Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gluten Free Thanksgiving

   Every year, it gets easier and easier to have a gluten free holiday free of worries. This year, I just went to the store and purchased all the things I needed to make a convenient gluten free meal. 
   When I was diagnosed ten years ago, I had basically given up on ever having a holiday that felt the way it used to. I couldn't have guessed that now the holidays would be even better than they were then where the food is concerned. 
   Not only can I find a ton of gluten free products, but I can now make all kinds of recipes that I would not even have dreamed of back then. I can make a Thanksgiving feast complete with several different desserts that wouldn't make anyone guess it was gluten free. 
   Being gluten free has taught me so many things I never thought I would learn. It has given me a love of cooking that I don't think I ever would have acquired otherwise. Most of all, it has given me the need to try new things and be less picky about what I am willing to eat. That is possibly the thing I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving. 
   After all the hardship at first, the tried and failed recipes, and the continued efforts to make things better, I am finally to a place where it all works. I can now throw ingredients in a bowl and come out with a delicious recipe that I never would have found in a cookbook. For that, I will always be thankful.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo

Since going gluten free, there aren't many times in my life now when a simple event can make me feel like a kid in a candy store. That being said, the Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo held this past weekend in Dallas did just that. The second I walked in the door, I could feel the excitement of all the vendors trying to get their gluten free products out there. I could also see the excitement in the people like me there, that couldn't believe all the vendors in the room and all the amazing gluten free products awaiting them. I've been to my share of expos since going gluten free, but this one was different. I never had to ask what was in a product before trying it, and sadly pass the ones I knew I couldn't have. Every food in the room was gluten free, so there was nothing out of my reach. That is a truly amazing feeling to have no restrictions for the first time in ten years. I walked around the room amazed at how many of the vendors I had heard of. There were only just a few that I had not heard of. I got to try some truly amazing products, and even bought a couple. I also came away from the expo with four new cookbooks at really cheap prices. Even better than all that is all the free products I came home with to try. It's been a long time since I have had that much fun at any kind of big event. It is truly a wonderful experience to go to an event that is made for the gluten free community. It's a completely different atmosphere. No one is in a hurry to get through it and leave, everyone is just so happy to be there that they are nice to everyone around them. If every event I went to was like that one, I would never stay home. I had a blast at the GFAF Expo, and I can't wait until the next event I get to attend. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kind Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

I've spent a good part of the past few weeks looking for a snack bar that is good for you, but also tastes just as good. I am a foodie who loves real food, not diet food. So as you can guess, it is nearly impossible for me to find a good diet type snack bar. I recently tried the Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Kind Plus bar and loved it. You really get all the flavors mixed in beautifully with every bite. I love dark chocolate, and this bar did not leave me disappointed. It really delivers the dark chocolate in a big way. It also has that chewy texture to it so it is not rock hard like most gluten free bars. This bar does not taste like a gluten free diet bar. It tastes like a candy bar that is good for you.

KIND PLUS, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein, Gluten Free Bars (Pack of 12)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Making Time to Find New Things

After being gluten free for almost ten years now, I usually don't look much for gluten free products in the grocery store in my town. They rarely have anything that is except for their small gluten free section. But every now and then, I decide to just walk around and if I see a product that looks good, I pick it up and read the label. While this is quite time consuming, it is also vastly rewarding when I find a product that is in fact gluten free. My most recent find, is Talenti Gelato.

I have passed it in the store for months, but never stopped to look at it. To my surprise, it actually is labeled gluten free on the back of the jar. I was actually drawn to this because I was craving chocolate, and nothing that is double dark chocolate could ever be bad. Talenti has 13 flavors of gelato and 5 flavors of sorbetto, all gluten free except the Caramel Cookie Crunch. It is light and fluffy, Kosher, all natural, contains 30 to 100 percent less fat than ice cream, and absolutely delicious! This find reminded me that every now and then, you have to take the time to look around and see what you might be missing. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Katz Gluten Free Review & Giveaway

Anyone who has read my blog, Facebook, or Twitter page knows by now that I love Katz Gluten Free Products. Recently I had the opportunity to sample some of the new products from Katz, and I found that I love them just as much as the rest, and so do some of my family and friends that are not gluten free. The first product I tried was the new apple pie. I am a lover of pie, so if it can impress me, it's gotta be a great pie.

