Holiday Giveaway #1 – Bread SRSLY

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Bread SRSLY, and this post contains an affiliate link. This means I get a small commission that helps me 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 use and love.

It’s time for Tasty Meditation’s Favorite Things! I’m celebrating the holiday season by featuring a few of my very favorite products in the gluten free world and hosting giveaways! Tis the season for giving, after all. First up – Bread SRSLY!

This is one of my very favorite things to receive in the mail, and it brings me so much joy – 100% gluten free sourdough. Bread SRSLY is made in San Francisco, so you know it’s the real deal. My husband (originally from the Bay Area) adores this bread and is always upset when I eat the last few slices without him. Not only is this my favorite gluten free sourdough bread, it’s also my favorite gluten free bread on the market. The texture and taste are just incredible! Bread SRSLY’s mission is “to reunite eaters with sourdough when they thought good bread was off the table”. Thank you, Bread SRSLY, for bringing this amazing bread to my table (though it is never on the table long – we eat it too fast!).

Quick facts:

  • Made in a 100% gluten free facility
  • Certified gluten free
  • Made in a dedicated top 8 allergen-free facility
  • Dairy free
  • Soy free
  • Egg free
  • Potato free
  • Sugar free
  • Tree nut free
  • Peanut free
  • Tapioca free
  • Chickpea free
  • Sesame free
  • Some products are rice-free and gum-free
  • Certified vegan
  • Certified kosher
  • They ship nationwide!

My favorite variation is the classic loaf, but I also appreciate the extra bit of sweetness the onion loaf provides. All of the loaves are incredibly soft, and very lightly toasting individual slices helps to bring out the perfect sourdough flavor. Add a bit of grass-fed butter (YUM!), and you’ve got the perfect bite. Seriously, you might just think you’re in heaven.

Click here to order your Bread SRSLY (affiliate link) and get FREE SHIPPING using code “tastymeditation”!

The last day to order your Bread SRSLY for the holidays is December 15th, so order soon!

GIVEAWAY! One winner will receive a mixed pack of sourdough (1 classic loaf, 1 sweet onion loaf, 1 seeded loaf). Enter via the rafflecopter link below. US only. Giveaway ends December 9th at 11:59pm EST. Winners have 24 hours to claim their prize.

Enter HERE

Visit my instagram page – Tasty Meditation – for another chance to win! A second winner will be chosen there!

Gluten Free Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Disclaimer: I was not paid nor given free products in exchange for writing this post. Some of these companies have previously provided me with samples. This post contains a few affiliate links (always specified) in which I get a small commission that helps maintain the cost of this site (there is no added cost to you). All opinions are my own, and I only recommend products that I, myself, use and love. As always, double check labels and product information. Ingredients, allergen policies, and facilities can change at any time. 

It’s that time again! – The Tasty Meditation Gluten Free Holiday Gift Guide 2017! Below you’ll find some favorite from previous years, plus a few new ones. Find the perfect gift for your gluten free loved one!

For the chocolate/sweets lover:

  • See’s Candy – I highly recommend their gold box chocolate truffles. Yes – gluten free truffles!! The perfect decadent treat.
  • Pascha Chocolate – Very allergen-friendly dark chocolate.
  • Al Nassma  Elegant camel-milk chocolates from Dubai (please see my previous post for allergen information).
  • Organic Living Superfoods  – (affiliate link) Health conscious friends will love this organic, dairy free, chocolate covered fruit. I recommend the dark chocolate covered pineapple and coconut. (Get 10% off with code “TastyMeditation10”)

For the experienced cook – Often times experienced home cooks know exactly what ingredients they need and what new kitchen gadgets they are dying to try, which makes a gift card to the right store a perfect gift.

