A Gotham Greens Visit

*I was invited to tour the Gotham Greens HQ/Greenhouse in the Chicago Pullman area. I was not paid for my time or this review; I was given products at the end of the tour. All opinions are my own, as always!*

Do you feel a sense of peace and calm when you enter a quiet, green space? Funny enough, there’s actually loads of science to support it– everything from migraine reduction to overall reduced stress [see here].

Well, I got that deep sense of calm in an unexpected place– the rooftop of the Method soap HQ in a south Chicago neighborhood, Pullman, which just happens to house an entirely renewable-energy-driven greenhouse filled with rows upon rows of basil and lettuce. 

Thanks to Natalia at Gotham Greens, I got to spend Monday morning surrounded by rich smells and bright green leafy goodness! I have enjoyed GG products since I discovered them earlier this year in my local Plum Market — and was even more excited to try their pestos and salad dressing at the Nourished Festival in Schaumburg this past June. If you’re following me on Instagram you’ve probably seen my particular affinity for their heads of butter lettuce, perfect for creating little lunch wraps.

Here are some amazing things I learned about how Gotham Greens is really doing something special:

  • They’re powered by renewable energy, both wind and solar.
  • They’re entirely pesticide-free {which, I learned, is not a given fact if something is organic!}
  • A follow-up to that: they use natural predators as pest control {think spiders and butterflies!}
  • They operate on a hydroponic system, which means no soil — just water! And, curiously, hydroponic farming techniques actually use 90% less water than traditional farming.
  • Produce grown using hydroponics cannot currently be classified as organic, because the true classification is surrounding the soil use! So, GG is pesticide-free with sustainable practices, but without soil, you won’t find them in the organic section of your store {I found this absolutely wild.}

As a 5th generation Chicagoan, I’m also proud to tell you about how GG is employing local people in a neighborhood that’s been pushed out-of-sight, out-of-mind for a lot of Chicagoans. I was fortunate to meet some of the lovely humans harvesting these delicious greens and will be thinking of them every time I open a new container. 

Thank you again to Natalia and the GG team for having me {and the other lovely GF ladies I went with — Joanna and Angela!} — we even got to have a little picnic after!

Lettuce with a bottle of Gotham Greens dressing and several containers of pesto.

What do you want to know about GG practices? What would you make with some of those fresh greens? Looking for a recipe for something? Let’s hear it in the comments!

Take it easy, but take it.


GFAF Expo Chicago 2019: “Nourished Festival”

This year, the GFAF Expo held on June 1-2 in Schaumburg, IL {~40 minutes outside of the city; also in cities across the country} has rebranded as the Nourished Festival.

The Nourished Festival, with byline “The Gluten Free, Allergy & Specialty Diet Festival,” will now feature specific sections for keto, paleo, and plant-based products, alongside the gluten free requirement for all products and the nut free alley they have each year.

If you think like I do, you might be wondering: but will everything really be truly gluten free anymore? What about all those paleo products with GF ingredients, but not committed to serving the celiac community like many long-time exhibitors? Well, I was worried and inquired about exactly that. Via email:

All exhibiting brands must meet the FDA certifications for GF labeling. Same standards as the GFAF Expos 🙂 

We are now just organizing the brands better into respective zones: general GF, GF & nut-free, GF and Keto/Paleo, GF and Plant-Based.

– Laura Gruninger, Director of Public Relations, Nourished Group, February 2019

As always, I’ll be attending the festival as part of the media team {I do not have to pay an entrance fee as a result} and I will be going through the show this year with an especially fine-toothed comb to ensure the integrity of the expo is still in tact for the celiac and food allergy community!

Many of you already know that I have extensive additional allergies and intolerances, as well as type 1 diabetes, alongside living with celiac. This means that I am a very specific consumer– and I’m also quite particular with the ingredients I’ll put into my body. So, while I’m eager to check out a lot of the paleo/keto options for lower carb things as a T1D in the celiac community, I will not eat any funky fake proteins, weird gums, or fake sugars {hello, stomach aches!}

At this year’s Nourished Festival, I will focus on any new options that are GF and egg free, as well as products for the low carb community living with celiac that have real, simple ingredients.

