Archive for May, 2010

Friday Favorite: Ciao Bella Gelato & Sorbets

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Happy Friday… Happy Memorial Day…  And Happy Summer everyone!

Summer is officially here and it is time to slow-down on the baking and dig into some nice cool refreshing desserts!

One of my new favorite finds is Ciao Bella Gelatos & Sorbets. For those of you who don’t know what a gelato is, it is an Italian style ice-cream that contains less butterfat and less air by volume. Most of the Ciao Bella Flavors are gluten-free; and their sorbets are dairy-free and fat-free too. 

The knock your socks off flavors that Ciao Bella has come up with makes it so very difficult to select just one while standing at your grocer’s freezer. My solution? Buy two!

Some of the flavors they offer are: Triple Espresso, Chocolate Jalapeno, Roasted Hazelnut, Pistachio and Honey Toasted Pecan. My favorite? Believe it or not… the Tahitian Vanilla. I am usually not a “vanilla” type of gal, but I love the deep intense authentic vanilla essence of this gelato, combined with the specs of real vanilla beans in every cool spoonful.

Ciao Bella also offers sorbets for those looking for a dairy/lactose and gluten free dessert. Some of the distinctive flavors of the sorbets are: Lemon Zest Sorbet, Sicilian Blood Orange (which was featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things show!) and Prickly Pear.

I haven’t tried all of the Ciao Bella flavors yet, but plan on making this a goal to accomplish this summer! Note: No need to wish me luck.

Fantastic flavors, tastes that tantalize and ingredients that intrigue are all the fabulous reasons why Ciao Bella Gelatos and Sorbets take this weeks honors of BeFreeForMe’s Friday Favorite!

Win-It-Wednesday: Green Mountain Gringo Salsa and Tortilla Strips

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

I love my snacks! That’s why we decided to continue on with the snacking theme of our WIN-It-Wednesday’s and feature another one of my favorite snack options… Green Mountain Gringo Salsa and Strips.

I have been a fan of Green Mountain Gringo products for about 15 years now… years before I was diagnosed with celiac disease, and started on the gluten-free diet. I love Green Mountain Gringo because of the fresh-homemade taste and ingredients that are used in all of their products. Green Mountain Gringo products are also all natural, gluten free, cholesterol free, and contain no GMO’s.

When you dive into a jar of Green Mountain Salsa you submerge with fresh, chunks of vegetables – tomatoes, peppers, onions, and chilies. The ingredient list on this salsa reads like a handwritten shopping list: Ripe Tomatoes, Fresh Onions, Fresh Tomatillos, Fresh Jalapeño Peppers, Fresh Pasilla Peppers, Apple Cider Vinegar, Fresh Cilantro, Fresh Parsley, Fresh Garlic, Sea Salt, Spices.

Nothing fake. Nothing artificial. Nothing that makes you scared to eat the whole jar in one sitting!

The salsa comes in the traditional Mild, Medium, and Hot; as well as, Roasted Chili  and Roasted Garlic .

And the Green Mountain Tortilla Strips… they are the perfect vehicle of crunch to transport this fabulous salsa. The Green Mountain Gringo website illustrates these strips as, “…A solid rectangle of pure leverage makes it stable enough for the most aggressive of dippers. Either end features an ergonomic handle allowing even the ”power dipper” an enjoyable experience. Sturdy and dependable, they won’t break short of your expectations.”

My favorite is the Original strip which is made from 100% masa harina corn flour, cooked in all natural canola oil and topped with a pinch of salt. Dipping perfection! The strips also come in Blue Corn and White Corn. Take your pick of the three… they’re all delicious.

Pure and natural snacking heaven is why I am so very excited that Green Mountain Gringo Salas and Tortilla Strips are this week’s BeFreeForMe’s WIN-It-Wednesday sponsor. SIX (Yes 6!) Lucky BeFreeForMe members will win a sample pack containing a jar of each of the Mild, Medium and Hot Salsas, two (2) full size packages of the Original Tortilla Strips, and a bunch of fun Green Mountain Gringo giveaways like t-shirts, magnets and chip clips.

NOTE: This is a two-week long promotion. Three winners will be picked each week, so make sure you enter once each week! All entries must be received by Tuesday, June 1st for the first week’s drawing and all entries must be received by Tuesday, June 8th for the second week’s drawing.

How can you WIN?


Reply to this blog and tell us if you’re a mild, medium or hot type of salsa person! (Me? I’m a medium type of gal!) Also, include any creative ways you can think of for using salsa or tortilla strips (Me? I use tortilla strips for “breading” on chicken and fish!)

