Saturday, March 31, 2012

birthday recap

I had a great birthday, fabulous actually. My parents came down to Virginia and we all got together at Tommy and Katie's house. Yea, we celebrated another year that's gone by, but really I was most excited to spend the day all together. My family means the world to me, and I'm glad we live semi-close to see each other often. Katie prepared a delicious lunch and we spent the rainy afternoon doing what we do best: eating, catching up, playing with the kiddos, talking business, and previewing Tommy's new business website (when it's launched, I'll fill you in)!

This birthday was also special because I got my first power tool. Thanks, dad! It's out in our storage unit, but I'm now a proud owner of a laser miter saw. I will finally be able to cut my own wood for my DIY projects.

On my actual birthday my students sang to me and were begging to know my age. I told them earlier in the year I was in my 20's but they were determined to know the actual age. I gave each table one guess and told them if someone guessed it, I'd tell them. Two tables guessed 27, another 26, and another 28 so now they know. I had to laugh when one kid yelled out, "Hey, that's how old my mom is!"

I celebrated with the Douglas' from afar. They flooded the mailbox with cards and birthday money :)

A cropped version of this picture is in the collage above, but it's too cute not to show you the full size. These kids adore their uncle JD.

Hoping I keep this blog up and running, it will be nice to look back and see what life was like when I was 27. I had dark hair, I was in my 2nd year of grad school, 4th year of teaching, 4th year of living in Maryland, childless, renting, attending McLean Bible Church, & loving the Lord and my husband.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

update on migraines and gf diet

It's been two weeks since going gluten free. I started this gf adventure during that time of the month, where I'm guaranteed a migraine or two. So ironically, within my first two weeks on the new diet, I had three migraines. I know it takes at least 1-3 months for the new diet to have an effect, but it was still frustrating to say the least.

But, how am I doing? Great actually. I have cheated once and I really haven't craved anything I'm not allowed. I was put through multiple tests (a student brought in fresh baked pastries, cookies/brownies at a church function, then cupcakes at church the following morning).

The only time it stung a bit was when we went out to eat this weekend. The burgers, sandwiches, and crab cakes all looked very good. Surprising, both restaurants we went to on Friday and Saturday offered gluten free menus. I found great choices at both places (Bonefish and Gordon Biersch).

A friend from work brought me a gluten free cookie mix and they are delicious.
All my family got together to celebrate my birthday (more on that in an upcoming post) and Katie was so kind to get me two gf oh-my-goodness-so-good cupcakes.
Even though I had two cupcakes and cookies, going gf has actually made me eat a lot healthier. More fruits, veggies, salads etc. Katie made this salad for lunch yesterday (goat cheese, strawberries, candied pecans with oil and vinegar) and it was so good I bought everything at the store today and had it for lunch again.

Another friend from work recommended a natural vitamin that helps decrease migraines and migraine symptoms, so now I'm popping those two.

Thanks to everyone to has reached out to help me with advice and suggestions for either the gf transition or migraine control.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

preparing for week 1 of gluten free diet

If you didn't see it in my last post, I'm embarking on a gluten free diet in attempt to decrease my migraines. I had this thought for a while and finally decided to go for it [the last 2 migraines were too much to bare].

Here's what I did to prepare...
  • reached out to my friends who already live this lifestyle and got lots of helpful tips, websites, blogs, and all around advice
  • searched the internet for hours learning what foods contain gluten and what foods are safe
  • read blog post after blog post for "getting started..."
  • came up with a week of meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) that are all gluten free
  • tried to subdue the wow-this-is-very-overwhelming feeling
  • oh yea and treated myself to an early birthday present at The Chessecake Factory 

I haven't had a piece of cheesecake from here in years, since college actually, so about 5-6 years ago. I really debated but JD's encouragement was all I needed. I enjoyed this over three days and now it's gone. I am truly not going to cheat and therefore will not have any "real" cookies or cake for my birthday coming up.

After reading some online advice, it suggested not to substitute a gluten free flour in anything or eat gluten free pasta right away. Don't try to "replace" gluten and give you body a clean two weeks to adjust. Then, begin to try the gluten free versions of pasta, cookies, bread, etc.

I wasn't exactly sure where to begin. I wish someone could have said..."Cook these meals the first week," but couldn't find that anywhere. So, here's what I came up with.

Main Meals [we always cook 3 and eat leftovers]
  • broccoli
  • aspargus
  • salads
  • Honey Chex Cereal/Almond Milk [not much change here]
  • Amy's gluten free burittos
  • fruit
  • rasins
  • yogurt
  • fruit
  • caramel corn rice cakes
  • almond nut thins
  • chocolate 
By no means in this going to turn in to a "gluten free" blog [I barely know what I'm doing], but this is what my week one looks like.

*We just finished the brown sugar turkey meatloaf and it was delicious...gluten free or not, you need to try this one.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

gettin' healthy

We are generally pretty healthy eaters. We could probably eat more veggies and less sweets but overall we strive to maintain a healthy diet. But now we're trying to work out more and rid the house of dessert.

Last week I stumbled upon the blog Skinny Taste and we've made three meals this week from this blog and we love it!

First up...Potato Soup 
It takes just like a loaded potato but is secretly made with a whole head of cauliflower.

JD continued to browse the website and couldn't resist making this Banana Cream Pie

Finally, we made a Broccoli Chicken and Noodle Casserole

Sorry, no photo. This was very good with great flavor.

In other news, next week begins my gluten free diet. After doing some research, I've read that a lot of migraine patients get relief (to some degree) when eliminating gluten. 2011 has been a bad year for my migraines. sick. sick. sick. knocked out sick.

So....I'm up for something, anything that can help. I'll let you know how it goes. Both the adjustment part (no bread, no pasta, etc) and the effect it has on my migraines. I had to plan at least one pasta dish before the new diet.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

beautiful day

No projects to report today. Just enjoying this beautiful day which makes me excited for spring and summer. JD and I went on our first run jog today. With such a busy schedule lately, working out has taken a back seat. I'm determined to change that. I'm hoping to get some form of exercise at least 3 days a week. We'll see how that goes.

Last week I vowed to get rid of junk food for a week but that didn't go so well. I still had so much Valentine's candy left over. My students were very generous this year. I couldn't take the temptation and finally threw the rest away.

Lately, I've been eating a salad with dinner each night. That's a start, right? We are currently hook on this...
It's very basic. A spinach mix with cranberries, cashews, feta cheese and fat free raspberry vinaigrette dressing. So good. 

 I had to get rid of a few ripe bananas so I made this banana bread too...
Recipe and photo from here. I hope it takes as good as it smells.

Quite the productive day. Now off to grade 28 unit tests...