VZW Voices Final Thoughts + My Favorite

Today is my last day as a Verizon Voices Health & Fitness participant and I wanted to take a moment to share some final thoughts.  First, I want to thank Verizon for such a wonderful experience!  I truly enjoyed being able to try several products that I may have never picked up otherwise. 

The other day I recapped the three devices I have been able to try out over the past 6 months and my favorite device of the 3 would have to be the Motorola Droid Razr HD because of the battery life.  Using an iPhone for the past couple of years and struggling recently with battery life really made me appreciate this.  The Razr HD claims to last 24 hours and while I think that depends on usage, it certainly surpasses the iPhone in that aspect.  If you are someone who is always on the go without access to charge your smart phone, look into the Motorola Droid Razr HD.

A couple of weeks back I was invited to attend a webinar about the new Verizon Edge program.  The new program allows you go get a brand new 4G LTE phone when you want it, without upgrade fees, contracts or down payment.  To find out more about the Verizon Edge program, visit the Verizon website.   This program is perfect for those who love new technology and can’t wait for the next best thing. 

*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, Samsung Galaxy 2 10.1 and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the products.

Weekly Menu Plan–September 30, 2013

Here we are…September 30th.  The year has flown by!  The weather in Columbus is just about perfect right now…cool in the mornings and mid-high 70s by the end of the day.  Days like this are meant for spending time outside, whether it’s running or pedaling the Cycle Tavern.

photo (45)

Tell me that doesn’t look like fun!  We had a blast bar hopping on the pedal bike!  Unfortunately the law in Columbus prohibits alcohol consumption on the pedal bike, but that didn’t stop us from having fun.  We pedaled to 4 different local bars in the Short North area.  I highly recommend this activity if you have the opportunity. 


Monday – Rotisserie chicken, brown rice pasta w/Alfredo and salad

Tuesday – Soft tacos, black beans, corn and salad

Wednesday – Burgers, sweet potato puffs and salad

Thursday – Grilled Italian chicken, coconut baked brown rice, broccoli and salad

Friday – Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday – Take ou

Weekly Recap

Girl Scouts are rolling out a Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookie in select test markets.

Larabar introduces 2 seasonal fall flavors.

Review: Fruit Bliss Health Snacks

Udi’s Gluten-Free to the rescue.

Have a great week!


All Good Things…

All good things must come to and end, right?  My time as a Verizon Health & Fitness Voices blogger/participant is coming to an end next week.  I thought today would be a good time to recap the devices I have been able to try out.

Health and Fitness

It was just about 6 months ago when I received my first package from Verizon Health & Fitness Voices.  I quickly fell in love with the FitBit One and Motorola Droid Razr HD

Hello, Droid!  The Razr HD (my personal favorite device) became my go-to source for music playlists (Pandora) while training my clients at the studio. 

The FitBit One helped me track my activity, day and night.  I learned that I was waking up an awful lot, but still getting plenty of sleep overall. Pretty cool stuff!  I even talked several family members and friends into getting a FitBit One! 

In August I received a second device from Verizon Health & Fitness Voices…a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. 

The Galaxy Tab 2 has some pretty cool features, including 4G service, awesome graphics, Pinterest (gluten-free recipe pinning!) and an app to control your TV/Cable box!  It wasn’t long before Hannah commandeered this tablet to watch Netflix or play Minion Rush. 

*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, Samsung Galaxy 2 10.1 and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the products.

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Udi’s Gluten-Free to the Rescue

It’s no secret…heading back-to-school on the gluten-free diet can be tough.  It doesn’t matter if your child has been following the gluten-free diet for a while now or not, a new school year brings new friends and new explanations.  Udi’s Gluten-Free helps make that transition a little easier with their kid-friendly gluten-free foods. 

Udi’s White Sandwich bread is perfect for PB & J sandwiches!  The bread doesn’t require toasting and won’t get soggy as long as you spread the bread (both sides) with peanut butter before the jelly.  PB & J not a fan favorite in your house?  No worries, deli meat and cheese on Udi’s bread holds up just as well. 

