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eMeals: Gluten-Free Meal Planning Made Easy

Disclosure: I am a member of the eMeals Blogger Network which includes a one year subscription to eMeals. This post also includes affiliate links. As always, all opinions are 100% my own and always strive to share brands and products that I believe can greatly benefit this community! 

Cooking has never been my forte but when I was diagnosed with Celiac disease in 2010, a lot of my best recipes had to go out the window. My lack of kitchen creativity paired with the overwhelming health challenges of the last six months meant my kitchen has pretty much been out of order save an occasional slow cooker dinner every now and then.

I know that meal planning is not only healthier for my family but is better for our budget which of course is a major concern when dealing with disability. When you plan out your meals for the week and make one trip to the grocery store for meal items, you can plan your shopping around sales and cut down on all the “extras” that somehow appear in your cart every time you make your way to the check out. When I attempted gluten-free meal planning on my own, I felt like I was using the same handful of recipes every week and that was if we even cooked at all. I definitely needed to find something new for the sake of our health (and our wallets).

When I visited Type A Conference in September, I was introduced to eMeals!

eMeals is an awesome service that allows you to create meals plans based on your eating style (such as gluten-free, vegetarian, or even slow cooker!), family size, and even your favorite place to shop for groceries! After signing up, you will receive an email with your seven day meal plan filled with simple yet creative recipes that include a main dish and sides. Not only does the email include all seven recipes but it also includes a shopping list with everything that you need customized for store you selected! To make it even better, the meal plan is coordinated with weekly sales at select stores!

Could it be any easier?!


Gluten-Free-Meal-Planning

 

Now that I am beginning to get my life back and I am excited to dust off my kitchen and put it to good use specially for the holidays right around the corner! I will definitely be sharing about my favorites along the way! The only thing I have noticed so far that I would tweak about the meal plans is the ability to select foods your family does not eat or other food allergies outside of the main meal plan categories. With having Celiac, I choose the gluten-free meal plans but I do not have the option to state that we don’t eat seafood or mushrooms or that I am allergic to nuts. In the grand scheme of things, I consider this a minor problem and within a couple weeks of receiving meal plans, I have many recipes in my arsenal that I am able to swap out for recipes included in the weekly meal plan that may not suit my family’s taste buds!

If you struggle in the kitchen like me (please tell me I’m not the only uncreative cook out there!) or want to start meal planning to keep your family (and budget) healthy, I definitely recommend checking out eMeals! Dinner plans start at $10 per month for 3 months or $58 for the whole year which brings the monthly cost down to $5!!! You can also get a jump on Black Friday/Cyber Monday and save 30% using promo code CYBER which makes eMeals deals even sweeter!


Meal-Planning-Cyber-Sale

If you plan on spending more time in the kitchen this holiday season, where will you be finding your recipes? Family hand-me-downs, your favorite cookbooks, or trying something new (and finally putting your Pinterest boards to use) after finding a recipe online?

 

Disclosure: I am a member of the eMeals Blogger Network which includes a one year subscription to eMeals. This post also includes affiliate links. As always, all opinions are 100% my own and always strive to share brands and products that I believe can greatly benefit this community! 

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Day 18: Cravings

 

Day 18: Something you crave a lot

 

Since going gluten-free in May 2010 after receiving my Celiac diagnosis, I have pretty much found substitutions for all of my gluten-loaded favorites. Through trial and error, I found a pretty decent pizza crust mix when the pizza craving hits. When I’m in the mood for Japanese, I have found a decent gluten-free Asian chicken and rice meal. When I want breakfast for dinner, the Gluten-Free Bisquick does pretty good job of making pancakes and biscuits (you must eat them quick though – they don’t keep as well as regular biscuits). I have even found a chocolate cake mix )made by King Arthur) that seriously beats any, ANY cake mix I have ever made (my parents even request that I use this mix when I bake for them).

 

But the one thing that I don’t think it is possible to make a gluten-free version of is a Krisy Kreme donut. I will say that I have done a pretty good job of altering a cake donut recipe, which was found on one of my favorite blogs, to make it gluten-free which can be tasty for special occasions and the Kinnickinick Gluten-Free donuts are pretty good but its still not the same. If you compare Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme donuts, you know what I mean. Dunkin Donuts are more of the cake-like and dense whereas Krispy Kreme are yeast donuts and are light and melt in your mouth. That is what I am missing and crave so badly!

 

There are some individuals with Celiac who do not have violent reactions to gluten but instead more of a discomfort and can actually take a “day off” from the gluten-free diet every once in a while to indulge in some gluten-filled goodness without too many complications. Alas, I do not fall into that category. Believe me, I have really really considered whether it would be worth it but then I think back to instances like this one I blogged about but I think its best to stick with the gluten-free plan.

So I will stick to dreaming about these beauties:

Chocolate Krispy Kreme Donuts

image via google

What is your ultimate craving?


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Day 10: Gluten-Free Goodness

30-Day-Blog-Challenge

 

30 Day Blog Challenge Day 10: A photo of your favorite place to eat

 

In my pre-Celiac days it would be any Italian restaurant – hands down! I could eat on pasta and pizza until the cows come home! We have a local Italian place in my hometown called “Cucci’s” (family name I promise) and I just had to go every time I went to see my family. Sadly, now I think I would get contamination standing in the parking lot breathing in the yummy aroma of the cheesy, carb-loaded goodness.

These days, I stick more to chain restaurants as I have found they tend to be a little more aware of food allergies and Celiac disease and the server won’t look at me like I have four heads when I ask if gluten is in a particular item.

Lately, Fatz has been my restaurant of choice because they are very allergen-friendly. If you visit their website, you are able to download the menu allergen information which has become pretty standard for the restaurant industries as it seems food allergies are become a more common or at least are being talked about more.  If I know in advance I’m going to be eating out, I usually try to search the web looking for allergen information so I can be more prepared to order but one reason that Fatz has become my favorite is that they actually provide the information in their regular menu! No more browsing on my phone looking for what is safe to eat or asking for a special menu. Anything marked with a G is gluten-free! Pure heaven!

Where is your favorite place to eat? Do you prefer chain or local restaurants?
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