Rants, Raves, Recipes, Reviews

“Knowledge is power only if man knows what facts not to bother with.” Robert Staughton Lind ~ The upcoming CHARLOTTE NC GLUTEN & ALLERGEN FREE WELLNESS EVENT 2014

“Knowledge is power only if man knows what facts not to bother with.” Robert Staughton Lind

~ Arm yourself with helpful knowledge at the upcoming

CHARLOTTE NC GLUTEN & ALLERGEN FREE WELLNESS EVENT 2014 ~

With So Much information available these days on gluten free diets, its hard to know what is the right thing to do. The upcoming expo will be an EXCELLENT opportunity to come and learn a great deal of helpful information in a short amount of time.

One of my posts last week included links to popular blogs that I have enjoyed! Lo and behold, some of the authors of these blogs will be coming here to the Charlotte, NC area on March 29th, 2014 for the expo!

At the expo, we will have the opportunity to learn from the following people:

Jennifer Fugo of Gluten Free School whose blog can be found here: http://www.glutenfreeschool.com/

“Four Ways to SAVE BIG on a Healthy, Gluten Free Diet”

Jennifer will share top strategies that can save you thousands of dollars each year without making you a slave to your kitchen. Engaging and highly informative…”

and Carol Kicinski, magazine founder & Editor-in-Chief of “Simply Gluten Free” Magazine, TV chef, cookbook author, and gluten-free recipe developer, AND THE CREATOR OF THE GLOBAL GLUTEN FREE COMMUNITY of which I am now a member!!! 🙂

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The event will be held:
March 29, 2014 between 10 am – 4 pm

Harris Conference Center
3216 CPCC Harris Campus Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28208

Click Here for the Presentation Schedule.

Sponsors such as Glutino, Rudi’s Gluten Free Bakery and Udi will be there as well as many others; •Akea Life •Arbonne •Bakery On Main •Beverly’s Gourmet Foods •Brain Balance of Cornelius •Bumbalooza •Camp Weekaneatit •Candies Delightful Italian Icees •Charlotte Celiac Connection •Chia Co. •Earth Balance •Earth Fare •Elemental Wellness •Enjoy Life Foods •Europa Sports – Nogii & NOW bars •FFARMS •FUEL Pizza •Freedom Foods •Gluten Free Buyer’s Guide •Glutino •Healthy Home Market •Juice Plus •KALO Foods •Kinnikinnick •Maddy’s Fatty’s •Mrs. Poundcake •New Planet Beer •Nourish Charlotte •Quinoa Corporation •Roots Hummus •Rudi’s Gluten Free Bakery •Savory Spice Shop •Simply Gluten Free Magazine •Thrive •Tito’s Vodka •Udi’s Gluten Free Foods •Virtuous Living •Viva Raw •YoDish and many more!

So come out, learn about going gluten free economically, get some ideas, recipes, coupons and samples and don’t be afraid to eat the food! How great is that? 🙂

Not near Charlotte? Don’t worry! For other 2014 Gluten and Allergy Free Expo locations throughout the US please click here.

Until next time,
Keep Reading and Eating!
~ Christa ~

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PS: Don’t forget about the Fun St. Patrick’s Day recipes for your loved ones and four legged friends on my Pinterest page found here:

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Rants, Raves, Recipes

The Luck of the Irish and Other interesting Facts~ Happy St. Patrick’s Day Everyone!

This Monday will be the fun filled day of green beer, green burgers, maybe even green eggs and ham, but what is St. Patty’s day really about anyway?

You know… I didn’t know.

So, I looked it up! 🙂

Here’s a couple of quick little film clips you can watch from the history channel:

http://www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day/st-patricks-day-facts

and http://www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day/st-patricks-day-facts/videos

Basically, it has to do with the celebration of one man, St. Patrick, in Ireland & now the U.S.

So how did we get into doing all the crazy dying of rivers, drinks and food green?

Well, I guess we are just a little eccentric! It is apparently a U.S. thing.

And why all the pinching?

The answers differ, but…according to Ask.com “One gets pinched on St Patricks day because they are not wearing green. It is a tradition that St. Patrick’s revealers thought wearing green made one invisible to (fairy creatures) leprechauns, who would pinch anyone they could see not wearing green. So people began to do this as reminder that the leprechauns would sneak up and pinch you.” (http://www.ask.com/question/why-do-you-get-pinched-on-st-patricks-day)

What about the “luck of the Irish?”

Well, different sources say different things. Some say it is an ironic statement because of the historically bad times they’ve had. Others say it is because of the ability to bounce back after hard times, and also, the “luck” they had while panning for gold during the gold rush. Interesting thought.

What’s the deal about the four leaf clover?

