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Sunday, September 26, 2010

I'm really starting to feel like I can do this!

Lookie Lookie!!! Hot Cereal that I can actually eat!

And did! And liked it! Bob's Red Mill Mighty Tasty Cereal lives up to its name. Especially with a little agave nectar, milk, vanilla and strawberries. (oh and just a teensy bit of butter that I melted over the top)

Erin over at 5 Dollar Dinners is not only one of my favorite bloggers, but she is also someone I've really been looking to now that I am having to embark on this new way of eating. She's been preparing her family healthy meals that are gluten free and affordable for years. She gave me a a piece of advice that I'm finding to really be true. She said it's a tough switch, but once you can get the hang of planning your meals around brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, sweet potatoes and rice flours for sauces, etc., that it's much easier to cope.

I'm starting to figure that out. Last night we changed up the dinner plan because Fareway had these beautiful, HUGE bone-in round steaks for $1.99/lb., so I made one of my favorite comfort food faves, Swiss Steak on mashed potatoes. I will post the recipe later today. I tried to eat just a little of the meat as I'm still just trying to make sure my system doesn't get too much to try to digest at once, but the potatoes and gravy were heaven.

I'm also having to reprogram myself about fats. After losing 50lbs, I had really centered my eating around low fat. The reality right now though, is that I need some fat, along with lots of liquids. So I'm challenging myself to allow more fats, especially good fats, into my diet. Surprisingly, this is a tougher one for me mentally. Fortunately, I love olive oil and walnut oil for dressings, I looove avocado, and I've been sneaking things like flax oil into smoothies, dressings and other things, so I think I'll eventually get comfortable with this, too.

I was given a beautiful eggplant from a coworker's garden, so tonight I will be experimenting with making a gluten free eggplant parmesan. I will also be sitting down today and laying out my menu plan to post here. Funny. Last week I was terrified about trying to plan meals. I am actually kind of excited about it today.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I have to say I'm pretty surprised

I just polished off some toast w/ jelly made with Kinnikinnick Foods Candadi No Yeast Multigrain Bread. It tasted MUCH better than I expected any bread without wheat to taste. I'm a believer. Still not worth $6 a loaf, but now I feel good about making my own at home.

So far, so good....

Eating gluten free is tricky, but I really haven't felt deprived in any way, and for the most part have stayed on track.

The only foibles I've made are unintentional ones, and I think I've omitted all of them as I read more about how gluten can be hidden in foods under different names. That means no more flavored coffee creamer for me, which is incredibly sad, but some almond milk and agave nectar isn't too bad either.

I discovered yesterday that Bonefish Grill is pretty good for eating GF if you're going out. They visited the stations with food yesterday, and I was asking the manager if I could eat any of it. The amazing thing was how much of it I COULD eat. Including the most amazing brownie ever. I guess they have really tried to have some options on the menu. Kudos to them.

Today we're tailgating at the office and everyone is bringing food. Going to be interesting to see what I can actually eat.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Breakfast for Dinner!!

The boys get giddy when we have breakfast for dinner, or when they get to eat breakfast for lunch at school. I ended up tweaking the meal a little bit last night, and didn't end up having a waffle myself. I was craving potatoes. Better than craving toast or something, I guess :)

Was encouraged after doing some research on flour/baking mix alternatives yesterday. Looks like Amazon has some competitive pricing on buying in bulk, and I'm sure there are other places I can do that through as well. No more $6 loaves of bread. ACK!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tomato Cream Cheese Soup

I was able to use up some of my tomatoes from the garden in this soup. It's gluten free, and pretty darn healthy. I got my full day's worth of Vitamin A and about half my Vitamin C in one steamy, delicious bowl. Okay, two.

I'm having this for lunch here at the office today. I'm really shocked it lasted this long.

2lbs. good tomatoes, chopped (you could peel and core, but since it gets blended at the end I say save yourself the trouble)

3 large carrots, washed, not peeled, and chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 medium sweet onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups vegetable or chicken broth- I used veggie

1/2t kosher salt

1/2t freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1T agave nectar, honey or sugar

1 bay leaf

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (if you don't have fresh, you could use dry, about a teaspoonful or so I'm thinking, but I'd add it when you add the broth and other seasonings)

2oz. cream cheese (yes, you could add more, but this was delicious with just a kiss of cream cheese to add creaminess. I was trying to be kind to my rear end.)

Chop tomatoes, sprinkle salt on them, and let sit for about 20 minutes. Then place on medium high heat and add your other veggies.

Add the broth, all of the spices except for the basil, and the sweetener of your choice.

Bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30-4o minutes until veggies are tender. Add cream cheese, and stir to melt. Add half of the basil. Use an immersion blender (or a regular blender if that's what you have, just be CAREFUL! This is some hot soup!). Blend until smooth. Serve with remaining basil on top.

