Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Heart Health Tips and a Natural Calm Giveaway

Most people know that February is all about the heart. What some may not know, however, is that February is American Heart Month!

Edible and non edible hearts of course!
As you know, I'm all about the love - and, with some help from Natural Vitality's new Heart for Health E-book, I'm giving three tips on how to get your most upbeat heart yet! (Pun, obviously intended). 'Cause the goal isn't just to have a healthy heart - it's crafting a happy one too!

1. Move

Most of the time, that means exercise. It doesn't have to be a marathon or cross fit (unless those are what your body loves). Start with a walk around the block, a yoga class at your local studio or even a fitness video from the magical world of YouTube. You can even try out some of these heart-opening yoga poses from Natural Vitality's e-book

Bridge is one of my favorite yoga poses!
For the heart, moving can be more than just physical. (Though, I'll admit, that's the part I'm better at!) Don't forget to move away from negative influences or aspects of your life. Maybe that's exercising too much, snacking at night - or people who hurt more than help your day. Just like the house needs a good spring cleaning every once in a while, so does your heart's priorities

2. Mediate

I'll be the first to say that meditation and I don't get along so well. I guess a girl who never stops thinking and an activity all about that thoughtless, focused "om" isn't exactly a dating site's dream pairing. But through my yoga practice this past year, I've realized that meditation doesn't require a room with a gorgeous view, a comfy yet fashionable outfit with some relaxing reggae music playing in the background. (No matter what Instagram says!) 

A nice view certainly doesn't hurt...
Meditation can be a morning run along the cliffs or a slow walk to class. It can happen sitting in traffic on the way to work or by smiling at yourself in the mirror. All meditation requires is you and some thoughts - or lack of them. 

3. And mindfully eat

It's true that the "right" diet differs between people. For some it's whole wheat and low fat dairy...for others - me - it's none of the above. What do most "right" diets have in common

My kind of healthy eating!
A variety of fruits and vegetables for lots of vitamins and nutrients. Meals as good for your body as your taste buds...'cause happy requires tasty in my book belly. Smoothies, like this recipe from Natural Vitality's e-book, are easy and delicious ways to pack in the nutrients

Some other favorites? Salmon with pesto zoodles, oatless zoats, veggie buckwheat pizza and lots of homemade granola! And when food isn't enough to get the vitamins our body needs, supplements can fill the gaps. 

Calm in a bottle ;)
One such vitamin-booster being Natural Calmmagnesium supplement that is gluten free, vegan, and Non GMO - though packed with a punch of raspberry-lemon flavor. I first shared my experience with Natural Calm during the holiday rush of Christmas. 

As Natural Vitality explains below, magnesium plays an important role in both the heart and stress levels. More magnesium (to a healthy degree) = a happier heart and mind! I can't claim that drinking Natural Calm immediately vanquished my stress, but it (or even the placebo effect of feeling empowered to control my stress) can't hurt! 

Magnesium is one important guy!
To celebrate American Heart Month, Natural Vitality is offering one lucky reader a bottle of Natural Calm to try for themselves. For those who entered my December drawing, enjoy this second chance to win! Just enter through the Rafflecopter giveaway below - and box of loving "calm" might be sent to your door sometime soon. 
February is all about the heart. So why not focus on showing your heart some love this month? 

*I received these products without charge to review, but my opinions are all my own!*

Have you ever tried Natural Calm? What are your heart healthy tips or habits? Comment below! 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Coconut Flour: Tips and Tricks

There are many ingredients I use on a daily basis that I'd never heard of pre-diagnosis. Chia seeds. Buckwheat and rice flakes. Even the topic of this post: coconut flour.

