Monday, October 24, 2011

First bread, now you take away my toothpaste?!

Not so fast...

You would think I would be stoked with the rising amount of gluten free products out there and how popular it is becoming. Not so much. Walking down the grocery aisles now you see "GLUTEN FREE" advertised on items and people get all excited and buy it. STOP. Think about the item, where it was made, and if it ever even contained gluten in the first place...I could go on for days about this and will eventually create a post about it, but I don't want to scare you all away just yet!! 

There are tons of products to fall victim to this advertising craze, but for today, I'm talking toothpaste. So say you are glutenista as myself, and you're walking down the toothpaste aisle, you see the regulars (crest, colgate, arm and hammer) and then you see one screaming "GLUTEN FREE." What do you do? Buy it. 

Why? You eat gluten free, therefore so my toothpaste should be gluten free too. But wait?! Gluten comes from wheat, there's wheat in toothpaste? NO. So, maybe the factory where toothpaste is made is not gluten free? Maybe. See there are regulations on being able to label products "gluten free" and if there are traces of gluten in the factory, the product cannot be claimed gluten free. But say you're buying Crest brand toothpaste, why the heck would there ever be gluten in that factory? It's all toothpaste, floss, mouthwash...pretty sure they're not baking bread up in there. 

Now that was my personal take on the issue, but I know some people out there have gluten sensitivities so severe that they would rather be safe than sorry, so naturally they just go with the "GLUTEN FREE" version. There's nothing wrong with it, but I just wanted to put it out there that the toothpaste you are currently using is most likely gluten free. No need to jump on that band wagon just yet.

Here is a list of approved gluten free tooth pastes (they claim their other products are gf as well): 

  • Tom's of Maine
  • Nature's Gate
  • Crest
  • Aquafresh
  • Arm & Hammer
  • Orajel
  • Oral-B

  • So as far as gluten is concerned, these other brands are safe to use, but keep in mind that they may contain artificial colors and flavors. This is an important issue in my household and something you may want to think about if you have children (who probably eat more of their bright blue berry blast toothpaste rather than brush with it). 

    GO TOM'S! (btw they usually have coupons and free samples through their facebook page) 

    happy brushing!
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    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    TARGET: you done did me dirty!!!!

    I love Target. Sometimes I drive out all the way out there (they don't have Target in SF) just to walk around and not even buy anything.
    It's like therapy for me. Helps clear the mind.

    Well not this day!!! I seriously feel like going on an Antoine Dodson style rant about this
    ...hide yo kids, hide yo wife, hide yo huband, cuz Target's rapin' e'erbody out here!

    Really Target? You are so dumb. You are really dumb. for real.

    Right under the sign stating "NATURAL CEREAL" they place Kelloggs Special K that clearly states its ARTIFICIALLY FLAVORED!

    I said it once and I'll say it again,

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    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Cupcakes for dinner?!

    It's surprising to me that after 11 posts, I have not once talked about my job! ...most complain I talk about it a little too much! :) I am a full time nanny for two little rays of sunshine; the brightest and most beautifullest girls I know. 

    So the other week I had thawed some ground beef for dinner. While pondering what to do with it, I remembered a post a friend had done awhile back detailing everything she ate for the day; for dinner she made meatloaf muffins. I decided to look up a recipe and came across meatloaf cupcakes! Same idea as muffins, just adding a little potato icing! The fun part was I had the 4 year old with me looking at recipes and it got her really excited about our upcoming dinner adventure! She said "I'm almost 7, so I really like potatoes." ...Potatoes have been an acquired taste for them, weird, who doesn't like potatoes?!

    After looking at a couple recipes I just sort of "winged" it because I was only making enough for two small children and also didn't want it to be to "spicey."
     In a nutshell I used: a dash worchestire sauce, ketchup, salt, pepper, garlic, 1 egg, and panko breadcrumbs
    For the icing I used: 1 sweet potato, butter, salt, pepper

    There are so many recipes out there for meatloaf! There's probably even one circulating around your very own family. So ask around or google one. I really like this one and hope to use it in the future! 


    Skinny Meatloaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potato Frosting
    Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes 

    Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 2 cupcakes • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6 pts
    Calories: 240.7 • Fat: 8.5 g • Protein: 18.1 g • Carb: 24.5 g • Fiber: 2.5 g • Sugar: 4.2 g Sodium: 560.1 mg 
    (without salt)


    For the Meatloaf Cupcakes:

    • 1.3 lb 93% lean ground turkey
    • 1 cup grated zucchini, all moisture squeezed dry with paper towel
    • 2 tbsp onion, minced
    • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
    • 1/4 cup ketchup
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp kosher salt

    For the Skinny Mashed Potato "Frosting":

    • 1 lb (about 2 medium) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
    • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
    • 2 tbsp fat free sour cream
    • 2 tbsp fat free chicken broth
    • 1 tbsp skim milk
    • 1/2 tbsp light butter
    • kosher salt to taste
    • dash of fresh ground pepper
    • 2 tbsp fresh thyme


    Put the potatoes and garlic in a large pot with salt and enough water to cover; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat; simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.Drain and return potatoes and garlic to pan. Add sour cream and remaining ingredients. Using a masher or blender, mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Sounds healthy, easy, and yummy! Now this recipe is obviously not gluten free but you can substitute the bread crumbs with store bought gluten free bread crumbs, but I personally don't really like them for this recipe because its basically corn meal. I would try using homemade bread crumbs from my mac n cheese recipe. Also, if you would like to make this dairy free, try using earth balance butter and/or vegan sour cream! 

