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.

(link updated 5/8/22)

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.

2015 Easter/Passover Candy List

2015 Easter/Passover Candy List

peeps

2015 Easter/Passover Candy List

From the Celiac.org website- “Its time to hop on over to your nearest grocery store and stock up on all the latest gluten-free candies for Easter and Passover. There is no more worrying about making sure everyone is included because this years list is full of candy everyone of all ages can enjoy. Candies listed below are considered to be gluten-free by their United States manufacturers as of the date of this posting. Celiac Disease Foundation recommends ingredient review to confirm gluten-free status as manufacturing practices may change. Consumers are advised to verify ingredients directly with the manufacturer when in doubt.”

Healthy GF Recipes for Super Bowl Sunday!

Healthy GF Recipes for Super Bowl Sunday!

involved-football-league-1

This is a great assortment of GF recipe choices to pack your Super Bowl Party (or any party!) Thank you Beth @TastyYummies.

http://tasty-yummies.com/2013/01/31/a-super-healthy-gluten-free-super-bowl-a-recipe-round-up/

And from a previous blog post…

https://afitimage.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/party-food/

Happy Haunting tips from Udi’s

Happy Haunting tips from Udi’s

From Udi’s site- “Halloween is coming up—the favorite holiday of ghouls, ghosts, and kids alike! All of us at Udi’s love Halloween, especially when it’s safe and full of yummy gluten free treats. Read on for some safety tips and tricks, gluten free candy guidelines, and a few fun recipes.”

http://udisglutenfree.com/2012/10/25/happy-haunting/

An Allergy-Friendly Halloween

An Allergy-Friendly Halloween

I couldn’t do it any better. Thank you for the research you do, Find Me Gluten Free!

And some tips from Udi’s!

Find Me Gluten Free

Not only has the air started to cool and the leaves started to fall, but you’ve also been bombarded with pumpkin recipes everywhere you look (and man do they look delicious). These signs mean one thing… it’s almost Halloween! Besides planning the perfect costume, Halloween can get a little tricky and require a little extra planning for someone with celiac disease or food allergies. There are lots of delicious treats out there to eat, but before you start filling your bag (or your child’s bag), it is important to learn which candies are gluten free and safe to consume. The Celiac Disease Foundation provides a nice list of gluten free Halloween treats here. To be extra safe, it is always smart to double check with the manufacturers of your favorite candies.

Non-Food

What if a person has multiple food allergies, or would rather not risk it with treats? A new…

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Crazy Summer!

Crazy Summer!

My summer began with a scheduled trip to Nashville TN for a faith-based conference on body image and eating issues, Hungry for Hope. This *would* have been my 4th year in attendance, except that the kidney stones that had been plaguing me for 5 months decided to cause problems and my trip was canceled, surgery scheduled instead.

Between kidney stones, braces, and general stress related to family, my weight dropped and I am trying to stabilize. This is a daily challenge, as is the challenge of continuing to eat GF.

It has been ONE YEAR! And it is fantastic! Clearer head, depression pretty much gone, even with the issues mentioned above, I feel great! Productivity uP, I’m getting work done!

I’m taking a vacation and will bring back pictures and stories from far away. I’m hoping that I’ll have lots to share about GF eating while I travel. No internet or phone service (too expensive) so will sign out and be back after my trip.

Top Five Prepackaged GF Chocolate Chip Cookies

Top Five Prepackaged GF Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love chocolate chip cookies! Thank you, GFG!

Gluten Free Gus

A warm cookie for the landscaping guy ;-)

Our best recommendation for  good GF cookies is to make them from scratch. Please try our special recipe which we happily shared for the first time last month: http://glutenfreegus.com/2013/03/19/guss-chocolate-chip-cookies-dog-food-sandwich-solution/; satisfaction guaranteed!

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Restaurant Review: Dona Esther’s “Gluten Free” Menu

When my husband and I went to Dona Esther Mexican restaurant in San Juan Bautista http://donaesthermexicanrestaurant.com to enjoy their Artichoke Enchiladas this past May, it was my first visit since going GF last August.

Whenever I eat out, I always ask, “do you have a GF menu?”, but I was surprised when the waitress said, “yes” and returned with a 2-sided fully laminated menu! Unfortunately, as I looked it over, I saw discrepancies in what I thought was correctly, or incorrectly, deemed as gluten-free. Flautas gluten-free? Tostadas gluten-free? This was too good to be true! So I asked, “do you have a dedicated fryer? A separate fryer for your gluten-free items?” She said, no, they had only one fryer. I told her these items can’t be gluten-free if they are fried in the same fryer with everything else. To which she responded that they weren’t. I asked about the chips on the table and she said they were fried in the same fryer, so then the nachos on the menu were not gluten-free either.

We should have just left, but I ended up ordering their Veggie Fajitas (pictured), with corn tortillas, which was delicious. Although I did not have a reaction, you must question whether there is cross-contamination in their kitchen because they really don’t know what “gluten-free” means.

Be cautious, even when a menu is provided.

Great combination of fresh vegetables in their fajitas!
Great combination of fresh vegetables in their fajitas!
Restaurant Review: Red House Cafe in Pacific Grove

Restaurant Review: Red House Cafe in Pacific Grove

This last week, my hubby & I went to Monterey to celebrate our anniversary. Had a great meal at The Red House Cafe in Pacific Grove (as usual). Our favorite waitress is familiar with GF eating and is always helpful; they are willing to substitute and change any menu item (“…Please be aware that many of our dishes have ingredients which are not listed on the menu. If you have any restrictions, please inform your server.”) I got the Grilled Lamb Chops, served with sautéed vegetables, mashed potatoes, but no au jus sauce (flour). I cannot remember the last time I had lamb, and it was delicious, perfectly grilled with just the right amount of charred flavor, mmmmm! Ate only one of two on my plate, so I had leftovers to enjoy when I got home.

photo 1

Unfortunately, they didn’t have any GF desserts. Maybe next time! And while you are there, check out Miss Trawick’s Garden Shop which is basically behind and under the restaurant on Lighthouse Ave.