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Thursday, October 27, 2016
Top 5 Things People With Celiac Disease Need to Stop Doing NOW


1. Stop fighting with your fellow Celiacs. 
We are all trying to do the best we can while living with our individual diagnosis and trying to navigate the gluten-free waters. Yet I see hurtful and hateful comments, posts, tweets, etc. on a daily basis from people in the celiac community. It is so awful that I am beginning to think that being mean and rude is a symptom of some people diagnosed with Celiac. There is an old saying "If you have nothing nice to say, don't say it." I wish the mean celiacs, disgruntled business owners, and popular bloggers would just keep their mouths shut rather than go out of their way to say hurtful things to one another.

Being bullied for having celiac is bad enough. Being bullied by someone with celiac is even worse! This is a tough enough diagnosis for many of us, but you spewing your hate publicly via social media and in comments and privately via emails is not helpful at all. I have actually stopped reading about 95% of the blogs I subscribe too because I find things to be just too negative. Comments are even worse sometimes and just make me sad.

2. Stop trying to push your "treatment" on others. 
As I have said many times before, my celiac is not your celiac. While I am happy that you have found solutions to heal your pain, it may not be the best treatment for me. I tried supplements for a while, but they didn't help me me. I would never purposely eat gluten after taking a "miracle pill" yet I have been pitched at least five pills in the past year. I also don't want to know what charcoal, wheatgrass (yes, really), pH balancing concoction you take after you get glutened. I am probably too busy puking to drink it anyway. My celiac is my celiac and my way of dealing with being glutened is up to me, not you.



3. Stop trying to get me to eat foods I am not comfortable eating. 
I cannot physically tolerate gluten-free oats. (Read more here.)
I do not feel comfortable drinking gluten-removed beer that is derived from barley.
I am anaphylactic to shellfish.
I know the difference between Celiac as an autoimmune disease, an anaphylactic allergic reaction, an intolerance, and a personal preference.

My choice to not eat certain foods is MY CHOICE. Yet I once received hate mail from a store owner in NYC that said I am biased and only show one side of the food story. I also had a demo person at a GF expo stop talking to me and turn her back on me when I told her I did not consume oats and therefore could not eat their cupcakes.

Does a person with a deadly peanut allergy need to post about the pros of eating peanuts on their site?
Does someone who is Kosher need to post a recipe for a bacon cheeseburger?
Does a vegan need to post about their new pork recipe?
NO!!!

Then why do I have people tell me I should eat Cheerios because they are fine when they eat them. This is my blog and I will post what I want when I want and how I want. If you eat oats or sell gluten-free beer in your store, good for you. I am may be a potential customer, but I am not wrong because I choose not to eat those products. You are wrong for trying to force me to buy and consume something that is not good for my body.

4. Stop plagiarism. PERIOD.
Many times in my blogging career, I have found posts online that are my words, my thoughts, and even my photos that were claimed as their own. Gluten-free recipes are stolen all the time and claimed as "originals." Almost weekly, I hear about another blogger getting ripped off. I have been ripped off by both bloggers and even GF companies using my original work as their own. I work hard on my content. When another blogger takes our content without asking, it is very upsetting not to mention illegal. Unfortunately, this isn't unique to the celiac blogger community but to anyone that publishes content on the internet. Just stop doing it. It's not cool and you will get caught.

Oh, and this goes for using a trademarked name as well. Yes, someone is trying to pass themselves off as Gluten-Free Globetrotter® (my other website) on social media. My brand is legally trademarked with the USPTO. Legal action is pending... so disappointing.

5. Stop being a careless celiac and then bragging about it on your website. 
When you publish to the internet and make your post public, anyone can read this post, tweet, or see your photo. This means a person diagnosed with celiac today might be reading your post or someone that was diagnosed more than 35 years ago, like me, is reading your post.