Udi’s Ancient Grain Crisps are perfect to pair with a sandwich and travel well in a Ziplock bag.  If your kids will eat raw carrots, celery or zucchini, consider packing those along with some ranch dip, too.  Younger kids will follow the “rule” that the veggies have to be eaten before the chips. 

Last, but not least, cookies and brownies.  Having to eat gluten-free doesn’t mean going without the fun foods all of the other kids have.  Nope!  Udi’s Gluten-Free offers a wide variety of cookies and brownies…there is sure to be something for everyone. 


We love the Brownie Bites…they hold up very well in the lunch box and are sure to pique the interest of the other kids at the lunch table. 

Elementary school kids or older kids that stay after school for sports may need a snack to help get them through the day.  Udi’s Granola Bars are perfect for snack time!  There are three different varieties…Chocolate Chip, Cranberry Almond and Ancient Grain.  They all travel well, but the Chocolate Chips do melt if they are stored in a hot environment.


Do you send Udi’s Gluten-Free products to school with your kids?  Do you pack the products for your own lunch?  What is your favorite Udi’s Gluten-Free product?

*The products mentioned in this blog post 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.

Weekly Menu Plan–September 23, 2013

The only thing that keeps coming to mind as I sit down to write this post is, “Wake me up when September Ends.”  Perhaps that’s because I slept the weekend away?  I slept 9 hours on Saturday night, still felt the need to lie down yesterday afternoon and was in bed before 10 PM last night.  Whatever the reason, I didn’t fight it.  Speaking of September ending, Hannah and I saw a Christmas tree up when we were at the mall last week.  I can’t remember what store it was….maybe The Limited?  How about we get through Halloween first, okay? 


Speaking of which, lookie what I found at the grocery store last week!  Gimbal’s Harvest Mix Jelly Beans!  We can’t move on to Christmas until we have had the Halloween candy, or at least I can’t. 

Monday – Grilled Italian chicken breast over mixed greens salad

Tuesday – Easy enchilada bake and salad

Wednesday – Leftovers

Thursday – Spaghetti and meatballs and salad

Friday – Breakfast for dinner and fruit salad

Saturday – Take-out

Week in Review

Evol Foods Introduces Gluten-Free Chicken Quesadillas

GFCO issues a Product Recall Notice for Purely Elizabeth Granolas

Review: ngb gluten-free lager

Recipe: Gluten-free Apple Crisp

My #GFF – Gluten-Free Friend

Have a great week!


My #GFF – Gluten-Free Friend

When I began the gluten-free diet over seven years ago, I was the only one I knew who ate gluten-free other than a co-worker that worked with my husband Aaron.  My friends didn’t really know what “gluten-free” meant and they sure didn’t seem interested in following the gluten-free diet.  Things have sure come a long way in those seven years in the way of Celiac Disease awareness, non-Celiac gluten-sensitivity awareness and gluten-free food products. 

No longer do those following the gluten-free diet have to settle for sub-par breads, crackers, etc.  Gluten-free food doesn’t have to be tasteless food.  Udi’s Gluten-Free sure has done their part in supplying the market with gluten-free food that tastes good.  It all began with sandwich bread and has exploded into a product line sure to please even the pickiest gluten-free eater. 

Udi’s Gluten-Free has asked the community to participate in their #GFF fall campaign.  More about the campaign:

We know that going gluten-free isn’t small potatoes and requires a strong network of friends, family and trusted brands to provide you safe &  delicious products. With our new My GFF program, Udi’s is aiming to help connect the gluten-free community and provide tools, recipes and support to for maintaining a healthy and joyful gluten-free lifestyle.

I met my #GFF, Melissa, almost two years ago through a running group, MIT, and we became fast friends. Melissa started the gluten-free diet just a little over a year ago in efforts to help minimize her MS symptoms and to help her daughter’s ADHD.  Now we often share gluten-free recipe ideas, products, etc back and forth when we find something worthy of sharing.  She made me a chocolate cake last year for my birthday that wowed even non-gluten-free friends! 


