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  1. Celiac.com 05/17/2019 - If you're lucky a product's name will tell you exactly how it will taste. Most of the time this isn't the case, and its name may not tell you much about its flavor. I got lucky when I tried Riceworks' Salsa Fresca, Sea Salt & Black Sesame, and Sweet Chili chips, and found that each flavor of these wonderful gluten-free snacks perfectly fit their names. Riceworks chips are lighter than normal tortilla chips, probably because they are made using brown rice and rice flour, in combination with corn flour. They are similar to corn chips, but definitely lighter, crunchier, and easier on your teeth than a typical corn tortilla chip. Each flavor also contains sesame seeds. The Riceworks Salsa Fresca tastes as good as it sounds—like you are eating a light, crispy tortilla chip covered in the best salsa ever—except you don't need the salsa. These chips really pack a ton of flavor in each bite, and this makes it hard to stop eating them! The Salsa Fresca flavor is perfectly balanced and the salsa flavor comes from the generous amount of herb and spice flavoring that cover each chip. They have a zesty and slightly spicy taste. The Riceworks Sweet Chili chips also taste like they sound—sweet up front, with a nice chili pepper finish. I love the combination of sweetness and chili. Even though the seasonings are generously applied, the chips were not too spicy, so it was easy to eat far too many of these as well...which I did! The Sweet Chili chips were my favorite flavor of the three. The Riceworks Sea Salt & Black Sesame chips were light and crunchy with a nice sesame aftertaste. I think these chips would be the best out of the three flavors to use for dipping, and they work well with every dip I tried, including hummus, ranch-style dip, and good old salsa. Overall Riceworks Gourmet Rice Snacks have done an outstanding job with these snacks, and they also make three additional flavors that sound great, including: Sundried Tomato, Sea Salt, and Black Japonica Rice. I can't wait to try them! Visit their site for more info.
  2. Celiac.com 01/18/2019 - I recently had the opportunity to try a high-protein dietary supplement made by Life's Abundance. It's called Life's Abundance Plant Protein Dietary Supplement, and it comes in vanilla or chocolate flavors. The supplement makes it very easy to add extra protein and fiber to your diet. There are several ways to use this plan protein supplement, and besides just mixing one scoop of it into 8 ounces of cold water to make a shake, it can also be added to smoothies, pancakes, baked goods and oatmeal. I tested it out by making shakes. As advertised, this supplement is packed with protein, at 14 grams per serving, and each serving also contains 3 grams of fiber. The main ingredients are pea protein, hemp protein, pumpkin protein, quinoa, chia seeds, coconut oil, and oat fiber. It was especially nice to see such a small, wholesome ingredient list, as many similar products contain far too many ingredients, and both are also soy-free and non-GMO. Making a protein shake couldn't be easier—I added one scoop of plant protein powder to 8 ounces of cold water and stirred thoroughly, and it was ready to drink. The texture and taste of both shakes were very good, and the vanilla flavor reminded me of vanilla ice cream. The chocolate flavor was similar to a not-too-sweet hot cocoa, and it had a slight dark chocolate taste. Clearly this product is perfect for a hearty snack, as I felt full after a single shake, but I also felt full of energy! Each serving contains only 100 calories. The shakes were also easy to digest, unlike others I've tried. Overall I think that anyone who wants to increase their dietary protein and fiber intake, and stick to a healthy regimen in the process, would really like Life's Abundance Plant Protein Dietary Supplements. Visit their site for more info.
  3. Celiac.com 01/04/2019 - When I tried it I almost couldn't believe it was gluten-free...yet it was! This is the first gluten-free cauliflower pizza crust that I've tried, and it's amazing. It has ½ the carbs and sodium of regular pizza crust, and is also low in sugar. Pie Five Pizza is a fast-growing franchise that can be found in 20 states, and you can follow this link to find a store near you. Their “home run” gluten-free pizza crust is to die for, and my only wish is that they would put a location near me so I could go to a store and get their wonderful gluten-free pizza, or have it delivered to my house. For more info visit their site.
