18 Things to Replace when Going Gluten-Free


I’m constantly learning about new things I need to replace since going gluten-free after my celiac disease diagnosis. Just last week while gardening, I realized we probably should replace our grill since we spent many of summers putting meats covered in gluten filled marinades and sauces all over it! There probably isn’t enough cleaning I could do to risk cross contamination. So, for now I’ll stick with my George Foreman Grill and Oven!

Which led me to an ever bigger thought of what else did I replace after going gluten-free and how could I help all of you think of things to consider. Many of us don’t realize until we continue getting sick that this or that might be causing us problems!

I took a poll on my Facebook page and about 50 people responded to the question “what were you surprised you had to replace?”

Here are the answers!

  1. Toaster
  2. Plastic Tupperware
  3. Beauty products
  4. Bath products
  5. Hair color and products
  6. Waffle Maker
  7. Anything Wooden or Plastic in the kitchen
  8. Colander
  9. Bread Machine
  10. One person replaced their kitchen counters
  11. Play Dough
  12. Tea
  13. Protein Powders
  14. Nail Polish (if you bite your nails or have kids that are GF this is a good idea)
  15. Adult Toys and intimate Products – I just had a company ask me to do a giveaway on my site for some bedroom products and when I asked if they were gluten-free, she said no. Be careful with these items.
  16. Medications and Supplements
  17. Grill and other cook top items
  18. Food – Obvious!

Now I’m not suggesting you run out and replace all of these things immediately or if you are just living gluten-free for health reasons and not because of a sensitivity or celiac disease.

I’m surprised no one put “friends” or “family” down lol. That seems to be what many people struggle with the most when going through the lifestyle transition.


***Totally forgot about kids stuff like glue and play-doh!****

Do you have one that we missed? Please leave it in the comments below!

Living Gluten Free on a Budget – Podcast

Living Gluten-Free on a Budget

In this episode of On The Air with Pretty Little Celiac, I discuss 18 ways you can save money while living gluten free on a budget. I know just as well as you do that it is extremely expensive to live gluten-free but there are ways around spending all that cash. It takes a little bit of planning and creativity, but saving money can be done.

Listen now to the episode and let me know what you think.

The Connection between Green and Celiac Awareness


Our Body: Is it just one big garden?

It’s funny how time flies and things can change in just a year. Last year around this time, I found myself really starting to struggle with celiac disease. I opened my new business a week after my diagnosis and didn’t really have time to process it or deal with the emotions that come along with a life changing event. I ate the same things over and over because they didn’t upset my stomach and I didn’t have time to find new things to try. The the business started to slow and I didn’t have to spend as much time up there. I’ll admit the slowing of the business probably contributed to my summer depression, just as much as celiac disease.

When I moved into my boyfriend (now husband’s) home 7 years ago, I couldn’t wait to start planting flowers. Ever year I wanted to try a new plant, dig up a new section of our yard and have a beautiful place to call our home. It started with roses. I built this huge rose garden in our yard. At one point, I think I had 17 rose bushes throughout our yard. They were gorgeous… until the beetles came. I did everything I could to try to contain them from eating my flowers but there were too many of them. I found myself outside each night trying to save my precious flowers from these creatures. I tried everything but eventually the beetles won.

I kept only a few roses that I thought I could save but ended up moving on to different plants with better tolerance.

Turns out I made the right decision. I have gorgeous hydrangeas in my backyard that keep growing bigger and better with each year. They love where they are and despite my neglect last summer, they are coming back this year!

My grandmother loved her roses and she had a few in our backyard growing up. I loved them. The very first plant I bought for our backyard was a peace rose and the last rose in my garden is the same rose-bush. Last year was the first year I didn’t tend to it and I’m not sure if it’s going to come back this year. Which makes me sad but also makes me think about our bodies and the cycles of life.

While I was outside pulling weeds, trimming my lavender and cleaning up our flower beds. I looked down at my hand for some reason when I pulled some grass growing under my flowers and noticed my celiac awareness bracelet is also green just like the foliage around me. Spring brings out all the new growth on flowers and trees and of course it got me thinking!

Green is the perfect color for celiac awareness. I’m not sure who thought of it, but it actually is the perfect and symbolic color for our bodies. Isn’t our body just one big perennial garden? Think about it….

