REVIEW: Gluten Free Go Raw Chocolate Super Cookies

Health Values: Gluten free, organic, wheat free, nut free, vegan, no added sugar, GMO free, handmade in USA.

No sugar or sugar substitutes in a gluten-free chocolate snack? I’m in!

gf go raw choc cookie front of bag

My local Whole Foods had a few flavors of Go Raw Super Cookies (they recently changed their packaging and product names, as you’ll notice on the website), so naturally I decided to try chocolate first. The ingredients are proudly displayed in large print right on the front of the bag – that coupled with the fact that there were very few ingredients was a good sign. Here is the simple list:

  • Organic Unsulphured Coconut
  • Sprouted Organic Sesame Seeds
  • Organic Dates
  • Organic Cacao

gf go raw choc cookie back of bag

I couldn’t wait to try them as soon as I got home. I have one suggestion for anyone trying these for the first time: don’t think of them as traditional “cookies”. Instead, think of them as snack wafers; if you’re expecting a traditional cookie, your taste buds won’t give them a fair chance.

Once I got past the cookie expectation, I loved them. To be able to satisfy my chocolate craving while eating a raw, live, healthful snack is more than I ever expected. These are not what I would call sweet, but they have just enough sweetness to do the trick.

gf go raw chocolate cookie

They’re also a very convenient little snack – each hand made “cookie” is about the size of a quarter, so you can easily pop them into your mouth without making a mess or leaving a trail of crumbs. Very good as an on-the-go option or as an office snack.

They’re a little pricey – $4.79 for a 3 oz. bag – but they’re definitely worth it when you consider the wonderful taste coupled with the health values. I’ll be trying the Ginger Snaps next and then I’ll hunt down their lemon Super Cookie, which wasn’t at my Whole Foods. But you can bet that I’ll find them!

5-okays

 

Keep on living the wheat free life!

NYFW Gluten Free Style: Spring 2015 Lip Trends

NYFW happened recently, showing off spring 2015 trends not only in clothes, but in makeup. Just because you’re gluten free doesn’t mean you can’t wear fashionable cosmetics! It’s never been easier to find brands that suit your allergies, so let’s check out a few right now.

Nude Lip

One thing that was popular on the catwalk was a nude lip. That has been in style for a little while, and it looks like it’s continuing into the spring. Here are a few swatches of trusted gluten free brands:

nude lip swatches 2015

From top to bottom:

1. Pacifica Color Quench in Coconut Nectar

Like a chapstick, this product leaves a light sheen on your lips, very nude and on the brown side. This is great if you want to throw something on your lips to keep them moisturized but still have a tiny bit of chic color on them.

2. Hemp Organics lipstick in Chai

Another, more solid brown nude. Hemp Organics has several brown nude colors, but this one was my favorite. You can apply it lighter than it appears on my hand, so it can be more of an accent than the main attraction.

3. Zuzu Luxe lipstick in Ultra Suede

Champagne colored and glowing, this highly moisturizing lipstick is a beautiful color that shines on your lips. I especially like how neutral it is, and I think it would look good on many skin colors.

3.5. (to the right of #3) Zuzu Luxe lip gloss in Tempest

This lip gloss is actually pigmented enough to sit on its own with no lipstick beneath it. It’s a light brown shade with some shimmer to it, and of course you can apply it a bit lighter to give a hint of brown on top of your chosen lipstick.

4. Mineral Fusion sheer moisture lip tint in Glisten

With just a hint of pink, this color is pigmented enough to give your lips some color but still be considered nude. If you wear a lot of pinks, this is an easy transition into nude colors.

*I tried more than these hues, but these fit the definition of “nude” the closest. Molten lip tint by Mineral Fusion, for example, looked great online but turned out to be very brown in person.*

Red Lip

The traditional red lip is still in fashion for spring 2015. Some people love a bold color, some a more mild version. Here are my recommendations for both.

Tints and Gloss

red lip tints and gloss

1. e.l.f. jumbo lip gloss stick in Movie Star

The pigmentation of this lip gloss stick is not like a chubby stick or a lip gloss at all. It’s really a straight up lipstick. Highly pigmented and very red, this is a really nice, easy to apply vibrant red.

2. Clinique chubby stick in Two Ton Tomato (#11)

Relatively transparent, this hue is light but pretty clearly red. If you don’t want something startling or something that jumps off your face, this is perfect for you. It has a slight leaning towards orange, but nothing very noticeable unless you wear it with a red shirt.

3. Mineral Fusion sheer moisture lip tint in Smolder

Similar in transparency to Clinique’s chubby stick, this lip tint has more of a leaning in the pink direction. If you look at this next to a true red color, you can see the pink in it clearly. It’s great for those who would like something more tame than a straight up red.

