It’s ALL about ATTITUDE

February 25, 2013

Focusing on what you CAN HAVE or CAN’T?  – It’s ALL about ATTITUDE!

Valentines Day.  St. Patty’s Day.  Easter.  Tired of feeling left out because of your dietary restrictions?  Frustrated you can’t eat what you really want to?  Wish people would be more accomodating to your needs?

‘LET YOUR ATTITUDE GO’. Focus on what you CAN HAVE rather than what you CAN’T HAVE.  You and your friends JUST may have an absolutely amazing time!

Imagine the disaster Valentines Day could have been; 5 kids with multiple allergies, classroom parties with food included and Valentines Day chocolate grams sent from parents.  Instead, it was a truly delightful time for them all.

Our simple strategy will work for anyone.

  1. Talk to people – Find out what activities are being planned; will food be included? Don’t worry about being an inconvenience.  Communication helps everyone.
  2. Get involved – Ask how you can help out.  Most others will love extra hands, particularly when planning for those with food allergies.
  3. Offer alternatives – Whether providing for yourself or others, know you are creating an inclusive environment for everyone.  Need I say more?

Although it took a bit of pre-planning, the results were fabulous.

  • 4 dozen allergy~friendly cookies provided for 2 classrooms in which everyone enjoyed~
  • Watermelon hearts and orange arrows for a class of 22.  Healthy, fun and NOT ENOUGH.  Go figure!
  • Valentines Candy Grams with chocolates? Alternative chocolates were pre-made, pre-wrapped and sent in.

In my opinion, there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON to NOT be a part of the celebration fun.  We are fortunate to be managing food allergies during a time where there are so many options available, and allergy awareness and education are rampant.  Food alternatives are everywhere!

Can’t have milk?  You may consider soy, coconut or flax milk.   No eggs? Replacers include applesauce, gelatin or flax meal.  No wheat or gluten? Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery has a multitude of possibilities!  Looking for nut-free, egg-free and milk-free products too?  Rudi’s Organic Bakery probably has some products you will love too.

Celebrating with food?  Provide alternatives everyone can enjoy.  Dying to eat some Reeses Peanut Butter cups but you’re allergic to milk and/or chocolate? Make your own. Want to be a part of the Candy Gram fun? Find out who is in charge, and send alternatives!

Your ATTITUDE really is everything!

Daniella Knell, is the owner of Smart Allergy~Friendly Education. As a mom of 2 having 6 of the top 8 food allergens, she is actively involved in raising allergy awareness within her community.  As an allergy awareness educator and consultant, you can also find her presenting in local schools and hospitals, blogging and offering one-on-one consulting.  Looking for allergy~friendly ideas for your household? Check out her ideas on www.smartallergy.blogspot.com, Facebook, Linked In or Twitter

Happy to be Gluten-Free w/ guest blogger G-Free Laura

February 22, 2013

There is so much negativity surrounding the gluten-free diet – most of which comes from people that don’t understand what the diet and lifestyle entails. I like to switch that gluten-free frown upside-down though, and I prefer to spread g-free love whenever and wherever I can.

I think some of my non-GF friends and family wonder how I don’t cry myself to sleep at night. They can’t imagine a life without gluten, but I think it’s absolutely silly to base happiness on fried food and loaves of white bread.

I usually tell the Negative Nancys that I am happy I live this lifestyle. What some look at as a curse, I call a blessing. Why? Because it has changed my life in so many positive ways:

I used to eat like a 5-year-old, but not anymore.

Okay, sometimes I still do eat like a 5-year-old, but I have gotten so much better since going gluten-free. While growing up, I was probably the pickiest child you could meet. I made my mom peel any and all fruit I put into my mouth, and I sure as heck wasn’t going to come close to any type of vegetable (raw, heated, steamed, roasted – it didn’t matter).

Since going gluten-free, I have tried so many new things. For example – spaghetti squash. Have you tried spaghetti squash yet? If you haven’t, you MUST. This “veggie posing as pasta” dish is a great alternative because we all know how pricey gluten-free noodles can be! When I took my first bite I was in awe that 1) I was eating a large serving of vegetables, and 2) I was thoroughly enjoying each bite. If it hadn’t been for my gluten-free diet, I’d probably still be turning my nose up to any recipe with squash as an ingredient.

I now know how to read labels the right way.

