About Me

I've been surrounded by gluten free living since 2007 and personally started my own gluten free lifestyle in 2009. I'm on a mission to help recently diagnosed Celiacs & those on a Gluten Free Diet live their lives again as a Gluten Free Lifestyle Coach!

Finally Fight Back Against Chronic Fatigue…Plus, 5 Free Tickets to the Natural Solutions Health Summit [Details Inside]

An IV bag filled with coffee, energy drinks, caffeine pills…you name, I’ve tried it to get rid of the constant fatigue that comes with Celiac Disease and Anemia.

While I might argue that ‘Celiac Tired’, as my friend Gluten Dude calls it, is the worst case of chronic fatigue a lot of other conditions like depression, fibromyalgia, sleep apnea, heart disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism and more also can cause severe fatigue.

For years, I just lived with being tired from the moment I woke up until I finally could get in bed.  But the biggest problem was that once I was in bed, my body was so overloaded with caffeine that I couldn’t sleep!

I knew something had to change.  I started using essential oils for celiac disease side effects like fatigue and bloating, then complimented them with a monthly cleanse and probiotic supplement.

It took some time, but I’m finally on a normal sleep schedule – and I’ve pretty much given up coffee, except for the occasional Saturday morning treat on the back patio.

By the way, there’s an awesome online event happening this month called the Natural Solutions Health Summit, and they even have a class on getting more sleep!

Holistic Health Coach, Dawna Toews, will teach the Sound Asleep workshop, and she’ll cover insomnia and less serious sleep issues can wreak havoc on your body, your mind, and your life! She’s going to explore the different reasons your sleep can be interrupted and help you discover natural solutions to give your mind and body the tools it needs to help you find a restful sleep.

Her son has an autoimmune disease, too and she’s used the same methods that she’s going to teach in the class to help him sleep through the night.

Not concerned about sleep? There are 30 different classes included in the Health Summit taught by doctors, health coaches, therapists, and other specialists.

Can’t take off work to attend? Don’t worry! All of the classes are online and can be watched from the comfort of your home.  Plus, if you can’t make the class ‘live’ then just register for the replay.

The Health Summit is typically $199, but I have a few free tickets to attend.  While I wish I could give this free code to all of my readers, I only have a limited number of free tickets to share and I need to keep track of how many that I give out.  If you’re interested in attending for free, email me to request the promo code.

After you get the free promo code, there are 7 simple steps to register for the Natural Solutions Health Summit:

  1. Go to http://naturalsolutionshealthsummit.com
  2. Click on “register now” (use promo code to register – email me to request the promo code)
  3. Fill out the form.
  4. Go to your email, open the message from me with the subject line Natural Solutions Health Summit.
  5. Read email, find password, and click link.
  6. Register for each individual class you would like to attend “live” AND each class you will want access to for 2 weeks following the Summit.
  7. Attend the class and enjoy!

Celiac Disease, Hypothyroidism and Options

As I’ve traveled across the country meeting other Celiacs, I’ve learned that there is a connection between Celiac Disease and thyroid issues.  In fact, my sister has Celiac and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  If you’re not sure what role your thyroid plays in your health, it’s very important!  Your thyroid produces and secretes the hormones needed to regulate your blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, energy production and more.  Here’s where it is on your body:

article-treating-thyroid-problems

How do you know if you’re having thyroid problems?  Here are some of the symptoms:

  • Loss of energy (malaise/fatigue)
  • Fluctuating weight gain or loss
  • Fluid retention
  • Cold extremities and cold sensitivity
  • Difficulty concentrating and short term memory loss
  • Brain fog
  • Hair loss
  • Dry skin
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Headaches
  • Enlarged thyroid gland

In my opinion, there are three main ways to regulate thyroid issues:

1. Gluten Free Diet & Modifications – studies have shown that a gluten free diet can help to regulate thyroid problems.  However, there are certain foods that should be avoided like asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage (including Kimchi and Sauerkraut), cauliflower, corn, kale and many more.  Most of these might even fall under that category of veggies that you hated eating as a child.

2. Essential Oils – I’m a huge advocate of using essential oils to improve wellness, and specific oils have shown to have an impact on your thyroid like peppermint, clove, lemongrass and myrrh.

