Holiday Giveaway # 4 – Charlie’s Table Pasta

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own and I only recommend restaurants, bakeries and products that I love.

Upon going gluten free, I feel like we all have a list of GF-must-finds – we’ve gotta find the very best of the best pizza, bread, cake, etc that’s out there. The food that I hear about the most – pasta. Perhaps you’ve experienced lackluster gluten free pasta that clumps together, falls apart or has a weird aftertaste. If you’re still on the hunt for the best gluten free pasta, look no further than Charlie’s Table.

Charlie’s Table Pasta is:

-Certified gluten free

-Made in a dedicated certified gluten free facility

-Dairy free

-Peanut free

-Soy free

-Certified kosher


-Passionate about giving back to the community. They donate a percentage of their profits to local food banks and other organizations to support people who need to eat gluten free and are food insecure.

Charlie’s Table makes so many unique pasta shapes – tagliatelle, rigatoni, gemelli, garganelli, and bucatini. It’s so nice to have a fresh new variety of gluten free options to choose from. I can’t wait to see what they make next (I’m hoping for gnocchi!).

As someone who makes fresh pasta from scratch, when it comes to fresh pasta vs dried/boxed pasta, there’s no comparison – the taste, the texture! It’s a total game changer. However, I don’t always have the time or energy to set up my pasta machine, so I’m glad to have a box of Charlie’s Table pasta in the freezer. It’s also a wonderful option for times when I’m not in my own kitchen. I was house sitting several times this fall and didn’t have access to all of my normal cooking equipment, but there was no reason for me to settle for meals that were less than inspiring. With Charlie’s Table I was able to quickly and easily make gourmet Italian dishes.

Charlie’s Table currently ships their pasta across the contiguous US. Visit to order and experience this amazing pasta for yourself.

It’s time for a giveaway – one winner will receive four packages of Charlie’s Table pasta!*

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

And head to Tasty Meditation on Instagram for a bonus giveaway – a second winner will be chosen there!

Giveaway ends December 26th at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be randomly chosen and must respond within 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be chosen. 18+ years old. Contiguous US only.

Holiday Giveaway #3 – Senza Gluten Cafe & Bakery

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend restaurants, bakeries and products that I love.

Senza Gluten Cafe & Bakery is very close to my heart. I’ve been a regular since they opened in NYC, and I’m thrilled that they began shipping their products across the US this year so more people can experience their wonderful breads, muffins, cakes, cookies and more.

My beautiful Senza Gluten Cafe & Bakery pumpkin pie (Thanksgiving special)

Overwhelmed with all of the choices? My personal favorite items – panini bread (I use it to recreate my favorite Senza Gluten prosciutto & mozzarella panini at home), lemon mascarpone almond muffins, and the almond ricotta orange loaf……but also the hamburger buns, flourless chocolate cake, pumpkin pie, literally all the muffins and scones – you can’t go wrong!

Chocolate crinkle cookies (photo credit: Gill/@soillgo (IG))

Senza Gluten Cafe & Bakery recently announced three new cookies for the holidays – chocolate crinkle cookies (dairy free), classic sugar cookies, and gingerbread people!

Classic sugar cookies (photo credit: Gill/@soillgo (IG))

The final day to order before Christmas is 12/20. Senza Gluten ships on Mondays & Tuesdays only, and the cutoff for weekly shipments is Sundays at midnight EST. All orders placed after Sunday/midnight ship the following week.

Click here to visit Senza Gluten Cafe & Bakery.

Gingerbread cookies (photo credit: Gill/@soillgo (IG))

More exciting news – we’re collaborating on a giveaway, and one of my Instagram followers will win a cookie bundle featuring all three holiday cookies! Visit my Instagram (@tastymeditation) to enter!

Holiday Giveaway #2 – Bread SRSLY

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post. I am an affiliate of Bread SRSLY and occasionally receive complimentary product. This post contains an affiliate link, which means when you use my link to order I get a small commission that helps me maintain the cost of this site (there is no added cost to you). All opinions are my own, and I only recommend bakeries, restaurants, and products that I love.