The only thing I used to be concerned with when I read a food label was the calories. That’s what I based my entire day of food on – a silly number. I now know this is not how we are meant to feed our bodies, but it took going gluten-free to teach me that.

I no longer count calories like a crazy person, and instead look for wholesome foods that actually feed the body. For example – last night I added flaxseeds to my overnight oats which I enjoyed in a scrumptious breakfast today. I am 100% positive that I would not have a bag of flaxseed in my kitchen if I wasn’t gluten-free, but now that I do, I am able reap the benefits. For example, the fiber in flaxseed helps to keep me “regular” (yes, that word does exist for our kind!) and can even help lower my cholesterol. It also has been shown to protect against breast cancer, and heart disease in women. Would I know this if I was still a glutton for gluten? Nope.

I used to only think “inside” the box.

I’m not joking; everything I ate was from a box – cheez-its, pretzels, wheat thins, granola bars, hot pockets, Lean Cuisines, chicken nuggets. My goodness, I did not feed my body the way I needed to!

Today, most of my eating is done “outside” of the box. Ninety percent of what I eat on a daily basis is fresh – eggs, fruit, unprocessed meat, baked purple potato chips, veggie stir-fry, fresh salsa…I actually make the food I eat now, I just don’t microwave it.

I found my calling!

My degree is in marketing, and while I was attending a conference as a college student, a presenter stressed the importance of a personal brand. The entire concept of a personal brand was especially important to me at the time: a soon-to-be graduate that needed anything and everything to put myself ahead of the other thousands of graduates going after the same thing as me.

So as I sat there listening to the presenter, I asked myself, “How can I be a brand?” Then it hit me – be G-Free Laura! It’s your niche; it’s your passion; it’s YOU. The decision was made right then and there. When I returned home from the conference I started my blog and I couldn’t be happier with how far it has come.

Going gluten-free has allowed me to find my passion. I care about the gluten-free community and try to spread awareness whenever I can. I enjoy the opportunity to help new brands get their name out there, and I absolutely love connecting with everyone on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest…you name it.

What about you?

How has going gluten-free made you happy? What aspects of your life have changed since going on the diet? Do you ever wish that you could go back to the gluten-filled world?

Laura Hanley, known as G-Free Laura, has been gluten-free since 2009 and reviews  products,restaurants, and writes aboutgluten-free experiences on her blog, www.gfreelaura.com.Laura’s passion for spreading g-free love has led her to become a Guest Blogger for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, writing bi-weekly reviews on the Gluten-Free Hot Products Blog. Visit Laura onFacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedin, and Google +

Great Ways to Stay in Shape Indoors!

February 19, 2013

Work. Kids. Errands. Winter. What do these four things have in common? They keep you from working out and staying in-shape!

Multiple studies prove that maintaining an active lifestyle is beneficial for physical and mental health.  Upon regular exercise, most people find that they experience increased energy levels, better mood swings and higher levels of confidence.

However, we have a hard time motivating ourselves to break a sweat during the winter months. Within 4 days of routine activity the vast majority of people notice a positive impact on their overall health.  Here are some of my ideas to solve this problem.

Get a Winter Gym Membership
Yes, gym memberships can be expensive.  However, not as much as you think!  Many places of employment have discounted corporate gym memberships for their employees.  Be sure to check with your employer about any athletically related discounts.  If your employer does not sponsor corporate gym memberships, then try visiting Costco.  Costco offers 2-year memberships at 24-Hour Fitness for $15/month, plus the membership applies to all 24-Hour Fitness locations nationwide.  If you do not have a Costco membership, your average local gym will cost between $40-$80 per month.  The cost of a gym membership is my primary source of motivation for working out—otherwise it’s a waist of money!  Furthermore, from yoga to spinning, most gym memberships include free classes.  People are much more likely to show up to their gym and workout with greater intensity if they are part of class.

Do Not Have Time and or Money for a Gym Membership?
There is an array of excellent home workout videos on the market.  The beauty of home workout videos is that they cost much less than a gym membership and they conform to your schedule.  Plus, if you tend to get embarrassed or intimidated when working out with others, a home video is a great remedy.  Here is a link to the best workout DVDs on the market according to Fitness Magazine. These videos are developed by some of our nation’s most knowledgeable trainers and nutritionists.

There are also a series of excellent websites and blogs that post daily indoor exercises to keep you from getting bored and losing motivation.  Here is a link to a website with great recommendations for simple exercise that will certainly make your heart pump and your muscles burn!

