Archive for October, 2009

Friday Favorite: Smarties

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Simple, tasty and tiny enough to be discreetly eaten, Smarties are small – but mighty. Billions of Smarties rolls are produced each year. Placed end to end, they would span over 85 thousand miles which is more than 3 times around the Earth!

Smarties are owned by the Ce De Candy Company that started in England in 1932. These sweet-making folks sure are smarties themselves. Over seven years ago they took the lead in labeling allergen statements on their packaging. This is now a law.

I like Smarties as my “little” indulgence when I need a little treat. At only 25 calories a roll, with no fat, it’s a smart sweet treat. Plus, the way I eat Smarties, one at a time, enjoying every white, yellow, green and orange piece, I am sure that I burn off more calories than I am consuming. =)  So why not have two… or three?

Smarties are just plain old smart for the allergen and gluten-free. That’s my friends, is why Smarties take this week’s Friday Favorites honor.

The allergen statement on the Smarties website is straightforward and charted for easy reading. As noted below:


All Smarties®


Present in Product

Present in other products manufactured on the same line

Present in same manufacturing plant

Egg or egg derivatives




Milk and Derivatives




Peanuts (including peanut oil)




Nut Oil




Sesame Seeds




Fish or Fish Derivatives




















Tree Nuts




Wheat or wheat derivatives




Corn or derivatives




Seed and/or derivatives




See notes below from the Smarties website allergen statement:
Smarties® and our entire line of products are free from most the known allergens, and they do not appear anywhere in our manufacturing facilities. Our new item, Bubble Gum Smarties®, may contain minute traces of soy lecithin.
We sell our products to many different classifications of trade, including “re-baggers.” A “re-bagger” buys products from many different companies and re-bags them in their own packaging. We cannot verify whether their manufacturing plants are free of nuts, soy, etc. If the UPC number on the packaging begins with “0 11206”, you can be assured that it was manufactured in one of our facilities and that it is allergen free.
Gluten Statement
Smarties® and our entire line of products are gluten free. If the UPC number on the packaging begins with “0 11206”, you can be assured that it is manufactured in a facility that is gluten free and safe to eat if you have Celiac Disease.
All Ce De Candy, Inc. products contain no dairy, thereby eliminating the ingredient Melamine.

WIN-It-Wednesday: Surf Sweets

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Treat or Treat. It’s that time of year again. Candy is on everyone’s mind. But if you or anyone you know, or love, has food allergies or a gluten-intolerance this can be a spooky time of year when it comes to finding allergen and gluten friendly treats.

Thanks to Surf Sweets there’s some fantastic gluten and allergen free candies that are sure to please any allergen-free ghost or gluten-free goblin. Free of artificial sweeteners and flavors, Surf Sweet candies are also free of gluten, made in a nut-free facility, and are also casein free, wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, fish free and shellfish free.

Surf sweets are also different than any other gummy candies and jelly beans because they’re made with natural colors, flavors, organic fruit juice and sweeteners. Another bonus is that they provide your daily allowance of Vitamin C and are one of the only candies made without corn syrup. Surf Sweets also offers some super fun products: Gummy Worms, Sour Bears and Jelly Beans are just a few of the choices. They also offer tons of great Halloween recipes on their website that are fun for the kids to make.

Obviously, this is a Boo-tiful (sorry, I couldn’t resist) sponsor for BeFreeForMe’s Halloween week’s WIN-It-Wednesday. The prize? One BeFreeForme member will win a gift box packed with Surf Sweet products… how sweet is that?

How can you win?

Tell us what you, or your kids, will dress-up as for Halloween this year or the best Halloween costume you ever dressed up as or have ever seen. This should be a good one – full of some fun replies – and I can’t wait to read them all! (Me? My best costume ever was a hippy… when I was a little girl for years and years – I loved that navy blue fringed vest!) 

All entries must be received by Sunday, November 1, 2009 at 12:00 Midnight (EST). You must be a BeFreeForMe member to win.

Good Luck, love those gluten and allergen free treats, and as always…

Boo Free!

Boo! Check out these Resources to Find Gluten and Allergen-Free Halloween Candy

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Halloween doesn’t need to be a boo-hoo type of holiday. While doing research on gluten and allergen free candy, I discovered so many resources that can assist you in contacting the retailers, gluten and allergen free candy lists and also direct links to manufacturers.