For those who don't know, coconut flour is a gluten free and paleo flour replacement made, as one would assume, out of coconuts. This flour is high in fiber, protein and healthy fats and low in digestible carbohydrates. Some sources also credit coconut flour for supporting a healthy metabolism, blood sugar level, and digestive health. Bakers also soon realize that coconut flour works best with an equal liquid to flour ratio.

casey the college celiac
Bananas and coconut flour...dream team!
While coconut flour can be temperamental at first, it is a delicious secret weapon for any gluten free kitchen. In particular, coconut flour rules breakfast and dessert in my house

Because coconut flour is high in fiber, low in calories and mild in taste, it makes for the perfect thickener for smoothies and granola. In smoothies, simply add 1/2-1 tablespoon into the blender with the rest of the ingredients. By the time all the ingredients are mixed together, you'll forget you even added flour! 

casey the college celiac
My favorite coconut flour uses...
For granola, many of my recipes already have one or two tablespoons of coconut flour included. I'm a huge cluster lover and the flour further binds all of the ingredients together. The extra boost in nutrition doesn't hurt either! 

Coconut flour also works well in baking because of its fluffy, dense consistency. Though vegan baking can be more challenging than paleo (which often uses lots of eggs to fulfill coconut flour's need for extra liquid), my favorite vegan pancakes combine coconut and buckwheat flour.

casey the college celiac
Pancake pandemonium!
The buckwheat flour gives the pancakes structure and a protein boost while the coconut flour adds a pillowy texture and healthy fats. These pancakes may look bad for you - especially covered in coconut yogurt, nut butter and fruit - but they're actually a healthy choice for breakfast (or dinner!). 

Even on the nights when "healthy" isn't the top of your to-do list, you can go crazy for coconut in the form of my chocolate mug cake. This vegan and paleo mug cake is packed with mashed banana, rice milk, coconut flour and cacao powder - plus chocolate chips for a chocolate lava center

casey the college celiac
And mug cake madness!
The other bonus of using coconut flour in dessert? Even though this serving seems small, the mix of fiber, fats and carbs will quickly satisfy your stomach (and your sweet tooth).  

I'll admit, coconut flour can be tricky to master. My pancakes fell apart on the griddle until I tried adding buckwheat to the mix and that mugcake? Let's just say that my microwave tasted more of the previous (slightly explosive) versions than I did! 

casey the college celiac
A common expression!
With some help from these tips and tricks, though, I hope that coconut flour lands on even more gluten free menus. In this case, success really does taste pretty sweet! 

*Also found at RunningwithSpoon's link party!*

Do you ever cook with coconut flour? What is your favorite way to use it or a tip to pass along? Comment below! 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Saying I Love You

I know. Like the boxes of chocolate now eaten and thrown in the recycling bin, the word "love" is losing its appeal this February. Valentine's Day has passed and the build up weeks before - recipes, cheap date ideas, desperate Yahoo forums on the "right" gift - have finally stopped clogging up the blogosphere.

And that's a good thing. I don't mind reading about some green smoothies between all the chocolate recipes

casey the college celiac
Or a little bit of both!
But it also got me thinking. Why do we schedule "love" for only one day out of 365 (or 366 this year!)? When was the last time I said I love you?

Sure, when I sent my family a loving (and hilarious) gluten free meme on Valentine's morning. But also yesterday. And the day before in my morning texts to Mom. 

One of the many hilarious Valentine's Day memes!
When referring to the friends who nearly made me choke laughing during dinner at Slaters 50/50 when two unnamed betting participants (one guy, one girl) both left their numbers for our hot waiter. The winner (who the waiter calls) is still undetermined

To my boyfriend before I fall asleep

About the teacher of my Human Sexuality class, who always leaves me dazed, enlightened (and sometimes mentally scarred) at the end of class.

casey the college celiac
My reaction? All of the above...
Fact is, love and me get along pretty well. Maybe you can relate. Or maybe you're the kind of person who abstains from casual "xoxo's" and goes all out on Valentine's Day. Neither is bad or wrong. But both kind of people likely have one thing in common: 

Like me, they probably forget to say "I love you" to the person in the mirror. On Valentine's Day or any other day of the year. 

casey the college celiac
Or to the person in the shadow...
"But I smile at myself!" You might say. "And when I rock that favorite dress of mine, I say, 'Darn - insert amazing name here - you're looking fiiiiiine!'" 