    My "cupcakes" were a hit with the kids! The 4 year old loved the sweet potatoes (huge victory) and also loved being a part of the cooking process, she was my taste tester :) However, the 2 year old would only eat the meat part because she proclaimed she is only eating purple cupcakes, little does she know there is such a thing as a purple potato! maybe next time...

    happy cupcaking!

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    Monday, October 3, 2011

    Halloween Candy Update! Thank you Whole Foods!

    Well, have no fear! Non-scary Halloween candy is finally here! Take a look at these awesome goodies you’ll find in our stores. You better grab them soon because the word is that they’re selling fast.
    Annie’s Homegrown Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks – Halloween Pack
    • Whole Foods Market Exclusive
    • No egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat
    • Gluten free
    These soft and chewy gummy treats from Annie’s are made without the use of gelatin. Organic, gluten free and created with only the best ingredients, these bunny-shaped fruit snacks are made with real fruit juice and packed with 100% Daily Value of Vitamin C.
    Surf Sweets Halloween Sour Worms – Halloween Pack
    • No egg, fish, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, soy, wheat
    • Gluten free, Casein free
    • Vegan
    Surf Sweets uses natural ingredients like black carrot juice concentrate and turmeric (from the ginger family) to color candy, and organic fruit juice and evaporated cane juice to sweeten. Each package has 20 individually wrapped treat packs of Surf Sweets Sour Worms, each one containing 100% Daily Value of Vitamin C.
    EnviroKidz Organic Peanut Choco Drizzle Crispy Rice Bars
    • Non-GMO Project Verified
    • Gluten Free
    • Organic
    Halloween treat-size EnviroKidz Crispy Rice Bars are organic, have 0 grams trans fat, are low sodium, gluten free and have no artificial flavors or preservatives. Plus, 1% of sales go to endangered species or habitat conservation and education for kids.
    Snyder’s of Hanover Halloween Pretzel Snack Sacks
    Choose pretzels for a fun twist on the usual Halloween sweet treat. Snyder’s of Hanover offers Halloween Snack Sacks, 36 little packs of bite-size pretzels in a bag decorated with a jack-o’-lantern.
    Endangered Species Chocolate Bars
    • Non-GMO Project Verified
    • Certified gluten free
    • Kosher
    This is premium, shade-grown, ethically-traded chocolate that kids and grown-ups will love. Endangered Species Chocolate sources cocoa beans from family-owned cooperatives where the income benefits the community and 10% of Endangered Species’ net profits are donated to fund species and habitat conservation efforts.
    Trust me, if you hand out any of these treats on Halloween night you’ll be known in the neighborhood, by kids and parents alike, as That House that gives out the good stuff.
    I don't know about you, but I'll be stocking up on those Sour Worms and hiding them in my own secret stash! Muhahahahaha!!
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    Corn Syrup? Are you high?!

    Since my Halloween Candy rant I wanted to do an informational post about corn syrup vs. high fructose corn syrup. I promise to make this as quick and painless as possible...

    Corn syrup is made from corn and is basically glucose suspended in water. It's mostly used in cooking (think Karo syrup, I'm sure you've seen it at the store a million times) and especially in candy making.  You use it when you don't want the sugar to crystalize and harden the finished product like a natural sugar would do. Basically, corn syrup is what keeps Starburst and Sour Patch kids chewy and full of yummy gooey delightfulness.

    Fructose is sweeter then glucose. Manufacturers use corn syrup in making their product for the same reasons we do, only most of the time they are also using it to save money. So in a nut shell they add some enzymes to it and turn it into high fructose corn syrup making it sweeter and in turn using less than if they were to use cane sugar or corn syrup (less ingredient = less $$). 

    Because it's so cheap, high fructose corn syrup is most commonly found in junk food, sodas, and discount brands that people rely on to feed their families. The majority of great "deals" and coupon buys that are out there are for foods loaded with high fructose corn syrup. See goo, please do. On average Americans consume 40 pounds of high fructose corn syrup every year....that's like a 3rd grader. 

    CORN SYRUP is glucose, your body can naturally break this down through your pancreas and liver and then excreted. 
    HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP is fructose, when consumed the majority of it is taken up by the liver."This is turn leads to increased fat deposition in the abdominal cavity and increased blood levels of triglycerides -- both of which are risk factors for heart disease and diabetes."

    See the difference? Now I'm not saying go out there and eat all the corn syrup you can get your hands on, mostly because the products that use it are candy corporations that also load their products with artificial flavors and dyes (sadly, those starbursts and sour patch kids mentioned above). Also at the end of the day sugar is sugar and is not good to be consumed in excess no matter how natural it may be :(

    Sorry to be such a bummer on a Monday.

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