REVIEW: Soyjoy Baked Whole Soy & Fruit Bar

Starting August 3, LWF will hold a giveaway of a package of 12+ gluten free snacks, desserts, and foods every week in August (that’s 4 giveaways!). I will provide a list of all the products included so you can see what you’re winning. I’ll use Rafflecopter, and if you’ve already followed me on Twitter, don’t worry – you’ll still be able to enter the giveaway by telling me what you’d like to see on this site. I’ll have a different question every week.

On with the review!

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For those looking for a light snack that satisfies hunger quickly, SOYJOY bars are a nice healthy option.

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The bar is great for a quick snack and the consistency is just right: not to dry and not to chewy. The flavor is very enjoyable and not overshadowed by sweetness. The calorie count is fine for someone concerned with their daily intake, and the carb count prevents that sudden surge/crash that’s so common with other bars that carry higher carb counts. In fact, the website states that all of SOYJOY’s bars have a low glycemic level.

Overall, this is a very nice treat when you have a hankering for something that satisfies.

4-okays

Giveaway Announcement and REVIEW: St. Claire’s Organic Peppermints

First of all I have an exciting announcement. Every week in August, LWF will hold a giveaway of a package of 12+ gluten free snacks, desserts, and foods. I will provide a list of all the products included so you can see what you’re winning. I’ll use Rafflecopter, and if you’ve already followed me on Twitter, don’t worry – you’ll still be able to enter the giveaway by telling me what you’d like to see on this site. I’ll have a different question every week.

Okay, on with the review!

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St. Claire’s Organics is a company that offers mints, hot cocoa mixes, candy, and more that are organic, GMO free, vegetarian (sometimes fully vegan), gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, casein free, peanut and tree nut free, corn free, soy free, shellfish and fish free, and gelatin free.

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The very first indication of how good these would be was that their peppermint smell escaped the packaging, which was very appealing. Mints are meant to be strong to ensure they work and don’t just taste good. It’s always a good sign to smell them through the package.

When I popped one into my mouth, I thought it had just the right balance of light sweetness and a hearty peppermint flavor. Not overpowering, but just right. The flavor was consistent until the mint was fully dissolved, and it left a very pleasant aftertaste when was gone. That’s not something that I can say for every mint I’ve tasted, so I was particularly happy with that.

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These are as good as the best artificially flavored mints, but of course they’re a much healthier alternative. With these, you avoid artificial sweeteners and other common chemicals. Plus you’re buying them for a good cause: 10% of the profits for these mints goes to the EthnoMedicine Preservation Project. See the picture above for what they do.

It’s an easy switch to move from mints with preservatives and other unreadable things and only use these going forward.

5-okays

REVIEW: Gluten Free Deep River Zesty Jalapeño Potato Chips

Health Values: Gluten free, non-GMO, Kosher.

I received a bag of Deep River Snacks Zesty Jalapeño chips from the annual Seashore Celiacs picnic in June. It’s not terribly hard to find gluten free potato chips, but it isn’t quite as easy to find gluten free potato chips with completely natural ingredients in a fun flavor.

deep river zesty jalapeno chips

When I first opened the bag, I noticed the fresh, not greasy aroma, which is always a welcome discovery. The chips were nice and crisp with a very appealing flavor. The jalapeño added some nice spice to the chips at the right level so it doesn’t overrun the chips overall flavor. The only thing I didn’t love is that they tasted saltier than I would have guessed based on the nutritional panel, so they could be improved by a slightly lighter touch of sodium in the future.

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Overall, it’s a great chip that stands on its own and doesn’t need dips or salsa to give it substance.

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.

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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!

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