2021 Gluten-Free Easter Candy List

2021 Gluten-Free Easter Candy List

VeryWell Fit is a great place to check out lists and articles. I highly recommend you bookmark the site. Here’s their annual Easter candy list.


I love Peeps and they have so many new flavors- Hot Tamales flavor is a new fave, which is powerful in scent, yet mild in taste, even though it says “fierce cinnamon”. Specifically says “gluten-free” on package back. I hope the Easter Bunny brings me a basketful! (Allergen warning says, “may contain milk”.)

Another new delicious treat are Starburst Jumbo Jelly Beans! Bite them in half or enjoy them whole and savor them slowly.

Happy Easter to all! – AFI

Having your story be respected

Having your story be respected

Several years ago, as I helped a friend move, she introduced me as “the person who is writing the gluten-free blog”. The response to her intro was hurtful, especially coming from a guy who didn’t even know me; he said, “well, you’ve been gluten-free for years. You should write a blog before she does.” Ugh!

The response has stuck with me for years, haunted me and kept me from writing when I wanted to; “who are you to write anything when there are so many others who know it better than you do?” His words from years ago still hold sway over me and my blog writing.

No longer!

My intention is to be more mindful with posting here- about my gluten-free experience which is on-going since 2013, food reviews, and topics on body image and food-related challenges.

We are all experts on our own experiences and trials. No one else can give that testimony or witness. To my “friend” who may or may not be reading this, I hope you yourself have started your own blog to help others through the challenges of GF living, you helped me, however, remember to be cognizant of others and their feelings and their need to be heard.


The Online Nourished Festival, a FREE gluten-free festival! Sept. 24-26, 2020!

The Online Nourished Festival, a FREE gluten-free festival! Sept. 24-26, 2020!

Usually the Gluten-Free Festival is set for a certain location and, for me, is not convenient to travel to. This year, as Covid-19 and quarantines and social distancing hit, they decided to go online. And this is a major plus for those of us who can’t stand crowds, prefer to remain at a distance, and hate paying money to park (sometimes more than the fee for the event). The offerings for this 3-day extravaganza are amazing! Connect with brands in a virtual booth space, access discounts, purchase products, enter giveaways, watch cooking demos, and join educational presentations (172 Educational Sessions! Categories include: Health & Medical, Cooking, Baking, Lifestyle, and Kids.) There are 280 Exhibitors! Oh, my!

Something for everyone! Sign up now, it begins Thursday, September 24-26, 2020. FREE! Register at the link below…


NOTE- It is offered 11 am – 7 pm *Eastern time* each day.

2019 Gluten-Free Halloween Candy List

2019 Gluten-Free Halloween Candy List

Just in time for Halloween! Lots of gluten-free ideas for your treaters!

Very Well’s GF candy list updated in September 2019. Lots of great candy to share with trick-or-treaters or your own little monsters.

Schar’s new cookie treats!
“Are you looking for gluten free, individually wrapped candies this Halloween? We’ve got the perfect treats! Choose between: Chocolix – a chocolate covered candy bar filled with caramel, Sch’nacks – little cakes with cream filling, Twin Bar – delicious wafers covered in thick European chocolate, and finally, our Chocolate Hazelnut Bars – light and crispy wafers, covered in chocolate and filled with a hazelnut cream; or get them all now!”


I’ve also found the most delicious Scottie Dog Licorice at my local market, made by Gimbal’s Candy in the ol’ USA (San Francisco!) Peanut free, tree nut free, dairy free, gluten free, soy free, egg free, and kosher pareve! AND no high fructose corn syrup either! I found them on clearance several months ago and bought all the bags they had, then a few weeks ago, they were back at my market in new packaging! (Pictured- (L) old black & white, (R) new white & black). Although these are not in individual portion-size bags, they can still be enjoyed by those you know by placing them in snack-size bags. I love them for going to the movie theater, I make them last by cutting each dog in 3 pieces with scissors and savoring each piece.


