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 8 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...

...in 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,


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Good Dirt, Green, and Gluten Free Boston-Town Resource

Green! Green! Fresh and green! The Northeast is green and abundant -- suddenly, spectacularly...and oh-so-briefly.

What is green and green, and green all over, and naturally gluten-free? A farmer's market. Although in point of fact, it's rather a rainbow, especially when the Atlas Farm booth in Copley Square is budding with bursts of heirloom gold, red, and pink beets, and the multi-hued carrots.

Itook a jaunt down the line to the Copley Square farmer's market and Boston Public Market, for now there is food in Boston that isn't shipped in.

And the cheapest, safest, and most satisfying food I've ever eaten as a girl with celiac, or otherwise, is that fresh-picked, gluten-free good from my local community.

I love Beantown for its wealth of local resource, and sense of pride and ownership in community. It's an attitude that feeds into natural support for me, and fellow celiacs -- who know the food is safe because they know the purveyors, and the cooks, and the sources; who also know they're known by the cooks, farmers, and purveyors. This is better than safe, it's nourishing, emotionally and physically.
Connie, from Corner Stalk Farm, groes greens all year around
actually. In storage containers. Top of highrises. Beantown-
ingenuity. These are some. Some of the best
greens I've ever had. 

But green! I couldn't have more pipping pleasure than in meandering through it.

Squash? The best winter squash I've ever had...

...and beet greens. Saving money, budget as a gf young professional, means care. And look'ee! Atlas offered me the bulk of greens stripped off the beets of customers who, for some reason, didn't see the gold lining in the tops of those tubers. (No, they're roots, but tubers makes an alliteration.)
Eggs, rainbow heirloom carrots, beets, and squash.
Forage; fast; fun; fairly or nearly freegan. Freeing.

Foraging used to me digging through the hills and woods. Now, perhaps urbanly speaking, it means getting cast-offs, lopsidededs, and end-of-day-toss-outs at farmstands; or asking for the cuttings of roots and tubers for compost or soup stock.

I stop in at farmers markets and invest in my community...and they invest in me. I get more out of the stop than just naturally gluten-free food. I get connected, I get news, I get chatter and relationship; and I get good solid earth under my feet: the earth of my city, my home, and knowing what it feels like.

...and tastes like.

After all, dirt is gluten free.

And all good food comes out of good dirt.

Tumbling Free,


*Note: The challenge of living and eating well with celiac on a budget can be stark. I hugely applaud Massachusetts, and my Beantown-home for signing their farmers markets up with the public aid/EBT/SNAP food program. Most farmers markets in the area also offer a match-program that allows every dollar spent at a farmers market to be DOUBLED. Buy $5? Get $10 worth of food.
This is amazing. Make use of it if you're under-employed, and using public assistance, especially if you have celiac.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Let Summer Sink In (Or, Living Fully Nourished, Celiac and Gluten-Free)

I'm going to begin to let Summer sink in.  My brain and emotions are fried with rush. A friend -- as I start to write this -- texts me to say, Why not look up tips to avoiding or soothing burnout?

Bleeding pshaw. The only tip to avoiding burnout is simple as it is tiplessly unpluggable into another 10 Ways to Keep Up / Avoid Burning Out. Because it's this:


Instead of planning madly, why not let Summer sink in? Health is touted in the media frenzy as something to be plugged into the body and mind like coding into a website. HTML-tag your tummy, and get the <img src=> beauty, happiness, and lazy days of somehow perfect fitness plus food-stuffed-face and fun of a five year old.

Yes, that's a mirage. People aren't computers. I'm not a process or a project, I'm a person -- and an integral part of health is acting like an end in myself, not a means to success or accomplishment.  Not even a means to health. Since we're not projects, even health isn't what makes me healthy. Health is means to being more in balance, and if the striving for it throws me out of whack with other areas of my life, it's made me unhealthy.

Rest, ease, and community are more key than the perfect Summer fix, cool smoothie, or superfood of the hour.

For all of these things --  rest and balance --  one invariably needs time.


Eat slow, enjoy your day, and choose a variety of whole foods and whole-life experiences. Choose to spend time with loved ones at the table, time at the shore or in the woods, time to breathe.