3. Work with a Specialist – my friend Dr. Hotze, from the Hotze Health & Wellness Center treats patients differently than mainstream medical professionals (that might want to put you right on medication for the rest of your life) by using safe and natural bioidentical hormones and desiccated thyroid supplementation to restore hormones to optimal levels, strengthen the immune system, and increase energy levels.  He even has a great guide on Understanding the Thyroid and Hormone Connection.  You can get if for FREE here.

Do you have Celiac Disease and Suffer from Thyroid Problems, too? Comment below!

5 Relationship Milestones You Go Through When You’re Gluten Free

If you’ve found the love of your life before you found out you had Celiac Disease and needed to be gluten free…lucky you! For the rest of us, the dating scene might as well be an epic dance of trying to find the balance of being known as the ‘celiac’ or ‘picky-eater’ and safely dining out while still trying to find the right moment to spill the beans about the reason why you always ask “if the salad comes with croutons” and never let the waitress set the bread on your side of the table.

In an effort to share my own experiences of dating in New York City with Celiac Disease, I’ve rounded up the five relationship milestones that you go through when you’re gluten-free:

1. Trying to order off the menu without admitting to the waitress that you have Celiac Disease or inconspicuously cornering her as she goes back to the kitchen to tell about your dietary restrictions.

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Hey, the dating scene in New York is cut throat.  You don’t want to admit your problems on your first date and be ‘eliminated’ by your potential to contaminate the family gene pool, do you?

2. Always ordering a glass of wine at the dive bar instead of a $1 beer.

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What does this girl like to order the most expensive thing on the menu? Drinks in New York aren’t cheap. Getting a house glass of wine is typically $10 or more.  When you skip the $1 draft special for a $10 glass of wine, it can bring leave them wondering if you think you’re on the Millionaire Matchmaker…

3. The revelation that you’re not just a picky-eater or food snob, but in fact you have Celiac Disease.

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When you drop the ‘I have Celiac Disease Bomb’ and tell them that means you can only eat gluten free food or else you’ll get really sick, it’s like seeing everything in your relationship making sense for the first time.  If they accept it – he or she is a keeper.  If they don’t – their loss! Yes, I’ve actually dated someone that thought I was an inconvenience because I had Celiac Disease and had to eat gluten free.  Needless to say, I am much better off now. 😉

4. When the waitress brings you a salad with a big piece of bread laying across it even after you told her you had Celiac Disease, have to eat gluten free and can’t have any bread.

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Your date’s reaction to this is key.  Do they tell you to just ‘eat around it’ or ‘take it off and eat it anyway’ because they will be embarrassed if you send it back.  Or do they call out the problem to the waitress telling her that she needs to complete remake the salad and alert the manager that you won’t be able to eat it if they just take the bread off because of cross contamination and the bread crumbs that will still be floating in the salad?

5. Taking the leap of faith of letting your significant other order for you at the restaurant while you’re not sitting at the table…

ordering-gf-restaurants

When you return to the table and discover, not only did he order your food correctly, find out if anything has gluten ingredients, but he also alerted the chef and the manager about your gluten free diet.  Wow, you found a keeper!

Do you have any Celiac dating experiences that you’d like to share?  Tell us in the comments below!

Barnana Gluten Free Banana Bites

As a frequent traveller that spends many hours at airports and in my car, I’m always on the hunt for delicious on-the-go snacks that are healthy. Typically I pack a snack bar (either a Gluten Free Bar or Kindbar) and a piece of fruit like a banana or apple.

I’ve found that I have a hard time eating unripe bananas (probably has something to do with my lovely digestive tract and Celiac Disease) and typically carry bananas that are pretty much all brown. For my fellow banana-eaters, you know that these brown bananas can get really messy if smushed the wrong way. I’ve had my fair share of “I’m sorry my banana messed up my paperwork” type moments that left documents, photos and other things pretty yucky in my purse.

Last week I found out about a new gluten free snack called Barnana. I also kind of learned that I might have been living under a rock by not knowing about them sooner thanks to some of my fellow healthy, gluten freebies on twitter (Thanks John)!

Regardless, I now have a new favorite alternative to carrying mushy bananas in my purse…

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Meet Barnana:

barnana original bites

Barnana Original is gluten free, non-GMO, raw and vegan!

Now meet Chocolate Barnana:

barnana chocolate bites

Barnana Chocolate is dairy free, gluten free, non-GMO and vegan, too!

