Gluten-Free Diet Broken Down

This year the FDA released an updated version of where our daily foods should be coming from.  Today I found a gluten-free version (Thanks Amy, Dietitian at Mary Rutan Hospital, and The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center).  Check it out:



I will be using the aforementioned diagram with Jon to hopefully help get him eating better.  If he doesn’t listen to me, maybe he will listen to his trainer. 

I like how this diagram specifies which versions of “breads and cereals” are healthier choices.  This tool can be very valuable to those just starting the gluten-free diet.  I remember those days – feeling lost and wondering what to eat.  Making changes is not easy, but I like to think of the gluten-free diet as a positive lifestyle change.  Not only will the diet most likely help you feel better, but eating foods that are in their natural state and less processed is much better for your body.


Monday Already?

Where did the holiday weekend go?  I swear it seems like it was just Monday.  I want a do-over.  Last few days of November will be rainy here, but I’ll take that over snow.  We may see the first few flakes later in the week.  Not bad, considering I think we saw them in October last year. 

Have you started to decorate for the holidays yet?  I just didn’t have it in me to get the tree up this weekend.  I hope to get it up this weekend, or I may not have a place to live.  LOL!  Everyone in the house (but me) seems disappointed that it isn’t up yet. 

Sunday – Leftovers (I think we are done now)

Monday – Grilled chicken stir fry with roasted veggies & quinoa and salad

Tuesday – Soft tacos, black beans, corn & salad

Wednesday – Burgers, sweet potato puffs, green beans & salad

Thursday – Baked Ziti, steamed broccoli & salad

Friday – MYOP on Udi’s gluten-free crust

Saturday – Pei Wei take out

Guess it is time to start baking for the holidays.  I need a plan before I start.  I think I will ask the kids to each pick their favorite Christmas Cookie and then add one or two more of my own.  That way I am not going nuts and making 15 different kinds of cookies. 

Anyone taking advantage of Cyber Monday deals today?  Make sure to check out these gluten-free deals:

Katz is offering $1 off every product

Gluten Freely is offering an additional 20% off of already discounted prices. (Discount will be given at checkout.)

At least there will be none of this on Cyber Monday:

Crazy times out there on Friday!

Flying Feather 2011 Recap

Thanksgiving day started out with a 4 mile race around Dublin – Glacier Ridge Metro Park to be more specific.  The morning temperature was 37 degrees, but according to local meteorologists, the sun was supposed to come out shortly after the race began.  That never happened and there was a chilling wind, so I couldn’t wait to get moving!  I even stayed in my car as long as I possibly could with the heat cranked up to get as warm as possible before heading out.

I set out to do this race with no time or pace goals.  I had never run a 4 mile race before, so any finish time would be a PR (personal best).  I started out running with Sarah and one of our 10:30 group pace coaches & friend, Susanne, for the 4 miles.  We had a blast just chatting it up!  Sarah took off to chase a fast finish and another MIT 10:30 group woman joined us after the first mile for the run & conversation.  It was so nice not to think about anything and just have a good time.   This was probably one of the most fun races I have run, most likely because there was no pressure. 

Sarah, Susanne & me before the race “in the people” trying to stay warm


Before I knew it the finish line was just ahead & I picked up the pace & finished strong.  Got my medal and free bottle of wine & posed for pictures.


I ended up finished 1383 out of 3242 finishers with a finish time of 38:28 and a pace of 9:37/mile.  Best part is that I wasn’t sore the next day so I was able to walk around shopping for 6+ hours.  Another great race put together by M3S Sports!

My mom, Joe and Aaron had already begun to prepare our Thanksgiving feast by the time I arrived home.  Everyone pitched in and we had a fantastic gluten-free meal.  13.1 pound free range, organic turkey.  I love that it was 13.1 pounds (half marathon bird)!


My plate with some of the best mashed sweet potatoes EVER!  Aaron mashed with butter, milk, sour cream & honey – heaven!!!  I noticed after I took this picture that I forgot my veggies and went back to grab them.


Hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend, too!! 