You know… I don’t know! I found 51 four leaf clovers sitting on the side lines during gym class in my senior year of high school, but it didn’t seem to change my luck any. 🍀

I hope you have enjoyed our little comically influenced, historical aside.

Listen to the funny, somewhat traditional “Unicorn Song”! 🎶 🎶 (to view the pics click on the you tube logo to go to you tube)

Enjoy the festivities, remember that beer does contain gluten unless properly marked, and maybe try some of the suggestions below!

Have FUN!! Wear green or not. And enjoy the food if you can. 🙂

Recipes:

Make a yummy gluten free, non-dairy mint chocolate chip shake using coconut milk, and So Delicious’ Mint Chip Ice Cream. Check your mint flavoring to make sure the alcohol used to make it is gluten free!

Homemade Limeaid with Stevia or Agave (low glycemic) nectar to taste instead of sugar!
http://spoonful.com/recipes/st-patricks-day-homemade-limeade

Irish Soda Bread with fun history facts behind it:
http://www.riddlelove.com/2012/03/gluten-free-real-food-for-st-pattys-day.html

Gluten free Shamrock cupcakes: don’t use Guinness beer. Use either a gluten free variety or coffee.
http://www.allthecooks.com/vickys-st-patricks-day-guinness-cupcakes-dairy-egg-soy-free.html

Good Ole’ Fashioned Corned Beef and Cabbage (A little challenging for those going Paleo or Autoimmune).
http://www.bhg.com/recipe/beef/corned-beef-and-cabbage/

To find more Gluten Free Recipes, please see my pins on Pinterest. Including fun Gluten free pet treats for our four legged friends. 🙂

Finally…

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
author unknown~

Happy Reading and Eating!
~Christa~

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Rants, Recipes, Reviews

What to Do When You Have the Stomach Flu? :p

_What to do when you are gluten free and have the flu!~

No poetic descriptions or quotes this time folks… I’m sorry!

I know I was going to post about my homemade body lotion, but the time has come…

Yes, my friends… the day we all dread has come… Your stomach hurts, you feel horrible, your body aches, you feel feverish… my friends… you have THE STOMACH FLU.

So, this is a totally new experience for someone newly gluten free. What do you eat?

Usually, I would grab a sleeve of Ritz crackers, my diet ginger ale and hit the road (if I could), but this time was not that easy.

Having given up all sodas due to the artificial sweeteners, I have changed to drinking ice cold Pellegrino Mineral Water in the glass jar (so much better than the plastic!). Today, that has been a god-send! Add a touch of fresh ginger root to it and you have “make-believe” Ginger ale.

As for the crackers, I’ve not yet found anything comparable yet.

I know that for my next bout (God, please, NO!), I will have recipes standing tall for gluten free home remedies, but I’ve combed the internet for gluten free stomach flu ideas.

The ideas are as follows:
You can make your own Gluten Free Ginger Tincture (here), just be sure to use gluten free alcohol. (make for future bouts)

Peppermint Tea

Bone broth – the homemade kind made from scratch with 100% grass feed beef… (ordering the bones online now.)

Coconut Water to replace lost electrolites… (on my list for next time… hopefully there won’t be one).

Bananas, applesauce, rice (if your are not paleo), mashed sweet potatoes, or gluten free toast if you can have it. You know, that old saying of “B.R.A.T” still holds true if you can eat the gluten free breads and are not on the Autoimmune protocol or Paleo. If you are, avoid the GF breads.

To help little ones stay hydrated and keep up their strength, try making little homemade popsicles with coconut water mixed with a bit of applesauce for flavor. Avoid too much sugar as this would definitely feed the fire rather than make matters better. 😛 Better yet, try to make these homemade electrolyte popcicles! http://dontmesswithmama.com/homemade-electrolyte-popsicles/

Take a hot bath – One of the things that helped me the most was the detox bath of Epsom salts, baking soda and my beloved Lavender Essential Oils! It seemed to ease the stomach cramps a bit.
I buy my Epsom salts at Sam’s Club in bulk (a 6lb box) and used only 2 scoops of the salts (about a cup). The Essential Oils I usually use are either Lavender, or Frankincense and Myrrh which is very relaxing. As for the Baking soda, I use about a cup. Stay in the tub for as long as you can… I try to stay for at least ½ hr and add more hot water if I get cold. My body temp is normally pretty low, well below the normal 98.6 so I always work my way up to hotter water.

I can no longer do the old standby of Hot black tea with ginger in it, crackers and ginger ale, nor can I indulge in my favorite gingermints (not gluten free), but I hope this helps you should you be greeted with the unfortunate guest of the stomach flu!
Stay well!
Until next time,
Happy Reading and Eating!
~Christa~

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“The problem with competition is that it takes away the requirement to set your own path, to invent your own method, to find a new way.” Seth Godin ~ Going Gluten Free in the World Of Sports.

