How to Host a Gluten Free Thanksgiving

Eating gluten free does not mean sacrificing your favorite foods this Thanksgiving Continue reading


Travel without Stressing Over Your Gluten Free Diet

gluten free travel

Check Out These Tips to Ensure a Stress Free Vacation While Eating Gluten Free

Spring and summer are the peek months for traveling.  This is the time for us to create lasting memories with our friends and families.  It is also our way of unwinding from the daily stress we encounter in life.  However, if you are living with celiac disease that stress of what and where to eat is often taken with you.

Let’s face it, for someone living with celiac disease there is no break.  Our diets are circulated around eating healthy gluten free meals to keep our health in check.  We can’t just take off and eat whatever we want while on vacation.  Otherwise, we will end up in pain, sick, and missing out on all the adventure.  Who dreams of a vacation to their local restroom?  No one, that is why I am presenting you will a few tips to ensure that your gluten free diet is intact without the stress over what to eat while traveling.


Before leaving on your vacation, make sure you have done some preliminary research for your destination.  Call your hotel ahead of time to ensure access to kitchen appliances such as a microwave and/or refrigerator.

It is also wise to research the area of your vacation destination for designated gluten free restaurants.  This is easy if you carry a smartphone, as there are downloadable apps available to do that dirty work for you.

For those traveling abroad, make sure to invest in a dining card.  A dining card will outline and translate all of your gluten free needs and restrictions for the country you are visiting.  These dining cards are free to print and available through a downloadable app through

Pack your own food

This step is essential for any person living with celiac disease that is stepping out of their element.  Always make sure to pack your own foods for travel and emergencies.  Carry non-perishable items such as nuts, popcorn, or protein bars.  These items come in handy when there is nothing readily available to chow down on.

If your hotel is accommodating you with a refrigerator and/or microwave, pack some prepared meals.  Pack any items that are filling and quick to heat for those nights you will not be eating out.  These can be easily stored in a small cooler until you arrive at your destination.

Road trips are handy for packing your gluten free foods ahead of time.  Great items to pack while undergoing those long hours on the road are gluten free breads, fruits, peanut butter, and non-perishable meals like Go Picnic lunchables (which is also great for those camping out).

Packing your own food is a great way to keep the stress out of your traveling.  Just remember to prepare your meals to accommodate your destination.  If you are visiting family, then you may only need to bring gluten free substitutions for the meals you will be preparing.  Don’t forget to bring along disposable utensils, paper plates/bowls, and plastic wrap.  This will help eliminate any worries about cross contamination while preparing your foods.

These tips will help you remain gluten free and appreciate your time away from the daily grind.  There is no need for added stress over the foods we eat when the solutions are simple.  Follow these tricks and enjoy your vacation the way you were meant to.

What Causes Weight Gain After Going Gluten Free?

gluten free

Discover Why Those with Celiac Disease Are Gaining Weight from Eating Gluten Free Foods

I have Celiac Disease and a weight problem.  Whew!  There I said it, I got this news off my chest.  The biggest issue I face with my gluten free diet is gaining weight.

I belong to several gluten free support groups and the number one complaint I find listed is weight loss.  So many women post their concerns about not being able to put on the necessary weight needed after going gluten free.

I can only state that I wish I had this issue.  The sad truth is that my gluten free diet has increased the pounds on me.  I don’t know why or how to stop it.  I know I can’t be the only one with this issue, but who really wants to admit to a bunch of strangers that they have a weight issue?

This is why I decided to dig deeper into this issue.  I needed to know why I kept gaining the weight when all these other women are losing the weight.  I needed to know the who’s, what’s, when’s, where’s, and why’s of this issue.

After some research, I discovered some surprising truths to the matter.  I have discovered that this issue is more common in those diagnosed with celiac disease then I originally thought.

Weight Gain after Diagnosis

According to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, it is common for someone who had been diagnosed with celiac disease to experience an issue with weight gain.  Anyone diagnosed, including myself, is directed to eat a gluten free diet.  It is the only way to begin healing that pesky inflammation within the small intestines.

Once the lining of my small intestine began to heal, I slowly began to absorb more nutrients and calories than before.  My system started to become normal, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.

