Sunday, January 24, 2010

FREE Gluten-Free Grab Bag!!!

UPDATE: The GF grab-bag has been awarded. Thanks so much for your interest and your kind words about our blog!! We hope it can still serve as a useful database for you in the future! ~A&Z~

We know it's been a million years since our last post, but that's because Z's gluten-free adventure has come to an end. As far as we can tell, it did not have much of an effect on her rheumatoid arthritis. And since Z has so many other health-related issues to deal with, she has decided not to maintain the gluten-free diet. But we hope this blog can still serve as a database when it comes to purchasing gluten-free products.

This experience has made us aware of how difficult it can be to live (and especially travel) on a gluten-free diet. We still have our eyes open for gluten-free eating all the time! In fact, we were just in Australia and you would probably be amazed at how many restaurants offered gluten-free meals - including baked goods! It was everywhere! So if you're gluten-free and looking for a stress-free vacation, we highly recommend Australia! In fact, we loved it so much that we even got engaged while we were there! ~;o)

I don't know if anyone is actually reading this blog anymore, but since Z is no longer gluten-free we'd like to offer a thank you to our readers by giving away the massive supply of gluten-free products that we have left in our pantry. And that's where the FREE Gluten-Free Grab Bag comes in!! Some of the products are things we have already reviewed while others were on the list to be reviewed. Maybe you can continue our project and review them yourself!!

If you live in/around Boulder, CO: the first person to respond to this post by emailing can come pick up this huge bag of gluten-free goodies!!

If no one from the area can come get the goodies, we might be able to work out mailing it somewhere, so shoot me an email if you're interested in that.

Here's what's in the FREE Gluten-Free Grab Bag:

Please let us know if you're interested in these goodies!!!

Thanks again.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Message from A & Z

We have now posted on this blog 5 days a week for the last 28 weeks! We have reviewed 127 gluten-free products from 37 different brands. We've tested 9 gluten-free recipes and dined gluten-free at 28 different restaurants. We've also conducted 6 blind taste tests comparing various gluten-free products.

Why are we telling you all this? Well, there's good news and there's bad news.

The good news is that Z is doing a lot better with her RA! In fact, she's feeling well enough that she is planning to go back to law school in about two weeks. The bad news is that law school is a lot of work, so we don't foresee Z having enough spare time to keep up with this blog. While we will still try to post here occasionally, unfortunately we won't be able to keep up the five-reviews-a-week pace.

We're sure at least some of you are wondering about our conclusions concerning RA and the gluten-free diet. To be perfectly honest, we don't think the gluten-free diet has directly played a role in controlling Z's RA. In fact, Z has been experimentally eating gluten again for about three weeks and she's still feeling great.

However, we've still learned a lot from our experiences eating gluten-free. The gluten-free diet has taught us to pay attention to all the food we put in our bodies and, as a result, we have adopted much healthier eating habits that will be with us for the rest of our lives. Being gluten-free has helped us adjust our attitudes in order to be able to make the major life changes that have been necessary to adapting to living with Z's RA. This blog has also been a fabulous project for keeping Z sane while she's been out of school!

We want you to know how much we appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read and comment on this blog. You have all helped A&Z figure out how to be healthy and live with Z's RA, and for that we are extremely greatful. Whether your interest in gluren-free food is a choice, a necessity, or an experiment, we hope you have found this blog useful and that it can continue to serve as a database of gluten-free products.

~A & Z~

Friday, August 7, 2009

EnviroKidz's Organic Peanut Butter Panda Puffs

Brand: EnviroKids
~ Other reviews of this brand!
~ This item is in A&Z's Store!

Product Name: Organic Peanut Butter Panda Puffs

Location Purchased: Safeway

Cost: $3.29

Total From A to Z: 3 Stars

A's Review: * * *
I personally like Peanut Butter Bumpers better, but since they use oat flour, that doesn't do us any good here. The flavor of the Panda Puffs was more subdued, which might not bother some people. I really like peanut butter, so I found that aspect disappointing. It held up well in milk though and the company does good things for conservation.

