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Archive for the ‘Gluten Free Love’ Category

Junk food “junkies” that is…

That’s right Kelly, pay attention. This is for your own good.

I haven’t blogged a lot about this, but I think most of you know about my recent battle against Mr. Helicobacter Pylori, and the subsequent fight against the meeker and less hostile (yet, still remarkably uncomfortable) Mrs. Escherichia Coli that decided to invade my gastrointestinal tract in the past few months. Long story short: after a month of eating no meat, no dairy, no sugar and no coffee (along with my already gluten free diet) and a couple rounds of high dosage antibiotics, I was able to defeat the aforementioned H. Pylori. However, the extreme strength of the antibiotics, while appreciated for killing the invading bacteria, also killed off all my body’s “good bacteria” and left my poor intestines utterly defenseless. Soon thereafter I was bombarded by an E. Coli infection, which is no walk in the park fellas. After everything I went through trying to get rid of the H. Pylori and being quite sick of taking antibiotics that were just upsetting my body’s natural balance, I swore off my doctor (not literally, she’s actually quite pleasant and helpful). I did, however, literally vow to find a better way to conquer my new infection without destroying my health again.

My interest in health and nutrition began a few years ago, and after everything I have learned lately, I knew I could find a better, and more natural way to get my GI system back on track (ha, no pun intended). I did some surfing and snooping around on the WWW and also did some investigating in my favorite store, New Leaf Market.

My game plan included:

1. Eating a lot of organic yogurt full of probiotics and good bacteria like Lactobacillus Bacterium and Acidophilus.

2. Drinking Kombucha tea, which is also full of probiotics and digestive enzymes. Although its pungent smell is reminiscent of vinegar (April will attest to this) and the taste, at first, is similar to the smell, this stuff actually becomes quite addicting.

3. Consuming Manuka honey, which is honey that is made by bees that pollinate the Camellia sinensis (green tea) plant in New Zealand. This magical serum has bunches of antibacterial properties, and many other health benefits.

4. Drinking organic 100% cranberry juice, which has been studied for its destructive effects on bacteria like E. Coli.

Voila!!! I have been healed!!!

It was a slow process, but feeling my body get healthier and stronger everyday was such relief. And knowing that I was doing it by merely eating foods that would help heal me made me feel even better.

No more chemicals and prescription drugs for me, thank you very much.

Since conquering the bacterial war raging in my gut, I have been feeling better than I have in months! Last summer I was feeling great, running 4-5 miles a day, and quite healthy when my GI issues started. Since then I haven’t felt like myself, haven’t had any energy, haven’t been clear minded and happy… until now. I ran 4 miles this morning, which is the farthest I’ve run since last summer. I finally feel like myself again, and finally feel like I am in control of my body and my health.

The reason I decided to share all of this with you, my three devoted blog readers, is because I care so much about all of you and think that more people than just myself should benefit from everything I have learned in the past few months. Therefore, as a self-proclaimed “health nut” I have decided to add to my blog some health tips that I learned either from personal experience, from reading somewhere else, maybe a billboard, or perhaps from a friend. It may be once a week, it may be every day, and I don’t care if you don’t even read it (Rebecca) but it will be here for your benefit whether you like it or not 🙂

Changing the way I eat has changed my life, and is now vital for my continued health. Instead of being upset or angry that this has all happened to me, I am grateful for everything I learned and hope that in sharing it with you all, you can learn and be healthier too.

So, without further ado… this isn’t really a “health tip” per say, but something to think about until the first real health tip is published:

“Just because you aren’t sick… doesn’t mean you’re healthy.”

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Its here!! ITS FINALLY HERE!

My Kitchenaid KFC3100 food processor showed up on my doorstep yesterday afternoon, just in time for me to rip the  box open and give it a whirl (hah punny) before I had to babysit. I knew exactly what I wanted to make for my first dish… PESTO! It seemed like an easy enough endeavor.. throw in some basil leaves, a couple cloves of garlic, a squirt of lemon juice, toss a few pine nuts, pinch of salt, with a drizzle of olive oil. Can’t be that hard.. and it wasn’t! It didn’t turn out so great, but that was only because I didn’t have all the ingredients. I didn’t have any basil, so i substituted spinach for that, but I didn’t have enough spinach either. Whoops, guess I should have calculated that better. The garlic-to-spinach ratio was much too high. So I wrapped that puppy up tight in the fridge so I could do some readjusting today. I got more spinach, added some more pine nuts, and processed my little heart out. And it was worth the little effort I put in. The new end result was very good! A nice, creamy texture. It tasted a little different because of the spinach swap, and most pesto recipes have Parmesan cheese which I reluctantly had to leave out. Nonetheless, it was quite tasty.

