Friday, October 21, 2016

GFAF Wellness Event Hartford Highlights and Giveaway!

I love Gluten Free Allergen Free Wellness Events. Wherever they are, they're full of the double-nourishment of community and food.  Nikki always brings that wholeness to the experience of getting well-fed -- with food restrictions! -- to the cities to visits with the GFAF events.

Unique to Hartford this year: Not only were attendees leaving with smiles and exclamations of gratitude but the vendors, filing out, packing up, buzzed with the same excitement. Hugely vocal, those who had decided to pitch a table were just as grateful as those food allergic and celiac attendees who got to eat their gluten-free goods -- cookies, cakes, pizza, and pastas.  As they poured out, I heard almost the constant buzz of thanks! to Nikki and the GFAF Event team.

It was bloody brilliant to see the community introduced to the gluten-free resources like Heirloom Kitchen, Bakery on Main, Gluten Free Sourdough Company, Peace of Mind Baking, and Ehsto Pasta -- resources buried in their own bakcyards.

Without further ado:


(giveaway below with 88 Acres and Namaste )

 Bread? Tortillas? Sweets? Supplements and meal services? Subscription boxes, bread crumbs, books? All of the above!

 How they stuffed them into the Hartford Meeting House, I don't know -- but the variety was just as fun as the quality! and these vendors are New England-locals with serious commitment to the custom-diet and celiac-needs community here in the Northeast. 

We even got gluten-free chemical free facepainting, courtesy of Tamika with Fruiggie.

GLUTEN FREE SOURDOUGH COMPANY dairy-free gluten-free, soy-free, unprocessed, some grain-free, peanut-free

Nutty, but otherwise, allergen-free: Sharon creates sourdoughs of teff flour and her own ferment that are not just on-par with gluten-containing breads -- they one-up them.

To up the ante, she just added grain-free vegan cheesecake and chocolate ganache cupcakes to her line-up. This is palate-pleasing food that heals at the same time it delights the taste-buds. You can't go wrong.


Tortillas, pastas, dinner rolls and pizza crusts: Ehsto, based in CT, a one-woman-team, makes them all -- grain-free. The pasta is fresh, and amazingly, has the stretch and chew of solid al-dente pastas many may have had before celiac or gluten-intolerance pulled the penne off their plates.
and makes them all

I love the tortillas, and dinner rolls -- they even have that yeasty flavour -- and the simple, grain-free blends of egg, coconut flour, and little tapioca -- somehow does it. How? Ask Robin. She did it. But it works like an ant on a sugar high.


Customizable gluten-free subscription box. I love Bebopalu's new spin on these services -- tired of getting odd snacks filled with other substances you can't stomach? Or getting just cookies, no variety? Or having diabetes and celiac, and finding your box mostly full of sugar? Don't worry with Bebeop: They offer always gluten-free boxes, with options to go vegan, high-protein, sugar-free, vegetarian, snacky or more-on-the-full-meal-side. Highly recommend subscribing! But check back for my full review after I try their service myself.

NAMASTE FOODS top 8 allergen free

A line of gluten-free baking mixes: Namaste makes the top spice cake mix of any I've ever encountered. It was great to see them at the event -- my parents and siblings still make this spice cake for me and my grandfather on his birthday. Amazingly, he -- whom we know as "Grumps" -- has no complaints about the "gluten-freedom" of his fact, even dairy-free and gluten-free as it is, he likes it the best of any spice cake he's had in his life. And I get to enjoy it with him. (Pop to the end of the page...Namaste is participating in the giveaway!)


The "Blue Apron" for Celiacs: This is ace new service, created by Cydney and business partner, Shannon, will fully launch their customizable, always gluten-free, meal delivery box  in November, and I'm skipping-pleased to be one of the first to test it out. Drop back in for my full review later next month.

