Friday, March 30, 2012

The Lost Week

To say that I’ve had a rough week is a DRASTIC understatement. I have been stretched thin – balled back up – and stretched again. And you know what, I’ve grown up. Last Friday I was a 28 year (almost 29 year) old girlie and today I am a grown ass woman.

I’ve gone days without real sleep, real food, or a real idea of what was going to happen to my father-in-law.

I’ve stood by my husband and used a straw to suck it up, even when I didn’t want to, so that I could be strong for him.

We’re not out of the woods yet, but we can see the light; it’s a faint light, but I honestly believe it’s there.

Thank you all so much for your prayers and kind thoughts, comments, and emails. Last Friday night we were told that Parrish's Dad most likely wouldn’t make it past the weekend; today we were told that his chest x-ray was improving and that he may make it off the ventilator tomorrow. Prayer works.

You know what else works?

FRESH JUICE

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beet

Sipped right away or packed in a mason jar and enjoyed the next day, this is currently my FAVORITE juice. Whether made with my own juicer or bought from the food co-op in Wilmington, I loves it. Loves it, Loves it.

There’s just something about celery, ginger, and lemon. Mmmm.

HOWEVER: Beet juice turns your pee purple. Just FYI.Winking smile

But these juices were the only way I was able to stay healthy this past week. New Hanover Regional isn’t exactly bursting with gluten free options in their “cafĂ©”.

I’m a HUGE stress eater. So every time I felt stressed I hopped over to Pinterest on my iPhone and tried to clear my mind. I also bought any magazine I wanted, which is a real treat for me.

Happy Friday friends! I’m back to work today; lots to do and little time!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Strength–the Root of the Word

I’ve always marveled at how quickly your entire life can change.

One minute you’re sitting at your coffee table for breakfast with your husband; your eyes are still small and sleepy as you eat your oatmeal. This is your daily routine. You take a bite, just as your husband looks at his phone and says “Oh no. This isn’t going to be good.”

And just like that, as you listen to a voicemail left on your phone at 1 in the morning, you realize that…

Life is fragile.

You are fragile.

And the rocks in your life, the people you depend on to stay steady, they’re fragile too.

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Friday morning Parrish and I received a call that his father was in the hospital. While I don’t want to go in to the specifics of why he is sick, I will say that it is unexpected, a shock, and extremely serious.

Saturday night I spent the night in the room with my father-in-law. In the blanket of the dark room, I sat and slept.

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I listened and watched. Nurses come in like clockwork. Machines beep; the lights brighten and dim.

Sunday morning, as the sun rose, I prayed to God to refill my strength. I prayed that he would help me be strong for my husband and a comfort to my father-in-law.

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On the seventh floor, God continued to answer my prayers.

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On Sunday we moved to an ICU ward, specific for my father-in-law’s needs. The worst part?

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This waiting room. The beauty of the 7th floor was the privacy and the peace. In this waiting room we’re surrounded by mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, friends whose hearts are just as heavy as ours.

So today I pray for my own strength; for Parrish’s strength; for my father-in-law’s. I also pray for all those around me, for peace, for comfort, and strength.

I would love your prayers too.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fitness Fridays: FREE Workout!

Yesterday I nearly melted into a giant messy puddle. I killed it on the Arc Trainer for 30 minutes and then challenged myself to the Nike Training Club Get Toned for 30 minutes.

Holy Sweat Buckets.

Afterwards, I felt AMAZING. Sore, but AMAZING! I couldn’t wait to tell you guys about it, and guess what…

you don’t have to have the app to do this workout! Sort of.

Follow THIS LINK to a YouTube playlist.

tone

and click Play All.

The first move will be the Sumo Squat. From there, the videos will continue through the entire 29 move series.

get toned

The moves aren’t in the same order, and all of the moves in my workout aren’t in this series, but new moves are.

But here’s the thing. It’s the same concept. Circuit Training at its best! You do each move for one minute. If you’re using one leg or arm as the dominant in the move, then switch at the 30 second mark.

My personal favorite:

Tuck Jumps

Love them!

And the Burpee to Shoulder Press. Yum.

That’s the thing about NTC. You don’t always have to do the workouts from start to finish. Learn a few moves and incorporate them into your daily routine.

Spice it up Smile And…Sweat it Out!

