Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gluten Free Japanese Steakhouse Soup

Happy Thursday friends!

Is it just me or has this week been flying by? I can’t believe today is Thursday, and I definitely can’t believe it’s the last day of July. I swear I’m still stuck back in February.

In the first weeks of my pregnancy time seemed to move so slowly. But since Week 12, the past two weeks have been WAY too fast! Hard to believe I’m at 14 weeks today. Thank you all SO much for your sweet emails and comments on my first trimester post. Good to know I’m not the only one that has suffered – good thing it’s worth it!

I definitely wouldn’t blame food cravings on pregnancy for me. I have always been prone to cravings. I’ve been known to eat the exact same supper three nights in a row!

This past week I had a particularly strong craving for that appetizer soup that Japanese Steakhouses serve. I could not get it out of my head! You know the broth with mushroom and scallion? It’s so crazy simple and I have not been able to stop thinking about it!

So last night I tried my hand on making a batch at home with a few tweaks to take it from appetizer to main course:

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This definitely is not a recipe that I’m ready to share. It took so many tweaks to get it to where I wanted it to be, so I will have to try again before I pass it on. But what I ended up with was exactly what I wanted!

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Garlic, Tamari, and Toasted Sesame Oil set the base for the flavors. I sautéed my mushrooms first (in butter) and caramelized them. I just love sautéed mushrooms. Thank you Julia Child!

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I also sautéed the spinach in sesame oil before adding it to the soup, and I will definitely do that again! Plus I will add more spinach. That was my favorite bite every time.

Grilled tofu and gluten free stir fry noodles added some staying power. Two bowls and I was happily full….at least for a few hours!

If you want to try to make a similar soup at home, just google Asian Mushroom Noodle Soup. There are tons of recipes out there, and they can all easily be made gluten free. Hopefully I’ll have my version read for you soon.

Thank goodness for tamari, right?! I love it!

What about you? Had any food cravings lately?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Reflection on My First Trimester

**I had reservations about posting this blog entry. Let me preface this post by saying that I am over the moon excited and thankful to be pregnant. I am fully aware of the miracle that God has blessed my family with, and I pray thanksgiving every day. With that said, I wanted to be honest about my first trimester and not sugar coat or gloss over the rough parts.**

Hard to believe that Baby Ravelli is already in the second trimester! Let’s recap the first trimester – hurry, before I forget!

Never in my life did I think that being pregnant could be this hard.

I guess I’ve just had some saintly pregnant women in my life, because I haven’t really heard much complaining. And I know that pregnancy is different for everyone, but I’d be lying if I told you that for me it’s been all rainbows and puppies.

My first trimester was tough.

Physically

I was sick for a straight month. All day. Non-stop nausea. Gagging. Dry Heaving. It was the worst. From week 6 through week 10 I was barely hanging on by a thread. Between feeling sick all day and dealing with the hormones, I honestly lost myself a little bit. I definitely didn’t feel like my old self, and while I was excited to be given the miracle of life, I spent just as much time praying to feel better as I did praying my thanks.

I definitely got depressed. I never realized how debilitating something like nausea can be. Parrish was such an amazing husband. So supportive – I couldn’t have made it through without him. And my co-worker Katie! I don’t know what I would have done without her.

And I haven’t even touched on the fatigue!

With all that said, it has been totally and completely worth it.

At the start of week 10, as I laid on the table in my midwive’s office and watched the ultrasound screen move from dark to light, it all became worth it. Who knew that a little baby blob – at that time the size of a strawberry – could already steal my heart.

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It doesn’t hurt that I got strep throat at week 9 and took anti-nausea pills for 4 days either. Is it sad that the best I felt in those 4 weeks was when I had strep throat?!

So yeah, physically the first 13 weeks were pretty hard.

Emotionally

Emotionally they weren’t exactly easy either. I’m not even a full fledged Mommy yet, and I’ve already found myself playing the comparison game.

Am I showing enough? Too much?

I scoured blogs to look at pregnancy week-by-week posts and compare bumps. And you know what? EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m coming off of a period of time where I was focused on my weight loss, or if I’m just worried about what others will think of me. Who knows. But two weeks ago I told myself that I had to let it go. My body is my body, and my pregnancy is unique to me. Life has been SO MUCH easier since that pep talk!

