Archive for February, 2012

Do It Today & Take That Leap

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Happy Hump-Day. But today is not any ordinary Wednesday. Today is a super-charged, incredibly, marvelous hump-day. Today is Leap Day.

Leap Day. A magical day. A bonus day of sorts.

I’m always thinking I could get more done, start a new project, take a bit more time to do good for others… and for myself too… if I only had more time.

And as if Father Time granted us a wish come true, we are given a bonus day, a Leap Day. A day jam-packed full of magical potential.

A gift to every. single. person. on. this. planet.

Kind of crazy when you think of it.

So today don’t go through with just the mundane. Do just one thing magical & incredible. Do something you’ve wanted to do if only you just had a little extra time.

Go ahead and take the leap.

Friday Favorite: eos (evolution of smooth) Gluten-Free Lip Balm

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

This time of year, you can’t seem to get enough lip balm. The cold weather, wind, and chafing are enough to make your lips pucker into an exclamatory “OWWW!”

That is why I was super excited to find eos (evolution of smooth) lip balm that comes in a cool shaped dome and is available in some very fun flavors (how about Summer Fruit (my fav), Lemon Drop with SPF 15, Strawberry Sorbet, Medicated Tangerine, Sweet Mint and another one of my favorites, Honeysuckle Honeydew?)

This 100% natural and 95% organic lip balm is also gluten-free, contains shea butter and vitamin E and is free of paraban, petrolatum, and phthalate. It’s also long lasting (put it on and it last for hours) and has a screw on top, which means it can’t pop open in my purse (since my wallet and keys don’t need any lip balm, thank you!)

I also like the way it notes “gluten-free” right on the package.

After a few applications my lips were smiling from ear to ear – which is the biggest, simple and most perfect reason in the world that this Friday Favorite on BeFreeForMe is awarded to eos lip balm.

Want to buy this lip balm? Check out these links on

eos Limited Edition Twin Pack with Strawberry Sorbet and Passion Fruit Spheres

EOS Lip Balm Summer Fruit Smooth Sphere (Pack of eight)

EOS Tangerine Medicated Lip Balm Sphere, .25-Ounce (Pack of 3)

WIN-It-Wednesday: Maria & Ricardo’s Gluten-Free Tortilla’s – 50 WINNERS!

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Yes folks… you read it right! This WIN-It-Wednesday on BeFreeForMe is going to have 50 WINNERS! An all time record-breaking amount of prizes and chances to win!
The sponsor of this WIN-It-Wednesday is one of my all-time favorite companies too… Maria & Ricardo’s Gluten-Free Tortillas.

If you’re craving to make an authentic street vendor style Burrito that is bursting at the seams with grilled chicken, beef, guacamole, beans, rice and chipotle seasoning this gluten-free tortilla is for you!

Being from New England, I grew up on fish & chips from the corner restaurant for a quick and easy meal. I never had a burrito until I visited my older sister in San Francisco while she was attending college.  And this experience was one that I will never forget.

Burritos in San Francisco have a cult-like following. On every street corner in the Mission District, are tiny, family-owned burrito shops, called Taquerias, that make the best burritos in the world. Each burrito made is packed with love and good, fresh food.

These burritos are one of the things I miss the most since going gluten-free.

And since being gluten-free I have learned that you have to take eating Burritos, literally, into your own hands. And this, my fellow burrito loving amigos, is where Maria & Ricardo’s gluten-free tortillas come into play!

The Maria & Ricardo gluten-free tortillas are soft, pliable and perfect for making gluten-free burritos, soft tacos, or quesadillas at home. Also Dairy-Free, Vegan, Corn-Free, Kosher, and non-GMO –  these  tortillas are made with sorghum, potato and tapioca flours. These gluten-free rounds-of-joy are great for stuffing, wrapping and rolling – including your favorite sandwich fillings too… turkey, ham, steak & cheese.YUM!

But Maria & Ricardo’s wants to discover and learn more about what all of us gluten-free folks are craving when it comes to the world of tortillas and wraps in order to formulate and develop their next round of delicious gluten-free products. (How wonderful that a company actually wants to hear from us – and ask us exactly what we want!)