  • Nuts.com gift certificate –Gluten free flours, nuts, and baking ingredients can get expensive, so I’m sure that any home cook would love the gift of a full pantry.
  • Guittard Chocolate Chips – My absolute favorite chocolate to bake with. Most of their products are made in a dedicated facility and will say so on the label.
  • Bed, Bath and Beyond gift card Not sure what gadget your GF friend is missing? Let them pick! I asked my followers on Facebook what was on their wish list, and cooking gadgets (bread makers, in particular) were at the top of many lists.
  • Digital Kitchen Scale – Digital scales are essential for measuring gluten free flour and making sure gluten free recipes come out the best they can be! So far my favorite scale is by Escali who provided a sample in exchange for this review. 
  • Blendtec blender with twister jar – One of the most useful gadgets in my kitchen. The twister jar is perfect for making nut butters and small servings of anything.
  • “1000 Gluten Free Recipes” by Carol Fenster – My first cookbook when I went gluten free, and boy was I glad I had it! Five years later it still has a prominent space on my bookshelf.
  • Natural Contents Cookbook Good Food For Everyone: Farm Fresh Clean Eating  – Gluten free, grain free, soy free, mostly paleo, dairy-free friendly and vegan friendly recipes. 
  • Any books by Elana Amsterdam (aka Elana’s Pantry)  Through the years Elana has proven to be my favorite source for paleo recipes. Buy some almond and coconut flour and get cooking!
  • Gluten Free Labels – (affiliate link) Fun labels, stickers, tags, and toothpick flags that will easily help distinguish the gluten-free products from the gluten-filled products in a shared kitchen.
  • A dinner at their favorite GF restaurant – Because every great cook deserves a relaxing culinary experience every so often. Great option if you know your sweetie has a favorite. Unless you’re taking them to a new 100% GF restaurant, don’t surprise them with a new place they haven’t had a chance to research.

For those who like easy baking projects:

  • Luce’s Gluten Free Artisan Bread Mix – Delicious, rustic bread mix. Just add water, mix, and bake. I recommend the sourdough and “rye” mixes (not real rye, of course), which are oat free (the other mixes contain non-purity protocol GF oats, an ingredient that I do not personally eat/recommend)
  • 123 Gluten Free Mixes – A high quality set of mixes that are extremely allergen friendly. Great for loved ones with multiple food intolerances. Over a hundred recipes on their website – you will never get tired of their mixes. The Sweet Goodness Pan Bars are a personal favorite. 
  • Better Batter Mixes – Better Batter has a beautiful mission. I urge you to visit their website and read about the family that was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, the business that sparked from it, and their dedication to various communities including individuals with autism. Very allergen friendly, and there are literally hundreds of recipes on the Better Batter website.
  • Really Great Food Company Mixes – A big hit at the recent GFAF Expo. Their coffee cake and banana bread were huge hits and personal favorites.
  • Gluten Free Prairie Oatmeal – IF you know your GF loved one can tolerate gluten free oats, they will be super impressed with Gluten Free Prairie! Unlike many GF oats on the market, Gluten Free Prairie uses gluten free purity protocol oats which are grown/harvested in dedicated fields. For more info on the purity protocol issue click here. 

Subscription Boxes

  • American Gluten Free– (affiliate link) My favorite gluten free subscription boxes on the market. AGF supports small businesses across the country, so you will taste very unique products that you might not have found otherwise. All items are made in dedicated gluten free facilities and/or are certified gluten free. They’re all dairy free, as well! You’ll find subscription options for both on-the-go snackers and experienced cooks. AGF is offers single boxes as well as their regular month-to-month plan – it’s the gift that keeps on giving! Use code “Tasty10” to get 10% off ANY subscription for LIFE – every box, every month, for as long as you are a customer. 

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For the beauty product lover:

  • Red Apple Lipstick gift certificate – (affiliate link) Amazing allergen-friendly makeup with stunning lipstick colors for all complexions. The Rallye Balm is a lifesaver for chapped/dry lips during the colder months. Favorite colors include Vogue and Wine & Dandy. Get 22% off orders of $50+ with the code “TastyMeditation”
  • Éclair Naturals – A line of beautiful handcrafted lotions, shampoos, soaps, bath salts, and more that are certified gluten free, soy free, vegan, cruelty free, and non GMO. The body butter is perfect for friends who have sensitive skin during the winter time.