Not all gluten free options are healthy

Now that my body is absorbing the nutrients and calories it needs to, I need to be careful of the foods I am eating.  I often eat prepackaged and processed gluten free foods.

Let’s face it, I am a mother of two boys that are always on the go.  My family does not enjoy many of the foods that I do, so I am always looking for the gluten free variations of family favorites.  This is where my problem lies.

Many of the gluten free food options available today are high in calories and fat.  These are the additives manufacturers are using to make the gluten free food taste good.  The higher content of sugars and fats in these gluten free foods are higher and more dangerous than the standard processed goodies.  The gluten free cookies I buy from the grocery store contain double the amount of calories than a standard package of Chips Ahoy.

How to fix the issue

These wonderfully accessible gluten free foods should be placed on my no-no list.  They are contributing to my weight gain issue.  Although, these foods are the handier and easier options, they need to be eliminated from my diet.

I need to change my diet to include more naturally gluten free foods like fruits and vegetables.  I need to incorporate a healthier balance of fiber, iron, calcium, and vitamins.  There are dieting options available for people like me with celiac disease, but eating whole foods just seems to be the best way to go.

I remember when I was first diagnosed I completed the Whole 30 in order to decrease the painful inflammation.  The plan worked phenomenally, but remaining diary and sugar free became an impossible task for the long haul.  The plan was based on whole foods and a Paleo lifestyle.

If you are like me, a celiac with a weight problem, then we are doing things wrong.  According to the medical professionals at the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, we need to put away those easy to grab gluten free finds and stick to clean eating.

Is this really news?  No.  However, it has provided me with the insight into my gaining pounds.  I can only hope that this information can also help someone in a similar situation.

5 St. Patrick’s Day Gluten Free Treats Your Kids Will Love

gluten free

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Style with These Delicious Gluten Free Recipes

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day does not mean our kids or ourselves can’t enjoy themed desserts.  You see it all the time, carry-in day for kids at school to celebrate a holiday.  However, if you have a child living with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, then this could be a challenge.  Not only are the desserts limited, but there is not much on the share table that he/she can enjoy.

This doesn’t have to apply to just children.  I know some of us are just walking big kids.  We can enjoy some of these yummy gluten free options for dessert on this lucky day.

I will include links with each recipe idea to the websites and/or blogs that spawned these ideas.  However, it is wise to keep in mind that many of the original recipes were not gluten free.  I made these trade outs to apply to our gluten free diet restrictions.

If you and your child are wanting to get a little more creative with some gluten free desserts containing some gluten free cereal marshmallows, please review my previous posts on these alternatives.

gluten free oreos

Gluten Free Gold Coin Oreos


  • 1 package of Live G Free Crème Filled Cookies (a gluten free option to the Oreo’s brand found at Aldi’s)
  • 1 Spray Can of Wilton Gold Color



Spray Cookies and Enjoy!  Maybe organize a treasure hunt.


gluten free

Photo Courtesy of Love From the Oven

Gluten Free White Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Original recipe by Love from the Oven


  • 1 package of Gluten Free Pretzels
  • 1-12oz package of White Chocolate Chips
  • Green Decorating Sprinkles



  • Melt chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat
  • Once the chips are melted, dip each pretzel halfway in
  • Lay pretzels flat on a sheet of wax paper to dry
  • Before the chocolate dries decorate with green sprinkles
  • Store in air tight container



gluten free Jell-O

Photo Courtesy of Yummy Healthy Easy

Rainbow Jell-O Cups

By Yummy Healthy Easy


The recipe instructions may be viewed on the original website (by request).  Please use this link:

Yummy Healthy Recipes – Rainbow Jell-O Cups



gluten free

Photo Courtesy of Sugar and Soul

Pot of Gold Gluten Free Cupcakes

Original recipe by Sugar and Soul


For the Cupcakes

  • 1 Box of Betty Crocker Gluten Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • 9 oz Package Jell-O Instant Chocolate Pudding
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • ¾ cup Vegetable Oil
  • ½ cup Milk
  • 1 tbsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 ½ cup Mini Chocolate Chips


