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Saturday, October 31, 2015

REVIEW -- Send Me Gluten Free October 2015

Send Me Gluten Free
October 2015 Box

What is Send Me Gluten Free?
We’re not here to save the world, we just want to make yours a whole lot easier.

Our mission is to help the gluten free community by providing great resources and fun ways to try new products that are safe for you and your family. That mission is so important to us because we get it...most of our team lives gluten free. We know first-hand how difficult it can be to find the best products and we’re here to make all of that easier with our monthly subscription box. We hope you’ll join us!
Send Me Gluten Free is a subscription box similar to Taste Guru, catering to the gluten free diet/lifestyle.

I was sent the October 2015 box for review.

So, What was in the October 2015 box?

^^SoyJoy bar in Blueberry^^

You'll swear you're eating a blueberry muffin when you experience the simply baked taste of Blueberry SOYJOY. Made with real blueberries and baked with ground whole soybeans, it's a healthy, convenient muffin alternative to snack on anywhere, anytime.

When I first opened the box and saw this, I let out a very audible groan. I had tried SoyJoy bars before, and they were COMPLETELY disgusting. The ones I had tried before were dry and bland. The company must have changed the recipe over the last few years, since this actually didn’t taste that bad. I probably would eat this flavor again.
TASTE: 8/10

^^Enlightened Crisps in Sriracha^^

A winning combination of spicy, tangy, and subtly sweet creates this bold flavor.
The best-kept secret in healthy snacking! Enjoyed around the world for their delicious flavor and satisfying crunch, broad beans are a nutritional powerhouse packed with protein and fiber.
ENLIGHTENED CRISPS are lightly roasted in sunflower oil, sprinkled with sea salt, and seasoned to perfection. So go ahead... spill the beans.

These were actually pretty good. I've ate things with Sriracha before and they were much spicier than these were. The crunch was similar to a Pringles chip. They were quite soft on the teeth, which was a plus for someone with gum issues.
There are 4 different flavors to choose from: Mesquite BBQ, Sea Salt, Wasabi, Sriracha & Garlic & Onion. I'd love to try the other flavors.
TASTE: 8.5/10

^^PB2 Powdered peanut butter^^

PB2 is peanut butter reimagined. Freshly roasted peanuts are pressed to remove 85% of the fat and calories. The result is a delicious and all natural alternative to traditional peanut butter with twice the healthy proteins per gram than its traditional counterpart. PB2 can be mixed with any liquid to make a spread, eaten straight from the jar or added to recipes for a rich nutty flavor.

FROM THE BACK: Superior quality peanuts are first slow roasted then pressed to remove 85% of the fat and oil. The result is an exquisitely natural roasted peanut butter flavor that’s deliciously rich in taste, easy to enjoy and wonderfully healthy.

I have yet to try this. I am restricted to what I can and can't do around here at the moment, and to be quite honest, I don't want to deal with the negativity and drama that will come with making this.
But I like the concept that I can make peanut butter whenever I want with just water.
I will update this when I can make this without people trying to control me.
TASTE: ?/10

^^Surf Sweets candies^^

That mission continues today – our organically sweetened gummy candy and jelly beans are full of the fruity flavor that you expect with none of the yucky ingredients you avoid. Anyone can enjoy Surf Sweets because our candy is free of high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors, and the top ten allergens.
You will love how the fresh fruit flavor of the organic fruit juice is revealed when it’s not masked by processed corn syrup and petroleum-based artificial food dyes. Pack them in a lunch box, bring them to a school party, or treat somebody for a job well done and enjoy the guilt free sweet satisfaction of having delicious treats everyone loves and knowing they are free of artificial ingredients.
Though we’re not based in California now, as devoted parents and doting uncles and aunts, we understand the constant quest to find fun products kids love that aren’t filled with icky ingredients so join us grab some Surf Sweets and Snack Happy!

I liked these a lot. Even though these are organic, none of the sweet flavors were lost on these.
There were three kinds: Organic Jelly Beans, Organic Fruity Bears & Organic Fruity Hearts. The jelly beans tasted like normal jelly beans, just a little less sweet. The fruity bears had the crystallized sugar, like the jellied fruit slices and the fruity hearts were just like gummy bears, but in a heart shape.
TASTE: 9.5/10

^^The empty Lovely Candy Co. licorice bag^

The idea which started the company!  We’ve Consciously Crafted® a gluten-free licorice with all the taste and texture of premium quality licorice.  These delectable, bite size candies combine natural flavors and ingredients with true licorice extract for a lovely flavor experience.

