Gluten Free Gingerbread Loaf

This Gingerbread loaf is moist and perfectly spiced all while being gluten free, dairy free, egg free and refined sugar-free!

Gingerbread is one of my favorite holiday treats… cookies, houses, bread… I love it all!

Gluten Free Gingerbread Loaf

During the holidays I think we are all guilty of indulging in sweets and other goodies more often than we typically do. That’s why I was determined to make a healthier version of a classic gingerbread loaf!

Gluten Free Gingerbread Loaf

I remember baking with my yia yia around the holidays every year, and something always stood out to me… she rarely used butter, she would use olive oil! Yes! Olive oil… it’s a Greek thing! So when making this recipe, I had her my mind (and heart!).

Gluten Free Gingerbread Loaf

A little side note: I always use and recommend Cup4Cup gluten free flour which does contain milk powder, so if you use that flour then this loaf would not be completely dairy free. If you avoid dairy completely, then I recommend using another 1:1 gluten free flour.

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Gluten Free Gingerbread Loaf

This Gingerbread loaf is moist and perfectly spiced all while being gluten free, dairy free, egg free and refined sugar-free!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten free flour *I always use Cup4Cup
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch bread loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl mix olive oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar, applesauce and vanilla extract until evenly combined.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until blended.
  5. Pour batter into your prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Gluten Free Gingerbread Loaf

Enjoy!

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How I Stay Productive When Working from Home

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Emergen-C for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Working from home can be great, but if you’re not disciplined or can’t stay focused you can slack quite easily. No boss checking in on you, the couch calling your name, snacks whenever you want them! This sounds like the life… or so you think. Let me tell you, that won’t last long. I guarantee you won’t be productive and your energy levels will actually fall quickly due to lack of motivation.

I’m all about routine and schedules which I try to follow in order to be as productive and efficient as possible. I’ve been working from home teaching online college courses for almost a year and a half and in that time I’ve perfected a method that works well for me! The most important thing for me has been staying focused and pacing myself. This is why I’m so excited Emergen-C® reached out to me to share my tips with you!

So let’s jump in and see how I stay productive while working at home

Wake Up Early: Even though technically I don’t have to be in the office and clock-in at a certain time, it doesn’t mean I sleep in and linger around the house until I feel ready to work. I set my alarm each day, wake up and hit the gym first thing in the morning. Some people think I’m nuts for going before the sun even comes up but that really kick starts my day!

Game Plan: I’m a planner, end of story. Type-A, sticky notes everywhere, reminders going off on my phone all day kind of girl! Call me crazy, but I think about the coming day every night. Whether that means setting my gym clothes out the night before (I swear this helps “encourage” me to go!), meal prepping or laying out everything on my desk that needs to get worked on the next day. Simple things like these help my day flow and don’t allow me to procrastinate.

Get Dressed: I know this may sound really silly… get dressed? It might seem like an obvious thing one should do every day, but let me tell you…. when you work from home it’s not! It’s tempting to stay in pj’s all day with a messy bun. I’m a big believer in “you feel how you look”, so I get up every morning and get ready as if I’m going to an office.

Create a To-Do-List: Each morning before I get my work day started I write a list. I’m talking a good old fashion list on a pad of paper. This helps keep me on my task throughout the day and there is nothing more satisfying than crossing items off!

Prioritize my Tasks: I’m a morning person, therefore my productivity tends to drop off as the day goes on. This is why I always try to do the most important things on my list earlier in the day. My brain is sharp, the distractions are low. When I’m writing my to-do-list I always put my more challenging tasks at the top.

Stay Focused: Don’t get sidetracked. People may ask you for favors knowing you’re at home, but keep your eye on the prize. However, make sure you take breaks so you don’t burn out.

Take Breaks: I swear by breaks. I’m not talking about laying on the couch catching up on my recorded shows for two hours during the day. But, come 2:30 every day and I start to feel my energy level and productivity drop I know it’s time for a break. Whether that means getting away from the computer for a few minutes to prep for dinner or taking a walk around the neighborhood. Since discovering the NEW Emergen-C® Energy+ Dietary Supplement drink mix it has become a part of my afternoon routine! What I love about Emergen-C® Energy+ is that it’s a product that allows you to personalize your energy with one or two packets, depending on what you’re needing at the time!