Good Luck, Enjoy the mild, medium and hot days of your life… and as always,

Be Free!

Friday Favorite: Candy Tree Gluten-Free Red Licorice

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Sometimes it’s the little things that bring the most joy to your life… and to me finding Gluten-free red licorice was one of those “life is good” moments.

One of the things I missed the most after going gluten-free was red licorice. The sad day I discovered that my beloved red licorice twists contained gluten I remember thinking, “who in the world would have EVER thought that red licorice contained gluten?”

That is why I was so very excited when the folks over at Candy Tree heard about my licorice demise and straight-away sent to the BeFreeForMe offices a big package jam-packed with Candy Tree Gluten Free Red Licorice twists and ropes!

Gluten-free joy for me!

Plus, the Candy Tree products are 100% organic and contain no added sugar. At zero-grams of fat per serving, and only 143 calories for about 7 twists – this is a gluten-free candy treat that I don’t feel guilty about enjoying! The ingredients are simple too: Organic corn syrup, organic rice flour, organic rice starch, organic concentrated fruit juices and organic fruit flavors. Nothing artificial and nothing I can’t pronounce. I like that.

Thanks Candy Tree for making red licorice gluten-free for me! Life is indeed good!

Note: Many BeFreeForMe Members have contacted us on how to buy the products featured on the website and blog. Starting today we will offer links to “buy” these products on, if available. Be sure to check out the Super-Saver Shipping offered on orders of $25 and more!


WIN-It-Wednesday: Food Should Taste Good

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

This week’s WIN-It-Wednesday is sponsored by a company that believes in good food – and their name reflects their commitment… Food Should Taste Good!

If you’re not yet familiar with the products that Food Should Taste Good offers you must check out their website and give their chips a try.

All of the fabulous chip flavors that Food Should Taste Good offers are packed with unique and sophisticated ingredients. The variety of flavors… from sweet, to spicy, to savory… makes snack time a fun time! These wholesome flavorful chips, made with all natural ingredients, capture the great flavors by cooking them INSIDE their chips. Ingenious!

 Some of the more interesting chip flavors that Food Should Taste Good offers are: Olive (perfect with tapenades), Chocolate (smothered in apple sauce or cinnamon cream cheese), Lime (guacamole anyone?), The Works (the ultimate dipper… hummus? sour cream? the kitchen sink?) and, my favorite… Sweet Potato (eaten plain or crumbled on top of a fresh garden salad).

Besides the knock your socks off varieties, that pair well with all kinds of dips, spreads and tapenades, Food Should Taste Good is also certified gluten free, dairy/lactose free (all flavors – except for the cheddar!), cholesterol and trans fat free, MSG free and also made with non- genetically modified ingredients. Plus, all the chips are certified vegan (except for the cheddar).

Good taste, good variety, good for you, and just plain old good ingredients, are all the good reasons why I am so excited that Food Should Taste Good is this week’s WIN-It-Wednesday giveaway on Two (Yes 2!) LUCKY BeFreeForMe members will win a Food Should Taste Good reusable shopping bag jam packed with a variety of Food Should Taste Good chips, t-shirts, notepads and other good goodies!

How can you win?


Reply to this blog and tell us your favorite Food Should Taste Good variety or the flavor you would like to try most. I know… it sound too good to be true!

All entries must be received by Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 12:00 midnight EST.

Good luck, Be good…. And as always,

Be Free!

Eating Gluten & Allergen Free … and Watching Your Weight!

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

This weekend a friend asked if I wanted to join her in a “Six Weeks to Fourth of July” group tone up and get-in-shape plan. Thinking of the bathing suit season ahead, I decided that maybe I should jump aboard, partner with my good friend and the rest of the group, and embrace this challenge.

When I asked her what the group’s game-plan was she told me they planned on eating more whole and pure foods, start making more of their meals from scratch, plus start reading ingredient and nutritional labels on all the food they ate – no exceptions. In addition, they hoped to save money on their food bill during the process.

As she told me the game-plan I shook my head in agreement… again, and again and again.  I mean let’s face it… I have never in my life read so many food labels since getting diagnosed with celiac disease!

It then occurred to me that what she was describing as the healthy and more conscience method of eating in order to get-in-shape described the way those on a gluten or allergen free diet eat… and live.

The prerequisites of eating gluten and allergen free are to eat more real “whole” foods, preparing most meals at home and also reading every single ingredient label of any food you eat – basically a cleaner, healthier and more aware way of eating.

