Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gluten Free Super Bowl Recipes

So when I say Super Bowl Sunday, what do you think of?

A. Football

B. Commercials

C. Half-time Show

D. The Food!!!

If you answered D, then you and I are on the same page!

I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy the football. I do. And the commercials are fun. I’m not too big on the half-time show, but it’s a nice break in between courses. But it’s really all about the food!

I was just saying to Parrish last night that I feel like Super Bowl Sunday is one of those rare holidays where you’re allowed to eat copious amounts of sour cream, cheese, and bacon and the calories don’t count.

Well…they count but so long as you nibble in moderation you can make it work!

This year I’m going to try a few new recipes and rely on some old standbys.

Oldies but Goodies:

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Zucchini Sticks with Bloomin’ Onion Dip

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Potato Skin Sliders

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Hot Spinach Dip

Recipes in need of a Gluten Free transformation:

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Waffle-fry sliders via Pinterest

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Mini Corn Dog bites from Iowa Girl Eats

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Fried Pimento Cheese Balls via Pinterest

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So what about you? What are your Super Bowl favorites?

Monday, January 30, 2012

New Veggie Recipe: Cheesy Quinoa Bites

THANK GOODNESS for meal planning. Not only does it keep me from melting into a pile of tears when I’m too hungry and can’t find anything to eat, but it also keeps me from emotional eating!

I am STRESSED to the max. More stressed than when we were buying a house AND planning a wedding at the same time? Yep. More stressed. I can’t get to the gym fast enough, because I need that sweat and those sweet, sweet endorphins.

AND I am a huge emotional eater. Two years ago, this stress would have sent me down a bag of french fries and into a block of cheese. But I know that I do this; I am aware. Plus with a meal plan, I already knew what I was going to eat for supper last night.

Problem solved.

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Quinoa Bites!

Packed with protein, fiber, and veggies, these little bites bring the flava’ while being the perfect size for dippers!

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I found the recipe for these babies on Pinterest here. I followed it to the letter, except I subbed the flour with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oat Flour.

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If I had had GF All Purpose on hand, then I would have used that but I’m all out.

I also added 1/2 cup more carrot than the recipe called for.

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This is my new veggie recipe of the week, so I wanted to amp it up.

I baked the bites in this handy….thing-a-ma-jig:

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It’s a Flexible Silicone Mini Brownie Bites pan that I found at Michael’s. Truthfully, I had bought it to make jello shots in!

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It was nice because once they were finished, I could just pop them right out! But the above pan is not mandatory. You could use a muffin tin too. Just make sure you grease them!

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YUM!

And yes, you guessed it, they re-heat beautifully!

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Happy Monday!

Are you an emotional eater? What’s your go to food and how do you resist?

My resistance:I am off to the gym to sweat it up!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fitness Fridays: Get Your Fitness on in the A.M.

I am really loving your ideas for future Fitness Fridays posts! Keep them coming, and you still have a few more hours to enter into the Blender Bottle Giveaway! Click on over here.

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In this post, I wanted to answer a question that I got by email pretty often. How in the world did I become a morning workout person?!

How did I go from not working out to working out five days a week?

I’ll be honest, I never would have thought it would happen to me. I used to sleep until the absolute last minute I could and still make it to work on time. But two years ago I made a resolution to “stop living for my days off”, and I felt like my morning routine was a big part of that.

I didn’t want my work days to be: wake up, shower, eat, WORK, home, eat, sleep. So I started giving myself a two hour buffer in the morning before I had to start getting ready. Now I had to work up to the two hours, by slowly waking up thirty minutes earlier over a period of a month (week by week), but sure enough my body clock adjusted.

Then last year I made the decision to start working out again, and I knew my morning time slot was the perfect spot to schedule it. It started out as a morning walk/run with Max. And then for me, it meant joining my local YMCA and utilizing their machines. However, gym or not, the following are tips that I found helpful to keep myself focused.

1. Organize your Workout Clothes

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I’m a little embarassed to admit how many time I used an excuse like “I don’t have any workout clothes clean” or “I don’t know where my shorts are” to keep myself from working out! So I keep them organized by tops (shirts, tanks, and bras) and bottoms (shorts, capris, pants) and in these fabric bins at arm’s length.

Make them easily accessible.

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Each time Target puts the bins on sale, I buy one. Winking smile

It also makes doing laundry a breeze, because I never have to fold any of the clothes!

2. Plan the night before

I always start planning the night before to make sure I workout the next morning.

I lay my clothes out:

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and get my gym bag ready.

I also make coffee the night before (or Parrish does) and make sure I have a protein bar in an accessible spot.

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That way I can munch on one on the way to gym if I don’t have time to eat a proper breakfast before.