88 ACRES gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, egg-free, refined sugar-free

I love these celiac-safe granola bars. It helps that they're rooted in my metaphorical Boston backyard. In three flavours (Dark Chocolate, Berry, and Apple Ginger), they bring a beautiful nutless alternative to
the snack-bar scene, with real New England flavour. They hold a classic chew and crunch, and have produced something that tastes like a "what anyone could" for the ones of us who "can't eat what most anyone does eat". Change in ingredients? Yes. But flavour or consistency? No. You'd never know they were "free-from", because they're so full of taste, texture, and


Connecticut only -- but what a resource to have in your backyard, Hartford! Jimmy runs, owns, and
more or less cooks all of what Heirloom Kitchen provides -- which is a lot. You can get gluten-free, freshly-made, organic and local chef-quality meals delivered weekly, or have a full event catered anywhere in the Hartford area. Jimmy makes his own organic broths, bases, and showed off his sundried tomatoes and menu at the event. If I lived in CT, I would be hard-pressed not to be lingering around his kitchen every week, hoping to join in the meal creation, or nab leftovers, to say nothing of signing up for the celiac-safe abundance of his fresh, creative food.


Raw snacks, New England-based: From kale chips, to flax and cashew crackers, Raw Food Central makes a simple yet hugely palate-pleasing naturally gluten-free and raw array of snacks. I particularly enjoyed the cashew


From Celiac mum, Nancy, founder, owner, baker: Organic, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free . I love teh Zucchini Chocolate Chip. But this small, CT-based, woman-owned bakery makes some of the best baked goods I've had -- celiac-disease-diagnosed and before -- and I love her heart and creaitivty. It clearly shows up in her creations of food both she, and her children with dairy allergies, can enjoy.
whoopie pies, muffins, and cookies


Not food, but nourishing to the celiac or food-allergic kid! Gluten Free Ghouls, created by writer, advocate, and illustrator, Paige Lawrence, tells a fun story, while also educating on dealing with a food-related disease or allergy. If you have a little one this Halloween, or any time of the year, Paige is a great resource -- as are her books. It was so fun to meet her, and hear her read her stories aloud to the young attendees. You can find her online, and order her books here:

[ Note: Some of these standouts are individuals and companies too small yet to reach a national audience. But they are so perfectly poised to provide exactly what celiac and food allergic New Englanders need – food and support right around the corner. Stay alert for when they expand, or check for the chance to order online at their websites,.]

I was privileged to be part of this event,  to speak and educate attendees on Living Fully Nourished with Celiac: Traveling, and Budgeting. But it's always a privilege to work with a celiac advocate like Nikki -- not to mention having a blast with Erin, my celiac-sister (her daughter).

We have fun, we with celiac. We've learned how to live again.
Erin, with 88 Acres Bar, and generously provided
purple fresh carrot from
Dedicated Table



 Make sure to include your full email in your comment & your twitter handle:
[giveaway ends at 12am midnight EST 6 November 2016]
What is your favourite free-from snack
and which of the standout exhibitors above would you most like to try?

Tumbling Free,


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Put "I Can" into Celiac During Halloween, and Teal Pumpkins Galore

Hullo Teal Pun'kin. Do you know what this means?
It means Halloween -- safe Halloween -- for me, and for all the children who like me have celiac disease, the need to eat gluten-free, or a life-altering food allergy.

When you put up a Teal Pumpkin on your porch, or in your window, you're saying "I have non-edible treats or allergen-free sweets".
You're saying you're not alone, to thousands of kids who otherwise might be able to wander about blithely through the night, decked out in ninja-garb or masks, but could not participate in the trick-or-treating. Some shouldn't even handle the packaging of treats with allergens in them.
A teal pumpkin says, Inclusion.

So how do you deal with Halloween if you have celiac or celiac or food-restricted kids? 

