Friday, October 30, 2015

Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Preservative-Free Sausage... I Found Swaggerty Farms

Oh my, I absolutely am ecstatic to find Swaggerty Farms gluten-free, soy-free, and preservative free sausage.  This sausage has no nitrates, no BHT, no MSG... look at the package. 

Fresh Thyme in the Chicagoland area has it. As of yet, it is quite shocking to find that no Southern California store carries this product. Usually, I can find most natural, gluten-free products in the L.A. area.

Get the word out to @sproutsfarmersmarket or +Whole Foods Market sales reps. This is the best sausage I have found. Making sausage from far for me, has been an epic failure. However, since I found this product I am super happy, especially since it is soy free and does not contain BHT. 

Being extremely sensitive to foods, preservative free products work well for me. This is now my go to product for breakfast sausage.  Deliciously, looking forward to experimenting with dinner recipes using this find.  If you have a delightful recipe using Swaggerty Natural Sausage, please share. 

Check out this YouTube video HERE from Swaggerty Farms!  HERE is their Facebook page and they also have a coupon club HERE.  

Let me mention, I do not get paid for referrals for this product. If you are like me ~with food allergies~ consistently you hunt high and low for eatable foods and can appreciate why I find it important to spread the word. 

Enjoy and let me know if you found it and what you think.

I'm Done With Theme Parks

Years ago, my first indication not to get on certain rides at theme parks were the signs that read "remove your hearing aid and your earrings."   In my younger days, I loved roller coasters. Now has come the time, as my body warned, unless you have the chiropractor appointment set the next day "don't do it"; so I resolutely listened.

California Adventure was the first stop on our complimentary theme park day at California Adventure and Disneyland in Anaheim, CA.  It looks like this may have to be my last visit to the "happiest place on earth".  I've read several posts that Disneyland is accommodating to people with food allergies and food intolerances.  Even so, my focus in the morning was that I had enough soy-free, gluten-free snacks to get me through the day. However, I entirely forgot that with a large, crowded environment that I would encounter a perfume saturated assault to my senses.  Two years ago, when we blew through our "leaving California" bucket list with my friend Rhonda and her children, I don't remember having this difficulty.   

Right now I am done.   My husband and daughter are off to their own devices and I will sit on a bench and enjoy the 90 degree weather and type this blog post.  

With too much fragrance, lotions and potions, and waiting in the long lines, my legs have given out.  I decided to ask one of the guest services personnel if the theme park started spraying deodorizers throughout the park. She assured me that was not the case.  Of course, I realize the park has no control over the thousands of guests who decide to overindulge in their right to wear scented products.  They want to "smell good" and unbeknownst to themselves are affecting not only people like me who would like to enjoy a day out, but cannot because of our sensitivity to the toxic output of their choice but children's health and behaviour as well.  

Theme parks like this draw many children to their doors, remember it is best to keep it light or better, not at all. Although I am happy that on this trip my daughter had the opportunity to visit both theme parks, for me it is not worth the pain and ensuing fragrance fallout I will experience. 

The next time, I must remember, I too have a choice as those who choose to wear fragrance, for me it is to save myself and not patron the "happiest place on earth."  Seeking a breath of unadulterated air, I now wait for my family at the side of Starbucks in the back by the lockers at Disneyland as I encourage you to be savvy and scent free.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Take Your Power Back From Food Allergies

Ever felt powerless at the entrance of a grocery store when you realize you don't know what you can eat? You find that the food that you had been purchasing for years is now making you, or your family member ill.  Especially when it is your child that is ill, you become an avid, somewhat obsessive, label reader.

After several bouts of "food Russian Roulette" you or a family member have been diagnosed with food allergies.  

Me, well, I found avoiding soy, eggs, kelp, gluten, and dairy is challenging.  So that means no store bought breads, cheese, soups, snacks and more.  At age 11, my daughter seems to have outgrown most of her allergies/intolerances yet she still must avoid pepper, red dye and almonds. 

I make most of my foods, snacks, hair and body products from scratch, thereby avoiding or lessening the "break-down" at the entrance of the grocery store.  Besides, I now have more knowledge to search and find the ingredients to confidently eat in safety.  I am still working on a few baking projects, for instance, making bread that doesn't collapse since I cannot use an egg in gluten-free recipes.  I will eventually search for and purchase a gluten, soy and egg free recipe book, but it's more enjoyable experimenting. 

I recently made my own granola snack and can't get enough of it. I will forever love the granola from "Bakery on Main" (their granola make my neurons happy) but making it myself is truly fun and economical. 