I also used my new best friend to help me whip up some potatoes tonight for dinner! I chopped and boiled some small fingerling potatoes, then threw them into the KFC with some green onions, smart balance, pepper and salt and pulsed them until they were mashed and chunky, but not pulverized to death. It was so easy! And they tasted so good! Yes, were going to get along just fine, my food processor and I.

In other news, did you know that you are burning more calories right now than you were a few months ago? You are. Not because your metabolism is higher, although it might be, and not because you have gained more muscle, although you might have.. but because its COLD OUTSIDE! That’s right folks, just because its winter and temperatures are lower, our bodies have to burn more calories just to keep our bodies’ temperature at equilibrium! Your basal metabolic rate is higher when you are exposed to cold temperatures. So don’t fret those small slices of pie you had with Christmas dinner, or the few glasses of champagne you had on New Years Eve… heck, go out on a limb and have frozen thin mints for breakfast. Hey, if they’re cold, and you’re cold, you’ll just burn them right off anyway, right?

…and I thought there wasn’t a single good thing about winter!

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To Thomasville!!

By “we”, I mean Kelly and I, and by “move” I mean we plan to move to this quaint little place after I get back from the Peace Corps and she has graduated and we are ready to open our B&B. We took a little day trip on Thursday, and we fell in love. Jennifer Darty, I don’t know why you never told us how cute that little town is!! Here is a recap of our day.

First stop: the Big Oak! As its name suggests, this is a very large, and very old oak tree on a corner near downtown,  and positioned directly across the intersection from the big oak tree is a light pole with a camera on it that will TAKE YOUR PICTURE IN FRONT OF THE BIG OAK! How cool is that? Only catch is you have to be one of the select few to know the secret number to call for your picture to be taken. We got the secret number. And we called it three times. You can go find the archive of Big Oak pictures online!

You can click on this to make it bigger, but it’s still pretty blurry. City of Thomasville obviously needs to get a ladder and clean the camera lens.

After the Big Oak adventure and the really cute gazebo we found… we went off in search of the Farmers Market that takes place on the last day of every month. We just so happened to be there on the last day of the month as well as the last day of the year. How special! After a driving in a few circles downtown, find a really cute shop called… something with a “V” i think, and a few wrong directions later, we ended up at the farmers market. I picked up a couple scrumptious looking items like a pear, an eggplant (which I have no idea how to cook) and some delicious strawberries that I already ate. I also found the Thomasville water tower and really wanted to climb it. I didn’t. Yet.  From the farmer’s market we headed back downtown. Downtown Thomasville is absolutely adorable. There are just a few blocks of little shops and boutiques, a bookstore called “The Bookshelf” that Kelly and I immediately grew attached to, a soda shop, a coffehouse or two and then there is The Sparkling Goat Cafe. The kind lady at The Bookshelf sent us across the street to the goat, informing us that the owner of this narrow yet splendid cafe made all her menu items from scratch, many of which are vegetarian. If you know anything about my diet right now you know this was very good news for me. The atmosphere was, dare I say, magical? And the food was divine. Kelly, true to form, ordered a chicken salad sandwich with a salad on the side (which had red cabbage in it! It is my favorite and Kell didn’t like it so I picked all the olives and red cabbage out of her salad. Mmmz). She claims it was the best CSS shes ever had.  Sorry Paulette. I ordered a quinoa burrito that was stuffed with red quinoa (if you don’t know what this is look it up, buy some, and then eat it. You’ll thank me later), homemade basil pesto, some black beans, corn and fresh spinach. She even made it into two small burritos for me, with gluten free rice tortillas instead of the one larger wheat tortilla! I had the vegetarian chili as my side. Are you salivating yet? We tried to control the ravenous pigs that live inside of us, and managed to each carry small portion of our meals out to snack on later. Later being the car ride back to Tallahassee.

