Archive for October, 2010

Friday Favorite: Kitchen Basic Stocks

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

It that time of year again when I start digging out those recipes for my homemade stews & soups.

But often time I don’t have the time (or the patience!) to make homemade stocks.  That is when I reach for Kitchen Basic Stocks.

Found in most “mainstream” supermarkets alongside those gluteneous stocks and soups, Kitchen Basics products are all tested to be free of most allergens – including milk, egg, peanut, gluten, soy, tree nut and corn. (Note: all the products are also fish and shellfish free, with the exception of the Seafood and Clam Stocks – which are clearly marked).  They also do not autolyze, hydrolyze, or add or produce any MSG.

Just like the name implies, these broths are basic kitchen stocks I would make myself, if only I had the time, energy and effort during my busy dinnertime hour. I also like the convenient 8-ounce single serve containers, especially when cooking up a recipe that needs a cup or less of chicken, beef or seafood stock.

All these basic, simple and trouble-free reasons are why this week’s BeFreeForMe Favorite Friday goes to Kitchen Basics Stocks!

Soups on!

WIN-It-Wednesday: Angell Crisp Candy Bars

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Even when I am a little bad – I try to throw in a little goodness too. Kind of like that devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other scenario that often plays out in my mind when I reach out to eat the sweet and sinful.

But as the old saying goes, “the good usually always wins-out in the end” especially rings true when munching an Angell Crisp Candy Bar.

I like the crispy Angell Candy Bars because they make decadent snacking a very, very, very good thing.

Certified USDA organic and Fair-Trade certified, these gluten free crispy candy bars contain no corn syrup, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. And if that isn’t good enough – 1% of gross sales support environmental charities through 1% for the Planet.

Since I discovered Angell Crisp Candy Bars at a recent tradeshow I’ve been hooked. I have missed crispy candy bars since going gluten free, so Angell Bars were heaven at first bite.

The founders of Angell bars, Christopher and Suzanne Angell are super cool people too. These entrepreneurs-at-heart started their company because they wanted to create a great tasting organic candy bar that was healthier for you and better for the planet.

Christopher and Suzanne also know that it is hard to give up old habits, especially delicious ones, so they decided that instead of giving up candy bars, they’d just create ones that had all of the deliciousness of their old favorites (maybe even a little bit extra) but none of the guilt (or gluten in the Crispy Bars!).

And take my word for it that they have met their heaven sent dream… made with real chocolate and great organic ingredients, Angell bars are naturally good and divinely delicious!

Guilty goodness is the reason why I am so very excited this week’s BeFreeForMe’s WIN-It-Wednesday is sponsored by Angell Bars… and JUST in time for Halloween!

THREE (yes 3!) LUCKY BeFreeForMe members will each win a 12-pack of Angell Crisp Candy Bars, plus fun Angell themed stickers.

How can you win?

Reply to this blog (make sure you are a BeFreeForMe member if you want to win) and let us know how you (or your kids) can be a little devil or a little angel… or both!  (Me? I’m a little devilish when I sneak healthy ingredients such as flax seed into my baked goods… I am soooo sneaky!).

All entries must be received by Tuesday, November 2, 2010 by 12 midnight EST.

Good luck, remember to be that angel, but keep that sassy devilish side and… as always…

Be Free!

NOTE: Want to order your own Angell Crispy Candy bars? Click on this link to purchase them on Amazon and use coupon code: BEFREE10 to get an additional 10% OFF from now until 11/01/10.

Friday Favorite: Daragel Fresh Frozen Herbs

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Summer is over and my beloved herb garden is gone. How I miss the fresh basil chopped and sprinkled over mozzarella and my sassy cilantro that spices up my homemade salsa.

I could go out and buy myself a bunch of herbs from the local grocers produce department, but most times I don’t need such a huge bunch of herbs. And those herbs in the tiny plastic containers are priced so high and they wither and droop before I can use them up.

This is why I was thrilled to discover Daregal Fresh Frozen Chopped Herbs – a gluten and (common) allergen-free product from France, but purchased right here in the states at my local grocer. No chopping, no waste, washed and ready-to-use, Daregal herbs allow you the fresh taste of real herbs year round.

And because they are stored in the freezer, it is easy to have fresh herbs like basil, cilantro and parsley at your fingertips in a snap, which is essential for a gluten and allergen-free foodie like me that loves to cook up meals bursting with fresh flavors.

Daregal Fresh Frozen Herbs also comes in an easy-to-use shaker packaging that fits snuggly in my freezer door shelf; and with the 3 year shelf-life I don’t hesitate to pick-up one of each flavor.

