Glamour & Green's Gluten Free Blog

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Best Gluten Free Items for a Healthy New Year January 23, 2012

If you read my blog the other day, I decided that I was going to try something new in 2012. I decided to skip the typical new years resolutions, and used the famous quote,”It’s not what you say, it’s what you DO that really matters,” to create my very own “DONE” journal. I only write down things that I’ve actually done that day in it and that’s it. And I have to tell you, I’ve been writing in my “DONE” journal every single night. To write down what I’m actually doing every day, instead of big “to-do” lists or far-fetched goals that never seem to get crossed off the list, has been a brand-new approach to becoming productive ; one that I have responded to really well to.

That said, I’m still a huge fan of self-improvement, and I always support anyone out there dreaming big dreams, and making big goals for themselves! A common goal for most people is to get healthy in the new year. I always strive to be a healthier person, and 2012 is just the year to get serious and get started.

So, what about those of you trying to get healthier AND go gluten free this year? No prob! I’ve got you covered with a few favorite healthy gluten-free items so you can lose a few pounds, get in shape, or just be healthy, happy, AND gluten free:

Wheat-Free, Worry-Free: The Art of Happy, Healthy Gluten-Free Living by Dana Korn 

First things first. If you are new to the gluten-free diet, do not even attempt to go gluten free without some help. I tell people all the time, gluten-free isn’t just eating low-carb or avoiding the bread basket. It’s more complicated and takes some serious commitment in order to do it right. Gluten can be hidden in all kinds of unobvious foods, sauces, dressings, etc, so it’s good to be educated about the diet before trying it. And with most things, the little effort it takes to learn about this diet, like what to eat, what to question, and what to avoid, definitely gets easier over time. Not to mention, the benefits of a gluten free diet can be amazing! A gluten free diet can be a wonderful thing, it is definitely worth looking into and giving it a shot.

Whenever anyone tells me they think that they want to try a gluten-free diet, I tell them to get Wheat-Free, Worry Free: The Art of a Happy Healthy Gluten-Free Living by Dana Korn. I LOVE this book and I just can’t stress it enough. It’s become my gluten-free bible. Besides being incredibly informative (on every gluten free subject imaginable), it’s happy and optimistic about going GF, and there are also a few quick-references pages that you can peek at every time you need a fast reminder of what foods may or may not have gluten. After reading this book, I felt like I was really educated about the diet and that I could go gluten-free confidently.

Lara Bars

There are a lot of health food bars out there, but read the ingredient list and you’ll soon find out that most are not GF. So, thank goodness for Lara Bars!Lara Bars are yummy, all-natural nut and fruit-based health bars that are not only gluten free, but the only gluten free health bar I’ve ever found that’s soy-free too (big deal to me)!! Those two points would seal the deal for me, but if you need more convincing, check this out: Lara Bar uses no more than nine, simple, unsweetened, ingredients- real ingredients that you can actually pronounce! No weird, fake sweeteners or artificial ingredients in these good-for-you gluten-free bars. Some flavors have less than five ingredients, and I’m always amazed they aren’t sweetened with cane sugar.  Lara Bars are super-yummy, and I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love them (gluten free or not). If you haven’t tried them yet, you need to. Toss them in your purse, in your gym bag, and I even keep my diaper bag filled with a few bars, since my 18 month old son loves to snack on them too! With incredibly delicious and satisfying flavors like Chocolate Chip Cookie (Yes! I said chocolate chip cookie. And remember, all flavors are gluten free!!), Carrot Cake (uh huh), Gingersnap (yep), Key Lime Pie (oh yeah), Blueberry Muffin (wow), you may never feel the need to eat junk food again. Lara Bar is a must-have gluten free item to get you gluten free and healthy this new year!

Femme Fitale Fitness Weight Lifting Gloves

Make your resolution to increase your muscle tone (and boost your metabolism!) this year with weight lifting! And forget using boring weight lifting gloves… Protect your hand from calluses and look adorable at the gym with Femme Fitale Fitness weight lifting gloves! I started lifting weights recently and  was SO excited to discover Femme Fitale Fitness. They have GORGEOUS, colorful women’s gloves… even decorated with pretty Swarovski crystals!!! I love pretty, sparkly things, and this was such a great way to get me excited, and put a beautiful, feminine-spin on pumping iron! I am a huge believer that in order to get motivated to try something new, you need to make it seem exciting. You don’t have to necessarily spend a lot of money to do this, but getting a new workout accessory that makes you look good AND is functional, is a great way to motivate you to put on your gym clothes and start working out. Check out the fierce animal print weight lifting gloves, or the bright pink gloves with pretty pink crystals (the pair I bought) for only $20. I have to tell you, my hot, new gloves (which I always get compliments on) have got me going to the gym a lot more often and thinking of the “mans-side of the gym” in a whole new way.

