Tuesday, October 9, 2012

"Sea Snax" a Healthy Snacking Alternative in Your GF World.......by Ann Oliphant, CNC

In the neverending quest for not just gluten-free but gluten-free and healthy snacks, I have recently come across what just may become your new snack-of-choice....Sea Snax.  Yes, these little dark green sheets are seaweed and they are good! 


Little, wispy sheets of slightly salty, goodness.  Sea Snax come in handy little containers, perfect for packing in a lunch for work, school or travel.  I like that while you are snacking you also are the recipent of some decent nutrition here!  What other "snack" food packs a wallop of iodine?  Iodine is sorely lacking in many of our diets and unfortunately iodized salt does not cut it, especially with so many on doctor's orders to lower sodium intake.  Iodine is necessary, vital even, for thyroid function and breast health.  You get approximately 15mcg. in a sheet of Nori.  That's substantial!  They are ofcourse also gluten free.  Check out additonal nutritional value (tons of trace minerals) on their FAQ page at www.seasnax.com                     

Sea Snax also comes in a larger sheet...I can see using these on sandwiches; gluten free bread, avocado, sprouts...a littleVegenaise...good stuff!  See their website for additional product line recipes.

You will also appreciate Sea Snax is Non-GMO verified.  Sea Snax can be found at Whole Foods, Earth Fare and other natural foods stores in the area.  Be sure and visit their website for the complete line of good-for-you snacks and order options.

Aside from the website above, follow Sea Snax on Twitter @SeaSnax and find them also on FB.  You may become such the fanatic you feel compelled to purchase one of the SeaSnax hats or tees (available online). 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Wholesome Junk Food ?! .......by Ann Oliphant, CNC

Recognize this little tub of goodness?  If you are not familiar, these little mint-brownie balls ("bite-lettes") are really just what the label proclaims,  "wholesome junk food"...and they taste good.  Though lacking the official (and expensive) "certified gluten free" insignia, 3 of  Dr. Laura's products do not contain gluten; Cole's Cashew, Better Brownie and my favorite, "Mint Double Fudge".  All are balls, or more eloquently,  "bite-lettes".

Personally, I am hesitant to purchase or recommend any sort of  already-put-together product.  An "already-put-together" product, conventionally speaking, would be referred to as a "processed" food which generally is not good and quite the opposite of wholesome.  Dr. Laura's Wholesome Junk Food is wholesome, and though she produces other great tasting "bite-lettes", the three I mentioned above contain no gluten although you will not find the "certified gluten free" stamp on which many people base their puirchase decision.  For the most part I lean toward having that stamp on purchase decisions regarding cookies, crackers  and chips.  With Dr. Laura's I make an exception.

I trust her. I trust her medical knowledge.  I trust her personal level of involvement in her company and the way in which she allows her products to be produced.  Do your homework, and I think you will find that same level of trust...and you're going to like your afternoon french press/tea a whole lot better with a couple of bite-lettes....a clean treat!        

Next time you're out, look for Dr. Laura's at Whole Foods, Earth Fare and some of the local Harris Teeter stores...

*find Dr. Laura's bite-lettes, and other wholesome junk food (even a cookbook!) at www.lauraswholesomejunkfood.com

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Whole Foods Market Opening Day Announced...by Ann Oliphant, CNC

Whole Foods Market has announced their opening day here in Charlotte---mark your calendars for....Wednesday, August 29, 2012.  You can find them on Facebook (Whole Foods Charlotte) and follow on Twitter at WFMSharonRoad.  See you there!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Saturday Suggestion...August 4, 2012 by Ann Oliphant CNC

Need an exciting suggestion for your Saturday?? The official store opening date is set for Wednesday, August 29, 2012 however,  this Saturday, August 4, 2012 is the last day you can catch Whole Foods Market and their pop-up location at the 7th Street Public Market...check out details here!  http://www.7thstreetpublicmarket.com/

Don't forget your local area Farmer's Market this Saturday...support the fine people bringing us healthy, wholesome fruits, vegetables, meats, homemade pies--oh!--some markets have the occasional gluten free baked goods vendor appear so be sure you make the rounds and check it out--also look for homemade preserves, cooking demos and more....reminder; most deal in cash...bring your own bags/boxes.....coolers, if you don't plan on getting back home soon afterward...get there early for the best selections...and lastly, best to leave your pet at home, even though these are mostly, if not all, outdoor venues, we still have food-sold-in-same-location issue...here we have some fun suggestions:     www.matthewsfarmersmarket.com   

Here's to a fun, clean-eating (clean shopping?) weekend!     

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Still Suffering? A Quick Recommendation by Ann Oliphant, CNC

I wanted to jump on here briefly regarding ongoing sub-par-health--post gluten-free diet...after the previous feature post mentioning cosmetics, shampoos, and other personal care products that may continue to be causing symptoms in some celiacs and gluten intolerants, I also wanted to  mention the proteins in other grains. 

If you have given the gluten free diet a fair chance i.e.,  2-6 months and sometimes a full year;  it may be that a grain-free diet is what it is going to require. I know. Hard stuff.  We thought it was difficult enough avoiding the gluten-filled mine fields all around us, however, in order to completely eliminate the underground workings of these inflammation-causing proteins, it may take cutting out more than the gluten found in wheat, barley and rye. 

