Quick Business Trip to Orlando Florida

When traveling, eating gluten free can be challenging.  Especially if you have Celiac and have to be extra careful.  I recently went on a quick business trip to Orlando Florida.  To feel safe I carried along with me several prepackaged foods that didn’t need to be refrigerated as well as used FindMeGlutenFree to find local restaurants to eat at.

For the prepackaged foods, I like to find compact but protein rich foods.  For this trip I carried 3 different brands.  I’m not a big breakfast fan, so I love the NoGii protein bars for this:

I also love the Kind bars as well.  My favorite flavors are the Peanut Butter and Chocolate as well as the Mocha flavors.


For lunches/Dinner I use the GoPicnic meals.  I got in too late on the first day to go anywhere to eat so I ate one of each of these flavors.  Both I find very tasty!  However the Pepperoni one is my favorite.  The Baja Nut blend in both is excellent!  I get both of these using Amazon’s Subscribe & Save to get the price down to about $3.50 each.  I can’t seem to find these locally yet.

Both of those are about 350 calories and provide a good bit of protein and ‘slow’ carbs. They fill me up pretty well.

For the next day I just ate a NoGii for breakfast since I’m not a big fan of eating much in the morning.  I had researched the previous night some good local restaurants to go to for lunch as my event didn’t start till 1pm.  Unfortunately in downtown Orlando, there isn’t much within walking distance.  I was lucky to find the Dandelion Communitea Cafe within a mile of my hotel.  I think the guy at the counter thought I was crazy walking a mile in the heat to it, but hey, if it’s rated pretty safe to eat, it’s worth it!  This cafe had great  reviews on being Celiac friendly.  If you have Celiac and use FindMeGlutenFree you really have to be careful anymore to use the ones marked as Celiac Friendly.  There are many options on there that just serve gluten free foods that aren’t safe enough.

I had this awesome bowl for lunch there.  It had a spring mix, black beans, carrots, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, quinoa, and a vegan ranch dressing (which was delicious!)

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The Cafe looked like it would fit right into Athens Ohio.  I snapped a quick photo of one of the eating areas.  It reminded me of Casa some!

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The event lasted till about 8pm so I had a NoGii and Kind bar with me to snack on till I could get some dinner.  I ‘braved’ Pizza Hut’s Gluten free pizza.  I say braved because I tried a pizza in the Athens Pizza Hut and I got super sick!  It was a new thing though for them and I don’t think they were fully trained because I watched them package my order and almost cut the pizza with the generic pizza cutter, etc.  The guy really didn’t know what he was doing.

However I was hoping that the Orlando Pizza Hut would be more careful given it was a full Pizza Hut and the company has had a lot more time to practice the Gluten Free certified routine they are supposed to use.  I also didn’t feel comfortable walking anywhere alone that late at night so delivery pizza sounded like a good option.  I will say that the pizza was delicious and didn’t bother me much if at all!  Expensive for a tiny pizza but it was worth it!

For the flight back I have packed another GoPicnic, NoGii and a Kind bar just in case I am starving on the plane.  Always read labels too!  The nuts on SouthWest planes are processed with wheat and other allergens.  I was glad I checked before I ate them on the way down!

Good luck on your travels!

Fear of Asthma


Why do I still have this in my medicine cabinet?

After all these years?

Is it the fear?

The fear that this is all a dream and I still need to take preventative asthma medicine each and every day?

Take a look at the date!


March 2011.

Five years ago this expired.

Five years!  Yet I still have it.

In fear.  Fear of not being able to breathe.

Fear of feeling like someone is constantly standing on my chest.


Fear, it drives us.

In 2011 it drove me to fear not taking my medicine.  Now fear, it drives me to not even wish I could eat gluten.

Yes Gluten, that ‘fad’ word.

That word not taken so seriously now. Yet for me, it is a very serious word. One that if I ingest even the smallest amount of it, sends my body for a spin for days. Yes days.

I’m thankful.

I’m thankful that I found Gluten and what it does to me. Thankful I know now that I have Celiac Diease. Thankful that an awesome side effect of going gluten free is also being Asthma free.

Yes Asthma free. Gluten was causing Asthma as a side effect. Who knew?

If you have Asthma, it might be worth trying going gluten free for 3 to 4 weeks. Long enough for you to see if you are one of those people that Gluten is a trigger for your Asthma and if you feel better. Maybe you don’t have Celiac like me, but there are so many studies out there that Gluen is a trigger for Asthma and Allergies in general. It could be YOUR trigger. A trigger that is easy to get rid of.

Gluten Free Taco Meat Sauce

Gluten Free Taco Meat Sauce

Gluten Free Taco Meat Sauce

I have always liked Tacos at home as they are a super quick meal!  You can have them done in about 15-20 minutes.  Once going gluten free, I started really looking at the ingredients in the store bought taco seasonings and it’s pretty scary all the ingredients in there!  I decided to pick out the main flavor ingredients and see if I could figure out how to replicate it on my own.  According to my family, I have it down pretty good now.  Better than the boxed stuff!

