Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Warming, Healing, ThanksGiving: Gluten-Free Bone Broth

As the days grow dimmer -- and shorter -- and the cold seeps in, broth, soup, and the smell of baking begin to sound especially comforting. No wonder. They are. "But you can't eat good stuff," remarked a casual acquaintance as I expressed this Autumn meditation, "I mean, you're gluten free."

Pshaw. Most good foods are gluten-free naturally. Broth, for instance. Chicken soup. Black Bean Brownies.

And as Thanksgiving approaches, do you think about what's going to be on your table? While heaps of pop culture blarings, and some of the modern traditions, put wheat front and center, Thanksgiving is an easy hop into comforting, warming, naturally gluten-free fare.

And broth is not only healing and easy, it adds body and deep flavour to whatever you add it to.

If you're looking for a good Celiac-safe addition to the provender this holiday, make some bone broth.  I just did.  And the pot will last me a week and then some.

It warms the kitchen before it warms your belly.



1 small organic chicken
1 small sweet onion, chopped int quarter
1 clove garlic, finely diced


1) Wash chicken and remove any packaging, as well as the giblets. Add chicken to a roasting pan,
with onion and garlic placed in the bottom.
2) Roast chicken for approximately 1 hour, covered, at 350 F
3) Allow chicken to cool, and remove all the meat from the carcass. Setting aside the
meat, place the bones and giblet in a large pot or slow cooker
and completely cover with water, adding any liquid in the roasting pan
as well.
5) Slow cook OR bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer if in pot. 
Allow to cook 12-25 hours.
6) Strain out the bones with a thin-mesh colander, and store broth in glass
storage containers or mason jars.
Consume within a week, or a freeze. 

Broth isn't only delicious. It's healing.  I use it often to soothe and heal up my gut if I've been glutened.  But at a holiday, it's excpetional added to whipped dairy-free potatoes, gluten-free quinoa stuffing, and savoury chestnut scones.

Below is a recipe for the taters and quinoa with broth.

But honestly, feel free simply to sip in an evening when the light has limped off early, the cold has crept in, and you're feeling a sniffle come on.  Nothing is quite like simple; and simple is often the key to satisfying and naturally gluten-free eating.

(with Bone Broth)

[ gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free ]

serves 4-6


4 large russet potatoes
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup bone broth
1 tbs NOW Butter-infused Organic Coconut oil


1) Chop potatoes into quarters, and add to a saucepan and cover with water.
2) Bring water to boil, then reduce heat to a simmer; cook until tender.
3) Drain water from potatoes, add broth, garlic, and oil. Blend
with a kitchen mixer until well whipped, and the potato
forms nice peaks.
4) Salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot!


serves 4-5

[ gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, nut-free option ]


1 cup quinoa, uncooked (I use NOW Foods Tri-Color)
1 clove garlic
1 small sweet onion, diced
1 small carrot, chopped
1/8 cup fresh sage, roughly chopped


1) Add quinoa, amount of water specified on package, and bring to a boil. 
2) While water is heating, chop carrot, onion, sage, and crush garlic. Add to pot.
Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook approximately 15 minutes, or until water is mostly absorbed. Turn off heat.
4) Allow to sit 10 mins. Fluff with fork, serve garnished with
toasted pecans and plumped cranberries.

Remember this Thanksgiving: Gluten-free is a prescription, not a restriction.

Do I eat less well, or do I enjoy what I get less, because I now eat gluten-free?

Far from it. I do have Celiac Disease. But some of the best food in the world is naturally gluten-free. Recovery from Celiac doesn't just mean a gluten-free diet. It also includes an ability to think of my life in terms that aren't labeled less-than.  I get warming, healing and thanksgiving from my food, and attitude.  I'm taking these dishes off to a potluck with my flatmates -- and I'll get the double nourishment of eating with friends, as well as eating good food.

What are you doing to give thanks, and eat well, this holiday? What feels hardest to manage around the holidays?

Tumbling free!


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

GFFAFest Stamford 2015 Re-Cap

Events like The Gluten Free Allergen Free Fest really aren't about the food -- they're about people.  But for individuals with Celiac Disease -- like me --  they do showcase food because FOOD means options. That's what the food is about, ultimately: options and opportunity -- and that's what vendors were all about in Stamford.