When my friend asked if I had any other ideas, tools or guidelines to add to the groups six-week tone-up and get-in-shape plan, I thought about ways my gluten-free lifestyle and know-how could help with this healthier and more mindful way of eating. These are the points that I shared:

Eat more fruits & vegetables: My motto is you can never eat enough. After you’ve had your recommended daily servings, eat more! If you fill up on vegetables and fruit, you will be less likely to reach for pre-packaged fattening foods.

Don’t eat it just because you can: After going gluten-free I find myself eating a lot of foods just because I become so over joyous at finding new gluten-free products. Could it be that every gluten-free cookie I see is calling out my name? I’ve learned to limit the amounts of sweets I eat, and when I do eat them to be very mindful of the taste and flavor, while savoring every bite.

Eat grains that are high in fiber: Some nutritious and healthy gluten-free grains that everyone should try are: Teff, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, flax, indian ricegrass (Montina), legume flours (bean, chickpea/garbanzo bean, pea, lentil), mesquite, millet, and nut flours.  

Get creative: Just as a gluten or allergen free diet does not need to be boring neither does a diet for getting in shape. Sometime just the “restriction” of not being able to eat something opens up a window of new food discoveries!  Get courageous and make it a goal to try one new healthy food every week.

Use herbs, spices and vinegars: Using fresh or dried herbs and spices can liven up the taste of foods without adding calories and fat. Plus, using spices and herbs assists in using less salt, helping to keep blood pressure low. Vinegars are also great to splash on salad greens, fish, chicken, or steamed vegetables – while adding no calories.  

Do you have any tips to share on how to eat gluten/allergen free while staying in shape? If so, please share!

Friday Favorite: Glutino Chocolate Covered Wafer Cookies

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

It’s no trick… Glutino Chocolate Covered Wafer Cookies are a fantastic replacement for all of us Twix candy bar lovers that are now on a gluten free diet!

I have a couple of favorite candy bars and Twix is one of them. But they are loaded with gluten. That’s why I was so excited to have found these gluten-free cookies (aka: Twix substitute) from Glutino.

They come in two varieties: Milk Chocolate covered chocolate or vanilla wafers. I personally like the vanilla covered wafers the best, but for all the chocolate lovers out there, you may want to reach for the double chocolate variety.

And these cookies are also great in recipes. Looking for a chocolate pie crust? Then check out this recipe made with the Chocolate Wafer cookies. 

Because they are fantastic replacement for one of my favorite candy bars; taste so good that non-gluten-free folks love’em too, and because they make the best Chocolate Crumb Crust, are the reasons why Glutino Chocolate Covered Wafer Cookies receive the honors of this week’s Friday Favorite on BeFreeForMe!

No Twix! Just Treats!

WIN-It-Wednesday: Bakery on Main Fiber Power Granola

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

 Every week BeFreeForMe members contact me and ask if I know of any breakfast ideas that are gluten, dairy and casein free; that taste good; that they can feel good about eating; and most sought after, will keep them filled-up and satisfied until lunch time.

That is why I was thrilled when the good folks over at Bakery on Main contacted me several months ago and let me know they had a new breakfast granola in the making that had a powerful secret…. FIBER!

Made with whole grain gluten-free oats and free of cholesterol and Trans fat, this low sodium gluten, dairy & casein free cereal is my new secret breakfast weapon… Bakery on Main Fiber Power Granola. 

I love that this granola has 9 grams of fiber and is still low in fat. It is perfect stirred up in my favorite fat-free Greek yogurt or eaten by the handful for a breakfast or snack on the run. It comes in two flavors Triple Berry and Cinnamon Raisin.

Michael Smulder’s, the founder of Bakery on Main, started his company with the mission to, “…create products that are good for those of a gluten-free diet, but taste like they aren’t.” I like this man’s philosophy!

In the past, Bakery on Main invited BeFreeForMe members to sign-up for their monthly savings newsletter to get the most updated coupons & specials, as well as a FREE downloadable $1.50 OFF Coupon. If you haven’t done so yet, make sure you sign up to get this coupon soon… availability may be limited!

And lucky us… Bakery on Main has also graciously offered to sponsor this weeks WIN-It-Wednesday on!

Two (yes 2!) LUCKY BeFreeForMe members will receive a Bakery on Main tote bag made from 100% recycled materials, filled with 1 of each full-sized Bakery On Main products… That’s 10 items total!

How can you win?

