Monday, July 27, 2015

Tisket, A Tasket- it's A Giveaway Basket

  • Will you be in or near Raleigh, North Carolina on Saturday August 15th?
  • Are you looking for something fun, informative and family-friendly to do?
  • Do you love the thought of going somewhere only to leave with more than what you came with?
  • Do you love giveaways?
If you answered yes to any or all of those, this is your chance to get exactly what you want!

From today through Thursday, July 30th, YOU can enter to win 4 tickets to the Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event. Not only do you get 4 tickets for the event, you also get to pick up a basket of great goodies at the event, meet me and Tiffany Hinton (aka Gf Mom Certified)! So what exactly is included in this glorious gift basket that I speak of? Hold onto your seats, here we go-

Ok, so you want the tickets and the basket, right? Now, how do you enter? Scroll down and gaze upon the multitude of options to increase your chances of winning!

Event Details Please

Saturday, August 15, 2015
10 AM - 4 PM
The McKimmon Center
North Carolina State University
1101 Gorman Street
Raleigh, NC 27606

Did I also mention that attendees that pre-register will receive a free 1 year subscription of Delight Gluten Free Magazine? Yup! Simply click here to register now and grab that extra offer.

~ Please note that this giveaway is only valid to those who will be attending the Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event. There will be 1 winner only. This gift basket MUST be picked up at the event in Raleigh, NC at GF Mom Certified's table (not shipped). Entries of those who are not attending the event will be disqualified and a new winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter.

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!!!

Secretly, this is a giveaway within a giveaway! (What the heck, Nutrimom?! What does that even mean?....confused look). Simple:
1) You enter this wonderful giveaway because not only is it fun but you also want to go to the Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event with three other people AND bring home a large basket of allergy-friendly stuff
2) Unbeknownst to you, when you enter you are also automatically being entered for a chance to win a Starter Pack from gfJules
3) You are simply awesome either way (because entering = more people share about the event, then more people will attend the event and it will make the event even better!) See, I told you you were awesome!

Enter, Share- good luck to all! Can't wait to see you there~


Special thank you to the wonderful peeps at SunButter for offering to sponsor my trip to this event- you are the best to let me get the word out about this event, your product and so many other wonderful allergy-friendly items!

Even more thank you's to the others who contributed a prize as well! Thank you GF Mom Certified, Winona Pure Oil, Pure Room and gfJules ( the REAL one!).



Congratulations to Jeannett Davis!

You are the proud winner of my Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event Giveaway! Please PM me your phone & email so that I can have 4 event tickets waiting for you in Raleigh as well as your gift basket (to be picked up at GF Mom Certified's table) 

smile emoticon REMINDER: everyone who entered was also automatically entered to win a GF Jules Starter Pack so check her page over the next few days





Thursday, July 23, 2015

True Protein Comes in Many Forms

I recently saw a product review posted by one of the bloggers that I follow for True Solution. True Solution is an allergy-friendly protein shake that is plant protein and free of dairy and soy (among other things). Since NutriKids are beginning the tween and teen years, they are also beginning the "I'm not going to eat that" years. So, of course, this option peeked my interest. At first glance, you will see that they are a grab-n-go size and they have chocolate and vanilla so of course my kids are already thinking they are milkshakes (hey, I'll take it if it does the trick).

Yes, there is an uneven amount and one of the chocolate shakes is gone because, well, I like chocolate so of course I opened up that bad boy before anyone else could get to them! But you all know that I can't resist figuring out what products can be used for so how did I test the True Solution shakes?

Step 1: Share As I always say- sharing is caring! Not that I had to force my daughter to share- she was waiting patiently through all of my product picture taking. I am happy to report that just one serving (11 oz) is more than enough to share, produce a smile and make you feel like you've had a fast, allergy-friendly snack. The best part- no cooking, no prep- just shake and open. And even though these shakes are jam packed with lots of healthy ingredients, I added a squirt or two of coconut oil spray for the added benefits.*

Paper straws courtesy of Restaurantware

Step 2: Shake & Bake Well, maybe not bake- cook with but that wouldn't have rhymed so onward. Every Sunday is pancake day in NutriFamily's home so I decided to see how these little protein shakes would hold up in pancake form. Simply prepare your usual pancake recipe and either add some of the True Solution shake to the mix or replace your liquid with the shake. Why? Because I have found that using foods that my family will eat and adding in additional proteins works much better, easier and with less moaning and groaning than when I try and force new foods onto them. The results- the pancakes had a more creamy taste, they did take a little bit longer to cook and needed the temperature to be slightly lower than normal. Remember that we do make gluten free pancakes so this factor also comes into play. (The stack on the right are the True Solution pancakes) Need a recipe that is NutriFamily-proven? Click here.

