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Just Great Stuff

bar

Name Says It All..

Well, I guess this post will go fast, as the name of this bar says it all.  Another goody that came out of our StrideBox for May (Click here for more info).  You can never have too many gluten-free fruit bars when travelling, going to school, or running.  Just Great Stuff bars come from Betty Lou’s bakeries (http://www.bettylousinc.com/index.php), makers of a large variety of organic bars, peanut butters, and a variety of other yummy treats.  You can find all their gluten free offerings here: http://www.bettylousinc.com/products_diet.php?id=4.

In this case, we received the Superberry and Acai bar, full of fruit (berries), dates, and other goodness.  Definitely a good snack, although pricing on many of these items will keep them from being regularly consumed foods by our girls.  For instance, on Betty Lou’s website, you can buy a box of 15 for $26.00.  But definitely another good option out there, which, until our StrideBox came, we did not  know existed.  From the website, we are also interested in some of the other products, like the gluten free cashew-pecan balls, spirulina ginseng balls, and peanut butter balls–all of which look like the popcorn balls we used to receive trick or treating at Halloween.

 

 

Bonk Breaker

PB &J, in a Bar, AND Gluten Free

We definitely know our way around an Envirokids bar in our house.  Pretty much any other gluten free snack bar as well.  So beginning the reviews of the May StrideBox we received, we take a look at Bonk Breaker energy bars.  As you can see on the packaging, they come gluten and dairy free.  Double smiles there, as we hear of more and more people diagnosed with Celiac and lactose intolerance.  So that will help those folks.  Bonk Breaker bars (http://www.bonkbreaker.com/energy-bars) also come in a variety of flavors including almond cherry chunk, blueberry oat, apple pie, and peanut butter and jelly, among other flavors.  You can get these larger (approximately 2×2″) bars or go for the smaller, bite sized bars.

So, do you give them to children?  In looking at the ingredients, you see natural ingredients like rice nectar, peanut butter, gluten free oats, strawberry jam, brown rice crisps, and other regular ingredients.  No weird chemicals like you find in some of these racing jels and beans.  While the price may discourage this from being an everyday type snack, we would feel comfortable giving this to our girls as a snack in the car, or when travelling.  Especially if you find these in a gas station or other stop on the road, while looking for a gluten free snack.  So maybe down the road, if our girls decide to do some endurance sports, we will keep these in mind for them.  Great to see companies target athletes with gluten free items now!

A ‘Runner Mini-Series’ of Posts

A Wide Assortment of Running Supplies, All Gluten Free!

My wife and I, like many in Raleigh, like to workout, exercise, or call it what you will.  Our activity of choice is running.  We both run races, including marathons.  Our girls like to tag along on some runs with us, with our oldest even recently completing a 5k.  If they choose to run races, they will need sustenance at some point.  What options are available to Celiacs in the realm of running gels, beans, bars, and the like?

Many, if would seem.  For the next couple of posts, I would like to share some things I found while subscribing to StrideBox.  Who doesn’t like to receive packages in the mail, right?  Well the girls and I wanted to do something special for my wife for Mother’s Day, so we purchased her a subscription to StrideBox (http://stridebox.com/).  Stridebox will send monthly collections of a variety of running/athletic samples.  The fun thing?  You never know what you will receive.  In the picture, you see the HUGE variety of things from our May box.  Most, if not all–gluten free!!  Stay tuned this week to see reviews on them.

Pik Nik Potato Sticks

A Quick and Easy GF Snack

I can definitely remember going through can after can of potato sticks growing up as a kid.  Recently, we found Pik-Nik brand potato sticks at Harris Teeter, and sure enough, they now carry a gluten free label.  Looks like these ones are slightly better than the ones I ate growing up, I remember very greasy fingers after finishing a can.  And while you would definitely not want to serve these regularly, a once in a while gf snack is definitely something to keep on hand at a summer picnic or when travelling.  And bring the hand sanitizer handy–they still leave your fingers greasy!

American Gra-Frutti Cupcakes

Yeah, who doesn’t like chocolate or any kind of cupcakes!  The girls and I decided to be in charge of dinner and dessert for Mother’s Day.  We grilled, but needed something for dessert, so we headed to Whole Foods.  We found these seemingly yummy cupcakes in chocolate, vanilla, and these–vanilla frosting with chocolate chips.  Let me just say they may be the best gluten free cupcakes we’ve tasted yet.  Very moist, very fresh tasting, and not gritty.  Underneath the mountain of frosting there was a fudge layer, then the chocolate cake.  Wow!  Definitely a must try from Whole Foods!