Check out these sweet resources and make sure your Halloween treats aren’t packed with gluten and allergens! – Gluten-free candy
Nancy Lapid blogs about a very comprehensive list of gluten-free candy items, as well as the manufactures contact info.
A list of candy free of gluten, nut and milk. – Nut-free candy
Lists manufactures that offer nut-free candy.
Lists a complete list of gluten and casein free candies.

Friday Favorite: Yoga Chips

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

I love apples. But sometimes, it’s hard to carry around the real deal.

That’s why (as you have all have heard in the past) how I like to reach for dried apples, or other dried fruits, for those times when I need a quick and easy fruit snack.

Last month I found another favorite dried fruit at the Natural Products Expo is Boston. Yoga Chips. They are made from the highest quality USDA certified organic Fuji apples.

These snacks are also 100% fat-free and bursting with real apple flavor. My favorite is the Apple Cinnamon; but they also come in Original, Caramel, Peach and Strawberry.

These are perfect for snacks on the go, and in essence put a little bit of calmness in my hectic days!

WIN-It-Wednesday: Joan’s Gluten-Free Great Bakes

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

An English muffin’s creeks and crevices smothered with sweet buttter. The crunchy bite of a bagel, followed by a warm, soft and airy middle. Hot Italian bread dipped in and soaking up fragrant herbed oil. Pizza that I just can’t stop eating… no matter how hard I try.

These were a few of my gluten-free dreams. The little things that most other people take for granted on a daily basis.

Joan’s Great Bakes has made these gluten-free dreams comes true. Joan, who originally developed a line of gluten-free baked goods (which also has many items that are dairy free and soy free) for her gluten free and food intolerant family members, is now sharing her dream-making with folks everywhere. (If you’re not already one – make sure you become a fan of Joan’s Great Bakes, and also BeFreeForMe, on Facebook!)

My favorite Joan’s items are the English muffins and the Italian bread. Why? Because they taste exactly the way I remember them tasting. No difference at all.

That is why I am so glad that Joan’s is this week’s sponsor of BeFreeForMe’s WIN-It-Wednesday! This prize is a dream-come true! They are offering TWO (yes, 2!) BeFreeForMe members a prize package that includes: Gluten/Dairy free Bagels, Gluten/Dairy/Egg free English Muffins and Gluten/Dairy/Egg free Italian Bread.

How can you win?


Reply to this blog and tell us your gluten-free (dairy-free, egg-free, etc.) dreams. (Mine? Every doctor in the world knows what celiac disease is, recognizes the diverse symptoms it can cause, and diagnosis patients quickly & efficiently). Winners are picked at random and entries must be received by Sunday, 10/25/09 at 12:00 midnight EST.

Good luck… Dream away, and as always…

Be Free!

Friday Favorite: Bigelow Teas

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

The chill is in the air here in New England, and, as I write this blog, I am enjoying my mid-day cup of tea which is nestled in my hands between thoughts as I type away at my keyboard.

Every once in awhile I like to enjoy what I call a “fun cup of tea”, something flavored… whether it be sweet, spicy or flowery. But if you are gluten-free it is important to know if barley malt or other flavorings that contain gluten have been added.  

This is where Bigelow Tea comes in… they’ve made it super easy for all us on a gluten-free diet by offering up a whole gluten-free product page on their website. The teas can be found in most grocery stores, or purchased directly on-line through their website.

Besides the stand-by Earl Grey and Green Tea, my favorite “fun” flavors are the Ginger Snappish, Sweetheart Cinnamon, and the Spiced Apple Cider Herb Tea.

Grab a cup, relax, sit back , take a sip and enjoy… Gluten-free!

WIN-It-Wednesday: Glutino Foods – Quality, Service, Trust, and Variety

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

I am so excited that Glutino Foods is this weeks WIN-It-Wednesday sponsor since they are one of my all-time favorite gluten-free brands!

Not only are the Glutino products delicious, they are also a brand that I can count on. All the Glutino products are gluten-free and the most can be found in traditional grocery stores – which means less time running around to specialty or natural food stores! Glutino makes my life so much easier!

Plus the variety of products that Glutino offers is exceptional. They seem to make it all, from cookies, breads, bagels, pancake mixes, muffin mixes, frozen pizzas and convenient pasta dishes.

My favorite is the gluten-free pretzels that I dip in tangy honey mustard, but I also love the convenience of the gluten-free meals when I am on-the-go.

