Thursday, October 21, 2010

7 Tips-Healthier In Five Minutes

I found this article in People magazine.  This article is from August 2010, and has been pinned up on my fridge ever since.  I love reading it in the morning before I leave the house.  It makes me feel healthier.  It also keeps me in check before the day starts.

1. Take a music time-out
"Music sends calming signals" says Dr. Beth Hamilton, co author of So Stressed.  "Take a one-song break  when you are sressed at work or you are up in the middle of the night.

2. Stay in bed
"Make the most of your first waking moments" says Dr. Woodson Merrell, author of Power Up.  "Set a peaceful tone for the day with this exercise: Sit on the edge of your bed and breathe in for a count of 4, pause, then breathe out for a count of 6.  Do this for at least two minutes.

3. Pack your own lunch
"Save on calories by bringing your own food" says Jilian Michaels, host of Losing It with Jilian on NBC.  "it'll help you avoid the doughnuts in the office".

4. Drink Watermelon Juice
"Water isn't the only way to stay hydrated", says Jackie Keller, celeb nutritionist. "Switch it up with this juice.  It's sugar-free, low-cal, full of vitamin C and helps reduce bloat.
However, this though this fruit might be sugar-free, do not let that comment fool you.  Watermelon is loaded with natural sugar.

5. Eat fruit before bedtime
"It's super-charges your metabolism," says Keller.  "And it keeps hunger at bay all night, into the next morning".

6. Chew more
"Eating too fast results in chunks of food that are harder for your body to break down", says Merrell.  "Eat slower: You won't have as many digestive issues, and you will feel more satisfied without overeating.

7,  Get outside
"A few minutes of natural sunlight can help clear your head and even boost brain function and immunity," says Hamilton.


xoxo Julie

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Eat Your Way To GF Gorgeous

Grabbed out of one of my fashion magazines, InStyle to be exact, I tore out an article that inspired me.  I keep it taped to my fridge for inspiration.  Healthy options that are good for you and taste good at the same time.

Top 10

1. Lobster
Why it makes you pretty: In addition to offereing a good, low-fat source of protein (key for healthy hair growth), shellfish contains high amounts of zinc, a mineral which may help prevent acne and boost your immune function, says NYC nutritionist Keri Glassman, author of The Oz Diet.  Shellfish also has pantothenic acid, a B vitamin that makes hair look shinier.  Also try Oysters, clams and mussels.

2. Chia Seeds
Why it makes you pretty: These antioxidant-rich seeds are great sources of vitamin E and omega-3s, essential fatty acids that make skin glow and hair shine.  And unlike their cousins, flaxseeds, they don't need to be ground up for their beneficial oils to be absorbed.  Also try Flax, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

3. Artichokes
Why it makes you pretty: Anything with lots of fiber-and one artichoke supplies 25 percent of an adult's daily quota--is detoxifying because it helps rid the body of waste.  The result? Clearer, more radiant skin.  Artichokes also contain rutin, an antioxidant that reduces inflammation throughout the body, so skin appears plumper and less red.

4. Strawberries
Why they make you pretty: This sweet fruit is loaded with vitamin C, an immune-boosting antioxidant that stimulates collagen production and reduces damage from free radicals, those nasty molecules that cause skin to age prematurely.  Strawberries also contain malic acid, a natural astringent that can help removc discoloration from teeth.  Also try Blueberries, kiwis and oranges.

5. Sweet Potato
Why it make you pretty: Full of fiber, this tasty, orange complex carb is also high in vitamin A, an antioxidant that keeps skin fresh, smooth and clear.  (This topical version of vitamin A-a derivative known as tretinoin-is the main ingredient in many prescription acne and anti-wrinkle creams).  Also try Carrots and tomatoes.

6. Acai
Why it makes you pretty: Known as a super fruit, this reddish purple brazilian berry is full of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants (a couple of ounces have more free-radical fighting power then a glass of red wine).  Though it's difficult to find the real fruit outside of Brazil, many companies like Sambazon sell acai capsules, sorbet and other products.

7. Kale
Why it makes you pretty: This dark green, leafy veggie offers lots of fiber (for clear skin) and plenty of vitamin A and C (take that, wrinkles and discoloration!).  kale also has lutein, a nutrient that makes the whites of your eyes look brighter.  Also try Spinach.

