Gluten Free Trader Joes

The staple gluten free items available at Trader Joe’s are endless and cost effective. If you are lucky enough to have access to one near your home or while traveling, you will find consistency in their offerings. 

While on our current trip to Chicago, I was able to score a room at the Homewood suites. We like staying here because one room has a living area with a fold out sofa for the kids as well as a refrigerator, stove and microwave. 

This allows us to pop into Trader Joe’s, pick up some favorites and be prepared for back up meals.

My typical buy list (at home) consists of:

Gluten free rolled oats

Gluten free pretzels

Joe Joe’s Gluten free cookies

BBQ sauce

Gluten free chicken breast nuggets (frozen)

Gluten free multi grain bread

Gluten free cornbread mix

Gluten free mini chicken tacos (frozen)

Broccoli and kale slaw (bag mix)

Organic creamy tomato soup

Taco seasoning mix!!! (I use it for chili too)

Fruit bars (variety)

Individual bags kettle corn

On the road, these help us out:


Add to it their gorgeous and affordable flowers, fresh fruit a plenty and variety of vegetables (chopped, frozen and in fresh picked form) and you have more than enough variety for a cost effective, allergy friendly diet. 

In the frozen veggie section you can also find chopped cauliflower, shelled edamame, shredded carrots, organic corn and more!

Stop in. Grab a list of gluten free options from the desk and shop a plenty!

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Light and fresh smoothie

I love the plethora of fresh fruit options this time of year. If you like a think and chunky smoothie, freeze them first. This one was light and refreshing with fresh fruit. 

1 nectarine

2 slices watermelon chunked

1T honey

1scoop protein powder

1C water (or juice for additional sweetness)

This was really light and fresh and didn’t taste like protein at all. Enjoy!

Yoga is so… hot!

Yes, it’s hot. I suppose that’s why it’s called hot yoga. However, it serves with double meaning, as a noun and and adjective. 

As one of the most trendy forms of exercise today, hot yoga is HOT on the market; new, popular, exciting and a must try. 

Now, lets discuss the temperature. Yes, it’s hot. Blazing. Overwhelming. But stay with me. It’s worth trying. 

The first time my friend tried to introduce me I freaked. I hate being hot. I hate sweating. I wondered how I could possibly enjoy this activity. But I went…

Before I get to the results, let me give you a few tips on how to prepare. Eat light. I like evening classes. Those are not the days for Mexican food for lunch unless you want to try and fight to keep in down during class. Eat things that your body will easily digest, it will serve as fuel and not be sitting in your gut while you are trying to fold your body in half.

Next, drink an electrolyte drink before class. You will be hot. You will sweat. You need to prep your body so you don’t pass out or feel dizzy. My doctor recommended Endura from Metagenics. It works amazing for me, is gluten free and doesn’t contain extra sugars or unnatural ingredients.

Take a yoga mat and a beach towel to lay over the top to soak up sweat. Yes, even princesses sweat enough in hot yoga to need something to soak it up and help you maintain your footing. 

Last, take a hand towel that is absorbent, a water bottle that is completely full of ice, wear a headband and wear compression type yoga shorts and a tank top. There are skilled people who use yoga pants (even extra long ones) but as you are adjusting to the temps, it will make your body happy to breath. 

Back to my experience…

I started slow, took breaks when I needed them and I tried the poses as best I could. I quickly realized that my body was much more flexible than I expected, I detoxed all the gunk out of my pores and I made it! Then, after a cool shower, I slept like a baby. The. Best. Sleep.

So, if you are considering it but unsure, try it! Try the 60 minute class first (as opposed to the 90) but try it. Most will let you try a class, attend as a guest or use a “community”rate/class so you don’t have to sign up without knowing if you like it. 

I go to The Hot Room Indianapolis and they offer an introductory rate for the first month to get you hooked. It works. 

