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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Gluten Is Everywhere Including Probiotics

More than half of the top-selling probiotic supplements analyzed in a study contained gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye that is harmful to people with celiac disease.Credit Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

I have to say that I'm not surprised, were you? Trusting in the free world has gone way out the door.  Vitamins and supplements are not regulated by the FDA and probiotic supplements, albeit are vital to your gut health, are just not being watched enough. Therefore gluten can be used as fillers, coating, and simply all over the tools and machinery in a  manufacturing facility. Therefore,  foods of all sorts are being contaminated even with some form of "gluten-free" claim. Small and large companies are likely, all culprits according to the NY TIMES article via Many Probiotics Taken For Celiac Disease Contain Gluten from Wed, May 19th. 

Dr. Green said that he and his colleagues were troubled by a 2013 article in The New York Times that described a study carried out at the University of Guelph in Ontario. That study found that many herbal supplements contained cheap fillers, substitutes and unlisted ingredients such as soy and wheat.

There is an ongoing cluster-F*&* that people think gluten-free can signify no gluten ingredients. That's far from the truth. In fact it's companies like Trader Joe's who used to have labels for 20 years (labeled as g+) that said "no gluten ingredients" sending terrible mixed messages to their mainstream shopper. Store associates have told me that they actually took pride in their early adoption of no gluten, yet they frustrated the gluten free movement more than helping. Trader Joe's as I found out again yesterday when shopping, still is trying to remove all g+ label and are also constantly changing their shelves due to contaminated store brand issues stemming from their hundreds of manufacturers who have gluten present. Yesterday, I tried to find gluten free crackers and they do not carry them anymore. This happens on a regular basis at Trader Joe's. 

“The question is: Why are companies putting wheat or barley or rye in probiotic supplements?” Dr. Green said. “People use these natural products in an attempt to be healthy. Yet it’s a very poorly regulated industry. Can anyone trust a gluten-free label?”

The gluten contamination issue is everywhere from food, beverages and vitamins and supplements. Let's not even dare to jump head into the restaurant industry. Everywhere you go a restaurant says gluten-free yet has a disclaimer that holds them not responsible for cross contamination. News flash, no restaurant can in their right mind guarantee gluten free when wheat flour is present, in addition to the many foods that already have gluten in it. It's impossible without thorough regular protein/allergen checking. Those of you who trust too easily eating out and find yourself with regular or occasional symptoms this is likely the reason.

Who can be trusted? There are gluten-free labels found on food/beverages/skin care, etc, that you may recognize such as these but can you tell which is real and which isn't? Certified labels will often mention "certified" or "verified" or list an agency taking the credit such as "Celiac Spru Association" as a rule of thumb.  Just remember to read the label and ingredients, research and phone companies. Utilize your human judgement because gluten free also doesn't mean healthy. People make mistakes and so do machines. It's okay and empowering to learn to say No.

Apologies for semi-distressing. The issues here are obvious; Gluten was used and continues to be a  contamination in our entire food supply. If you have Celiac Disease, gluten sensitivities, auto-immune disease or believe that you may have gluten related illnesses you have to learn to say, "No" and eat farm fresh produce and meats (less processed or not at all) and make your own food. You can't stop there though as it's inevitable to eat in a gluten free household that doesn't have any gluten contamination. Loved ones, family and friends need to understand that "kinda gluten-'free" doesn't exist. Don't be that person instigating. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sweet Note Bagels Gluten Free Product Review

All gluten-free bagels were not created equal. Texture, aroma, taste, and healthy ingredients should be the recipe for every food and beverage you eat. Recently, at a food expo in California, I met Michelle and Brittany from Sweet Note Bakery, lucky me! Michelle is a Philadelphia baker with the dream of bringing NY style gluten-free safe bagels to the free world everywhere. She reminded me that I should raise my expectations and consider a tastier NY style gluten free, fantastic bagel that I never had before (Made in a dedicated GF facility) ... All while being gluten free, soy free, dairy free, egg free, peanut and tree nut free and NON GMO. I was happily intrigued. 


I accepted the challenge because I grew up on bagels as a youngster (pre-Celiac). My parents have leaned in on the gluten-free acceptance which I'm very grateful for and they have learned a lot about food ingredients, health and have more energy, too. They're nearly all in gluten-free, but I am still working on them. Regardless, bagels are part of my family's food culture! Yet for me, I usually leave the room or stand back to stay away from gluten so prominently at the table. For a gluten containing bagel the toasted smell and leaping crumbs go everywhere, it's just not safe for us gluten-free life-stylists. On the bright side, Sweet Note Bagels are denser, have that true bakery flavor, and are slightly smaller size bagels, chewier than your traditional extra large carb heavy bagels.