Mama Melissa ate these, as I HATE black licorice. Always have, always will. I tried one for testing purposes and I couldn’t tell a difference between the gluten free and the regular varieties.
TASTE: 3/10 for me, 8/10 for Mama Melissa

^^Chewy Crunchola Bar^^

Our Crunchola Chewy Apples and Cinnamon Bars are a tasty snack or on-the-go breakfast you won’t regret later. They’re made from the finest wholegrain oats sweetened with natural fruit juice and apple pieces, sprinkled with cinnamon, and then baked to a delicious chewy texture. Try them in Apricot, Coconut and Chia, too.
What’s not to love?
-Free from nuts
-Goodness of Australian oats
-Dairy free
-Source of fibre
-Low in salt
-No artificial colours or flavours
-4 Health Star Rated

This was really good. Reminded me a LOT of the Nature Valley granola bars, but more chewy. The apples and cinnamon flavors really burst through.
TASTE: 9/10

^^Honey Nut Cheerios^^

You already know that Honey Nut Cheerios® Naturally Flavored has the irresistible taste of golden honey, making it a family favorite. But did you know that each little "o" also contains soluble fiber from whole grain oats? As part of a heart-healthy* eating plan, eating Honey Nut Cheerios each day can help lower your cholesterol. Made with whole grains and low in fat, Cheerios also provides 12 essential vitamins and minerals. That’s something that everyone can smile about!

Honey Nut Cheerios went gluten free in Autumn 2015 by removing stray wheat, rye and barley, to deliver a more pure version of Cheerios.
I’m pretty sure 95% of us know what Honey Nut Cheerios taste like. I mixed this with ‘normal’ Honey Nut Cheerios, to see if I could detect a difference in the taste, and I was unable to taste a difference. I like Honey Nut Cheerios as it is, so this was a delight to see in the box.
TASTE: 10/10

^^Slender Sticks in Grape^^

NOW Foods Slender Sticks Active Grape is the designed specifically for your active lifestyle.

Tasted like VERY weak Kool-Aid. Didn’t have an AWFUL taste, but it’s not something I’d drink on a regular basis.
TASTE: 4/10

^^Modern Table Meals in Mediterranean Green Lentil Rotini^^

With Garlic Herb Sauce & Mediterranean Citrus Seasoning
We believe wholesome foods can delight & excite the whole family. And dinner should be simple, nutritious & yummy. All it takes is 15 minutes. It’s a dinner you can be proud of: a taste of exciting, a taste of healthy a taste of reality.

Very interesting taste. The noodles were a bit hard, but not to the unchewable stage; more like a firm pasta. I really liked the way the garlic herb sauce paired with the citrus flavoring, which I really couldn’t identify WHICH citrus it was. I didn’t really detect any lemon flavor, but I’m leaning heavily towards orange.
I’d like to try their other flavors, but I don’t see them in the stores I shop in, and I really don’t want to drive to our closest Wegman’s to buy them.
TASTE: 8/10

Like with most foods/subscription boxes, the biggest problem disabled people (minus any chewing issues) will have is opening the packages. Some of the food packages are small, so it's hard to open.

You can start your own subscription at sendmeglutenfree.com. I also have a discount code for all my readers -- 20% off any subscription length with the code BLOG20.

I really liked the assortment in this box again. It went from sweet to salty to savory. I was pleasantly surprised at how many things can be gluten free, but still tasty.

**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**

Monday, October 19, 2015

REVIEW -- Pupjoy Subscription Box

Pupjoy Subscription Box

Rewarding Good Dogs & Doing Some Good
PupJoy gives dog lovers a better way to treat — a modern concierge model that combines the best of convenience, control and value — with customized ordering and to-your-door delivery of clear-labeled healthy dog treats, unique well-crafted toys and artisan accessories that are sourced from small suppliers who are focused on creating quality, responsible products.