Those are great routines. But I suggest that, like not limiting love to one day out of the year, one shouldn't limit showing self love to feeling good about one's appearance. 

Instead, flip the equation. Not, I look good so I love myself. It's I love myself...so even if I don't totally believe it, I look good because I look like me

Unless it's this greeting card from Zazzle! ;)
True, the latter phrase doesn't have the same greeting card ring to it. It's messy and non-idealistic and individualized

But so is love. It can't be put in a box - on the calendar, in a mirror, or in someone's mind. Maybe we schedule love for one day because it's easier. People who want to express everlasting love every Monday through Sunday? Good for them. People who turn on the candles and fireworks February 14th? Valentine's has got them covered

This year, I'm not setting a goal to change the amount of love I give. I'm still gonna be a hugger - if my mom's any proof, it's in my genes! But I am going to tweak my definition of self love. More common. More unconditional. And worthy of a 365-day holiday. 

casey the college celiac
All the hugs!
Just like finding the right Valentine's Day gift, saying "I love you" isn't always as easy as we anticipate. But sometimes that makes the reward even sweeter

(Especially if leftover Valentine's Day candy is involved!)

*Also found at RunningwithSpoon's link party!*

When was the last time you said "I love you?" To yourself? Comment below! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Cocoa Crunch Granola featuring Pipcorn

You give me any gluten free product and I could probably transform it into a delicious granola. Green tea? Check. Corn dogs? If caramelized like bacon, I might even succeed at that!

As soon as Pipsnacks contacted me, though, I knew incorporating one of their flavored popcorn into my homemade granola would create an edible bang! Or should I say, "pop?"

Pipcorn party!
Pipsnacks, or Pipcorn, is a mini popcorn (around half the size of normal!) that is also all natural, gluten free, non-GMO, vegan, and whole grain. Popped in olive oil instead of butter, Pipcorn also comes in four flavors: original salt, truffle oil, kettle and, their newest, Chili Lab. Limited ingredients, maximum flavor

For this particular recipe - which boasts lots of cacao and cinnamon spices and two hidden veggies - I used Pipcorn's kettle corn, which is lightly spiced with sea salt and cane and brown sugar. Mini popcorn + my usual granola goodies = ultimate crunchy-chewy clusters!

Those clusters!
To get crackin' on your own gluten free and vegan delight, gather the ingredients below:

Dry Ingredients:

1 cup buckwheat groats
1 1/2 crumbled rice cakes (I choose plain, no salt, but cinnamon or sweetened would also work!)
1 1/4 cup of mixed seeds/nuts (I used pumpkin and sunflower seeds and pistachios)
1/4 cup uncooked millet
1/2 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup rice flakes (can be substituted with buckwheat flakes, quinoa flakes or oats)
1 cup Pipcorn Kettle corn (crumbled with fingers or left whole)
2 dates, shredded by hand
1/4 cup of chocolate chunks (I use dairy/gluten/soy free Enjoy Life)
2 TBSP cinnamon
1/2 TBSP cacao powder
1 tsp maca powder

Wet Ingredients:

3/4 cup of water blended with 1 large handful of leafy greens (optional, but an easy hidden veggie to add in! Use spinach, kale, radish greens - whatever you have in the fridge!)
1/2 ripe banana, mashed
3/4 small zucchini/squash, shredded

Baking Steps:

The steps can be easily summarized into: dump together, blend up, bake, and dig in. First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Then dump your dry ingredients into a bowl, crumbling the rice cakes and, optionally, the Pipcorn before mixing. Now blend up the water and greens, mash the banana and shred the zucchini into the same bowl. By the time all ingredients are added and mixed, the granola should have a gooey and thick consistency. If it still seems dry, add more water (one TBSP at a time) or shredded zucchini.

