Fitness, Tips & Tricks

Healing With Food

I’m not talking about the kind of “healing with food” that happens when a boy doesn’t like you so you go cry in the corner with some Ben & Jerry’s. I’m talking about the use of food as a natural remedy to whatever health-related issues you might be having. 

People these days seem to be so caught up with prescriptions for this or that- doctors are handing out drugs like candy. Frankly, it’s a little scary. Sometimes all a sick person really needs to be ingesting is some food that is not deep fried or smothered in butter. 

As most Celiacs can testify, food is a healer in itself. Eating gluten free foods is the only medicine we need at this point. I think this is something that can be carried over to most other common ailments-it might not be able to completely heal certain things, but it certainly won’t hurt.  

Improving Digestion & Sleep
Black Beans
Brown Rice

Controlling Blood Pressure/Becoming Heart Healthy
Dark chocolate
Romaine lettuce
Collard Greens

Cancer and Long-Term Illness Prevention
Brussels sprouts

Energy & Brain Foods
Lima Beans
Green beans
Peanut Butter
Kidney Beans


Avoiding Colds & Other Common Illnesses
Orange juice
Bell Peppers
Green Tea
Pumpkin Seeds
Summer Squash
Ground Cinnamon
Cayenne Pepper

Fitness, Tips & Tricks

How to Properly be on a Gluten Free "Diet"

First off, I’d like to note that the title of this post is directed towards people who have the option of eating gluten, but choose to go gluten free to lose weight. Celiacs: you guys are already pros at this, so consider yourself excused from today’s lesson. Or you can stick around- I love your company regardless.

So as I’m sure most of you have noticed by now, gluten-free stuff is everywhere. Today, there are more choices than ever when it comes to gluten free cookies, cakes, muffins, breads, you name it- it comes in gluten free somewhere. On one hand, this is great news for those going gluten free. We can indulge in our chocolate cake cravings, bring a PB&J sandwich to work, and even give in to a maple glazed donut or two.

                 On the other hand…
Gluten free “replacements” of foods are really not any better for us.
You see, most of the grains used to make gluten free goods, such as corn and rice, have much less fiber than their gluten-ey counterparts like whole wheat. No fiber= no bueno.
Think about it… by eating your standard gluten free muffin, you will run into a lot of processed, white, starchy stuff mixed with sugar whereas with a diet allowing gluten, you can eat a hearty oat bran muffin with lots of fiber and nutrient rich grains. In other words: don’t expect to lose weight on a gluten free diet if you regularly eat gluten free muffins, cookies, cakes, etc. The fact that they are gluten free does NOT make them anything other than sugary sweets.
If you want to lose weight on a gluten free diet, the key is going for foods that are naturally gluten free like vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, organic fish and lean meats, brown rice, quinoa, etc. Go about it more like a “real food” diet rather than a “gluten free diet” because “gluten free” infers that you will still be eating processed, sugary, sodium filled foods- none of which will help your waistline go down a size. Look at your elimination of gluten as being an elimination of cookies, cakes, white breads, donuts, all those bad guys that sneak into your closet every night and sew your clothes a little tighter.
        I’m no nutritionist, but I can tell you that if you follow these steps when getting groceries at
the supermarket, you will be making healthy choices…
  • Spend 75% of your time shopping around the outside edges of the store. This is where your fresh veggies, fruits, meats, and dairy products will be. Unfortunately, this is also where the bakery usually is too, but just ignore that part. Otherwise, go hog-wild when it comes to getting fresh and wholesome goods that are naturally gluten free. This is the area of the store where you won’t have to bothered with analyzing nutrition labels! Hooray!
  • Think to yourself, “Will this benefit my body’s overall health in any way?” If the answer is yes, go for it. If the answer is no (the food is just for taste), sneakily place the food in someone else’s cart and run away quickly. This way, you’ll be buying/eating those GF triple fudge chocolate chunk brownies vicariously through an innocent bystander, without the added calories! The perfect solution!
  • If you do find yourself needing some gluten free bread (use sparingly), go for the multigrain type. Udi’s makes a really great multigrain bread, and so does Rudi’s… (when in doubt, just buy from the company whose name ends in “-udis”, and you’re golden).
  • Don’t stress. If you try too hard, you’re gonna end up with a kitchen filled with uber-healthy foods that taste like sandpaper and look like rabbit turds. I’ve heard it helps to move from eating gluten to being gluten free slowly, so that your body (and taste buds) have some time to adjust. If you don’t suddenly shock your system, you are more likely to stick with the healthier diet for longer.
Happy Gluten Free-ing!
Daily Life

Feeling Contemplative

I am sitting outside of my favorite coffee shop right now, waiting for inspiration. I haven’t been posting much blog content lately and it’s been bugging me because I’ve had the time- I just haven’t had ideas.
instead of just sitting here, trying to force out a decent (and relevant) blog post, I’m just gonna write about me. After all, it has been about a year since I started this blog, so we’re at that point in our relationship where we can get to know one another a little better!

This is me.

I’m nearing the end of my first quarter as a sophomore (second year) in college, as a major in Communications Studies and a double minor in Tourism Studies and Italian. So basically, I’m shaping out to be an Italian tour guide. But what I really want to do is public relations/marketing of some sort for a company along the lines of Google, Apple, or Pixar. (You can tell where my loyalties lie in the tech world). I want to live in a city apartment with a cute travel photographer boyfriend who can cook and sees my food issues as a charming quirk rather than as a nuisance, and I would like to have a cat named Mr. Pingleton or something established like that. Anything with Mr. in the front.