4. e.l.f. EX-tra lip gloss in Brett

It’s rare to find a lip gloss with such intense color and so opaque that it could pass as a shiny lipstick, but e.l.f. achieves it with this one! Brett shimmers with a slight pink leaning (very slight). And how much fun is it to have lip glosses named after the ex boyfriends they tempt?

Lipstick

red lipsticks

1. e.l.f. moisturizing lipstick in Red Carpet

Solid and bright, this moisture-filled lipstick is completely red with no leaning towards pink or orange. Classic!

2. Afterglow Cosmetics lipstick in Kiss

Don’t be confused by the dark looking shade of this lipstick on the website and on the outside bottom of the tube of lipstick itself; this is a nice bright red, not a dark one, with a slant towards wine red.

3.  Gabriel lipstick in Pomegranate

Vivid with a slight pink tinge, Gabriel’s answer to classic red is sharp, bold, and full. There’s just a slight bit of shine to it, but you could easily add a red or clear lip gloss to add even more shine.

4. e.l.f. matte lip color in Rich Red

This is a really nice matte lipstick that allows you to color your lips precisely with its small applicator tip, which is perfect for such a bright red. Very easy to apply and very rich color.

~~~

I hope you found something you like for the upcoming spring season! Let me know in the comments of any other shades or brands you prefer.

Keep on living the wheat free life!

REVIEW: Gabriel Dual Powder Foundation

I’ve been on the hunt for gluten free makeup that both looks good and doesn’t cause the extremely sensitive skin on my face to have bad reactions in one way or another. It’s tough. I try to stay away from ingredients that my blood tests showed either as allergies or intolerances, but there are a lot of common foods I have issues with.

Gabriel lipstick agrees with me – that’s my first test with makeup: does the lipstick work for me. Since it did, I checked out Gabriel’s other makeup products. I’ve bought a few to try, but today’s post is going to focus on the Dual Powder Foundation.

Gabriel Dual Powder Foundation box

Gabriel Dual Powder Foundation

The application “sponge” that comes in the bottom of the compact feels different from anything else I’ve ever used. It feels almost moist (it’s not, of course) and soft with some pushback. I like the feeling on my face, very nice application, very even and smooth – no need to blend it out with a brush.

Gabriel Dual Powder Foundation application sponge

Gabriel Dual Powder Foundation application sponge clean

I’ve just been using BB cream underneath it for now, but I’m also going to try out a couple of Gabriel’s liquid foundations to go underneath (reviews to come!). You can use this powder on its own without liquid foundation or moisturizer underneath, but I have some dry skin, especially in the winter time, so I prefer to use something underneath that moisturizes.

Gabriel Dual Powder Foundation makeup

This is a full coverage powder foundation that really does a great job neutralizing blemishes, scars, and uneven skin tone. I was really surprised at just how well it covered everything. I got the color Light Beige and it matches my skin perfectly.

Edit: This post previously said that once this makeup settled on my face, it got darker, but that’s not the case. I wasn’t waiting long enough for my BB cream to dry before  applying the powder, so the color turned darker as it continued to dry. Now that I’ve started waiting for the cream to dry completely, the makeup doesn’t change colors at all.

Gabriel Dual Powder Foundation compact with mirror

Leave it on for 5-10 minutes and it no longer looks like makeup is on your face. It looks very natural and even makes pores look smaller. I have actually never experienced this in a makeup before. Its staying power is excellent, especially for a powder. I don’t have to touch it up at all during the day. If I want to take the shine off my nose towards the end of the day, all I have to do is use oil absorbing papers, I don’t even have to apply more makeup. The makeup is still perfectly in tact.

I’ve had no problem at all with my skin while wearing this, so I’ve made it my everyday foundation. I’m so glad I tried it! Besides being gluten free, it’s also vegan, cruelty free, completely natural (NPA certified), and organic, all of which are major bonuses in my books.

I recommend this highly, especially for those with sensitive or even acne-prone skin who have trouble finding quality makeup. I can’t wait to try the other Gabriel foundation products I bought!

Keep on living the wheat free life!

RECIPE: Brown Rice Pancakes

It has taken me soooo long to come up with a really good pancake recipe with all the allergies I have.

LWF's brown rice pancakes finished

Of course I can’t use any of the mixes because they all have ingredients I can’t eat, so I was desperate to come up with my own. I refuse to use more than one type of flour for pancakes because I think they should be very simple. I haven’t found a recipe yet that met my expectations of what a pancake should be, both flavor- and texture-wise, so I had nothing to base it off of. But finally – FINALLY – I have created the perfect recipe! I hope you like it too. :)

LWF's brown rice pancakes recipe

1. Mix all dry ingredients with a whisk and make sure there are no clumps, especially with the sugar. Sift them if you’d like to make sure.

