National Grilled Cheese Day–Gluten-Free Style

Who doesn’t like a cheesy, gooey grilled cheese sandwich?  You may choose to stick with the childhood favorite basic version or venture into more gourmet versions.  There is no better way to celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day – April 12th – so here was my lunch:


I had plans to make a Caprese Style Grilled Cheese sandwich, but the basil I bought yesterday had other ideas.  Fortunately I had the ingredients on hand to make a quick change and tossed together a Grilled Turkey & Cheese sandwich using GO Veggie Mexican Style Shreds.


I spread some non-dairy butter spread on my gluten-free bread (Rudi’s Gluten-Free Whole Grain), placed the first piece into the pan and quickly assembled the sandwich so it would get hot and melty on the inside. 


Just a little messy…those stray pieces of cheese got crispy and were a nice bonus treat!


The sandwich took less than 10 minutes from start to finish. 


Do you see that melty, gooey cheese?  This was one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches I have had in a long time!  More about GO Veggie Mexican Style Shreds:

Allergen Information:


If you are looking for a more grown up grilled cheese, check out the recipe for the Caprese Style Grilled Cheese, doesn’t it look awesome?



So, do I have you drooling yet?  Perhaps a little Friday night grilled cheese action?  GO Veggie Cheese can found in many stores across the US

Do you like grilled cheese?  What is your favorite grilled cheese sandwich recipe?

*The samples of GO Veggie Cheese 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.

Review: Sambazon Superfood Smoothie & Juice Blends

It is always hard for me to figure out meals and fueling when I have evening workout classes.  The classes always seem to fall around 6:30, so for me I would have to eat dinner at 4:30ish if I wanted to eat before or wait until after 8 PM.  I have found on days where my run or workout falls in that time frame it is better for me to eat smaller meals through the afternoon and evening as opposed to one large meal. 

Sambazon makes a variety of juices and smoothies made from superfoods that energize the body and soul.  I picked up the Sambazon Acai Superfood Juice Blend and Blended Breakfast Smoothie when I was grocery shopping Wednesday and knew they would be perfect for one of those smaller meals. 


Acai with Blueberry + Pomegranate Superfood Juice Blend – Organic and non-GMO ingredients provide health antioxidants.

Blended Breakfast Strawberry + Banana + Chia + Ancient Grains – A combination of non-GMO soy milk, acai berries, chia, quinoa and amaranth that provides omega-3s, 4g fiber and 6g protein. 

More about Sambazon:


I loved the flavors of the juice blend!  The blended breakfast was filling and kept me full for several hours, allowing me to power through my workout and prepare my post-workout meal.  I was concerned about how I would like the texture, but it was just as smooth as could be.  I plan on keeping some of these on hand for future mini-meals.

There are several other varieties of the superfood juices and smoothies (Acai Berry + Chocolate, Chocolate + Almond + Coconut Milk, Kale + Ginger) that I am interested in trying that my grocery store didn’t carry.  I am planning on trying another store to see if I can find them.  Samabazon products can be found in stores across the US.

Have you tried any of the Sambazon products?  Which have you tried or would like to try most?

*These products were provided 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.

Exciting Health & Fitness News

I am thrilled to share with you guys that I have been selected to participate in the Verizon Health and Fitness Voices program!  What does that mean?  I am going to tell you!  For the next 6 months I will be using 2 new devices to track and share my health and fitness journey.  What is my journey?  My goal is to continue to live a healthy gluten-free lifestyle, be active in the running community (coach MIT ) and grow my personal training business.  The devices I am trying out are the Motoroloa Droid RAZR HD and FitBit One.


My devices arrived early on Monday ready for me to start using.


I have been having a great time learning my new devices!  Today I will share a little about The FitBit One, as it is a pretty cool device:


If you want to turn fitness into a lifestyle, the One™ is for you. For starters, it never rests. During the day, it tracks your steps, distance, calories burned, and stairs climbed. Come nightfall, it measures your sleep cycle, helps you learn how to sleep better, and wakes you in the morning. The One™ motivates you to reach your goals by bringing greater fitness into your life – seamlessly, socially, 24 hours a day.

I am most interested in the sleep tracking, as I wake frequently at night and am curious to see how much I really do wake up.  I will also be using the activity tracker, but won’t be tracking calories/weight, as those are areas that can be troublesome with my eating disorder history and struggle.  Check out one of the nights I have tracked so far:


Woah!  This particular night was not a good night for me.  I remember waking frequently, which probably had something to do with iced tea being consumed at a meeting I went to for dinner. It will be interesting to see how this changes over time – for better or worse.

I’ll be sharing more about these devices more frequently on my Twitter feed and later this month here on my blog.  Has anyone used either of these devices?  What are your thoughts?



Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Health and Fitness Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

Half Marathon #11: ORRRC Xenia Half Marathon Race Recap

Half marathon #11 is in the bag! This race also happened to be the first of 6 half marathons that I have on my race schedule this year.  Xenia, Ohio is roughly an hour and 20 minutes away from Fleet Feet Columbus, where I met up with 5 Run DMC girls to head out. 

DMC van girls

Steph, Me, Steph, Melissa, Tara and Laurie before the race

We arrived in Xenia about 6:45 AM, just in time for packet pick-up to begin at 7 AM.  I have a habit of arriving early every place I go.  I would rather sit around and wait as opposed to freaking out that I am late.  I was starving as we drove to Xenia, but knew if I ate that early, my whole race plan would be off.  As the saying goes, “Nothing new on race day!”

Packet pick-up went smoothly.  There wasn’t really a line and being that this was a smaller race, we were able to park in the parking lot right across from the YMCA where the race started and finished.  I finally broke into my Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews (the Fruit Smoothie flavor rocks!).   The chews are labeled gluten-free and are kind to my belly, so they are my go-to pre-race food. 

Run DMC is a local running group formed from members of the online Daily Mile website that live in the Columbus and surrounding areas.  I can’t put into words just how awesome this group of runners is.  We had 39+ runners run the race on Sunday and many other members who came out to support the team. 


Before we knew it, we were off!  The temps were warmer than we were acclimated to – approximately 54 when we started as opposed to temps below freezing.   We have had an unseasonably cold “spring” and just the day before we were running in winter gear, including gloves!  I knew I had to average an 8:22 pace per mile to hit my goal of running a sub-1:50 half marathon.  The first few miles were 8:13, 8:16 and 8:19, so I had a few seconds “in the bank”, though I don’t like to depend on that to hit my goal. 

Miles 4, 5 and 6 were decent.  Had I known what was coming, I probably would have slowed down a touch, as those miles were run at 8:19, 8:15, 8:12.  The wind was picking up a little and there were some gradual hills.  The race map and elevation profile shows this fairly well, though I am not going to lie, I never really felt like we went downhill in this race.  Maybe it was the higher winds towards the end of the race, but the last half of this race was tough.


Miles 7, 8 and 9 seemed like they were never going to end.  I was running with Peter along the bike path and I said, “This has got to be the world’s longest hill!”  It just never seemed to let up.  It didn’t look intimidating, but it sure felt like it.  I expected that once we hit the crest we would get a little relief, however as we turned the corner, we turned into a wall of wind that wouldn’t quit.  These miles started to get a little slower…8:16, 8:24, 8:23. 

Miles 10 and 11 were the toughest of the entire race.  I had a cramp in the arch of my right foot – plantar fasciitis rearing its ugly head.  I also had a cramp on my left side, kind of where my intestine is.  Yeah, that.  This forced me to slow momentarily and make some quick decisions.  Do I throw in the towel, continue on, but slower and try again in 2 weeks at my next half marathon?  Or, do I suck it up and pray the cramps would subside because doing so for 2.1 more miles was better than having to run hard again in 2 weeks for my next half.  I opted for #2 and by the grace of God my cramps disappeared and I ran like hell.  Miles 10 and 11 were run at 8:22 and 8:29.  Here is a picture taken by Don Miller, fellow Run DMC runner and photog.  I am pretty miserable at this point and was only laughing at something Don said.  Took my mind off of the struggle for the time being, though.


The last 2.1 miles of the race were still tough, but at least my cramps were gone.  Somehow my brain was able to do the math and I knew that if I could hold my pace at 8:22ish or below, I would still hit my goal.  It wasn’t pretty and I had to keep repeating to myself that in 20 minutes I could puke, poop, walk, cry, etc.  Just keep running!  As I came down the street to the finish line, I knew I had it!  Official time was 1:49:18!  I did it!! PR (personal record) by 3 min EXACTLY and I was able to run sub-1:50! Phew! I came in 6th of 56 in my age group! I am looking forward to not "racing" a race again until fall and running my next 2 half marathons for fun!

There were many others in our group who ran great races with either distance PRs (first half or full marathons) and some who had bad races.  We all have good days and we all have bad days.  Each race is a learning experience and the end of a journey.  Take what information you have from each one and apply it to your future training.  What worked and what didn’t work.  

Monday morning my body was (and still is) pretty sore.  My calves seem to be worse than the rest.  After speaking with my sports doctor when I went in for my ART appointment, it is most likely due to my focusing more on mid-foot striking as opposed to heel striking.  Lots of stretching, ice and foam rolling for me! 

Weekly Menu Plan–April 8, 2013

Good Monday morning to you!  I am sitting here making my grocery list for the week and will certainly be adding some grilled items to our menu since spring finally decided to come visit us in Ohio.  It was so nice to take the puppy outside the other night to smell the wonderful aromas coming from the neighbor’s grill!


