Tag Archives: living gluten free

Gluten-Free Running

gluten free jacksonville running

Last month I ran the Donna Breast Cancer Half Marathon. I have run half marathons before, however, I had not run one since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I started noticing a difference in my energy levels about 1 year before my diagnosis while running. I would just feel so tired during and after running.  Now that I have my Celiac disease under control (some-what) I have started running again and it feels great. Whenever I am feeling sluggish or moody from being glutenated, a run almost always helps me feel better.

gluten free jacksonville running
I felt amazing after the Donna. Ok, I felt sore on Monday and Tuesday afterwards but nothing out of the ordinary. I really tried hard to prep correctly the week of. I took some steps prior to the race that helped me so I thought I would share with the hopes that you will share some with me!

  • Find a training program that fits you. I cannot run more than 3 times a week. I am 5 feet 11 and my body just can’t take running two days in a row. There are a ton of resources online to help you come up with a training program. I like programs that include a little speed work one day and cross training on other days. I like to do Yoga once a week while I am training for a long race, it helps strengthen and stretch muscles that get overused during long runs.
  • Avoid eating at new restaurants up to 2 weeks before the race. Try to make as many meals at home so that your body is healthy and stores up energy prior to the race. I can always tell when I have had gluten from cross contamination, the run is extremely hard and I feel terrible afterwards
  • Hydrate with water and sports drinks 2-4 days before the race.
  • The Day Before:  No alcohol; drink plenty of water and sports drinks;  Carbo-load (gluten-free of course) early in the day; layout your outfit; set out your race number and put the safety pins already on the number to make pinning it on easy; make a music playlist that keeps you motivated while runninggluten free jacksonville running
  • Day of:  Get up no less than 3 hours before race time; drink 16 ounces of water right when you wake up; eat foods you are familiar with (I like a banana and peanut butter toast). I think the goal is around 300 calories 2 hours before race time. Try to eat and drink with plenty of time to use the restroom (#1 and #2) before you leave and leave with plenty of time to get to the race – traffic is almost always an issue arriving at races.
  • During the run: Have fun- talk to people cheering; give high fives to spectators; take pictures of your surroundings; take water breaks at every single water station to help you stay hydrated and give yourself a little break; listen to your body and walk if you want to; set a goal for you not someone else; and start slow- real slow.
  • After the run: Stretch and cool down- ice bath optional; Enjoy the free beer (I have never seen gluten-free beer) or champagne at the end of the run
  • Don’t forget: Congratulate yourself!  You did it!  Smile!  There is no better feeling than finishing a race you trained months for.  No one can take away the fact you set a goal and achieved it.
  • A few site links that have offered me help:
    a. Jeff Galloway
    b. Healthy Tipping Point
    c. Runners world

This weekend I am running the Gate River Run. Are you? Do you do any of these things to prepare? What are some of your tricks and tips?

Congratulations to Lindsay for winning the Tuttorosso Giveaway!

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Product Review and Giveaway: Carbo-loading Tuttorosso Style

gluten free pasta recipe
I love tomatoes. One of my staples when grocery store shopping is always canned tomatoes. I love them to make salsa, add to black beans, or add to rice with mojo sauce for a Cuban side dish. So when Tuttorosso asked me to try some of their products I obliged. Not only did they send me 3 large cans of tomatoes, they sent me a really cute apron. Call me a nerd, but I love aprons!

With the tomatoes they also sent some recipe cards. I decided to try the Italian Tomato Pasta Bake. It seemed very easy yet sounded delicious and I needed to carbo load for a run I was going to do the next day.  This recipe called for their Crushed Tomatoes with Basil.

Recipe Overview:
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

3 cups (8 ounces) penne pasta
1 pound lean ground beef (I used ground turkey breast)
1 small green bell pepper, chopped (I had a red pepper instead)
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 (28 ounce) cans Tuttorosso® Crushed Tomatoes In Thick Puree With Basil or 2 (28 ounce) cans Tuttorosso® Crushed Tomatoes With Basil

Salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese (I did not include cheese in mine)

gluten free pasta recipe
In addition to the ingredients the recipe called for, I decided to add some of the veggies I had around the house.

gluten free pasta recipe

I just added them to the sauce and let them simmer with the meat and basil seasoning.

