Glamour & Green's Gluten Free Blog

Gluten Free Gals Living Glamorously AND Green!

Create Green Memory Books of Adventures and Travels March 30, 2010

Create a Memory Book of Travel Adventures with Digital Scrapbooking

If you are planning a little get-away this spring, there’s nothing worse than forgetting to pack your digital camera.

For me, forgetting my digital camera on vacation (even if it’s just a little weekend trip) is like forgetting my underwear or toothbrush. I just don’t do it.

You shouldn’t either. Carry that camera with you and snap some digital photos whether you’re off to the tropics, or plan a fun day-out around the town.

It’s so much fun to go through the photos when you get back from a fantastic adventure, but don’t let great photos go to waste by forgetting about them on your digital camera or on random folders in your laptop. Special trips deserve much more than just a regular, ol’ photo book. They deserve to be scrapbooked! How else can you include all the memories- from special songs sung, funny incidents, to fantastic or romantic moments that need to be explained and remembered with text too! Create a memory book with digital scrapbooking and preserve the precious memories you make during your glamorous life properly!

You know what digital scrapbooking is, right? Digital scrapbooking is the easy, super-fun, and “GREEN” way to scrapbook! Skip the expensive supplies, stop wasting trees, and scrap your favorite people and moments on your computer. Then you simply print your favorite pics or digi-projects into memory books, photo albums, scrapbooks, and more!

Digital Scrapbooks and More (www.digitalscrapbooksandmore.com) is a fabulous digital scrapbooking company that offers digital scrapbooking training for beginners. Our training reccomendation? Buy the Getting Started Series CD for Photoshop Elements. It’s the perfect way to start learning digital scrapbooking.

You will be shocked at how easy it is to combine your digital photos with pretty digital backgrounds, frames, and embellishments to make adorable memory books of your 2010 travels.

Digital Scrapbooks and More also offers photo editing training too! Learn how to take your favorite photos and make them even better! Learn how easy it is to remove blemishes, airbrush skin, remove red-eye, get rid of shadows and overcasts, and more! Their Digi MakeOver Madness tutorials are ridiculously inexpensive too! At around $1.99, they are the ultimate ‘green’ beauty product for special digital pics!

Give digital scrapbooking and photo editing a try as your new hobby this 2010! Scrap your adventures and go green! …LOVE it!

-Glamour & Green Gluten-Free

 

Spring Get-Aways: Travel with Fabulous Gluten-Free Toiletries March 29, 2010

Gluten-Free Must-Have Toiletries After what seems like a looooooooong and cold winter, I am getting stir-crazy! I need to run away with my husband to somewhere warm, sunny, and by the beach!

If you’re planning a spring vacation, a babymoon (like me), or a little weekend get-away, it’s time to stock up on gluten-free traveling essentials!

And if you’re not planning a spring vacation, no worries! Plan a “staycation” and have fun at home! Indulging in a few gluten-free travel toiletries can still get you excited about warmer weather at home and can also become motivation to do something exciting and cost-efficient around town!

Stock Up on These 8 Glamorous Gluten-Free Toiletries for Your Next Adventure:

1. Gluten-Free Hand Sanitizer: We all know that it’s not easy to wash your hands as often as you touch dirty, germy things when you travel. That’s why hand sanitizer was such a brilliant creation. But it always freaks me out to think of the chemicals used in hand sanitizer, and what might be even worse, if the hand sanitizer includes gluten! The Solution? Try EO Hand Sanitizer–the organic, plant-based alternative to chemical laden hand sanitizers and is also gluten-free. Organic Lavender Essential Oil is naturally cleansing and soothing. Organic Alcohol (non-GMO) sanitizes on contact. Soothing Jojoba nourishes and moisturizes. It keeps your hands clean as you travel, but even better than that, rest-assure that your hand sanitizer isn’t filled with gluten or scary, toxic chemicals!

