Tag Archives: food

Jacksonville Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event November 3rd

gluten free jacksonville allergen free wellness eventHey guys!  There is a really great event coming to Jacksonville where we can feel safe and try all kinds of yummy gluten Free Foods!  The event is November 3rd from 10-3pm at the Aloft in Tapestry Park.

Here are the Details:

Jacksonville Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event
November 3, 2018
10 am – 3 pm
Aloft Jacksonville Tapestry Park
4812 W Deer Lake Dr,
Jacksonville, FL 32246

Admission is $10 for Adults
Children under 13 enter for FREE
Military ID & Senior Citizens ID over 55 admission $8

FEATURED SPEAKERS
Chef Bob Aungst:
Chef Bob Aungst is a New England native, growing up in New Jersey, and launching his career in upstate New York. He was classically trained at Schenectady College, graduating with a Culinary Arts degree, following a successful career as a real estate broker. In his 20+ years in hospitality, he has worked some of the largest sporting, political, and private events, including the Kentucky Derby, Presidential Inaugurations, and the Super Bowl. He’s had the pleasure of serving three U.S. Presidents, numerous members of Royal Courts, and countless political leaders. On average, he overseas the service or preparation of 2 million meals each year.

Chef Bob’s private label gluten free flours, coffees, “Heat ‘N Eat” holiday dishes, and handcrafted meat rubs and serving sauces. Items are shipped within the US, or delivered by courier in the Winter Park, Florida area. .

Enjoy hand crafted gluten free flour blends, produced in a gluten free facility with dedicated equipment. CBGFree flour can be used cup-for-cup in place of regular flour, or instead of other gluten free flour blends. Chef Bob’s flour performs identically in terms of taste and texture.

Carolanne LeBlanc:
Carolanne LeBlanc freely admits that she is an un-diagnosed Celiac. Getting diagnosed with Wheat Allergies over 30 years ago was only the beginning in a lifelong journey of understanding and discovery. A very social person herself, Carolanne manages a web-based Support Group called “Gluten-Free in Florida” designed specifically for people living or visiting in the Sunshine State. The group gives people across the state an opportunity to talk to others, exchange recipes, share information and education as well as find support. She also maintains an active web-page with contacts around the Globe and sees first-hand how Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance can affect all kinds of social interactions, making it difficult to navigate even the most common gatherings. Carolanne is a big advocate for taking control of our own health, listening to our body’s needs, speaking up for ourselves, and of course attending local Support Groups.

Group:https://www.facebook.com/groups/GlutenFreeforLife
FaceBook:http://www.facebook.com/​G​luten​F​ree.in​F​lorida

Jen Cuevas:
The Gluten & Grain Free Gourmet supports delicious eating that is gluten, grain, soy, and poultry free. Jen Cuevas experienced her own journey to wellness by eating this way, and desires to share the message that life can still be delicious!

Just a few short years ago, Jen was ill with a multitude of issues (although not typical “Celiac” symptoms), including high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, sudden weight gain [over 60 pounds], Hashimoto’s, and arthritis (read more of her story here). After more than seven frustrating visits with various doctors, she finally learned about her gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease. In becoming well, she found that life without gluten was really great from a health perspective, but affected everything else that had a social factor.

Jen went completely grain and soy free in 2012, and became a certified coach under the direction of Gluten Free Society. She uses her own health journey to coach and inspire others to consider dietary changes as a way to achieve optimum health. In 2013 she established a support group, and found that food availability continued to be the biggest barrier to success. She began developing food products that support a grain-free, soy-free and even dairy-free lifestyle; many items are allergy-friendly and are free of refined sugars. She also offers allergen-free Communion to churches, raising awareness about the effects of gluten exposure.