I've never attended a gluten-free conference with such an array of stellar local goods. Either the market is getting wise to the fact that slapping "GF" on something doesn't it cut it, or the understanding that naturally gluten-free grains and ingredients can shine without bland-brick-like mimicry of their gluten-containing cousins has finally sunk in. Whichever it is, it's bloody hard to re-cap the GFFA Fest from Nov 7-8 in Stamford as far as food -- I have a laundry list of exciting standouts.

Not just gluten-free, but organic, local, artisan-baked or small-batched --

Not just safe, but really most especially GOOD --

Not just good, but developed by small businesses with good stories, making good by making good food.

Without more ado, let's start off with ...

serious standouts, and locals
(new england)



Real. Sourdough:  5 ingredients, including water. Sharon, founder of GF Sourdough in Ashland, MA, makes English Muffins that soar, gluten-free naturally. Sour. Crisp. Teff-based, with deep nutrition, not just deep taste. I love her use of Teff, which has a uniquely smooth texture with good hold. She bakes not just muffins (hard enough to find gluten-free and quality) but sweet breads, and cookies. The most compromised Celiac gut will take to these breads like a fish to water, for the sourdough process breaks down the harder to digest compounds in
the grains. But any one would enjoy the flavour, whether they need to eat gluten-free or otherwise.

Looking for holiday breadstuffs? Order it up now. Sharon has some brilliant seasonal offerings, including cubed stuffing mix,  and Chocolate Mini Loaves!  Or if you're in the area, she's in Ashland, MA -- hop on down to her bakery.


Simply delicious. But this bread is entirely grain free. Paleo, easy on most healing guts, or any gut, with a nutty flavour profile toasted or untoasted, and great moisture, Trudy's breads are a Celiac-stellar choice. Made of seeds and egg whites, again, they've an ingredient list you can fit on your thumb, and are chemical and preservative free even as they're free-to-eat for anyone experiencing celiac or grain-related allergy.


By a family of artisan bakers who got bricked by a series of Celiac diagnoses within the family, this bread is made in a dedicated facility the New York company founded especially. The Rustic loaf is 5-flavourful, with a hearty texture and great integrity. No crumbling apart, and big slices. When I wrote my first post on GF breads, I never thought I'd run into a series of breads as decidedly gluten-free as this, with no need to compare them to any gluten-containing loaf.
6 ingredients, ancient grain-based.

Goodman Bakery

Cinnamon Raisin loaves with hopping heaps of raisins -- a dessert or breakfast bread by all standards, sweetened by plain sugar, without preservatives -- Goodman also makes cupcakes and sandwich  breads on similar lines. They don't run in for the organic or ancient grains. They do run well and fast and furiously successful with
simple gluten free ingredients, and the cupcake and the bread were taste-ful, sweet without being saccharine, a "sub" that doesn't sound or evoke a feeling of needing substitution at all. "This is GF?" is the remark any friend who hasn't got Celiac is apt to make. You'd never think it.


D Kettle makes many smart cookies, and cupcakes, and breads, and cakes... and the team of Gluten Free and More Magazine has been taste-testing her creations since the beginning. "I don't have to lose it," was her response when she was diagnosed with Celiac, "I just get to reinvent it." A pastry chef who could no longer bake professionally the things she loved, she did reinvent the pastry, or at least licked it well sans gluten. Using simple ingredients, no preservatives, and organic sugar and agave, D bakes sweets like a Celiac boss. My favourite? Her Mint Chocolate Chippers. BEST. EVER. COOKIE.


This two-woman team and endeavour is in a category of its own. If you didn't see my re-cap of the Hartford GFAF Wellness Event, you missed Danielle and Jen's peerless organic gluten free brownies, muffins, burgers, and dips. Their dairy-free lacto-fermented Queso is stellar. With the simplest of ingredients, and the most naturally gluten-free, they've made seriously nourishing food that is better than any fast food you'll ever get your hands on. Better than any gluten-containing food too, mostly likely. The Lemon Squash Muffins (seasonal) beat all poppy-seed lemon things I'd ever tried. At the event in Stamford, they had Pumpkin Muffins -- and those muffins, honey, pumpkin, coconut flour and oil -- could run the trousers off the best pumpkin pie. I love their seasonal menus, their dedication to locally sourcing their eggs and all produce, and their story. I also love their food. Try it. You will too. They ship.