2. Gluten-Free Toothpaste (Travel-Size): One of my favorite toothpastes is Tom’s of Maine brand. Free from artificial sweeteners, it uses real, natural flavored oils for taste. It’s incredible toothpaste that fights cavities, controls tarter, and whitens your teeth too! They even have travel-size all-natural toothpastes that make it easy to toss pack in your toiletry bag. My favorite flavor? Try the refreshing orange-mango toothpaste flavor which feels light and clean! It’s an exciting alternative to regular minty toothpaste flavors and can become a fun flavor to use on tropical trips and turn into a personal traveling tradition!

3. Gluten-Free Shampoo & Conditioner (Travel Size): Looking for a good gluten-free shampoo? Try the Morrocco Method 5 Elements Shampoos– Trial Size, which includes 4 different shampoos that are designed to be used in rotation so that all aspects of hair and scalp can be nourished and maintained. Pine Shale (Air) and Apple Cider Vinegar (Fire) Shampoos nourish the hair and stimulate growth. Sea Essence (Water) and Earth Essence (Earth) Shampoos detoxify and regenerate hair and scalp. Rotate all four for maximum care — Pine Shale today, Apple Cider Vinegar tomorrow, Sea Essence the next day, then Earth Essence, then back to Pine Shale Shampoo to continue the rotation cycle. Then try the Morrocco Method 5 Elements Conditioners– Trial Size, which includes a 2-ounce bottles of Diamond Crystal Mist, Volumizer Mist, and Chi Instant Conditioners plus a 1-ounce bottle of Euro Organic Oil and a 1-ounce package of Zen Detox Hair & Scalp Therapy. All shampoos and conditioners are gluten-free, color-safe, and organic! Truly fantastic!

4. Gluten-Free Anti-Fizz Hair Serum: I can’t believe something that’s organic works so well, but Giovanni’s Frizz Be Gone anti-frizz hair serum is phenomenal! After your usual shampoo and conditioner routine, apply a dime-sized amount to towel-dried hair and banish traveling frizziness! It also helps detangle dry hair that needs extra moisturizing. This stuff works miracles (I use it every single day) and will be a life-saver if you plan to go out and sit by the beach and don’t want to end up with a unsightly fro. It’s a little pricey, but trust me, it’s worth the investment!

Must-Have Gluten-Free Traveling Toiletries

 

5. Gluten-Free Soap: Using the Kauai Blossom Soap from the Dynamic Fragrance Soap Collection at EverAfter Naturals is an awesome, all-natural, and gluten-free choice to put you in the mood for a tropical get-away. Filled with island floral notes and a hint of ginger, this handcrafted soap will take you away to clear waters and white sand whether or not you’re really going on vacation! It smells great, cleans well, and leaves your skin silky and soft. Make sure you get a bar for your next trip! I’m a huge fan of this soap and this company- read my review of EverAfter Naturals here.

6. Gluten-Free Lip Balm: EverAfter Naturals gets another shout-out here for the super-amazing Moisturizing Lip Balm. It’s all natural, gluten-free, and full-on fabulous. Flavored with only pure plant oils, this lip balm contains no petroleum, artificial flavors or sweeteners. You’ll be amazed at how incredibly smooth this lip balm goes on and how long it lasts! The applicator is also more oval (while most lip balm or chapsticks are more round) which I think is a cool feature and a better fit for real lips! My favorite is the Berry flavor which gives your lips a really pretty, all-natural tint, which makes it perfect multi-tasking product for avoiding slathering on heavy-feeling lipsticks during your traveling, but still getting a beautiful touch of lip color.

7. Gluten-Free Sunscreen: Sunscreen is a must-have product for regular, every day, daily life- so obviously- you wouldn’t dare go without it as you run away to your sunny escapes! That said, California Baby No Fragrance  SPF 30+ Sunscreen Lotion is the hands-down winner. Unfragranced, PABA free, non-chemical, California Baby® sunscreen is perfect for those with skin sensitivities or fragrance allergies. California Baby’s active ingredient is a highly micronized titanium dioxide that scatters and reflects dangerous UV rays, offering UVA-UVB broad-spectrum protection. This lotion is simple and elegant; it glides on smoothly and will not slip off when it comes into contact with water, so you may rest assured that it will last. Non-staining formula, very water-resistant, and contains no gluten (whoo-hoo!), nut oils, soy, oat, or dairy! Love this stuff and TOTALLY worth the price.

