Namaste Review & Giveaway

Disclaimer: I 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.

What happens when it’s 1999, and a friend desperately asks for you help to find a gluten free/allergen free food for herself and her young son? Why, you make your own gluten free mixes! At least that’s what Daphne Taylor did, and Namaste Foods was born. 

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Things I love about Namaste Foods:

  • Made in a dedicated allergen free facility
  • Certified gluten free
  • Soy free
  • Potato free
  • Dairy free
  • Casein free
  • Peanuts/tree nuts free
  • Kosher certified 
  • Most are approved through the Whole Grain Council and Non-GMO Project
  • USDA Organic options
  • Woman owned!
  • Staff is made up almost entirely of mothers working from home all across the country

So much to love! The products are almost too many to name. They include:

  • Devil’s food cake mix
  • Dark chocolate brownie mix
  • Quick bread & muffin mix
  • All purpose baking mix
  • Various individual flours for those who love to bake from scratch (such as organic quinoa flour, sorghum flour, millet flour)
  • Muffin & scone mix 
  • Blondie mix
  • Pizza crust mix
  • Spice cake mix
  • Vanilla cake mix
  • Cookie mix
  • Pasta/macaroni & cheese 
  • Seasoned coating mixes
  • Vegan instant soups
  • And so much more!

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Namaste graciously sent me a few mixes to try. The Spice Cake and Pizza mixes were calling to me. First, I made carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. The spice cake was bursting with flavorful spices. I imagine it would make an excellent pumpkin cake, as well. Incredibly easy – combine the recommended ingredients along with a handful of chopped carrots and raisins. Lesser quality mixes come out rather gummy, but not Namaste – fabulous texture. The pizza crust was also easy to make and came out wonderfully chewy. Kris (a gluten eater) gave his approval. 

Mixes are easy and convenient, but I also really enjoy baking from scratch. I recently made pizza dough (yes, more pizza) and used a variety of gluten free flours including Namaste’s quinoa flour, which is super high in nutrients. So far I’m loving their high quality mixes and flours, and I will certainly be back for more. 

For more information visit www.namastefoods.com

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GIVEAWAY! One winner will receive a Namaste tote bag with pasta meal, baking mix, coating mix, soup cup, recipe cards, and coupons. Enter via the rafflecopter link below. US and Canada only, no PO Boxes. Giveaway ends Tuesday January 2nd at 11:59 EST.

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Eclair Naturals Giveaway

Disclaimer: 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.

Winter is coming. No, wait – winter is here! This season makes me miserable, and my skin is really feeling it. Thank goodness I constantly have Eclair Naturals body butter and lotion on hand.

Eclair Naturals is:

  • Certified gluten free (tests to less than 5ppm)
  • 100% soy free
  • 100% vegan
  • Made with food grade ingredients
  • No animal testing/certified cruelty free
  • Non GMO
  • Handcrafted in small batches
  • Sustainably sourced and responsibly produced
  • Promotes no waste
  • Donates to charities
  • Made in the USA

What Eclair Naturals does NOT contain:

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I’m always so grateful to have Eclair Naturals as a clear and safe gluten free option. It’s often difficult to get a straight answer out of other big companies because they have so many suppliers. And have you ever had someone laugh at you because you asked if their shampoo was gluten free? Utilizing companies that are 100% gluten free like Eclair Naturals makes everything so much easier. 

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My current Eclair Naturals skin care routine – the liquid hand soap and bar are in my bathroom. I have a hand sanitizer and all over lotion bottle in my purse to use throughout the day. I use the body butter at night – it’s quite thick and really gets the job done. My skin feels much softer and healthier in the morning. I invite you to take extra good care of yourself and your loved ones this winter with an Eclair Naturals hand care set.

I always try to make holiday shopping easier – Eclair Naturals is available at Rite Aid (nation wide – great sales!), www.target.com and on www.eclairnaturals.com.

GIVEAWAY! One lucky winner will receive the gluten free hand care set featured above. Enter via the rafflecopter link below. Continental US residents only. Giveaway ends Friday December 29th at 11:59 EST.

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Visit my Instagram tomorrow (Saturday 12/16) for an extra giveaway! A different winner will be chosen there!

Better Batter Gluten Free Mixes Giveaway

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

I love Better Batter so much! They embody the holiday spirit of love and generosity all year round. They donate 10% of their net profits to social and charitable causes, and their financial aid program provides discounted gluten free products for low income families, families that have children with autism, college students, and households with extraordinary circumstances. So much love for the community! 

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Quick Better Batter facts:

  • Certified gluten free
  • Made in a facility that is free of milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, wheat, soy, fish, crustacean/shellfish, mustard, sesame, and corn.
  • Most products do not contain sulfites
  • GMO free
  • Kosher OU Parve
  • No dyes or artificial flavors/preservatives
  • Vegan appropriate
  • Packaged in recycled and recyclable boxes, printed with vegetable ink

Better Batter’s product line includes:

  • All Purpose Flour (cup for cup)
  • Seasoned Flour
  • Pancake & Biscuit Mix
  • Fudge Brownie Mix
  • Yellow Cake Mix
  • Chocolate Cake Mix
  • Corn Free Powdered Sugar
  • Gift Cards (great for the holidays!)

