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Review: Gigi’s Cupcakes

It was just last week that I learned about Gigi’s Cupcakes offering gluten-free cupcakes on Fridays. I quickly placed an order so that I would be able to pick them up on Friday and continue my birthday celebration.

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There are three different varieties of gluten-free cupcakes offered:

  • White Hot Chocolate
  • Birthday Surprise
  • Wedding Cake

When I went to pick up my cupcakes I was told that they could make any variety they had in the case gluten-free as long as that variety didn’t contain cookie dough or alcohol.

The cupcakes came packaged in this super-cute box:

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Both Jon and I quickly fell in love with these cupcakes! Aside from having more frosting than I like on my cupcakes, they were perfect in every other way. The cakes were moist, icing had a great flavor and no one would be the wiser if you didn’t tell them these were gluten-free.

Gigi’s Cupcakes has locations around the US. Gluten-free orders can be placed online or over the phone. Each Gigi’s location is individually owned, so if you have specific questions about the location closest to you, give them a call. Each gluten-free cupcake costs $3.25, which is the same price as the non-gluten-free cupcake.

Have you tried Gigi’s Cupcakes?  It is so nice to have this option right up the street from our house.

 

I’m Back!!!

I promise I didn’t fall off the face of the earth.  The kids had an extended winter break thanks to Mother Nature and my computer has a mind of its own and only stays on for a short period of time, so I wasn’t able to blog like I would have liked to.  The kids are now back in school and I got a brand new MacBook (made the switch from PC…finally!), so things should be much better from here on out. 

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The reason the kids were out of school an extra couple of days.  BRR!  I never thought I would be happy to see the 20 and 30 degree temps return!


Today is my birthday (I share it with my Mom!), so I have been thinking about what kind of cake or treat I want to celebrate with.  I ordered a few cupcakes from Gigi’s Cupcakes, but can’t pick them up until tomorrow.  In the meantime, I may have to pick up a piece of flourless chocolate cake from Hyde Park.  If I wanted to take the time, I would make this Carrot Cake, but I am just not in the baking mood today. 


The NFCA has launched a new campaign for the new year called, “Take the Pledge”.  Please join me and educate, empower and advocate for Celiac Disease

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End of the Year Thoughts

With the New Year right around the corner, I figured it was a good time for this post.  As many of you know, I have suffered on and off with anorexia for many years.  I believe that I am in a better place in my recovery now than I have ever been before.  I may have looked “well”, but we all know that appearances aren’t everything, right?  I had this feeling deep down that I wasn’t enough.  Enough what?

  • Fit enough
  • Skinny enough
  • Fast enough (running)
  • Organized enough
  • Clean enough (housework)
  • Mom enough (to my kids)
  • Wife enough (to my husband)

When I had those feelings, I always felt like I was scrambling.  Scrambling around to find the magic.  The magic that would make me enough.  The thing is…there is no magic.

I have worked for the past year with a therapist who specializes in eating disorders and with a dear friend who taught me how to separate the lies from the truth.  Those lies come from a couple of sources.  ED (name for that eating disorder voice) and Miss Perfectionist (the voice that is never satisfied).  Those voices spew lies and draw the focus away from what really matters…loving myself just the way I am, for who I am.  I know those voices will always been present, but today they are much quieter than they have ever been.

Everyone has a different trigger that gets those voices riled up.  For many, including me, it begins with changes that include rules, numbers and omission.  New Year’s Day brings all kinds of new goals, changes, ideas and how to finally be “enough”.  Thank goodness for that, right?  No, not right.  When I impose “rules” on myself I feel like I am being punished, like I did something wrong.  When that negative feeling rises up, it often knocks my confidence down a notch or two and allows those voices to get stronger.  The lies become plentiful, which opens the door for feeling like I am not enough.  I now know enough to put the brakes on before I get too far into that downward spiral.  I counter the lie with statements like, “I am enough” and “I am exactly who I am supposed to be”.  Saying those statements out loud, or to a dear friend is so liberating.

When it comes to food, ED likes to put his two cents in on a regular basis with lies like,  “This is too many calories” or “You shouldn’t be eating something like this”.  Those lies get louder if I omit a food or drink from my repertoire.  Sue Markovitch (dear friend, author and founder of Clear Rock Fitness) suggests adding as opposed to taking away (omitting).  Again, taking away feels like punishment, like I have done something wrong.  Adding something in…healthy choices like fresh fruits/veggies, water, a long walk, meditation, etc makes me feel so much better.  We all deserve to feel loved, so why continue treating ourselves like we aren’t good enough?

I focus on turning my negative thoughts into positive thoughts.  I treat myself the way I would treat a close friend.  I would never be so critical or judgmental of someone else, so why is it okay for me to talk to myself that way?  I lived for years believing that I had to weigh a certain number of pounds.  Don’t ask me where I got that number, I can’t tell you, but it was THE number.  I refuse to let a number rule my life or be my worth.  Letting go of the rules, the measurements and omissions takes away the power of ED and Miss Perfectionist.  It is harder for them to speak up when there is nothing to compare anything to.  I am who I am.