My teal pumpkin: I had fun playing with this photo in Pixlr!
He doesn't look quite so professional on my apartment front
step. But he is very teal.
This year, I ran a Skype workshop  for families who deal with celiac specifically, including other diseases that require a modified diet (diabetes is a brick-to-the-head for kids), and food allergies. A teal pumpkin is lovely -- and the Teal Pumpkin Project creates a sign and provides resources for making houses trick-or-treat-friendly to kids with any food restriction.
But what does Teal Pumpkin, fun-and-safe-Halloween, and awareness look like practically and concretely?


3 I's
3 W's

I can

How, after all, can you enjoy giving and receiving at Halloween (or tircksing-and-treating) without teaching your little their life is based on the principle of restriction and scarcity? Because the truth is, looking at the Halloween landscape, saying not me, I can't, and we can give but can't participate is the easy takeaway from approaching the holiday as a "customeater".

But ain't true. No, it ain.t
If you have a little one, or are re-training yourself to find the abundance in life, and your options, start with a Teal Pumpkin -- and then go to the W's.
The first rule of living lonely and restricted is thinking only me, I'm the only one. 

But we aren't alone. 

I encouraged my workshop attendees to focus themselves and their kids first, on WE. And the active principle in we is service.


Brainstorm the service arm. Sometimes, we discover our options and resilience by seeing where we can give. We had a ball making a plan to donate to a food bank, and to the local suburban area libraries, allergen-free treats and bucket-sized gizmos and toys.
Make a plan to donate, volunteer, or hold an allergen-friendly bash with food and non-food related treats. Why? Because we all matter. 
Pain a pumpkin teal too, and put it on your stoop. It's a treat and a half to play with pain after all, and paint is definitely gluten-free.


Second, change the focus to fun that isn't rooted in an I can't -- switch to the first I:  I can.

How to make "I can" concrete? "I can enjoy Halloween. I can have fun. I can eat treats"? Organize a scavenger hunt.

I gave my workshop littles a scavenger hunt sheet; they have to collect candy this year 1) in certain coloured wrappers, 2) Spot treats that they could not eat specifically (gluten for celiacs, dairy or nuts for others - don't take!) 3) Spot treats a friend can't eat, and 4) Find as many houses with Teal Pumpkins that they can.

The winner will get a gluten-free cake from Gluten Free Sourdough Company (grain-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, vegan, and soy-free) or a gift card to rock-climb or go to a local arcade.

Finally, we planned a costume party. Some of the families may put the party on! But whether or not they do, the planning focused everyone on a Halloween bash still rooted in Halloween tradition -- dressing up and seeing friends -- while also rooting it in I can and Inclusion.

"I think I'm going to like teal as my favourite colour now," one 6 year old boy said, and then a little doubtfully, "Is it blue enough?" For a boy, was the unsaid.

Pshaw,  I told him -- you can love any colour you want. My best friend is a girl, and her favourite colours are blue and teal.

He was tickled...teal.

Is this all simple? Yes.

Is navigating life -- and holidays, and children too! -- easy?

Perhaps no. Living like "I can" with celiac disease -- it takes time.

But love, service, and education and awareness do take time. Showing ourselves, and our friends, families, or small ones, that inclusion and health and WE matter means demonstrating those principles actively; and investing time in the pursuit of the I's and W's is necessary.

This year, I'm slowing down to make sure I'm taking time to use the 3 I's and 3 W's. If you're going to have a safe, and healingly happy Teal Halloween, take the time to:

I & W:

I Can -- Why? Because I have options. Because we all matter

Include -- What?  Teal Pumpkin, a plan, non-food fun, service

Inform -- We -- everyone in your community. We're not alone, but we
don't always know it til we're of service or reach out

The Teal Pumpkin Project (found at that link or here) is a great resource every Halloween! Use it. Another wonderful way to we and I can with happy celiac abandon is through Freedible, the custom-eating community network and information site for all of us who eat a medically prescribed diet!

Happy Halloween, mates.

My favourite colour is yellow, but I could also adopt teal this time of year.