For the Buttercream:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter at room temperature
  • 4 cups Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 3-4 tbsp. Heavy Cream
  • 3-5 Drops Kelly Green Gel Coloring


For the Pot of Gold

  • 24 Reese’s Peanut Butter Mini Cups (original for gluten free)
  • ¼ cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup Celebration Gold Candy Pearls
  • 24 Betty Crocker’s Fruit Roll-Up’s Rocking Fruity Rainbow (double check for cross-contamination)




  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Line cupcake pan
  • Combine all ingredients, using mixer beat until combined
  • Fill cupcake liners ½ – ¾ full
  • Reduce heat to 350 degrees
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean
  • Remove from oven and place cupcakes on cooling rack to finish cooling



  • Using mixer with a paddle attachment beat butter and sugar on low speed for 3 minutes. Occasionally scrape the sides of the bowl down.
  • While whipping on low speed, add in the vanilla, heavy cream, and gel coloring.
  • Turn the speed up to Medium High and continue to whip for 1-2 minutes
  • Pipe onto the cupcakes


Pot of Gold:

  • Using the back of a small spoon, evenly spread a tiny bit of peanut butter on the peanut butter cup
  • Stick the candy pearls on it, as you stack, gently touch each pearl to some peanut butter before adding it to secure it to the others.
  • Press peanut butter cup into the cupcake frosting
  • Take the Rocking Rainbow Fruit Roll-Up’s and stick each end into the frosting to make the rainbow. You can use a toothpick to help support the rainbow.



gluten free

Photo Courtesy of Betty Crocker

Leprechaun Hat Cookies

By Betty Crocker


  • 1 package of Betty Crocker Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Mix
  • ½ cup Butter or Margarine, softened
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 container (1lb) Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Vanilla Frosting
  • ¼ tsp. Betty Crocker Green Gel Food Color
  • 24 Large Marshmallows
  • 24 Small (1-inch) Chewy Chocolate Candies (when in doubt you can always reshape some tootsie rolls)
  • 12 Small Green Gumdrops



  • Heat oven to 375 degrees
  • In medium bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, and egg until soft dough forms.
  • Roll dough into 24 (1-inch) balls.
  • Place rolled dough on an ungreased cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart
  • Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown
  • Immediately place marshmallow on each cookie
  • Remove cookies from the cookie sheets and place on the cooling rack
  • Cool completely, about 15 minutes
  • In a microwavable bowl, microwave frosting on high for 30 seconds
  • Frosting should be a thick and spoonable glaze
  • Stir food color into the frosting. Add more if needed to achieve desired color.
  • Spoon warm frosting over each cookie, coating completely and allowing excess to drip off.
  • Let Stand for 20 minutes to set
  • Roll Chocolate candies into rope. Flatten with rolling pin into 1/8-inch-thick ribbons.
  • Cut into strips with scissors to resemble hat bands
  • Arrange bands around the base of marshmallow on each cookie
  • Cut gumdrops crosswise in half (reshape if needed)
  • Press cut side onto hat band
  • Lift cookies onto the serving platter with pancake turner, leaving excess frosting behind
  • Store in an airtight container



Gluten Free Crispy Cereal Marshmallow Treats to Enjoy This St. Patrick’s Day

lucky charms 2

Discover How You Can Enjoy These “Magically Delicious” Toppings On a Gluten Free Diet

Saint Patrick’s Day desserts are on the rise and the one common theme I can find, is the fun topping of Lucky Charms marshmallows.  No offense to the cereal company but some of us can’t have those fun marshmallows due to the quantity of gluten they may contain, not to mention the cross-contamination.  So, I went on the hunt for gluten free options to this fabulous and fun holiday themed desert topping.

I discovered two different ways to enjoy this magically delicious treats for those with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity.  The first is my favorite, and that is to simple buy already made crispy cereal marshmallows in bulk.

The second option is to make your own gluten free crispy cereal marshmallows at home.  I don’t have a lot of time for the second option, but I would be willing to give it a shot if need be.  However, I must admit that the recipe seems far too complicated for me.  I am not one that can proudly claim to be a master chief in the kitchen.

