Gluten Free Personal Care Products – Celiac Awareness Month

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Happy Celiac Awareness month, everyone! In honor of the month and the amazing work done by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, I decided to go the extra gluten-free-mile and swap out my normal line of personal care products for two new gluten-free personal care lines–one from JĀSÖN and the other from Avalon Organics!

JĀSÖN

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 JĀSÖN has quite an extensive line of personal care products that are certified gluten-free. I’ve only tried four, but what I really like about these products is that they are not only gluten free, but also organic, artificial color and fragrance free, hypoallergenic and work for all skin types (including oily)!

This brings me to my favorite Gluten-Free JĀSÖN product: Gluten Free Facial Scrub

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I LOVE this facial scrub. It reminds me of a salt or oatmeal scrub in texture, but is just gentle enough to use every day! It took off all of my makeup and left my face feeling incredibly smooth. You can also use it on other parts of your body in need of exfoliation!

(Items shown above: Gluten Free Facial LotionGluten Free Hand SoapGluten Free Facial Crème and Gluten Free Facial Scrub!)

Avalon Organics

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As you may be able guess based on the name of the company, Avalon Organics has a commitment and dedication to using organic ingredients in their personal care lines.

Luckily for us, they recently extended their line to include an organic, biodegradable and fragrance free “Gluten Free Body Collection,” which features cucumber shampoo, conditioner, bath and shower gel, and hand and body lotion.

My favorite product from this trial was, no question, the GLUTEN FREE CUCUMBER Bath & Shower Gel.

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I love how much the gel “suds up” when I put it on my loufa. I was a little skeptical about the fragrance free experience, but I actually really enjoyed it! I think I’m going to swap out my normal fruity body wash for this fragrance free one permanently….

(Items shown above: GLUTEN FREE CUCUMBER Bath & Shower GelGLUTEN FREE CUCUMBER Hand & Body LotionGLUTEN FREE CUCUMBER Replenishing ShampooGLUTEN FREE CUCUMBER Replenishing Conditioner!)

Summary

Overall I had a great experience swapping out my personal care line! I truly believe that all of the products above are amazing options for those who would like to extend their gluten free lifestyle, especially for those who have DH or fragrance sensitivities.

 

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Alternative Eating | Lo Martinez
exploring gluten-free, paleo & clean eating

Valentine’s Day Gluten-Free Gift Giveaway

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**Give-away details at the bottom!**

Many local and national bakeries are adapting to consumer needs and catering to the growing gluten sensitive population. 

I was recently approached by Dancing Deer Baking Co, who decided to try their hand at gluten free baking, to review a new, gluten-free product. Dancing Deer creates all-natural baked goods by using high quality ingredients and omitting any artificial preservatives.

After trying their Gluten-Free Chocolate Chunk Brownies, I was excited to learn more about the process leading up to the final product.

Master Baker Jennifer Shelley shared, “Amazingly enough, gluten free baking faces completely different challenges than traditional baking.  The lack of binding agents and moisture retention from flour needs to be replaced while maintaining the same texture. It was months of trial and error and tastings to achieve the delicious, moist brownie that our customers expect from Dancing Deer.”

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The Gluten-Free Chocolate Chunk BrownieI taste-tested were moist, delicious and jam-packed with chocolate chunks. Definitely a winner for the gluten intolerant chocohollic in your life!

The brownies also kept very well, which surprised me considering there were no artificial preservative used. I would suggest refrigerating or freezing them though if you don’t plan to eat them within a few days! (Then you can spread out that chocolatey goodness.)

You can find this product at one of these stores, or order it online at dancingdeer.com.

Now for  VALENTINE’S DAY GLUTEN-FREE GIFT GIVEAWAY!!!…

The GIVE-AWAY! Dancing Deer is offering one of my Alternative Eating readers a  free Gluten-Free Chocolate Chunk Brownie Gift! To enter to win, just comment on this post or comment on my Instagram photo (including @_LoMartinez_ and #DancingDeerCo) answering the question: “What’s your favorite gluten-free treat?”

The Give-away will be open until Wednesday, February 5 and unfortunately is only open to US-based readers.

Dancing Deer is also offering EVERYONE a special 20% off offer using the promo code GOODIE!

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Alternative Eating | Lo Martinez
exploring gluten-free, paleo & clean eating

Coconut Oil: Health Benefits and Uses of the “Wonder Oil”

Used for Coconut oil
I recently purchased a jar of coconut oil for a 3-day detox cleanse. When my friend, Molly, saw it on the shopping list, she exclaimed, “I LOVE coconut oil! I used to use it ALL THE TIME for EVERYTHING! You’ll love it.”

…And she was right.

Coconut oil has quite the list of uses and health benefits! I’ve spent some time going through this exhaustive list to pick out my favorites! Check out my top ten uses for coconut oil below.

