Special Topics Archive

Best Gluten Free Vegan Posts of 2014

Posted January 12, 2015 By Sandy

Okay, now that the holiday’s are over and it is back to business, I would like to share the best gluten free vegan posts of 2014.  These are the posts, recipes, and articles that were read the most in 2014.

Here they are …..


Coconut No Bake Snowballscoconut snowballs

In keeping with our Holiday Cookie theme, I have found a wonderful no-bake Coconut Snowball cookie recipe.  If you like coconut, you will love this recipe. …


Do We Need Gluten Free Personal Care Products?

There has been some mixed opinions on whether or not a Gluten Free person needs Gluten Free Personal Care Products.  My naturopathic suggested that whatever you cannot eat, you should not put on your body either.  So for safety sake, I use Gluten Free shampoos and hand creams….

GMO and Gluten Free Foodshttp://glutenfreeveganliving.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Corn-Stalk-2.jpg

I find it very annoying when people say, or worse yet, post on the web, that switching to Gluten Free is the healthiest thing they can do — regardless of what they eat.  There are plenty of bad gluten free foods out there that are far from healthy.   Of course, for us gluten intolerant or celiac folks , we don’t have a choice to whether or not we eat gluten.  But how about the QUALITY of the Gluten Free foods you are eating.  Did you know that LOTS of Gluten Free foods contain GMO…

No-Bake ‘Cheesecake’ Bars

If you are like me, there are some things, like No-Bake Cheesecake Bars, that I really miss since going Gluten Free and Vegan.  So I notice when I find a Cheesecake recipe will fit into my special diet.  After all, why should be go without all the good tasting stuff just because we chose to eat healthier?…

Zucchini FrittersZucchini fritters cooking

Zucchini season is just around the corner — and what to do with all those Zucchinis?Dietitian On the Run has shared the following Gluten Free Vegan Zucchini Fritters recipe…. 

Coconut Milk

I LOVE Coconut Milk!  I use various forms of Coconuts and Coconut Milk is several different dishes.  My favorite way is to pour it over Gluten Free cereal and bananas!  No, wait! …. I think I like Coconut Milk better in smoothies …. maybe in the ice cream dish my husband makes ….I guess I like Coconut Milk anyway I can have it!!If you are a Coconut Milk lover too, you are going to love our featured post…


Is your favorite post, article or recipe here?

Be the first to comment

Christmas Cookies

Posted December 2, 2014 By Sandy

A couple years ago, I posted a gluten free vegan recipe for Christmas cookies nearly every day in December.  That was quite a collection of yummy cookie recipes!

So, to make it easy for you, I have compiled the list here:

No-Bake Candy Cane Balls


Christmas Mexican Wedding Cake CookiesChristmas Cookies

Christmas Sugar Cookies

Special Holiday Peanut Butter Cookies

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

Holiday Anise Cookies

Holiday Florentine Cookies

Coconut No-Bake Snowballs

Holiday Chocolate Mint Cookies

Molasses Cookies

Gluten Free Vegan Fudge

I hope you find some good one listed here!

Be the first to comment

Is Gluten Really the Culprit!

Posted November 19, 2014 By Sandy

Before anyone gets upset with what I am inferring in my title, I want to share some findings with you.

With years and years of people eating wheat, many have asked why, all of a sudden, are so many people have serious problems with it.  Some are convinced that wheat is genetically modified (GMO wheat is not legally grown in the US at this time).  Others feel that the hybridization of wheat is the problem. Here is another theory:  Wheat is full of pesticides that are slowly killing us! Following are excerpts from a Report written Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist:

Common wheat harvest protocol in the United States is to drench the wheat fields with Roundup several days before the combine harvesters work through the fields as the practice allows for an earlier, easier and bigger harvest.
Roundup significantly disrupts the functioning of beneficial bacteria in the gut and contributes to permeability of the intestinal wall and consequent expression of autoimmune disease symptoms.

Is Gluten Really the Culprit!