When a blogger or social media influencer writes: "I just wanted to taste that [gluten-filled] food and I will deal with consequences later," you are diminishing the fact that gluten can gravely damage someone with celiac disease. Not to mention, you are knowingly triggering an autoimmune response in your body. A newbie might not yet have enough information to understand this yet which is why they are reading your blog in the first place.

While I know you might think I am contradicting my own previous comments here in #5, I do think there is a responsibility of being a public voice in the celiac disease community. The person knowingly eating gluten and blogging about it makes it seem "allowed." The Instagrammer who continuously posts food that has a high-risk of cross contamination (and tags it so) yet also says they are gluten-free could put someone in seriously jeopardy health-wise. The person who has a celiac twitter handle that says "I just ate at XYZ and I know I will pay for it later but it tasted so damn good" is being careless. I just want you to think about who might see your comment before you post to the public. And yes, I am going to heed my own warnings on this one too.

This may be a bit negative for my audience, but it is something that has been brewing in my mind for a very long time. I have been living with celiac disease for more than 35 years and have been blogging for close to ten years. This community has changed dramatically over time both for the good and the bad. I would like us all to help make things BETTER not WORSE. I would love to read your comments below. Feel free to post your name or post anonymously. It's up to you!


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Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Halloween Gluten-Free Fun and Giveaway with Enjoy Life Mini Chips


This is my first Halloween in many years that I don't live in an apartment building which means I rarely gave out candy. Now, I am excited to see all of the trick-or-treaters and creative costumed kids who show up at my front door. I always enjoyed trick-or-treating as a kid, although living with celiac from a young age meant I was really limited to what I could eat when the day was done. My parents sorted through my stash and took out the gluten suspects.

This year, I am excited that Enjoy Life Foods just released their new Mini Chip and Morsels snack packs. Each package contains 12 individual 1-ounce snack packs. These individual-serving make a great treat for those with food allergies on Halloween, a great lunchbox snacks, or even a great topping for your breakfast. Not only are these snack packs great for home consumption, but they also make for an awesome gluten-free travel snack. Through a pack of the Enjoy Life mini chips in your carry-on bag and away you go!





If you can resist eating the Mini Chips and Morsels right out of the bag, I put together a super easy recipe for an afternoon snack. I like my recipes quick and easy so this takes less than 5 minutes to make!

#SnackFreely Ants on a Log
1 snack pack of Enjoy Life Mini Chips or Morsels
1 apple
1 package of your favorite nut-free butter or spread


Step 1: slice up your apple
Step 2: spread your favorite nut-free butter or spread on the apple slices
Step 3: sprinkle your Enjoy Life Mini Chips on top
Step 4: EAT!





Do you want to try these brand new Enjoy Life Mini Chips Snack Pack and Morsels? One lucky winner will get to sample both snack packs. Simply enter below using the Rafflecopter widget. Winners will be chosen on October 28th.




a Rafflecopter giveaway


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Enjoy Life Foods. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Gluten-Free Meals with Terra's Kitchen
https://goo.gl/O8hTAY


A few weeks ago I learned about Terra's Kitchen, a meal-kit service that sends prepped, fresh, and organic ingredients to help you make a healthy meal for yourself or the whole family. When the opportunity to review a free week of Terra's Kitchen, I jumped on it. I was intrigued because although I know many meal delivery services exist I never tried one. I am also probably the ideal candidate for a meal-kit service like Terra's Kitchen because I am far from a gourmet cook. I don't mind cooking, but I avoid elaborate recipes and don't like all of the prep. All the chopping, dicing, mincing, and zesting takes a lot of time that I don't always have during the week. I also tend to stick to cooking the same four or five dishes which are on a VERY heavy and boring rotation in our house. Trying my complimentary delivery of Terra's Kitchen was a great way to try something new both in terms of convenience and flavor.

The Ordering

On the Terra's Kitchen website, allergens such as gluten, dairy, nuts, and fish are clearly noted in each recipe.  You can filter your selections based on your dietary needs and flavor preferences. I figured this was my opportunity to try something new so I chose a bison-based dish, a salmon dish, and a chicken dish. Believe it or not, I never cooked salmon and never ate bison so this was a new experience! All of the recipes I chose were labeled gluten-free on the website. I scheduled two-person, three-meal delivery and then waited for my package to arrive.