Feeding the Boy–Part I

I have written several articles on what Jon likes to eat and gluten-free kid-friendly choices.  Surprisingly this hasn’t helped us out recently because Jon has become extremely picky.  I am sure some of it is control on his part and maybe a touch laziness, but the bottom line is that he was not eating enough to maintain his weight. 

It just so happened that Jon had gym this year first quarter and they weighed the kids at the beginning and the end of the quarter.  Jon just mentioned in passing that he had lost 7 lbs in 9 weeks.  That certainly caught my attention.  Was it because he wasn’t eating enough?  Was it because he may have been ingesting gluten?  I suspected that it had to do with the amount of food he was taking in (or not taking in).  Because he takes medication for ADHD, he is often not hungry when they eat lunch at school (10:30 AM – he had an earlier lunch and I asked his guidance counselor to move it later).  I have tried to impress upon him the importance of taking in enough food to fuel his body, especially since hockey season has started up, but his teenage boyness has made that difficult. 

When I was at a hockey meeting last week, I chatted with the goalie coach about Jon’s weight loss and he suggested I talk with Jon’s doctor or the school trainer.  Since Jon and I see the same doctor and I was in there the following day, I asked him.  He definitely thought that this needed to be addressed and suggested starting with the school trainer because they are right there at the school.  The trainer was very responsive and he met with Jon to come up with a plan for him taking into account that he needs to follow the gluten-free diet. 

Our first step is keeping a food diary for 3 days so that we can get an accurate account of what he is taking in.  He needs to be taking in 3000+ calories/day and is currently at a max of 2500, which probably accounts for him being about 10 lbs underweight.  The trainer gave Jon some suggestions that I had given in the past, but were much better received coming from him.  I have also switched Jon from skim milk back to whole milk.  He drinks about 5-6 cups of milk/day and whole milk has an additional 60 calories/cup than skim milk does. 

I think the key to the success of this is the trainer keeping in communication with Jon.  If he meets with Jon regularly, Jon is more likely to stay focused and eat like he needs to. 

Some of the things Jon likes today (that very well may change tomorrow)

  • Quaker chocolate rice cakes with peanut butter & jelly (breakfast & before practice)
  • Bananas
  • Yogurt
  • Muscle milk
  • Milk shakes
  • Rice
  • Baked potatoes
  • Burgers (with cheese on Udi’s Gluten-Free buns)
  • French fries
  • Tacos
  • Gatorade (before practice)
  • Chipotle burrito bowls with extra sour cream & cheese
  • Cocoa Pebbles bars
  • Shrimp scampi
  • Fried eggs
  • Bacon
  • Whole milk
  • Apple juice
  • Cool Ranch Doritos
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Corn
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots

If Jon fails to gain weight or the trainer determines from his 3-day food diary that he isn’t getting enough calories or nutrients, he will be referred to a sports nutritionist. I am just thankful that we have the help of the team trainer to make sure he is healthy. 

Black Friday Notes

So, are you out shopping today?  Did you go out at midnight or early in the morning?  While I love to get up and head out with my mom and Hannah, you won’t catch me out at midnight the night before.  Not only do I feel for those employees who had their holiday cut short, but this girl needs her sleep or Black Friday shopping could get ugly.

Black Friday isn’t just about shopping at big box stores or malls, but make sure to check out your local health foods stores for gluten0free deals!  I know locally that Raisin Rack is running some great deals!  Don’t like to head out with the crazies?  Shop online.  There are deals to be had starting on Thanksgiving day.  If you haven’t checked out Ebates for online shopping, you are missing out.  I have received a couple of checks from them already just for going through them to shop online. Additionally, they sometimes offer extra coupons for the store you are shopping.  Don’t forget to check your favorite online gluten-free vendors, too!

I have some exciting Gluten Freely news to share with you guys!  First, Gluten Freely hit over 100,000 fans on Facebook!  What an awesome accomplishment!  Secondly, will be talked about in an article about gluten free and General Mills this Sunday (11/27) in the NY Times magazine.  Make sure to check it out and let me know what you think! 

