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Dining Out Gluten Free

The dreaded question to anyone is “what are we having for dinner?” 

Most people do not enjoy cooking, and cleaning after a long day at work or school, so they take the easy way out. They either call for delivery, or decide to dine out. However, when you have allergies, it can become complicated. Most of the time, I ask the waitress if the chips are corn or flour and they look at me like I have a third eye. It is a simple question that I think store managers should be training their employees to know the exact ingredients.

Needless to say, it is becoming more known that restaurants add a symbol to let you know if it is gluten free, or if there is a separate gluten free menu. Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and for most allergens you can tell that I obviously can not order a sandwich, but gluten and other ingredients can be mixed with products without you knowing.

Luckily, a genius put together an article including 75 gluten free restaurant menus that you have never seen before! You no longer have to say “you can’t eat there” or have to always go to the same restaurants because you know you can get a salad there! The world is starting to understand the severity of allergies and are helping people dine out again.

I have had multiple experiences with this, including gluten, and my other allergy of walnuts. Gluten is always the biggest with sauces and seasoning hiding certain wheat proteins, so this one gets tricky. But I was at a delicious restaurant and ordered a gluten free sandwich with chicken and pesto…. who knew pesto was made sometimes with walnuts?! I found out the hard way with a itchy tongue! But regardless, we are in luck now with the help of online menus and more search into what they are really putting in them.

So, who wants to GO OUT to dinner?!

http://glutenfreeguidehq.com/68-essential-gluten-free-restaurant-menus-you-need-to-know/

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Italian Bites

I decided to mix it up with this recipe besides the holiday treats, and share an Italian Quinoa Bites recipes. I have only tried using quinoa a couple of times, but this recipe has come up multiple times on pinterest and I have been dying to try it! It is is basically a delicious meatball of non-dairy cheese, quinoa, tomatoes and spices. I like to think of it almost as a mozzarella stick that can be dipped in marinara sauce! It sounds like it could be a great appetizer, snack or even a meal if you have the right sides!

The recipe is actually very short too which is surprising with gluten free items! I have all the items ready to make it for tomorrow and if it turns out well, I plan on making it for the holidays as well! I try and help out my family for the holidays since I am the only gluten-free one, so I provide delicious snacks so they can try it and see that it is not so bad living this way! Also, it is a great way for me not to feel like I am secluded only eating one or two things. Food is the main connection between people on holidays, so why not make them healthy, and take into consideration everyone’s allergies?! My grandma and uncle are allergic to milk, my brother is vegetarian and I am gluten free, so if I follow this recipe it makes everyone happy!!

Check it out for yourself!

http://www.forkandbeans.com/2013/04/18/italian-quinoa-bites/

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It Makes Me Go Bananas!

Banana bread has always been my favorite treat. My mom has a delicious recipe, that when she first takes out of the oven, you can melt butter over the top and enjoy! It is making my mouth water just thinking about it!! Unfortunately, she has not experienced too much with making it gluten free.

Me on the other hand, has been researching gluten free banana bread recipes non-stop. I found a box version in the grocery store ONCE, and have not been able to find it in a couple months. So, I started to look on pinterest on how to make it without the box. This one had the least amount of ingredients and excellent reviews, so I wanted to share it with my readers! I will be trying it this weekend, but would love for some comments from anyone else who has tried it or has different recipes!

I also love adding dark chocolate chips or raisins to my bread! I think I will start off making the original recipe, and then go bananas with it if I like it!!

I hope everyone enjoys this recipe and looks forward for new ones coming soon!

Here is the link to follow the recipe:

http://www.girlmakesfood.com/gluten-free-banana-bread/

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Gluten Free Gobble

It is November. Time flies by when you’re in school. Halloween just happened, the clocks fell behind an hour, and everyone is thinking about Thanksgiving break.

Oh no, you just decided to eat gluten free, and you don’t know what to bake! All of the family is coming over and you don’t know what sides they are bringing! DON’T PANIC! A lot of side dishes are actually gluten free naturally.