8.  Wild Salmon
Why it makes you pretty: One of the best-known sources of skin-beautifying omega fatty acids, salmon reduces inflammation more effectively then almost any other food.  "It enhances radiance and reduces wrinkles and puffiness" says a Connecticut Dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, who is so enaored with the fatty fish that he created a beauty diet based on it called The Wrinkle Cure.  Also try: Sardines and Mackerel.

9.  Quinoa
Hell yeah!  A Gluten-Free grain makes the Top Ten list in InStyle Magazine!! Woo Hoo!!

Why it makes you pretty: B-Complex vitamins in this nutty grain help skin glow and hair feel less dry.  Unlike many starches, quinoa does not contain gluten, a common but often overlooked source of food allergies.

10.  Kefir
Why it makes you pretty:  Probiotics in this tangy drink cleanse the digestive tract, so the skin appears clearer and more luminous.  Studies also show faster weight loss among people who drink kefir or eat yogurt, says Perricone.


xoxo Julie

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gluten-Free Gummy Vitamins

I bet you never thought that there would be gluten in vitamins.  I bet you never thought you would even have read the labels on a jar of vitamins.  You do.  Whether you have been leading the gf lifestyle for a day, a year or even ten.  It is always important to check the label.  Sometimes labels and ingredients change.

I was browsing CVS earlier this evening in search of chewable vitamin C.  For me.  Yes, I am the adult who likes the chewable Vit. C tablets.  CVS didn't even have them, which on it's own was a mini catastrophe, but it got me into looking at labels.  I picked up a jar of Flintstones gummy Vitamins only to find that they were NOT gluten-Free.  I was shocked.

Flintstones is a very common brand used with most parents.  And many parents may not know that their GF children are ingesting gluten.  Many a times a parent might not be able to figure out where the contamination is coming from, and it's events like this, where the culprit is staring at you in the face.  You'd be surprised where hidden gluten lies.

This got me thinking, are all gummy vitamins gluten-free? or do most contain wheat/gluten.  So I took a gander down the aisle and checked out all of the gummy brands on the shelf.  To my surprise most were gluten-free with the exception of a few like One-A-Day Sours and Flintstones-those are NOT gluten-free.

One-A-Day lists Wheat as their first top allergen.

                                                    CVS Gummie Swirls are gluten-free

                                                  CVS Daily Gummies are Gluten-Free!

Centrum Kids is NOT GLUTEN-FREE!!!

See? Under Contains, It mentions Wheat as it's third allergen!! Mom's out there! Be careful what your GF child ingests!!

But on the bright side...

Disney Makes a Gummie that is GLUTEN-FREE.  This one is for Vitamin D.  An important Vitamin that is sometimes found as a Vit. Deficiency for those diagnosed with Celiac Disease.

It's good to know that even generic brands like Vitafusion are careful about their gluten content.  This is another yummy Gummy that is GLUTEN-FREE.

A little GF advise just in the nick of time.  Flu Season is on its way!


xoxo Julie

Daily Candy's Tomato Mascarpone Cupcakes

Hello again!

I just have to blog this amazing recipe I found on  Everyday at work I get an article or two from  Sometimes its about the latest fashion designers, or the best places for kid's bday parties, food and beverage, culture beauty, home and garden...  What I'm saying is, it is a bit of everything.    On September 21st, my mouth watered as I saw the picture of this amazing cupcake posted in an article called Tomato Soup Cupcakes with Marscarpone Frosting.  YUM, YUM, YUM!  What a bizarre mixture, but I am convinced it will taste like nothing more then a masterpiece.  I am convinced.

My boss thought I was nuts for printing this out, (and furthermore) taped to my fridge in my kitchen.  I am going to make these cupcakes when I have a baking moment.  In the meantime, I didn't want to hort this recipe all to myself.

Now the recipe calls for regular flour.  I just convert mine using Robyn Russell's Rice Flour Blend or any other flour blend you might have on hand.  And make sure when you buy the tomato soup you buy a gluten-free kind like Imagine Soups.


xoxo Julie

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Robyn Russell's Gluten-Free Flour Blend

Robyn Russell the Author of Gluten Free and Easy has a great Flour blend.  This blend can be used in cakes, cookies and most baking recipes.

2 cups white rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour

**Make sure that when you go to use this to bake, don't forget the xanthan gum!

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and store in a canister so that you've always got some on hand.

Baking Tips from Robyn:

Xanthan gum or guar gum is added to baked goods to prevent crumbling and helps to keep them moist.  Both products can be purchased at health food stores.