  4. Celiac.com 12/06/2018 - My friend Tim has been wondering for quite some time whether or not he might have celiac disease, but, for whatever reason, he hasn't been able to convince his doctor to test him for it. To finally settle the matter he decided to order an At-Home Celiac Disease Test by imaware™. (See the video of our experience below). Their web site was remarkably easy to use, and it took only a few minutes to order their home collection kit, which arrived a few days later. When he opened the At-Home Celiac Disease Test he discovered a beautifully packaged home collection kit that included two instruction cards on top. The first instructed him to watch an online video to see how to properly collect the sample, and the second card included six “Tips for successful blood collection,” which were covered in the video. Tim followed each step in the video and after washing his hands used the lancet to prick his finger. He was able to easily collect around five drops of blood to fill the collection tube to the proper level. After the sample was collected he put it in the return mailing envelope, which was included in the kit, and mailed it back to the imaware™ labs. A couple of days later Tim received an email with a link to his test results. He followed the link to their secure site and logged back in to review his Celiac Disease Test Report, which was very clear and easy to read. It turned out that Tim's results were negative for celiac disease, which came to him as both a surprise and a relief. He found the whole experience very empowering, and was glad to be able to finally, in the privacy of his own home, answer a long-standing question by using a simple, precise imaware™ At-Home Celiac Disease Test. Visit their site for more info. Video review: Visit their site for more info.
  5. Celiac.com 11/16/2018 - I recently discovered an amazing one-to-one gluten-free all purpose flour blend made by Flour Farm. There are other companies making such flour blends, however what has been absent from this space is a healthy version. Most other blends are full of starches and other ingredients that just aren't very healthy. Flour Farm, however, is made in a 100% gluten-free facility, and it contains only the following organic ingredients: Sweet white rice flour, brown rice flour, tapioca flour, almond flour, and coconut flour. We tested out their mix by making an almond-coconut chocolate chip cookie recipe that we found on the internet. The recipe was originally one that utilized wheat-flour, and this allowed us to test their conversion directions on the back of the mix. We converted our recipe to a gluten-free one by substituting 120 grams of Flour Farm blend per 1 cup of wheat flour. How much simpler could it be? Our cookies turned out fantastic! They were light, easy to bite, and had great taste and texture. The direct substitution formula worked perfectly, so this is truly an outstanding all purpose gluten-free flour mix—and one that is also healthy! For more information visit their site.
  6. Celiac.com 11/16/2018 - Who doesn't love a perfectly made French meringue? And perfect is the only way to describe Alice's Sweet Tooth French Meringue Kisses! Alice's Sweet Tooth creates an amazing assortment of naturally gluten-free kiss-sized meringues, including blueberry, raspberry, mango, chocolate chip, vanilla bean and cocoa. Each variety exactly captures its essence, the blueberry flavor explodes with the taste of fresh blueberries, the mango flavor tastes like fresh mangoes...and the raspberry flavor tastes like real raspberries, right down to the slight tartness that all raspberries have. These meringues will melt in your mouth...there is just no need to bite them...just pop one in your mouth and let it melt on your tongue! If your plan is to only eat one or two you might as well forget it, because it won't happen! I was a half box into them before I realized it, mainly because they are incredibly light and non-filling. Alice's Sweet Tooth French Meringue Kisses are made with organic ingredients, and are a perfect treat for any occasion. Each variety offers an over-the-top flavor experience that just can't be described...you really just have to try them! For more info visit their site.
  7. Celiac.com 11/02/2018 - I recently downloaded Now Find Gluten Free, which is a free app that is available in the Apple iTunes Store, and it can also be downloaded for other platforms in the Google Play Store. One thing about the app that was immediately noticeable was its simple, user-friendly interface. From the home page one can browse “All Products,” or browse by “Brands” or “Categories,” and there are even “Fresh Goods” and “Coupons” areas so you can quickly find fresh items and get great deals on many items. At the top of the screen is a search box so you can search all products to quickly find exactly what you are looking for. I searched for “pancake” and was impressed by the large number of gluten-free pancake mixes that were displayed, broken down neatly in alphabetical order. Touching a search result brings you to a product page, where you can see all of the product's details, including its description, ingredients, dietary filters (these include additional things like egg-free, lactose-free, casein-free, etc.), and notes, which is an area where you can record your own notes about the product. There are also “Like” and “Dislike” buttons so you can easily flag the things you like or dislike, and an “Add to List” option so you can add items to your shopping list. I really liked the “Dietary Filters” option that allows you to filter out any foods that contain other things that you might be avoiding like dairy, casein, artificial colors or flavors, eggs, peanuts, soy, etc. It also allows you to filter by different dietary choices such as organic, non-GMO, Kosher, paleo, vegetarian, etc., so the dietary filters are very robust indeed with 23 in total. And if everything above just isn't enough for this free app, it also offers links to great recipes and videos, as well as featured brands, coupons, and products sections. Their website also has recipes, tips, and tricks to help those on a gluten-free diet. After using the Now Find Gluten Free app for only a couple of weeks, I can't imagine not having it. Everyone with a special diet should give this app a try. You can download Now Find Gluten Free in the Apple iTunes Store or in the Google Play Store.