I’ve written about Bread SRSLY more times that I can remember, and for good reason. This 100% gluten free bread is made in San Francisco and is the real deal when it comes to sourdough. Not only is it my favorite gluten free sourdough, it’s my favorite gluten free bread on the market.

Bread SRSLY is certified gluten free and made in a 100% gluten free facility, top 8 allergen free and made in a dedicated top 8 allergen free facility, dairy free, soy free, egg free, potato free, tree nut free, peanut free, tapioca free, chickpea free, sesame free, kosher, non gmo, and vegan. AND there are rice free and gum free options available. I’m in love with their ongoing commitment to our community!

Love their classic sourdough loaves and rolls but in the mood for something a little sweeter? Bread SRSLY recently launched their new cinnamon raisin sourdough!

Click here to purchase your Bread SRSLY before the holidays (affiliate link), and use code “tastymeditation” for free shipping!

Don’t wait – Bread SRSLY is taking a break from shipping the weeks of 12/21, 12/28, and 1/4. The last day to order for 2020 delivery is December 13th, so place your order asap!

Who’s ready for a giveaway? Head to my Instagram page (@TastyMeditation) for a chance to win a sampler pack of Bread SRSLY loaves & rolls! (Winner will receive their prize in January)

Holiday Giveaway #1 – Krumville Bake Shop

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post, nor was I given complimentary product. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend bakeries, restaurants and products that I love.

It’s that time of year again – Tasty Meditation’s Favorite Things Holiday Giveaways! 2020 has been the worst, so I’m hoping to spread a little joy and highlight some of my favorite small GF businesses with my annual holiday giveaways. I’m kicking it off with one of my very favorite things – Krumville Bake Shop cakes!

I wanted to support some great GF small businesses throughout 2020, so I decided that this year was the perfect time to fulfill my dream of trying all the Krumville layered cakes! We ordered a different flavor every month from the spring through the fall, and (with the exception of a holiday flavor) we have now tried them all!

(Raspberry Chocolate, Coconut, Lemon Cream, Lemon & Berries)

Raspberry Chocolate, Coconut, Strawberry Vanilla, Lemon Cream, Cherry Chocolate, Lemon & Berries, Chocolate & Salted Caramel, Carrot – all of them were beautiful and delicious, how could I possibly choose a favorite? The chocolate sponges are to die for, but the summer berry flavors are exquisite! I’d better try them all again….just to be sure….

(Cherry Chocolate, Strawberry Vanilla, Chocolate & Salted Caramel, Carrot)

Krumville Bake Shop is a 100% gluten free bakery located in Brooklyn, NY and is the master of shipping cakes across the United States. They’re perfect for any special occasion – you’ll spot my Krumville wedding cake in one of the photos!

Krumville generously agreed to collaborate on a giveaway to celebrate the holidays and the achievement of my cake goal. One winner will receive (what I *think* is) my favorite cake – Raspberry Chocolate!

Visit my Instagram page to enter!

What do Politics have to do with Celiac Disease & Gluten Free Food?

There has been a lot of buzz on social media about politics, and the question of whether bloggers should stick to talking about food has come up many times. Just like actors, athletes, and anyone in all other professions, bloggers are people who are allowed to have and express personal views. However, I thought it was important to bring up a deeper topic, one that I believe is not discussed nearly enough in the celiac disease community. This has lead me to create a series of posts on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, the first two of which are below.

Everything. Let’s talk about it.

✔️ People with celiac disease have a pre-existing condition, something the Affordable Care Act protects.

✔️83% of Americans with celiac disease are not diagnosed. On average it takes 6-10 years to get an accurate diagnosis. That’s a lot of medical bills. Want the diagnosis rate to go up? People need access to affordable health insurance that do not have lifetime caps.

✔️Many people with undiagnosed celiac disease have (or were misdiagnosed with) other medical conditions. Again, the ACA protects these individuals – one cannot be denied insurance for having a preexisting condition.

✔️Individuals with celiac disease are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act – a federal law.