Bamboo Fork courtesy of Restaurantware
Step 3: Instant Protein Popsicle This is one of the easiest ways to coax a picky eater to include new foods into their diets. I decided to put these shakes to the test and see how well they hold up when it comes to freezing. Just use a popsicle mold or small plastic cups, sticks or tiny spoons, pour, cover with plastic wrap and freeze. (I do recommend storing them in an airtight container to reduce freezer burn once they are frozen.) Taste-tested by both NutriDaughter and our neighbor (with no allergies) and it was a resounding "These are great!" Mental note to also keep this in mind for future sore throat and sickie episodes when tummies are not able to deal well with solids.


Step 4: Overall Impression I have to say, I am always leery when it comes to protein shakes. They very often tend to be (in my opinion) chalky, tasteless and just don't seem to have a smooth consistency. I am gladly proclaiming that these True Solution shakes have finally given me an option to disprove all three! Why:

  • They are plant protein (which is one of the more difficult food groups for us to get into our kids' diet)
  • They are very tasty & delicious- just like a milkshake
  • Very smooth & creamy- NOT gritty or lumpy like many other products
  • They are free of eight allergens (which include soy and dairy) info here  
  • Great as a travel snack item to keep everyone satisfied as well as healthy


I want to thank both True Solution for offering to send me some for review (I NEED to get some of these and stock up!) as well as the lovely lady at Mom vs. Food Allergy (who knows when I may have had to wait to stumble upon these awesome items without her post!). If you need additional information about ingredients or how to get these for your very own, True Solution can be found on the web, Facebook and Twitter.

Just a note that although these shakes are pretty tasty, I do not recommend that you use them as a meal replacement or infant formula- real food is still real food and the best option overall. But what better way to enjoy the added bonus of these tasty option?!


As always, no compensation was given for my review other than the products themselves as my opinion is always my own and completely honest.

*We use Winona Pure Oil Coconut Oil- not only is this the only spray oil that contains no additives, propellants or soy but coconut has multiple benefits (such as increasing ketone bodies, which supply energy to the brain as well as other properties which can aid in killing harmful pathogens, helping to prevent infection.) so why not add it too?


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Gluten Free Summer Party

Who needs some adorable, easy gluten free party recipe ideas? 

(Colorful paper straws & red braided pick courtesy of Restaurantware)

I am sharing recipes & fabulous ways to show your party spirit by using
  Restaurantware eco-friendly tableware.

(Colorful paper straws courtesy of Restaurantware)

(Colorful paper straws courtesy of Restaurantware)

(Glutino & Surf Sweets)


Intrigued? Click HERE to get everything that you need now. 
Don't forget to share to inspire others too!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Uncanny Truth About SunButter

photo courtesy of SunButter
OK, today is the day- it is July 12, 2015 and I am finally able to spill the beans (or, the sunflower seeds). You see, as much as I hate to keep things from anyone, I am sworn to secrecy when it comes to new products that are about to come out into stores. As a blogger, I have to uphold agreements, keep my lips sealed tightly and even hide products in my very own home so that nobody knows about them until they are officially announced. But now I, lovable not-so-old Nutrimom has the ok to tell ALL of you about what you can now find in most of your local Target stores!

Are you ready?! (turning head, looking around) At this very moment, the shelves are being stocked with canisters of 1.5 oz. On the Go Single Cups! Like, SunButter Mini Me's!! And just to make sure that you know what to look for, I am going to share the sure signs that the SunButter item that you are picking up is,indeed, the new On the Go Single Cups Canister.