Purchasing Crispy Cereal Marshmallows

Amazon features different brands selling cereal marshmallows, much like the ones featured in Lucky Charms.  These are sold in bulk and at a reasonable price.  After reviewing the ingredient listing on these brands, I cannot find any gluten or wheat contaminate in these.  However, these companies may not have listed this fact so always double check.  If you are interested in purchasing one of these, you may want to double check by contacting the company and asking directly.

I have included the direct website information for the companies that run separately outside of Amazon.  This should help in contacting the companies for any questions or concerns.


  • By the Cup (a Kraft Company)- selling an 1lb bag 10.00 on Amazon (These marshmallows are listed as being processed on the same equipment as soy and peanuts)


  • Medley Hills Farms Cereal Charms 5lb bag $6.54 (This brand does not state any information about cross contamination on the website, may want to call or email the company directly to double check)


DIY Crispy Cereal Marshmallows

If you don’t want to worry about contacting companies and a little research on cross-contamination, they you are free to make your own.  I found this recipe online from the Bravetart blog.  It was the simplest recipe by far that was offered online.  This homemade recipe is guaranteed to be gluten free. It is a great option for those that are savvy in the kitchen (something I am not).  Have fun!


Crispy Gluten Free Cereal Marshmallow Recipe has many steps and needs to be read carefully.  It can be found at:


I hope this information has been helpful for those seeking out these fun toppings this St. Patrick’s Day.  If you decide this is just too much trouble to go through, then please read my (soon to be released) 5 St. Patrick’s Day Gluten Free Treats Your Kids Will Love blog post.  This will assist you in creating gluten free, fun, friendly, and kid approved holiday themed treats.

Which Easter Candy is Safe for A Gluten Free Diet?

kaboompics.com_Little Lindt  gold Easter Bunnies (2)

A List of Gluten Free Friendly Easter Candy for 2016

It’s that time of the year again.  The time when the Easter bunny hops his way into our children’s hearts with candy to tempt our sweet tooth.  For those living with Celiac Disease or a Gluten Sensitivity, this can become troublesome.  We find ourselves asking “What candy is safe for me to eat?” followed by hours clocked on google searching for the answer.  I have created a one-stop solution for those seeking these answers. Below is a list of all the Easter candy you will find on your table this year that is safe for celiac and gluten free restrictions.  Please remember to always double check the labels of your candy for any traces of cross contamination.

Safe Gluten Free Easter Candy

Dove Chocolates

  • Dove Chocolate Easter Bunnies
  • Dove Egg Shaped Candies
  • Easter Themed Dove Bars

Hershey’s Chocolate

  • Plain Chocolate Hershey Kisses in Easter Themed Foil Wrap

Jelly Belly

  • Jelly Belly Jelly Beans
  • Jelly Belly Specialty Themed Easter Packages

Just Born

  • Just Born Jelly Beans
  • Just Born Peeps Marshmallows


  • Kraft Bunny Mallows
  • Kraft Egg Mallows

Mike & Ike

  • Mike & Ike Berry Blast
  • Mike & Ike Lemonade Blends
  • Mike & Ike Original
  • Mike & Ike Zours


  • Egg Shaped M&M’s Candies
  • M&M’s Candies in Easter Colors
  • M&M’s Solid Milk Chocolate Easter Bunny

Necco Candy Eggs


Photo Courtesy of

Peeps Marshmallows (check the labels on all off brand manufacturers and specialty flavored Peeps)

  • Chocolate Dipped Marshmallow Chicks
  • Chocolate Mousse Flavored Peeps Bunny
  • Chocolate Mousse Flavored Marshmallow Bunnies
  • Flavored Peeps Marshmallow Chicks in Blue Raspberry, Bubble Gum, Chocolate Mousse Flavored, Lemon Delight, Lime Delight, Mystery Flavor, Orange Delight, Party Cake, Sour Watermelon, and Sweet Lemonade.
  • Large White Peeps Marshmallow Bunny
  • Original Peeps Marshmallow Chicks in Yellow, White, Orange, Green, Pink, Blue, and Purple
  • Peeps Decorated Marshmallow Eggs
  • Peeps Marshmallow Bunnies in Blue, Pink, Yellow, Green, Orange, and Lavender
  • Peeps Mystery Flavored Marshmallow Bunnies


