Long Time No See

Although it seems like I have disappeared, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, I promise. It’s summer time and things are hopping. There has been an increase of personal training clients at the studio, school is out, marathon training is in full swing and the puppies take up a lot of my time. I still post daily over at Celiac-Disease.com and remain active on the Gluten-Free is Life Facebook page.  

You may have caught that I am “marathon” training in the paragraph above. I do believe that I said I would “never” run a full marathon again, however, we all know how the saying goes, “Never say never”.  While I could go into great detail about the thought process that went into this decision, I won’t bore you with all of that. The simple fact is that I may just be a little bit crazy. 

As marathon training ramps up, I am experimenting with different products to help hydrate and fuel me along the way. Below is the newest hydration mix I have sampled.

Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix

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This is an all natural sports drink.  It replaces both the fluid and electrolytes you lose in your sweat while providing just enough calories to help fuel your working muscles. Flavored with only real fruit and containing no artificial colors or preservatives, our drink mix won’t upset your stomach, leave a bad taste in your mouth, or challenge your IQ with tongue twisting chem-lab ingredients.  It just works better.  Maybe that’s why, for years, top athletes have been secretly replacing their sponsors’ products with drink mix made from Skratch.  You Sweat. We Hydrate.

I tried the Exercise Hydration Mix with Raspberries and really enjoyed the taste. It was not overly sweet like some sports drinks on the market and it really seemed to agree with my stomach, which is the most important thing. All of the Exercise and Everyday Mixes are free of wheat, gluten, soy and dairy. Skratch Labs products can be found in select stores or online

I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Review: Mellow Mushroom’s New Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

Last weekend I had the opportunity to try the new gluten-free pizza crust now being served at Mellow Mushroom. The new pizza crust is not just gluten-free, it is vegan, too!

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Ingredients:

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Mellow Mushroom’s original gluten-free pizza wasn’t bad, but it was made with bean flour, which many people don’t care for. The new gluten-free pizza doesn’t have bean flour in it; it’s made with Smart Flour. Smart Flour is a gluten-free flour blend that contains tapioca flour, sorghum flour, amaranth flour and teff flour.

There are many different gluten-free pizza options, including a vegan cheese (Daiya). I chose the Veg Out pizza and was thrilled with the flavor and texture of the new crust.

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The staff at Mellow Mushroom goes to great lengths reduce the risk of cross-contamination. The staff changes their gloves and aprons, the pizzas are prepared in a separate area and then cooked on a screen so the pizza will never have contact with the pizza stone.

Have you tried the new gluten-free crust at Mellow Mushroom? 

*The food mentioned in this post was 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.

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Soodles Bake Shop – Custom Gluten-Free Cakes

Time flies. As Jon’s high school graduation approached, in addition to trying to figure out what happened to my kindergartener, I began to search for a bakery to make a custom gluten-free cake for the occasion. The last thing I wanted to have to worry about was baking a cake.

It was a good thing that I was able to find Soodles Bake Shop, as I was running around the day before graduation paying unpaid parking tickets and exchanging a graduation gown that was meant for someone an entire foot shorter than Jon.

Soodles Bake Shop bakes a wide variety of gluten-free products, including customized cakes. The facility/products are free of gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, fish/shellfish and peanuts. The customized cakes are available in several different sizes and two different flavors. We went with the 1/4 sheet cake (double layer) for $42. Half the cake was chocolate, the other half was vanilla. 

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The cake was a huge hit and disappeared quickly. I had small pieces of each variety and while they were both very good, I fell in love with the chocolate. That really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, as I haven’t met a lot of chocolate things I don’t like. 

Soodles Bake Shop was founded by Amy McCrea after she determined gluten, dairy, egg and soy were triggers for her digestive and eczema issues. Read more about Amy and Soodles Bake Shop here.  Thanks Amy for making our day even greater! 

Cinco de Gluten-Free-O

Welcome to the 5th of May! Celebrate Cinco de Mayo on the lean (and gluten-free) with Jennie-O. Save time with pre-seasoned taco meat…it really doesn’t get much easier than this!

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Taco Seasoned Ground Turkey (no gluten), Wholly Guacamole and Herdez Salsa.

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If you are looking for some recipes to inspire you, check out these yummy recipes:

How will you celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

*Products mentioned in this post were sent to me free of charge for the purpose of this post. Thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Celiac Disease Awareness

Welcome to May! May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month, so let’s kick the month off with some information, shall we?!

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What is Celiac Disease? It is a genetically based autoimmune disease that is triggered by gluten. It is not an allergy.

Who has Celiac Disease? 1 in 133 people in the US are estimated to have Celiac Disease, though the majority are undiagnosed.

Is there a cure for Celiac Disease? The only cure is a gluten-free diet.

There are many different signs and symptoms of Celiac Disease. Check out the NFCA symptom checklist for more information.

GFIL top rated gluten-free product: Udi’s Gluten-Free Bagels.

Earth Day Balance Bar Giveaway

Happy Earth Day! Did you know that Balance Bar Dark Bars are made with 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified™ cocoa? I didn’t!

The Rainforest Alliance certification assures consumers that our cocoa beans are grown on sustainably managed farms that protect people and their surrounding ecosystems of water, soil and wildlife.