Reply to this blog and tell us how you take “power” of your gluten-free or allergen-free lifestyle. (Me? I concentrate on the things I can eat and try to find new and interesting recipes ideas for them all!)

All entries must be received by Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 12:00 Midnight EST.

Good Luck, Keep strong and powerful… and as always,

Be Free!

Ask Shelley Case: Getting the Facts about Celiac Disease & the Gluten-Free Diet

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Question: Can you share a few quick facts about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet? I would love to pass this info along to family members & friends who want to learn more about my daughter’s diagnosis.

Answer: May is Celiac Awareness Month so it’s a great time to share many facts about the disease and its treatment – the gluten-free diet.

* Celiac disease (CD) is an inherited autoimmune disease that affects 1:100 people. The disease can develop at any age including the elderly. It is twice as common as Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and cystic fibrosis combined. 

* Consumption of gluten, found in the grains wheat, rye and barley, damages the tiny finger-like projections called “villi” that line the small intestinal tract. As a result, nutrients from foods, especially iron, calcium, vitamin D and folate, cannot be absorbed through the villi and into the bloodstream. A variety of nutritional deficiencies can occur over time. Gluten not only affects the gastrointestinal system but many other organ systems in the body.  This can lead to a wide range of symptoms that vary from one person to another. Some individuals may only present with a few symptoms or have none at all, while others can have numerous symptoms.

* Symptoms can include nausea, bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation (or both), lactose intolerance, weight loss (note-CD can also occur in obese individuals), mouth ulcers, extreme fatigue, irritability, bone and joint pain, easy bruising of the skin, swelling of the ankles and hands, menstrual irregularities, elevated liver enzymes, migraine headaches, depression and ataxia (balance and coordination difficulties). Children may also have delayed growth, dental enamel defects and concentration and learning difficulties.

* Another presentation of CD is a skin condition called dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). It is characterized by an intense burning, itchy rash that is symmetrically distributed. Areas affected can include the elbows, knees, back of the neck and scalp, upper back and buttocks. Initially, groups of small blisters are formed that soon erupt into small erosions. Most people with DH will also have varying degree of small intestinal villous atrophy, although many will have no bowel complaints. For more information about DH check out this link.

* CD can also occur more frequently in other conditions such as type 1 diabetes, autoimmune thyroid disease, autoimmune liver disease, Down syndrome, Turner syndrome and selective IgA deficiency.

* Untreated CD can result in nutritional deficiencies; osteoporosis; reproductive complications such as infertility (in both men and women) and miscarriage; development of other autoimmune disorders and an increased risk of gastrointestinal cancers.

* Delay in diagnosis is common. Studies in the US and Canada have found that it can take over 10 years before an accurate diagnosis is made. Many individuals are frequently misdiagnosed with other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia prior to getting the correct diagnosis.

* There are specific blood screening tests that can be used to screen for CD, however the only definitive test for diagnosis is a small intestinal biopsy. Diagnosis for DH is a skin biopsy from unaffected skin adjacent to the blisters or erosions. In DH, an intestinal biopsy is not essential if the skin biopsy is positive.

* First degree relatives (parents, siblings and children) of individuals with CD have a higher risk of developing the disease so they should be screened for CD. For more information check out this link.

* A gluten-free diet should never be started before the blood tests and biopsy are done as this can interfere with making an accurate diagnosis.

* The only treatment for CD is a strict gluten-free diet for life. All forms of wheat, rye and barley must strictly be avoided, including spelt, kamut, einkorn, emmer, faro, durum, couscous, semolina, bulgur and triticale. Barley malt, barley malt extract, barley malt flavor, brewer’s yeast, malt vinegar, as well as barley-based ale, beer and lager must also be avoided. Here is a more detailed list of foods allowed, to avoid and to question.

* Gluten is found in a wide variety of foods such as breads and other baked products, cereals, pastas, soups, sauces such as soy sauce which is often made from wheat and soy, seasonings, salad dressings, snack foods, prepared meats (e.g., deli meats, hot dogs, hamburger patties, imitation seafood), beer, flavored coffees and teas, some candies (e.g., licorice), chocolates and chocolate bars, as well as some nutrition supplements and medications.

* The protein in oats was originally thought to trigger the same toxic reaction as wheat and other gluten-containing grains. Research in Europe and the US over the past 15 years has revealed that consumption of moderate amounts of oats is safe for the majority of children and adults with celiac disease. Most of these studies used pure, uncontaminated oats, but it should be noted that a small number of individuals with celiac disease may not tolerate pure oats. The mechanism causing this intolerance has yet to be established. Before adding pure, uncontaminated oats to your diet, talk to your doctor and dietitian. Most authorities recommend that individuals with CD be well established on the gluten-free diet, the celiac antibodies have returned to normal and symptoms resolved. For more information about the safety of oats check out this link.