How’s Life at the Office?
There is a very informative and intriguing article by the New York Times, which describes the negative side affects of your cardio and muscular health as a result to life in the office.  The article also provides some simple solutions that will make office-life much more active and enjoyable!

Get the Rest of the Family Involved!
Motivating yourself to workout more often with greater intensity is much easier when you have people who you are close with joining in.  Your family members are great to workout with because they will drive your competitive spirit.  Here is a link with great ideas for getting your family involved in the workout routine.

Considerations Before Owning a Dog

February 12, 2013

Dear Gluten-Free Readers,

Today’s topic of discussion is a little off subject, unless you own a dog that’s a celiac!  Nevertheless, I wanted to start a discussion about proper dog ownership.

Many kids put a great deal of pressure on their parents to buy/adopt a family dog.  We all know how persistent kids can be when they set their mind to something and some parents believe that getting a dog is easier than withstanding their children’s burdening persistence. Others who are looking for companionship might think that it is easier to own a dog that to be lonely.

Regardless of your reason for longing a furry companion, it is extremely important that you fully understand the 10-15 year commitment of owning a dog.

The fist and most important step to becoming a responsible dog owner is to understand all of the financial and time commitments to proper dog ownership.

Sadly, most people do not consider the extensiveness of an impact properly owning a dog will have on their lives.  Here are important questions to ask yourself before getting a pup:

Money (Experts estimate that the cost of owning a dog ranges from $1100-$3500 per year!)

  1. Do you have money to feed it?
  2. Do you have money for the vet?
    1. Checkups
    2. Shots
    3. Flee/tic medication
  3. Do you have money to register it with you’re town of residency?
  4. Do you have money to buy dog accessories (these will add up quickly!)?
    1. Leashes
    2. Water/Food Bowls
    3. Dog Beds
    4. Crates
    5. Mats to keep the back of your car clean
    6. Cleaning supplies

Time

  1. Time commitment is the biggest part of owning a dog that most people overlook.
    1. Do you have time to walk it everyday for at least 30 minutes?
    2. At the puppy stage, do you have someone who will take care of it when you are at work?
    3. Throughout its life, do you have someone who will take care of it when you have a business trip or vacation?
    4. Training: Do you have time to learn to become a proper trainer and then train your dog.  This is very important because no one will want to dog-sit a poorly trained dog while you are on vacation.  On the other hand, if your dog is well trained some people will volunteer to take it!

We need to be very aware of the responsibilities of owning a dog because they are very emotionally sensitive animals.  Abandoning or neglecting a dog truly hurts its feelings.

However, a proper dog owner creates an unforgettable and rewarding lifelong relationship for both he/she and his/her pup!

Here are some great dog-training websites

http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/

http://www.dogstardaily.com/

http://www.canis.no/rugaas/index.php

http://www.suzanneclothier.com/

(Pictured Above: My dog, Jake!)

Tortilla Tuesday: Huevos Rancheros

February 5, 2013

Dear Gluten-Free Readers,

In celebration of Tortilla Tuesday, I would love to share one of my favorite breakfast recipes!  Huevos Rancheros are an extra hearty breakfast dish that will certainly keep you full well into the afternoon.  More importantly, Huevos Rancheros are typically Gluten-Free.  I understand that it may be difficult to order them at your favorite brunch spot after making them at home, but Huevos are an excellent GF option at restaurants.  Once again, be sure to double-check with your server that all items you order meet your dietary restrictions.

The tortilla is the main reason Huevos Rancheros are sometimes not GF.  Of course, this will never be a problem if you purchase the highly acclaimed Rudi’s Gluten Free Tortillas: Rudi’s GF Tortillas!  I personally enjoy our GF tortillas because they come in three different flavors: Plain, Spinach and Fiesta.


