Thursday, July 10, 2014

Gluten Got Me (Guest Post)

I think so anyway.
Yesterday I was supposed to go into Seattle because my six year old son had an appointment at the Neuro/Developmental clinic of the SCH. The day before (Tuesday for those of you keeping track) my son and I had been at his regular speech appointment with his therapist. She is mostly gluten free and offered us gluten free blackberry walnut bars. I didn’t think about it any further until that night when my husband was giving our son a shower and saw that  Finn had a rash and was itching in patches (his usual reaction within 8 hours of ingesting gluten). I rushed him a Benadryl and he was asleep in 20 minutes.
Now Wednesday was a busy day in my house. My husband had a training class at a base over an hour away and had to be on base (and therefore up) much earlier than usual. Since he had to head off the island also; I made plans to go into Seattle with my friend Jamie, her one year old daughter, my 15 year old daughter and of course my son. My husband and I were both up at 5:45 AM and I was immediately in the bathroom. By 10 minutes til 8 AM, I was sweaty, nauseous, dizzy and had been in the bathroom five times. I was barely able to walk down my stairs, let alone make the two plus hour drive to Seattle and ask intelligent  questions about my son’s speech delay. So it was with a great deal of disappointment that we rescheduled our trip for next week.
Now my friend Jamie that I was going with is a diagnosed celiac and we also had planned to celebrate her birthday while we were down in the city. Finn’s speech therapist (who is a lovely woman and I totally don’t blame for glutening us. There’s no way she could have known our cross contamination response was so strong and I have apparently got to start really cracking down on that factor) recommended a gluten free/vegan bakery and restaurant in Seattle called the Flying Apron; so I was going to take Jamie there after Finn’s appointment. We were all pretty bummed about getting up early and putting all this planning into a trip that we ended up postponing. Especially my poor friend Jamie who’s husband is deployed right now and she’s home with a one year old. She was really looking forward to the adventure and time with adult conversation.
So Jamie is recommending to me that when I come back from my Vegas trip (thirteen days, Tami!), I talk with my doctor about getting my celiac test. Now I’ve resisted getting tested since it seems silly to me. I mean the treatment for celiac disease is lifetime compliance to a gluten free diet which seems redundant since I already am gluten free and to find out definitively if I have celiac disease I’d have to STOP doing that. After A’s experience trying to eat gluten again for her test I was even more like “See, see, that’s a bad idea.” But now I’m mulling it over again and here are the reasons why:
1) If I actually have celiac disease its hereditary. Although my kids both know why gluten is bad for them and won’t eat it, they should know their complete family medical history.
2) If my gluten intolerance is actually celiac disease I need to reevaluate my position on cross contamination for myself and my kids. I’m not 100% militant about avoiding it and have so far avoided replacing all my kitchen items, which I would need to do if I am a celiac.
3)I would have to reconsider my current housing as it shares vents with my neighbors (townhouses, bah).  I could be perfectly gluten free in my home and still breathe it anytime my next door neighbor bakes. But if I do have celiac disease it would be a valid reason for housing to move me to a separate house. However the flip side of that would mean moving which is far from my favorite activity but it would also mean not sharing walls with neighbors either which I would love. So I’m a little torn there.
4) If I am a diagnosed celiac I am automatically guaranteed a Medical M licence in the state of WA if I want to get one, so there’s that too. lol
So as I’m sitting here writing this it feels like a shooting pain in stabbing me low in the guts under my belly button and I’m thinking that choosing the test means choosing approximately six weeks of feeling like this, on purpose.  That seems awful masochistic even for me and I’m worried about how my family would fare with me at best operating way below optimum and at worst completely out of commission for that whole time.  I mean I love them with all my heart but I have some trepidation about leaving them alone for six days while I’m Vegas. I can’t imagine how they’d do with me useless for a month or so.
I keep vacillating on this and I was really hoping writing about it would help me decide but I’m as up in the air about it as I have been. Even if I do decide to do it it wouldn’t be til after I got back from Vegas and winter would at least be a great time to do it since its kinda miserable here anyway and I wouldn’t miss much. I don’t know yet but I’ll keep you posted on my thoughts and I welcome feedback on the idea.