Glutino products can also be used as ingredients in favorite gluten-free recipes too. I use Glutino crackers in baked stuffed shrimp or chicken nuggets; and the Glutino cookies in pie crusts or dessert bars.

Glutino Foods is offering one BeFreeForMe member a gift box packed with a variety of Glutino products… this is a $50-$75 valued prize!

How can you WIN? Easy!

Reply to this blog and tell us how you make the gluten-free diet easy (Me? I make sure I arm myself with a shopping list and coupons before I hit the grocery store aisles!).

One LUCKY winner will be chosen at random. The winner must be a BeFreeForMe member and all entries must be received by Sunday, October 18, 2009 at 12:00 midnight EST.

Good Luck, Go Easy… and as always…

Be Free!

P.S. Also… don’t forget to use coupon code BEFREE at check out on to get $5 OFF when you buy $25 or more in Glutino products! Offer expires 10/31/09!

Ask Shelley Case: How to Make the Gluten-Free Diet More Nutritious!

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Q. I am eating a gluten-free diet, but also want to make sure that I am choosing the most nutritious food choices too. Can you help?

Answer: In the quest to eliminate gluten from the diet, many people forget about the importance of good nutrition! The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) MyPyramid and Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating are practical tools to help individuals make healthy food choices. These tools differ somewhat with regard to the types of foods that are in specific groups, their serving size and recommended number of servings per day for each food group. The total amount per day for each group is based on factors such as age, body size, activity level and sex. The following chart has incorporated many of the key components of these tools with adaptations for the gluten-free diet. The symbol GF denotes gluten-free.







Grain Products








GF grain alternatives [e.g., amaranth, buckwheat, cornmeal, millet, Montina ™, oats (GF pure, uncontaminated), quinoa, rice (black, brown, red, white, wild), sorghum, teff]


GF breads, rolls, bagels, muffins


GF ready-to-eat cold cereals


GF hot cereals – e.g., amaranth; cornmeal; cream of buckwheat or brown rice or white rice; rolled oats (GF pure, uncontaminated), hominy or soy grits; rice flakes; soy flakes)


GF pasta -e.g., bean, 100% buckwheat, corn, pea, potato, quinoa/corn, quinoa/rice, soy, rice (brown, white, wild)


GF corn or rice tortillas


GF pancake and waffles





1.        Choose GF whole grains* more often  e.g., amaranth, buckwheat, cornmeal (whole grain- not degermed), millet, oats (GF pure, uncontaminated), quinoa, rice (black, brown, red, wild), sorghum, teff


2.       Choose enriched GF products more often. Not all GF breads, flours, cereals and pastas are enriched with iron and B vitamins and are often lower in fiber as many are made from refined flours and starches.


3.       Choose breads, rolls, bagels, muffins, cereals and pastas from flours and starches that are higher in fiber, protein and vitamins and minerals  e.g., amaranth, buckwheat, flax, legumes, mesquite, millet, Montina™, oats (GF pure, uncontaminated), quinoa, rice (brown), sorghum, teff



* Whole grains contain the entire grain seed (usually called the kernel) and consist of three parts- the bran, germ and endosperm. Refined grains have most of the bran and some of the germ removed which results in the loss of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutritional components.





















Fresh, frozen or canned fruits and fruit juices


Dried fruits



1.       To get more fiber, choose fruit instead of juice.


2.       Choose unsweetened frozen fruit or canned fruit in 100% fruit juice or water.


3.       Choose orange-colored fruits (e.g., apricot, cantaloupe, orange, mango, nectarine, peach, red or pink grapefruit) more often as they are high in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (naturally occurring health compounds)


4.       Choose 100% fruit juice rather than fruit beverages which contain less juice and more added sugar.


5.       Some juices (e.g., orange) are enriched with calcium and/or vitamin D.











Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables and vegetable juices


Dried fruits



1.       Choose dark green and yellow/orange vegetables (e.g., broccoli, carrot, pumpkin, romaine lettuce, squash, sweet potato) more often as they are high in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.




