Welcome to Glutenfree18.com
Monday April 21st 2014

Kale is the new gluten free ‘kraze’

I am lucky to be the product of an uncle and aunt who are both CIA graduates. No, not the Central Intelligence Agency, but rather the Culinary Institute of America. Having such positive people in my life whilst growing up has rubbed off on me. Not to mention I have a mother who is a chef and a baker in her own right.


She is always busy in the kitchen concocting something amazing to devour. Whether it be gluten free baking or cooking, my mother taught me all I know, well almost all I know. The rest of my kitchen skills I learned from watching my family or friends.  I myself like to get creative in the kitchen and am glad I had the opportunity to learn from loved ones.


I especially love working on new recipes for gluten free products. Changing up what is posted online or attempting to make gluten free red velvet cupcakes that looked more like ‘flat cakes,’ the first time I tried my hand at those in the kitchen.


As you know gluten free baking is much difference the typical ‘wheat’ baking. Trying to figure out the ingredients that you are missing to make the perfect recipe, makes you feel like a scientist in the kitchen. I never really liked science class, since I was always told the curriculum that I must study to pass, but now my own rendition of science, happens in my kitchen.


So, the next new craze seems to be the green craze and everyone is crazy for kale. Kale lovers beware as there are now companies acting as scientists to get ‘krazy’ with kale and various types of vegetables. The latest and greatest product I have tried is brussels sprouts, which of course are naturally gluten free. I have to say as a gluten free gal and writer they weren’t too shabby. Also, I had zucchini as well and that was mighty tasty, but these new products would be a lot more appetizing minus all the fats from the oils they are using. Whatever happened to good ole’ fashioned dried vegetables with a dash of salt and pepper and maybe a tiny drop of two of oil?


You be the judge and keep your eyes peeled for the new gluten free kale ‘kraze,’ coming to a shelf near you.


Tis the season to bake gluten free or just go gluten free

I bet you didn’t know that 17 million people are sensitive to gluten. I am one of those 17 million. Have you like me, been to three doctors and are still trying to figure out why your stomach hurts or why you just aren’t feeling right?  Going on my third, better yet fourth year of living a gluten free lifestyle has proved me right, not wrong.

You might be reading this post thinking wow maybe I really am sensitive to gluten. Chances are if you are asking yourself that, there is definitely something wrong. I don’t claim to be a doctor nor a nutritionist but a gal with a purpose to create awareness. So my request is for you to talk to a professional to find out what could be causing you gastrointestinal stress.

Surely I look back knowing what I know now, that becoming a nutritionist may have been a great field of work, but I know that my purpose in life is to continue to motivate and educate people to live a healthy lifestyle without gluten.

I also try to promote a dairy free lifestyle whenever necessary seeing as I also can no longer tolerate dairy. Does it make me sad? Sure it does, but I have said time and time again, if a baby is nursing mother’s milk, why does a child have to wait until after they are a year old to consume proper dairy milk?

All of this perplexes me and I still don’t understand whilst as a child, all I did was eat cheese and drink milk and now my stomach can no longer tolerate it. So, I am sure I answered your next question of were you always lactose intolerant? Well, to answer that, nope never, matter of fact cheese is and will always be one of my favorite foods.

The difference I know a lot more now than I did a year ago.  Despite that fact cheese will always be a favorite food of mine, my body has told me (with a quiet and whispering grumble) that you cannot torture me with eating cheese any longer, so I don’t. Please though eat some cheese in my honor, especially my favorite, manchego cheese from Spain.

With all that talk of cheese I would like to mention the one cheese I can tolerate is goat cheese, yet I am still unsure of why this is the only cheese I can eat without getting sick. So if you are like me and cannot eat any sort of cheese but goat cheese, cheers to us, for being able to hang with the goats.

I knew I hadn’t published anything in quite some time, so I figured it was time that I woke the goat up and shared a little bit of information with you on this lovely holiday week.

Next up some more gluten free greatness and recipes to come. Here is to a Happy and healthy New Year to you all and stay tuned for more to come from this gluten free gal. If you haven’t followed me on twitter or subscribed to my articles on Examiner.com, please do so, as I appreciate all the support.

