Weekly Menu Plan–July 15, 2012

Yesterday I participated in the Dash for Donation 5K on Team Superman.  A fellow MIT member is an organ recipient, so running to raise awareness about organ donation was a great reason to run this race.  Getting to run with a cape on made it even better!  The group:


I can’t wait to do this race again next year! 

Sunday – Rotisserie chicken, Simply Potatoes mashed sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli and salad

Monday – Stuffed baked potatoes (using chicken) and salad

Tuesday – Mexican pizzas, corn and salad

Wednesday – Chicken fettucine alfredo with brown rice pasta, broccoli and salad

Thursday – BBQ baby back ribs, corn on the cob, baked potatoes and salad

Friday – Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday – Take-out or Thai peanut chicken and noodles

Don’t forget to enter to win the Buddy Biscuit Grain Free pet snacks!

Friday Finds

It is Friday the 13th!  Are you superstitious?  Have you found that Friday the 13th is good luck or bad luck for you?  Is it just another day on the calendar?  At least that day is a Friday, right?  For me the day has been just like any other. 

Have you heard that Crunchmaster has two brand new crackers coming out?  Check these out:


I can’t wait to try both of these new crackers! 

Daiya introduces new wedge-style cheese!

Lunch was a taco salad with black beans and a Schar bagel with avocado and sea salt = YUM!



Don’t forget to enter to win the Buddy Biscuit Grain Free pet snacks

Grain Free Buddy Biscuits Giveaway

Are you gluten-free and an owner of a dog or a cat?  If so, then this giveaway is for you!  A couple of weeks back I reviewed Grain Free Buddy Biscuits over on Celiac-Disease.com.  While I don’t own a pet, I was interested in writing about this because it never occurred to me that a gluten-free pet owner should feed their pet gluten-free too.



Included in the prize package:

Dog owner: Two boxes of the oven baked Grain Free Buddy Biscuits variety and two bags of the soft & chewy variety – plus a Wag More Bark Less magnet (i.e. a $30 value)

Cat owner:  One each of the three cat varieties

All you have to do to enter is follow the instructions below in the Rafflecopter box.  Good luck! Continue reading

Why Fix It If It Isn’t Broken?

Did you wake up to cooler temperatures today?  We did!  I don’t think I started sweating on my run this morning until I was almost a mile in!  Funny how the 80s don’t feel so hot anymore.  I have a small vent and then I will get onto my menu plan for the week. 

Kraft dressings are a hit in our house.  They have many gluten-free options (see Kraft’s labeling information) and you can usually find the Fat Free French, Ranch and Tuscan House Italian (makes a great marinade) in our house at any point in time.  A month or so back I started noticing that the dressings had new labels.  They said “Anything Dressing” on the front.  This freaked Hannah right out because she thought we bought her the wrong ranch dressing.  I assured her that Kraft had just changed the label and it was still her favorite dressing.  While the dressing inside was indeed the same, Kraft had changed something else along with the label – the lid.  Long gone was the pop-top lid that makes drizzling the dressing easy.  The lid is now just a screw-off top that leaves you to try to drizzle without the whole bottle ending up on your salad.  I don’t understand why the change was necessary in the first place.  If you wanted to use more than the pop-top lid allowed in the small hole, you simply unscrewed the whole top.  Now there is no option for those who don’t like their salads swimming in dressing other than using a spoon of sorts. 


See what I mean?


This is the lid that I love.  Kraft, please bring back this versatile lid!


Sunday – BBQ chicken breasts, baked potatoes, sugar snap peas and salad

Monday – Sweet Thai Chile salmon, coconut baked rice, snow peas and salad

Tuesday – Easy enchilada bake, corn and salad

Wednesday – Spaghetti with marinutta sauce, steamed broccoli and salad

Thursday – Breakfast for dinner with fruit salad

Friday – Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday – Bourbon chicken, brown rice, broccoli and salad


Blueberry Chia Muffins

Blueberry Scones

Week in Review

Review: Orgran chocolate animals cookies

The Never-ending Discussion

Review: Steadfast Pale Ale

Dr. Schar opens US Facility

Are you prepared?

Farmers Markets

Camelot Cellars Summer Events

Early Morning Steamy Run

Today’s MIT workout run was cancelled due to excessive heat.  Temperatures are supposed to soar to 103 degrees with a heat index of 110.  Being outside for any period of time can be risky, especially when exerting yourself by doing any type of physical activity such as running.  If you must be outside or exercise in the heat, here are some important keys to remember:

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – water may not be enough in weather like this.  Some other gluten-free options to staying hydrated are Gatorade, Nuun, Gu Brew, Ultima Replenisher and Succeed Caps.

I didn’t realize that the headaches I was getting after my runs were due to dehydration.  A good way to make sure you are hydrated is to check the color of your urine.  If it is dark, that is a good sign that you aren’t drinking enough.  Mine was very light or close to clear, but I still had headaches.  Water isn’t enough for me at times and when the humidity is high and we have heat like this, I need something more.  Right now that something more is Gatorade.  I have to go with what my stomach tolerates and what makes my body feel good. 

Slow down – If you are a nut like me and have to get your miles in regardless of the conditions outside, be smart about it.  Adjust your pace accordingly.  If you monitor your heart rate, you will notice a spike when the heat and humidity are high. 

Timing and Location – Exercise in the early morning before sunrise or later at night after sundown.  If you have to option to exercise indoors in the A/C, do so. 

Listen – Pay attention to your body.  If at any point during your exercise you feel dizzy, light-headed, stop sweating, get the chills – stop immediately and either get into the A/C, shade and get additional fluids.