Milk Products








Milk (fluid and dried powdered)


Milk (lactose-free, lactose-reduced)




Yogurt and yogurt-based beverages


Milk-based desserts (e.g., puddings made with milk, ice cream, frozen yogurt, ice milk)



1.       Choose lower-fat milk products more often.


2.       Milk and some yogurt products are enriched with vitamin D which is a key nutrient that aids in the absorption of calcium. Cheese, ice cream, commercial pudding cups and some yogurts are not enriched with vitamin D)


3.       Many brands of non-dairy beverages (e.g., nut, potato, rice, soy) and some orange/other fruit juices may be enriched with calcium and/or vitamin D but may not provide the other nutrients found in milk products.


Meats, Beans and Alternatives








Meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs


Legumes (dried beans, peas and lentils)


Nuts and seeds


GF tofu, GF tempeh, GF texturized vegetable protein, GF veggie burgers



1.       Choose leaner meats and poultry as well as legumes more often.


2.       Flax seeds and walnuts. Along with some fish (e.g., herring, salmon, trout) are high in omega-3 fatty acids which play a positive role in heart health.


3.       Some seeds and nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower) are good sources of vitamin E.






















* This group is in MyPyramid. Canada’s Food Guide does not specifically include this group.



Oils (e.g., canola, coconut, corn, cottonseed, olive, palm kernel, peanut, safflower, sesame seed, walnut)


Foods naturally high in oils (e.g., avocado, flax, nuts, olives, some fish)


Solid fat (butter, beef fat [tallow, suet], pork fat [lard], stick margarine, shortening)


Foods high in solid fats (e.g., many cheese, cream, well-marbled cuts of meat, regular ground beef, bacon, poultry skin)



1.        All oils and fats are a mixture of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids.


2.        Most oils( except coconut and palm kernel) contain more monounstarurated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.


3.        Solid fats and coconut and palm kernel oils contain more saturated fatty acids and/or trans fats than unsaturated oils.


4.        Limit solid fats and coconut and palm kernel oils as saturated fats and trans fats raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the blood which are a factor in coronary heart disease.




From: Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide 2008 by Shelley Case, RD. Case Nutrition Consulting Inc. Publisher.

Friday Favorite: Dragonfly Non-Alcohol Hand Sanitizer

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

One of the best ways to keep germs at bay, especially during flu and cold season, is to wash your hands – a lot! But sometimes good old soap and water is not around to do the job.

This is when I reach for a hand sanitizer. I was using the regular alcohol based version, found at most grocery and department stores, but then I found an alcohol-free sanitizer at the Natural Product Expo that really caught my eye. I like it so much I wanted to spread the word!

Found in travel sizes for your purse or backpacks, or regular sizes for home and office, The Dragonfly Organix Alcohol-free Hand Sanitizer is not only environmentally friendly, but free of alcohol, petroleum, fragrance and fragrance oils – which can often cause allergic reactions.

I really liked this hand sanitizer because it offers an extended germ protector, which alcohol based sanitizers do not. Plus the Dragonfly Hand Sanitizer makes my skin feel soft and smooth – not dried out and rough, like they do after using the alcohol based sanitizers. The way I look at it, if I’m going to use a hand sanitizer numerous times throughout the day, I want one that is going to give me extra protection, while moisturizing and conditioning my skin at the same time. 

Want to try the Dragonfly Hand Sanitizer? Check out the Garden Guys website to purchase the Dragonfly Hand Sanitizer in all sizes (8-ounce Foaming Pumps, 100-wipe canister and travel sizes).

Be Well and Be Free!

New England Celiac Conference: SO Successful & Informative! And did I mention the YUMMY Gluten-Free Buffets!?

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

This past Saturday, October 3rd, I was given the opportunity to speak at the New England Celiac Conference in Marlborough, Massachusetts which was sponsored by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Greater Boston’s celiac/DH support group, The Healthy Villi. It was such a joy to meet so many fellow celiacs, their families & friends, as well as numerous dieticians & world-renowned doctors.

My presentation, “The Gluten Free Diet: Saving Money with Sense & Savvy” was just one of the workshops offered in the afternoon session. Other presenters included Doctors from Beth Israel, Children’s Hospital in Boston, and other hospitals; Register Dieticians, and chefs that baked-up some fantastic crepes, pies, and muffins! Plus, there were numerous food vendors that served up fantastic gluten free samples!

If you didn’t have the chance to attend this years conference make sure that you mark your calendar as soon as next years conference date is posted! Plus, the gluten free breakfast, lunch and snack breaks were absolutely delicious. 

If you did have the chance to attend, I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on the conference!

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