Deceptive Thanksgiving Dessert Advertising – Mary’s Gone Crackers Gone Wrong

Despite the snow, my Thanksgiving was not half bad. My clan was supposed to see extended family down in New York and it was very disenchanting when we learned we couldn’t go because of impossible road conditions. Obviously though, we made the best of the situation. I really can’t complain, heck, I got to see a 4-D version of the Polar Express. Anytime you can go beyond your normal dimensions, it’s a pretty cool experience :P. I mean, dude, I got to actually smell the hot co-co they were serving on Polar Express; if that’s not flipping amazing, I don’t know what is. Although I will say that getting punched in the back of our seats when the train came to a sudden halt wasn’t fun and unnecessary. My Mom was the lucky spared one who’s seat was defective.

While Thanksgiving 2014 was filled with joyful, 4-D memories, it also had its vexations. In particular, I am not very satisfied with the gluten-free company Mary’s Gone Crackers right now. What is Mary’s Gone Crackers, you might ask? They are the ones that make the seeded flax crackers that look wicked disgusting, but actually taste really delicious. Additionally, they also make desserts. Well, right before Turkey Day, my Mom found ginger snap cookies baked by Mary’s Gone Cracker’s that, supposedly, had a dairy-free cream in the middle. I was thrilled! I was so excited to finally have a cookie that had a filling as this is SO HARD to find being both gluten and dairy-free. I also have to limit the amount of soy I eat, which makes this conquest even more arduous. I just could not wait to crack the cookie open and find that ooey-gooey cream in the center as it looked like in the picture on the box. However, when it was time for dessert and the first bite was taken, I could only taste gingerbread. “Hmmm….this is quite peculiar, that cream has got to be in there somewhere“, I thought.  Therefore, I took the largest bite I could and still, …nothing. Could my cookie be the odd one of the bunch? Did they forget to put cream in my cookie? I then asked my Mom to take a bite of her’s to see if she had the same situation which she did. It then occurred to us that Mary the Cracker Lady was a LIAR! That cookie on the cover clearly had cream in it; or so we thought. After investigating the cover more closely, we both realized that what appeared to be cream in the middle were actually sprinklings of ginger. My Mom and I were astounded that both of us had missed this, as the two of us are usually overly observant people. *Sigh*, I guess that I still need to be on the hunt for gf/df cookies with a creamy filling. Or maybe I should try and make my own batter? Who knows?

Would you guys have been deceived by the cover?

Yours in a Current Agitated Spirit,

-Alexandra Spund

P.S. The cookies were absolutely delectable just to let you know. They tasted like actual, glutenous ginger snaps!! I was just mightily disappointed that there was no mouth-watering cream :(.

 

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Sh*t Never To Say To Someone With Food Allergies

You want to know what amazes me? When people think that they are experts on things that they’ve never experienced first hand. Seriously dude, it’s like saying stay away from Indian food or don’t read Divergent because it’s just a rip off of the Hunger Games if you’ve never read/tried it before. Ludicrous! And do you want to know what really gets on my nerves? When people try to give me medical advice about my diet and what I should be eating, even though they are not a certified doctor or nutritionist. I have gotten this from people that are and are not related to (sans my immediate family of course) and it bugs me so much! Honestly, unless I seem unhealthy or unhappy, should you really be trying to toy with something that doesn’t even effect you? Do your research first before passing judgments. Since I’m in a ranting mood today, I’ve decided to compile a list of sh*it never to say to someone with food allergies:

Drum roll please…………………………..

🙂

SH*T YOU SHOULD JUST KEEP TO YA SELF!

1.) Don’t people go on the gluten-free diet to lose weight? You’re in such good shape!

While many people go on a gluten-free diet to lose weight, I did not eliminate gluten from my diet in order to lose weight. Throughout my teen years, I’ve never been slim, but I’ve most certainly never been overweight. I went gluten-free/dairy-free because my doctor discovered that I had an allergy after having medical problems that were chronic and would not go away. The long and the short of things is that it helped me and I’ve never been healthier than I’ve been now! Besides, if someone decides that they want to shed some pounds and think that going gluten-free might help, should you really be harassing them for eating a certain way that effects no one but themselves? As long as their diet is not turning into some type of eating disorder, is that really your business? Nope! 

2.) Those types of foods are expensive! Why would you spend so much money on that?