Oktoberfest... How I (Only Slightly) Loathe You...

October, one of my favorite months in the year. The favorite month for a lot of people, really. We have Oktoberfest, one of the greatest holidays ever. An entire week, dedicated to beer, pretzels, and bratwurst. Nothing better than that, am I right? Not so exciting anymore for me. There is a reason as to why, of course.
For the celebration of Oktoberfest, we had a Pirate Invasion at the Hofbrauhaus, it is a German dining hall here in Las Vegas. Beer, pretzels, dipping sausages, all sorts of bratwurst and other delicious German cuisine, live music (folk music to be exact, needs to feel authentic). Now, this place is normally a tourist place but it’s super fun to go to every once in a while as a local. It’s a bit pricey, so that’s why it’s not a regular thing. I’ve been before, when I was still allowed to have gluten and chicken. I would enjoy their breaded chicken, with a nice beer, and a jumbo pretzel, also occasionally, I’d indulge in their tomato soup with pretzel croutons. I called before saying yes, I would join for this outing. The response was a resounding yes for having gluten free options. None of their sausages have fillers so I don’t have to worry there, their spƤtzle is homemade and therefore a true egg noodle, their steaks they can make without their sauces to make them GF. Awesome, we were in as of then.
Beforehand I had to keep giving myself, that I’d be okay, that all the yummy gluten items wouldn’t tempt me. I was considering getting Gluten-Ease and being bad, but Ayrion talked me out of it, reminded that it only would help slightly and I’d still have to deal with not feeling well afterwards and being bloated. It’s time like those that make me value that man even more. The night of, I was all pirated up (made a new hat and everything!). Then it began, we went in, I saw the pretzel and started drooling. It was a big moment of weakness. Ayrion ordered one for himself, everyone got a beer, I got a cocktail. The waiter was totally cool about my food needs also, double checked on everything about gluten for me. That pretzel just kept trying to tell me to take a bite though. Our meals came, mine had to go back, it came out with the sauce at first but before I could say anything the waiter picked it right back up with a “I can’t let them serve that to you.” Halfway through the meal, another pretzel comes out (no one else ordered a pretzel), waiter said we were only charged for one but to enjoy. The temptation had returned. I could taste it, mentally anyways. Since going gluten free, I had never wanted gluten more than in that moment. I watched longingly with every bite that anyone took from it. I kept trying to reason with myself and Ayrion just kept telling me no.
I didn’t succumb to the pretzel, I didn’t give in. I wanted to but didn’t, and it took a lot. And it hasn’t been a picnic since then either. That was on the first of the month. We had the Renaissance Faire over the weekend, lots of things that I can’t (and shouldn’t) have. I did enjoy some curly fries though (they take potatoes and cut them so the potato spirals, it’s like chips in thickness but curly fries how they are cut). My mom got me a pretty new Irish Dress that should last me for a while, and the gauze under dress that she got me can be used for other purposes too!
I’ve been making new friends also, ones that motivate me and won’t let me give up so easily. It’s nice. I’m glad that I’m finally busting out of my shell some too. Takes major changes to help us realize that we can better ourselves in several different ways. After this past week though, I have some goals that I’m giving myself and I want to also do a small challenge for my girls. Anyone else that wants to get in on this too, feel free.
Tami’s Challenge for October:
  • Self Challenge: Workout at least 5 hours a week (in addition to the 10k steps I’m supposed to do a day, and I need to get better at that also)
  • Challenge to K and A, and any readers that want to join in: Soft Baked Pretzels. Gluten free (duh). For a bonus: homemade dipping sauces. :)
I’m going to look up some recipes, try them out and see what I can do. I’ll provide pictures, I’m pretty excited. Pretzels are one of the things I love food wise, the gluten free snack pretzels are good and all, but right now I’d die for a soft baked pretzel. If I figure it out, I might end up having a late Oktoberfest dinner party, who knows.
~Tami

