Tag Archives: gluten free

DNA Life Bars

I love when you find a hidden treasure out of the blue. I discovered DNA Life Bars from a 3-second snapchat (this is when I become thankful for social media!). My favorite pick out of the bunch is the Chocolate with Roasted Quinoa. It is the bar I have been searching for for years: no refined sugar + full of chocolate pure enough for a cleanse while providing a substantial amount of protein. These bars are my go-to breakfast, snack, after work out bite + perfect sweet tooth filler in the evening. I have to limit my daily intake, but I guess it’s okay if I have too many. #soyummy #guyslovethem #healthybuttastesgood #pureingredients #glutenfree #dairyfree

Scroll down to read this entirely inspiring story of owner Brian Layne discussing how this business began, why the bars are top-notch in the health department, and why they differ from current snacks on the market.

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1) What led you to create DNA Life Bars?

In 2010 My wife Elizabeth was diagnosed with MS.  It completely took us by surprise, she had been healthy and active her whole life.  After much research she decided to heal herself holistically with diet, supplements and exercise, and not take prescribed medications.  After 6 months of a very strict routine that has become her life style,  I was blown away by the dramatic difference in the quality of her life.  One thing we could not find was a yummy protein bar she could eat on the go or after a workout.  I decided to make them for her only at first.  She liked them so much, and then friends and family started eating them and were asking for more…this is when I realized we had something special.   With her encouragement, I decided to start a business making the bars for the public.  It has been two years and a wild ride so far.  I have always been into exercise and nutrition, but seeing her stay strong and healthy inspired me to jump in and create a protein bar that was nutritionally AND delicious for people who appreciate the importance of gut health!

2) How does it feel to know that something you started to help your wife is now being enjoyed by so many people? How did people start finding out about the bars?

It is really awesome to have people enjoy something you have created.  Every time someone buys our bars online or sends us a comment I feel truly blessed to be doing this.  We started like a lot of artisan food makers do- at the farmers markets.  After about 6 months, we had a couple of local health food stores approach us and we decided to take the plunge to go retail.   Since then we have moved more into a online direct to consumer company because the cost of making the bars is still  a little high for distribution through retail.

3) How did you decide on the ingredients to use?

I really just looked at my wife  Seeing Elizabeth’s food restrictions helped me start seeing what I could put together that would provide her a good source of energy, protein and be primarily non-inflammatory ingredients.  The problem with most nutrition bars on the market are they are high in sugar.  And even if it is derived from fruit sugar is a major inflammatory ingredient.

4) What are the health benefits of this bar?

A lot of what makes DNA Life Bars so good is what they do not have in them..  No Gluten, no dairy, no soy, no corn, all non GMO ingredients and of course no refined sugars.  The combination of these  ingredients are great because it provides a lot of healthy fats from organic coconut and almonds.  Fats play a critical role in many functions in out bodies and can be used as a fuel for both exercise and food for the brain.  Americans tend to be scared of fats but the reality of it is that healthy fats do not cause the weight gain and chronic health issues.  Refined sugar is really what people should be avoiding.

5) Is this a full time job for you or a side project?

This is definitely a full time endeavor for me.  Between making the bars, marketing and running the business this is all there is time for.  We are hoping to find a trusted co-packer (a company that makes the bars) this year and have them take over production for us.  We will not do that until we find a team that takes creating the DNA Life Bars as seriously as we do.

6) Tell us how we can incorporate these into our lives.

Really everyone is different. What I hear a lot of people doing in the endurance sports world (runners, cyclists, triathletes, etc.) who use our products is they will eat a bar 30 minutes before an event and then half of one in the middle.  Other people enjoy  them after they hit the gym, yoga or Pilates.  The combination of protein and complex carbs from organic sweet potatoes and pumpkin really help refuel the body.  And of course on a day to day bases they are a great snack for anyone who wants to avoid sugar and wants a healthy dose of protein.  Moms like them for kids and my wife likes them as a substitute for dessert.

chocolate almond butter cups.

I heart chocolate, and almond butter is a pantry staple of mine. I also aim to eliminate dairy and gluten as much as possible in my diet. All this to say, I am kidnapping this recipe from this new blog I came to adore today. I can hardly wait to make these yummy gluten free, dairy free treats!

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Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

makes 4 large cups (probably 8 or so servings)

1 cup dates
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Blend together all ingredients. Shape into cup base either just by using your hands or by pressing into parchment paper lined muffin pan. Place in refrigerator to stiffen.

