30 Days of Real Food Challenge


Tomorrow we kick off 30 Days of Real Food, gluten free style!

I have wrangled up some real food eating friends over on Facebook in a new, “Gluten Free & Good For Me” closed group and you should join us too!

Here’s a little “Real Food 101” so we’re ready to go…

  • Know where we’re headed!
    • Check out the rules for our real food challenge — just remember that Lisa and her family are not gluten-free, so just ignore the “whole wheat” and know that means whole grains for us, like brown rice, sorghum, etc. I have used several of their recipes as ideas and inspiration and any that are not written as gluten-free are easily converted.
  • Plan ahead!
    • Don’t let yourself get hangry. ALWAYS carry snacks.
    • Write out your menu for the week and make a grocery trip.
    • Look at your calendar for any upcoming social events and see if you can choose a restaurant with real food, meet for coffee instead, eat before you go, etc.
  • Try new things!
    • Let this month be an experiment in new-to-you foods.
    • Check out all the real food ideas on Pinterest. (be sure to modify them to be GF)
    • Dig out some of those recipes you’ve tucked away but been meaning to try, then share them with us!

See? You’re set for the first few days!


I know we can do this! (I did over 50 days of real food in the fall and survived, so this will be totally do-able, I promise!)


Tuesday To Do List: what to buy, spy, and try! (or sometimes cry about)

Tuesday To Do List is my newest attempt at bringing you tidbits from the gluten-free world each week. This will continue until my mind-that-doesn’t-rest comes up with another way to entertain you guys. You can read my very first to-do list here. Cross your fingers I am back here next Tuesday with another list.

To try…

I spy…


On the shopping list to buy…

  • Would one of each of the ciders on this list be too much? 😉  (I haven’t met a cider that’s not gluten free yet, BUT of course always check to make sure before sipping.)
  • The ingredients for THIS amazing looking spring salad! Peas are one of my favorite vegetables. Yes, I know this puts me in the minority.
  • Other spring season salad veggies/combos… what are YOU putting into your salads right now? INSPIRE ME! I can hardly wait to get the garden growing!

I’m going to reboot my real food eating with a month of real food in April — I just do better eating real food, as much as I have been trying to deny that lately and indulge in all the treats. Care to join me? I’m trying to persuade some other GF friends to join me as well, the more the merrier! Update: I’ve set up a “Gluten Free & Good For Me” Facebook page to keep us all on track, go give it a LIKE and get in on the fun!

The week over on Instagram…


Follow along: @celiacinthecity and pretty please give a “tap, tap” to my photos and leave a comment when you can — the new algorithms they are using are similar to those on Facebook and they will decide what you see now, but the more you interact with your favorite accounts, the more often you’ll see their posts.


As much as I wish I were getting paid big bucks to add these links to my page, I’m not. They are not affiliate links. I’m just sharing to share.



gluten-free pumpkin spice granola


Tomorrow I’m kicking off a new food challenge: 50 DAYS of REAL FOOD! #realfood50
You’ve seen me do the “10 Days of Real Food Pledge” several times over the years, but this time means business. Ten didn’t seem like quite enough since my partner in the challenge had already been a rockstar and done the Whole30 plan. But we weren’t quite ready for 100 days yet, and the idea of having dairy and beer/wine was very appealing and more likely to work for us, so 50 it is. (do check out http://www.100daysofrealfood.com for the “rules” and great recipes)

The best way for me to be successful at these eating challenges is to be prepared — which is why I spent the weekend in the kitchen.


We are nearing “all things pumpkin” season and I have no plans to go without this year, just making some modifications and better choices, like this pumpkin spice granola from my girl Molly — she’s my partner in #realfood50 crime and loves food as much as I do. The perfect person to do a food challenge with, really.

As soon as she posted the photo, I added “#PSL Granola” to my list of things to make this weekend. (and I’m so glad I did) Thanks, MJ!

Ps: Molly isn’t GF so you’ll notice the recipe just says rolled oats, for us GF folks, of course that means certified gluten-free oats… see my notes below for the exact ingredients I used!



Sarah’s Notes:

  • I am giving you the recipe straight from Molly because: I love her hand writing. She made a cute collage. I love handwritten recipes, BUT for us gluten-free folks, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats. (I have always been a fan of GF Harvest, which I order through amazon.) But I’m also typing out the ingredients I used below so there is no confusion — with all the drama with the new supposed-to-be-gluten-free-Cheerios-but-they-really-are-not-because-GF-friends-are-getting-sick…it’s best to be clear that you should use certified gluten-free oats if you need to be GF like me. 😉


3 cups certified gluten-free oats

½ cup walnuts

 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds!)

