Time to Read (and make some changes)

Wheat-BellyWheat Belly is a recent book about by Cardiologist William Davis my oldest sister told me about since she just finished reading it. Yep, it might sound pretty gross and you may not want to read it for fear it will make you want to cut out wheat, but that’s exactly why I want to finish reading it.

After stocking up on Chia seeds and trying to get into the habit of making fruity breakfast smoothies a few weeks ago, I have started trying to pay attention to what I eat at all times of the day– whether that means remembering to pack a healthy salad for lunch or saying no to the always fully stocked snack cupboard in my office, not going overboard with the sugar and cream in my coffee, etc. I have yet to feel that Chia seeds “give me energy” like everyone has been saying but since I have them every morning now, I’ve realized I don’t feel as starving when 11:50am rolls around – when my stomach would typically be starting to growl. Chia seeds affect everyone a little differently I guess.

My sister mentioned the book Wheat Belly on Father’s Day when we were all on Google Hangout as a family. She challenged us to give up wheat and said she’s only been off it for a few weeks herself and has already lost a good amount of weight. I thought, why not give it a try? I know so many people that say they feel so much better being gluten-free. Some of the stuff in Davis’ book is just so interesting too. His main point (which you can find just in the intro) makes me want to buy the book to read more:

I believe that the increased consumption of grains – or more accurately, the increased consumption of this genetically-altered thing called modern wheat – explains the contrast between slender, sedentary people of the fifties and overweight twenty-first century people, triathletes included.

So I have been off wheat so far for about 1.5 weeks.

Have I noticed anything different? So far, nothing too drastic.

Is it hard? Yes. Well, it can be very difficult on certain days.

My first week was almost a bust. There was one day when I simply forgot I was doing this no wheat thing and ate a cookie. Another day when I had half of a cupcake jar (couldn’t let that go to waste!)… and yes, last Wednesday I ate one slice of pizza. Baby steps right?! The hardest for me is definitely baked goods. Especially since our office often has cookies and cupcakes just sitting around….

platter of cookies

I’ve got too big of a sweet tooth! 🙂 I’m not going super strict with this no-wheat thing yet. I haven’t been reading all the labels scouting for gluten. I think I just have to start slow … and we’ll see what happens!

At least things like this aren’t off-limits!

Ice Cream salmon, shish kebabs, potatoes

On Saturday, I went to a Birthday party and they had lots of yummy pizza. Gluten-free pizza crust (using rice flour)! It was some of the best homemade pizza dough I’ve ever tasted. I’m not normally one to like the taste of things like this that are actually “good” for you, so it was exciting to try this! 🙂

So. I’ll leave you with this… let’s get baking!
Gluten Free No-Bake Cookies

How about you, readers — what do you think of a wheat-free diet? Are any of you gluten free eaters?

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What’s the deal with CHIA?

Not chia pets, Chia seeds!

Another newish fad super food… and it’s time to give it a try!

ChiaSeedsInWater-850x566from MindBodyGreen

I’ve started having a yogurt and salad at lunch and yesterday morning I woke up and made a Greek yogurt/frozen berry smoothie. It made my day — not only did it taste good but I felt healthier after I had consumed it as if I had just ingested a glorious superfood. I didn’t like Greek yogurt very much at first and couldn’t understand people’s obsession with it…. the consistency was just a little too chunky for my liking but once you get used to it, you don’t notice that as much!

DSC03039

Then there is this fad all over the place with Chia seeds. I scoffed at first because people around me were going nuts about it. I figured its just one of this things that’s gonna fade like acai berries…. It hasn’t really been around long enough for many scientific studies but the things I’ve read about it are enough to make me want to try. I tested it out a few weeks ago in juice and it really felt like just drinking a bunch of kiwi seeds with a little crunch. I happen to love kiwi seeds so I don’t mind the chia:)

The stuff I’ve read sounds good and listening to friends rave about them is as good of a review as any (;))…. so I thought, why not? I stopped by Trader Joe’s and picked up a bag for $5. I had a tablespoon in my leftover frozen smoothie last night. I’ll probably start slow… 1-2 Tbsp a day, but I’ve read you can have up to 4 Tbsp. and it’s good for you! I’ll put them in smoothies and sprinkle on my salads at lunch. If you have any advice for me with this, let me know! Ways to take it, how much to consume,… how you’ve seen results… I’m all ears!

chia seeds from Trader Joe's

Breakfast at home in Southport, NC!

I’m home today… at my parents’ house that is, in North Carolina! Quick life update: I got a new job which won’t start until April 9 so I’ve been on “vacation” since my last day which was the 27th. I highly recommend this “break” in between jobs if you’re ever in a similar situation and if the new job can be flexible for when you start! 🙂

I got here 2 days ago and have been totally enjoying sleeping in, eating mom’s cooking, spending time with my little sister, going to the BEACH,… etc.!

Today my sister and I didn’t wake up until 10! Our parents weren’t around so Sarah and I made this Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake together (from Alexandra Cooks). This was a recipe I found on Pinterest over a month ago but I hadn’t tried it yet since blueberries have been pretty hard to come by.  My mom had a bag of frozen blueberries, so I just defrosted those and used them. Sarah and I think it turned out great!

This is the sister Sarah,… the youngest in our family, and the only one still at home (senior in high school).

Sarah and the blueberry breakfast pie

Blueberry breakfast
The buttermilk in this recipe made this cake moist and delicious 🙂 Hope you can try it sometime soon!

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Going Green for St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Here are a few of my favorite things I’ve been seeing on blogs lately.

Enjoy!

Going Green

 

1. Adorable garland

2. Irish Coffee in the morning 🙂

3. Green Sugar Cookies

4. Rag Wreath

5. Free party printables

6. Andes Mint Cupcakes … these look good any day!

7. Harpoon Celtic Ale

8. Stout Ice Cream Float! I’d like one now, Martha!

9. Etsy Kiss Me Banner

Drink | Jump Start: Smoothie Love

I cant believe its Monday again already! This morning I dragged myself out of bed earlier than usual to exercise. Usually I try to stay in bed until the last possible minute but I asked the husband last night to pull me out of bed if I resisted today. 🙂

I’ve been using the Nike Training Club app on my phone for my workouts lately and I’ve felt the difference. The “Ab Burner” left me sore for 4 days. I haven’t been doing very good lately working out 2-3 times a week which was my goal, but I figured today would be a great day to try to start that habit up again.

After the “ab burner” 15-min. workout complete with Regina Spektor and Glee music, I got the “Drill Seeker” Badge which rewarded me with some tasty smoothie recipes!

I love smoothies. Normally I’d just grab a cup of coffee and run to my train but after working up a little sweat, a smoothie sounded a lot healthier! We have had a big bag of frozen berries in our freezer and we had a banana that was too ripe for me to eat by itself so I got out the blender and started dumping things in.

For my “Berry-nana Smoothie,” I combined:

  • A big handful of mixed berries (frozen or fresh)
  • Half a banana
  • 2-3 tablespoons yogurt (I only had vanilla in my fridge, which was perfect)
  • A cup or so of apple juice (depending how thick you like your smoothies)

Et Voila!

Berry-nana Smoothie

Note: Nike’s recipe called for Muesli and mango but I didn’t have any of either.

How do you begin your day and get energized? Any favorite healthy breakfasts you recommend?