Things are Shifting, For the Better

I’ve been struggling lately. It’s because change is going on. Ayrion and I are in the process of starting to move back in to my mother’s house. Moving is never fun, but this time it’s for the better. We’ll be able to save up, pay off bills, get new computers (the screen ribbon is going out on the one I currently have), get myself a bicycle. There’s all sorts of things I’d like to be able to do, getting the bicycle is higher up on the list for me, I need to start getting more active again, I feel like I’m stagnating. With the stress that comes from moving, I’ve been having those lovely annoying urges to snack. It seems like I can’t always say no to that urge either. Moments of weakness, every one has them. I don’t want to let them win though.
We’re in to fall now, season wise, the weather starts changing, naturally a mood shift comes with that for me. Unfortunately the initial feeling can get me feeling rather depressed. Well, take that, add in the stress of moving and the frustrations of quitting smoking. I have to say no more for the cigarettes, it’s better for me but ugh, is it tough. I’ll probably get scolded by K, she’s been hounding me for a while to quit and I’ve been skirting around it. I have this feeling that it’s going to be a harsh winter though, and decided that for my health I need to quit, I’m already having enough issues with my asthma. Dropping one addiction makes us want to pick up another, and it’s easy to see why people put weight on when they quit smoking. It’s easy to just snack instead of puff. I could go grab the electronic cigarette, but that would make me feel like a failure, like I need that crutch to keep me going. How do I keep away from the snacks though? Especially when I feel as if I’m lacking focus.
I’m hoping that it will relax itself, but I’m amping myself up for this. I have to overcome it, I can’t let it get the best of me. I may hate myself for a while, want to give in, all the bad things that I will subconsciously think. I can tell myself that I’ll be strong and just keeping faith in myself is what I’ll have to do. If I have to workout more, so be it. Go back to counting calories, you betcha. Going to talk to Mom about us starting to go see the Doctor again. I know that the medicine was helping me, it gave my ADHD self focus. I need to keep going with all of this, I don’t want to go “Oh I’ve lost 4 pant sizes, let’s stop now and put the weight back on because I’m stressed and want to be lazy.”
I need a goal. Any sort of goal, fitness wise. I can’t set it myself, I need someone to suggest something to be. Give me a challenge and a date to meet it by, make it something that you know I can achieve.
At least I have some things to look forward to though, K is coming to see me next month, we’ll be doing the Vegas thing. We’ll be going to see Voodoo Glow Skulls (one of my favorite punk bands), there will be some pretty bad ass local bands playing too. Hit up The Atomic Testing Museum, The Neon Boneyard, Fremont St, The Strip. I don’t think she knows what she got herself in to. Haha. I’ll definitely get tons of exercise then, we’ll be doing a lot of walking. I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed that we don’t do too terribly much drinking though (I can hear her hissing at me now). I also have been starting to actually plan things for the wedding. My best friend Katie, here in Vegas, is getting married in November also.
(So, as I’m sitting here writing this, Ayrion looked up from his video game, Dragon Age, to ask me if I was okay. I said I was fine and asked him why, he told me that my breathing had changed and that it sounded like I sighed. I replied that I was doing the grown up thing of admitting that I’m struggling. He just nodded at me, which says to me even more that it’s showing. Guess I need to tell him to not let me get away with stuff so easily.)
I’m keeping my chin up as high as my ego will let me have it right now, I’m struggling. I know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, but I want to burrow in the darkness and wallow right now. Here’s hoping that these feelings will ease up and I’m serious about wanting a challenge.

I Want to Have My Philly Cheesesteak and Eat it too! (Guest Post)

I used to love a greasy, cheesy, meaty Philly Cheesesteak sandwich, but boy I hated the way I felt after eating 1000 calories worth of artery clogging yumminess.  I had to ask myself if the flavor and indulgence was really worth the death that was happening to me, and of course once I was in a rational state of mind the answer was clearly, no.  So I succumbed to the reality that Philly Cheesesteaks were not going to be a part of my lifestyle change, and I was sad about it.  So sad that I made another decision, one that would change my whole view on this sandwich.
It was time to make a healthy Philly Cheesesteak sandwich, and the journey was not difficult.
 I took 5oz of lean beef and chopped it up in my counter top chopper, 50 grams each of onion, mushrooms, and green peppers and fried them in a non stick pan until cooked then put it on Sara Lee 45 calories and delightful bread (this is not gluten free but gluten free works just as well) with a slice of Borden skim or fat free cheese (30 calories) you can shred it yourself or just let it melt!
This meal was under 500 calories and was a nice fresh substitute to a greasy high calorie, makes you feel like poo, sandwich.  I actually enjoyed the flavors of this more, because there were more flavors besides grease!  It makes me wonder what I really craved in the old Philly Cheesesteak, and it terrifies me that my body can and will crave things that are NOT true foods if I consume it.  Even with that said, I have altered this recipe recently to include gluten free whole grain bread and real cheese because I have learned my lesson in wanting a little but of something real instead of a lot of something fake.  Wouldn’t that apply to a lot in life?
I hope everyone enjoys the weekend!  ~A