How can you WIN?

To enter this WIN-It-Wednesday series on and have a chance of winning one of the FIFTY (yes… 50!) FREE PRODUCT COUPONS (mailed directly to your home and redeemable for a package of Maria & Ricardo’s Gluten-Free Tortillas) click on the survey link (from Maria and Ricardo’s) below and answer a few short questions to let them know your wildest dreams when it comes to Gluten-Free Tortillas. All survey replies must be received by Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 11:59 PM – EST. Fifty (50) winners will be chosen from all of the entries received.

Remember to take the survey to enter to win and leave lots of comments and feedback too! The More FEEDBACK the better!

And if you fancy… leave a comment below on this blog and let us know the Mexican Food you are love the most… (Me? Quesadillas all the way!)

¡Buena suerte, Buena comida! (Good Luck, Good Food!)… and, as always…
Ser Libre! (Be Free!)

Friday Favorite: NuGo Slim Bars… Diabetic Friendly & Gluten-Free

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

I love chocolate. But unfortunately chocolate is one of those things on my “only eat once in a while” list, especially when I am watching what I eat.

That is why I was so excited when NuGo came out with their Slim Bars. These bars that are made with real dark chocolate, have almost no sugar and contain no Maltitol or artificial sweeteners. Diabetic friendly, gluten-free and only 2-grams of sugar (which comes from the real dark chocolate) these bars are delicious and perfect for celiacs and diabetics.

NuGo Slim Bars, which are this week’s Friday Favorite pick on, are each packed with 15 grams of protein and 9-10 grams of fiber – so they are a perfect mid-day snack. They come in three great flavors – Brownie Crunch (my favorite), Raspberry Truffle and Roasted Peanut.

With NuGo Slim Bars I can have my chocolate… and enjoy every single delicious bite…. Guilt free!


Want to buy NuGo Slim Bars today? Check out this link on and take advantage of the SuperSaver Free Shipping: NuGO Slim Brownie Crunch, 1.59-Ounce (Pack of 12)

Simple Love. Gluten-Free Style.

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Since being diagnosed with celiac disease, I’ve started to appreciate the simple little things in life. I’m not real sure if it has to do with growing-up… getting older, getting wiser… or my actual celiac diagnosis, but I do know one thing: The little things that my family, friends and even strangers do since being diagnosed with celiac disease have really made me slow down, take notice, and appreciate the itty-bitty small things … the things that others don’t have to do… Yet they still do them.

And it’s funny… because when I mention this to others that have celiac disease they nod their heads in genuine agreement. They too have caught the appreciation that comes with the territory.

Not a bad symptom that comes with the diagnosis.

The little things. The simple things. Things like a single gluten-free cupcake bought just for you from the girls at the office; gluten-free articles and recipes clipped from magazines from my sister-in-law to be; my fiancé who doesn’t have a clue how to bake but he makes and decorates my gluten-free birthday cake – his first ever; a funny comic strip about gluten-free living sent in the mail from Mom and Dad; a text from my sister enthusiastically sharing a gluten-free restaurant find.

The list, and my appreciation, goes on.

So this Valentine’s Day I’m keeping things simple. If those in my world keep doing exactly what they’re doing I will continue to be one happy girl. No extravagant dinner reservations, no jewels, no 2-pound boxes of chocolates…and no dozen roses for me.

This Valentine’s Day just keep on giving me the simple things in life.

And thanks to you all, I now take the time to stop and smell the roses in the bouquet of my gluten-free life.

Question: Does anyone else feel the same way about noticing and really appreciating the little things in life? If so… please share!

Friday Favorite: Bolthouse Farm Yogurt Dressing…Gluten-Free & Only 35-45 Calories per Serving

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Thank you Bolthouse Farms for making my resolution of eating a salad, every day, for lunch so much easier… and also for tossing in tastiness too.

Because of Bolthouse Farms, I love lunch. I look forward to my salads.

And if you haven’t seen Bolthouse Farms Yogurt Dressings before you are probably looking in the wrong place. These dressings are found in the produce department. Yup – right above the lettuce, fresh veggies and other salad fixin’s.

