Send Me Gluten Free Review + Giveaway

For any family that deals with food allergies, you are aware that once “food allergy-friendly” food starts to fill your cart, you tend to open your wallet a little wider.  I remember when Finn was first diagnosed I bought a plethora of “dairy-free” items I later found out were: 1) insanely unhealthy and 2) insanely disgusting. And there I was with $4 left of a box of junk that a hungry puppy wouldn’t touch. It was maddening.

The more familiar I’ve become with the allergy world, the more I turn away from any “box deals” as they tend to be filled with sugary, processed items that truly aren’t helpful when you are trying to find real food. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the box from Send Me Gluten Free which included a handful of organic and GMO-free products. (By the way, the box comes from the same team who brought us Find Me Gluten-free, the app that helps you find gluten-free businesses.)

We were eager for the little orange box to arrive!

Order Shipped

And arrive it did!  The kids and I sprawled out on the floor and broke open the box…

Box

Box Open

Before we dig in, I guess I should tell you WHAT this box is all about.

Each month Send Me Gluten Free will send you 8-12 new gluten free products to try that will include at least 1 full-sized item. You’ll get full-size and sample size food, personal care items, supplements and household products that support your gluten-free lifestyle. You can join for $20-$30/month (free shipping), depending on the length of the subscription you choose. Each month the box includes new items.

Send Me Gluten Free requires all brand partners be certified gluten free, or tested to the FDA standard of less than 20 parts per million.

Curious what was in the box? Let me fill you in….

All

The box included a variety of full-sized items, sample sizes and coupons.

I love the Organic Mung Bean Fettuccine from Organic Asian, so I was excited to see a full-size package of Organic Black Bean Spaghetti included. I’ve been looking for the right recipe to use with these noodles (classic red sauce just seemed so wrong), and I found a recipe with Red Curry Sauce that looks worth a try. 

I was not familiar with Sevierly Good baking mixes until this box. Sevierly Good describes their company as a “home grown organic gluten-free baking mix company dedicated to using certified organic, local, and non-gmo materials that specializes in meeting your gluten free baking needs.” Their mixes are free of: gluten, dairy, soy, bean, nut and corn. I’m saving this mix for Finn’s birthday party when we will have two gluten-free guests. We will have a gluten-free and gluten option for guests to choose.

Cake Noodles

I tried Raw Revolution bars last year at the Gluten and Allergen-free Expo. Loved them then and love them now! This bar was Coconut Bliss. A few years ago I wouldn’t have touched anything with coconut. Now, I love it. So much yum! These bars are raw, organic, GMO-free, and dairy-free. Also included was a 50 cent coupon.

Another company with which I wasn’t familiar is Red Apple Lipstick. There are so many people with a severe enough allergy to gluten that even their skin and beauty care products need to be gluten-free.  I’ve seen many of these products and tried several skin care items, but I’ve never tried gluten-free make-up. I was sent Rallye Balm and really liked it! I’m more of a balm/gloss girl, so it was perfect. Also included in the kit was a code for 30% off your purchase.

Lip and Raw

A few yummy items in the box included Surf Sweets which I’ve shared my love with you before. This little package was simply not enough for the 4 members in this family :)

I’m honestly not sure if Juice Plus+ items are suppose to be a supplement or a sweet treat, but either way – they are good. These probably aren’t something I would buy on a regular basis, but it was nice to try.

Sweets

Ummm…. yum. Just yum. Surf Sweets FTW.

Yummy!

There were a few tea and coffee items, as well. The Better off Red from Now Foods was good, very flavorful. The other sample sent was the Teeccino dandelion and dark roast. I’ll have Justin try this one as he’s the coffee snob. A 50 cent coupon was also included for a box of Teeccino tea bags.

Tea

Many soy sauces do contain gluten. San-J not only makes a gluten-free, organic soy sauce, but also one that is verified GMO-free. This should be a non-negotiable for anything with soy. A 55 cent coupon is also included.

Teeccino also makes a gluten-free instant oatmeal. Included in my box was the Blueberry Date variety. There are no refined sugars in the pack and it is verified GMO-free. I thought it was delicious and Evie agreed… she ate 90% of it.

TeeChia and Tamari

Also included in the box was a coupon for one full-sized FREE PRODUCT from Dr. Praeger’s. I have never bought from this brand before so I will need to see what is available at our local stores. From what I see online there is canola oil in many products and they aren’t GMO-free.  I will be interested to see what we find!

Also included was a code for a free digital copy of Delight Gluten-free.