✔️The FDA is a federal agency.

✔️Pharmaceutical companies do not need to declare the presence of gluten in medications because there is no law for it.

So yeah, celiac advocates will post about politics because politics affect our lives every day. We’re also people. As US citizens, we have a civic duty. And it’s time to vote.

My post yesterday only brushed the surface of how politics and celiac disease/gluten free food are directly related. Shall we talk about economics and class?

✔️Gluten free food costs 242% more than the gluten-containing counterparts. Can’t afford that?

✔️How about fresh fruits & vegetables? Fairly short shelf lives potentially means more waste and more frequent trips to the grocery store, which not everyone can manage.

✔️ How about food banks and government sponsored programs? Safe gluten free options are few and far between.

✔️On average it takes 6-10 years to obtain a celiac diagnosis. The costs include:

🔴 Health care premiums, copays and pre-deductible costs.

🔴 Transportation to and from specialists, some of which may not be local.

🔴 Potential loss of work and wages.

🔴 Potential child care costs.

Can’t afford all this? No diagnosis. Family members go untested. Long term complications and other serious medical conditions may arise from undiagnosed/untreated celiac, resulting in even higher medical bills, transportation costs, lost wages, etc.

The phrase “celiac disease/gluten free food is expensive” means so much more than the cost of bread.

About 1% of Americans have celiac disease, but 83% remain undiagnosed. What can we do? Supporting the expansion of affordable health care for all is a great start. Vote.

More to come. Looking for information about voting? Visit

Call to Action: Support Small GF Businesses

The COVID-19 crisis began in NYC over four months ago. It has hit the entire world hard, and it’s proving to be a continuously challenging time for all. This post is about one thing – small gluten free businesses need our help.

The statistics on how many restaurants will make it through the crisis is crushing. And what will happen to the gluten free restaurant scene? Compared to the entire restaurant industry, there are so few safe gluten free restaurants, and we are in danger of loosing them. NYC has already lost several widely-loved gluten free restaurants that have been around for years (in some cases – decades), and it’s heartbreaking.

So it’s up to us. If there’s one thing I know about the celiac disease/gluten free community – we are loyal, and when someone supports us, we want to support them.

I’m asking my friends in the celiac/gluten free community to join me in sending out a little extra love this week. But for those sheltering in place or without safe GF options in their neighborhood, it can be difficult to find ways to support the restaurants you love. Here are some easy things you can do:

1. Post on social media – Give a shout-out to your favorite eateries!

2. Like/comment on/share their posts – Social media algorithms are tricky, but liking and commenting on posts from your favorite restaurants/bakeries will hopefully give them a boost and help more people see their content. Sharing posts also helps exposure.

3. Buy – If you are able to financially support your favorite restaurants and bakeries, please do. BE SAFE. If you cannot safety visit a restaurant/bakery consider the many eateries that are offering takeout, delivery, or nation-wide shipping.

Click here to see my post about local NYC bakeries I’ve been ordering from throughout the crisis (featuring Krumville Bake Shop, Senza Gluten Cafe & Bakery, Everybody Eats, and Modern Bread & Bagel – all of which ship across the US).

These little things can make a big difference for our community. Let’s work together to help support the small businesses we love, so they’ll be there for us when the crisis is over.

Supporting Small Businesses – NYC Gluten Free Bakeries

Disclaimer – I was not paid or asked to write this post. I am friends with or have a special relationship with some of these bakery owners. I’ve received free samples in the past, but I also recently ordered products myself. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend bakeries and restaurants that I love.

As I do my best to keep track of time, I believe I am currently on my 75th day in my studio apartment in Queens. I’ve only gone out for necessary medical appointments, social distancing walks, and to do laundry/pick up packages in my building’s basement. No subway. No casual trips to Manhattan. The COVID-19 crisis presses onwards, and with no end in sight my husband and I are worried about the future of our favorite gluten free restaurants and bakeries. Unfortunately, my neighborhood has a distinct lack of safe gluten free restaurants, so takeout isn’t an option. What is an option – ordering from local gluten free bakeries and having packages shipped to us.