Just glancing at the pie, I immediately noticed that it looked flaky and beautiful. It was love at first bite. The pie was indeed flaky, not dry and crumbly. The apple filling had a wonderful apple flavor, a thick syrup filling and wasn't too sweet.

The next product I tried was the Coffee Bundt Cake.

The cake was moist and not sweet at all. The frosting balanced with the cake perfectly with the sweet element and the strong coffee flavor any espresso fan is sure to love. I took a couple pieces of this cake to work, and in less than 10 minutes, my friend Jake made them disappear. The cake is a wonderful breakfast food.

The final new product I have tried so far is the Sugared Snack Poppers.

These amazing cookies remind me of the Nilla Wafers I loved so much as a kid. They have a fantastic vanilla flavor and are the perfect size for kids and adults alike. These cookies would be perfect to use in a vanilla pudding recipe or other pudding desserts.

Katz Gluten Free has about 40 products, all of them fantastic! They offer cakes, cookies, breads, pizza crusts, and much more. You can get free shipping on orders over $30 and right now if you purchase their new Cherry Pie or Apple Pie you can get up to 4 dollars off with these coupon codes.

Cherry: SummerPie2
Apple: SummerPie1
Blueberry: SummerPie3

You can follow Katz on Twitter or like them on Facebook. Now to the good part. You have a chance to win a box of any 5 products of your choosing from GF Savvy and Katz Gluten Free. To enter, just leave a comment at the bottom of this blog with your email address and why you love Katz Gluten Free products. You can also enter to win a box of every product Katz Gluten Free carries in their grand raffle. To enter that raffle, go to

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Excitement of a Box

As hilarious as it might be, I always get just giddy when I get a new box of gluten free products to try. Yesterday, I got a box from one of my favorite companies, Katz Gluten Free. As soon as I saw the label on the box, I went inside and ripped into it. Inside the box was all the products that I wanted to try. Some of these products were their new Apple Pies, a Coffee Bundt Cake, and the Sugared Snack Poppers. I have to say Katz couldn't have picked better products for me if they had tried. My favorite kind of pie is apple, and I am addicted to coffee! Over the next few days, I will be sending reviews on all of these products, plus there will be a chance for you to win a box of 5 Katz Gluten Free products of your choice. Check in tomorrow to see how you can win!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Wonder of Food

When I was younger, I was quite a picky eater. I think most of us can say that as children. As I got older, I started trying some new things, but still fell under the picky eater category. When I started the gluten free diet, I realized that limiting myself to the foods I knew I liked was just crazy. There was so much food out there that I could have, but didn't want to try. At that point I came to realize that the gluten free diet was picky enough without me helping. About a year after going gluten free, I adopted a new policy on food. If it's gluten free and doesn't eat me first, I'll try it. The truth is, you never know what your missing unless you give it a shot. If you try something and don't like it, you can at least say you tried it. But, not giving something a try just because you think you won't like it is cheating yourself. You never know when you'll miss out on something amazing.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lessons Life Has Taught Me