Nikki Everett:
Nikki Everett founded ECHO Event Solutions, LLC in 2011 to oversee educational events and trade shows for the gluten/allergen free community. Her mission to plan events started in Charlotte, NC, her home town, in 2009. Nikki uses her vast knowledge as an advocate for the gluten/allergen free community on behalf of her daughter who was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008. She recognized her daughter’s grief process through her support group background as a teenager. After the unfortunate death of her older brother, Nikki’s mother became a regional leader for Compassionate Friends, a national support group for bereaved families, when Nikki was only 11 years old. Nikki went on to become a youth peer support group leader by 14 years of age. Her presentation to the NC State Board of Education helped open the door for peer support groups throughout Middle and High Schools across the state. Nikki carried on this legacy as an adult by chartering R.O.C.K. (Raising Our Celiac Kids) for Charlotte, NC in 2009. Her positive approach to the journey of dietary change makes each event a celebration of community wherever they are held.

Mary Herrington:
Mary Herrington has been featured in Gluten Free Delights, has 2 internationally published gluten free cookbooks (with a third GF How To book being revealed at the GFAF Wellness event), won numerous awards for her gluten free baked goods, and is a keynote speaker on living well with several life threatening allergies. She works with area doctor’s in Charlotte NC assisting their patients adjustment to their new diet through menu and recipe creation.

Mary suffers from two rare disorders: Systemic Nickel Allergy Syndrome and Mastocytosis making eating anything gluten a life threatening activity.

See you there!

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FLA Juice and Bowl

Gluten Free Jacksonville Florida Juice and Bowl
Ever since Florida Juice and Bowl opened up over a year ago I have been wanting to try it. Not only is it super close to where I live it just puts off this really cool beachy and healthy vibe that I wanted to be a part of. Florida Juice and bowl is located in Jacksonville Beach and was recently voted best Acai bowl in the 904. In addition to acai bowls they have fresh juices, coffee (including nitro brew), kambucha on tap, smoothies, pitaya bowls and poke bowls.

My husband and I stopped by to get kambucha, cold pressed coffee with macadamia milk, tuna poke and a salmon poke. I loved all of the add ons for the poke and they let you choose all lettuce, rice or a mixture of lettuce and rice. Add ons include things like macadamia nuts, avocado, seaweed salad, cucumber, ginger, wasabi, spinach, avocado, etc. I opted for the spicy aioli on the side and my husband opted for the Shoyu Wasabi sauce which he said was much spicier than mine.

It was delicious and I felt really safe because I didn’t see gluten anywhere except in the sauces that contained soy sauce and those are optional. It is a little pricer than most lunch spots but you definitely get what you pay for. Everything we had tasted so fresh. In talking with one of the staff they pretty much make everything in house and try to avoid refined sugars or sugar at all. The constant sound of delicious fresh smoothies being made filled the air during lunch. I also liked that almost all of the disposable items were biodegradable.

This is definitely the kind of place I will crave and I will be back!
Gluten Free Jacksonville Florida Juice and Bowl

Gluten Free Jacksonville Florida Juice and BowlGluten Free Jacksonville Florida Juice and BowlGluten Free Jacksonville Florida Juice and BowlGluten Free Jacksonville Florida Juice and BowlGluten Free Jacksonville Florida Juice and Bowl salmon poke bowlGluten Free Jacksonville Florida Juice and Bowl tuna poke bowlGluten Free Jacksonville Florida Juice and Bowl

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Native Sun Jacksonville

gluten free jacksonville native sunThis past month, I had the opportunity to meet with Native Sun Natural Foods Market to discuss their celiac safe bakery, gluten-free product vetting, and more. As background, Native Sun opened its first grocery store in Jacksonville over twenty years ago. Since then, it has grown to three neighborhood stores and is known around town for its all organic produce selection, health minded and organic deli, delicious juice and smoothie bar, and the best celiac friendly bakery in town. They are truly Jacksonville’s neighborhood grocer!

