National Pretzel Day

I am a little behind on my posts, as I missed National Pretzel Day last Friday, so I am going to declare today “National Gluten-Free Pretzel Day”.  Tomorrow is May 1st, which also happens to be the beginning of Celiac Awareness month, so launching a giveaway post today seems very fitting.  Are you in?

I love pretzels almost as much as I love chocolate and wine, so when Glutino asked if I would be interested in sharing some gluten-free pretzel love and fun, I jumped at the chance!


Glutino has a variety of pretzels, including:

Glutino pretzels are great for snacks, school lunches, picnics or in recipes as breadcrumbs, desserts/treats or a base for a pie crust.  I love to dip the pretzels in spicy brown mustard along with my lunchtime sandwich!  Click here to get a coupon for $.55 off any Glutino product and here to find out where you can find them.

Now for the fun part…the giveaway!  All you have to do to enter is follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter box below.  Good luck! Continue reading

Weekly Menu Plan–April 29, 2013

I don’t know what it is lately, but I have seen this ad for these new flavors of Kettle Brand Potato Chips that are coming out this summer everywhere.


It is like they are calling my name, making sure I don’t forget about them.  I am kind of excited to try these new varieties, especially the Maple Bacon after my sweet potato w/ almond butter, bacon and maple syrup last week.  All varieties are gluten-free, per the FAQ page.


Sunday – Chicken fingers, baked potato, peas and salad

Monday – Beef tacos w/ soft corn tortillas, corn and salad

Tuesday – Hot dogs on Udi’s gluten-free buns, baked French fries and salad

Wednesday – Baked Ziti, sauteed zucchini and salad

Thursday – Take-out (School fundraiser at a local restaurant that isn’t GF friendly.  We go for Hannah and get take-out from Pei Wei for Jon and me.)

Friday –  Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday – Breakfast for dinner

Week in Review:

Recipe: Weekday Morning French Toast

Kinnikinnick Launches Soft Bagels

Review: Glutino Duo Cheese Pizza

Review: Udi’s Soft & Chewy Granola Bars

Donato’s Gluten-Free Pizza Now Available in Select Restaurants

Have a great week!


Six Days…

My last half marathon of the spring season is 6 days from today.  The Cap City Half Marathon will be my 3rd half this spring and 13th half overall.  I have learned a lot about myself and my body over the past 4-5 years of running, but there is always more to learn.  My current quest involves figuring out why I have been getting headaches after my longest runs and races.  After the Xenia Half Marathon I thought it may have had to do with outside temperature and the speed at which I ran the race.  That theory was squashed when it was much cooler last week at the Earth Day Half Marathon and the temperature was 20 degrees cooler.  I still felt like crap for the better part of the day despite all I did to try to prevent that. 

It was mentioned to me that it could be caffeine withdrawal.  Most mornings I have 2 cups of coffee with breakfast.  I don’t have coffee on race day until after my race, as it doesn’t play nice with my GI system when I run.  So I am doing a little experiment.  I began to eliminate caffeine by drinking smaller cups of coffee and then yesterday by drinking 1 regular and 1 half caf.  Today I am completely free of caffeine. I made sure to have an enticing decaf option (Green Mountain Decaf Hazelnut K-Cups) so that I wouldn’t be tempted to cave.  Once my race is over and I get through the day, I can assess if the caffeine withdrawal has been the problem.  Wish me luck!

A few weeks back I shared that I was a part of the Verizon Health & Fitness Voices program and was just getting to learn all of the cool things my new devices could do.  In addition to having some pretty cool apps that I use while I am running or working out, I ordered some new sport headphones designed by athletes – yurbuds*.


The yurbuds truly don’t fall out, even in some pretty strong wind conditions!  I am very impressed with them and wish I could have bought them sooner. They even have the microphone and 1-button track control right on the wire!  

Favorite Fitness Apps

FitBit One – Easy to pull up and review my stats daily right on my Droid Razr HD.

Pandora – Music to keep me going and entertained during my runs and workouts. 

Runtastic – A simple way to track running and/or walking.  Syncs with Facebook when started and my friends can motivate me while I am running!


Even though I have a Garmin that tracks my runs, I like to run according to feel, as opposed to peeking at my watch every minute or so.  By using Runtastic I can accurately track my run and opt to hear updates or not hear updates as I run. 

*Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Health and Fitness Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device, FitBit One, Verizon Gift Card and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the products.

Gluten-Free Eats

A few weeks back I shared my fascination with a baked sweet potato topped with almond butter.  While I was running with my friend, Melissa, she suggested a way to make that meal even better…bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup!  Duh, why didn’t I think of that?  It wasn’t long before I gave the combo a try.


