What did you have for lunch today?

For not having much in the way of leftovers in the fridge, I think I did pretty well for lunch!

plain fage yogurt with low-sodium train mix stirred in

2 oz pepperoni

a handful of cherry tomatoes (ok, more like 2 handfuls!)

one small sweet bell pepper, sliced

hummus

i had a granola bar, but ended up not needing it. Lots of protein in the yogurt and the pepperoni, and the hummus was filling too.  but i was pretty hungry by the time I got home from work around 6.

what did you have for lunch today?

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clean ONE thing a day

i find cleaning to be VERY intimidating.  everything about it seems demotivating.   i just seems like a never ending to-do list.  so many items on the to-do list, just to clean the bathroom!!!

but like, i like having a clean kitchen?  and a small amount of cleaning / tidying up / decluttering makes me feel better?  I just don’t know what amount that “small amount” is.

But i have figured something out: I can clean / declutter ONE  thing. ONE thing is totally do-able!  and takes like, 1 minute!

here are the things I hate about cleaning:

  • takes forever (or at least feels like it does!)
  • lots of little steps makes it feel intimidating
  • situations that have even the vague possibly of feeling judgemental “you missed a spot”, “that’s not how I would have done it”, make me feel super de-motivated.

ok, so how do I adapt these things to make them enough less awful that I’m going to do some cleaning?  Here’s what I tried:

 

  • takes forever (or at least feels like it does!) – every morning before work, clean ONE thing. limit yourself to ONE.  just the bathroom counter. just the bathroom mirror. just dust one bookshelf in the living room. just wipe down the counter in the kitchen next to the sink. ONLY ONE!!
  • lots of little steps makes it feel intimidating – every morning before work, spend no more than 3 minutes cleaning something.  if it takes less than 3 minutes, that’s great, but STOP at 3 minutes.
  • situations that have even the possibly of feeling judgemental “you missed a spot”, “that’s not how I would have done it”, make me feel super de-motivated – i’m doing this when no one else is awake, and no one in the house even knows I’m doing it. it’s  like my little secret.  somehow doing something good, without anyone knowing, is a motivator?

 

seems to be working pretty well so far.  One morning I dusted the bookshelf in the living room, and while walking to the closet to  put the swiffer away, i was walking right past the other bookshelf, so I dusted that too! time spent: less than 3 minutes.

We keep our boxes of tea and hot chocolate on top of the microwave. that area always gets missed when we clean the kitchen. so  one morning I audited the tea and cleaned the top of the microwave.  Time spent – about 2 minutes.

one morning I cleaned the bathroom counter. Didn’t let myself feel guilty about not sweeping the floor. time spent, less than 1 minute.

 

bonus: i feel accomplished before I even leave for work!

 

does the house still need more heavy duty cleaning? Yep. still gotta vacuum, still gotta clean stuff. that’s never going to go away. but somehow I feel like i’ve already crossed off half the items on the list.

 

let’s see how long I can keep this up!

Hey, long time no see! let’s talk lunch!

Hey, i didn’t forget about this blog, I SWEAR.    i just, um, got distracted. and then I wanted to hibernate because it was winter. I then i had a very fun and very fail-y Kickstarter, and then stuff got super busy at work, and then i was just procrastinating.

 

so, um, Hi! long time no see!

 

I was going to take pretty pictures of my healthy lunches as foodspo and inspo, and GFspo, but if I eat lunch at my desk, there’s no windows anywhere nearby, so my food photos look like zombie food, and if I try to take pictures upstairs in the lunchroom (where there is windows!!) , I’ll have to explain to everyone why I’m taking pictures of my lunch.  so, at this point, no photos. 😦

but I still want to record what I’m eating for lunch, so I can look back at these posts and see if my meal planning was actually helping me eat better-ish.  For me, “eating better” means gluten free, cuz my insides don’t like that stuff anymore.

What did I have for lunch today?

baked sweet potato, topped with fajita steak, sauteed onions and sauteed sweet pepper. lots of spices, some olive oil, a little bit of salt.

a Fage black cherry yogurt

one of those little oranges that’s easy to peel

sliced cucumber and sliced sweet pepper (oh, you don’t like raw sweet peppers? More for me!)

and then i was really hungry around 4pm, so i ate a Luna granola bar. i like the lemon flavor.

that stuff is just for cocktails and pickles, right?

is there anything Vodka and Vinegar won’t clean?

