3-month Conscious Box Giveaway!


Conscious Box approached me with a very special offer just for YOU! They are sponsoring a giveaway for a 3-month subscription to Conscious Box for one lucky reader! That’s a $59 value! But don’t worry if you don’t win the raffle, you can still be a winner as they are offering a 25% discount on a Conscious Box subscription.  Just use code – LOVELIFE when checking out. Win! Win!

Conscious box-packaging

How does Conscious Box work??

Conscious Box is the best way to discover the most ethical and sustainable products on the planet! Focusing on strict tenets of organic, fair trade, and pure and natural products, each month Conscious Box will introduce you to healthy and honest alternatives for every aspect of your life and for every member of your family. Discover the best natural products, earn points for leaving feedback and reviews, and buy your favorites at incredible discounts!

  • Get a variety of unique pure & natural products every month!
  • From organic food to vegan beauty products, you’re sure to find new favorites!
  • Discover ethical and purpose-driven businesses of all sizes!
  • Get content on daily living tips, exciting monthly themes, and creative ways to use your box!
  • Easily earn points you can apply to full size products for unbeatable discounts!

Next month, Conscious Box is presenting its very special Earth Day box! Inside, you’ll find incredible products that help you lighten your footprint and better show love to Mother Earth. From scrumptious snack alternatives to ultra-conscious home products, the April Earth Box will introduce you exciting new things in the world of green!

They also have vegan and gluten-free options, not to mention they are 100% recycled, they’re ink’s are made with veggies and they say “NO to GMO’s”. Totally great!

I have not actually tried Conscious Box yet but I have heard some really great things about their products.  I have not been monetarily compensated for writing this post, but will be receiving a free 1-month subscription box for my time.

Sorry to all you international readers, but Conscious Box currently does not ship to Canada or Europe, but be on the look out for that to happen soon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any product defects or shipping problems that may arise from your order.  I do not work for Conscious Box.

And the WINNER is………. KAY LYNN AKERS!!!  Congratulations, you are the winner of a 3-month subscription to Conscious Box.  I will be in touch shortly with details about your prize.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this raffle.

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Sex and the Celiac: Dating Tips for the Gluten-Free

Sex and the Celiac: Dating Tips for the Gluten-Free

When you have celiac disease or another gluten-related disorder, dating can be fairly tricky. With so much focus on restaurant outings, movie theater snacks and the post-date kiss, people with a gluten- related disorder have a lot more to think about than just finding the perfect outfit.

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) shares these 5 tips for navigating the dating scene while staying gluten-free.

Pick the restaurant yourself. Suggest a few restaurants that you trust will serve safe gluten-free food. Do some research to find a few different options so your date can have a choice, too. If you’re not comfortable picking the place or bringing up your gluten-free diet on the first date, why not cook at home? You can always pack a picnic basket for lunch or dinner at a local park so you don’t have to bring up your diet right off the bat.

Be prepared to quickly and simply explain your gluten-free diet. You shouldn’t be embarrassed by your gluten-free diet (yes, this even applies to the men out there). If your date involves food, you can quickly explain that you can’t eat gluten for medical reasons and if you do, you’ll become very sick. Don’t feel pressured to give all the details on the first date, and focus on what you can eat. For example: “I can’t split the cake with you, but this place makes fantastic homemade ice cream. How about we each order a scoop?”

Skip the food. Who says a first date has to be all about food? You can go on a hike, head to a museum or show off your ice skating skills at the nearest rink. This way, you don’t have to worry about finding safe options on the first date and can just have fun and enjoy the company.

Be mindful of that kiss. Use your discretion when it comes time to lean in. Did your date just finish a bowl of pasta? It’s a good idea to hold off, at least until your date can find his or her way to a toothbrush. If you both shared a day of gluten-free meals, then you should be all clear for that smooch.

Relax! Your mind can do incredible things – including make yourself sick from worry. So relax, have a good time and plan ahead so you can enjoy the moment!

For more Dating Dos and Don’ts, see NFCA’s article in GREAT U.

Want more information about Sex and the Celiac? Register for the upcoming free webinar “Sex and the Celiac: A Focus on Reproductive Health” on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 8:30 p.m. EDT/5:30 p.m. PST.

