Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Free Day

 

Life has been pretty busy this past week. I’ve been working non-stop, and my eating habits have been pretty…habitual. There have been lots of these:

green monster first

Green Monster in the making! But mostly on the go:

grren on the go 002

Packed lunches are essential for me when I have a busy work schedule. Being gluten free, I don’t have a lot of fast food choices. Plus, when I pack my lunch, I control the nutritional content!

Parrish and I did make time this past Sunday to go on a hike. The weather is really changing here. It’s been so nice after living in Wilmington for 7 years to actually have a “fall” season.

grren on the go 023 

My best friend Alex is in town today, so I took the day off. We’re off to explore Carrboro and go to Urban Outfitters! Then tonight we’re going to see a band that we both LOVE: Ra Ra Riot

See you guys tomorrow for a fun day recap and a FUN GIVEAWAY!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Marlow:1 Gluten:ZERO!!

 

Do people ever ask if you cheat? One of the most frequent questions I get about being gluten free is: “Do you cheat?” And my answer to that is always, of course, NO!!

And then I laugh (because it’s funny) and I explain that being gluten free is not a fad diet to me. I tell them about how eating gluten makes my tiny little doo-dads in my stomach attack each other which leaves me feeling extremely tired, poopy (literally), and don’t forget the MIGRAINES. Plus my body is unable to process any food and it won’t even absorb any medicines.

At this point in the conversation the person either looks bored (because they weren’t listening), appalled (because I mentioned poop), or TOTALLY interested (because I’m an interesting person!). Then most times I will say this, “but I do miss mozzarella sticks.”

I dream about mozzarella sticks. Dipped in tomato sauce, ranch, or honey mustard. Breaded or battered. I LOOOOVE them.

So yesterday, after I had cleaned the kitchen, I decided to experiment. There really is nothing like a clean kitchen to motivate me to messy it.

Results?

mozzi 032 

Success!! :) To make Gluten Free Mozzarella Sticks you’ll need:

String Cheese sticks (I used Sargento Light Mozzarella)

2 eggs

1-2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour (I used Beth’s)

2 tbsp. Italian seasoning

Vegetable oil for frying

Cut the cheese sticks in half. You’ll need one small bowl and one medium bowl. In the small bowl, scramble the 2 eggs. In the medium bowl, combine the flour and the seasoning. Then Dredge!

Place the battered cheese sticks in a casserole dish and be sure that they aren’t touching. Cover in plastic wrap and place in your freezer for at least 2 hours. This ensures that the batter sets and the cheese won’t ooze out!

Deep fry until crisp! I pretty much pulled all of mine out right before and right as a tiny bit of cheese came out. The next time I make these I’ll time it and take the temperature of my oil. I honestly didn’t think these were going to turn out, so I didn’t think I would be sharing the recipe!

But boy oh boy, did they turn out!

mozzi 031

Served with tomato sauce and ranch dressing :) I was out of honey mustard

New Top Chef tonight! I still don’t know who I’m rooting for but I sure do love those brothers!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Punkin’

 

For over a year, I have been an avid reader of Megan’s Munchies. Megan is not only adorable, but she is a regular kitchen genius! Most of her recipes are not gluten free, but she always offers me inspiration.

With the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, Megan began posting recipes with a pumpkin theme. Last year Megan posted a ton of pumpkin recipes, and in all honesty, she opened my eyes to the fact that pumpkin is NOT just for pie. And so I baked my FIRST pumpkin recipe, and as it turns out, not only I was able to enjoy it!

a pumpkin_far away

Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Muffins

You’ll need:

1 1/2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour (I used Beth’s)

1 tsp. baking powder

2 cup pureed pumpkin (the ingredient list should be just pumpkin, no spice)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk the pumpkin, oil, eggs, pie spice, sugar, baking soda, and salt until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Then add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until just combined.

The batter will be THICK. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and spray with cooking spray. Drop in a spoon full of batter and smooth the top. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and then bake for 25-30 minutes.

a pumpkin_close

Tasty! These would be great with a Maple Cream Cheese icing. The next time I make this recipe I think I’ll try using a mixture of raw sugar and brown sugar. But I was more than pleased with the recipe!