What I’m Eating

As I’m sure you can imagine, nausea doesn’t exactly spike your appetite. My first trimester was FULL of gluten free bagels and sandwiches:

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Avocado, Cabot Cheese, and Bacon

No eggs! Ugh. I can’t even smell eggs cooking! And forget about salad. I went from eating at least one, sometimes TWO salads a day, to gagging after two bites.

But I am still crazy for smoothies. Anything cold really is a real treat.

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My fave blend: one cup frozen strawberries, one cup frozen bananas, vanilla yogurt, vanilla almond milk, and 2 heaping handfuls of spinach. The best part is you don’t taste the spinach.

So at least I’ve been getting a tiny bit of green in my diet! Winking smile

Baby

Baby Ravelli is doing really well!

We had our first ultrasound at Week 9, and then were able to hear the heartbeat again at Week 11.

And then last week, at my cardiologist appointment, I got to have a second sneak peek! I went in for a routine-for-me cardio ultrasound and when the technician was finished she asked if I wanted to take a peek at the baby!

Heck yes!

I was so excited, and I couldn’t believe how much had changed in just 3 weeks! First, Baby Ravelli was bigger and completely looked like a baby. AND that little nugget was moving around! It looked like Baby Ravelli was in the middle of a kickboxing class, because it was punching it’s arms and swinging it’s legs. Adorable.

Also bigger: my uterus! I couldn’t believe how much bigger it was in the ultrasound. But it makes sense…

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Because Baby Ravelli is only the size of a large lemon. My uterus on the other hand, is the size of a large melon!

Coming up Next

August – We get to hear the heartbeat again!

September – Our BIG ultrasound! We get to find out the sex of Baby Ravelli!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Make Your Own Veggie Noodles

It’s no secret that I’ve been wanting a spiralizer. I have been watching tons of other bloggers make noodles out of zucchini, carrots, and squash for months – wishing and wishing that I could make some veggie noodles too!

But here’s the thing. Parrish and I have a pretty small house. It’s cute. But small. So I have to really think hard before I bring in any additional kitchenware. I’m already in a one-in, two-out agreement for new coffee mugs. We don’t have a ton of room for new gadgets.

Enter the Veggetti – making all my veggie noodle dreams come true!

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Small enough to fit in to my silverware drawer? Yes please.

I was contacted by Veggetti to review their product AND (here’s the good part) host a GIVEAWAY for you guys!

Yep. One lucky Gluten Hates Me reader will win a Veggetti of their very own – plus a $25 Visa Gift Card to stock their vegetable crisper! Thanks to Ontel for providing the freebies! ENTER TO WIN AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.

The Veggetti is super easy to use. Choose your veggie: I used zucchini. Cut both ends of the zucchini, stick one end on the cap:

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And the other in to the Veggetti, choosing one end for thick noodles or one end for thin noodles.

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Then twist!

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My favorite part about the design? It’s easy to use and the cap keeps your fingers safe from the stainless steel blades! In less than a minute, you’ll have veggie noodles galore! AND it’s dishwasher safe. Yup. Dish. Washer. Safe!

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Included with the Veggetti is an easy-to-follow recipe book to get you started. While perusing their recipes, I ran across their method for sautéing the veggie noodles and inspiration struck!

What if I used my Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai recipe and substituted zucchini noodles for the spaghetti squash…..

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Perfection!
Zoodle Pad Thai
gluten free – vegetarian
You’ll need:
For the sauce:
3 Tbsp gluten free sweet chili sauce (I used Thai Kitchen)
3 Tbsp gluten free tamari
1 lime

For the dish:
3 medium zucchini                                                                                                 
3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 bunch green onions, chopped – 1/3 cup set aside for topping
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 eggs, whisked
3 carrots, coarsely shredded
1 red pepper, thinly sliced

Bean Sprouts for topping
Chopped fresh cilantro for topping
½ cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped for topping
Additional Limes for topping

Start by using the Veggetti to spiralize the zucchini. Heat one tbsp. toasted sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. (I used my cast iron skillet) Once the oil is heated, add the zucchini noodles (zoodles) and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini begins to brown. Remove the zoodles, place in a bowl and set aside.

While your zucchini is cooking, prep you veggies! Chop the green onion and garlic; slice your red pepper; grate the carrots; and get your toppings ready. Prepare your sauce and set it aside.

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Heat 1-2 tbsp. sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add in the chopped green onion and garlic, stirring and sautéing for about 1 minute. Add in the carrots and red pepper and continue sautéing for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After your veggies have sautéed and gotten a bit of color, add the two eggs whisked, stirring well to redistribute the eggs throughout the entire dish. Add in the zucchini noodles and the sauce, stirring well. Let the dish cook for 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.