Rosewater Shortbread & Chocolate Madeleines

I bet you all think I have tons of gluten-free cookbooks.  With all the baking I do, you would think so. But alas, this is not true.  I really wish there were more gourmet GF cookbooks out there.  All I find when I go to the book stores are textbook like big books filled with black and white typed out recipes. Pictures made with pen and ink as a diagram.  Blech!  These kinds of cookbooks are not inspiring at all.  Looking at these makes you NOT want to cook gluten-free.  Where are the gourmet cookbooks filled with colorful pictures and luxe ingredients?

No one wants to read a cookbook in textbook form.  I certainly don't.  I really wish that publishers would get a bit more creative with the idea of gluten-free.  If I go to Borders or Barnes and Noble I am directed to the medical health section to rummage through shelves of textbooks? Ugh.  I wish there would be more cook books that have colorful pictures and glossy pages with a selection of mouth watering recipes.  I never find this.  If you go to any baking section of a bookstore you will find gorgeous cookbooks for Macrobiotic, Dairy-Free, Lactose-Free, Casein-Free, Vegan and others.  But when it comes to gluten-free you are lead to a whole other section.  So I stick to regular gluten filled cookbooks and bake books and I convert the recipes myself.  It's so much better.  The more attune you are to your gluten-free lifestyle the more you will become comfortable converting recipes on your own.

During one of my adventures to the bookstores, I luckily found this gorgeous cookbook called Gluten-Free and Easy by Robyn Russel.  A book filled with 90 recipes divided by category.  Chapters like My GF Kitchen, Breakfast and Brunch, Salad, Soups and Snacks, Main Dishes and other categories.  Each page consists of a easy and amazing recipe and the other page has a full page colorful photograph.  It really makes you want to make these recipes.  And isn't that the point?  Robyn starts her book with all the GF essentials: what you should have in your kitchen, then she ventures to different flour blends and baking tips.

This is the ONLY GF cookbook I own.  You can purchase Robyn's cookbook at Barnes and Noble.
Online or in-store.

My favorite recipe from this book are the Madelines and the Rosewater Shortbread. Yum!  This recipe calls for Rosewater Extract, but I have never used that with these cookies.  I have tried Cocoa Extract, Orange Extract, Mint Extract and Vanilla Extract, often mixing two at the same time.  Playing with different extracts can be an fun, experimental and creative if you let it.


1/2 cup Rice Flour Blend
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 Tsp xanthan gum
pinch of salt
3 eggs
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (can be mixed or sub'd in with another extract)
1 tsp. plain yogurt (can be low fat, fat free, or greek)
3 1/2 oz ( 7 Tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled (unsweetened butter)
confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
2. Grease a madeleine tin or cupcake pan
3. In a bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, ground almonds, xanthan gum, and salt.  In a seperate bowl beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and yogurt until thick and pale.  Stir in the dry ingredients, then add the melted butter and beat only until all the ingredients are incorporated.
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, filling each hole half full, and bake for 7-8 minutes until just cooked through.  Allow the madeleines to set in the tin for a few minutes then carefully remove to a wire rack to cool, shell side up.
5. Dust with confectioners' sugar to serve

Makes about 20


4 1/2 oz (9 Tablespoons) butter, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1 egg
1 tsp. Rosewater
 1 1/2 cups white rice flour, sifted
confectioners (icing) sugar, extra

1. Beat the butter and confectioners' sugar until pale, then add the egg and rosewater and beat well.  Add the sifted flour and beat until the mixture is smooth.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
3. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
4. Roll the mixture into little balls and flatten slightly, or place into a frosting bag and pipe small shapes onto the prepared sheets, allowing room for the cookies to spread.  Bake for 8 minutes or until just starting to color.
5. Leave the shortbread to set on the trays for a few minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool.
6. Dust with extra confectioners' sugar to serve.

Makes about 30

Some of my other favorite titles from this book are:
Curried Sweet Potato Cakes with Raita
Cheddar Shortbread
Mellow Beef and Red Wine Casserole
Poached Salmon with Hollandaise Sauce
Soy Sauce and Honey Glazed Chicken

and more...


xoxo Julie

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gluten-Free Pizzeria Smackdown

Lately I have been craving pizza
It's all about Pizza, no need for a rhyme
I don't need to convince you 
it's pizza all the time!