Pancake mix. This mix. Oy, I don't like mixes, nor do I like most gluten-free pancakes. But Rick has  created a mix that makes a sweet puffy cake that's not just delicious and gluten free, it's higher protein than most egg scrambles and grain free as well. A keen blend of almond meal, and pea protein, these bags are worth their weight. I tried both the banana and the chocolate chip at the event...I could have eaten my weight in samples!


Gluten-free pancake mixes, gluten-free baked good mixes -- certified, safe, multigrain -- NOW now has an entire line of goods specific to a Celiac diet. The banana bread, while sugar is the first protein powders, to probiotics, bulk goods to oils (through their Ellyndale line), NOW offers really good food, really good gluten-free, really good product integrity. I've worked with them before. If you want a specially protein-packed sweet, pick up a box of the GF Banana Bread Mix, a tub of Pea Protein or Creamy Vegan Vanilla Protein, add a few scoops to the mix and a bit of extra moisture, and voila.
ingredient, is neither too sweet nor too squishy, and it adapts beautifully to muffins, pancakes, or cake.  I only wish NOW had brought some of their supplements, and other offerings. From

Available Nationally



Oy, bagels, ne? I'm still orange-pipped pleased with the gluten-free bagels CGF has popped out. Everything Bagels. Plain Bagels. Not bready, but properly chewy. Worst thing in the food-world is a bagel that's as good as weird-shaped bread. But Canyon  -- along with its breads -- has managed to make  GLUTEN FREE BAGELS nationally available. Their breads use naturally GF grains without preservatives to create texture and taste that never disappoint.

They were swamped at the event.

It shows, I think, their dedication to those with Celiac that they commit to testing product 5ppm and below, and that the safety is only complimented by the taste.

Eden Foods

I love Eden. For gluten-free good, organic, tinned and dry goods, for tea and cider vinegar, for their commitment to family farming, and deep integrity of business practice and product -- I love Eden. It was a huge pleasure to meet the Northeast Sales Coordinator, Emily. And to eat their organic, naturally gluten-free pumpkin seeds.  For pantry goods, such as beans and rice, you can never go wrong with Eden. But you'd be well served to explore everything they offer. It's easy to explore food that you can eat with Eden -- not only can eat, but food that's whole, healing, and free of chemicals (no BPA in cans) and pesticides.


Schar is international, and makes everything from sandwich breads to ciabatta under European regulations that make the products exceptionally more safe than most gluten-free options in the United States. They've just rolled out a new formula for their base-breads. The new Artisan loaves don't just taste good, they now include a blend of ancient gluten-free grains that makes them nutritive as well as toothsome. This is thanks quite a bit to RD-on-staff, Dr. Anne. It was lovely to see her again after the Hartford event!



The Cheerio that serio--seriously takes Celiac and taste seriously. Freedom Foods, based out of Australia, has an O that is oat-free, brand-new, full-of-flavour-and-crunch, and won't explode in your gut with inexplicable cross-contamination. Freedom also just debuted new cereal bars. Australia has much keener food regulations, and their oats -- if one can tolerate them -- as well as their manufacturing and testing procedure -- are legitimate and committed to gluten-free integrity.

You can see their allergen-testing online at their website.  What I really badly want to try next is their line of Superfood Mueslis, which look as wicket-cracking wicked as these Celiac-safe O's.


No corn in these chippers.  Family-owned business, they make chips that are Celiac safe in flavours
that jack Dorito's flavour, and then up it. From Nacho to Ranch, to plain Salt and Pepper, and I love beans.  I don't believe you can get a better naturally gluten-free food; and these chips are made all of beans and rice.

I've been making nachos with Natural Contents dairy-free queso all week since the event.


Eat joyfully, eat freely... If nothing else, I am always grateful for Enjoy Life's attitude. But they also provide Plentils, amongst other Celiac safe snacks that are likewise top 8 allergen free.  My
flatmates, and my clients (especially the under 5" sort) love Plentils. They ate most of the samples Jamie passed on to me. Plentils, fairly-ish new, are made mainly with powdered lentil flour, and the Margherita Pizza-flavour is good with most anything. They also serve as gluten-free bread crumbs for chicken fingers or fish, and dip with most anything.