Have a favorite recipe from your pre-gluten free days that you’re dying to make again? Just use a Better Batter mix as a replacement for the old mix. Kris’s mother and I came up with a plan to surprise Kris for his birthday – she’s in California, he and I are in NYC. Every year, she shipped him a special chocolate cake made from a family recipe. When Kris and I moved in together and decided to keep my kitchen 100% gluten free, Kris’s mother didn’t want to ship a gluteny cake to our door. So she asked if I could try making him the cake myself. I used the Better Batter Chocolate Cake Mix. Kris’s response – amazing. The only difference was a very slight change in texture. 

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To purchase Better Batter products – check local stores, order directly on www.betterbatter.org, or purchase on amazon.com (prime eligible).

GIVEAWAY! One winner will receive 3 Better Batter mixes! Enter via the rafflecopter link below. Continental US residents only. Giveaway ends Monday December 25th at 11:59 EST.

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Visit my Instagram for an extra giveaway! A second winner will be chosen there!

Izzi B’s Allergen-Free Bakery Gingerbread House Kit Giveaway!

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post. Izzi B’s Bakery provided me with a sample gingerbread house kit. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend products that I, myself, use and love.

I’m bringing back another favorite for my second gluten free holiday giveaway – the Izzi B’s Allergen-Free Bakery Gingerbread House Kit!

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

My favorite holiday tradition as a child was making a gingerbread house with my sister – it was a three day project, and the entire kitchen was covered in sugar. We haven’t spent Christmas together since I moved away from home, and I haven’t tackled a gluten free gingerbread house from scratch yet. I knew that I would enjoy Izzi B’s gingerbread house kit, but I didn’t realize just how much I would love it! Here’s the package that arrived at my home:

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Everything in the box was perfect – included were sturdy pieces of gingerbread for the house, a few gingerbread people (and a reindeer!), a piping bag of powdered sugar (just add water), and candy/chocolate to decorate with. Click here to read the specific allergen information of the gingerbread house and the candy that is included (the allergen friendly candy comes from various different facilities). The directions were super easy to follow. Kris and I made this!

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Making this gingerbread house was so much fun! I didn’t realize how much I missed this tradition. My heart swelled we pieced it together and made this tiny home. I love, love, love this kit, and I’m so glad that Izzi B’s Bakery is here to help other children (and adults!) share that joy. 

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 gluten free, allergen friendly gingerbread house kit from Izzi B’s! Enter via the rafflecopter link below. Continental US residents only. Giveaway ends Wednesday December 13th 11:59pm EST.

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Visit my instagram for another chance to win – a second winner will be chosen there!

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.

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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.

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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.

Izzi B’s Allergen-Free Bakery Giveaway

I have been a fan of Izzi B’s Allergen-Free Bakery for years. They are always a delight to see at the GFAF Expo in New Jersey every year. Apparently many other gluten free folk agree with me because Izzi B’s always seem to be one of the first booths to completely sell out of their products.

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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

Looking at that list one may wonder how on earth they get their products to taste so good. I think I have the answer – magic. That’s most definitely the secret ingredient in their vanilla cake – it’s out of this world! (Okay I do know one of the special ingredients and it is not anything that you’d expect – organic butternut squash puree! I’m not surprised that real food makes for really tasty treats).

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Izzi B’s specializes in holiday items (remember last year’s GF gingerbread house?), asserting “everyone deserves a treat”. Surely no one will feel left out with Izzi B’s around.  Also on their menu – MANY different kinds of cupcakes, cakes, cookies, brownies, donuts, pies, muffins and cake pops. I’m dying to try their cake pops next (hint hint, Izzi B’s please bring them to the next expo?)
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 cookie & brownie gift from Izzi B’s! Enter via the rafflecopter link below. Continental US residents only. Giveaway ends Friday June 2nd 11:59PM EST.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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

Banza Pasta Review & Giveaway

Sure, I like pasta, but I prefer to have protein as the main component of my meal, along with vegetables. As a fitness instructor who is constantly on the go, I’m always looking for creative ways to get more protein, especially after hard workouts. That’s where Banza comes in. Banza makes a wonderful gluten free pasta that is high in protein and fiber, and guess what – it’s made from chickpeas!

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I hear your questions already – “What’s the texture like? Does it taste like chickpeas?” No, it tastes like pasta. As one would expect, because of its unique ingredients Banza does have a slightly different texture than wheat-based noodles, but I don’t mind. I would so much rather have the protein than junky carbs.

Fast facts:

  • Certified gluten free
  • Rotini, elbows, penne and shells are produced in a dedicated gluten free facility
  • Free of the top 8 allergens
  • Produced in a nut-free facility
  • Kosher
  • Made from over 90% chickpeas
  • High in protein – 14g in a 2 oz serving! (25g protein for a more generous 3.5 oz serving)

I am thrilled with this pasta and especially love how allergen friendly it is. I’ve paired it with my homemade pasta sauce as well as pesto and parmesan cheese. Any way you do it, Banza is a delicious, nutritious, allergen-friendly option that will give you a boost of protein. 