As someone with celiac, I’m always looking for the biggest “bang for my buck” when it comes to nutrition! This is where Emergen-C® Energy+ comes in. It focuses your mind and revitalizes your body with natural caffeine from green tea plus 7 B vitamins to fortify you.* To top it off, they’re all gluten free!

I love how they come in little packets that I can easily toss in my purse and take with me when I’m on the go. All I need is some water, toss it in, give it a stir and I’m good to go!

Set Time Limits: I wear many hats throughout the day. I need to grade papers and make sure all my students’ needs are getting met, work on my blog and also get things done around the house. Working at home is nice because I have the luxury of multitasking, however, I can’t afford to get stuck on one task for too long so I’ve come up with a method. I set time limits according to household chores. For example, I’ll grade as many papers of a certain assignment while the washing machine is running and then when it stops I move on to my next task. This has really helped increase my productivity since I want to get the most done in each allotted amount of time (limits the time I look at my phone!).

By following these simple tips I’m able to conquer my day and maximize my productivity!

Want to Try it for yourself? You can simply order them from Target. Besides the tasty blueberry acaí flavor, Emergen-C® Energy+ also comes in lemon-lime or peach-mango.

What are some ways you stay productive when home?

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

A twist on a comfort food favorite. This shepherd’s pie is made with sweet potato and is paleo, gluten free and Whole30 friendly!

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

I didn’t grow up with shepherd’s pie. In fact, I didn’t even know what it was until recently! Ya, apparently I’ve been living under a rock. I grew up in a Greek house, so that was not on the menu!

Sweet potato shepherd's pie

I saw a recipe for shepherd’s pie in a magazine and it caught my attention, except it had many things in it that I don’t eat, such as cream sauce and flour. The idea of potatoes over meat intrigued me, especially for Erik who is a meat and potatoes type of guy!

Sweet potato shepherd's pie

I decided to modify a traditional shepherd’s pie, making it a healthier version that is friendly for certain dietary needs…all while keeping it hearty!

This sweet potato shepherd’s pie is now a staple in our house! It’s so simple and also makes for great leftovers!

Sweet potato shepherd's pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef (or ground turkey if you prefer)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • ½ bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ¾ tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp butter or coconut oil
  • Salt
  • Chopped parsley, to garnish

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Bake sweet potatoes for about 45-60 mins, or until you can put a fork in them.

While the sweet potatoes are baking, heat olive oil over medium heat in a deep skillet.

Add the beef and cook until browned. Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, bell pepper and mushrooms. Continue cooking so the veggies soften.

Add in Italian seasoning, chili powder, beef broth, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and salt & pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Lower heat and let simmer to thicken. Stir frequently.  

When the sweet potatoes are done, place in a food processor (or you can mash my hand) with butter (or coconut oil) and process until smooth. Add in salt to your liking.

Transfer meat filling into a 9×13 baking dish and top with sweet potato. Smooth so the sweet potato evenly covers all of the meat.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle parsley on top.

Shepherd's Pie

Enjoy!

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Tips for Surviving Thanksgiving if You’re Gluten Free

Tips for Surviving Thanksgiving if You’re Gluten Free

Thanksgiving is a holiday centered around food, which can be stressful for those of us with celiac disease. When I first got diagnosed with celiac and had to face my first holiday season being gluten free, I dreaded it… I’m talking major anxiety! What am I going to eat? What am I going to tell people? Am I going to be starving all night? I don’t want to be different, but I don’t want to get sick! This was the internal conversation I would have with myself. I would go, try to eat what I felt was safe and then play the waiting game… to see if I got sick. Now how is that fun? It’s not!

Fast forward 5 years and I now never have party anxiety because of celiac! I always plan ahead and follow these tips, so I never worry about getting sick and can just have fun!

Tips for Surviving Thanksgiving if You’re Gluten Free:

Host it: If you’re up for it, hosting Thanksgiving at your house is the only real way to 100% avoid cross-contamination since you control what food is coming in. You may think you’re not up for the challenge, but if you give it a try you may find out you love hosting holidays! I know it’s expensive to host Thanksgiving and provide all the food for your guests. I’ve done this before and since everyone in my life knows about my celiac, rather than them bringing a dish, they often offer to chip in financially for the meal. If someone insists on bringing something, I have them bring wine/soda/alcohol/etc or packaged desserts/ice cream!