For the book lover:

Fresh GF treats shipped to your door (dedicated GF bakeries):

  • Bread SRSLY Sourdough (affiliate link) “The best gluten free sourdough bread on the market,” says my San Francisco-native boyfriend. I’m a total Bread SRSLY addict. You can even eat it without toasting! $5 flat rate shipping.
  • Krumville Bake Shop – Perhaps my favorite bakery in NYC. Delicious cookies, cakes, muffins, and bread – everything that comes out of the Krumville kitchen is incredible!
  • Meredith’s Bread – Wonderful breads and the best black and white cookies you will ever eat. Their products are in farmers markets all over NYC/NJ/CT (look for the GF label! – they have a separate bakery for their wheat-based products).
  • Izzi B’s Allergen Free Bakery – Try the yellow cake. Your friends will never guess that this bakery is free of gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, all nuts, and casein, preservatives, trans-fats, and refined sugar! Located in Connecticut. 
  • Gluten Free Territory – Amazing raspberry cheesecake brownies! You won’t want to share. (Note: I recommend their oat free products. Two of their cookies contain non-purity protocol GF oats, which I do not eat/recommend). 
  • Squirrel and the Bee Goodness Grainless Granola – The most amazing granola you will ever taste! I highly recommend both the pumpkin spice and cinnamon vanilla. Also available at farmers markets in NJ.
  • Everybody Eats– My mom and I are obsessed with their baguettes, and the company is run by some of the most caring people you’ll ever meet. Pickup locally in Brooklyn or get it shipped to your door.
  • Mariposa Baking Co – Located in San Francisco, Mariposa is one of my favorite bakeries in the country. I highly recommend their cinnamon rolls – out of this world!
  • Gluten Free Gloriously – One of my top favorite bakeries! Located in NJ. I highly recommend their cookies. While many bakeries are often limited to two or three cookie variations, Gluten Free gloriously makes everything a Celiac has been missing — lintzer cookies, biscotti, rainbow cookies, holiday pies, even cannolis! Getting married? Their wedding cakes are stunning!

(Pictured above: Krumville Bake Shop cake, Bread SRSLY Sourdough, Gluten Free Territory brownies, Izzi B’s Allergen Free Bakery cupcakes, Everybody Eats baguette) 

For the alcohol lover:

  • Tito’s Vodka – Certified gluten free, corn-based vodka. You might want to get some for yourself too. I’ve found that you save more money in the long run if you buy the bigger bottle (wink).
  • Wine – When in doubt, always a good gift.

GF  Resources:

  • Gluten Free Watchdog Subscription – GFW is one of the most incredible advocates the community has. Her website is a wealth of information. Subscribers get special access to products reports (selected items are tested for gluten in a lab) and support her overall efforts. 
  • Celiac Research Donation – Donate in honor of your Celiac loved one! The Celiac Center at Columbia University is one of several organizations doing amazing research for the community, searching for better treatment and a cure.

 

Don’t forget that your loved one is not defined by Celiac. We all have other interests and hobbies – theatre, movies, music, pets, crafts, games, sports – gifts that are not food-related are also great choices. 

Please feel free to email this list to loved ones and leave a comment – what gift are YOU wishing for?

Happy Holidays!

Best of Fest – GFAF Expo, NJ 2017

Disclaimer: I was one of the official bloggers for the NJ GFAF Expo. My entry ticket was comped, and I (like many other attendees) received product samples. I was not paid to write this. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend products that I use and love.

The New Jersey GFAF Expo is over, and I am still wiped out! But I’ve got my Best of Fest list ready for you, so here we go!

Everybody Eats

A dedicated gluten free and nut free bakery in Brooklyn, NY (dairy free and vegan options available). It is one of my favorite bakeries, and their baguettes are all the rage in GF restaurants across NYC. Always a huge hit at the expo, I often hear other attendees similarly raving about the bread. I adore the team that runs Everybody Eats (Pablo, Pedro, and Bruce) – they truly care about the Celiac/gluten free community and are some of the loveliest people you’ll ever have the good fortune to meet. No traditional storefront, but they ship and have pick-up options. 

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Izzi B’s Allergen Free Bakery

Another big expo hit year after year, Izzi B’s is a dedicated gluten free bakery in CT that is also free of the top 8 allergens. The owner, Pam, is the absolute sweetest, and this year I met her daughter – the real Izzi B for whom the bakery was inspired by/named for. It turns out that Isabella and I share a favorite cupcake flavor (the golden yellow cupcakes pictured below). They are to die for! Izzi B has no traditional storefront, but there are shipping and pick-up options. 

gfaf 1

Canyon Bakehouse

The best certified gluten free bagels in town! Pictured here are their plain and everything bagels. However, my favorite flavors are their new blueberry and cinnamon raisin. The texture is slightly different – chewier and much closer to traditional New York bagels. Stop and Shop recently started carrying this product, so check it out!

gfaf 3

Eclair Naturals

My favorite gluten free body care products! Also soy free, non-GMO, vegan, and cruelty free. Beautiful scents. The lotions and body butters are my favorite products and have been lifesavers during cold winter months. I frequently stock up when there are sales on Target.com and in Rite Aid stores.