“The problem with competition is that it takes away the requirement to set your own path, to invent your own method, to find a new way.” Seth Godin

~ Going Gluten Free in the World Of Sports.~

With so many people going gluten free, and in trying to find my own path through this new maze, I have discovered the challenge of balancing act of carb content in my diet and exercise or sports… But what about the effect of such challenges in a “growing” body? How do athletes maintain their competitive edge?

Everyone knows that in order to maintain a healthy level of energy, you MUST add carbs, whole grains, and the like… right? Of course rightUh.. not according to this interesting article!!

To put a name and a face to very well known gluten-free atheletes, you may simply look to the MTA… Novak Djokovic.

I’ve noticed the difference in my own body when I exert myself… how my body reacts to “stresses” either intentional or not, but what about those stresses faced by professional athletes? How can this influence or help the youth athletes striving for competitive edge, stronger skills and a better life hopefully through scholarships?

In this very detailed article by Gary Morley, for CNN, he goes into great detail about how gluten-free diets are taking the professional tennis world by storm! It’s a very interesting read.

The fact that Novak Djokovic was dealing with issues within his lungs caused by gluten amazed me! As stated ”It was his sensitivity to gluten that was compromising his lungs,” he adds, citing that in Chinese medicine there’s believed to be a relationship between the large intestines and the lungs.

So, what isn’t affected by our gut? Seriously!

Tennis Coach, Pete McGraw stated that “Cutting out wheat-based foods such as bread and pasta could be the best thing you ever do… Athletes would be complaining of excessive tiredness, even after light sessions. During a normal daily activity it was fine but then as soon as they began to exercise their blood sugar levels would drop significantly, and that causes concentration-behavior issues, (problems with) focus, emotional control.”

The article also stated that, “McCraw says he has also seen “life-changing” results in his clients. ‘Personalities changed, they were much calmer, had more clarity, better grades at school, their relationships with parents have improved, my relationship with them has matured,’ he said.”

The article greatly warns that no one should try this gluten free approach without the consent of their doctor!!! Please follow this advice from the original author accordingly!

You may find the full article here to print out and take with you to your physician for further discussion. Perhaps there may be an underlying cause never before considered in both physical and emotional status linked to gluten! It is definitely worth investigating!
http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/28/sport/tennis/gluten-free-diet-djokovic-murray-tennis/

As for some gluten-free energy boosting snacks, I of course LOVE my LARABARS, but here are a few posts I’d found on Pinterest with some very interesting looking recipes! ~ Enjoy~

Here are some Chia seed energy bars: http://wellnessmama.com/5475/chia-seed-energy-bars/

Some Almond Power Bars: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/07/01/recipe-connection-almond-power-bars/

Easy 3 ingredient Energy Bars: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-easy-3-ingredient-energy-bars-at-home-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-184306#

There are more posted on my Pinterest board if you’d like to search, pin and share!

So what are YOUR favorite energy boosters? Please share! I’m sure there are many great ideas out there!

Until Next time,
Happy Reading and Eating!
~Christa~
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“What happens when people open their hearts?… They get better!” Haruki Murakami

“What happens when people open their hearts?… They get better!” Haruki Murakami

As I have been dealing with recent discovery and changes due to that discovery in my life, the change at times could be a bit overwhelming.

There is so much to learn! And it seems, so little time to do it in.

I am thankful for Pinterest and our mini-snowmageden that occurred (rendering all travel impossible), thus allowing me the time to sit and study… to improve my work skills… and to research more fully the dietary changes in my life that I must make. Something life would not have afforded me any other way.

I must say that Pinterest has been an unbelievable resource! I have started my own Pinterest board for Glutenwheatfree4me in which I now have over 1000 pins of recipes, modifications, educational materials, and suggestions as to how to better live life gluten free… healthier… stronger.

The purpose of my posts, and Pinterest board are found in the summation of Dr. Martin Luther King’s quote,

“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.” (source: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/healing)

Thus, Glutenwheatfree4me was born. My Pinterest board can be found here if you’d like to browse, follow, or pin! http://www.pinterest.com/becreative222/gluten-wheat-free-4-me/

One of the most instrumental, and healing posts that I’d found on Pinterest was found here : http://aiplifestyle.com/approach-difficulty-medicine/ Written by a woman who not only made things very real to me, but posted a very personal experience with which I could greatly identify! Without further guilding the lily, I would simply like to ask you to read her post, be blessed, encouraged and touched as I have!

Be Blessed!
Until next time, Happy Reading and Eating!
~Christa~

Be Strong! Carry on!

Be Strong! Carry on!

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Rants, Recipes, Reviews

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” Paulo Coehlo ~ Making things better for those we love.