Eat Ahead of Time: That’s right! I know it sounds crazy going to Thanksgiving dinner with a full stomach, but trust me you’ll thank me later! You never want to go to a party hungry just in case there are no safe gluten free options. The last thing you need is to be starving and feeling bad for yourself… or even worse…you don’t want to get tempted to try something!

Pack Your Own Meal: This is what I do 100% of the time if someone else hosts Thanksgiving. If you don’t think there are safe gluten free options for you, just pack your own meal!

Bring a Side Dish or Dessert for Everyone: Even if the host says you don’t need to bring anything, bring something! This way you know you can safely eat and I guarantee everyone will love that you did. I always bring a gluten free dessert to parties and I’ve never had a host be upset about it! Chances are people will be pleasantly surprised and say “wow this is gluten free?!”.

Avoid the Cutting Board: Don’t eat anything that has been cut on a wood cutting board, or even if it’s just being used for cheese and fruit. The reason for this is because wood is porous, so no matter how much they’ve been scrubbed small amounts of gluten can stay in them.

Be Aware of the Turkey: If your host stuffs the turkey with gluten-containing stuffing, then the turkey has been contaminated and there is a good chance you will get sick! I recommend you kindly ask your host ahead of time if they will be doing this and explain why you’re asking.

Pass on the Butter: Even if you know the butter is gluten free and you’re eating a gluten free dinner roll, chances are the butter at someone’s house (a non-gf kitchen) contains bread crumbs on it even if you can’t see any. Always ask for a new stick of butter.

Serve Yourself First: If they’re serving buffet style, always be in the front of the line. I know this sounds rude, but really who cares! It’s strategically planned so that you know your food is safe and doesn’t get cross-contaminated. You need to worry about not getting sick and this is important so that you can use clean serving utensils for gluten free items first and not have to worry about them being used on gluten items. You can always avoid the buffet line altogether and set aside a plate of food before everyone else touches it.

Don’t Make It a Big Deal: I’ve learned if you don’t make it a big deal, no one else will either. Chances are you’re way more uncomfortable with the precautions you need to take than those around you. Yes, you’ll get asked questions and although we want to spread celiac awareness, don’t dwell… let’s just briefly talk about it and then move on and have fun!

If you’re new to celiac this may seem overwhelming, but I promise if you get used to doing this on holidays it will become a way of life! Most importantly, you don’t want to get sick and ruin your holiday!

Oh, and if you’re looking for some last minute ideas on what to make for Thanksgiving, I’ve got you covered here!

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Deep River Snacks: Give a Chip

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Deep River Snacks. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again…chips are my weakness! After getting diagnosed with celiac disease I was so excited to learn that I wouldn’t have to remove potatoes from my diet since they’re gluten-free, so that meant I could still snack on my favorite crunchy, salty treat! My excitement quickly faded away after I began diving deep into my gluten-free research… so many chips contained unhealthy additives, often with gluten!

Needless to say, I’m always on the hunt for a healthier version of chips without having to sacrifice flavor so I was thrilled to learn about Deep River Snacks chips! As someone with celiac disease, it means so much to me and the gluten-free community to not only see the words “gluten-free” on all of their bags but to see the “certified gluten-free” logo on every bag! This means not only do they use gluten-free ingredients in their chips, but they also go through rigorous testing to ensure no cross-contamination has occurred!

Deep River Snacks uses only real, simple ingredients.

Deep River Snacks are all:

  • Certified gluten-free,

  • Made with non-GMO ingredients

  • Cooked exclusively with sunflower oil

  • Made in a nut-free facility

  • Vegetarian (many are vegan!)

  • Kosher

  • *Soy-free (*except their Baked Crisps)

  • Cholesterol and trans-fat free!

Another reason I love snacking on Deep River Snacks is that their kettle chips come in so many unique flavors! My go-to flavor with chips is always Jalapeno, and let me tell you… their Zesty Jalapeno definitely exceeded my expectations! It has just enough kick to get my mouth watering! I admit it, I sampled many different flavors and enjoyed every minute of it!