8. Gluten-Free Body Lotion: I like my sunscreens to be scent-less so I can get crazy with the fun-stuff: body lotion. Get in the mood for fun and perhaps a pina colada (or two 🙂 ) with 100% Pure’s Organic Virgin Coconut Nourishing Body Cream. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm! This body cream will make you happy whether you leave the house or not! This highly nourishing luxurious cream is concentrated with potent anti-aging antioxidants, vitamins, skin softening fruit oils and moisturizing cocoa and avocado butters. It’s a delicious smelling body cream that will immediately hydrate, soften and feed your skin nutrients for healthy, glowing skin. Truly, 100% Pure – never any toxic preservatives, artificial fragrances, synthetic chemicals or anything else artificial Made only with highest quality, natural, organic nutrients for your skin. Vegetarian and gluten-free too! Yay.

Happy & Safe Gluten-Free Traveling!

-Glamour & Green Gluten-Free

Ps. Thanks to Digital Scrapbooks and More for the pics! Check out Digital Scrapbooks and More’s Scrap Shop for photo editing and digital scrapbooking tutorials! It’s easy and GREEN!

Pps. Tomorrow is all-about creating “green” memory books for Spring 2010 Adventures, Vacations, and Travels with digital scrapbooking. Sooo exciting! 🙂

 

Taylor’s Gluten-Free Italian Chicken March 27, 2010

Italian Gluten-Free Chicken Recipe I’m all about easy-cooking. I like things to look pretty without being difficult. Just call me a low-maintenance cooking diva. 🙂

That’s why I was excited to try Taylor’s Italian Chicken recipe from BetterRecipes.com. This Italian-inspired chicken dish is gluten-free and simply topped with fresh parsley, garlic, tomatoes, lemon juice, mozzarella cheese, and bacon. Yummy!

It’s funny how bacon can seem totally fatty and cheap, yet other dishes make bacon seem totally chic. This is a recipe where bacon seems glamorous and really makes this chicken dish taste good. With only a few ingredients, Taylor’s Italian Chicken is incredibly easy to make and looks divine on a plate.

Taylor’s Italian Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/8 cup parsley
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 3 strips bacon
  • Dash of salt & pepper

* As always, use organic ingredients when you can to create a better-for-you, tastier version of this dish!

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken breasts, skin side down, in a 9 X 11 pan. Dice tomato, chop parsley, cut bacon into 1/2 inch squares and add on top of chicken. Chop up garlic and add to top of chicken. Cut lemon in half and squeeze lemon onto chicken. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Sprinkle cheese over chicken, cover pan with foil, and bake 45 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Uncover foil and bake another 12 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.

Plate with a fresh, veggie salad and dinner is served!

Coming up next week: Lots of fabulous reviews on exciting new gluten-free goodies and products! Also, planning a vacation or stay-cation this spring? We’ve got must-have gluten-free travel toiletries!

Stay tuned. 🙂

-Glamour & Green Gluten-Free

 

Gluten-Free Paprika Shrimp and Green Bean Saute March 24, 2010

 

Try a Gluten-Free Shrimp Recipe from Eating Well I tried this DELISH recipe about 7 months ago and it was awesome. Now that I’m pregnant though, I am avoiding seafood (among other pregnancy “no-no” foods) and, obviously, can’t eat shrimp.

Boy, do I miss it.

I’ve heard of pregnant women that crave bad-stuff like paint chips, cigarette butts, and dirt (thankfully, I am NOT one of them!), but I do want the totally off-limits seafood. My mouth starts to water when I think about shrimp nachos, shrimp with cocktail sauce, shrimp sautéed in garlic and butter, or shrimp sprinkled all over a gluten-free pizza.  MMmmmmm….