Z's Review: * * *
At first I wasn't sure if I liked the peanut butter flavor. In fact, I wasn't sure it tasted like peanut butter at all! But I enjoyed it more and more as I ate it. Also, I love EnviroKidz since they encourage organic and healthy eating in kids and part of their proceeds go to wildlife conservation. Personally I'm not sure I would buy this cereal again, but I do think kids would really like it - either with milk or as a dry snack.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Food For Life's Brown Rice Bread

Brand: Food For Life
~ Other reviews of this brand!

Product Name: Brown Rice Bread

Location/Cost Info: Food For Life's website

Total From A to Z: 3.5 Stars

A's Review: * * *
For better or for worse, this bread is dense. It needs toppings and condiments to go with it, but otherwise the flavor is nice. And it held together better than many GF breads we've tried.

Z's Review: * * * *
My sister brought me this bread. I'm not sure where she got it but I think she bought it fresh instead of frozen. I don't know if it was because this bread wasn't frozen or if the brown rice had something to do with it, but it was a lot less crumbly than the white rice version. This made the bread a lot easier to use. The texture of this bread is quite a bit more dense than regular bread, but I thought the flavor was quite satisfying.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Trader Joe's Loaded Fruit & Nut Granola

Brand: Trader Joe's
(Other reviews of this brand!)

Product Name: Loaded Fruit & Nut Granola

Location/Cost Info: Trader Joe's website (why oh why isn't there a Trader Joe's in Colorado?!?)

Total From A to Z: 4.5 Stars

A's Review: * * * *
I've never been a huge fan of granola, but as is so often the case with TJ's, I am starting to come around. Big, crunchy chunks of fruit and nuts that go very well in yogurt or even just by the handful. It is also not overly sweet, which is a plus.

Z's Review: * * * * *
This "granola" is quite chunky - maybe more like trail mix than granola. It's full of pecans, sunflower seeds, almonds, raisins, craisins, and some sort of gluten-free crunchy cracker. The whole combination is sweet and salty and crunchy and amazing. It would be great over yogurt or even straight out of the bag as a snack.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Chebe's Frozen Pizza Crust

Brand: Chebe
~ Other reviews of this brand!

Product Name: Frozen Pizza Crust

Location Purchased: King Soopers

Cost: $5.99 for 2 frozen crusts (5'' X 6'')

A to Z Review: 5 Stars

A's Review: * * * * *
I love this crust. Thin and crunchy, it is not a regular or deep dish crust experience, but the flavor and texture are great. Just heat them up, throw on some toppings, heat for a few minutes more, and you are ready to rock.

Z's Review: * * * * *
For quick, easy, and tasty gluten-free pizza, Chebe's frozen crust is the way to go! You bake the crust in the oven for a few minutes, then add your favorite toppings and bake a few minutes more. The crust is a bit on the crunchy side, but it is really satisfying. I think Chebe's Pizza Crust Mix is still my favorite gluten-free pizza crust, but the frozen version is a whole lot quicker.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Glutino's Pretzel Twists

Brand: Glutino
~ Other reviews of this brand!
~ This item is in A&Z's Store!

Product Name: Pretzel Twists

Location/Cost Info: Glutino's website

Total From A to Z: 4 Stars

A's Review: * * * *
Pretzels were up on my list with beer and pizza as things that I would miss if I were GF. Having crossed off the last two, I was pleased to find these pretzels from Glutino. Crunchy and salty, just like a pretzel should be. And you could feed them to anyone and they'd never realize there wasn't any gluten in them.

Z's Review: * * * *
I find Glutino to be a very inconsistent brand. Some of their stuff is really bad and some of their stuff, like these pretzels, are actually really good. These pretzels are salty and crunchy and really quite enjoyable. They taste a little bit buttery, but all in all a nice replacement for regular pretzels.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Coming Up Next Week!

What will be gluten-freed next week on A-Z?

Pretzel Twists!
Frozen Pizza Crust!
Fruit & Nut Granola!
Brown Rice Bread!
Peanut Butter Puffs Cereal!

Check back on Monday for another gluten-freed week!