Rock (Lobster) Star! (Guest Post)

Okay so they weren’t *really* rock lobsters (at least I don’t think they were), they were 4 oz lobster tails from my local Safeway for 5 dollars apiece yesterday only. But how could I pass up the chance to title  a post for a B-52′s song? I mean really?  ;)

So my son maintains that he doesn’t like shell fish. No crab, no shrimp and no lobster. The last two times I bought lobsters I just fed him something else and my husband, daughter and I ate ours broiled with lime butter. Which don’t get me wrong, is quite tasty. It might even be my favorite way to have lobster but the husband and daughter wanted something a little different and I wanted the chance to see if I could expand my son’s palette a bit. Thus came the idea for gluten free lobster cakes.
Now I’m gonna tell you this was a process. Its certainly not a quick weeknight meal. Its more for a weekend or special occasion (like maybe an anniversary), but it was delicious.
Ingredients:
1 and 1/2 pounds of lobster
2 eggs (I used one and it was not enough)
1 and 1/2 tablespoon mustard
2/3 of a sweet onion minced
3 stalks celery minced
3 to 4 tablespoons coconut flour
2 tablespoons parsley
dash sea salt
1/2 cup almond meal
2 teaspoons seafood seasoning
Lemon aioli
juice 1 lemon
2/3 cup mayo
2 teaspoons tarragon
2 teaspoons parsley
Make the aioli (yeah I know its not a traditional aioli because it lacks garlic, what else should I call it?) beforehand by whisking all the ingredients together. Add more mayo if needed.
Since I was working with tails only, I skewered them before boiling, like so:

Then I boiled them:
once they were cooked and drained I minced the onion and the celery in my Kitchen Ninja until it was finely chopped. Then I de-shelled the tails and threw the meat into my Ninja to mince. I mixed the onion, celery and lobster together in a bowl and added the eggs, coconut flour (you can add a bit more of this if the second egg makes the mix too wet), mustard salt and parsley
Now pat this into cakes. I made eight because I was trying to serve two apiece to four people but they might work better as six patties instead.
Mix seafood seasoning with almond meal and bread the cakes with this mix.
Heat a large skillet with olive oil and cook cakes over med heat until crispy. *Carefully* (mine tried to come apart) flip and fry other side.
Spoon aioli onto plate and serve lobster cakes on top of sauce.
Everyone loved them, especially my son who told me “These are like nothing I’ve ever tasted!”

Me? Someone's Favorite Cook? Well... I Never...