Every now and then we have to take a break from out usual to look at things we seem to ignore most of the time. For me, that would be the part of my life that doesn't include working all the time and always doing something. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what we're working toward that we forget to just sit back and enjoy the ride. Don't get me wrong, it is great to have goals to work toward and the feeling of accomplishment when you get there.  But it's those little things along the way that make the journey worth it, and if we are too distracted by what we're doing to notice we miss out on all the wonderful things. As we get older, we start to wonder about what we would do if we could go back. Would we change the way we handled things? In a simple word, no. While some experiences in my life have been painful, or awkward, or just downright depressing, I learned something important from every one of them. I learned that sometimes people aren't what they seem, you have to be careful who you trust, and that bad things happen. What matters is what you learn from it and how you handle the situation next time. I firmly believe that we all have room for improvement and as we go along, we get better. Becoming gluten free after being diagnosed as a Celiac was part of my self improvement. It was awful at first and I didn't want to deal with it at all. But as time went on, I learned to deal with it and eventually decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and turn my diagnosis into a way to help others like me. The hardest thing to do is fight something when you feel all alone. Realizing that you aren't alone changes everything. It makes you realize there are other people out there going through the same thing as you. That simple little fact makes it easier to deal with. Without Celiac Disease, I would not have grown to be the person I am today. I wouldn't have this need to help others like me however I can. In a way, I am actually thankful for my Celiac. It made me realize a purpose I never would have seen without it. Everything in life happens for a reason, I believe that now more than ever. As hard as it may be at the time, you just have to stop and realize what that reason is.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Gluten Free Rice Krispies

There has been a lot of hype the past few months on the gluten free Rice Krispies that were to be released in June. Of course this news had the gluten free community patiently awaiting the arrival of the cereal, and still has me waiting. 

Every time I go to any store that carries cereal, I have to go look and see if it has made it to the shelves yet. When you stop and think about it, it really is funny that a person can get so excited about cereal. The truth is, it's really like a new toy to a child. Something new and different than what we have every day, and hopefully, something better than what we have had before. I'll say this about my Celiac Disease, it really has made me appreciate the little things in life. It has also made me a lot less picky about the foods I'll eat. My basic rule now is this..if it's gluten free, I'll try it. I guess that can be chalked up to one more thing the gluten free diet has done for me. 
For now, I will continue waiting patiently for the Rice Krispies to make it to stores here in my hometown. Hopefully they will make it soon.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Weekend of Gluten Free Discovery

This weekend I made several fantastic gluten free discoveries. More than likely, these discoveries are not new to everyone, just new to me.  While at my grandpa's house today, I happened to notice that Worcestershire Sauce is labeled gluten free.  I haven't used the stuff in years, but am actually thrilled that now I can.  In addition to this fantastic discovery, I also noticed today that Frito Lay products are labeled gluten free as well.  After making these discoveries, I couldn't help but wonder if these were recent changes, or I have just been completely oblivious to them.  Do we get so used to knowing that something is safe or not safe to eat, that we just begin ignoring the package completely? If so, we really need to start paying attention and stop missing the amazing discoveries to be made. My wonderful weekend of discovery continued with finding out that the grocery story here in my little town is now carrying some gluten free items again.  It is a strange assortment of items, but a step in the correct direction.  I also discovered that the grocery store I usually buy my gluten free items at is now carrying some breads from Canyon Bakehouse. So of course, I bought one of them to try.  I am really looking forward to trying the product and seeing if it lives up to the hype. I really hope the selection of gluten free items I can get my hands on locally continues to grow, because I love trying new things.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Gluten Free Food Labeling Summit

On May 4, 2011 gluten free finally became an issue to the FDA, thanks to a group called 1 in 133 that personally took on the fight to get the FDA to make standardized gluten free labeling. To those that started the group, thank you.  To everyone who signed the petition like I did, you are helping to make this happen. This is one of the biggest movements in the gluten free community and proves that we will fight for what we need. It seems that the message got across to the FDA, but now we just have to wait and see. Hopefully things will change now and life will get easier for the gluten free community. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Celiac Awareness Month