Virgil’s Cream Soda Zero

If you haven’t stopped drinking soda, maybe this is the year you decide to. With no nutritional value, empty calories, and loaded with sugar, it’s a good habit to break. I used to drink diet sodas like they were water. I was definitely addicted to my diet cokes. But when I got pregnant, I decided to give them up, avoid caffeine and artificial sweeteners, to give my growing baby the healthiest start that I could. But along the way of my pregnancy journey, I discovered Virgil’s All-Natural Diet Sodas. Made with REAL, all-natural and gourmet ingredients and sweetened with a NATURAL plant sweetener, Stevia, I felt comfortable indulging in a drink that wasn’t harmful to my body (or my baby’s). Virgil’s Cream Soda Zero is fantastic! It’s really hard to believe that this rich, tasty drink has zero calories, sugar, and scary artificial ingredients. This is my go-to drink when I want  a tasty-treat but want to stick to a healthy diet or want to avoid alcohol. With no sugar, calories, or caffeine, drink day or night, and whenever you have a craving for something naughty!

Happy New Year!

-Glamour & Green Gluten Free

 

Jennifer’s Gluten Free Cookies and Cream Ice Cream January 15, 2012

I was in the mood for ice cream the other day, so as I was looking through the ice cream aisle at Whole Foods, I was reminded how I haven’t had Cookies and Cream flavored ice cream in years. I’m so thankful that many, if not most, ice creams are gluten free, but skipping some of my old favorite flavors like cookie dough, brownie chunk, and cookies and cream has been disappointing.

 

Anyway, I bought some French Vanilla ice cream and ended up getting an idea. Why not make my own Cookies and Cream ice cream? And that’s just what I did. It’s FANTASTIC. The next time your in the mood for a yummy bowl of ice cream, you gotta try my super-easy, super-tasty recipe:

 

Jennifer’s Gluten Free Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Recipe:

 

 

Combine all ingredients and fold into the ice cream until distributed as evenly as possible.

 

And there you have it, friends! Gluten Free Cookies and Cream Ice Cream! It tastes JUST like regular, gluten-filled cookies & cream ice cream! I think the combination of cocoa & vanilla cookies are similar in taste to Oreo cookies, and the whipped cream adds the “cream” flavor without changing the ice cream’s texture into soup! It’s fantastic!

 

  Jennifer

-Glamour & Green Gluten-Free

 

New Years Resolution: It Is Not What You Say It Is What You DO January 10, 2012

Punch Studio Journal I have always loved making new years resolutions. I have always been a big fan of self improvement. Even as a teenager, I was obsessed with books from the self-help aisle.

But when it came to making new years resolutions this year, I was stumped. I was sick and tired of making far-fetched goals and not committing to them. Sure, it used to be easy to be excited and motivated about a new goal for a day or two, and then reality sets in. Life gets busy, things can get stressful, and new plans are forgotten or ignored once again.

This year, I needed to make resolutions that were within reach. I wanted to see my real-life goals actually being checked off and completed week by week, month by month.

Where would I begin?

I need to start exercising regularly again. I need to lose a few pounds and get toned. I’d love to use weights and try resistance training at least three days a week. I want to do a sugar, caffeine, and alcohol detox for a month or two. I’d like to finally get the closets and drawers in my house organized…

But, truthfully, all of these goals are the same ol’-same ol’.

I’m sure that being a first-time mom to an 18 month old has a lot to do with it, but I just wasn’t inspired by these familiar goals this year. I couldn’t get myself pumped up and excited to start fresh and create new plans. Maybe just the hustle-and-bustle of my every day life, living second by second with my active little toddler made planning for my future something I just didn’t have time for.