Do you still feel at a loss or alone this Halloween? Feel free to drop me a line by commenting, or connect with me more directly via my email and nutritional consulting work:

Tumbling Free,


Thursday, October 6, 2016

GFAF Expo Seacacus, NJ, 2016 (Giveaway!)

Meet me in Jersey! The Gluten Free Allergen Friendly Expo hits Seacaucus, NJ in little less than 2 weeks on October 15-16 at Meadowlands Exposition Center.  It's a short trek from New England, and the weekend will be full of celiac-safe eats, speakers offering tips and tools for living well on a custom diet...and what has pleased me pink, the allergen-free social media platform FREEDIBLE will be there.

With me.

While these expos offer good eats and a physical place to meet and greet fellow celiacs, Freedible offers continued connection, and a community based on mutual respect. No medically prescribed diet is "easy". But no medically prescribed diet is truly a restriction on our life, unless we allow it to be: That's the foundation of Freedible, and one I've been wholly behind from its launch.

All that said, you'll not want to miss this expo if you can help it.

I suppose I would take almost any excuse to travel. I love the open-road. Celiac disease may scare my head; but it hasn't stopped my feet (or car tyres), because traveling, while taking good self-care, is a challenge whatever you eat. The rather keen upside of traveling to an event like the GFAF Expo in Seacaucus, is that arrival means immediate safe food.

Some other reasons for taking a weekend off to tool around an expo (besides the enormous sandwich):

  • You can get in FREE by entering the giveaway below
  • All vendors display the ingredients of their offerings prominently. [If then, you have celiac as well as a soy and dairy allergy, there are no accidental exposures]
  • Everything is gluten-free

But I think top on my list, as I look ahead, is the fact that on top of companies that make stellar good gluten-free bread, sweets, and snacks like BFree Foods, Canyon Gluten Free, Bamza (chickpea pasta!), Enjoy Life, and Freedom Food (amongst many), there will be whole food, and more naturally gluten-free and local resources offered as well.

Expos help us most when they connect with the local business, agriculture, and community, and help highlight options already near at hand to us. 

Expos like this truly support our needs when -- like Freedible -- they offer us options, holistically promote the strengths and opportunities we already possess, and focus on giving us the tools to make the most out of the simplest: whole foods, close-to-home farmers, bakers, and health professionals, and naturally allergen-free eats. the same time, you can't skip out on the chance to eat cake. Lots of cake. When it's gluten-free, dairy-free...and free.  If you're a tumbling free celiac like me. (The cake, by the way, linked above, was almost the best thing at the GFAF Event in Hartford last weekend. Absolutely. )



a Rafflecopter giveaway

See you there,

Tumbling Free,


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

[ PRODUCT REVIEW ] B-Free Foods Breads, Bagels, Wraps, & Rolls!

Product Review and Giveaway
B-Free Gluten Free Foods

As brilliant as bread can be -- and it can be mighty brilliant if you have celiac disease, or mighty bleak -- B-Free Foods from Ireland has pleased my palate more than any new food this last year you can get out of package.

Better though than finding their breads in the Spring was finding their wraps, bagels, pitas, and rolls.

When we weigh a gluten-free bread on the scale of palatable to perfect, the criteria usually run like so: Crumbly? Edible sans toasting? After-taste? For a tortilla or wrap: Pliable? Roll-able? Soggy?  And finally, for a bagel: Size? Chew? Crust?

But perhaps just as important is what's in the bread?

Because as celiacs, we often don't just need gluten-free, we need something soy-free and dairy-free, egg-free or corn-free.

B-Free Foods truly is free, and what goes into each item is brilliant; what's not in each item is just as impressive.

So this bread is big.

A photo posted by @bfreefoods on

See? Sandwich-sized and then-some.  Consistent texture, and good body, the Seeded Sandwich bread has wonderful nutty undertone, while the White Sandwich manages sweetness without a gram of added sugar.