Yes, I am well aware that eating foods free of allergens is terrifyingly more expensive than the food you’d get at your grocery store and this is a problem that bothers me, but I can’t control it. Unfortunately, it’s the highly processed , pesticide infested crap-ola that is the cheapest because they are the least expensive to produce. But it’s costing us our health and environment, which affects our future and planet greatly! I could go on and on about this topic, but I will save this for another day. Anyways, I’m aware that my foods are more expensive, and yes, I hate that, but don’t imply that my family is being irresponsible for taking care of our health. We are not wealthy, like a lot of people who think that citizens who eat healthy are. Since we are middle class, we have to make certain cutbacks in order to afford to eat this way, but it’s totally worth it! Why? Because I’m feeling good y’all :). Oh and by the way, going natural and eating healthy doesn’t have to be ALL expensive. We do a lot of our shopping at Trader Joe’s, who’s prices are comparable with larger chain food markets. 

4.) What can you eat?

I eat dirt and grass. So pure and healthy! Just kidding, just kidding. But when people ask me this question in an insulting manner, that’s what it feel likes they’re implying at times. I eat lots of amazing foods! Ever tried quinoa? It is seriously the best thing ever, you can pretty much put anything in it (berries, nuts, etc.) and BAM, you have yourself a meal! It’s loaded with protein too! :P. In addition to using several different grain substitutes, I like to advantage of foods that are naturally gluten-free such as vegetables, fruit, and meat. There is more to food than just gluten and dairy peoplez!

5.) Your diet is such an inconvenience!

Well that makes me feel good! If my diet is such an inconvenience for you than don’t hang or eat out with me! Thanks! Also, if my diet is SUCH an inconvenience to you for one night, than I’d sure as hell love to put you in my shoes and see how inconvenienced you feel now!

6.) Gluten/Dairy-Free, your food must taste disgusting!

Yeah, I just love consuming gross food! The highlight of my day is when I get to eat my crumbly, cardboard tasting sandwich for lunch. Bland really is better! Nah dude, do you really think I’d put up with deplorable food 24/7? No way! Like I said before, gluten and dairy are not the only foods that taste palatable on this planet. Gosh!

7.) That looks disgusting!

Well you’re very rude Miss/Mr! Didn’t your mother ever teach you manners? But besides the obvious, do you want to know what I think is disgusting? The chemically drenched, genetically engineered meals you’re consuming that barely legally qualifies as food. 

8.) Weren’t you supposed to outgrow your food allergies?

Apparently, but I was not one of the lucky ones that suddenly discovered they could eat Mike’s Pastries again. Boo :(. I still have a reaction to when I eat gluten and/or dairy (especially dairy, the reaction is EXTREMELY STRONG), so yes I’m still an allergic person.

9.) Are you sure that you’re allergic to gluten and dairy?

Yes……why would I say that I have allergies when I don’t? And why do you care so much about me “double checking” when no one is shoving gluten-free/dairy-free foods down your throat? I’d like to know!

While not everyone is like this and don’t always mean to be rude, it can get soooo annoying and I’d appreciate if people would ask me about my diet in a more of an inquisitive manner rather than a judgmental one. Thanks y’all!

For all of you allergic folks out there, what is the most annoying sh*t you’ve gotten from someone about the foods you eat?

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

I’m in a Spring State of Mind

It is hard to believe that about two years ago during this time period of March, it was a whopping 80 – 85 degrees in New England. I am not going to deny that fact that I was worried about the fact that March was becoming strangely steamy, but it was **SO** nice to be able to break out into shorts and sleeveless shirts and gobble up some delectable coconut ice cream :P. Fast forward two years later and here we are, having barely gotten a glimpse of spring two days ago. We are at that point where we’re still trying to tip toe around the ice and trying to brave the cold in our ski jackets (well, at least in New England). This winter has been uber long and frankly, it is welcome to leave anytime now. I keep having dreams about spring weather, but every day I wake up and the snow continues to lye on the ground.  Can’t winter just end in February instead?  March is just like Juan Pablo on “The Bachelor”, it’s the worst at faking us out that there is going to be a spring (sans the 80-85 degrees incident that occurred two years ago).  This state of mind I’ve been in lately has inspired me to share with you all some of my favorite things about spring. This is what I personally love about the season.