Signs of Heat Exhaustion (source)

The most common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • confusion
  • dark-colored urine (which indicates dehydration)
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • muscle cramps
  • nausea
  • pale skin
  • profuse sweating
  • rapid heartbeat

It is always better to err on the side of caution, so if you experience any of those symptoms and don’t see improvement within 30 minutes, get help, as heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke.

I chose to get up at 5 AM and meet some friends to run early at 5:30 AM to beat the excessive heat.  It was still 79 degrees and 70% humidity at 5 AM, which made for a steamy run. We were just a little sweaty:


(Hope Sarah doesn’t kill me for putting this picture on my blog!)

I have been drinking Gatorade like it is my job and have all but eliminated the headaches I was getting.  I thought water was doing the job, but I thought wrong.  My body was trying to tell me something. 

Review: Honest Beverages

Staying cool is the name of the game right now.  Even if you are lucky enough to have power and air conditioning, it is still hot.  Here is our forecast for the next couple of days:


I didn’t realize that Ohio had been relocated to the surface of the sun.  Fortunately it looks like the heat wave will be breaking Saturday night – high 80s will feel cool at this point! 

Some of the ways that we have been staying cool include going to the movie theater (Katy Perry’s movie is on deck today), going to the library and hanging out on our leather couches in the A/C reading our books.  Hoping to get some pool time in next week when it cools down a bit!

Another way we have been cooling down is with these awesome beverages from Honest


Honest has over 30 beverages with varying levels of sweetness.  More about Honest beverages:

  • All HONEST beverages are gluten & casein-free, organic, and contain no high fructose corn syrup
  • Honey Green Tea contains 190 mg of tea catechins, a beneficial antioxidant (and it was independently tested as having one of the highest levels of catechins of any bottled tea by Men’s Health magazine)
  • Our beverages are not made in facilities that process gluten, dairy, soy, shellfish, peanuts, or tree nuts so there is no risk of cross-contamination


Honest Tea seeks to create and promote great-tasting, truly healthy, organic beverages. We strive to grow our business with the same honesty and integrity we use to craft our products, with sustainability and great taste for all.


We will never claim to be a perfect company, but we will address difficult issues and strive to be honest about our ability or inability to resolve them. We will strive to work with our suppliers to promote higher standards. We value diversity in the workplace and intend to become a visible presence in the communities where our products are sold. When presented with a purchasing decision between two financially comparable alternatives, we will attempt to choose the option that better addresses the needs of economically disadvantaged communities.
A commitment to social responsibility is central to Honest Tea’s identity and purpose. The company strives for authenticity, integrity and purity, in our products and in the way we do business. In addition to creating a healthy alternative beverage with a lot less sugar than most bottled drinks, Honest Tea seeks to create honest relationships with our employees, suppliers, customers and with the communities in which we do business.

While all of the samples that we received were good, I fell in love with the Peach Oo-La-Long and the Heavenly Lemon Tulsi teas!  In fact, I have purchased several more bottles of each when I found them at Earth Fare last week.  Jon preferred the Honest Ades to the tea, though he did like the Half and Half. 

To find Honest beverages near you, use this store locator or order online


Have you tried any of the Honest beverages?  Which one is your favorite?

**The products mentioned in this post were sent to me free of charge for review purposes.  The thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

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Happy Fourth of July!

It is going to be a hot one today kids!  I am getting ready to go run a four mile race that will probably feel more like a swim!  I hope to cook out later today to avoid heating up the house and may hit the pool, though water that is as warm as bathwater is not refreshing in this heat.  I am just thankful to have power, as there are many across Ohio (and other parts of the US) that do not.

Fireworks Display USA

What are your plans for a gluten-free Fourth of July?  Cookouts can be hard to navigate if you aren’t at home.  If you will be heading out to celebrate, consider making a gluten-free dish to share.  Otherwise, here are some great gluten-free cookout ideas:

I found another great idea from Brad’s Raw Chips – check this out:



Simple and easy – watermelon, feta and blueberries. 

And, when you are complaining about how hot it is out there, stop and remember this:



Happy Hour Red Robin Style

Red Robin has always been a restaurant that I know I can depend on to get a decent gluten-free meal.  Last fall they added Udi’s gluten-free buns to their menu, making them a great choice to get a great gluten-free burger and fries.  When a couple running friends and I were talking about meeting up for happy hour, Red Robin came up.  Not only do they offer the gluten-free menu, but their happy hour goes until 9:00 PM.  Score!! 

When I arrived I had planned on having a nice, cold glass of chardonnay since it was 100 degrees outside – I kid you not!  When I asked the server what the happy hour specials were and found out that margaritas were only $3.50, I knew I had to order one! 


Mine is the original margarita on the rocks on the left; Laurie ordered the frozen raspberry margarita.  I was in heaven!  What a perfect way to cool down on a ridiculously hot day! 

As I began to peruse the gluten-free menu, I noticed that they now offer sweet potato fries!  WHAT?  How long has this been going on?  I knew that even though I love, love, love the Red Robin steak fries, I had to try the sweet potato fries.  I ordered a burger, protein-style, and sweet potato fries for my meal.  I love that they offer gluten-free buns, but really like the burger wrapped in ice-cold iceburg lettuce, especially on a hot day. 


The fries did not disappoint!  The only thing that would make them better was if they were sweet potato steak fries, like the regular Red Robin fries.  Beggars can’t be choosers, right?  I am just thrilled to have options!  The sweet potato fries are bottomless, just like the regular fries and don’t think for one moment that this group of runners didn’t order another basket to share.


I love that Red Robin updates their allergen menu regularly and dates it.  For example the current menu is dated “7/1/2012 – 7/31/2012”.  This is quite reassuring – knowing that the ingredients, suppliers, etc are being checked.  I have come across many restaurants offering gluten-free menus that haven’t been updated for months or even years

Have you tried the sweet potato fries at Red Robin?  What did you think?

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