If you want to see some recaps of other GFAF expos {now Nourished Festival} I attended over the years, take a look here and here!

And come meet me on the festival floor on Saturday June 1 from opening until around noon. Because, of course, I HAVE TICKETS TO GIVE AWAY! *To enter for 1 of 5 tickets I’m giving away on my blog {more on my Instagram and Twitter in the coming weeks @breezygfreezy!}, leave a comment and tell me the brand you most want to hear about from the exhibitor list and why. I’ll choose some faves to interview on the Nourished Festival floor!

Win Free Tickets, comment on this post!

Take it easy, but take it — and see you on June 1!


PS- To purchase tickets directly, 30% off until April 30 and 20% off until May 31, I would appreciate if you would use my affiliate link here!

Celiac screening + monitoring kits: imaware health

*imaware health {at-home celiac screening and monitoring kits} sponsored this post; my opinions are my own*

Have you have either fought your doctor for a Celiac test, had to wait endless weeks/months for an appointment to get your answers, or even been diagnosed Celiac but simply wanted to ensure your body is appropriately responding to the gluten free diet?

I imagine the answer is a resounding yes.

I’ve partnered with a new company, imaware health, to tell you about the latest development in Celiac screening and monitoring technology: at-home testing kits. imaware has 2 main disease states they’ve developed at this time: Celiac and Rheumatoid Arthritis {with more diseases to come soon!}. For Celiac testing, they have 2 kits:

  • At-home Celiac test
  • At-home Celiac monitoring

The true test is $99, utilizes the testing gold standards, and gives you physician-reviewed results in just 5 days. How wild is that?

The monitoring kit is $89 and can be a single-purchase or on 2, 4, or 6-month delivery schedules. This test assesses tTG-IgA as well as three additional biomarkers to ensure that your gut is healing from appropriate adherence to the GF diet.

You might be wondering, so how does the actual at-home test work?

imaware health kit laid out with components showing on a table

The test arrives at your doorstep with the most clear, concrete directions. Here’s the gist: wash your hands, use the alcohol swab, poke your finger {I know, not as easily accepted by those non-T1Ds, but I promise it’s not bad!}, and collect 5 drops of blood in the prelabeled tube.

imaware health labeled test vial with my name and ID number

Send the tube back in the prepaid envelope the same day you collect it and await your online results!

I’ll be sure to report back when my results come in, but I was too excited to tell you about this new Celiac screening and monitoring technology– backed by my Celiac doctor, Dr. Guandalini at the University of Chicago Celiac Center, alongside other world-renowned experts!

Well, you all know me. I’m not just going to tell you about this exciting technology; I’m going to get you involved. So MARK YOUR CALENDARS because we’re going to TWITTER PARTY!

Join me and imaware’s co-founder, Jani Tuomi, on Monday February 4th {that’s a week from tomorrow!} at 7pm CST for a big-time party about their Celiac screening and monitoring kits with lots of amazing prizes that you won’t want to miss.

imaware twitter party promo image for chat about celiac screening and monitoring kits; February 4th at 7pm CST, RSVP via rafflecopter link

RSVP needed in order to win! Follow to the Rafflecopter to enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Take it easy, but take it– and “see” you on the 4th!


Red Apple Lipstick: Cold Weather Favorites!

*I am a Red Apple Lipstick partner. This means that I get free product when I want to tell you all about the best make-up I own. Links in this post are affiliate links. Opinions are mine, as always.*

Today, my lipstick matched my sweater perfectly. Don’t you love when that happens?

Last year, I told you about my top fall lipstick color, Rosemancing from RAL. 

Yes, it’s still a favorite and it matches that lovely plum color that the world {and I} am wearing!