The mother of one of the younger kids I work with asked me not long ago on a walk, How can I make sure he's healthy all Summer? And what about ME?

She's also gluten-intolerant.

Laugh a lot, I told her. A little tongue-in-cheek, a little flip from burn-out. But then, more seriously: 

Make gluten-free a priority, but do not make perfection, or superfoods, or control a priority.

A stroll through the farmer's market at Copley Square knocks out three birds with one stone:  sinking into Summer, enjoying good company, and eating fresh whole foods. So she strolled.

And I took off to do the same the week after.

Rather than hype up to prep-up meal upon meal for the future -- expecting the rush that August has in store for me as grad school begins, work consultations pile up, and travel plans fall into place, I picked up a soup at the market -- pre-made, but made simply from whole foods and naturally gluten-free.

I like my time. I like silence. Rushing and motion are noisy, even cooking at times. With celiac, my time is more than many other young professionals gobbled by the responsibility to research, prepare, and plan meals. The positive? I have the opportunity to eat with awareness. The negative? I have the opportunity to obsess, worry, or lose chunks of life to isolation and busyness.

But the final word is I have a choice. I took the opportunity to let Summer sink in this year. 

Have a blast of an end-of-Summer -- do let it sink in. 

Tumbling Free,


Sunday, July 24, 2016

[Gut Healing One-Shot ] Gluten Free Sourdough Company Grain Free Coconut Bread

With Celiac Disease, it's a double-brill day when food both pleases the palate, and soothes the gut. Either/or! blares the pop culture -- get that healthy stuff, or stuff yo' face with whatever. But I think this sourdough, from Sharon's small Boston-local Gluten Free Sourdough Company bakery, proves you can have both.

Gut Healing One-Shots

weekly looks at healing the insides
with food preparation practices, supplements,
or other whole life approaches

This bread tastes like a fresh loaf out of the oven dripping with butter...but it has no butter--  in it or on it, and it's no traditional loaf. Gluten-free and grain free, Gluten Free Sourdough Company's coconut bread is soft as pound cake but firm, and as easy on the gut just as it is a joy to the taste buds.

The ingredient list is so short you could write it on the palm of your hand. But every ingredient is
balanced, chosen, and blends to make this fermented bread a naturally gluten free stand out.  Without trying perfectly to mimic a huge traditional loaf, this unique sourdough does better -- it highlights the strengths and flavours of its naturally gluten-free ingredients, creating a bread that  needs to be eaten, not described.  somehow surpasses it.

I can't compare it to gluten-filled stuffs.  Few traditionally gluten containing breads could stand up to it either. It's rare to find a baked good made with the craft and care that has gone into Sharon's goods, and rarer still to find a good made gluten free of that caliber. particularly into her new coconut breads.

You really don't have to be celiac to find this coconut bread an extraordinary treat.

I know. I've sampled it to non gluten-free friends and clients, and they fell head over heels for it.

Toast or untoasted, chilled or warm, this gluten-free sourdough serves well for a snack, a side, or  with something as simple as a plate full of nut butter dip. It pairs well with savoury dishes and with sweet.  It has the double benefit of being gut-healing at the same time as gut-pleasing, the fermentation making it extra-digestible.


filtered water
coconut flour
coconut oil
kombucha vinegar
chia seed
psyllium seed
maple syrup
sea salt
sodium free mineral leavener

Although it contains coconut it's free of all other top allergens . And how can you pass up a treat that's healing at the same time it's just a blast to get in the mouth and taste?

Taste/Texture:  Smooth. Untoasted, rather like pound cake in consistency -- but don't let that make you think it's sticky and sweet. Toasted, it has good body. Not crumbly, it holds together well.

Whole Food?: All whole food ingredients.

Organic/Non-GMO: Yes.

Celiac Safe: Utterly. Sharon is impeccable in her ingredient sourcing, and has a dedicated gluten-free bakery.

Shoestring Budget?:  No, and yes. It lasts a good while, because a good slice is satisfying. A loaf costs about $11, which is comparable to -- or less than -- specialty GF loaves on the shelves at Whole Foods.

Availability; Sharon, and GF Sourdough Company, ship nationally. If you're Bostonian like myself, hop on out to Ashland -- a 12ish mile jaunt -- and pick some up yourself.