I first Googled "how to make your own granola"  and found this link..., a blog post from the gluten-free goddess.  Below is my version

"I'm Not Powerless Anymore"
I first used gluten-free rolled oats and black mission figs from Trader Joe's and also found organic oats from Angelo Caputo's Fresh Markets.  I found the Gluten-free Crunchy Rice Cereal at ALDI's.   I like Hadley Pitted Deglet Noor Dates. I get these from Jon's Marketplace in the San Fernando Valley in California or you can find them here

Like Karen at the Gluten Free Goddess I found this recipe can be vegan-friendly or not.  However, "friendly" is determined by which sweetener you choose. So far in my granola recipe I've used raw honey, maple syrup, molasses and organic raw cane sugar as sweeteners or combinations. 

Choose whichever sweetener suits you. However, this version is tailored to be soy-free and gluten-free.  Can I say, I don't always measure so you don't have to be exact. 

Janet's Gluten-Free Granola Recipe

  • 4 cups organic gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup or so of Chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup of Flax seeds or Hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup Gluten-free crunchy Rice cereal
  • 2/3 cup rough-chopped organic pecans or nuts of choice (I need to avoid almonds for my daughter's sake)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of chopped pitted dates
  • 1/4-1/2 of chopped dried figs 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup pure organic maple syrup or use a combo of raw honey and maple syrup, raw honey and molasses.  Molasses by itself may be too bitter.  So it needs another sweetener to lighten the taste.  My next batch will be a combo of organic raw sugar and molasses. 
  • 2/3 cup coconut or olive oil (be careful, contrary to the bottle label, not all olive oil is soy free.) As with the volume of ingredients you choose you may need to add a bit more to coat not saturate. It depends on your quantities of ingredients.  I made a larger batch this last time...

Add-in after baking: 

1 cup dried cranberries and blueberries (less dried blueberries than, cranberries) after your original granola has cooked. 

I stir the cranberry/blueberry combo into the glass container I mixed the syrup and oil in and marinate until I am ready to use.


Preheat the oven to 325ยบ. Find a baking dish large enough to hold the granola mix.  (I don't like Teflon anymore, but that is me.) You may need to use two baking dishes depending on the sizes you have on hand.  You want the granola not to stacked.  Set baking dishes aside for now.  Coat bottom with a small amount of oil. 

In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, chopped dates and figs, pecans, crunch rice cereal, chia and flax seeds and stir.
In a glass measuring cup, combine the your sweetener of choice, along with oil, and vanilla. Mix well with a fork. 

Then, drizzle the syrup/oil mixture over the oats, and stir as you go. Gently keep stirring until all the oats are coated with the syrup/oil blend.

Spread the granola mixture onto your baking dish. Bake in the center of the oven for roughly 25-30 minutes until golden and toasty. Stirring half way through is recommended.  

Remove the baked granola from the oven and allow the pan to cool a bit. I add the dried berry combo (that has been marinating in the left over oil/syrup mixture) shortly after removing from the oven mixing into the already baked granola.  I do this when it is still hot, however, not necessarily hot enough to cook the berries.  Since my baking dish has a cover I usually keep it in that container, however, it is important to stir so your baked granola before it completely cools so as not to stick to the bottom of the pan.  

You can pour the cooled granola into an airtight container and maybe if you are like me, it is gone is a few days... so my original container works fine.

Update:  cold molasses, raw sugar and coconut oil do not mix well... oops!

When you try this recipe, let me know what you think.  

Don't let the food allergies and food intolerances overtake you, your power and well being.  
Get your power back too!  Become that avid, somewhat obsessive, label reader and feel better.  Have fun with it and as always be savvy and scent free!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Always Looking for Soy-free Chocolate!

People without food allergies, don't understand why people with food allergies are always looking, hopeful and sharing great finds!  Either we (the food allergy people) make our own or are always on the lookout.  Well I look at that this candy company found me. I actually confiscated these packages from husband who found these at the Gluten-Free and Allergen Friendly Expo in Schaumburg, IL .  Somehow I missed this booth.  I was certainly super happy when I saw the Chocolaty Fudgee Rolls from the Lovely Candy Co. in his bag.

 Choco-holics don't share well!

Normally, my husband, who doesn't share chocolate gracefully, is one who needs "sharing" lessons.  However, since finding soy-free chocolate is not his challenge and chocolate is abundant in his world, these are mine.  I've quietly hidden them from him and my daughter... they are so good.  He does know I have them ... but.... they are mine now.  They are not dairy-free, but they are gluten-free, soy-free, gmo-free and indescribably yummy that spreads to my taste buds...Wow!  They are a winner in my world.  And that is all I have to say about that and "live live lovely"

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Gluten-Free and Me at the Expo

This past weekend, I attended the Gluten-Free and Allergen Friendly Expo held in Schaumburg, IL; a Chicago suburb. Despite not being a celiac, I am gluten intolerant or as I understand the term to be "non-celiac gluten intolerant". My food allergen priorities are soy and eggs. Of course, fragrance is first when it comes to non-food offending substances. 