Now a days there are many restaurants and pizza spots across nyc that serve gluten free pizza.  I haven't been to all of them, but the ones I have been to have been treating me pretty well the past 5 years.  I recommend all of the places I write about, and If you my reader has comments or suggestions pls feel free and write a comment. 

1.  MOZZARELLI'S-One of my favorites by the way!  Has the best sicilian sliced pizza ever!  I even once called the chef asking him to explain to me all the ingredients, because it was too good to be gluten-free.  This lucky lady has delivery, is located on 38 E. 23rd St. in NYC.  They even deliver.  And they have seriously rockin good cakes and cookies.  They carry several brands including their own.  You can even walk in and not just order a pie!  There are at least 3 different options of pizza if not more upon your walk into the restaurant.  It's heaven.  And heaven is not just the pizza.  Everything here is fantastic.  This is a great pizzaria to stop by at during your travels to NYC. Delivery available.  Restaurant closes at 6:30pm. Kid-Friendly.  Casual.  Walk-In.  No Reservations.

2. RISOTTERIA-Another gem for fine gluten-free pizza, located in the heart of the West Village.  This place is amazing, and not just gluten-free pizza.  This place is now celebrating it's 10 year as New York City's Pinoeer Gluten-Free restaurant.  They make gluten-free risotto, Gluten-Free Panini's, GF Pasta, GF cakes, cookies, pies and breads.   Their BREADS are to die for and you can even purchase the rolls, the breadsticks and their baking mixes.  Sometimes they have specials like all day gf pasta or all day gf pizza.  And for the adults at the table they offer a Gluten-Free beer selection.  I advise if you come to NYC to visit you make sure you stop by and try something amazing at Risotteria.  And for all of you out of towners or locals out there who love everything Risotteria-now you can shop ONLINE and they will ship their goods out to you mail order!! Risotteria also supports The GF Awareness Program.  Delivery available.  Kid-Friendly.  Casual.  No Reservations under 6 people.  Walk-In.  

3.  PALA-I am dying to try this one!  I have heard such rave reviews around town about this restaurant and the friends that informed we were not even gluten-free.  You know it's a gem when that's the case.  Pala is located in the Lower East Side on Allen St.  A great dig that serves up one fantastic MENU that can be prepared Gluten-Free and is dedicated to it's own fryer and cookery.  

4.  BISTANGO-A nice and cozy neighborhood Italian Eatery located in Murray Hill, NYC.  Perfect for a date and dinner with friends.  The waitstaff will always remember a returning face.  Almost the entire menu can be prepared gluten free, and so are all of their yummy desserts.  I eat here all the time.  It's a neighborhood fav.  Their pizza is more gourmet then pizza at Mozzarelli's.  But it's still yummy. (212) 725 8484  415 Third Avenue at 29th Street  **Their menu changes seasonally.

5. SLICE-This is not one of my favorite places, but I will eat there if there is nothing else around.  They have a few locations in nyc one on the Upper East side and one in the West Village on Hudson St.  Their pizza doesn't taste like pizza. It tastes "pizza-like".  But there are those who love it, so I say if you haven't tried it, it's worth a shot.  Everyone has a different palate.  Slice is located on 1413 Second Avenue between 73rd and 74th St.  (212)-249-4353 and 535 Hudson St. between Perry and Charles St.  (212) 929-2920

6. Keste Pizza and Vino-located in the West Village on Manhattan on 271 Bleeker St. (212) 243-1500

7. Pizza by Cer Te located in Midtown East on 132 E. 56th Street  (212) 813-2020

8. Cafe Viva Natural Pizza located in the East Village on 179 Second Ave (2120 420-8801

9. L'asso-located in Little Italy on 192 Mott St.  (212) 219-2352

10. ZPizza-located in the West Village on 289 Bleeker St.  (212) 206-7433

11. Pie-located in the Union Square, East Village and West Village neighborhoods. One location is on 124 4th Avenue  (212) 475-4977

12. Pie By The Pound-Located on the Upper East Side on 1542 Second Avenue (212) 517-5017

13. Sambuca-located on the Upper West Side on location is on 20 W. 72nd St.  (212) 787-5656

14. Luigi's-Located on the Upper East Side on 1701 First Avenue  (212) 410-1910

15. Pizza Bolla-located in Battery Park on 102 N. End Avenue  (212) 786-3300

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Orgran Licorice

Well, the truth is in the title of this post.  I heart GF Licorice.  But so hard to find.  Another UK brand creates a masterpiece with Orgran's black licorice.  It is soooo good!  Made with Molasses instead of wheat starch, you'll end up eating the whole bag!  

