Category Archives: healthy living

30 Day Plank Challenge Week 3

Photo credit is unknown but please know this is not my own.

More like it has been that kind of week! But it has also gone good! I took my healthiness to the next level and really started adding more cardio to the mix. But to help keep myself on track I signed up for MyFittnessPal last sunday. Here I have been able to keep track of my exercise and actually see what I consume. I have learned a lot from doing that. The biggest thing is- I do not eat normal- and when  do eat- the foods are rather entertaining. But regardless I have stayed under my 1400 calories a day limit that it says I should stay under. I am going to be honest now- My weight last week was 159lbs. My goal weight is 130lbs. But I didn’t lose any either, I weighed myself again today and still way 159lbs (well 159.6 to be exact) and I measured my core-just below the belly button and I am at 37 1/2″ so that needs to go away to0. Yes at first I was mad. But then I realized- I am just starting- it will take time. I need to stick to it.

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30 Day Plank Challenge Week 1

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Whew! The above picture shows how I feel right about now! One thing I am really starting to crack down on is my health. I have hypertension and I hate taking medicine. Absolutely hate it. So I started using lavender oil and that has helped to bring it down. But I want to go one step further- and start exercising and eating better than what I already do (in other words not eat as many sweets!).

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Sleep & Relaxation from Young Living Essential Oils

I have recently been turned on to essential oils and wanted to share an experience I have been having.

Now first, I am not an expert at essential oils. I am sure there are plenty of uses, rub a dab here and rub a dab there but I couldn’t tell you what does what to do that with. So I am starting small. I keep a diffuser going almost every night.

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Extra Nutrition with Gummy Vitamins! ~ #Review

In previous posts I have talked about how while being gluten free has been a blessing, it can also be a curse to us. The reason being our foods, really, are not that healthy. They lack nutrients and are high on carbs (starches). I even found a story online where people who have been eating gluten free for more then 10 years are being found to have iron deficiencies, as well as Vitamin B deficiencies. To me, that was alarming! So I started making sure my daughter was sticking to taking her vitamins.


Natural Dynamix (sponsor) has a great line of Natural supplements, including a children’s Multi Vitamin. These vitamins are gluten free and taste great!

My kids first of all- loved the shapes. I don’t know what it is about dinosaurs but they were pretty excited about these. Ever since they have tried them, they have been reminding me to give them their vitamins! Yep, kids are asking for their vitamins! I even tried one and can honestly say they are not too bad!

I really recommend checking out these Multi-Vitamins for your little ones. They also have a line of adult vitamins for Calcium, Fiber, Omega 3 and prenatal! Be sure to check them out on Facebook and Pinterest!

~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.~ 

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!~

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!~

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!~

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. ~