The inside of the windsheild of our 2 year old Honda has gotten very hazy. At first, I thought i just needed to run the defroster, and that just made this worse, now whatever this haze creating crud was was baked on.  Thanks to the internet, I learned that it the haze was most likely caused by the plastics outgassing, and a good solution was to wash the inside of the glass with alcohol.   a few tablespoons of vodka and some paper towers later, and the windshield is now as clear as it was the day we got the car! Win!

And no, I do not clean with the same Vodka I drink.  there is a bottle of Absolut for drinking, and whatever the cheapest vodka the store had (i think it was $5?) for cleaning.

We have hard water and a vinyl shower curtain. Means our bathtub is disgusting all the time, and our shower curtain is covered in soap scum and hard water residue all the time. it’s pretty gross.   Vinegar surely couldn’t make the situation worse, would it?  Some vinegar soaked paper towels and about 15 minutes of elbow grease later, and the shower curtain looked nearly brand new.  Then i had the thought to shake some Bon Ami onto my vinegar soaked paper towels and wash around the tub.  Grimey stuff? Gone.  soap scum? Gone.  other scary gross stuff? Gone.

and i bet you thought vodka and vinegar was just for cocktails and pickles!

 

What are your favorite Gluten Free cookbooks?

Don’t get me wrong, I love internet recipes just as much as the next girl, but i do LOVE me a good cookbook!  We probably own, i dunno,  20 cookbooks? I read cookbooks the way most people read lifestyle magazines.   I love that some of our cookbooks fall open to our favorite recipes, that I write notes on recipes that work, or suggested added ingredients.  A cookbook shows me the cooking path I’ve been on, and all the stops I’ve made along the way.

And now, I need to invest in some Gluten free cookbooks.  I recently picked up the Bob’s Red Mill Everyday Gluten Free Cookbook, and I’ve been having a ton of fun with it. The first chapter is all about gluten free grains and seeds – amaranth, millet, chia, sorghum, etc.  Just reading those few paragraphs about amaranth, I went out and bought a bag!   Nearly all the recipes are written with different option, that if you don’t have amaranth you can use chia, or if you don’t have millet you can use something else, or if you don’t have almond butter you can use peanut butter.  This cookbook is designed around using gluten free whole grains, using other pantry items that match your preferences, and easy recipes with easy to follow instructions.

I’m always looking for gluten free crunchy snacks, so the first thing I made out of this new cookbook was some crackers that could be made with a combination of chia and quinoa, or a combination of chia and amaranth. you also add sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds and a pinch of salt. And, well, I had this brand new bag of amaranth, so let’s get cooking! The crackers looked and tasted delicious, had they had perfect crunch!  I had plenty of cooked amaranth leftover, so I mixed it with chickpeas, chopped cucumber, dried cranberries, chopped olives, vinegar, and oil for a nice chickpea salad.

One of the reasons amaranth keeps you full so long is because it takes forever to digest. Between the crackers and the chickpea salad, I was eating more amaranth than my insides (which had never had it before!) could handle.  I want to make these crackers again, but i think I’ll use quinoa next time.

Next up was quinoa salmon patties.  These babies were freakin’ amazing! I upped the spices a bit because I was really craving something with kick, and this recipe you could easily add whatever flavorings you want, or swap out the green onion for a different kind of onion (exactly what I did. I didn’t happen to have any green onion, but I had a shallot.)

Sorry the photo is so terrible.  the first batch of patties we sauteed were on the light side, the 2nd batch the pan was finally hot enough so they came out perfect, and we ate them in about 5 seconds. Actually, I ate them.  Husband helped me cook them,  but he doesn’t care for salmon, so i got to eat them all! and I did!  They were perfect for lunch the next day, even not being heated up.

Next up is no-bake  date oatmeal honey granola bars. They are firming up in the freezer right now, so I’ll know later today how they came out!

So, what are some of your favorite gluten free cookbooks?

What did you notice after going gluten free?

This is maybe week 6 of being gluten free?

(or as gluten free as possible. I did not check the salad dressing or teriyaki sauce that’s in the fridge, and i’m sure the spicy Chinese food I had wasn’t gluten free. I’m trying!)

Beyond the less zits and less hanger, here are a few more things that I’ve noticed:

Less Anxiety – I have been in denial that over the last 10-15 years, but my anxiety had been at times crippling.   I would freak out in the grocery store (too much over simulation!), get angry and cry over nothing, be fearful that something terrible was right around the corner, be irrationally impatient over silly things, etc.   I suddenly don’t have that as much anymore.  And when my anxiety does spike, it is easier for me to recognize it.  Was this caused by gluten? who knows.  I just enjoy that i am not having it as often.