Mashed potatoes, fruits, vegetables, cornbread, etc. For a full list of recipes of gluten free side dishes, I attached a link for delicious treats. Just tell the family that you want to make a few extra side dishes yourself and it won’t be an issue.

http://www.babble.com/best-recipes/25-fantastic-gluten-free-side-dishes-for-thanksgiving/

Just make sure to stay strong when you smell the rolls and stuffing. It is not worth feeling sick on such a precious holiday filled with friends and family. Make sure to check out the 23 delicious gluten free desserts to finish our your perfect meal!

http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/gorgeous-gluten-free-vegan-thanksgiving-desserts

ENJOY and share your recipes you try with me!

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Halloween is Near!

Some people think that going gluten free, makes them want to pull their hair out… but it can be really easy! If you really think about it, a lot of things are naturally gluten free! Milk, rice, fruit, veggies… All you have to do is pick the right recipes with the simple ingredients and it can save you a fortune!

Since Halloween is right around the corner, I found the cutest, gluten free treat for all trick-or-treaters. Do your kids have a halloween party coming up? Do half of the students in their class have some sort of allergy? Follow this recipe to make Pumpkin Rice Krispies Treats! Not only are they festive, but they are delicious and should be allergy free for all! Just ignore the crushed cookies for the dirt, and you will be ready to go. I am also sure there are a few substitute for the other ingredients, and I would love for people to comment if they find a better method!

Enjoy your healthy, spooky, halloween!!!

http://www.homestoriesatoz.com/fun-with-food/pumpkin-rice-krispies-treats.html

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Pamper Yourself: GF Edition

You just began eating gluten free. Your refrigerator is completely cleared out of anything that contains gluten. When you go out to eat, you are cautious of what you order/ask questions. You know the best products and recipes to make your favorite meals.

BUT WAIT.

Did you think about what you wash your face with, what make up you use, what is soaking into your hair?! Some beauty products contain gluten!!! The products you use on your skin and hair absorb into your body, causing a similar reaction to what foods could do! Here are some links to double check that your body and lifestyle are COMPLETELY free of gluten.

http://www.weareglutenfree.com/gluten-free-shampoo-and-conditioner/

http://livingglutenandgrainfree.com/2011/02/14/gluten-free-personal-care-products-2/

Next time you go to get a haircut, call ahead and make sure they have GF products for you. If they don’t, either bring your own or find a new place. Beauty products are just as important as food! It may be hard to believe, but your body may react on the outside as well if certain makeup irritates your skin. Don’t stress about it, and the next time you get ready in the morning, do a quick check on all of your products!

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Going Gluten Free

Are you allergic to gluten? Do you want to try it out, and see if it makes you feel better? Getting started is the hardest part. If you are trying to really give up all amounts of gluten, this article is the perfect read!

I recently found an article that explains every item that gluten can be found in and different names for it. Luckily, the grocery stores are becoming more familiar with the problem of gluten allergies, so like other food allergies, they are starting to add LABELS! YES! It is such a relief in the store when you see in big font “GLUTEN FREE”. You know you are safe to devour that entire package.

However, something aren’t labeled. How are you suppose to tell if it has any traces of gluten in it? The next best choice is under ingredients, when it says May Contain: Wheat, etc… If it doesn’t say wheat, then you can most likely eat it, but if you are Celiac, or want to avoid it at all cost you may need to do more research then that. Even small ingredients can contain traces of gluten.

I constantly google “gluten free foods” and recipes so I know what I am cooking, but sometimes grocery store brands have different things added. I know my biggest surprise was the marinade and dressing mixes that come in powder form and you add oil or water.. great for meats. Fortunately, there are a few that come without it but that one took me a little longer to realize!

Here’s an article that is an amazing help to getting started. Check out the main page, or even some recipes!

http://knowgluten.me/2012/03/31/other-names-for-gluten/

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Cinnamon Rolls Please!

I don’t know about you, but I have been craving hot, gooey, sweet cinnamon rolls for awhile now.

