My Top 6 Favorite Gluten Free Snacks

I am a snacking fiend. I love having something to munch on while I have down time. Unfortunately, being gluten free (and mostly sugar free) seriously limits my snacking possibilities. Luckily, after being gluten free and sugar free for quite some time, I’ve found a few tasty things that are on my diet AND are delicious.

Here is a list of my favorite snacks!

6. Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss Ice Cream

Coconut Bliss ice cream bar! Chocolate flavored!

Coconut Bliss ice cream bar! Chocolate flavored!

This stuff is awesome. Since I became sugar free, I kissed the possibility of having ice cream goodbye. Not only is this delicious product is sugar free, it uses agave nectar as a sweetener! No artificial sweeteners or chemicals in here! It’s totally gluten free as well. AND I have good news for you vegan folks. You can eat this!

It has a soft, creamy texture and has bits of coconut in each bar. It melts quickly, but tastes delicious. I definitely recommend it! Fun fact: The company is based right here in Eugene. Very cool!

5. Bumble Bee Sesame Bars

Hazelnut flavored bumble bar. Yummy!

Hazelnut flavored Bumble bar. Yummy!

Its tasty flavor and interesting texture is what sets Bumble Bars apart from other gluten free snack bars. Made almost completely out of sesame seeds, these things are really really yummy! They have a whopping fourteen different flavors ranging from cherry chocolate to hazelnut.

It only has 7 grams of sugar in each one. While that number could be lower, it is fairly decent for a snack bar. Most snack bars range from 15-30 grams in each bar. This makes a great occasional treat that tastes amazing.

The actual bar

This is what the actual bar looks like. Interesting, isn’t it?

4. Nuts

Yes, I know it sounds pretty simple. But nuts are pretty freaking awesome. They have many different health benefits, including healthy brain function, stress reduction, and cholesterol management. Plus, they are gluten free, sugar free, vegan, and dairy free. What a great snack!

Nuts!

Nuts! Photo credit:  Flickr user s58y

Grabbing a small handful of nuts instantly satisfies my hunger and tastes delicious. Cashews are my absolute favorite!

3. Quaker Popped Rice Snacks

Quaker Rice Snacks

Quaker Rice Snacks: Up close and personal!

These little guys are my alternative to the potato chip. With 13 grams of whole grain, they make a great healthy snack. Though they contain no gluten-based ingredients, Quaker does not actually test this product and therefore cannot advertise it as gluten free. Word of warning to my friends with Celiac disease!

2. Nori

A piece of nori

Nori is SO addicting and SO good! If I leave the plastic container next to me, I’ll eat the entire thing! That’s how good it is! Nori is edible dried seaweed that comes from red algae. It is popular in Japan and Korea.

It’s also totally gluten free and has only 1 gram of sugar per box. An addicting snack that is both delicious and guilt-free.

1. Synergy Kombucha with Chia

Me and my favorite kombucha

Me and my favorite kombucha

Kombucha is my favorite beverage of all time. Kombucha is fermented tea mixed with healthy bacteria and yeast. This particular brand, Synergy, of kombucha adds chia seeds to the mix. The texture is amazing and the flavor is delicious. I definitely recommend it.

Ticks are actually teeny tiny vampires. Happy Halloween!

Ticks are actually teeny tiny vampires. Happy Halloween!

Ever curious how ticks are able to burrow inside human skin? Well, in honor of the creepiest day of the year, I present to you a video by the New York Times about how exactly ticks do that mean thing they do.

Happy Halloween, friends! Keep your distance from bloodsuckers- both the vampire kind and the tick kind!

Best,

Sofia

P.S. I’m wearing awesome orange Halloween socks today. Thank you, Aunt Cindy!

Disability Awareness: The Ability Exhibit

Last week, something really cool happened at my school. And I was involved in it!

The Ability Exhibit. Thanks to several amazing people, this traveling exhibit came to the University of Oregon! The exhibit is an interactive experience meant to display the many different facets of disability in a fun and informative way. The end goal is to raise consciousness about what it’s like to have a disability. For more info, visit their website!

As the president of the AccessABILITY Student Union, I helped facilitate the exhibit for most of the time it was on my campus. It was awesome!

 

Me and my fellow disability activist friend, Antonia sitting at the Welcome Table

Me and my fellow disability activist friend, Antonia, sitting at the Welcome Table

The exhibit talked about various topics related to disability awareness, including person-first language, universal design, disability law, and historical milestones of the disability movement. Each topic was addressed at a different station, which were all set up in a square shape in my school’s student union.