Yeah, I went there.  I can’t even begin to describe how good this was!  Perfect way to carb load for a race or refuel after a hard workout.  Naturally gluten-free and spectacular!

Sugar snap peas are one of my favorite vegetables.  I usually cook them in a bit of extra virgin olive oil, but made them in coconut oil the other day and fell in love!  So easy to rinse the sugar snap peas, heat some coconut oil in a saute pan and then gently saute until cooked.  Season with sea salt and dig in!


Serve these babies alongside the sweet potato above for a healthy, gluten-free meal! 

Does the sound of the combination above appeal to you? 

What is your favorite gluten-free baked sweet potato or potato topping?

Recipe: Weekday Morning French Toast

I am not sure how it seems like the older my kids get, the pickier they become.  Sure, Jon has to follow a gluten-free diet so he doesn’t always have all of the options of a teen who doesn’t follow the gluten-free diet, but he has plenty of choices.  Jon says he gets tired of eating the same things all of the time, and I do get that.  However, gluten-free donuts would get boring if he ate them everyday, too. 

Being the loving mom that I am, I have tried to mix things up a bit for him.  Gluten-free pancakes and gluten-free breakfast sandwiches are just a couple of the recent meal options.  This week, in an effort to change things up a little, I made French toast with Udi’s White Sandwich Bread.


Weekday Morning French Toast
  • 3 slices Udi’s White Sandwich Bread
  • 1 egg
  • Splash 1% milk or non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Aunt Jemima or Maple Syrup
  • Pam or butter for the pan

1.  Mix egg, milk, vanilla and cinnamon together in a wide bowl.

2.  If your bread is cold from the refrigerator or freezer, warm slightly in the microwave to a little warmer than room temperature.  This seems to help the bread properly absorb the egg mixture and cook more evenly.

3. Heat pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray or melt a pat of butter to cover the bottom of the pan.

4.  Once pan is hot, dunk bread in egg mixture and place in pan.  Check after 4-6 minutes, flip and cook until done. 

5.  Plate, drizzle syrup and enjoy!


I used butter in my pan, as Jon needs all the calories he can get and he likes the taste of it.  I also made 3 pieces of French toast, as the Udi’s bread is a little on the small side.  If I was to make this recipe for more than 1 person, I would adjust the ingredients accordingly. 

All together this meal took me less than 15 minutes from start to finish to prepare and Jon really enjoyed it.  My next experiment will be making a bigger batch and freezing the leftovers or keeping them in the refrigerator for the next morning.

Review: Evolve Protein Shake

Would you like to have more hours in the day?  I sure would!  While there is nothing I can do to give you more hours in the day, I do want to share a new protein shake, Evolve, for women that is packed full of vitamins and easy to grab and go.   Refueling on the run saves time that we often scramble to find to properly refuel.


More about the Evolve shakes:

110 calories, 12g protein, 14g carbs, 3g fat, and 5g fiber.

EvolveTM…At a Glance:


•                  Naturally flavored, 110-calorie protein shake

•                  Olivia Munn’s go-to beverage when she’s on the go

•                  12 grams of high quality protein

•                  Includes Tonalin® CLA which helps reduce body fat

•                  Sweetened with stevia, monk fruit and cane sugar

•                  20 vitamins and minerals

•                  Excellent source of fiber

•                  Gluten and lactose-free

•                  Shaped by Muscle Milk

•                  Available in five flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla Crème, Strawberry, Mixed Berry and Café Latte

•                  Available at Target, GNC, Amazon, CVS, Gelsons, Albertsons, and a ton of other retailers.

I received both the Chocolate and Vanilla Crème versions to sample.  Both flavors were tasty, though I prefer the chocolate.  As I have mentioned in the past, I like to start the refueling process within 30-45 minutes of completing my run or workout and these shakes make it easy to do so. I look forward to trying the Café Latte version soon!  Make sure to visit the Evolve website to see a complete list of retailers.

*These shakes 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.

I’m Back! Weekly Menu Plan 4-22-2013

I had an unintentional few days of silence last week.  My thoughts were (and still are) with those affected by the Boston Marathon Bombings and like many in the US, I was following the coverage of the apprehension of the suspected bombers.  I am back now, though, and ready to start a new week! 

Yesterday I ran my 12th half marathon – the Earth Day Half Challenge.  I ran this race for the first time last year and was thrilled to be running it again this year.  It was chillier than we would have liked at the starting line, but turned out to be a pleasant day for a run once we got going. 


I ran this race with my friend Brandie (in the pink on the left).  Unfortunately she wasn’t feeling well and had a rough race, but finished strong! 