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Seriously y’all: TGIF

I’m not sure I could be more excited about it being Friday today!

Can I just tell you that after I did this workout yesterday I went into the locker room only to discover that there was NO HOT WATER. I took an ICE cold shower; it was not great. I did not get all the shampoo out of my hair! On the plus side, I was SUPER awake. Maybe ice cold showers are the answer to my issue with daylight savings?!

Ummm….

HUNGER GAMES WEEKEND!!

Woo to the Hoo!!!!!!!

For all you HG fans, like myself, I just had to share this one again!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Case of the…

Seriously you guys, I am not handling day light savings well.

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I’m going to bed later; I’m waking up earlier. My internal clock has gone cuckoo for gluten free panda puffs, and I don’t know how to get it back running.

Due to school work I’ve missed the gym two mornings in a row, so I’m thinking a big part of it must be missing that “feel good sauce”. I am determined to go to the gym today.

So it’s a quick breakfast, on the go, which means SMOOTHIE! I’m recreating this delicious little lady from yesterday:

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(Yes. I call my smoothies little ladies. It just happened and I went with it. I also call my boobs, my groceries. I don’t know where these gems come from)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

1 whole banana

2 scoops Chocolate Whey Protein

2 tbsp. peanut butter

1/2 cup Vanilla Chobani

4 cubes of ice

4-6 oz. skim milk

Blend it! Drink it! Love it!

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What about you? Are you handling ‘Springing Forward’?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Giving Thanks

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I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.

I LOVE Spring.

There’s something about Spring that makes me reflective. Maybe it’s because plants are sprouting, creating new chances. Or maybe it’s because the sun doesn’t set until 8pm, giving me more time outside and less time in front of the TV. Who knows.

But with all those BIG LIFE CHANGES I have coming up, I’ve been trying to spend this reflective time giving thanks and appreciating everything God has blessed me with.

Giving thanks doesn’t come easy to me. Not that it’s hard to be thoughtful, but it is hard to stop and take the time. Heck, it’s hard to remember that you need to remember to stop and take the time.

Every night before Parrish and I go to bed, we try to say one thing we’re thankful for. Most of the time it’s silly like “I’m thankful Hazel didn’t have terrible gas today when I was working from home” or “I’m thankful my bracket is doing so well”. But for every silly one, we have just as many serious ones.

“I’m thankful to be lucky enough to be married to my best friend"

“I’m thankful to have the luxury of finishing my degree”

“I’m thankful to be a home owner”

And you know what, I say it all the time BUT I’m thankful for you guys.

I’m thankful for the wonderful online community that we have created. I get such amazing support and friendship from every post I read and write.

My hope is that the more thankful I am, that the more time I take to be appreciative, the more love and support those around me will feel; the more full and happy I will become. And the better prepared I will be for stressful, woe is me moments.

So yep. Spring is my season to spark my thankfulness.

And yes. Today, I am thankful that Hazel didn’t have terrible gas.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

You might be gluten free..

you might be

…you stalk the frozen PF Chang meals at the grocery store to see if they’ve released a gluten free line.

…you get excited when you find Chocolate Chex.

…you can speed read an ingredients list.

…you use google on your smartphone to find restaurants when traveling.

…your lunch bag is more like a lunch tote.

…pictures of wheat fields make you a little bit angry.

…you feel loyal to the bone to restaurants that offer you gluten free options.

…you always keep a food bar close by.

…you bake an entire pan of gluten free brownies, just ‘cause.

…you experiment with new recipes.

…some of those recipes don’t always work out.

…fresh waffles are a treat.

you travel with your own GF hamburger buns.

…you love yogurt…maybe a little too much.

…you take engagement photos…with a gluten free sandwich.

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Yes. Me and that sandwich are getting married.

Winking smile

Add your own in the comments and I’ll update the post! Did you miss the first round of You might be gluten free if ? Catch up here!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cilantro Pesto Chicken Tacos YUM!

FIRST: Thank you guys so much for your sweet comments and emails regarding this post. You guys are part of my support system, and funnily enough a lot of your messages rolled in while I was on the Arc Trainer! It gave me a great burst of energy!

Now, the food!

Parrish is a really good cook. It’s one of those skills that just runs in his family, and while I cook on a regular basis, when he signs up for a night I’m always blown away.