Hearty gluten free smoothie

I need something filling in the morning or I will resort to carbs every time. In my desire to get fit, I’m trying to make healthier allergy friendly food choices. 

This is a smoothie recipe I put together with some of my favorite foods. It blends better than you think and the avocado wouldn’t even be detective by people who avoid eating green things that aren’t a lifesaver.

1 Avocado

1 C frozen berries

1T Honey

1 Scoop Greek Yogurtein Coconut Flavor protein powder

1T Lemon juice

2C water

Blend in magic bullet and drink immediately!

The Gluten Free Pizza debacle

Being lied to is not on the top of my Christmas list. I understand the concept of proprietary information and I appreciate restaurants being cutting edge but come on, people! Do not lie to me.

When it comes to how restaurant staff answer a question about ingredients, products, prep area, contamination and the like, I expect them to take me seriously. Very seriously.

I went into Giordanos, Indianapolis location for lunch. It was the first time since the nationally recognized, Chicago pizza chain moved in and having popped in once while in chi-town, I figured it would be a pleasant experience. 

I called them to verify the brand of pizza crust to ensure it was both gluten and rice free. On the phone I was told they make it there, yet they threw away the packaging and I’d have to call Chicago if I wanted any further info. 

Uh, wait… what? If you make it there, why would there be packaging to throw away? Ok. So, I called Chicago. They too had, surprisingly, thrown away the packaging and were unable to verify the brand of crust but alas, somehow they managed to have all the ingredients available. Hmmm…

Fortunately, she was able to give me the ingredients and indeed, it was rice free as well. Oh, and side note, they are pre-made frozen crusts. I guess the other girl wasn’t there on that training day.

I was also informed they have dedicated pans for gluten free cooking but use the same prep space as their flour filled, dough flinging step brother. Great.

The kids and I emerged unscathed from this one but I have to admit, I’d love a tour and a chat with someone transparent enough to share how the process, product and prep is really handled for future visits and the health of other celiacs. 

May the sauce be with you.

The cost of the “SALE”

Last week my son asked me why everyone knows about it, if it’s a secret. Of course, we were sitting in the car, parked in front of the mall, reading the window signs indicating the final days of a semi-annual sale on underwear.

His follow up question, once we went inside, was “why are there so many butts hanging out.” Yes, he was referring to the mannequin  displays… this time. 

I absolutely love the perspective this kid brings to my life. He often makes me stop and ask myself questions about things that I pass as normal. I have never thought odd, the name of the store or how the products were displayed. Until now.

So, what is healthy about underwear shopping with a seven year old boy, you ask. Not a thing… other than my perspective. Up to that point I hadn’t really thought about looking at my shopping experience differently. 

I had popped in just for the sale. I don’t normally go there unless I’m intending to redeem a free underwear coupon and on this day, I was fresh out. 

I loaded up my arms with items that sort of fit my needs, in colors I wouldn’t normally buy and took them home without trying them on. 

As a marketer I understand the sale tactic and yet, it wasn’t until I got home that I realized I fell victim to it. Big time. 

To recover, I took it all back. I bought 5 pairs of my favorite underwear, in styles I liked and one bra in my favorite fit and a color, for everyday wear. Then I got a refund of nearly $60. 

Lesson? Yes, you save money if you just buy what you like, even if it costs more ($50 bra vs sale $19.99 bra) and there is a cost to hitting up a sale… no butts about it. 

Gluten free travel – GO!

Most celiac’s have anxiety when traveling. The thought of having to find a place to eat that is safe, is overwhelming. In fact, it often distracts from the joy that the adventure can bring. 

I have tried to take on a completely different perspective when traveling. In fact, one of the most exciting parts of traveling to new places is discovering what types of gluten-free food they have it in those areas. 

Granted, I tend to take back-up supplies with me such as think thin peanut butter bars, beef jerky and packets of gluten free instant oatmeal, as well as a few other nonperishables, but in most cases I don’t need them.