A keen grain-free gluten-free find --Kahn's Kitchen makes simple granolas -- and makes them simply good. I enjoyed chatting with the president of the family-owned business himself about tubs of honey they buy to lightly sweeten their blends of crunchy nuts n seeds, and the inspiration for the product -- Jason's sister, whose allergies require that she be grain-free, not just gluten-free.

No sister will feel deprived if she can eat Kahn's granola. With an ingredient list short enough to scribble on your palm, it has an enjoyment reach long enough to cover a Celiac head to toe.

Find my recent product review here

GLO Bars: These are athlete staples, and travel staples for me as a Celiac. Organic, raw, dairy-free, sans fillers -- these bars come with at minimum of 11 grams of protein, and a taste profile that's stellar.  Texture, which can be peculiar in a protein or vegan bar, is also a nice surprise -- creamy in the creamy bars, and with a good crunch in those made with mixed nuts or crunchy peanut butter.



Jen Kurko began Kiss Freely after she kissed her daughter with lips lined by run-of-the-mill lip balm, and the poor girl broke out in a heinous rash. Her body butters, lipsticks and balms, are all free of top allergens.  After trying them, I can say they're free of the oily after-feeling of many cosmetics as well, feel wonderful on the skin, and the lipstick is gluten-free, chemical-free, and won't ever hurt me if I swallow it over a cup of tea. I highly recommend Jen's line of self-care cosmetics -- and I really don't think you need to suffer from Celiac Disease to benefit from skin  care and make-up that doesn't seep allergens or chemicals into your skin. Her products are scented with essentials oils, and blended with hemp seed and pumpkin seed oils, which are beautifully light.


Neither food nor face-product -- but as nourishing and essential as either -- I have to include FREEDIBLE.

It's the stories and the people that matter here, which I why I write about the food. The hardest thing about living with Celiac is the impression that you've come to a point where your life is restricted to restricted food choices, and your options isolate you.
CJ, Tumbling Gluten Free, with Cheryl, Freedible:
Match of Custom-Eater Community!

The wonderful thing about the social media platform, Freedible, is that is tips the tables, and turns that distorted sense of deprivation into opportunity.   Full of recipes, resources, personal stories, and opportunities to create and build community, Freedible shows what I like to call the life of Free-Edibles. That's Tumbling Gluten Free. We do have options. And we are not alone.

We aren't restricted, eaters, friends. We are custom eaters. Disease might have axed some options. But Celiac does not axe opportunity to explore life, and even play with good food.

Hit up Freedible, join in the conversation, and get proved you're in community, not in isolation.

Freedible makes the perfect sign off for a wrap up of this GFFAFest, because it provides a continued platform for the resource and community, local and remote, that showed up in Stamford.  You can connect with brands, learn more about how to manage well, and live fully with whatever food sensitivity you have, and do it with friends on Freedible. I'm there often. Join me.

So which new product would you like to try, and why?

And -- have you joined Freedible?

Thanks Gluten Free and More
for sponsoring a lovely event.

Tumbling Free,


Monday, November 16, 2015

PRODUCT REVIEW: Glo Bars, Gluten Free -[ Good, Live, Organic ]

GLO Bars are Raw Rev's protein-packed answer to the packaged question. Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and organic, created by registered nurse and chef, Benedetto, they axe the excess the sugar sometimes found in granola or protein bars. But it's what they include that matters more.

GLO Bars take out fillers, and fill the package with Good, Living, Organic taste and nutrition.

I wouldn't post on the little blokes, but they've become a Celiac-staple for me: as an athlete, and traveller. When I take a trip, they're in my gluten-free snack seat. When I compete, I have them in my equipment bag.

The original three flavours, Smooth Peanut Butter, Mixed Nut and Caramel, and Dark Chocolate PB just got updated with the addition of  Crunchy PB, and Dark Chocolate Cashew Mint. 

The new mint is almost overpowering -- it is, after all, made with actual mint essential oil. But the addition of chocolate and cashew gives it a second-chew-balance and subtlety that's complimented by
the creamy texture. In the end, the mint sets off the sweet, balanced by the cashew nuttiness.

I don't know if GLO was ever meant as an acronym. But if it was, Good  - Live (food) - Organic would be the perfect words to match it.

