An Interview with Bobby & Sarah Rossi, Owners of Rossi’s Gluten Free Market, Woodstock, GA 

Do you have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance? When people who are intolerant eat gluten, it wreaks havoc on the intestinal lining, leading to a chronic immune response, digestive issues galore, and a host of other symptoms. 

Whether you are sensitive to this protein or not, we could ALL benefit from reducing the amount we’re consuming on a daily basis. Setting out on a gluten-free journey can be a bit overwhelming at first, but that’s why we’re so excited that a new gluten-free market just opened up just down the road from our office (Hwy 92 in Woodstock). 

We sat down with Bobby & Sarah Rossi, Owners of Rossi’s Gluten Free Market to hear all about their business and their tips for implementing a gluten-free lifestyle. Enjoy this interview, and learn more about Rossie’s Gluten Free Market at https://www.rossisgfmarket.com/ 

 

Tell us about your business and the heart behind what you do. 

Sarah and I began researching our concept back in October of 2020.  As gluten free consumers ourselves, we found it frustrating to have to travel to three or four different stores for our dietary needs.  We frequently found a limited selection and inconsistent stock.  Oftentimes, these stores would mix the gluten free products in with everything else.  We spent many visits to the store replanning our dinner menus because these items were out of stock.  Upon researching more, we discovered that our favorite brands had many other products available.  Knowing that there were other consumers like us, we wanted to create a grocery store that stocked nothing but gluten free items.  It is our passion for people to be able to come in and shop for food that’s safe to eat.  We also carry dairy free and vegan options.

 

What is most challenging about eliminating or reducing gluten from our diets? 

I’ve been gluten free for eight years now, and Sarah has been gluten free for three years.  I was able to lose 90 pounds by eliminating gluten and sugar from my diet, with regular exercise.  We physically feel better, mentally sharper and don’t have to deal with the ugly side effects of being “glutened”.  We don’t miss the headaches, lethargy or digestive issues.  I definitely don’t miss the dumb rash on my face and neck.  

 

 Tell us about your own gluten-free journey. What benefits have you noticed since you eliminated it from your diet? 

One of the most challenging issues we face from eliminating gluten from our diets is that we grew up on it.  I was adopted into an Italian-American family, hence the last name, and Sarah is from a Polish-American family.  For me, many dinners would include pastas, breads, rolls and desserts like Tiramisu and Cannoli.  For Sarah, Pierogies, breads, crackers, and other baked goods.  We miss it!  

 

What is your advice to those who are just finding out they are gluten sensitive/intolerant or who have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease? What tips or resources do you recommend for making the learning process and routine easier? 

Finding out about a Celiac or Hashimoto diagnosis or intolerance/sensitivity to gluten can be discouraging!  But it doesn’t mean you’re alone.  The good news is that gluten-free food has come a long way in the past 8 years that I’ve known it.  We’re so happy that we can carry so many comparable and reputable products.  There’s also a lot of online resources available.  We’re members of various gluten-free/celiac groups on social media.  Everything from recipes, to safe options at local restaurants, to finds at the grocery store, are shared and discussed.  The folks on there have so much insight and offer tips from personal experience.  I’ve even encountered a gluten-free group that meets once a month for lunch.  Most importantly, the amazing folks at Longevity are there for you, too.  

 

What is your favorite gluten-free product that makes the lifestyle easier and more convenient for you? 

My favorite products would be anything from Lucky Spoon Bakery.  They have everything from cakes, to chocolate chip cookies and brownies, to strawberry cupcakes.  It’s a splurge, but it takes me back to pre-gluten-free life with baked goods.  Sarah’s favorites are Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars and Lucky Spoon Chocolate cupcakes.

An Interview with Crystal Hood, Owner and Founder of Lazy Susan Meal Prep, Woodstock, GA 

 

As we get busier and busier, we can fall into a habit of feeding ourselves and our families what’s most convenient, and whole and healthy choices can fall by the wayside. But if we are what we eat, we don’t want to be fast, easy, and cheap! We sat down with fellow small business owner Crystal Hood to hear her tips for feeding our families food that will nourish our mind, body, and spirit, even on the go. Enjoy this interview, and to learn more about Lazy Susan Meal Prep, follow on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Tell us about yourself and your business. How did the idea of Lazy Susan Meal Prep come to be? 

I grew up in a home where health and wellness were top priority. My parents opened a health food store in the North Georgia mountains in the late 80’s (before it was cool, LOL).  I watched them lead so many people on a path of wellnessIt was inspiring to say the least. I grew up eating organic, whole, nutrient dense foods.  I knew I wanted to follow in their footsteps but my talent was in culinary arts.  I have cooked professionally for over 15 years.