Udi’s sent me a package full of gluten-free goodies that I happily shared with Melissa – she is in the picture frame above with me after the 2012 Emerald City Half Marathon.  The package included some of my favorite gluten-free products like Udi’s Mighty Bagels, Udi’s Harvest Crunch Muffins, Earth Balance Coconut & Peanut Butter Spread and Udi’s Salted Caramel Cashew Cookies.  Along with the goodies I passed along a bracelet that says “GFF” on it. 


The bracelet is made by Friendly Bracelets. 


I love the quote on the back…so true.

So, now I want to hear your story.  What makes a great “Gluten Free Friend”?  How did you meet your #GFF? 

*The products shared in this blog post were sent to me free of charge for the purposes of this post and spreading the word of the #GFF campaign.  My thoughts and opinions are my own and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Weekly Menu Plan–September 16, 2013

Welcome to the middle of September.  Last week we had the hottest day of the year on Tuesday and then woke up to temps in the low 40s on Saturday (gloves were needed on our run!).  Mother Nature sure seems to be a bit bipolar these days, huh?  If I could choose, I would choose 45 and crisp every morning and mid-70s during the day.  If only, right?

Fall is my favorite season and there is no better way to welcome the season than with Pumpkin Spice coffee.



Monday – Chicken fingers, baked steak fries and salad

Tuesday – Lasagna and salad

Wednesday – Leftovers

Thursday – Taco salads – ground beef, black beans, corn, tomatoes, cheese and tortilla chips

Friday – Pizza and salad

Saturday – Take-out

Weekly Recap

My list of favorite pumpkin recipes

Review: Tastefully Simple Gluten-Free Brownie Mix

Review: Tastefully Simple Gluten-Free Vanilla Bean Pound Cake Mix

Kinnikinnick Pumpkin Spice Donuts are Back!

Review: Gluten-Free Ronzoni Pasta

Have a great week!


Review: Tastefully Simple Brownie Mix

I am a firm believer in chocolate therapy.  There isn’t much that chocolate can’t fix, right?  The kids have been back-to-school for close to a month now, so I knew that a batch of brownies would be the perfect way to perk them up. It was right about the time that the kids started school that I got word of Tastefully Simple debuting a gluten-free line this fall.  The line includes a brownie mix, which is super-easy to prepare and certainly fit the “chocolate therapy” description. 


Simply add melted butter and eggs to the mix, stir, then bake for one of the best brownies you will ever taste. 


Do you see that fudgy goodness?  So.Good.  Both of the kids raved about the brownies…they sure didn’t last long!

INGREDIENTS: Sugar, rice flour, cocoa (processed with alkali), potato
starch, tapioca flour, less than 2% of natural flavors, salt, xanthan gum,
silicon dioxide (anticaking).

The mix serves 16 people and is available through Tastefully Simple for $11.99/package.  According to the website the mix is only available for a limited time, through March 8, 2014.  I would love to see them remain a permanent addition to the line-up, so maybe if they are popular enough, they will! 

*The mix mentioned 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.

Gluten-Free Mondays

Everyone seems to dread Mondays.  It’s back to work or school and the hectic schedules that keep us on our toes.  My Monday morning started at 5:00 AM, when I got up for a 4 mile run.  I ran errands until 1:00 PM, but I found some pretty rockin’ deals to make my Monday pretty special.

Kroger stop for Larabar ALT.  A friend let me know they were on sale for $4.99/box of 5, but that priced dropped to $3.99/box if you bought 5 boxes.  Twist my arm!  My Kroger only had the Lemon Pound Cake and Peanut Butter Cookie varieties on the shelves, so I am not sure if they carry the Cinnamon Apple Crisp and Pumpkin Pie versions in other Kroger stores or not. 


25 bars for $.80/bar = WIN!

I also stopped by Trader Joe’s to see if I could get lucky and catch them with my favorite almond butter in stock.  No such luck with that, but I did find this new gluten-free beer:


I can’t wait to try one later tonight when I get home from the studio.  Keep your eye out for my review.  Trader Joe’s also had this sign out front:


You know I bought some. 

BJ’s Brewhouse is offering a great deal right now…don’t miss out this!  Great way to relax after a long day if you don’t feel like cooking.


How was your Monday?  Good, bad?  Want a do over?  Tell me all about it. 

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