#1- Size of the Jar
As you can see, the On the Go Cups Canister is very similar to the typical Creamy variety of SunButter but it's taller. (Gasp! It's like somebody stretched it out like those weird Elastic Man dolls! OR, maybe the canister was in front of one of those fun-house mirrors at the carnival- you know, the one that makes you look taller?) But of course, the immediate giveaway is once you open the jar- clearly, if you are seeing nothing but Creamy SunButter, then you were overly excited about the new product and you reached for the wrong item (which would still be ok because all SunButter is delish). To ensure that you select the On the Go Cups Canister, take a moment to breath, analyze the product that you are holding in the store and if need be, double check the pricing screen as it is scanned. This may be a little excessive but when you want to be sure, you do what it takes. Besides, school will be starting in a few weeks and you don't want to be left without these cute little lunch bag fillers.

#2 - Lunch Bag Fillers Wow, see how that all just flowed right into that? But it's the truth! These cute little cups are the perfect size for little hands and lunches! Well, they are actually good for any size hands but as a mom, because they are so convenient and smaller, I just associate them with my kids' lunch needs first. That and when they arrived, there was a brief tug of war with myself and NutriDaugher who is an avid lover of the Creamy SunButter. The thought of my child, my flesh and blood that I gave life to trying to take my SunButter....what is this world coming too? But I totally get it (the joke is on her, because when she's back in school enjoying these cups I will be at home eating up the rest of them!)

#3- The Peaky Window
Is that the technical term for that little see through area on the canister? I am willing to bet it is not but when you're a mom, all words sound better when you add a "Y" to them (horsey, kitty, froggy)...you understand. This is the most obvious way to make sure that your product is the On the Go Cups Canister. And honestly, if it wasn't and it was your usual jar of Creamy SunButter and that had a peaky window, well, that would be just kind of weird. I would probably still eat it though. Or, I could do like I always do and if I'm not sure, I would pack it into NutriHubby's lunch (sorry honey! I know you are ready this, saying "Nice! Real nice!" but it's for the good of the family).




#4- Taste 
This is a no-brainer. SunButter is SunButter- regardless of shape, size, container, peaky window, whatever. Fellow SunButter lovers know this, you understand it and I really don't have to say much more about it. I can remind all of you that I have tons of recipes that use SunButter from past articles I have written for SunButter as well as product reviews to recipes in my ebook "The Stepping Stones to Food Allergies", my Facebook page, in my quarterly newsletters and even with my newest recipe venture with gfJules. (to access, simply click on the words & you will be automatically transported to these areas. This may or may not be due to a technical ability that SunButter may also secretly have that, if it was a secret, I would be sworn not to tell you). 

Recipe Pics Reshare 
Just to give you a little SunButter eye candy, I wanted to reshare a couple of recipe pictures to help you understand how versatile SunButter is. And, to make your taste buds tingle, your mouth water (and, you know, I like having visits to my sites so help a blogger out). 

The world's easiest SunButter Nana Sandwich


SunButter Sunflower Snack


Simple SunButter Muffins
Are you driving in your car yet, racing to the nearest Target? I should hope not (don't read and drive- ask a friend to read it to you and drive responsibly). Please keep in mind that some Targets may not have them just yet so be patient and kind to the customer service representative that you talk to about it. Maybe offer to make them one of the recipes using this new product if they give you a little heads-up when they do arrive? Either way, rest assured that this newest SunButter item will be helpful for school, traveling, snacking, gifts or even holiday needs.

Please remember to recycle the empty containers (Nutrimom is a big recycling advocate) or be creative and reuse them for anything from arts & crafts supplies to hair accessories to tiny cooking items. Most of all, take a moment to visit them to say hello at www.SunButter.com and to check out the sweepstakes, please click here.

I love the SunButter products, I love being creative in the kitchen and I encourage all of you to do the same- don't be afraid to play with your foods!


Monday, July 6, 2015

Simple Tips for Traveling with Environmental Allergies



Studies show that a significant amount of children with food allergies also have asthma. In 2012-2013, Dr. Ruchi Gupta conducted a study within the Chicago school system which identified 18,000 students that had asthma and 4,000 that had a food allergy. Of the food allergic students, 40.1% had asthma (complete study can be viewed here). Given those ratios, it's no wonder that so many who travel with allergies, food or otherwise, are always on-edge and reluctant with the possibility looming that their overnight stay may be less than comforting.