Gluten Free Jacksonville Native Sun

Whether you were recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease or are trying to prepare a gluten free meal for a friend or family member, I highly recommend making a trip to Native Sun. After meeting with their team, I really believe that they are the number one resource in the JAX community for products and tips on how to live a gluten-free lifestyle. Ginny Nehring, who is Native Sun’s Manager of Research and Education, is just one of the many resources available to you when shopping at Native Sun. Ever since her middle son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease twenty years ago, Ginny has been researching gluten-free products and spearheading Celiac Disease community education around Jacksonville. I admire Ginny for her dedication to our community and the 1:1 time she spends with newly diagnosed gluten-free families. One of the services she offers at Native Sun is hosting tours to those newly diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Tours can include education on Native Sun’s color coded in-store labeling, recommending some of her favorite products, and can provide much needed comfort to those who are trying to navigate a new lifestyle and diet. Ginny shared with me that people often hear, “Celiac Disease” and fear that they can never eat their favorite foods again like pizza, pasta, or cake. When she walks them through the aisles and shows them donuts, fritters, muffins, pizza crust, pasta and breads that are celiac safe, it can open a whole new world of enjoyable options!

Native Sun’s new product vetting process is also impressive. As the Manager of Research and Education, Ginny contacts every single gluten-free product manufacturer and researches their cross-contamination practices. As a result, Native Sun will not label a product gluten-free unless it has passed a rigorous process that ensures it is Celiac safe. Ginny shared that some products will be labeled by the manufacturer as “gluten-free” but after researching cross contamination practices, Native Sun will discover that they do not meet their gluten-free labeling standards.

It was Ginny’s idea to create the dedicated gluten-free bakery at Native Sun. She had perfected many of the recipes in her home for her son and wanted to share them with the community. It’s important to mention that when I say, “gluten-free bakery,” I mean 100% gluten free Celiac safe bakery—it’s dedicated gluten-free. Their bakery items include my favorite oatmeal cream pie made with purity protocol oatmeal, carrot cake, banana bread, and even a pecan pie.

In addition to what we put in our body, I had the opportunity to talk to Ginny about the cosmetics and skincare products that we often use. Ginny shared with me that we need to be concerned about the cosmetics we put on our skin and in our hair. One of her favorite products is a skincare line called Derma E—all items are gluten free. After our meeting, I tried one of the Derma-E face serums and absolutely loved it! I had to get used to the sunscreen type consistency, but it has done wonders for smoothing out my skin! Ginny assured me that not all their products share that consistency!

Gluten Free Jacksonville Native SunSome of the items Ginny shared with me that I really want to highlight are these new Udi’s bread you do not need to toast! This is a game changer!

Lastly, I compiled some of my favorite gluten-free items that are available at Native Sun! If you are looking to set up a meeting with Ginny you can contact the store by phone and request a store tour or stop by and complete a Product Knowledge Enhancement Tour form and she will contact you, usually within 24 hours to set up a time to meet with you at your convenience.

Italian night! This gluten-free pasta tastes just like the real thing and the recipe for Manicotti is already on the box! The pasta is made in Italy. I also suggest pairing the cheesy bites. You might even trick your gluten eating friends.

Gluten Free Jacksonville Native SunMexican is the easiest to eat gluten-free and you can feel safe doing it at Native Sun even this margarita mix is safe!

Have you been to Native Sun? Have you ever taken one of Ginny’s tours?

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Schar Gluten-Free Artisan 10 Grains and Seeds Bread

Whenever people ask me “how does gluten-free bread taste?” my usual response is “it’s ok, it doesn’t have a long shelf life, it needs to be refrigerated, it needs to be toasted and it is usually very small with large holes in the middle and tastes somewhat dry and it crumbles as I eat it.” Well no more!  Schar’s Gluten Free Artisan 10 Grains and Seeds Bread has changed the game completely.  gluten free jacksonville schar gluten free bread

For decades Schar has been dedicated to the celiac and gluten sensitive communities providing a safe and flavorful line of gluten free products including: bread, cookies, crackers, pizza, pasta and frozen meals.