Bloggers On Board

Massel, headquarted in Australia (I love Australia), sponsored the bloggers at this event and supplied our beautiful red boxed "swag bags" containing many of their products. Massel produces natural gluten-free bouillons and seasonings used to enhance any recipe. These seasonings, although, labeled beef, chicken and vegetable are completely vegan using all vegetable ingredients. Unfortunately, I am unable to do the "happy dance" yet as they are not #soyfree, and for me, soy-free is a must. We all appreciated their generosity and support.  In the meantime, I will anxiously await the soy-free version. 

As expo bloggers, we met Saturday morning prior to the opening for the public.  Many of the other bloggers have been on the road to gluten-free eating long before me. I know becoming gluten-free is going to as life changing as is fragrance, soy and egg free and I need all the assistance I can receive. Here is a short list of a few of the few bloggers that I met.

Finding Soy-free and Gluten-Free Vendors

At this expo, I found a lot of snacks and products that I can eat that are soy, egg, and gluten-free. I am not used to buying prepackaged foods as I had given up on breads and crackers in my search for soy-free. Additionally, I found it easier and cost-effective to make my own bars and sunflower butter, however here I found great alternatives. 

My Gluten Free Education

There is much to learn about living gluten-free.  With only two days, my intent was to speak to many of the vendors and finding soy-free egg-free and gluten-free food, for that reason, I didn't attend as many of the educational sessions as I should have. I did attend the "Nutrition and Gluten-Free Baking" session given by Vanessa Maltin Weisbrod, who is the Executive Editor of Delight Gluten-Free Magazine. I learned quite a bit about the different gluten-free flours and the different qualities of each flour for baking, as well as, the need for binders, other than eggs, when baking. She discussed the need to use a blend of flours in certain recipes. Additionally, she gave a tip on cutting the fat in baking by using an avocado instead of butter. Your dish may have a mint green hue, but you will cut the fat
One of the educational classes I missed was "Gluten Free 101: Get All Your Questions Answered" by Jen Cafferty. Jen Cafferty is the Founder and CEO of the Gluten and Allergen-Free Expo ( and Host of Living Free ( She is a nationally recognized expert on cooking and living gluten and allergen free. Moreover, since I am learning to cook most of my food and purchase not so much prepackaged, this should have been a must for me. Because of other obligations, I missed it. I will check out her website at and check out her book at the local library before purchasing. 

Gluten-Free Certified

As a "foodie", we "foodies" like food. When we have intolerances and allergic reactions to foods we once loved it can be disheartening and when you have to tell your child they can't eat the debates and negotiations abound! At this expo, it was enjoyable watching the children's expressions of excitement knowing they can try the gluten-free samples and not worry about getting ill. 

The Gluten Intolerance Group (GFCO), a Gluten-Free Certification organization,  tests and certifies other companies that they are certified gluten-free and are then issued a internationally recognized certification symbol with that designation. My assistant, my daughter, was all over the place sampling and finding gluten-free "yummy food". 

I was grateful I didn't need my mask for the event. Yes, there were quite a few  fragrance offenders, however, I managed to get through two days with minimal effects. 
"I found the red apple lipstick booth"

I'm excited that I found a lot of soy-free items. Finding soy-free products can be challenging. One of the vendors I wanted to sample was Red Apple Lipstick. 

As you many know, Valana Minerals will always be one of my "go to" soy-free gluten-free beauty suppliers though I found out they would not be attending this Expo.  However, when searching the list of vendors, I found that Red Apple Lipstick was to be an exhibitor and my excitement skyrocketed. I heard they had bright red lip shades that were soy-free. Amazingly, I didn't think about searching for gluten-free makeup prior to becoming part of the blogger community for this expo. My search has always been for soy-free products.

It wasn't until joining in on the discussions at the Gluten Free Facebook Group, that I  understood that those with celiac or a gluten intolerance need to avoid gluten, like I avoid soy, in their beauty and personal products. Finding gluten-free make-up is equally difficult to find as soy-free. 

After two days, I was wiped out but, all in all, I'd say this was a successful weekend. There are a few more expos scheduled throughout the U.S. here's the link  If you haven't previously attended and have the opportunity I urge you to go. As a gluten-free newbie, I feel I can be successful with this next stage of my dietary journey. More posts will follow about some of the other vendor finds so stay tuned and follow me on Instagram @scentfreesavvy for more pics. 