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Gluten Free Gloriously

Amazing dedicated/certified gluten free bakery in NJ. I adore their desserts (they do wedding cakes FYI!), and I kept running into other GF folk at the expo who were similarly raving. Gluten Free Gloriously recently began shipping nationwide. Their dedicated bakery is in Stirling, NJ, and they also have a dedicated display in Bay Ridge, NJ.

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Against the Grain Pizza

Kris and I have been fans of Against The Grain’s baguette for many years, and I was thrilled to try their pizza. The pesto pizza is possibly my favorite pizza on the market. Made in a dedicated gluten free facility.

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Tali Restaurant

NYC’s newest 100% gluten free restaurant! Tali is located on 26th St/Lexington Avenue. Nicely priced Italian food with a gluten free bar and bakery. The NYC Celiac Disease Meetup Group recently had a dinner event there, and everyone gave glowing reviews. 

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The Really Great Food Company

I was recently introduced to these baking mixes in one of my American Gluten Free Boxes. I was thrilled to be able to sample more of their products including their heavenly banana bread and coffee crumb cake mixes (now I can’t stop thinking about that coffee cake – so good!!!). Certified gluten free, egg free, soy free, casein free, dairy free, nut free, kosher, GMO free.

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Friends who attended the expo – did you have any other favorites? Please share in the comments section!

Can’t wait for next year!

The Squirrel & The Bee Grain Free Bakery + Bonus Giveaway

Disclaimer: I received samples of these products, but I was not paid to write this review. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend products that I, myself, use and love.

One of my friends recently told me about a bakery that was featured at a farmers market in New Jersey that had the best paleo/gluten free snacks. I instantly asked, “Is it The Squirrel & The Bee????” – “YES!” And we had a love fest chatting about their delicious granola and muffins.

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The Squirrel and the Bee is a 100% gluten free bakery in New Jersey. They offer a wide variety of muffins, breads, sandwich rolls, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, tarts, pies and even ice cream cake. All of their items are gluten free and grain free. Much of their menu is also dairy free, vegan and suitable for the paleo diet. 

My favorite product (so far) from their bakery are the pumpkin and blueberry muffins – when I’m out all day teaching fitness classes, it’s a snack that I can feel good about. The base of nut flour and coconut flour helps keep me fueled and satisfied for several hours. I appreciate the focus on nutrition, high protein, and healthy fat.

They also make THE BEST granola that I have ever tasted – Goodness Grainless Granola. I’ve tried both the Pumpkin Spice (perfect for fall!) and Vanilla & Cinnamon. While I could happily munch on fistfuls straight out of the bag, I highly recommend both flavors as the perfect crunchy ice cream topping – they’re excellent on top of coffee ice cream!

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Goodness Grainless is:

  • 100% gluten free and made in a dedicated facility
  • Grain free (no oats!)
  • Dairy free
  • Refined sugar free
  • Peanut free
  • Soy free

The Squirrel & The Bee is located in Short Hills, NJ. Shipping is available across the continental US. I also hear that they are at a few farmers markets in NJ!

For more information and to order visit

http://www.goodnessgrainless.com/

http://www.squirrelandthebee.com

GIVEAWAY! One winner will receive a prize pack of treats from The Squirrel and the Bee/Goodness Grainless! Enter via the rafflecopter link below. Continental US only. Giveaway ends Wednesday September  27th 11:59pm EST.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

GFAF Expo in Secaucus, NJ Oct 14/15 + Giveaway!

It’s been on my calendar for almost a year now – the GFAF Expo is coming back to NJ October 14th and 15th! I’m thrilled to be returning as one of their official bloggers. It is truly one of my favorite events of the year – a place for Celiac/gluten free folk to come together, learn, and support each other – there is so much joy in that expo hall every year!

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Do you love free samples? I do. The expo will feature dozens upon dozens of gluten free vendors, many of which are also very allergen friendly. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn about new products as well as sample treats from east coast GF bakeries.