Serve! Top with sprouts, cilantro, peanuts, and a squirt of lime.

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I LOVED this dish! The zucchini noodles are incredible.

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Friends, you won’t miss the gluten free noodles – and I know none of us will miss the starch and carbs! Plus it’s such an easy way to get nutrients and additional fiber in your diet.

This dish is also great for leftovers. Letting the sauce meld overnight with the veggies makes your lunch the next day even more flavorful!

So – do you want a Veggetti of your own? Enter to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer: The Veggetti®, gift card, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by Ontel











Monday, July 21, 2014

Gluten Free Fried Green Tomatoes

Happy Monday friends!

Did you have a good weekend? I know I did! I was off of work and enjoyed spending some relaxing time with Parrish.

I started off the weekend Friday afternoon at a new-to-me Yoga spot:

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Republic of Yoga in Cary – I can’t wait to share more about this later in the week!

Saturday morning I headed to the Downtown Durham Farmer’s Market with a mission: finding green tomatoes.

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Success!

And in addition to the tomatoes, I also picked up a gluten free baguette from Imagine That Gluten Free. My blogging friend Pam had recommended it, and boy oh boy was she right!

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I’ve already gone through half the loaf, and I’m plotting my next loaf. I’ve had some great frozen baguettes, Schar being my favorite, but there is nothing like a fresh baguette!

Parrish and I spent the rest of Saturday working in our guest bedroom. We’re going to be using that room for the nursery, so we had quite a lot of cleaning out to do. I also took not one but TWO epic naps.

We ended the day with good friends, good food, and a 9pm bed time for me.

Early to bed – early to rise Sunday morning. Bible Study. More cleaning. Meal planning. Shopping for maternity clothes – oh yeah, it’s time. Meal prepping. And two more epic naps.

Luckily, those naps gave me the energy to fry up those green tomatoes!

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Gluten Free fried green tomatoes are super easy to make with a GF All Purpose Flour. Read more about how to prepare them here. If you guys want, I can make a quick video the next time I prepare them. Just let me know in the comments if you need more instruction. Y’all have to make a batch at home!

I’m so glad I was finally able to make a batch. I LOVE fried green tomatoes! Crispy gluten free crust on the outside – juicy and just a bit tart tomato on the inside. Love!

What about you?

Try any new recipes this weekend?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

GIVEAWAY for YOU for the GFAF Wellness Event

Have you ever seen a gluten free product in the store and wished you could try it out before buying it?
Well here’s your chance!

Calling all local Gluten Free Friends – let’s meet up, pig out, and enjoy an entire day FILLED with GLUTEN FREE FOOD!
The GFAF Wellness Event is coming to Raleigh, NC August 9th – so mark your calendars and get your goodie bags ready!
There will be tons of Gluten Free products for you to try – literally tables, and tables, and tables, as well as local restaurants that have great gluten free options, and fabulous speakers sharing new and important info.
The tickets are only $10.00 per adult and children 13 and under are free!  College students get $3.00 off with a valid college ID. This is a steal!
Saturday August 9, 2014
10am-4pm
DoubleTree Hilton Raleigh Brownstone University
1707 Hillsborough St
Raleigh, NC 27605

PLUS, I’m giving away FOUR FREE TICKETS here today!
Yep, two lucky winners will win TWO TICKETS each – so you can bring a lucky friend!
Enter Below – and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 14, 2014

EASY Gluten Free Vegetable Lasagna

Happy Monday friends!

Anyone else sad to see the weekend end? I know I am. My weekend was cut short since I worked on Saturday, but luckily I felt AWESOME yesterday so I made up for it with productivity.

If you follow me on Instagram then you already know that I started my Sunday meal prep SUPER EARLY. Like….7:30am early.

Last week I bought all the ingredients to make Iowa Girl Eat’s Farmers Market Veggie Lasagna, but then life….and pregnancy got in the way. So when I poured myself a glass of Almond Milk this morning and spied the zucchini and yellow squash, I knew I had to make that lasagna. Otherwise, the veggies would definitely go to waste!

I followed the IGE recipe, with only a few changes.

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First, and obviously, I used gluten free lasagna noodles! I picked up the DeBole’s Gluten Free lasagna noodles a few weeks ago at Whole Foods because you don’t have to boil them. So easy!

I also only used one yellow squash, making my veggie total two zucchinis and one yellow squash.