I’m reminded of “Bubba” from the movie Forrest Gump, and how all he ever talks about is shrimp and the different ways that you can cook it. …Well, with the way I want to eat shrimp, I could listen to Bubba talk about shrimp all day. I wouldn’t mind a bit. I’d probably join in.

So, since I can’t indulge in my shrimp-obsession for, at the very least, another three months, do me a favor and enjoy a shrimp dinner yourself. Try this gluten-free Paprika Shrimp and Green Bean Saute recipe from Eating Well. It’s easy and awesome:

Ingredients
  • 4 cups green beans, trimmed (about 12 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, (21-25 per pound; see Note), peeled and deveined
  • 2 16-ounce cans large butter beans, or cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar, or red-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

*Use organic ingredients and spices when you can!

Preparation
  1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Put green beans in a steamer basket, place in the pan, cover and steam until tender-crisp, 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and paprika and cook, stirring constantly, until just fragrant but not browned, about 20 seconds. Add shrimp and cook until pink and opaque, about 2 minutes per side. Stir in beans, vinegar and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup parsley.
  3. Divide the green beans among 6 plates. Top with the shrimp mixture. Sprinkle with pepper and the remaining 1/4 cup parsley.
Yummy Gluten-Free Shrimp Recipes Tips & Notes
  • Note: Shrimp is usually sold by the number needed to make one pound. For example, “21-25 count” means there will be 21 to 25 shrimp in a pound. Size names, such as “large” or “extra large,” are not standardized. In recipes calling for a specific count, order by the count (or number) per pound to be sure you’re getting the size you want.
  • To peel shrimp, grasp the legs and hold onto the tail while you twist off the shell. Save the shells to make a tasty stock: Simmer, in enough water to cover, for 10 minutes, then strain. The “vein” running along a shrimp’s back (technically the dorsal surface, opposite the legs) under a thin layer of flesh is really its digestive tract.
  • To devein shrimp, use a paring knife to make a slit along the length of the shrimp. Under running water, remove the tract with the knife tip.

-Glamour & Green Gluten-Free

 

Yummy Gluten-Free Banana Nut Bread March 23, 2010

 

Gluten Free Banana Bread When you’re craving comfort food, good banana bread really hits the spot. Try this super-moist gluten-free bread the next time you are in the mood for a yummy treat:

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:

½ Cup Butter
½ Cup Sugar (Brown Sugar if you like) 
3 Eggs
2 Cups ALL Purpose GF Flour (Try Bob’s Red Mill)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 Cup very ripe bananas (about 2-3 bananas per one batch or 4 to 5 double batch)
½ Cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon

*As usual, if you can pick organic ingredients and spices, you’ll always end up with a better-for-you, tastier version.

Directions:

1. Melt butter in microwave

2. Combine in mixer bowl: GF flour, baking soda, sugar, salt, cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Mix to combine dry ingredients.

3. Add bananas, eggs, vanilla and mix in mixer bowl with dry ingredients.

4. Add melted butter and mix in.

5. Stir nuts in

6. Pour mixture into greased bread pans

7. Bake at 350 for about 40 to 45 minutes or until putting a knife in middle and pulling out is clean

8. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely before cutting.

Makes 1 to 2 loafs depending on loaf pan size — (recipe above with the 2-3 bananas) — or (double all ingredients above with the 4 to 5 bananas option for 2-3 loafs).

Recipe Tip: The next time you have very ripe bananas, peel them and freeze in zip lock bag. When you have enough bananas for this recipe, defrost them and add them directly to mixer! If you don’t have a hand mixer then make sure the bananas are mashed very good before adding them to bowl, and then mix everything completely.

-Glamour & Green Gluten-Free

 

Live Happily Ever After with EverAfter Naturals March 22, 2010

EverAfter Naturals_Dynamic Fragrance Soaps I discovered a fabulous gluten-free product about a year ago on a visit to San Diego, CA at the Rancho Bernardo Farmer’s Market.