We weren’t satisfied with the options in the market, and we found that many of you weren’t either, so we identified the common challenges and built a better way.

PupJoy was conceived with a pretty simple premise — let's create joy — so we built the business on the guiding golden rule that we should treat everyone, from our customers, partners, employees to those in need, in the way that we would want to be treated ourselves.

"Treat Better" is a principle for doing better business, better in a bunch of ways, and it is the catalyst for the charitable programs that we collectively support through the PupJoy Care Pack community.
Chase is the 'Pampered Pooch' here. He's VERY spoiled and very loved. Mama Melissa and I are ALWAYS buying him something new to either munch on or play with, as evidenced by my recent posts.

When PupJoy agreed to send me a one-time box for review, I was excited. More toys and goodies for the baby boy!

What I really like about PupJoy is that it's completely customizable. I can pick the size of the box, what I want in the box, and whether I want Gourmet treats or Grain-free treats. I can even specify what kind of toys my puppy should have!

Let's see what's inside!!

Outward Hound Firehose Fetch
Expect long-lasting fun with Outward Hound Firehose Fetch toys! Made with double-stitched seams and real firehose material, these toys are built to stand up to tough chewers. Perfect for fetch, tug or toss games, Firehose Fetch toys will keep your pup having fun!
Bound to become your best friend’s favorites, our lovable toys are durably designed with an engaging array of shapes, sounds and textures so you can have huge fun with your furry friend.

Chase is a toy freak. He loves to play with toys. This toy can really stand up to chewing and tug of war games daily. It made from very durable material, which looks like nylon, but I could be wrong. It does seem to have a squeaker in it, but the squeak is VERY quiet, and you can miss it if you're not listening for it.
The only problem this toy seems to have is the stitching likes to fray, but a simple snip with the scissors and it's taken care of.

Baitfree quick-release Blue collar
An eye catching adjustable quick-release collar made with durable materials. Comfortable and easy to take on and off. Collars 9-14" long are 3/4" thick. All others are 1" thick. 20% of all Bait Free proceeds support the physical and emotional needs of rescued bait dogs.

We actually DON'T use a collar for Chase; we use a harness. When we first got Chase, he was rubbed raw from the collar he had on. I don't know if it was because the collar was too tight or if he pulled on it a lot during walks, but Mama Melissa put her foot down; NO COLLARS. We ended up giving this to a relative for their dog.
But the collar was made from good materials and I liked the fact that it is a quick-release form factor. This style collar would be the best style for disabled people, as it takes minimal effort to put on and take off.

Your Pet Chef Guilt Free Treats
Who can resist a great pot of lamb stew? Your Pet Chef brings these great flavors to your pet with their Lamb Stew No Guilt Treats! Flavorful and delicious. These treats are dehydrated to perfection using Your Pet Chef's raw food recipes preserving all of the nutritional benefits of the protein meat and vegetables in each piece. This is a lightly crunchy treat (not a jerky style) that your dog will love and no choke hazard. Perfect for seniors! Our No Guilt Treats are hand crafted in our Chicago kitchens and pieces measure roughly 2" x 1" (sizes vary). Packed with protein and minimal fat they are the perfect treat full sized or they can be easily snapped off for a training treat. 4 oz. resealable standup pouch

Chase was indifferent to these treats. He ate them, but it wasn't his favorite treat. He usually would nibble on this treat throughout the day, compared to his SPORTMiX Puppy Biscuits, which were always GONE within minutes.
I don't think he liked the lamb meat used, because he LOVES other meats. If we had received a different protein choice, I think he might have liked these better.

Kim’s Barkery Oatmeal cookies - Applesauce flavor
Apples contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which are great for healthy, glossy coats and help to control skin allergies. Apples also contribute to joint health by being a great source of vitamin C, which plays a role in collagen production, needed for soft-tissue support for joints. They are low in sodium and saturated fat—a bonus for more portly pups—and provide delicious dietary fiber. Of course, the sweetness of apples is not lost on Fido!

These were Chase's FAVORITE treat. He LOVED these cookies, and I honestly think he was a bit depressed when these were gone. They were small enough to be bite-size, even for him, and they really didn't crumble.
We could really smell the applesauce in these cookies, and I'm kind of shocked Chase did like them. And they contained a slew of good vitamins for him, so I felt no guilt letting him munch on these daily.