These past few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas have been the proof to me that I am in a different (better) place.  In years past I would have been fretting and scrambling to the point of misery with all of the things I had to do, but hadn’t done yet.  This year was different.  Yes, there was still much to be done, but it didn’t affect me the same way.  I did what I could and accepted that it was my personal best.  You know what?  It was fine.  Actually, it was more than fine, it was glorious!  It turns out that I (ED and Miss Perfectionist) was the only one placing those unrealistic expectations on myself.  Going into 2014 I will continue to be kind to myself…I am worth it.

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and holiday season.  Take the time to enjoy and cherish those things in life that really matter. 

Last Christmas minute tips and a recipe!

Review: NuGo Stronger Protein Bars

I am a big fan of NuGo protein bars, so when I heard they debuted a new bar, I was excited to try it. The new bar, NuGo Stronger, is a higher protein bar with no soy ingredients.

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The NuGo Stronger bars come in four different varieties:

More about the bars:

  • Hormone-free whey protein
  • 25-27g of quality protein
  • No soy protein
  • Lower sugar (no maltitol)
  • Non-GMO
  • Certified Gluten-Free
  • High fiber (12g)

Of course I quickly fell in love with these bars.  The Caramel Pretzel is my favorite…the perfect combination of sweet and salty. What a perfect way to refuel after a tough workout!  NuGo Nutrition products can be purchased online or in stores across the US and Canada.  Look for NuGO STRONGER to hit stores in early Spring 2014.   More about NuGo Nutrition:

Our mission at NuGo is pretty simple:

To help people make better snack choices without compromising on flavor. We never use hydrogenated oils or trans fats in our products and, unlike our competitors, we never use waxy vegetable fat compounds in place of real, delicious chocolate. We use only all natural, top quality ingredients like real milk chocolate and antioxidant-rich real dark chocolate to make our bars the best tasting, healthiest options available.

NuGo is an independent food company dedicated to producing the finest, healthiest, most delicious products.  NuGo is the fastest growing Lifestyle Brand in the Natural Foods category.

Today NuGo makes 7 different kinds of bars. We continually respond to our customers’ requests for new and improved nutritional products with exceptional flavor and taste. Healthier choices from the nutrition-conscious folks at NuGo will be at a store near you soon with more products debuting each year.

Our headquarters are in Pittsburgh, PA with additional offices in San Francisco and New York.

Have you tried the new NuGo Stronger bars?  What about any of the other NuGo Nutrition bars?

*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.

Ian’s Review & Giveaway

Ian’s Natural Foods is one brand I know that we can count on to bring us quality gluten-free products. Not only do they offer gluten-free products, but those products are also often free of many of the other top allergens. In addition to offering a wide variety of foods in mainstream grocery stores, Ian’s also has a product line that meets all nutrition standards for the National School Lunch Program.

We recently had the opportunity to sample some of the newer products in the Ian’s line-up.

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Ian’s Pancrepes are a unique breakfast idea sure to put a smile on your face.  It’s won’t be hard to be a morning person after you try these!  My heart lies with the Blueberry Pancrepes, while Jon prefers the Sausage Pancrepes.  In addition to being gluten-free the Pancrepes are also free of milk/casein, nuts and soy.

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Ian’s Parmesan Garlic Panko Breadcrumbs are free of gluten, eggs and nuts.  They are great for adding a great crunch to chicken fingers without frying, making them a much healthier option!

Ian’s products can be found in grocery stores across the US.

Have you tried these new products from Ian’s?  Do you have a favorite Ian’s product?  Leave a comment below and I’ll pick one lucky reader to receive a free product coupon from Ian’s Natural Foods.  *Comments will be open until 12:01 AM EST on December 17, 2013. 

*The products mentioned in this post and free product were supplied courtesy of Ian’s Natural Foods for review purposes.  The thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Weekly Menu Plan–December 9, 2013

Welcome to the second week of December! Our weather has been more like January with snow and ice storms.  Kids had their first snow day last Friday and mom got to run on the snowy trail early Saturday with some friends. 

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What a great day for a run!!

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What is that saying?  “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”


Weekly Menu:

Monday – Take-out <—-Stellar way to start the week, huh?

Tuesday – Turkey tacos, black beans, corn and salad

Wednesday – Spaghetti with meat sauce, salad and gluten-free garlic bread

Thursday – Pot roast, potatoes, carrots and salad

Friday – Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday – Leftovers or take-out after hockey


Weekly Recap:

Last day to enter the Soy Protein Giveaway

Review: Pretzel Perfection Peppermint Clusters <—Great gift idea!

Gluten-free Chow Mein Noodles

The CeliAction Study – Take Action Against Celiac Disease

Have you finished Christmas shopping?  Not me.  I am a slacker!

Have a great week!

