Review: Sportline Solo 965

When I began heart rate training a couple of years back I started taking my resting heart rate in the mornings before getting out of bed.  Doing so helps me get a quick glimpse of how my body is adjusting to training.  An elevated resting heart rate can mean many things – some of those things can be benign, while others may demand some action on my part such as an easier workout than I had planned or an extra day of rest.  If my resting heart rate remains elevated for more than a day or two it is time to take a step back and take a look at what my body is trying to tell me.  Am I getting sick?  Am I overtraining (demanding too much from my body), which can lead to an increased risk of injury or illness?


I have tried to find an easy solution to getting an accurate read on my resting heart rate other than my finding my own pulse and counting.  Sleeping with my Garmin’s heart rate strap on is a pain in the butt.  Using an app on my iPhone has been okay, but some question the accuracy of this method.  When I heard about the Sportline Solo 965 Womens HRM I was intrigued.  The HRM/watch is worn 24 hours a day and not only measures resting heart rate, but several other things as well:


•Fit Trac™ (resting heart rate tracker)

•Move Trac™ (movement recording)

•Tap Display- tap screen to access Fit Trac





•Stopwatch (50 lap)

•Count-down timer

•Heart Rate with % of Max

•Fat-Burn Zone indicator (dot matrix display)

I wore the watch for a little over a week to get a good idea of the accuracy of the features.  When I ran, on the treadmill or outside, I also wore my Garmin so that I could compare distance accuracy.  Here are my thoughts:


  • Accurate distance (steps/miles)/movement tracking.
  • Great way to check in to ensure you are hitting movement targets and total calorie burn
  • Timer and Stopwatch are great for interval workouts.


  • Backlight only stays lit for 5 seconds making taking your resting HR first thing in the morning hard if it is still dark out.  Moving around and/or getting up to turn the light on defeats the purpose.
  • Fit Trac was not supposed to activate if the screen was locked, yet it continued to activate and therefore took over the screen or watch until it found the HR or timed out.
  • I was not able to get an accurate read for Fit Trac, which monitors your fitness level by tracking resting heart rate.




The above photos were taken over a period of 1.5 days or so.  Ideally you would reset the watch every morning before getting up to accurately track your day. I think this product can be a very useful tool for someone who is trying to lose weight and improve their fitness and would be something I would recommend to my friends and clients.

The Solo 965 can be purchased for $99.99 directly from the Sportline website or on ($70.oo right now!).

*The product reviewed in this post was 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.

Death of a Roll

One of the first gluten-free products I tried was Trader Joe’s French Roll.  It was horrible.  I mean hockey puck heavy and dense and I had no idea how I was going to survive if this was how I was going to have to eat.  I threw the rest of the package away after one bite.  Then I found out that gluten-free bread, buns and rolls had to be toasted to taste decent.  For those that are new or newer to the gluten-free diet, this may be foreign to you, as there are many options now that taste good right out of the package.  I started the gluten-free diet in 2006 and things sure have come a long way since. 

Once I found out how to prepare the French Roll, it quickly became a staple in my diet.  I found ways to dress it up to make it even better.  I was going to make lemonade from my lemons, as there was no sense in moping around.  One of my favorite ways to eat my favorite roll was as part of a Tuna Melt.  Even when better breads and rolls came onto the market, the Trader Joe’s French Roll remained my tried and true Tuna Melt base. 

I ate my last Trader Joe’s French Roll Sunday without even knowing it was my last one.  I made a quick tuna salad out of tuna, avocado, sea salt, spicy brown mustard and cracked black pepper to spread on top of my toasted roll.  If I would have known it was the last I would have ever had I may have kept it in my freezer a little longer.  I went to Trader Joe’s on Monday to pick up a few things and began to panic when I didn’t see a spot on the shelves for the rolls.  I asked an employee and my worst fears were confirmed, the rolls have been discontinued.  RIP beloved French Roll, we had a good run.