The following are recommendations and shout-outs for some of our favorite 100% gluten free bakeries in NYC that we ordered from recently. All ship across the continental US (most have pickup options available, as well) and are doing incredible work during this stressful time. Click on the name of the bakery to be taken to their website. In no particular order –

Krumville Bake Shop

A long time favorite very near and dear to my heart, Krumville made our beautiful wedding cake. Kris and I recently celebrated our one year anniversary with a Krumville cake. We had originally planned to order an anniversary cake every year (a great excuse to try all of their cake flavors!), but we decided that we’ll be ordering a cake every month this summer because why not? I also highly recommend their focaccia, cookies and muffins. And yes, they also ship their cakes across the country!

Senza Gluten Cafe & Bakery

Always one of our favorite places to dine at in Manhattan, Senza Gluten Cafe & Bakery made an incredibly fast switch in their business model and began shipping select baked goods a month ago. I’ve been obsessed with their panini bread. Their Prosciutto & Mozzarella panini was one of my favorite things to order at the cafe, so I’m thrilled that I can order their panini bread and recreate the dish at home. Senza frequently adds new items, and I’m so happy they’re now offering one of my favorites – Almond Ricotta Orange cake. I also recommend their scones and muffins. Dairy free and vegan items available.

Modern Bread & Bagel

Another restaurant that recently began shipping baked goods. Their bagels are incredible. They are truly New York style bagels, not just bread in the shape of a bagel. Tip: order as many as you can, slice them, and freeze. Defrost, toast, and enjoy! Dairy free and vegan items available.

Everybody Eats

A long time favorite of many gluten free New Yorkers, you might recognize their gluten free baguette, as it’s served in several NYC restaurants. I love their baguettes and bagels. I often use their deli rolls as humburgers buns, and they’re amazing. Nut free bakery. Dairy free and vegan items available.

To conclude, a few notes on shipping – Remember, these items are made fresh by bakeries in NYC and are not made with preservatives. They need to be shipped fast in order to arrive in good condition. Shipping may be pricy, but what you get is high quality gluten free baked goods and you support some amazing local businesses. A tip: if you have a local friend who is also gluten free, see if they would like to place an order with you and split shipping costs. Gluten Free Spartan and I are neighbors, so we recently ordered a gazillion bagels and had a hilarious social distancing drop off/pick up.

Also, always remember to follow specific storage recommendations and reheating instructions to ensure maximum enjoyment.

Have you supported any great gluten free businesses lately? Share the love and leave a comment!

Supporting Small Businesses + Maintaining Routine – Red Apple Lipstick sale

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Red Apple Lipstick. 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 use and love.

I’ve always been a big fan of supporting small businesses, and it may be even more important during challenging times. So I wanted to give my followers a quick heads up about the big Red Apple Lipstick spring sale. I don’t know about you, but even when I’m stuck at home I still wear makeup most days. I enjoy it, and it really helps me maintain a sense of routine. My husband and I discuss this topic at least once a week – what are the little things we’re doing to help our routine? For me it’s makeup and yoga, for him it’s fixing his hair and wearing a tie for Zoom meetings.

So if you’re running low on lipstick or need some fun new colors to brighten your day – The spring sale begins today, Wednesday May 6th, and Red Apple Lipstick is re-releasing some fan favorite lipsticks for a limited time – French Skirt, Foxy, Sweet Pea and Pinkle Twinkle.

RAL freebies and discounts:

Free Gift with $50 purchase

15% off site-wide for VIPs

10% off site-wide for non-VIPs 

Tasty Meditation discounts:

Use code “TastyMeditation” for 22% off orders of 50+

If you’d like to support my blog, click here to use my referral link (I get a small kickback, no additional cost to you)

Red Apple Lipstick is also running a really lovely new promotion for Teacher Appreciation Day (yesterday) and Nurse Appreciation Day (today) – buy one of the four re-released lipsticks and Red Apple will gift a lipstick or Rallye balm to a nurse or teacher. It’s a crazy time in the world, so I find myself really appreciating little acts of kindness such as this.