Eight steps till it can be "ate!"
Then all you need to do is spread the granola on baking trays (I spread mine extremely thin, but the choice is yours!) and pop your Pipcorn masterpiece into the oven! Depending on the oven (my ovens at home and college vary by 10-15 minutes), the granola takes 25-40 minutes to bake until toasted on top and crispy to the touch. For a chewier, softer granola, just take out the trays earlier

One of the most amusing - and amazing - results of cooking with Pipcorn and millet? When you first pull your trays out the oven to cool, you'll likely hear some "snap, crackle and pop" action. Sorry Rice Krispies, but you've officially been replaced!

Spinach + popcorn = surprisingly delicious!
After letting the trays cool for at least 45 minutes, you can break the sheets of granola into smaller clusters and store in a cool, dark place. I don't know exactly how long the granola will stay good - mainly because mine always disappears within a week and a half! 

As for how to eat it, since this recipe is packed with protein from the buckwheat and seeds, antioxidants from cacao powder, vitamins from some ninja veggies, and lots of energy-spurring healthy carbs and fats, it can make a great snack by itself. 

A few of my favorite granola-topped treats!
Personally, I love sprinkling (correction: pouring) it over smoothie bowls, yogurt, or oatless oatmeal for a creamy-crunchy combo

It's true that homemade granola recipes can include everything but the kitchen sink. But with their light spices, pillowy texture and killer crunch, Pipcorn is the perfect ingredient to pop in a granola recipe! (And the perfect snack to fuel you through the baking process!) 

The apple popcorn of my eye?
I would end this post by promising that this Pipcorn-packed granola would be a love at first bite...but on the Monday after Valentine's Day, that'd be a little corny

*Also found at RunningwithSpoon's link party!*

*I received these products without charge to review, but my opinions are all my own!*

Have you ever tried Pipcorn, or what flavor would you want to? Do you like adding surprise ingredients to your favorite recipes? Comment below!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Gluten Free and Vegan Pizzas with PIZZAz

Everyone has a slightly different view of Valentine's Day. For some, it's romantic. For others, a hoax holiday designed to boost lingerie sales. One thing everyone can agree on? Pizza made and decorated with love makes every holiday better!

For this Valentine's Day, I'm sharing one of my favorite recipes: gluten free and (optionally vegan) pizza that is easy to make, free of most allergens, and high in protein thanks to the buckwheat base. If that doesn't get your heart pitter-pattering, I also have three topping combos that might as well transform homemade pizza into the new Valentine's card

casey the college celiac, valentine's day
I <3 pizza!
Cause let's be honest. If a cute boy (or girl!) shows up at your door, would you rather them offer a piece of paper - or a platter of delicious pizza perfection?  

To make your own edible Valentine, begin with a long, slow walk...to the fridge and pantry for your ingredients!

For the crust (this recipe - my favorite one! - is from the genius Alissa at Nourishing Meals. I've posted it below with a few minor changes, including scaling down the recipe to make 3 big, thin-crusted servings).  

1 cup and 2 TBSP of buckwheat flour (I grind my own by throwing buckwheat groats into my Nutribullet or Vitamix)
1/4 cup of tapioca flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda (much more fluffy with baking soda vs. powder!)
1/2 cups of warm water
2 tbsp olive oil
Splash of agave nectar (or maple syrup)
Splash of apple cider vinegar
Plenty of oregano, thyme and any other spices of choice

Making the crust is simple. Begin by preheating the oven to 375 degrees F and throwing the dry ingredients in a bowl. Then microwave the water until warm and add it and the rest of the liquids to the dry ingredients. Stir until combined and transfer the dough to parchment paper. If the mixture looks crumbly, add more warm water in tablespoon increments. At this point, you're on a roll (literally) as you roll (or, as I do, mold the dough with your hands - through plastic wrap to avoid stickiness) the dough until desired thickness

All about that base (that base)...
Romance Secret Weapon: If you're feeling extra creative, try shaping your crust into a heart like I have! It'll have your date smiling right from the start!

Once your masterpiece is shaped, pop it in the oven until the crust is partially cooked and non-sticky when touched. I usually bake mine for 15 minutes while I prep my toppings!