Chocolate topping:
1 cup dates
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoon cacao
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Mix together all ingredients until fluffy and smooth sauce is formed.

1/2 – 3/4 cup almond butter

Remove bases from refrigerator and fill half way full with almond butter. Top with chocolate sauce. You can add hemp seeds, chia seeds, or any other seeds to top them off if you’d like as well. Serve, enjoy!

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Join Us for a Gluten Free Week: Recipes Inside! #loloGFweek

Hey hey! The girls at LOLO are starting a week of gluten free eating! Who is with us? Good news: you’re not alone in this escapade! Keep up with the progress of your fellow participants, and pour out all of your gluten free thoughts and experiences with this hashtag on Twitter: #loloGFweek. Warning: you might get hooked on this lifestyle, and our recipes are so darn good, you may just dare to go another week. Don’t worry, gluten free doesn’t mean boring– you’ll still be eating waffles and lasagna. Let the party begin (aka a whole new, skin-glowing, great feeling, healthier you!). P.S. We are not just doing this because it’s trendy. 

The Dish on Gluten

What is gluten anyways? To put it simply, it is the sticky protein substance in wheat. Why should we avoid it? Our guts are simply not adapted to digest gluten and break it down into individual amino acids.

Did you know that one in every seven people has gluten sensitivity? In fact, most people go their entire lives with knowing this to be the culprit of consistent symptoms: abdominal distention, anemia, depression, anxiety, bloating, migraines, low energy and fatigue, stubborn weight, and even infertility to name a few. Sometimes even medical testing does not reveal this to be the issue. That’s why it is important to test by elimination.

If you feel completely different after a week of a gluten free diet (like I did), then you can be sure you have an intolerance to this substance. Continuing to eat this when you have a sensitivity can cause an array of health problems, so make sure you act with that in mind.

Before you college students try to back out now, check out this totally sweet guide on how to be Gluten Free when you are living in a dorm!


Before you get discouraged, this change in lifestyle can be super fun! I have discovered so many amazing recipes from breakfasts to desserts, and I have found some of my favorite meals at restaurants after adopting this way of life. In fact, many restaurants offer gluten free dishes and menus (even PF Changs!). I encourage you to try a gluten free diet for a week with us LOLO editors and readers! We have made it easy for you with these daily meal plans. P.S. Gluten free does not be expensive. Many people save money because they cut out all the fluff–the unnecessary snacks and the wasted bulk amounts of processed foods for instance. Plus, when you are eating to nourish your body, your body will desire less grub. Warning: you may feel worse before you feel better, but I guarantee that if you can stick with this for 2 weeks, your cravings will disappear, and gluten-filled food will actually taste undesirable. Scroll on for a week of prepared gluten-free recipes!! 

Snacks for the Week

Fruits and Veggies
Pumpkin Cinnamon Applesauce
Coconut Dark Chocolate Banana Bread
Granola Bars

Desserts (strategically placed before the real meals, duh.)

Chocolate Mousse
Pumpkin Pie with Gluten Free Crust
Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Flourless Chocolate Cake


Breakfast: Pumpkin Spice Protein Pancakes
Lunch: Turkey Club Sandwich
Dinner: Chipotle Lime Salmon with your favorite veggie


Breakfast: Sunbutter and Banana Muffins
Lunch: Asparagus Basil Salad
Dinner: Seared Chicken with Garden Kale and Tomatoes


Breakfast: Healthy and Hearty Quinoa Waffles
Lunch: Quinoa Salad with Lime + Fresh Mint
Dinner: Wild Garlic Burgers with Garlic Pesto


Breakfast: Baked Eggs with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach (or whatever you want to throw in there!)
Lunch: Baby Zucchini and Shrimp Salad
Dinner: Beef Stew


Breakfast: Homemade Porridge (buy gluten free oats!)
Lunch: Brussel Sprouts with Soft Boiled Egg
Dinner: Delicious Lasagna


Breakfast: Confetti Pancakes (I love rainbow sprinkles a tad too much.)
Lunch: Green Bean Salad
Dinner: Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas


Breakfast: Wintertime Crepes
Lunch: Raw Kale, Apple, and Avocado Salad
Dinner: Greek Sliders

We want to hear from you. Share your gluten free thoughts, experiences, and favorite recipes with us in the comments section or on Twitter by using this hashtag: #loloGFweek!!! Want more? See more of our favorite LOLO gluten free recipes like GF pizza and delicious cinnabun muffins here!

