Archive for May 2016

Pharmacy Frustration

medicine

I recently went to pick up a prescription for myself at Giant Pharmacy.  I use this pharmacy because it’s close by and a lot of times when I am picking up a prescription there are other things I need too:  gluten free foods, grocery essentials, over-the-counter medication, etc.  Giant has a good gluten free selection whereas the drugstores do not.

Tech: Do you have any allergies?
Me: I have a sensitivity to gluten, but that should already be on file.
She said she would check.
Me: Doesn’t something “pop up” on the computer when you’re filling my prescription?
Tech: You would think that it would, but it doesn’t.
Excuse me, what?!

We continued to chat while the pharmacist looked in the fine print to see if my prescription had gluten. Then he ended up calling the company because he couldn’t verify it from the literature.  Keep in mind all of this is happening while my very energetic 4 year old son is plotting to destroy the store. (I kid, I kid!)  Silly me, I thought I was going to come and pick up my prescription and a loaf of bread and be on my merry way.

So FINALLY the pharmacist came back with a verdict: Sorry this medication has gluten it.
Fantastic.
Me: So now what do I do?
Pharmacist: You have to call around to different pharmacies and ask them if they carry this drug without gluten.
Cool. Because I have time for that.

This is so wrong on so many levels:
1-Had the tech not asked me if I had an allergy I would have left with my gluten-containing medicine and been none the wiser because I wrongly ASSUMED that they knew/it was on my file that I can’t have gluten.
2-Why on EARTH would their system not flag me/other people as having an allergy/sensitivity so they can check into whether medications are safe.  Major flaw if you ask me.
3-Why are drug companies still making gluten/allergy information so elusive that you have to jump through hoops to figure out if it’s safe for you or not?

I wanted to know the best and safest way to fill a prescription next time.
Me: How can I prevent getting gluten-containing medicine in the future?
Pharmacist: Either tell the Dr. to write gluten free in the notes on the script or you have to call and let the pharmacy know so they can research it ahead of time.

Since everything is sent electronically anymore this basically means I’m going to have to call because after all of this I’m not sure I can trust that even if I tell my Dr. to write it he/she will remember to do so.

Moral of the story: be your own advocate!! Never assume that the medication you are getting is gluten free, even if your file is marked as such.  Thankfully I am not routinely on prescription medicine and this was not a medication I need urgently.

Update: I called all of my local pharmacies and spent an hour on the phone only to find out that NONE of them carry my medicine in a gluten free form.  I had to call my dermatologist and get a different medicine.  When I went to pick it up I found out it was $40 more than what the original medicine would have cost me. #glutenfreeproblems

Has something similar happened to you?  What pharmacy do you use?

 

 

Greater Philly Gluten Free Expo Review – 2016

The Greater Philly Gluten Free Expo was even better than I imagined!  When I first walked in I was surprised at how small the venue was.  But we (my friend Jen & I) were there for over an hour and half and still didn’t get around to every stand.  I think more of this was due to crowding than too many vendors.  I felt the number of vendors was perfect but the venue itself should’ve been bigger and should’ve had better indoor traffic control/flow to handle the large number of people.  We got there right at 10:30 a.m. but about 30 minutes after that it was difficult to move around and navigate where the lines were.

Now to the good stuff…the food and samples!   Wegman’s was there handing out free pre-packaged samples and coupons.  There was seriously so much stuff.  I left with a grocery bag full of food.   I can’t wait to try everything.  I really wish there was a Wegman’s closer than 35 minutes away from my house!

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The food samples were AMAZING. There was nothing I tried that I didn’t like, but I definitely had two standout favorites in my mind: The Happy Mixer – Gluten Free Bakery and LUHV Food.

The Happy Mixer is located in Chalfont, PA and it’s probably a good thing that I don’t live near this place!  I have a bit of a (ok, a huge) sweet tooth.  At their stand I sampled monkey bread, peanut butter delights (their best seller), kiffles  (a jelly-filled cookie), and a cream filled doughnut. Yeaaaa…I was kind of in a carb coma after this!  The monkey bread was out of control.  I was seriously speechless.  The texture was doughy and chewy and the outside had a nice crunch from the sugar.  This is a special order item that they only make for holidays.  As a peanut butter lover and someone who grew up with my mom making her version of the peanut butter delights (“Peanut Butter Tandycakes”), I was very excited to see them there.  If you’re not familiar, it’s basically a sponge cake with a layer of peanut butter and topped w/ hardened chocolate. They were fantastic!  I see why they’re a best seller.  The kiffles were good.  My mom makes something similar, and I prefer hers.  I think she might use more cream cheese and/or add sour cream.  The doughnut was also pretty mind-blowing.  The only gluten free donuts I have had are the frozen kind, which are ok, but obviously not as good as something fresh.  These were so fluffy and delicious.  If you are a lover of sweets in southeastern Pennsylvania you must check this place out!