Your choice of toppings:

Pink Passion: pesto or tomato sauce, greens, any and all veggies from the fridge, and choice of protein (fish, chicken, tofu, etc) with sliced radishes and beets arranged on top for a pop of pinkSprinkle with (daiya) cheese and bake in the oven for another 30 minutes, or until toppings are cooked through and the crust golden. 

casey the college celiac
Pretty in pink!
You're so Sweet (Potato)pesto or tomato sauce, greens, and any and all veggies from the fridge with sweet potato (pre-baked as rounds, wedges or simply microwaved and cut into slices) arranged on the top. You can add plant or animal based protein to the pizza, but I didn't think this baby needed it!

As with before, sprinkle the pizza with a final hit of (daiya) cheese and bake in the oven for another 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes get slightly crunchy on top! If you're feeling extra adventurous, you can also blend pre-cooked sweet potato and use it as a pizza "sauce!"

casey the college celiac valentine's day
Potato lovin'!
Don't Squash the Feeling: pesto or tomato sauce, greens, any and all veggies from the fridge, and choice of protein (fish, chicken, tofu, etc) with thick strips of yellow squash or zucchini laid on top of the pizza in the shape of a heart. 

Then, pop on some cheese and throw in the oven for another 30 minutes until the squash is softFor extra crunch or color, you can also pan-fry or grill the squash slices before topping the pizza. 

casey the college celiac valentine's day
Squash is the new sexy! ;)
Whatever your personal feelings about Valentine's Day, the holiday is dedicated to love. So, whether single or taken, why don't you show yourself some love this year with a delicious homemade pizza?

"Hot and heavy" has a whole new (and scrumptious) meaning when fresh pizza is involved!

*Also found at RunningwithSpoon's link party and Vegetarian Mama's GF Friday!*

Do you do or eat anything special for Valentine's Day? What do you think of the holiday? Comment below! 

Monday, February 8, 2016

9 Benefits of Dating a Gluten-Eater as a Celiac

Violets are blue and roses are red...you love gluten, but I'm killed by bread!

Laughs aside, dating a gluten-eater as a celiac isn't a exactly a romantic walk in the park. As Valentines Day approaches, however, it will mark one and a half years of dating a self-professed gluten lover. Though we've certainly experience our share of bumps (make that glutenings), I've also realized that dating a gluten-eater has its perks.

casey the college celiac
Some of the perks to the dating job...
1. They never want to steal your leftovers...unless, of course, it's Chipotle. But Chipotle is worth a battle to the death. Especially over a burrito bowl with guac.

2. It leaves more money in the grocery budget for your special celiac swag. I mean, we all know buying food for one celiac is expensive. Two? A celiac Costco needs to open up, ASAP!

3. Vicarious eating, folks. We may not all want to admit it, but we all do it. As my gluten intolerant mom told my dad during a Christmas party: "You better eat some of that peanut butter caramel brownie with chocolate mousse and enjoy it for me, dammit!"

casey the college celiac
Thank goodness for gluten free alternatives!
4. Only one of you has to focus on the food part of plans. The other can, you know, craft the actual "what-we're-doing" planning. (Hence my usual date night with the boy: Chipotle (my idea) and a movie (his choice).

5. People say opposites attract, right? The intestinally-damaged stomach in me loves and envies the gluten-digesting, pizza-full stomach in you!

6. You can accept free food samples and avoid the "I'd love to try the cupcakes, Nutella and pretzels, Milky Ways and cereal that come free with every purchase of a $100 text book, but...." celiac spiel. Sharing is caring right? And what's a more appreciated gesture of care than food?

This cartoon artist knows the truth!
7. You never have to worry about kissing with bad breath because he brushes his teeth after every meal anyway...and you usually join in on the minty-fresh festivities.

8. If you get glutened at a restaurant, your gluten-lovin' date can nurse you back to health with lots of sleepy cuddles, charcoal pills and plain, home cooking! (OK, maybe just a piece of gluten free toast in your GF toaster, but it's the thought that counts, right?)

