Send Me Gluten Free

As much as I love this digital world, I still love getting things in the mail. I’ll admit that I prefer to shop in-store but there is something so fun about clothes arriving at your doorstep. Nowadays there are so many fun subscription boxes out there but I’ve always felt cut off from the possibility of a food subscription box due to having Celiac. But then I heard about Send Me Gluten Free and was so excited by the idea that each month a box of carefully curated gluten-free items will arrive on your doorstep. I’m that person who loves finding out about new products at the grocery store, so having them arrive at my door is even better! What’s great about Send Me Gluten Free is that they are a totally reputable service as they are the same people behind the Gluten & Allergy Free Expos (which I’ve previously attended and you can read about here) and the Find Me Gluten Free App which I use on a weekly basis! This company really gets what it’s like to be gluten free and you can be assured that they are going to send you great certified items.

With this service, each month you are sent 8-12 new full size and sample size gluten free products that range from food to personal care to supplements! Like other subscription boxes, you can pick how often you want to receive this box be it monthly, 3x a year, 6x a year or yearly and the cost varies from $20-$30 a month depending on the subscription you pick.

Send me GF

I was really impressed with the quality of this box and the fun products that I’ve never had before! I’d seen Nogii bars before, but never this miniture Paleo one! The flavor was Nuts About Berries and it had a great consistency, reminiscent of a Larabar and only clean ingredients like dried fruit, nuts, seeds, fruit juice and honey. I will definitely be on the lookout for these in the future! I also loved the Chocolate Apple Chips. I eat apple chips all the time but have never seen the chocolate flavor and they were delicious plus the ingredients list was only apples and cocoa powder which was definitely appealing. Although I couldn’t eat the Lentil Chips because I don’t eat beans, I’m told that they were crunchy and salty and impossible to put down! There were also some great supplements that came in my box that I can’t wait to try out.

photo (49)

The one negative for me was that because I have multiple food allergies in addition to being Celiac, I wasn’t able to eat everything in the box. However, my family stepped in and loved everything they tried as well! I think this subscription service would also be the perfect gift for friends and family and would be ideal for anyone who is recently diagnosed with Celiac or gluten-sensitivity and isn’t sure how to navigate the gluten-free world.

If you are interested in trying the service, you can receive 20% off any subscription-length with the code BLOG20!

Disclaimer: I received this complimentary box from Send Me Gluten Free but was not compensated for this post and all views and opinions are my own.  

Paleo Quadruple Crunch Salad

Before I started cooking, I was known for my salad making abilities. People in the office used to see me assembling mountain high salads at lunch and always remarked how good they looked. Back then, my secret was in the toppings. I eat salads on a near daily basis and have a few favorites that I rotate, but this one is so good that I just had to share. This salad is also perfect for Fall as it features Granny Smith Apples which are perfectly crisp and deliciously tart these days. I also really recommend making the dressing that goes with it! I used to use bottled dressings but after finding out I had Celiac, I realized I didn’t like the taste of any gluten-free bottled dressings. Plus, once I saw the ingredient lists for those dressings, I decided to leave them behind and start making my own. I have a few favorites that I’ll be sure to share in upcoming posts, but this dressing works perfectly with this salad as it’s garlic-y, sweet and savory all at the same time. This is also a great one to impress guests with as it comes together quickly but tastes so delicious it will seem like restaurant-quality and will fit any audience as it’s naturally, gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo!

Paleo Quadruple Crunch Salad

Serves 4 Large, entrée size salads

Paleo Quad Crunch Salad GGGF

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 Bunch Lacinato Kale
  • 1 Bag Shredded Red Cabbage (or approx. 1 cup)
  • 2 Large Granny Smith Apples
  • 1/3 C. Roasted Unsalted Almonds

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/4 C. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 1/4 t. Honey
  • 1 1/4 t. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Meyer Lemon, juiced (or approx. 3 T)

Directions

1. After washing and drying the kale, remove kale leaves from the stem. If you haven’t done this before, hold the kale leaf by the stem with one hand, and using your other hand pull the leaves from the stem in an upward direction. It sounds more complicated than it is but I promise it’s really quite easy.