2. Mix well all wet ingredients in with the dry ones.

LWF's brown rice pancakes batter

3. Spray a pan with olive oil or something similar (spraying is better so you don’t fry the pancakes with too much oil) and put the heat on medium.

4. Spoon pancakes into the pan and spread them out with the spoon so they’re not too thick. I make these as silver dollar pancakes, but you can make them bigger.

LWF's brown rice pancakes batter in pan

5. Cook on each side for about 1 minute. These don’t always get bubbles in them to tell you that they should be flipped, so if you’re unsure if it’s time to flip them, check the bottom and see if they have some brown on them. If so, they’re probably ready.

LWF's brown rice pancakes cooking

6. Serve hot with maple syrup, jam, or whatever you like on your pancakes.

LWF's brown rice pancakes with syrup

Hope you enjoy! Keep on living the wheat free life!

Pizza Hut Offers Gluten Free Pizza

Pizza Hut will be introducing gluten free pizza to select stores starting January 26. Before you get too excited, they say they’ll only be putting it in select stores, so they’re probably going to try it out and see if it’s worth the effort before offering it everywhere. They have loads of useful FAQs on their site, so check out the details here: https://order.pizzahut.com/glutenfree.

The crust will be made by none other than Udi’s! Many of you have heard of thus completely gluten free brand, and when I used to eat processed gluten free bread, theirs was my favorite. They make mean muffins, too. If you’re wondering about what ingredients are in their pizza crust, here is a list: http://udisglutenfree.com/products/pizza-crusts-2-pack/.

Whether you decide to try Pizza Hut’s gluten free pizza or not, this is a pretty big step in the line of chain pizza restaurants. They haven’t been willing to bend to gluten free as much as regular Italian restaurants and pizzerias, so it’s about time!

If you try the pizza, comment down below and let us all know how it is!

Keep on living the wheat free life!

SKIN CARE REVIEW: New Creamy Brightening Cleanser by Mineral Fusion

Let me preface this review by saying that I haven’t changed face washes in over 10 years. Why? Because my skin is so deathly sensitive that whenever I try a new one, it has a horrible effect in one way or another. I have learned to fear change when it comes to anything I put on my face. But lately I’ve been questioning whether I have bad reactions because of the ingredients of drugstore brand face washes, foundations, and the like.

I have been using Clean & Clear Daily Pore Cleanser all this time and I thought it was doing a good enough job. It has those micro-scrubbers that aren’t overly rough, which seemed like a good idea all this time. But what I never used to look at was the ingredients. There isn’t a single thing on there that’s in plain English – all synthetic, it seems – except for fragrance. That word I can read. Ugh.

The good news is that I wrote to Johnson & Johnson to check if their products are gluten free and they said that any products with gluten in them will have “gluten” or “wheat” somewhere in the ingredients list. Otherwise it should be safe. So my chosen cleanser was safe from gluten, but what about all those other hard-to-pronounce ingredients? It still wasn’t good enough for me.

I saw that Whole Foods was having a sale yesterday on a whole bunch of different beauty products, and everything Mineral Fusion was on sale. Perfect timing to look for a new face wash. I came across Mineral Fusion’s new creamy brightening cleanser and was automatically skeptical because the word “creamy” is used, and cream-type products don’t agree with the skin on my face. But still, it’s Mineral Fusion and their lip products and nail polishes and eye liner seem to make my skin happy, so I went against all my doubts and picked it up.

Mineral Fusion new creamy brightening cleanser

I was thrilled to see that I could read and understand almost every single ingredient in this cleanser, and not a single one am I allergic to. Shock of all shocks, that’s next to impossible! It’s also free of all kinds of nasty stuff, which I like. The only fragrance in here comes from natural oils, no synthetic or added fragrance.

Mineral Fusion creamy brightening cleanser ingredients

Mineral Fusion creamy brightening cleanser free from

Before I did a review, I wanted to use this product for 24 hours and see what happened. With my sensitive skin, things can take a couple of minutes or a couple of uses before it shows a bad reaction. I used the face wash at night and followed the instructions. It says to wash your face with the cleanser for 1-3 minutes. I haven’t seen that on a product before! I wash my face for 1-2 minutes because I’ve read it’s the only way to take off makeup and then get down to the naked skin and exfoliate it. I used a small amount, just like the bottle said, and massaged it into my skin  for the minimum of 1 minute in case it gave me a bad reaction. The exfoliants were small, which is food. Large ones can irritate the face more than help it, depending on how sensitive your skin is.

Mineral Fusion creamy brightening cleanser product

