Friday, February 27, 2009

NYC/Brooklyn Bound!

I am SO excited.

Leaving at 1:30 today from work to head to Brooklyn!! One of my very best friends just got a new apartment there and we have many plans in the works including: shopping awesome brooklyn consignment, drinking large quantities of wine, consuming unhealthy amounts of cheese, and spending too much money eating out at restaurants. 

Tomorrow we're going to head into SoHo  and we're going to Friedman's Deli for lunch... WOOO HOOO!!! Sadly, I left my camera at home, so hopefully my friend will have hers so I can take some pictures. I already have a plan. I'm going to order two entire meals, and take one to go. YES, I'm aware that I'm a pig.

We are also going to go shopping for home items to snaz up my dear friend's new apartment to make it look FAB...... although, I'm sure it already does because she has amazing taste.

Will post when I get back!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sweetener & Snack

After cutting out all sweetener & a lot of sugar from my diet for two weeks, I didn't think it would make a difference - but it did!!! I usually put a packet or two of Splenda in my tea, and used to drink Diet sodas and flavored waters that use Aspartame (I KNOW! It's sooo bad)...  this week, we can start incorporating sweetener back in - so I had some flavored waters I got at Wal-Mart... BLECH!!!!  TOO SWEET. I literally cannot drink it! Weird right?! And after only 2 weeks without. 

Also - an excellent snack right now:
Food for Life Rice Tortilla
Red Pepper Hummus Spread
3 slices smoked turkey

SO GOOD -- and health friendly. FYI -- I find it best to buy the tortillas frozen, then let them defrost outside of the fridge for a few hours - then place them in the fridge. Weird right? But it seems to work - the tortillas aren't breaking at all.

ps - sorry for the blackberry pics - but I wanted to share ;)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Oatmeal Pancakes

Over the past week, I have been working on trying to get this recipe right, and I think I did it.

The original recipe is in Joy's LIFE Diet Book -- which we are attempting (poorly) to follow.... but of course, I had to change it a bit to be gluten free. It called for instant oats, so first try, I just followed exactly what was in the book and switched out instant oats for gluten free. Didn't quite work, it didn't hold together, we also used the wrong pan, it looks like a crepe:

Then I modified the recipe a bit -- used the GF Oats, but added a spoonful of pumpkin - and about 1/2 tbsp of gf all-purpose mix, much better consistency - we also used a smaller round pan: 
Third time was a charm... added more pumpkin, and a heaping tbsp of pancake mix, and we got a nice big delicious pancake with a great texture (the forkful at the top of the page is the winning pancake:

Gluten Free Oat Pancake
4 egg whites (whisk for a few minutes)
1/2 cup of gluten free oats
Heaping spoonful of pumpkin (no sugar added!) add as much as you like
1/2 tbsp vanilla - or more if you like
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp pancake mix 
1 tbsp granulated sugar

Mix everything together in a bowl -- spray a pan with cooking spray and pour in mixture. Edges will start to look finished just like a pancake - flip, cook until done -- only takes about 8 minutes or so. Finish with light syrup or whatever you like!

Hope you enjoy it -- it's incredibly filling & healthy too! 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What is wrong with me?!

I don't even like cookies normally!

It's just because I'm on a diet - I know it.... 

For some reason, I am ravenously hungry today. I don't know why.... I've eaten PLENTY. 

When I was at Whole Foods getting that ONE Coconut Water - I saw these sitting on the shelf, and they were calling my name... 

I succumbed.

My justifying excuse -- there are only 33.5 calories per cookie. I had 5 though. Ugh. 

O.N.E. Coconut Water

{Update #2 -- Just posted about Vita Coco Passion Fruit Coconut Water, and LOVED it -- I think I got a bad O.N.E. when I bought it because the taste/consistency was really different from this experience, see that post here.}

Have any of you tried O.N.E. Coconut Water?

ONE is coconut water from the inside of a young coconut before the meat grows in, which is where all the fat comes from, and then it's naturally filtered to give us this drink... It is supposed to be an excellent source for replacing lost electrolytes (nature's gatorade),

I have read MANY blogs about this product - people RAVING about how delish this was, etc etc.... I don't know. I got some today at Whole Foods (it was $5.49 for a 1 liter container! eeek)... and I don't think I really like it. Which is weird! I love coconut - I especially love cooking with coconut milk when making rice for thai dishes... but this stuff? not so much.