More favorite new things from 2013 Natural Products Expo West…

Little by little I am getting a chance to bite down on all things gluten free including some great new teas, that I had the chance to pick up at Natural Products Expo West this year.

I also had an opportunity to interview Devin Alexander who works closely with the Biggest Loser tv series and biggestloser.com has authored eight cookbooks on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle without really dieting. I have to agree with Devin about dieting and in my own opinion it is important to focus on healthy eating and everything in moderation.

We as a society are so in tune with the diet fads of the world that we get sucked into figuring out what’s the next one we should try. So many people still think that a gluten free ‘diet,’ is just a fad, but I can tell you from the way my stomach feels after digesting gluten, that it is not a fad at all. Anyone else reading this that has a sensitivity to gluten or celiac disease will tell you this industry is here to stay.

I am excited to bring you more articles in the upcoming weeks including my interview review with Devin Alexander. I also am looking forward to introducing all the new products I have had an opportunity to try at Expo West. Just a few of my faves thus far are Tipus Chai Tea, Rudi’s gluten free tortilla wraps (spinach and plain flavor are my new addiction), Enjoy Life Foods new snack bars, and many other items.  Keep your eyes peeled and your mouths ready for the mouthwatering new products I will tell you about soon. Don’t forget to follow this gluten free gal on twitter and to subscribe to my articles on Examiner.com to learn more about what’s going on in the gluten free world! Ready, set go gluten free!



Some of my new faves from Natural Products Expo West

If you are like this gluten free gal you look forward to Natural Products Expo West every year. Since I haven’t written an update on my personal website I think it is time I do so, especially after just returning from the Expo this past weekend.

Since coming home from the Natural Products Expo I have had the luxury of having a bag full of goodies to sort through. Some of my favorites include quinoa breakfast cereal (imagine granola, but made with quinoa instead) by KeenOne Foods, Bonk Breaker Bars which were co-created by an avid triathlete runner, Enjoy Life foods new bars, and Rudi’s gluten free tortilla wraps. There are many others that I will write about in my next post with greater detail.

I am newly obsessed with Rudi’s gluten free tortilla wraps especially because they are not hard as a rock and don’t fall apart like every other wrap I have tried on the market. Not to mention a big shoutout to the Rudi’s team for always recognizing my efforts as a gluten free writer. I am thankful for meeting more of their staff, especially the sales guys this past weekend at the VIP Organic Dinner they invited me to.  Throwing some turkey, lettuce, tomato and mustard in, makes for a quick lunch or dinner. They really are that good.

There were many great booths at the Expo and the one that wins for most friendly and most fun, would definitely have to be the Happy Egg Company. In Los Angeles you can find their eggs at Fresh and Easy. The happy eggs really go with the happy company they have. My hats off to all the vendors I met at Expo this weekend and a special congrats to a dear business owner and friend, Pamela at Pamela’s Products for celebrating 25 years this year! Happy Birthday to Pamela’s and her amazing crew!

Great to see you all and keep your eyes peeled for the next post with photos and more details of great new products.




Why glutenfree18 and why I share ‘our’ story of gluten and dairy free ?

Rhythm foods: Kale chips, gluten and dairy free options are delish and healthy!


For those of you who have been reading my articles over the past two years, a sincere thank you is in order.

I am now at over 800 followers on twitter and for all of my fans and avid readers, this means so much.  I have built my brand from the ground up. My sister was and continues to be my inspiration on why I write. Additionally, there are so many horrible products on the market that claim to be gluten free and healthy and are neither of the two. I am here to dispel any of your thoughts and frustrations about gluten free and dairy free products.

For those of you wanting to know the direction of my works, well then continue to follow me on here, twitter and Examiner.com where I post reviews of all the foods I love to eat and that actually taste good. Along with all the products sent my way I love to visit local establishments to find out what is being served up in the kitchen. Coming form a family of chefs and restauranteurs it is important to me to relay nothing but the best information to you all.

Many people who live a gluten and dairy free lifestyle, don’t realize there are good products out on the market, yet the mass marketing of the ‘bad,’ product overpowers what is healthy and worth spending your hard earned money on.