All are delicious. All are gluten-free.

The Bolthouse Farms Yogurt Dressings are all between 35 and 45 calories per serving, so they are perfect for pouring, dipping and dressing. They come in a few varieties too: Chunky Blue Cheese, Classic Ranch, Zesty French, Thousand Island, Caesar Parmigiano, Honey Mustard and Salsa Ranch.

So on behalf of my salad, this week’s BeFreeforMe’s Friday favorite goes to Bolthouse Farms Yogurt Dressings. Congrats!

WIN-It-Wednesday: Goodie Bag from Green Valley Organic Lactose-Free Dairy Products

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Know how you meet new people and you like them immediately? You feel a connection. You know that you’re both on the same page. Care about the same things. And have the same likes, interests and shared missions?

Well, this is the way I felt about the folks from Green Valley Organics when I met them at a large trade show this past year. This woman owned and operated business had a team at their trade show booth that were passionate about what they do, the products they make and the commitment to their consumer. Consumers like you and me… on gluten-free and/or lactose-free diets.

The product? Lactose-free dairy products. Yes folks, REAL DAIRY products that are lactose-free. Creamy. Rich. Real honest to goodness dairy. Because of this passionate team at Green Valley Organics, everyone that is gluten/ lactose free can now peacefully enjoy… and love… top-notch dairy products.

No wonder Green Valley Organics tag line is “Peace. Love. Dairy.”

All the Green Valley Organic products are also gluten-free, soy-free, kosher and packed with their own proprietary blend of probiotics.  I love that the products are certified humane and organic too.

Green Valley Organics makes a whole line of products including several varieties of yogurt in 6-ounce cups (Honey, Blueberry, Vanilla, Strawberry, Peach their newest flavor, and Plain) and a  24-ounce family size (Honey, Vanilla and Plain), Sour Cream (YES! Lactose Free Sour Cream! Helloooo Baked Potato) and Kefir (which comes in a Plain variety or the new and yummy Blueberry Pom Acai). My favorite yogurt flavor is the Strawberry… Creamy, rich and just sweet enough, I found myself scraping the sides and bottom of the cup for more. It was just that good. But honestly.. the lactose-free sour cream is to die for. The show stopper. It is rich, creamy – the real deal – but free of lactose. Perfect as a dip, or blended into sauces or soups. And with its Creme Fraiche  sweetness, it is also perfect dolloped over fresh berries for breakfast or dessert.

This is why I was thrilled when I found out that this WIN-It-Wednesday on was going to be sponsored by the good folks over at Green Valley Organics.

And the prizes are awesome!

A total of FOUR (Yes…4!)  BeFreeForMe members will be selected to win an Insulated eco-friendly tote bag filled with the Green Valley Organics Lactose Free product line of organic yogurts, kefirs and sour cream, a “Peace Love & Dairy” t-shirt and bumper sticker. Two (2) winners will be randomly selected from the entries received before Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST, and two (2) more winner will be randomly selected to win from the entries received between Wednesday, February 15 and Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 11:59PM. SO – make sure you enter two times to win!

How can you win?

Reply to this blog and tell us what Green Valley Organics product (and flavor) sounds the best to you. How easy is that?

Good luck. Peace. Love. Dairy… and as always,
Be Free!

Note: Want to buy these lactose and gluten-free products? Check out the “Where To Buy” page on the Green Valley Organics Website.

Gluten-Free “In the News”… Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s new cookbook, Gluten-Free on Dr. Oz, Gluten-free pizza… & More!

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

The last couple of weeks have been packed with tons of gluten-free news to muse over… here are a few of the highlights that have come into my inbox:

A new cookbook To View: There’s a new gluten-free cookbook out by Elisabeth Hasselbeck, fellow celiac and co-host of  The View: Deliciously G-Free: Food So Flavorful They’ll Never Believe It’s Gluten-Free. I don’t have a copy of this cookbook yet, but the “look inside this book” option on highlights a comprehensive content page listing breakfasts, appetizers, main courses and dessert sections, along with chapters on organizing a “G-Free” kitchen and “Getting Fit with G-Free”. Looks like it might be worth checking out. Get it on for only $18.00 and eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25.