In celebration of Earth Day, I am offering one lucky reader a box of Balance Bar Dark Chocolate Crunch Bars.

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More about Balance Bar Dark Bars:

Time to tap into your dark side! Balance Bar Dark bars are packed with nutritious protein and fiber, certified Gluten Free and made with 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified™ cocoa—which means they’re good for you AND the environment. Decadent and sweet, each dark chocolate bar is a scrumptious way to get the 40-30-30 nutrition and long-lasting energy you need to outlast the day (or own the dark)!

The Balance Bar Dark Bars are certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). *It is important to note that not all Balance Bars are gluten-free…those that are will be clearly labeled. There are three different varieties of gluten-free bars:

  • Dark Chocolate Crunch
  • Dark Chocolate Peanut
  • Dark Chocolate Coconut

All you have to do to enter to win a box of Balance Bar Dark Bars is leave me a comment telling me how you are celebrating Earth Day. Winner will be randomly chosen on the morning of April 25, 2014. 

*The products mentioned in this post are being provided free of charge for review and giveaway purposes. The thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Weekly Menu Plan – April 21, 2014

It’s been a while since I have posted a weekly menu plan. I can make excuses, tell you all I have been cooking, but the fact of the matter is I have been busy and take-out has become a closer friend than I would like. Hopefully I can get back on track and make some more meals at home this week.

Last week my “baby” boy turned 18! He is officially an adult and will be heading off to college this fall. He will be navigating college gluten-free, so I will be sharing some of that process here for those who may be going through something similar.

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Let’s get down to the plan, shall we?

Monday – Spaghetti with marinara and meatballs, salad

Tuesday –  Turkey tacos, black beans, corn

Wednesday – Leftovers

Thursday – Dinner out – belated b-day celebration

Friday – Make your own pizza, salad

Saturday – Breakfast for dinner, fruit salad

Weekly Recap

Holey Bread…What Gives, Udi’s?

California Pizza Kitchen…Beyond the Pizza

Jules Shepard…The Real Story

Have a great week! 

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Review: Kashi Indigo Morning Cereal

Late last week I discovered Kashi now had two cereals that are gluten-free. I quickly put them both on my grocery list so I could sample and review for you guys. When I was at Meijer on Maxtown Rd. yesterday, I spotted the Kashi Indigo Morning cereal.

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I couldn’t wait to dig into this for Monday morning breakfast. While Mondays are usually my day off, they are usually busy and there is nothing like a bowl full of yumminess to help shake off the “Mondays”.  

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I poured some Silk Vanilla Almondmilk + Protein & Fiber over the Indigo Morning cereal. I can’t begin to explain how much I like this cereal!  Crunchy with berries and just a kiss of sweetness.  

What is your favorite gluten-free cereal?

The Gluten Free Bar Adds New Varieties

It was almost two years ago that I first reviewed The Gluten Free Bar on my blog. Since then, they have added three new bars for a total of six varieties. I was thrilled when I received a box of bars to sample and review.

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The new varieties include:

Coconut Cashew Crunch -organic brown rice syrup, toasted cashews, complete protein blend (brown rice protein, pea protein), organic agave nectar, toasted coconut, organic crisped brown rice, dates, organic sunflower seeds, golden flaxseed, natural coconut flavor, safflower oil, sea salt. contains cashews.

Oatmeal Raisin – organic sunflower seeds, protein blend (brown rice protein, pea protein), organic brown rice syrup, dates, certified gluten-free oats, organic agave nectar, california raisins, organic crisped brown rice, golden flaxseed, vanilla, cinnamon, sea salt.

Dark Chocolate Coconut – dates, organic brown rice syrup, complete protein blend (brown rice protein, pea protein), toasted coconut, organic agave nectar, organic dark chocolate (organic chocolate liquor, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic cocoa powder), organic crisped brown rice, cocoa powder, vanilla, organic sunflower seeds, natural coconut flavor, golden flaxseed, sea salt.

All of The Gluten Free Bars are:

Facts

The Gluten Free Bar can be purchased in select stores across the US or online. Gluten-Free is Life readers can use the code: GFISLIFE to receive 15% off of their order.

I have fallen in love with the new bars, especially the Coconut Cashew Crunch and Oatmeal Raisin varieties.  If you would like a chance to win a box of The Gluten Free Bars, leave me a comment below sharing which bar you would most like to try.  I will randomly choose a winner on Thursday, April 17, 2014. 

*The bars mentioned in this 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. The bars given away to a lucky reader are being provided by The Gluten Free Bar.

National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day

Today is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. Hannah told me that I was only saying that because I eat PB & J daily, but while that may be true, today is definitely the right day. I wasted no time preparing my lunch and getting down to business.

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Udi’s Gluten-Free Whole Grain Bread (the large version purchased at Costco), Skippy Natural Peanut Butter and Smucker’s Simply Fruit Strawberry with a side of Snyder’s Gluten-Free Pretzel Twists.You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy PB & J.

Did you celebrate National PB & J Day today?

*PS…Don’t forget to enter to win the Tyson Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets and Chicken Breast Strips giveaway!

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