The warm weather continued and it ended up being really warm for the ORRRC Xenia Half Marathon yesterday.  Make sure to check back later on to read all about the race! 

Monday – Marinated Spicy Pork Chops, grilled potato packets and salad

Tuesday – Mexican pizzas, corn and salad

Wednesday – Breakfast for dinner and fruit salad

Thursday – Burgers, steak fries, corn on the cob and salad

Friday – Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday – Take-out

Week in Review:

How do you feel about gluten/gluten-free in the news

Recipe: Gluten-free Chocolate Toffee Cookies

How do you prefer to shop gluten-free?

Did you know Pepperidge Farm makes gluten-free chips

Review: El’s Bagel Chips/Snaps <—These are incredible!

Have a great week!



Gluten in the News

Gluten and the gluten-free diet seem to be in the news quite a bit lately. Have you heard the latest news about the gluten-free diet?  South Beach Diet creator, Dr. Arthur Agatston, has a new book and version of The South Beach Diet: “The South Beach Diet Gluten Solution”.  The book calls for removing gluten from your diet and then gradually re-introducing it to determine your level of gluten sensitivity.  There are many people out there who don’t have Celiac Disease, but are sensitive to gluten, so for these people this may be a great solution.

While I haven’t read the book, I did read the article on CNN, and there are a couple of things I wish were more clearly discussed:

  • First, I think it is important to rule out Celiac Disease before trying this method.  Going gluten-free before any testing for Celiac Disease can often skew the results.  Agatston does mention this towards the end of the article, but I really hope that he spells it out a little more clearly in his book, as I saw nothing about it on the book page.
  • Second, this statement: “#4 Living gluten-free can make you fat.”  It’s misleading, in my opinion.  Yes, he says “can”, but when you read through the paragraph, it goes on to say “If you find that you can’t eat just a few gluten-free crackers, for example, without going back for half the box, this product spells trouble.”  This is the case with any cracker or food that ones eats too much of – not just the gluten-free version.  I am honestly very tired of hearing the gluten-free diet makes or can make you fat.  Newsflash:  Too much food can make you fat if you aren’t burning off the calories.

There will be more from Dr. Agatston on “Sanjay Gupta MD” at 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday and 7:30 a.m. ET Sunday on CNN.

How do you feel about gluten and the gluten-free diet in the news?  Weigh in below in our poll.

Recipe: Gluten-Free Chocolate Toffee Cookies

Back in December I had the chance to sample and review some phenomenal baked goods from Harvard Sweet Boutique.  Aside from the absolutely adorable packaging, the baked goods were out of this world!  More about Harvard Sweet Boutique:

Harvard Sweet Boutique was founded in January, 2007, by Susan George. Her passion for fine baking and recognition of the need for unique gift alternatives helped to mold the idea for the company. Harvard Sweet Boutique has become the indulgence of choice for those who are looking to send the most memorable and sensational gifts.

I am excited to share this amazing recipe for some cookies sure to please all chocoholics!

Gluten Free Chocolate Toffee Cookies

Gluten Free Chocolate Toffee Cookies (from Sue George, owner of Harvard Sweet Boutique)


Yield: 35-40 cookies


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 pound good quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
  • 1 ¾ cups light brown sugar (packed)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 9 ounces (6 bars) chocolate-covered toffee bars (such as Skor or Heath), coarsely chopped


1. In a double boiler set over simmering water, melt butter in the top of the double boiler. Once the butter is melted, turn off heat and stir in chocolate. When completely melted and smooth, remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, beat sugar and eggs until well mixed; about 2-3 minutes. Beat in chocolate/butter mixture then add vanilla.

3. In a small mixing bowl, mix coconut flour, brown rice flour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, salt and baking powder until combined.

4. Stir flour mixture into the sugar/chocolate mixture then add toffee; do not over mix.

5. Chill batter until firm; about 30-45 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop batter using 1/8 cupful’s, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart.

7. Bake just until tops are dry and a little crackled but cookies are still soft to touch; about 10 minutes.

I don’t know about you, but I see a baking day in my near future!  Perhaps I’ll bake a batch for some post-race treats on Sunday!

Wordy Wednesday

If you have been reading my blog for any period of time you may have noticed that I have a problem with “Wordless Wednesday”.  The problem is I can’t not write something, even if that something is just a couple of words.  So, instead of participating in something that I can’t follow the rules of or fail at, I am changing the day to “Wordy Wednesday”.  Who is with me?  I’ll still post a picture, but instead of leaving you to guess what it is I am showing you, where your can find it and how you can get or make it, I will simply tell you. 

