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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gluten-free month/paleoish challenge

Are you in on the challenge?  It's a bit over one week in;  how are you doing so far?  Troy and I are doing great!  I honestly haven't missed gluten that much except for Sunday when I went to a baby shower and they had Cinnabon and like 15 types of cupcakes.  Troy has slipped up once when he was about 2 bites in to a Kit Kat and realized "duh, wafer cookie thing".

We've kind of evolved the challenge to not just limit it to gluten.  I've added that we're limiting grains as well.  We still eat corn and rice products, but not in the quantities that we used to.  I've noticed that my skin has improved a bit, but I'm chalking that up to more veggies and fruits than anything.  And may I be honest with you?  I'm a gassy girl.  Always have been.  Since starting this challenge, it's almost non-existent.  I'm not certain if this is lack of gluten, or just more fruits and veggies replacing the grains we were eating before.

I mentioned that we were on vacation last week, and were going to be making s'mores.  And I couldn't find any gluten-free graham crackers in my small town.  We ended up having s'mores on gluten-free ginger snaps, which while definitely not the same in terms of taste, they served their purpose.
So, what exactly are we eating?
Marshamallows were homemade!  For anyone wondering how they roasted, the verdict is: fantastic!  Expert hand modeling courtesy of Troy.
Breakfast:: smoothies, eggs, when we're jonesing for "normal" food, I've been having a bowl of Trader Joe's rice krispies from time to time.  And lots and lots and LOTS of fruit.  I've started cutting up a ton of fruit for the week and having it all ready to go in the fridge.  Once it's ready to go, we're more likely to eat it often.  We also have homemade yogurt with homemade blackberry syrup for flavoring.  We're on our last jar of the syrup from 2011.  Thankfully the blackberries are going to be ready soon!

This challenge has magnified how much I hate our current fridge.  It was free, so I shouldn't complain too much (but I am), but it's awful.  It's an old school side by side, and I never have any room to fill it up with good food.  The produce drawers are tiny, and really the shelf space sucks hard.

Lunches:: spinach salads with sliced carrots, cukes, and protein of choice - usually turkey, chicken, or grilled steak.  Troy has grilled a steak and some chicken breasts at the start of the week, and just like everything if it's ready to go, it's so much easier to eat healthy.  Which is also why I prep the carrots and cukes for the week; grab and go.  Dressing is either homemade ranch, or something we call "Linda's Holiday Dressing" because it is something my aunt always makes for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I need to get her permission before sharing, but I promise I'll share it with you if/once I get the go ahead.

I always thought I preferred salads with a bit of cheese and some bacon on it, but I've really been enjoying mine without either.

With the salads we have as much fruit as we want.  And sometimes, a few gluten-free tortilla chips (Juanitas brand which are AWESOME, but hard to find) and homemade guac or (store bought) salsa.

I'm the first person to raise my hand and say that salads suck and never fill me up.  I've always thought salads were silly "girl" food, but honestly with the protein (turkey or steak), I am full until dinner.

Dinner:  Well, you've seen my meal plan, and we've also been having local hot dogs, some bunless burgers, and lots and lots of grilled veggies.

Dessert/snacks:: I've made these and they're awesome!  They don't require any baking, but not baking them means you have to store them in the fridge.  I tried baking them the other night and it worked out well.  350 degrees for 25 minutes, and they're able to be stored at room temp.  They're still much softer than a store bought granola bar though.  Yeah yeah I know they have oatmeal in them.  I said we're limiting it.

I also made these, but changed them up a bit to reflect what I had on hand.  I switched the lemon juice and lemon zest to lime, added some homemade mint extract to the frosting (I made my own frosting, and not the one in the link), and voila, mojito cupcakes!  Coconut flour is stupid expensive if you buy it in the package, but I found it in the bulk bin for much cheaper.  Still spendy though.

As for our starting off points?  Here are the stats.

Me
Weight: 151 lbs (it was 152 with clothes on, so I'm taking a guess)
Height: 6 ft
Waist:30
Hips: 39(yipes!)
I currently wear a size 8 tall, but a lot of clothes are not currently in rotation because they're too tight.

Troy
Weight: 215*
Height: 5 ft 11
Waist: 39

Hips: 43


*You have time for a funny story?  When I was pregnant, I picked an OBGYN who was right by my office.  We lived in Los Angeles at the time. Turns out she was only in on Tuesdays and didn't do any ultrasounds in her own office and wouldn't tell you any information about your outsourced ultrasounds until the next appointment.  I dropped her MD ass so quickly and ended up going to the OBGYN my friend Anne (you've "met" her many times before) had used.