"More" can include being a screen saver ;)
9. Perhaps most importantly? You have someone who sees you as more than a celiac - and loves you despite any dietary differences or challenges!

Dating someone with an entirely different diet and intestinal tract may not appear in theaters as a romantic comedy anytime soon, but that doesn't mean (gluten and gluten free) love is doomed this Valentines Day! In fact, dating a gluten-eater as a celiac comes with as many benefits as possible drawbacks. You might even say that it is a recipe for laughs, lessons and even a little love.

What are some benefits you've experienced dating a gluten-eater? Can you relate to any of these (silly but true) points? Comment below!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Monthly Favorites: January 2016

Just when I finally get used to writing "2016" on my school papers, February has to happen and mess up my dates again. Oh well. Bring on the white-out.

(And, in the ultimate irony, a campus-wide blackout of Internet and electricity as I was writing this post. More on this Sunday adventure below).

casey the college celiac
What a month!
While January passed quickly, it still had its share of highlights. So, to start a new monthly post series, here are my January favorites (food, fun and everything in between)!

What I'm Eating

New kinds of nut butters! I mean what girl who receives lots of Christmas Amazon gift cards doesn't use them on four different kinds of nut butter? Three of my new favorites? Pumpkin Seed Butter from Omega Nutrition - earthy and creamy with a little graininess left. Anna's Choice Cashew and Macadamia Butter - super creamy and drippy! Sweet Spreads Coconutter, Cinnamon Roll flavor - a bit sweet, but great in small doses (and it melts over oatless oatmeal and freezes over smoothie bowls).

casey the college celiac
Some great eats...
PF Changs - the perfect allergy-friendly date night location! My boyfriend got a gift card for Christmas (do you see why we're dating? food present priorities!) so we dined at PF Changs before seeing the new Star Wars. I got my usual - if you can call it that after only two visits - of the Street Noodles. Delicious and safe!

Stuffed spaghetti squash! I hadn't had spaghetti squash in over a year because eating it as a spaghetti replacement didn't agree with my stomach before. But, I gave in and bought a baby squash for 88 cents, loaded it up with enchilada toppings, and my taste buds (and stomach!) loved it. I guess it's tomato sauce, not squash, that's a no-no for me.

What I'm Doing

Smiling during movie dates with friends. (And I definitely recommend The Perks
of Being a Wallflower 
if you haven't seen it - so good!)

The goofy gang!

Being grateful for ELECTRICITY AND INTERNET! First, last Thursday, my whole campus lost Internet when the cord managed to get cut. Then, last Saturday night, an awful windstorm hit and knocked out all our power AND Internet. Basically we just bundled up in tons of blankets (without our heaters, it was freezing) and did homework by battery-operated candle light. So thankful that it switched back on late that night. Mainly because that meant my food in the fridge was OK!

Lovin' wearing warm tights under shorts or skirts. California weather is so unpredictable. This week, it was a high of 53 F with 20 mile winds on Monday...and a sunny 70 F on Saturday! Fighting the cold while being comfy and looking cute is always a plus...

casey the college celiac
All the veggies!
Looking goofy with walls covered in pictures of giant fruit and veggies. We actually stumbled upon this wall while watching the US Women's soccer team play (and beat) Ireland. Great game, funny photos!

What I'm Planning

Party hard Super-bowl style this weekend with my boyfriend and his family. They always throw a small Superbowl party, complete with a projector showing the game, a "betting sheet" filled out beforehand, and, of course, lots of food. While I can't enjoy the last item, I'm looking forward to a weekend away from school with the boy.