Finally, I used ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese. I wish I could have used cottage cheese, but we already had ricotta on hand.

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I was super impressed by how easy this recipe was!

I cut up 1/3 for lunches this week, 1/3 for a supper this week, and 1/3 went straight into the freezer.…..and I may have tasted a few bites too….at 9am. How could I resist?! Look at these layers!

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I highly recommend this recipe, and I’ll definitely let you guys know how well it reheats.

What about you? Got any freezer meals you love?

I would LOVE any recommendations!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Gluten Free Heaven: Primal Food & Spirits

To say that I’ve been looking forward to the opening of Primal Food & Spirits in Durham would be a HUGE understatement.

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Delirious excitement bordering on an obsession would be closer to the truth. As soon as I heard that one of my favorite restaurants, Blu Seafood, would be opening an entirely gluten free restaurant I literally squealed and danced in joy. Bonus: the restaurant would be opening in South Durham, just minutes from my house! I honestly felt like Chef Tim Lyons was making all my dreams come true.

Local foods. Gluten Free. Walking Distance. Done and done.

Earlier this year, Parrish and I had the pleasure of being gifted two tickets to a Primal Preview Dinner at Blu by a dear friend. You can read more about that memorable night HERE.

After that dinner, I checked Primal’s Facebook Page daily. I couldn’t wait for the opening, and I wanted to be sure to be there opening night. So yesterday, 12 minutes after their post announcing that the day was finally here, I called and made a reservation.

What a meal!

First, I can’t believe I didn’t take pictures of the inside. It is beautiful! Parrish and I agreed that we would be just as happy sitting at the bar – it’s gorgeous! Even the bathroom was pretty guys. Even the bathroom.

But back to the food.

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To say it was hard to choose is an understatement. Guys, we can eat EVERYTHING on this menu!

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I loved that the kale salad had croutons that I wouldn’t have to ask to be left off. Parrish was a good sport as I excitedly read each and every menu item to him, and even agreed to sharing.

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We started with three appetizers:

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DEVILED EGGS jalapenos / bacon / smoked paprika aioli

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Pork Belly Confit honey glaze / sour orange mustard / herb& radish salad

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Crab Cakes lump crab / citrus cabbage slaw / orange aioli

Each one was amazing! The deviled eggs had this awesome combo of sweet and smoky. The pork belly – well it’s pork belly guys. It was amazing. I am obsessed with the sour orange mustard. OBSESSED. The salad on the side wasn’t my favorite, but Parrish loved it. Win- Win.

For me, it was all about the crab cakes!

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Since my Celiac Diagnosis 8 years ago this month (!!!) I definitely haven’t had a crab cake, so I was overjoyed to see this on the menu. I LOVED the flavor. I loved the crispiness on the outside. I loved the cabbage slaw on the side. I LOVED the crab cakes. I started day dreaming about Eggs Chesapeake – OMG. That would be amazing!

For our entrée, Parrish and I decided to share a Main Course and a Side:

photo 4 (1) 30 Hour Braised Beef Short Rib cider jus / apple chip gremolata

This was totally a throw back to that awesome short rib at the Preview Dinner, except this was even better. I loved the addition of the apple chips. It gave just a hint of sweetness to a few bites that I really loved. The jus was insane. Parrish and I were both dunking our meat several times before taking a bite.

And the potatoes. Oh the potatoes.

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Roasted Yukon Gold Steak Fries

I don’t know what kind of fat they used on these potatoes, but they were heavenly. Crispy on the outside, melt in your mouth creamy on the inside. Plus they were the perfect portion for sharing. Did I tell you guys that Baby Ravelli loves potatoes? Yep, our little buddy LOVES potatoes.

And since no meal is a full meal without dessert:

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Parrish and I shared the Berry Tartlet:

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A tasty summer treat!

Our total bill for all the food seen above, plus a glass of wine for Parrish and a cup of coffee for Parrish was only $68. While it’s not an inexpensive dinner, I was really impressed by the total cost for what we received.

Plus, since I rarely eat out, I’m willing to pay a tiny bit more for an amazing meal. What’s $68 when each bite makes you Mmmmmmmmmmm and Omigosh that’s so good. AND I know that it’s a safe meal. No chance of cross-contamination? Perfect.

Yep. It’s safe to say that y’all will be seeing more Primal meals on the blog soon,

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I’m ready!

And local friends, I’d be happy to tag along when you make your reservations! Winking smile

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Chips Can Be Bread Too

Happy Wednesday!