  8. Celiac.com 10/12/2018 - Ever since I read the study about how caricain enzymes can break down specific gliadin peptides in celiacs on a gluten challenge, I've been hoping for a chance to try out Glutagen's GluteGuard enzymes. The tablets contain Caricain, which is an enzyme that is found in the skin of an unripe papaya fruit. According to the company, GluteGuard can help people manage their gluten-free diet better by supporting "gluten digestion" whenever they may encounter cross-contamination. Celiac.com's standard disclaimer about enzymes: If you have celiac disease AVOID ALL GLUTEN, and do not misuse these in a way that would cause you to knowingly eat gluten, or be less vigilant about your gluten-free diet. Glutagen advises that the supplement is not a treatment or cure for celiac disease, and it is essential that people with celiac disease maintain a strict gluten free diet. My GluteGuard Trial As soon as my sample bottle arrived I began taking them as per the directions on the bottle: One GluteGuard tablet before each meal, and I did this before every meal over a two week period. My goal was to see if I noticed any difference while taking them, in comparison to how I felt before. The first thing I noticed was that my digestion was suddenly kicked into overdrive, which means I had firmer stools, and shorter times in the bathroom. I was surprised to find my digestion improve so much, even when I knew that my diet was not in any way contaminated by gluten (at least as far as I know!), which was an added bonus. Eating Out I normally eat out 1-2 times per week, and I like to believe that I am very careful whenever I do this. However, a recent study has shown that 9 out 10 people are exposed to gluten when attempting to eat gluten-free in a restaurant. I would not call myself a "super sensitive celiac," but I did not notice any difference between eating out vs. eating at home, and more importantly, I had no issues after eating out five times during my trial period. Overall Impression I would recommend GluteGuard to anyone who wishes to improve their digestion, as it definitely improved mine, regardless of whether or not I was ever cross-contaminated during my trial of the product. For those on a gluten-free diet who do continue to eat out, or those who must do so when they travel, definitely consider this product as it may help prevent the very negative effects of cross-contamination. Visit their site for more information.
  9. I was pleasantly surprised how great Biena Chickpeas taste—they are light and crunchy, and are much easier on your teeth than traditional snacks like corn nuts. They are lightly roasted, and, combined with a bit of salt, have a very pleasant flavor. In addition to their great flavor, they are also very healthy. They contain only chickpeas, sunflower oil, and sea salt. One serving contains 6 grams protein, and 6 grams (24% of RDA) of fiber. They are also low in fat, and contain 70% less fat than peanuts. It's rare to find such a great tasking snack that also happens to be so healthy. Visit their site for more info.
  10. Celiac.com 08/31/2018 - Until recently the only way to get a proper screening for celiac disease would be to convince your doctor or health care provider to order the tests, and then pay a visit to the lab where they would draw a test tube or two full of blood. Depending on your situation, it can sometimes be difficult to convince your doctor or health care provider to actually order the tests. They can also be expensive, even if you are lucky enough to have decent health insurance coverage. Did you know that you can now use a LetsGetChecked home screening kit to carry out a full celiac disease screening in the privacy of your own home? I recently took the opportunity to use their kit to re-screen my son for celiac disease, as it's been a while since his last screening, and he should be getting screened annually. The test kit arrived quickly, and upon opening it I found all the items necessary to collect a specimen, plus a very clear set of eight step-by-step instructions, complete with graphics, to make it super easy to follow. The kit requires “activation,” which was done in just a few minutes on their Web site. The activation process allows the lab to connect you with your specimen, so that you can get your results via their Web site. After activating my kit we moved on to the specimen collection, which went far easier than I expected. The kit comes with a few lancets, and we used only one of them to painlessly prick my son's finger. We gathered around 8 or 9 drops of his blood to fill the collection tube. After snapping the lid on it, we put it in the addressed, stamped envelope and dropped it off at our local UPS Store. A few days later I was surprised to get a call from a their medical team who took the time to go over my son's results with me over the phone—which, happily for my son—were negative! I also received an email with the results, and I was able to view them on their Web site as well. Whether you want to save money, wish to have more privacy with your testing and results, or would like to get screened quickly—using LetsGetChecked kit to screen for celiac disease makes a lot of sense. I've already recommended it to several friends and family members, and believe that this is one of the best home test kits available, and will be a big part of the future of celiac disease screening.
