Holiday Giveaway #3 – Red Apple Lipstick

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Red Apple Lipstick, and this post contains an affiliate link. This means I get a small commission that helps maintain the cost of this site (there is no added cost to you). I’ve received samples of this product, but I was not paid to write this post. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend products that I, myself, use and love. 

Looking for a good gift to get yourself (or someone else – whatever) this holiday season? The Red Apple Lipstick winter collection is a perfect choice!

Fast facts about Red Apple Lipstick:

  • Gluten free
  • Cruelty free
  • Vegan
  • Soy free (except retractable lip pencils) 
  • Corn free
  • Dairy free
  • Contains no GMO’s 
  • Preservative free
  • Toxin & chemical free
  • Petroleum free
  • Mercury free
  • Lead & talc free
  • Made in the USA

Paris, Ravishing, Fierce and Swoon are totally gorgeous colors that are perfect for the winter season. I love creating bold statements with my lip color during the holidays and winter months. I’ve been a fan of Red Apple Lipstick for years, and it’s the only lipstick I use. Their colors are so vibrate, and I always get complimets about it. It’s also so nice to feel safe and confident, knowing that my lipstick is gltuen free.

I always love a good discount – use code “TastyMeditation” for 22% off orders of $50 or more. Plus get free shipping in the continental US when you buy $50+!

Affiliate link: Click here to purchase and learn for more about Red Apple Lipstick

Visit my Instagram page for a chance to win two lipsticks of your choice from the winter collection! Best of luck!

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Holiday Giveaway #2 – Izzi B’s Allergen Free Bakery

Disclaimer: I was not paid nor did I receive samples from this bakery in exchange for this post. I have received samples from this bakery in the past. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend products that I, myself, use/eat and love.

Another of my favorite 100% gluten free bakeries is Izzi B’s Allergen Free Bakery. I’m always so excited to see them at expos and witness kids having their first safe gluten free/nut free donut. Heck I was excited, too! Just look at it – so delicious.

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About Izzi B’s:

  • Allergen-free facility!
  • Gluten free
  • Soy free
  • Dairy free
  • Egg free
  • Peanut/tree nut free
  • Casein free
  • No preservatives
  • No trans fats
  • No refined sugar
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • Cholesterol free
  • Vegan
  • Kosher certified

Izzi B’s specializes in holiday items as well as MANY different kinds of cupcakes, cakes, cookies, brownies, donuts, pies, muffins and cake pops.

Their cookies are amazing and such a treat for the holidays – gingerbread sammies, chocolate chip cookies, Mexican wedding cookies, double chocolate peppermint cream sammies, snickerdoodles, linzer cookies, other butter sammies – they’re what gluten free dreams are made of! Which cookie would you most like to try?

Izzi B’s Allergen-Free Bakery is located in Norwalk, CT. There is no storefront, but they have pick-up options and ship all across the country! Visit www.ibcakes.com.

GIVEAWAY! One winner will receive a collection of cookies from Izzi B’s! Enter via the link below. Continental US only. Giveaway ends Saturday December 15th at 11:59pm EST. The winner has 24 hours to claim their prize. Good luck!

Izzi B’s Allergen Free Bakery Giveaway

Holiday Giveaway #1 – Krumville Bake Shop!

Disclaimer: I was not paid nor given product samples in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend products that I use/eat and love.

It’s that time of year – December 1st means the start of the Tasty Meditation Gluten Free Holiday Giveaways! To help celebrate the season of giving I’m hosting a few giveaways throughout the month with some of my favorite gluten free bakeries/companies/small businesses starting with Krumville Bake Shop!

Krumville Bake Shop is a 100% gluten free bakery in Brooklyn, and they make some of the most amazing gluten free foods I’ve ever eaten – muffins and cookies and layered cakes, oh my! I’m actually planning on ordering one of their cakes for my wedding, and I can’t wait to eat it.

Krumville has come out with a new line of holiday gifts which include:

  • Hand Decorated Sugar Cookies Gift Box
  • Choco Lover Cookie Gift Box
  • Choco-Coco Cookie Gift Box
  • Muffin Trio Gift Box
  • Cookie Trio Gift Box
  • Gingerbread Cake
  • Cherry Chocolate Cake

Our giveaway features Krumville’s new sugar cookies. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw these. Have you ever seen a more beautiful cookie?!?! They’re almost too pretty to eat! I must say, I’m already super jealous of the future giveaway winner.

Good news! Krumville ships nationwide and has local delivery/pickup in NYC (there is no storefront, so order in advance). Can you believe they ship cakes across the country? Whether you’re looking for an incredible gift for a gluten free loved one or want to get yourself a gift (do it!), Krumville Bake Shop is sure to make your holiday a whole lot sweeter.

For more information and to purchase these cookies or other gifts visit https://www.krumvillebakeshop.com/products/decorated-sugar-cookies-by-courtney

GIVEAWAY!!! One lucky winner will receive Krumville Bake Shop’s Sugar Cookie Gift Box! Enter via the link below. Giveaway ends Wednesday December 12th at 11:59pm EST. Winner must reply to congratulatory email within 24 hours. Continental US only.

Krumville Bake Shop Giveaway

GFAF Expo comes back to New Jersey! Giveaway!

(Disclaimer: I am not being paid by the GFAF Expo organization. I am one of their official expo bloggers and am recieving a comped admission ticket. All opinions are my own.)

The GFAF Expo is coming back to Secaucus, New Jersey! I’ve had this event in my calendar since the expo last year, and I cannot wait.

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The Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo is a great opportunity to meet other gluten free folks, attend lectures, and sample amazing products from businesses and local bakeries. I normally spend the entire expo running around and talking to friends, a piece of cake constantly in each hand.