Each year our bodies change depending on how well we are nurtured. Gluten are those little beetles that kept coming back to destroy a little bit of my body year after year. It wasn’t until I realized what was causing my perennial garden harm, made adjustments that all the other flowers started to blossom. Once I removed gluten, my hair and nails are stronger and thicker, my stomach is healing and a million other improvements have been made.

Last year I struggled tremendously with depression throughout the summer. I remember laying on the couch and looking at the beautiful sun shining wondering why I just couldn’t get up and tend to my garden. Looking back, I realize I was actually talking about myself.

I’m excited to finally feel better and breathe the fresh spring air again. I’m thrilled to feel the joy of tending to my flowers and taking care of my home. It’s taken me a long time to get here. A celiac diagnosis or even having to go gluten-free is a major life change. I can’t emphasize this enough that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. You won’t figure it out right away but that’s okay. Sometimes trial and error makes the learning more painful but quicker. I can tell you after a gluten poisoning attack, I’m quick to learn that lesson for the future!

Think of your body as a perennial garden. It needs watered, pruned, fertilized, fed and sun to make the perfect condition for beautiful growth. The same is true for the human body. The more time you spend now taking care of your body, the easier it will be as we get older.


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.


Review: Zema’s Madhouse Foods


Review of Zema’s Madhouse Foods Gluten-Free Multigrain Pancake & Waffle Mix

Hey everyone! This is Aaron, Rebecca’s husband and I wanted to write a review of Zema’s for her because I used the product while Rebecca was off visiting all of you in Chicago! I’m not great a picture-taking and all the fancy stuff Rebecca does to make Pretty Little Celiac fantastic, but I tried my best to make it a great review for you!

Every once in a while I like to make pancakes, and typically I like them for dinner.  Traditionally, pancakes are not dinner food, so I decided to make cheese burgers with pancake as the bread!    I wasn’t sure how this would go, so I asked my brother to help me with the taste test.  I did not tell my brother that the meal he was about to eat was gluten-free as every time we cook him something gluten-free his face scrunched up with look that says ‘it’s not going to taste good, right?’.

In order to pull the pancake off right, I needed hearty pancake mix, so I pulled out Zema’ gluten free multigrain pancake and waffle mix.  I love having meat with some sweetness added to it, so I tweaked the Zema recipe slightly to make the pancakes a bit sweeter, and served them hot with the burgers and cheese.

For the burgers, I used a pound of grass-fed beef, added two free range organic eggs and some gluten-free bread crumbs.  I combined those all in a bowl and used my hands to knead it into 4 consistent meat patties about a half-inch think.  I used a skillet and a about a tablespoon of grass-fed butter to cook the burgers on medium – low heat until they were medium to medium well.

Before putting the burgers in the pan, I made the pancake mix.  I started with the package from Zema’s and placed all the contents in the bowl.  I add one egg, half cup of organic coconut milk and melted 3 tablespoons of organic coconut oil.  I also added just a dash of vanilla extract for a little extra sweetness. I mixed the batter in mixer for two minutes.  The batter was a little thicker than cake batter.  Zema’s grains were noticeable in the batter.

I used a flat frying pan over medium high heat, added some grass-fed butter and place a third of a cup of batter to the hot pan.   At this point I was cooking the burgers and the pancakes at the same time.  The pancakes needed to be wide enough to fit the width of the burger, but the batter spread easily on the pan, so I was able to add more easily if needed.  About 60 – 90 seconds on each side for the pancakes and they were ready.

Once the burgers were done, we took a slice of american cheese and put it on the burger, wedged it between two pancakes.   My brother quickly ate the first burger and asked immediately for a second.   Before he got the second, I told him that the burger was gluten-free.  He pushed me out-of-the-way for the second helping!

Gluten free can be delicious, if you have a little bit of creativity!  Of course, I had to have a couple myself!  I was very happy with the consistency and moistness of the pancakes and would recommend Zema’s to anyone look for a good tasting and easy to make pancake recipe.

Zema’s has other products which you can find on their website. http://zemasfoods.com/products

Zema’s Madhouse Foods are sold at many locations around the US. You can find a list of stores here.

Thanks for reading!