With the exception of Mexico, and other countries without clean water sources, I can always rely on fresh fruits and vegetables to supplement my diet as well.

However, I have found there to be a plethora of options in most cities that are exciting, enjoyable and safe to consume.

My favorite places to travel to have been:

Seattle, WA

Columbus, OH

Chicago, IL

San Juan, Puerto Rico

London, England

Keep an open mind, download the “find me gluten free” app, do a bit of online research before you go and pack a few resources just in case. But don’t be afraid to travel, instead be excited to find the next big thing in gluten free! 

Pickled Cucumbers

A part of my childhood memories stem from freshly grown vegetables, picked from my Papa’s garden and made into delicacies with ease.

One of my favorite snacks, even as an adult, are cucumbers. This recipe combines history, nostalgia and good taste for a fresh healthy snack.

4-6 cucumbers sliced

3 cups water

1 cup Apple cider vinegar

1T sugar (optional)

Marinate overnight and strain as you dish.

Kale chips

Kale is one of the more polarizing things in life. Like cold weather, lipstick and exercise, you either love it or hate it.

Being in the healthier phase of my life, sans kool aid and little Debbie cakes, I have turned to all things green. Matcha, green juice, celery, zucchini, avocados and kale seem to be among the foods that I actually prefer to munch on.

I haven’t found a prepackaged kale chip that suits me. They seem to be coated or soggy. In search of something enjoyable, I started experimenting.

The recipe below can vary based upon what you sprinkle on top but I found to be enjoyable.

2 bunches fresh organic kale, washed, destemmed and torn into bite size pieces.

Dry with a paper towel

Place kale on top of wax paper (or parchment) coated with spray oil, then spray kale, with preferred oil. I like avocado or coconut spray. 

Sprinkle seasoning of choice on top. My favorites are either Wild Tree rancher steak rub, garlic blend or onion blend. 

Sprinkle what makes you enjoy it most. Dry seasonings work best so the cook time remains consistent.

Bake at 350 for ten minutes. The kale will shrink and harden but not burn. You can cool on the cookie sheet when done. 

Best when consumed immediately. Otherwise, poke a whole in a ziplock so it can breath. If housed in a sealed storage bag it starts to lose crispness. 

Kale on.

Supplements for Celiacs.

I’m not a doctor, nutritionist or pharmacist. I’m a recovering celiac sharing my experiences and the benefits I’ve had from supplements.

Vitamin deficiency is common in Celiacs. After having damaged villi, the body often has difficulty absorbing nutrients from food. As a result, supplements have become part of my daily routine.

Usually, people who don’t get enough sunshine, lack vitamin D and tend to experience lower immune responses. For those of us with Celiac, unless I have tons of raw milk and fish each day, it’s easier to use a supplement (especially in the winter).

Vitamin B12 helps with attitude, irritability and energy. Anyone with celiac could attest to the sleepy stupor that sets with the slightest intake of gluten… and nothing makes you more irritable than watching others eat your favorite foods in front of you. (ok, maybe a B vitamin can’t cure that one).

Vitamin C helps the body heal faster, and with Celiac, we can use all the help we can get!

I tend to find most of my vitamins at the local apothecary. However, I had the opportunity to try EZ Melts and out of curiosity I wanted to test (and taste). I have been pleasantly surprised at the ingredients (attested to by a family member that is in the medical field), the taste (fresh and natural flavors) and how quickly they dissolve.

I have read that most vitamins take so long to break down that they pass through your system completely undissolved! That’s a lot of money to spend for no efficacy. EZ melts can be put on the tongue or under the tongue and within a few seconds they are completely dissolved. They are completely gluten free. Spoiler alert… many vitamins have a coating on the outside that contains gluten! Talk about a hidden way to consume it without even knowing.

They are also GMO and sugar free. Last, but not least, they offer a discount to give them a try. Just go to EZmelts.net and enter EZ20 as a promo code, for your first order (ahem, no matter what size).

 

ez coupon

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