergy Kids Safe

Gluten-Free Lemon Sponge Pie

Simple Steak Tacos

Have a great week!


Running with a Legend

An early morning coaches breakfast with running legend, Bill Rodgers, and 12 miles was going to make for a long morning. Historically my 12 mile runs haven’t been too bad, but when I woke up and my legs were sore from BodyPump yesterday, I knew it might be challenging.  Being part of MIT Marathoners affords us many perks.  Over the past couple of years MIT has brought in several running legends including Bart Yasso and Katherine Switzer.  It has truly been a joy to listen to the stories and then hit the pavement running with them.  This year MIT/Fleet Feet brought in Boston and New York City Marathon winner Bill Rodgers!  Bill has an impressive history and it was a pleasure to hear him tell his story.

Bill won the Boston and New York City Marathons each 4 times between 1975 and 1980!  The pace coaches had the opportunity to have a quick breakfast and chat with Bill before hitting the trail.  I normally don’t eat much before a long run, so I quickly ate my Honey Stinger Chews before I chatted with Bill.


Both my dad and father-in-law are huge fans of Bill Rodgers (they are both runners)!  Bill asked how long I have been a runner and what originally inspired me to run.  Watching my dad run races when I was a child didn’t seem like something I wanted to do at the time, but once I turned 35 and joined a gym, it looked a lot more attractive than the elliptical machine.  I started running on the treadmill, then outside and the rest is history.


After saying a few words to the group, Bill became an honorary MIT coach for the day!  He ran with several different pace groups, including ours for a couple of miles!  I ran right in front of him and listened to him talk about running….so cool!


Here we are on the Olentangy Trail.  I am in the pink (imagine that).

BostonBilly MIT Group

A fellow pace coach stopped the group on the trail for this photo opportunity.  It isn’t every day you get a chance like this!  This photo was taken roughly 4-5 miles into our run, before my legs got heavy and felt like lead.  Bill left us shortly after this and we continued on down the trail to finish our miles.

The last couple of miles were tough.  Lesson learned, no BodyPump, no matter how light the weights, the day before a long run. I am thankful for the distraction of running with Bill Rodgers for a couple of miles in the middle of my run to keep my mind off of the cold and my sore legs.

After my run I refueled immediately with a Peanut Butter Macro Bar.  Once I got home I grabbed some coffee and put on my Zensah Ultra Compression sleeves.

What a great Saturday!  I wish they could all be this exciting!  How is your weekend going?

Gluten-Free Protein-Packed Breakfast Sandwich

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  I am sure you have heard that before, right?  I used to skip breakfast and looking back now, I don’t know why I did that or how I made it through the morning.  Now wonder I was starving my 11:00 AM!  Now that I am older (and hopefully wiser), I realize the importance of a well-balanced breakfast.  My breakfasts often consist of a bowl of fruit balanced out with a healthy dose of protein and fiber.  In addition to helping me power through my mornings, I am hoping to set a good example for my kids. 

Jon’s idea of breakfast is a bowl of Fruity Pebbles = too high in sugar and low in protein to get anyone through a long morning.  When I received samples of al fresco’s new Chicken Sausage Breakfast Patties I wondered if I could get him to eat a protein-packed breakfast sandwich instead. 


Some more information about al fresco’s new breakfast patties:

· al fresco introduced the breakfast patty in response to customer requests for a sausage that can be easily incorporated into breakfast sandwiches.

· The 1.75-ounce breakfast patty is “bun sized” and comes fully-cooked for a quick, healthy morning option.

· Like all al fresco products, the chicken sausage breakfast patty contains no artificial ingredients, nitrates, MSG, nitrites or preservatives.

Ingredients: Skinless chicken meat, contains 2% or less of water, salt, sugar, spices, sage, thyme, natural flavorings.


Protein-Packed Breakfast Sandwich

  • 1 al fresco chicken sausage breakfast patty
  • 1 fried egg
  • 1 slice American cheese
  • 1 gluten-free bun (Udi’s Whole Grain)

1.  Warm sausage patty in a frying pan or microwave according to package directions

2.  Fry the egg so the yolk is to your liking – more firm = less mess.

3.  Gently toast the bun.

4.  Assemble


There is just about 26 grams of protein in this breakfast sandwich!  Jon really enjoyed the sandwiches and I felt much better sending him off to school after this breakfast than I do when he eats a bowl full of sugar.  The new al fresco Chicken Sausage Breakfast Patties should be available in May 2013, so keep an eye out for them! 

