Archive for May, 2012

May 25, 2012

Where did this week go?

It’s Friday. Did you know that? I certainly didn’t! What a crazy, busy, stressful, fun, hectic week!

But now that its coming to a close, the relaxing portion of our scheduled programming can being! Jim and I am his brother’s family are going to my family’s house in Shelter Cove for the holiday weekend.

This is the only photo I could find of the house. It was from….2004? When it was still being built. That’s my mom, me and my brother…well, our heads at least! (I’ll post some more photos at the end of the weekend)

I’m excited to get up there and crash. The house is beautiful and the architect designed it so you can see the ocean from every room (he actually was on his way into retirement and decided to do this one last job…he was stoked. that’s how fabulous the house is). I packed my rice crust pizza and some gluten-free snacks, which I will be eating while the others have delicious fish burgers and the Cove’s most amazing pizza (after last night’s run in with tempura shrimp –read: covered in flour– I’m pretty okay with the not repeating this morning’s misery). We have pleeeeenty of wine and I’m making some gluten free brownies…or maybe cookies…before we leave this afternoon.

I just can’t wait! Only one more hour of work!

To recap my week a little bit (because I know you’re curious {gee there are a lot of parenthesis in this post!}), I had a wedding to photograph on Wednesday, for which I was preparing most of Monday and Tuesday evening. I tried acupuncture for the first time yesterday. I’ll tell you more about that later.

I guess that’s really all. But coming off a nonstop weekend, it felt like pure madness.

Anyway, I hope you all have a lovely and relaxing (or not, as long as it’s fun) weekend! If you need me, I’ll be at the beach!

May 18, 2012

One week, corn and wheat free

I’ve officially hit the one week mark, pretty much to the minute, since I found out about my corn and wheat allergies. And, if I don’t say so myself, I’ve done amazingly well at cutting those things out of my diet.

I can count on one hand the times I’ve knowingly put those things into my body, and I’m pretty certain that there haven’t been any times that I’ve eaten something that has corn or wheat without knowing it.

On Sunday, when we went to the strawberry festival, I ate funnel cake, which was amazingly delicious, and (with the exception of the retarded frozen strawberries they put on top. Hello? STRAWBERRY festival, you’d think they’d have REAL strawberries) entirely worth the risk of feeling pooey. Except I didn’t feel pooey after.

On Wednesday, however, I ordered a mahi mahi burrito bowl from Dos Coyotes, which I’ve done so many times in the past, and ate the whole thing…including the corn they couldn’t take out because it was in the rice mixture. This one I paid for. Immediate pains in my stomach and crampiness the next morning for about an hour. I won’t do that again.

I’m heading into a busy weekend, where most of my meals will be away from home, and I’m a bit nervous about it, but I also feel okay. I can make the right choices, and I know the consequences of making the wrong ones. And even though the right choices aren’t the most delicious, theyare usually healthy and that makes me happier in the long run.

What do you have planned for your weekend? How do you eat the way you should (whatever that may entail) when you are away from home?

May 16, 2012

Tomato Basil Pancakes with Avocado and Balsamic Drizzle

So far this whole corn-free, wheat-free thing hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. Sure, its tough to get rid of the foods in my kitchen that I bought because I wanted and can no longer eat. And yes, memories of that french bread from the weekend are still fresh in my mind. But overall, it’s a pain in the butt, but I’m not missing the corn and wheat that much.

Granted, ask me again in a few weeks and I may be singing a different tune.

In the meantime, I’m doing okay, and trying to find interesting recipes that can accommodate my newly discovered dietary restrictions.

I was pointed in the direction of Clean Eating Chelsey, who has similar restrictions. On her blog I found a bunch of interesting recipes and decided to give her tomato basil pancakes a whirl…with my own tweaks, of course.

Tomato Basil Pancakes with Avocado and Balsamic Drizzle

1 1/2 cups Bob’s Redmill Gluten Free flour

2 tbsp flax seed meal

seasoning of your choice (I used Jim’s step dad’s, of course. Recommended: salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary)

1 cup almond milk (or other milk of your choice)

handful of basil leaves, chopped

1-2 roma tomatoes, chopped small and dried (I just patted the pile with a paper towel)

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 avocado, sliced

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Add almond milk. Stir until combined. Add basil and tomatoes. Boil balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and set aside (it will thicken as it cools). Heat a griddle pan (or non-stick frying pan) with a little bit of olive oil. Pour batter onto griddle. Cook each side until its golden brown. Stack pancakes, lay 1/2 sliced avocado on top and drizzle with balsamic. Makes two servings (approx 6 pancakes, as shown above).