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I had to work this past weekend, and after a particularly long day I came home to find an entire meal, with drinks!!!, waiting for me on our back deck.

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  Fresh margaritas: simply tequila with LOTS of lime juice and a dash of simple syrup

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No likey tequila? Fresh lime juice mixed with water and a dash of simply syrup is equally yummy!

These were SUPER refreshing. No sour mix please, blech! Parrish made them just the way Dos Perros makes them – swoon! And they perfectly complimented the meal:

saturday night title

Cilantro Pesto Chicken Tacos – gluten free

He marinated the chicken for three hours and then slapped it on the grill, along with roma tomatoes and red onion for toppings, and corn tortillas for wrapping. I smothered mine in his BANGIN’ guacamole.

Seriously, why can’t guacamole be fat free?!? I could eat my weight in avocados.

saturday night dee

Parrish says the chicken is super easy to throw together, and I can vouch for the tastiness!

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Cilantro Pesto Chicken Tacos – gluten free

you’ll need:

1 pound chicken breast, cleaned and cut into tenders

2 cloves garlic

1 large bunch fresh cilantro leaves (~ 1 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, packed

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 limes, cut into wedges

For the marinade, add your garlic to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides and add the cilantro, parsley, salt, and pepper. Process until finely chopped. Keep the processor running, and slowly add in the oil. This creates your pesto puree. Pour this mixture into a large ziploc bag and add in the chicken. Mix and shake to coat the chicken well.

Marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours.

Heat your grill to high and add your chicken to direct heat. Cook until the meat is firm and your juices run clear, around 8-10 minutes. Turn once, around the 4-5 minute mark.

Optional: grill slices of roma tomatoes and red onion too! Keep on the heat until the tomatoes soften and the onions get grill marks. You can also grill your tortillas.

Once you remove the chicken from the grill, squeeze lime juice onto each piece before adding to your taco.

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So did you spend the weekend watching basketball?!

We did!! Aside from Duke murdering my one segment of my bracket…

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I am walloping Parrish!!

This is my first year making a bracket, and I’ve actually been surprised by how much more fun all this basketball is now that I’m invested in other teams to help my bracket.

Happy Monday!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fitness Fridays: Taking Control of MY Health

Yesterday I received some pretty terrific news:

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My bad cholesterol is low, my good cholesterol is desirable, and my triglycerides are low!

bam

Take that poor health! (Why a lightning bolt? Why not.)

If you’re new to the blog then you may be thinking…uh…okay? Good for you.

BUT this is good for me!

Four years ago, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease AND I was in TERRIBLE shape. High cholesterol, low good cholesterol, and my triglycerides were thru the roof!! My doctor told me I had metabolic syndrome and that I had some big changes to make, or I was WELL on my way to diabetes.

I made them. Well…some of them.

My health improved, but the numbers only improved a little at first. So this past year I kicked it in to high gear.

In March of 2011, I joined the YMCA. I started working out at least four days a week, and I met the Arc Trainer.

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^^The Sweat Monster

I cut down my potato consumption to once a week. (Twice if I’m really good) Potatoes are starch, starch becomes sugar, sugar can become fat.

I cut out red meat almost entirely because of the fat (and I only buy it at the Farmer’s Market).

I upped my veggie intake, and I upped my protein and fiber.

I drank MORE water and WAY LESS Redbridges. WAY LESS! I went from a 6 pack a week to less than one single beer a week.

I tried to eat smaller portions most of the time.

I switched from sweet tea to un-sweet tea.

I did NOT feel guilty for anything I ate.

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I lost 15 pounds in one year.

And you know what? It didn’t feel like that much change.

I didn’t eliminate anything huge. I didn’t make a big deal out of limiting this or that. I just made little changes to my everyday habits.

Nope. I didn’t see changes right away. I only lost a pound a month…but those are pounds that I know I’ll keep off.

Yep. I have WAY more energy. WAY more happiness and optimism. WAY more room in my pants.

I still have 15 pounds to go but I’m not really too worried about that number. I want to be two pants size smaller and have a wee bit more ab definition.

Can I do it? Hell yes I can.

When I received my test results from the doctor yesterday I felt so empowered. MY HEALTH is in MY HANDS. It sounds silly, but I had never really felt like that before.

