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Roasted Red Potatoes

Last year my husband worked a swing shift. It was a really hard transition for my son when he started kindergarten because he didn't get quality time with his dad during the week. We found a routine but it was still difficult for him, he missed his dad. I didn't like being on my own for dinner and bed time every night but I got them to bed on time and the nights ran as smoothly as they could.

My husband started a new job and how has a horrible commute in traffic but is typically home around 5:30 and can have dinner with us and help with the bedtime routine. This leaves me no time to work because I am home with my 2 year old all day. When he was on swing shift he would help watch her and play with her a few hors each morning so I could et my work done. That is one of the reasons why things have been a little slow on the website. By the time dinner is done and I clean up the kitchen it is bedtime and then after that I try to spend a little time with my husband before going to bed. After he goes to sleep I am just simply too tired from the day to write blog posts.

Let's top it off with what other events have been going on in the Bigler household. First, we were potty training. Bare-bottom-potty training. She is doing really well now with very few accidents and is mostly staying dry when we are out. I do have to carry a potty seat everywhere we go, so that's fun and exciting.

Contest! Enter to win both of my E-books!



Contest
Enter to win both of my E-books

&


I just want to say thank you to everyone for following me and listening to me. Sometimes when you are a blogger it literally feels like you are talking to no one. I LOVE my blog and I LOVE doing this. It is a passion that burns inside of me. I have a dream of this being my fulltime job and I am staying positive that it will come true. Every time you share, comment, like or watch my videos, I am one step closer. Thank you so very much. We are on this journey together. It is not easy and we need a tribe of support and that is what I am here for. Hearing all of your stories is so incredibly rewarding and literally fuels my fire. Thank you again.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich- Wendy's Copycat (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo/Whole 30 Option)

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Wendy’s Copycat Spicy Chicken Sandwich
Paleo/Whole30 Option
Gluten Free and Dairy Free

One of my biggest frustrations from having food allergies is eating out. This has been an issue from day one and almost 6 years later, I am still frustrated.





Don’t get me wrong, the options nowadays are so much better than when I first went gluten free. Every once in a while I come across dedicated gluten free facilities and they are AMAZING. The frustration comes from eating somewhere with a gluten free menu or reading what is listed as ingredients and feeling confident, to only get sick.

If you suffer from an allergy or celiac disease, I know you have all felt my pain. Traveling is the WORST. I live in fear when I travel, almost to the point that I don’t want to anymore.

My Story


My best friend recently brought to my attention that I do not go personal enough on my blog. I have kind of kept my personal life separate from my blogging life. Mostly, because I didn’t think anyone would be interested. I assume that everyone comes for the recipes. However, as my page is growing I think my audience is growing with me. We are building a relationship so I am doing my best to open up more with all of you!



In the past I had a blog post with my story. I deleted it a while back when I was cleaning up my site. I also have an “about” page on the blog that just briefly explains what happened. I decided right now though, to just open it up and pour it out to you. So here it goes…


Chocolate Covered Strawberries- Free of Allergens (Pascha Chocoloate)


Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Soy Free, Egg Free




Depending of your sensitivity to gluten, it may be difficult to find chocolate that is safe. There are very few brands on the market that are made in a gluten free facility. If you need dairy free chocolate your options just got much smaller. Even the chocolate I have found that doesn’t have any dairy in the ingredients is manufactured in a facility that also manufactures gluten, nuts and dairy. On the label it often says: “May contain milk, nuts, and wheat”.







For most of us a “May Contain” is a risk that we can’t take. When I attended the Gluten Free Food and Allergy Fest last year in Portland, OR, I met an amazing company called Pascha. They were new to the market and had some amazing allergen free products such as chocolate bars, white chocolate baking chips, chocolate chips and even chocolate fruit spread. I was so excited to try their products and now I am even more excited to bring them to you with this delicious recipe.




Chocolate Covered Strawberries are a symbol of love. You make them for someone you love and care about. They are simple enough to make with just a few ingredients and your Valentine who has allergies will be blown away when you present these with a glass of champagne.


Cilantro Lime Rice- Chipotle Copycat


Naturally gluten free, dairy free, nut free, soy free, corn free.

Chipotle is our go-to as far as chain restaurants go. When we travel it is always the place we stop and eat at because its a crowd pleasure and we know we are safe. They are very accommodating about a glove change and helping to keep everything safe.