  • Easter Themed Starburst Candy
  • Starburst Jelly Beans
  • Starburst Specialty Themed Easter Packages

Sour Patch

  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Sour Patch Fruits
  • Sour patch Peach, Cherry, Raspberry
  • Sour Patch Watermelon

Tootsie Rolls

  • Charms Blow Pops
  • Charms Candy Carnival Products
  • Double Bubble Easter Egg Shaped Bubble Gum
  • Easter Themed Tootsie Roll Candy
  • Tootsie Pops


Avoid These Easter Candies

Ballmer Easter Bunnies (all sizes and flavors)

Brach’s Speckled Jelly Bird Eggs

*Cadbury Crème Eggs (The eggs are gluten free but are at risk for cross contamination)

*Cadbury Mini-Eggs

Cadbury Easter Bunnies (all sizes and flavors)

Frankford Easter Bunnies (all sizes and flavors)

Ghirardelli Chocolate Easter Eggs

Hershey’s Easter Bunnies (all sizes and flavors)

Hershey’s Easter Egg Candies (all sizes and flavors)

Jolly Ranchers Jelly Beans and other Easter Themed Candy

Lindt Chocolate Carrots

Lindt Easter Bunnies (all sizes and flavors)


  • Pretzel M&M’s Candies
  • Special Flavored M&M’s Candies

Mighty Malts Speckled Malted Milk Eggs

Russell Stover Easter bunnies (all sizes and flavors)

Sweetarts Jelly Beans and other Easter Themed Candy

Whoppers Robin Eggs and Mini Robin Eggs

Zachary Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Eggs


*Cadbury Eggs

BEWARE of the Cadbury Brand.  These products are not made with Gluten in the ingredients but are at risk of cross-contamination.  That is why I have these listed separately and within the AVOID category.  Take extreme risk when indulging in these Easter favorites and always check the labels before reading.

  • Cadbury Caramel Eggs
  • Cadbury Crème Egg
  • Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons Chicks
  • Cadbury Easter Egg Trail Pack
  • Cadbury Egg heads
  • Cadbury Mini Caramel eggs
  • Cadbury Mini Crème Eggs
  • Cadbury Mini Eggs



Related Resources:

So You Can’t Have Gluten, Now What?

Gluten Free Candy Update 2015

Gluten Free Candy for Passover

90 Seconds to Gluten Free Cake Bliss


Enjoy A Gluten Free Chocolate Cake for One in Less Than 2 Minutes

I came across a recipe today that I just simply couldn’t keep quiet.  The Pioneer Woman released a recipe for a 90 second chocolate cake made inside of a mug.  I was skeptical at first, mainly due to this being a standard cake recipe in a small dose.  After switching out regular flour for gluten free flour, I fell in love.

I have a sweet tooth.  I would love to give up sugar as I once did during my Whole 30 diet.  However, that sugar craving is too strong for me and I love to indulge every now and again.  Usually when the sugar craving kicks, I sneak in a little Reese’s cup (okay more like the whole pack) or maybe a small gluten free brownie.  Whatever I choose to eat, it is small in quantity and hidden from my sons.  Those sugar monsters could sniff out a chocolate bar in a 2-mile radius.

That is why I enjoyed this recipe so much.  It was enough cake for one, super rich, easy to make, and now gluten free.  I did not make my cake utilizing chocolate chips and found it to be rich enough without the addition.  The cake will take exactly 90 minutes to cook in the microwave.  It is simple and easy to portion for those watching their sugar intake.  Just remember to hide it from the kids or you will find yourself cooking an entire cake.


Chocolate Cake in A Mug

By The Pioneer Woman Cooks



  • 3 Tbsp King Arthur Multi-Purpose Gluten Free Flour
  • 3 Tbsp Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • ¼ Tsp Baking Powder
  • A Pinch of Salt
  • 3 Tbsp Whole Milk
  • 3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • A Splash of Vanilla Extract


*Optional: 3 Tbsp Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips



Place gluten free flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into a microwave safe mug (12 oz).  Mix dry ingredients together.