I actually flipped these over again to brown them a little more. Just fyi.

This was the first time I’d used the gluten-free flour, even though I purchased it back at Christmas time to take a shot at making some gluten-free cookies for a few friends with celiac disease. I was surprised at how good these tasted. Even my husband enjoyed them. Of course, if you aren’t sensitive to wheat or gluten, I’d probably recommend whole wheat flour. That’s what I would have used a week ago.

After dinner, we went out and played some tennis, and I took Monday’s photo (I know, I know. I’m supposed to take one every day, but I forgot my camera and my phone and I wanted this one for the 14th photo).

Day 14: Grass

I know it’s not grass. It’s a dandelion, but I look at it creeping up through a crack in the tennis courts every day when we play and it somehow inspires me…photographically speaking. I couldn’t get the exact shot I was hoping for with the phone camera, but I wasn’t going to bring my nice camera out when we were going to be haphazardly whacking balls all over the place. Not a smart move.

Day 15: Love

This is a double love because I love my little nephew and I love strawberries! Oh, and my mom in the background. I guess it’s a triple love!

Today’s photo is “what you’re reading,” and you’ll have to wait for that one because my books are at home!

May 15, 2012

Corn and wheat free, day four

As I mentioned yesterday, I just found out I’m allergic to wheat and corn. I want to clarify that I do not have celiac disease. I am not allergic to gluten but to wheat specifically. And, to add a little extra fun, I’m hypoglycemic.

So for the past two days, I’ve been making sure I pack a good amount of snacks to get me through 8 hours at work. I used to just ignore my body telling me it was time for me to eat. I would argue with it, bargain with it to hold off until it was “time” to eat. But I can’t do that anymore. It makes sense now why my body was acting the way it was. It needed food. Granted, now it feels like all I’m doing all day is eating. But I’ve decided that if I can pack a reasonable amount of food for the day, as long as I don’t eat more than what I pack, I should be good.

This is what was in my snack pack today (and yesterday, pretty much). Strawberries, carrots (I ate about half of them before I took the photo), rice crackers (I also ate a few of), tofu (Its teriyaki flavored and may have trace amounts of wheat, but I threw away the package and I didn’t want to waste the rest). Also in there is a cappuccino flavored Lara bar and a couple of Dove chocolate hearts.

Yesterday this combination, along with some of this salad, got me through the day quite nicely.

It’s the Mediterranean Crunch salad from Whole Foods, and ti’s got all sorts of deliciousness in it including chickpeas, red peppers, zucchini, kale, kalamata olives, onions, lemon juice and tomato among other things. It’s not something I would have normally picked up, but since it was “clean,” I figured I’d give it a whirl.

Last night before Jim and I went out to play tennis, we ate frozen pizzas for dinner. This was one section of Whole Foods I almost broke down in the other night because all the pizzas seemed to have either wheat or corn in them. Finally I found two that were “clean” and I tried this one last night:

As an added bonus, this pizza was vegan. Although I fixed that by adding some goat cheese to the top for the last five minutes of cooking time.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this. My mom has dealt with food allergies, including wheat, for a long time, and I’ll tell you, some of the stuff she used to have to eat, I wouldn’t touch with a 35 foot pole. But this pizza? It surprised me. I think I actually enjoyed the rice crust more than I enjoy wheat crust. It was crispy and had good texture as well as flavor. The sauce was really good and the veggies, although not quite as pretty as the ones on the front of the box, were pleasant enough.

Eventually I plan on making a lot of my own food. Pizza crust and breads and such, but I also count on some of my energy coming back as well. My philosophy, as of now, is to get by. To eat what I can eat and stress as little as possible so I continue to stick with it instead of getting frustrated and quitting, and giving my life back up to exhaustion. I feel like I may finally be able to live a little, to feel like I’m experiencing it and not just going through the motions, and I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew (ha ha) and get overwhelmed at the start.

So even though they’re not the greatest for you, I figure I’ll eat a lot of frozen pizzas…and prepared salads from Whole Foods and bento lunch boxes full of fruits, veggies and rice crackers. I just have to get through each day. And when I feel better, and not so much like just plopping on the couch when I get home, I’ll start to experiment with my own corn and wheat-free creations. So stay tuned!

