Monthly Archives: September 2012

Relaxing Weekend

For the past month, we’ve been really busy each weekend.  Vacations, road trips, family visiting.  It’s been really fun, but really hectic.  Fortunately, this weekend we didn’t have much going on and it was a welcome chance to just relax before the business starts up again.

Friday doesn’t exactly count as the weekend, especially not during the work day, but I wanted to write about the best yogurt ever, aka Atlanta Fresh Pumpkin Pie flavor.  This is a brand new flavor and since I am lucky enough (though my wallet thinks otherwise) to work in the same office complex as Atlanta Fresh, I was able to go over there on Friday afternoon and sample the new flavor.  Of course, then I purchased $20 of yogurt.  What, don’t judge me.  It’s good!  If you live in the Atlanta area (and some other parts of the southeast, I think), do yourself a favor and try this yogurt.  Yes, it’s pricy but it’s so worth it.

Atlanta fresh pumpkin

Saturday started off with a 3.5 mile run/walk.  Jason and I signed up for a 5K in November and we both really want to make sure we train for it.  I have a habit of thinking that a 5K will always be a piece of cake and guess what, when you are barely running, it’s not so easy.  I also spent the majority of the morning and afternoon moping and maybe even shedding a tear because my favorite radio station is changing formats to a sports talk station and it was the last day for all the DJs, though they are still playing music for a couple more weeks which is sort of weird.

I snapped out of it, however, in time to have a potluck picnic in the park with some other bloggers.  Laura organized this event a couple weeks ago.  It ended up just being five of us (me, Laura, Alayna, Stacy and Heather) which I thought was great because we were all able to talk.  Whenever blogger meetups get really big, I feel like it’s really hard to talk to everyone.

Bloggers

Everyone brought a dish and we sat in the park for a couple hours, chatting and eating.  I brought Cowboy Caviar with blue corn chips.

Cowboy caviar

Laura brought a s’mores type dessert.

Smores

Stacy brought cookies.

Cookies

Alayna brought an edamame and avocado spread that’s from her upcoming cookbook!

Edamame avocado spread

Heather brought coconut covered dates.

Dates

Since I’m still trying to do this gluten-free trial (I’ll write more about how it’s going in another post), I wasn’t able to eat everything.  Really the only thing that I didn’t try was one of Stacy’s cookies, though they looked amazing.  Laura’s dish had a graham cracker crust, but I just pulled that part off and just ate the chocolate.

Today was more gym action and then I got my hair colored and cut.  I have been really sick of my hair color for a while and decided to go darker for the fall.  I really like it.  I usually will just dye my hair myself at home, but I figured since I was getting it cut anyway, might as well.

Before:

Hair before

During:

Hair during

After:

Hair after

I cannot seem to ever take a picture of myself and look into the lens at the same time.

Anyway, It started to rain this evening and I had the perfect dinner for it – fire roasted vegetarian chili – a recipe from my cousin Emily.  Never mind that I made the chili during the day when it wasn’t rainy and gross.

Chili

Now the relaxing weekend is nearly over and I’m about to get really busy again.  At least my hair looks better.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

I’ve been seeing this little survey around and it’s perfect for tonight when I don’t have much else to say.  You might not even see this post because my blog keeps getting suspended for high CPU usage.  Does anyone else ever have this problem?  I think that a spider is crawling the site and causing the problem.  I’m not even sure what that means.

Anyway.  Food.

Breakfast

1.  What was your favorite cereal as a child?

I honestly don’t know the answer to this.  I wasn’t allowed to have all the sugary cereals so of course, that’s what I wanted.  I think, however, I was allowed to have Frosted Mini-Wheats, so we’ll go with those.

2.  Coffee or Tea?  With milk or without?

Coffee with soy creamer, please.

Coffee

I do drink tea at work though, usually without milk.

3.  What’s the one food you eat most at breakfast?

Well, it used to be eggs but recently I found out that my cholesterol is 207, which is in the borderline high category. I’m not sure if eggs are contributing to that or not, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to be a little less egg-happy.

Egg sandwich

Lunch

1.  If you had to choose between and peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a grilled cheese sandwich, which would you choose?

They are both really good and it’s a hard decision.  Ultimately, I think I’d go with PB&J.  Honestly though, I rarely eat sandwiches for lunch.  I usually eat leftovers or an Amy’s Tofu Scramble which my boss got me hooked on and is very delicious.

