Review: Gluten Free at City BBQ

Gluten Free at City BBQ
Gluten Free at City BBQ

Review: Gluten Free at City BBQ

We decided to try a new place for gluten-free foods since I’m tired of going to the usual places. I remembered seeing City BBQ show up as having gluten-free items and after looking at their website, they do a great job of identifying lots of allergens in their food. I looked up the menu and allergen list prior to going to the restaurant but was pleased to see the cashier have it readily available when I ordered.

I haven’t had ribs in I don’t even know how long but something told me to try them. I ordered the half rack of ribs, beans with brisket and a side salad with the apple cider vinaigrette. If you stop there, the brisket is amazing and delicious as well. They were great about asking me which order was mine when making our food because they changed their gloves and utensils when serving my meal.

The food tasted great and I was very happy with my dining experience at City BBQ. I felt their staff were educated on food allergens and how to keep me safe. The food was delicious and I left a happy customer and no belly ache.

It’s always important to note that my dining experience was based on the staff working at the time and my experience and knowledge with what it takes to keep me safe. These are the 2 most important factors when dining out with special dining needs. Being able to clearly identify your needs and how they can accommodate you is extremely helpful and reduces the risk of you getting sick. Obviously, you can’t prevent all problems but this is a really big one that can help minimize your risk!

Check out their locations!

Red Apple Lipstick – Gluten Free and Fabulous!

I’ve been wanting to try Red Apple Lipstick for sometime now but was hesitant to spend the money on something I didn’t get to play with and try at first. Thankfully, they were at the Gluten Free & Allergen Free Expo and I explored their products before the thousands of people rushed the event.

I got a few things that you can see in the video but I’ll give you a little synopsis about them here.

1. Lip Exfoliator – Everyone needs to get those dead cells off their lips to make them every so soft and this does the trick. Just enough beads to make it work but not feel grainy or sandy on your lips.

2. Rallye Balm – The ultimate hydration for your lips. I’m going to start wearing this at night and see how soft and silky I can make my lips. Vitamin E is the greatest thing for soft skin and they put lots of it in Rallye!

3. Lipstick – I went with a lighter shade of pink to be neutral and wear out all the time. It’s a great consistency and goes on well. They have a wide variety of shades to pick from so if you are Pink, Peach or red, there is something for you.

4. Glosses – I got both a sparkly gloss and a regular one. My favorite is the “Hot Mess” pink gloss. The more you layer, the darker it gets. I wore it for my photo shoot today and it looked amazing on camera.

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Gluten Free Foods I’m Loving This Week

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A typical Earth Fare Score

Each week, I go to different stores and look for new and exciting gluten free foods to try. I post many of them as a picture on my Pretty Little Celiac Facebook page and write “awesome” or “gross” and then call it a day. But, there isn’t a way to search for those so I decided to start a Sunday night ritual of picking a few favorite gluten free things from the week and posting them here so that way you can see all the wonderful thing I am digging each week.

We recently had a Cabela’s store open right next to my precious Earth Fare so we decided to skip our favorite store for something new this weekend. A new Whole Foods opened in a neighboring suburb of Columbus, so we decided to go and check it out. While it was busy, it certainly wasn’t as insane as trying to get to Earth Fare with the grand opening traffic of Cabela’s. I’m glad we mixed it up because I found some cool things there this week!

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1. Lesser Evil Chia Chips
There is nothing I love more than a great crunchy chip and it seems to be one of my favorite things to try lately. I’ve had my fair share of lentil chips these last few months so I was excited to see something completely different.

Lesser Evil Chia Chips come in 4 different flavors – Crunchy Dill Pickle, Jalapeno White Cheddar, Feta and Black Olive and Southern Barbeque. We opted for the Jalapeno chips.

I really liked the consistency and the texture of the chips, they remind me a little of my favorite PopChips but a harder crunch factor. They were a little spicy for me and the powdered flavoring would sometimes breathe into your lungs causing me to cough while eating. Although the punch of the spice did prevent me from eating the whole bag in one sitting, so that’s a plus right?

They also donate 10% of their sales to Autism Speaks. That’s great! I love to see companies that give back to causes they believe in.

Lesser Evil also offers Kettlecorn that is gluten free and then their Krinkle Sticks, which are not gluten free.

Overall, I’m really looking forward to trying all these different flavors. I found these at Whole Foods. *Not an affiliate link or paid promotional product. I bought these with my own cold hard cash.

For several months now I’ve been trying to find something to help me add protein into my diet without having to cook meat and eggs all the time. If I’m in a jam, I will run in the grocery and get some preboiled eggs but they are expensive and I hate running into the store all the time.

Since I’ve been in the fitness industry for over 5 years now, I’ve tried and seen a million different products, but there is one I’ve always wanted to try. The Egg Whites International 100% pure liquid egg whites is that product.

Egg White International 100% pure liquid egg whites
Egg White International 100% pure liquid egg whites

2. Egg Whites International – 100% Pure Liquid Egg Whites
Every year the Arnold Classic Sports Festival is held in Columbus, Ohio the first weekend in March. Typically it is insanely busy but if you go right when the expo opens Friday at 10am, you are escaping the major crowds.