And, of course, if you are entering this stage (gluten-free) with me... subscribe... stay awhile and as always I encourage you to be savvy and scent free.  

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Last Call for Advanced Tickets to GF & AF Expo!

This Expo is the largest gluten free and allergen friendly event in the US.   If you are looking for specialty products, learning how to cook and bake gluten free, this is where you need to be.

This is the last call for 20% off Tickets to the for the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly Expo May 2-3 in Schaumburg, IL (Chicago).  20% off expires at midnight May 1 CST (tickets $20 @ door).  You can print tickets or have tickets sent to your phone.

As a Scent Free Savvy Life followers you can get a FREE 1-year subscription to Delight Gluten Free Magazine if they purchase a ticket HERE!

EVENT DETAILS from Eventbrite
The GFAF Expos are the largest and fastest growing special diet consumer events in the US. Started in 2007, the events are professionally managed and have expanded from one to seven cities throughout the United States. In addition to meeting the needs of the Celiac community, the Expo welcomes those with gluten sensitivities, auto-immune/inflammatory diseases and autism.
What do you get with your Expo Ticket?
  • FREE Subscription to Delight Gluten Free Magazine ($24 value)
  • Entry into the vendor fair with over 100 brands
  • Valuable coupons at the vendor booths
  • FREE samples from the vendors
  • Discounted products available for purchase
  • Informative classes related to the gluten free and allergen-friendly lifestyle
  • Free reusable bag to carry your goodies
  • Meet your favorite vendors, authors and bloggers
*All ticket sales are final, no refunds.

#GFAFEXPO  #Chicago

Monday, April 20, 2015

"Passion to Profit" Tour on the Move!

I was excited to learn that Mimi Goodwin of MimiGStyle was kicking off a business tour in Chicago. As soon as, I viewed this post, I knew I had to attend. ‪#‎mgpassion2profit‬

I first became aware of Mimi G back in 2013 when I came across her Facebook page and blog at MimiGStyle.  Through her blog, she rekindled my dormant love of sewing.  The following July, I attended the Mimi G "Sewing, Fashion + Style Conference 2013" in Los Angeles.  There I met a roomful of style mavens, seamstresses and "would be" seamstresses on various skill levels listening intently to what she had to say. 

For me, my sewing resume includes over a 35 year history, which began after a high school home economics class. I avidly began sewing in the late 70s, after returning home from a year of college with no money and the need for clothes to gain summer employment.  Sometime in the late 80s to 90s, long after my move to California, I lost my zeal for the craft. 

Although, I was mainly a pattern sewer that was "self" and "mom" taught, learning how to sew was not the problem. After all, my mom was a seamstress and my dad was an upholsterer. Being fashionable, on the other hand, that innate sense of style, there is where I was always lacking.  I needed help. Through her blog, I loved how Mimi G merged sewing with style. There is where she incorporated her love of sewing with tutorials for those who wanted to learn how to sew along with her sense of style into MimiGStyle.

Furthermore, I remember when I noticed a post showing what Mimi created by a New Look pattern (2013 image below), from that moment I was hooked!  Initially, I would have lost interest because of the flowered fabric dress on the model of the pattern cover. I would never, ever have purchased this pattern had I not seen Mimi's interpretation of this pattern. To me, it was perfection. I couldn't stop thinking about that dress, the fabric choice, that look. I immediately sought out the  pattern. I still haven't sewn the dress. However, that fire, for my love of sewing, was reignited.

I steadily watched Mimi's Facebook following grow from the 10s of thousands to over 500,000 followers in a few short years. Her blog now has over 12 million page views a year; impressive for any business.  I observed her marketing techniques, linking certain social media platforms to grow her business.  I knew that if I was to learn anything from anyone about running and branding an online business she was the one to teach me.  My husband and daughter heard me talking about her all the time, purchasing her patterns, and watching her videos.  It was no wonder that when I mentioned to my husband about the seminar that he didn't object and rearranged his schedule for me to attend.

#Verizon‬  gives away an
Elipsis 8 Tablet
and a $550 gift card

At the conference, she shared her knowledge and resources of the business.  Information that most speakers would "upsell" to attendees for them to obtain.  However, Mimi G is not just "most" speakers, she was there with a willingness to show all the attendees how to succeed in business with their passion.  She shared her background and experiences as a single mom, dealing with homelessness, surviving domestic violence and working that 9 to 5 to make ends meet. She has been in the trenches, as many of us are, trying to make our way.  She had a passion, however, defining the direction to grow that passion was another thing.  With her generosity, style and determination her business grew.  #Verizon was one of the sponsors of this event and gave away an Elipsis 8 Tablet and a $550 gift card! I'd say she made a success of that passion. 