Hit up the Gluten Free Allergen Friendly Expo coming to San Diego (at the Del Mar Fairgrounds) on February 20-1! My mom and I went to our first expo two years ago soon after my celiac diagnosis. I'm excited to try out any new products, enjoy my usual favorites and meet other people from the celiac/gluten free community. Mom and I plan on arriving hungry! (If you're near San Diego at that time, come and join in on the fun! I'd love to meet you in person!)

casey the college celiac
Coming soon!
Give an update on all the goodies I've been making with The Good Scone flour mixes, for which I'm now an ambassador! I devoured this pot pie galette (with an easy vegan crust) a few weeks ago and plan on whipping up some cookies for my roommate's birthday this week.

What were some of your January highlights? What are you planning this February? Comment below!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Movies Minus the Gluten: A Celiac's Cinema

As calendars flip to the month of February, many people claim that love is in the air, the greeting card store and the news...basically everywhere! I have a (not so) newsflash for you, though. So is gluten! It's in candy, kisses, and, as I was reminded of last weekend, nearly all the movies enjoyed with loved ones. Which made me think. What would movies be like without gluten as a supporting actor?

Now, before I begin my admittedly humorous cinematic analysis, I just want to make one thing clear. Watching movies with gluten doesn't make me uncomfortable or unhappy - though the other movie watching dealing with my drool might feel that way! Nor do I feel like movies should delete or alter scenes featuring food allergens. If anything, the audience eats (errr...lives) vicariously, right?

Sometimes you find a "gluten free" billboard! ;)
Instead, like artist Arthur Coulet who created an online "Gluten Free Museum" with famous paintings minus gluten, I want to raise awareness of how gluten pervades popular culture. Plus enjoy a few laughs at how three "date-appropriate" movies could look if turned gluten free!

First of all, the trigger of my cinematic adventure: Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring. I was watching the movie with my boyfriend and a group of friends last week (minutes after they all finished devouring two huge, gluten-filled pizzas) when I saw Frodo grab a slice of bread before his long journey. Putting on some gluten free goggles (perhaps the new 3D movie goggles perhaps if the GF fad continues!), the movie would look a little different.

Pinterest perfection!
The hobbits wouldn't be nearly as merry considering that their drinking - a much loved festivity - would be bereft of beer. And their breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner and supper routine may be a little harder to stomach without bread on the menu!

Not to mention that fruit and veggies can't satisfy a man "in one bite" like the Elves' lembas bread can and one of Bilbo's opening lines - "I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread" doesn't have same ring to it with "potato" substituted instead! Basically, just imagine a movie about the search for magically gluten free bread rather than magic rings (priorities, right?).

Last week (mainly due to a campus-wide Internet blackout) I watched another movie with my roommates: The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I didn't see many flowers, but, like most teen movies, gluten appeared as often as drama. Family dinner would be even more awkward without gluten on the table. And when Charlie and his new friends hang out and eat burgers at a local diner, it'd be bye bye buns, hello lettuce wraps!

The movie...and the audience!
One of the more ironic gluten scenes? At his first party, Charlie savors a brownie - which turns out to be "high" in more than just gluten and sugar. Cue a unique moment when the celiac viewer thinks, "That's one thing I really don't mind missing!" (But brownies just high in delicious flavor? Now those I would party hard with!)

Now, for a personal favorite: the comedy, The Pink Panther. For the deprived souls who haven't seen it, the movie features the inept yet genius Inspector Clouseau attempting to recover the stolen Pink Panther diamond.

If you need a laugh, check out the clip here!

My favorite scene - which my family still quotes to one another at least twice a month - involves Clouseau trying to smuggle burgers out of America, only to be caught by airport security and unable to correctly pronounce "hamburger." Spoiler alert: a security dog tackles him. Just imagine security's confusion if Clouseau not only had to explain having hamburgers in his bag, but also that he needed them for safe, gluten free food on his flight, or else he'd really have a "bomb" in his belly!

Fact is, gluten permeates popular culture with the same ferocity as love dominates stores during the month of February. You might even call gluten - not Leonardo DiCaprio - the most deserving reject of an Oscar!

*Also found at RunningwithSpoon's link party!*

Have you ever thought about gluten during movies? What is one scene in a movie that would be humorous if gluten free? Comment below!