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Allergy friendly trick-or-treating!

A great find at Target today! I was so excited to find how big the Teal Pumpkin Project has grown since last year. The idea is that people who have allergy friendly treats to offer for Halloween will have a teal pumpkin on display so people with allergy issues know safe places to stop and trick-or-treat. Watch this short video on our YouTube channel.

www.youtube.com/watch

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Hi! And Starbucks fun!

Hi! I’m back! I’ve been busy working at my day job which I’m sure many of you can relate to. My mom and I have also been working hard with our publisher on putting the finishing touches on our Gluten Free cookbook! It is so exciting to see the end so near! Later I will share more details and some of the fun process, but for this post I really just wanted to say hi, and share a quick gluten-free life hack I’ve discovered!

So most of you may know this already, but this was a new experience for me today! Starbucks has a gluten-free breakfast sandwich! Bonus- it was DELICIOUS !

It comes in this bag- sealed shut, they reheat it for you in this bag to help it stay free of cross-contamination. It is available for order from their app- so you can check availability before you show up to get your coffee. My sweet friend that introduced me to this today was able to use the app to see one Starbucks was sold out and order from another nearby location.

I am so excited to be able to use this for everyday but also for travel to places I’m not as familiar with.

Enjoy this fun new Gluten-free life hack! I’ll be back soon!!!

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Gluten-free food and allergy fest! (Part 1)


So we were only able to get there for about the last 45 minutes of the convention today. But we made the most of those 45 minutes. While it’s not as big as some of the more “nerdy” conventions my family goes to there is plenty to look at and explore. I’m very excited for tomorrow! 

Just from the little bit I saw and the few vendors I talked to all of my favorite gluten free companies were there! Including Bob’s Red Mill who I have a whole blog post planned about their many different products that I use! It was so great to see so many of the items I shared on my video, 10 GF Kitchen Staples, represented there! And the SAMPLES! 

It was like a gluten-free Costco… for me!

I’ll post more pictures on our Facebook Album and finished videos on YouTube so stay tuned!!  I’m going to try and interview some vendors tomorrow, if you have any questions you’d like me to ask- comment below or message me!!!

Top 5 list, Uncategorized

Top 10 GF Items Always in my Cupboard 

Ok-rather than do one of my normal posts I thought I’d share the top 10 GF Kitchen staples another way…. through a video!

This was something we’ve talked about doing for a long time, it’s unbelievable that we actually did it!

Please be kind, this is our first one and we are very excited about it-but here it is!

Top 10 GF Kitchen Staples

Please like, share and comment below!  I would really like to hear what items you always have in your cupboard!  Or is there a few items you are dying to have made gluten-free?  I know I was so excited when Krusteaz made gluten free Blueberry mix!! (Hint that’s one of the top 10!)

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Videos And Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest!

So one of the aspects of trying to make Gluten Free Life Hacks an easily accessible resource for anyone who might need it has always been a back burner of an idea that I was never sure we’d get to. My family has several “vloggers” (video bloggers) that we enjoy on YouTube and watch on a regular basis. One of which (that we know of anyway) also has Celiac disease. In fact it was from watching him that we realized there needs to be more information out there from people actually living gluten free. Information on; how to find foods, travel, have a social life and really just live while sticking to a gluten free diet. And while Justin Scarred wasn’t the entire idea behind this adventure, he definitely inspired us to take the next step we are about to share. 

So I’m sure you can gather from the title where I’m headed with all of this. We are in the middle of editing our first two videos that should be up on YouTube shortly! It’s completely unreal, nerve wrecking and exciting all at the same time! 

To accompany this we are also going to be traveling to our first Gluten-free Food Allergy Fest and will be filming some there as long as it is permitted! I didn’t even know that expos or conventions like this existed- much less that I could eat at one! So stay tuned for more animated adventures to come!

Gluten-Free questions, Uncategorized

To be or not to be Certified Gluten-Free. What does that mean? (That’s our question.)