One of the vendors there had a wooden stand filled with all-natural soaps, bath treats, candles, and lip glosses. The gorgeous handmade products caught my attention with their bright colors, but their incredible aroma made me stop.

I bought several handmade, all-natural soaps and have been a full-on addict to this brand ever since. Since I live in NashVegas :), I even begged my mom to buy some for me whenever she’d stop by the farmers market, mail them to me, and I promised to reimburse her for whatever she would send… Now, that’s brand devotion!

So, when I found out that this incredible company now had a website and would ship anywhere in the US, I was beyond-excited!

To me, EverAfter Naturals is a fairytale kind of company: their products are all-natural and made with wonderful REAL ingredients (minus all those scary, toxic chemicals), 99% of their products are gluten-free, and they are gorgeously handcrafted.

When it comes to their dynamic fragrance soaps, they LITERALLY just boost my mood and make me happy. It’s not everyday that something I own just makes me really and truly feel warm and fuzzy inside, and these soaps do it for me! I absolutely LOOOOVE them!

They’re so pretty too. I scatter them all over my house- I use several for decorations in our downstairs and guest room soap dishes and have spares that I actually use in the shower. The thing about these soaps is that they are so pretty, you’ll almost feel bad using them. It’s not just the packaging, although each soap is bound with a pretty string bow that holds the EverAfter’s card (which uses recycled paper), it’s the fact that they have these fabulous, colorful chunks of soaps within the soap. It looks like sprinkles on a birthday cake or colorful gems sticking out of a diamond’s cave. They’re beautiful and creative and just make each soap a little piece of unique art!

They are so pretty as bathroom decor, it’s hard to give in and begin using them, but then once you do, you feel so luxurious as you use them in the shower- you’ll have a hard time keeping them around as decorations! It’s a never-ending battle, I guess! 🙂 So, in my case, I just get buy enough that I have spares to actually use and some just to show off.

They really work well too. I’ve been so disappointed in the past with all-natural soaps that didn’t seem to clean well. I’d use a regular bar of soap and then go to the all-natural, alternative kind, after I already cleaned myself, because those soaps just never felt like they were doing the job. But I’ve trashed all my other soaps brands and just use these in the shower. They clean well, rinse well, and leave my skin soft and smelling delicious! The chunks of decorative soap even work well as all-natural back-massagers! They never prod or poke, but actually feel quite good as a mini-massage! 🙂

EverAfter Naturals_Dynamic Fragrance SoapsThe EverAfter Naturals Dynamic Soaps come in a variety of scents and it seems like they’re always adding new, interesting flavors to the list. Here are a few of my favorite:

-Best Friends: A  wonderful sugary vanilla, topped off with Peppermint and Balsam Essential Oils.

I think it’s so funny that this soap happens to have a name like “Best Friends,’ because it’s actually my favorite. I love the way it smells so much that I could just sit and sniff this bar of soap all day.

-Little Black Dress: A sexy little floral mixed with some woodsy notes.

I like this soap because it really does smell sexy and flirty without being super-sweet smelling. I love giving this soap away as it makes a great gift for my favorite, fabulous ladies on their birthday or for a special girls-night only event!

-Blackberry & Sage: Juicy blackberries mixed with a subtle addition of sage.

Super-sweet and super-delicious. This soap smells so good, you’ll want to eat it. And it’s one of the prettiest to keep out as a decoration in a soap dish or to give as a gift.

-Kauai Blossom: This is a beautiful tropical floral with hints of ginger. Like an island get away in bar of soap.

It’s true. This soap really does take you mentally away to a swinging hammock on the sand with servants feeding you grapes, fanning you, and your pina colada in hand. 🙂 I love this soap as it gets me in the mood for spring and summer after a long (too-long) winter. I am actually going to Florida for a “Baby Moon” in a few weeks and am bringing a bar of this soap to use while on vacation.

If you don’t like super-sweet smelling soaps and prefer woodsy/clean or citrusy scents, try these: Sandlewood or Sacred Heart.