I absolutely loved these snacks.  Because I’m a chocolate fanatic, the Chocolate Barnana Bites were my favorite, but I still enjoyed the Original Barnana Bites.  Here’s what a I thought:

Pros

  • Delicious alternative to protein bars or unhealthy options like chips or candy
  • Easy to carry and resealable pouch design
  • Choose between original or chocolate

Cons

  • I’m not sure how long the snacks would last once opened – this wasn’t an issue for me though because I finished the package in two days!
  • If you’re not a fan of banana’s then this snack might not be for you…

If you’d like to try Barnana, you can find them on Amazon, the Barnana website and at your local Whole Foods.

*I was provided with the above product for review. As always, all my opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources.

If you’ve tried Barnana, did you enjoy the bites? Tell us about it below!

#GOVeggieTour Cooking Demos Coming to NYC Next Week

The awesome ladies behind Spork Foods are coming to NYC next week and partnering with GO Veggie! for 60-minute cooking demos at two Whole Foods locations.

During the demos, they will be sharing the benefits of vegan cooking and inspiring attendees to experiment with delicious vegan cream cheese, slices, shreds and parmesan. Everyone is welcome – whether dabbling with veganism or vegetarianism, living with allergies or intolerances or looking for ways to improve overall health. Plus, they’ll even be giving away swag bags valued at $20!

Here are the event details:

  • Tuesday, March 25 at 5:30pm: Whole Foods Upper West Side (808 Columbus Circle)
  • Wednesday, March 26 at 11am:  Whole Foods Columbus Circle (10 Columbus Circle Lower Concourse Level of the Time Warner Center)

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For those of you that are gluten free AND dairy free, GO Veggie! has some delicious cheese-free cheeses just for you.

Here’s a look at their gluten free products:

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Have you tried any GO Veggie! products? Tell us your favorite in the comments below!

Sometimes you just need a cupcake!

Have you ever had a day that you just needed a cupcake?

Last week I was wondering around New York City between work and my acting class, and I just started craving a cupcake. Normally you would just go into the next bakery you find (and there are lots in NYC).  If you have Celiac Disease this means you’ll have to go to the store, buy a pre-made gluten free mix (if your local grocery store has them) and bake up a batch yourself. Then…you can enjoy the delicious cupcake you’ve been craving.

But….NYC is also home to quite a few gluten free bakeries.  Here’s a list of the 7 Best Gluten Free Bake Shops in NYC according to CBS News.  I just happened to be only a few blocks from Pip’s Place on 39th street, so I stopped in to see what was ready-to-eat in their bakery window.

Pip's Place Gluten Free Bakery

They have cupcakes, cakes, muffins, cookies and more to choose from that are ALL gluten free.  Some of their options are even gluten free AND dairy free!  Not only were there a lot of options, but the staff was extremely friendly. It was a hard choice, but I settled on a red velvet cupcake with white icing and sugar crystals.  After my experience at Pip’s Place, I will definitely be back for more!

Gluten Free Cupcake

Where’s your favorite place to get gluten free goodies?

Northern NJ Go Red For Women Luncheon

As my year as Miss New Jersey International winds down, I was asked to attend the Fifth Annual Northern New Jersey Go Red For Women Luncheon by the wonderful and amazing Robin.  Here’s a quick photo of Robin (right), Meaghan (left) and I from the Meadowland’s Heart Walk this past summer:

Go Red for Women

Each year cardiovascular disease claims the lives of over 930,000.  While many believe heart disease primarily affects men, the affects on women are equally as scary!

Did you know that…

  • One out of three women dies from heart disease.
  • Nearly 460,000 women every year die from heart disease, this is about one woman per minute
  • Every year since 1984 more women than men have died of cardiovascular diseases.
  • 43 million American women are currently living with Cardiovascular disease
  • Cardiovascular disease kills more women than the next 4 leading causes of death including all cancers

The Go Red Luncheons are wonderful social events where women (and men) dedicated to making an impact in their community come together to raise awareness, educate and raise funds to fight heart disease and stroke.

Go Red for Women

Mingling with the amazing sponsors and supporters of Go Red for Women and the American Heart Association is always engaging and entertaining. These women (and men!) are a fun group!