It's got a weird taste. And it's kinda thick - which grosses me out.... my co-worked tried some and thought it tasted like yogurt... I'll give it another taste tomorrow, maybe when it's colder it will be better.

I guess this is a good thing. If I did love it, it would be a very expensive craving to keep up.

**** UPDATE: For anyone coming to this site to read about this product, please read the comments below - there are some big Coconut Water fans out there!!!! I, sadly, was not one - though, it's been brought to my attention that I may have gotten a bad one, so if I try it again, I'll let you know.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Diet - Week 2

We have entered Week 2 of Joy's LIFE Diet. 

This diet is actually pretty tough.... I don't really like diets that seem unrealistic to real life eating (Atkins, South Beach, Cabbage Soup Diet, etc), but this one seemed pretty good. In the past I did ABS Diet - and I really liked it. In fact, Matt and I have basically been living the ABS Diet (from Men's Health Magazine) for a while, and doing well -- but I wanted a good kick in the bum. And this is a 4 week thing, so at the 4th week, you're supposed to be eating like you would everyday.

Week 1 of the LIFE Diet is the hardest - no sugar or salt, no starches in the evening... It's supposed to be a "cleanse" week, breaking some bad habits. What was really hard for me - was not using salt. I never realized how often I reach for the salt shaker. I didn't really miss sweets too much - but noticed toward the end of the week I really needed some sweet - so I cheated & added Splenda to my tea.

Week 2 allows for a little more -- but a confession -- Matt and I ate at PF Changs on Sunday for lunch, and no, I didn't get a bowl of steamed vegetables.  

Actually, you know what's crazy? On Sunday I ate a bowl of cereal, drank a Skinny Latte (skim milk), had PF Changs (Lettuce wraps, moo goo gai pan, lunch portion with some brown rice), and some carrots with hummus later in the day. Matt and I were SO full from lunch, we didn't eat dinner.... I had weighed myself Sunday morning, and then weighed myself again on Monday morning and I gained 3.8 lbs! What the hell? Do you think it was because of the salt from the PF Changs, especially after almost no salt the entire week?

Anyway - weighed myself again today - and I'm 1 lb away from where I was on Sunday morning.
Speaking of that... here's what I'm eating this week:

Breakfast: Bacon, Egg white (mixed with flax), tomato, light cheese on an english muffin.
Of course - this Glutino english muffin has more calories than I was supposed to have, but again, this diet needs to accommodate my real life - and finding anything gluten free that resembles an english muffin that is under 140 calories just isn't happening.

Today's food: Turkey sandwich (lettuce, tomato & hummus), spaghetti squash with 2 tbsp organic tomato sauce, bag of carrots to snack on, a few pickles, a prune (yum! that's where I get my sweet craving fulfilled, they're like candy), and finally a huge bottle of Sparkling water, that I will refill at least twice with water from the bubbler.

And there you have it -- hopefully I can keep this up!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Stone Hearth Pizza

The Friday before I started the diet, I met up with my friend Julia to try out a new-ish pizza place that she had heard about called Stone Hearth Pizza.There are three locations in MA -- Cambridge (Porter Square), Needham & Belmont. We went to the Cambridge location - it's tiny, but cute. Cool place too because they use all organic, local and sustainable ingredients.

We were psyched - on the menu there was a Gluten Free beer called Bard's (I had this in the past, Bard's Tale Ale -- I think they went through a re-design, very cute new packaging)... they also had appetizer options, pasta and pizza! yaaay.

Our waitress told us right away it was her second night, and she literally seemed overwhelmed by her TWO tables.... we were like, Really? Anyway - we each got a beer, yum, and decided on splitting a salad, a pasta dish, and two pizzas (I was all about pigging out pre-diet).