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 13x9x2 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Cook penne pasta according to package directions. Drain well; cover and keep warm. In a prepared baking dish, brown ground round in microwave oven; drain well.
2. Add green bell pepper, mushrooms, TUTTOROSSO® CRUSHED TOMATOES in thick puree with basil and salt; mix well. Return to microwave and bring mixture to a boil. Remove from microwave and add pasta; mix well.
(Note: our microwave was broken, so I just cooked everything in a pan on the stove.  It caused a delay in cooking time and dirtied an extra dish, but it did not impact flavor).

gluten free pasta recipe

3. Cover and bake in oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

gluten free pasta recipeThe finished product was delicious! My only suggestion is that you really should pay attention to the salt to taste.  Mine needed a little more than I originally thought.  This is one dish I will most likely be trying again.

Product Give Away!!!

One lucky Gluten Free Jacksonville reader will win a prize pack that includes: the cute apron I am wearing and an assortment of Tuttorosso’s canned tomatoes.

To enter the drawing comment on this blog post. The winner will be announced next week.

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Jason’s Deli Gluten-Free? Not For Everyone

jasons deli gluten free sandwich gluten free jacksonvilleI am a little concerned about what is going on at Jason’s Deli.  I have been going there for a while now (frequently making my cover photo a picture of the gluten-free BLT with avocado) and am just now finding out that their gluten free sandwiches are not truly gluten-free.

jasons deli gluten free sandwich gluten free jacksonville

They have HUGE signs at the counter promoting their gluten-free offerings. Each time I go I ask if they are taking proper precautions while prepping the food and they usually change out their gloves and prepare my sandwich on a separate surface like wax paper or something.   Last week was a day like any other, I ordered my usual gluten-free BLT with avocado and even noticed they now sell loaves of Udi’s gluten-free bread for around $12 or something.  However, when I got my meal it came with this lovely “legal” notice.

jasons deli gluten free sandwich gluten free jacksonville

What?  AFTER I have purchased my sandwich is the time to spring this legalese on me?  I just don’t understand.  Didn’t we learn anything from the Dominos Pizza and California Pizza Kitchen debacles?  Why even offer gluten-free at all if you are not taking precautions to make it available for everyone who is gluten-free.  I just don’t understand why you would have something that is gluten-free when the people who need it most can’t even have it.    On top of that, tell me on my sandwich that I already paid for!

I wonder if this is in response to dietary discrimination investigations going on around the country that are being spearheaded by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

I am very disappointed and feel like Jason’s Deli is taking the easy way out, when all they have to do is implement a few procedures to avoid cross contamination. Heck, they could even limit the number of sandwiches that are gluten-free.  I am also sad that my list of places that are safe for me is getting shorter and shorter.  Good bye Jason’s Deli...

Jason's Deli on Urbanspoon

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Sweet Theory Baking Co.

sweet theory baking company gluten free jacksonville
Today, after being told over and over to check this place out, I finally made my way to Sweet Theory Baking Company.  Sweet Theory Baking Company is a bakery near the heart of the Park and King District near Little Five Points/Riverside area. It is located between Park and Post on King not far from where you can get a gluten-free beer at Kickbacks or Beer:30.

sweet theory baking company gluten free jacksonvilleI was greeted by the cutest little store front on a chilly yet sunny day. I went during my lunch hour so I did not have time to linger long. I quickly found the items designated with a (GF) on them and was overwhelmed with the options.

sweet theory baking company gluten free jacksonvilleI asked the manager what she thought the most popular items were and she pointed me in the direction of doughnuts, cupcakes, cookie sandwiches and whoopee pies. All of these items came gluten-free except the doughnuts. I was a little sad, I have heard so much about these doughnuts but my mind was put to ease when the manager explained that the owner (and head baker) was still working on the right recipe. Good enough for me.

sweet theory baking company gluten free jacksonvilleIn addition to the cakes and cookies and such, I noticed that they had some gluten-free savory garlic and herb biscuits. I can’t tell you the last time I had a biscuit. I decided to try that and a cookie sandwich.

sweet theory baking company gluten free jacksonville
The place was a bit quiet, it was a Wednesday during lunch time.  I decided to enjoy my gluten-free garlic and herb biscuit in a cozy spot near the front windows and just chill. They had warmed the biscuit up for me and put on some soy free earth balance vegan butter.  The biscuit was so satisfying. The consistency was different than a real biscuit, but the taste was awesome. It was flaky and at times crumbly, but not dry (definitely a mess to eat if you are on the go.) This southern girl was happy (can we get a gf/df biscuits and gravy?:)).

sweet theory baking company gluten free jacksonville

So I guess I should have eaten a real lunch before my visit, because after the biscuit I was wanting more. So I dug into the chocolate chip sandwich and before I knew it had eaten almost half. Very moist, chewy and HUGE.

sweet theory baking company gluten free jacksonville

While the biscuit was not a regular on the menu, the cookie sandwich is along with numerous gluten-free cupcake flavors from peach to root beer.  In addition they had blueberry and raspberry flavored muffins as well.