Gluten Free and GOOOOOOOD!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time

 

Did you guys know about this and not tell me?

pbj 007

I almost  danced at Whole Foods when I saw this in the aisle! Peanut Butter & Jelly LARABAR!!

pbj 016

Look at that chunk of cherry…mmmm…so tasty! Gluten Free Goodness!

Another great discovery made today:

pbj 010

Smooth and Creamy! These are on sale at our local Harris Teeter, so Parrish and I stocked up! I love smooth and creamy fruit yogurt! I hate to admit that I’m one of those folks who cringe at little bits of fruit in yogurt, but I am. I know, I know I’m a grown up. I should love bits of fruit, but I love a creamy texture. And this my friends is creamy goodness!

Countdown to Parrish’s Birthday Celebration: ONE DAY!! Can’t wait for Parrish Fest 2009!

Watching the new Office tonight!! I have to get my run in in the morning…I’m gonna need some major motivation :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Great Pumpkin

 

April bright and early

Bright and Early: Me when I realized that today was pay day and I could get a non-fat, no-whip pumpkin spice latte today!

And you guys probably already knew it but…

old lady_three shots

it was another 3 shot day!

This week is going to go by SO fast because this Saturday is Parrish’s Birthday Celebration! Although his birthday isn’t until the 21st, we’ll be celebrating this weekend. And I’m so excited!! We have a big group going to dinner at a local restaurant called Milltown. :)

We actually started out this week by celebrating! Sunday night Parrish and I went to my parent’s house for a birthday dinner. My dad made gluten free fried shrimp (recipe soon) and fries! SOOOOO good! My family is incredibly supportive of my gluten intolerance. Even if I’m the only Celiac at the table, they always prepare the entire meal gluten free. (Minus the random biscuit flying around!)But I did volunteer to make the birthday cake: Chocolate Towers.

Chocolate Towers are just a fancy name for gluten free brownie stacks topped with chocolate butter cream icing!

www 002

I started with circles of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownies. I cut the circles into two different sizes, so that the top circle is a bit smaller. Then I made chocolate butter cream to sandwich and top the towers.

www 005

I melted the butter cream bit so that it would drizzle. If you let it sit an hour before serving, it will harden.

www 006

Quality Control Bite :)

The towers were a hit! I heated each person’s serving because as most of us know, gluten free baked anything is always better warm! We served them with vanilla ice cream. Tasty!

Tonight is going to be a late night! We’re watching the Big Brother Finale and it’s on until 10pm!! Hopefully my bed time won’t get pushed too far back; I have to run in the morning! I’ve had a taste of the endorphins and I’m addicted! :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

TGIFifth Day

 

mom time_day 5

This morning was my fifth day running the training guide in this month’s issue of Women’s Health magazine. Look at that sleepy, yet somehow excited to go exercise face! Amazing!

Max was waiting by the door for me when I got out of bed. He was ready!

I was off of work again today! ( I know!!) And I was so excited when my Mom said she was coming over to Chapel Hill to spend the day with me. For lunch I made us an old classic: Roasted Tomato and Leek Pasta. Tasty!

My mom loved it. I added in bits of grilled chicken for protein. It was the perfect addition!

My mom and I spent the day in search of the perfect shoes for me. I’m in the market for a pair of super comfortable, supportive shoes that can relieve a bit of my back pain from being on my feet all day. (And still look okay with an outfit!) Unfortunately, we came up empty handed, but I do have a few ideas of styles to look for online.

Shopping left me SUPER hungry. When we got home I snacked on my new favorite chip!

mom time_rice works

These were on sale at Harris Teeter this past week and I couldn’t resist when I read this on the back label:

mom time_celiac friendly

Celiac Friendly! Love that!! Gluten is VERY unfriendly!

mom time_empty bag

And love these chips! -No the bag was NOT full when I started eating…just almost full :)

Tomorrow is going to be a BUSY day at work, but I’m after this week I feel ready to take on anything! I honestly feel like it’s the exercise. I’ve always exercised, but never so consecutively! :) Or maybe I’m just excited about another cup of Iced Pumpkin Spice Coffee!

GIVEAWAY WINNER!!

The random number generator selected #4! Congrats Denise!! I hope you like your relaxation gift pack and I suggest trying the caramel Yoplait Delights!