As we know, tinkering in the kitchen is what I’ve been up to lately. The other night we had spaghetti and meatballs, the following night we had meatloaf and potatoes. Last night, was lazy and did Johnsville “Beddar with Cheddar” Bratwurst. I was talking to a friend though, who has gotten the pleasantry of coming to dinner a lot lately. My honey’s best friend, to be exact, and he gave me the best compliment that anyone has ever given me. He told me that I was his favorite cook. That’s NEVER happened to me before.
Let’s start with a little history of “T in the Kitchen.” When I was 10, I accidentally set the stove on fire. I had decided that I wanted homemade potato chips for breakfast, no one wanted to wake up and cook them. So, I pulled the iron skillet on to the front burner and turned it on. 5 minutes later, WHOOSH! Up in flames, and through the vents, my mom hears me go, “Hey, Justin, come check it out, the stoves on fire, it’s really cool!” Needless to say, I wasn’t allowed in the kitchen for several days (also locked myself in the car for a few hours cause I thought I was going to get arrested for arson).
Now, a couple of weeks later, my brother decided he wanted nachos, we didn’t have a microwave at the time. For some genius reason, we thought if he put the tortilla chips in the oven with the cheese on top that it’d be fine, we were wrong. Mom had gotten a fire extinguisher after my little foray into fires, and it was a good thing. We had to use it on the nachos that started a fire in the oven.
After that, for a while I wasn’t allowed in the kitchen at all cooking wise, I had to take Home Economics instead, which I couldn’t do until 8th grade. I did though, and started getting better. At least I have never burned a boiling pot of water. That’s a good thing, right? :)
Anyways! Now, here we are, 17 years later, and I’m becoming a Mistress of the Kitchen! (Only because I don’t want to be a Master, I am a lady after all) Slowly but surely, I’m getting the kitchen gadgets I want, which leads me to excitement number 1 of the week! ADULT GIFTS! As I like to call them. I got a blender, woohoo! I’ve been needing one, badly. Went to K-Mart on Monday, before my brother came over for dinner, and started shopping. I always like to look at kitchen gadgets, I never know what I’ll find on sale. Well, that was my lucky day. Scored a nice Hamilton Beach blender on clearance for $19, originally a $50 blender. Heck yes! And it’s red too, so it’s not plain and boring. Then I got a 5 lb kitchen food scale, a potato masher, and a peeler. What’s more exciting than stuff for the kitchen. So, with the blender, I had to make smoothies.
Back to the delicious meals and lovely compliments though. One of my other friends has been harassing me to make him a delicious gluten-free meal and to stop holding out on the good stuff, cause he reads my blog, HE KNOWS. Haha. So, that’s what the spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread was for. And as a result, the recipe has been requested, and I’m feeling inclined to share. So, this one is going to have a few recipes contained within it.
Quinoa Spaghetti and Meatballs:
  • Quinoa Spaghetti Noodles (how much you need is dependent on how many are eating)
  • One can tomato sauce OR pre-made sauce (we actually had one of each because I made a large batch of meatballs)
  • Lean ground beef (how much depends on people, I had 3 lbs, and I used it all)
Alright, so, this one was easy for me. I’ve been doing spaghetti and meatballs a majority of my life, never made the meatballs all by myself (felt like such a big girl! haha), but I knew what to do.
I’m not going to individually list all of the spices that I used, but they will be listed as I say what I put in to everything.
Here goes prep, and remember, wash your hands before and after working with raw meat.
For the meatballs:
  1. Take the meat (make sure it’s defrosted COMPLETELY) and put it in to a large bowl. Pre-heat the oven to 375 Degrees.
  2. Take two eggs (that was how many I used for 3 lbs of meat, our roomie said his grandmothers rule was one egg per pound of meat, I felt 3 eggs would be too much though) and beat them so they aren’t separated, and add to the meat
  3. Using your hands, yes your hands (cooking requires getting dirty), mix the egg in with the meat.
  4. Season to taste. I used oregano, sweet basil, a little bit of thyme, black pepper, garlic, and a dash of salt.