Banza is available in stores across the US as well as online. For more information and a store locator visit www.eatbanza.com

GIVEAWAY! One lucky winner will receive a variety case of Banza Pasta! Enter via the rafflecopter link below. Continental US residents only. Ends Friday May 26th 11:59pm EST.

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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.

Éclair Naturals #NeverAny Review & Giveaway

Even when you’ve been gluten free for years, there is always something to learn about Celiac Disease. I get asked quite frequently what my thoughts are on gluten free body care products like shampoo and lotion.

I think it’s very important. Many people have a skin sensitivity to gluten. I know someone whose eyelashes will fall out if she uses mascara that contains gluten. Another friend breaks out in a rash. And even though we don’t willingly eat shampoo or facial lotion, have you ever had a trickle of shampoo slide down your face and onto your lips? Have you ever put on lotion and then eaten a snack with your hands? There are so many ways that gluten can affect our lives and get into our systems that I’ve found it necessary for my skin products to be gluten free, as well as my food.

It is no secret that Éclair Naturals is one of my favorite companies. They are incredibly dedicated to the Celiac/GF community and make some of the best and most allergen friendly personal care products on the market today.

Fast facts:

  • Certified gluten free (tests to less than 5ppm)
  • 100% soy free
  • 100% vegan
  • Made with food grade ingredients
  • No animal testing/certified cruelty free
  • Non GMO
  • Handcrafted in small batches
  • Sustainably sourced and responsibly produced
  • Promotes no waste
  • Donates to charities
  • Made in the USA

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They’ve got a wonderful new campaign called #NeverAny – Éclair Naturals promises #neverany harmful ingredients, gluten, soy, or GMOs. Watching their video, I was shocked to learn about some of the ingredients that are normally found in body care products. Thank goodness Éclair Naturals is committed to safe ingredients! Watch the full video here: http://eclairnaturals.com/neverany/

What’s your #NeverAny? – Share yours in the comments! Here’s mine:

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Éclair Naturals is ready to for spring with one of my favorite scents – lavender. Their Balancing Shampoo/Conditioner is for dry, flaky or itchy scalps and features a relaxing Tea Tree & Lavender scent. Combine that with the French Lavender Handsoap and Dead Sea Salt Scrub – let’s just say that I’m in heaven. It feels like a spa experience for the body and senses. Perhaps the most relaxing part is that I know the ingredients will keep me safe.
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Eclair Naturals products is super budget friendly. I recently purchased several bottles of lotion on sale at target.com for less than $6.50 each. You can also find them at Rite Aid, Safeway, ShopRite, Stop&Shop, and directly on www.eclairnaturals.com.

GIVEAWAY! One lucky winner will receive a bundle of lavender products from Éclair Naturals! Enter via the rafflecopter link below. Continental US residents only. Ends Thursday May 25th 11:59pm EST.

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BONUS GIVEAWAY – Visit my Instagram – a second winner will be chosen there!

 

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.

Bonus Giveaway – Better Battter

It’s hard to summarize how much I love Better Batter – their high quality, allergen-friendly mixes; the story of the founder’s autistic son speaking his first sentence after being diagnosed with Celiac Disease and going gluten free; the fact that they donate 10% of their net profits to social and charitable causes; their financial aid program to provide discounted gluten free products for low income families, families that have children with autism, college students, and households with extraordinary circumstances – seriously how can you not love this company?

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Quick Better Batter facts:

  • Certified gluten free
  • Made in a facility that is free of milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, wheat, soy, fish, crustacean/shellfish, mustard, sesame, and corn.
  • Most products do not contain sulfites
  • GMO free
  • Kosher OU Parve
  • No dyes or artificial flavors/preservatives
  • Vegan appropriate
  • Packaged in recycled and recyclable boxes, printed with vegetable ink (cool!)

Better Batter’s product line includes:

  • All Purpose Flour (cup for cup)
  • Seasoned Flour
  • Pancake & Biscuit Mix
  • Fudge Brownie Mix
  • Yellow Cake Mix
  • Chocolate Cake Mix
  • Corn Free Powdered Sugar
  • Gift Cards (great for the holidays!)

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As I make my way through trying all of Better Batter’s products, I recently baked their brownies for a wine & dessert night with a friend. I thought I was being productive by baking them in advance and freezing them, but you know what happens with delicious brownies are calling to you from the freezer for an entire week. These brownies were just TOO GOOD. Needless to say, they didn’t make it to the dessert night. #sorrynotsorry

To purchase Better Batter products – check local stores, order directly on www.betterbatter.org, or purchase on amazon.com (prime eligible).

GIVEAWAY! One lucky winner will receive a $10 e-gift card for betterbatter.com! Enter via the rafflecopter link below. Continental US residents only. Giveaway ends Friday May 19th at 11:59 EST.

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Visit my Instagram for an extra giveaway! A different winner will be chosen there!


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.