Coconut Oil: What you can use it for

Top 10 Uses for Coconut Oil:
  1. Cooking – You can cook, saute, bake and broil with coconut oil and it won’t create harmful byproducts like some other oils/fats.  Coconut oil can be used to replace butter (cup for cup) in recipes.
  2. Curb Appetite – Have a problem with overeating? You can take a tablespoon on coconut oil before meals to help curb your appetite.
  3. Cleanser/Makeup remover – Coconut oil has cosmetic applications! Coconut oil can be used as a facial cleaner or alone to remove oil-based makeup, like eyeliner and mascara.
  4. Fitness – Training for a race or getting back into a regular workout routine? This might be the perfect thing to add! Coconut oil helps to increase metabolism and improve your thyroid function. Coconut oil will also boost your energy and aid in healthy weight loss.
  5. Acne Treatment – Coconut oil gently fights the bacteria that causes acne. Dab it directly on the affected area.
  6. Moisturizer/Conditioner – My friend Molly pointed this one out to me! When used as a moisturizer, coconut oil will soften and hydrate dry or damaged skin. When used as a conditioner, it will strengthen and repair damaged hair. Massage the coconut oil into your hair and leave for ten minutes, then rinse. If you have frizzy hair, a dab can be rubbed in to correct it.
  7. Sore Throat – For all my singing friends, coconut oil can be used as a throat coat! Dissolve a tablespoon in your mouth to coat and protect your throat. Doing this will boost the health of your mucus membranes!
  8. Lip Balm – Coconut oil is a perfect alternative to chapstick and lipbalm. Coconut oil also offers about SPF 4 protection. How about that!
  9. Illness Prevention – Intake of coconut oil can help your bodies mount resistance to both viruses and bacteria. It can help to fight off yeast, fungus and candida as well.
  10. Nausea –  Apparently, rubbing some coconut oil on the inside of the wrist and forearm can help to calm upset stomachs.

I purchased my jar of Coconut Oil from Earth Fare for $9.99.

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Alternative Eating | Lo Martinez
exploring gluten-free, paleo & clean eating

 

Apple Cinnamon Muffin Recipe

Apple Cinnamon Muffin Recipe

I describe myself as a cook, not a baker. The science of baking soda is lost on me… But I’m making an attempt to break into the world of baking, one little baby step at a time….

Step 1: Buy baking supplies. (muffin tin, bread tin, mixing bowl, mixing spoon)
Step 2: Buy baking essentials. (baking sugar, baking powder and soda, flour, xanthan gum-important ingredient for gluten-free baking, vegetable oil, pam spray, etc.)
Step 3: Foster intent to bake.
Step 4: Tell other people I plan to bake, creating accountability for baking.
Step 5: Suck it up; bake something.

These muffins were insanely easy to make (thank goodness). My only complaint is that the recipe only makes about 9 muffins… Don’t get me wrong, those 9 muffins were scrumptious, but I feel like baked goods are meant to be shared in mass quantities!

Apple Cinnamon Muffin Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of Hodgson Mill Apple Cinnamon Muffin Mix
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • ¼ cup of vegetable oil
  • ½ cup of 2% milk
  • 1 egg

How to make gluten-free Apple Cinnamon Muffins:

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Combine muffin mix and sugar into a medium size mixing bowl.

3. Blend in oil, milk and egg; Mix well.

4. Grease 9 muffin cups (or line with paper liners); Spoon batter evenly into each.

5. Bake 14-15 minutes. Serve warm.

How to Make Apple Cinnamon Muffin

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Alternative Eating | Lo Martinez
exploring gluten-free, paleo & clean eating

Hemp Hearts

Hemp Hearts

This bag of Hemp Hearts from Manitoba Harvest was included in my Best of Box from KLUTCH Club.

Now, it’s featured on this week’s grocery list.

I had seen a lot of use of chia seeds on health blogs recently, but I was unfamiliar with the taste or texture hemp seeds and what they could be used in/what health benefits they possessed. I was pretty excited to try them!

Hemp hearts are the inner kernel of the hemp seed (sans the hard outer shell). They have add an interesting texture and a distinctly nutty flavor to whatever they are added to.

The hearts are rich in omegas, protein & fiber. Nuts.com even refers to hemp hears as “one of the world’s most nutritious seeds.” The bag suggests to “Sprinkle hemp hearts on salads, or add to cereal, yogurt, in baking or even into smoothies!” I loved mixing it into my Greek yogurt for breakfast.

hemp heart nutritional information

 

 

Alternative Eating | Lo Martinez
exploring gluten-free, paleo & clean eating

Mac n’ Cheese, Please.

Close Up of Amy's Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

All hail the cheesy, gluten-free goodness that is Amy’s Rice Mac & Cheese!

This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite dishes in the frozen food isle. It’s gluten-free, certified kosher, includes 0g trans fat, and is free of MSG and preservatives. Did I mention it’s also absolutely delicious?!

The noodles are made of organic rice, and the sauce is about as home-made as you can get (without actually home-making it, of course). Just check out the nutritional information below, it’s pretty bare bones. If you are craving some soul food, but don’t want the fuss or clean up, this is it. Enjoy!
Amy’s Rice Mac & Cheese

Ingredients : 0g Trans Fat/No Added MSG/No Preservatives Organic rice macaroni (organic rice flour, water), organic lowfat milk, Cheddar cheese (pasteurized milk, culture, salt, enzymes [without animal enzymes or rennet]), grade AA butter (cream, salt, annatto), organic sweet rice flour, sea salt, annatto. Contains milk.Amy's Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

 

 

Alternative Eating | Lo Martinez
exploring gluten-free, paleo & clean eating

Be Kind

KIND bar

One of my favorite mid-morning/afternoon snacks has to be a KIND bar. You will see my favorite variety, Blueberry Vanilla & Cashew, pictured above! (Though they have 22 different bars to choose from, and trust me, I’ve sampled the collection.)

The best thing about KIND products? You can actually recognize all the ingredients on the back! The company is committed to using all-natural, whole nuts, fruits and whole grains. Not all of their products are gluten free, but many are. I picked these babies up and the company Starbucks. Trust me, if I could afford it, I’d buy a case!

What are your favorite bars and snacks?

 

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Alternative Eating | Lo Martinez
exploring gluten-free, paleo & clean eating