This year I finally decided to buy some egg whites because they had a great deal. 2 half gallon egg containers, 1 pump and free shipping for $42. I know you think that sounds expensive but if you’ve ever bought egg whites in the carton for $5 or more, you know that it quickly adds up.

They are shipped frozen and kept in the refrigerator after opening. You can find all the faq’s on their website here.

I’ve actually tasted them just plain and they don’t really taste like anything. You can cook with them, add them to your morning coffee or breakfast, put them in your shake or make protein snacks with them.

Today I mixed them with lactose free milk, berries, ice, water for a lactose free protein shake. You don’t even have to worry about all the chemicals in protein powders. But obviously if you can’t handle eggs, this  isn’t the protein for you! They have plenty of Recipes on their website.

If you choose to buy them, please use my affiliate link below. This helps me continue to try new products and then share all my gluten free goodies with you each week. As you all know, gluten free is expensive and using the affiliate link is not any more expensive for you!

Speaking of dairy, I’ve noticed that my belly will handle small amounts of lactose as long as they contain a large amount of probiotics. Milk is still out of the question but I was using the Kefir brand to help me get my vitamin’s down in the mornings. Well, we came upon another product at Whole Foods this weekend that I was excited to try. It didn’t hurt that the packaging was just so darn cute I couldn’t contain myself. (I tend to get excited over little things)

3. Siggi’s
These adorable little probiotic shots come in 3.7 oz drinkable yogurt containers. It truly is the perfect amount for me to take my 10 vitamins each morning. I purchased the blueberry flavor but it looks like from their website they have other flavors as well.

They also have non-fat yogurt, which I will be trying on our next trip to the store!

Have I mentioned I love Lactobacillus Acidophilus lately? Sounds like a dinosaur.

The parent company is called skyr – (which I love!) It is the traditional yogurt of Iceland and it has 2-3 times the protein count of standard yogurt (which I also love).

It not only tasted delicious, but was the perfect consistency for pill popping. Just enough to coat my belly and not let the cinnamon and fish oil create a steamy stomach bath of discomfort.

Basically, I haven’t found anything not to love about the Siggi’s pro-biotic drinks and I’m looking forward to trying their other products. *again not an affiliate – all on my own pretty little dime and opinion*

Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve been searching for a great gluten free tortilla since I was diagnosed with celiac disease. I think I finally found the answer.

Rudi’s Tortilla
Rudi’s Tortilla

4. Rudi’s Tortialla‘s
Pretty excited about these! They have a much better texture than other gluten free tortilla’s we’ve tried in the past. The biggest complaint I always have with the gluten free ones is that they always seem to crack at the seems and then your ingredients fall out.

I made a tuna salad melt with tuna, mayo, shredded cabbage & carrots and black olives with just a touch of cheese as a topping. Stuffed it in the tortilla and then threw it in the George Foreman grill to make it into a delicious melt. Argh until it started cracking again!

I’d definitely recommend these though over the other brands!

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Why gluten-free menus are worthless…

…because very few restaurants educate their staff on gluten and how to protect customers.

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I’d like to say I’ve mastered the art of eating out with celiac disease but that would be a huge lie. I could say I’ve mastered the ability to order my meal but certainly not of educating each and every server I encounter.

We are all too familiar with bad restaurants, especially when it comes to gluten-free. The reviews are all over the internet and we keep speaking out but it seems no one is listening.

A while ago, I wrote a post about successfully eating out gluten-free but the more I experience it, the more I realize we have no control over what we actually eat in a restaurant. You see the reality is some servers will really care about you, take their time with you and make sure you have an amazing meal. But, even a server with the best intentions forgets things and gets busy leaving us with a stomach ache.

The only true way to stay  completely gluten-free is to make all your own meals, all the time. Sounds great right?

We can’t even get companies and the government to regulate ingredients labels so we know what we are consuming, why would we think the restaurant business cares about gluten? And why would we expect them to educate their staff on gluten related issues, even when they offer a gluten-free menu.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – higher end restaurants with chefs not cooks are going to be your best bet. Those places care about bad reviews and bad experiences. Their servers typically make more money and provider a higher quality of service. Please don’t think I’m stereotyping cheap restaurants because I’m sure in our world out there some little chains really know what they are doing and get it right, but the girl working at Taco Hut or The Burger Shack making $7.50/hour are less likely to care about gluten.

I mean how many times have you looked up a place to eat online, selected your option only to get there and find out they don’t carry half the items on the gluten-free menu posted by corporate online?

Or how many times have you eaten out only to have food brought out still with croutons, breadcrumbs or something else incorrect?

Or how many times have you eaten off the gluten-free menu only to poop your pants and have a migraine for 3 days?

It happens. It happens probably more often than we think. But, until the government and FDA take gluten seriously, we can’t expect to be treated the same as someone with a nut allergy.

So, what we can do about this?

Advocate for food label changes. Educate ourselves about menus prior to going to restaurants. Read reviews online to see if people have difficult experiences there. Write reviews about our experiences both positive and negative. Don’t beat yourself up if you get sick after eating out. Learn to cook more gluten free meals at home. And lastly, remember you aren’t the only one going through this….

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