  5. Bake in an oven at 375 Degrees for 25-30 minutes (depending on size of the meatballs. Mine were nicely sized)
For the noodles, follow the directions on the package. Now, a complaint I hear a lot about quinoa pasta is that even cooking with the directions on the box it comes out a bit too al dente for some people, I have found that cooking it just a couple of minutes longer fixes that OR leave the stove cooking on high.
For the sauce:
  1. Take your unopened can of tomato sauce (if you’re doing it from scratch) and add in to the pot.
  2. Season to taste (I used sweet basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic. Also a PINCH of sugar. It takes out the acidity of the tomatoes). 
  3. Heat on medium/low until it starts bubbling, add in the meatballs and let the flavors all jive together for a short bit.
Garlic Bread:
I also made garlic bread as a side, was looking for Rudi’s Gluten Free Hot Dog Buns, but since we ran to Albertson’s they didn’t have it, but I found that our Albertson’s has a pretty decent gluten-free section (we don’t normally shop at Albertson’s, but my mom had been telling me about how nice of a selection hers had, so I was curious). We got Schwartz Gluten Free Rolls (I think that’s the brand anyways, I’ll double-check next time at the store), I cut them in half, slathered some butter, sprinkled some garlic, and popped them in to the toaster oven. Simple and delicious.
That one ended up being a really delicious meal. I was very proud of myself for my first time making meatballs from scratch. We didn’t have enough gluten-free noodles for everyone that ate that night. So, my honey and his best friend had theirs with regular macaroni, according to them it was still delicious, I took their word for it.
Now, on to the next night. Meatloaf! My brother was supposed to come over the previous evening, for spaghetti. He got a migraine though, so I told him that he was still welcome to come over for dinner and that I’d make something else delicious. He asked if I had already made the spaghetti, since I said yes he said he wouldn’t ask me to make it a second night in a row. I greatly appreciated that. The question then became, what to make, and I had been craving meatloaf secretly. Also, I mentioned it the night before, which made my A here (my honey is an A name also, but he’s not my fellow blogger, haha) want meatloaf too. So I mentioned that, and it was okay. My brother was awesome and picked up the goods that we needed to make it and I set off on my second time ever making meatloaf.
We forgot that we needed tomato sauce for on top of the meatloaf, so we mixed up our own from tomato paste. It was relatively easy also, attempt at your own risk though. Here’s the recipes for that meal, it’s two recipes.
Meatloaf:
  • Two pounds lean ground beef
  • One can tomato sauce (can be flavored if you want, or ketchup if you want that)
  • Two eggs
Once more, I’m not listing the spices because it’s to taste. I used sweet basil, thyme, black pepper, salt, garlic, a dash of turmeric, and a dash of paprika (last two are because they are good for the body).
  1. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees.
  2. Mix meat, eggs, and spices together in a large bowl, with hands.
  3. Shape meat in a pan to whatever shape you want it
  4. Cover in tomato sauce
  5. Cook for 1-1.5 hour(s), if the sauce is starting to blacken, check to see if the meat is cooked thoroughly
Ours took about 1 hour and 15 minutes to cook how I like meat to be (well done!), then for the side dishes we did buttered corn and homemade mashed potatoes.
Mashed Potatoes:
  • One small bag of potatoes
  • One LARGE pot
  • Butter
  • Sour Cream
Take your bag of potatoes and cube the potatoes, cover in water inside of the pot and turn on to boil. Once boiling you want to leave them boiling until they are tender. A likes to season things to cook the flavor in so he put in salt, pepper, and turmeric in to the potato water. They took about 30 minutes to get soft enough to mash. To help fluff them, we added in sour cream and butter.
Once more, a delicious meal. Even my brother was impressed, and he’s normally not easy on me. We’re close in age, so we butt heads a lot. For dessert, I made smoothies. We had strawberry smoothies and tropical smoothies, I let everyone pick what they wanted. It went over smashingly. Now, for dinner parties! ~T