Great expo features:

  • Free samples and raffle drawings
  • Free seminars hosted by notable members of the gluten free community.
  • Opportunities to buy products directly from vendors.
  • The hall is divided into two color-coded sections. Both are gluten free, but one section is specifically nut free, as well.
  • Secaucus is about 7 minutes away from the Port Authority Bus Station in Manhattan. It’s about a $7 round trip ticket, and the bus lets you off right at the expo. www.njtransit.com/pdf/bus/T0320.pdf

I will also be there representing the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup Group – please leave a comment and let me know if you’re attending! I’d love to meet up. One of the best part of attending the expo is chatting with other Celiac/GF folk. 

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Need a ticket?

  1. Members of the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup Group receive 30% off their ticket price with the code NYC30 or by clicking here. If you are not a member, check out our group at www.meetup.com/Celiac
  2. Interested in volunteering at the expo and getting a free ticket? Click here. 
  3. Ticket giveaway! I’m giving away three Adult Single Day passes. Enter via the Rafflecopter link below – giveaway ends Friday September 15th at 11:59 pm EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more info please visit www.gfafexpo.com/locations/2017-secaucus-nj

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this. As an official blogger for the expo I am receiving a comped ticket. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend products that I, myself, use and love.

Opinion – Not a fan of the Nima Sensor

I am not a fan of the Nima Sensor, and I’m going to tell you why.

Disclaimer – Several of my readers wrote to me expressing their own doubts and concerns about Nima and asking for my opinion. The following opinions are my own. This is meant to be a discussion, so please feel free to contribute. I own a Nima Sensor (which I paid for myself), and these are my experiences. It is not my intention to sway readers for or against Nima. I am simply discussing my opinions. Many of you know of my hero, Gluten Free Watchdog, an invaluable expert in the gluten free community. I will be referencing several of her articles about the Nima Sensor. Please also keep in mind that the FDA has defined gluten free as less than 20ppm. Some GF certification organizations require a food to be less than this. I am aware that some extremely sensitive Celiacs react to 20ppm. Nima’s chemistry is optimized for 20ppm.

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I was among a group of gluten free bloggers invited to informational events with the Nima team before the product was released. If you remember my post from two years ago – “The Nima Sensor – A Game Changer” – you’ll remember that I was incredibly excited about this product, so much so that I preordered my sensor the second it went on sale. I also loved the Nima team. The creators were kind and seemed to really want to do some good in the world.

Some facts:

The cost – $279. The capsules cost about $4.87 – $6.08 each and are not reusable. And they expire within about six months.

Nima doesn’t work on:

  • Fermented foods
  • Soy sauce
  • Pure vinegar
  • Beer
  • Alcohol
  • Xanthan and guar gum in their pure form
  • Bright colored food
  • Hard food such as uncooked pasta and dry beans
  • Nima has not been validated to test for gluten in medication or non-food products such as makeup. If tested, the Nima team cannot make claims about the accuracy of test results.

Problems with the sample size

Watch Nima not pick up cross contamination in GF crackers that came in contact with wheat

When using Nima, you only test a pea-sized sample of food. This means that if you have multiple items or components on one plate, it may be hard to get all of those into one capsule, and you’ll end up having to use multiple ones. If you use three capsules for one meal, that’s about $15-$18.

Also, because you are only testing a small amount, Nima may not find the gluten in food that has been contaminated. Remember, cross contamination is not necessarily evenly spread out throughout a dish. The Nima team recommends testing likely areas such as grill marks on a piece of chicken, but there is no guarantee that it will find a hot spot of contamination.

Example – you order a gluten free pizza and test 1/2 pea-size of crust and the other 1/2 pea-size of cheese. The Nima results in a happy face – no gluten found. Is your pizza gluten free? Who knows. All you know is that the pea-size sample you tested is.

A false sense of security 

Watch Nima test non-GF oats and a recalled box of Cherrios and result in a

happy face/”no gluten found”.

Gluten Free Watchdog also describes spotty cross contamination in gluten free oats.

I’m worried that the device is giving the community a false sense of security. Celiac Disease is highly emotional, and many of my followers have expressed that the hardest part is the social aspect. I’ve had too many occasions where I sipped water at a restaurant while everyone else ate pizza. We all want to believe (myself included) that this device will give us comfort and allow us to regain control. We want to fit in. We don’t want there to be any problems. We WANT this device to work. 

