Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: The Best Paleo Chips, a $4,500 Giveaway and More!

Another month is in the books, and I’m here for another monthly recap of some of my favorite gluten free eats, activities and products from October - plus a hint at what’s coming up in November. 

As usual, I’m not sure where the time went, but I officially only have four weeks left until I’m 1/6 of the way through my grad program! (Insert screaming emoji here). Work is nonstop, but I’m trying to regularly sprinkle in local adventures, lots of delicious gluten free food and my fair share of Netflix binges. 

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: The Best Paleo Chips, a $4,500 Giveaway and More!

So what gluten free recipes, vegan and paleo products and fall-inspired activities won this celiac’s heart in October? And how can you enter Love With Food's latest $4,500 giveaway? Keep reading to find out! 

What I’m Eating: 

Enough leftovers to make me a leftover-tasting expert. I’ve decided that grad school is three times the work and two times the stress of undergrad (and I took 17 units almost every semester!), which means I rarely have the time to whip up anything fancy for dinner. So, my dinners have mainly consisted of various types of potatoes, veggies, protein, avocado (always) and grains. Easy, healthy and delicious. No complaints from me! 

Way too many deliciously addictive paleo chips from Cassava Crunch. As their name suggests, they make chips out of cassava, which is a starchy root vegetable that’s naturally gluten free and extra beloved in the paleo community. I stumbled across Cassava Crunch's Instagram page last month and, after I commented how amazing their chips looked, they were kind enough to send me to two bags to try. All I have to say? These chips are the perfect combination of crunchy but light, spices but not overly salty and one heck of a delicious side to enchilada stuffed spaghetti squash or a vegan snack plate dinner.

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: The Best Paleo Chips, a $4,500 Giveaway and More!

Pumpkin in every form I can think of. I’ve made pumpkin popcorn pancakes, added pumpkin puree to my basic nana ice cream recipe, and even cooked my own sugar-free pumpkin butter loosingly based on this recipe. Add in the plain pumpkin purée I’ve been enjoying with my yogurt for a night snack, and I’m probably closer to turning into a pumpkin than Cinderella. Considering how good all of these gluten free pumpkin recipes taste, I’m A-OK with that! 

What I’m Doing/Loving:

Enjoying more (short) evening walks. Ever since my leg muscles decided to go a bit crazy, I haven’t been able to do a lot of walking. Knock on wood, though, there have been a couple days where I’ve been able to take an evening stroll. Since fall has permanently arrived in Mankato, I’m usually bundled up like an Eskimo...but the sunsets around campus are gorgeous, and I love doing a little meditation or reflection I walk.

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: The Best Paleo Chips, a $4,500 Giveaway and More!

Realizing that, most days, I actually enjoy teaching. One class a few weeks ago, I hit me that, even though I was stumbling over my words, my students were half-asleep and I was feeling a bit zombified myself, I actually felt comfortable leading class and happy walking around and answering students’ questions. Is teaching always butterflies and rainbows? H-e-double-hockey-sticks no. But I’m trying to savor the moments where it is.  

Leaving my comfort zone with some social adventures! At the start of October, I spent an evening hanging out, carving pumpkins and warming up around a bonfire with some other MFA folk. To end October, I went to a "Literary Magazine" Halloween party, in which each person had to dress like their favorite literary magazine (because that's what literary nerds like us do for fun). My five-minute costume was a cardboard box that I cut into strips so that I could be The Driftwood, my undergrad's literary magazine! Socializing as a grad student is extra challenging when you're not a night owl and have to take sleeping meds (for fibromyalgia-related insomnia) and can't drive after a certain time at night. However, I'm learning to be more flexible with my schedule and seeing where life leads me!

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: The Best Paleo Chips, a $4,500 Giveaway and More!

What I’m Planning: 

Stocking up on my gluten free soup, nice cream, smoothie bowls and potato recipes since I’ll be having dental surgery the day before Thanksgiving...which means I’m trading the usual feast for five days of a soft foods diet. This is the second year in a row where I’ve nixed the usual Thanksgiving dinner, so I’m not too bummed. But living without trail mix, granola and other crunchy delights? That’ll be a lot harder! 

Pacing myself. This is the time in the school year that’s always hardest for me, mainly because I usually enter the “burned out” phrase after midterms...and this year is no exception. So, while I’m going to try to have as many adventures as possible, getting a lot of R&R is also high up on my priority list. Good thing I have my list of 15 self care activities that take 15 minutes or less, right? 

And, for the chance to make your holiday season even more awesome, I'm sharing Love with Food's latest HUGE giveaway! I'm an affiliate and ambassador of Love of Food and while their monthly gluten free snack boxes (GLUTEN-FREE THREE MONTH PLAN <--affiliate link, FYI!) are delicious, their giveaways are even better! One lucky participant will win over $4,500 in goodies. Enter the giveaway by clicking here: Love With Food Giveaway. The giveaway ends on November 17, and you can read all the terms and conditions on the linked page. Best of luck - it'd be so cool if one of my readers won!

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: The Best Paleo Chips, a $4,500 Giveaway and More!

October was full of tricks and treats, and November will actually be my last full month in Minnesota before winter break! I've been away from family since early August, so I’m beyond excited to spend four weeks in Colorado before the spring semester starts. 

I’ll certainly be spending a lot of winter break preparing for next semester (both in terms of the class I’m teaching and the classes I’ll be taking), but sleeping in, experimenting in the kitchen (can you say Christmas cookies?!?) and enjoying family time are also high on my to-do list. 

So I suppose the only left to say is that we’ll see what Minnesota has in store for me in November! 

*As mentioned above, I am an affiliate of Love with Food and there is an affiliate link in this post. An affiliate link does not affect the price you pay for anything you purchase through them, but they do help me pay for my college textbooks. As always, all opinions and photographs are my own!*

What were some of your October highlights? What is your favorite brand of chips? Tell me in the comments!


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