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May 2023

The Bachelor on the Cheap Gluten-Free Diet Challenge 2023 - Day 5

BachelorontheCheap.com

Today's menu did not feature a gluten-free product, but it was gluten-free, which so far I'm finding avoiding wheat products altogether fairly easy to do.  I was craving some garlic bread to go with my No Noodles Lasagna on Day 4, but otherwise, no wheat carb cravings.  The light consumption of non-wheat carbs for breakfast or lunch seems to be holding the cravings for wheat products at bay. 

Other things I'm doing in conjunction with the gluten-free diet in going for a healthier lifestyle:

  • Drinking plenty of water. 
  • No soda
  • No alcohol (I quit drinking in November 2022)
  • Exercise, burning at least 500 calories daily in a combination of walking, pushups, situps, trunk twists, calf raises, leg raises, bicep curls

Here's the Day 5 Menu:

GF Diet Day 5

The menu lacked veggies, which will be remedied on Day 6.  It's tempting to start taking a multivitamin to cover nutritional gaps.  A balanced diet SHOULD make taking a vitamin unnecessary, but then there's the reality of what happens during the course of a day and how it affects the desired menu.

Day 6 will also include another gluten-free product review!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Related:  A Bachelor on the Cheap Challenge: Going Gluten-Free For Good

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China Town Chinese Food Menu Mailer Delivered Today

BachelorontheCheap.com

For those of you who live in the Wichita Metro, have you checked your mailbox yet?  A menu mailer from China Town Chinese Food has arrived!

Located at 327 N Hillside, Suite 100, Wichita, KS 67214, China Town is Bachelor on the Cheap Recommended!

As my review states: China Town on Hillside is worth a visit

Here's the mailer:

20230531_155116

This place will satisfy your Asian cuisine craving and it's reasonably priced.

China Town - Wichita

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Related:  The great flavors of Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Korean and more, it's all here in the Wichita Metro

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Cricket Creek Farm Recalls Sophelise and Tobasi Cheeses Because of Potential Listeria Monocytogenes Contamination

Summary

Product Type:  Food & Beverages
Cheese/Cheese Product
Foodborne Illness
Reason for Announcement: Potential Contamination with Listeria monocytogenes
Company Name:  Cricket Creek Farm, LLC
Brand Name: Cricket Creek Farm
Product Description: Sophelise Cheese and Tobasi Cheese

Company Announcement

Cricket CreekCricket Creek Farm of Williamstown, MA is recalling 165 units of Sophelise cheese and 149 pounds of Tobasi cheese because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Sophelise and Tobasi were distributed in Massachusetts and New York through Wild Oats, Williamstown, MA; Provisions Williamstown, Williamstown, MA; McEnroe Organic Farm Market, Millerton, NY; New Lebanon Farmers Market; New Lebanon, NY, at restaurants, and farmers markets.

Sophelise product code: 087055 is a washed, pasteurized milk cheese with a soft rind and pinkish hue; the circular cheese measures 4 inches in diameter and roughly 1 inch tall. It is sold in semi-transparent packaging with a round blue label. Sophelise was distributed between March 29, 2023 and May 26, 2023.

Tobasi with a product label of 315, 341, 048 is a washed raw-milk cheese with an orange rind and creamy interior. When sold retail by Cricket Creek Farm, it is wrapped in clear packaging with a gray and orange label. When sold at retail stores, it is sold in small rectangular cuts. When sold wholesale, the cheese is a square format roughly 8”x8” and 1.25 inches tall. These batches of Tobasi were distributed between March 26, 2023, to May 26, 2023.

One hospitalization due to Listeria monocytogenes has been reported to date. Following this customer notification of illness, products purchased by this individual were tested by Biotrax Testing Laboratory and the current batch of Sophelise was determined to be positive for Listeria monocytogenes. The three batches of Tobasi are being recalled due to their proximity during storage to the exposed product.

Consumers who have purchased Sophelise, with product code 087055 or Tobasi cheese 315, 341, 048 on or after March 26, should not consume or distribute the product, and they are urged to return any remaining product to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company 8:00am - 5:00pm EST Monday - Friday at [email protected] or 413-458-5888.