2. You can only put 4 ingredients in your salad (besides the greens), which do you choose?  Additionally, which greens and which dressing.

Salad

Yesterday’s lunch was spinach with salmon, dried cherries and walnuts dressed with lite balsamic.  Since I get one more topping, I’d probably go with avocado.  I also really like ranch dressing, unless it tastes too much like mayo and then I hate it.

3.  One food you can’t live without at lunch?

I don’t tend to eat the same things day after day, so I can’t really think of anything.  Water to wash it down?

Dinner

1. It’s the end of the day and you’re tired, hungry and your fridge is empty.  If fast food (from a chain) is your only option, where do you go and what do you order?

Really, I never eat fast food for dinner.  Never.  That’s not to say that all my meals are healthy.  My version of fast food is usually going to Kroger and picking up a frozen pizza.

Pizza salad

2.  TV/Computer on our off while you are eating.

I am awful about this, but I am almost ALWAYS at my computer while I eat.  The TV is usually off though.

3.  The one food you eat most often at dinner?

Refried beans, I just can’t quit you.

Refried beans

Dessert.

1.  Cheesecake or apple pie.

Umm, neither?  Ice cream.

2.  Flan or tiramisu?

See answer above.

3.  Ice cream in a cup or cone?

There we go!  Cup please.

And I’m sure my blog is about to get suspended again before you even read this.  Don’t worry, Ill get it back.

Natural Foods Warehouse Trip

Thanks for all the positive comments on my last post.  I honestly feel like I’m jumping on some diet bandwagon with this, but I guess I’ll find out in a few weeks if I feel noticeably different.  Coincidently Sarena suggested that I go to Natural Foods Warehouse to find some gluten-free items at good prices and guess where I was about two hours before her comment?

Natural foods warehouse

Apparently, I don’t know not to put my finger over the camera lens.  To my credit, I was very upset at the time because it was the last broadcast of a radio program (radio free lunch) on davefm, my favorite station that is turning into a sports station in a few weeks.  The DJ was crying so then I was crying and now there is going to be no alternative/modern rock stations in our whole city.  Anyway, yes, that’s somehow related to the fact that I put my finger over the camera lens.

I digress.  I always digress.  It’s how I think.  Multi-tasking at it’s finest.

A few weeks ago, I purchased a Groupon to Natural Foods Warehouse.  It’s about a 15-20 minute drive from my office, but it’s a relatively easy drive, so I thought I’d just go during lunch.  It makes more sense to do that since it’s in the total opposite direction from my house.  Like the name suggests, the inside looks rather warehousey.

Natural foods warehouse inside1

Natural foods warehouse inside2

They don’t have any produce, but they have a lot of packaged stuff (and some freezer and refrigerated too) and it’s all decently priced, at least for natural foods.  I got really excited, however, when I saw one thing…

Kombucha

You can’t really tell from this picture, but that top of Kombucha is in a dark brown bottle and the bottom row is in a clear bottle.  The dark brown bottle is the original formula – the one that they took off the shelves two years ago (I specifically remember that it was two years ago because I really wanted some when I was getting my wedding dress altered and they didn’t have the new formula then.) because of the small alcohol content.  I knew that they had begun to sell the original formula again in the darker bottles but I’d never seen it in person until now.

Kombucha2

No joke, I got carded for buying it.  It was also 50 cents more expensive than the kind in the clear bottle.  Other than bottles of Kombucha, I just kind of bought some random things, but one thing that I did get that’s worth noting is gluten-free bread.  I did a search yesterday for “best gluten-free bread” and the Huffington Post ranked Udi’s as the favorite, so I thought I’d try it while I had this Groupon.

Udis bread

It’s definitely smaller than regular bread, but honestly, it tasted pretty similar to me.  It was a little more dry and crumbly, but I thought it was perfectly fine tasting.  Expensive, but perfectly fine tasting.

Udis bread2

I spy a hungry Golden Retriever.  Although he was visibly less excited about gluten-free bread then regular.

Is Gluten My Problem?

If you know me in real life or you’ve been reading for a while, there’s no doubt that you’ve heard me complain about my stomach aches. (Seriously, “stomach aches” is one of the categories that I have on my blog!) My stomach has been bothering me in some capacity pretty much since I was a teenager. I’ve sort of mentioned it to various doctors, but none of them really seemed to pay attention and it was never bad enough for me to really get them to do so.