*All of the soaps mentioned above are gluten-free and cost $5.75 per bar. Also, for those that are sensitive to soy as well, EverAfter Naturals will soon be making all dynamic soaps soy-free as well!

Stock up on these soaps and other INCREDIBLE products and other EverAfter Naturals products (they have much more than just soap- from candles, to bath bombs, lip glosses, and more!) by going directly to the website: http://www.everafternaturals.com/ These soaps make great gifts- especially for birthdays and upcoming holidays: Easter, Mothers Day, etc!

-Glamour & Green Gluten-Free

 

Organic Eating: It’s Not Just a Fad March 19, 2010

Eating Organic_Not Just a Fad I read an article online from Eating Well today about eating organic today (see the Eating Well article here) and it just reminded me about why it’s so important to go the organic-route.

The article says, “…Pesticides can be absorbed into fruits and vegetables, leaving trace residues… Long-term exposure to them has been associated with cancer, infertility and neurologic conditions, such as Parkinson’s.”

 

Yikes. That’s scary stuff. Then, add the risks of eating gluten on top of it- it’s been linked to developing Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes, Infertility, Autism, Thyroid Disease, Cancer… the list goes on.

We don’t eat gluten, right? Why would we eat pesticides and toxic chemicals that can put our bodies in just as much harm? I often wonder if all these diseases we Americans end up getting, or the incredibly sad situations of women who are not able to have children and desperately want them, could have been prevented by avoiding these poisons that lie in our every day foods!

It’s easy to think that the organic-hype is all bogus. Why would anyone let us eat tomatoes and lettuce and carrots if they were filled with dangerous chemicals right? I think the answer is simple: Because we buy them.

Have you ever noticed that the genetically-made, toxin-filled, non-organic produce rarely have bumps, flaws, or imperfections? The apples have thick coat of shiny wax that we now seem to think is normal. But it’s not normal. Organic produce might not always be the prettiest- they may have a few bumps, they won’t have a shiny wax coat, and they may have a little dirt on them, but they’re REAL! Organic produce is rich in the nutrients we need and jam-packed with true and natural flavors. 

I believe we need to support local farmers, support organic farmers, and choose quality over quantity in the name of our health!

 

I realized how real this situation is a year ago. TRUE STORY: At the time, we would eat organic half the time. When my husband was buying, everything was non-organic and cost-efficient. But one random trip to the grocery store, my husband and I bought some regular (non-organic) tomatoes and left them in our fruit bowl on our kitchen counter for a week. We realized a week later that we still hadn’t ate them and that they probably were bad. But when we inspected them to see if they were edible, they were in perfect condition… except for the little green veins that seemed to be growing inside the tomato!

I was really weirded out. That’s not what a tomato should look like. And where was the mold? We bought these tomatoes when they were ripe and ready to eat. A week later is usually way too long for these sensitive fruits.

Anyway, my husband was so intrigued by the green varicose-vein-looking-things- inside the red tomatoes that he refused to let me throw them away.

Another week later, the green veins inside the tomato begin to poke and grow out of the tomatoe’s skin! It was growing tomato vines right out of itself!!! There were tons of branch-like vines just growing out it’s own body… it looked like a Chia-Pet! 

I called my mom and asked her if she had ever seen a tomato grow new vines right out of itself… Nope! I was so scared of it, that despite my husband’s obsession with this freak-like science project, I demanded that we throw it away. And we did.

Before we got rid of it, I took a photo of this tomato with my camera-phone and sent it to my mom as proof. TO THIS DAY, I kick myself that I didn’t take photos with my regular camera (what the HECK was I thinking?!) because I broke my phone several months later and the pictures couldn’t be salvaged. My mom deleted the tomato photo too (I think it scared her too), so all my evidence is gone. 😦 …What a bummer!

Anyway, I hope you’ll believe me and take this organic-thing seriously. It’s not a fad! Refuse to buy non-organic, genetically modified produce, and support the farmers and companies that want you to live a long, healthy, and vibrant life!

Whew. That’s my rant for the day! 🙂

-Glamour & Green Gluten-Free