Add in the milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla.

Stir until the batter is smooth

*If using chocolate chips stir them in last

Wipe away any excess on the sides of the mug with a paper towel

Microwave for 90 seconds

Let the cake stand for 1 ½ – 2 minutes before eating.


Enjoy as is or serve with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Easiest Gluten Free Chicken Dinner the Family will Love


A Budget Friendly and Time Saving Gluten Free Dinner Option

When it comes to cooking, I am no Rachel Ray.  You will not find to many homemade recipes posted by myself.  However, I am great at trying out easy, budget friendly recipes I find online.  Pinterest can become one’s best friend when looking for family favored, gluten free dinner recipes.

I hate recipes that entail a long list of ingredients.  I am a full time working mother who does not have two hours to prep a meal.  I need something fast, delicious, and appeasing to two picky eaters.

My sons are under ten years old.  Like normal boys, they will eat a ton but only with foods they deem worthy.  Their age makes them averse to odd looking foods.  However, if they really enjoy something I had better make sure there is plenty to serve.

I found this recipe for baked garlic brown sugar chicken online by Daydream Kitchen.  I only carried out two variations to the recipe given below.  I made this with about one and half pound of chicken breast and instead of freshly minced garlic, I swapped it for already minced garlic in the jar.

All together this recipe took me less than thirty minutes to prepare.  I paired it with a side of rice and steamed veggies.  Another good pairing would be with a baked potato.  The recipe was easy and budget friendly.  The true test came to my boys and let me just say they loved it!  Each child asked for seconds and the recipe has now made our list of top ten favorites.

I have provided the copy of the recipe below and a link to the website for more reviews and comments.  Daydream Kitchen really knocked this recipe out of the park for this family.

Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

By Daydream Kitchen


  • 4 Boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 4 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 4 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tsp. olive oil



Preheat oven to 500 Degrees

Grease baking dish

Fry minced garlic with the oil until it becomes soft

Place the garlic in the brown sugar

Place the chicken inside the baking dish

Place the garlic sugar mixture on the chicken

Season with salt and pepper for tasting

Bake without cover for approximately 20 minutes


(Serve with a side of rice or potato, and freshly steamed vegetables.)

Safe Valentine’s Day Candy for the Gluten Free Diet


Discover Which 2016 Candies are Safe to Eat On a Gluten Free Diet

It’s Valentine’s Day.  A day I usually find myself the proud owner of my own box of chocolates and secretly nibbling through my kid’s school party stash.  Only this year, this tradition is to be no longer.  Those assorted chocolates I love so much in the holiday themed boxes, are now a no-go zone for this celiac.  They contain traces of wheat that my body will hate me for.  So what can I have on the most romantic day of the year?  Thanks to Jane Anderson (a celiac and gluten sensitivity expert) and, I now have a guide to the do’s and don’ts this Valentine’s Day.  I am sharing it here as an easy reference for other mother’s looking to indulge that sweet tooth.  However, it is important to note that you should double check all packaging labels to ensure the product in gluten free or is not at risk of cross-contamination.

Valentine’s Day chocolate boxes that are safe:

Cella’s Chocolate-Covered Cherries

Fannie May (Not all are gluten free so check the labels)

Russell Stover Candies Inc.:

  • Russel Stover
  • Whitman’s
  • Pangburn’s
  • Weight Watchers by Whitman’s


Valentine’s Candies that are safe:

Brach’s Conversation Hearts

Butterfingers (Except the heart-shaped ones)

Dove Chocolate (Always check the label with Mars)

  • Milk Chocolate
  • Red Velvet Swirl
  • Dark and Milk Chocolate Hearts
  • Milk Chocolate and Strawberry Swirl

Gimbal’s Fine Candies:

  • Jelly Beans
  • Sour Jelly Beans
  • Sour Heart-Shaped Gum Drop-style Candies
  • Heart Shaped Cherry Candies
  • Heart-Shaped and Round Cinnamon-flavored Candies
  • Gluten Free Licorice Shaped Scottie Dogs

Hershey’s Kisses (NOT the Hugs variety! Also, check the Valentine’s tin ingredients list because not all are gluten free):

