Archive for September, 2011

Friday Favorite: Snikiddy Baked Fries

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

This week’s Friday Favorite on goes to an all-time favorite snack… Snikddy Baked Fries.

Besides making some darn good healthy snacks, Snikiddy is just an all around super cool company. Co-Founded by a daughter (Mary Schulman) and her Mom (Janet Owings) this Mom-Daughter team set-out to develop a line of delicious and fun snack foods that are also simple, wholesome and real. (On another note, I was totally honored to hear Mary speak last week at the Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore…. WHAT an inspirational woman!)

The Snikiddy snacks are made with all-natural ingredients, are gluten-free, have less fat than regular potato chips, and contain no preservatives or corn syrup.

I love the way they have also expanded their product line over the years. As well as offering the Baked Fries and Baked Cheese Puffs,, they have added their newest addition, Eat Your Vegetables.

The Baked Fries come in several flavors including Cheddar Cheese, Southwest Cheddar, Bold Buffalo, Barbeque, Sea Salt, and my favorite Classic Ketchup.

This weeks’s Friday Favorite goes to a business run by an inspirational woman that provides healthy snack the whole family will love! Thanks Mary!

Want to buy Snikiddy Snacks now? Check them out on Snikiddy All Natural Baked Fries, Classic Ketchup, 4.5-Ounce Bags (Pack of 12)

Friday Favorite: Amy’s Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Yummy, melt-in-your-mouth buttery goodness are some of the words that describe Amy’s new Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies.

Shortbread Cookies have always, always been one of my favorites. The sweetness. The smooth and pure taste. Shortbread cookies are one of the things I have missed the most since going gluten-free.

That’s why I was so excited that Amy’s has come out with three new Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies: Classic Shortbread, Almond and Chocolate Chip.

This week’s BeFreeForMe Friday Favorite is a simple and perfect cookie enjoyed all by it’s wonderful self or in your favorite recipe as an ingredient in a scrumptious pie crust.

Thank you Amy’s for duplicating that melt-in-your-mouth goodness… gluten-free! And congratulations for being this week’s Friday Favorite on

WIN-It-Wednesday: “Food Cures” by Joy Bauer (The Nutrition Expert for the Today Show!)

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

When I saw the bold-lettered name of Joy Bauer’s New York Times Bestseller I shook my head in total agreement.


And nobody knows better than a celiac that food is powerful. Food can make all well.

And food most definitely can cure.

I’ve always been a fan of Joy Bauer, the nutrition expert on the Today Show. Her upbeat ways and good solid layman-termed nutritional advice make her one of my early morning TV favorites. So when she came out with her new book, Food Cures, I was thrilled to check it out and dig right into more of her common sense nutritional advice…. especially the whole section devoted to celiac disease.

Joy’s easily approachable & implementable realistic advice is apparent in the first few pages of her Food Cures book. Her way of looking at eating  – whether it be eating gluten-free because you have celiac disease; eating sugar-free due to diabetes; or just eating healthier in order to feel and look your best – is simple and straightforward. Some basic tips she gives are to limit the word “diet” in your vocabulary, have faith in yourself, keep food in perspective (I agree! Is it really the end of the world that there are no gluten-free desserts on a menu?) and the best advice I think anyone can give… prepare to feel fabulous (words most celiacs understand oh so very well!)

As well as having a whole chapter just designated to celiac disease, Food Cures also has sections that I read beginning-to-end on losing weight, having beautiful skin, healthy hair and a beautiful smile.  Also, in the book are chapters regarding other ailments that can be “cured” by diet including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, migraine headaches, and more.

I also like the way each chapter is segmented with addressing a 4-Step Program to get you going and keep you on track regarding the different health concerns. The chapter on celiac disease explains in great detail the facts & basics about celiac disease, and then includes grocery lists, meal plans and recipes.

All in all Food Cures is a fantastic reference book, but also an easy read to learn more about the power of food, and fueling your body in a healthy, but realistic way.

All these reasons are why I am thrilled that the team over at is sponsoring the next two weeks WIN-It-Wednesday’s on

Two LUCKY BeFreeForMe members will each win a copy of Food Cures. One (1) winner will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 11:59 PM EST, and one (1) more winners will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, September 28 and Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 11:59PM. SO – make sure you enter to win two times!

How can you win?

Reply to this blog (make sure you are a BeFreeForMe member if you want to win) and let us know a common sense piece of advice when it comes to eating gluten-free, allergen-free, healthy, fat-free, etc… (Me? Plan ahead! Planning keeps the stress level down and the health level of the foods I am eating up!)

Good luck, remember food CAN cure, and… as always…

Be Free!

NOTE: Want to order your own copy of Food Cures? Click on this link to purchase on Joy Bauer’s Food Cures: Eat Right to Get Healthier, Look Younger, and Add Years to Your Life

Friday Favorite: Gluten-Free Café Pasta Primavera

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

With the Fall season here the easy-going schedules of summer are a thing of the past. It seems that as soon as Labor Day is over, my schedule gets super-busy and I am again on the go… running here and running there.