May is Celiac Awareness month! This year, the month is all about changing the way people look at gluten free. Just a few days away the first Gluten Free Food Labeling Summit will be held in Washington, DC.  Most of us can't go out to the event, but there is still a way to help with the cause. You can go to and sign the petition to get the FDA to finally set standardized labeling for gluten free products. Anyone that is on the gluten free diet knows how important it is to have a standard for gluten free labeling. It would make our lives much easier, and ensure that all gluten free products are indeed that. I really hope this summit makes the FDA see that we are going to fight for what should have already been done, and make them finally take action.  I guess we'll just have to see.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Simple Gluten Free

Alot of gluten free recipes that you find are so complicated and fancy.  Being a southern girl, I am a believer in simple recipes.  Plus, I am always going ninety to nothing so I need recipes that don't take much time to make. I will admit that I love cooking and making recipes, but there are those time when all I feel like doing is cooking something out of a box.  It's not often, but it does happen.  Some might believe that a dessert made from a mix could not possibly be as good as one made from scratch, but I disagree. Especially when you are making it for kids.

These cupcakes are some of the simplest I have made. They are from the Betty Crocker Devil's Food cake mix with fluffy white frosting colored with food coloring.  Then to top them off, there are colored sugar sprinkles on top.  These easy cupcakes are the perfect Easter treat when you don't have much time to spare.  The kids love them and they taste fantastic! Any dessert can be fantastic if you get creative, no matter how much time you spend on it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

More Shopping Excitement

This weekend I visited Sam's Club again and just happened to stumble across another item labeled gluten free. I am an avid baker, so I always have certain ingredients on hand in my house.  I find that some things are easier and cheaper to buy in bulk so one of the things on my grocery list this weekend was powdered sugar. I knew it was gluten free, but I'm always amazed to see things labeled as such. 

I guess it's the little things in life that amaze me the most. The most amazing thing is that my mom, who was shopping with me, completely missed that it said gluten free. Naturally, that was the very first thing I noticed when looking at the bag. Maybe once you are living gluten free you just snap into a mode where you look for those two words on any food you come across. Are you as apt as I am to catch the words gluten free on a product package?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Excitement of Shopping

When I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I dreaded walking into the grocery store.  There was never anything that said gluten free, and the only foods I could buy were the ones I was so tired of eating.  Times have really changed, it seems.  I went into Sam's Club yesterday and had a wonderful shopping experience.  Several of the items I usually buy and know are gluten free, actually say it on the box now! 

I was so surprised and excited to find that these things now say gluten free.  In fact, I took pictures of some of the items and immediately put them on twitter.  While I know that makes me a huge gluten free nerd, I just get so excited to see gluten free everywhere on products from tons of different companies.  Every time I go to the grocery store, there seems to be a new product that says gluten free on the label. I really hope this trend continues and makes the gluten free world a lot easier.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Making It Work Gluten Free

For some, living gluten free is like a punishment.  It turns their world upside down and they have no idea what to do.  For others, it is a chance to change their life.  For me, it was a little of both.  I was fifteen when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and if you had asked me then, I would have said the world was ending.  Of course it really wasn't that dramatic, but you couldn't have convinced me.  Looking back now I laugh at myself because while it was hard at first, life is so much better now.  I can cook just about anything, and will eat just about anything that doesn't have gluten in it.  Both of these things happened because of my Celiac Disease.  I've always loved to cook, but after starting the gluten free diet, there was a lot of experimenting with recipes to get things to cook right and taste good. There were some successes and some huge failures, but every experience taught me something I could apply the next time. Now I can just make up a recipe as I go. That is something I never would have tried to do before the gluten free diet.  In a lot of ways, I have my Celiac Disease to thank for making me the person I am today.  I am a person that wants to help others in any way I can, which is why I started this blog.  I have tons of knowledge and secrets about living gluten free and I want to share it with anyone who wants it.  I remember starting out and having no idea what foods I could eat.  I would hope those starting out now would have better resources than I did back then, but if they don't they have the gluten free community.  From Facebook and Twitter, to Linked In and Gluten Free Faces.  We're all here to help those that need it, and to give ideas to each other.  That is the best thing gluten free has given me.