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Gluten & Allergen Free Expo (GFAF) – San Francisco – February 9th & 10th

Here we are just 15 days away from what I consider to be the most informative conference I will attend this year; The Gluten & Allergen Free Expo 2013 to be held in the city by the bay – San Francisco.  Ah, I love San Fran!!

This conference is sure to please everyone.  It is jammed packed with guest speakers like Dr. Peter Green, Amy Burkhart, MD, Carol Fenster, Nadine Grzeskowiak, RN, Amy Ratner, Kathy Smart and many more.  Not to mention the sponsors that will be attending this event include Glutino, Udi’s Gluten Free, Delight Gluten Free Magazine, Rudi’s Gluten Free Bakery, San-J, Schar, Enjoy Life, Triumph Dining, Better Batter, Gluten Free Living, Crunchmaster and the list goes on.  There is seriously something there for everyone.  I’m getting so excited just typing this right now I can hardly wait to go.

 People who attend the expo include people with Celiac Disease, Gluten Sensitivity, Food Allergies, Parents of Children with Autism, Arthritis, Autoimmune Diseases and those that are of the health-concious communities that are looking for the latest and greatest in health foods, raw foods, protein bars and shakes and much much more.

I personally am excited to attend my first GFAF Expo as a guest blogger.  For me the conference presents an opportunity to find what is “up and coming” in the gluten-free market place and share it with all of my avid readers.  Since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2006 I know the importance of having the latest information and resources available and I want to be able to share that information with the world.  I hope to find new recipes, books, product info and anything else that I might think that you, my readers, might want or need.  And who knows, maybe I’ll even be lucky enough to bring home some goodies to do a giveaway or two.  Wouldn’t that be fun?!

So stay tuned as I blog and tweet my way through the expo on February 9th & 10th from beautiful San Francisco.

I can’t wait to share all the great info the conference has to offer with all of you. 

If you want to attend the expo, get your tickets here – GFAF San Fran Tickets.

Follow the expo ~
Twitter – @gfafexpo
Facebook – www.facebook.com/gfafexpo

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Gluten-Free Food Tax Deductions

3 Things You Should Know Before Filing for a Gluten-Free Food Tax Deduction

It’s no secret that gluten-free food packaged food is oftentimes more expensive than its gluten-containing counterparts, but did you know you might be eligible for a tax deduction to help make up the difference?

If you have never filed for a tax deduction for your gluten-free food purchases, there are some important things you should know before you do:

1. You Need an Official Diagnosis to be Eligible
Many people are eating gluten-free for a variety of reasons, but only those with an official diagnosis with a gluten-related disorder will be eligible for a tax deduction. You’ll need a prescription from your doctor for a gluten-free diet as your treatment option as well.

2. Keep Track of Your Food Purchases the Entire Year
In order to receive the tax deduction, you’ll have to calculate the difference between the cost of gluten-free alternatives vs. the cost of gluten-containing foods. For example, if you purchase gluten-free crackers for $4.50 and traditional crackers cost $2.50, you’ll only be able to claim the difference: $2

This will need to be done throughout the year as you purchase gluten-free food. Since you will have a lot of purchases to keep track of, some have recommended using a spreadsheet to help keep track of all of the figures.

Everyone rule has exceptions! Visit the Tax Deduction Guide for Gluten-Free Products from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) to see which types of gluten-free food are eligible for a full refund.

3. Refunds are Only Given if Medical Expenses Exceed 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income
IRS rules dictate that refunds for medical expenses will be granted only if they are over 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) (the total gross income, minus specific reductions). Turbo Tax gives a great example for determining if your medical expenses exceed 7.5% of your AGI.

Once you figure out if you’re eligible for a tax deduction, the last step is moving forward and filing your claim. NFCA’s Tax Deduction Guide for Gluten-Free Products also provides more information on the specific IRS tax forms, rulings and publication reference numbers you’ll need to file.

Thank you to The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (nfca) for providing this information to us.

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Hershey’s Gluten Free List

Hi Everyone,
As the baking season is fully underway I wanted to share with you the good news (in case you hadn’t already heard) – Hershey’s has a list of all of their products that are gluten-free.  I’m super excited to now report that their butterscotch chips, which last year were reported as non-gf, are this year on their list as good-to-go.

This is obviously good news for the majority of us since Hershey’s is the most readily available baking chips in most of your grocery stores.  So stock up and bake away!

Check out the full list at The Hershey Company.

Happy Holidays!

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