Schar’s Gluten Free Artisan 10 Grains and Seeds unique sourdough recipe is made with ancient and whole grains including : rice flour, quinoa seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, millet flour, buckwheat flour, quinoa flour, amaranth flour and chia seeds and comes packaged at room temperature; there is no need for refrigeration, freezing or toasting.  Schar’s Gluten Free Artisan 10 Grains and Seeds Bread is also high in fiber.

gluten free jacksonville schar gluten free breadThe package can easily get you through the week with 2 people having sandwiches or breakfast toast.  The bread is chewy and delicious with a hint of sweetness.

gluten free jacksonville schar gluten free breadWe enjoyed ours with a turkey sandwich and with my husbands famous toast, guacamole egg breakfast (paired with sauteed spinach and Canadian Bacon).

gluten free jacksonville schar gluten free breadgluten free jacksonville schar gluten free breadI love this bread so much it is definitely a bread game changer.  Where can you get it you ask:  as of the posting of this blog they are available at Native Sun Natural Foods Market, Winn Dixie, Walmart, The Commissary and The Fresh Market. Click here for a full list of locations as they get updated. 

Also click here to visit their website for a coupon to give their Gluten Free 10 Grains and Seeds Loaf- the newest member of the Artisan Baker family.

Follow them on Facebook and instagram @ScharGlutenFree.

Have you tried them yet?  What are your thoughts?

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Fresh Jax: Gluten Free Goodness

gluten free jacksonville fresh jaxI was recently contacted by Jason at FreshJax to stop by and see their almost one year old store. I have known about FreshJax for a few years now through their strong presence at the Riverside Arts Market and just hadn’t had the time to make it to their store. Prior to opening their store they invited me to a wonderful gluten-free dairy free meal that was delicious.  Fresh Jax is the brain child of one of the sweetest couples you will meet, Jason and Hilary.

As I walked in I was kindly greeted by one of 2 staff working at the counter. I asked for Jason and was asked if I would like a tour while I waited.

gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

gluten free jacksonville fresh jaxAs I approached the cafe counter I could quickly see chili, broccoli soup, donuts, kale wraps, yoga bars, a TON of amazing spices and a nice menu of fresh to order food options. The thing that is so hard to believe is that their entire menu is clean and the ENTIRE STORE IS GMO-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE AND DAIRY-FREE. No joke! Staff are not even allowed to come in with gluten-containing foods.gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

How do they do it?? They use a ton of locally sources fruits and vegetables and use a variety of replacement options such as organic coconut milk and organic maple syrup.  They also have a vast array of spices that they create in house.  A sample of their amazing spices include:

  • Bold Bayou perfect for pasta, potatoes, corn on the cob or as a marinade. It is made from Ancho Peppers so it is not too spicy but has a nice flavor.gluten free jacksonville fresh jax
  • Grill Master: one of their most popular seasonings this time of year as people start firing up their grills. Great on burgers!gluten free jacksonville fresh jax
  • Their signature coconut bacon that tastes just like bacon.  Great to add to on saladsgluten free jacksonville fresh jax
  • Thai Coconut Curry includes real coconut and thai spices
  • Himalayan Sea Saltgluten free jacksonville fresh jax
  • Italian Herb Blendgluten free jacksonville fresh jax
  • A tofu scramble spice that makes tofu taste just like scrambled eggsgluten free jacksonville fresh jax

They also have an entire case full of Kambucha and turmeric drinks. Turmeric is all the rage right now for its ability to decrease inflammation in the body which is very helpful for those of us living with Celiac Disease and other gluten-related illnesses.

They support a ton of local products such as 5 Points Candle Co. – they are organic soybean food grade essential oil with wood wick and a 60 hour burn. They are colorless so you are not breathing artificial coloring as they burn.

I tried their sushi bowl which is made of home made pickled veggies, carrots, ginger, seasoned rice with wasabi and cashew cream, black sesame seeds and guacamole. The flavors of the pickled veggies and the cream and guacamole make you forget that there isn’t ahi tuna in it. It was delicious and so fresh!gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

In addition to the cafe, spices and local products they also have a yoga studio attached. They have thought of everything! They offer 40 classes a month and they pride themselves on providing restorative yoga for every body! It is a beautiful space and you can purchase a class pass or a regular membership. They also host cooking classes and movie nights.gluten free jacksonville fresh jaxgluten free jacksonville fresh jax

