Monday, September 27, 2010

Hittin' the bars of Bora Bora

I must say I feel a bit guilty. Right now you're thinking "Wow! There are gluten-free bars in Bora Bora?!" Well no. Or rather I don't know, I've never been. What I have experienced are the Bora Bora fruit and nut bars and as usual I am addicted. The gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, no refined sugar, vegan, kosher and organic nutrition bars are divided into three categories: antioxidant, superfood and energy. May I recommend the Exotic Coconut Almond, Wild Pomegranate Pecan, and Paradise Walnut Pistachio as the first of ten flavors to try? I first tried one that I found at a boat dealership in New Jersey. Seriously. A gluten-free organic nutrition bar being sold at a boat dealership. How cool is that? Imagine how excited I was to find them at the Harris Teeter when I got home!  WooHoo! However, the Harris Teeter is missing some important flavors (Volcanic Chocolate Banana and Tiki Blueberry Flax for starters) and I'm going to have to talk them into getting them.

Being gluten-free can be hard when you're on the road, running errands or out and about late night. Nutrition, protein and snack bars make great car, and even bar (the go hang out and have a few cocktails kind) food and I like to have them on hand always.  Larabar is another favorite of mine. With umpteen flavors, it's hard to get sick of them and they always offer a healthy, raw, gluten and dairy free snack.  May I recommend Coconut Cream Pie (seems like I push a lot of coconut things on you guys doesn't it?), Cashew Cookie, Peanut Butter Cookie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (unbelievable how much it tastes like it), Peanut Butter and Jelly (who needs a sandwich with all those extra carbs?) and Key Lime Pie. I encourage you NOT to get Tropical Tart (recently tried and the only flavor I would never buy again). I desperately want to try Carrot Cake but I haven't seen it at the store recently.

Natural, healthy, organic, kosher and gluten-free Pure bars are a more recent discovery for me. The Wild Blueberry is reminiscent of a blueberry Pop Tart and I LOVED blueberry Pop Tarts. I cannot get enough of this delicious, though a bit pricier, bar and I must admit......I haven't tried any of their other flavors because I'm pretty sure it will not compare. Blueberry is my all time favorite fruit and Pure bar nailed it on the head.

A newer addition to the Shaklee catalog this year is the gluten-free, dairy-free Chewy Apple Cinnamon Fiber bar. With a whopping 8 grams of fiber, at only 120 calories and 1.5 grams of fiber, this bar packs a filling punch.  And let's face it, we're all lacking in the fiber intake department.  Order from a local Shaklee distributor, online or if you're in the Wilmington, NC area through KB Organic Skin Care (a shameless plug for my other business I know, but why not?)

Bars. Leave 'em in your car, pack 'em in your purse, or stick 'em in your desk at work and save yourself the stress of the drive-through, the convenience store or the temptation of the late night pizza joint after a night of inhibition reducing drinking. You'll be happy you did.

Until we eat again,

Eat bars, Drink and Be Gluten-Free

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gluten-Free in New Jersey?

New Jersey. In the land of Wawas, where bakeries and delis rule, it is extremely difficult to be gluten-free. Thanks mom and dad for moving there. I knew my trip to the Jersey shore would be Snookie and The Situation free, but could it be gluten-free? As it turns out, yes, but temptation free, definitely not. My destination was Wildwood, New Jersey. My family's condo sits two blocks from the boardwalk filled with pizza and hoagies, ice cream and candy, deep fried Oreos and funnel cakes.......and you can smell it from a block away. So what's a gluten-free gal to do?

The first night we grilled out before heading to the adventuresome rides on the boardwalk. After a couple coasters and the big slide we stopped for a gluten-free, dairy-free boardwalk treat: TLC's Polish Water Ice. Hands down the best water ice ever. My favorite flavor is mango and despite the fact that I've tried all the other flavors I still get mango water ice every single time. Next stop (I'm about to get gluttonous here) Laura's Fudge. For the greatest fudge in the world since 1926, even better than Mackinac Island's in Michigan, you must go to Laura's. Gluten-free (but not dairy-free, I'm such a cheater) coconut vanilla fudge is worth the extra pound or two you may gain eating it. (On a side note, why is there so much delicious junk food at a place where you have to bare all in a bikini on the beach during the day? Why God, why?!!)

The next day we headed over to Villas, NJ and stopped at Mel's Diner for breakfast. The first thing I noticed when I walked in, besides the leopard print carpet, was Mel (a life size stuffed gorilla) sitting at the bar. I wonder if they move him when it gets really crowded? Pictures of movie stars adorned the walls and one sassy, but cute, waitress bustled around the tables. I started with a cup of joe and proceeded to look over the menu. Stuffed french toast, pumpkin pancakes....ohhhh the temptation, but I ordered two eggs over medium with home fries (super good), a side of pork roll and a glass of ruby red grapefruit juice. All gluten-free, yay!

For dinner that night, also in the Villas, we headed over to Jake's Bar & Grill. The first thing that caught my eye on the menu was their crab stuffed flounder. Every time I see that listed on the menu I want it, but inevitably it is never just fresh lump crab meat that's stuffed into the fish of choice. It's always the same mixture they use to make crab cakes, bread crumbs and all, put into it.......Until now. I asked the waiter, who asked another waiter, who got the chef, and glory hallelujah it was GLUTEN-FREE!! Just sweet, delicious, fresh Maryland blue crab meat (and nothing else) stuffed into a huge piece of flounder and broiled!! And man was it good.  Later for dessert?.......another piece of Laura's fudge.

For our last night at the Jersey shore we grilled out yet again with some primo cuts of filet from Blitz's market, some sauteed broccoli and baby red bliss potatoes.  Then we hit the boardwalk for our last hurrah and stopped at yet another decadent candy shop for the best salt water taffy and molasses paddles in the world. Yes, Wildwood, NJ knows how to do candy right. Again gluten-free but not dairy-free, Douglass Candies' salt water taffy (I love vanilla) and molasses paddles (soft, chewy real molasses caramel drenched in dark chocolate) are to die for.

Alas it was time to return home, still gluten-free but slightly pudgier, and get back to reality and a healthier diet.

Until we eat again,

Eat a bunch of candy, Drink and Be Gluten-Free