While I am bummed out that one of my favorite gluten-free products is no longer available, I am also thrilled.  Why?  Because I am bummed about a gluten-free product not being available.  Do you get that?  I have moved past being bummed about gluten-filled products and no longer being able to eat them.  I call that finding the positive in this situation.

Healthy Valentine’s Day Snacks & Treats

Valentine’s Day is notorious for including treats that may be rich and decadent.  Those treats don’t have to be loaded with fat and sugar to taste good, though.  Guiding Stars’ expert chef, Erin Dow, has created the following Valentine’s Day recipes that are both delicious, nutritious and gluten-free

Black Bean Brownies

Black Bean Brownies

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that is 60–70% as sweet as table sugar yet it is almost non-caloric, does not affect blood sugar, does not cause tooth decay, and is partially absorbed by the body.  It is less likely to cause gastric side effects than other sugar alcohols due to its unique digestion pathway.

Number of Servings: 9 (1 Brownie) (80 G )

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 45 Minutes


· 3/4 cup Granulated Erythritol

· 3/4 cup Regular Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)

· 1/4 cup Quinoa Flour

· 1+1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

· 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

· 1/2 teaspoon Instant Coffee

· 1/4 teaspoon Salt

· 3 tablespoon Ground Flaxseed

· 1/3 cup Almond Milk (unsweetened)

· 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon applesauce, unsweetened

· One 15 1/2 ounce can no salt-added Black Beans, drained and rinsed well

· 1 tablespoon Canola Oil

· 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract


· Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9-inch brownie pan with parchment paper.

· In a small bowl, stir the flaxseed and almond milk together, set aside to thicken.

· In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.

· In a blender, puree applesauce, black beans, oil, vanilla and thickened flaxseed mixture.  Puree until all of the beans have been liquified. Pour into a large bowl.

· Add the dry mixture to the wet in thirds, whisking thoroughly each time. The batter should be thick.

· Spread the batter in the prepared pan.  Bake for 45 minutes.  To test if the center is cooked, tap the surface. If it’s firm and springs back, it’s ready.  Let cool for about 30-40 minutes in the pan, then flip onto a drying rack top-side/ugly-side down.  Peel off the parchment paper and let cool completely before slicing.

*Kim’s note – I am not big on sugar substitutes and plan on using 1/3 to 1/2 cup of honey or maple syrup in place of the granulated erythritol when I make these. 

Carrot Bars

Carrot Bars

This Indian-inspired dessert is simple and sweet. Perfect for wowing the guests at your next celebration, this spicy-sweet confection is as lovely as it is flavorful. Look for green cardamom pods at your local Indian grocer.

Number of Servings: 6 (696 G )

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 1 Hour and 20 Minutes


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 4 pounds carrots, peeled and grated
  • 8 cups skim milk
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 6 tablespoons date puree


· Toast almonds over dry heat until fragrant.

· Combine grated carrots, milk, and cardamom pods in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until all milk has evaporated, about 40 minutes.

· When liquid has evaporated, add oil and applesauce. Fry, stirring constantly, until dark orange, about 30 minutes. Add sugar and almonds. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

· Serve at room temperature.

Almond Truffles

Looking for a sweet, healthful nibble? This combination of dates, almond butter and cocoa powder will get you going again, and with a bit of protein, it will stave off hunger in between meals.

Number of Servings: 18 (36 G )

Prep Time: 10 Minutes


· 20 Medjool dates, seeded and halved

· 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

· 1/3 cup almond butter

· 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

· 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon natural cocoa powder

· 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

· 1 teaspoon cinnamon

· 1/3 cup toasted almonds, well chopped


· Put the dates and vanilla in a food processor and run until a chunky paste forms. Add the almond butter and pulse a few more times. Add the coconut, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon and pulse a few more times.

· Roll a heaping tablespoon of the mixture between your palms to form a ball. Repeat with remaining mixture. Put your chopped almonds on a plate and roll each truffle in the almonds. Chill until firm.

What is your favorite way to indulge on Valentine’s Day?  Would you be willing to try a healthy treat in place of it as long as it tasted good?

Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy – giveaway ends tonight!

Weekly Menu Plan–February 10, 2013

February always seems like such a long month even though it is the shortest month.  I don’t know if that is because I am just plain tired of the weather or what, but I am ready for spring.  We have been getting glimpses of spring here and there in between our wicked cold temps.  Today is one of those days – 49 is the predicted high, which will feel warm compared to single digits last week.  Even the puppy is ready for warmer temps with her new haircut.


The plan:

Sunday – Tacos, black beans, corn and salad <—Living on the wild side moving tacos to Sunday.

Monday – Rotisserie chicken, coconut baked brown rice, broccoli and salad

Tuesday – Brown rice pasta with marinara and salad

Wednesday – Breakfast for dinner – waffles (with a new mix to review) and fruit salad

Thursday – Bison burgers, sweet potato puffs, carrot sticks and salad

Friday – Gluten-free Sonoma Flatbread pizza and salad

Saturday – Take-out

Week in Review:

Only 2 days left to enter to win a copy of “Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy”

Skittles debuts new variety – come on over to the Darkside!

Katz brings back an old favorite – Hamantaschen

Sex and the Celiac: Dating Tips for the Gluten-Free

Review: 1-2-3 Gluten-Free Poundcake

Review: Van’s Whole Grain Gluten-Free Crackers

Have a great week!

Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy Giveaway

Eating gluten-free can be expensive.  Notice I said “can be”, but it doesn’t have to be.  Nicole Hunn, author of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, tackles gluten-free cooking and baking without breaking the bank in her first book, Gluten-Free on a Shoestring.  The latest installment, Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy, shows us how to do the same, but quickly and easily.  We are all busy, but that is no excuse to spend a fortune on gluten-free pre-packaged food and baked goods or get take-out on a regular basis.  Check out how many recipes I marked to make in this book!


More about the new cookbook:

The new book shows you how eating gluten-free can be enjoyable, affordable—and fast. Each of these 100 original recipes can be on the table in 40 minutes flat—all on a shoestring budget.


Recipes include:

• Glazed Chocolate Doughnuts, Yeast-Free

• Twinkie-Style Cupcakes

• Egg Fried Rice

• Boule Bread

• Pancetta Meatball Soup and more!


Praise for Gluten-Free on a Shoestring:

“Hunn successfully tackles a chief complaint voiced by special-diet newbies: sticker shock. Her practical tips for shopping and cooking to save time and money are a gift to all of us who are paying too much for too little.”Living Without


For more information about the book and its author, visit and join the conversation at and

This book is full of wonderful ideas from yeast-free, gluten-free bread (WHAT?! – Yes, really!) and English muffins to yeast-free pizza dough to a dairy-free, egg-free “Crazy Cake” that can be put together in 10 minutes and baked for 25.  Hunn includes a list of Convenience Pantry Items to Buy, A Note About Gluten-Free Flours and Make-It-Snappy Kitchen Tools and Equipment in the front of the book to help ensure you are ready to go.

I truly enjoyed reading and cooking/baking from this book.  My favorite, though, has to be the No-Bake Cheesecake.  The recipe suggests using Schar Shortbread Cookies or Vanilla Wafer Bars, but I didn’t have either on hand. I ended up using Lucy’s Chocolate Merry Mint Cookies.  I know, right?  AH.MAZ.ING! I did omit the lemon juice since I was using mint cookies and added mini-chocolate chips on top.  I may have hidden some of this away from Jon the food monster that lives in my house.

How would you like to win a copy of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy?  All you have to do is follow the directions in the Rafflecopter box below.  Giveaway is open to US residents only. Continue reading

San-J Weeknight Dinner Recipes & Giveaway

I talk about how stressful weeknight meals are on a regular basis.  Some weeks I do better at planning in advance than others.  When I am having a particularly busy and stressful week we end up with more takeout than I would like, but with these recipes from Carol Kicinski, I hope to avoid that all together.  Kicinski has created some new gluten-free stir-fry recipes with some of my favorite San-J sauces.  These recipes can be made in a matter of minutes using 6 simple ingredients.