¼ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

⅓ cup pumpkin puree

⅓ cup maple syrup

¼ coconut oil

  • Pre-heat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Then in a sauce pan, combine the maple syrup, coconut oil, and pumpkin puree. Heat over low-medium heat to melt coconut oil and combine. (the oil never really fully combines, no worries!) Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to coat dry ingredients.
  • I used parchment paper on my baking sheet — when it’s fully cooled, you can make a parchment paper “funnel” to get all three million pieces of granola into the storage jar of your choice with less mess.
  • Use 2 or more teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice for even more flavor. Also, I added dried currants, this was a mistake, they are too small and got crispy and not in a good way. I didn’t use flax or chia this time because I didn’t have either on hand — this recipe is flexible and allows you to add or subtract what works for you. (I added almonds too!)
  • This isn’t a super sweet granola, which I love about it, but if you want something more sweet, feel free to add more maple syrup. (I just used 1/3 cup)


Although it makes an easy morning snack by eating it right out of the jar, I usually add it to plain Greek yogurt, sweetened with a little maple syrup, and pumpkin puree. Full of fall flavor!


Stop back and let me know how you liked it — enJOY!

*This perfectly pumpkiny fall recipe has been added to the Gluten-Free Recipe Fix Carnival: Back to School and Fall Edition. Go take a peek at ALL of the other gluten-free recipes!

10 Days of Real Food: Day 2 & 3 Update

Just tuning in? I’m doing the 10 Days of Real Food Pledge from 9/19-9/28. Feel free to join me at any time — but check out their website first for all the details like what the 10 day pledge is all about, what you can/can’t eat, and recipe/food ideas. (keep in mind that Lisa and her family are not gluten-free… so some of the recipes need to be converted — give a shout if you need ANY help!) 


When I got home from work I was hungry.

Hangry, actually. (so hungry = angry, if no food)

And I took a look in the fridge, then the cupboards, then the fridge again — you know, just to be sure some super satisfying snack hadn’t magically appeared.

I had to stop and take a moment to think it out.   It made me realize what a habit that has become. Walk in. Head for the fridge. Snack, while I dream up what’s for dinner. (like having a mini-meal before the meal) No bueno.

*POST INTERRUPTION: at this exact point last night, I was sending some photos from my phone to email, so I could download them and put them into the post — I thought I’d close my eyes for just a minute… and I woke up 45 minutes later to the laundry timer going off. Guess I was tired, which is why this will now be a Day 2 AND Day 3 update. 🙂

So instead, I set out to make a simple skillet meal with what we had in the fridge/freezer.


Day 1 of 10 Days of Real Food

Just tuning in? I’m doing the 10 Days of Real Food Pledge from 9/19-9/28. Feel free to join me at any time — but check out their website first for all the details like what the 10 day pledge is all about, what you can/can’t eat, and recipe/food ideas. (keep in mind that Lisa and her family are not gluten-free… so some of the recipes need to be converted — give a shout if you need ANY help!) 


Guess who got her husband to join her on this 10 day adventure?

This girl. 🙂

It’s so much easier to stay on track when you have a partner.

Breakfast: Caprese Poached Eggs


Friday Photos: my week in review.

Welcome to Friday Photos, a weekly feature here on Celiac in the City — you can read how it all started by clicking HERE.

First things first, they are still serving Lakefront New Grist at Miller Park.

That deserves a head tilting laugh, yes?

Gluten-Free beer at Miller Park rules. (even if they serve it in the flimsy cups)

You know what else rules?

Co-workers who go out of their way, every single time there is an event at work, to help a gluten-free girl out. My buddy Jean at UWM is one who never lets me feel like I’m missing out on the fun. And she’s super cool about it too… like no big deal, that whole gluten-free thing? Got it covered.

And not just got it covered like she brought me some fruit, but got it really covered by bringing me my own little Tia’s Strawberry Shortcake. She also donates to our Team Gluten-Free 5k every year — she rocks.

Made with almond flour and coconut too and sweetened with agave, it reminded me of the goodies from Elana’s Pantry. (big fan of both of her books)

And this little nugget of goodness was in my bag from the happy hour party at Nourished, the gluten-free food blogger conference I attended not long ago.

Very few ingredients, which is key as I struggle to keep M&M’s from being a part of my regular diet, and instead grab for something more real food-like. May have to order some from Amazon or get a local store to carry these Simple Squares.

A little friendly fitness-mind-body-wellness challenge is underway with my girl Kristi and a couple of her friends. And I may or may not have told my other sister Laura that I’d stay away from caffeine and cut out the sugar with her for the next 40 days. (40 days is her timing on some habits in her 2012 list) So to keep me on track, I busted out one of my all time favorite treats today.

It just so happens to be in the real food category, with no added sugar. And in case you missed it last time I talked about my one ingredient peach sorbet, here it is again.

It’s as easy as…




What other real food, no-sugar added snacks to you guys like? Help me stay on track here!