3. Trick Your Brain

The key part about prepping the night before, and laying out your clothes, is that you’re going to trick your brain. I keep my workout clothes close to my bed (or in my bathroom) so that as soon as I wake up, I put them on.

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(anyone want to me make me a headboard?!)

As soon as the alarm goes off, I force my feet onto the floor. No snoozing. That just gives me time to make “deals” with myself. (which aren’t really deals by the way! More like excuses)

That way I can get geared up and ready before my brain can think about how sleepy or tired I am. I try to get as much done in my zombie state, that way as I’m driving to the gym, I munch my protein bar and drink my coffee, already proud that I’m staying motivated.

I wish I didn’t have to trick my brain, because once I’m at the gym and sweatin’ it up, I really do love it! But for now, it seems to be the only thing that gets me there!

4. Keep it Separate

This last step is really only if you’re going to the gym, but for me it was a biggie. I make going to the gym a part of my daily routine, and shower there to get ready for work. I was lucky that the YMCA had a location in between my house and work. (I highly suggest this method!) That way if I’m working, which I do five days a week, then I’m working out.

Keeping it separate is in regards to your necessary shower and beauty items. Buy yourself a cheap and effective organizer, and don’t try to use travel items over and over. Also I don’t recommend repacking and sharing your items between gym showers and home showers, because one day you’re going to forget something…and it may just be your deodorant!

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I have separate everything, including a toothbrush! The only thing I keep in travel size is my gluten free EO body wash, but that’s because it’s expensive and you only use a dot!

That way when I pack my bag:

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the night before with my clothes for the next day, I know my shower supplies are already inside. No thought necessary!

And note that I do not have a fancy gym bag. It is in fact my old book bag. Everything fits in it and it fits in the locker. That’s all you need! However, I’m not saying that I wouldn’t love a nicer gym bag for…oh…say, my birthday!

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But I have to say that the best part about working out in the morning is that it COMPLETELY energizes me for the day ahead. I also make better eating choices because I’m already feeling pretty jazzed up about being healthy.

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Do you have tricks and tips that help you stay focused and motivated to workout?

Share them in the comments!

Go Bestie, It’s your Birthday.

 

**Schedule Delay**

The Fitness Friday post will go up around noon today, and don’t forget to enter to win your own Blender Bottle here.

But right now, let’s talk a little bit more about my bestie sister, who is celebrating her birthday!! (edited to add: Her birthday was yesterday! Gosh darn it, this is why you look at your calendar on your days off!)

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I am VERY lucky!

I have been blessed with two older sisters, who are so incredibly loving and supportive of their little sister.

And I talk about her all the time, but my bestie sister is my best friend. (Hence the nickname) And she constantly takes care of me, even now that we’re both “grown up”. She talks things out with me, listens to my ramblings, and gets just as excited as I do about new coffee creamer flavors.

So in honor of her birthday, I thought I would share with you guys some of the most important nuggets of wisdom I’ve learned from her and tried to incorporate into my own life!

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1. Family First: My bestie always puts her family first, and makes spending time with all of us a priority. She plans get togethers, makes sure there are food options for everyone, and just makes everything more fun! She is by far the LEAST selfish person I know.

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2. Make the Most of Every Moment: My bestie is always ready for adventures and exploring, and she definitely embraces life. Feeling too tired? Get off the couch, let’s go. Because she’s knows once you’re up and moving, it’s going to be fun! Sitting in traffic? Don’t get mad. Call someone you love and spend that time catching up with them.

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3. Be Flexible: It’s not always going to go perfectly. No worries. It’s your wedding day and someone forgot something? No worries, it’s not going to go perfectly. Grumpy toddler? No problem. My bestie is the queen of flexibility.

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4. Be Present: Joan is present with you in every moment, which is one of the reasons she’s such an incredible Mom. She’s not distracted by her cell phone, or worried about the schedule. She’s spending time with you, and it always makes you feel special.

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5. Be Funny: My niece Ella is hilarious, and I think a big part of that comes from my bestie. (She’s also a little bit mischievous, which she also gets from my bestie) Joan never takes herself too seriously, and can find humor in anything. Waiting in line at Starbucks? Funny commentary will help with the wait.

I love you Joanie, and thank you for being a constant inspiration to me. I hope that your birthday is just as special as you!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I Love Blender Bottles GIVEAWAY

My name is Marlow, and I have a problem.

I am STRAIGHT addicted to blender bottles!

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I sort of feel like they knew people like me would see all the different colors and feel the URGE to own more than one!

Seriously though, I own…

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FOUR!

two little, one big, and another big one at work! Two pink, one orange, and a blue. AND the other day I saw the red one at Whole Foods and was {---} this close to buying it!