San-J Spicy Tofu and Green Beans-2

Created by: Carol Kicinski
1/4 cup San-J Gluten-Free Tamari
2 tablespoons gluten free sweet chili garlic sauce
1 pound extra firm tofu
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons oil, use divided
1 pound green beans, cleaned trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
Combine the San-J Gluten-Free Tamari with the chili garlic sauce, set aside.
Cut tofu into 1/2 inch cubes, pat dry with paper towels and put into a mixing bowl with the cornstarch, toss to coat.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat until it starts to shimmer, add half the tofu in an even layer in the pan. Cook the tofu undisturbed for 2 minutes. Gently flip and stir the tofu. Continue to cook and stir until the tofu is lightly golden brown on all sides, 3 – 4 minutes. Remove the tofu to a plate and set aside. Heat 1 more tablespoon of oil in the pan and cook the remaining tofu the same way. Remove from pan.
Reduce heat to medium; add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the green beans. Cook the green beans, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup of water and continue to cook the beans for 3 minutes or until they are bright green and crisp tender. Increase the heat back up to high, add the reserved sauce mixture and boil for 1 minute or until it reduces slightly. Add the tofu and cook for 1 minute. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side dish.

San-J Stir Fry Noodles with Peanut Sauce

Created by: Carol Kicinski
1 pound rice noodles (sometimes called rice sticks or Bahn Pho) or gluten free fettuccini
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
7 ounces shitake mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and sliced into Ľ inch pieces
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and deveined and thinly sliced
6 green onions, cleaned trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
3/4 cup San-J Thai Peanut Sauce
Cook the noodles in salted boiling water according to the package directions, stirring often with a fork to keep the noodles separated. Drain and rinse well under hot water.
Heat the oil over high heat in a large skillet or wok until it shimmers. Add the mushrooms, peppers, and white part of the green onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the drained noodles, green part of the green onions, and San-J Thai Peanut Sauce. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for another 2 minutes or until the noodles have absorbed most of the sauce. Serve immediately.
Serves 6.

San-J Kung Pao Pork-2

Created by: Carol Kicinski
1 pound pork tenderloin
1/4 plus 1 tablespoon roasted peanuts, use divided
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 Thai chilies
3 green onions, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
1/4 cup San-J Szechuan Sauce
Trim the pork tenderloin of all visible fat and cut into 1 inch cubes. Roughly chop 1 tablespoon of the peanuts and set aside for garnish.
Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the pork and cook for 4 minutes turning frequently to brown on all sides. Add the remaining 1/4 cup peanuts, chilies and 2 of the green onions, cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the San-J Szechuan Sauce and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Serve immediately garnished with the chopped peanuts and remaining green onion.
Serves 4.

Created by: Carol Kicinski
1 1/2 pounds raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 green onions, cleaned, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces on the diagonal
5 Thai chilies, whole
1/3 cup San-J Orange Sauce
Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and put into a mixing bowl with the cornstarch, toss to coat.
Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat until it starts to shimmer, add the shrimp and cook, stirring often, until they turn pink and start to curl, about 2 minutes. Add the green onions and chilies and cook for 1 minute. Add the San-J Orange Sauce, cook for 1 minutes or until the sauce is heated through. Serve immediately; don’t eat the chilies unless you can tolerate really spicy food.
Serves 4.