 

I was a little skeptical at first to try the New York Spicy Dill Pickle flavor, but since I’m a big dill pickle lover I gave it a try. First bite in, I was sold and am a big fan! If pickles aren’t your thing, I say give it a try because the pickle flavor wasn’t overbearing and you could really taste the dill.

 The Kettle Chips Come in 13 Different Flavors to Choose From:

  • 50% Reduced Fat
  • Aged Cheddar Horseradish

  • Black Truffle

  • Mesquite BBQ

  • New York Spicy Dill Pickle

  • Ninja Ginger

  • Original Sea Salt

  • Rosemary & Olive Oil

  • Salt & Cracked Pepper

  • Sea Salt & Vinegar

  • Sour Cream & Onion Krinkle Cut

  • Sweet Maui Onion

  • Zesty Jalapeño

“Give a Chip”

Besides Deep River Snacks commitment to using only simple, non-GMO ingredients they also are a mission-driven brand that “Gives a Chip” about the quality of their product as well as uses their brand to give back to their community.

On the back of every bag, you will find a charity being featured. Each charity partner has personally affected and touched the lives of an employee and Deep River Snacks is committed to donating 10% of net profits to charity each year. They feel strongly about raising awareness for these causes, and their hope is that everyone eating a bag of chips will take a few moments to read about the charity.

Charity Partners:

  • American Liver Foundation

  • Caroline’s Miracle Foundation

  • Chris Klug Foundation

  • Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

  • Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

  • Curable

  • Feed The Children

  • PSC Partners

  • Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation

  • The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism

This is something that means a lot to me personally. Aside from blogging, I am also a Behavior Analyst specializing in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and have worked with hundreds of individuals and families impacted by ASD. Not every family has access to resources, so learning about The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism and all they do is really incredible. This foundation, in particular, helps individuals with autism get access to services, lead more active lifestyles and grow towards adult independence.  

 

I’m proud to be partnering with Deep River Snacks since they “Give a Chip” about everything they do!

Want to try Deep River Snacks yourself? You can simply order them from Online (Amazon, Boxed.com) or in store – Find one near you and be sure to grab your coupon offer!

Now I want to hear from you! What do you “Give a Chip” about? 

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Favorite Gluten Free Thanksgiving Products

Favorite Gluten Free Thanksgiving Products

Let’s face it, Thanksgiving is a holiday centered around food! Rolls, pies, bread stuffing, gravy… ahh, it sounds like a celiac’s nightmare to me! Yes, most Thanksgiving meals are filled with gluten, but I have narrowed down my favorite gluten free products in order to modify your Thanksgiving favorites!

If you’re going to someone else’s house for Thanksgiving, then you need to read my Tips for Surviving Thanksgiving if You’re Gluten Free! If you’re hosting it, I say serve everyone a gluten free meal (that’s what we do and no one ever notices!).

My Favorite Gluten Free Thanksgiving Products:

1. Williams-Sonoma Gluten Free Stuffing:

Is it just me, or is everything better from Williams-Sonoma? This year the box says it comes from Mariposa Baking Co. which makes me even more excited because I’ve been to Mariposa Baking Co. in San Francisco and they’re a dedicated gluten free kitchen and SOO good! I can’t say I’ve tried this stuffing if it’s different than years past, but I have complete faith in Williams-Sonoma and Mariposa Baking Co.

2. Cup4Cup:

If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time, then you know Cup4Cup flour is my absolute favorite. This is something you will always find in my pantry and for Thanksgiving, it’s an absolute lifesaver! I make all my dessert with it, and it’s perfect to make gravy with too! I promise if you use this flour no one will know it’s gluten free!

3. Whole Foods Baked Pies:

If you follow me on Instagram then you may have seen I shared a pumpkin pie from Whole Foods on my Instastory a few weeks ago. You guys, it’s SO good! I found it in the refrigerator section and all you have to do is let it thaw out before serving. I also tried their apple pie and it too was delicious! If you’re not one to bake, then I highly recommend these pies! To top it off, they’re made in a dedicated gluten free facility!

4. Schar Rolls:

I personally am not one to serve dinner rolls on Thanksgiving because I think we have enough carbs in the meal… but I know rolls on a table are a staple in many houses. If you are a bread person, then I highly recommend Schar Ciabatta Rolls! The test is always what my gluten-eating family and friends think… and these always get two thumbs up!