Kim

Soy Protein Review & Giveaway

Since it is December, there is no better time for a giveaway, right?  ‘Tis the season!  Today I am thrilled to share my thoughts about a couple of great soy protein products:

The NoGii Kids bars are great for packing for school snacks or a quick snack before heading to a sports game or practice.

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More about the NoGii Kids bars:

“KIDS LOVE THESE BARS! Packed with nutrition and loaded with great taste-NoGii Kids is the ultimate healthy snack for our kids with premium protein, quality carbohydrates, fiber, and Omega 3’s. You can feel certain that this bar is ALL-NATURAL with NO GLUTEN, NO NUTS, and NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. NoGii Kids-The Smart Choice for a Smart Snack.”

INGREDIENTS: Soy Protein Crisps (Soy Protein Isolate, Tapioca Starch), Marshmallow Creme (Sugar, Brown Rice Syrup, Crystalline Fructose, Invert Sugar, Water, Egg Albumen, Agar, Gum Arabic, Natural Flavor), Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Brown Rice Crisps (Organic Brown Rice, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Sea Salt), Rice Syrup Solids, Maize Dextrin (Dietary Fiber), Organic Canola Oil, Organic Agave Syrup, Whey Protein Isolate, Organic Palm Oil, Vanilla Yogurt Drizzle (Sugar, Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil, Whey Powder, Nonfat Dry Milk Powder, Cultured Whey, Soy Lecithin [emulsifier], Vanilla), Vegetable Glycerine, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Soy Lecithin, Mixed Tocopherols (Natural Vitamin E), Purified Stevia Extract, Lo Han Extract.

A3 bars also make great snacks and are made with Manuka honey!

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More about A3 bars:

When you’re standing on the verge of something spectacular, you need to make sure your body is fueled for success. The last thing you want is to crash or hit the wall, nutritionally speaking. A3 will help you over that wall and get you ready to push it to the edge. When your sport is demanding, you should demand top fuel for your body. A3 Action Snax are formulated to shock the taste buds and give you uncompromised critical nutrition, when you need it and where you need it. Ingredient list.

I really enjoyed both bars and this super-cool insulated cooler I received:

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A little more about soy protein:

· Soy protein is a high‐quality, plant‐based protein derived from soybeans

· Soy protein supports healthy growth and development

· Because of its ability to impact satiety, soy protein can help in managing a healthy weight in children

· Soy protein is a healthy alternative for children with milk, egg or peanut allergies

· Incorporating high-quality proteins, such as soy protein, into children’s diets supports immune health

DuPont Nutrition and Health has graciously offered to provide one lucky reader with a gift pack that includes one A3 Honey Graham S’mores bar, one Nogii Kids Chocolate Chip bar, and one “Soy Satisfying” Lunch Cooler.  There will also be a coupon for a Morningstar Farms product, but they are NOT gluten-free, so feel free to pass along to a friend.  All you have to do to enter to win is follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter box below.  Good luck! Continue reading Soy Protein Review & Giveaway

Glutino’s New Online Store

If you used to shop at glutenfree.com for your Glutino products, they can now be purchased in the Glutino online store. The new store is stocked with your favorite Glutino products.  The products may cost a bit more online than they do in they grocery store, but remember, you are paying for convenience.  Sure I can run down to my local grocery store and probably find what I am looking for, but there are times when they are out of stock or aren’t carrying a product that is newer to the line-up.  We are blessed to have so many gluten-free shopping options in Columbus.  I know that there are many that struggle to find the products they want, so maybe this will help simplify things for those people. 

Some of our favorite gluten-free Glutino products include:

Glutino is offering 10% off your first order through 11:59 PM PT today. Orders over $59.00 will ship free. 

Simply fill your cart with the Glutino snacks, pastas, cereals, baking mixes, and desserts of your choice, and enter the offer code NEWSTORE at checkout to receive your discount.

What is your favorite Glutino product?  Do you shop online for your gluten-free specialty items?

Weekly Menu Plan–December 1, 2013

Welcome to December!  It really seems like we lost a week with Thanksgiving being so late this year, didn’t it?  Christmas is 3 weeks from Wednesday, which means I better get on the ball.  I still have Christmas cards to design, print and mail, not to mention the shopping list I have to complete! 

I did some of that shopping on Black Friday with my mom and Hannah, though I may have purchased more for myself than for Christmas gifts.  We did enjoy our time together which included an early lunch at California Pizza Kitchen and some amazing gluten-free pizza.

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So good! 


Monday – Rotisserie chicken, brown rice fettuccine with Alfredo and salad

Tuesday – Soft turkey tacos, corn and salad

Wednesday – Take-out

Thursday – Burgers, sweet potato fries and salad

Friday –Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday – Breakfast for dinner


Weekly Recap

Red Apple Lipstick News – Mascara is delayed, but new eye liner debuts

Recipe: Toffee Pecan Pumpkin Pie

Review: Glutenfreeda Instant Oatmeal Cups

Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint adds more choices to gluten-free menu

Have a great week!

Kim

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