Anne, being my baby mama naturally came with Troy and I to the first appointment.  I was 12 weeks along and the new OBGYN wanted to do an ultrasound.  We were all in this little room together and the doc brought out "the internal wand".  Anyone who has had a kid before knows about the internal wand...

So, Anne gets ready to  leave the room, and I say "you know what, in a few months my junk is going to be out in the wind for every nurse and doctor in the room to see, so just stay.  But sit up by my head bitch".

During the exam, the doctor is talking to us about our family history.  She asks Troy his weight, he blushes and mumbles it all embarrassed.  Anne and I burst out laughing, because there I am, getting to 4th base with an ultrasound wand in front of my friend (and former boss BTW), and Troy is freaking embarrassed about his weight.

I tell you that story to let you know how much Troy believes in my blog.  He believes in it enough to share his starting weight with ya'll.

You are welcome!


PS. after that appointment, we went and had pie.  Because lemon meringue pie sounded good when I couldn't keep any food down.  And you know, I had just been the main attraction in a peep show, and needed a little something to replace my dignity.

24 comments:

  1. We've been doing the same thing with steaks and chicken. At first, I was like omfg a $20 steak and $15 of chicken! And then I realized it's about what we spend once eating out when I'm too tired/sick/pregnant crazy to cook. But, the kiddo and I nibble on the chicken for a snack, warm it up and throw it together with something for lunch, or we do salads. And the steak does at least 5 dinners (as-is, fajitas, salad, shredded and done like a cheesesteak, with some egg an potato for a breakfast hash type deal, or, ahem, cold out of the container and dipped in steak sauce [meeee]).

    We really like the flexibility of grilling one time in this ridiculous heat wave we're stuck in and eating great all week. Especially since the alternative would likely be cereal or grilled cheese sandwiches.

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    1. My butthole puckered the first time I paid $16 for the flank steak, but then Troy decided to butterfly it, and it lasted 6 meals for 2 of us which comes to $1.33 per serving. The cost per serving made it all seem worth it. And yes, the fact that you can just grab and go on and only cook once is so awesome!

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  2. Awesome recipes! I can't wait to try the s'mores with homemade marshmallows. I saw a picture of a sandwich using whole bell peppers for the "bread" and tried it. It was great! I added sliced cukes, shredded carrots, romaine, turkey slices, and a tomato. It was very crunchy and so much more satisfying than a salad. I'm thinking about trying it roasted for dinner. What I enjoy about being mostly grain-free is how creative I get to be in the kitchen. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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    1. Oh man, I love the idea of your "sandwich", but I absolutely hate bell peppers. I'll tell my mom and sis though because they adore them and would love your idea!

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  3. Holy S**t - you are always the one I go to for a laugh! Your story is hilarious!

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  4. Oh, the wand...

    My first baby was born in 1991. They either didn't have the wands yet, or the doctor was too old-school and didn't buy one. But in 2000, when second baby was born, they wand existed. And I didn't know they existed.

    I go in for my first appointment to confirm the pregnancy and doc whips the wand out. As soon as the doctor indicates what the wand is and what he'll do with it, my hubs blurts out, "MAN! I feel TOTALLY inadequate right now!" I almost peed on the table I was laughing so hard. My doc later told me he always here's that sentence in his head when he uses it on his patients ;-)

    PS--Was in lovely Seattle in late June/early July. You told me I'd miss peach season, so I heeded your advice, found a cool vendor at Pike who sells them, and have had him shipping me peaches all July. Duuuuuuuuddddddeeee. They are so good....

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    1. I bet that is a frequent comment by a lot of new dads!

      So glad you enjoyed your local fruit/visit! We're just now getting our CSA shipment of cherries next week and I'm so excited!

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  5. So many typos in that last post. I plead the meds I'm on for the sinus infection. I'll sober up and do better next time.

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  6. Tell Troy that EVERY day I think of his weight and chuckle. (but don't tell him that's not really true OR that I think he has a real future in hand modeling)

    But awwww, I remember when baby Jack was still just a little tiny thing seen by that freaky internal wand.

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    1. And baby Jack thinks of you all the time too!

      Yeah, that wand was freaky. No I won't tell Troy because I'm sure he'll get a complex.

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  7. Well... I typed this a few times, but stupid wordpress wouldn't work smoothly with blogger... so... I will just say that I love your blog, love the ideas with the personality attached. Found it because of your post about bat-sized zukes, with which I fear to become familiar as I have two very hyper plants in my first-timer's garden.

    Husband and I have been paleo-ish for about 5 months now and yeah, my skin's clear, gassiness only shows up when I eat dairy or grains, and my menstrual pain/insanity also lessened. I lost a good deal of weight too, and it seems more stable than other times I lost weight and yo-yoed. We dropped grains, corn, rice, diary, and mostly dropped sugar. I don't try to limit my fruit intake much and eat 85-90% dark chocolate almost daily, so sugar's still around.