  • Regular Hershey Kisses
  • Vanilla Crème Kisses
  • Cherry Cordial Crème Kisses

Junior Mints (Heart-Shaped)

Lifesavers Candy n’ Stickers

M&M’s (Except the pretzel M&M’s. Always check labels on Valentine’s packages)

Peeps (check the labels for cross-contamination on specialty peeps such as filled peeps or peeps on a stick)

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (Except for the heart-shaped ones)

Starburst Candy n’ Stickers

Starburst Jelly Beans


Tootsie Rolls with/without Conversation Messages

York Peppermint Patties (Except for the heart-shaped ones)



Balmer Cuddly Cuties Chocolate Teddy Bears and Dogs

Butterfinger Heart-Shaped Candies

Dove Milk Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Crisp

Elmer Chocolate boxed Valentine’s Candy

Ghirardelli boxed chocolates

Hershey’s Hugs

Lindt Lindor Truffles

Lindt Chocolate Mints

Mrs. Field’s Assorted Chocolates in a heart-shaped tin

Pretzel M&M’s

You Can’t Have Gluten, Now What?

gluten freeDiscover The Next Step in Living a Gluten-Free Lifestyle

You have just been told by your doctor that you may no longer have foods containing gluten.  Maybe you have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease or maybe it is a gluten sensitivity, but you now have to change your entire diet to regain your health.  Seems simple enough, except you aren’t really sure what gluten is and what to do next.  This is not a new situation, many of us out there living gluten-free have been in the same situation.  Let me share with you the best place to begin.

Accept Your Health

This is the first and most important step you can take in your journey to restoring your health.  Your body has been telling you for some time now that it cannot endure gluten within your food.  This is a difficult fact to swallow.  Like other auto-immune diseases like Diabetes, you will need to change your diet.

You could pretend the news is not true.  You could move forward angry about the diagnosis and continue to eat the same foods as always.  However, you will be putting your health at serious risk.  You will not get better, but continue to get worse.  You will need to question if that slice of cake is really worth feeling rotten over.

Eating gluten free will become your life.  It will be a struggle, but it is not worth ignoring as it will be the best choice you could make for yourself and your body.  It is time to decide that you are worth being healthy for.  Your body is your temple and it is time to take care of it.  The sooner you are able to accept your health, the better you will begin to feel.  Healing your gut does not happen overnight, but it will help you love life again.

Learn What Gluten Is

You can’t begin a lifestyle changing habit if you have no clue what the problem is.  Gluten is the protein of wheat, rye, and barley that you find in food.  It is the glue that binds your baked goods and pastas together.

For those suffering from celiac disease, gluten is what damages the small intestines causing pain, bloating, nausea, and more serious symptoms.  You must learn how to identify gluten in your food.

Learn to Identify Gluten in Your Food

If a product states that it is wheat free, then it does not mean it is gluten free.  Always double check the ingredients of packaged foods to ensure the product is gluten free.  Also watch your beverages and cooking materials as barley is often a hidden ingredient lurking inside.  The most common products containing barley is beer and malt vinegar.

Whole foods are the best place to start in eating gluten free.  Often solid meats, vegetables, and fruits do not contain gluten.  Cooking with whole foods is the best way to adapt a new diet into a family setting as the choices don’t linger too far from normal.



When you find yourself shopping the gluten-free items like pasta, bread, or pizza, double check for cross contamination.  Not all production of gluten-free foods is handled in an exclusively gluten free facility.  Cross contamination can be found in many products and you should remain wary of this when eating in and out.  If your food is being cooked or prepared on the same surface as something containing gluten you are at risk.

It is also important to note that not all gluten is found within foods.  There are many medications that utilize gluten as a filler, so always double check with your medical professional that you are safe from exposure.  Common household products such as shampoos and makeup can also hold traces of gluten.

Changing your life to living gluten free will be a messy road.  You will be working on a learning curve and it’s okay to make mistakes.  Just remember that within a short amount of time you will begin to feel a difference.  Once you start to feel better, you will know that accepting your diagnosis and taking the actions to care for it was the best move you could have made.