The Nima team emphasizes that it’s important to still ask questions about how food was made and where it was prepared. But will consumers end up relying too much on the device itself? 

Several people I know tested Cheerios (click here to read more about Cheerios’ questionable gluten free status). When I explained to them how spotty cross contamination can be, particularly when it comes to gluten free oats, they all replied that they would continue to eat Cheerios anyway because Nima gave them the answer they wanted to hear.

Testing under 20ppm & damaging reputations of truly gluten free businesses

Nima once said that foods under 20ppm occasionally may test positive for gluten, but that is rare. Now Nima publicly admits on their site, “For foods containing below 2ppm, Nima reported ‘gluten found’ 7.8% of the time.”

This is highly concerning to me and brings up some other important questions – What is the percentage for under 10ppm? And under 20ppm? Even though the device is “optimized for 20ppm”, logic shows that greater than 7.8% of food under 10 or 20ppm will test positive. 

Click here to see five foods that Nima detected gluten in, yet tested below the limit of detection of 1ppm when tested with the R5 ELISA method.

I worry that restaurants and companies that are doing an excellent job may have their reputations unfairly tarnished.

Imagine this – you go to your favorite restaurant and test a dish. It comes back positive for gluten. You question the manager and the chef. They swear that all of their ingredients were gluten free and they took their normal steps to prevent cross contamination. What do you do? Do you eat the dish? Do you stop going to your favorite restaurant? Did your food have 2ppm in it? 10ppm? 100ppm? There is no way of knowing because Nima cannot tell you.

And then that information gets logged into the Nima app. Other Nima-owners can see your test results, and perhaps they will start avoiding that restaurant.

I refused to bring my Nima with me to restaurants. I thought it would be irresponsible of me to potentially tarnish the reputation of a restaurant that is doing a great job because the device that I was using had no way of telling me how much gluten was actually in their food. 

Now before you say, “Any amount of gluten that it detects is too much”, let me ask you – is less than 1ppm too much gluten?

And before you say, “But so-and-so said that their Nima saved them from eating unsafe food at a restaurant,” let me also ask – did that person also send their dish to a lab to have it verify that the dish contained over 20ppm? Maybe it was gluten free and maybe it wasn’t.

And of course, I am certain that Nima has saved people from ingesting gluten – if a sample has over 20ppm Nima will most likely find it (unless it is a food that Nima cannot test for like soy sauce) – but how many times has it prevented someone from eating food that was totally safe? How many times has it damaged the reputation of an excellent company? It is a question of consistency. 

I also see a lot of social media posts of people testing certified gluten free food and getting upset when Nima says “gluten found.” Do you disregard the testing requirements of the certification bodies?

Testing a food multiple times

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At the request of other Celiacs, I tested quite a few foods including this bag of gluten free potato chips – labeled GF (company tests ingredients and finished products), the bag was new/unopened, samples gathered with a new plastic spoon that had been sealed in plastic. Nima came back with a “high gluten” result (likely over 100ppm). I tested a second sample from the same bag with a new spoon – happy face/ “no gluten found”.

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We also tested this gluten free brownie twice with the same precautions. The first test came back “low gluten”, the second test came back “no gluten found.”

What do you do? Do you eat these foods? Or do you stop trusting the companies? How many times should you test a product with Nima to feel satisfied with its answer?

So Jessica, what are you currently doing with your Nima? 

Remember I wanted Nima to be our community’s savior. However, mine is currently collecting dust in my cabinet, and I don’t plan on ordering any more capsules. My personal opinion – a costly gadget that makes my gluten free dining experience even more expensive yet still leaves me unsure as to my food’s actual gluten free status is not a gadget that is useful to me. For my needs, I don’t think the technology is there yet.

The way I see it:

“No gluten found” – No gluten was found in your pea-size sample. Is the entire dish gluten free? Nima doesn’t know.

“Gluten found” – Nima found gluten in the sample, but it might be less than 2ppm. How much gluten is in it? Nima can’t tell you.

Sure, the Nima team will emphasize that the device is another tool for your toolbox. I ask – is it a consistent/accurate tool? And does it leave you with more answers or more questions?