For further reading, here is one book/site suggestion:  http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/home/   There are some other good grain-free books and cookbooks out there as well.  I would suggest taking a look at  Elana Amsterdam's site, www.elanaspantry.com  Not only does Elana have great recipes but she has lived this.  Like many of us, she also has a personal story, a journey leading up to the necessitating of going completely grain free.

Remember when going gluten free was completely daunting?  Maybe it's the same with grain-free.
In time it all becomes second nature and you get to feel better, making it all worthwhile.

Ann Oliphant, CNC

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Looking for Healthy Make-Up & Skin Care? Mineral Fusion Delivers! by Ann Oliphant, CNC

Sensitive skin most usually goes along with a sensitive GI tract....thus the need for make-up and skin care that cosmetically and dermatologically delivers exactly what you are looking for without all the "extras".  Extras such as parabens, talc and other chemicals that can set off an inflammatory response in those of us with sensitivity issues.  Mineral Fusion and their tag line of "minerals on a mission" prove it is possible to create healthier (and gluten free) make-up and skin care.

So many celiacs and gluten intolerants find they are not feeling as well as they think they could/should on a gluten free diet alone.  The missing link almost always is either in their dietary supplements or....what is going on their skin.  This would include anything you put on your body; shampoos, lotions, make-up and skincare products. This is why pharmaceuticals sometimes use the skin patch delivery method.  It is absorbed through your skin and eventually gets to your bloodstream.  I've heard a number of people say they were never really "well" until these final areas were addressed.  Thankfully, we have companies like Mineral Fusion who provide products without:  gluten, parabens, artificial colors, talc and, as an added bonus...no animal testing!

My favorite product-and also the favorite among the samples I handed out to other zero-tolerance-for- gluten girls is the lip gloss.  When you become so accustomed to being a bit over zealous and anxiety-ridden over what even comes within millimeters of your mouth, you do appreciate a good, clean lip gloss! Not just "clean" but also cosmetically speaking, it ranks right up there with the best.  No gooey, gloppy, hair magnet here-just great color and long-lasting shine.

The mascara was also big--who wants parabens any where near their eye?  No wheat germ oil (i.e. possible gluten itchiness reaction) either. Perfect.  Does everything you want it to too; no flaking, no smudging, no clumping and comes off easily with soap and water. 

The picture of the serum here in this post is a tube that is actually almost empty...which would be mine.  This goes on light and clear...contains all manner of good things like zinc, echinacea, gingko biloba leaf extract, aloe and rosemary not to mention magnesium, copper and natural peptides.  Good stuff without gluten, parabens, SLS, phthalates, artificial colors and also never tested on animals. 

I really do love this line.  I've ordered from them before and just so you know, usually you will find an added sample or two of other products you might like tucked in your box.  Mineral Fusion can be found at Whole Foods and I believe Earth Fare carries some of their line as well.  You can always order online and see their whole product availability at www.mineralfusion.com . 
Age-Defying Treatment Serum

Minerals on a Mission!

"Enlighten" Lip Gloss

Mascara in "Graphite"

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ready-to-Eat Meals from "GOPICNIC" by Ann Oliphant, CNC

Good news for we gluten-free Charlotteans this Spring!  Whether we are taking our workout outdoors to one of the local trails or once again finding ourselves wandering around the Charlotte-Douglass airport (or any airport looking for something we can eat...) we now have, courtesy of a new product from "gopicnic"...

*ready-to-eat" meals                                                            

*gluten free

*all-natural (could it get any better?!)


*atleast one kosher

*atleast one "free of 7 common allergens" (!)

*perfect sized; re-sealable-lunchbox-style containers

*no transfats, HFCS, no MSG

*requires absolutely no refrigeration

*no sulfites; no casein

Now, as to what is inside?  On average, boxes contain a total of 400-500 calories, 9-12g of fiber and 12-25g protein. Perfection.  The "Sunbutter & Crackers" box contains a balanced meal of sunflower butter, multi-grain crackers (yes! gluten free), seed & fruit trail mix, tropical fruit bites and a double chocolate cookie.  As for the "Hummus & Crackers" meal, this contained a "wild-garden" hummus dip, multi-seed crackers, fruit & nut mix, dry roasted edamame and a dark chocolate square. 

We who have food sensitivities and intolerances know just how great it is to have a product like this.  I was told they were available at most Target stores in addition to many airports.  I did not have any luck locating GoPicnic at one local Target store here in Charlotte; my only complaint is these wonderful, save-the-day (and mood!) mini food boxes are not located everywhere.  Off the top of my head, I would say local gyms would also be a great location but as we can all probably agree, the airport food court trumps all!  If these boxes were only located in airports that would be enough but let's hope these are soon made  readily available everywhere so that kids who require special diets also have a "lunch" box they can call their own or parents, who would just like a healthy alternative to similar although full-of-ickiness conventional meal-in-a-box products. 

These boxes can be taken on long car rides and left in the car for a period of time without fear of spoilage--perfect for driving to the mountains for long weekend hikes this Spring. 

All of the products contained in these boxes are also available individually and may be recognizable to many of us; products by Enjoy Life, SunButter and CrunchMaster to name a few.  Be sure and read the boxes when purchasing; GoPicnic does make a ready to eat meal that is not gluten free. 

If you have trouble locating GoPicnic, you can find them at www.gopicnic.com or you may call 773-328-2490.