I wish I could say that the week is flying by, but there’s something about growing a baby that makes the days creep by slowly. Oh so slowly.

Speaking of growing a baby, yesterday morning certainly saw a growth spurt:

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Nope. There’s no sucking that little baby (and giant uterus) in!

And if you couldn’t tell by the clothing in the picture above, I FINALLY made it back to the gym!

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Running was significantly harder. I was huffing and puffing my way through those miles, and I took quite a few more walk breaks but I didn’t mind. I was happy to work up a sweat. Plus my lifting session went great. I was excited to find that I hadn’t lost much upper body strength.

My quads and glutes however could use some work. Ever since my knee injury earlier this year, I haven’t been able to do much of anything in the way of squats or lunges. I need to get my booty back to Pure Barre!

I was actually amazed by how great I felt during the workout, and by how hungry I was following. I had eaten a big bowl of oatmeal just before, so I thought for sure I would be able to hold out until lunch.

Nope!

I had an early meeting too, so I stopped in to Parker and Otis in downtown Durham to scrounge. Unfortunately, they mostly sell sandwiches and they have no gluten free bread options. So I improvised:

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Greek Salad, Fruit Salad, and GIANT serving of pimento cheese. I snagged a bag of sweet potato chips to use as a dipper with the cheese, and it was perfect! And of course, I grabbed a lemonade.

I’m telling you: LEMONADE FOREVER. I can’t get enough. At this rate, Baby Ravelli is going to come out all puckered up!

I will admit though, I was slightly annoyed that they didn’t have any gluten free bread options. These days, I feel like it’s significantly easier for restaurants to accommodate gluten free folks. There are SO MANY gluten free breads out there!

But in a pinch, chips can be bread too! Winking smile

Monday, July 7, 2014

Product Review: Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars

Happy Monday friends!

Did you have a fun long weekend? Friday holidays are sort of my fave. I love waking up on a Saturday and feeling like it’s a Sunday. THEN Sunday feels like an extra day – love!

All that extra time does make Monday morning a little bit tough, so I’m rushing around this morning trying to get back in the swing of things. Which includes heading to the gym – finally! I’m starting to get a little bit of relief from nausea, and I can’t wait to sweat again.

But before I head to the gym, I HAD to share a new-to-me treat that I am absolutely IN LOVE with!

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Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars

When I was contacted by Yasso about trying their frozen treats, I was excited but also skeptical. I love ice cream. I mean, loooooooove ice cream. I like fro-yo, but it’s really all about the toppings.

So I was pleasantly surprised last night because these bars are AMAZING!

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Sweet. Creamy. And just the right amount of buttery caramel. Oh yeah. Heaven.

Friends, they were just as good as ice cream. Such a delicious treat. 

And ten times better for me too!

Get ready to see these all summer long. I am definitely buying every single flavor as soon as possible. I found them at my local Harris Teeter, but their website has a great Store Locator too. You can even search by flavor!

I highly suggest Caramel, but I can’t wait to try Peanut Butter Cup.

What about you? Have you tried Yasso bars – what’s your favorite flavor?

Disclaimer: I was provided one box of Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt bars for free. However, the opinions expressed in this post are completely my own.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Baby or Beer Gut

Happy Thursday friends!

Also…. Happy 10 WEEKS Baby Ravelli!

Let me preface these pictures by saying that I am NOT good at taking Baby Bump Selfies. But I still find them fascinating!

For comparison, here’s 7 weeks:

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and now 10 weeks:

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What’s up little baby bump!?! This morning was definitely the first morning that I woke up and thought, Oh hello.

My digestion has slowed so much, that typically by the end of the day I’m pretty bloated. But this is the first time I’ve seen it first thing in the morning. I joked with a friend that I’m excited for the bump to move past baby beer gut stage. I mean seriously, Grow baby Grow!

************

Have you guys been eating strawberries this summer?

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I think this is one of the best years for local strawberries here in NC. I feel like I’ve been inhaling them lately.

That’s one of things that I love about summer: It’s SO EASY to be gluten free!

There are so many delicious fruits and vegetables that are in season during the summer and yep, they’re all naturally gluten free.

Even better:

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I don’t have to dirty a dish to eat them! Winking smile

Parrish is coming back home today after a super fun trip to Seattle and let’s just say that by the time I get home from work it’s hard to muster up the energy to do dishes….

SO I’ve got a bit of work cut out for me this morning before he gets home!

Have a great Thursday!