This is a product worth writing home about. Best yet, it's formulated to be digestible, sustaining, and filler-free. Nothing is added merely to cut costs. Everything in these bars is good for the taste-buds, and nourishing. Tumbling gluten free in all aspects! And I never eat one and feel like I've got a hole in my stomach -- they're satisfying, high fibre, and a treat.


Taste/Texture:  New bars -- Cashew has a nice balance of creamy and crunch with the chocolate chips. Better than "Thin Mint" mint 'n' chocolate, mates. PB is peanut butter, with a more solid texture, and a hint of sweetness.

Organic/Non-GMO: YES.

Celiac-Safe: Absolutely.

Availability:  Whole Foods now carries them in the States. I have not seen the new bars in store. Online.

Shoestring Budget
?: Nopers. But they give a good kick for your buck. Use them for travel, or buy in bulk online.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

GFFAFest: Stamford, CT Gluten Free & More Celiac Event!

Meet me this weekend in Stamford, CT if you're a New England Celiac or gluten-free wanderer! The "Fest" features food and fun, education and fellowship, and goes all weekend of November 7-8 at the Hilton Stamford Hotel.

Whether you're New Englander or travel-tripping fiend like me, tumbling a few hours or 20 hours to get there, it's bound to be well worth the time.  One of the highlights is the traveling (who doesn't like long roads in Autumn-colour, creased by pre-Winter cloud-forthed skies?).  But if you're nearby especially, an all-time highlight is the chance to try a cornucopia of safe, gluten-free, organic, national and local food.

If you can get your weekend wandering on, take it to Stamford.

Traveling can be a bit brave if you have Celiac Disease. The good thing about traveling to an event such as GF and More's Fest is: You don't need to over-plan, or fear for lack of food -- you'll be full of it here.

If you're wondering what you can expect, expect great educational seminars and speakers, good food, and heaps of samples.

I loved the event in San Diego -- as you can see by the shot with my fellow Celiac blogger, Erica (Celiac and the Beast).

I'm looking forward to meeting up with some of the brands that truly take Celiac seriously, as well.  When I say seriously, I mean they make simple, often naturally, gluten-free products, minimally processed, high quality, and safely tested for a threshold of below 20ppm. But they also make stuff that tastes as good as it settles in the gut.

Canyon Bakehouse -- They're hashtag is "LoveBreadAgain." I never loved bread horribly (well, perhaps fresh baked, homemade...) But if you try the San Juan 7 Grain, even if you never loved bread, you might just "StartLovingBreadForRealz."

Now that's some toast

Way Better Snacks -- Speaking of good food that feels good on the guts, Way Better sprouts all of their seeds and many of their grains, and makes a chip that aces out all competition. Sprouted is always more assimilable. But no sacrifice of taste is made by these Celiac-friendly chippers.

Explore Asian -- Noodles of the bean persuasion. Organic. Cooks up al dente, never goes squashy. Naturally gluten-free, with a protein level that reaches escape velocity. This is one of my features for fueling the Celiac athlete.  But in truth, it's great food for anyone, at anytime: a blend of nutrition and taste that makes both priority, and succeeds.

Some NOW sweetness:
liquid organic

NOW Foods -- Organic, domestically-sourced, dedicated facilities... NOW actually makes everything, and I am not exaggerating. I discovered they've excellent gluten-free (and vegan if you're dairy-free) protein powders. They sell bulk beans and rices. They have an entire gluten-free line of ancient GF grains, and baking mixes and blends. I don't think I've ever found better quality matched with equal variety. You'd be well-served by the event if NOW were the only one to show up as an
exhibitor, assuming they brought samples of all of their self-care, athletic supplements, and food offerings.

Pumpkin Enchilada
Bowl with
NCK's Queso
Natural Contents -- Local to New York: These brilliant women with their local, tiny, stellar gluten-free foods (organic, gluten-free, many vegan) were one of the -- if not the -- highlight of the food side of the GFAF Wellness Event in Hartford. Black Bean Brownies; Vegan Queso Dip; BLACK BEAN BURGERS.  They'll be there. Look for Jen and Diane.

A few other (of the many) I'm looking forward to seeing included Daiya, Eden Organics,  Feel Good Foods, Schar (with new Artisan Bread), and Brad's Raw Foods.