So to all my family and friends that are reading this blog posting… next time you’re helping out in my kitchen and I ask you to grab something off the spice rack… try looking in the freezer door!

WIN-It-Wednesday: Arbonne Skin Care – Free Samples, Prizes and 20% OFF!

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Fall is here, and the days are inevitably getting shorter and colder. This is the time of year that many of us develop dry skin, and we need to treat it with a little TLC.

That is why I called my Arbonne rep, Krissy. I asked her to help me out and give me suggestions on any skin care products that were gluten-free and could assist in making my skin smooth and nourished. She suggested a ton of Arbonne products that I have used in the past  but also gave me some free samples of the new FC5 product line.

Like all of the other Arbonne skincare products (with the exception of the vitamins and hormone cream), the FC5 line is gluten-free, as well as free of synthetic fragrances; dyes, PABA and mineral oils. They are also pH correct and are botanically based.

But as I’ve said in the past what I love the absolute most about Arbonne is my rep, Krissy.
A number of years ago, Krissy was diagnosed with celiac disease too. She lives a strict gluten-free lifestyle along with her family, many of whom are also celiacs.

Krissy “gets it” and she understands when you’re adamant about getting body care products, sunscreens, make-ups and lip balms that are free of gluten! She’s also very generous when it comes to getting free samples of products you’re interested in trying and she ships my orders direct to my door…. Whenever I need them! (No malls… no stores… no snooty make-up counter girls that have no clue about gluten and allergens!)

If you would also like to receive FREE samples of the FC5 Moisturizer and Body Wash be one of the first 30 people to enter this week’s WIN-It-Wednesday on (NOTE: You MUST be a Member of BeFreeForMe to win!). Krissy is also offering one randomly picked winner a grand prize-package which consists of four (4) full-sized bottles of the FC5 product line! This includes Hand Cream, Foot Cream, Moisturizer and Body Wash.

How can you WIN?

Reply to this blog and tell us what reminds you of how beautiful your life is. (Me? I have so many! But here are a few: Laughing with my friends until my belly hurts; Crisp fall air and the spectrum of vibrant leaves gracing the hills in the town I live; and seeing Sadie “The Incredible Boxer” smile… Yes – she DOES Smile!). All entries must be received by 12 midnight EST on Tuesday, 10/26/10.

Also… For the month of October, Celiac Disease Awareness Month, Krissy is offering members 20% OFF ALL Arbonne products!

If interested, contact Krissy directly.

Good Luck, Remember to always find the beautiful things in life, and… as always…

Be Free!

Gluten-Free Candy List: Just in time for Halloween!

Monday, October 18th, 2010

If you saw and wondered why there was a gal scrutinizing the ingredient list of every candy package in your local Walgreen’s over the past few weeks now you know why.

Just in time for Halloween, Alison, from Sure Foods Living, has been more than generous in sharing with us her comprehensive list of the common and mainstream candies that are gluten-free. How sweet is that?

To check out her list of the gluten-free candies check out her blog posting. If anyone out there knows of a similar list for food allergens (soy, dairy, nuts, etc.) … please let us know! Or please share your favorite gluten or allergen free candy.

And once again, Alison… I, as well as every other gluten free ghost and goblin out there, thank you from the bottom of our Trick and Treat bag.

Dig in!

Friday Favorite: CedarLane Turkey Bacon,Vegetable & Cheese Egg White Omelette

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

This week when I was running out the door for a “big” day jammed packed with meetings, blogs to write and things to do, I was in need of a fast, hot and healthy breakfast to get me on the right track.

That was when I remembered I had picked up a CedarLane Egg White Omelette. After just popping it in the microwave for just 3 minutes, I had what I was craving… and needed… a tasty breakfast that I would have cooked-up myself if I only had the time.

These omelettes are made with egg whites stuffed with uncured turkey bacon, potatoes, bell pepper, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Delicious!

As well as being gluten-free, this fast and easy breakfast is also low in cholesterol. All these reasons are why CedarLane Turkey Bacon,Vegetable & Cheese Egg White Omelettes are this week’s BeFreeForMe’s Friday Favorite! Thanks CedarLane for getting crazy, but important, days going on a great start!

WIN-It-Wednesday: For Jackie Home Baked Cookies

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Cookies should be sweet and chewy. Period. The type of cookie that leaves you wishing for a second. A gluten-free cookie that is worth every single calorie. Basically – I want the cookies I eat to be worth it.

That is why I am so excited to once again have Jackie Home Baked Cookies as this week’s BeFreeForMe WIN-It-Wednesday sponsor! These cookies are jammed packed with chocolate and coconut. Sweet and chewy perfection!