Wicked/Mundo and Conversations with a Pastry Chef

Last night was brilliant, we went to dinner at Mundo and saw Wicked. Dinner was fantastic! Cheaper than we expected, by a lot. $76 and we each had a drink (Ayrion had a Guinness, I had a “Mundo Mojito”), for an appetizer we had queso flameado with corn tortillas, chips and salsa, and fresh guacamole, dinner was definitely the highlight though. Ayrion had filet mignon chile relleno, which he of course devoured, and that was the most expensive thing we got, there was only one meal more expensive, at $28, his was $36. I had steak nachos, an appetizer but I knew it would fill me up. It was between that and the toasted nachos (vegetarian option!), went with the steak for the extra protein. Johnny and James (it was a double date, our first one all together!) went for vegetarian options. Johnny had the garden quesadilla and James had chile relleno. I didn’t finish my nachos, but Ayrion gladly munched the last of them down.
Dinner took us about 45 minutes altogether. Since we went early, it was pretty much only us in the restaurant. We headed over to The Smith Center then, had to wait to go inside. While waiting outside, I spied a familiar face in the Box Office line. It was my best friend Katie and her fiancee Brenden, and her (almost!) 7 year old daughter. SURPRISE! I had mentioned to Katie that they should try to attend last night, she saw the show on opening night, wanted to take Emma. So they surprised us and got tickets for last night. What a delightful surprise!
Once the doors to the lobby opened, we headed in. First we went to look at all the merchandise they were selling, to make sure I got one, I went ahead and purchased my program package, which included the cd soundtrack and a poster. Then we went to the bar, I got a Sprite in a theatre cup so I could take it into the show with me. Ayrion got an “Oz Dust” which was melon vodka and some other stuff, bright pink, yummy though, also in a theatre cup. The show was fantastic, except for the old ladies sitting behind us! We compared them to the cranky old man puppets on The Muppet Show. Such commentary came from them, I wanted to shake them violently. I enjoyed the show immensely though. I couldn’t have asked for a better late birthday gift and one year anniversary gift. Afterwards, I went and bought more goodies! I got an Elphaba T-shirt, it’s only an Extra Large, it’s a little small right now, but it’s going to be my goal shirt! :) Then I got a flying monkey stuffed animal. There are photos of dinner at Mundo and before/after Wicked in my gallery (under my About Me, if you haven’t read my About Me or checked out all of my photos, you definitely should).
Was proud of myself while at Reynold’s Hall, instead of using the elevator to get up to our floor, I took the stairs, four flights and I wasn’t even winded. Go me!!! Went up that way and back down that way too. I am kicking butt and taking names. Everyone has been so proud of me and I am, of course, eating up all the positive attention.
It was my big brother’s birthday yesterday as well, I made sure to call him and tell him happy birthday. He asked how the weight loss was going, I told him and his reaction was “Wow!” He can’t believe such a simple change (a lot of people say it’s not simple but I feel it is) has made such a large impact on me. He’s one of the people I think would benefit from this kind of diet, he doesn’t want to hear that though. Who cares if it’d make stomach aches and things of that nature go away?
Back to the adventure of Wicked though! Before we left for the show, I had a tiny package waiting in the mailbox. I love getting packages, I checked to see who it was from, they  were truffles! A gift from “Truffles by Jennie,” a lovely lady I met on an online game (Subeta), she was asking for likes and I sent her a message inquiring if she did gluten free items, she replied that yes she did and offered to send me a free sample. I put them into the fridge for later, I knew that they’d be the perfect post show snack. I was not disappointed at all. The flavors she sent me were pomegranate, lime and coconut, hazelnut, and pina colada. Yum really is the best way to describe. They were all white chocolate bases, white chocolate is my favorite. I’m thinking of having her do truffles for the wedding, if not as wedding favors then at least as part of gifts for the wedding party members. I shared a couple of bites with Ayrion, of the hazelnut and of the pina colada. The flavors were all spot on. Hit my sweet tooth perfectly, I just wish I could have shared them with the girls.
That was that for last night, tonight ended up being rather interesting too. I’ve been having fun chats with my friends lately. One of them is a celiac and she loves chatting with me to see what fun new recipes I’ve taught myself, or trying to (so far) unsuccessfully plan a dinner get together. One of our mutual friends is a pastry chef and he knows about the fun dangers of food allergies, because he has several himself. He can have gluten, and will admit that gluten is his best friend as a pastry chef, but that he’s not afraid to try gluten free baking. He came to visit tonight and we had a fun chat about going out to restaurants and ordering food.
Let’s start with a little bit of background on Phil, he’s from New York, is a pastry chef, loves Italian food, is allergic to mushrooms, shellfish, and nuts. He knows all about having to be cautious when going out. The discussion turned to how people feel they can’t eat at a specific place if there’s one person with a gluten intolerance. The sad fact is that most people think this is true, instead of asking the friend if they know of food they can eat at the place, they automatically assume it’s a no go, because glutards can’t have burgers and fries, there’s nothing they can eat. Bullshit. Phil even was saying that he’ll go to sushi with his friends, but everyone gets what they want, and eats what they want. Just because one person can’t have some of something doesn’t mean that you can’t go to that place. It just means that we need to be aware of what we’re getting. Also, it’s the person who has the food allergies RESPONSIBILITY to find out if they have options at a place everyone is purposing they eat at. This is what we have the internet for people, so we can see if there are menus available online, and if we can’t find the information on their website, god forbid, we give them a call and ask that way.
So I guess the moral this time around is be smart, people. It’s not that hard to do.