American Gra-frutti is a gluten free bakery out of Georgia (http://www.agrafrutti.com/new/).  They produce a variety of cupcakes, made-to-order sheet cakes, and other gluten free baked goods in their gf bakehouse.  Another good company out there providing us options!

Camp Seafarer Report

camp

Ahh…camp…

My daughter and I recently spent the weekend at Camp Seafarer in Arapahoe, NC for our Y Princess Spring Outing.  Y Princesses is a YMCA sponsored organization (http://yguides.ymcatriangle.org/) that seeks to build good relationships between dads and daughters and dads and sons.  We participate in a number of activities and meetings with our tribe throughout the year and culminate with a weekend at camp.

With a food allergy/issue, camping can obviously cause some anxiety for both your Celiac and yourself.  Have no fear though–as we are starting to see with Camp Kanata, the Y definitely takes food allergies/issues seriously.  On our weekend menu (http://yguides.ymcatriangle.org/sites/default/files/2013%20YGP%20Menu.pdf), they marked all the various allergens for all campers.  On Friday, as we arrived, they served an ice cream social.  Except for the Oreo topping, my daughter could eat all the toppings, and settled on some chocolate syrup.  Full disclosure, though, for all these, we never looked at labels for the items, except where I mention.  Saturday morning, we brought a bag of Honey Nut Chex, got milk, some eggs, and lots of fruit.  For lunch we brought a Hebrew National hotdog and an Udi’s hot dog bun.  Comparable to the fried chicken filet on a bun they served.  Dinner that night we went with Perdue GF chicken nuggets, a gf roll, and a chocolate cupcake while the other campers dined on steak tips, rotini, and a yellow cake with chocolate icing.  MANY of the other girls looked envious as they ate their steak tips (aka steak stew!) and my daughter ate her hot dog.  We ran a 5k the next morning, then stopped for Dannon gluten free yogurt.  We buy Yoplait at home, since Dannon had always been glutened, but on the cups we picked up, they clearly showed gf.  A little more fruit and cereal finished us off.

So really nothing was that difficult.  We could match up the meals ahead of time and even participate in some of them.  For snacks, like all the rest, we brought our own chips, fruit snacks, etc.  All in all, not too difficult of a camping trip.  We look forward to next year for round two, plus my youngest will also start Y Princesses.  Two spring outing weekend!  Phew!

Whole Foods Bakehouse Tour–August 15th

pie crust

Pie, Lots and Lots of Gluten Free Pie. Or at Least Crusts.

Back from a little hiatus, and stock full of a variety of gluten free products and news.  The first bit of news we would like to share involves our second Whole Foods Bakehouse tour coming up on August 15th at the Whole Foods factory in Morrisville.  If you missed the first opportunity to tour this great facility (read the review here: Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Summary), John Paul Register from Whole Foods will invite the Raleigh Adult Celiac Group and the Raleigh CelKids group on another in depth tour of their facility.  Not too much interested in a tour?  Then at least come out for all the delicious samples we will certainly try!  Please read the email from Raleigh Support Sponsor Pat below for details.  As you will see, teens may participate, but this tour is not open to younger children, as we will tour a live factory.  If interested, PLEASE SIGN UP here.  You can definitely change your mind, but we just need to provide a rough estimate of participants to Whole Foods.

All…
A Whole Foods GF Bakehouse tour/tasting has been scheduled for us on August 15th, 7:00PM – 9:00PM.  We hope many of you will be able to attend.
For those who have not been on a GF Bakehouse tour, this offers amazing insight to the care and concern taken each and every day to insure Whole Foods’ gluten-free products are – and always will be – 100% gluten-free.  And, the “tasting” part is absolutely yummy!  Team Leader, John Paul, has assured me many new g-f products will be available for tasting.
Teens are welcome.  Additionally, please feel free to include other adult family members or friends who need to be gluten-free.
I know August 15th is nearly 3 1/2 months away, however, the Bakehouse would appreciate a tentative count.  Please let me know by the end of May, if you know and/or think you might be able to attend.  This is not “cast in concrete.”  We can add and/or delete as needed until 8/15.
Look forward to hearing from you…
Pat