That is why I’m a fan of Gluten-Free Café meals. A quick few minutes in the microwave, and lunch or dinner is done.

One of my favorite varieties is the Pasta Primavera. Featuring rice noodles, along with zucchini, carrots, green beans and red bell peppers tossed with a cheesy sauce. It’s light and tasty and only 270 calories per package / serving.

Convenience on-the-go and tasty gluten-free  choices (other entrée choices include Asian Noodles, Fettuccini Alfredo and Lemon Basil Chicken) are the reasons why this week’s BeFreeForMe’s Friday Favorite goes to Gluten Free Café’s Frozen Entrees. Cheers!

Ask Shelley Case: Whole Grains and the Gluten-Free Diet

Monday, September 12th, 2011


I’ve heard that whole grains are important but I’m confused about gluten-free whole grains and how to incorporate them into my diet… Please help!


Why Whole Grains?

Individuals who regularly eat whole-grains have a lower risk of obesity, lower cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of heart disease, strokes, Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancers. For those on a gluten-free diet, getting enough gluten-free whole grains can be a bit more challenging. But with a little insight, education, tips and recipe ideas gluten-free whole grains can easily be incorporated into a gluten-free diet and open up a whole new way of eating and good health!

What are Some Gluten-Free Whole Grains?

There are a wide variety of gluten-free whole grains…amaranth, brown rice, buckwheat, corn, Montina™ (Indiana ricegrass), millet, oats (pure, uncontaminated*), quinoa, sorghum, teff, and wild rice. A grain is considered “whole” when it is consumed in a form that includes the bran (or the outer layer and primary source of fiber), germ (or the part that sprouts into a new plant) and endosperm (or the bulk of the seed).

*The majority of commercial oat products on the market are cross-contaminated with wheat, rye or barley which occurs during harvesting, transporting, storing, milling, processing and packaging. The good news is that there are companies in the US, Canada and Europe who produce pure, uncontaminated specialty gluten-free oat products. The North American companies are Bob’s Red Mill, Cream Hill Estates, Avena Foods (Only Oats™), Gifts of Nature, GF Harvest (formerly Gluten Free Oats) and Legacy Valley (Montana Monster Munchies).

The Recommended Amounts of Whole Grains

The new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that at least half of your grain servings per day should be whole grains.  The Guidelines and Whole Grains Council recommend at least 3 to 5 servings of whole grains per day. The average adult who consumes 2000 calories/day (the amount on the nutrition label), should eat 6 grain servings a day – making at least half of them whole grains. To make things simple and find smart choices, look for the yellow Whole Grains Stamps that have been developed by the Whole Grains Council.

An example of one serving of gluten-free whole grains include:

  • ½ cup cooked amaranth, brown rice, buckwheat groats, millet, oat groats, quinoa, sorghum, teff or wild rice
  • ½ cup cooked brown rice pasta

Tips for Adding Whole Grains to Your Gluten-Free Diet

The following tips are from the resource “Whole Grains and the Gluten-Free Diet” by Carol Fenster and Shelley Case.

  • Add cooked buckwheat, oat groats, steel-cut oats, quinoa, sorghum or wild rice to rice pilaf
  • Enrich soups with cooked brown rice, buckwheat, oat groats, quinoa, sorghum or wild rice
  • Boost nutritional content of brownies, cakes and cookies with ¼ cup cooked amaranth or teff
  • Sprinkle cooked whole grains over mixed green salads
  • Toss cooked whole grains with gluten-free pasta
  • Blend cooked oat groats or brown rice with black beans or pinto beans in Southwestern dishes
  • Extend hamburger patties or meat loaf with gluten-free rolled oats or cooked brown rice, quinoa, amaranth or teff
  • Replace ¼ of the cornmeal with teff grains for a cornmeal-teff polenta
  • Add cooked amaranth, quinoa or teff to puddings for interesting texture
  • Cook hot cereal for breakfast from Ancient Harvest quinoa flakes, Bob’s Red Mill Mighty Tasty GF Hot Cereal, The Birkett Mills’ buckwheat flakes or gluten-free rolled oats

  • Use quinoa flakes, gluten-free rolled oats or gluten-free cold cereals and granolas to top fruit crisps
  • Choose pasta that is made with quinoa (e.g., Ancient Harvest, GoGo Quinoa) or added  rice bran (e.g., Tinkyada, DeBoles GF Multi-Grain)
  • Choose baking flours such as amaranth, brown rice, buckwheat, Montina™, quinoa, sorghum, teff or wild rice because they are ground from the whole grain
  • Add cream of buckwheat cereal to homemade breads
  • Enjoy popcorn as a nutritious snack
  • Choose whole grain crackers (e.g., Mary’s Gone Crackers, Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Crackers)

More Information about Gluten-Free Whole Grains

To learn more about the nutritional composition, cooking tips, recipes, and companies who provide gluten-free whole grains, read Whole Grains and the Gluten-Free Diet by Carol Fenster, PhD and Shelley Case, RD.

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

Enjoy Life Foods: Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies (New!)

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

This week’s BeFreeForMe’s Friday Favorite goes to a new product that is made by a trustworthy and well known gluten and allergen-free food manufacturer, Enjoy Life Foods.