Send Me Gluten free follows up with an email that includes additional codes and discounts on the products included in the box. Followup

Interested in receiving Send Me Gluten Free and want to get started now? Use discount code BLOG20 at checkout and receive 20% off any subscription length.

And now it’s time for one of YOU to try Send Me Gluten free at no cost!

SMGF_Giveaway

The winner box will be filled with completely new and amazing gluten-free goodies. Curious what you might see? Rumor has it Lovely Candy Co. might be making an appearance! I’ve had their caramels – they are amazing!

Send Me Gluten Free will be sending one lucky continental US reader a new box of gluten-free products. To enter, write a comment on this post telling me which allergy-friendly product you’ve tried recently and loved… or a product from this batch you’re interested in trying now.

Entries/comments must be posted by noon (CST) Thursday, August 28. I will post the winner Friday morning, August 29.

Good Luck! 

The Honest Company Review, Part 3

Several folks have asked about other Honest Company products worth their weight in gold, so I wanted to take the time to review a handful of other products we’ve tried and our thoughts.

Interested in more about the products we use? Check out these related posts:

Health and Beauty Buys
What Products Do Our Kids Use
Natural Cold and Flu Remedies
The Honest Company Review
The Honest Company Review, Part 2

Toothpaste (Adults): I have my tried and true clean toothpaste, but I thought I’d try this one.  While it performed its duty, it didn’t leave my mouth feeling “fresh” like you expect post-brush. I’ve tried a variety of other clean toothpastes that left me feeling much more minty than this “fresh mint” version. Once the tube is gone, I will return to my previous toothpaste. (My favorite is Desert Essence Natural Toothpaste: Amazon // Vitacost. If purchasing through Vitacost, if you sign up here, you will receive $10 off your first order.)

Toothpaste

Mouthwash: Both Justin and I are currently using this “sweet mint” mouthwash (separate bottles – I share nothing in a bottle or cup). It certainly gives the “minty” taste the toothpaste lacks and it’s not that overly fake mint that many mouthwashes give you.  I give it a solid B.

mouthwash

Glass Cleaner: I go between my Norwex cloth and this cleaner for the glass.  I’ve purchased a bottle to keep in the kids bathroom, as well as a bottle for the main level where we have lots of mirrors and windows. It never fails that the second I clean the bathroom mirrors, someone shoots water, splashes toothpaste or drags their paw prints across my fresh slate. Drives me bonkers. A quick swipe during bath time and I can convince myself the room is still clean. Recently, Honest made a 4 ounce refill concentrate version so you don’t have to keep buying a new bottle each time. Pretty slick.

glass cleaner

Toilet Cleaner: Just as we have the messy mirror problem, we have a toddler boy in the house.  Finn does exceptionally well, but it’s still a little messy for my liking.  I have a bottle in the kids bathroom and our bathroom for quick “in between” cleanings.

toilet cleaner

Sunscreen Stick: This has been my saving grace this summer! My kids are not fans of putting things on their face (can I blame them?).  We used to battle to get sunscreen on their ears, cheeks, nose and chin. I used to negotiate with Finn on hat wearing when we’d be outside for long periods of time. While still not Finn’s favorite moment before a long morning in the sun, we have found a compromise.  I get 5 seconds… yes, he’s allowed me just 5. I count to 5 slowly and mad-apply this to his face. I’m usually done by 4 and we’re off to the sun! Evie is so good about getting this on her mug.

sun stick

Oxy Boost: Smelly towels and workout clothes always need an extra boost, in my opinion.  Between this or a few drops of Purification Essential Oil, this helps get those extra dirty loads clean without bleach or other harsh chemicals.  A bag contains 24 pods.  Since I don’t use a pod in every load, a bag lasts about 3 months for us.

oxy

Soothing Bottom Wash: While I have not used this product personally, I have to tell you about my good friend, Jennie, who uses this often.  Her sweet little girl (seriously – this girl is one of my FAVORITE children) has very sensitive skin.  Jennie hasn’t been able to use wipes on her, even gentle/free&clear/organic/natural wipes. For the last year she’s had to use water and cotton balls for this little pumpkin.  I saw this wash and ordered one for her to try.  No reaction!  This is the only product she’s been able to use to change Rowan’s diaper that hasn’t caused her to break out.  So for a very sensitive child, this will well worth a try!

soothing wash

Diaper Rash Cream: The Honest Healing Balm is a fantastic product, but for kids with sensitive skin who need a little something extra for diaper rash, I have 2 friends who swear by this product.  I have not used it, but my friends with super sensitive kiddos have said it has cleared up their kids bums quicker than any other product they have tried.  Another good “have on hand” for sensitive little ones.

rash cream

Are there other Honest products you are curious about?  Let me know as I’d be happy to try a few more products and let you know how they stack up in our house. If you’re new to Honest, one way to try the products and get a feel for what you like best is through the Honest Family Essentials Bundle.