With numbers like this, I was excited to find Pure Room. They offer certified hotel rooms geared specifically toward people with environmental allergies in multiple locations. I am even more thrilled to share a special guest post from Kevin Arnold who writes about allergies and asthma, travel and healthy living for PURE Solutions.   



It can be hard enough dealing with allergies when youre at home, let alone while youre traveling.  Travel takes us out of our comfort zone and exposes us to a new and unfamiliar environment.  Thats part of what makes it fun but its also why traveling with allergies can become a real burden.

Allergies should never be a reason to forgo a vacation or business trip.  We want to make sure you stay safe and healthy while youre away from home by offering a few easy allergy travel tips,including ways to find an allergy-friendly hotel!

Be prepared.  A little bit of planning can make the difference between a great trip and a not-so-great one.  Start checking the allergen forecast at your destination to get an idea of the conditions youll be facing.  Keep in mind that other regions of the country have different allergy seasons as well as different varieties and quantities of pollinating plants.  The more information you have, the better prepared you will be.

Youll also want to research health care facilities and emergency services in the area where youll be staying.  Hopefully you wont need them but youll feel better knowing that youre ready just in case.

Carry your asthma and allergy medications with you at all times.  Whether its a rescue inhaler, EpiPen or antihistamine, youll want to be sure you have these medications on-hand should you need them.  Be sure they are packed in a carry-on rather than a checked bag or, even better, carry them on your person in a pocket or purse. Keeping your medications close by ensures that they will not be effected by temperature changes within baggage transport and that they won't be lost or delayed, leaving you without anything in case of an allergic episode.

Stock up on allergy travel items.  Be sure to pack plenty of hypoallergenic bath soaps, lotions, cosmetics and other personal products, as these may be difficult to find while youre traveling.  A hypoallergenic travel pillow or herbal tea can also make your journey a lot more comfortable.  Visit takepurehome.com and use the promo code NUTRIPURE20 to save 20% of some of your favorite allergy travel items like tea tree oil diffusers, anti-allergen spray and hypoallergenic bedding!

Seek out allergy-friendly hotels.  Your best option for a comfortable and relaxing stay away from home is a hotel room that has been designed with your allergies in mind.  These rooms feature air-purifiers, hypoallergenic bedding and are specially treated to protect against the environmental irritants that trigger allergy symptoms.  Log-on to pureroom.com to search and reserve an allergy-friendly room at nearly 300 hotels nationwide!

BYOB.  Bring your own bedding, that is.  If you cant find an allergy-friendly room, pack your own hypoallergenic sheets, pillows, blankets, and even a portable air-purifier/humidifier if its feasible.  Anything that makes you more comfortable at home, try to bring it with you.  The more you can make your environment consistent with what youre used to experiencing at home, the better youll feel.

For more tips and information on traveling with allergies, you can check out all of Kevin's posts for Pure Room here as well as visit Allergy & Asthma Networks Travel Tips page (Click Here). 


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Gluten Free Lashes

I am always on the lookout on new products, to meet new people and to learn new things. Since being healthier is literally in every aspect of our lives - from the foods that we eat to the very items that touch our skin, I have been paying more attention to which products might offer a more natural approach to everything that I do. So you can imagine my curiosity when I stopped by a booth at a local health fair that had a Younique consultant.

Photo courtesy of Youniqueproducts.com

For those of you who aren't familiar, Younique offers a product called Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes. The consultant on site, Ashley Sherrill, had curiously doe-like lashes that were feathery and long and she shimmered (another option of the product line). I did stop and ask why her mascara was different form any other mascara product and although I couldn't stop staring at her lashes, I grabbed a card and was on my way. I admit, when I go to events there's never much that I do buy- I am a "research first, purchase after" kind of peep.

Weeks later, I decided to see if this was for me. Samples were sent, glittery shimmery stuff was with it and I was confused. I watched the video on how to apply the mascara because the fiber lashes kit contains two tubes- Transplanting Gel and Natural Fibers.