Imagine a Sunday morning. You take out your frozen Sweet Note Bagel/s and you put them into a preheated oven (or microwave if you're into that). No need to defrost. A few minutes later your gluten free bagel is ready for slicing and as it cools adding your favorite spreads. Perhaps you enjoy cream cheese, lox, ghee, peanut butter, jams or eggs like me!  By now the kitchen smells like a bakery, and your mouth is watering. Most other gluten free bagels don't offer a legit bakery scent in the air and are often flaky and not truly satisfying. Why settle for a subpar GF bagel anymore?

I preferred the everything bagels with all of the extra flavor goodness. The plain bagel was also delicious and cinnamon raisin as well. If you're looking for a NY style bagel, order Sweet Note online or find a local store in the northeast. I'm excited to see what's next for them regarding ingredient changes and flavor options. Who knows with these savvy Philly bakers. They even have a YouTube channel with diverse year round recipes using their bagels. So step up your bagel expectations with Sweet Note Bagels. 


Plain         Everything        Cinnamon        Poppy     

Sesame          Snickerdoodle         Pumpkin


Retailers: Available in 15 states and growing
Online Store



Sunday, May 10, 2015

Gluten & Allergen Free Marketplace

Shop at Strictly Gluten FreeI've been searching high and low for a place to easily find gluten-free trusted and credible products. Sure, there are websites out there that sell gluten free products, but many of them lack transparency behind the gluten free claims, lack detailed information about the products, also these sites may even sell gluten containing products or are just confusing to navigate and that's frustrating to actually buy effectively. If I can't find a product online, understand the price and shipping information then I leave. Or I'll simply drive to Whole Foods, Sprouts, or local healthy natural market where I can speak to educated staff to find, learn and buy. The problem is that driving is a waste of time to go wait in lines and search forever in a store that carries limited gluten-free products when a lot of the good gluten-free products are available online at Strictly Gluten Free

Recently, I joined forces to play a role in helping co-founder Steve & Angela Distefano to help improve the Strictly Gluten Free marketplace. They've overcome many of the barriers to online shopping for the most trusted and new gluten-free manufacturers, for you! Strictly Gluten Free strives to provide transparency, education and research on various lifestyle choices that effect our health and products that are not only main stream popular but emerging out of the small towns by entrepreneurs who care about healthy, happy and nutritious living. This is the type of market place those with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, auto-immune diseases, and others who truly see the benefits of a gluten-free lifestyle and beyond have been looking for. 


 Strictly Gluten FreeEverything in the Strictly Gluten Free market is gluten-free. That's the #1 priority. But Steve & Angela also have associated dozens of other important healthy lifestyles such as dairy free, organic, non GMO, allergen free and many more so that you can not only find more products easier, but there is a learning center. You can understand what Paleo, Raw, etc are all about including the health benefits and risks as a resource to learn, yes learn. We all need to keep learning and that's what so much fun here. If you have  question you can even AskTheDr inside the lifestyle page at the bottom.  This means you're not only shopping gluten free but for other lifestyles as well all at the same time, its' awesome! They continue to add more products to make it easy for all of us to shop smarter and healthier. 


 Strictly Gluten FreeFrozen is a growing opportunity for those with health related shopping needs. Going to the super market and buying frozen foods (breads, pastas, desserts, etc) are part of the experience, but if you want to do it at home there is a premium. The convenience to shopping from your phone wherever you are or when you are in your pjs at home grocery shopping includes some fees that are inevitable. Shop by frozen in two places, from the top navigation where you can choose a variety of common categories or on the left side by product category. In the Product category you can easily see what to chose frozen sub-categories.  Just look out for the promo codes or sale items but feel good knowing that you're shopping conveniently, saving time, energy and gas costs, too. Keep that in mind. 


Another growing incentive to shop at home or on the go, such as in your car or traveling ahead of time to be sure products arrive in a few days or so. Buying in bulk is one of the most important ways to shop in today's market with Costco, BJs, and many other box box retailers.  The challenge here is the shipping will be pricier because you're shipping a lot of big/heavy goods. On the contrary you don't have to leave your home, waste gas money and time. Instead, you can go hike, bike, to the park and use your time wiser with your family, friends or however you keep busy. Last time I went to a box box retailer, I bought a few products I didn't need, spent more money than I wanted and it took a few hours, just saying! 


