Category Archives: Nutrition

Sponsor Post: I Love The Gate River Run

gluten free jacksonville gate river run tropical smoothie cafe
I ran my first Gate River Run put on by First Place Sports 12 years ago; and ever since then I vowed to run it every year. There is just something about getting up early, the rush of a crowd of thousands of people running together. You feel a part of something.  I have never had the feeling quite like the feeling I have running the Gate River Run.  I love running and people watching. Along the route you see people drinking Mimosa’s, drinking beer, handing out hot dogs, handing out orange slices and my all-time favorite people handing out popsicles around mile six. It feels as though the entire community is coming together. The spectators and the runners are all one even though we’re not talking to each other.

While I don’t run as fast as I did when I was 28; each  year I think this is the year that I’m going to beat my 28-year-old self. I’m not running against the person to my left or the person to my right I am running to beat my previous scores and be my best self. One of the greatest things about each race is there are people that come out every year to watch me run. My parents, sometimes my nephews, my brother but always my husband (just his excuse to blast music, make funny signs and crack open a beer before noon)!  My nephew Ryan even joined me for about 100 yards one year it is one of my favorite memories.
gluten free jacksonville gate river run tropical smoothie cafe
I love the carbo loading on Friday and the awesome expo where you pick up your packet.  But nothing compares to the feeling I get when I crank up my radio as I drive over the Matthews Bridge on my way to the race.  Each year I play a fun, loud song that really fires me up. On March 11 I will run my 12th Gate River Run with over 20,000 of my close running friends. I can’t wait!

Check out the view from my last few races:

gluten free jacksonville gate river run tropical smoothie cafe

gluten free jacksonville gate river run tropical smoothie cafe

Details of the Race:

Gate River Run put on by 1st Place Sports: Saturday, March 11, 15k and Florida Times Union 5k for Charity.  For more information on the 1st Place Sports Gate River Run click here.

What I eat:
1. Pasta- CARBO LOADING!!!
2. Smoothies like the Jetty Punch from Tropical Smoothie Cafe.  
Special Gluten-Filled note: If you eat gluten and love flatbreads try out the Cha Cha Sriracha Flatbread at Tropical Smoothie Cafe.  It is made with grilled chicken, mozzarella, shredded carrots, house-made roasted pineapple salsa, cilantro, scallions & caramelized pineapple Sriracha sauce on a toasted flatbread.

What I listen to: I love it- Icona Pop, Safe and Sound- Capital Cities, Fancy- Iggy Azalea, Sugar – Maroon 5.

Where I train: First Coast YMCA

Gate River Run Advice: Nutrition, Training and Preparation

1 Comment

Filed under exercising, Nutrition, Sponsors, Training

Earth fare NOW OPEN- Gluten-Free Goodies Galore!

earth fare jacksonville gluten-free
With much anticipation, Earth Fare is now open in Jacksonville, FL.   A cross between Whole Foods, Native Sun and Grassroots Natural Market, this Asheville North Carolina native is FULL of gluten-free options.  Here are some of my highlights:
Meat and Seafood: They provide humane meats and keep smaller quantities on hand and order more frequently so that meats and seafood stay fresh.  They source their meats and sea food from all over the world but are looking to reach out to local seafood and meat sources.
gluten free jacksonville earth fare Family Meal Night: Every Thursday from 4-8pm up to six kids eat free with one adult dinner purchase (only $5) and they will prepare gluten-free meals for your family.

Gluten free Goods: They have distributed gluten-free goods throughout the store rather than having all gluten-free items in one aisle. Look for wood grained shelves and the gluten-free signs.  These shelves are HUGE, it is not just one column and one row of gluten-free goods it is rows and columns of gluten-free goodness.  They even have some local gluten-free items such as FreshJax hot sauce and Sweet Pete’s.  The prices for gluten-free items vary.  gluten free jacksonville earth fare gluten free jacksonville earth fare gluten free jacksonville earth fare gluten free jacksonville earth fare

gluten free jacksonville earth fareLocal 100: Look for the signs that say Local 100 this means that the produce came within 100 miles.

gluten free make up jacksonville earth fareGfree makeup: They have two different brands of  gluten-free make up that are also vegan.

gluten free jacksonville earth fare

Specializing in REAL FOOD, we think Earth Fare is going to be a huge hit.  They do their best to avoid foods that contain antibiotics; artificial colors, sweeteners, flavors, fats; high fructose corn syrup and bromated or bleached flour.  We can’t wait to make this a part of our regular shopping routine.

GIVEAWAY: Thank you for your comments about  your favorite gluten-free brand.  We have picked a winner and will announce soon.

11 Comments

Filed under Nutrition, Shopping

Freshfields Farm – EVERYTHING IS GLUTEN-FREE

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

Through word of mouth, on multiple occasions, I had to try Freshfields Farm. A 7 days a week farmers market style grocery store, Freshfields Farm is a gluten-free dairy-free oasis. There are no labels to decider, no prepackaged goods to worry about cross contamination, the prices are reasonable and the colors are fantastic. Freshfields Farm has vegetables, fruits, meats and some dairy. They do a lot to highlight their organic and local produce but you will find almost any and every vegetable you could imagine.

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

I purchased two packs of strawberries for $4, two large bags of spinach for $4 and two large chicken breasts for $2. While not all of their fruits are organic and not all of their meat sustainable, they do have some grass fed beef options and other sustainable meats which are still quite reasonably priced.

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

In addition to strawberries, spinach and chicken breasts, I got grapes, sweet potatoes, organic apples, a pineapple, and swiss chard; I loaded up. I got a great deal and everything I bought was fresh and flavorful.