Vegetarian Huevos Rancheros (Recipe Makes Two Servings)
2 Eggs
4 Tablespoons of your favorite salsa
½ Cup of Arugula
4 Tablespoons of Veg. Green Chile
2 Rudi’s GF Tortillas
½ Avocado
1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil

Huevos Rancheros (Recipe Makes Two Servings)
2 Eggs
4 Tablespoons of your favorite salsa
½ Cup of Arugula
4 Tablespoons of Pork Green Chile
2 Rudi’s GF Tortillas
½ Avocado
1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil

  • Before you begin, notice that vegetarian and pork green chiles are listed in both recipes.  Both are optional ingredients, however they truly make the dish special.  Here is a link to a great recipe for pork green chile: Pork Green Chile Recipe.  Here’s a link for vegetarian green chile: Vegetarian Green Chile Recipe.  Note, you will have to cook the either green chili the night before you serve your Huevos.
  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 200°F. Stack 4 ovenproof plates on oven rack to warm.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Stack 2 tortillas in skillet and cook 30 seconds, then flip stack over with tongs and cook 30 seconds more. While second tortilla cooks on bottom, turn top tortilla over with tongs, keeping tortillas stacked. Flip stack again and cook in same manner, turning over top tortilla and flipping stack again so that both tortillas are softened and both sides puff slightly, then deflate (do not let them become browned or crisp). Wrap tortillas loosely in foil and keep warm in oven. Fry remaining tortillas in same manner, adding 1 tablespoon oil to skillet for each batch. (Do not clean skillet.)
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then crack 4 eggs into skillet and cook 3 to 4 minutes for runny yolks, or to desired doneness. Transfer to a plate and keep warm, covered, then cook remaining 4 eggs in remaining tablespoon oil in same manner. Season eggs with salt and pepper.
  • Spoon 2 Tablespoons of salsa onto each plate and top with 2 tortillas, slightly overlapping them. Transfer 2 eggs to tortillas on each plate and top with some of remaining salsa. Sprinkle with cilantro.
  • Garnish each Huevo Ranchero with a ¼ cup of Arugula and sliced Avocado

Meet Our New Marketing Coordinator!

January 23, 2013

Hi Gluten-Free Readers!
As the new marketing coordinator for Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery, I am excited to have the opportunity to provide Rudi’s fans with loads of great stories and recipes on our Gluten-Free blog!

I am a 2012 graduate from Middlebury College; a small, outdoorsy liberal arts college located in Vermont.  However, I spent the vast majority of my life growing up in the Pacific Northwest and Southern California.  I moved Boulder because I recognized that it is a community extensively involved within the organic and gluten-free industries.  Additionally, as an avid skier and outdoorsman, Boulder seemed to perfectly accommodate my lifestyle.

Eating healthy, tasty food is a defining factor of my life. My parents’ outlook on food has played a major role in keeping my family together.  Regardless of their busy work schedules, Mom and Dad always found time to organize and make family dinners on a nightly basis.  In order to accomplish this task, they incorporated their children to contribute to the dinner-making process.  Whether it was peeling garlic, chopping onions or washing dishes, my brother and I worked aside my parents as their nightly “prep cooks.” Cooking at home is great from the perspective of the “health-nut” parent because my Mom and Dad knew exactly what their kids were eating.  But, most of all, it was an excellent way for us to spend time together.

In 2010, my parents drastically changed their lives by deciding to live on a sailboat for three years.  During our time away from school, my brother and I helped our parents crew the boat throughout the South Pacific, Indian and Southeast Asian Oceans.  We have sailed around the coastal regions of New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

Most of the regions we have sailed through are very remote forcing us to become completely self-sufficient for food, water, and power.  Because wheat products are hard to keep fresh and even harder to make on a sailboat in tropical regions, we were forced to eat Gluten-Free.  In fact, this ended up being a blessing in disguise for all of us, especially my father (The Captain)!  Celiac disease is no doubt a very serious issue for many Americans that must be taken with the utmost consideration.  Although no one in my immediate family is diagnosed with Celiac disease, it is truly remarkable how much better we feel with Gluten-Free nutrition! Since he has been living on the sailboat Gluten-Free, my Dad has experienced healthy weight-loss, a drastic increase in energy and an absence of headaches, seasonal allergies and digestive irritations!  Having a happy Gluten-Free Captain has fostered a much more wonderful experience the First Mate (Mom) and the Crew (my brother and I).

I am very excited about the future of America’s Gluten-Free awareness.  That being said, without a doubt, there is still room for vast improvement amongst the scope and quality of Gluten-Free food and drink.  I feel blessed to have the opportunity to raise Gluten-Free and Celiac awareness through the Rudi’s Gluten-Free brand.  I cannot wait to contribute an array of Gluten-Free recipe and lifestyle blogposts. More importantly, I look forward to receiving feedback from readers, which will significantly foster my understanding of Celiac disease and the Gluten-Free lifestyle!

Yours truly,

Dominic Atkatz