Alexia's fine fries..mmm gluten and dairy free options...some of my must haves

Examiner.com (CBS Local/Reuters) gives me the outlet that I have always wanted to be able to share my thoughts and views as a consumer and advocate for the gluten free community.  I don’t just consider myself a ‘blogger,’ as there are now billions out there, but someone who cares about my own well being and others who have the dietary constraints that I have had to deal with in the last two years. (and counting…)

For those wondering a bit more about me I consider myself a ‘foodie,’ and I absolutely love all kinds of food. Things took a turn in the last two years when I noticed the feeling I felt when eating dairy and various other products, including gluten. My stomach could no longer tolerate dairy and various other foods, not to mention my sister was diagnosed with Celiac disease.

I was tested by a gastroenterologist and despite the fact she she told me to stay away from dairy, which I abided by; she also told me that I could eat gluten.  My results showed no polyps or ulcers from gluten. Mind you I had stopped eating gluten for some time, but then started eating it again for a few months before my test. (not recommended to cut gluten out of your diet before testing).  Seeing as my stomach hasn’t been ‘normal,’ for quite some time now I started to slowly incorporate items that contained gluten back into my diet. This later helped me realize that my diagnosis wasn’t as accurate as I had thought.

Serving up amazing gluten free soup

What many doctors don’t realize and are still learning and studying, is that many people who may not have been diagnosed with Celiac disease are sensitive to gluten.  As one who has experienced uncertainty in eating, it is highly recommended by practitioners and others who have been in my own shoes, that you go see a provider that specializing in celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

I have worked with and met many influential business owners in the gluten free industry in the last three years and that is why I am here with my website. My future plans of building my brand are in the works and I do hope you continue  journey with me.

What many don’t realize is that the gluten free industry has become a billion dollar industry. Whether you are just finding out you must take gluten out of of your diet, or you have had to change your lifestyle for many years now, please let know that you are not alone in this fight to find great tasting food that is healthy and wholesome. I do hope you reach out to me as an advocate and let me know what sort of products you would like to see on the market.  After all this gluten free gal is here to help you all.

Without further adieu I wish you all the best in your gluten free and dairy free hunting and look forward to hearing from you with any recommendations of what you would like to read about and see on my website in the future. Lastly, before I leave you to this lovely Sunday I will let you know a secret into the next project and that is…. well c’mon now if I gave all the cookies away, there would be no gluten free one’s left in the cookie jar.

Gluten free is the way to go! With Jules gluten free at Expo West 2012

Gluten free bread crumbs that put the ‘I’ in Italian


As a gluten free consumer and writer I have yet to find a gluten free bread crumb product that does not have corn as an ingredient.  I know the suspense is killing you, so low and behold, the product I would like to reveal is the amazing gluten free bread crumbs by Tall Papa.

The bread crumbs are available in three flavors to include: Italian Seasoned Multi-Grain bread crumb, Cajun spice seasoned bread crumb and lastly Citrus lime seasoned bread crumb (pictured here).  Although Tall Papa bread crumbs have yet to hit store shelves their gluten freeTall Papa,’ bread crumbs can be bought online on their website.

As a gluten free consumer and advocate I made my very first gluten free chicken parmigiana with Tall Papa’s gluten free bread crumbs.  I don’t want to toot my own horn, but it came out absolutely amazing.  Other than this gluten free gal doing all the cooking the credit is owed to Tall Papa’s gluten free bread crumbs. Not only does this gluten free gal have a great new recipe, but I now have an entree to add to my list of favorite dishes. This leaves for a ‘BIG’ shot-out to founder Mr. Tall papa himself for sending me the delectable gluten free bread crumbs to add to my list of must haves.

Don’t worry this gluten free gal will be writing another great review on Examiner.com, so be sure to check it out soon. Now stop wasting time online and go order your Tall Papa bread crumbs today.






Ecover laundry detergent with 0% fragrance and a green product

Are you looking for an eco-friendly clothing detergent with absolutely no fragrances?

This gluten free gal had an opportunity to try the new detergent, that does not use any artificial fragrances and uses the best plastic known, that plastic is plant plastic. This allows the company to reduce their carbon footprint ten fold and save the environment one wash at a time.