As I was finishing up my biscuit and half of the cookie sandwich the manager explained that they also make ice cream (they only have vanilla for now, more flavors to come as the weather warms up) and they make a special treat called a Brooklyn Egg Cream which she described as a chocolaty and  unique cold beverage.
sweet theory baking company gluten free jacksonville
Everything at Sweet Theory Baking Company is egg, dairy, soy and peanut free. They have some items (a lot actually) that are gluten-free and made in a designated gluten-free area with designated utensils. There is absolutely no dairy in this store. Even when ordering coffee (which is local-Bold Bean), your coffee creamer options were almond or rice milk.

sweet theory baking company gluten free jacksonvilleSweet Theory Baking Company’s sweets were delicious. I like them as much as Cookie Momsters. However, Sweet Theory Baking Company offers what I have suggested to Cookie Momsters numerous times, a place to linger. Sweet Theory is a place I could meet up with friends for an afternoon coffee and have a snack. I felt at home and as if I belonged. Sometimes when I leave Cookie Momsters I feel like I am doing something in secret because I go in, order and leave (usually enjoying my treat at the next red light as I drive back to work or home).  I still love you Cookie Momsters but it is nice to have options in different parts of town.  Now my wish is for a gluten-free/dairy-free bakery at the beach…

I will be back Sweet Theory Baking Company. Thank you for a lovely dessert lunch J

Sweet Theory Baking Co. on Urbanspoon

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New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year!

I really hope everyone is enjoying special time with family and friends.  I spent the rest of 2012 up in Chicago with my boyfriend’s family.  It is freezing up here but I have also gotten to see some snow so it is worth it.  The food here is great, and I love being in a big city where almost every restaurant we go to is educated on gluten-free.

(If you are ever in the area, Meli’s is one of my favorite breakfast places.)

While 2012 was full of challenges, I also have so much to be thankful for.  As I look forward to 2013 I can’t help but be reminded I still have so much more to learn and I still need to take steps to reduce the amount of times I get sick.  Here are a few of my New Year’s resolutions and wishes:

  1. I hope to be more prepared.  This means relying less on pre-packaged foods and making more of my own foods from scratch.  This also means less meals out and more meals at home.
  2. I wish that more restaurants knew what “gluten-free” means.  Yes, I can have potatoes, no I can’t have soy sauce, no I can’t have fries that have been fried with battered onion rings.
  3. I will have more willpower over sweets.  Perhaps I can incorporate sweets a little every day so I am not so deprived I go and spend $30 at Cookie Momsters.
  4. I want to exercise more.  There are some days I have been glutened, I am tired, grouchy, my stomach doesn’t feel good, but after exercise I feel so much better.

What are your gluten-free New Year’s resolutions?

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Best of 2012

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs we prep for the ball to drop, thought I would share with you the top posts from my blog in 2012.

Publix: Where “Gluten Free” Shopping is a Pleasure!
Travel Dining: Marmalade San Juan, Puerto Rico
Gluten-Free Baby Shower
About Me and My Blog
Celiac Support Group
TacoLu(ve)
Happy Birthday to Me! Mama B’s
Complaints About a Gluten-Free Diner
Gluten-free Wine Dinner at Bistro AIX was AIXtra Special!
Gluten-Free Seasons 52
A Cookie Momster Christmas

Continue reading

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Namaste Bread Mix Review

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When Namaste Foods sent me the BBQ Coating Mix, they also sent me their bread mix.  I have never made bread in my life.  However, I always envy those who make fresh bread regularly.  I remember my mom making bread when I was little and there is just something so comforting about the smell and taste of fresh bread out of the oven.  While extremely intimidated by the task, I took some time one night to make home made bread.

The ingredients were easy, I was just a little concerned about what pan to use.  I found some foil bread pans at Kmart on sale and decided to give them a try.  The pan size was 8 inches x 3 7/8 inches by 2 15/32 inches.