Strictly Gluten Free At the click of a button you can find your favorite brand to shop for what's new and in stock or explore a new brand. Strictly Gluten Free has not just the popular and credible gluten-free manufacturers but those who are emerging with so many delicious products that you may never of heard of before.  There is a choice on the left to search by alphabetical letter A, B, C though Z or look at their recognizable logo and click to advance. It's pretty easy an convenient to find what you're looking for and shop.  

If you can't find a product you can also request it, it's just that easy and fun. Voice your opinion, by sharing, rating and reviewing products as well. Help others find out what's tasty and what's not. 


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Vegetables Belong In Majority of Meals

Look at your meal and ask yourself if there is enough organic vegetables in them. Yes/No?  Add more.

This is a question you should have during every meal; breakfast, lunch and dinner. In my humble opinion, your meals should have at least 50-75% of vegetables in every serving. These vegetables should be both raw and/or cooked, and you should be focussing on primarily organic foods as too many vegetables are being made with GMOs. Never eat a GMO as there is too little research done on long term testing for humans common sense says a food genetically made in a laboratory with chemicals unnatural to resist pesticides is unfathomably irrational.

If you're shopping at a local grocery, do you know if your vegetables are organic, hybrids or GMO seeds? So many of our every day vegetables and fruits are littered with pesticides to "protect" them from insects and help them grow quicker, faster, and larger! That's not normal. GMOs are not a good thang. Does that really appeal to people out there? Tomatoes are not supposed to be humungous ya know. If you're not growing your own food in you backyard or front yard garden then it's time to start exploring further and asking your local market what type of produce do they carry. If they say, "Yes. We do have GMO vegetables or fruit"  run far away and don't go back there. 

If you've got taste buds then use them. Steaming beans is not only fun, but delicious. Wash them well and add them to a steaming pot of water and get them ready for consuming. You can even sprinkle some oil, good pink himalayan salts, or other spices for a touch of flavor. However, taste the vegetables get to know them and the extra dipping hummus, sour cream, salsa, or other dip should be healthy or you're washing away the lifestyle choice of eating smart and healthy. 

Broccoli goes with almost everything. Breakfast with omelettes. Lunch with salads or steamed to accompany any lunch or dinner. I love broccoli added to my soup, sauté  grille or stews because it will steam at the top of the pan or pot and or bake for a nice touch. Don't over cook broccoli. When eaten raw it's most nutritious so aim for it that way, and dip it in some healthier options. And always share!

If you enjoy cooking and baking be creative. 


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Monday, April 27, 2015

Why Flush Your Toilet? Product Review

It's a question and a product name. Why Flush? This is a serious question for the world as we waste a lot of water in the bathroom, my friends. You may be curious what is it actually doing and it's purpose being in the toilet?  I'll answer those mystifying questions and help you realize that you should have Why Flush? in your home, so should your family and friends. We all should own Why Flush (available on Amazon) as part of our everyday life because we all need a place to relieve ourselves in our society yet we all should care more about water conservation. Together, we can accomplish a mental change in toilet behavior with just 2-3 flushes in the middle of the toilet after each #1 pee. This results in neutralized toilet water with a citrus, fresh scented bathroom via Why Flush.

 Why Flush?

No more flushing after pee,
Although it's a change in behavior,
It's a sexy way to conserve water altogether,
It's attractive to care about our shared planet,
If I can change, you can change, we're in this forever


You Can Save 1200 Gallons
16 oz bottle of the Why Flush? could save about 1200 gallons of clean water. Each of us can make a difference. 

Urine Gets Neutralized
The Why Flush product takes urine scent and color and neutralizes it with 2-3 sprays while adding a fresh citrus scent and clean blue-green color to the bowl.

100% Septic Safe 
The Why Flush provides neutrality in a septic environment.

Costs About 25¢ Per Day
For less than 25¢ a day, your household could possibly save 37+ gallons of clean water every day just from flushing pee down the toilet*

* Data of these numbers are based on a household of 3 people. One 16 oz bottle will last 5 weeks on average.

Why Flush Is Made In The USA
Yes! Why Flush is made domestically inside the U.S.A. from vegetable based cleaners, essential oils, and food grade colors without harming or hurting anyone, just helping.

Product Offers Satisfaction 100% Guarantee 
The Why Flush team will guarantee your purchase. If for any reason you're not happy with your purchase you will be refunded 100% along with the cost of shipping. Believe it. 

Where To Buy
Website & Social