The Latest on Dairy Freedom + a SWEET Giveaway

After much research and personal evaluation recently, I have come to the decision to eliminate dairy from my diet. My energy levels have been off the charts and I am feeling great, but can I just say I desperately miss cheese and ice cream? Dairy Freedom eGuide to the rescue! You may remember Heather Crosby from the article 5 Recipes from a Fascinating Foodie! Well, for reminders or new readers, she’s the rockstar lady behind Yum Universe, and she has concocted the ultimate interactive eGuide proving that going Dairy-Free is not about limitations, but rather it is about new infinite possibilities. But…finding those possibilities require some expert help! Agreed?

A Word from Heather

“I can’t live without dairy” is one of the biggest statements that I hear from people who aren’t ready for optimal health. Well, the Dairy Freedom eGuide is just the key to proving that statement to be inaccurate to say the least. This eGuide will have you baking, making yogurts, ice creams, firm cheeses, dressings, milks and more—all dairy-free and gluten-free—with a variety of ingredients that will no doubt make the dairy aisle, well, embarrassed about its lack of creativity.

Check out the perks!

This interactive and sustainable PDF eGuide includes beautiful, step-by-step instruction for how to create:
• Non-Dairy Baking Substitutes
• Nut & Seed Cheeses/Spreads (score!)
• Desserts
• Sauces & Condiments
• Dairy-Free Milk & Yogurt

Dairy Freedom:
• A sustainable PDF guide—read it electronically, or print out selected pages and put them in a customizable YU binder with your favorite recipes and plant-based information
• The only guide of its kind to offer solutions for all the dairy voids you may be experiencing
• Includes clickable/interactive icons, info and links to help you effortlessly navigate the guide
• Full of inspiring photography, tips and adaptation/substitution suggestions
• Includes 24 YumUniverse recipes

We are so passionate about this eGuide, and we want to share the love with you awesome readers. So, riddle me this: ENTER TO WIN your very own copy of Dairy Freedom by answering this question in the comments section: “What dairy product do you think you can’t live without?” and up your chances by “liking” the YumUniverse FB page and the LOLO FB page.

P.S. Just for your own fun goodness, start following YumUniverse on Twitter to keep up with some totally awesome recipes, fitness Friday’s, and rad health tips!

Organic vs. Not Organic: That is the Question

Elena Turner, a jewelry designer mom engulfed in the world of healthy living, has given LOLO a quick guide for organic essentials to answer all of your iffy questions. As a lady who is on a budget herself, she dissects how to maximize your health at the grocery store. Plus, she gives us a peek inside her fridge and pantry! I don’t know about you, but I am printing this off for my everyday use!

Is Organic really necessary?  Automatically I think, well, of course organic!  BUT, after four plus years of exploration, I have learned there can be a lot of time and money wasted. I know this first hand and unfortunately my husband also knows how much money I have wasted on what I like to call ‘organic research.’ Don’t get me wrong. I am an organic girl through and through but I have also learned to be practical.

I absolutely LOVE food, so I made this lifestyle change simply for the reason of not binging on a spread of processed fluff!  Going through this change made me feel overwhelmed at the grocery store. I decided to go back to the root of my main question.  In this case I asked myself if I truly want to be organic then what did God put on this Earth for us to eat?  He provided us with meat, fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetation, and water. Duh! There we go… if we eat that, we will most likely lose weight and have A+ on our annual physical exams.

To save time and money, we can easily be swayed to cheap quick food fixes. I look at it as this: I definitely want to buy the package of blueberries for $2.49/package instead of $4.99/package, but I know it is worth the extra $2.50 not to ingest chemicals and pesticides.  I finally made the organic switch when reading an article about cancer statistics on the rise. When a doctor prescribes medicine that costs $50, we have no problem paying money because we feel like &*^%! We want a quick fix so we can get on with our normal lives. After all, who has time to be sick? When faced with spending money preventatively everyone seems to put up arguments, debates, and strap the money down.  Believe me, I am not rich, however, I feel good health does not have a price when it comes to my family and I. As long as I know what is necessary to buy organic and what is not the total on my receipt is not too bad.

I will first start off by saying what you should not put into your system NO MATTER WHAT!

  1. NO caffeine
  2. NO artificial sweeteners
  3. NO processed foods
  4. NO NO NO high fructose corn syrup (Which is hard but do-able) it is in everything
  5. NO MSG,
  6. NO partially hydrogenated oils (also very hard but do-able)

This will give your internal organs a break and you will start to feel good instantly. Not to mention the non-bloated and skinny side effect. I know many people who cannot survive the morning without a cup of coffee. Give it a few days and your body will adjust.