Good Dog Bakery Original bones
Good Dog Bakery's handmade treats are a nutritional source of human grade products that are safe for dogs. Because they are handmade and oven-baked from natural ingredients, they contain no artificial preservatives or fillers, unlike dog treats available commercially. Give your furry family member this wholesome and delicious treat for a happy, healthy life.

When we got these, they were a bit too big for Chase's mouth. But he's grown a LOT over the two months we've had him, and he can now chomp on these with no problems.
I smelled a LOT of ginger in these when I opened the bag the first time. Chase seemed to like these better than the lamb meat treats, but not as much as the applesauce cookies.

The main problem I see disabled folks having is the packaging. The treats come in traditional zip bags, so they may be troublesome for some disabled folks to open and reseal. The collar and the toy were easy to remove from their packaging.

This is available from PupJoy.com for $29.00 month-to-month. There is a discount if you subscribe to longer subscription terms. But, you can save even MORE with 10% off (any subscription) by using the code: CPCHICK

Awesome subscription box for dogs! All the bases are covered when it comes to your pooch's needs!

**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**

A HUGE thanks to Dustin McAdams and the entire team at PupJoy for making this review possible!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

TASTY THURSDAY - Love With Food Gluten Free September 2015

Love with Food
September 2015 box

What is Love With Food?
Love With Food helps you discover new organic or all-natural snacks delivered to your door every month. Our subscription membership starts as low as $10/month. Every month, Love With Food members will receive a curated box of unique, hard-to-find tasty snacks which varies based on seasonal themes.

For every box sold, we donate a meal to several food banks such as the Feeding America Network and Share Our Strength - No Kid Hungry. Join us to help end child hunger one meal at a time!

Say goodbye to boring grocery selections and start discovering your Love With Food experience!
The September 2015 box was curated by Jules Shepard, AKA gfJules. Jules is the author of three books and numerous e-books on gluten-free living and cooking. She’s been featured in national media including The Washington Post, USA Today, Forbes, Glamour and Fox and Friends.

She’s also the associate editor of Living Without’s Gluten Free & More and contributes to other publications like Gluten-Free Living and Prevention.com. She co-founded 1in133.org and was credited with successfully pressuring the FDA to intorduce gluten free food labeling regulations.

Jules also founded and currently runs a gluten-free flour company (gfJules) and travels around the country speaking to, teaching and encouraging gluten-free consumers. As an industry consultant, she also helps companies transition to offering safe gluten- and allergen-free foods.

Visit Jules at gfjules.com

So, What was in the September 2015 box?


Description: All the crunchy, salty goodness of pretzels minus the gluten. Perfect for stashing in a backpack for recess or munching while tackling math homework.

Take a pretzel and meld it with a cracker. You now have these crisps. Very light and crispy.
TASTE: 9/10

Description: Sometimes you just need a sugary pick-me-up, and these treats have you covered. Serve them with milk to the kids as an excuse to munch a few yourself!

FROM THE BACK: We dehydrate our macaroons at low temperatures to protect the organic extra virgin coconut oil. It is best to enjoy these at room temperature, however refrigeration will extend freshness.

I love macaroons. I usually buy myself a bag or two at Dollar General when I go. But these were gross. I don’t think the chocolate melded with the coconut in these. Mama Melissa actually started to get sick from these, since they have coconut in them, and she is allergic to coconut.
TASTE: 2/10

Description: Nuts and dried fruit pair perfectly in this crunchy, gluten-free organic snack to give kids a hit of sweetness while keeping them full and focused.

I’ve never really ate loose granola before; they’ve always been in the chewy Quaker bars or the crunchy Nature Valley bars. This was good, but a bit messy and crumbly. Even Mama Melissa liked it, but she found it a bit dry, despite the raisins.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten-Free, Vegan, Organic

Description: A perfect power-up snack after school, these crunchy oven-baked chips are non-GMO and begging to be paired with a yummy dip for a hit of energy.