In the spirit of Black Friday and the upcoming holiday season, I leave you with this:


Yes, that is me pretending that I am Buddy the Elf on an escalator in Nordstrom.  The day this was taken was so much fun!  I was visiting my sister in Atlanta and we had a “Sisters Shopping Day”.  I promise that no alcohol was involved and we didn’t get tossed out of Nordstrom, either.  I think I even had a cup of coffee in my hand! HA! 

Elf is my all-time favorite holiday movie!  What is your favorite holiday movie?  Did you brave the Black Friday crowds?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I am starting my day with a 4 mile race with 4000 of my closest friends out in Dublin, Ohio!  Nothing like burning off some of your turkey dinner before you eat it, right?  One of the main things that drew me to The Flying Feather Four Miler is the swag.  Yes, there is a medal, which certainly doesn’t hurt.  What girl doesn’t like a little bling?  The best part about this race is that all participants over the age of 21 get a bottle of wine when they finish!  Yes, you read that right – bottle of wine.  Sure, I could have bought a bottle of wine cheaper than what I paid to enter the race, but what about my medal and long sleeve tech shirt?  Plus the added bonus fun of running with friends! 


After my race I will head home to help prepare a meal devoid of gluten except for Aaron’s beloved crescent rolls.  My mom and step dad, Joe, will be bringing the turkey & pie and we will be making the mashed potatoes and cornbread sausage stuffing.  Drinks will then be served after sundown on our new patio with a fire in the fire pit!  Gluten-free s’mores anyone?  This could just become a new Thanksgiving tradition!

10 Things I Am Thankful For

  1. Family – My livelihood
  2. Aaron – Yes he is part of family, but he is also an amazing husband, and for that I am extremely thankful
  3. Health – I will never take this for granted.
  4. A roof over our heads
  5. Friends
  6. The gluten-free diet
  7. Running – I thank God every day that I can run.
  8. MIT (amazing group for marathoners – or half marathoners – in training)
  9. The weather recently – I’ll take this year round, thank you. 
  10. The Muppets – They have been making me giggle since I was a child and their new movie comes out today!  I am happy to be able to share them with Hannah.

What are you thankful for today? 

Menu Plan–Thanksgiving Week 2011

Crazy week begins today!  I started it out with a venti coffee from Starbuck’s, so I hope I can keep motoring on.  Tons to do, as always, but as I said in my newest post on today, focus on family & friends, not perfecting the impossible.

Last year I made the turkey and pies; this year my mom has generously taken that over & will be bringing them to our house.  The turkey is from a local farm – free range & organic.  This will be our first year straying from the “Butterball” or grocery store turkey.  I can’t wait to let you all know how it is!  She will also be bringing her homemade pumpkin pies made with fresh pumpkin.  I was able to sample the one she brought last month & thought I had died & gone to heaven.  Good thing I am starting out Thanksgiving with a 4 mile turkey trot!  Want to know the best thing about the race on Turkey day?  The finish line swag includes a bottle of wine!  Score!

Sunday – Chipotle (can’t get enough of that brown rice!)

Monday – Pasta with marinutta sauce, steamed broccoli & salad

Tuesday – Homemade burrito bowls and salad

Wednesday  – Burgers, sweet potato puffs, sugar snap peas & salad

Thursday – The big day!

Friday – Leftovers

Saturday – Leftovers

Baked Goods

Coffee cake


If you missed my “How to Survive the Holidays” series, you can view part 1 and part 2.

Vote in a poll about your favorite Thanksgiving foods.

Will you be traveling this week?  Running around like a crazy person?  Remember to take time for YOU!


I Must Dance…

If you have been a reader for a while, you are well aware that I am easily amused and sometimes feel the need to break out into a happy dance when I find new gluten-free products & such.  We have had a crazy busy week and I have not been feeling well due to a sinus infection, so meals have been pieced together.  I ran out to Chipotle on Thursday night to pick up dinner and was inspired to break out into a happy dance when I found a new offering:

Brown rice!!