My hands don’t shake as much – i’d having trouble picking up a mug of coffee. I could hold a pen ok, because the side of my hand was resting on the paper. I couldn’t carry a plate of food around a party my hands would shake so bad.  This is a strange thing that I’ve had on and off since my early 20s, I am used to it, my husband is used to it, but it is still embarrassing. it’s still there, but no where near as bad.

My period isn’t as awful.  Only had 1 period since going GF, but PMS and cramps didn’t seem to be as awful.  I’m used to absolutely brutal PMS followed by cramps that don’t give up (the cramps are debilitating, but they sure are annoying!), and this last period was just like “eh, ok. no biggie”.

Gluten free bread doesn’t have to suck!  Experimented with a few GF bread recipes, and even my husband thought it tasted good!  Very heavy, had the texture of a quick bread, but yeah, tasted like bread!

I am still afraid of carbs.  We went to a health food store the other day that had tons, and do mean tons of GF foods. I stood in front of a shelf and said outloud: I can eat all of this stuff! with a huge smile on my face. it was cookies and crackers and brownie mixes, types of foods I have not eaten in years because of the carb count. I did’t buy any of it. I am still legit afraid of carby foods.

I’m still getting bloated, but it wasn’t like before.  I made a GF oat bread, and it bloated me right up. I’m eating potatoes more, and they are bloating me right up. BUT! the bloating isn’t painful like before, and it goes away in a normal amount of time instead of days and days.

 

What are some of the things you noticed after going GF?

 

Gluten free, week 3

I’m now on week 3 of gluten free.  my cheat day was great a reminder that going gluten free was the right choice.

To be clear: I am not celiac, and I have not been diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity. I have not even spoke to a doctor about this. I was having some harmless but annoying health issues (see below), and decided to experiment with an elimination diet to see if I could determine what might be causing my issues.  And really, what was the worst thing that could happen during a week of gluten free? I’d eat more vegetables? I’d eat less prepared food? The worst thing that could happen was that nothing would change, and I’d be no worse off than I was before.   By day 4, I was already feeling better. My most annoying health issues were already starting to subside.

Here are the things that I miss from my gluten lifestyle:

Craft beer.  I was well on my way to being a craft beer snob. . .  and i guess that career has gone out the window.  But I’m drinking a glass of white wine as I’m writing this, so life is not all bad.

Cake.  My husband and I have a tradition of buying single cake slices (but only from these two particular bakeries!!!) and sharing the slice of cake. Last time he brought a slice home, I said “you get to eat the whole thing”.

 

Here are the things that I don’t miss:

Being bloated all the time.  I was popping gas-x pills like they were candy. I was buying pants another size up. Sitting was uncomfortable.  I couldn’t find anything that would make the bloat go away except waiting it out, however many hours or days it took. I looked pregnant. My belly was so distended with bloat that it was pressing on my bladder, making me feel like I had to pee all the time.  TMI:  so I’d go to pee, and felt like I really, really had to pee, and i couldn’t pee.  The bloating went away, and now my bladder seems happy and normal.

Being hangry.  I’d eat something, even something low carb, and two hours later I’d be ravenously angry-hungry.  I’d spend hours each day counting down the minutes to my next meal, having a snack on the commute home from work, having a snack the moment I walked in the door. I was already on a high protein low carb diet, why was I ravenously hungry all the time? I remember being out with my Dad, and we were trying to decide where to eat and no one wanted to make a decision, and I was like “I need to eat really, really soon. I don’t care if I eat McDonalds, but I need to eat”.  I’d be so hungry I couldn’t think straight, and it had only been 3-4 hours since my last meal.   I don’t miss that.  Sure, I get hungry, but it is a normal  “When’s dinner?” rather than hanger.

Adult Acne:  I have tried everything in the world to get rid of my zits. I also really love it when people innocently ask me “well, have you tried washing your face?”, as if that had never once occurred to me.  or they say “zits make you look young!”.  I am nearly 40, I have zero interest in looking like a zitty teenager. I still have a few zits, but they aren’t the giant whiteheads I had before, and they seem to go away faster.  Still using witch hazel, but not as often.

When I tell me people that I’ve gone gluten free, they inevitably ask me these same questions:

don’t you miss bread? Have you seen all the gluten free breads at the store? No, I don’t miss bread. I’ve been on a low-carb lifestyle for years, and anytime I had bread or pizza I paid for it afterwards. I equate bread with feeling yucky, so no, I don’t miss it. and no, I’m not really interested in gluten free bread because of the connotation my brain makes with bread products in general.

Are you allergic to wheat? Nope.  my insides just don’t seem to like gluten.

have you lost any weight?  1 pound. Not really looking to lose weight, just want to feel less like shit and more like a person.