Something more to consider about my beloved Scotties…

Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2020
To: Gimbals Customer Service
Subject: Scottie’s ingredients

I love your licorice! I can’t eat other licorice brands because I have a gluten sensitivity. A friend is saying that black licorice can cause heart disease because it robs the body of potassium. Because of the sweetening compound “glycyrrhizin”. I don’t see this as an ingredient on your packages and am hoping it is not included, because I have genetic heart issues. Can you confirm whether this ingredient is in your Scotties that I love so much?

Received: Wednesday, March 16, 2020
From: Gimbals Customer Service
Subject: Scottie’s ingredients

Please forgive the delay in responding to your question. (over 1 month to reply to me)

Thank you for your compliment of our Black Licorice Scottie Dogs.  They do contain a small amount of Glycyrrhizin because we use Real Licorice Root extract, along with Pure Anise.  Glycyrrhizin naturally occurs in Licorice Root.  The amount of Licorice Root Extract is pretty low. 0.02% and the amount of Glycyrrhizin is a portion of that.  Just to be on the safe side though, you should discontinue eating this product until you speak with your physician.

We hope that the amount is negligible enough that you will be able to continue enjoying them, since it’s obviously a favorite.

Thank you for writing and again, please accept my apology for keeping you waiting.


Gimbal’s Customer Service


Schar Bread and Storage

Schar Bread and Storage

This info came through an email from Schar (www.schaer.com). I’ve purchased their products in the past, amazed that they are so fresh for so long on the shelf. I guess I didn’t know that you have to consume it quickly after opening. If there is too much left to eat within a few days, I always freeze it. Honestly, I’d rather not waste the bread, even if it doesn’t taste as good after being frozen. -AFI

”How to Properly Store Our Bread

Since there are no preservatives in any of our products, the bread molds faster than you would expect. The packaging keeps it fresh and shelf stable for 4 months, however after opening, you will need to enjoy within 2-3 days (depending on your environment).

Since we know it can be difficult to consume a whole loaf of bread in one sitting, we suggest placing the product in an air tight container in the fridge. Enjoy!”


Very Well’s 2016 GF Candy List

Very Well’s 2016 GF Candy List

Safe treating to you!
Safe treating to you!

I’m not a really big candy person, but I love my GF chewy sweets like Starburst & Skittles when I watch a movie.

VeryWell.com has a great GF candy list for this Halloween. Very comprehensive!

Very Well’s list of gluten-free candy (updated 10/2016)

Happy & safe treating this Halloween!

10 Non-Food Ways to Treat Yourself – For Less Than 20 Dollars

10 Non-Food Ways to Treat Yourself – For Less Than 20 Dollars

10 Non-Food Ways to Treat Yourself – For Less Than 20 Dollars So much of mainstream “health” advice is focused around things you can’t have. “Don’t eat this” “Don’t drink this” “Steer clear of this” So I thought, instead of being another negative Nancy, I’d talk about a big part of health that I believe is […]

Source: 10 Non-Food Ways to Treat Yourself – For Less Than 20 Dollars

GIG Membership

GIG Membership

Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) membership

“GIG has been providing resources, educational information, and outreach initiatives since 1974 to all individuals who are living gluten-free. We would be excited to have you join us for our next period of growth and expansion!”

To sign up for their monthly e-newsletters, just give them your email address. They are a great resource whether you are new to GF living or a seasoned pro.

Restaurant Review: Psycho Donuts

Restaurant Review: Psycho Donuts

It’s been too long since I last visited Psycho Donuts to enjoy one of their gluten-free donuts. Part of the reason for the gap in time was I never really knew when they were going to be available, sometimes once a month. More recently, for a short trial period, they have GF donuts every Friday, so no calling, just show up.

I have to say, I was really excited about this visit. Psycho Donuts is famous for their crazy flavor combos, such as Cereal Killer (fruity cereal on top), Kooky Monster (topped with crushed Oreo cookies and blue drizzle), and the Dead Elvis (cream filled, bananas, bacon, peanut butter and jelly). The last time I had a donut was Katz Donuts (boxed and frozen, Sprouts Markets) which are delicious warmed up.. But you can imagine the feeling of walking in to buy fresh!…the mouth-watering scent! And in that aspect, Psycho did not disappoint.