This was at the person-first language station. If you remove the panel, it says "Person who uses a wheelchair"

This was at the person-first language station. If you remove the panel, it says “Person who uses a wheelchair”

Person-first language is important in the disability movement. By using person-first language,  the speaker is able to separate the person from their disability, rather than equating both.

This is a quiz about disability law in higher education. The answer to the question is "False." Students have to provide documentation in order to receive accommodations for their classes.

This is a quiz about disability law in higher education. The answer to the question is “False.” Students have to provide documentation in order to receive accommodations for their classes. Very informative!

Each station had braille placards to visitors with vision problems can benefit from the exhibit too! There was also the option of borrowing headphones for a provided guided listening tour of the exhibit. Inclusiveness!

Beautiful banners outlining the major milestones of the disability movement and some interesting statistics about people with disabilities

Beautiful banners outlining the major milestones of the disability movement and some interesting statistics about people with disabilities

The exhibit was located in the center hub of student activity on campus. Lots of students wandered by the exhibit, having no idea what it was. A pleasant surprise!

Posters showing actions leading up to the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. Access is a civil right!

Posters showing actions leading up to the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. Access is a civil right!

Before the ADA was signed, people who use wheelchairs were turned away from restaurants and busses for being “fire hazards” or eyesores. They lacked basic rights. There were several posters documenting the injustice experienced.

At the end of the exhibit, visitors were encouraged to sign a pledge to be an ally. Here I am holding the board at the end of the exhibit's run. So many allies!

At the end of the exhibit, visitors were encouraged to sign a pledge to be an ally. Here I am holding the board at the end of the exhibit’s run. So many allies!

Facilitating this exhibit was an awesome experience. I met so many people and listened to countless stories about all types of disabilities. Because Lyme bars me from participating in so many of life’s activities, I identify as a person with a disability. My school has a profound lack of disability culture. I felt absolutely refreshed after spending my week here. I felt that I was able to help raise peoples’ consciousness and advocate for other people with disabilities.  This was just one small step in the journey towards equal treatment of the disability community. The activist in me is pleased.

Social Justice!

Best,

Sofia

 

 

 

 

Fun with Smoothies!

Smoothie

I love smoothies! I used to buy them, but the ones from smoothie bars have a lot of added sugar in them. A naturopath I went to for a while suggested I start making nightly smoothies as a way to get more energy and nutrients without eating a full meal. At first I was skeptical, but I’m so glad she gave me this recipe, because I love love love these! They’re light, frothy, healthy, and surprisingly do not taste disgusting! I know the color is kind of yucky, but trust me, they taste good!! Plus! No added sugar! Just natural sweetness from a small amount of fruit. Yummmmmm. 

Ingredients!

  • 2 Cups coconut milk 
  • 3 or 4 ice cubes 
  • 1 Scoop Whey protein powder (The brand I have is BioGenesis, Ultra Pure Vanilla flavored)
  • 1 TBS of greens powder (The brand I have is Vitamineral Green) 
  • 1 TBS coconut oil 
  • 1/2 Cup berry of your choice (I used raspberries) 
  • 1/2 Apple, cut into chunks
  • A handful or two of kale or spinach

Coconut milk and kale! Yay!

Coconut milk and kale! Yay!

Greens Powder, Whey Powder, and Coconut Oil I use

Greens Powder, Whey Powder, and Coconut Oil I use

 

 

Preparation! 

It’s really super easy! Takes about 2 minutes. 

If you use raspberries like I did, make sure you put one on your finger and wear it like a hat. This is 100% necessary if your smoothie is to taste any good

If you use raspberries like I did, make sure you put one on your finger and wear it like a hat. This is 100% necessary if you want your smoothie to taste any good

  1.  Pour your coconut milk into a blender
  2. Add the protein powder, greens powder, coconut oil, and ice cubes 
  3. Add your kale, apples, and berries 
  4. Blend!! 

 

Looks a bit gross, right? Trust me, it's really really not

Looks a bit gross, right? Trust me, it’s really really not

 

See? I told you! Not gross. Really good and smooth. Yum!!!

See? I told you! Not gross. Really good and smooth. Yum!!!

The best part about these is that they’re actually pretty helpful. All the ingredients are super foods and are very beneficial to eat. Blend them all together and you get something pretty tasty. Whenever I make one, I wake up the next day feeling full of energy. 

Hope you like them too! 

Best,

Sofia