Salad came out - we shared a spinach avocado... Then our pasta came out. Uh-oh -- there is bread on the plate (not touching - pasta was in a dish, bread was on a plate).... So we ask - OH, do you have gluten free bread? She goes to check..... never comes back, we have to ask again, she disappears again - and says, No, sorry - the bread isn't gluten free. So I ask, well, is the pasta gluten free? Why would they serve that with it? She says yes. We taste it - hmmm... tastes different, a little like real pasta.... Julia asks her again - Waitress disappears, returns - YES, it's gluten free. We decide because it's coated in cheese & sauce it just tastes better.

Pizza comes out - YUUUMMMM. Honestly - this is the most delicious gluten free pizza I've had. It's paper-thin crunchy crust - and there is something about the tomato sauce that is just perfect - very "tomatoey"- to make up my own word.

Dinner ends - Julia decides to ask the kitchen what kind of GF pasta they use - she tells them we really liked it --- They tell her Tinkyada. Hmm, weird - didn't taste like Tinkyada..... you see where all this foreshadowing is going?

Chef comes out to our table with this look on his face that is not good - He tells us we were accidentally served REGULAR pasta. EEEEK... We just looked at each other and said SH*T.

Chef was extremely apologetic and felt terrible - when Julia asked about the pasta, he then realized he never made GF pasta that night -- our DUMB waitress put the order in as regular, despite us ordering GF and asking her THREE times if it was -- AND she obviously just pretended to ask the kitchen and never did.

Anyway - the Chef/Owner took away our $60 bill, we did not leave a tip - and he said our next meal there was also on him.  Another waiter came over to apologize, and then our slacker waitress came over and mumbled some kind of apology. It was obviously her fault.... I don't want to fault the entire restaurant because of HER mistake.... But that was pretty bad. I'm glad the Chef came over & owned up to it - he could of just let us leave and not say anything - that would be shady... he also assured us the pizza WAS gluten free. 

Julia and I booked it out of there to get home & just wait to be sick. I called my sister and she was shocked and told me to not think about it - because I would definitely get sick if I just sat there & waited for it. An excellent point -- because I was thinking about going home to make myself sick.

Somehow -- I didn't get sick at all. Crazy, I know -- I honestly think sometimes my insides must be made of steel, because I KNOW it's causing me harm, but I just don't feel it.... poor Julia though, was not as lucky -- she was pretty sick until about midnight that night, then felt better.

So - that's my Stone Hearth story. I think I WILL go back - but I will be super crazy about asking to make sure it's GF - maybe even heading back to the kitchen to confirm. I imagine that waitress will be more careful from now on after that - if she's even still working there.

OH - and I suggested to the Chef that he keep GF pasta as one shape - and regular pasta as another, like penne -- so if you see penne, you know it's regular, and if it's spirals, you know it's GF. That would just be an extra precaution....  Wow - longest post in ages! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Celiac-Friendly Theater

I thought this was cool....

I was at the Wang last night, now called the Citi Center for Performing Arts (don't you just hate corporate sponsor names?! ugh)... anyway - arrived to see a show last night, and Matt and I went to the bar, and wouldn't you know it... REDBRIDGE was lined up next to the Heineken and Bud Light for bottle beer choices!

Love it.

Of course, I won't mention the section with soft pretzels & brownies that we cannot eat, but I was so happy with my beer, I didn't even care. And it helped with the diet - no brownies for me!  (ps - lost 2.6 lbs so far! woohoo)

I also noticed that Au Bon Pain is now getting better with their gluten free labeling. The soup calendars now say which are Gluten Free, and which are Vegetarian.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Blogger FAIL

Hello few readers I may have left.

I realize I haven't posted in weeks -- the sad thing is, I have lots of pictures, recipes and stories, I just haven't had time to upload them or write a post.

There is so much going on right now - work is crazed (thankfully, I still have my job after layoffs), life is so busy with wedding planning (fun!!), and to top it off - Matt and I have started a new diet together today.

We're doing Joy Bauer's LIFE Diet --- she's the nutritionist on the Today Show in the mornings -- I usually like what's she's saying, so Matt and I figured we'd give it a shot. It's fairly gluten free friendly...especially the first week as we are "purging" bad things-- no sugar or splenda in coffee or tea, no salt (ahh!),  no alcohol, or eating starches for dinner! 

I think it will be good though - I like doing these 4 week diets to learn how to eat properly, learn some new recipes and then take it & put it into action. I will keep you posted on the progress ;)