  • That first moment where there is no hint of coldness outside and you can just break out into your favorite floral skirt. It is always just nice to go outside and breathe in the fresh essence of the flowers without  seeing your own breathe ;D.
  • Speaking of the floral skirt above, I can not tell you just how much I love spring fashion. It is the type of season where you can get dolled up and not have to fret about whether or not your wearing the right type of gloves. I personally love those first moments where you can ditch the sweaters and wear bold leather jackets, printed leggings with a cute skirt, and feel the delightful breeze in between your toes when you first put your sandals on. This spring, I can’t wait to buy bargain hunt  new clothes that are the color of orchid and follow this dashingly awesome trend. I already have a nail polish in mind!

Zoya Nail Polish in “Hudson”

  • What I also love about spring is the plethora of nature that emerges around me as the months of springtime progress. To me, flowers are like ice cream sundaes for your eyes, bird calls are like Josh Groban for your ears, and seeing green grass sprout from the ground for the first time literally feels like you just found a pot of gold ;D.
  • Probably my number one favorite thing about spring is taking that first walk on the beach. I am a huge ocean person and I just love that first epic moment when I can focus on hearing the harmonies of seagulls and smelling the fresh ocean air while not being cold!

Those are my top favorite things about Spring! What are some of yours? Compile a short list below in the comment box :).

Here are some of my favorite photos that I’ve taken of the season, a scrumptious spring recipe I want to make that I found on the internet, and song that has spring vibes to it.

Illuminated Flowers

Bee!

With text

The Background is key

Recipe: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2009/05/garden-loaf-with-maple-apricot-glaze.html

Song: Unfortunately, Word Press will not allow me to insert a YouTube video unless I purchase an upgrade so I’m going to have to give you  guys a url link sadly. This song is called “With Every Beat of My Heart” by Taylor Dayne and it is such an upbeat dance anthem. I think that you all will love it and want to press the replay button over and over again! :). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTJbEpVDdBc

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

Gluten-Free/Dairy Free on the Go and Newfound Desire to Cook More

Tonight I’m going to share with you all a quick delicious lunch that is gluten-free and healthy. Last weekend, I had a late afternoon Saturday workshop session for an art program I am currently doing, so I had to make a concoction at the speed of a honey badger. Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a little bit, but point is I did not have a lot of time. It shames me to say this, but I don’t really cook as much as I should being an allergic person, so therefore, I wind up eating a lot of food from boxes that you just pop in the microwave. Now, don’t get me wrong, these gf foods that are packaged are not NEARLY as bad as packaged foods that are from your mainstream supermarkets, but still, these foods are processed at some degree and are often very grain based. While gluten-free grains are very beneficial for you, I don’t believe I get enough balance of fruits, vegetables, and protein in my daily diet. So therefore, I made an extremely, supremely late New Year’s resolution to  cook more and eat more veggies/protein. With this new resolve in my mind, I decided that instead of popping something inside the microwave, I would make a meal with my own two hands :). Here is what I made in like 7 minutes!

ImageImage

Looks yummy, huh?!? I made romaine lettuce hummus pineapple/mango salsa rolls :P.

Here are the specific products I used:
Trader Joe’s Original Garlic Hummus

Trader Joe’s Organic Romaine Lettuce (romaine is my favorite type of lettuce!)

Trader Joe’s Tropical Pineapple Mango Salsa 

Good for Life Foods Caraway Rolls (featured in this post https://believeinyou24.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/secret-awesome-gluten-freedairy-free-artisan-breads-where-to-find-them/) 

It was very simple to make and tasted ABSOLUTELY  DELECTABLE!!!! I would highly recommend that you guys try making this quick as a finger snap lunch using these ingredients, or even ones that are similar to what I mentioned! If you guys do try and make this (or something similar), please let me know how it taste!

I will say that I entered the blogosphere at the exact right time because there are A LOT of **uh-maz-iiing** gluten-free/dairy-free food bloggers out there that’s inspired me to become more of a cook. If any of you have delicious gluten-free/dairy-free(it also can be just a scrumptious recipe in general, I just have to be able to modify it) recipes to share, feel free to post them in the comment box below  :)!

What is your go-to healthy gluten-free lunch? Have any of you guys tried the products I listed above before?