You Have to Do What?
You have to begin with the gel, then apply the Fibers, then end with the gel (which, basically) is mascara and I found I had to do this several times to get the look that I wanted. Now I am definitely excited that the ingredients (below) are a healthier option than most mascaras that you can find in your typical store but I have to be honest and say, $29 compared to the typical range of $8-15 bothers me a tad. Am I cheap? Yes. Do I spend a little extra in areas that I feel are worth it, especially when it comes to health? Yes. But this product didn't cut it with me personally. I don't have the time to apply, reapply, reapply, reapply each and every day.

Lashes Pass or Fail?
I would say this product is not altogether a lost possibility. I did like the feathery lashes, but I feel that spending this much money on what can be done with just one item is not within my spending needs. On the plus side- this product is gluten free.

Perhaps Younique might consider offering to sell the Fibers as a separate item to purchase at a lower price? I mean, since the gel is really just a mascara base which can be found anywhere, then why not offer the ability to purchase separately? Or even for those who are looking for a base mascara with better ingredients, this would be an additional option as well...consider the costs for your normal, everyday customers. Just my thoughts as a mom and a woman on a budget.

Skip It or Go For it?
Just because I am honest in sharing my experiences with Younique's Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes does not mean I am telling everyone to steer clear. We each have different tastes and someone else may feel very differently about this product. Younique does offer a Love it Guarantee so why not give it a try?  If you do decide to order, please go to Ashley Sherrill's site (HERE) because she is the sweetest person ever & regardless of what you decide for yourself, she will take good care of you.

* For those with allergies other than gluten, please do some additional research on the product ingredients to see if this is safe for your specific allergy concerns.

As always, I am not compensated for any product reviews (other than the products themselves) as my thoughts and opinions are always honest.

(Transplanting Gel) 
- Water
- Beeswax (Natural Propolis) - brownish material collected by bees
- Carnauba (Brazilian Palm Glue)- palm glue oil that is extracted and refined through pressing and crushing, creating a gel
- Iron Oxide C1 77499 (Black) - mineral that can be used for a color
 - Collagen - protein that holds the body together
- Acrylates Copolymer - adhesive, binding agent
- Nylon- powder substance used as a binding and thickening agent
- Stearic Acic - derived from palm trees that is supposed to soothe, soften and nourish the skin
- Propylene Glycol - humidifying and delivery ingredient that helps active ingredients penetrate the skin

(Natural Fibers) 
- 100% Natural fibers taken from the Campanulaceae of green tea - Campanulaceae is a large family of the dicotyledonous plants. 





Monday, June 29, 2015

Water, Wolves & Winona

All food allergy families that travel with their own foods, please raise your hand (hand raised). All food allergy families that don't like last minute trips, raise your hand (hand raised). All food allergy families that stress and grumble and cry and have a mini meltdown until the very last second and then have an amazing burst of energy to somehow cook and pack up your family safely due to food allergies, raise your hand (hand raised). AND, all food allergy families that have raised their hands to the above but cannot resist a family get away, raise your hand (hand raised).

Does any of this make sense? Am I the only one that hems and haws and grouches but then pulls it altogether to make it a great, safe family bonding time? (Hems and haws....what does that mean, exactly?!) Alas, NutriGrandpa approached me with a graduation gift for my minions since one graduated Middle School and the other Elementary and graciously offered us a night at Great Wolf Lodge. So I pushed past my stress, put aside my anxieties and accepted. NutriKids were ecstatic- I was a nervous wreck. Why? May I bring all of you back in time for just a moment when NutriSon & NutriHubby went on a school trip for a few days Please read, view pictures and then continue with us, here, with a better insight about my insanity - (Food Allergy Mom Goes on Strike).