* A wide variety of foods that are naturally gluten-free include plain meat, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, milk, yogurt, cheese, fruits, vegetables, as well as many gluten-free flours, cereals and starches that can be substituted for wheat, barley and rye. Distilled alcoholic beverages, wine and gluten-free beer made from buckwheat, millet, rice or sorghum are also allowed.

* Amaranth, buckwheat, corn, flax, Indian ricegrass (Montina), legume flours (bean, chickpea/garbanzo bean, pea, lentil), mesquite, millet, nut flours, potato flour, potato starch, quinoa, rice, sago, sorghum, soy, tapioca and teff are gluten-free options.

* A growing number of gluten-free specialty products from companies in the USA, Canada and Europe are available in health food and grocery stores, as well as mail order companies. Examples include ready-to-eat baked products (e.g., breads, buns, bagels, muffins, cakes, cookies, pies, pizza crusts), baking mixes and specialty flours, hot and cold cereals, crackers, snack foods, entrees, pastas (corn, legumes, quinoa and rice), bread crumbs, coating mixes, gravy mixes, soups, sauces, communion wafers, ice cream cones, snack bars and gluten-free beers.

* Many gluten-free products are made with refined flours and starches such as white rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch and/or cornstarch which are lower in iron, B vitamins and fiber. Choose more nutritious ingredients such as amaranth, brown rice flour, buckwheat, flax, Montina™, nut flours, quinoa, legume flours (e.g., garbanzo/chick pea, Garfava™, yellow or green pea, bean {black, cranberry, soy} and teff when preparing or purchasing gluten-free foods. In addition look for gluten-free products that are enriched with vitamins and minerals.

* It is recommended to consult with a registered dietitian with expertise in CD and the gluten-free diet. The dietitian will do a nutritional assessment, provide nutrition education and practical information to help you successfully manage the gluten-free diet.

* Join a celiac group for additional support and encouragement is also important. Here are links to celiac organizations in the US and Canada.

* There are many excellent books, cookbooks, websites and other resources for those following a gluten-free diet. Check out Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide-Revised and Expanded Edition 2010. It is filled with detailed information about the diet, foods and ingredients allowed and to avoid, meal plans, recipes, cooking hints, substitutions, label regulations, nutritional information and practical strategies for healthy gluten-free living, over 3100 gluten-free specialty foods, a directory of more than 270 American, Canadian and international companies, resources, websites and more!


Ask Shelley Case is a feature of It is published the second Tuesday of each month. Shelley Case is a Registered Dietitian, Consulting Dietitian, Speaker and Author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. Visit Shelley and get more gluten-free tips & info at:

Domino’s Pizza Goes Gluten Free?

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Am I the only celiac that transfixes on the television every time a Domino’s Pizza commercial flashes across the screen? The cheese, the sauce, the toppings… and that crust.

Ode to the days of ordering a gooey & cheesy Domino’s Pizza that is delivered to your doorstep.

Well, fret no more gluten-free friends…It looks as if Domino’s Pizza has come out with 13 gluten-free pizza varieties. Although at this time these gluten-free pizza’s are currently only offered in New Zealand market, celiacs everywhere have to hope that Domino’s Pizza is taking a step in the right direction and will roll out the gluten-free pizza’s across the globe soon.

According to a press release Domino’s reports, “… After months of development and testing we have found a gluten free base which tastes great. The Thin’n’Crispy style base means gluten free customers can now enjoy take away pizza and with more than 13 regular menu pizzas made with gluten free ingredients plus the option to design their own, they have the freedom and control of enjoying pizza without the worry.”

When I find out more about the Domino’s gluten-free pizza availability, as well as any preparation / cross-contamination pre-cautions, I will update this blog posting.

Oh, and one more thing… does anyone know if Domino’s Pizza will deliver to North America from New Zealand?

Mom’s Wisdom: Navigation For a Gluten & Allergen Free Life

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

Every Mother’s Day, I reflect upon my good fortune of having a Mother that is not only a parent, but also a friend, confident and mentor. And every year, as I get older, I develop a deeper appreciate for just how lucky I am to have a Mom that has nurtured a loving family, inspired values & principals in her family’s lives; and has unselfishly, throughout the years, put her family first – before everything and anything.

