Friday, April 16, 2010

Give-away: Seventh Generation Cleaning Kit

You might think the above title is a strange one to see on a gluten-free website. Earth Day is this Thursday, but you can be "green" all year long by using non toxic cleaners in your home. Since I can't use most mainstream cleaning products, I was thrilled to find out about the non toxic Seventh Generation product line about three years ago. Most people are not eating their cleaning products, but some do avoid those with gluten in them. None of the Seventh Generation products are confirmed to be gluten-free, so people who avoid gluten in their cleaning products might not want to use the product line. Here is the statement about gluten on the company's website.

For most of my life, I've been allergic to many perfumes, dyes and of course toxins, which are still found in many of the most popular brands of cleaning products on the market today. Many years ago, the only laundry detergent we could use was Tide Free. In January 2006 I went on the gluten-free diet and after two weeks, I started reacting to Tide Free as well. Was it gluten that was making me sick? I didn't think so then and still don't. The reaction was due the smell and I did not get a rash or other things some people with DH get. However, at that time I was eating nothing but whole foods - nothing processed. I didn't know what was safe to eat so I stuck to fresh foods only. My system was so clean that something in Tide Free that had not bothered me before started bothering me badly. The ingredients had not changed in any way. Frantically, I searched online for something more natural to wash our clothes in and the Seventh Generation website popped up. Since that day, we have been using their Free & Clear laundry detergent. Later on we found the dryer sheets, the Free & Clear dish washing and dishwasher detergents for the kitchen.

When Publix brought the much of the Seventh Generation line in I was over the moon. Finally, if we ran out of laundry detergent we didn't have to run over to the health food store to buy more. In the beginning, the Seventh Generation items were in the Greenwise section (health food section at Publix) and I loved that. No need to walk down the "normal" detergent aisle that would inevitably make my eyes water and start to swell. Then one day the Seventh Generation products were not in the Greenwise section. My first thought was that they'd not sold well enough at the store so they were dropped. The manager proudly marched me to the "normal" detergent aisle to show me where they were stocked. Since my husband does most of the shopping at Publix, he gets the detergent so I can still avoid the "smelly" aisle, as I refer to it.

When the My Blog Spark program offered a spark for the Seventh Generation cleaning kit, I jumped at the chance to get some new products we'd not tried before. Additionally, we scored a fabulous book called "The Conscious Kitchen" which is part of the spark. I've got to admit that I'm not crazy about brown paper towels. I switched to unbleached coffee filters and that was hard enough to get used to. However, the Seventh Generation paper towels do work quite well. They just don't look that great on my paper towel stand. The "disinfecting cleaning kit" offers two spray cleaners (Multi-Surface and Bathroom), two rolls of paper towels, wet wipes and the book mentioned above. All are neatly packed into a cleaning caddy. Not surprisingly, I love all the cleaning products - especially the wet wipes, which have no scent! The book is quite eye opening and anyone who cares about the environment, safe food production and keeping toxins out of their home would enjoy it.

Now for the fun part! One lucky reader is going to get their own Seventh Generation kit! Leave a comment for a chance to win and see what using non toxic chemicals can do for your home. Deadline for comments is April 26th. *Shipping address must be in one of the 48 contiguous U.S. states.

UPDATE: Ginger is the lucky winner of this great cleaning kit and book!

*Special thanks to Seventh Generation for my great kit and enlightening book! Also, thanks for sponsoring this give-away through the My Blog Spark program!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gluten-free Overload

It seems like every day something exciting, annoying or even upsetting affects people living gluten-free in this country. Food companies or restaurants tout gluten-free products and menu options that may or may not be gluten-free. It's up to the gluten-free consumer to figure out who to believe and who to question. One one hand, it's great that we are all of a sudden the target market to get as many products out to as possible. On the other, it's aggravating that many people and even blue chip food companies think the gluten-free diet is a fad that is on the way out.

I'd love every chef and food company to take a moment and carefully consider if they really want to get into the gluten-free game to feed people who can't eat gluten - or if your goal is to get trendy gf-ers (those are people who won't know if you serve them gluten) to buy your stuff or eat at your restaurants. If you fall into the latter category, please leave those of us who can't eat gluten and are not being trendy alone! If one more owner of a pizza place calls me to come try their gluten-free pizza - that doesn't know gluten can be in anything except the crust - I'm absolutely going to scream!

For those of you who really want to get gluten-free service right, consider getting a copy of Shelley Case's book. Then maybe we'll trust you know what you're doing when ask us to head over to try your new gluten-free dessert. Thanks!

CPK's gluten-free pizza - third time's a charm!

Once upon a time, California Pizza Kitchen (aka CPK) introduced a gluten-free crust.  And, it was the worst I've ever had in a restaura...