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

Rave Review!! Hillary’s Eat Well Gluten-Free Veggie Burgers: Also Dairy-Free/Soy-Free/Nut-Free(not tree nut)/Corn-Free

So let’s get one thing straight – I love veggie burgers. I am not a vegetarian but veggie burgers are my favorite type of burgers. I use to eat them a lot as a kid as I did not like beef burgers at all, the taste of them just disgusted me. While I do like beef burgers now, they  just don’t compare to veggie burgers. While it took some time, my Mom and I found some pretty good veggie burgers over the years that were gf/df. However, recently, we made a discovery that took our taste buds to veggie burger heaven. It’s called Hillary’s Eat Well Gluten-Free Veggie Burgers. The burgers come in four varieties – World’s Best Veggie Burger (your basic veggie burger pretty much), Adzuki Bean Burger, Hemp and Greens Burger, and the Root Veggie Burger. However, I’ve only tried the World’s Best Veggie Burger and the Adzuki Bean Burger as that is all that my local natural food store that carries them has. They are both equally delicious but have two very distinct flavors so I will be reviewing them separately.

World’s Best Veggie Burger:

The best thing about Hillary’s Eat Well Gluten-Free Veggie Burgers is that they are made with the purest ingredients. They’re free of ingredients and/or allergens that are common in gluten-free products such as corn flour, corn starch, corn syrup, soybean oil,  soy protein, or soy flour. Alternatively, the World’s Best Veggie Burger is made of less common gluten-free flours such as millet and quiona. The burger also oozes of fresh flavor from wholesome and nourishing vegetables such as sweet potato and spinach. In addition, since coconut oil is one of the first ingredients on the ingredient list, the burger is full of coconut flavor when coming fresh and warm out of the toaster oven. However, the coconut flavor does not overpower the whole taste of the burger. Oh, and as icing on the cake, this burger uses apple cider vinegar instead of white distilled vinegar which is MUCH better for your system and actually has some beneficial health  properties (would you guys like me to do a post on the health properties of apple cider vinegar?!) to it. I highly recommend this burger!

Adzuki Burger:

The minute you taste the Adzuki burger you will find that it burst of spices that gives it a unique flavor.  The Adzuki burger taste like a combination of chana masala and a Mexican burrito; I’m not exaggerating in the least!  This is probably due to the Adzuki burger being flavored with black beans and spices such as cumin, chili, and chipotle powder. It is also perfect to eat if you have a winter cold in order to clear out your nostrils! Like the “World Best Veggie Burger”, the Adzuki also has an abundance of coconut oil which makes for a delectable taste and has apple cider vinegar instead of white distilled vinegar.

Conclusively, these are both superb veggie burgers and I would not only recommend this burger to those who have food allergies, but to anybody! I hope you guys will try this burger and love it as much as I do.

Have any of you had Hillary’s Eat Well Burgers before? What are some other allergy-free veggie burgers that you guys like?

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

Rave Review!! Udi’s Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free/Soy-Free/Nut-Free Muffin Tops

As a kid I use to love muffin tops. We use to get these amazing chocolate chip muffin tops from Whole Foods Market and whenever we brought them home from the store, they’d be gone within two hours of  purchase. Also, let me add that my Dad will only eat the tops of muffins and not the bottom. He says that the top of the muffin is the tastiest part. So as a little kid, I use to follow suit and only eat the tops of muffins. I guess his eating habits kind of rubbed off on me. When I learned I had to go gluten-free I knew that I would have to give up eating muffin tops.  While my mom was able to find some delicious gf/df muffins, I still missed my muffin tops. However, that problem was solved recently.  A few months ago when my Mom and I were shopping at Hannaford’s, we spotted a new Udi’s product which were the allergy-free muffin tops! I was sooo happy! I got so excited it was ridiculous! Not only were they the first gf/df muffin tops I’d ever seen but tasted delectable as well. They are extremely chewy, moist, flavorful, non-gluten-free tasting, and pretty much anything else you’d ever want in a muffin top. They also do not fall apart and they hold together well, which is important to me in finding good gf/df products.  These muffin tops come in two different flavors; chocolate chia and blueberry oat. Are you salivating yet? I know I am :P.

These are super delicious and I highly recommend that you give them a try! Udi’s did an amazing job with the formulation of these muffin tops and in my opinion, are one of Udi’s best products. If anyone reading this happens to know a chef over at Udi’s,  give my accolades to the chef  ;D.

Have any of you tried these muffin tops before? What are some of your favorite products of Udi’s?

xoxo

Alexandra Spund