My top favorites from 2015

@adashofjane's top 2015 favorites

These aren’t all totally new, and many may not be new to others…and a lot are also not new to me. But I’m frequently asked about what I eat/like to eat/etc., because with allergies, you apparently can’t just have a lot of fun, so…

Like, having allergies and still eating is such a mystery to many people.

Essentially, my allergies put me on a healthy diet, which excludes salads and sandwiches…my allergies and I give “healthy” a whole new level, because what is considered healthy to others isn’t necessarily healthy to me.

I spent a lot of this year searching for allergy-friendly gummy candy, as the majority contains coconut oil. Charlise found Surf Sweets, and I like them—I simply failed to remember to look for them on my latest Sprouts visit. Also, Sprouts is like a candy store to me: there are many things in it I can actually have, so it’s exciting. If you see an auburn-headed person spazzing out at Sprouts, you’ve seen me. I’m older than I look.

I’ve alphabetized this list for 1) easier navigation and 2) because ordering my favorites is hard.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which are marked with an asterisk (*). This means I will earn a small percentage if you make a commission, at no extra charge to you. More info on the disclaimer/disclosure page.

Carol of the Bells

Video warning: It’s a light show working in tune with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s version of the song, so there are flashing lights. Proceed with caution if flashing lights do not treat you well.

This is actually always my favorite. When I was a wee child, this played on either the television or the radio, and I was in love. I really love songs like these that you can let carry you away into a daydream of beautiful ballet… I also like Vitamin String Quartet and instrumental versions of popular pop, hip-hop and rock songs. 🙂

Enjoy Life Foods

Enjoy Life Foods is one of my favorite things! via @adashofjaneI first discovered Enjoy Life Foods by a Google search for allergen-friendly chocolate chips, because Hershey’s and Nestle just wasn’t cutting it with their milk chocolate anymore. They also use soy in their chocolate chips (last I checked), and I know other products within their facilities contain nuts, which made me extra cautious and not super into wanting to risk eating them. I’m not a huge fan of chocolate, but I do like to enjoy it in small quantities, and it’s a nice addition to a granola bar or cookie.

When I found their Mini [chocolate] Chips at the store (Albertson’s or Kroger; I can’t remember which), I bought a package and soon fell in love. It tastes better than milk chocolate and melts faster, too!

They’ve also been at the GFAF Expo that last two times I attended. The first year, Charlise and I got to be some of the first peeps to try their latest candy bar.1 Um, awesome? XD This year, they had multiple kinds of granola bars available to sample, so I got to try a lot of their bars instead of just one or two.

Also on my to-buy-in-bulk list is Enjoy Life Foods’ chocolate chips, because they’re cheaper on Amazon*, and also because I’m going to try eating more allergen-friendly, and I didn’t realise how much chocolate candy that excludes—Kit-Kats, for example, in addition to SunCups; and once I determine how to make my own SunCups, which are the new Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, that’s probably all I’m going to want and to make…until I’m burnt out, of course. >.>

I’d love to try their chewy SunButter bars, but I’ve yet to find a box in a store. (I like less-crunchy foods.)

KIND Snacks’ Popped Salted Caramel bars

KIND Snacks' Popped Salted Caramel bars is one of @adashofjane's favorite thingsI discovered these via my August 2015 Love With Food subscription box. There are no nuts, egg or dairy, but there is soy, and the product is made on equipment that also processes nuts, among other allergens. Nevertheless, I really love them…they’re decadent, like the piece of that vanilla cake I had at the GFAF Expo this year from Abundtant Love. The box I bought on my Sprouts visit is already gone. :s

Magic Brand Barbecue Potato Chips

Magic Brand Barbecue Potato Chips are one of my favorite things. via @adashofjane

They have yeast and other allergens, but they’re better than Lays and loaded with sweet barbecue flavor, and I love them. They’re $1 at Walmart. Only in the rare occurrence do I open a bag and find only barely-flavored chips. They’re also not kettle chips, which I find too crunchy and am thus not a fan of.