The Importance of Taking Time for Yourself

I’ll admit, I’m a workaholic. Often times I find myself working off and on for 12-14 hours straight. I love being busy, creating projects, working on new stuff and finding new opportunities. It’s my nature, it’s in my blood. Despite owning Bexa Body Fitness, my world has been turned upside down by celiac disease and creating Pretty Little Celiac.

But, I will also admit that I know when I need a break or when it’s time to just take a moment and breathe.

Today is one of those days. I’m writing this post and then I’m spending time by myself today. Taking my beloved chocolate lab, Coach, to the park for a walk, run the stairs and some fresh air is always on the top of my list. I need some serenity and some peacefulness after an insanely busy few weeks.


When I worked for children services, I found myself running my mental state into the ground just to get things done and be more efficient, only to realize it made me less efficient. I made more mistakes on paperwork and found myself working in circles. That’s when I started picking up on my body’s signals for needing time to take a break.

Whether it’s just spending time with yourself or getting out there to do something fun, it’s essential to clear your mind for new things to enter. Everyone lives a busy life but if you don’t stop to smell the flowers, you won’t even  notice them after a while.

Today I’m stopping to smell the flowers and taking a break. I just know this little mini break will make me stronger for all the exciting projects I have coming up in the next couple of weeks. Don’t ever feel guilty about taking time for yourself. It’s very similar to being on a place when they tell you to place your oxygen mask on first and then help others around you! If you aren’t healthy and well, you can’t help anyone else. This situation applies to everyday living as well. In order to be your best for yourself and others, you have to feel your best. Being run down, exhausted and mentally unstable makes you unable to help others. So, make yourself strong! Take a few hours or days to yourself to recover! It. Will. Be. Okay.

Hopefully, this little mini post can help inspire you to do the same! And, until tomorrow – I’m off to spend some time alone!





On The Air with Pretty Little Celiac

Married to Celiac: Episode 1

Well, BlogTalkRadio had a major outage Thursday night and I wasn’t able to tape my show live with Aaron. We did however record it on our own and upload it to the website. So, check out our first episode together.

We touch base on how our eating habits changed over the last 8 years. I find out if Aaron ever thought I was a hypochondriac. We discuss tips and advice for people dating and how to explain your condition. Find out how my diagnosis changed our relationship and our life. We also offer relationship advice for how to get your partner on board with celiac.

Don’t miss our candid show!

47 Gluten Poisoning Symptoms

47 Symptoms of Gluten Poisoning
47 Symptoms of Gluten Poisoning

We’ve all been there and done that… The unfortunate incident when you accidentally consumed gluten and now are suffering the consequences. It’s a horrible experience for most of us, especially if you are very sensitive to gluten and have celiac disease.

But, your celiac is not my celiac and we all respond differently. I’ve noticed I don’t respond the same to malt as I do to wheat. Sometimes I get diarrhea and sometimes my joints swell instantly. It seems I never know what I’m going to get when I accidentally eat gluten. Needless to say, just because I blog about it, speak about it and educate about it – it doesn’t make me immune from it! It happens to the best of us. We let our guard down for just one minute or allow assumptions to rule our decisions and it happens. For me, it doesn’t happen too often, but it still gets me!

If you are looking for help after the fact. I did a blog post on recovery tips that my readers came up with also on Facebook!

So, I took a poll on Facebook and asked my readers what symptoms they experience when they accidentally consume gluten.

Here is a huge list of 47 poisoning symptoms they suffer from after consuming gluten.

  1. Extreme fatigue
  2. Joint pain
  3. Swelling
  4. Bloating
  5. Clothes don’t fit
  6. Abdominal pain
  7. Extreme thirst
  8. Brain fog
  9. Gas
  10. Irritability
  11. Flu-like symptoms
  12. Skin rashes
  13. Nausea
  14. Heartburn
  15. Vomiting
  16. Intestinal cramping/severe urges
  17. Heart attack feeling
  18. Dizziness
  19. Anxiety
  20. Restlessness
  21. Ringing in ears
  22. Vertigo
  23. Heart palpitations/irregular heart beat
  24. Extremely emotional
  25. Joint pain in fingers similar to carpal tunnel
  26. Concentration problems
  27. Sweating/Cold Sweats
  28. Depression
  29. Gums ache
  30. Weight gain
  31. Eczema
  32. Pimples
  33. Aggrevates other symptoms from other diseases like arthritis or PCOS
  34. Mouth Sores including canker sores
  35. Puffiness in the face
  36. PMS symptoms
  37. Cravings for more gluten filled foods
  38. Dermatitis Herpetiformis outbreak
  39. Sinus pain and running nose
  40. Migraines
  41. Swollen ankles (edema)
  42. Shortness of breath
  43. Numbness in limbs, tingly sensations
  44. Acid Reflux
  45. Constipation
  46. Raging Anger and Severe Mood swings
  47. Swollen tongue