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LUHV was my favorite savory vendor. The black bean burgers were so flavorful. They served it on top of a salad (spring mix, carrots, onions, red cabbage) with a sweet chili dressing.  The dressing provided just the right amount heat (this coming from someone who does not like spicy things.) The Energy Soup was surprisingly excellent. I say surprisingly because it had kale and two different types of seaweed in the ingredients, two things I do not like.  But I couldn’t taste them at all!  They were very well hidden in the soup’s chili-like flavor.  I definitely plan to go to Kimberton Whole Foods and buy both of these items!

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Other yumminess included: Mompops’ chocolate sea salt popsicle, Sweet Megan’s edible brownie batter in a jar, Veggie Fries (Kale & Tuscan Bean and Chickpea & Red Pepper flavors).

It was such a foreign feeling to be able to eat anything I wanted and not have to stress if it was safe or not.  I didn’t have to ask questions or scrutinize ingredient labels.  It was seriously…So. Weird.  But definitely in a good/refreshing sort of way!  I didn’t realize just how stressful it is to have to analyze everything I eat until I didn’t have to do it.  I’m so glad I went and I am already planning on going to next year’s event.

Did you attend the Expo?  Which vendors were your favorites?

Gluten Free Banana Oat Greek Yogurt Muffins

One of the reasons I started this blog was to hold myself accountable for actually MAKING all of the glorious recipes I’ve pinned on Pinterest.  When I find a recipe I like, I tend to make it over and over again which doesn’t leave room for the whole “getting through my Pinterest board” thing.  Sometimes it’s hard to remember which ones are good so here I can tell everyone (and remind myself!) which ones are worth making.

This recipe for Banana Oat Greek Yogurt Muffins from Running With Spoons has definitely been one I have made several times in the past month or so.  Betcha can’t just eat one muffin!  I made them in my Ninja blender and then just poured into the muffin cups.  Easy peasey!  Tip: wash your blender right away 😉 Do not be like me and let it sit in the sink for hours and dry fast because it’s a nightmare to clean.  Oopsie!

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The only I did differently was I used two 5.3 oz cups of nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt instead of 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt.  I also used gluten free oats.   I figured out the nutritionals based off of my edits and it looks like this:

nutr banana yogurt muffins

I have been eating 2 for breakfast each day so that’s 12g protein and 364 calories.  Sounds good to me!  Honestly it’s hard to not have them for my afternoon snack too.

The second time I made them I altered the recipe a little more by cutting brown sugar to 1/8 cup, adding 1t cinnamon, and only sprinkling a few choc chips on top (instead of mixing them in. )  I’m not sure which I like better, but I CAN say that I like the chocolate chips spread throughout better!  The last time I made them I actually totally forgot about the blender and just mixed everything up in a mixing bowl with a spatula and they were still great.

Also notable: as she mentioned DO NOT use paper muffin holders.  They stick too much.  Foil still sticks but not as much.  I trialed w/ paper, foil, and using nothing but oil spray.   Spraying the tin w/ coconut oil worked great but then you have a tin to clean (which you probably will anyway unless you have excellent aim when pouring the batter!)

My son likes to help make them.  He is charge of pouring things into the blender. ..except sometimes he misses and then there are oats EVERYWHERE.  Oh well.  That’s what happens when your 4-year-old is your sous-chef!  He likes to vacuum them up with the dust buster so no big deal.  Enjoy!

 

Immaculate Baking Company – Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Immaculate choc chips

I recently made Immaculate Baking Company’s Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Cookies for a get together with friends.  I prefer to make baked goods from scratch, but when you combine being pressed for time with an awesome sale it leads to said pull-apart cookies being in my cart!  Cookies are not something I really enjoy baking anyway.  I’m more of a mix it up, put it in the pan, and bake it kind of gal. Eighteen minutes at 325 degrees and my whole house smelled delicious. I had to distract myself while they were cooling.

The bag contains 12 “jumbo” pull-apart cookies, which I would say are approximately 3 inches in diameter.  They’re not what I would call jumbo, but they’re not tiny either.  These cookies are also dairy free in addition to being gluten free (which is not an issue for me, but this may be a bonus for some of you.)  They do contain eggs and soy.   You can find more on the nutritionals and ingredients here.

At 150 calories per cookie, trust me, they’re worth it!  Normally when I bring a gluten free dessert to a function I am one of the only people that eats it.  Usually people hear gluten free and think it’s synonymous with taste free.  While sometimes this is true, it was not with these treats.  The best part is that even after they were completely cooled they still maintained their chewy gooiness.   The flavor was amazing and they didn’t crumble. When my non-gluten free friends eat them up as fast as I am, that is a good sign.  I would definitely buy them again!

Overall rating: A

This is NOT a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.  I’m just sharing so you can enjoy too!