I think that I love these cookies so much because they are a cross between two of my all time favorite cookies: Chocolate Chip and Macaroons. Appropriately named “More than a Macaroon” they are the perfect combination of nutty coconut and sweet chocolate. The best of both worlds.

These cookies are also extra special because they are made by a Mom & Dad on a quest to make the best cookie possible for their daughter, Jackie, who was diagnosed with celiac disease several years ago. These parents started baking up all of their favorite recipes gluten-free to adapt to their daughters new lifestyle, when they stumbled upon what they describe as “… the creation of a caramelized, coconut confection that tasted like nothing we had ever had. It took macaroons to new heights and was a true decadent experience.”
And decadent these cookies are. Just one and you will be hooked – so beware. Don’t say that I didn’t caution you. Also, I am warning you that gluten-eaters will love these too. So determine your hiding place for these cookies before you bring them into your home.

These decadent clusters of sheer joy are this weeks WIN-It-Wednesday sponsor. Two (yes 2!) LUCKY BeFreeForMe members will win a double-pack of For Jackie Cookies.

How can you win?

Reply to this blog (make sure you are a BeFreeForMe member if you want to win!) and let us know why you, your family or even your life in general can be a little nutty, or a little sweet… or both!  (Me? I’m a little nutty because I actually like taking walks in the rain, and I can be sweet when I take my incredible boxer, Sadie, for 2 walks a day… instead of just one).

All entries must be received by Monday, November 1, 2010 by 5 PM EST.

Good luck, Be slightly nutty, but constantly sweet, and… as always…
Be Free!

ASK Shelley Case: Dermatitis Herpetiformis – Find Out More!

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Question: My Aunt just got diagnosed with Dermatitis Herpetiformis. She said this is a type of celiac disease that affects the skin. Shelley, can you tell me more about this?

Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) is another form of celiac disease. This chronic skin condition is characterized by an intense burning, itchy and blistering rash. The rash is symmetrically distributed and commonly found on the elbows, knees and the buttocks, but can also occur on the back of the neck, upper back, scalp and hairline. Initially, groups of small blisters are formed that soon erupt into small erosions. Most people with DH will also have varying degrees of small intestinal villous atrophy although many will have no bowel complaints. A small percentage may present with bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea, especially if the bowel involvement is severe, and some individuals may show evidence of malabsorption and malnutrition.

Approximately 10% of individuals with celiac disease have DH with a male to female ratio of 2: 1. The age of onset is typically between 25-45 but can also occur in children and older adults.

Individuals with DH are frequently misdiagnosed with other skin conditions such as eczema, contact dermatitis, allergies, hives, herpes or psoriasis and treated with a variety of topical creams. The only way to correctly diagnose DH is a skin biopsy from unaffected skin adjacent to blisters or erosions. A small intestinal biopsy is not essential if the skin biopsy is positive for DH.

Treatment for DH is a strict gluten-free diet for life. For some individuals, Dapsone, a drug from the “sulphone family,” may be prescribed to reduce the itching. Response to the medication can be dramatic (usually 48-72 hours). However, Dapsone has no effect on the ongoing immune response or intestinal atrophy. Following a strict gluten-free diet will result in:
•    Improvement in the skin lesions.
•    Major reduction in drug dosage for those people initially started on Dapsone. After a time, it is often possible to discontinue the drug to control the skin rash. Flare-ups due to inadvertent or intentional gluten consumption may require temporary use of Dapsone.
•    The gut function will return to normal.
For more information and photos about DH see the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) website.

NOTE: Once a diagnosis of celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis is confirmed, it is essential to consult with a registered dietitian with expertise in celiac disease and the gluten-free diet for nutritional assessment, diet education, meal planning and assistance with social and emotional adaptation to the new gluten-free lifestyle. Also, joining a celiac support organization for further information and ongoing support is highly recommended.

Friday Favorite: Haribo Gold-Bears Gummi Candy

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

October is Halloween time… and that means time for candy too!

This week’s Friday Favorite is one of my favorite types of candy… Gummi Bears!

These fun little guys are also gluten-free, as well as peanut-free (Haribo products are manufactured in facilities that do not handle peanuts) and casein-free too. For more info, check out all of the allergen info about Haribo candy.

Gummi Bears made by Haribo are also the “original” Gummi Bear. Hans Riegel started Haribo Confectionary in the 1920’s and developed the world-famous Gold-Bear product in 1967.

Haribo Gummi Bears come in five flavors: orange (orange); strawberry (green); lemon (yellow), raspberry (red) and my all-time favorite… pineapple (colorless).

Sweet squishy candy fun makes Haribo’s Gummi Gold-Bears this week’s Friday Favorite on!

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