Be well, friends.

Graves’ Disease Update & Thyroid Eye Disease Makeup Tutorial

Wow what a crazy time this has been, especially in NYC. This blog post was ready to go, then the COVID-19 crisis hit and overwhelmed everything. Fortunately, my little family is safe in Queens, and we are taking all proper precautions. Now as some medical treatment is possibly moving forward again, I’ve decided to come back to this draft. Here we go –

Did you know that when you have one autoimmune condition you have a higher likelihood of getting another during your lifetime? For me – celiac disease came first and Graves’ Disease and Graves’ Ophthalmopathy/Thyroid Eye Disease followed. Graves’ is the autoimmune disease associated with an overactive thyroid, and it sucks.

Last I wrote about Graves’ Disease I was struggling to find a gluten free medication. I’m very grateful for the generic company that clearly labels which of their products are gluten free! I’m now more than two years into Graves’ Disease, and unfortunately I’ve spent the entire time struggling to find the right medication dosage. Everything is either too high or too low, and I’m likely not going to go into remission. So it’s time to have my thyroid surgically removed. There’s a risk to the nerves that control the vocal chords and vocal function, which as a singer is the scariest thing in the world. After much anxiety (that’s an understatement), I found an incredible surgeon who specializes in vocal preservation, and my surgery was scheduled. However, due to the COVID-19 crisis, my surgery was cancelled. So now I’m waiting in limbo until it is rescheduled.

I also developed the eye condition associated with Graves’ Disease, which is the absolute worst part so far. It’s emotional, vulnerable, and impacts me every day. It’s changed my appearance – I don’t know how to pose for pictures anymore, and I don’t recognize myself in the mirror or photos. Even when surrounded by the most supportive family and friends, it is lonely to not feel like yourself. So I wait. I’ll be waiting roughly a year to have my first of multiple eye surgeries, and the delay in my thyroid surgery only means I’ll be waiting longer.

Seriously, celiac disease has felt like a breeze compared to Graves’.

This has certainly thrown me for a loop and is perhaps the hardest thing I’ve experienced. The past few months have been a blur of anxiety, so I decided to be productive and hopefully helpful. I filmed a makeup tutorial for people who have similar eye symptoms. I’ve watched tutorials, taken private lessons, experimented, and created a video of techniques and tricks that have helped me feel more like myself while I deal with the forward eye movement and watery eyes. (Please note: there are several TED symptoms, so if these techniques don’t work for you or something bothers your eyes, don’t do it). Click the image below to watch. Also, if you’re in the NYC area and are looking for a makeup artist for future events, send me a message. My bridal makeup artist was amazing and helped me feel more like myself.

Makeup tutorial
Click here to watch my makeup tutorial

While there has been much to be grateful for during this journey (my wonderful doctors, makeup artist and husband, specifically), there have been a few things that were decidedly unhelpful. And let’s face it, it can be very difficult to navigate new territory when trying to be an ally and friend, so perhaps some people will find this helpful.

The first – unsolicited medical advice. I try to be open about my experiences in order to increase awareness. When opening up about my vulnerable experiences online, strangers have immediately jumped in to tell me what to eat and suggest books from “doctors” who don’t believe in science. And when I first posted my makeup tutorial, someone thought it was an appropriate time to give me unsolicited, off-topic medical advice and (when I politely declined and said I have things covered) suggested that I’m not a good advocate for myself. I have great doctors, trust science, have done research on this for years, and am working with my doctors on a treatment that is appropriate for my needs. Being a good self advocate and helping others in the community is incredibly important, but it’s important to know when it’s appropriate to insert your opinion. Sending a stranger unsolicited medical advice when they post a makeup tutorial is not cool or supportive.