But, the real savior for me right now and through the winter is my good ol’ Rallye Balm. 


Rallye Balm, for those of you who haven’t yet saved your lips from the awful wind and cold temps, is Red Apple Lipstick’s famous colorless lip moisturizer/Chapstick look-alike, but it’s so much more. Not only does it look like a lipstick– which is a cute perk when you pull it out in public — but it’s the only real lip protectant I’ve had success with.

If you have peeling lips, cracking corners, or those pesky painful sores, let Rallye Balm save the day for you like it has for me.

I just cracked open another one and it’s going quickly.

Oh, and if lips aren’t your go-to make-up department: grab some Eye Shadow Primer to keep your make-up in place when the wind attacks your face and some of RAL’s unique Mascara that won’t leave your eyes itchy and painful by the end of the day. Oh, and this season– they bundled it for a lower price right here!



Of course, I ensured I got a discount code for all of you– and with no minimum order size! Use code BREEZY for 5 bucks off your next order. I’d try that Rallye Balm if I were you– only $10 after using the code!

Just click here and treat yourself!

And, one story for the road:

I recently shot an ‘about us’ video for my startup, Find Your Ditto. There was a make-up artist in-house and of course, I brought all my own products {gotta ensure the ingredients are safe and I don’t share brushes of any kind ever!} She fell head-over-heels in love with my RAL primer, eyeshadow, and lipsticks. Mind you, she’s done makeup for Michelle Obama. Yeah, folks. If you want to see my full look, take a peek at our video here.

Take it easy, but take it.


Powdered Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {GF, Eggless/V optional}

Take a look at the Barney Butter website and you’ll see the latest and greatest almond butter innovation, which I call a “BB Boost!”

Barney Butter Powdered Almond Butter

So, this powdered almond butter craze that Barney Butter has started– it’s quite something. They just launched their second flavor, chocolate AB, and I’m still trying to figure out how to use the original! Oh, and those single serve packets are coming. Talk about that BB Boost on-the-go!

For someone like myself who doesn’t drink all the protein shakes, doesn’t start my day with a smoothie {cup or bowl} instead of breakfast, and doesn’t seek to supplement my protein, powdered AB just means I can make my goodies taste perfectly almond-y without the worry of overly dense baked goods! #bakingwin

Here’s a reminder about the Barney Butter powdered AB:

  • 100% natural
  • Non-GMO verified
  • 1 ingredient– almonds!
  • Peanut free, paleo, keto, vegan, gluten free

Here’s a recipe for my favorite chocolate chip cookies– with an added BB boost! Though I make enough to freeze part of every batch, these definitely don’t last long.

What should I make with powdered almond butter next? Drop me an idea in the comments and I’ll see what I can do!

Don’t forget about my other Barney Butter recipes: powdered AB smoothies, almond flour pancakes, and almond butter chocolate drizzle cookies!

Take it easy, but take it.


*Reminder, I am a Barney Butter Ambassador. They send me goodies for me to make creations to share with you in exchange for my posting recipes!*

Powdered Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {GF, Eggless/V optional}

Category: Recipes

Servings: 20

Powdered Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {GF, Eggless/V optional}


  • 1 stick of butter {or sub vegan sticks}
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. white sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c. GF all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • ~1/3 c. Barney Butter Powdered Almond Butter
  • Splash of milk {any kind, even plant-based, works!}
  • Generous dump of chocolate chips or chunks! {I usually use Enjoy Life Foods semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • - Soften butter and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • - In stand mixer, cream butter with both kinds of sugar.
  • - Add vanilla.
  • - In separate bowl, combine GF flour with baking powder and almond butter powder.
  • - Slowly add until combined.
  • * If dry and crumbly, add splash of milk!
  • - Turn off stand mixer and hand-mix chocolate chips.
  • - Put on baking sheet {either line with parchment, use silicone mat, or generous non-stick spray} and bake ~15 minutes until golden brown.
  • - Let cool and devour!