So, in order to kick off the new year, new goals, and get excited about creating new years resolutions, I bought myself a gorgeous journal (I have a stunning Punch Studio Journal) at a quaint little tea shop in California. I was sure that this beautiful book would be just the trick to put me in the mood for goal writing. But as the last days of December went by, and a week into January passed, my pretty little journal sat there… blank.

I decided it was time to start making my resolutions, when the famous quote, “It’s not what you say, it’s what you DO, that matters,” popped into my head.

So true.

It made me realize that I am going to go about my lovely little journal in a whole new way this year. I’ve decided to ditch all the goals and plans and simply write down what I actually DID that day to make the most of my day, time, and life. What did I accomplish, not just think about, that sets me one step closer to a better relationship with my son and husband, a healthier mind and body, a cleaner house, a kinder, more involved friend, a happier life filled with purpose?

I’ve decided that instead of making unachievable goals, I will use the pages to show all that I have accomplished- even if they seem small- to motivate myself to DO instead of just THINK or SAY. Goal setting is great, but for now, only writing down what has been DONE seems so much more inspiring to get me off my butt and actually start DOING.

Instead of flipping the journal pages feeling frustrated at my lack of will-power or become impatient with unmet goals, I can look back at past pages and read all that I do, why I’m great, what I am making of my life, and what I contribute to the world.

I have to say, this new way of thinking was just what I needed to feel inspired. I’m can’t even tell you how excited I am to journal tonight…

Jennifer

-Glamour & Green Gluten Free

 

Gluten-Free and Soy-Free Soy Sauce January 9, 2012

I read somewhere that people who have food sensitivity to one kind of food, usually have food sensitivity to other food items as well. Well, that’s definitely the case with me, because although I have Celiac Disease (and avoid gluten entirely), I notice that I don’t do that well with soy either. I still have soy in my diet every now and then, but I try to skip the soy whenever possible.

That said, it was hard enough to find a soy sauce that was gluten free, but a soy sauce that was SOY free too??!! Uggghhhh. That created a brand new problem. Luckily, I found a great, free recipe online for a GF/SF soy sauce alternative! I made it a few weeks ago and it was great! Really easy to make and the result tasted very similar to soy sauce. Here is the recipe:

Gluten-Free, Soy-Free “Soy Sauce”

Directions:

  1.  Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and boil uncover until reduced to 1/2 cup.
  2.  Store in refrigerator.
  3.  Stir/Shake before using.

Here is the actual recipe link:

http://www.food.com/recipe/soy-sauce-substitute-gluten-free-111373

Because this recipe makes a whole ‘lotta “soy” sauce, I ended up keeping half of it in my fridge for about a week, and the rest of the sauce, I put in the freezer for another time.

Tip: Pour any extra sauce into an empty ice cube tray and freeze it! The next time your stir fry/marinade/lunch/dinner recipe calls for soy sauce, just pop out a frozen cube, and you will have tablespoon-sized servings of “soy” sauce! This tip will save you time and hassle when cooking! Yay!

-Glamour & Green Gluten Free

 

Tinkyada Gluten Free Pasta! January 5, 2012

My favorite brand of gluten free pasta is Tinkyada. Delicious Gluten Free Pasta If you haven’t tried Tinkyada Gluten-Free Pasta… you need to.

 

It is BY FAR, the best gluten free pasta I’ve come across. You can actually fool your most hardcore-Italian, pasta-loving, non-GF guests into thinking this is regular gluten-filled pasta… that’s really how good it is! The texture of Tinkyada’s pasta is GREAT (so many GF pastas have weird, tough, unflexible textures), it can withstand a little overcooking, and comes in a variety of pasta types/shapes.

 

Tinkyada also offers five different types of organic pasta too: spaghetti, spirals, elbows, penne, and lasagna.

 

It’s awesome. This is definitely my GF pasta brand of choice; the one I recommend to anyone and everyone who wants to go gluten free and wanting to enjoy pasta again.

 

I recently tried one of the free recipes on the Tinkyada website. It was delicious! It had a sweet and salty taste to it that light, interesting, and super yummy! Give it a try the next time your in the mood for a GF pasta dinner:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: I used Tinkyada’s Brown Rice Pasta Penne. I also used more sun dried tomatoes than was called for in the recipe. It was an easy recipe to follow and turned out lovely.

 

SO TASTY!

 

-Glamour & Green Gluten-Free