FROM THE BACK: Since 1926, Families have been relyin’ on the taste of Toufayan
The Toufayan family has taken its 85 year history of making pita bread, and created the first gluten free pita chip that tastes great. Toufayan’s Gluten-Free Pita Chips are Vegan, Non GMO, Oven Baked and are All Natural, with no Cholesterol or Trans-Fats. Our Gluten-Free Pita Chips also have a uniquely crunchy texture with a taste the entire family will love. Like our original pita chips, Toufayan Gluten-Free Pita Chips are ‘scoop-able,’ specially designed to scoop up the goodness of your favorite dips.
Enjoy Toufayan Gluten-Free “Scoop-Able” Pita Chips either as a snack or with your favorite dips.
From our family to yours -- The Toufayans - Harry, Karen, Greg, Kristine

I liked these, even though they reminded me a lot of the flatbread I reviewed in my Gift a Feast review. I received the Sea Salt flavor, so these were saltier than the flatbread. I really couldn’t scoop dip with them, since the chips were quite broken when I received them. They have a crunch comparable to potato chips.

Toufayan Gluten-Free Pita Chips come in 3 flavors: Chili Lime, Sea Salt and Salted Caramel. I'd gladly buy these if I found these.
TASTE: 9/10

Description: The ideal quick and easy dinner for those busy weekdays, this creamy mac and cheese will be a big hit with the whole family -- with absolutely zero GMOs!

This was okay... couldn't really taste a difference between this and commercial boxed Mac & Cheese. Maybe a little soupier.
TASTE: 7/10

Description: Spicy, hearty, with a touch of cinnamon -- this takes chili (and weeknight dinners) to new heights. The kids are guaranteed to go back for seconds!

FROM THE SIDE: Ever taste something so good it should me outlawed? Our wholesome, handcrafted chili is that delicious. It’s a perfect mix of red and black beans, tomatoes and quinoa with just a hint of cinnamon. Add in lean ground beef or turkey, and you’ve got one hearty meal sure to please any posse.
Y’er Darn Tootin’!

Honestly, a bit bland for me. I like my chili spicy, and this just fell flat. Sloppy Joes seem spicier to me than this did. Mama Melissa and I ended up mixing some cottage cheese into it on our plates, and it gave it a nice ‘Beef & Cheese burrito’ filling flavor. Not 100% positive we would actually buy this ourselves.
TASTE: 7.5/10

Description: Never succumb to the afternoon slump again with this nutty-yet-sweet bar, perfect for after soccer practice or during a last-minute grocery run.

FROM THE BACK: If cavemen had our blueberry nut bar, they may have stayed in their caves longer rather than being chased by saber-toothed tigers. Full of delicious antioxidant-rich blueberries, it’s gluten-free and all natural. From the days of the caveman, This is what we’re meant to eat.

YUM YUM YUM! Not a big blueberry fan, but this was still yummy. Reminded me of a KIND bar in texture, but sweeter than the KIND bars. I would buy this if they were sold locally.

In addition to the Wild Blueberry Nut flavor, Caveman Bars come in seven other flavors, Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut, Dark Chocolate Cherry Nut, Dark Chocolate Cashew Almond, Almond Cashew, Maple Nut, Cranberry Apricot and Apple Cinnamon.
TASTE: 8.5/10

Description: A classic turned tiny, with all the flavor everyone knows and loves, not to mention no gluten or GMOs. Toss them in the lunchbox and become a hero.

Take a Chips Ahoy cookie and shrink it. You now have these cookies. Tasted EXACTLY like a Chips Ahoy. If I were to do a blind taste test, I think i’d say these were mini Chips Ahoy cookies. Had a nice crunch to them as well.
TASTE: 9.5/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten-Free, Organic, Non-GMO

Description: This isn’t just the time of the year for new discoveries inside the classroom. This classic has no substitute -- and with zero gluten, you won’t need one.

I couldn’t really taste a difference between this and normal soy sauce. I just wish I received a bigger sample, like maybe even a 1 oz bottle. A little foil packet doesn’t really do anything for a good size bowl of rice.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten-Free, Vegan, Kosher, Dairy-Free

I really don't see disabled people having a problem eating these snacks, barring any chewing/swallowing issues. The hardest thing I see would be opening the box and the individual packages.

The Love With Food Gluten-Free box has merged with Taste Guru. Please visit this link for more info.

Love the variety in this month's box. I like how I got snacks AND meals in the same box.

**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**