Do you have any food allergies? Or sensitivities? Have you ever tried rice crust pizza?

May 14, 2012

Major changes afoot

*Look for Photo-a-day updates throughout this post…unfortunately, several of them seem to be lost in my phone, which wants to do its own thing lately…*

Day 7: someone who inspires you…my husband…and my marriage inspire me to be a better person every day.

What a fun and crazy weekend! Jim and I had lunch with his dad on Saturday before meeting his mom’s side of the family for a surprise 70th birthday party for his grandfather. We stayed overnight in Santa Cruz at his aunt’s beach house and left early Sunday morning to meet my mom and nephew for the Strawberry Festival back in Roseville.

But before all of that happened, I went to the doctor again on Friday afternoon.

Day 8: a smell you adore…this is my lavender ice cream (see below). Lavender is one of my favorite smells ever!

Let’s back up a sec so I can give you some back story. Several years ago, my mom got very sick. She went to doctor after doctor after doctor, saw a handful of specialists and no one knew what was wrong with her. Finally she found the doctor we went to on Friday. He practices Eastern medicine, and he was able to diagnose what was wrong with her and treat her back to good-as-new condition.

A lot of people don’t believe in anything but traditional, Western medical ways of thinking and treating illnesses. But when those methods fail you, you have to seek help elsewhere. And that’s where I was a few weeks ago when I booked my appointment.

This doctor uses biofeedback testing to determine the cause of symptoms and herbal remedies and acupuncture as well as lifestyle changes to treat them.

As you know, my main symptom is fatigue. I feel tired as we speak and it’s only 10 a.m. I had three different sets of blood tests done, saw two specialists and two different doctors, and none of them could tell me anything but “your blood work looks good.”  Well, that’s all fine and dandy, but I still don’t feel good.

So when I walked into the office on Friday afternoon, I was a little scared. Scared he’d tell me, too, that there wasn’t anything wrong with me, and a little scared he’d tell me there was a lot wrong.

I think I landed somewhere in the middle.

The first thing he told me was I’m hypoglycemic. Which makes tons of sense. I get cranky and dizzy and start feeling faint if I don’t eat every few hours. I constantly tell myself “It’s not time to eat yet” and wait to eat until it’s closer to lunchtime or dinner time or some other, more acceptable time to fill my mouth with food.

The other major thing he had to say was that I’m allergic to corn and wheat, meaning, pretty much, most of what I put in my mouth is poisoning my body and creating this constant feeling of fatigue.

So I can’t eat anything with corn or wheat in it anymore. And do you know how hard it is to find food that has neither of those things? I almost broke down in Whole Foods yesterday trying to pick out a frozen pizza. There’s plenty of wheat-free options (they’re also labeled as “gluten free” although my allergy is not to gluten, its to wheat itself), but several of them have corn or some form of corn in them. My other giant problem with this is corn syrup. They put that crap in EVERYTHING these days!

Day 10: a favorite word: TUCKER!

Not to mention, eating this weekend was difficult. I managed to get through Saturday just fine, with only one almost-breakdown when Jim’s step dad put the garlic bread on the table. I had a piece of salmon (made specially for me instead of…tri-tip? some sort of beef-looking stuff and chili) and salad. For lunch I managed to find an egg-white omelet with veggies and fruit and cottage cheese on the side instead of toast. And for breakfast I found oatmeal at Starbucks. I did, however, have a double scoop of ice cream from Marianne’s (super good homemade ice cream in Santa Cruz) to compensate. I know it wasn’t really warranted, but it sure did make me feel better about that garlic bread!


Day 11: kitchen…this wasn’t made in my kitchen, but it was breakfast Sunday morning,and it was the closest to “kitchen” I was gonna get.

Sunday, we decided to go to the Strawberry Festival. That in and of itself wasn’t bad. I even managed to stay away from corn and wheat with my vegetable fried rice and garlic fries for lunch…but the strawberry funnel cake was not just calling, but SCREAMING my name, and I caved and had a few (large) bites.

Of course, I felt crappy afterward. It had been 24 hours since I’d had any of that in my stomach and I spent the evening paying for it with a brick in my belly.