So hoy! Hit the road.

Want to win a ticket?

Comment below with WHY.

Tumbling Free and see you in Stamford!


Saturday, October 31, 2015

GFAF Event Hartford 2015 Product Highlights!

But speaking of standouts at the GFAF Wellness Event in Hartford, how do I sum-up every gluten-free food on the floor?  From Mo-'Pweeze Bakery, to Nature's Grocer and Natural Contents, from Jen's Grain Free Gourmet goods to local Rising Star Pizza, and in between Raw Local and Bridget's Breads right beside national-but-local-based Enjoy Life and Bakery on Main -- no vendor disappointed. On top of that Schar showed up, and Dr. Anne RD showed off their new breads, artisan-style and now multi-grain to include not just taste, but nutrition.

Bridget's Bread:  Connectiuct-based. This woman can bake.  Her bread is moist, her bread is fresh, her bread is PUMPERNICKEL.  No, dead serious -- she makes a pumpernickel loaf better than anything I've ever had.  If you're looking for good bread, and are rather weary of the tried-true-but-sometimes-holy (not to mention small) Udi's, order from Bridget.  She sold out at this event. Her ingredients are fresh, her grains whole, blended to provide density of nutrition as well as flavour, and if you don't live in Hartford or near, she ships.

Natural Contents: Fast food ... or not? Addictive as McDonald's, but gluten-free ingredients from local farms. Organic, non-gmo, pasture-raised, they don't have a product I couldn't eat all day any day. I tired the Lemon Squash Muffins, and Black Bean Burgers, on top of their dairy-free Queso Dip (which tastes just as perfect on a piece of pizza as over dairy-free nachos).
Natural Contents, based out of New York, sources all of their wholly

Queso and Better Bean Co belong together.

The Black Beans Brownies, blended with coconut oil, chocolate chips, and light maple syrup, were also bloody brilliant.  But this is gluten-free, and serious Celiac support, nutritionally and emotionally: to have naturally gluten free and fresh food, safe, and from your community. Danielle and Jennifer make an ace team. I want to live in their kitchen.

More Please
Mo'Pweeze: Begun by parents whose son has enough food allergies to sink a ship, Mo'Pweeze can be summed up reeeeal simple: More Please. Cupcakes, cookie sandwiches, breads, organic, gluten-free always, dairy-free always. The Mint Chocolate Cupcake especially pleased my more please impulse -- usually frostings are rather bland. A dash of sugar and sweet with nothing else to recommend them. But Mo'Pweeze makes a frosting as good as its cake, and the Mint Cupcake tastes like a thin mint, but better.

Gluten and Grain Free Gourmet: Raspberry Cake. Raspberry Chocolate Cake. With fresh homemade raspberry jam. Gluten and grain free. This cake was a standout amongst standouts. Jen doesn't just makes gluten free, but grain free as well. If you've chosen to cut grains as you heal your gut, Jen has cookies, crackers, energy balls, nut mixes, and seasonings that you'd never guess were missing anything.

Then again, they aren't. To be naturally gluten-free isn't to be restricted. Most of the world's food is free of gluten. Jen highlights all of the attributes of her ingredients, the simply gluten and grain free -- and you get a variety of flavor and quality -- not to mention sweet -- that won't ever hurt your immune system if you've Celiac (or your sense of abundance).

Bakery on Main:  Some new hot cereal options -- OAT FREE -- from this Hartford-local brand. (which I may review in full later on.) I recall their first granola when I was newly diagnosed, also oat-free -- bloody blessing since many Celiacs, especially during the first few years, don't respond well to oats, regardless of "gluten-free" tested veracity. Hiram repp'ed for the company, and the True Bars and new(ish) Nut Mixes were both stellar. Also, if you're able to eat oats, truly gluten-free-grown oats, Bakery on M. has just debuted steel cut, quick cooking, and rolled that are, in fact, safely tested well below 20ppm.
The Celiac-safe rolled oats--Happy indeed! piled
atop nut crunches and some Enjoy Life sweets

Nature's Grocer: David plied the gluten-free goods from Nature's Grocer, an eatery based in Vernon just outside Hartford with a will. But he didn't have to push them. From Blueberry Coffee Cake to still warm, seeded bread, he had food nobody could complain was restricted sans gluten. If you're in the Hartford area, stop in for breakfast. They have waffles. They really have got anything -- and though much of it is "traditionally" made with gluten, none of Nature's Grocer's goods seems like an imitation or shadow of its gluten-filled counterpart. The cakes, the breads, the muffins stand on their own, freshly made, often organic, locally sourced -- and well-ensconced in the community.

