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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

Vanilla Cake- Gluten Free, Dairy Free


Dairy Free
Gluten Free
Vanilla Cake



When it comes to vanilla cake, I don’t know where to start. Ugh. I have not enjoyed vanilla cake since going gluten free. I tried soooo many recipes and bought every box brand I could find. Everything SUCKED.





Nothing is more disappointing than all of your hard work and you end up with a brick. Chocolate never did me dirty, vanilla was a dirty creep.

Cooking and Cocktails- Saturday's 5pm PST on Facebook live




Every Saturday I go live at 5pm PST and cook something from my blog while toasting to all of my fabulous friends who join me.

This week I will be going live on Saturday 1/21/17 at 5pm PST making Chicken Tortilla Soup.


10 Simple Ways to Jumpstart a Clean Lifestyle


10
Simple Ways to
Jumpstart a Clean Lifestyle

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on these links and make a purchase, living freely gluten free makes a small percentage. This is how the website is supported. Thank you for your support.


There are more reasons than I could ever explain to you why a clean lifestyle is so important. Before going gluten free I ate whatever, without caring what was in it. Beauty product ingredients didn't matter to me and I never thought to question them.


Once going gluten free, I had to read the labels of my food and anything I was putting on my body. I started questioning everything on the label. I would look up certain chemicals and research what they were and why they were being used. It is sickening how many chemicals are in the food that we feed our children. Just because it is gluten free doesn't mean it is free from artificial food coloring, preservatives, nitrates, THBQ, BHT, parabens, sulfates, etc... I could go on and on. Many of these things are linked to cancer and they are beginning to link them to childhood cancer as well.

Being mindful of the things that you put into your body and teaching your children to love their bodies enough to only want to put nourishing things into it needs to be the new norm. I don't deprive my children of everything but there are certain things that I will not allow. I explain to my 5 year old why he can't have it. See, I did not grow up that way. I was sick and unhealthy and I am determined to make sure my kids will not have to live that way.

Going clean and organic can be expensive. It is possible to keep it on budget if you get a little creative. See my post organic vs. non-organic how to spend the same.

Top 10 Blog Post's of 2016


living freely gluten frees

Top 10 Posts of 2016




I can’t believe that this year is coming to an end. 2016 was like a whirl wind that took me by storm and my head is still spinning!

I have worked more on this blog in the past 6 months than the 4 or so years this blog has been alive. I am from California and we moved to Washington State in December of 2015. 2016 has been an adjustment period for my family and me. An adjustment, that had me in tears a lot. I got lost in myself. I was sad a lot, my kids were sad. My Husband bounced around a few jobs. It was ugly for a minute.

Something came over me in June. We took a road trip back to Cali and I spent 2 weeks there. It was so hot and we were like vagabonds bouncing from my Grandma’s to my best friend’s house. I was alone with the kids because my Husband had to work. The trip was much needed though, even though it was exhausting. I was able to come home with a new outlook. I realized that Washington was my new home. I miss my family so much it hurts but my heart lies in Washington.

This was the first time in my life that I was just a SAHM. I struggled with that as well. I had worked my entire life so not contributing to our household took a toll on my self-esteem.

I finally decided now was the time to make my dreams come true. I began to pour every free second of myself that I wasn’t taking care of the kids and house into this blog. I LOVE this blog. The joy it brings me is unparalleled. It gives me life. My family is my life, but this blog brings me a different type of fulfillment and I could never imagine my life without it.

Exhale… With all of that being said the blog has done AMAZING. Late nights, early mornings, 2 E-books and over 100k page views later, I am SOO ready to rock 2017 and make it the year of living freely gluten free.


Giveaway- Both E-books


giveaway


December's Love With Food Box

Get the Love With Food Deluxe Box Deal!

This post contains affiliate links. If you chose to purchase through the link, my website makes a small portion. Thank you for your support.

The excitement can not be contained when my 5 year old see's this box. It is really for him. Having food restrictions is never easy, especially on kids so this is really a treat for him.




There are a lot of fun snacks though and there is always something for each of us. This month his favorite was the box of Mac and Cheese and the Jelly Beans.



GIVEAWAY -LFGF (Wine glass, E-books, caramels and gift card)



The December giveaways have been so much fun! I have loved sharing some of my favorite brands with you.




Trader Joes- A weeks worth of groceries under $110 for a family of 4 (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)


I am not shy about talking about my love affair with Trader Joes. As far as a gluten free diet goes, Trader Joe's really does help keep the cost down while being able to buy some fun snacks.