Now before you say, “What???? New Jersey??? That’s so far!!!” Trust me, it’s so easy to get there. It’s a ten-ish minute bus ride from Port Authority, and the bus drops you off right in from of the expo center.

I’ll be at the expo Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday, so if you’ll be there please let me know so we can say hi!

Tickets and more information available at www.gfafexpo.com/expos/new-york

Use code “NYC30” for 30% off tickets!

Ticket GIVEAWAY! For a chance to win a free ticket leave a comment below – what are you most excited to see/do/sample at the expo? Giveaway ends Friday September 21st at 11:59pm EST. For the NJ expo only.

Updated – Opinion on the Nima Sensor

Disclaimer – The following opinions are my own. I own a Nima Sensor (which I paid for myself). This is meant to be a discussion, so pease feel free to contribute. Please keep in mind that the FDA has defined gluten free as less than 20ppm (parts per million). Some gluten free certification organizations require foods to be less than this. I am aware that some extremely sensitive celiacs react to 20ppm. Nima has said their chemistry is optimized for 20ppm but occasionally picks up gluten lower than that.

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After years of consumers and testing experts asking for the Nima team to release their third party testing data to the public, the Nima team finally has via a webinar (which you can watch HERE). I am concerned and horrified, though not surprised.

A refresher – you can find my previous opinion post about the Nima Sensor HERE where I discuss cost, limitations, sample size, inconsistencies in my person testing experience, and questions about accuracy. All concerns are still valid.

Foods over 20ppm

Nima’s website says “Nima was designed to detect gluten in food samples at 20ppm (parts per million) or above with 99.5% accuracy.” However, about 16 minutes into the webinar, you’ll see a slide that shows foods at 20ppm test positive for gluten 79.5% of the time. Only when we get up to 40ppm does Nima detect gluten 98.7% of the time.

Foods containing 20-40ppm are not safe for those with celiac disease, yet a test with Nima may result in a smiley face.

Foods under 20ppm

In the same slide we see that foods at 10ppm will test positive for gluten 56.4% of the time (we might as well toss a coin). Foods at 5ppm will test positive for gluten 34.6% of the time. We also know from a piece of data that the Nima team previously released – foods less than 2ppm will report ‘gluten found’ 7.8% of the time.

Adding in widespread social media and Nima app factors – my fear is that restaurants and companies that are doing great work for the celiac disease community are having their reputations unfairly tarnished, and Nima is preventing people from eating safe food.

Conclusion

There is no way to know how many ppm of gluten your food contains when testing with Nima – “gluten found” and smiley face could mean anything. I believe the Nima team had best intentions at heart when they began making this gadget, and they continue to say that Nima is another tool in your tool box. However, I continue to ask the questions – Is it an accurate tool? Does it leave you with more answers or more questions?

I truly wish that the Nima team would have released this data before they started selling Nima gadgets. I originally had the highest hopes, but had this data been available I would never have bought one.

It is my hope that consumers, restaurant staff, and company representatives will read this data and become more informed on the gadget’s limitations and accuracy. 

 

Additional resources

Gluten Free Watchdog’s summary of this new data

The Canadian Celiac Association’s opinion on the Nima Sensor -“At the present time, the CCA Professional Advisory Council DOES NOT RECOMMEND that people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity use the NIMA Sensor device to determine the gluten status of a food….”

Vote for Your Favorite Gluten Free Bloggers!

It’s that time again! The Gluten Free Buyer’s Guide wants to know who YOUR favorite bloggers are! I was so thrill and honored to be voted as one of the top 20 gluten free bloggers last year, and top 40 the year before. Whether you’d like to vote for me (no pressure!) or someone else, please show your support for the bloggers who you think make a difference. 

Click here to vote!

8th GFA Winner Seal

Please consider voting for Tasty Meditation!

Nominations end soon!

Take Action – Reporting Foods to the FDA

A sentence that I frequently see online – “X food made me sick, so I don’t buy it anymore.” Whenever there’s a discussion about a certain “gluten free” cereal (emphasis on the quotes), I see many, many people asserting this statement. Or I hear about people who find a “gluten free” product at the grocery store, but upon seeing  wheat listed in the ingredients, they decide to simply not buy it. When I ask these individuals if they reported their illness/the sketchy product to the FDA, everyone has been surprised that it’s even an option. Voting with your dollars is great, but we have to do more if we want change to happen. 

I’ll admit, talking on the phone is not my preferred method of communication. I’m much more comfortable with written or in-person correspondence. However, I’ve contacted the FDA several times about dangerous foods, and it couldn’t be easier. It takes five minutes, and the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator walked me through it. 

What kinds of foods can you report to the FDA?

  • Foods that gave you an adverse reaction.
  • Foods that are facially misbranded – the packaging has a gluten free claim yet the ingredients list displays a gluten-containing ingredient prohibited by the FDA for this claim. An example of facial misbranding is a product that contains wheat-based soy sauce, yet the front of the packaging says “gluten free.”

Things to keep in mind:

  • The FDA considers “gluten free,” “without gluten,” “no gluten,” and “free of gluten,” to be similar claims.
  • “Made in the same facility as wheat” or “made on the same equipment as wheat” are legal. They are also optional statements. Manufacturers are not required to disclose these. 
  • Foods that produce a “gluten found” result with the Nima Sensor may contain less than 20ppm. 

What will you need?

  • Five minutes
  • It’s helpful if you have the packaging information (though you can still call without it). The representative on the phone will likely ask you for specific labeling/date information. 
  • This handy website which will help you find your Consumer Complaint Coordinator by state:

www.fda.gov/Safety/ReportaProblem/ConsumerComplaintCoordinators/default.htm

This is an easy way to help the community. I urge you to report dangerous products. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or aren’t sure if a specific product is facially misbranded.