Company Contact Information

Consumers:
413-458-5888
[email protected]
 

FDA Conducts Retailer Inspection Blitz, Cracks Down on Illegal Sales of Popular Disposable E-cigarettes

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to 30 retailers, including one distributor, for illegally selling unauthorized tobacco products. The unauthorized products were various types of Puff and Hyde brand disposable e-cigarettes, which were two of the most commonly reported brands used by youth e-cigarette users in 2022. The Puff products include Puff Bar. Today’s action underscores the agency’s unwavering commitment to addressing the role retailers and distributors of unauthorized tobacco products play in this concerning public health issue facing America’s youth.

“Protecting our nation’s youth from tobacco products – including disposable e-cigarettes – is a top priority for the FDA,” said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D. “We’re committed to holding all players in the supply chain – not just manufacturers but also retailers and distributors – accountable to the law.”

Today’s warning letters are a result of a nationwide blitz to crack down on the sale of unauthorized e-cigarettes that are popular with youth – specifically Puff and Hyde products. The blitz included investigations of hundreds of retailers and distributors across the country. All products cited in the warning letters are disposable e-cigarettes, which are the most commonly used e-cigarette product type among youth. Puff Bar and Hyde were the first and third most popular brands used by youth who reported using e-cigarettes, according to the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey. Among youth e-cigarette users, about 20 percent reported usually using Puff Bar or Hyde brand products in 2022. 

“Since becoming director of CTP, I’ve been crystal clear that FDA will not stand by while retailers and distributors seek to profit off illegally selling products that are well-known to appeal to youth,” said Brian King, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “Retailers and distributors play a key role in keeping unauthorized tobacco products off the shelves, and if they fail to do so, we’re committed to taking appropriate action.”

When e-cigarettes lack a marketing authorization order from the FDA, selling or distributing them to consumers in the U.S. is prohibited under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The FDA generally sends warning letters the first time an inspection or investigation reveals a violation of the law, and recipients are given 15 working days to respond with the steps they’ll take to correct the violation and to prevent future violations. A majority of recipients of warning letters voluntarily correct the stated violation. However, failure to promptly correct the violations can result in additional FDA actions such as an injunction, seizure and/or civil money penalties. In addition to today’s actions among retailers, the FDA issued a warning letter to an importer of Puff Bar in October 2022; that investigation remains ongoing. 

To date, the FDA has authorized 23 tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products and devices. These are the only e-cigarette products that currently may be lawfully sold in the U.S. The distribution or sale of unlawfully marketed products is subject to enforcement action.

The FDA remains steadfast in its commitment to protecting youth from the harms of tobacco products by ensuring illegal products are not marketed, sold, or distributed. These efforts include ongoing surveillance of the marketplace to identify violative products, including existing and emerging disposable e-cigarette products. 

In February, FDA filed the agency’s first civil money penalty complaints against four e-cigarette manufacturers; to date, FDA has filed civil money penalty complaints against ten e-cigarette manufacturers. And in October 2022, the first complaints for permanent injunctions were filed against six e-cigarette manufacturers. From January 2021 through May 2023, FDA issued more than 560 warning letters. All of these actions are part of FDA’s standing compliance and enforcement portfolio, and the latest counts of these actions will continue to be reported on a routine basis. FDA will continue to take action against anyone making, distributing, importing, or selling unauthorized e-cigarette products, especially those most used by youth.

Related Information

###

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.


Inquiries

Media:
Abby Capobianco
240-461-9059
Consumer:
888-INFO-FDA

The Bachelor on the Cheap Gluten-Free Diet Challenge 2023 - Day 4, featuring the ONLY Elevation Bar

BachelorontheCheap.com

Today's meal plan was the lowest in net calorie count so far of the Challenge at just 1,368 calories, and featured the Only Elevation Bar, which I enjoyed for my morning snack.

I reviewed the Only Elevation Bar recently, it's a good Gluten-Free snack bar with stats of 210 calories, 6 grams of protein, 6 grams of sugar, and 16 grams of carbs.  I sampled the Dark Chocolate with Pecan and Cinnamon bar for that review, today I'm trying the Nuts & Sea Salt with Dark Chocolate variety.  Here's the Day 4 Menu:

GF Diet Day 4

ONLY Elevation BarThe Nuts & Sea Salt with Dark Chocolate bar is also good and not only is it a tasty GF food, but it's also a guilt-free food, providing the nutritional benefits of nuts, honey, and dark chocolate.