After washing my bath mats in the Eco-friendly detergent I can’t wait to wash my other clothes in it. I have never been a fan of laundry powder and always preferred the liquid, but after pouring the powder in the wash, it dissolved evenly and did not leave any chalky residue behind.

A big shout out goes to the team at Naturally Savvy for connecting me to this great Eco-friendly company.

This gluten free gal highly recommends going green and using Ecover’s products are just one step in the right direction to making the earth a better and greener place.

Beyond gluten free… a few of my must have items

I am trying to branch out from the gluten free world and post more articles that are not just about desserts or food. I seem to get caught up writing articles all about desserts, as so many companies that send me product, are dessert companies. Not that I am complaining in the least bit, especially because one of my most favorite gluten free and dessert experts is Pamela and her staff from Pamela’s Products. However, it is time I reach a larger audience if I ever want to grow this entrepreneurial endeavor and reach a larger market, including all my mommy friends and sister who is an amazing mother to my two nephews. (hence up and coming reviews for all things baby, toddler, and child).

I have finally left the world of ‘gluten free desserts only,’ and moved beyond to hearty foods, along with other goods. I am trying to bring the experiences from the Natural Products Expo West to my readers and the experience I had there was certainly one to contact the press about.

As I mentioned I hope to be doing more reviews on all things involving children, since I do love children so very much. I  worked a fun event outside of the gluten free food world and met some really cool people with amazing products for children and their mamas. A few of those items I will share with you in my next blog, but for now I will keep it simple and list a few of my absolute favorite gluten free products, beyond the delectable tasting sweet treat(s).

Favorite products include; Naked Nuggets (gluten free and dairy free), Pacific foods ( gluten free and dairy free soups), So Delicious ( dairy free and gluten free coconut milk), black kale ( no specific company, found at your local grocer), Vitamin brands, (Yummy Vites for kids and adults), Adult vitamins (Pure Essence Labs- One in ‘Only’-for Women) are gluten, casein, dairy free), Bragg’s Olive Oil,( see Mrs. Bragg and I above), Pamela’s Products gluten and dairy free pizza dough mix (hits stores later summer, early fall 2012),  Xing tea( All natural, gluten/dairy free, green tea with very low sugar content-100 calories per can), Glutino (gluten free pretzels sticks and pretzel rings and their bread makes nice sandwiches, other than when it falls apart-they need to work on that a bit), Crave Foods (gluten free chicken pot pie) and lastly I do not leave the house without my one and only ‘Life Factory,’ glass water bottle (child and adult sizes and these are sold at Wholefoods stores nationwide-, who needs to worry about plastic anymore when they can have a bottle encased to prevent breakage.  Great way to help the environment too!

These are just a ‘few’ of the many products and name brands that you will find in my fridge and on my counter top. Not to mention, I rarely add salt to my food, but I am a tiny bit addicted to Hepp’s Salt Barrel, truffle salt. So addicted to Hepp’s that I have already run out even though I bought some a few months ago. I know I know, the heart doctor says lay off the salt, but don’t worry it is only a dash to add on top of anything that needs that extra pinch.  Everything in moderation is the important thing to remember.

Pamela’s Products debuts gluten free pizza at Natural Products Expo West 2012







Are you wondering what happened to this gluten free gal since the Natural Products Expo West 2012? Well, here I am and bringing you the very best information and products from the Expo.  It has been more than a few busy days since the Expo, but I am glad to say I am finally able to get on over to my favorite place, this website!

The Natural Products Expo, hands down one of the best events I have ever been to for networking and meeting amazing people, it truly never disappoints. Not only did I have the ‘honor’, of working with the most amazing woman, Ms. Pamela Giusto-Sorrells, and her incredible staff at Pamela’s Products, but I was able to try the most A-M-A-Z-I-N-G new gluten free pizza dough mix. This pizza dough mix is new ( not yet released, sorry kids, you will have to wait until the end of summer 2012) from her line of already incredible mixes. The pizza dough was surely a winner with children and adults alike, including Miss Marilu Henner. (who will also be releasing her ‘Total Memory Makeover,’ book in 2012)

There is no exaggeration here either when I talk about Pamela from Pamela’s Products. Pamela’s Products will also have a couple other new products being launched at the end of summer, but I will spare you the details until I can get my hands on them, so you can be surprised just as much as I was.