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5 Gluten Free Snacks Worth Trying

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I hate to admit how much I enjoy snacking.  When I’m working, reading, watching a movie, etc, I love having something to snack on whether it’s a healthy treat like carrots and hummus or a not-so-nutritious bowl of popcorn.  With so many delicious snacks hiding gluten in their ingredients, it can be hard to find a delicious gluten free snack.  Here are seven snacks that are not only yummy, but they are safe for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

Kitchen Table Bakers Aged Parmesan Crisps

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These cheese crisps from Kitchen Table Bakers are made entirely of cheese – and who doesn’t love cheese! These crisps are wheat-free, gluten-free, sugar-free and transfat-free.  While the Aged Parmesan and Chia Seed flavors are my favorite, they have over 10 tasty flavors like Rosemary, Jalapeño and Everything crisps.

Crunchmaster Grammy Crisps

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Ever miss that graham cracker taste? Crunchmaster’s Grammy Crisps are bite-sized cinnamon and sugar snacks will be the answer to your prayers.  These crisps are 100% whole grain, gluten-free, peanut-free and only have 2g of fat per serving!

Tiger Nuts Supreme Peeled

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While the name may make you laugh, these Tiger Nuts are pretty delicious!  This healthy snack is gluten-free , high in fiber and low in fat.  Not only are these nuts safe for celiacs, but they are also vegan and great for those with diabetes.

Schar Cheese Bites

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Don’t judge me by my love for all things cheesy, but the Cheese Bites by Schar are one my guilty pleasures.  The Cheese Bites are baked, so they don’t leave your hands a greasy mess. These bite-sized cheesy snacks are gluten-free, wheat-free and contain no preservatives!

PopCorners

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Salty chips used to be my go-to-snack until I experienced PopCorners Kettle. These salty AND sweet popped chips are made with real corn and gluten-free.  I buy them in bulk on Amazon, so I don’t run out!

Do you have a favorite gluten free snack? Tell us about in the comments below!

New test could simplify the diagnosis of Celiac Disease

v9124P06oGVbhdYYA new blood test is being developed by a team of researchers at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Australia to detect Celiac Disease without re-introducing gluten to your diet for more than three days!

While the test does still require the reintroduction of gluten, it is much less than the typical weeks or months required to accurately diagnosed through other testing methods.

“Our findings reveal this novel blood test is accurate after only three days of gluten consumption, not the several weeks or months traditionally required to make a diagnosis using intestinal biopsies,” Dr Tye-Din said.

According to the release, as many as one in 60 women and one in 80 men in Australia have coeliac disease, but four out of five remain undiagnosed.

In the US the number is closer to 1 in 133 Americans have celiac disease and approximately 83% are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions (NFCA).

Not only will the blood test be able to accurately diagnose Celiac Disease, but according to Dr Bob Anderson, chief scientific officer at ImmusanT, the blood test could also assist in the monitoring of a therapeutic vaccine for coeliac disease. “This is an important step toward a tool that could monitor changes in the small population of circulating T cells responsible for coeliac disease when using treatments intended to restore tolerance to gluten, such as Nexvax2®, the compound currently being developed by ImmusanT,” Dr Anderson said.

Click here to read the original press release.

Natural Products Expo East

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During 2013, I had the opportunity to attend some of the largest conferences and vendor fairs in the gluten free world.  From the Celiac Disease Foundation’s National Conference to the the Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo, I met many influential members of the Celiac Disease community and business owners that are working hard every day to support Celiac Awareness and make life easier for the gluten free community.

I’m so excited to share that 2014 will be no different! Kicking off this year, I’ve been invited to speak at the largest natural products expos on the east coast, Natural Products Expo East.  In 2013, over 24,000 people attended this expo representing 95 countries!  I’ll be participating in a Gluten Free Round Table with some other amazing people in the gluten free community sharing insights and tips for retailers wanting to add gluten free options to their stores.

The Natural Products Expo East will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center from September 17-20, 2014.  Currently the Gluten Free Round Table is schedule for Friday, September 18.  More details will follow in the next few months!  For now, here’s a recap of the Natural Products Expo East 2013:

 

P.S. I’ll be providing insight from the perspective of a gluten free individual shopping at a retail location.  If you have anything you’d like to share with retailers new to gluten free, please leave a comment below or email me at jenna@glutenfreelifestylecoach.com.