Seven Day Skincare Series!

Starting today, I’m doing a series over on my Instagram (@gfreesammi) about my skincare 🙂

First things first, my skin type. I naturally have dry skin. Due to my hormones and medications, it can get extra dry. This series is all about what works for me. You may find different products work for you, whether you’re oily, combo, dry, etc. I exclusively use products that are natural and cruelty free.

You may have heard phrases like “taking care of your skin starts on the inside”. That’s what Day 1 of this series is all about! I live a healthy lifestyle, but there are 3 ongoing habits that really make a difference specifically in my skin:

  1. Drinking Water. Everyone is sick of hearing this. I was sick of hearing this. Drink more water! Keep hydrated! Even while growing up surrounded by the health food world, water was something I never really took seriously. It takes paying attention to throughout the whole day. Plus when you first start drinking more water, you resent always. having. to. pee. Not that that part ever fully goes away. Over a long period of keeping hydrated, I started to see a lot of improvements in my health, including my skin.
  2. Fish Oil. When I was in high school a doctor wanted me on omega fatty acids. She preferred the supplement to have both omega 3 and 9, but said it must at least have omega 3. A little background about omega supplements: Fish oil contains omega 3. Nuts and seed blends contain all 3 essential fatty acids (omega 3, 6, 9). So I obviously tried the plant based ones first. After not seeing much result, I tried fish oils. My body did noticeably better. With all of the improvements from this, I also noticed a huge one in my skin. Also a non-sponsored shout out to Nordic Naturals for making a fish oil supplement with the added 6 and 9 from plants.
  3. Collagen. The one I have is actually collagen with hyaluronic acid (supports healthy skin hydration) and vitamin c (supports skin and collagen health). I actually got these chews because someone else didn’t want them. They are kind of like candy, so I would have one once a day. Chews and gummies are known for being lower potency, so I wasn’t really expecting anything. About a week or two later, I noticed how much softer my skin was after I did a face scrub. Scrubs usually make my skin softer, but this was a whole new level. I hadn’t changed any skincare products…what could it be? The collagen chews! I have been repurchasing the chews specifically because they have the hyaluronic acid.

Keep checking my Instagram throughout the week to see the rest of the series 🙂


Beauty Week Sale at Whole Foods!

In honor of beauty week, Whole Foods (at least in the ny/ct/nj region) is having a sale! And of course I participated 😀 The sale covered face care/make up and lasts from March 22 through March 28. Hello 25% off! I have dry skin with sensitive tendencies, so these are products that I feel work best for me. I didn’t realize until I made this list…but all of these products except for one are things I bought to try! I like switching up my skin care and learning about different brands. Enjoy my beauty haul post 🙂

I stopped wearing eye make up for a while (years) on a regular basis because it was just so much effort. Recently I decided that I wanted to go back. I love make up and it felt as if I wasn’t being myself. I had only been wearing it when I went out to meet people. And then it dwindled even further to only special occasions. Especially since I am not in food service anymore, I just decided to wear it again! I got a lot of positive reaction form regular people in my life and it was great!! So that brings me to the only repurchase in this list (there are a lot of beauty products I repurchase regularly, but not necessarily this day):

Zuzu Liquid Liner! Now that I’ve been doing this for over a month, I’ve mastered liquid eye liner all over again. I set my lids and all around my eyes (I do a winged liner) with foundation powder first and there is very minimal smudging through out the day!

Here are the ones that I bought to try. I will be posting on my instagram as I try these out!


Note: I wish I shopped in a store that carried the W3ll People line! I have some samples of their products! I have to go back to get the beauty bags they started selling today anyway..$90 valued bag for $18.99!


My Top 3 Beauty Companies of 2016!

I am very passionate about skin and body care. As a celiac, I don’t just have to worry about gluten in my body, but on it! In 2016 I made the full transition to healthy beauty products. This was was very exciting to me, as I had trouble with this in the past (mainly a deodorant that worked and a good toothpaste). I have found some products and companies that are now my holy grails, so I thought I’d share with you all 🙂


These are all vegan and cruelty free!


Honorable Mention:

Acure Organics

First off, this would have been my number 1 top brand for 2016. I absolutely fell in love with them. But then they……changed their formulas 😦 If you aren’t gluten free, this doesn’t affect you as much, so feel free to check them out! They no longer label all their products gluten free (or any body care ones for that matter). Which is alarming for us celiacs because that parallels with the addition of oat related ingredients. They are also no longer 100% vegan! I’ve noticed a lot of other changes to their ingredient lists (both what’s in them down to the actual styling). Any products I’ve found where the list is still bolded, has the old formula. All of the products I loved worked so well and I will miss those very much!

Some positives thoughts about them: they are organic,  lots of expansion this past year/new products, the night cream is AMAZING, so is the brightening facial scrub, the sensitive/dry facial cleanser was my go to, the leave in conditioning spray is great for curls, and the new greens and power meal products are gluten free!