That's HALF a slice
waiting for the
Tuna Salad topping

In regard to what's in it being as impressive as what's not:  B-Free is plugging up a hole in the market of gluten-free goods: the hole where we good-flavour/no-nutrition. or no-flavour+quality/lots-of-nutrition The ingredients in B-Free products are a high-protein, multi-grain and pulse blend that uses pea-and-potato proteins (always non-gmo), and a buckwheat and quinoa flour blend that makes even the enormous sandwich slices light on the calories and carbs. Although I don't worry about calories, it's encouraging to see a product based in high-nutrition without the often-gluten-free-galumph of filler calories or additives.

Even a diabetic like my grandmum  and my diabetic-celiac friend, Brianna (A Different Survival Guide Blog) can eat these breads and bagels without worry.

In sum, B-Free is free of all I can't eat, full of what I can, and better than breads I vaguely miss from pre-celiac-diagnosis. You can't explain pleasure or relief by pegging up a list of a gluten-free product's attributes. I've tried. Ultimately, B-Free gives me a good dose of a the feeling of freedom and peace around food -- priceless for a celiac -- while also offering an impressively low-carb, non-gmo, sugar-free, top-allergen-free, high-protein line of bread, bagels, wraps, and rolls.

Hope you'll enter the giveaway and try some, mates.


[ contest ends 18 October, 2016. all entrants must have commented
and left a valid email address to be eligible. ] 

This bread is celiac-strong.


Taste/Texture: A brilliant balance, with enough body to chew, but light and fluffy as well. No holes! The bagels have a great smoothness, not classically NY-style, but uniquely solid, no slipping into the pitfall of bready-bland or rock-hard-heaviness. I love the wraps: chewy, flexible, toastable, wrappable, wonderful.

Availability:  Now available in some major markets in the U.S. In the Northeast, I've found B-Free in Shaws/Star Market.

Shoestring-Budget-Friendly?: Like most packaged foods, no. But for how much bread you get vs. price, they're generally cheaper than Udi's or Canyon Gluten Free.

Non-GMO/Organic: Non-GMO, yes. Organic, no; not certified.

Celiac-Safe?: YES. Like a BOSS. Certified, and the Irish are even more stringent in their labeling than the U.S.

Tumbling Free,


Friday, September 16, 2016

GFAF Wellness Event in Hartford, 2016 (GIveaway)

Join me on October 1st, 10:00am to 3:00pm at the West Hartford Meeting & Conference Center 50 S Main St  West Hartford, CT 06107 for the annual Gluten Free Allergen Free Wellness Event.  The event, a beautiful mishmash of local flavour, allergen-free eats, and community connection, comes to New England again this Fall, with a new focus on stewarding and showcasing the tools and resources already available locally.

Whether you're looking for nutrition advice or a local nutritionist, better exposure to gluten-free foodstuffs and restaurants in your own backyard -- or just want a day out with family and friends full of food you can eat (nearly) without question, the GFAF Wellness Event promises solid resource in all categories.

I'll be speaking in the early afternoon on how to Live Life Fully Nourished on a Celiac or Special Diet, Staying Well Fed on a Shoestring Budget.

As for good eats, I'm holding out for one of the best New England bakers of gluten-free goods -- if not the best I've found in the continental U.S. Rather a large endorsement to live up to, but Sharon's Gluten Free Sourdough Company is worth the accolades absolutely.

She'll be sampling her sourdoughs, and with her partner, also showcasing some new vegan gluten-free cheesecakes and chocolate cakes.

Oy. Can't get better eat-local, eat-gluten-free, or eat-fun than that, nor get a product more simply and wholesomely made.