San-J products are available nationwide at Whole Foods Market or your local natural food store. For more information, visit

Now for the fun part – San-J has offered to give on lucky reader 6 Asian Cooking Sauces and Gluten-Free Tamari (2 varieties)!  How cool is that?  All you have to do to enter is follow the directions in the Rafflecopter box below.  Continue reading

Weekly Menu Plan–February 3, 2012

Hooray!  The groundhog did not see his shadow yesterday!  Why is it something so silly (Come on you know it is!), gets so many people, so excited?  I mean, come on, it’s a groundhog predicting the weather/arrival of spring.  As I was running down the Olentangy Trail yesterday with my MIT group, I was chatting with a fellow runner about it.  We are putting our faith in a rodent to tell us when spring will come.  Not only that, but we then get ecstatic when we hear there is an early spring despite it being 15 degrees with 15 mph winds and snow cover on the ground.  Have you ever wondered about the accuracy of Punxsutawney Phil, or your local groundhog (ours happens to be Buckeye Chuck).  What if their opinions differ from one another?  I did some research and the accuracy of the groundhog is roughly 39%.  Sounds to me like that is right in line with the local meteorologists’ accuracy.  Haha!  Just joking!


P.F. Chang’s is offering 20% off online orders for “The Big Game” today.  Simply order online and enter “KICKOFF” in the promotion code field.  Enjoy!

Word on the street is Glutino has a toaster pastry (think Pop Tarts, but gluten-free) ready to hit the shelves at Whole Foods.  This could make a lot of gluten-free children very happy, especially if the child has experienced the gluten-filled version.  New gluten-free products make me happy.  Not so much for myself, as I aim to limit replacement products, but for kids who feel left out.

I also read Trader Joe’s has a gluten-free all-purpose flour on their shelves!  This is exciting news, as the price is lower than some of the other versions on the market at $3.99 for 1lb.  It is important to note that the blend does not contain xanthan or guar gum like some of the other blends on the market.

Sunday – Appetizers, including chicken fingers, and such for “The Big Game”

Monday – Spaghetti and meatballs, salad

Tuesday – Easy enchilada bake and salad

Wednesday – Italian grilled chicken, coconut baked brown rice, snow peas and salad

Thursday – Breakfast for dinner and fruit salad

Friday – Gluten-Free Sonoma Flatbread pizza and salad

Saturday – Take-out

Week in Review:

Gluten-Free Food Tax Deduction information

Did you win the Pacific Natural Foods giveaway?  Click on over to find out!

NFCA Webinar: Sex and the Celiac: A Focus on Reproductive Health

Alert: Good Seasons Italian Dressings Packet Change

Recipe: Pulled Pork & Roasted Veggie Salad

Have a great week!

The Big Game

Today is the day – the day footballs fans have been waiting for – the big game!  I am not a football fan, so today is more about the cool new commercials or the fun food than the game itself.  The half time show is always entertaining as well. 

Team Huddle Before the Game --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Are you hosting at your house for the game or will you attend a party someplace else?  If you are going to a party you may be concerned about gluten-free options.  I always like to bring a dish to share that is gluten-free so that I know I will have something safe to eat.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • Vegetable tray & dill dip (homemade or purchased)
  • Buffalo Chicken Dip
  • Cocktail Wieners (package of Lil Smokies and bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce)
  • Shrimp Cocktail
  • Cheese & Crackers (there are many great gluten-free crackers now)
  • Queso Cheese Dip (Velveeta cheese and a can of Rotel tomatoes)
  • Chips & Salsa
  • Chicken Wings (Sweet Baby Ray’s Buffalo Wing sauce is gluten-free)

Another fun option is Sweet & Sour Swedish Meatballs using gluten-free Cooked Perfect meatballs*.

Sweet & Sour Swedish Meatballs

Yield: 36 Meatballs

Cook time: 20 minutes


36 1-oz Cooked Perfect gluten-free Italian-style meatballs

12-oz jar gluten-free sweet & sour sauce

11-oz can of mandarin oranges, drained

6-oz can diced pineapple, drained


Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat meatballs in microwave on high for 2 minutes (heat half the meatballs first, followed by the second half of meatballs). In a large mixing bowl combined all the ingredients, then pour into a casserole dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

*It is important to note that not all meatballs made by Cooked Perfect are gluten-free.  They will be clearly labeled on the front of the package.

Make sure to serve yourself first or bring along a single-serve dish for yourself to avoid cross-contamination. 

Do you have plans for the big game?  Have any fun recipes to share?

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