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The recipe called for oil, 1 egg and three egg whites. I only had two eggs so I made it with 1 egg and 1 egg white. Unsure of how that would impact the outcome, I proceeded as any normal kitchen goddess would do- I crossed my fingers.

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After blended in the mixer, the dough had to sit to rise about 30 minutes.  I then placed the pan in the oven to cook for one hour.  About half way through I added foil on top. This was a huge help to keep the top from burning.

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The bread came out really tall- it was on the top shelf of the oven and was practically touching the top of the oven. I think I may need to use a little wider pan next time.  After the bread cooled an hour or so, I decided to taste the bread… It was awesome.  It had a little bit of sweetness but was probably the best gluten-free bread I have ever had.  I have visions of using this mix for home made banana bread.  The portion size was plenty. It made more than I usually get with my typical Udi’s loaf. It is only good at room temperature for 24-48 hours. I decided to slice it and freeze it. This lasted me about a week. I would definitely purchase this bread mix- but am not sure how frequent I will be able to prepare this, you need a good 2 hours. Thanks Namaste for introducing me to making home made bread.

What is your favorite bread?

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Larry’s Giant Subs Now Offering Gluten-Free Subs

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Earlier this week I found out that Cookie Momsters had partnered with Larry’s Giant Subs. I was so excited. I can’t remember the last time I had a sub. Yes, I have had sandwiches, but I miss the days of sandwiches ordered in inches.  There is just something about the nostalgia of subs for me.  In my youth, we would opt for the healthy alternative after volleyball, softball or basketball practice instead of heading out to McDonalds or Burger King.

The closest location to me is the Southside store across the street from Tinseltown movie theaters.  I was a little worried that they may just add the rolls without taking other precautions to avoid cross-contamination. I was happily surprised to find out that the cashier was knowledgeable on the subject and told me they wipe down the area and change their gloves.

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Larry’s Giant Sub’s motto is “Home of the Big One.” The gluten-free sub rolls come in one size, 8 inches, and there are many sandwich options to choose from. Many of their meats are gluten-free. I opted for the turkey breast which was touted as gluten-free, hormone free, antibiotic free and vegetarian fed. I added lettuce, tomato, onion and mustard.  While in no way was this “THE BIG ONE” my sub was delicious. The bread, while a tad dry and in need of some salt, stayed together, had a nice consistency, wasn’t too thick and was toasty and warm. I love dipping my sub in hot sauce. They plenty of hot sauce options that I tried which helped spice it up and give it a little moisture.

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As I expected there is a $2 up-charge which made the typical sub combo go from around $9.50 including tax to $11.53.  I am not a huge fan of up-charges, but I understand that because it is made locally and it is a specialty item that there is a need to charge an additional fee. A $1 up-charge is more appropriate in my opinion. I think Larry’s offers a lot of coupons in the mint, Jaguar Teal Deals, so I am going to be on the lookout for those.

According to Cookie Momsters here are the locations where you can find gluten-free rolls:

Southside:
Larry's Giant Subs on Urbanspoon
4479 Deerwood Lake Parkway #1
Jacksonville
(904) 425-4060

Five Points (next to the Sushi place, across from Wendy’s near the main intersection of Five Points):
Larry's Giant Subs on Urbanspoon
1509 Margaret Street
Jacksonville
(904) 674-2794

Baymeadows:
8616 Baymeadows Rd
Jacksonville, FL
904-739-2498

Roosevelt:
5733 Roosevelt Blvd
Jacksonville, FL
904-446-9500

Palatka- not sure where the Palatka location is, it doesn’t show up on Larry’s site.

All in all I loved it and am excited that the Southside location also has a drive through for convenience. I will be back, but hopefully with a coupon in hand.

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October Means Pumpkin Flavored Gluten-Free Goodness

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Recently we had a pretty involved Facebook discussion about pumpkin flavored baked goods. Since it is the first week of October, I thought now is the appropriate time to share some yummy pumpkin deliciousness. Beyond the pumpkin spiced latte’s everyone raves about at your local coffee shop, pumpkin cupcakes, muffins, cookies, ciders are all the rage.  Pumpkin is one of the first signs that fall is in the air.  Beyond searching Pinterest and searching “gluten-free pumpkin recipes” here is a list of some pumpkin goodies you can purchase or make that our Facebook friends shared with us:

Pumpkin Sides
Weight Watchers Pumpkin Hummus

Pumpkin Cookies Made to Order
Fresh – Simply Delicious & Organic makes AMAZING (or so they say) pumpkin spice cookies for the fall! They bake over 100 of them to take to Riverside Arts Market from 10am to 4pm each Saturday. They usually sell out of them but you can call ahead and pre-purchase. Their cookies are always gluten-free, dairy free, and delicious!

