Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Vegan Pie, Surviving the Manitou Incline and More

This post is generously sponsored by Ella's Gluten Free

Even though June went by quickly (no surprise there), I actually managed to pack a good mix of adventures into this last month! 

I enjoyed more vegan and gluten free desserts than I've had in ages (ranging from pies to cinnamon rolls). I challenged myself with rock climbing and an EPIC eight mile hike. And, of course, I have some big life changes hitting me in July.

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Vegan Pie, Surviving the Manitou Incline and More

Want to hear more about what I did and where you can get the best gluten free and vegan desserts? Curious about what this college celiac will be up to in July? Keep reading this monthly recap - or Friday Favorites, if you prefer alliteration - to find out! 

GF Friday Favorites: What I'm Eating

All the Japanese sweet potatoes I can get my hands on. If you've never tried a Japanese sweet tater, you need to correct that life mistake ASAP. They're denser and drier than traditional sweet potatoes, and don't taste as overwhelmingly sweet. Pair with some roasted veggies, avocado, beans and other leftovers, and devour

My first ever gluten free and vegan pies! When Ella's Gluten Free reached out to me about sampling their allergy friendly mini pies, I couldn't say no. They have three flavors: Chocolate Silk Pie, Peach Berry Pie and Dutch Apple Pie. The chocolate flavor turned out to be a surprise favorite; it's rich and insanely creamy without tasting too sugary. I also loved the berry and peach combo, which is super moist and tart. The apple was a bit too sour for my taste, but my dad had no problem enjoying that pie on my behalf.

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Vegan Pie, Surviving the Manitou Incline and More

Besides being gluten free and vegan, Ella's Gluten Free pies are peanut free and non-GMO. My only complaint is that the fruit pies tasted a little too oily and sugary. However, I enjoyed eating a few bites at a time when I wanted something sweet. If you're looking for an allergy-friendly dessert that is ready to eat as soon as you buy it, Ella's Gluten Free pies are a delicious option! And if you're a chocoholic...get the Chocolate Silk Pie. Trust me! 

All of the cheap summer produce! I'm loving the low prices on berries, summer squash and those have been making up my diet even more than usual. I have no complaints! 

My first vegan and gluten free cinnamon roll! I promise, I ate more than just gluten free desserts in June. However, we also did happen to travel to Denver, where Gluten Escape is located. The bakery is 100% gluten free and offers paleo, grain free and vegan options of sweet and savory goodies. I tried the blueberry muffin (a little dry), their dark chocolate brownie (chocolate heaven on a plate and seriously the best brownie I've ever had in my life - pre and post celiac), and a cinnamon roll. Although the cinnamon roll was a little dry, the fluffy texture and gooey streusel center made it my favorite out of the bunch. This wasn't a sponsored visit; I just seriously love Gluten Escape's goodies!

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Vegan Pie, Surviving the Manitou Incline and More

GF Friday Favorites: What I'm Doing

Feeling very thankful for the new blogging connections I've made in the last month! In particular, I'm super flattered and grateful for the several other blogging awards I've been nominated for recently. Much thanks and blogging love to Alicia and Rose from Stay at Home Cat Mom (besties turned bloggers), Dr. Elise Cohen Ho (an expert on everything wellness), Terri from Reclaiming Hope (a fellow fibro warrior), A Chronic Voice (an epic chronic illness blogger) and Helene Choo (a fellow foodie and fitness blogger). With my upcoming move, I don't have time to participate in any more blogging award posts, but I wanted to share some love!

Climbing .8 miles (and 2,300 steps) straight up The Incline at Manitou, Colorado. My dad and I tackled The Incline in 53 minutes and were pretty dang proud of ourselves! Of course, it then took us over an hour to get back down (on another winding path)...and I slid in the gravel halfway through. (It wouldn't be a battle without a battle wound, right?) Overall, though, it was an epic and booty-kickin' 8-mile hike!

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Vegan Pie, Surviving the Manitou Incline and More

Reading too many books to count. I've basically been starting and finishing a 400-page-ish book every other day this month. In particular, I've been devouring psychological thrillers that are highly rated on Goodreads and can be requested by my local library. Some of my favorites have been Girl On The Train, The Woman in Cabin 10 and The Gates of Evangeline. Would you be interested in a post all about my favorite books this summer? Tell me in the comments! 

Trying out rock climbing for the first time! My dad has been taking outdoor rock climbing lessons for the last month and wanted a partner in crime to explore the huge indoor climbing gym near our house. Of course, I was game! Even though I'm not a fan of heights, I LOVED climbing. I like that rock-climbing requires 100% concentration since it's hard to keep my brain from multitasking. It was also a major workout, even though I didn't feel it until a few days later. My grad school has an indoor and outdoor climbing area, so I'm excited to keep climbing in Minnesota!

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Vegan Pie, Surviving the Manitou Incline and More

GF Friday Favorites: What I'm Planning

Going camping for the first time with my family. To be honest, camping isn't my idea of fun. I like showers - and I love comfy beds. However, I'm sure that spending two days unplugged with my family will be an adventure. Wish me luck! 

Crossing some last-minute Colorado Springs bucket list items off the list. This includes rock climbing again with dad, checking out some of the local farmer's markets and anything else I can think of! If you have any suggestions for must-do activities in Colorado Springs, tell me in the comments. 

Um, I don't know...moving to Minnesota!?! My parents and I will be rolling out of Colorado Springs in late July to cart my stuff to my new apartment. Thankfully, they're staying a few extra days to help me get settled and so we can explore my college and new hometown together. Then, on July 31, I start my two weeks of teaching training. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, read about my grad school announcement and teaching assistantship here). And, before I know it, classes will start!

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Vegan Pie, Surviving the Manitou Incline and More

I'd be lying to say that I'm not totally terrified. However, I also believe that everything happens for a reason and that starting fresh at Mankato will help me grow in ways I never imagined. I'm not sure how my blog schedule will be during training or the initial start of classes, but I will keep you guys in the loop! If you want to stay up-to-date, be sure to follow me on Instagram, where I often post Insta stories about my daily hijinks! 

And that sums up one very long monthly review! I'm honestly so grateful for this last month. It was my first time not working or having any other obligations in almost two years, and I definitely tried to enjoy it to the fullest. And thank YOU for all the kind words, encouragement and Minnesota tips you've offered in the last month. I'd love for a regular reader to win my Gluten Free Goodie Box Giveaway, so be sure to enter if you haven't already

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Vegan Pie, Surviving the Manitou Incline and More

I suppose the only thing left to do is welcome July. The next time you read a Gluten Free Monthly Favorites, I'll be writing from Mankato, Minnesota! 

*I received products from Ella's Gluten Free in exchange for an honest review. However, all opinions and photographs are my own. Thank you for supporting what supports Casey the College Celiac.*  

What's your favorite (gluten free or not) dessert? Do you have any highlights from June that you want to share? Any big July plans? Tell me in the comments! 


  1. I have never heard of a japanese potato. I think I would like to try it.

  2. That silk chocolate pie looks so good!


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