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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Banza Gluten Free Chickpea Pasta Is Stellar




Cooks in less than 5 minutes
Life isn't too shabby going gluten free today in 2015. Those on a healthy and strict gluten free lifestyle have a plethora of pasta options. However, the more common corn and rice pastas are lacking in nutrients. Meanwhile vegetable, quinoa and bean pastas start to show more promise.  Generally gluten free replacement pastas can be made from simple ingredients with higher carbs, sugars, low fibers and proteins sustaining the issues of malnutrition. This is why I rarely eat pasta.  However, my new favorite alternative pasta should be your new normal pasta. Introducing chickpea pasta from Banza. Those with Celiac Disease and beyond can now enjoy Banza gluten free pasta because bean based pastas are loaded with protein, fiber and have lower carbs to name a few. They boil perfectly, keeping shape, texture and most importantly taste. Traditional pasta is very lacking and the gluten free alternatives are typically tasteless or lacking nutrition, well, the times they keep on changing.



Pasta is one of the most common foods eaten in the American society. It is a comfort and filling food in warm dishes or even cold. It's also one of the most sought after gluten free replacement meals when you ask most people diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Pasta and bread I'd admit with regret though are foods that we crave, ahh! 


       

I eat pasta monthly maybe more often pending my social calendar. Pasta typically just isn't healthy for us on a dull day. As a kid I learned how to eat my carbs and proteins more often during 2-3 days prior to my activity sporting calendars. I was active in futbol (soccer), basketball and baseball games. I would load up on pastas ahead of time to keep myself. While that worked for me as a kid as I got older and diagnosed Celiac Disease as young teenager I ate mostly salads, rice and meat, a whole ton of it. Pasta was pretty rare since there weren't much healthy or tasty corn or rice options.  

I met Brian Rudolph, co-founder of Banza Pasta, and he is also on a gluten free lifestyle journey. He  was able to start Banza pasta in his kitchen before starting to take this out much larger to grow retail distribution forming a business. His team of gluten and non gluten-free peeps have tasted Banza with nearly every type of pasta recipe and it meets high standards. Chickpea pasta from Banza is legit! 

I've introduced Banza to family and friends and it was 100% approved. Gluten free or not Banza pasta was receiving accolades from mom, dad and beyond. I've bought multiple boxes already and glad to have a new pasta option that is healthier overall, higher in protein, and I could feel good about eating pasta again more often. Macaroni salad here I come hmm!




2X PROTEIN THAN TRADITIONAL PASTA

There is no need to over eat proteins, but when you're active and focussed on eating healthy foods with balanced nutrients such as protein, you're eating smarter. Only eat what you're going to use though, be active!



HALF THE CARBS

Carbs are necessary, but typically a waste in the diet from unnecessary foods that have excess starches in them. If you eat pasta daily or weekly and don't utilize the energy to burn off during regular exercise it will turn to fat. Enjoy your carbs, but eat smarter from balanced foods such as beans, quinoa and vegetables. Don't over eat on the corns, rices or root vegetables, especially from chips like excessive potato eating.



4X FIBER

C'mon now, fiber is GOOD for you so don't be scared of it. Yes it helps you poop more, but hey that's the point of life. In and out. Family, health, activity, socializing. Repeat. In order to do all of this you must eat and excrete. More smart fibers in your diet the better so if you're laughing right now get more serious. Thanks Banza!



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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Protings Gluten Free Product Review


http://www.protings.com/

WHAT ARE PROTINGS?

 

http://www.protings.com/Let's imagine a pea protein joined forces with a triangular crispy potato chip with delicious seasonings. Then imagine the name "pro" as in protein and "ting" as in things and merge them into something fun and catchy. I asked this question to co-founder Ryan at a food show. I liked it. Ryan and co-founder Kirk are based in Brooklyn, NY.  Protings are for healthy peeps and chip lovers who seek an alternative but love food and eating smart. No more empty nutrition while snacking in-between meals. Crunch on Protings at the gym after a work out, at the office, on the bus/train or home wherever you're hungry to avoid binging. 

Protings are jam packed with pea protein, flax seed, sunflower oil, fairly low in sat, low calorie and very low in sugar. You get your crunch fix, it looks certainly like a chip, and it gives you the healthy ingredients and protein that you NEVER get from a chip. Chips usually are a guilty pleasure and it's only recent that some chips have gotten somewhat nutrient dense. I'm stoked about these Protings and excited to see what's next for them. 

On their website, the nutritional information can be reviewed for each product by label. The ingredients are mostly simple. You can pronounce and recognize all of them and not feel alarmed. Start shopping for Protings here. No worries!


PROTINGS FLAVOR & NUTRITION



            TOASTED SEA SALT            SPICY CHILI LIME  

   ZESTY NACHO              TANGY SOUTHERN BBQ                 


PEA PROTEIN

Protein is a true asset to healthy living especially for active individuals. Pea protein is one of the most ideal vegetable based proteins for human consumption experts say.  Pea protein possess benefits over both animal and other vegetable proteins including digestion, allergen free and amino acids for sport activity.


 

FLAX SEEDS

Jam packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, minerals, and essential vitamins. Flax is a top vegetable source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which have been linked to maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol in the blood. Studies show that diets rich in fiber, monounsaturated fatty acids, and omega-3 fatty acids help support a healthy cardiovascular system by favoring a healthy blood lipid profile. Flax  seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E.  Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps maintain skin integrity and preserve youthfulness.