We spent the rest of the afternoon strolling downtown, checking out all the goods in the shops and boutiques. Kelly got a cute stone charm for a necklace. I found a lot of random things I would have liked to acquire, but the food from the farmers marker was all I went home with. After that it was

We found a little park in the ghetto and squeezed a little exercise into our day of leisure.

Note the Stonehenge-esque feature in the background. How historically diverse of them. Well that pretty much sums up our day in Thomasville. There will be plenty more of those in our near future. After all, Thomasville makes us jump for joy!

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This is going to be a really good Monday. I can tell.

Already this morning I’ve had a wonderful conversation with my bff Jen Darty who plays vball in South Carolina. We  may not see each other as much as we used to, or get to talk all the time, but I love catching up with her. It’s the easy kind of friendship that doesn’t require  a ton of effort. I know she’s busy, and she knows I’m busy, and we just love each other. 

Also, I am currently munching on my new fav: Cinnamon Chex! If you haven’t noticed lately, most varieties of Chex are gluten free (except for the whole wheat ones… obviously) and they even say “Gluten Free!” on the box now! One small step for cereal, one giant leap for Celiacs worldwide. The cinnamon kind taste EXACTLY like Cinnamon Toast Crunch (the taste you can see!) which was my childhood favorite. So this is definitely brining me back. And its way healthier. Want to try them? Here’s a coupon! Speaking of which…

 

ME GUSTA COUPONING! No sure what that means? Learn about it here, or here. The basic idea is to use coupons from the Sunday paper, or coupons that you find and print online when local stores are having their specials and sales. Yes, you can use a coupon on an item that is already on sale. In fact, a good couponer will use a store coupon as well as a manufacturer coupon on an item that is already on sale and pay literally a fraction of the regular cost. It takes some practice, planning and getting used to, but with a little effort and patience you can really save a lot. I have been stocking up on coupons form the paper for the past few weeks and printing the ones I need from online, and last week really saw my work pay off. I did some shopping at a few stores to get items that I needed at a great price. I wish my digital camera was in working order so I could take pictures of the receipts, then you might believe me more but here is the breakdown of my savings: at Publix I spent $31.69 and saved $29.36! Oh yeah. At CVS I paid $51.92 and saved $30.83 and at Walgreens I paid $16.38 and saved a whopping $26.37!! Thats right, at Walgreens I saved more than I spent! Interested now?? Thats is a combined total of $86.56 in savings last week 🙂 Me gusta. You should try it out. 

 

What I liked about this past weekend:

Babysitting Samantha and Josie, daughters of one of the members of the Country Club where I work. Josie told me that she was Princess Leia for Halloween… her mom put bagels on her head for the buns. So precious. 

 

At work Friday the cart girl didn’t show up, so Dale, the pro-shop manager asked Kelly and I to take a cart out and get some orders for the golfers. We ended up driving around the course about 4 times, taking and running orders for over an hour. It was the most beautiful day and we had just been talking about wanted to see the course, something neither of us had ever done. Plus the boys had to finish bussing our tables and had to start resetting upstairs without us. Ha. 

 

Going to AJ’s Saturday night, with plans to dance the night away, only to find out that it is fight night and the place was packed out with people that only wanted to watch some dudes punch each other. No dancing. No fun. 

 

Making up for the lack of entertainment at AJ’s by going to a party at Dylan’s house, one of the cooks at the country club. I was having a great time making friends with Dylan’s punk crowd, but Kelly got thrown up on by a boy named Gerard. Bummer. 

 

Got to see my parents again! They stopped in Tallahassee on their way to Atlanta. We went to Outback. Mmmmm. 

 

Playing with the babies in Well Kids Sunday morning. Luke said “ball”! 

 

Last night at church Dean’s sermon was about Sex. Dun dun dun. Yes, we talked about sex at church. You can check it out here. The band also rocked out with some tonic to open up the service. Love that song. 

 

 

I am going to clean out my closet today and get ride of a bunch of clothes I never wear. Out with the old, in with the new!

 

 

 

 

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