If you are a lover of licorice like me, you may have just found your bite of heaven.  I kid you not.  You may not know it, but most licorice brands use some form of wheat in their ingredients.  Sad but true!  Brands like Twizzlers and Panda both use wheat starch.  Brands like Orgran, Candy Tree and Jelly Belly (Licorice jelly beans) either use molasses or corn starch.  These two ingredients are both safe.


xoxo Julie

There is a God-Gluten-Free Licorice

I don't know about you, but I HEART Licorice.  It's too bad that MOST licorice brands contain wheat starch or some form of wheat in their ingredients.  When I went gluten-free I said goodbye Good and Plenty, goodbye Twizzlers and all those other brands like Panda and such.  Total bummer!

Even throughout the course of my gluten-free existance I found Austrailian brands that were gluten-free, but then upon receiving them and checking the ingredients I noticed Carmel Coloring.  Carmel coloring is a big no no culprit for me.  Some Celiac's can tolerate carmel coloring, and according to the FDA since it is under 20ppm of gluten it is acceptable.  But it is not 100% gluten-free.  So if you are sensitive like me, then this ingredients needs to be knocked off your "safe" list.  Now don't get confused with Caramel and Caramel Coloring.  They are different.  The first one is ok, the second is not.

Oh what to do, what to do.  So many dilema's going gluten-free.  Dilema no more!  Today my boss was craving licorice so she ordered her favorite off a fantastic website called Licorice International, and she just informed me that they have gluten-free candy!  She sent me the link and their licorice is made from the finest and non-artificial ingredients!  I checked myself!  So of course I am going to order some, and if the gluten-free versions are as good as my boss's favorite types, then this is a heaven-sent website!  They have cherry, black, creamy licorices!! and assorted candies, chewy, soft and hard.  YUM!


xoxo Julie

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gluten-Free Watercooler-Bistango

I cannot tell you how many times I have eaten at Bistango and have never blogged about my experience.  Bistango is one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants and I think the amazing staff deserves a shout out!

Their manager and wait staff whether you dine in or dine out are extremely understanding of the gluten allergy.  Their entire menu can be catered gluten-free with the exception a two or three dishes (and their staff will tell you either way).  All pasta's can be made gluten-free as well as their Calamari dish and even their chocolate cake or apple tart!  Can we say yum?!

I have had the pleasure of trying almost everything on their menu that I would desire gluten-free.  I have eaten their pastas-Penne ala Vodka is my fav, but you have to ask for it, because it's not even on the menu! Their gluten free raviolis are fantastic.  I can never decide between the mushroom ricotta and their spinach ricotta and their cheese tortellini is so good, you forget they are all gluten-free!  Their GF pizza with prosciutto, (which tastes like a gourmet pizza, not a slice from a city joint) to their variety of salads and veggies are always unforgettable.  I love their Grilled Salmon sauteed in white wine with capers and lemon.  It's amazing.  I am also a continuous customer for their Pollo Aromatic-sauteed chicken with grilled peppers, artichokes, sun-dried tomato with white wine.  And don't forget to try their Ceasare salad!! Their MENU changes seasonally, so there is always a new palate to try at Bistango.

I LOVE how they serve gluten-free bread too.  I am a big fan of take-out from Bistango but on the occasion I eat there.  When you walk in, it is home like.  It has a wonderful neighborhood feel and everyone says hello.  Smiles fill the room as you sit down.  You are immediately offered bread.  For those who are gluten-free, they have amazing gluten-free bread.  It is served with olive oil.  

Whenever I call for take-out their staff recognizes my address and then they say Hi how are you! or Hello again.  It's so nice.

Although the restaurant does in fact serve gluten they are very careful of cross contamination and use separate cooking utensils and pots.  Their kitchen staff is well aware of gluten and what it can do to a customer to Celiac Disease or a gluten allergy.

Some of their desserts are made in-house and some are brought in by other gluten-free bakers like their chocolate tart which is superb.  Even their ice cream is free of thickening agents you would find in most ice cream and Gelato.

Don't forget to take a look at their reviews!  There is even a section on reviews from other gluten free rescources like Everybody Eats, GF Guidebook and The Celiac Cite

Bistango is located in the heart of Murray Hill NYC on 415 Third Avenue at 29th Street.  Be sure to stoop on by and have a bite!  (212) 725-8484


xoxo Julie