My Mom has made me and my sisters who we are today. No doubt. She is someone that my sisters and I can always, always count on. She helped us through bumps, bruises and broken hearts; has been the head cheerleader when I, and each of my sisters, started our own businesses; has listened to us graciously & patiently through many teary-eyed long distance phone conversations; and most importantly, has supported our spirits & souls, in her gentle and caring way, when the rest of the world has left us at her doorstep of encouragement.

My Mom has always been a good advice giver. Her quirky little sayings are often short and to the point, but they always make me stop and think. Throughout the years, the advise my Mom has given has stayed with me, and as I have grown older, I have remarkably discovered that there’s truths and lessons in each of these adages that can be applied to the many circumstances that life throws my way – including applying them to my life’s diagnosis of celiac disease several years ago.

Want some examples? Here are some of my favorites:

“Commitment pays off in the end.”
When I first got diagnosed with celiac disease, I had to remind myself that although this lifestyle was tough, a gluten-free diet would eventually make me a healthier, stronger, happier… and a better person. It’s a life-long commitment – but I knew with commitment and persistence it would get easier each day. And yes, Mom, you were right – the rewards on my health & attitude are enormous and it has paid off each and every day. Thanks for knowing that before I did, and plugging me along.

“Call me – so I know you’re okay.”
After eating at a restaurant, party, or event – I always call my Mom to tell her how fabulous the food was. I know that in some small way, she still worries that I may not “get enough” to eat, or have to “go without”… I guess Mom’s never change when it comes to stuff like that.

“Reflect on the past, but make the future better.”
My Mom has been the one to encourage me to change-up old recipes in order to make them gluten and allergen free. I’ve had some trials and errors, but for the most part, I’ve been able to take recipes from my past, and make them taste even better… at least that’s what Mom says.

“Your sisters ‘will always be your sisters’.”
Mom you were wrong on this one. My sisters are more than sisters. They have become two of my best friends. One of my sisters is also a celiac, and the other is not. Regardless, we have all jumped aboard this crazy lifetime of learning road trip that only sisters – that are so similar, yet so different – could embark on and still give each other hugs, support and laughs along the way.

“Carrots & celery are fit for the ‘best of lunches’ and are the ‘finest snacks out there’.” While other kids had Twinkies, Ho-Ho’s and Oreos in their lunch– we always had a bag of carrot sticks and celery. To this day carrots & celery are my go-to snacks. Quick, easy and low-cal; and the perfect tool to dip into hummus or gluten-free dips. Leave it to Mom to know that Crudités were a hip lunch snack even way back in the day!

“If it feels wrong it, probably is.”
If you aren’t sure if something has gluten or allergens in it, it probably does… so don’t eat it. Enough said?

“Hold your breath when you put your face underwater – and don’t cry!”
This saying comes from doing the Dead Man’s Float during Beginner’s swimming lessons in the frigid, low-tide sea waters off the beaches of Cape Cod. I hated to get my face and ears wet, and I cried like heck if I needed to. The lesson learned here? You can stay afloat in even the most dismal situations, by just changing your attitude, breathing deep and waiting for the tide to change.   

“Get ready! Tonight’s a special night… The Wizard of Oz is on TV!”
When I was growing up there was no DVD’s or taping of TV shows. That meant that watching the Wizard of Oz was a once a year event; an event that was hyped-up by Mom all day long. Closer to show time we celebrated by donning warm pajamas, making a big bowl of hot buttered popcorn and lining-up on the sofa… my two sisters and me… at least a half-hour before the show began. Even today, I take an every-so-often splurge and eat at a fancier than normal restaurant, making sure I top it off with a gluten-free dessert. Thanks Mom for letting me know that everyone deserves and needs to look forward to a “Wizard of Oz Night” every once in a while.

“How do you know you don’t like it if you haven’t tasted it?”
This old adage got me through trying many a thing I couldn’t even pronounce after switching over to a gluten-free diet… Quinoa? Amaranth? Both are now on my list of favorites.

“When all else fails: Head for home and curl up with some Chicken Soup & Rice Pudding.”
I find it funny how our favorite “comfort foods” growing up were naturally gluten –free! To this day, Chicken Soup and Rice Pudding warms the soul.


Happy Mother’s Day Mom – I love you! And Happy Mother’s Day to Mom’s everywhere… Cheers and thanks for all the words of wisdom!

P.S. Did your Mom give you advice that you still apply today? If so, please share!

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