*An Organic MUST on your grocery list*

Fruits with soft covering like apples, peaches, nectarines, and strawberries. Any pesticides or chemicals will ingest into the skin and then the meat of the fruit. Hard or safe coverings like a banana, pineapple, kiwi, mangoes and papaya have a barrier to protect against chemicals. With fruit like cantaloupe, you definitely need to scrub the rind because bacteria can imbed itself into the grooves. It is safe if you remember to use a citrus type wash and water.

*Fruit & Veggie Quick Tip – IN SEASON! Any fruit out of season you know it is mostly controlled by man. Rather choose a force of nature or in other words nature at its best.

Vegetables: You can take it or leave it. It is always safer to buy organic but try to remember veggies have a natural protection against bugs by some of their bitter tastes like onions, cabbage, broccoli, and asparagus. Better to buy organic when it comes to sweet bell peppers, carrots, lettuce, celery, potatoes, and cucumbers.

Meat: Okay, I should have probably moved this to number 1! If you do not accomplish anything, eating organic meat is so important for many reasons. One, eating organic meat means you are not ingesting antibiotics, hormones, or GMO’s (Human Growth Hormones). Some cattle ranchers and farmers use GMO’s to speed up the process of growth and make it attractive to consumers like us to see nice plump chickens at the counter. Two, even if you are not an animal lover, organic farmers treat their animals in ethical and humane conditions.  They are free from confined cages.  I will not get into more detail because it would take all day. If you want to get a small glimpse into this, rent the documentary Food Inc. or read the book Skinny Bitch. There are other good sources out there, but with these you will be enlightened on how unfortunately expensive it is to live a normal and healthy life.

Dairy: Vitamin D is definitely important, however, we are under the false precedent that milk is the main way to get it. You can receive more vitamin D from an orange than a glass of milk without all the unnecessary fat. Plus cows and their milk are overly mass produced! The vitamins and nutrients are almost non-existent.  As infants we have an enzyme in are digestive systems able to break down milk. As an adult we lose that, therefore, a lot of adults are lactose intolerant. The fat in milk is also made for a hefty calf, not humans. If you must buy milk, buy organic, otherwise it is filled with hormones and whatever food chemicals the mother cows has been fed.

What is in my fridge?

-fresh fish (deep sea)

-deli counter turkey or chicken

-homemade salsa & pico

-free range organic eggs

-veggies and fruits

-rice milk

-tub of spinach

-organic ground turkey

-Ezekiel breads and wraps

What is in my pantry?

-organic snacks like crackers

-Lara bars

-organic peanut butter

-organic almond butter

-organic free range chicken broth

-oats, oat bran, gluten free flour, whole wheat flour for baking


-brown rice

This should be a family decision and lifestyle change, not a diet. Remember, every time you make a purchase in the grocery store or market, you are voting for more of that item. The more people buying organic eventually the pricing should go down as driving out the preservative, hormone infected items will be driven out and stop being mass produced.


Breakfast Just Got Yummier: Gluten Free Cinnamon-Bun Muffins

I am on a huge cinnamon kick for a reason known: it is so soothing to eat, the smell is delicious, and the health benefits are glorious. Plus, it is one of those spices that welcomes fall with open arms. But, you know what’s even better than cinnamon? Cinnamon buns. They bring me back to my childhood, but clearly they are not the most healthy of choices. Or are they? Thanks to Shop.Cook.Make, Cinnamon-buns are now a super nutritious, gluten free option. The coolest part: they come in the form of muffins! (Celebrating encouraged.)

For the Muffins:

1/2 cup of Coconut Flour

1/4 teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon of coarse Salt (I used Fleur de Sel)

4 eggs

1/3 cup of Yogurt (I used Greek)

1/2 cup of Honey (or Agave)


For the Cinnamon Topping:

3 teaspoons of ground Cinnamon

4 tablespoons of honey (or Agave)

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted (ghee or coconut butter will work too)

1/4 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)



1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

2. For the muffins, combine all the dry in ingredients and blend well.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a mixer to blend (get rid of any clumps of flour), or blend well by hand.

4. Fill muffin or cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way with batter.

5. Drip the cinnamon topping over the top of each muffin. Some of it will sink into the muffin batter. You can use a toothpick to poke the topping into the batter, to get more of the topping to spread into the batter.

6. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

7. Cool and enjoy! Store for a few days at room temperature (covered) or keep in the refrigerator for a week or so.