Schar and  (Still Riding) PIZZA and Enjoy Life:

Finally, pizza. But also, the two non-local, national brands that helped sponsor the event, Schar and Enjoy Life.

I don't believe in burying the stratosphere, cyber-sphere, or your eye-space with food, standout or otherwise.  What I do want to do, every time I showcase the foods and companies I encounter, is make the options available, and highlight what each product has to offer. Every Celiac and every individual with a food-based allergy or illness needs to know what they can eat, and what their options are. Whole food is simplest. Companies like Enjoy Life, and Schar, however, make excellent food that is dairy-free, non-GMO, gluten-free, nut-free, wheat-free, and egg-free.

Those options are service.

It was brilliant to see that Schar is now offeringwhole-grain breads blended with ancient grains that give great taste and nutrition. Enjoy Life makes stellar snacks, and safe chocolate -- they're a highlight in my Halloween post on Celiac-safe, food-allergy safe kidlet options.
the pizza...with the cheese
from Still Riding

Oh yes. And pizza. Want a good crust? Call up Still Riding. I think they must mean still riding the pizza train, even after gluten-freedom. And it ain't a sub-par trip. This was crust that tasted good even sans cheese.

Oy, that's the wrap on foodling facts. Any questions?  Toss down a comment.  Want to win some gluten-free oats from Bakery on Main? If I get enough comments, I'll toss down a giveaway in November!


Tumbling Free,


Product Review: Almond Milk...For Realz, Like Totally (Orgain's Gluten-Free)

I was knocking around a Boston-area Whole Foods this Summer, and I couldn't have been more pleased to knock into Orgain's new Almond Milk. I don't know why it's taken them this long to peg out a social media blast about it. With ten times the protein of other almond milks on the shelves, and a good nutritional profile of micronutrients as well, the sweetened and unsweetened vanilla taste and texture like a smoothie.

Most nut-based milks are almost nutless in truth -- calorie-less, protein-less, and nutritively bankrupts slosches -- sometimes vaguely tasty -- usually watery and limp.

Not so this bugger.

I've been picking it up since June now, and posting photos occasionally as the whim takes me. I wholeheartedly toss it to clients -- especially mums with young ones who can't have dairy but still need the nutritive punch of protein and b-vitamins.
Poured over a chocolate, dairy-free shake:
Orgain Protein Almond Milk

But simply: This milk just pleases the palate. I love its creaminess, the light vanilla flavour, and the nutrition.

With ten grams of protein per serving (courtesy of almond and pea protein), it's beyond a protein -rich addition to the morning or snack-time cup or bowl. (It beats cow's milk for protein here, as well as most soy options on the market, which are usually the highest of milk alternatives in protein and macronutrition.)

Its only downside is an unfortunate price tag.  For all those Celiacs, dairy-allergic, and shoestring-budgeting singles and mums needing a dairy alternative, I hope the price is bunged down a bit soon.

All in all, Orgain now makes the best dairy-free milk for nutrition and taste on the market. A Celiac-safe, dairy-free and vegan alternative -- and that's saying rather a lot.

The finally-launched social media from Orgain says #UpgradeYourAlmondMilk. It could just say: Yo, #UpgradeYoMILK.

Sum up:

Celiac-Safe: Yes

Organic/Non-GMO: Yes.

Taste/Texture: BOTH.

Shoestring-Budget?: NO.

Availability: In the States, Whole Foods. Perhaps this is the price-tag problem...

Tumbling free,


Disclaimer: My opinion is wholly my own. I took no coin for the expression of it, and not any samples either.  I buy the things I review first, this milk included. Occasionally I receive product samples, but I review nothing  positively that has not become a staple on my Celiac table, or a recommendation to my Celiac or food allergic clients.

