Looking for a sweet little morning or mid-afternoon pick-me-up without the guilt of a ton of sugar or calories and some serious brain boosting?
I highly recommend this chocolate banana milkshake!
So, during a regular appointment earlier this week, my doctor confirmed what I’ve suspected for the past couple of months: My hormones are completely out of whack.
Ever dealt with a hormonal imbalance? It’s pretty stressful. Not only can it cause weight problems and wreak havoc on your skin , but a hormonal imbalance sometimes brings mental health symptoms like depression, anxiety, and disorientation.
Continuing with my efforts to review gluten-free foods for folks who follow GF diets for various physical and mental health reasons (plus, GF foods I have to actually make – like the gluten-free brownies – and not just those I can warm in the microwave – like the gluten-free cinnamon rolls…even though they were delicious!), last week I tried gluten-free cornbread!
Now, I’ve tried a few different gluten-free breads before. I had luck with regular sliced bread (like the Schar Gluten-Free Classic White Bread), but not much luck with hot dog buns (specifically, Ener-G Tapioca Gluten-Free Hot Dog Buns).
Fortunately, my experience with this particular GF cornbread was more similar to that of the sliced bread than the hot dog buns!
I spent this past weekend in Asheville, North Carolina.
If you’ve never been, Asheville is an amazing city in North Carolina, part of a four-county metropolitan area and popular for its gorgeous mountains, live music, arts and crafts, locally grown and organic food, historical attractions like the Biltmore Estate and Thomas Wolfe House, and…
So, when we arrived Friday night, having a drink or three was a given, as was having a delicious vegan meal, so the beau and I headed to Laughing Seed (conveniently located above my favorite pub, Jack of the Wood). We both (yes, both of us – I was so proud of him) ordered a vegan, gluten-free burger and a beer while we waited.
Imagine my delight when I saw Dogfish Head’s Tweason’ale Gluten-Free Beer on the menu.
When I first started my gluten-lite journey, it was easy to imagine some types of gluten-free foods.
For example, fruits and vegetables are gluten free, as are fresh eggs, meat, seeds and nuts, and most dairy products.
However, wrapping my brain around other gluten-free versions of certain foods, like breads and pastas, was a different story.
I’m just now getting around to gluten-free pasta with Road’s End Organics Gluten-Free Alfredo Mac & Chreese.
Continuing on my gluten-lite journey, this week I’ve chosen a sort of convenience food – something you can unwrap, pop in the oven for a few minutes, and NOT feel guilty about!
Amy’s Gluten-Free Non-Dairy Cheese Pizza is suitable for those with gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity as well as both vegans and vegetarians.
A quick lunch or dinner when you don’t have the time or energy to prepare something with actual ingredients. I ate it for dinner one night after work.
Before this decision, I knew I wanted to find a way to lower the amount of non-helpful foods (chips, cookies, giant hunks of cheese, etc) I eat on a daily basis, but was also fully aware that just taking them away wouldn’t do the trick. I needed to replace them with something else and fool my stomach into believing everything was normal. “No one’s doing any depriving here…”
Because fruit has a good amount of sugar, I decided that my childhood arch nemesis, vegetables, was going to be the ticket to a healthier, yet still satisfied, meal.
Veggies and I have a troubled past. I willfully neglected them for a while. But now that I’m understanding just how vital they are to my health and energy, the white flag has been raised and I’m welcoming them back into my life in a big way.
So, here we are: the veggies-with-every-meal thing. Veggies with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Veggies when I’m not sure I actually want them. Cooked, raw, cut up or in salads, vegetables are invading my life.
And it’s actually not that bad.
Years ago, when I made the decision to become a vegetarian, I prepared answers for all the replies I knew were coming:
We have canine teeth for a reason.
You won’t get enough protein.
I give it two months.
(That last one was from my best friend. Supportive, huh?)
I wasn’t prepared for one of the most common replies I got, though:
Wow. That’s going to be really expensive.
At the time, the way I looked at it was: If I’m no longer spending money on meat…won’t I have more money for other things…?
That turned out to be true – kind of.
The thing is, I found myself spending more money than I was saving on good stuff (fruits, veggies, lentils) and not-so-good stuff (frozen pre-packaged meals, tons of pasta, sugary crap).
Fortunately, it didn’t take long for me to figure out how to shop more wisely (and still be able to pay rent).
Not to state the obvious, but it’s hot. So hot that most of my cooking these days consists of me staring at the oven and then ordering take-out. It’s not that I don’t want to make myself dinner, it’s just that my tiny kitchen threatens to roast me alive any time I even think of turning on the oven.
Unfortunately, my sweet tooth doesn’t seem to register that baking is out of the question. All it wanted for the last three days was pie. Raspberry, cherry, peach – it didn’t matter. Just give me pie! it kept shouting. Give me pie or I will wake you up at 3:30AM with such a craving that you will be forced to mix a spoonful of peanut butter with a spoonful of chocolate sauce in the dark. Alone. While wearing a bathrobe.
Since the aforementioned scenario was embarrassing enough the first time around, I decided that something had to be done to appease my need for sweet. I wasn’t going to be baking, so a traditional crust was out. I was also battling a nasty head cold, so doing any kind of major prep was impossible. After leafing through some recipes, I finally decided on a raw, vegan fruit tart – it would be fast, easy and full of the sweetness I had been craving.
Happy Friday, readers!
Okay, okay – technically it’s not May anymore, but we had our last Mental Health Month 2012 Challenge on Tuesday, so we have to have a Weekly Weigh-In, right?
Tuesday I challenged you to learn a new recipe – one that’s healthy for both your body and your brain.
Because this week was a busy one for me, I chose to learn a snack recipe. It’s a vegetarian recipe for nachos. WebEcoist calls them 3-Minute Healthy Nachos (they took a little longer for me – sometimes I’m all thumbs!) and I think you’ll like them whether you eat meat or not!