    It gets easier with time, as this eating becomes habit, but then comes a time when you realize you are only eating about 3-4 meals and are getting sick of them. So I appreciate the recipes! I also hit up marksdailyapple.com for more.

    Keep you the awesome! I've been reading all week and you're totally on my feed now. I keep getting lost in your monday link party and look forward to making some skirts out of elderly t-shirts.

    Lana

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    1. 2 zuke plants? Oh my goodness, you are in for some harvesting in the next few weeks! I'm going to be posting our favorite grilled veggie recipe this week, so stay tuned. It's a great way to consume large amounts of zukes.

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  8. oh, and here is my fave dessert that my hubby makes for us! Paleo Banana (Chocolate) Ice Cream

    3 bananas
    3/4 cup of coconut milk
    1/2 tspn vanilla extract
    1.5 tbspn cocoa powder (optional)

    Chop bananas into little pieces and put in freezer in a baggie or some plastic wrap for at least 5 hours. Then food process all the ingredients until it's creamy. Makes anywhere from 2-4 servings, depending on whether you want to pig out or not. I add chocolate chunks and pecans to mine afterwards. If you want more of a vanilla ice cream, don't add the cocoa powder. And it's NUMMY!

    Lana

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    1. It actually sounds a lot like the smoothies I make; so good!

      I bet you could just use frozen bananas that you already have in the freezer. We freeze bananas if they're about to go bad and always have a ready supply on hand.

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  9. I "went Paleo" on January 1st. Started out slow, replacing our processed oils with natural oils (olive oil, EV coconut oil), cut out all grains, and finally cut out all sugar. I did reintroduce small amounts of dairy. I was surprised at how easy it was and how healthy I felt! I didn't need my asthma inhalers anymore, I feel stronger and more energetic. And once I cut out the sugar, I lost more than 25 lbs. I hope you both discover the same health benefits.

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    1. I would LOVE if Troy could stop using his inhaler!!!!

      I fear he won't get the full benefit from this challenge though. I've found him eating giant bowls of rice cereal a few times in the last 2 weeks. I know it's not gluten, but it's also not really honoring the idea of the challenge.

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  10. yes the gas thing is true. Try slipping up after this and eat something white & starchy - you will feel like a bloated blimp and your tummy will start acting up & reject the carbage you consumed. Then you might also experience the part were you don't get enough fibre in, or don't drink enough water and you get very constipated. But you eat a lot of fruits so you will be ok I think.

    I remember way back when we had weetbix (donno if you know this brand? crushed wheat in a brick shape i think) for breakfast at say 7, but by 10:30 you are so hungry you are already picking at your lunch, then when 3.30 rolls around you are ravenous and when you get home you graze on everything your hand touches as you try to make dinner. With eating a more protein rich breakfast I could last till 2 sometimes and would not be hungry, but I had to eat the food or else I'd have to chuck it. So yes I'm a big believer in eating something meaty or eggy for breakfast. It might not be as convenient as having a bowl of cereal that you can just nuke or pour milk on, but it is worth the effort. I especially love having a pure beef patty for breakfast with half a tomato. You really taste the meat and spices then, but you gotta make sure the patty is pure beef, not beef and bread and oats and what have you. Make them yourself. Make more than one serving and keep in the fridge for some other breakfast when you don't have time to fry up patties and grab em and run.

    having prepared meat on hand is a lifesaver! chicken boobs are awesome if made in bulk. you can do so much with them! fillings, toppings and as is. The steak thing could work too, but here chicken is still cheaper than beef, so that is the go to meat for us. cans of tuna are also great. We had a diet where you cut up half an apple into this tuna mayo mix and put some cheese on it... gaaaaaaaaaaaaawd I love that day in the diet plan, but the bf thinks it's gross. sweet and salty and cheesy and fishy... what's not to like? ok if you are a landlubber fish is not your kettle of fish so to speak. I find that most people, myself included, can stomach fish with a batter around it, so we have 4 fish fingers (sticks) and tomatoes for breakfast once a week and it does not impact your diet noticeably and you get to eat fish. It is time consuming and I would not suggest making this in bulk as old fish fingers are revolting. so either get up early or pop them into the oven as you get ready for work. don't forget about them or else you'll be peeling burned fish fingers for breakfast. My bf does the breakfasts around here (standard routine and he can't muck things up) while i get ready for work then make lunch for us (salads chop chop chop chop). He nukes the fish fingers till done, then quickly fries them in a pan with some oil till crispy.

