Monday, June 20, 2016

Food Labels Declassified Part 2: Paleo, GMO, Vegan... Oh My!

In part one of this series, I discussed the various gluten-free labeling certifications, trying to make sense of what they mean and the methodology behind them. 

In this post, I am delving in to other food labels to watch out for and what they mean (and don't mean). It's a confusing world out there for label readers, so I hope to make it just a little bit easier to understand what packages and boxes mean. 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Spring Freely with Enjoy Life Foods

When it comes to crafting, I'm not one for paper, glitter, and glue, preferring creativity in the kitchen as my medium of experimentation. When Enjoy Life Foods reached out to me to showcase a fun spring-themed "dirt cups" using their top eight allergen free products just in time for Food Allergy Awareness Week (May 8-14, 2016), I was totally on board, especially when the brownie mix is involved! 

A year ago, I was sent samples of Enjoy Life Foods' newest product line: gluten-free, vegan, top 8 allergen free baking mixes. Super simple to make because they only call for water and oil to bring them to life, I definitely loved their ease of use and that they remain allergen-free post baking, unlike many mixes which call for eggs, butter, or other allergens introduced. 

To read my full review of four of Enjoy Life Foods' baking mixes, click here.

What's cool about these dirt cups is that they are super simple to make and definitely appeal to kids of all ages. Because they're allergen free, they also are appropriate for people with various dietary restrictions. Why not prepare a couple to celebrate Food Allergy Awareness Week and Celiac Disease Awareness Month (also in May) together?

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Food Labels Declassified Part 1: Gluten-Free Labels

This is part one of a two part primer on food labels for gluten-free or dietarily restricted eaters. Stay tuned for the next installment, which will be linked to this post once it is published.

Because I am always seeking out new products on store shelves, I have become very familiar with the array of symbols and logos often present on packages that alert customers that a product is gluten-free, vegan, Kosher, or any other attribute. While some are regulated and have methods to ensure a product's compliance, others are just words on a package and don't have any implications for food safety. Although this post is not a definitive round up of certifications and symbols, it's an overview of what to look out for when food shopping to demystify the process.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Sweet Taste of Success

As a college student, I've had my fare share of hits and misses when it comes to navigating a moving to a new state, dining halls, and learning how to self-sustain without a meal plan. I've learned not to depend on others to understand my dietary restrictions and always have food on hand that's safe to eat in a pinch. However, an unexpected opportunity proved to me that sometimes you find gluten-free friendliness in the most unlikely of places. 

I returned back to Baltimore a week before my university's classes started back to attend a six day leadership retreat with about 70 fellow student leaders on campus. We were whisked away to a retreat facility in Pennsylvania (see additional info at bottom of post), which made me far more nervous than the others in my group because I was leaving behind familiar Baltimore restaurants and grocery stores. Of course I packed several protein bars as well as a couple bags of sweet potato chips in my suitcase, but for the most part I was walking into the week with no idea what to expect in the way of what my dining situation would be. Could I really go a week without preparing my own food?

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015: The Year Of The Taco... And Other Year-End Musings

Over on the main blog, you've probably seen the parade of year of posts that have sprung up over the past few days. I love recapping the blogging year that was with a rehashing of the best of my favorite restaurant and product reviews. It helps me to take a step back and realize just how awesome it is that there are restaurants and companies both big and small working hard to make the world a whole lot tastier for gluten-free eaters. 

This year I have been able to enjoy time in both Baltimore and Orlando. Going forward, I will be transitioning to spending more time in Baltimore, as I will be spending the summer in the city to take advantage of academic opportunities such as internships and on-campus employment. While I will report on Orlando whenever I make my way back into to city, I look forward to more opportunities to explore Maryland and nearby Washington D.C. in the coming year.

In recapping the year, I jokingly christened 2015 as the "year of the taco" because I was able to taste my way though dozens of versions of the Mexican delicacy over the months. It represents my tastes evolving and the joy of discovering new foods that are naturally gluten-free and endlessly versatile.