Category Archives: healthy living

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Aqausana Filter #giveaway

I am excited to be partnering up with Aquasana (sponsor) to offer one lucky reader a chance to win this 3 Stage Under the Counter Filter System!

From our Review:
The Under the Counter Filter was really quick and easy for my husband to install. It fits under our old 60’s counters perfectly. I like how the water goes through 3 stages:

  • First it goes through a 20 micro pre filter: this helps catch rust, sediment, and silt to help prevent clogging. 
  • The second filter is Activated Carbon: It will reduce organic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, herbicidesm pesticides, and MTBE among a few other things. 
  • Last but not least is the Sub Micron (.5) mechanical filter: this will reduce chlorine resistant cysts like cryptosporidium and giardia. It will also reduce mercury and lead and other heavy metals. 
The cartridges are eco friendly and easy to change. They are NSF Certified to standards 42 & 53 (to reduce 97% of chlorine, chloramines, and reducing over 60 contaminates). The filter can handle 600 gallons, or 6 months before needing changed out. “

You can read the complete review HERE
This Prize is valued at $249! The giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on 9/3!  Enter using the form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~I had received the product to review. No additional compensation was exchanged for this giveaway. Giveaway is open to US residents and will end on 9/3. Winner will be selected at random and notified via email by Gluten Free for Jen. Winner will then have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be selected. Prize fulfillment is not the responsibility of any of the participating blogs. No purchase necessary to win!~

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Aquasana #Review

Well we finally moved! Last month we moved into an acreage! I am really excited about this as we have always wanted to live in the country. But with that comes the uncertainty of the water that comes out of the well. We are surrounded by crops. And I mean surrounded! And if I watch what chemicals go into my food, why not watch what is in my water!

We honestly do not know what is in our water at this point. We don’t know how hard our water is, or what chemicals are in it from the farmers fields or the nitrate levels. We are going to have our water tested and you can find numerous tests for that one line. I am going with one that needs to be mailed in overnight so once payday comes we will get that done. But I knew I needed something until then!

I came across Aquasana (sponsor). They had numerous filter options to choose from but since I didn’t know what I was dealing with I wanted one that would cover as much as possible. We went with the 3 Stage Under the Counter Filter.

I know this picture is a bit dark but the lighting in my kitchen is nothing to be desired. The Under the Counter Filter was really quick and easy for my husband to install. It fits under our old 60’s counters perfectly. I like how the water goes through 3 stages:

  • First it goes through a 20 micro pre filter: this helps catch rust, sediment, and silt to help prevent clogging. 
  • The second filter is Activated Carbon: It will reduce organic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, herbicidesm pesticides, and MTBE among a few other things. 
  • Last but not least is the Sub Micron (.5) mechanical filter: this will reduce chlorine resistant cysts like cryptosporidium and giardia. It will also reduce mercury and lead and other heavy metals. 
The cartridges are eco friendly and easy to change. They are NSF Certified to standards 42 & 53 (to reduce 97% of chlorine, chloramines, and reducing over 60 contaminates). The filter can handle 600 gallons, or 6 months before needing changed out. 
Once I know which contaminates I am dealing with I plan on a doing another test to see how much this filter has reduced what we take in. I would love a whole house filter but this is a great way to start out! I do love how easy it was to install and how sleek it looks with our sink! Keep watch for another post to show how it has been working! I believe it will hold up to what they say though! They do back it up with a 1 year warranty and a 90 day guarantee! 
You can learn more about Aquasana and their filters by visiting their website! Also be sure to check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr! You never know when or what I will have a giveaway in store for you guys (hint hint)!
~I received the above product in order to facilitate a review. No other form of compensation was exchanged. Regardless the above thoughts are my own and honest opinions!~
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Choc-V’s Probiotic ~ #Review

Lately I have been talking about the importance of taking vitamins when being gluten free. See our foods lack essential nutrients which can lead to heart problems later on down the road. So when eating gluten free you have to proactive. And that includes our kids.