The new product…. Drum-roll please….. CrUnChY Chocolate Chip Cookies! I love these cookies because they remind me of the ever-so-popular Chocolate Chip cookies that my Mom use to pack in our lunchboxes.

Crunchy and full of chocolate chips these gluten, dairy and nut-free cookies are packed with a snap!

Perfect for dunking in milk (yes.. they have been tested and hold-up phenomenally well), as a lunch box treat, or even as a midnight indulgence, these Enjoy Life Crunchy Chocolate Chip cookies are a keeper and this week’s BeFreeForMe’s Friday Favorite honoree.

So snap to it and pick-up a package of these crunchy and snappy delights and give them a try yourself!

Want to try these cookies? Buy them on today!  Here’s the link: Enjoy Life Chocolate Chip Crunchy Cookie, 7-Ounce (Pack of 6)

WIN-It-Wednesday: Angell Crispy Candy Bars … Gluten-Free, Only 170 Calories & Delicious!

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

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.

At only 170 calories per bar, these USDA organic and Fair-Trade certified,  gluten free & kosher-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 back to school snacking!

Four (yes 4!) LUCKY BeFreeForMe members will each win a gift-pack of Angell Crisp Candy Bars. Two (2) winners will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 11:59 PM EST, and two (2) more winners will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, September 14 and Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 11:59PM. SO – make sure you enter to win two times!

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 so sneaky!)

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 Angell Crisp Organic Candy Bar 12-Pack

Why Living Gluten-Free is Like a Board Game.

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

I blame it all on Hurricane Irene. It started when we started dragging out of the closet all the old board games that have gone unnoticed & ignored since the coolest thing to hit the TV set besides “Happy Days” was Pong.

Life, Scrabble, Monopoly, Sorry, Clue and more… the list goes on.

And over the course of being cooped-up inside playing non-stop board games of yesteryear while a feverish hurricane tossed about trees and downed power lines outside, my mind started wandering and I started to draw uncanny similarities between my gluten-free life and board games.

Crazy, slightly silly, but true…. each of these forgotten board games mysteriously has given me a clue… a lesson… or even a laugh… that has made me the person I am today. Is it possible that Colonel Mustard, a land full of candy and a tiny plastic car full of pink and blue people pegs could somehow relate to life as a celiac? Read on…

Scrabble: C-E-L-I-A-C.  What? Is that a word? You have what? What does it mean? Since being diagnosed with celiac I’ve had to spell it, explain it, defend it and enlighten those that ask more times that I can count. By the way, for those of you wondering… the Scrabble word count on CELIAC is 10 points.

Clue: What a fitting name… Clue. Who knew? Who had a clue? Trying to figure out you have celiac disease is no game, but for many it takes a lot of detective work and savvy doctors to find out the diagnosis. I decided that if there was ever a celiac version of Clue the mystery would be solved by determining that the weapon of choice was whole wheat bagels, pizzas, or donuts.

Life: Ahhhh. If Life was only as simple as choosing a profession, spouse and kids… spinning the wheel and seeing where you’re headed next. This game teaches us that things unexpected can happen. Things you don’t plan for – but always, yes always, make the best of. I guess that’s life.

Monopoly: Let’s face it. Monopoly is all about the cash. As cute as it is spanning the circumference of the board as a thimble, iron, shoe or Scottie dog the object of the game is to get the cash to pay for the things life tosses your way. Yup… things like gluten-free food!

Candyland: This game is all about those tempting treats that are so very hard to resist. But through the Candy Cane Forests and Gum Drop Mountains of life, it actually is pretty easy to find the sweeter side of living gluten-free. Gluten-free cupcakes, pretzels or cookies anyone?

Chutes & Ladders: This game teaches the basics of living gluten-free: Cheat just a little and eat something with gluten in it and you’ll spiral on the chute downward; but eat healthy, eat well, and you will climb the ladder of health. Simple game… simple truths.

Do you have a favorite board game? Has it taught you anything  related to your gluten-free lifestyle?

Friday Favorite: Little Duck Organics Tiny Fruit Snacks

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Although the tag line for Little Duck Organics  is “Tiny Organic Snacks For Tiny Fingers” I and everyone else here at the offices decided that “big fingers” can call these organic snacks a favorite too!

Little Duck Organics
makes organic tiny fruit snacks that contain no preservatives or additives, are gluten-free and NON-GMO project certified and are perfect for little ones fingers to pick up and also eat, since they’ll dissolve quickly in a toddler’s mouth.

These tiny little bites of freeze-dried fruit are tasty and fun. And even though they are made for kids, all the “big kids” here at the BeFreeForMe offices loved them for snacking too.

Available in three delicious flavor combos, including Apple-Banana, Blueberry-Apple and Strawberry-Mango this 13 calorie per serving snack has become one of our recent favorite afternoon pick-me-ups…. As well as this week’s Friday Favorite on Congratulations!

Want to Buy? Check out Little Duck Organics on Duck Organics Strawberry Mango Freeze Dried Fruit, 1-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 12)

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