GF donut options for 5/15/15
GF donut options for 5/15/15

The GF donuts are stored in clear plastic takeout containers in a back area separate from the displayed donuts up front. The “Crazy Nurse” pulled out a container and placed it on the counter. I was actually confused because there were 5 donuts in the container, one of each of the GF flavors that day, and I really only wanted one donut (at $3.00 each). She told me that I could get whatever combination I wanted, however, because of the way they’re packaged, I couldn’t buy several of one kind. So I opted to buy 3 of the 5 GF “flavors” they had that day – maple bacon with chocolate, strawberry chocolate, and peanut butter chocolate chip. The “Nurse” who helped me said the official Psycho names would be on the website, but the pictures on their site “menu” are only for their regular donuts, not GF, probably because the GF flavors change weekly.

I was rushed and ate them out of the paper bag with my fingers, however, the donuts really REALLY needed to be on a plate and enjoyed with a knife & fork; the icings were gooey, the toppings coming off easily, and the cake itself was dry and firm, so imagine the mess I had trying to break off a piece out of the bag. Ugh!

The best flavor (of course!) was the maple bacon chocolate, really strong, with the perfect mix of salty & sweet. My son felt differently when he tried a bite, he didn’t like how hard the bacon pieces were, “too chewy”. He complained about how hard the cake was, expecting soft & moist, which none of the donuts were. The strawberry chocolate was topped with dried strawberries which weren’t appetizing to look at but were deliciously tart and did remind me of chocolate covered strawberries. And the peanut butter chocolate chip’s topping immediately had that peanut buttery texture that sticks to the roof of your mouth and I enjoyed that.

I did take 2 days to eat all 3 donuts, so I savored the flavors. This will probably hold me over for several months before I pay them another visit; though the flavors were good, the donut cake itself was too dry for me.

Product Review: Ivy’s Garden Sweet & Sour Chicken

Product Review: Ivy’s Garden Sweet & Sour Chicken

Ivy's Garden Sweet & Sour Chicken

Since going gluten-free in August 2013, it’s rare that I eat Chinese food, especially in a restaurant, the chance of the establishment not knowing what I mean when asked whether they have a GF menu is saddening, and we usually walk out hungry. So when I met Ivy of Ivy’s Garden Food, creator of tasty Chinese frozen family meals and self-proclaimed “Chinese Supermom”, at a GF Expo in San Francisco a few years ago, I was thrilled to taste her food. Since then, she has expanded from online orders only to having her meals sold at Safeway stores in the Northern California area, as well as stores in Portland OR.

I had purchased direct from her about a year ago, however, this time, I bought at Safeway to see the difference in freshness. I was not disappointment in my meal, in either freshness, taste, or value.

Currently, Ivy’s Garden Food has 3 delicious frozen meal options – Lemon Chicken, Chicken Nuggets, and Sweet & Sour Chicken, which is the item I tried. The box boasts “simply delicious”, “no preservatives, no MSG”, “made from all-fresh natural* ingredients”, and telling me my meal has “chicken (white meat), pineapple, and green pepper”. I made the meal for my husband & I, however, I did embellish it with added pineapple since I had some in the fridge.

The meal was ample enough for “2” (as stated on the packaging) and we enjoyed it over a bed of Jasmine rice (not included in meal). We extended the ingredients by cutting the chicken in smaller more manageable bites (the chicken pieces are bigger than I expected). The sauce so tangy, yet sweet, the chicken was tender. Oh, my mouth is watering as I type!

I love having convenient meals, like Ivy’s, available for nights I don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen cooking; it’s there in the freezer, and you have the choice of cooking in the oven & stovetop (about 20 minutes), or in the microwave (less than 5 minutes); I always choose the microwave unless it’s cold outside and I want to heat the house a bit more with the oven heat, and then there is no dirty pan as Ivy provides all you need to cook it.

Add chopsticks and we were good to go!

IF, and that’s a big IF, you have any leftovers, be aware that the breading on the chicken will not adhere to the pieces after sitting in the sauce overnight, it blends into the sauce. Frankly, I have no problem with this because the taste is great, even day 2.

Ivy’s Garden Food can be purchased online or at Northern California Safeway stores. Her website is a wealth of information, with tried-and-true GF recipes, and articles on gluten-free living.

*minimally processed; no artificial ingredients.