It smelled half like clay and half like orange, and after I rinsed it off, the orange smell is what stayed. The cleanser was easy to rinse off, and a little certainly did go a long way. After I patted my face dry, I noticed that my skin was well moisturized and definitely better exfoliated. I didn’t feel any tightness because there was no drying effect. My skin was a little red from massaging, but didn’t feel hot. That seemed more normal than what can happen to my skin on a regular basis with Clean & Clear.

The next morning, I washed my face with it again, and this time I found that my skin really did seem brighter! I have never seen that happen before. My pores also looked smaller, another thing that has never happened to me before. Still nice smooth skin, the cleanser caused no breakouts, no rashes, no extra oiliness or dryness. My skin seems to be in better condition than when I used Clean & Clear.

Well I was shocked. I had hoped that this product wouldn’t bother my face and might be better for it, but I didn’t expect it to make such a huge difference in my skin. And without all those chemicals and synthetic ingredients, I feel that it’s better for me anyway. This is something I’m definitely going to continue using.

Have you used any Mineral Fusion beauty products? I just bought the BB Cream and SPF40 moisturizer to try too, now that my skin seems to agree with the cleanser. If you’ve used this brand before, what do you think of Mineral Fusion products?

Keep on living the wheat free life!

Clean Diet New Year’s Resolutions to Keep

I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution in a very long time because, as we all know, they are made to be broken. There’s one reason that happens: overpromising. When you create a goal that isn’t possible to reach, or that’s too much of a stretch to believe you can reach, you end up missing it much of the time. So I’m making some goals (and promises) to myself to improve my diet and overall health. And I’m going to be able to keep them because they’re reasonable.

Goal #1: Limit my chocolate intake. I inhale chocolate. It’s my one and only addiction, and I must break it. I’m afraid that if I eat too much of it continually, I’ll develop an intolerance, even though it would most likely be temporary, and that would devastate me. Limiting my intake would also strengthen my discipline, which can only be a good thing. I strongly feel that if I can get my chocolate indulgences under control, I will be able to better control other aspects of less disciplined parts of my life as well. So what kinds of limitations are we talking about? I think it’s reasonable to say I should have no more than the equivalent of 2 ounces of dark chocolate per day – what is recommended by many doctors and nutritionists. Once a week, I can have more. If I have 2-3 chocolate chip cookies, that means no chocolate chips/bars. Same goes for brownies and the like. I think that’s very reasonable, and I think it will make a big difference in how I physically feel on a day-to-day basis, especially in the area of my resolve.

Goal #2: Go to the gym at least 2 times per week. This is extremely reasonable as I only go on weekdays anyway, and even if I’m loaded down with work and need to work late hours, it would be best to take a break and get the stress out physically. I’m particularly looking forward to this goal because it makes me feel really good and gives me positive energy. Not to mention the health benefits!

Goal #3: Cook more gourmet dinners for myself. I end up cheating on my diet, on purpose or not, for lack of interesting food. I don’t make time for myself to make wonderful dinners that will satisfy my culinary needs, so I eat out more and more, and that’s not good for me. I want to make sure I put the time aside to make exciting dinners – old and new recipes – that rival what I see in restaurants and help me stick to homemade food. All I need to do is put the time aside. This is easiest for me on weekends, so that’s when I’ll do it. I usually end up with lots of leftovers, so that will help me out for part of the week.

Goal #4: Cook things I’ve always wanted to try. I have a list of things I’m dying to make: dinners, desserts, snacks, etc. Some are complicated, some are simple. By the end of 2014, I found myself disappointed that I had never tried making a lot of the things I wanted to. So I’m going to make a list for myself of all the things I’m really dying to make. If I hang that up, I’ll plan for those recipes and finally get them made. And then I can share them with you! This also goes along with goal #3.

Goal #5: Read 2-3 books about what poor eating habits do to your body. This will help keep my on track when I feel weak. It will be like a support system beyond my friends and family, something I can refer back to and keep forever. I’d like to share whatever books I read with you so that you too can benefit from them in the same way – or more ways! This is something I’m very excited about because it will also expand my typical reading selection. I didn’t choose 5-10  on this one

Those are my major goals for 2015. They are broad and specific at the same time. I really feel they will help me stick to the diet that makes me feel the best. My clean eating will be stronger and more consistent than ever, and my body will be in its best health, which will make me feel good both physically and emotionally.

What goals do you have for 2015? Share in the comments below! Let’s support each other. :)

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