So I don’t know about you, but I’ve been on this gluten-free lifestyle roller coaster for almost 15 years.  When I first got diagnosed finding food to buy was a nightmare!  I hated going grocery shopping and it usually took my new groom and myself an entire day if not weekend to do it.  It involved driving to other cities to find items/ingredients I was looking for, or giving up entirely.  I was loath to experiment too much because if something was not labeled correctly it meant I was stuck at home sick and in pain for usually around 3 days.  I was over the moon when the legislation went through that the top 5 allergies had to be listed on packaged foods!  It still took about a year until it started showing up on food, but when it did it was amazing!!! img_8393

Until I realized that not all “gluten-free” foods were created equal.  Anyone else discover this–the hard way?  Some food may be listed gluten free on the package but it could have been processed on equipment with gluten/wheat.  img_8407This opened up a whole new can of worms for me and it was hard to trust labels.  Enter the GF logo!

Certified Gluten Free-What EXACTLY does that mean?

When a product has been given the GF logo, it means that it has been Certified Gluten Free. img_8392

In order to earn this logo, the manufacturing of gluten-free goods must meet strict quality and purity guidelines. Their products are tested to ensure that they are free of gluten and cross-contamination within tolerance levels.

There have been multiple studies that prove even the people with the most severe cases of Celiac Disease or Dermatitis Herpetiformis can withstand a miniscule amount of gluten and all products must remain below this threshold (less than 10 parts per million (ppm)) to be certified gluten free. Within the United States we have such strict labeling laws that a product cannot be labeled gluten free unless it meets these standards.  When buying products from other countries, be sure to read all labels carefully and when in doubt contact the manufacturers. The Certified Gluten Free logo, though, has been a God-send and has been tremendously helpful in making grocery shopping just a bit easier!img_8391

A good recourse if you are looking for more information is at The Gluten-Free Certification Organization.

Gluten-Free questions, Uncategorized

Wheat or Gluten allergy, sensitivity, Dermatitis Herpetiformis or Celiac Disease?

There is a difference between Celiac disease, gluten allergy, and gluten intolerance or sensitivity.  It’s funny while preparing to write this, and the differences between these separate reactions to ingesting gluten, I realized I know several people who fall into each one of these categories.  Like so many things in life, people that eat gluten free cover a wide spectrum.  From those that choose the life style for personal reasons all the way up to those that have extremely severe reactions when the slightest cross-contamination occurs with gluten and their food.  

  • I have several friends that chose a gluten-free lifestyle not because of a medical diagnosis, but because of several seemingly unrelated symptoms they found eating gluten-free seemed to alleviate; such as, inflammation in their joints, continual fatigue, or even ADHD behavior and Autism.  There are a wide variety of symptoms that can be addressed by eating gluten-free.

 

  • Let’s move into actual allergic reactions.  They can be as mild as hives but can include people who have anaphylactic reactions to wheat.  Just like other allergies, it is individual and distinct for each person.

 

  • The same range exists within the group who suffer from Dermatitis Herpetiformis.  It resembles eczema, but in someone else may be misdiagnosed as herpes.  Similar to Celiac Disease, they can manage the symptoms by removing gluten from their diet.

 

  • The last group ranges from gluten or wheat-sensitive individuals to full-blown Celiac Disease.  It has always been believed that those with gluten or wheat sensitivity do not suffer damage to their small intestines.  In a July 2016 study however, researchers at Columbia University Medical Center released findings that, while inconclusive, showed gluten sensitive people may actually be damaging their small intestines in the same way as those with Celiac Disease, but to a lesser degree. Gluten sensitivities can manifest themselves in so many different symptoms that they may not even seem to be connected to your diet. If you have symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, or migraines after eating breads or pasta you would probably make the connection but if you become moody or your joints ache you might not.  These symptoms can all be related, making the correlation, though, takes some medical testing to know for sure. A way to be proactive would be to keep a food and symptom journal prior to seeing your doctor. You will need to continue to eat gluten until those tests though, otherwise your problems don’t show up in your blood work.

Whether you are trying out a gluten-free diet to see if it fits into your lifestyle, have allergies, sensitivities, Celiac Disease or Dermatitis Herpetiformis-no matter your reason for eating gluten-free, our hope is to show you that this lifestyle does not have to inhibit your life, but can become an adventure!