Pamela is not only  a stellar woman, but an entrepreneur that I truly admire. She started off as a youngster in the family business, where her grandfather owned a health food store.  The health food store is where Pamela first learned the craft of the family business. Fast forward, a few years and three generations later, Pamela went onto create what I would call a baking enterprise for gluten free goods. I say enterprise with a little dash of salt because Pamela surely knows what a good tasting gluten free product is versus a great tasting product. See the secret here (no longer a secret) is that she does not have celiac disease, nor an intolerance to gluten, like this gluten free gal does. This is where her affinity for tasting gluten free products is a bit different from those of us forced into eating them due to the intolerance and havoc gluten creates on our stomachs.

In a sense I think I am thankful Pamela started taste testing gluten free products at a young age.  Pamela realized and learned from many years in the family business what ‘bad’ tasting gluten free products tasted like, especially since the inception of ‘Pamela’s Products,’ in 1988. Becoming an entrepreneur is no easy task, see for yourself in the interview I conducted with Pamela before I even met her nearly two years ago. ( See archives)

So, if you are now wondering why I talk so much about how awesome Pamela’s Products ( gluten free products) are, is because I have also have a minor infatuation with the single serve brownie mixes, especially because they are microwaveable! Delicious! You can find them for about $1.49 in your local grocer that carries Pamela’s Products.

In addition to the many other products Pamela’s creates, a lot of their products are not only gluten free, but dairy free. This is important to this gluten free gal as many of you know having a love for dairy and all things cheese, is no fun when you have lactose intolerance. So, when purchasing Pamela’s Products, be sure to read the labels as there are some products that are gluten free, but not dairy free.

I could go on and on how amazing Pamela’s Products is, but it could turn into a book. For more information please visit Pamela’s Products online. You can buy Pamela’s Products on Amazon.com as well as in local health food retailers locally in a city near you.

Contest for Rudi’s, who wants gluten ‘FREE’ goodies?

This photo is not necessarily what the winner will receive, see Rudi's facebook page for details

Rudi’s launched a contest on February 7, 2012 so please visit my friends on their  Rudi’s Gluten-Free Facebook page, “Like” the brand and receive a $2 off coupon.  They let me know by visiting the Giveaway tab on the Facebook page, consumers can enter weekly to win prizes given away each day, like Rudi’s Gluten-Free breads and baked goods, a Cuisinart toaster, Crofter’s Organic jams, a Kodak digital camera, and gluten-free cookbooks.”

According to Rudi’s unlike many gluten-free breads and baked goods on the market, Rudi’s Gluten-Free products are free of artificial ingredients, preservatives and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Plus, Rudi’s Gluten-Free’s products are soft and delicious, making life a little brighter for families that suffer from a gluten intolerance.

I had a chance to spend an evening with two Rudi’s employees last year at an event by the Celiac and Sprue Association and they are really supportive of their gluten free community.

Rudi’s Gluten-Free products produces many types of gluten free foods to include Original, Multigrain and Cinnamon Raisin Breads, Pizza Crust, Hamburger Buns and Hot Dog Rolls.  They can be found nationally at natural foods stores and mainstream supermarkets. For more information and to find local availability, visit www.rudisglutenfree.com.

About Rudi’s Organic Bakery, Inc.

Rudi’s Organic Bakery, Inc., founded and headquartered in Boulder, Colo., is the nation’s largest brand of USDA certified organic breads.  Rudi’s Organic Bakery has a long history of baking bread a better and brighter way, by using simple organic ingredients that contain no artificial ingredients, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup or trans-fat. Founded in 1976, Rudi’s offers small batch organic artisan breads, sliced sandwich breads, wide pan sandwich breads, English muffins, bagels, hamburger and hot dog buns, and wraps as well as a popular line of organic spelt breads, buns and tortillas. For more information, visit www.rudisbakery.com or follow Rudi’s Organic Bakery on Facebook and Twitter.

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