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What about you? Have you had your own health triumphs?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dear Soda Stream, I Love You

Growing up, we rarely had soda in the house. Two liters of Pepsi were reserved for special occasions like birthdays or holidays.

Then…I started dating Parrish in college and QUICKLY became a Diet Coke addict. When he and I first moved in together, we would always pounce on the Buy 2 Get 3 Free deal at Harris Teeter. I’ve talked about my addiction on the blog here, and I’m happy to say that I’ve kept that habit kicked.

What did it take? Three things.

1. Advice from my very smart auntie (she knows brains) who looked me straight in the face and told me I was killing my brain <— When she gives you advice, you listen

2. Sometimes a can of the dark temptress backfires and makes me feel awful! Headaches, etc.

3. Fizzy Water

Fizzy water really made the difference. The bubbles mimic what I love most about Diet Coke, and they seem to quench that addictive thirst.

But Fizzy water ain’t cheap y’all! I even joined Costco to get big packs of La Croix (and the toilet paper!) but the costs still add up! And I didn’t feel great about going through all those aluminum cans…and one can just isn’t enough!

Enter MOH and her Soda Stream. Alex bought the Soda Stream just after Christmas and was CONSTANTLY touting how wonderful it was…

and making me jealous!

But I couldn’t get over the price tag. $80 bones at Target! I would go to Target and wheel by it and grumble under my breath. I wanted one but I couldn’t pull the trigger.

And then one day I was at Target and I just did it. I put it in my cart. I tried not to look at the price. I mean how often do I drop $100 at Target on seemingly nothing?!

Oh boy. I am SO glad I did.

brussels hearts

It’s the best! Seriously.

All you have to do is insert the CO2 canister into the back! I was excited that it didn’t require any electricity.

brussels power cord

Once your canister is in, you’re ready to go! Fill the provided bottle with water to the fill line, screw it into the Soda Stream and press the button on top.

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Keep pressing the button until you hear a buzz sound. You’ll know it when you hear it. Then wait about 30 seconds and unscrew your bottle. OR if you’re like me, you press the button on top a few more times until you get a second buzz. I like it REALLY fizzy!

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Voila! Fizzy water in a BIG ol’ reusable bottle! Definitely wait 30 seconds to a minute before you unscrew though! If you get antsy like me, then the water can leak a little from the air being released too fast.

You can drink it from the bottle or pour it in a glass. I recommend keeping your bottle full of cold water in the fridge until you’re ready to fizz. Ice cold fizzy water is the best!

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Dear Soda Stream, I love you. You make my water fizzy in an instant and give me all the bubbles I could ever want. Love- Gluten Hates Me 

What about you?! Soda Stream: yes or no? Diet Coke: yes or no?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Make a REAL difference…Gluten Hates Me Style

Sometimes in life you are lucky enough to meet extraordinary people. People who make you smile when you just think their name. People who spread happiness and joy to their friends and family, while working their hardest to make a small corner of the world a better place.

Mike Slaton is one of those people.

I met Mike when I worked at Tidal Creek Food Co-op. He’s a shy, soft spoken guy at first, but get to know him and you’ll have the pleasure of hearing his booming laugh. And if you’ve ever lived in Wilmington, then you may have had the HUGE pleasure of hearing this man sing.

Since his days in Mike Slaton and the Wheels, Mike has been working his a** off learning, apprenticing, and growing in the organic food world. And if you think farming isn’t hard work…then wake up before dawn and work until sunset in the North Carolina sun in the middle of July.

After years of working for others, Mike and his partner have decided to start a farm of their own. Well, why don’t I just let him tell you himself!

Imagine helping a real person achieve their dreams. This is tangible stuff people!

How can you help?

1. Share his kickstarter campaign on facebook

2. Share it on your blog, twitter, or other social media

3. Donate!***

***And I’m making the pot sweeter. Any Gluten Hates Me reader that donates can email me that they have done so and I will send you the Gluten Hates Me t-shirt of your choice! AND I’ll throw in some stickers for fun.

AND if you’re really nice, then I just might throw in a loaf of Udi’s!

Brussels Sprouts Dippers–Ready in less than 20!