Enjoy. Be sure to look away if anyone licks the bowl. Of course I would never do that. :::Cough:::
This recipe is linked to the $5 Dinner Challenge. This was well under $5, and that includes using store bought organic vegetable broth. Homemade broth would make this even more affordable.

Menu Plan Week of 9/20

Well, I sat down to post this last night, and then hubby got chatty, so I stayed up too late. Better late than never, right?

I have decided that I am officially appalled by what they charge for GF breads, pizza dough, etc. I will DEFINITELY be learning how to make these things. If you know of any great recipes, please let me know!

Here's what the week looks like. Trying to keep the meals somewhat cohesive, meaning that I don't have to cook an entirely separate meal for myself, just maybe a side or something. Last night I did have something completely different, but I had a salad from lunch that I didn't eat, so I figured I'd let the kids eat something fun.

chicken patty sandwiches $2.00
macaroni and cheese $3.00
salad for me $3.00

Breakfast for dinner
scrambled eggs .75
sausage $1.50
waffles (gf waffles for me) $1.00
grapes $1.00

Pork Chops $1.75
baked potatoes $1.00
broccoli .75 (loaded baked potato for me)
tomato slices from garden .00

family potato soup (using homemade broth and skim milk) $3.50
salad $1.00
biscuits for hubby and boys .75

making these to take to work for our company lunch. I made them last week and they are AWESOME!!!

pork fried brown rice (veggie for me)- $1.75
potstickers $2.00
steamed green beans $1.00

chicken cacciatore- $3.50 ( I will post the recipe on Sunday)
mashed potatoes .75
salad $1.00

Pizza night- will attempt a GF crust. Wish me luck. Price TBA

Monday, September 20, 2010

It figures....

I will have a menu plan up today. I will have a menu plan up today. I will have a menu plan up today. I have to psyche myself up on this right now---the gluten free diet restrictions have freaked me out and I'm a little overwhelmed in planning for the whole family. Not sure why????

I am going to force myself to commit to a plan for the week before I hit the bed tonight. We'll see how I do!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Is the time flying or what???

I found this display when I went shopping the other day and it just made me stop in my tracks, because while rational brain knows that it's September and Fall is coming, I just wasn't prepared to deal with the reality of it.

This means Christmas is just around the corner. It seems like summer only started last week!

Moments like these are the reminders to me that yes, time flies. Yes, we're busy. But if we don't slow down and take moments to enjoy where we're at, we'll look back and say, what happened? Where did the time go?

So I went home and hugged my boys and we spent the time talking about what we're going to do together this fall.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I can't poop (have I gotten your attention? LOL)

There. I said it. And it pretty much sums up the hell I've been dealing with on a daily basis for the past several months. I know. Awkward, right? Try having to go about as if nothing's wrong because it's embarrassing to talk about, yet, it's completely affecting every aspect of your life.

I had mentioned a few times here that I was dealing with some health issues and that I had undergone a colonoscopy. That test showed for the most part that I have a healthy colon, albeit with a bunch of extra bends and curves.

The frustrating part is that I was then just told to take Miralax. Or Phillips Milk of Magnesia.

Great. Since then I've lived a balance of either in pain and stopped up, or in pain and running to the toilet every 20 minutes. Pretty crappy. (Pun intended)

Oh, and even though my clothes have been getting looser, the scale has been moving in the other direction. And I've been battling skin issues because of the toxins I'm holding onto, I guess.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because many of you have asked why I've been MIA. I just haven't had the energy to fit it all in. And I've missed this blog. And the energy. And the good ole days when I was regular as clockwork every single day. Who knew you could get nostalgic about poop?

Anyway, I have finally decided I've had enough and that I can't be a slave to medications, laxatives or what have you. Clearly it's not working. I need to a) make some changes to my diet, and find ways to manage the situation, and b) further pursue an answer as to why I'm dealing with all this crap. (again, pun intended).

Last week I cut meat, gluten and most refined processed food out of my diet. I have brought more "health food", ie. wheat grass smoothies, etc., into my diet. And I've been pounding water like a fool. It's helping. I haven't had to take any laxatives and things seem to be moving more smoothly. And my face has cleared up!

I will eventually try adding a few things back to the diet, but right now, as much as I am missing several foods, I'll take it if it means I can start living a little more normally.

Of course, this has brought its own challenge....cooking 2 separate meals for me and the family, as there's no way hubby's gonna eat brown rice and veggies every night :). And trying to find recipes that help keep things interesting and different for me.

I will be posting the recipes I find that I like---and certainly would love to hear from you if you have any advice!

Here's to regularity! (in blogging and beyond!)