Today I have packed some carrots, strawberries (from the festival) and some almond crackers, as well as a salad from Whole Foods’ salad bar section. My mom also has some stuff at her house for lunch, she says, so hopefully I’ll get through this day with no mess-ups!

How was your weekend? Did you do anything exciting?

May 7, 2012

Photo-a-day Catch-up

I know I said I’d post a photo every day, but you know how I am about posting anything on the weekends, so I’ve got a bit of catching up to do today. I did, however, get all of my photos taken! Enjoy!

Friday: something you wore today

These are some of my favorite flats. They’re the most comfy ones I think I own (but they’re Dr. Scholls, so who’s surprised?). Sadly, they’re starting to lose it, I think. They may not be with us much longer….


What’s more fun than frozen yogurt?! I got plain old vanilla and topped it with strawberries, mango, brownie pieces, yogurt chips, mochi and a couple of chocolate covered gummy bears. It was delicious!

Saturday: bird

Isn’t it convenient that I happen to have a bird living in my house? She’s a loud pain in the butt, but she and my husband were a two-for-one deal. What can ya do?

Sunday: me

Sad as it is to admit, this is me: a big old mess. Not really my life so much as my personality. I am messy, but I want to be neat. I have a need to be active, but I have no energy. My personality houses a lot of conflicting ideas, goals, feelings. It’s crazy, and if I could catch a glimpse up there, I’m sure it would look a little bit like my desk here.(Oh, and you can see a little piece of my head in the frame sticking out from behind the pile. lol)

Today is Monday, and my photo of today is : Someone who inspires me. I have to do some thinking on that one. And figure out if I can get a photo or if I have to be creative! I’ll get back to you on that one.

I hope everyone is having a lovely Monday. How was the weekend? Anyone have any good stories to tell?

May 3, 2012

Yay for Exercise + Photo-a-day, day 2

I am amazingly proud of myself and Jim. The past two days we’ve gotten out of the house and gotten moving! I know that may seem like not a big accomplishment, two days, but for the two of us, that’s huge, especially considering how I’ve been feeling lately.

On Tuesday we took the tennis rackets out to the court at our apartments and “played” for about an hour…I think. I don’t really know. We were having fun and lost track of time. But I know I got a good workout in because my whole body is sore today, even places I wouldn’t have thought worked that hard in tennis…like my upper abs. Holy cow!

Last night, we walked a loop…about 20 minutes round trip, I would assume. Not as much of a workout as Tuesday Tennis, but its better than sitting on the couch right?!

I find it so much more fun and…non-exerciselike when someone else is with me, especially when it’s my husband because then its just hanging out with the love of my life, playing tennis…or going for a walk. I guess it’s the same reason why reading a book on the elliptical machine is easier than listening to music for me: I get distracted enough to forget what I’m doing.

And I’d bet, since you didn’t see a post yesterday, that I forgot about taking my photo for the day. Well, you’re wrong! I did it. I just didn’t get around to posting it last night.

Yesterday’s photo subject was: Skyline.

We don’t live anywhere where there’s a really cool skyline, like Manhattan’s. But there’s a distinct line between the sky and the trees here, so I figure it works.

I took this, actually, on our lovely little walk last night. The sunset was beautiful. My little phone camera didn’t quite do it justice, though.

Today’s subject is : something you wore today. With any luck, I’ll get that posted tonight. If not, you’ll see it tomorrow, I’m sure!

May 1, 2012

Photo-a-day Challenge

Per inspiration from many sources, I’ve decided to participate in one of these photo-a-day challenges. After checking out several options, I landed on this one from fat mum slim, which seems to be a bit more interesting than most, and was also at the original source of my inspiration. I plan to do my best to post each day’s photo on the day, but you know how sometimes my exhaustion gets the best of me (oh, by the way, I have another doc appointment next Friday. Cross your fingers for me!). I really need to stop using that as an excuse…or stop letting it get the better of me….but that’s not the point of today’s post.

Today is about:

Day 1

That all being said, it’s the 1st of May today, and I owe you all a photo of “peace.”

This is a toughy because I am anything but at peace at the moment, but if I was here:

I would most definitely feel more peaceful. Granted, I feel this is a pretty awful first photo. Boring as heck, but my brain is at a loss here for anything much more peaceful at the moment, so it’ll have to do. Maybe tomorrow’s “skyline” will be better.

Happy Tuesday, Folks. I hope yours has been more…energetic…than mine.