2. Cut your kale leaves into thin slices. I like to do this by layering a few leaves on top of each other, bunching them up a little and cutting them in small strips with a sharp chopping knife.

3. Next, cut your apples into matchsticks. This shape works perfectly with the salad and ensures the apples still keep their crunch factor.

4. Roughly chop almonds and combine all ingredients into a bowl.

5. Now it’s time for the dressing! First, juice a Meyer lemon in a bowl, so you have approximately 3 Tablespoons worth of juice.

6. Mince 2 garlic cloves and add to the lemon juice.

7. Next, combine honey and Dijon mustard with dressing.

8. Slowly add in olive oil, whisking the mixture together with a fork or whisk. At this point, I like to taste the dressing and make sure it’s got that perfect ratio of sweet and savory and make any adjustments as needed.

9. Pour dressing over salad and massage the dressing into the mixture with clean hands. This is a crucial part so don’t skip this step! By massaging the dressing into the kale, the cellulose structure breaks down and wilts the kale slightly so it is much softer (but still crunchy) and takes away the bitter taste.

10. Plate your salad and enjoy!

Real Talk: Beauty Pageants

At this time in history, women are doing amazing things. At the college level, women continue to outnumber men, at 56% of enrollment. In the business world, women hold 5% of the Fortune 500 CEO positions which is a number that continues to grow. And in Congress, women hold 99 or 18.5% of the seats with 79 women in the House of Representatives and 20 women in the Senate.

And yet, just last week a televised program aired that judges women based almost solely on their looks.

I’ll admit that I used to watch the Miss America and Miss USA pageants because I liked seeing the dresses and watching the interview questions. But how is it, that in this day and age where women are making leaps and bounds in society, we still have this type of National competition? For the ladies competing, 20% of their score is based on them parading down the runway in evening wear and another 20% is made up of the swimsuit portion. The time of the evening when women are asked to put on similar versions of the same swimsuit, walk the runway in heels and then stand next to each other while their bodies are judged by a group of men and women. When you break it down like that, the whole idea feels a little crazy and a lot archaic.

If you read my last Real Talk post, you know I discussed the great female-empowerment type of commercials that have been going around and yet, they are the direct opposite of these beauty pageants. Let’s face it, most women critique and criticize their bodies on a daily basis and if you decide to go into pageants, you have the unique “opportunity” of standing in front of a group of judges and letting them do that for you. There is just something so wrong with this! It also doesn’t help that the contestants all look very similar with what the media says is the ideal body type right now. And yet in pageantry, they get away with this by calling it “lifestyle and fitness”. This purports the idea that this specific body type is the only way a woman would look if she cares about her body and yet, there are so many women out there who eat healthy and exercise regularly but don’t look like the ladies walking the runway.

I think that one of the reasons that Miss America has made its way into the 21st century is by saying that they are the largest scholarship organization for women. There is a great video now circulating from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver‘s examination of the scholarship portion of the Miss America pageant that you can watch below. I won’t recap it all but I will point out two things that stood out to me. First, the Miss America pageant claims that it gives out $45 million in scholarships to women annually. This is a huge number and John Oliver’s team investigated it and found that in 2012, at the National level, Miss America only gave $482,000 in scholarships! If you start to include regional scholarships, the most they could come up with was $4 million in scholarships! The video below explains the disparity in the numbers but it’s really quite shocking.

And it gets worse. Although that number is grossly misrepresented, Miss America really is the largest scholarship provider to women. Apparently the other female-only based scholarships don’t even come close! And that just makes me sad. Sad that we live in a world where the “best” way to get a women’s scholarship, is to be judged on your appearance! Women have come such a long way since the Miss America pageant was started in 1921 and yet we still have televised programs where we compare women. It just feels like pageants and the like are setting women back and ignoring our brains and focusing on our bodies. Let’s change that. Let’s show the world the positive influence that women can have on every facet of society and that we have so much more to offer then just a pretty face.

Question:

-What are your thoughts on beauty pageants?