I hope everyone has a great Saturday!!

Countdown to Parrish’s Birthday: 10 days :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day Off – Take Two!

 

Positive thinking and exercise are really starting to shape my life! I can’t believe how much I accomplished today!

tennis_to do list

I love to do lists! In all honesty, tennis wasn’t actually on the list, but I wrote it down to cross it off! :)

I started the day off with a much less expensive Pumpkin Pie Spice Coffee!

tennis_pumpkin

My sister (BF fo’ life) Joan let me know about this new tasty treat, so of course I ran out to the store to get it! It was great warm, but I took one sip and knew it needed more. So I decided to enjoy it iced with a bit of Silk Light Vanilla Soymilk and Foodbuzz! :)

tennis_iced coffee

I wasn’t willing, calorie-wise, to add more than 2 tbsp. of creamer, so the light soymilk really helped!

Then I hit the gym for Pilates and came back home more than ready for a shower and lunch!

soup up close

Beer Cheese Soup Take Two! It was just as tasty re-heated! This portion included the heavy cream, and while it was more filling, I still prefer without!

After lunch I spent the afternoon cleaning! It was so nice to clean without interruption. I listened to Taylor Swift while vacuuming, and How I Met Your Mother while mopping! Do you guys like background noise when you clean?

Parrish and I had planned to play tennis this afternoon, and I was ready as soon as he got home from work. I was excited to take my new water bottle!

tennis times 015

He’s ready!

tennis_ready to play

It was a great workout for both of us! Parrish and I are both pretty competitive, so it’s usually a sweat fest!

After a quick supper of chicken and rice, I am ready to RELAX before heading in to work tomorrow bright and early! But first, it’s GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Once again, the awesome folks at My Blog Spark have teamed up with another company to provide us with a great giveaway!

Yoplait Delights gift package

The prize pack includes a spa mask, wrap robe, slippers, and a coupon for a free pack of Yoplait Delights!

Yoplait Delights are a new 100 calorie snack in three flavors: Chocolate Raspberry, Creme Caramel, and Lemon!

I can’t wait to try the caramel! I often get a sweet craving around 3 in the afternoon and either “suffer” through it or try to find a healthy way to satisfy it. It would be great to be able to enjoy a yogurt parfait that packs flavor instead of calories!

To enter to win, just leave me a comment with your favorite way to satisfy a sweet tooth! I’ll choose the winner via the random number generator Friday @ 8pm! Then My Blog Spark will send you a prize pack and you can try Yoplait Delights for yourself!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day Off

 

Today was a GREAT day!! Even though I didn’t have to be at work, I still woke up early! Parrish was up at 7:30 and my body felt rested, so I got out of bed and started my day! It always seems so much easier to get out of bed when I don’t have to be somewhere at a specific time!

With an early start, I went ahead over to our local O2 Fitness. It’s in a really cute neighborhood called Southern Village.

734873306_9f156224fe

On their website, they offer a free 7 day pass to try out their gym. I LOVE to lift weights. Cardio is fun, but I have a dreadmill at home. Plus, they offer group classes. Next week I’m going to go visit the local Y. I may try out an all women’s gym too. Do any of you guys belong to a gym?

After the gym I took my time at the library! I checked out a copy of The Gluten-Free Gourmet (again!) and a copy of The Book Club Cookbook. Hopefully some of the recipes will inspire me!

Tonight for supper I was inspired by one of my favorite chefs, my friend Amy! I recreated her Beer Cheese Soup!

soup recipe

She first made this for me at her house and I LOVED it! She is always so aware of my gluten free lifestyle and made this soup with a GF beer (Redbridge) and without the addition of flour. The star:

soup redbridge

Co-starring:

Soup staples

This soup is seriously easy to make! Just be sure that when you blend, you make sure that your food processor is big enough! I ended up blending mine in two batches. Which actually worked out, because I was able to have my bowl without the heavy cream. So flavorful! I LOVE Redbridge!!

soup farway

Tasty!

Exciting items came in the mail today! One for me:

KOR

And one for you!! But yours will have to wait until tomorrow! ;)

A few weeks ago I won a give away on the blog My Favorite Things that I heard about on Twitter!