The Vessel

I think one of my favorite parts of this experience was when the Terra's Kitchen package arrived. This thing was impressive. It was like a mini college fridge delivered right to my door. It is climate-controlled, easily returned, and is reusable up to 100 times. Everything arrived cold and fresh in this futuristic looking vessel, which is how Terra's Kitchen refers to it in their online materials and return information. Bonus: The return shipping is paid for so all you have to do is put the empty vessel outside the next day before 8am and it disappears back into FedEx land!


Terra's Kitchen "vessel"
Terra's Kitchen "vessel"

Check this thing out! 


The Meals

After I got over the awe of the vessel, I unloaded all of the food and recipe cards from Terra's Kitchen. All of the ingredients are labeled with a sticker that has a number that corresponds to the recipe card. This made your prep basically as easy as possible which was perfect for me! I loaded up the ingredients by recipe in my fridge for when I was ready to cook. I also ordered an extra salad and a Suja juice to round out my box.

Meal 1: Paprika-rubbed Salmon Tostadas with Avocado-Orange Salsa
Meal 2: One Skillet Bison Tacos
Meal 3: Strawberry-balsamic Chicken Thighs with Wilted Spinach-Quinoa
Add-on 1: Chopped Power Green Salad
Add-on 2: Suja Mighty Greens juice*

* I didn't end up drinking the juice because I didn't realize one of the ingredients is barley grass which I do not personally consume.

Look closely and you will see the 214 sticker at the top of the recipe card
as well as the top-left of all of the ingredient packages

The ingredients were very fresh, everything was pre-washed and chopped, and the recipes were fool proof. Each recipe card included the kitchen equipment you will need, the additional ingredients you will need, and what was sent in the vessel. The only ingredients that weren't included in the meal kit but are readily available in my kitchen were olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, and canola oil.


Chopped Power Green Salad from Terra's Kitchen
Chopped Power Green Salad from Terra's Kitchen


Out of the three meals, the bison tacos were the top pick at our house. The dish was flavorful and it was really nice to eat something totally out of the ordinary (a direct quote from my man). It was good to change it up from our normal beef or turkey tacos. Also, the chipotle and sour cream mix was smokey but not too spicy which was good for my weak heat tolerance.


Terra's Kitchen Bison Tacos


My fiancee really enjoyed the salmon, but I have never been a fan of fish so it was my least favorite. I did eat it because I cooked it, but heaped on the avocado-orange salsa to cut the salmon flavor. (Note, I NEVER liked fish so this really had nothing to do with TK and everything to do with my taste buds.) I would have never of thought to put avocados and oranges together so this recipe gave me a new idea that I will definitely use in the future. Oranges and avocados are abundant here in California. The chicken dish was good too, but we eat a lot of chicken at our house so it was fun to change it up. I will definitely make the quinoa with wilted spinach again. It was so good and I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day.


Paprika-rubbed Salmon Tostadas with Avocado-Orange Salsa

Strawberry-balsamic Chicken Thighs with Wilted Spinach-Quinoa



Terra's Kitchen Parting Thoughts

Overall, I was very pleased with my first food box delivery experience from Terra's Kitchen. I can't emphasize enough how fresh all of the ingredients were and how nice it was that everything was prepped for me. The pre-preparation made meal prep so much quicker and easier. The only meal planning I had to do was to figure out which one I wanted to eat first. I also really liked that all of the ingredients on the packages were clearly labeled. There was one item that had a "May contain wheat, dairy, or nuts" statement but that was one out of about 20+ ingredients so I just skipped it. I think. Unfortunately, I forgot to make a note of it at the time and forget which ingredient. Lastly, we got to try three new dishes that I would have never thrown together on my own.