Are these healthy? Probz not. Do I care? No.

They’re my guilty pleasure.

Nutrasumma™ Digest Complex

I got this from last year’s GFAF Expo in my little blogger goody bag from a Nutrasumma representative who reached out to me, along with a few samples of their pea protein. I was also sent another bottle, along with a container of their vanilla pea protein mix. I really like the Digest Complex, as it lets me have chili, spicy foods, and saucy foods without all the consequences, which is more than any antacid I’ve ever taken has done.

I actually had a post for it on What Liz Eats, but it was one of the few posts I didn’t transfer over…heh (apologies).

It’s $24, but I find it worth the price, because I’m too big a fan of pizza, and Mexican, Italian and Chinese food to ever give up eating them.

Suave Aloe with Cucumber body lotion

There is zero coconut in this, and it’s literally the only lotion I’ve come across in the last five years that doesn’t feel as if I’ve just lit a match wherever I applied it. Starting in October and carrying on until March or so, the backs of my hands get dry and flaky, so having lotion I can use helps in terms of toning that down…however minuscule it may help.

It’s also gotten me through various allergic reaction breakouts, both to hygiene products and to cross-contamination passed through mere touch.

Former lotions I have tried and ditched: Aveeno, AVON, Bath & Body Works, Dial, Dove (allergic to all their products, actually), Eucerin, Gold Bond, Jergens, Johnson’s, Lubriderm, Olay, St. Ives, Vaseline, Victoria’s Secret. I’ve also tried off-brand (e.g. Equate) versions.

I’m not sure if it’s still sold; Grandmama gave it to me a year or so ago…I don’t use a lot, as it literally just goes on the backs of my hands. ^^;

SunButter

SunButter is one of my favorite things! via @adashofjane

I first discovered SunButter because of a giveaway Christine was hosting, which I also happened to win. It was around the time I had just been diagnosed with loads of allergies, including soy (as a severe allergen, right next to nuts)—which meant Wowbutter wouldn’t suffice, even if I did grow to like it despite it smelling horrendous (i.e. like peanut butter). I won a jar, plus two freebie coupons, and two or three of their little SunButter packets.

I think the way I discovered SunButter is funny, because a lot of people give giveaways bad raps/impressions, but they can be a really great way to discover something new. Like, they can really help someone. :3

I’m not a huge fan of crunchy stuff, so I’ve only had the Creamy and Natural jars, as well as the two of the 5-pound tubs (heh). I can’t find any of the No Sugar Added in my area, which sucks. 🙁

I do plan to eventually buy it in bulk from Amazon*, if only because I’m currently paying $6-9 on it/jar, and a lot of cookie/granola bar recipes require half a jar to one whole jar (and $5 cookies turn into $15 ones real quick).

Other favorites

DeLallo pasta has “nut-free” and “vegan” labeling on it, there’s zero quinoa, and it’s ready in two minutes (if you exclude the time it takes to get water to boil). I discovered it because of a recent Food Blogger Pro podcast I listened to and [oddly] found myself more interested in the pasta than the information being given in the podcast. :p Heh. The water doesn’t change into a weird, dusty color like a lot of rice pasta does. They’ve gluten-free pasta, but I don’t know anything about it. I’m just impressed with the low cook time, as I’m usually having to wait five to ten minutes for my noodles to become al dente…and possibly having to switch out the water throughout boiling.

Mamma Chia Squeezes, which comes in six flavors, are a infrequent indulge. I like the Cherry Beet and Strawberry Banana* flavors. 🙂

My fave subscription box was definitely MunchPak.

My favorite movie was How to Train Your Dragon, but…what’s new there? (Nothing.)

What were your faves from this year?

  1.  We weren’t allowed to talk about it until it was released into stores, however. It’s also not totally uncommon to be asked not to post about a new product until after it’s publicly released, either.

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Jessica’s gravatar

Hey 🙂 Noticed that you love Suave Aloe with Cucumber body lotion – check for it at Walmart the next time you’re there. I know its available at the one in my hometown…