Introducing my new go to water bottle:

KOR_11

The KOR ONE Hydration Vessel!

Not only is it orange for Clemson, but it’s also orange for a cause!

KOR_2

Each KOR bottle supports a different cause:

KOR_10

That makes it OK that I want one in every color right?!

My favorite part about the bottle is that you can personalize it! Each bottle includes KOR Stone cap inserts.

KOR_8

They slip right into the cap, so that each time you sip, you can see your mantra!

The included inspirations:

beer soup 038 KOR_3 KOR_4 KOR_5

It also came with some blank discs. I decided to go with a mantra that will help me maintain my positive outlook on running and help me stay motivated!

KOR_7

What would you guys write in your cap?

See you tomorrow for Day Off Take Two and a very special…very pampering giveaway!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Can Do Attitude

 

Day Two:

day 2 004

The playlist was a success! I bought a few key songs from I Tunes that I love and mixed them with upbeat songs already on my Ipod. It was great! Best song to get me up a hill? Black Eyed Peas – I Got a Feeling; works every time! (There are three hills on the route right out my front door!!)

A few of you have emailed and asked what plan or method I’m using to start running. I’m actually following an article that is in this months issue of Women’s Health:

day 2 019

The article is awesome and inspiring! I’m sure at some point I’ll need to read a bit more on running, but for now I’m using the layout from the article:

day 2 017

My work week has been SO busy, that I’ve had to channel every BIT of positive energy that I have. I feel like exercising has helped me keep up my Can Do Attitude!

I’m so excited to have some time off! What do you guys like to do when you’re off during the week?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fast Forward

 

This week has been CRAZY!! Work has been full steam ahead. I was supposed to be off on Friday, but the work load just didn’t allow it. We only have 5 days for our event that supports 850 Pakistani families…so of course I was more than happy to work, but blogging had to take a back seat!

Thursday morning I started my first day of training…to be a runner! I know, I know, super dorky. Most folks train for marathons and what not, but over the past year I have fallen off the exercise wagon. I’ve always been athletic, but I’ve never fully committed myself running. So I’m excited to build my stamina. I’m still in week 1, which consists of running for 2 minutes – walking for 3 minutes – and then repeating that 6 times. Since I’m a new runner…

old lady_coffee break

I drink coffee before I run! I’m not a morning person. As much as I would love to say that I bounce out of bed at 6:30 ready to go…it takes a bit (of coffee).

The run was great! I felt ahh-mazing afterwards and Max was panting up a storm. He proved himself to be an excellent running buddy!

west end eno 014

So cute! He looks like a young pup, but don’t let those sad eyes fool you! He’s a middle aged man, and he’s not starving!

Even though he was SUPER tired, he still maintained his post by the breakfast table while I enjoyed my Gluten Free overnight oats!

old lady_oats

Sort of like my regular breakfast, but with an oaty boost! To make overnight oats, you just take rolled oats (Bob’s Gluten Free Rolled Oats) and mix with equal parts liquid (Silk Light Vanilla Soymilk).

old lady_oats prep

Stir and let sit in the fridge overnight. I may have used a bit too much liquid, but I still thought they were great! I mixed in Gorilla Munch (of course) and sliced strawberries. Tasty!

Friday flew by! My Green Monster and Amazing Grass saw me through.

This morning I woke up feeling fairly refreshed…but ready for coffee, only to discover that I was out of creamer!! :) That sounded like a perfect reason to stop by Starbucks for a non-fat, no whip Pumpkin Spice latte!!!

old lady_three shots

It was a 3 shot morning! Gluten Free Update on the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Absolutely NO side effects for this gluten free gal!

Work today was great! Boring eats (steamed veggies) but it was great fuel for my day. Late night but I did come home tonight to this:

old lady_jam sesh

BFF Jam Session! Parrish on the left and his BFF Danny (who we nicknamed Danda) They’re going to see the Carolina Chocolate Drops tonight and were gearing up for the show. I wish I could go, but I have to work tomorrow and Monday. This past week has been a marathon, not a sprint, so I don’t want to stay out too late. (How very adult of me!!)

So, I thought I would update my Ipod instead! I made a killer playlist and can’t wait to use it in the morning. That will def motivate me to run.

What do you guys use to motivate yourself to exercise?