In a nutshell, Dr. Seneff’s study of Roundup’s ghastly glyphosate which the wheat crop in the United States is doused with uncovers the manner in which this lethal toxin harms the human body by decimating beneficial gut microbes with the tragic end result of disease, degeneration, and widespread suffering.
 Personally, I find the chart very disturbing.  It is obvious that the incidents of gluten sensitive/celiac issues is increasing as pesticide use is increasing.  But is there a firm correlation?  The author and the study she sites in her article think there is!!

In my case, I am sensitive to BOTH wheat and gluten, so it is a non issue for me.  But it does pose an interesting theory in light of our overuse of pesticides on our crops.

I suggest you read the article(s) and form your own opinion.  And share with us what you think!!
Be the first to comment

Gluten Intolerance Group — 40th Anniversary

Posted October 20, 2014 By Sandy

Jules Shepard, one of the pioneers in the gluten free world, talks with Cynthia Kupper, executive director of the GIG (Gluten Intolerance Group) last week about their upcoming 40th Anniversary celebration.

Cynthia will be joined by GIG’s Director of Social Programs, Sara Vollmer, who will speak about the celebration on November 9th that is planned to honor the organization’s 40-year legacy.

Jules & Cynthia

According to the BlogTalkRadio websites:

GIG’s Mission is to support persons with gluten intolerances, celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, and other gluten sensitivities, through consumer and industry services and programs that positively promote healthy lives. Among GIG’s programs is their Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), which certifies products around the world as less than 10 parts per million gluten.

The show will focus on the history of the GIG organization, the climate in which gluten and celiac disease were viewed when it was formed 40 years ago, and how things have changed in the world of gluten free since then.

I was fortunate to hear Cynthia speak when she visited the Gluten Intolerance Group in Spokane, Washington  in August 2013.  The GIG is a wonderful organization with many resources and information.  You might want to check out their website for more information on their 40th Anniversary Celebration.

Here is the link for the  31 minute long interview with Jules, Cynthia and Sara.

Be the first to comment

Simply Gluten Free Magazine

Posted October 13, 2014 By Sandy

I love reading new magazines and when I checked out the local magazine stand, I cannot believe all the magazines around food allergies — especially the gluten free magazines!

A few weeks ago, I picked up my first copy of Simple Gluten Free and found some wonderful articles and recipes!  (Advertisements, which are usually a bother, are very interesting and informative in this magazine, as well!)

A few of the articles I especially enjoyed are …..

Is Gluten Sensitivity Worse Than Celiac Disease

  • You may be shocked to learn that villous atrophy is about the only difference between celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.
  • These gluten sensitive people were just as sick as any celiac case that any doctor has even seen.
  • Celiac disease is a symptom,  It’s one potential manifestation of your reaction to gluten.  It;s not the worst symptom, nor is it the end stages of a gluten reaction if you happen to be gluten sensitive.

I was also delighted to find an article by one of my favorite “gluten free” doctors:  Dr. Vikki Peterson:  Simply Gluten FreeGluten Free FAQs with Dr. Vikki

How to Make Gluten-Free Fermented Vegetables is a wonderful article.  I have read before that fermented veggies are really good for you, but had no idea how to make them!  The article gives some specific (and easy) instruction on how to make these nutrient rich vegetables.

Another good article (with recipe) is How to Make Gluten-Free French Bread!  Having been raised in the San Francisco area, I really miss the wonderful sour dough French bread I use to buy there.  Maybe this recipe can satisfy my cravings!!

The back of the magazine is full of harvest style recipes.  Some of my favorites are:

  • Vegan Mac & Cheese — page 87
  • Pumpkin-Cranberry Oatmeal Pudding — page 105
  • Pumpkin Caramel Swirl Brownies — page 106
  • Crunchy Apple Salad with Honey Walnut Dressing — page 110
  • Apple Cider Margarita — page 117
  • Caramel Cashew Cream — page 128

Not all the recipes are vegan, but the magazine for worth buying for all the info — and many of the non-vegan recipes can use vegan substitutes.