You can choose which 5 products to order (at a discount) and, if you choose, get a 25% discount on 3 additional items. These options also make great gift ideas. The shipment normally resends every 4-6 weeks but customer service will help you extend that, if needed. Sometimes I wait 8-12 weeks between orders and customer service has never given me a hard time for that. You can change the order each shipment, too.

You do need to register before you make a purchase. <<<< —– Use this link to register and receive $10 off your first order. (The $10 coupon can be used toward a $25 minimum purchase and can’t be used on the trial memberships.)

What natural products (Honest or another company) have you tried recently and loved/hated?

Traveling with Food Allergies

We had an amazing time in Boston with our family last week! There is so much to do and see in that incredible town. There was also so many things to eat! Had it just been Justin and I, we would have ate our way through every seafood joint in town, but that’s a little more difficult with 2 toddlers and food allergies on the mind.

In addition to all the fun, we also had to think about food.  One, we have food allergies and sensitivities to address, and two, our tummies don’t seem to tolerate “anything goes” food anymore. For better or worse, our bodies truly do crave nutritious fruits and vegetables, especially vegetables!

Last week I spent what felt like an eternity packing clothes, shoes, beach gear, and toiletries.

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 5.04.48 PM

Once those items were packed I had to focus on something else: food. Of course there were the usual snacks for the plane, but I also tried to bring as many “staples” as possible to avoid buying too much when we arrived to our hotel. So what did we pack and what did we purchase on site? Here’s our list…

We brought these items from home. Some were packed in my backpack and the “bonus stash” was packed in a suitcase:

  • Nick’s Sticks
  • Lara Bars
  • 2 apples for the plane
  • 4 “super butter” and jelly (almond butter) sandwiches for the plane
  • boxed organic raisins
  • organic fruit snacks
  • cashews
  • almonds
  • almond butter packets
  • almond butter jar (1/2 used and packed in suitcase)

When we arrived, we found the nearest health food store to pick up a few additional essentials. We took a short drive to Good Health Natural Foods in Quincy (amazing store!) to purchase these additional items:

  • fruit (bananas, apples, grapes)
  • organic baby carrots
  • jelly
  • bread
  • Enjoy Life cookies
  • almond milk
  • grass-fed butter (Justin is into Bulletproof coffee)

Good Health

At every chance possible we fed the kids fruit and veggies. There were several times Finn actually asked for an apple or a banana. The answer was always OF COURSE!

Apples

While there was a few Dunkin’ runs (when in Rome…) we tried as much as possible to eat as healthy as possible at every chance.

After the Children’s Musuem, we took a short walk to Sweet Green. I would say 50% of the people we passed on the way to the shop had take-out salads, and when we arrived the line was out the door. This was clearly THE SPOT! 

Sweet

Let’s be honest, if I didn’t have two fading toddlers and a long T ride back to the hotel, I could have stayed there all.day.long. The District Cobb hit the spot.

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 5.36.18 PM

My mom had the Kale Caesar which also looked incredible.

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 8.23.54 AM

A few days later we were back out and about in the city at the Aquarium.  We fell hook, line, and sinker for the “grass-fed burgers sold here” sign in their cafe. While it wasn’t quite the “healthy” vibe I had in my head, it was much better than it could have been and probably the best option within walking distance with two very tired and cranky munchkins. (The burger was pretty good.)

We went to the grocery store nearly every afternoon to pick up things for dinner that night at my Grandma’s.

Traveling with the ability to shop and cook is incredibly helpful while traveling, but if that’s not an option, be sure to consider the following:

  • Pack as much “handy” food as possible.
  • Request a mini fridge for your hotel room. This is almost always an option and worth a small fee, if there is one. (We stayed in a Hyatt Place which offered a mini fridge no cost in all rooms.)
  • Call the hotel manager/director and ask about any accommodations that might be helpful.
  • Find a nearby grocery store or quick mart for staples like fruit and vegetables.
  • As always, when eating out, ask the wait staff about possible allergens before ordering.

Have you found other tips to be helpful with traveling with food concerns? Are there other things you have done to make food travel easier with small children?