Awhile ago I introduced you to a children’s vitamin called Yum-V (sponsor), you can view that review here. They have a great jelly multi vitamin as well as one filled with vitamin D. They also offer a probiotic with a chocolate flavor called Choc-V’s. Taking a probiotic is really important when you have Celiac. Your intestines are damaged, and while going gluten free helps, a probiotic will help it heal more and will help keep your digestive system in balance.

These probiotics come in a bear shape chocolate form. They are fun and tasty for kids so it makes them want to take their vitamins! Each bear has one billion microflora, and 250mg of fiber. They are also coated to help reach the digestive system.

My kids loved these! They ask every morning for their vitamins which how can I argue with them on that! My daughter, Jen, loves anything with chocolate so this was definitely a hit with her. I was bad and tried one. They were really smooth, and had a great white chocolate taste. There was no chalky after taste or bitter after taste, but at the same time they were not overly sweet either. In short- these won this Mama’s heart!
“. As part of this celebration you can make your favorite websites a bit more chocolaty by adding a bit of chocolate drizzle to them! You can learn more and add chocolate to your website by visiting http://www.chocvs.com/.

~I have received the above products in order to facilitate a review. No other form of compensation was exchanged. Regardless the above thoughts are my own and honest opinions!~

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Cooking with Chef Janet Recap- Tips we learned!

Last week we had a wonderful time chatting for an hour with Chef Janet! She is a Gluten Free Chef who started cooking gluten free 10 years ago. During our chat we learned a few great new tips and had some great questions and learned of some great recipes so I thought I would pass them along for those who may have missed out!

Tips:
What’s the beat way to keep gf baked goods from drying out so soon? : Gluten free baked goods do have a tendency to dry out. It’s kind of the nature of the beast. I leave my baked goods on the counter for no more than 2 days and then freeze them.

do you prefer corn or tapioca starch for baking?  I like a combination of potato starch and tapioca starch. Corn tends to be genetically modified so I try to leave that out. A lot of gluten-free people also like to stay away from corn for other health reasons and potato and tapioca are pretty well tolerated by sensitive people.

I live in a very rural area and do not always have access to GF breadcrumbs. Is there a substitute you would recommend or would it throw the flavor off to much? Buy a loaf of gluten-free bread and toast it. Gluten-free bread tends to break up really well. Alternately you can order it from Amazon.com the great resource for gluten-free items! Glutino makes a great gluten-free breadcrumb

What alternative to sweeteners do you prefer to sugar? definately my all time favorite is coconut palm sugar. It gives gluten free baked goods a really nice caramel flavor. I use it one to one in cookie recipes. And for cakes and muffins I use about 1/3 sugar in the place of the sugar in the recipe– Some other good things about coconut palm sugar is that it is not refined like regular cane sugar and it has a much lower glycemic index than any other sweetener.

I just started trying to eat gluten-free but I don’t even know where to start. Can you give a few tips? Protein and vegetables are always gluten free. Fresh herbs and citrus give great flavor and if you do want to bake. Find yourself a good gluten free cookbook because it is very different from traditional baking. My favorite baking cookbook is called Gluten Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts.http://www.amazon.com/Gluten-Free-Baking-Classics-Annalise-Roberts/dp/1572840994

What is you favorite blend if flour for baking?  I like to use a blend of brown rice, flour, sourghum flour, and a combination of tapioca starch and potato starch.

How can I eat safely while staying with other people? Thats a tough one, when you are at somebody else’s house, certainly frozen gluten free meals are a good safe option. No stick toaster bags are great if you want to make toast in somebody else’s toaster. And plain protein with fruits and vegetables are always safe. Also when staying with others, DO NOT use thier wooden utensils, always use metal utensils and if you are concerned about any pots or pans just give them an extra wash and thorough rinse before using.

Now that isn’t all we learned. We received some great looking recipes! From a creamy zucchini soup to a gluten free pizza crust to a grilled peach salad with lemon verbena vinaigrette. This really was a fun time. If you are curious as to what other recipes she has cooking check out her blog/recipe of the week page! Don’t forget- Janet will come visit you and teach you how to cook a few gluten free meals! If you live to far away she is willing to skype with you as well! Learn more how you can get a lesson by clicking here

Thank you to all who participated and especially to Janet for joining in! I really learned a lot during that time and can not wait to try out some of her recipes! 