Things that I know bother me:

• Splenda
• Aspartame
• Truvia (other brands of stevia including Stevia in the Raw and NuNaturals are ok)
• Carbonation
• Malitol/Sorbitol

Gluten?

After hearing about gluten intolerance for a while now, it suddenly occurred to me that maybe this is my problem. I’m pretty sure that I don’t have celiac disease, but I wonder if I do have some sort of sensitivity to gluten. A little Google research showed me that not only are my stomach aches a symptom, but I have some others.

• Depression
• Exhaustion
• Irritability and mood swings
• Irregular menstrual cycle
• Decline in dental health

I’m not stupid, I know that having these symptoms could be from anything, but I figured why not try to cut out gluten for a couple of weeks and see if it makes any difference in the way I feel.

I’ve never felt more lost in the grocery store as I did last night on my first gluten-free shopping trip. I imagine this is what someone who decides to suddenly eat healthy after a lifetime of McDonalds and frozen pizzas feels like – clueless.  Is this product okay?  Is this one?  I mostly stuck to things that said gluten free on them if I wasn’t sure.

I picked up a few things – some Kind bars, hummus, brown rice pasta, gluten-free waffles – but honestly, I don’t intend to substitute everything that I was eating before that had wheat in it with a gluten-free version. I have plenty of recipes saved that I can still make and I’m just going to have to figure the snacks out. Nuts, fruits, veggies, hummus, yogurt – those are all fine, so I think I’ll be okay.

Gluten free stuff

Aside from the waffles and the pasta, I’ve actually had the rest of the products before.  I just didn’t really know that they were gluten free.  And yes, I actually do like the shirataki noodles.  I know most people don’t.

Last night, I made Creamy Roasted Tomato, Garlic and Onion Soup. Only I cheated and used canned tomatoes because the ones that Kroger had were looking rough.  Remind me why I ever shop at Kroger.  And while you’re at it, remind me if it’s possible to ever take a pretty picture of soup.

Tomato onion coconut soup

Tonight, I used the brown rice pasta in this Vegetable Pasta with Miso Tahini recipe.  The brown rice pasta tasted pretty similar to regular.  It was a little stickier, but other than that, I didn’t notice a huge difference.  I used just a little bit of pasta and bulked up the rest with the shirataki noodles.

Miso tahini pasta

Those mushrooms look pretty meaty.

I feel fine today – no stomach aches yet. In a way, I hope this works. Usually the stomach pains are more annoying than anything, but sometimes, it really, really hurts. I’d love to not feel that way anymore. But on the other hand, eating a gluten-free diet seems like a total pain in the ass! So, I guess we’ll see what happens. I’m not sure how long I should try it. 2 weeks maybe?

I’m not going to lie, if it helps me lose weight too, I’m not going to be sad about that, though weight loss isn’t my primary reason for eating this way.  And also, I have no idea if I can even do this for two weeks.

Savannah Day

We spent yesterday exploring Savannah.  After taking the ferry boat across the Savannah River to the other side, we bought tickets for a 90 minute trolley tour.

Westin savannah

Mom marty

Trolley

The tour took us around Savannah and the tour guide/bus driver told us all about the city and it’s history.

Trolley tour

There are 22 squares in Savannah and I felt the need to take pictures of most of them.  Not an easy feat when the bus is moving.

Square1

Square3

Square2

I really liked the Spanish Moss than hung from all the trees.  It had almost a creepy feeling to it, especially at night, but it was cool.

Spanish moss

We drove by Paula Dean’s restaurant.  I feel like my cholesterol jumped just looking at it.

Lady and sons

After the tour, we had lunch on River Street and then parted ways with my mom and Marty who were attending a wedding.  Jason and spent the evening exploring River Street and City Market.  Jason really wanted to try the Chatham Artillery Punch, which is basically a bunch of liquors mixed with champagne.  I got a Bloody Mary.

Drinks savannah

You are allowed to walk around with your drinks if they are in plastic cups under 16 oz, so that’s just what we did.  We went into a bunch of stores and art galleries in City Market.

Me jason city market

Then I made the really stupid decision of wanting sushi for dinner.  Honestly, I wanted pizza from a pizza place that we kept walking by, but I was trying to be healthier and we ended up with crappy sushi that made my stomach hurt.  Lesson learned.

We called it a night sometime around 10 or 11 and went back to our room, woke up the this morning, dropped my mom and Marty at the airport and drove back to Atlanta.  A very short trip, but it was fun.

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