In my afternoon snack, I had an apple (an apple a day keeps the doctor away...) and a serving of mixed nuts.  A snack doesn't get much healthier than that, but a word of caution on certain packaged foods...

Read labels carefully.  If you're eating something with packaging that is NOT clearly marked "Gluten-Free" yet what you're consuming doesn't naturally have wheat in it, there is a risk that food items being processed and produced may get cross-contaminated along the way...  Manufacturers are quick to put the following disclaimer on their labels, like the canister of mixed nuts I've been eating from which reads:  "MAY CONTAIN MILK, SOY, WHEAT, OTHER TREE NUTS, SESAME."  That's corporate lawyers, protecting the proverbial company butt.  I don't have celiac disease, so I'm not worried about cross-contamination, but it pays to read those labels nonetheless.

No Noodles LasagnaFor dinner, I enjoyed a No Noodles Lasagna.  Already too high in carb count on the day for my liking, I didn't want to consume any GF pasta, so I put together a lasagna dish without the noodles.  The lasagna consisted of seasoned ground beef, pepperoni, minced onion, cottage cheese (I usually use ricotta), Parmesan cheese, a doctored-up portion of jar tomato sauce (checking the label to ensure there was no wheat product), and a topper of melted Provolone.  Forgetting how much moisture is in cottage cheese and lacking noodles (I use no-boil noodles when making a regular lasagna), it came out a bit saucy but was quite tasty.  I had to serve it in a bowl, rather than a plate.  The important thing, the flavors were there, and no gluten.

Overall, a good day, I consumed an adequate amount of protein and enjoyed a gluten-free product and although the carb count was a bit high, it was balanced from meal to meal, with no spike in carb volume, which means no spike in blood sugar levels.

And yes, I was craving some garlic bread to go with that lasagna, but food discipline won the day.  Besides, I don't have any bread in the house.

Related: Food Review: Elevation ONLY BAR - Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Related:  A Bachelor on the Cheap Challenge: Going Gluten-Free For Good

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If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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A.S.K. Foods Inc. Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Milk In Wegmans Penne Rigate Mozzarella Salad

Summary

Product Type:  Food & Beverages
Reason for Announcement: Undeclared Allergen
Company Name:  A.S.K. Foods, Inc.
Brand Name: Wegmans
Product Description: Penne Rigate Mozzarella Salad

Company Announcement

Wegman's Penne Rigate Mozarella SaladA.S.K. Foods, Inc. of Palmyra, PA is voluntarily recalling select 30 oz. containers of Wegmans Penne Rigate Mozzarella Salad because it may contain undeclared milk. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product.

The recalled Wegmans Penne Rigate Mozzarella Salad was only sold at Wegmans stores in New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.

The recalled Wegmans Penne Rigate Mozzarella Salad was packaged in a plastic container where the top lid label indicates Penne Rigate Mozzarella Salad, Net Wt 30 OZ (1 LB 14 OZ) 850 g., and the container side label indicates Macaroni Salad, Net Wt 40 OZ (2 LB 8 OZ) 1.13 kg. The recalled product has a code on the lid that states “3515-2” and “USE BY 06/1/23.”

No illnesses have been reported to date.

The recalled Wegmans Penne Rigate Mozzarella Salad is packaged in a container with an ingredient statement intended for Macaroni Salad. The ingredient statement for Macaroni Salad does not declare milk, an allergen present in the Penne Rigate Mozzarella Salad. The issue was discovered by store personnel.

Consumers who purchased this product may return it to the store for a full refund.

Consumers with questions may contact Wegmans Food Markets at 1-855-934-3663, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. EDT, or Saturday and Sunday, from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EDT. Media inquiries may be directed to 1-717-838-6356 x 132, Monday through Sunday, from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EDT.