Monday, October 26, 2015

What Makes a Celiac Event? People First, Product Second -- GFAF Wellness Hartford Re-Cap

GFAF Wellness Hartford Re-Cap

The Gluten Free Allergen Free Event in Hartford had an uncanny density of quality -- in food; in people; and in the presentations.  It may have been smaller than many, but there was no exhibitor  I didn't enjoy. More standout still, Nikki Everett gathered a group almost solely local gluten-free vendors

This year tied a small hall to local gluten free vendors -- if it had been as large as Expo West, it couldn't have been better, because there was not one booth on the floor, or one presenter in the education line-up, that wasn't stellar.  Perhaps a greater feat than even the density of the day's quality in company and food was the fact that Nikki Everett managed to gather all of these exhibitors, professionals, and Celiac advocates from the surrounding area.

One of the key strengths of Nikki's events is that they recognize the value -- the necessity -- of local resources -- small businesses, farms, area-based healthcare and educators -- in creating safety and healing for  individuals with Celiac Disease.  Tying Celiac and recovery with the eat-local movement, with sustainability, is natural. More than that, the two complement each other -- they're intuitively connected.

I often come away from expos (or speaking seminars or events) feeling like I've had the mickey taken out of me.  It's a high! and at the same time, the pace and tone can be a drain.

Not so for the GFAF Events. The focus in Gluten Free Allergen Free Wellness expos is wellness -- and that means people before product.  The food serves us, (and so did the vendors in Hartford, attitude and product-wise).  Serves us -- doesn't sell to us. Like Tess, the rep for natural-cosmetic line, Ava Anderson, said: "Gosh, I don't have to sell it. I just tell it."

NCK, Nature's Grocer, GGF Gourmet... Bakery on Main, Bridget's Breads and Mo'Pweeze Bakery hit the floor as part of a community, with their own stories, and quality wrapped into the product through their own experience. The sharing of stories on the floor was as fast and furious as the sharing of food. (But both were naturally gluten-free, safe, and accountably local -- unlike General Mills' Cheerios "story" and cross-contamination debacle...though if you want some truly gluten-free oats, check out Bakery on Main in the next post!). No one really had to sell in Hartford. They served, with an attitude that was service-oriented, and told their own stories.

I think these events were built to build community. Nikki said so herself.  "Plant the seed, let the community take over and sprout--" She plants the seeds of Celiac awareness herself with these events, along with awareness of the wealth of resource we have to live full lives.
Tumbling Gluten Free with Becky Brown,
who brought her chef-training and willingness to
serve to her cook book, Eat Well to Live Well
It's good to speak at such an event, and for that kind of event coordinator.  It's good to see the education sink in, and audience members' eyes light up, recognizing  I speak that I know what they've gone through, and I'm giving them options. It's good to write for such an event, and see the community grow.

And most of all, it was really good to enjoy the event,  an event where I'm a person, not a product-target.

The eat -local and sustainable culture shouldered up to the Celiac and food allergy-needs movement here -- and the GFAF Wellness Event team facilitated the partnership.

Finally, it was a blast to eat good gluten-free pizza, excellent brownies, cake, muffins -- and chat about shared stories, and our freedom to live well, eat well, and serve well fear free post-trauma and diagnosis.

The resource is endless. But Nikki's GFAF Wellness Events unearth it. Hartford certainly did.

Because this resource? it's in community.

I've perhaps never enjoyed an expo more, nor been better served by one. If you hit the floor in Hartford, you didn't just discover new gluten free products, or strong Celiac support and information -- you discovered eateries, vendors, and educators right in your New England backyard. You got it in an atmosphere of neighborhood, not market.

If expos and specialty events such as this begin to fade as product becomes more easily found on mainstreams shelves, this sort of event, as exemplified by the GFAF Wellness team, won't be obsolete.  Why? Because the heart of these weekends -- and especially Hartford (er, no pun...) is in the local, in the quality, and in the people. Fellowship and friendship, good education and good support, don't get drowned out by mainstream product-pick up.  In fact, the people and the small business, local resources are made that much more valuable.

In the next post, I'll be doing a product run-up/run-down in snapshots. Check back for a giveaway, and highlights on the food fun of the event! It was mad-good, tumbling free good food, peeps.

How do you see your community supporting your recovery,
your nourishment, your life with Celiac?

Tumbling free,

Best in health!