It's Only One Night Yes, one night. But one night also includes lunch the day of check-in, poolside snacks & drinks, dinner, breakfast and more snacks...did I mention snacks? Need a short version of what we bring? Gaze upon how simple it looks here-

Now, this is the real list:
  • Homemade Muffins- Three varieties (chocolate chip (yay, can we say Enjoy Life Foods?!), blueberry and plain corn. Why three types? Because everyone likes something different (because if everyone all like the same thing, then it would just make life too simple)
  • Freedom Foods Cereal- Cocoa Crunch and TropicOs sealed in ziplock bags. Why this brand? Because my children want those tiny, GMO-riddled boxes of other cereals but will accept this awesome cereal instead, without a fight and they love them. Sealed to prevent spilling, even at this age, and bags to have less travel clutter & keep everything waterproof.
  • Breakfast Sausage (cooked)- again, two types (links & patties) because everyone knows that even though sausage is the exact same, some children who shall remain nameless insist that they taste differently in a different form. And because I am neurotic about protein, especially in the morning, I oblige. Oh, OH- the best part is that NutriDaughter will only eat links but ONLY if I remove the skins....(counting to 10 slowly)
  • Cookies- This is just a no-brainer. Since we are an Enjoy Life Foods family, we brought two boxes. I could have made cookies but these are travel-worthy and we all love them.
  • SkinnyPop- Salty, carbs, allergy-friendly (free of dairy, peanut, tree nut & gluten). Well loved by all.
  • Gluten Free Pizza- Precooked and sealed in a plastic bag to heat & eat.
  • Dang Coconut Chips- These are strictly for me (hey, I can have my own goodies too!) Delish! They melt in your mouth and it's easy, portable protein.
  • Winona Pure Oils- Oil...for a water park...huh? Yes- Popcorn Butter for the muffins and Coconut to help get rid of the horrible, dried out hair you get from being soaked in a human pool of salt, germs and whatever else for two days. Coconut oil has a high moisture retaining capacity so it keeps hair soft and prevents breakage of hair. I give you the proof-
                     

Extras, don't forget these!- Sturdy paper plates for reheating, cups, napkins, extra plastic bags, utensils, waters, juices, ibuprofen and ear drops (in case anyone gets water stuck in their ears). MEDS- Yes, bolded because you never, ever, EVER travel without (at least) two doses of epinephrine (plus we have his asthma inhaler). And, NEVER leave it in the car...which, for the first time ever in 13 years, we did. Luckily, I also carry extra epi in my purse so we were covered.

Should Have, Could Have In the hustle of last-minute preparations, I did not have time to call Great Wolf Lodge and discuss food allergies and their policies ahead of time. And, sometimes, NutriSon doesn't want to try out new places he just wants to go and have a good time. This, I understand. But I have to say, from even staying just one night, I wish we could have tried it out to see how safe it was. Even though I had all of our foods, I stopped and spoke with Annette, a chef at their Loose Moose Dining Cottage. I was impressed how quickly the hostess brought out a chef and Annette went through all of their buffet options. Did the word buffet freak you out too?! Chef Annette told me that they accommodate- if you need fruit, they will slice fresh fruit in the back on a clean cutting board. If you need sausage or bacon, they will cook it for you on a separate, clean griddle. If you need tater tots or potatoes, they can make these for you as well since the tater tots share the fryer and the breakfast potatoes are right next to the eggs- a no-no for NutriSon. I am thinking next time I may listen to my own advice. 

*Allergy Warning* I did notice one item that nut allergic travelers need to watch out for- Great Wolf Lodge provides a lotion that contains almond oil. This is also why we travel with our own toiletries. Also, vending machines- not one speck of allergy-friendly options. Great Wolf Lodge Peeps- get in touch, I would be uber-excited to help you with that! It's what I do and I know we could easily work well together. I do appreciate how eco-friendly your facility is. There were recycling receptacles everywhere- like, everywhere. At the pool, in the hallways, in the rooms, the lobby...everywhere. Nutrimom approves of eco-friendly big time. Now the weird, too small sheets and blankets in the kids' beds...that needs an explanation. No worries- the kids passed out but you know, sheets help.

The outcome- No allergic reactions, no accidents or injuries. But also no work, no cooking and no stress for almost two full days. I, Nutrimom, am reminding all of you as well as myself that we have to remember to just go with whatever comes our way sometimes. Remember that it's important to be safe and vigilant but it's also important to be a happy family. You know your job as a parent is done well when all of the food is gone and everyone is sleeping peacefully.

....until they get home, then they are magically wide awake ;)




*This blog post is sponsored by my friends at Winona Pure Oils ~