Today I am sharing my current obsession…


Sweet potato + Trader Joe’s Creamy Almond Butter with Sea Salt.  Naturally gluten-free and out-of-this-world delicious!  Paired with a large salad this made the perfect dinner the other night!  I “baked” the sweet potato in the microwave so my meal was ready in under 15 minutes, including the time it took me to chop veggies for my salad.  The combination of creamy almond butter and sweet potato tastes like a decadent treat!  Don’t knock it until you try it!

Don’t forget to enter to win a case of your favorite Snikiddy snack!

Taper Musings

Sometimes I wish I had an on/off switch for my brain so I could quiet the madness.  My brain is busy enough on any given “normal” day, but throw half marathon tapering into the mix and I have a whole lot of noise going on.  Last month I shared my review of the book “Life Without Ed” and how it really helped me figure out that the voice of my brain is not really me.  That voice is part of my eating disorder and it is trying to control me by filling my head with lies and commands.

It is normal for runners to experience “taper madness” or “taper tantrums”, where our minds play games and have us questioning our training.  I have been referring to a post I wrote last year and the seven things I can focus on to help keep me sane. I am going to share some of the things running through my head below.  Next to the “taper thought” I am going to write what the truth really is.  I am hoping this exercise doesn’t just help me, but others that may be going through the same or similar things.

1.  You are lazy.  <—-Lie, you are following a training plan.  Stick to it.

2.  You really shouldn’t eat that, you are only running a portion of the miles you were running a few weeks ago.  <—Fuel properly to get to the starting line healthy and ready to crush your goal!

3.  You need to add in more core work, you are getting flabby around the middle.  <—- Flat out lie.  Refer to answer in #1 = the planfollow it!

4.  There is no way you can run the pace you need to run to hit your goal.  <—Lie.  I can and will!

I won’t bore you with any more, as I am sure you get the gist.  This is my new motto: - Get out of my head! I can and will run the race I want to run! YOU can't stop me!

Please tell me I am not the only one who does this!

Snikiddy Snacks Giveaway

Since the temperatures are finally inching their way up, it is time to start thinking about picnic season.  Everyone loves a picnic, right?  I remember going on picnics on Sundays after church when I was little and we lived in Texas. I am not sure if it was one picnic or many to that specific park, but I remember my mom packing fried chicken.


Picnics are even better when all of the food is gluten-free, huh?  Snikiddy makes a wide variety of snacks that are perfect for packing in a picnic lunch.  More about Snikiddy and their snack line:

Snikiddy® is a line of all-natural snacks made from simple, wholesome, real-food ingredients. The line includes All-Natural Cheese Puffs, All-Natural Baked Fries, and Eat Your Vegetables®, a first-of-its kind veggie chip snack that provides a full serving of vegetables in every ounce. All Snikiddy snacks are made with non-GMO ingredients, are certified gluten and wheat free, and do not contain any artificial colors, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, hydrogenated oils or MSG. Snikiddy pairs nutrition with great taste to deliver real, delicious foods the whole family can enjoy and feel good about.

· Snikiddy All-Natural Cheese Puffs – Tasty puffs inspired by one of kids’ favorite snacks! A better-for-you snack for everyone from toddlers to kids and even adults, these snacks contain 50 percent less fat than regular potato chips and 35 percent less fat than regular veggie sticks and straws. Available in two delicious flavors, including Grilled Cheese and Mac n’ Cheese.

· Snikiddy All-Natural Baked Fries – A delicious and fun alternative to greasy potato chips and veggie sticks and straws that will quickly become any snackers’ first choice! Contains half the fat of potato chips and 35 percent less fat than veggie stick and straws. Available in seven delicious flavors, including Cheddar Cheese, Sea Salt, Barbeque, Original Seasoning, Classic Ketchup, Bold Buffalo, and Hot & Spicy.

· Snikiddy Eat Your Vegetables® – Veggie and chip lovers rejoice – delicious crisps with a full serving of vegetables in every ounce! Made with a unique blend of vegetables, including sweet potatoes, carrots, and navy beans to provide an excellent source of vitamin A, a good source of fiber, and 3 grams of protein per serving. Available in five savory flavors, including Sea Salt, Sour Cream & Onion, Jalapeno Ranch, Italian Herb & Olive Oil, and Sea Salt & Lime.

We have sampled all three different versions of the Snikiddy snack line.  My favorite is the Snikiddy Eat Your Vegetables in Italian Herb & Olive Oil or Sea Salt.



Snikiddy snacks are available at grocery, natural, specialty, and family retailers nationwide, including Safeway, select Target locations, Sprouts Farmers Market, The Fresh Market, Whole Foods Market, Toys ‘R’ Us, and Babies ‘R’ Us, as well as online at,,, and

Now for the fun part!  Snikiddy has offered to send one lucky reader a case of their favorite Snikiddy snack!  Awesomesauce!  All you have to do to enter to win is follow the directions in the Rafflecopter box below. Continue reading

Related Posts with Thumbnails