I came up with the idea of Lazy Susan while living in Asheville, North Carolina. I had this vision of bringing families back around the table to eat a healthy meal together. I remember growing up how we always sat at the dinner table as a family and how important that was. Finding myself in a financial need, I decided to make a little extra money doing just that. I had about ten clients who I prepared meals for every week with a rotating menu of 3 lunches and 3 dinners. It was great side money, but I was still finding myself drowning in bills. It was all work and no play.

I decided to move with my son to Woodstock, Georgia to be closer to my family with only about $40 in my bank account. In less than two weeks, I was working two jobs and enjoying this new community. Once I got back on my feet, I decided to join a gym. Here is where I noticed the need for a healthy, meal prep service. So I decided to apply my knowledge in nutrition and culinary arts and start cooking for some of my fellow gym friends who had expressed they needed help with their weekly meal prep. It didn’t take long for the word to get out. Business had increased by so much that I decided to follow my true passion, quit my other two jobs and operate Lazy Susan full time.

I am amazed at how fast this business has and continues to grow! The kitchen has always felt like home to me. I feel honored that Lazy Susan helps keep our clients on track with their nutrition in an affordable and convenient manner.

 

How do Lazy Susan meals fit in with those trying to eat a gluten-free, paleo/keto, anti-inflammatory diet or with other specific health and fitness goals?  

We follow a high protein/low fat and low sugar diet.  We steer clear of GMO’s, artificial ingredients, and hydrogenated oils.  Our meals are clean and mostly organic.  On our menu, we provide a breakdown of macros and ingredients.  We also specify which menu items are gluten free, vegan, vegetarian and whole30 compliant. We provide weight watchers points as well following the current blue plan. 

 

What do you think are the biggest obstacles keeping people from eating more nutrient-dense, whole food meals?

100% time and convenience. People are so busy these days and many unfortunately do not have the time to prepare healthy meals at home or may not even have the knowledge with proper food combining.  That is why Lazy Susan offers single serving meals that are easy to heat up or freeze.  (All of our packaging is BPA free.)

 

What are your best tips for those wanting to do more healthy meal prep each week? 

Planning your menu is key.  I also recommend planning a menu that has some of the same fresh and quality ingredients.  This helps with cost and time.

Example Menu:

One pan- Fajitas

Shrimp Stir Fry 

Grilled Chicken with Sauteed Veggies

With this menu you can use so many of the same veggies- Zucchini, Mushrooms, Red Bell Pepper, Onions and Summer Squash.  They can all be prepped at the same time and when ready to use, add different spices and sauces. 

 

How can we make meal prepping more efficient and FUN so that it’s not something we dread, but instead enjoy doing? 

Keep it easy! Try not to over complicate your menu.  Maybe invite a friend over, turn on some tunes and have a meal prep dance party in the kitchen.  

 

What are your secrets for getting more nutritious foods into picky eater children?

I typically plan my menu on Saturday for the following week.  This is something my son and I like to do together.  He enjoys being a part of the planning process and having a say in what we are eating.  Sometimes he enjoys cooking with me as well.  For veggies he doesn’t particularly like, I blend in a food processor and hide them in his food.  For example- blended zucchini and carrots often go in our meatloaf.  He has no clue and loves it!

 

Lazy Susan’s weekly menus are posted on their Facebook page. You can also subscribe to the weekly newsletter to have the menu sent directly to your inbox.  You can contact Crystal with more questions at info@lazysusanmp.com

By Nicole DeWard, CEO & Master Trainer, SHINE Health & Wellness 

 

Let’s face it, it would be so much easier to take a magic pill where in a single moment, we begin feeling the benefits of healthy nutrition, exercise, mindfulness, stress relieving practices, and more. But it just doesn’t work that way! 

 

Not only is moving into February normally tough as we fight to beat those winter blues, but we are all also still contending with the effects of the pandemic.  We do have a choice to make. We can crawl back in bed, pull the covers over our faces, and try to avoid it, or we can be intentional and make decisions that will move us forward, regardless of whatever our environment is delivering. What are you actually in control of? What responsibilities can you take on? 

 

Your health and well-being are up to you! No one else can do it for you, motivate you, or live in your shoes! It’s on you and ONLY you! 

 

Since 80% of our results come from nutrition, changing the way we eat will give us the best benefit. However, even though only 20% of our results come from movement, I find that regular exercise inspires better nutrition almost all the time. 

 

Here’s the best news: the best type of movement is the one you CAN do, the one that you ENJOY, and the one you WILL do! 

 

Did you know that when you move your body, you mobilize all the systems in your body?  You will begin to notice improvements in your energy, mental clarity, digestion, heart health, and muscularity. It can be hard at times for sure, but you can do it! You CAN do HARD things. Believe in yourself, and go for it! I believe in you and I’m cheering you on!

 

Nicole DeWard is a Master Trainer with NASM and has been training clients for 13 years.  She’s owned a national coaching practice for the past decade. Nicole works with clients both locally and nationally, helping them create lifelong habits that will move them toward optimal health.