5. Califia Farms Pumpkin Spice Creamer:

Hello pumpkin spice! You can never have too much pumpkin on Thanksgiving and coffee creamer is no exception. I found this Califia Farms Pumpkin Spice Creamer at Whole Foods and I’m obsessed. I love how this creamer is sSoy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, carrageenan-free, non-GMO, kosher, vegan and is flavored with real pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. If you live in Orange County, CA and try to find this just know there is a great chance they’re all in my fridge! HA

6. Brazi Bites:

Have you tried Brazi Bites? They’re frozen little balls that you pop in the oven and about 20 minutes later you have fluffy cheese puffs/balls. They are so light and fluffy with a cheesy center. They come in many flavors, but my favorite is the Garlic Asiago and this Thanksgiving I will making my Spanakopita Bites with them! I always find them at Costco, but you can find them at most grocery stores!

7. Gluten Free Alcohol Guide: 

MsModify Gluten Free Alcohol Guide Cover

Be sure before you head to your Thanksgiving dinner you know which alcohol options are gluten free and grab yourself a copy of my Gluten Free Alcohol Guide!

There you have it, some of my favorite gluten free Thanksgiving products that I will be using this holiday! What’s your go-to product for Thanksgiving?

 

*This post contains affiliate links. You can read more about that here

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Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

These moist pumpkin muffins are grain-free, refined sugar-free, and dairy-free… making them the perfect healthy treat this fall!

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

‘Tis the season for pumpkin! I’ve learned that people feel very strongly about pumpkin… you either love it or hate it. I’m for sure a pumpkin-loving gal!

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

If you’re a lover like me, then you’re in luck today and I have a special treat for you! I’d like to introduce you to these cute little pumpkin muffins! Best part, they’re healthy! If you follow a gluten free or paleo diet, then these calling your name. If you’re not gluten free or paleo… I bet you’ll love them anyway!

Don’t expect dense muffins with these… they’re soft and moist. Think more of pumpkin pie meets muffin!

Paleo Pumpkin muffins

Ingredients:

(Makes 12 muffins)

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil (or ¼ cup melted grass-fed butter)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with liners.

In a  bowl, add almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt. Stir so everything is combined.

In a separate bowl, add your canned pumpkin, melted coconut oil (or butter), eggs, vanilla, and honey. Stir until everything is evenly mixed together.

Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing until smooth.

Spoon batter into muffin liners. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds over each muffin.

Bake for  24-26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let muffins cool for a few minutes before serving.

*Muffins are best when stored in the refrigerator after 24 hours. I also love freezing them!

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

Enjoy!

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Where to Stay & Eat in Maui If You’re Gluten Free

This post is all about my recent family vacation to Maui, Hawaii! I’m sharing all the details on where we stayed and what we ate. As you know, traveling with celiac disease can be challenging… but totally doable! It’s all about planning and preparing ahead of time, and Maui is no different. I have to warn you I have lots of pictures, so grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!

 

This trip was a family vacation that my mom had planned for a while for my parents, my brother/ his girlfriend and Erik and I. Unfortunately, at the last minute my brother and his girlfriend couldn’t come due to work obligations, but we (my parents. Erik and I) still went!

Before we even booked a hotel, I researched gluten free restaurants on the island and can you believe there is only ONE! Well, technically there are two dedicated gluten free facilities, but one is a bakery. Even though I heard from others that some places took gluten free serious, I really didn’t want to take a chance of getting sick (especially since I’ve been dealing with some health issues- I’ll share about this another time). So, that’s when we decided to stay somewhere with a kitchen. This is the first time I’ve traveled and had a full kitchen (besides when staying at someone’s house) and let me tell you… it was a lifesaver! A MUST!

Hotel

Honua Kai Resort and Spa

When I typically think of places with kitchens in Hawaii, I think of renting condos but Honua Kai is an actual resort with studios, 2 bedrooms, and 3 bedroom villas with full kitchens! I love how this hotel had the feel of a condo but all of the amenities of a resort. I highly recommend it!

We literally saw at least one rainbow a day!

The resort had direct beach access and also a boardwalk that went past other resorts. We would wake up each morning and go for a 2-mile walk down the beach (Ka’anapali)  in front of our hotel.

 

 

Our view one morning!