On top of Sharon, if you're looking for a venue of gluten-free variety for sampling, you'll be able to find

Jen's Gluten Free Gourmet Paleo baked goods and cooking mixes

Enjoy Life's always top-8-allergen free snacks and treats

Still Riding's Local Gluten Free Pizza

My favourite gluten-free snack-bars, 88 Acres, altogether nut-free,
sweetened lightly with local maple syrup

Purely Elizabeth GF and often oat-free granolas, regular partner
with Nuttzo 7 Nut and Seed Butters

Bakery On Main, a Connecticut-based brilliant GF and 
Celiac-supportive brand

Another highlight of these events is their affordability. But affordability is not often the hallmark of food for specialty diets -- something I discuss and address in my talk on Saturday!


Enter below to join me for free! But brilliantly,
the event is only a $10 ticket for adults, even if you don't win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to leave a comment, and hope to see you there!

Tumbling Free,


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Shaky Day Almond Butter Chocolate Shake ( a Gluten-Free Back- to-School)

...or how to shift smoothly when every angle of your life seems upset.

It seems particularly important to know how to care for your basic needs when you have celiac disease. Autoimmune diseases, as a dear friend reminds me, make transitions and stresses treble, and that means where others require such-and-such amount of time to re-orient and rest during upheaval, if you have celiac -- or another digestive or immune-related disorder -- you need to double it.

No I don't! Oy, maybe I do.

One way to take that treble amount of time is to eat well. Another way is rest. Not one, or the other: BOTH.

These last few weeks, I've returned to grad school, moved, and started an additional project within the area, offering Pay What Can nutrition consults to underserved or underemployed kids and their families in the Boston area.

This be my I-AM-BLOODYJ-UST-FINE-shake -- which means my brain defies my needs, but I meet them anyway.

A good thing about a shake, for a celiac, is that it is easily prepared safely. I don't have to worry about cooking utensil. I don't have to unpack my own pots, nor utilize toasters or ovens that haven't been cleaned. I can wipe down a counter, toss things in my blender, and make the day a little smoother, when it feels shaky. And to be punny, I can can have a good shake on a shaky day.

....Shaky Day Shake

It works for kids too.

As I continue to address recurring celiac symptoms, it's also an excellent avenue for adding easily assimilated nutrition. I like to pour in a large dose of  coconut milk, which makes it creamier still, dairy-free as well as gluten-free, since my gut doesn't do dairy either.

Shake this day off -- restfully -- with the recipe, and tumble free.

(or, Almond Butter Chocolate Shake)

[ gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, optionally nut-free ]
makes 4-6 cups

::  ingredients ::

1 heaping spoonful of Garden of Life Chocolate Protein n Greens
1 heaping spoonful of Garden of Life Almond Butter Plant Protein ( BEST EVER PROTEIN )
1 cup of ice
1 cup Organic Strawberries
handful greens of choice (lettuce or spinach)
1 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder, certified GF
1 heaping tbsp almomd butter or peanut free Nuttzo
(nut free option: sub in tahini or Sunbutter Sunflower seed spread)
1 packet stevia (I use NOW Foods -- 'tis pure stevia, GF)
1/4 cup to however-much-you-like, So Delicious Vanilla Unsweetened 
Coconut Milk (for an added boost, I sometimes also use pure coconut milk,
all fat included)

:: directions ::

Add greens and liquid first. In order then, toss in protein, strawberries, ice, etc.
Tamp down a bit if needed with long spoon. Blend until smooth.
Pour into a glass, and garnish with a dusting of cacao/cocoa and stevia, if you like.

I think the play on words with this one was half as nourishing as the shake itself. But I love words. And I'm reminded when I take good care of my needs that half the self-care is in the taking time to play, and rest, and enjoy the things I enjoy.

I think we forget to teach our kids this sometimes. We certainly forget it if we take the cultural rush and pressure to achieve as we do what's called "growing up", but what is really growing brittle and small.

Eating should be a nourishing affair. This is so much more important with celiac disease. But nourishing is always important.  It can be done in grad school, on the road, as children with good support, and as celiacs. You can do it gently and safely too, even if in a strange kitchen, in the middle of boxes, or on campus. 