This gluten free magazine is a keeper for me!!

Be the first to comment

New Gluten Free Labeling

Posted August 25, 2014 By Sandy

Earlier this month,  U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized a standard definition of “gluten-free”.

So what does it mean, exactly, when a food product is labeled as ‘gluten-free” and what is the gluten free labeling requirements?  According to the National Foundation of Celiac Awareness (NFCA) ….

New Gluten Free Labeling

FDA Gluten-Free Labeling Rule

Under the new rule, if a food carries a gluten-free claim, it either:

  • Inherently does not contain gluten (i.e. a bag of raw carrots or bottle water)

OR meets the following criteria:

  • Does not contain an ingredient that is a whole, gluten-containing grain (i.e. wheat, barely, rye or crossbred hybrids of these grains)
  • Does not contain an ingredient that is derived from a gluten-containing grain and has not been processed to remove gluten (i.e. wheat flour)
  • May contain an ingredient that is derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten (i.e. wheat starch) as long as the food product contains less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten


  • Any unavoidable gluten in the food due to cross-contact (commonly referred to as cross-contamination by the gluten-free community) or migration of gluten from packaging materials is less than 20 ppm gluten

The NFCA has put together a Follow Up Fact Sheet which I found to be very helpful.

Some of the interesting fact addressed in this report is as follows:

Q: Under the FDA’s final gluten-free labeling rule, oats are NOT considered a gluten-containing grain. Does this mean that oats are safe to consume on a gluten-free diet?

Q: Why is wheat starch allowed in products that are labeled gluten-free?

Q: It’s unclear to me whether I should still steer clear of products containing malt and hydrolyzed wheat protein. What does the FDA’s gluten-free labeling rule say about these ingredients? For example, can I eat soy sauce?

Q: While I understand that less than 20 ppm gluten is less than a crumb and, therefore, not visible to the eye, I still have several questions about this amount. Can you…

1.Help put this into context for me?
2.Clarify whether I should be concerned with cumulated gluten intake?
3.Explain how many servings of less than 20 ppm can a person with celiac disease safely consume in one day?

Q: What vinegar, if any, is safe to eat on a gluten-free diet?

Q: I know that you recommend purchasing naturally gluten-free grains and flours and grain and flour-based products that are labeled gluten-free. Are there other dry food products that might fall into this category? For example, what about seeds, beans and nuts?

Q: Does this ruling mean that the products labeled gluten-free now aren’t under 20 ppm?

Q: I know that we have to start somewhere, but I don’t understand the significance of the rule if it’s not mandatory and manufacturers aren’t required to test. How does this rule impact people on a medically necessary gluten-free diet as opposed to individuals “riding out the fad”?

Q: If a product is now labeled gluten-free but its label says that it is “processed in a facility that also processes
wheat,” is this product really gluten-free?

Download the entire document

Be the first to comment

Jules New Flour Blend

Posted July 28, 2014 By Sandy

I received an email from a reader asking about Jules new flour blend.

For those who were not aware, Jules Shepard started a new company and with the change, she also improved her flour blend.

Here is the message I received from my reader:

You wrote a email back awhile ago that said the following: “My new flour, which is the exact same blend as before, is non-GMO, is certified gluten-free and Kosher, and performs like an all purpose flour should. ”

I was not aware that you were using non-GMO ingredients previously! Can you tell us more about the non-GMO ingredients in your new flour blend?

Of course, I emailed Jules and asked about her new flour blend.  Here is her response:

In changing production facilities, I re-reviewed all my raw ingredients and Jules Shepardsuppliers and took the opportunity to make a tiny tweak to my flour that I think makes it even better! I also switched some ingredients to ensure non-GMO status ingredients. My new flour has an extended shelf life of 18 months and we also are packaging it into two bags instead of one large one, so folks can keep one sealed while they work with the other one, keeping the other bag fresher! Each individual ingredient is either non-GMO verified or certified by the manufacturer to be made without gmo ingredients. I hope that helps!