Monday – Rotisserie chicken, baked potato, steamed broccoli and salad

Tuesday – Taco salads with blue corn tortilla chips

Wednesday – Lasagna Roll Ups and salad

Thursday – Leftovers

Friday – Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday – Take-out

Week in Review

Review: Katz Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix

Review: Evol Gluten-Free Burritos

Review: Pistachio Chewy Bites

Review: Blue Monkey Coconut Chips & Water

Have a great week!


Review: Blue Monkey Baked Coconut Chips & Coconut Water

When I was growing up I really disliked all things coconut.  I may even go as far to say that I hated coconut, though I don’t like to use the word “hate”.  As we grow, our tastes change, just as our bodies do.  Along with coconut, I didn’t like peanut butter or hamburgers.  I was an odd bird who preferred jelly and butter (don’t knock it until you try it) sandwiches or toast or McDonald’s Fish Sandwiches.  Once I discovered the Girl Scouts and their Samoa (Carmel DeLite) cookies, all bets were off.  If you know the cookie, you know that coconut is one of the main ingredients.  I began to make exceptions and if coconut came in the form of a Samoa, it was all right in my book.

Blue Monkey has just introduced new Coconut Chips snack to their line-up.  The naturally gluten-free, sweet, crunchy chips are packed with fiber and are reminiscent of that now off limits Girl Scout cookie.

coconut chips

More about Blue Monkey Coconut Chips:

Nearly 50% of Americans snack at least two times a day, almost double those who snacked in 2010, according to California Snacks and Snack Food Stats. Designed to offer an alternative to typical snacking fare, family-owned Blue Monkey™ Coconut Collection introduces coconut chips, a delicious snack with a punch of dietary health.

Available in unsweetened, ginger and wasabi flavors, the Blue Monkey Coconut Chips are a great source of heart-healthy fiber (packing in a solid seven grams per serving!), 100% natural, baked free of preservatives, and lightly sweetened with coconut nectar sugar and non-GMO cane sugar.

The chips are made from the nutrient-rich copra, or meat of the coconut. The meat is sliced out of mature coconuts grown in Thailand and the Philippines and then gently baked to bring out its natural sweetness and turn it from white to golden brown.

“Coconut meat is often called the king of foods,” shared Simon Ginsberg, Blue Monkey founder. “With its wonderful texture and rich nutritional makeup, we couldn’t agree more.”

Salty, sweet, crispy, and luscious with coconut fat, Blue Monkey Coconut Chips are great on their own or eaten alongside a meal. Pair with some cold grilled chicken and fresh and raw veggies, mix them into a salad or trail mix, or sprinkle the chips on top of yogurt, ice cream, cereal and oatmeal or savory dishes like coconut curry or coconut-almond green beans. The coconut chips are also great for enhancing baked goods.

I opened the bag of Coconut Chips not knowing what to think.  I instantly fell in love!  The thin, crisp pieces of coconut are amazing!  Each piece is crisp with a sweet crunch and instantly brought me back to the days of the Girl Scout Samoas, though there is no caramel or chocolate.

I also sampled the Blue Monkey Coconut Water and Coconut Water with Pulp.


I loved the Pure Coconut Water, but was not a fan of the Coconut Water with Pulp.  The flavor was good, but I couldn’t get past the thick pulp.  I am sure there is someone out there who will love this!  Coconut water is great for hydration, especially during the hot and humid summers we have here in Ohio.

The Blue Monkey Coconut Chips are packed in a 1.4oz recyclable bag and will be available at natural and mainstream markets nationwide throughout the U.S. and Canada and online at for an SRP of $2.89 this spring.

Do you like coconut water?

*These samples 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.


I had plans for a post today, but like many other bloggers, I don’t feel that anything is more important than keeping those affected by the tragedy at the Boston Marathon in our thoughts and prayers. 


Today, I will run, because it is what I do, how I process, how I cope. 

Weekly Menu Plan–April 14, 2013

Tomorrow is Tax Day – have you done your taxes yet?  We finished ours this weekend – the latest we have ever completed them!  April 15th also happens to be the day that Jon was due, but he was a little late.  Our baby turns 17 later this week!  This was our bouncing baby boy back in the day…


Jon was roughly 5-6 months old in this photo. 

Monday – Stir fry w/ marinated chicken, brown rice and San-J Orange Sauce

Tuesday – Mexican pizzas, corn and salad

Wednesday – Spaghetti with marinara and salad

Thursday – Breakfast for dinner and fruit salad

Friday – Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday – Turkey burgers w/ avocado, sweet potato puffs and salad

Week in Review:

National Grilled Cheese Day

Review: Sambazon Superfood Smoothies & Fruit Juice

Review: New Pure Bar Products

Batch Cooking Gluten-Free Pasta

Review: Barbara’s Honest O’s cereal

How to start the gluten-free diet today

Have a great week!


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