If you remember from the Menu, last night was Parrish’s night to cook! It ended up being EXTRA handy because I had a paper due that I had been procrastinating on. He was in charge of the P&P: pork chops and potatoes. I ended up finishing my paper early and offered to help with the Brussels Sprouts.

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Sprout Dippers are one of my favorite way to eat Brussels. They’re SUPER easy to make and don’t require any pre-boiling or steaming.

Start by slicing the sprouts into wedges. Each little head should make four wedges.

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Put the wedges into a large bowl:

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and drizzle with olive oil, turning the sprouts with your hands, until they are coated.

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Preheat your oven to 400, and spread the sprouts onto a cookie sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (or steak seasoning) and you’re ready!

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Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until they start to turn golden brown. And then guess what?

You’re done!

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I served my Dippers with Spicy Ketchup…which is basically Moore’s Wing Sauce with ketchup. It’s spicy and delicious.

Voila!

Why Brussels Sprouts?

Rich in fiber (if you don’t steam them first) these little babies can help lower cholesterol and some studies have even shown that they may help reduce the risk of some cancers.

Boom!

My Dad HATES Brussels. What about you? Love’em or Leave’em?

 

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gluten Free Pizza…with Cauliflower!

Last night I asked GHM’s facebook page a question. Could they guess what was in this crust:

with text

Nearly everyone guessed at least one components to this crust. I blame Pinterest for giving you guys some hints!

The answer: Cauliflower!! and Cheese! (and egg, oregano, and garlic)

A few weeks ago I tried to make a Cauliflower Crust for the first time, and I was pleasantly surprised! I honestly didn’t think it would turn out, so I hadn’t taken any pictures for you guys, but it turned out great! I followed the instructions from three different recipes…

And it’s SOOO easy!

Folks in the no/low-carb world have been making this crust for years, and it just so happens to work out great for us gluten free folks. But I will say: this is not a “doughy” pizza crust. You can’t pick it up and eat it with your hands. You have to use a fork, but the flavor is rockin’. You would never think that it was made of cauliflower!

To make a Cauliflower Pizza, you’ll need:

one cup of riced cauliflower (one medium to large head of cauliflower – riced)

one egg – whisked

1 cup mozzarella cheese (or 6 cheese Italian blend) plus more cheese to top your pizza

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. garlic salt

toppings of your choice: more cheese, pizza sauce, veggies, pepperoni, whatever you like!

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

You want to start by ricing your cauliflower. If you have a microwave, then I suggest googling for directions on how to rice with a microwave. Since I don’t have one, I used the following method:

Using a large head of cauliflower, I trimmed it down to bite size florets and then steamed the florets on the stove top for 10 minutes. Next I added the florets to my food processor and pulsed a few times, until the cauliflower looked like “rice”.

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The riced cauliflower will be in little bits. You don’t want it to be a puree. One large head will make more “rice” than you need for one crust, so while the first crust was baking, I made a second crust.

Then you add all the crust ingredients into a large bowl and mix well to combine.

ingredients

1 cup riced cauliflower, 1 cup cheese of your choice, 1 egg whisked, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1 tsp. garlic salt

On a greased non-stick cookie sheet, spread out the cauliflower mixture with your hands, patting it out until you get the thickness you desire.

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I spread mine very thin, 12 inches in diameter.

Spray the top with cooking spray and bake in the 450 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until the crust begins to lightly brown.**

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Now it’s ready to top! Top with the toppings of your choice, and then broil in the oven on high until your toppings are browned and bubbly! Keep an eye on your pizza; broiling goes fast!

**You want to pull it when it just starts to brown, otherwise you’ll end up with burnt edges after you bake it the second time with the toppings. However, I did this the first time, and I just sliced the burnt edges off. It was still delicious!

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Serve! I topped our first pizza with Monterrey Jack cheese, caramelized onion, and broccoli.  Our second pizza was plain cheese and pepperoni.

Delicious! And simple. So simple in fact, that I made the decision to make this last minute! We were originally planning to make these on Sunday night, but I had a headache and went to bed without supper. Monday night on the menu was a big salad, but I decided to use up the cauliflower instead!

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Happy Tuesday! I’m headed to the gym. Fingers crossed I can get enough of a signal on my phone to stream Smash while I’m on the Arc Trainer. I LOVE that show!