SUNFLOWER OIL 

Sunflowers are awesome and they're rarely used in our foods. Tisk tisk. Sunflower oil has numerous qualities and studies have shown that it can assist in maintaining a healthy nervous system, good digestion, and it is great for producing energy as a result of the Vitamin B quantity found in sunflower oil among much more properties. Eat more sunflower based foods!

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Monday, June 1, 2015

Svelte Protein Shake Gluten Free Product Review



The idea of a ready to drink, grab and go organic, vegan, Kosher, gluten free and dairy free protein shake is too good to be true. No actually it's not... But this combination is hard to find. Secondly, some shakes just taste horrible and you have to convince yourself to drink them. C'mon they are not great even when you make them yourself, you kind of talk yourself into it usually. I don't mean yours are bad, but just that they're not amazeballs. Also shakes and smoothies often can be expensive, or the ultimate combination for your lifestyle is too tough to match. If you dig soy milks (nonGMO of course) then Svelte USDA organic shakes should be on your new short list of options. 

Each ready to drink Svelte protein shake is consistent with outstanding flavor. I liked all of the flavors some of them more than others, but the tastes are clean and smooth. There is no awkward chalky after taste or confusing mouth feel.  Svelte has five flavors: Chocolate, French Vanilla, Capuccino, Spiced Chai and Banana Creme. The packaging includes a convenient twist and click snap that you rarely find on drinks packages. It ensures that you closed it to keep it fresh. Imagine clean, smooth texture and delicious flavor!


5g fiber • sustained energy • vitamins & minerals

6g sugar (low glycemic) • 180 calories

vegan • 0 trans-fats or cholesterol

award winning taste • best value per oz

kosher orthodox union • gluten free • organic soy (non GMO)



Svelte is owned by a leading natural foods company with a 30+ year history of innovation and excellence. Their parent company began in 1980 with five employees and a commitment to creating nothing but the highest quality ingredients and products. Since then, they've grown to over 350 strong, developing many of the industry’s iconic and best-loved products. They still carry the attitude of community support, passion for healthy products, and sincere appreciation for customers.

CalNaturale™ is part of California Natural Products, a leading natural foods company with a 30+ year history of innovation and excellence. We started back in 1980 with five employees and a commitment to creating nothing but the highest quality ingredients and products. Since then, we’ve grown to over 350 strong, developing many of the industry’s iconic and best-loved products.
In 2009, we expanded this tradition of excellence with the introduction of our own brand, CalNaturale. Our current product line includes CalNaturale Svelte® protein shakes, the best-tasting nutritious protein shakes in America, and CalNaturale® Wine, the premium wine made from organically grown grapes. The CalNaturale family of products can now be found in supermarkets, natural food stores, and health clubs across the country.
Even after 30+ years of innovation, accolades and awards, California Natural Products remain a third-generation family-owned business. We’re still located on site of the same family farm where owner Pat Mitchell grew and sold crops as a young man, We still carry the attitude of community support, passion for healthy products, and sincere appreciation for our fans.
- See more at: http://www.drinksvelte.com/about/#sthash.gdeHwa5E.dpuf
CalNaturale™ is part of California Natural Products, a leading natural foods company with a 30+ year history of innovation and excellence. We started back in 1980 with five employees and a commitment to creating nothing but the highest quality ingredients and products. Since then, we’ve grown to over 350 strong, developing many of the industry’s iconic and best-loved products.
In 2009, we expanded this tradition of excellence with the introduction of our own brand, CalNaturale. Our current product line includes CalNaturale Svelte® protein shakes, the best-tasting nutritious protein shakes in America, and CalNaturale® Wine, the premium wine made from organically grown grapes. The CalNaturale family of products can now be found in supermarkets, natural food stores, and health clubs across the country.
Even after 30+ years of innovation, accolades and awards, California Natural Products remain a third-generation family-owned business. We’re still located on site of the same family farm where owner Pat Mitchell grew and sold crops as a young man, We still carry the attitude of community support, passion for healthy products, and sincere appreciation for our fans.
- See more at: http://www.drinksvelte.com/about/#sthash.gdeHwa5E.dpuf
CalNaturale™ is part of California Natural Products, a leading natural foods company with a 30+ year history of innovation and excellence. We started back in 1980 with five employees and a commitment to creating nothing but the highest quality ingredients and products. Since then, we’ve grown to over 350 strong, developing many of the industry’s iconic and best-loved products.
In 2009, we expanded this tradition of excellence with the introduction of our own brand, CalNaturale. Our current product line includes CalNaturale Svelte® protein shakes, the best-tasting nutritious protein shakes in America, and CalNaturale® Wine, the premium wine made from organically grown grapes. The CalNaturale family of products can now be found in supermarkets, natural food stores, and health clubs across the country.
Even after 30+ years of innovation, accolades and awards, California Natural Products remain a third-generation family-owned business. We’re still located on site of the same family farm where owner Pat Mitchell grew and sold crops as a young man, We still carry the attitude of community support, passion for healthy products, and sincere appreciation for our fans.
- See more at: http://www.drinksvelte.com/about/#sthash.gdeHwa5E.dpuf

Chocolate      French Vanilla      Banana Creme      Cappuccino      Spiced Chai


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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. 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. 



WHAT DOES A REAL NY BAGEL TASTE LIKE?

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. 

SWEET NOTE BAGELS


Plain         Everything        Cinnamon        Poppy     

Sesame          Snickerdoodle         Pumpkin


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Retailers: Available in 15 states and growing
Online Store


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