Mama B’s Specialties  Hello Fall!

Top left – Pumpkin Donut Holes, Top Right – Pumpkin granola, and bottom right – Sweet Pumpkin Dip with apple slices and ginger snaps.

Pumpkin Bread

Version 1 Sarah Lind GF Pumpkin Bread

1 box Betty Crocker® Gluten Free yellow cake mix
1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla
1/2 cup gluten-free semisweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 9×5-inch or 8×4-inch loaf pan with oil.
2. In large bowl, stir all ingredients except chocolate chips until well mixed. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread evenly in pan.
3. Bake 9-inch loaf 55 to 65 minutes, 8-inch loaf 60 to 70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool about 2 hours before slicing.
Makes 16 servings

Version 2 GF PUMPKIN BREAD

1 c. canola oil
3 c. sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 – 15 oz. can of pureed pumpkin
3-1/2 c. Gluten Free flour blend
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2/3 c. water
½ c. unsweetened natural applesauce

Combine oil, sugar, eggs. Add pumpkin and mix well.
Sift together all dry ingredients and add to pumpkin mixture.
Add water and applesauce and mix well.
Pour in two lightly greased loaf pans. (Or 1 4-loaf Pampered Chef pan and 1 loaf pan)
350 degrees for 50-60 min.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing from glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

Pumpkin Flan

Pumpkin flan from Food Network’s Ellie Krieger.

Pumpkin muffins
Sippers Coffee House has been baking gluten-free pumpkin muffins.  They use a standard pumpkin muffin recipe and add a teaspoon of xanthan gum to give the muffins more lift. You can preorder if you prefer for them to do the work.

Do you have a favorite gluten-free pumpkin baked good recipe?  Do you even dare share it with us.  My favorite is to roast the pumpkin seeds.  MMM,

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The Unhealthy Side of Gluten-free

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More and more people are going gluten-free these days to lose weight that don’t have Celiac disease or any form of gluten-intolerance. Yes, eating gluten-free can help you shed pounds, but so can reducing caloric intake, increasing physical activity and adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet. A gluten-free diet can be unsuccessful if you rely too heavily on processed foods or substitute foods like cookies, breads, cakes and pastas. Most gluten-free items are higher in fat, calories and carbs than their gluten-containing friends.

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Glutino Sandwich Cookies. These are delicious and safe for those with Celiac because they are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility. However if you are not gluten-intolerant there may be reason to stick with the original- The Oreo. Glutino Sandwich Cookies are worse for you than their counterpart. Here is the nutrition breakdown:

Portion: 3 cookies
Calories: 190
Total Fat: 9g 14%
Carbohydrates: 27g 9%
Protein: 0g

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Who would have ever thought that Nabisco’s Oreo Cookie could ever be considered better for you than anything :) Here is the Oreo nutrition breakdown:
Serving Size: 3 cookies
Calories: 160
Fat: 7g
Carbs: 24g
Protein: 1g

Oreo has 30 less calories than the Glutino Sandwich cookie, 2g less fat, 3 grams less carbohydrate and even has protein in it. It is not a huge difference, but if you are counting calories and think just because something is gluten-free it is better for you this may be an inaccurate perception.

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Bread is another sneaky culprit. Gluten-containing Arnold Brand 100% Whole Wheat Bread has the following nutritional breakdown:
Serving Size: 1 slice
Calories: 110
Fat: 1g
Carbs: 20g
Protein: 5g

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Udi’s brand bread (found in the freezer section) has the following nutritional content:
Service size 2 slices
Calories per slice: 110 calories
Fat per slice: 3g
Carbs per slice: 18g
Protein per slice: 2.5g

While the nutritional value doesn’t seem to be that different one other factor needs to be taken into consideration- size of the slice. Arnold’s slices are close to double the size of an Udi’s slice.

While not all gluten-free foods are worse than gluten-containing foods it is important to read labels and know what you are eating whether you are gluten-free to lose weight or you have Celiac disease, gluten-intolerance or gluten-sensitivities.

What other gluten-free foods have you found that are worse for you than gluten-containing foods?

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