Gluten Free Taco Meat Sauce

  • 1-1.5 Ground Beef (you can use chopped chicken too, or other ground meats)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 jar Fresh Salsa (I love using our local Frog Ranch Salsa Medium spicy!)
  • Minced Onion to taste (start with about 1-2 tbs)
  • Minced Garlic to taste (start with about 1 tbs)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Chili Powder to taste


Start by browning your meat in onion, garlic, salt, pepper and chili powder.  You can always add more of this to taste once it’s cooked throughout.  Once thoroughly browned/cooked drain off any fat.  Add water and salsa to meat and let simmer for 5-10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and evaporated.  I usually add more of the Salt, Pepper and Chili Powder at this point.  While simmering, taste test and add any of the flavorings to adjust it to your preference.


Serve with Gluten Free taco shells and toppings of your choice!  We usually add fresh romaine lettuce, Mexican Cheese and more Frog Ranch Salsa!



Send Me Gluten Free – September

So excited! I got a great coupon for ‘send me gluten free’ and here is my first box.

Send Me Gluten Free - September 2014

Send Me Gluten Free – September 2014


  • Lots of coupons for the stuff inside.
  • Soap box natural soap – Not tried yet
  • Extra virgin coconut oil – Not tried yet
  • Soy joy bar – Not tried yet
  • Shaar Honey Grahams – Really good!
  • Three different spice blends – Not tried yet but smells awesome!
  • Giddy up & Co granola – LOVE
  • Lovely candy. . The best!
  • Liquid both concentrate – Really good stuff!
  • Bean and rice chips – Just OK to me
  • Go picnic ready to eat meal. Super excited about this one!  – Turned out really good! Bought more of these!
  • Pamela baking mix
  • Chop sticks


Some coupons were as large as 40% off!  Thanks guys!


Gluten Free Peach Cobbler

Gluten Free Peach Cobbler can be so easy if you use Gluten Free Bisquick!  I just used the same ratios as the original recipe and it turned out great!


  • 1 cup Gluten Free Bisquick
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 4-5 fresh peaches sliced and peeled

Preheat oven to 375.  Mix together nutmeg, milk and Bisquick in a 8×8 or 9×9 pan.  Next mix in the melted butter.  In a bowl combine the sugar and peaches.  Spoon peach mixture over batter.  Bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.

Gluten Free Peach Cobbler

Gluten Free Peach Cobbler


Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip cookies can be hard to make ‘just right.’  I’ve tweaked my favorite recipe that a friend of mine Lynn makes a gluten version of.  These were my all time favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies that I’ve been able to successfully translate into gluten free!  The key is the method that you put the ingredients together to make it not grainy, so pay special attention to the mixing instructions!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie


Combine Flour, Xantham Gym, Baking Soda and Salt in a bowl and set aside.  Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugars, and vanilla extract in a large mixer bowl until creamy.  Add egg and egg white one at a time, beating well after each one.  Gradually beat in flour mixture scraping down sides when needed.  Stir in morsels.  Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake for 9-11 minutes at 375.  Note they will not get brown much on top like gluten cookies will!  Go based upon the bottom of the cookie!!



The Best Gluten Free Pastas

If you’ve ever tried to use Gluten Free Pasta, then you know it can be pretty tricky.  It can be hard to get the consistency you want as well as the flavor.  Gluten free pasta’s can be most commonly made out of Rice, Corn and Quinoa.  Depending on what you are trying to cook, really depends on which type of pasta works best.


Spaghetti & Baked Pastas

For Spaghetti & Baked Pastas, you need something that will hold up better.  Corn and/or Quinoa pastas work the best for this.  For my Gluten Free Homemade Spaghetti I use Shaar’s Gluten Free Pasta

For baked Pasta’s I like either the Quinoa  or the corn based Sam Mills Pasta.


Pasta for Soup

For pasta used in Soup, I really like to use the quick cooking Asian Rice Pasta. This is the pasta I use in my Turkey (or Chicken) and Noodle Soup!


The rice pastas that are for Spaghetti I found just get too mushy or are just plain weird in texture.  What’s your favorite pastas?

Strawberry Desert Soup

Strawberry Soup

Strawberry Soup


This is a great quick summer time treat!  Natural and gluten free!


  • 2 cups fresh strawberries hulled
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Cup Yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp Gluten Free Vanilla Extract

Use a stick blender or your regular blender and blend all ingredients together!  You can add more strawberries to taste if needed.  My first batch was too ‘orangy’ from the Orange Juice.  We also put some of the soup in the fridge and it thickened up some and was a great snack for after a workout!



Gluten Free Curried Chicken Casserole

This dish has been a favorite of mine since my Grandmother first made it while I was in High School.  Since then I’ve tweaked it even better and more recently converted it to gluten free!  It’s great for taking to potlucks and holiday gatherings!  You can also make this the night before and then just cook it for about an hour.  It always tastes better that way and tastes better as left overs as the ingredients get a chance to meld together!



Combine chicken soup, mayonnaise, curry powder, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  I like to taste test this at this point.  You want it to taste a bit saltier than you’d expect because it’s the main seasoning and has to season the chicken and broccoli.  In a 9×13 pan, layer 1/2 the broccoli, 1/2 the chicken, 1/2 the soup mixture.  Repeat with the remaining ingredients.  Top with buttered gluten free bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes.  I like to put foil over it with one vent to let any extra moisture out.  Once it’s nice and bubbly, I like to remove the foil and brown at 425 for 5-10 minutes.

Chicken Casserole

Chicken Casserole before putting on the bread crumbs

Chicken Casserole ready to bake!

Chicken Casserole ready to bake!


 Note: If you don’t need to be gluten free, just use 2 cans of Cream of Chicken soup and herb seasoned pepperage farms stuffing!