Company Contact Information

Consumers:
Wegmans Food Markets
1-855-934-3663
Media:
1-717-838-6356 x 132

The Bachelor on the Cheap Gluten-Free Diet Challenge 2023 - Day 3, featuring Simply Nature Chickpea Rotini

BachelorontheCheap.com

So with two successful dieting days under my belt...  See what I did there?  Under my belt...  but largely focused on avoiding wheat products and their gluten-free alternatives altogether, Day 3 includes a chickpea pasta.

I've tried gluten-free pasta products before, but never one made from chickpeas.  Here's today's menu:

GF Diet Day 3

Simply Nature Chickpea Rotini
Simply Nature is an Aldi product

For lunch, I sampled Simply Nature Chickpea Rotini.   Simply Nature is an Aldi product and I picked up a 12-ounce box for $2.49 during my last grocery shopping trip and with this challenge in mind.

Prepared per the box instructions, it's only a 4-6 minute boil, I enjoyed this one-cup serving of pasta with grilled chicken thigh and a garlic cream sauce, along with some broccoli sauteed in butter.   Unlike other GF pastas that tend to fall apart, especially when stirring to combine with other ingredients, this pasta holds up.  Not as smooth in texture as regular pasta, it compares to the texture of whole-grain pasta, with similar earthy flavor notes.  I like that the pasta packs 19 grams of protein, I don't like that it has a whopping 51 grams of carbs.  I know, to begin with, pasta inherently has a high carb count, but this stuff has 10 more than regular pasta!  This is a decent GF product, but like most other GF foods it comes at a higher price, costing more than twice as much as the regular pasta counterpart.  The price and the carb count make this a borderline repeat buy.  As healthy as companies try to make noodles, it's still a highly processed product.  Frankly, I'd rather skip the pasta, the ultimate in gluten-free.

Pasta dish
Grilled chicken thigh w/garlic cream sauce, sauteed broccoli, served on a bed of chickpea pasta

After three days, I'm still not craving any wheat products, but, it's only Day 3.  I know I'll be craving bread at some point.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Related:  A Bachelor on the Cheap Challenge: Going Gluten-Free For Good

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If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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Gluten-Free Snack Option: Tuna Creations from Starkist

BachelorontheCheap.com

Starkist Tuna CreationsOn Day 2 of my Bachelor on the Cheap Gluten-Free Challenge 2023, I was considering snacks to put on the menu and thought of Tuna Creations from Starkist.

Coming in a variety of tuna salad flavors, the handy snack-sized pouches are also available in salmon and chicken salad options.  A perfect amount to make a sandwich or in my case, using a slice of cheddar cheese and making a wrap, the tuna was nice and moist, the sauce base was delightful and I got a bit of crunch from the celery and water chestnuts.  With only 80 calories, packing 13 grams of protein and just 3 grams of carbs, this is a repeat snack! 

Putting the tuna salad between a couple of slices of bread would have pushed the calorie count up at least another 140, along with an additional 24 grams or so in carbs.  Then there's the wheat gluten thing...

Tuna Salad & Cheese Snack
No bread required or missed!

With the slice of cheddar cheese, my total calorie count was 150, the protein number was 18 grams and just the 3 grams in carbs. 

Available at Walmart for just $0.89 for a 3-ounce pouch, Starkist Tuna Creations are a smart choice vs. snacking on wheat products such as pasta salad, crackers, multi-grain chips or something with a bun.  Tasting great and perfectly portioned, I'm giving Starkist Tuna Creations 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap Stars.

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Related:  A Bachelor on the Cheap Challenge: Going Gluten-Free For Good

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If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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Spice up your coffee

BachelorontheCheap.com

Photo by Nathan Dumlao/UnsplashRWw-unsplashI'm not into single-cup coffee brewers like Keurig. Sure they're convenient and in addition to regular coffee, they have a nice variety of flavored coffees to choose from.  But as a drinker of more than one cup of coffee a day, Keurig pods are pricey, in my book, cost prohibitive.

I'm a drip brew coffee maker guy.  Drip brewing is quite a bit cheaper than pod coffee and frankly, just as convenient.  No, you can't change flavors from cup to cup like you can with pods, but a drip brewer is just about as fast as a pod maker, with most modern drip machines allowing you to pour a cup before the whole pot is brewed.  And because a drip brewer keeps the coffee warm, I can simply pour that second cup, no trashing the old pod, inserting a new pod, and the wait to brew, required. 