Onto the top 3! (in no particular order because I couldn’t choose!!)



Overview: A very passionate women turned her love of healthy foods for your skin into this wonderful line. The tag line is “the beauty of the Adriatic”. They are a little pricey which is probably due to the fine ingredients and purity, but it’s worth it! I am absolutely obsessed with everything I’ve tried from them so far! Plus they have travel sizes of some of the line, so you can try it out more easily.

Values: No parabens, no chemical preservatives, no artificial fragrances, no SLS, no mineral oils, no silicones, no soy, gluten free, hypoallergenic, non-comodogenic, organic, and made in the US.

My Top Picks: the mineral face mask is one of my holy grail products, the brightening body wash, the daytime vitality serum, the midnight repair oil, and the deep conditioner.


Mineral Fusion

Overview: “Minerals on a mission” The site says they not only want the products to have “real world performance”, but multi-task as well! I love how much they cover. They do all kinds of make up, skin care, hair care, and even nail polish. My nails are so much healthier after using their polish instead of regular ones.

Values: Free of parabens, glutens, artificial colors, and phthalates, as well as giving back to the community and to women who have faced violence!

My Top Picks: The curly hair shampoo/conditioner/cream is the best I’ve ever found natural or otherwise, the nail polishes, the gel top coat, the pressed powder, and the lipstick butters.


EO / Everyone by EO

Overview: Eo is a great premium brand. They make a “budget friendly” version of their brand called Everyone by EO. They make things for body, hair, face, and essential oils to name a few! I actually went to a hotel during a wedding this past year and they stocked EO soap in every bathroom. They also left little EO soaps on the pillows!

Values: Certified GF!!, family owned, plant-based, non-gmo, certified organic, and environmentally conscious (both processing and packaging).

My Top Picks: For EO: lavender hand sanitizer and any of the hand soaps. For Everyone: 3-in-1 body, face, and hand lotions.

Slow Cooker Weather!

Getting into these colder months I definitely day dream more about eating a hot meal. But I also still have to go to work…enter the slow cooker!

This may be a little soon for some people, but I love thanksgiving food (stuffing!!) so much that I’m just going to post this Chicken and Stuffing Slow Cooker Recipe.

When I make this I’m going to:

  • replace the water with Imagine Foods no chicken broth
  • for the gravy mix, I’m going to buy those GF gravy packets from whole foods
  • I might change my mind on this, but maybe the Glutino cornbread stuffing?? or Gillian’s if I can find that in a store around here!
  • replace butter with Earth Balance buttery spread


Note to self: check out more recipes from this page!

Pie Season!

Fall in general starts pie season, but I really start to get into it around Thanksgiving! Now that the holiday pies are all gone, I found another recipe I’d like to try!

The original recipe for this Avocado Key Lime Pie isn’t gluten free or dairy free, but here is my version of the ingredients I want to use when I make this:



  • 1 1/2 cups of GF graham cracker crumbs (kinnikinnick brand)
  • 1/2 softened coconut oil


  • 8 oz cream cheese alternative (either daiya or homemade cashew based)
  • 1 avocado
  • 3/4-1 cup coconut sugar
  • 3 TBS key lime (if you can find it) juice
  • 3/4 DF whipping cream alternative (preferably chilled canned coconut cream separated from the water)
  • 1/2 TBS lime zest

And maybe some extra “whipped cream” for garnish 😀

Also this recipe is already vegan!

Gluten Free Beer??

So as the holiday are approaching, I came upon this wonderful list…Best GF Beers!

I have had my various encounters with GF beers. From going to stores to buy it, to bars, to the Gluten Free Food Expo, there are more options out there now. There’s a bar/restaurant that I go to sometimes that has a lot of beers on tap. It’s great for everyone I go with to be able to try all these different types and flavors. They even have free tasting classes! Sometimes I feel a little left out because hey, there aren’t any I can have on tap (although they do have some yummy ciders sometimes 🙂 ). That’s why I was so excited by this list. I finally got to see a lot of options side by side! Plus it tells you whether it’s gluten reduced or gluten free! It also explains the difference for people who are new to the GF alcohol dilemma.

Here’s the link!


BBQ Cauliflower Wings


  • small to medium size head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 gluten free flour
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 vegetable broth (I used imagine brand no chicken broth)
  • your favorite vegan bbq sauce (i used annie’s)
  • salt to taste
  • oil for greasing baking sheet (grapeseed is good here)


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Cut cauliflower into bite size florets.
  3. Mix the flour, spices, salt in a small bowl. Then mix in the broth.
  4. Dip the florets in the batter, evenly coating them, and place on greased baking sheet.
  5. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes until lightly brown.
  6. Brush the cauliflower with bbq sauce. You can also use a fork to dip them if you don’t have a cooking brush.
  7. Return to the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. For extra crispy “wings”, turn on the broiler for a minute or two.
  9. Enjoy! 🙂