I've been ruminating, and making practical steps with the information I acquired on Saturday. I know that I left the session with a renewed vigor and inspiration to work on my passion and see where it leads.   

The tour is scheduled next in Atlanta, then Houston, New York, D.C. and Philadelphia. If Mimi G is coming to one of your cities with her Passion to Profit Tour you do well to get your tickets and listen carefully.  Get there early as it will be packed full of eager potential business owners.  #PotentialOfUs

Just a mention, Mimi G has a similar plight like mine, and is sensitive to fragrance. She doesn't blast that info, however, if you want to get the best out of her and the information she provides tone it down a bit or better yet, be savvy and scent free!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Giveaway Time!

I am so excited. I have been accepted as an Official Expo Blogger for the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo May 2-3 in Schaumburg, IL (Chicago).  I have to admit I have had difficulty eliminating gluten from my diet.  Fragrance is always the number one challenge.  And if you know me, the other allergens consist of soy, egg and then gluten. 

This Expo is the biggest gluten free and allergen friendly event in the US.   If you are like me and you are making the change, looking for specialty products, learning how to cook and bake gluten free, this is where you need to be.

For me the "gluten" challenge happens when baking gluten free, recipes often call for an egg and that poses its own set of issues. 

My apologies, I digressed, back to the GIVEAWAY!
I have four (4) TICKETS*. . . Yes, four tickets to GIVEAWAY and the 1st place winner's bounty includes a box of other goodies.  Some of the items are fragrance-free, some gluten-free** or both. 

* (tickets are good for 1 day of the expo either Saturday OR Sunday (you can choose which day you want to attend)
**(Please check with the manufacturing companies for gluten before use.)

And that's not all.  It gets better! As a Scent Free Savvy Life followers can get a FREE 1-year subscription to Delight Gluten Free Magazine if they purchase a ticket HERE

This is what to do to "Enter the GIVEAWAY".   

1.  Go to YouTube, watch the video and make a comment.  

2.  You can Like "Scent Free Savvy Life" Page on Facebook or "Scent Free Savvy" on Instragram.

3.  Go to the Scent-Free Savvy Life Blog (and if you are reading this you are here).   Post a comment and make sure you number the post from the last person.  This way I can keep track.

4.    Enter by April 21, 2015. Winners will be announced  April 23, 2015

There can only be four ticket winners. Tickets are good for 1 day of the expo either Saturday OR Sunday (as a winner can choose which day you want to attend)  

And that's not all, until May 1, 2015 you can get 20% off advanced purchase tickets.... click the link below to purchase tickets.... HERE.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Are There Hidden Hazards in Green Products?

If a product is labeled "organic", "natural", or "green", should it be considered safe?
It is no secret that advertisers are skilled at getting us to purchase items we want but ultimately do not need, like the red shoes sitting in your closet.  They are fueled by using our hopes and fears.  When you have chronic illnesses, low immune systems, and many other invisible ailments, you are more aware of your food intake and the consumer products you purchase.  We tend to look for products labeled "organic", "natural" and "green".   When we see products labeled in this manner we first assume the product is safe.  These words are now used by companies and advertisers to get our attention and to purchase items that in themselves are not always safe.  These products may only meet the minimum standards for what the government allows for labeling an item "organic" or "green".Anne Steinemann, Professor of Civil Engineering and Chair of Sustainable Cities at The University of Melbourne, published a new study entitled, Volatile Emissions from Common Consumer Products.  Her  media release and  paper discuss the hazards found in green products citing the emissions from a broad range of consumer products, including "fragranced", "fragrance-free", "green", and "organic" products.  See the links above for her full report.  As she stated in an email, "I think you'll find the results interesting."

Friday, January 2, 2015

Indoor Games

It's another cold winter. However, it is a far cry from last year this time and I am grateful. My outings are not frequent.  It is still difficult to go to the mall or other areas where I have to navigate breathable air.  I'd prefer not to risk the onslaught of perfume and scented fragrance in the air.  At home I can control my own environment.  

I have a ton of indoor projects to work on.  I called them my indoor games.  Many of which are my Scent Free Savvy Life blog, making scent free hair products, experimenting with soy free recipes and honing my hand crafted skills. I am still sorting through my mother's belongings.  My love of sewing and craft was instilled by her.  Digging through her "stuff", I've found several fabrics and patterns where we had similar items.  Now I know why I am a fabricholic.

Here's a few jewelry and sewing projects I'm working on. Here are the links for my Etsy stores. Take a look maybe you'll find something you like.