I will always choose brown rice over white, when available, so this new discovery made my heart grow just a little bigger the other day.  As if I didn’t already have a Chipotle problem! 


If you haven’t had a chance to give Chipotle a try, you really must do so.  Not only do they have locations across the US, but they do a great job of taking care of those with special diet needs. 

I know some people worry about the risk of cross contamination with Chipotle due to the flour tortillas.  While that is a valid concern, I do want to share that we eat at Chipotle more than we should and have yet to encounter an issue.  I don’t recommend calling, faxing or ordering from the Chipotle iPhone app, as it is best to be there in person watching over your order. 

The brown rice was every bit as good as the white rice.  It had also been made with cilantro and tasted like the white version, but heartier!  I would have snapped a picture, but I was cranky & hungry, so it was more important to get the food into my belly at that point in time. 

Check out the benefits of brown rice over white:

Why Brown–But Not White–Rice is One of the World’s Healthiest Foods

The difference between brown rice and white rice is not just color! A whole grain of rice has several layers. Only the outermost layer, the hull, is removed to produce what we call brown rice. This process is the least damaging to the nutritional value of the rice and avoids the unnecessary loss of nutrients that occurs with further processing. If brown rice is further milled to remove the bran and most of the germ layer, the result is a whiter rice, but also a rice that has lost many more nutrients. At this point, however, the rice is still unpolished, and it takes polishing to produce the white rice we are used to seeing. Polishing removes the aleurone layer of the grain–a layer filled with health-supportive, essential fats. Because these fats, once exposed to air by the refining process, are highly susceptible to oxidation, this layer is removed to extend the shelf life of the product. The resulting white rice is simply a refined starch that is largely bereft of its original nutrients.

Our food ranking system qualified brown rice as an excellent source of manganese, and a good source of the mineralsselenium and magnesium. The complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. By law in the United States, fully milled and polished white rice must be "enriched" with vitamins B1, B3, and iron. But the form of these nutrients when added back into the processed rice is not the same as in the original unprocessed version, and at least 11 lost nutrients are not replaced in any form even with rice "enrichment."


Have you tried the brown rice at Chipotle yet?  I may have to go back again this weekend to make sure I gave you guys an accurate report of the new rice. 

“Tell Me About Yourself” Blog Award

First I want to send a big “THANK YOU” out to Grace at Gracefully Gluten-Free for nominating my blog for this award.  Since I love to chat, I figured it would be fun to participate and then nominate some of the other blogs that I frequently read. 


Here are the rules:

The Rules:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award.

2. Reveal seven things about yourself.

2. Pass the award on to 15 other bloggers.  Leave a comment on each blog, telling them that you’ve nominated them for this award.

Easy enough, right?

1.  I have a really nice Canon Rebel DSLR camera and don’t know how to use it to its full capacity.  LOL!  In my spare time I would love to take a photography class (what spare time?)

2.  I am a Nervous Nelly, which makes me an overprotective mom.  Jon learning to drive is very rough on me, especially as a passenger!  I need a brake & steering wheel on my side of the car.

3. I am 5 ft 7 inches tall.  My childhood doctor estimated that I would be 5ft 10in to 6 ft. tall.  This was based on my height in kindergarten where I was approximately one head taller than my classmates. 


4.  I love to discover new gluten-free products and restaurants! 

5.  I love to read.  I used to read mostly mystery thrillers, but over the past few years I have begun to read all kinds of books. 

6.  I would love Bob Harper to come kick my a$$ in a workout. 

7.  I like ketchup on my gluten-free macaroni & cheese.

My list of nominated blogs (in no particular order):

1.  Mile 26 And More

2.  Ginger Lemon Girl

3.  Healthy and Sane

4.  Jenn Cuisine

5.  Jessica’s Training Blog

6.  Food Embrace (formerly Off Her Cork)

7.  The Sensitive Pantry

8.  Gluten-free Fitness

9.  Words to Run By

10.  Jill Will Run

11.  Gluten Hates Me

12.  No Gluten, No Problem

13. I Can Walk as Fast as You Can Run

14. Mile Posts

15. Gluten Free Easily

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