Click here to read more concerns from Gluten Free Watchdog.

 I know others out there may disagree with my feelings about Nima. Again I will stress that these are my opinions based on information provided by both Nima and Gluten Free Watchdog. This is meant to be a discussion, so please feel free to leave a comment – what is your opinion of Nima?

 

 

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this review, and I did not receive any product samples. All opinions are my own.

Red Apple Lipstick Lip Gloss Review & Summer Sale

Red Apple Lipstick has released new products! This is not a drill! My favorite gluten free lipstick/cosmetic company has released a new set of stunning glosses that are perfect for summer – and they are on sale through July 7th! AND I’m going to share with you some secret tips to help you take advantage of this sale to the fullest.

RAL gloss 1

The three colors (from top to bottom) are Gemazing, Tangomint, and Razzberry. I’m LOVING these glosses. I’ve always loved Red Apple Lipstick’s commitment to their gluten free customers, and I use their lipstick exclusively. The glosses are very fun and vibrant in color. The color might change slightly depending on what lipstick you’re wearing as a base, but they can be used on their own for a delightful pop of color. They are incredibly smooth. I normally don’t use lip gloss because of how sticky most brands are – not Red Apple Lipstick! I’ll use these glosses again and again. They also include gluten free Vitamin E to help combat chapped lips. Tangomint is part of the “Mint to Be” lip gloss line and offers a lovely hint of mint as you apply.

RAL gloss 2

(Me rocking Tangomint with no base color underneath)

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
  • Free shipping in continental US when you buy $50+

Here are the secrets to getting an awesome discount this week:

  • Visit Red Apple Lipstick’s website  (affiliate link) and click “Shop the Summer Sale Now Through July 7th”
  • Use code “TastyMeditation” for 22% off orders of 50+
  • Get free shipping in the continental US on orders $50+
  • And buy 2 lipsticks get the 3rd 1/2 off OR buy 4 lipsticks get the 5th free!

With all that savings you could….buy more lipstick! Let me know how you like their new colors!

 

Disclaimer I received samples of these products, but I was not paid to write this review. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend products that I, myself, use and love. This post includes an affiliate link. As an affiliate I get a small kickback if you make a purchase. This comes at no extra cost to you, and it helps me fund this website. 

Everybody Eats Review & Giveaway

There is a gluten free bakery that is all the rage in NYC, and their bread seems to be everywhere. The next time you visit a gluten free restaurant in NYC and are presented with a fluffy plate of delicious gluten free baguette, ask for the name of the bakery – it might just be bread from Everybody Eats.

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Pedro Arroba (diagnosed with Celiac Disease in his twenties) and Bruce Bassman launched Everybody Eats in 2004 in hopes of bringing delicious gluten free baked goods to the Celiac community across the country. Pablo Arroba, Pedro’s son, has since joined the family business. Focusing on taste and texture, Pedro and Bruce worked tirelessly on their technique to create some of the best gluten free breads on the market.

Fast facts:

  • Gluten free facility
  • Nut free facility
  • Dairy free & vegan options
  • Soy free (except for soy lecithin in chocolate items)
  • Made by hand
  • Ships nationwide & available for pickup in Brooklyn
  • Find at restaurants across NYC, Brooklyn & Long Island

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Everybody Eats offers:

  • Dairy free ciabatta bread
  • Cinnamon Sticky Buns
  • Dairy free hot dog buns
  • Pumpernickel loaf
  • Vegan/dairy free challah
  • Old fashioned bagels
  • Dairy free deli rolls
  • Dairy free banana bread
  • Dairy free hamburger buns
  • Pizza crust
  • Panini rolls
  • Multi-grain loaf
  • Dairy free white bread
  • Baguette
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Sugar cookies
  • Specialty cakes and cupcakes made to order

Having met the Everybody Eats family on multiple occasions, I can personally say that they are some of the most wonderful and delightful people in the world. If you ever have the good fortune to meet Pedro, you’ll note the kindness in his eyes, the passion in his voice, and you’ll get a sense of how much he loves both his work and the Celiac/gluten free community. An example of their kindness – they recently hosted a free Gluten Free Panini Party with the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup Group, and all of the bread sales during the party were donated to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. They are a company that cares about people.