Long Hair Care Tips

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that my hair has gotten long- like real long. My hair has always grown fast, but after my hair cut last year, I decided that I wanted to grow it out. Well fast forward to now and my hair falls all the way down my back. I’ve had it long for the summer which has been both fun and incredibly convenient as for me as I think long hair is the easiest to style, but a cut is in my future. I’m going to donate it to Pantene and a whole post about that will be on the blog after the big chop happens. But for those of you who are wanting to help your hair grow long, or just keep it extra healthy at the length it’s at, I’ve put together some essentials for keeping my hair healthy and looking good!

Long hair care GGGF

1. Deep Condition Weekly

I’ve always been a faithful user of a good conditioner, but it wasn’t until recently that I started deep conditioning my hair. This is great for any length of hair as it helps make it stronger and healthier but is especially essential for long hair, color-treated, or damaged hair which tends to get dry. I’ve tried a few on the market and my favorite is the L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm. This treatment does it all as it repairs split ends, weakness, roughness, dullness and dehydration. It claims to reverse a year’s worth in damage in one wash, which I think is a slightly lofty claim, but it really does work.

2. Embrace the Tangle Teezer

Since I was a little girl I’ve had hair that was pretty tangled when I got out of the shower, no matter what types of conditioner I used. I remember my mom would spray detangler in my hair and take a long comb to get it under control. So as my hair got longer, I realized that I needed to do something about these tangles! I went to Walgreens and CVS and in the aisles of beauty hair care products, there wasn’t a single detangler on the market! (However, there are now BB Creams for your hair…) I finally checked the baby aisle and found a detangler there, but was convinced that I couldn’t be the only adult dealing with tangles. Enter the Tangle Teezer. Oh my goodness. Essentially it’s a hard brush with firm rubber bristles that somehow slides through your hair when it’s wet, no detangler needed. AKA it’s a game changer! If you have curly hair, this is an absolute must too as it glides through just as easily when hair is dry and somehow doesn’t get caught, meaning no more falling out, breaking hair!

3. Dry hair with a microfiber hair turban

I remember seeing a commercial for the hair turban years ago and my mom and I laughing at it. We thought who would need such a product and the commercial specifically cited that you could “answer the phone” while you had it on as a plus. Well years later, I’m a convert. Basically, long hair takes a while to dry when you aren’t using heat products and leaving it wet down your back is rather uncomfortable. So after I’ve detangled my hair with my Tangle Teezer, I put my hair up in the Turbie Twist. Now, essentially, this is just like a small towel, except it really is great that your hair stays put while you are moving around and yes, maybe even answering the phone. As my hair turns curly, I leave it in there for about 20 minutes to get most of the water out, brush with the Tangle Teezer again, and then put it in a braid to dry the rest of the way.

turban

Make-up free selfie (though I did add a filter- guilty) rocking my turban!

4. Apply a Treatment

After you’ve taken your hair out of your glamorous hair tuban, I like to apply a treatment. From the drugstore, I like Garnier’s Damage Eraser Split End Bandage which strengthens hair and increases your damage resistance. Just use one pump and apply it to the ends of hair, combing through after with your Tangle Teezer. If split ends aren’t an issue (lucky you!) but you still want to give your hair a little love, go for Aveda’s Smooth Infusion which makes your hair smoother and silkier! Both of these products are great and won’t weigh down your hair, while making it softer and stronger.

5. Limit heat products and when you do use them, always use heat protector spray

This one is huge as I’ve always abused my hair when it comes to heat products. Having naturally curly hair, I have been drying it straight and straightening it since 7th grade. While I may like the look, my hair doesn’t like the heat, causing split ends so over the past year, I’ve kept my hair dryer in the drawer. I always thought that my hair would never get that sleek look unless it was blow dried first, but I’ve found that with some special steps, the same look can be achieved. Which means that not only is my hair not getting that 20+ minute blast of heat, but my arm is a lot less sore too! Although I do occasionally wear my hair wavy, I straighten it pretty frequently these days and have found that using a good heat protector spray is essential. I used to stay away from heat protectors as so many of them would make my hair wet (not what you want after spending so much time drying it) or make it crispy which no one wants. But I’ve found the solution to all that- the dry heat protect spray! Oscar Blandi is one of my favorite brands for dry shampoo and their Pronto Dry Heat Protect Spray is amazing and protects hair from up to 450degree heat!

Question:

-What’s your secret to keeping your hair looking good?