Secondly – “I don’t see a difference.” While I know they mean well, loved ones saying that they don’t see a difference in my appearance is not helpful. I see and experience the difference every day. While this kind of comment has good intentions, it’s similar to telling someone with celiac or other invisible illnesses, “I don’t think you look sick.” Instead, perhaps consider saying “Thank you for your vulnerability,” “I appreciate your openness,” or “is there anything I can do to support you?” In my opinion, acknowledging someone’s pain and vulnerability is infinitely better than disregarding their experience/symptoms, even when trying to be nice.

I’ll end with a short story – one of my fitness students is (if I’m remembering correctly) a retired eye surgeon. I didn’t know this until she approached me after class one day. Roughly quoting – “Hi Jessica, I didn’t want to mention anything or intrude, but we’re friends and I care about you. I’m a retired eye surgeon. Have you had your thyroid checked?” In regards to Graves’, it was the first time I felt seen. We had a very nice conversation, and she handled a vulnerable and emotional subject with grace and kindness.

Until next time.

Holiday Giveaway #4 – No Gluten, No Problem Pizza Cookbook

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post. I received a complimentary copy of the No Gluten, No Problem Pizza cookbook. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend items I truly love.

When Kris and I were in Italy we fell in love with the Neapolitan style pizza at Mama Eat. The dough was totally different than anything we had tried in the United States (gluten free or otherwise), and we’ve been planning our return trip to Rome with that amazing pizza in mind. However, we now feel like we have a little piece of Italy at home thanks to the No Gluten, No Problem Pizza cookbook.

Kelli and Peter Bronski have created 75+ gluten free pizza recipes featuring every style of pizza you could imagine – Naples, Roman, Sicilian, Chicago deep dish, New York, and more. The book itself is beautiful. I love turning page after page imagining how each of these stunning dishes would taste. The directions themselves are extremely easy to follow.

I invited one of my best friends over for a No Gluten, No Problem pizza party. Her family is Sicilian, so who better to give honest feedback on the Sicilian pizza? There’s quite the time commitment for this recipe (the dough needs to rise and the crust pre-bakes for a while), but it’s worth it. The thick, puffy crust was wonderful. “OMG, dude this is amazing!” was my friend’s reaction after the first bite. Kris joined us (lucky for him the pizza was huge and we saved him two slices), and he had similar feelings. We’re already planning on making this pizza again for our upcoming holiday party.

The recipe that I was the most excited for was of course the Neapolitan pizza. I decided that baking steel and a pizza peel would be an early holiday gift to myself, and I am so very happy about this decision! At first I was intimidated by the idea of heating my oven on a high temperature for a long period of time, and I was sure I would mess up the quick motions of the pizza peel and there would be pizza pieces everywhere. However, No Gluten, No Problem’s cookbook along with their YouTube video tutorials made everything so easy! And the results were incredible. I’m still working on getting the crust puffier, but this is the best pizza I have ever eaten in the US and it’s definitely very similar to the pizza we had in Italy. Light, fluffy, amazing texture, super flavorful – Kris and I can’t get enough. Pizza every day is totally okay, right?

The Sicilian pizza and a few other recipes only require a simple baking sheet and digital kitchen scale (measuring gluten free flour in grams is infinitely more accurate and efficient than measuring in cups, teaspoons, etc). I also highly recommend a food thermometer (warm water needs to be added to yeast/sugar, and if the water is too hot or too cold the yeast will not rise well). The majority of the recipes utilize a baking steel and pizza peel. I highly recommend the investment.

Fun fact – I posted a few pictures of my pizza creations over the past two weeks and several of my followers guessed which cookbook I had and messaged me with pictures of their own No Gluten, No Problem pizzas! This book is clearly winning over the hearts of the gluten free community. It’s certainly won over mine, and I’m sure it will be a staple in my kitchen for many years to come.

No Gluten, No Problem Pizza can be purchased on Amazon (hard cover and kindle edition), Barns & Noble and several other retail stores.

GIVEAWAY! One lucky person will win a hardcover copy of the No Gluten No Problem Pizza cookbook! This giveaway is being held on Instagram, so visit my page to enter! US only. Giveaway ends Sunday December 29th 11:59pm EST.

Click here to be taken to Tasty Meditation’s Instagram!