I have the best friends out there. My Seattle friends have been there with me from the beginning, and we pretty much never run out of things to do. Whether we are watching Disney movies surrounded by boxes of takeout Thai food, swing dancing at Century Ballroom, or huddled around a Denny’s booth at 3 am on a Tuesday, I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to be sharing my life with these great people. Of course, I haven’t known my Denver friends for as long, but they certainly have a very special place in my heart. With the flood of emotions that go through a college student’s mind in these stressful yet awesome times, it’s hard to not get close to people quickly. You know you have made good friends when they will go see the Justin Bieber movie with you despite the fact that we are nearing our 20’s, they will go out to parties with you then just end up going back to the dorms to watch a movie because we just aren’t good at partying, and they will cry with you when you are feeling overwhelmed and homesick.

Most of my work background is in floral design, which I just sort of fell into one day and ended up doing it for almost four years of my life, but I also have a background in social media marketing, event management, and of course, blogging. I am also a self proclaimed professional music finder. I’m that person who is constantly saying “I love this song!” when everyone else has never heard the song in their life. I’m not bragging- I just spend a shiz-load of time on the internet, finding new music. I have a playlist on my ITunes of songs that I still need to listen to and sort. This winter, I will be interning at a Seattle based magazine which is an accomplishment that I am really proud of. I will be shadowing the events/marketing manager so my work will mostly involve assisting at various events around the Seattle metropolitan area. Should be fun!

My sister is a senior at a college in Dallas, Texas and is a theater major. But not the obnoxious singing-and-monologuing-everyone-you-go type of theater major- the serious kind. She wants to do stage acting, and with the amount of success she’s had in being casted so far, I think she could really go far. My mom is an elementary school music teacher and an author of two- soon to be three books. I have honestly never met a teacher who is more dedicated to her profession or more invested in her students. Watching her teach makes me smile because I can tell that she is doing what she loves, and she truly excels at it. My dad has his own marimba building business- a marimba is an African instrument that is sort of like a giant wooden xylophone. Yes it’s random, but that’s why he does well (he’s the one you go to when you need a marimba). The fact that he took the risk of starting his own business-and found success in it, inspires me everyday. I know that if I don’t find the right company to work for, I can always do what I want to do by just creating my own business. Taking matters into my own hands is what keeps me interested.

My darling parents
 My sister, the actress

My favorite food is sweet potatoes in any form, I love running now because it’s something I couldn’t do when I was eating gluten, I hang up Christmas lights before Halloween has even happened, the scene in Juno right after the baby is born and “Sea of Love” plays makes me cry every time, I prefer rain over the sun, I am really bad at partying, I am a cat person, and I scowl anytime I have to use a Windows computer.

Daily Life

You Know You’re a Celiac If….

  • you’ve ever had to give a doctor a crash course in Celiac 101
  • a 7 course meal is a 1 course meal for you. Lettuce.
  • you’ve glared at friends in envy while they dig fork first into a birthday cake, while lying about “being ok with it”
  • you’ve disowned loved ones because they put their gluten-y knife in your peanut butter jar
  • you pack an extra suitcase filled with food when you go on trips
  • your friends think you’re crazy for not trying the amazing cupcakes at the dining hall. Surely a little taste couldn’t hurt?
  • you become very good a labeling everything as “gluten free ONLY”
  • you’ve had dreams about Wonder Bread
  • you’ve had nightmares in which you give into temptation and eat an entire baguette.
  • you get extremely heated anytime something like a chicken dish has unnecessary gluten in it. Like, really? Why do people feel the need to put gluten in everything??!
  • you read the ingredients in literally everything. Including single ingredient items like honey and green tea. Just in case.
  • it bugs you when people say they “understand what you are going through” when they are vegetarian or on a “real food” diet.
  • you’ve refused things as simple as gum and candies because it would take too much effort to figure out if it’s gluten free.
  • people insist on cooking/baking you something gluten free but you plead them not to, knowing that the risk of cross contamination of too high for you to eat it comfortably.
  • you circulate to the same five restaurants because you know that you can eat there safely, and it is too much research to try and find a new restaurant.
  • you’ve mastered the art of lying when people ask if you are hungry
  • you look at other peoples’ fridges and pantries just to see what normal people eat, and you try to remember the last time you ate those foods.
  • you eat before you go out to eat with friends
  • you compare all your food to “normal people food”
  • you can locate the words “gluten free” within 5 seconds of looking at a food item
  • you watch in wonder as someone eats a big plate of spaghetti. Oh, the things that would happen if you were doing that.
  • you put on gloves when you are forced to make non gluten free food for a party
  • you are probably the only college student who regularly shops at Whole Foods just because you know that no matter what, you will be accepted there.
  • you feel awkward trying to order pizza with friends because they will have to pay like $5 extra each so that you can get the gluten free pizza. Which is half the size of the normal pizzas.
  • you’ve ordered just a side of rice and vegetables at a restaurant before.
  • you’ll hug people with a cough and a runny nose but you won’t let a person with a cookie touch you.
  • you buy the overpriced gluten free pumpkin loaf at your local coffeehouse just because they have it and you want to express your appreciation.

What “You Know You’re a Celiac When…”s have you come upon?