  11. Celiac.com 05/10/2018 - I remember how depressing it was to discover, soon after I was diagnosed with celiac disease and had to go gluten-free, that most licorice candies contain gluten. It's hard for me to convey just how exciting it was for me, a true licorice lover, to discover a gluten-free alternative for my black licorice cravings: Xtreme ZOT Organic Licorice Original. It's amazing to me that its only ingredients are “organic licorice root juice extract.” Did you know that for centuries licorice has been a natural treatment for stomach and other ailments? According to the ZOT Web site: “The ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese, and Hindus recognized the natural medicinal qualities of licorice. In the United States, anise seed is a popular substitute flavoring for licorice. Although the anise seed has an unmistakable licorice flavor, it is not related to the European plant whose roots are the source of true licorice.” Is it possible that I've been eating mostly the anise substitute for many years, and now I've finally discovered REAL licorice? It's hard to put into words the “black licorice power” that explodes from a single, Tic-Tac-sized piece of ZOT. It's like all the amazing black licorice taste of an entire box of candy licorice, all distilled down to one very small piece of “original licorice root extract,” which, is probably is why it is called “Xtreme.” They definitely don't fool around over at ZOT, and they make the perfect fix for licorice lovers like me. One thing that is missing, however, is all the junk like sugar, coloring, etc., that are normally included in the candy-form of licorice, so it is truly a healthy choice. Each piece of ZOT takes time to slowly melt in your mouth, so enjoy every moment of it, as I did. The aftertaste of a ZOT reminds me of the tail-end of a full-bodied fine wine, complete with the tannin finish. Visit their site for more info.
  12. Celiac.com 03/30/2018 - As most people know already, “al dente” is an Italian term that describes how pasta should be prepared—not too hard, and not too soft. Konjac Angel Hair Zero Calorie Pasta by Konjac Foods comes ready-to-eat in 8.8 ounce packages that are filled with water, so the noodles are kept wet and ready-to-eat within the package, and despite this, the Konjac noodles are still perfectly al dente—firm but not soft. Remarkably these noodles are marketed as “0 Calories,” and are free of sugar, fat, soy, and gluten. Their only ingredients are konjac glucomannan fiber, calcium hydroxide, and purified water. For those who don't know, konjac glucomannan (KGM) is “a water-soluable dietary fiber derived from the root of the konjac plant.” It is known as “moyu” or “juruo” in China, and “konnyaku” or “shirataki noodles” in Japan. Besides being a great noodle choice for those on a gluten-free diet, Konjac noodles are also ideal for people on weight-loss or diabetic diets, as they are high in fiber and contain zero calories. Amazingly, the shelf life of these individual serving-sized packages is one full year at room temperature, so you can feel free to stock up on them. Konjac Foods also makes “Konjac Gucomannan Powder” in 500g packages. One teaspoon of the konjac powder can be added to 8 ounces of your favorite drink, including in smoothies. The dietary fiber in konjac flour is also water soluble, and according to the maker it has: “a greater potential to reduce postprandial blood glucose, insulin, and serum lipid levels than insoluble fiber.” I tried both products, and found that the noodles were an excellent substitute for rice noodles in my homemade ramen. I also tried the noodles as a spaghetti replacement, and although they had a different texture than I'm used to, I really enjoyed it. The powder can be added as a fiber supplement to foods, drinks, and shakes, and I tried it in a smoothie. Anyone who is dieting to lose weight, on a gluten-free or diabetic diet, or just looking for a more healthy noodle substitute (that won't spike your blood sugar) will appreciate these Konjac Foods products. For more info visit their site.
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