One thing I was a bit concerned about was the amount of individual packaging for the ingredients. Te recipe card actually did say the food containers are recyclable but they encourage people to "upcycle" them instead. Use them in the garden or get creative with other kitchen-based uses. I personally washed them out and recycled them all.

The Terra's Kitchen meals range from $10.49 per serving up to $17.99 per serving for a meal that contains steak. While this might be a bit cost prohibitive for some, remember there is the time and convenience of it all that factor in to the price. You can order from Terra's Kitchen one time or you can set up regular deliveries of meals that you choose each week. Terra's Kitchen website is VERY user friendly and I found it simple to search for dishes, order, and schedule my delivery. We really enjoyed the new meals in our kitchen, the easy recipes, and the healthy and fresh ingredients, so Terra's Kitchen gets a double thumbs up in our house.

Interested in trying Terra's Kitchen in your home? Use code GFF30 when you check out,
good for $30 off for first-time users at
TerrasKitchen.com





This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Terra's Kitchen. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Friday, October 14, 2016
Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo in NJ This Weekend

This weekend is the GF&AF Expo in Secaucus, New Jersey. Some of my favorite gluten-free friends go every year and I am bummed that I will miss this event. But now that I live in California, it is a WAY longer commute than just hopping on a bus in New York City and traveling across the Hudson River to NJ.

There are a ton of gluten-free vendors, cooking demos and classes, and so much more. Tickets are still available and the event is happening both Saturday and Sunday. Have a great day everyone and report back on your favorite finds!


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Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Gluten-Free S'mores with Schar Honeygrams
SmoreSchar

What do you do when Schar sends you a complimentary box of gluten-free Honeygrams, chocolate bars, and marshmallows but you don't have easy access to a campfire? You get creative in the kitchen and make oven S'mores! 

(Want your own Honeygrams? Keep reading!) 

If you never had a s'more you are missing out. As someone living with celiac almost my entire life, I never had s'mores until I was an adult. Gluten-free graham crackers didn't exist back in the day. I could melt chocolate and marshmallows together, but it just isn't the same sweet sandwich without the crackers. Today, us celiacs are so lucky that Schar now makes these gluten-free Honeygrams. Now everyone can enjoy these yummy, gooey, sweet treats either in the kitchen or by the campfire.

gluten-free smores from Schar


Looking to make indoor S'mores with Schar Honeygrams... it's easy! A quick search on Google and I found tons of ways to toast these snacks up at home. I chose the toaster oven method. Layer a Honeygram, a piece of chocolate, a marshmallow, another piece of chocolate, and then a final Honeygram. Bake in a preheated oven at 350º for 4-5 minutes, squish, cool, and voila! Gluten-free #SmoreSchar!

The finished gluten-free smore
The finished SmoreSchar!

Do you want to make your own Schar S'mores at home? Great news! Schar is giving away more than 20,000 free gluten-free Honeygrams to my online friends. Enter to win yours today with three easy steps.

1. Visit http://smoreschar.com/.



2. Choose @glutenfreeglobetrotter as your Instagrammer. (That's me!)




3. Provide Schar with your mailing address.

Enjoy your SmoreSchar, every gooey drop of it! 





Note: I received compensation in exchange for writing this review.  Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

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Friday, October 7, 2016
Gluten Hot Spots in Restaurants
For many people with celiac disease, dining away from home is a bit nerve wracking. You aren't in control in the kitchen and you are putting your trust in others to prepare you a safe meal. Do you know all of the places where gluten lurks in restaurants? If not, chance are the restaurant does not either.

Beyond Celiac put together this great infographic about where gluten hides in the kitchen. I highly recommend printing this out and bringing it to your favorite restaurant. It is up to us to be our own best advocates and educate others.

From the Beyond Celiac website:
Dining out is one of the biggest challenges of living with celiac disease. When you're not in control of the food, it's easy to feel anxious about the possibility of becoming sick. While it's impossible to never be accidentally exposed to gluten, you can arm yourself with information to keep you safe. The best place to start? Knowing where the risks are.

Click here to download the entire document including explanations of hot spots.




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