According to her website, this is the info I have on the new blend:

gfJules™ Gluten Free All Purpose Flour:

  • Also wheat-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free
  • Works in nearly every recipe
  • Now non-GMO
  • Made with only premium modified tapioca starch, potato starch, corn starch, corn flour, white rice flour, and xanthan gum
  • Longer 18-month shelf life
  • Produced in facility certified free of the Top 8 allergens
  • 2 sealed inner pouches keep flour fresher longer
  • Guaranteed to make you happy (really happy)

Makes me happy!  How about you??

PS.  You might want to check out her website for some wonderful recipes!

Be the first to comment

I am excited to invite you to The Detox Summit hosted by Deanna Minich, PhD.

Here is what she says about the upcoming Detox Summit:

Environmental toxins can be found in what you eat, drink, breathe, feel and think. You may not be aware of toxins, but if you want to be healthy, being educated on the latest in toxins is a must! Chronic conditions, like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity, may be associated with environmental toxins in your body.

The pearls of wisdom from expert speakers at The Detox Summit are essential to your health.  Join us online for free from August 4-11.


This Detox Summit will provide you with the information you need to:

  •     Learn about environmental toxins in food, air and water
  •     Understand internally-generated toxins, like thoughts, emotions and behaviors
  •     Recognize toxins of all types and eliminate them
  •     Focus on breakthrough solutions to gain more energy and vitality

Navigate your way through today’s toxic terrain when you register for the free, online Detox Summit today!

deanna-minich“Detox” is a multi-faceted term that means many things to people, from drug and alcohol detoxification to nutritional detoxification, or cleanses using food, smoothies and juices. Deanna Minich, PhD, has selected 30 experts in various areas of medicine, nutrition and personal growth to offer a well-rounded, credible approach to the issues of environmental toxins and holistic health.

Here are a few of the incredible presenters:

  • Jeffrey Bland, PhD, Father of Functional Medicine: The Science of Nutritional Detoxification
  • Mark Hyman, MD, Functional Medicine Expert: Toxins and Chronic Disease: Why Detox is a Necessity for Good Health
  • Jeffrey Smith, Leading Spokesperson on GMOs: Genetically Modified Foods as Toxins in Everyday Eating
  • David Wolfe, Superfoods Guru: Foods to Enhance Vitality and Detox
  • Rainbeau Mars, Fitness Model and Actress: A Full Spectrum, Superstar Approach to Everyday Detox

With 30 presenters sharing their wealth of knowledge, this invaluable (and FREE) resource is intended for people everywhere!

Better yet, if you register today you’ll have access to the following FREE eBook sas soon as you register!

  • Food & Spirit Nourish Your Whole Self™ Report, by Deanna Minich, PhD
  • Detox Your Medicine Cabinet: 26 Herbs and Supplements that Treat Common Symptoms, by Aviva Romm, MD
  • Top 7 Therapeutic Foods, by Kelly Brogan, MD
  • Ten Tips for Helping Your Loved One with Autism, by Martha Herbert, MD, PhD
  • Benefits of Vitamin D, by Soram Khalsa, MD

Come listen to The Detox Summit ONLINE for FREE from August 4-11, and learn to survive your toxic world!

Be the first to comment

As a ‘lazy cook’, I look for quick easy ways to make my food.  It is no different with gluten free bread baking.

I get frustrated with all the recipes that call for x amount of this flour, y amount of another ….. I would much rather use a mix.  And honestly, I don’t really like to bake very much, so my husband does most of the break baking!

Recently, we found a new bread mix that we both love (although my husband is not totally gluten free, he does restrict the amount of gluten he eats).

Maninis Bread MixManinis Country Oat Bread Mix makes the tastiest and easiest bread I have baked so far.