I love the salad. I find that a burrito bowl is just too filling for me. I get lettuce, chicken, a small amount of black beans and rice, salsa, peppers and a side of guac and chips. My husband gets a bowl with chicken, rice, beans, peppers, corn salsa, mild salsa, cheese and lettuce. My daughter gets a build your own carnitas taco kit with corn tortillas, rice and beans. My son gets a cheese quesadilla on a corn tortilla with rice and beans. My husband found the ice tea upset his stomach the last few times and if they have any GF cider I like to indulge.

Chocolate Mug Cake (Grain Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free)


Chocolate Mug Cake (Grain Free, Dairy Free)



I created this recipe when my husband was working swing shift and I wanted a sweet treat that was grain free after the kids go to bed. I do eat grains but I try to limit myself a bit because I just feel better when I do.

I found that it was hard for me to finish the entire thing. I often left 1/3 of it and my husband would finish it when he got home. I made it for him though and he had no problem finishing the entire mug.

This mug cake is light and fluffy and fairly simple to throw together if you just need a treat for one or two.

Spiritual Coaching Session with Alexis Donkin


With a new year here and living freely gluten free growing every day, I decided that I needed a little outside help for perspective and to validate some thoughts and feelings about moving on and progressing with the website.





I had a moment when I thought that this might not succeed. I gave too much of myself away and lost sight of my goals. I needed to step away as much as I could for a little bit and regain my strength and clarity. During that time I thought about other things I might be happy doing with my life.



I purchased online real estate school as my Christmas gift from my husband. I started it about 3 years ago and never finished because of life’s obligations. I decided now would be time. After getting my energy back I realized that Living Freely Gluten Free was my passion. The fire in me began to burn again and I trekked on moving forward mindfully to have realistic expectations and to keep myself a priority in order to not burnout.


Cottage Pie (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)



Sometimes I do not realize how lonely I am or how much I miss my friends until I venture out of my house. The house keeps me busy. Kids, cleaning, constantly working on the blog. When I go out though, those things are removed and I start to think. Today I took my 2 year old to a play date with my mom’s group. I have been part of this moms group for a year and I’ve gone to like 3 of the things. I am a closet introvert. I may seem slightly outgoing but it is hard for me to approach people and make friends. I have always been this way.



My best friend of 21 years approached me during the first week of 7th grade. I was new to the school and had no friends. I sat alone in PE and she walked to me and said, “Come and sit with us” fast forward 21 years and this woman is my soul mate. Point is, I need that person to walk up to me and be like, “Hey, what’s your name”.


The first thing I do in a group setting like this is scan the room. Are there potential friends in this room? I can read energy really well and I usually see someone I like. It takes me seeing them again usually 3 or more times to actually get the courage to approach them though.


So, today here I was once again watching my sweet bundle of love run with joy and I stood kind of lonely. She only needed me to watch and I was alone in my head for a moment, just wishing one of these ladies could be a new bestie to me.


But, I still have not had the nerve to even say hi, but hopefully soon. Instead, I came home and made this Cottage Pie for dinner. You can make it with ground beef or turkey and that makes it super affordable. If you are scrapped for time just use a bag or two of frozen vegetables.


This dish is simple enough, delicious and hearty. It is perfect for a chilly night. Serve it with a side salad and a baguette.


A Non-Allergic Husbands View of Dealing with Family Food Allergies


A Non-Allergic Husbands View of Dealing with Family Food Allergies

I had been asking my husband for over a year to write this article for my blog. In so many of my gluten free groups I see women posting about not getting the support from their spouse that they need to succeed in their health. I wanted something from my husband's perspective that I could share with them and have them show their spouses in hopes of helping.
We learned together. Even though he wasn't gluten free in the beginning, this was his journey as well. He has been so incredibly loving and supportive through all of this that there is no way I could have succeeded so well without his support. Quite frankly, I think he was tired of having a sick wife. When I regained my health, he saw strength in me that never existed before. I feel like that is reason enough to stick by my side and keep me healthy. I hope this article may help you or anyone in your family. Thank you for your love and support.
-Jennifer


James perspective-

It’s easy being a gluten free and dairy free husband when your wife does all the cooking. Although in the beginning it was not easy, it was actually very hard to begin this new lifestyle. Having been together for 10 years and being able to eat whatever we want, then discovering that she was actually allergic to gluten after the birth of our first child brought upon a whole new set of complications in life that was unknown and unexpected.         
Celebrating a birthday with a gluten free and dairy free cake