~I was not compensated for this post or for hosting the party. ~
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Hydrate with Nuun Review & #giveaway

About a month or so ago I started on a mission to drink more water and less soda. That mission has not been going very well at all. I just am not a water drinker. I like flavor.

I was recently asked to try out a product that helps replenish electrolites with out the sugar. Nuun (pronounced Noon) has been able to replace electrolites with out the extra carbohydrates. Here is more about them from their site:

Nuun was originally the brainchild of a student and professor from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. An avid cyclist, he longed for a lightweight, easy to use hydration method that didn’t include a sticky high-calorie mess. His research led to the creation of a sugarless, dissolvable, and portable tablet called Nuun.

Eight years later, Nuun Active Hydration is the #1 selling sports drink tab in the cycling, running and outdoor specialty marketplaces. As education about hydration and wellness grows, Nuun has become more accessible to a wider range of people. In response, Nuun has expanded its product line from sports performance hydration to include two all natural, vitamin-enhanced products for every day use, Nuun All Day Hydration and U Natural Hydration.”

These come in many great flavors and for different occasions. You can find anything from Blueberry Pomegranate to Cumcumber Mint to Lemon Chai. Now they have 3 new flavors for the summer- Cherry Limeade, Watermelon, and Lemonade. Nuun is a tablet that is sugar free and packed full of flavors! It is good for kids to the most active adult. All you do is add one tablet to some water and you have yourself a refreshing drink.

My kids loved watching the tablet disolve (they kind of reminded me of the fish on Nemo with the bubble addiction lol). My personal favorite was the Cherry Limeade but they all tasted great and motivated me a bit more to drink some extra water.

You can learn more about Nuun on their website. Be sure to check them out on Facebook and Twitter!

Gluten Free for Jen

Now for the fun! Enter to win Some Nuun to try for yourself! Enter to win using the form below!

~Good Luck!~
a Rafflecopter giveaway ~I received the above product in order to facilitate a review. No other form of compensation was exchanged. I am not responsible for the winner selection process nor am I responsible for the shipment of the prize!~

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Heal with Vidazorb Review

A while back I did a post as to why it isn’t healthy to go Gluten Free if it isn’t medically necessary (you can read that post here). One of those reasons is because of the lack of nutrients in our foods. People who go Gluten Free often have iron, fiber and vitamin deficiencies which puts them at risks for things such as heart conditions.

Today I want to add onto that and talk about the importance of adding some extra vitamins to your daily routine. Everyone should take a multivitamin, however there are some other recommend vitamins and suppliments such as Probiotics. What is a Probiotic you ask? It is live microorganisms that, when taken in the right amounts, provide health benefits to the hosts. They help restore intestinal balance allowing those with damage to help absorb nutrients. Probiotics start right away with healing your gut and provide an ongoing health benefit for that.

And that is an important part. We need as many nutrients as we can get. And if we have a “leaky gut” so to speak we need to heal that quickly. There are many probiotics out there for one to choose from to help. But today I want to introduce you guys to Vidazorb.

Vidazorb is a chewable probiotic and does not have to be refridgerated. You can take them anywhere which makes that convienent for todays on the go world. It took 7 years of researching the right strands and formulas to get the product right but it was wroth the wait! They offer a Daily, Belly Boost, Plus, +OPC, and Super C.

Over the past week or so I have been taking 3 of their vitamins. The Plus offers you some L Acidophilius, LA-5, and some Bifidobacterium, BB-12 to help with digistive help. This has a great tasting vanilla flavor that just melts in your mouth. The +OPC is a pomegranate daily age defence. It helps improve the nutrient absorption as well as fights free radicals.  And then there is the citrus flavor of the Super C. This is antioxidant-rich and not only helps boost your digestive wellness but it also helps to improve your immunity!