The kitchen in our room!

Food

Homecooked Meals

Right across the street from the airport there is a Costco, Target, and Walmart. As soon as we got our rental car we headed straight to Costco to stock up on food for the week. We also went to Walmart and bought a new (cheap) pan since I didn’t know if the resort had non-stick (and gluten stays on those) pans, spatula, and wooden spoons. All of that came out to less than $20 and really gave me peace of mind. There is also a grocery store right accross the street from Honua Kai Resort!

I did not use the toaster in the kitchen since I’m sure lots of gluten was in it! I also only used the wooden spoons and spatula we bought.

Here are a few things we made:

We ate breakfast and dinner in our room every day (besides two times) and we would pack lunch with us each day to take to the beach or pool.

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

I heard so much about having to try Hawaiian shave ice before we went, so I researched if any were gluten free. All of Ululani’s fruit flavor syrups are gluten free… and made with 100% pure cane sugar and fruit juices.  It was SO good! We went multiple times while on our trip!

Maui Sugar Shop

Maui Sugar Shop is a really cute dedicated gluten free bakery right off the main street in Lahaina.

I got the veggie quiche and tested it with my Nima Sensor… and YES, it was gluten free!

The cinnamon roll passed the Nima test too!

Lemon bar with passion fruit glaze

Breakfast sandwich.

Overall, I enjoyed Maui Sugar Shop. The flavor and texture of everything was great, however, the portions were really small for the price. Erik and my dad both got the breakfast sandwich and they were still really hungry when we left. It was the size of a small muffin with probably one egg in it!

Maui Brick Oven

This is a place that many people recommended to me on social media when I asked about eating out in Maui. In fact, Maui Brick Oven was recently featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!

Here Guy is on their wall!

We all ordered different things and I tried a little bit of everyone’s meal!

I love seeing those words!

Apparently they’re known for their pizza and yes, it was good!

Erik ordered the Chicken Breast stuffed with Mango & Goat Cheese and it was delicious! In my opion that was the best thing I tried!

I order the Chicken Parmesan and enjoyed it.

I tested my meal with the Nima and it passed! I took a small piece of chicken, cheese, and spaghetti and rubbed it all over my plate. I limit the amount of dairy I eat, so I took off all the cheese before I ate it (that’s why it’s not in the pic!).

My mom and Erik love cheesecake and our server recommended this raspberry cheesecake with a macadnia nut crust, so we had to try it! Since I don’t really eat much dairy I only took one bite but it was delicious!

We also ordered the Apple Pie filling topped with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce. Served with Homemade Shortbread Cookies. I didn’t eat the ice cream, but let me tell you… the rest was incredible!

Overall, we really enjoyed Maui Brick Oven. Our server was incredibly personable and knowledgeable, and the food was great! I know that everything in Hawaii tends to be on the pricer side, but in all honesty, it was pricey considering how casual it was. The price was more in line with a “fine dining” establishment.

Normally when I travel I have a certain level of anxiety since I eat out for most meals and no matter how much I plan ahead… eating out is always a risk when you have celiac. This trip was SO different since we had a kitchen and cooked/packed meals with us! I highly recommend if you’re in Maui you get a condo or hotel with a full kitchen!

Be sure to get a copy of my detailed Gluten Free Travel Guide where I provide you:

  • Basic Travel Tips
  • Road Trip Tips
  • How to Stay at Someone’s House
  • Airport and Airline Travel Tips
  • How to take a Cruise

Questions:

  • Have you been to Maui? What was your experience regarding food?
  • When you travel, do you try to stay somewhere with a kitchen?

 

 

 

 

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Teal Pumpkin Project

Teal Pumpkin Project

‘Tis the season for trick-or-treating! How are we already approaching Halloween?! I typically don’t repeat blog posts, but I feel strongly that you all should know about the Teal Pumpkin Project, and for everyone new to my blog I feel like I owe it to you! If you follow me on Instagram, then you saw I posted this picture a few week ago. Micheals stores officially have teal pumpkins in stock!

If you’re unsure about the Teal Pumpkin Project, then you’re probably confused on why they’re selling blue pumpkins! Don’t worry I’m going to break it all down for you!

What is the Teal Pumpkin Project?