So why do I love them so much?

They are hands down the best thing to put my smoothie in if I’m making it ahead of time…which I almost always am.

For example, I have a TON of car time ahead of me and I’m packing my road cooler. In that cooler: two smoothies. One for breakfast, one for lunch. And the beauty of the blender bottle is that with a few quick shakes, that pre-prepared smoothie will be all…SMOOTH again!

Seriously, have you ever seen a smoothie that has separated? Yuck.

ALSO. If you’re just making a smoothie with mix and milk or water, the little blender ball breaks up all the clumps!

WANT ONE?!

I love them so much, I’m going to give one away! And I promise, it’ll be a new one Winking smile

BLENDER BOTTLE GIVEAWAY – SPONSORED BY ME!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED

What sort of content would you like to see on Fitness Fridays?

Want more chances to win?

Tweet it, Facebook it, Blog about it – and comment back telling me you did so!

Four chances to win! And you know I’m going to throw in some other fun stuff, including a few Gluten Hates Me stickers!

And the winner is:

Rachel T. who said:

I would love to see something like a Friday Fast 15/30. A quick workout you can bust out in 15/30 minutes.
I've wanted a Blender bottle SO badly. The husfriend thinks they are silly. If I win one though, he can't complain!

Congrats Rachel! Email me with your info Smile

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Happy Thursday!

Thank you so much to everyone for the kind emails and comments yesterday! Hopefully by the end of today I’ll have a better idea of what my plans for the next few years are. I hate having so much up in the air, and one of the scenarios just does not make me happy. But I am determined to get my degree. DEE-termined.

P.S. Blender Bottle in NO WAY asked or promoted this email in ANY way. I just freakin’ love them so much!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tough Times

Last night was one of those nights.

One of those nights where I had to sit down with my husband and look at numbers, classes, scenarios, and float the possibilities.

It was one of those nights that called for ice cream.

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I can’t get into too many details on here yet because we’re still digesting information from last night and thinking through our options, but let’s just say that finishing my degree sucks. And it’s much harder than I thought it would be, but the silver lining is that I could be finished by December. But it would mean huge sacrifices, and I just don’t know if I can make them.

So this morning was one of those mornings.

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A two cup of coffee morning! AND a gym morning. I have a ton of reading to do for school, but I made the executive decision that this morning it was more important to get my sweat on.

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P.S. Clemmy’s is the best ice cream ever! 100% sugar free and totally gluten free; I love it!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Arugula?! Yep, Arugula

P’s in the kitchen and he is cookin’ uh-huh, uh-huh

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oh yes, P’s in the kitchen and he is cookin’ uh-huh

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A far better rendition of “Froggy Went a Courtin’” and an even better rendition of sautéed arugula!

Two slices of bacon cooked till crisp, grease reserved. Into the grease, diced garlic and shallot. Sautee while stirring, scraping up the bits of bacon. Once the shallot is nice and translucent: add in the arugula!

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Give a stir – letting the greens wilt

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While it finishes wilting, crumble the bacon! And…if you have dogs, let them lick your fingers!

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And…then wash your hands!!

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Top the wilting greens with the crumbled bacon, and continue stirring. You still want the greens to reduce by half the size above^^ Once finished, serve immediately!

I recommend serving with THIS SALMON and roasted broccoli.

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Best part?

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Start to finish, this meal took 30 minutes to prepare! And the salmon was on sale at the Teeter. AND it was taaaaa-aaasty.

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What’s your favorite way to prepare salmon?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gluten Free Breakfast in Five Minutes Flat

I can’t believe it’s been nearly half a year since I’ve had a waffle for breakfast. But between all the bowls of oatmeal, and Nature’s Path not being on sale at Harris Teeter, I guess I forgot about how yummy these little babies are!

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“Isn’t She Lovely” strawberry topped waffle

The ingredients are simple.

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One toasted gluten free waffle topped with 1/4 cup 0% fat Fage Greek Yogurt, 2 strawberries sliced, and 1 tbsp. slivered almonds.

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Or if you’re feeling adventurous, top with a flavored chobani. I bet the Chobani Honey-Nana Champion would be REALLY good!

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I love the delicate crunch slivered almonds add.

And if you’re thinking you would rather top your waffle with syrup…think again!

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The pillow like layer of yogurt brings a creamy, tangy touch that will woo you away from sugary syrup. But if you do miss the warmth of syrup, drizzle (not drench) the top with 1/2 tbsp. of your favorite syrup or honey.

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Don’t have any berries? No problem! It’s just as good with plain yogurt on top.

And fast! Super fast!

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I am officially addicted to Scramble with Friends! I went to bed last night thinking about words!