If you are gluten free and are not supplimenting you should consider starting off now! With it being Celiac Awareness Month a lot of companies are offering deals and discounts in order to help spread awareness of the disease. You can start with ordering some Vidazorb and receive 50% off with promotion code may when you order from their website! Don’t forget to check them out on Facebook and Twitter as well!

~I received the above products in order to facilitate a review. There was no other form of compensation was exchanged. The above thoughts are my own and honest opinion. I am not a nutritionist nor a doctor or nurse so this is not to be taken as medical advice. The information presented in this post was researched on the web and provided on the Vidazorb website.~

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Oramd Review

We all watch what we eat because of the processed foods and not to mention the Gluten. But have you ever considered what you may be using to brush your teeth?

OraMD takes that guess work out. It is a product of Trusted Health Products and is made of pure and natural materials. Trusted Health Products believes in using no GMO’s, Additives, and 100% natural. It started in 2001 by Ray Spotts using a liquid tooth paste and knew some researchers and chemists who were also using liquid toothpastes to avoid the harsh chemicals. Since then they have sold over half a million bottles and now is being offered in some dentist offices nation wide.

OraMD uses 3 simple ingredients to fight gum problem causing bacteria. It is also a 3 in 1 toothpaste, moutwash and breath freshner. Another thing I like is how they are vegan and gluten free. The ingredients they use to make this possible:

Peppermint Oil is used to combat many types of bacteria. With it being an oil your mouth will not dry out like it can with other mouthwashes that contain alcohol.

Spearmint Oil is there to target 22 known harmful bacterias. So combined with the peppermint oil you get a  powerful product.

Almond Oil helps your mouth have control over fighting the bacteria and helps itself heal.

The product is also free of Alcohol, Flouride, abrasives, and other harsh chemicals so it is safe even for 3 year olds to use.

Now this product I must admit is going to take a bit for me to get used to. I do like how my mouth feels clean afterwards and for a long time afterwards. If you are used to products like this then I would highly recommend it. Even if you are not I still say give it a go! They even have a 100% money back guarantee so there is nothing to lose for just trying!

The manufacturer is willing to offer my readers one FREE bottle. They said they would love to have our readers try out OraMD and agreed to send one bottle FREE if our readers would pay a minimal shipping and handling charge.  They also agreed to include 2 eye-opening reports called 1) “The 6 Hidden Dangers In Toothpaste” and 2) “Why The FDA Requires A Warning Label On Your Toothpaste.”  That’s a total value of over $40.00.  Click here to get your FREE bottle and FREE reports now.

Now that is not all! 3 lucky winners will receive a chance to try this for free! Enter using the form below and 3 readers will be selected at random! This giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on 5/15.

Good Luck!

OraMD

~I received the above products in order to facilitate a review. no other form of compensation was exchanged. No purchase is necessary. 3 winners will be selected at random and notified via email. Winners will have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be selected. Giveaway is open to US residents and ends at 11:59 PM CST on 5/15. Prize will be shipped by the sponsor. Gluten Free for Jen is not responsible for prize fulfilment. ~

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Hoppin for Health 3/18

Gluten Free for Jen

Welcome to the Hoppin For Health Blog Hop!

This is just a fun motivational hop with one common goal- Getting Healthier!

If you have any get fit tips, healthy recipes and eating tips, or on a weight loss journey of your own feel free to join us!

Check out the below blogs who are all on a journey to live a healthier lifestyle! 

Last week was a busy week with some challanges- see what they were and how I handled it by visiting my Getting Fit Week 4 Post! Then be sure to visit the other bloggers below!


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Getting Fit Week 4

This week I was faced with a common challange for everyone- Time and Stress. Everyone was feeling great for once. I drank a bit more water then usual but nothing like I should be drinking. We also had a week of adventures! I have decided I should get a pedometer so I can see how much I walk! Tuesday I worked at the bank- so on my feet a majority of the day, wednesday was the school- thursday-saturday at the bank. But the best part was Friday! It was 73 degrees and bright and sunny. So we took a road trip to go see the Sandhill Cranes, which I will tell you about later on! Then Sunday we went out to eat and I enjoyed Chinese (broccoli Beef)!

