Tag Archives: gluten free nutritian

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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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.

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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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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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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?

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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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MAY 904 Fitness: Healthy Recipes

I know I am a little behind, but did you see this? Check out some yummy recipes on page 19.  And don’t worry, they apologized for misspelling my name (hehe).

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The cover: These ladies are strong.  Don’t think I could get my mom lifting a heavy tire like that with me.

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I am wearing a shirt, I promise.

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What do you think of these recipes?  What are some of your favorite recipes using local ingredients?

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