The only real advantage a pod maker has is in the flavor department.  The choices are many.  Some folks are into changing flavors with their second or third cup or trying something new.  I'm not into that mid-morning change and if I want to explore new flavors, then a pot of it is brewed. And while you can purchase some flavored coffees for drip brewers at the grocery store like Hazelnut and French Vanilla, the options are limited.  You can expand on those options at specialty stores and some online shopping, but that price point goes up.

Don't pay extra for coffee blends...

Flavor your coffee using your spice rack and extracts.

For health reasons, I've been mixing cinnamon and ginger in my canister of coffee grounds for a couple of years now.  Those two spices have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and other beneficial properties, in addition to adding a little flavor to that morning cup of Joe.  If you don't want to doctor your canister of grounds, you can simply add a few dashes of spice to the brew basket in making your daily brew.

You can really flavor things up this way, adding quite a bit of variety to your normal cup of coffee.  The beauty is, it's blended with the brew, it's balanced, with the filter keeping out any spice grittiness.  About a 1/2 teaspoon of spice per six cups will do.

Spices to try:

  • Allspice
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground Clove
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Pumpkin Spice  (Yes, despite the pumpkin spice flavored everything overkill from Halloween through Thanksgiving, this is tasty)
  • Star Anise (I'm not a black licorice flavor fan, but some people like this combo)

Cocoa Powder is another great flavor addition.  And if you grind your own beans, try adding some cocoa nibs to the grind.

Extracts to try:  When making a pot of coffee, throw a couple of drops of extract in the pot before brewing, rather than doctoring up the coffee grind.

  • Almond
  • Coconut
  • Maple
  • Mint
  • Vanilla
  • Fruit flavors
  • There are other flavors to have fun with to, like "Cake Batter"

You don't need to buy special blends or pods to get great flavored coffee.  Take advantage of the spices and extracts you have on hand.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Related:  A Bachelor on the Cheap Challenge: Going Gluten-Free For Good

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The Bachelor on the Cheap Gluten-Free Diet Challenge 2023 - Day 2

BachelorontheCheap.com

Idaho Burgers on the grillDay 1 was a successful one in terms of being gluten-free by totally avoiding bread, pasta, crackers, and the like.  I'm doing this diet because I feel better when I don't eat wheat products, with weight loss also desired.

Day 2 was very similar to Day 1, but there was less variety.  I ate six smaller meals, rather than three big ones and it was easy to plan a menu that did not include any wheat products.  Something else I'm doing in addition to eating gluten-free, is fasting for 12 hours from 8 pm to 8 am daily, in an effort to boost weight loss. 

Honoring National Hamburger Day, an annual day celebrating America's most iconic food, I fired up my Weber Kettle and grilled some up.  When I grill, I also batch cook to take advantage of all that charcoal heat, so in addition to grilling a dozen burgers, I put some brats and chicken on the fire in prepping meals for the next 3 days with some leftover to put in the freezer.

Day 2 Menu:

Meal Time Description Calories Protein (Grams) Carbs (Grams)
Breakfast 9am Steak, two eggs, cheese 650 60 4
Snack 11:30am Tuna and cheese 150 18 4
Lunch 2pm Two burger patties w/cheese 750 38 4
Snack 4:30pm Brat 193 8 2
Dinner 7pm Two brats 386 16 4
           
           
    Total intake 2129    
    Minus calories burned 500    
    Net caloric intake 1629    
           
    Water count 5    
           
        140 18

On a bit of a carnivore day, I consumed a nice amount of protein (140 grams), and minimal carbs (just 18 grams!) and didn't miss eating any wheat products, not even a couple of buns for those burgers.  Lacking some veggie and fruit intake, I'll have to remedy that on Day 3.

Think about how many more calories I would have consumed by eating hamburger and hot dog buns with those burgers and brats.  There's the added grocery expense of those items too.

Stay tuned for Day 3, which will include a product review!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Related:  A Bachelor on the Cheap Challenge: Going Gluten-Free For Good

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If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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