Saturday was my son’s first (and only) wrestling match as well! He did really good for his first time considering a lot of the kids he was up against probably started in preschool (so have been wrestling for 2-3 years). He got 4th place but he didn’t care! He was proud of his medal and really had fun and wants to do it again next year! I am proud of his attitude (we saw a TON of kids crying and parents yelling at refs and stuff) and proud he stuck to it and tried!

Now onto the goals!

Goal 1- Back off of Soda: This week was a bit more of a challange with being at work. I needed caffeine so I had a bit more soda but also tried drinking coffee instead.

Goal 2- Drink more Water: I took a water bottle to work at school and went through that once. I drank some water each day but I am proud that at dinner on Sunday I opted for just water instead of ordering a beverage.

Goal 3- back off sweets- this one has gone a bit better as well. I haven’t stopped for my usual chocolate fix like I have been although Saturday I did have 2 Cadbury Caramel Eggs. Those are my weakness this time of year. I love those things! But I am trying to hold out strong!

Goal 4- Exercise more- this is where my battle with Time came- With working as much as I did I just didn’t get out and go on walks like I have been doing. But I did get some “weight” training in with my son! Some fun ways to exercise at home with your kids is to just wrestle around with them and have fun! One of the things my son did was wrap his arms around my waist then his legs around one of mine and just hung on while I attempted to walk into my room (he was trying to keep me from going in there to fold clothes). I gotta tell you- have a 1st grader hang on your leg like that makes a nice weight!

So here is to a new week! Hopefully a better week is ahead of us! We have lots going on again this week but nothing I can not handle. I hope to get on a regular exercise schedule. I need to suck it up and just make time for ME. That is all it takes- just 30 minutes of YOU time and it is something we all fail at making once in awhile. NO more excuses I just need to do it!

Check out my past weeks:
Week 1
Week 2 
Week 3

Also don’t forget to head on over to our Hoppin for Health to see what other bloggers are up to- you get some great inspiration stories as well as simple nutritional tips!

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Getting Fit Week 3

I have been in love with this week! Last week was really rough. I was sick had zero appetite and just over all felt blah. But this week has been mazing! I am feeling a lot better and have had a bit more energy. I am still on the mend but doing lots better.

We had a lot going on this week and a crazy school schedule. The highlight of the week was my son had his first PineWood Derby Race. He placed 3rd in his Den (tiger cubs) however he placed 1st for Best of Show (in short- the “judges” thought he had the most creative and best looking car out of all the cub scouts)!

Now for my goals:

Goal 1- Back of Soda: I think I have done fairly good at this! I have only had 3 20 oz soda’s this week. Then split a 1 liter with my hubby. Ok so maybe I haven’t done THAT good. but for me it is a lot better then I usually do (1 20 oz a day sort of person).

Goal 2- Drink More Water- This one I have done really good. I have had some water every day. One day I did manage to drink 24 oz worth! I need to work hard and fight temptation better on these first two goals.

Goal 3- Back off Sweets- This week again, has been really good. I have actually only had a few sweets. I took a break from baking the cupcake mixes I am suppose to be reviewing. I have 2 more flavors to make though so I need to get that going again.

Goal 4- this was my most successful area! I went to work out with my hubby on Wednesday (the first day I truly felt better). I did 1 mile on the treadmill- at first I took it easy but I was able to run for 1/4 mile. Then Thursday my kids and I went on a walk/bike ride (they rode I walked) that was a mile in length total. Friday when I got home from work it was over to the track we went. I did a mile (4 laps) on that as well, also jogging for 1/4 mile of it.  I have done some weights and tonight I had to help push a car out of snow (took 45 minutes) so I count that as a work out!

Overall I am pleased at how this week went. To me it shows I am slowly getting back on track. I worked around the obsticles and made time for exercise. Hopefully this week can be just as good!

Check out my prior weeks and then feel free to stop by our Hoppin For Health blog hop and see what other bloggers are up to!

My Journey
Week 1
Week 2