If you are interested in the ingredients list, here is what is included in the mix:

Flour blend (organic millet, tapioca, certified GF oat, teff, organic sorghum, organic amaranth), corn starch, certified GF oat flakes, organic cane sugar, GF xanthan gum, Atlantic sea salt.

All ingredients are gluten free and no bioengineering has been used to produce this product.

The package makes 7 loaves, so last us a few weeks!


Maninis Country Oat Bread Mix


  • 7/8 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 3 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 Tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large eggs (I use egg replacer)
  • 2 cups bread mix


  1. Read the easy instructions on the back of the package!
  2. Although, I would like to note that we found that the bread is done much quicker than the required baking time on the package.

Some of the tips I have learned over the years  about baking gluten free bread:

1. Fluff up flour ahead of time and spoon gently into measuring cups (or you will compress flours).
2. Always use a BLEND of gluten-free flours, each flour offers different flavor and baking properties.
2. Oil (and flour) the bread pans — or do what I do: Line with aluminum foil.
3. You may need to increase baking times compared to gluten breads.
4. Gluten free breads require more liquid — so the dough will be gooey and stickier than gluten bread.
5. One the other hand, breads that sink or are gooey often have too much liquid.
6. Over proofing results in bread rising too high, so might also sink or collapse during baking.
7. Mix all dry ingredients together BEFORE adding any liquid to the mix.
8. Successful Gluten Free baking requires attention to levels of protein, moisture, acid, fat, leavening, and binding!

For more info on gluten free bread baking, check out my mini website:

Gluten Free Bread Baking Tips

Be the first to comment

What is a Flexitarian?

Posted May 19, 2014 By Sandy

Last week, I posted an article on What is a Vegan?  Because I admitted that I was really not a vegan any longer, this was a difficult post to write.

So today, I am going to explain that I am a Flexitarian and why ….What is a Flexitarian?

First, what is a flexitarian?  According to Wikipedia:

A semi-vegetarian or flexitarian diet is one that is plant-based with the occasional inclusion of meat products. In 2003, the American Dialect Society voted flexitarian as the year’s most useful word and defined it as “a vegetarian who occasionally eats meat”.  In 2012, the term was listed for the first time in the mainstream Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat. Common reasons for adopting a flexitarian diet may be health, environment or reduction of resource consumption, which are also arguments in favor of adopting a fully vegetarian diet. While flexitarians may view the flexitarian diet as occasional indulgences, vegetarians may strongly resent the term and view it as cheating or as a moral lapse. Other than flexitarian diets that may include any type of meat, semi-vegetarianism includes:

  • Pollotarians: They eat chicken or other poultry, but not meat from mammals, often for environmental, health or food justice reasons.
  • Pescetarians: They eat fish or other seafood, but not poultry or meat from mammals. The macrobiotic diet is plant-based, and may or may not include the occasional addition of fish or other seafood.
  • Pollo-pescetarians: They eat fish and poultry, but not meat from mammals.

So yes, I eat meat occasionally.

My story is rather interesting as I grew up in a ‘meat and potatoes’ family (or a meat and macaroni family!) and never really enjoyed eating much.  Once I got out on my own in college, I ate lots of vegetable dishes — often without meat at all!

Salad or soups/stews have always been one of my favorite meals.  But it never occurred to me that my body needed more veggies!  When I got sick from the overload of gluten, my naturopathic, who diagnosed me, was a vegan.  He and his wife spent time helping me adapted a vegan — or nearly vegan diet!  I felt like I had found home!!

So why did I switch to a Flexitarian diet?  After being vegan for a few years, I went back to be retested.  My naturopathic doctor discovered my high uric acid level and asked me again if I really had given up red meat!!  After some research, I discovered that the extra uric acid was, mostly likely, coming from the extra beans I was eating.

So once again, for health reasons, I changed my diet again.  I now eat poultry a few times a week, have an occasional fish or pork dish — and almost never eat beef.

There you have it!


Be the first to comment