I'm not going to say you can take this shake with you in a good thermos or shaker cup, because part of self-care is rest. Part of shaking out of shakiness is drinking a shake in time specifically set aside for enjoying it. So don't take it on the road.  Enjoy it by taking time out.

For Life,

Tumbling Free,


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A GFAF Expo Boston / Worcester 2016 Recap

I enjoyed the Boston GF + AF Expo immenseley. Being in Worcester for a day, exploring food, chatting with fellow celiacs, and meeting fellow writers and nutritionists made my week.

Out of a heap of highlights, however, the highlight of the food-side of this event was definitely variety. Oy, variety like anything! From the years when a gluten-free bagel was like finding a diamond in the gutter, celiac have options have leaped ahead. We have  options even within options. For example: It's not just that we, with celiac can nick a gluten-free bagel now safely from Canyon Gluten Free, we can nick three types of bagels -- Canyon's huge rounds, BFree's sugar-free, uncut seeded stand-outs, or the NYC-style from The Greater Knead in too many flavors to count-- and the same goes for a heap of other food-stuffs out and about today.

We have a lot of choices now -- these expos have always shown that -- but we now have better than simply "lots of choices". We have choices of companies that have branched out to be diverse, nourishing, and creative. And in Boston? That also means food and education that's local and innovative, tied to the community.

Without further ado...

Expo? Bagels? Oy, LOTS of bagels?


Once as rare as sunbeam in a Boston February, but no more: Gluten-free bagels are many and multidudinous! That is, three in particular showed off their stuff at the convention center. Each one has a unique twist. None of them sacrifice quality.

CANYON BAKEHOUSE: LARGE, CHEWY, AND IN CHARGE... well, large, and beauty of a good chew in these blokes. Canyon highlights 5ppm testing for celiac safety, multi-grain ingredient blend, and no additives. They're soy-free, sesame and nut-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar free (agave-sweetened).

SWEET NOTE / THE GREATER KNEAD: NY-style, celiac-strong style -- Sweet Note makes the classic little rounds with the great crust you know if you ever visited or lived in the New York area pre-wheatlessness. They stick to naturally gluten-free rice flours, are certified non-gmo, and come in the most creative array of flavours available, including crazy-cool rainbow.

BFREE FOODS (out of the Emerald Isle): Sugar-free! Light and ancient-grain-based, with a smooth texture, and good chew untoasted that becomes a nice crisp in a toaster oven. I love that these fellows are gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, dairy-free, egg-free AND sugar-free. They're excellent for those needing a sugarless diet, ace for diabetic celiacs, and I love the taste of both Multi-Seed and Plain.

So bagels -- no longer the Holy Grail. In fact, we got 3 great nationally and internationally available varieties.

.So what about sweets?


PEACE OF MIND BAKING:  I mean, Peace of Mind Baking: Highlights all natural and organic baking, no skimping on sugar OR fresh produce and multi-grained good. Zucchini Chocolate Chip muffin was my highlight. But oy, they also make Whoopie Pies, New England peeps. Nut flours and agave blend beautifully for texture and sweet in every offering from single-mom driven "for peace of mind" bakery.

More diversely...

ORGANIC LIVING SUPERFOODS: If you're looking altogether naturally gluten free, look no further.

The Coconut Dark Chocolate made my day. OLS emphasizes the brilliance of unprocessed, simple and naturally gluten-free. Raw is their game. Local is their name...all right, Organic Superfoods is their name. But it's close. A two-man team out of New York runs this company that sprouts its nuts for better digestion, and handcrafts everything from Spicy Cashew and Almonds to Chia Energy Chunks. Lots of chocolate is involved.

Eating out? Did ye say brunches and lunches and munches...?

...and celiac-safe?

TWIST BAKERY:  New discovery, Boston-local! Twist bakes in a nut-free, gluten-free environment, and they brunch it up too.