In 2014 the Teal Pumpkin Project became a national movement after Food Allergy Research & Education expanded the idea that was started by a mom in Tennessee. The teal pumpkin outside a house represents a sign to trick-or-treaters that there is a non-food treat available at that house.

Why is this important?

According to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), it’s estimated that 1 in every 13 children (under the age of 18) has a food allergy. That’s about 2 in every classroom!

Not only are food allergies and conditions like celiac disease a very serious medical issue, but they can also impact a child’s social and emotional development when they feel they’re left out due to their allergies/illness.

Every child deserves to experience the fun of trick-or-treating on Halloween and not feel excluded due to their dietary restrictions. The Teal Pumpkin Projects asks for participants to offer a non-food treat.

What can I pass out on Halloween?

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project, you can simply go to the dollar store, dollar section of Target or even a party supply store that sells little prizes in bulk.

Some ideas include:

  • pencils, erasers, crayons
  • bracelets, necklaces, glow sticks
  • hair clips or accessories
  • bubbles
  • slinkies
  • kazoos or other noisemakers
  • bouncy balls
  • yo-yos
  • spider rings
  • vampire fangs
  • stickers
  • pencil toppers
  • mini coloring books
  • rubber stamps
  • mini army men

*Be careful with Play-Doh as it contains wheat 

*I found bulk prizes here! 100 items included for under $20!

So I can’t pass out candy?

You absolutely can still pass out candy, but make sure you do it safely! What do I mean by safely? Keep your candy in one bowl and your non-food treats in a separate bowl. The purpose of the Teal Pumpkin Project is to make trick-or-treating as inclusive as possible, so we want everyone to have fun together!

When trick-or-treaters come to the door, you can either ask who has food allergies or tell them to pick from either bowl (this way they don’t feel like they stand out). Most kids with food allergies are very aware of them and will know to select the non-food option or many times parents will be with them to make sure.

How can I participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project?

  1. Mark your house as an allergy-friendly spot for trick-or-treaters by either placing a teal pumpkin outside (you can paint a pumpkin teal or I just saw plastic teal pumpkins at Michaels Craft Stores!) OR you can simply download a free printable sign to place outside your house. I also found this cute garden flag to place in your front yard!
  2. Buy non-edible treats (along with candy treats if you’d like).
  3. Have fun passing treats out!

To learn more, check out the Teal Pumpkin Project website! 

 

*MsModify is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

 

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Delicious Living Magazine Feature

Happy Thursday friends! I hope you’re all having a fantastic week so far! My week has been busy busy busy! For those of you who don’t know, I teach online grad school courses, which takes up a lot of my time but, is also a flexible job so I can put time into my passion… MsModify!

Talk about a crazy week… Monday we had a big fire in my city (thanks to the Santa Ana winds here in Southern CA), so we evacuated our apartment and headed to my parents’ house. That night I had to submit all my grades from the last term, so I was up late trying to get those done. Luckily our area was safe and we were able to go home Tuesday, but many in our city lost their homes, so I’ve had a heavy heart all week.

Yesterday, my new session started for classes, so I’m trying to get ahead on what I can because this weekend we’re heading to Hawaii!! This is a much-needed vacation after a hectic week!

Something else happened that is very exciting and I have to share with you! My recipe is featured on the cover of Delicious Living Magazine! 

The editor emailed me a while ago saying my recipe was going to be featured in the magazine, but I had no clue it was going to be on the cover!! Needless to say, I’m pretty darn excited!

My gluten-free cinnamon roll bread is one of my favorite things I’ve created and I’m really proud of it! I think it’s fair to say those of us with celiac miss bread most! I don’t know about you, but I miss Cinnabon too (even though I rarely ate it- a case of I want what I can’t have!). When coming up with this recipe I wanted to recreate a cinnamon roll into light, fluffy bread… and I think I did it!

A little fun fact- this recipe is my most re-pinned recipe on Pinterest!

I know I’ve said this before, but when I was first diagnosed with celiac disease I had a really hard time coming to grips with my life changing forever. I was in denial at first, then sad, then angry… then finally I decided I would take control of my life and not let celiac define who I am. That is when and how I created MsModify…just modifying all of my favorite things to fit with my new gluten free life! MsModify and the celiac community has been such a blessing to me, so THANK YOU for being a part of my journey!!

 

 

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