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As for the bread itself – the moment you taste their baguette, you’ll be a fan of Everybody Eats for life. My mother and I first sampled their bread at Bistango (a favorite restaurant in NYC), and we fell in love with the taste and soft texture. Every time she visits NYC, her goal is to visit Bistango multiple times and eat as much baguette as possible. I’ll happily join every time.

Everybody Eats ships nationwide. If you are in the NYC area, their items are available for pickup at their bakery in Brooklyn (no traditional storefront). For more information and to order visit www.everybodyeats-inc.com

GIVEAWAY! Two winners will receive an Everybody Eats Backyard Grill Pack containing 2 bags of hot dog buns and 1 bag of hamburger buns. Enter via the rafflecopter link below. This giveaway is open to residents of NY, NJ, and CT only. Giveaway ends Thursday July 6th, 11:59 EST.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit my Instagram for another chance to win – two more winners will be chosen there!

 

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this review. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend products that I, myself, use and love.

Thank you & American Gluten Free Giveaway

Thank you for spending your Celiac Awareness Month with me! Remember that spreading awareness happens all year round – so keep up the good work and feel free to reach out to me if you have specific questions or are looking for resources.

To finish off this year’s Celiac Awareness Month, we’ve got a bonus giveaway with American Gluten Free! An extra look at some of their fabulous gluten free, dairy free subscription boxes (not pictured below are their new vegan and kids boxes – all are available on their website):

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(Snack Boxes – includes 8-10 snacks from small businesses across the US)

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(Foodie Boxes – There’s a different theme every month! Includes 7-9 mostly full size ingredients perfect for baking/cooking projects. You’ll also find great recipes and the occasional fun cooking tool like the Loch Ness Soup Ladle!)

Remember to use code “Tasty10” to get 10% off ANY subscription for LIFE – every box, every month, for as long as you are a customer. 

For more info visit www.americanglutenfree.com (affiliate link)

GIVEAWAY! One winner will receive a special surprise box from American Gluten Free. Enter via the rafflecopter link below. Continental US only. Giveaway ends Friday June 16th 11:59pm EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclaimer: I received samples of these products, but I was not paid to write this. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend products that I, myself, use and love. This post includes an affiliate link. As an affiliate I get a small kickback if you make a purchase. This comes at no extra cost to you, and it helps me fund this website. 

Nibmor Chocolate Review & Giveaway

I have a new favorite chocolate bar, and if you want me to share you’re going to have to pry it out of my hands. Just kidding – while this chocolate is super tasty, it’s also super affordable, so I’m happy to share! Nibmor launched as a small business in NYC (now in Maine) with a commitment to making chocolate with high quality ingredients and a price tag that everyone can afford. 

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Quick facts about Nibmor:

  • Certified Gluten Free
  • Non GMO Project Verified
  • Certified Vegan
  • Rainforest Alliance Certified 
  • Fair Trade Certified
  • Organic dark chocolate options

Nibmor’s chocolate varieties include:

  • Organic dark chocolate bars
  • Chocolate & cherry bars
  • Chocolate & blueberry bars
  • Chocolate & cocoa nib bars
  • Dark chocolate & mint squares
  • Drinking chocolate (traditional, mint, & six spice)
  • Snack bags (chocolate with cherries or blueberries – new 5.4 oz bag)

I am in love with the cherry and cocoa nib bars. Every bite is a little taste of heaven. The snack bags offer individual squares of chocolates that are the perfect size if you’re craving something sweet (about 40 calories per square – great for portion control and one square is very satisfying). I’m also thrilled with the drinking chocolate. It comes in an individual serving pouch, so it’s great for traveling. With perfect texture and sweetness, Nimbor is easily becoming my favorite go-to chocolate on the market. 

I often see their bars at my local CVS store (I catch them on sale, use a 20% off CVS coupon, and get extra cash back using the Ibotta or Checkout 51 apps for an amazingly sweet deal). I’m thrilled that Nibmor is committed to both utilizing high quality ingredients as well as keeping their products affordable. 

For more information, a store locator, or to order visit www.nibmor.com

GIVEAWAY! Two winners will each receive a prize pack of cherry/blueberry chocolate (new 5.4oz bag). Enter vis the rafflecopter link below. US only. Giveaway ends Wednesday June 14th 11:59pm EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received samples of these products, but I was not paid to write this review. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend products that I, myself, use and love.