Two top notices: Cookie Dough Cupcakes and Star Cakes.They're based in Dedham, not far from Boston's city centre if you've got wheels.

BELLA BAKES: A small hike, but still local to Massacheusetts and New England... Vegan bakery that has dairy-free, gluten-free root beer floats, amongst other ace highlights. (Disclaimer: I have not personally been in the bakery to confirm it's fully celiac-safe, but I did meet the owner.)

Diversity of choices, obviously, isn't relegated to the market aisle -- even eateries are expanding options.

In no particular order, more highlights that highlight diversity of gluten-free, good-food, good community action... particular SNACKS!

88 ACRES: Snack bars that I fell in love with -- although fell in love should really be a phrase for people, not food. Perhaps it's partially apt though anyhow to this Boston-local company that makes nutless, sugar-free bars in Dark Chocolate, Apple Ginger, and Triple Berry variety. With a quinoa-and-seed-crunch, the simplicity and the flavour of these bars and bites is palate-pleasing, nourishing, and charming -- altogether New England.  What I love, I suppose, is how they've tied their company to the community as well, making good to do good. The founder's husband's severe allergies inspired this non-gmo, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free snack bar. I think her love must also have inspired the quality. Can I reiterate that they're handcrafted in Boston, and free of the top 9 most common allergens. Oy, yes I can.

BIXBY BARS:  Chocolate like no other, Bixby hails from Maine, and mainly makes ...really good, allergen-free chocolate in varieties from Ceylon Cinnamon Strawberry to Peanut Butter and Dark Cocoa. Not only celiac-safe snacking, these bars are another that supports social accountability with fairtrade practices and certification, and local-sourcing of non-chocolate ingredients.

SUNBUTTER: Sunflower seed butter -- how about something nutty good that's nutless? I'm always pleased to see sun-butter on the shelves, and this gluten-free, nut-free spread is now even made in a top 8 allergen free facility. No soy. Not even coconut. (I've been blending my Organic Sunbutter with Garden of Life Protein and Greens to make a high-protein, vanilla-flavoured syrup for gluten-free crepes on some beautiful Summer mornings.)

KEVITA:  Wicked good kombucha and cider vinegar bubbly. The Lemon was all-kinds of lovely. Another sign of variety -- and the tying of previously disconnected food industries: the so-called "specialty/health/superfood" with the prescribed/medically necessary diets. They really went together well all along; they just didn't know it.

Try this drink with a slice BAKERY ON MAIN sack of grain-free granola, or their new PB Granola Bars. B on M is all New England, and huge supporter of celiac-safe options. They test below national FDA-required gluten-standards, and they make hot cereals with and without oats.

...and speaking of drinking and snacks, MILK?

On a final note, before the bowing out of this recap, I loved meeting ELMHURST  with their nutty good milk-free milk. Almond is common. But Elmhurst makes some milk that you don't see every dynasty. Their Walnut and Pistachio nut milks really are full of nuts, taste like nuts -- pistachio has that wonderful flavour you get on the first bite of a pistachio kernel, or out of a creamy lick of ice cream -- and they're texture and creaminess is something I've yet to find any other milk to match. A great addition to the variety for those of us who can't eat gluten or dairy.

And for that milk, FREEDOM FOODS  makes actually-allergen-free-celiac-safe O's (unlike CHEERIOS, my dear friends -- say no to Cheerios and their fake gluten-freedom).  I love this Australian based cereal company. My favourite at the expo was the O's. They're lightly sweetened with maple syrup, a blend of sorghum and other GF grains, and crunch like the best of 'em.

And that is the final note Although the variety included pizzas, pastas, cheeses of dairy and non-dairy variety, I can't write them all. But that just goes to show my first point: Options. The variety has exploded.

Go out and explore. 88 Acres of exploration...and just 88 Acres, not to be too punny.

Toodles and Tumbling Free,