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If you’re looking for a more complete list of Gluten-Free Halloween Candy, check out the updated Gluten-Free Halloween Candy list, which also includes a list of unsafe candies. These are just a few new gluten-free products I thought deserved a little more explanation:
Starburst Fruit-Flavored Candy Corn. Every year I’m on the hunt for gluten-free candy corn. The usual brands I find in the stores (Brach’s, for example) are exposed to gluten through cross-contamination. And with our systems already being stressed by the increased amount of sugar in our bodies, I don’t want to risk consuming even traces of gluten. This year, I ran across these fruit-flavored candy corn from Starburst. It doesn’t have the flavor I was looking for, but it certainly has the shape and texture. My kids love the fruity flavors: Cherry, Strawberry, Lemon, and Orange. For that expected candy corn flavor, try the Jelly Belly brand.
Sun Cups are a great option for gluten-free friends who are also peanut/nut-free. Sun Cups are made with a sunflower butter instead of peanut butter and are produced in a gluten-free and nut-free facility. It’s great for those with nut allergies, but it does contain dairy. Sun Cups sent me some samples so I could try the different flavor varieties I’ve had trouble finding in the stores: Milk Chocolate Sunflower Butter Cups, Dark Chocolate Sunflower Butter Cups, Milk Chocolate Caramel Cups (which my kids love!), and Dark Chocolate Mint Cups.
Sweet Works is a great resource for gluten-free candy. I was recently introduced to their website where I found a wide array of gluten-free candies: Sixlets, Gum, Jawbreakers, and more. Click on any of the candy products on their site to find a complete ingredient list, as well as notations about allergens. Be sure to look for the “Allergen Info.”, as well as the “Gluten Free and Made in a nut free facility” notation in “Additional Info.” in the details on each product.
December is a special month. A month to celebrate holidays, to reconnect with friends and family, a month of eating rich foods (or maybe fast foods), a month of shopping, a month of wrapping, shipping, laughs, hugs, little sleep, stress, and maybe loneliness, too. It’s a busy, fun, and stressful month. I look forward to it every year, and yet every year, I still feel unprepared for it. Every year, I think I’m going to get it all done sooner, so I can slow down and enjoy it more.
I have done pretty good so far this year at getting things done earlier than usual: Christmas cards ordered, photo gifts ordered, some gifts purchased, advent calendar activities planned, pictures with Santa done, Christmas tree up and decorated, some Christmas cookies made, our first holiday crafts made, and stockings are hung. That’s a lot for me to have done already in the first week of December. I feel good about that, but I still have a lot to do. And it seems that the earlier I start, the more time I have to do more activities. It can be a vicious cycle.
So, where does this leave me today? Well, my lack of attention to diet has let foods like chips, soda and dairy creep in. The dairy really had me down over the weekend. I’m also getting to bed late trying to prepare for the next day’s events. That all leaves me feeling tired and a little cranky. I need to turn this trend around before it gets worse, so I can really enjoy this special time.
Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness inspired me to take control of the situation with her December Sanity Challenge event. She and three other bloggers are hosting the event to help themselves and others make reasonable goals for enjoying a happy, healthy, and sane holiday month. I may be getting a late start, but I’m in! Here are my goals for this month:
- Eat Healthy – I will continue to plan healthy meals every week. I will supplement them with healthy snacks and drinks – not soda and chips!
- More Exercise – I will try to get in a walk at least 3 times a week. If the weather is uninspiring, I’ll put in Just Dance 2 and dance away my stress.
- More Sleep – I often use my evening hours when the kids are in bed to get things done. Too often, I lose track of the time and end of going to bed too late. So, I’m setting an alarm clock to remind me to go to bed every night at 11.
- Ask for Help – I will recruit my kids to help me. They can stamp and seal envelopes on Christmas cards, water the Christmas tree, help put up decorations, help wrap presents, help make holiday goodies, etc. And if needed, I’ll get a babysitter to make use of weekend time.
- Make Time for Myself – I will slow down and relax by getting a massage or a pedicure, or both!
- Enjoy the Holidays – I will do some of the things I enjoy most during the holidays: attend the Nutcracker, listen to Christmas music, make crafts with the kids, bake holiday treats, etc.
- Hugs! – My all-time favorite stress-buster is getting hugs from my kids daily (or hourly if necessary). A good squeeze and smile from them can fix almost anything.
I’m printing out this list and posting it on my computer, my bathroom mirror, and my refrigerator. (I may need a few reminders.)
How is your December going? Need some inspiration or ideas for maintaining your own sanity? Join us!
- Dec. 1 at Gluten Free Goodness
- Dec. 8 at The Daily Dietribe
- Dec. 15 at City Life Eats
- Dec. 22 at Ginger Lemon Girl
- Several different varieties of pancakes were mentioned – apple, banana, blueberry, chocolate chip, peanut butter, pumpkin
- Cheese Balls – Sausage Cheese and Cheese Garlic varieties
- Chicken and Dumplings
- Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake
- Hearty Chicken Pot Pie
- Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie
- and so many more….
The winner of the Bisquick Pancake Prize Pack, who was chosen by Random.org, is Gretchen (comment #116). I love that Gretchen was thinking about making gluten-free Russian Tea Cakes for her mother-in-law. Bisquick Gluten-Free is a great product for people who want to bake gluten free for friends and family. But, as a precaution, please be careful to avoid any cross-contamination if you are baking in a kitchen that also uses any gluten-containing ingredients. I would recommend using parchment paper for lining baking sheets and pans. For mixing, I would also recommend using metal spoons and glass bowls that have been thoroughly scrubbed of any possible traces of gluten.
Other Giveaways. I wish I could send samples to everyone who entered, but of course I can’t. You can however, enter another contest. But enter quick as these two are expiring soon!
Go check it out now, so you can enter her giveaway, too! The giveaway includes Carol Fenster’s new cookbook Gluten-Free Quick & Easy, as well as GingerLemonGirl’s e-book and two 30-minute gluten-free cooking/baking coaching sessions.
And here are a few more quick and easy recipes from Celiac Family:
- Chicken Spaghetti – leftover chicken meal
- Parmesan Chicken Nuggets – a family favorite
- Broiled Parmesan Fish – great using tilapia or other white fish
- Easy Garlic Shrimp Pasta – rice noodles used to make this fast and gluten free!