These cold mornings and routine breakfast oatmeal need a change! I have been begging my boyfriend to make something new for breakfast but we just have been so busy. SO, I made a promise that we will sleep in (of course) and when we are ready to get up, we will make it a fun activity to hand make these beautiful cinnamon rolls. I have never been so excited for the weekend! Some of the things I miss most about being gluten free are the breakfast foods. Bagels, cinnamon rolls,  toast, waffles and pancakes. I especially miss bagels, but all of these do come in a gluten free option at the store. You can either get a packaged mix of them or make them from scratch. Surprisingly, they all turn out tasting delicious!

Attached is the link for the recipe of ooey gooey cinnamon rolls, covered in icing. It may not be the healthiest option, but sometimes you need to satisfy that sweet tooth. Have a side of fruit, and juice or milk and you’d be set to continue your day. We plan on working out that morning, and volunteering at a road side clean up too! With a busy schedule like that, as long as you are full with the right nutrients to keep going, and not be thinking about your next meal then you will be set to conquer the world.

I hope you enjoy making these with loved ones, and enjoy a delicious family meal.

Breakfast is the most important meal… so why not make it the most delicious too?

http://www.helloglutenfree.com/2013/10/30/gluten-free-cinnamon-rolls/

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Pumpkin Craze

Every girl has been tweeting and instagraming pictures of PUMPKIN anything!

Pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin farms, fall outfits, etc.

My personal favorite is pumpkin ice cream that is served at our local ice cream shop. However, my absolute favorite treat around the Halloween season is just Pumpkin Seeds!! Not only do you get to go to a pumpkin patch and carve a pumpkin but you get a treat when it is all over.

Not to mention they are gluten free!

It is a win for everyone in your family.

Grab your favorite seasoning, roast some seeds and relax this week enjoying time with family in this perfect fall weather. The seasons are getting colder, so running outside is starting to not be an option. Working out inside the gym is what my life has been changing too, but with this protein packed snack afterwards, I can not even complain! Besides, I am sure lifting some pumpkins can count as “arm day” for some of us!

I hope everyone tries making delicious pumpkin seeds this fall and enjoys them as much as I do! Share your own recipes with me here as well if you think I need to try a new flavor!

Never had them? Click here to try a new recipe:

http://shewearsmanyhats.com/toasted-pumpkin-seeds/

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Whole 30 Food Experience

Have you ever heard of the Whole 30 Food Challenge, based on the book It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig? It is a life changing experience that could change the way you eat, and live your life.

I tried this challenge last year, starting on January 1st. It was extremely hard at first but I lost weight and felt so much better by the end of the challenge. I am trying to get the motivation to start the challenge again soon. In the book it encourages you try the full 30 days, and then if you need a boost to be healthy again, you can pick any amount of time to base your meals of this challenge.

The 30 day challenge includes eating NO: Added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. Alcohol. Grains. Legumes. Dairy and White potatoes.

It is saying YES to eating: Meat, Seafood, Eggs, Lots of vegetables, Some fruit, and plenty of healthy fats.

My hardest obstacle was no chocolate or peanut butter. It started my love for almond butter and I even tried 100% dark chocolate (cause that was the only way you were allowed to eat it). It tasted like chalk. I even tried to melt it and dip it in fruit to make it more enjoyable for my chocolate craving… it just wasn’t  meant to be.

However, it was the perfect way to start the new year and feel good about what I ate. It also made me very conscious of how to read labels and in the first couple chapters it explains what to eat and WHY. It was so interesting learning what foods do to your body and that makes it so much easier to read why it is bad in black and white!

For anyone who is trying to be healthy, or go on some crazy smoothie diet, rethink it. This is not a diet, it is a lifestyle change. After trying this challenge it gives you ways to introduce back the foods, and after 30 days, you may not even want the foods back into your life! I know after this challenge, chips, cookies, chocolate, etc did not sound as appealing since I was use to not eating it.

I encourage everyone to give this book/challenge a try before any other program. It is the healthiest way to learn what is right and wrong. With a busy schedule like mine, it is not always easy to fit in a workout, especially when it is getting cold outside. So as long as I know the foods I am putting into my mouth will help me stay lean, I stay in a great mood!

Here is the link to their main page where you can read about success stories and recipes to give it a shot today!!                                 http://whole30.com

GOOD LUCK!