*The al fresco products in this post were sent to me free of charge for review purposes.  The thoughts and opinions shared here are mine (and Jon’s) and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Mammogram Time

When I was pregnant with Hannah in January of 2002, I joined an online forum for moms who were due in August of 2002.   Many of us are still part of this forum and some have met in real life.  It is hard to believe that we have “known” each other for 11 years now!  We have literally watched our children go from babyhood through elementary school.  In October of 2009 we tragically lost one of our moms to breast cancer.  Paula, second from the right in the photo below, was an amazing wife and mom to 2 beautiful children.  It is because of Paula, and many others I know who have fought breast cancer, that I don’t mess around when it comes to cancer screenings.


From the left: Michele and Lucas, Hannah and me, Amanda, Paula and Brittany.

Now that I am 40 I have to get yearly mammograms. WOO HOO! Just kidding. I have had a couple in the past to check on small things that I found with a self breast exam, but this is my first time going for just a screening.  Was the mammogram fun?  No, but it didn’t hurt and I was in and out of there in less than 30 minutes

More information from the American Cancer Society:

Breast cancer

  • Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health
  • Clinical breast exam (CBE) about every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over
  • Women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast change promptly to their health care provider. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.

Some women – because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors – should be screened with MRI in addition to mammograms. (The number of women who fall into this category is small: less than 2% of all the women in the US.) Talk with your doctor about your history and whether you should have additional tests at an earlier age.

For more information, call the American Cancer Society and ask for our document called Breast Cancer: Early Detection.

If you are anything like me and have a problem remembering when it is time to schedule these screenings, check out this awesome reminder!

Are you following the current recommendations and getting your screenings done?  If not, please don’t delay – the time it takes to screen can save your life!

Canyon Bakehouse Giveaway & Kid-Friendly Recipes

Canyon Bakehouse offers a variety of gluten-free breads the whole family can enjoy.  From Mountain White to Colorado Caraway, there is sure to be something for everyone.  I quickly fell in love with the Colorado Caraway last year and can’t get over how much it resembles my favorite non-gluten-free rye bread.

Turkey, Provolone and Mustard on Caraway

Mountain White PB & J Sandwich with potato chips & orange slices is the way to please just about any kid, even this big one!

Canyon Bakehouse is a gluten-free artisan bread bakery based in Loveland, Colorado. For the 3 million Americans who suffer from Celiac disease, the most important characteristic of the foods they eat – outside of being gluten-free is TASTE! This is especially important for kids. Canyon Bakehouse was developed to provide consumers with a wide variety of delicious and nutritious gluten-free baked goods. Canyon Bakehouse products are made with healthy ingredients and nutrients like, 100% whole grains, organic agave syrup, extra virgin olive oil, and so much more!

Cinnamon Raisin French Toast
(makes 2 slices of French toast)
2 slices of Canyon Bakehouse Cinnamon Raisin Bread
3 eggs
1 tablespoon butter
Cream cheese
Fresh fruit
Agave syrup
1. Beat eggs in shallow bowl. Then soak 1 slice of Canyon Bakehouse Cinnamon Raisin Bread into mixture for
3 minutes. Add second slice and repeat.
2. Melt 1 tbsp. butter in pan on medium heat. Place bread in pan for 3 minutes, flip and fry for another 3 minutes.
3. Place slice on dish. Top with cream cheese and fruit. Repeat with second slice. Drizzle with agave syrup.

Hot Roast Beef on Canyon Bakehouse Bun
4 Canyon Bakehouse Hamburger Buns
1 pound gluten-free thinly sliced roast beef
1-16 ounce can of beef broth
¼ cup cooking sherry
Sliced cheddar cheese
1. Heat beef broth and sherry in a pot on medium-high for 8 minutes. Add gluten-free roast beef, cover and heat
for another 8 minutes until mixture is bubbling. Turn burner to low until you’re ready to place on buns.
2. Place buns onto baking sheet. Add slices of cheddar cheese onto bottom buns. Then, add cooked roast beef.
Put tops on buns and heat in oven at 400 degrees until cheese starts to melt.
3. Remove from oven. Plate sandwiches. Pour remaining sauce from pot over sandwiches.

7-Grain Breakfast Sandwich
ingredients (makes 1 sandwich)
2 slices of Canyon Bakehouse 7-Grain Bread
2 slices of pepper jack cheese
2 pieces of red leaf lettuce
3 pieces of Taylor ham
1 egg
2 slices of tomato
1 teaspoon of mayonnaise
1. Add pepper jack cheese to a slice of toasted Canyon Bakehouse 7-Grain bread.
2. Heat Taylor ham in skillet. Remove from heat and place on bread.
3. Top sandwich with egg (cooked over-easy), lettuce and sliced tomato. Spread mayonnaise onto top slice. Enjoy!

If you haven’t had a chance to try Canyon Bakehouse products before, here is your chance!  Simply follow the directions in the Rafflecopter box below to enter to win one of each of the following:

  • 7 Grain
  • Cinnamon Raisin
  • Hamburger Buns
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