It’s Valentines DAy! A day of LUV… 🙂 This post is all about the little one’s today & making their Gluten Free Valentines Days come true! 🙂

Children buy their little Valentines Cards and give them out, some hand made to be treasured forever by those who received them… Parties are full of Cupcakes with hearts on them, little heart shaped cookies candies with little sayings… but what about little one’s with allergies and the need to be gluten free? How can we make their day better?

With this day of “love” and the innocence of children, I cannot help but remember my own childhood riddled with Allergies preventing me from eating things like others. As much as mom tried, it was still difficult because there weren’t the products and knowledge so readily available.

So, for all the joyous little ones, this post is for you! 🙂 I have no little cherubs myself, but have enjoyed the innocence, simplicity and comedy of children all my life. Animals too! 🙂

For those who have little one’s they care about that must be gluten free, please enjoy the following recommendations! Also, at the bottom are gluten free doggies recipes for those who spoil their canine friends too. Maybe you could make a fun day of baking special gluten free doggie cookies with your little ones to spoil their best friends. 🙂 How fun would that be… huh?

People goodies:

Recipe for gluten free gummy hearts: http://homespunwithlove.blogspot.com/2014/01/tart-cherry-heart-gummies.html

Recipe for gluten free chicken nuggets: http://laurenkellynutrition.com/healthy-gluten-free-chicken-nuggets/

GF French Fries: http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2013/03/the-best-homemade-french-fries-ever.html

101 GF Recipes for kids! 🙂 http://intoxicatedonlife.com/2014/01/14/101-grain-free-gluten-free-snack-ideas/

Here’s a great recipe for icing to make heart shaped conversation cookies for your gluten free little one: http://thenourishinghome.com/2014/02/dairy-free-sugar-free-sweet-vanilla-icing/

Recipe for heart shaped cookies: http://mamanatural.com/valentines-cookie-recipe/

Recipe for dairy free caramel apples: http://www.thepaleomom.com/2013/10/caramel-apples-dairy-free-aip-friendly.html

Canine Goodies: For those who have gluten free Furbabies, gluten free doggie cookie recipes:

Peanut butter flavored doggie cookies: http://www.katesshortandsweets.com/2011/12/peanut-butter-dog-treats-gluten-free.html

10 more gluten free recipes for doggie goodies: http://www.brit.co/homemade-dog-treats/

To me, the idea of children making treats for their doggies was just too cute to leave out. 🙂 I hope you enjoy!

To Everyone, I’d like to wish a safe and Happy Valentines Day!
Till next time, Happy Reading and Eating!
~Christa~

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“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth.” ~ William W. Purkey ~ Remembering the joys of yesterday.

Day 2 in the count down to V-Day.

As we prepare for a long weekend in lock-down due to the weather, (we are under a civil emergency and all are to stay home), I can hear the children outside playing. Their voices of laughter echoing as they play in the snow, making snow men, enjoying the moment, making light of the situation. They are enjoying life!! They are living it!

I know that there are many whose loved ones may be traveling and due to the weather, may not be able to make it home by V-day. As they say, perhaps absence makes the heart grow fonder, but maybe there can be a V-day miracle. 🙂 Here’s hoping!

Today, I may be a bit melancholy, surprised by the reaction of others towards the situations at hand, as many as there are, not only in my own life but others… & remembering how much easier things may have seemed yesterday.

It is so easy for others who may be looking in from the outside, where it’s comfortable, and then judge, but what about walking a mile in that other person’s shoes?

To those who find themselves in this situation, I think that Marilyn Monroe said it best when she said,

“This life is what you make it.

No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes, it’s a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you’re going to mess it up.

Girls will be your friends – they’ll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything – they’re your true best friends. Don’t let go of them.

Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world.

As for lovers, well, they’ll come and go too. And baby, I hate to say it, most of them – actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can’t give up because if you give up, you’ll never find your soulmate. You’ll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything.

Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie?

So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.”

And as Dr. Martin Luther Kind said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that,” try to hold onto the good that you see in people, try to forgive their shortcomings and judgments… and remember to dance!

Now run out, if you can, go make a snowman, go for a walk and enjoy the moment… then come in and make a cup of your gluten free hot chocolate. (Here’s some to try if you can get to a store; http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/Gluten-Free-Beverages/a/Gluten-Free-Hot-Chocolate.htm )

I make mine from Almond breeze unsweetened vanilla flavor, dark chocolate powder and agave nectar to taste.

Remember, tomorrow is another day! Be kind to yourself, because you are the only you you’ve got! 🙂

All of today’s quotes were supplied by http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/love

Keep Reading and Eating and hold your head high!
~Christa~

Be Strong! Carry on!

Be Strong! Carry on!

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