They recently started catering office lunches to provide a healthy option during work meetings.  They are now offering boxed lunches for $15 per person that includes a kale wrap, yoga bar, cashew cheese and healthy chips, clean pickle and a pass for a free yoga class!  Here is an example of the yoga wrap they use for their wraps.

gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

I love this place! Not only is it a really nice environment, it is nice to support a business that is owned by passionate people who love what they do and believe and live out the mission of their organization. As I left I tried the chocolate donut with blueberry jelly.

gluten free jacksonville fresh jaxOMG! I was just thinking about how much I miss Dunkin Donuts chocolate donuts and this hit the spot and tasted just like it and yes it is organic, gluten-free and dairy free (I seriously asked 3 or 4 times because I couldn’t believe it).gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

If you are in the area- they are near 2-95 and Gate Parkway- I suggest you stop by.  Not only is it delicious but you are supporting this great couple who are truly following their dream.  gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

Update: As of June 30th Fresh Jax has announced that they will be closing their store. However, you can still find all of their delicious spices and food at the Riverside Arts Market each Saturday.

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Gluten-Free Expo in Jacksonville, FL November 15, 2014 from 10am-3pm

On November 15th, the first gluten-free expo in Jacksonville will be held at the Hyatt Riverfront in Downtown Jacksonville from 10am-3pm. The event will feature national bloggers, doctors, dietary experts such as:

  • Julia McRae: Certified Nutritionist. She herself suffered with Ulcerative Colitis in her youth.
  • Desire Anderson: brings 10 years of experience as an outdoor educator and has worked at various camps and educational institutions throughout the nation. She has a wide and adventurous background, in travel, art, woodworking, science education and outdoor, off-grid living and cooking.
  • Jen Eccleston: author of the blog “my BIG FAT grain free life” and owner of Jen Tilly Tea. Using humor and quite frankly, crybaby moments, she seeks to deal with food allergies, bowel health and autoimmune disease while retaining her belief that allergen free food really CAN taste delicious.
  • Shannon Ford, Mrs. United States 2011, an advocate for Celiac Disease Awareness. After being diagnosed in 2009, it became Shannon’s goal to bring more attention to the illness and advocate for better labeling of our nation’s food supply.

I am really excited that we will have an entire day dedicated to gluten-free. I look forward to learning and sharing ideas around living healthy gluten-free.

Tickets are only $10 for adults and discount tickets for seniors and military. There will be an expo hall where gluten-free and other allergen free items will be available for sample. Participants include some of my favorite brands: Glutino, Udi’s, Enjoy Life and more.

Are you planning to attend? What do you hope to get out of a gluten-free expo?

For more information and to purchase tickets click here…

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Reflections On Life With Celiac Disease (year 2)

I need to vent a little bit…

I haven’t been feeling that great lately.  I know what it is.  During the weekends I am usually on the go and rarely have time to prepare my own meals.   As much as I say at restaurants:

“I have celiac disease, I am gluten-free, dairy-free and shellfish-free, please notify the chef.  Also please avoid cross contamination by asking the staff to either change out their gloves or mix my food in clean bowls and avoid breading, sauces, and spices”

…I still find a way to become sick.  During the week it is super easy to stay gluten-free I usually make all of my meals.  I still manage to get sick even when I am super strict, which makes me wonder:

  1. Is it true what they say about gluten and coffee? 
  2. Should I avoid my Diet Coke because there could be gluten in the caramel coloring? 
  3. Is it true what they say about quinoa and other grains still aggravating celiacs? 
  4. Is my non-dairy creamer making me sick?
  5. Do I need to worry about the meat I eat, do I need to be concerned if they were fed grains?

I am not one of those people who knows exactly what makes me sick.  I typically eat the same thing each week and rely heavily on vegetables and salads.  After two years with this disease I am still perplexed and frustrated.  I miss convenience and I miss being able to eat without having to describe what is wrong with me. I don’t miss bread or pizza (well maybe a little) or stuff like that, I am just frustrated that gluten-free does not always mean gluten-free for all.  Packaging is confusing and cross contamination is not always labeled or taken seriously.

Thank you for letting me share- I promise to post something positive next time…

What is hard for you? Do you have any advice for me?

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