Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chuck E. Cheese Gluten-free Offerings

I may have mentioned before that Chuck E. Cheese began offering gluten-free pizzas at almost 500 locations. However, I just found out that they offer gluten-free cupcakes too! Now, I haven't set foot in a Chuck E. Cheese in a long time but I have memories of being there as a kid and having so much fun. I can't imagine how it would have been then for a child with Celiac Disease. Now, for the parents with children who require a gluten-free diet, they can go to Chuck E. Cheese and have fun and eat - just like everyone else! Check out the video on their site and their FAQ's to find out more!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Quick tip for Heart Health during the Holidays

So, by now, the plates are cleared and the leftovers have been put away. You next mission? Setting a plan up for which stores you are going to hit for Black Friday. Most Americans start their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving but some save the bigger items for after or others, like me, just tend to be last minute. Whatever type of shopper you are there are a few simple ways to get some exercise in while setting up for the holidays!

1. Park further out from the entrance when you go to a mall or store. Those few extra steps can add up big time!

2. Once you are done shopping in the mall or a large store - take an extra lap or two around just to get the added steps in. If you are going to the grocery store, take an extra lap around the store before starting to shop. You will have a great view of the sales and aisle end caps before you start!

3. Talking on the phone to grandparents or siblings about what to get for your loved ones? Walk while you talk! Most phones are cordless now a days and signal strength is getting better everyday. If you paced back and forth during a 10 min phone conversation you could burn 20-30 extra calories!

4. Use stairs instead of elevators or moving escalators.

5. Take smaller amounts of groceries or items you purchased into the house so you have to make more trips.

6. Also, try to minimize stress! This is always a hard one to do during the holiday season but don't be afraid to laughing at yourself or the craziness of the season in general. Try going back and looking at photos from past holidays and remembering all the fun. You could also try taking a few extra minutes to soak in the tub, go to bed 30 min early, or just give yourself 5 min to tune the world out. These small steps can help you deal with the stress a little better, keep your blood pressure down, and make it easier for your heart to keep you going strong!

For more information, visit It's a branch of the American Heart Association that can help you take steps to building a healthier life free of cardiovascular diseases! It has a variety of helpful information on mall walking clubs, other small ways to add extra steps, and expanded information on some of the advice above!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

November Product of the Month

I know I have posted about Udi's introducing dinner rolls but, at my last gluten-free meeting, I was ecstatic to find them for sale at my local gluten-free specialty store. They have whole grain dinner rolls as well as french baguettes. You'll find that not only are they delicious but during the holiday season they will make it super easy to serve those with gluten intolerances!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November Gluten-free Support Group Meeting

Please join me for the November Gluten-Free Support group meeting at Natural Pantry on Old Seward Highway. We meet in the Natural Pantry Cafe located in the University Center Mall from 6-8 pm. See you there!

Friday, November 2, 2012

November Recipe of the Month

My husband loves tomato soup. His mother used to make it for him with grilled cheese when he was a kid. I never liked tomato soup and a lot of conventional recipes have dairy added to them. I also dislike the amount of sodium found in can soups. So, when we tried P90X, their recipe book contained an amazing recipe similar to tomato soup but much healthier. Its still tasty and, on those days when you have worked out extra hard, it still tastes fabulous with a grilled goat cheese sandwich. ;)

Roasted Red Pepper Soup
  • 2 cups white wine 
  • 1 medium white onions
  • 5 medium red bell peppers, roasted then seeded 
  • 2 cups celery, diced 
  • 1 clove of garlic 
  • 2 ripe plum tomatoes 
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme 
  • 1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
There are several ways to roast a pepper. A lot of roasted red pepper recipes call for broiling the red peppers. When we moved in, the broiler on our oven did not work and since we have an electric range and no outside grille, I use the panini grill we got as a wedding present. It can be tricky the first time but you basically blacken the peppers on all sides (you will have to watch them and rotate them) and you can tell its working when you see the skin bubbling. Once they are blackened on all sides, throw them into an airtight container and let them steam so the skin is easier to peel. Give them up to 30 minutes to sit and then peel the outside skin off and cut the middle out and de-seed. If you are unable to remove all of the skin, don't worry, you are going to puree everything anyway.
Heat wine in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, red peppers, and celery. Cook and stir for 3 minutes.
Stir in garlic. Cook for 2 more minutes, adding more wine if necessary.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and broth; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
Puree soup in a food processor or blender. If you have a regular size blender you may want to puree the soup in two halves. The first time I did it, I couldn't hold the top on the blender and it shot up all over the kitchen. True story.
Once, pureed, return it to the pan, add seasoning, and heat through.