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

The only problem with going to a place like Freshfields Farm is it forces you to cook. There are no precooked convenience foods like chicken nuggets, lean cuisines, frozen burritos, or cereal. Shopping here will require chopping, sauteing, grilling, roasting, cutting, blending, juicing… you get the point.

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

fresh field farms gluten free jacksonville

Freshfields Farm is located in the oddest space across the street from University Christian High School near the intersection Of University Boulevard and I-95. It is on my way home so I can’t complain too much.

5555 University Blvd W
Jacksonville, FL 32216
(904) 652-2810

4 Comments

Filed under Nutrition, Shopping

The Unhealthy Side of Gluten-free

image

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.

image

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

image

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.

image

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

image

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?

2 Comments

Filed under Nutrition

Maintaining a Gluten-Free Home

My boyfriend and I recently moved into a house at the beach.  We had a discussion about how we would handle food in our house.  I have Celiac disease and am dairy free, gluten-free and shellfish-free.  He likes pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs in addition to pretty much anything I cook.  I wasn’t completely stressed about the conversation, however in my mind I was thinking: how would we wash the dishes together?  Would we have to separate out items in the dish washer, would we have separate dish sponges, or would we have to use separate utensils or plates?  Then the thought of friends coming over began to really stress me out.  Having to be strict and educate friends on what to use and what not to touch did not sound fun for me or for them.

We decided to maintain a 100% gluten-free household. My boyfriend was fine with getting his pizza, hot dog or hamburger fix for lunch, when we go out to eat or when we eat separately.  That was music to my ears. The expense of cooking gluten-free for an entire household can be quite costly. However, it is worth it to feel safe in my own home and cooking at home still costs less (most of the time) than dining out.  It really isn’t that hard to make gluten-free meals at home that taste yummy. Most people don’t even realize what I make is gluten-free.  I enjoy finding new recipes and using fresh ingredients.  Cooking is fun for me. And being healthy is important. So far I have had no complaints…

How do you maintain a safe kitchen? Is your kitchen 100% gluten-free? Do you take steps to keep gluten-containing foods and utensils separate from the gluten-free foods and utensils?

2 Comments

Filed under Nutrition

Complaints About a Gluten-Free Diner

I have to share this story with you.  A close friend of mine is a server at a local fine dining establishment.  Recently she waited on a woman who said she had a gluten-allergy.  My friend, who is very educated on gluten-free ingredients, worked with the woman making sure there was no cross contamination, sauces were left off that had gluten, dressings were substituted, spices were gluten-free, etc.  She went way out of her way to make her meal as safe as possible. The entire meal was gluten-free, until dessert, when the woman ordered ice cream with cookies and ate the cookies knowing full well they were not gluten-free.

What are your thoughts on this?

My friend was happy to accommodate her needs, but was confused that she spent so much time going over the menu and took extra steps to make sure this woman’s meal was safe, only to watch her eat cookies at the end of the meal.

Personally, I think this hurts people who really are living their entire lives gluten-free and may cause restaurants not to take gluten-allergies seriously during food prep for others who truly are gluten-free.

What do you think?

12 Comments

Filed under Dining, Nutrition

Nutrition: Mila

A few weeks ago one of our followers commented on my post about a new nutritional supplement called Mila.  She was adamant about it’s benefits to those of us with gluten-issues. She asked me if I was willing to give it a try and I thought, why not.  I had heard a little about its benefits but was excited to learn more.  I had a hunch this is something Dr. Oz had reported on and sure enough I found a link to a blog post by one of his staff members.

Mila is ground Chia seed.  Chia is known as “a super food” and each serving contains a ton of Omega -3s and 5 grams of fiber per serving. According to the blog post on DoctorOz.com “The nutritional benefits of chia include fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants and much more – even protein!”

The suggested uses of Mila include:

  • blending with yogurt, oatmeal, hummus, cottage cheese
  • Stir into milk
  • mix into pancakes, muffin, bread or cake mix
  • Toss into a salad or pasta
  • Mix into pizza sauce, pasta sauce, rice, quinoa or other grains
  • Blend into smoothies
I decided to try blending it into my morning smoothie a few times a week (it was suggested to have Mila earlier in the day and drink a lot of water afterwards).

Here is my favorite smoothie:

  • frozen Strawberries
  • frozen chopped bananas
  • a handful of greens (spinach and kale are my favorite)
  • one spoonful of almond butter
  • a few dashes of agave nectar
  • almond milk about 1-2 cups
I mixed 1 tablespoon of mila with 9 tablespoons of water and let it soak in the blender about 15 minutes before I wanted to make my smoothie. Warning, Mila is not very tasty by itself, you need to add it to something with flavor.
According to Seed4change.net Mila is very absorbent when pre-soaked in water.   Pre-soaking Mila enhances the bio-availability of Mila’s nutrients (including fiber), it hydrates and decreases removal of water from the the lower intestine.  Pre-soaking may also help eliminate bloating and stomach discomfort that some may experience (um, probably everyone reading this blog experiences this).
Here is my yummy smoothie!  I know it looks a little weird because of the greens, but I promise it is delicious and nutritious!

After a few smoothies a week I definitely noticed a difference.  I had more energy and the stomach pain and discomfort I usually felt went away.  I am not sure about how much this costs or all of the places you can purchase this, but you can try contacting Jessica at Lifemax.  I would think that you can find it at Whole Foods and Native Sun as well.

Have you tried Mila? What are your thoughts?

1 Comment

Filed under Nutrition