    Keep going and you will notice more health improvements. most marked is the lack of heartburn (as I've mentioned before). Just eating more veggies will break the vicious cycle of constantly having heartburn and popping antacids. Eat a raw carrot or two. Well it works for me. remember to drink your water! even if you get enough fiber, your body needs the liquids to get rid of all the waste and to keep things hydrated.

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    1. I am so excited about finally getting ripe tomatoes around here; will have to try that once they're available!

      Also, I probably drink more water than 3 normal people combined. I have a mug at work that is 16 oz and refill it at least 6 times during the work day. When I was breastfeeding, I drank 4 liters of water a day, and that huge quantity just kind of stuck with me!

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  11. You made me laugh, thanks! ;)

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  12. We're trying to eat better around here too. I've been having a ton of stomach/intestinal issues lately and no doctor has been able to figure it out. My husband and I have tried to cut out most processed food and preservatives, making most things ourselves. When we stay on track, I feel great. During the whole process, we've also cut most grains. Plain white rice with some soy sauce is getting boring though so I appreciate your recipes! Last night I slipped up and got some pizza...big mistake. Also discovered I'm lactose intolerant!! Go figure. Of course, this makes things a bit more difficult but not impossible. It's all about feeling better. Now when I slip up, I feel awful all day and night. It helps me stay on track. Good luck with the month! It might just turn into a lifestyle change once you get used to it and realize you and your family feel better.

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    1. I don't think Troy's sensitives are as extreme as you. You poor thing; that sounds miserable with the the repercussions of slipping up!

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  13. I find your cussing to be atrocious.*

    Anyway, I'm loving your blog, found it thru pinterest. Can't wait to dig thru your archives even more!

    *I'm just kidding, I've seen other people commenting on other threads about it and thought they were to stuffy. Who cares, it's your DAMN blog! Back arrow, peeps!

    -EmFox13

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  14. dontgiveash8@gmail.comDecember 8, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    My daughter has celiac disease. She has to be on a gluten-free diet, it's been a rough road of learning but now it's just part of our lives. She started out with being lactose-intolerant as well because of the damage to her digestive system, but it thankfully went away after about 1 yr. Gluten-free pizza is pretty good homemade, some pizza places make it too. Be careful with the rice crispies, most brands have malt in it which is not gluten-free. There are so many different levels of sensitivity and severity, I'm just thankful we caught it so early because now, two and a half years after diagnosis, my 4 yr old takes the diet differences like a champ. I try cutting it out as much as I can, but I'm a vegetarian as well and finding gluten-free/meat-free and easy on the wallet is not a small feat to accomplish. The Oriental section has rice stick noodles that taste delicious and are only about 1.50 for a big bag. Tastes remarkably like pasta. They also make rice crackers in a few different flavors that are good to snack on. Any chance you can list some of your more basic cheap-tastic gluten-free recipes?

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    1. I've been gluten-free most of my life (I was diagnosed with celiac disease when I was 18-months old and on my death bed; NOT a typical symptom!)

      I understand how hard it is to find and buy gluten-free products, especially on a budget. The thing I'm loving is the ability to have Cake, cookies and other treats that had always been off limits before. I also like some of the breads that are out there but still have a hard time eating them regularly as I never really had exposure to breads when I was younger so the texture is a little off for my taste buds. Most of my exposure to these things come from mine and My husbands family-(they want to ensure me and my children have treats we can eat!)

      Now that I have children, and want to prevent them from having some of the health issues I had/have, I am trying to do even more for their health. I have learned about the Paleo lifestyle and the *GAPS diet.

      The difference between these is that GAPS is specifically designed to heal the gut and is therefore only for a short time-span and the Paleo lifestyle is the choice to eat NATURAL foods to prevent the build-up of the toxins and other unhealthy things that our government deems 'healthy'.

      *The GAPS diet was created to help those who have Autism but have found it helps people with celiac disease, RA, and all other auto-immune disorders and psychological issues. It is far more restrictive as far as the food goes, but like I said, it's for healing the gut. Most people who go on the diet, which duration time varies depending on the number of ailments and/or severity of your ailments, are able to eat the things they had issues with, like grains, dairy, nuts, and other food allergens, as well as environmental issues; asthma, dermatitis issues and the like. Now I'm not saying it cures everyone, but it has been found to cure some people and the issues they had.

      **GAPS stands for 'Gut And Psychology Syndrome'.

      I have been living more of the Paleo life-style lately, but plan to have my family go on a short GAPS diet once we get the hang of things. I am currently trying to get meals/foods prepared early but, with two little children, haven't been as successful as I desire. Your tips are very helpful and I will be using them to help me reach more of my food prep goals!!!

      (The info I gave is not intended to tell others they need the GAPS diet but is another helpful tip that could be useful for someone!)

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Comments make me more excited than Jessie Spano on caffeine pills!

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