Pizza in the DC Sky: Check out this great write up on gluten-free pizza being offered at Washington, DC area restaurants. I love the writing style of the author, a gentleman whose wife is gluten-intolerant. This article also lists pizzerias in the DC area that carry gluten-free pizzas. One restaurateur who was interviewed for this article, Fuel Pizza, a North Carolina-based chain that began offering gluten-free crusts two years ago notes “We went from selling 50 [gluten-free pies] a week at eight cafes to selling 300 a week” and continues that offering a gluten-free pizza, “helps our bottom line”.

This is a good article to send to your local pizzeria that you’ve been trying to convince to carry gluten-free pizza.

Are you kidding me? When I read the first line of this article I laughed out loud. Here it is: “The gluten-free diet is not only for people with Celiac disease, but also for people looking to lose weight.” Ahmmmm… the person that wrote this article obviously hasn’t checked out the oodles of gluten-free goodies and snacks that I’ve discovered over the last few years. =) The article continues to say that it is “impossible to eat out” with celiac disease, and the gluten-free diet is “beneficial to everyone”. Arghhh.  Misinformation! I hate reading articles like this!

On the other hand –  here is what Dr. Oz has to say about eating gluten-free to lose weight…
In Part 1 of these videos from the Dr. Oz show that were shown a couple of months back,  Dr. Oz  warns people who believe a  gluten-free is the answer to loosing weight, “Gluten free diets do not help you lose weight,” and continues to say, “They actually can cause you to put on more weight.”

However, in the other parts of this video series I wish that Dr. oz encouraged folks to get tested for celiac disease before tackling  the gluten-free eating challenge.

Forget the Superbowl… Udi’s heads to the Sundance Film Festival
Udi’s Gluten-free bread headed to the Sundance Film Festival this past week to hand out gluten-free goodie bags and to score a touchdown with the celebs at the big event. Udi’s went to the festival to “promote the message that switching to gluten-free foods can be seamless and that those with a gluten intolerance aren’t alone.”

Tips for Hosting an Informal Gluten-Free Dinner Party
Carol Fenster was written up this week in the San Francisco Chronicle in an article that reviews how to host an informal gluten-free dinner party. Some great ideas on keeping the menu basic, having dairy-free as an option too, and remembering to keep things simple… so the hostess can enjoy the gathering too.  Carol Fenster is one of the foremost experts on gluten-free cooking and the author of several popular gluten-free cookbooks including: 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes, Gluten-Free Quick & Easy, 1000 Gluten-Free Recipes, Gluten-Free 101, and 100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes. Carol also consults worldwide and speaks frequently at national conferences.

Friday Favorite: Caesar’s Gluten-Free Stuffed Shells with Marinara Sauce

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Sometimes days are too busy. So often my morning promise to prepare a recently found recipe for dinner goes by the wayside after car pooling, heavy traffic or work hours that extend oh-so-close to the dinner-hour.

This is when Caesar’s Stuffed Shells with Cheese in Marinara Sauce fits the bill.

This frozen meal, goes from freezer to plate in moments, and offers a generous sized portion, that can be shared along side a fresh garden salad.

Made with fresh, high quality and natural ingredients these stuffed shells are made from rice flour and stuffed with seasoned ricotta, and topped with a flavorful marinara sauce.

Convenience, great taste and busy days are all the reasons this week’s Friday Favorite on BeFreeForMe goes to Caesar’s Gluten-Free Stuffed Shells with Cheese in Marinara Sauce. Congratulations and mangia!

Want to buy? Check out these links on (Note: One of the links is for the Caesar’s Gluten-Free Stuffed Shells with Cheese in Marinara Sauce,
and the other is for just the gluten-free stuffed shells…. you add your own sauce!)

Caesar’s Pasta Gluten Free Stuffed Shells with Marinara Sauce Entrée

Conte’s Gluten Free Stuffed Shells, 12-Ounce Bags (Pack of 3)

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