For me, I typically get joint pain and swelling along with bloating immediately after eating gluten. Then my stomach starts to hurt, a painful hurt and I can feel a headache slowly coming on, almost like torture.

Most people mentioned the symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. It isn’t an easy fix. It’s quite a different experience for me than when I have lactose. That just puts me in the restroom and then I’m fine. The other symptoms don’t come along with it like gluten poisoning. So, it’s up to you to figure out what affects you the most and what to really avoid. For those of us with celiac disease, we don’t have a choice, we must avoid gluten at all costs.

Recovery for Gluten Poisoning

20 Recovery Ideas for Gluten Poisoning
20 Recovery Ideas for Gluten Poisoning

A few weeks ago, I made the mistake of assuming something was gluten-free without confirming it online and suffered the consequences, even the best of us at times struggle with gluten poisoning. Unless you only ingest things you physically make and know exactly what’s in the product, you risk being contaminated.

For me, it was something as silly as a cider ale, REDD’s which is actually a cider BEER made of malt. Shame on me, I should have known. I actually talked about this with someone a few weeks ago and we decided it wasn’t but I obviously didn’t remember the conversation.

Alas, it’s not the first and it’s not the last time I’m going to get sick, so I set out on a mission to find what people do when they get poisoned and how to ease the pain.

Gluten Posioning Relief Ideas from other sufferers-

  • Lots of water – many, many people believe this helps with the symptoms
  • Extra Fiber – Eat your veggies and fruits
  • Rest – Give your body a day or so to just relax, take it easy
  • Hot Baths- Epsom salt is a perfect addition to a bath on any day when you feel muscle fatigue not just when you get glutened
  • Bone Broth from large joints – I’ve had a couple of people mention Mark’s Daily Apple for recipes and cooking tips on bone broth to assist with being glutened.
  • Glucosamine for anti-inflammatory – there are differing opinions about this. I’ve always been told that it needs to build up over time but others say it helps them within a few days.
  • Acupuncture – I’m a huge believer in acupuncture. I think it works wonders for numerous problems but specifically digestive health.
  • Yogurt with probiotics
  • Sleeping
  • Tylenol or Advil for arthritis usually helps for me
  • Ginger Tea – I’m not a big fan of ginger, it actually makes me gag but I’ve heard it helps significantly for nausea.
  • Gax-X helps for the bloating and gas (obviously)
  • Watermelon and cucumbers
  • Bananas
  • Nettle tea – anti-histamine
  • Just moving around a little like taking a walk
  • Magnesium and Cinnamon are great things to take to help get into your system
  • Coconut oil – it has many, many uses but coating the stomach is a great one
  • Dandelion Tea is great for reducing bloat and water retention
  • Do not take benadryl or other allergy medications. Remember celiac response to gluten is an aut0-immune response and not an allergic reaction so taking those medications won’t do much but keep you sleepy.

Don’t beat yourself up about it. It happens to all of us.

Your celiac is not my celiac so not all of these will work for you. You have to try different things to see what will help your body when this happens. No one can tell you what will work for you.

These are just some ideas our Pretty Little Celiac support group came up with – and as always you are more than welcome to join us over there.


Listen to my first Pretty Little Celiac podcast episode!!!

If you have celiac disease or are living gluten-free, you know how tough it can be emotionally in your life. From food choices to random health ailments, this can be one of the most difficult times of your life. Let me guide you though this challenging component with stories of my own struggles and a question and answer session with you!

I’ve struggled with anxiety, depression and sadness which I’ve been blogging about for a while now. It’s time to take it a step further and engage with everyone on a more personal level.

I can help you make the transition to a happy gluten-free lifestyle.