Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Six months ago, Quinoa was a foreign word to me, let alone knowing it was a food, now I'm soooo in love with it!

It's a delicious, Gluten Free, high fiber, clean food, that then obviously goes well with my clean eating.

Quinoa Nutrition Facts

If you've never heard of it, Quinoa starts off looking like little oatmeal flakes...

Dry Quinoa

and then after boiling it with some hot water... and, POOF! It's huge, fluffy and tasty!

I've been making some Quinoa salads lately, including these two from Oh She Glows and Eat, Live, Run.

The Live, Eat Run, Quinoa Salad, Based on personal preference I cut out the peppers and used Oranges instead of grapefruit

Iowa Girl Eats also just published this easy looking one. Based on these recipes, you can see that Quinoa can be used with vegetables, with fruit as a dessert, or as a dinner side; it's pretty versatile.

Quinoa is cheap, can be bought it bulk and easy to make, so if you haven't, give it a try!

Do you have a favorite way to use Quinoa? What about any new recipes you've tried lately?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Clean Eating

Celiac Disease has thrown my healthiness pattern into a spiral like I never thought it would. I thought once I received my diagnosis, life would be on it's merry way, and things would be easy, not so much.

Having always been at a pretty steady weight (if you remember, my weight gain was the reason I went in to be tested for Celiac in the first place), my weight is now a yo yo of 5-10 pounds depending on the day. It's SO frustrating. Pants that fit perfect last week, now are painful to wear this weekend. Dresses that I bought because I like how they hugged my curves, then hang off of me the next time I try to wear them.

I've been reading a lot about people who have suffered similar symptoms post diagnosis. First, they'll lose some weight from the lack of bloating due to cutting gluten out of their diet, but then keep putting on weight, or not able to lose at all. Most studies attribute this to:
  1. Newly diagnosed Celiacs eating larger portions, because they were acustomed to eating large portions prior to diagnosis to stay full since they weren't absorbing all the nutrients and were thus, malnourished.
  2. Increase sugars and fats that are put in Gluten Free "substitute foods" to create flavor
Both seemed to make sense for me, so this week, I've decided to try and make a conscious effort to "eat clean." I always feel like I'm trying to do this anyway, eating things that are naturally Gluten Free, not manufactured this way, like lean meats, fruits, vegetables, etc. But, I do tend to grab Gluten Free frozen meals, snack bars, etc. when I'm in a hurry. I mean, think about it, should I eat that half a Protein Luna Bar before a run, or an apple? No, Luna Bars aren't bad for you, but isn't an apple a better, less caloric, choice?

So, with the guidance from Mary at Fit This Girl's clean eating (I don't intend to go for her results, just using her as a good guide), I'm going for it!

For instance, today's "clean" lunch:

Grilled Chicken Breast, Homemade Baked Sweet Potato Fries and Homemade Guacamole

I also made these frozen treats last night that chef Katie Lee published recently where you mix plain, 0% Greek yogurt, a few squirts of honey and fresh cherries and freeze them in a few containers for an after dinner sweet snack.

Fresh sliced cherries, 0% Plain Greek Yogurt and Honey

This eating does take planning ahead, but I look forward to it, and how much more in control of my body I feel when I do eat this way. I know it will be difficult in the coming weeks as I move, but this whole initiative will help me be more conscious about what I'm putting in my mouth, and that it needs to be for my body's ultimate nourishment, not just to get full.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gluten Free, Blueberry, Cottage Cheese Pancakes

I've been tweeting about this little recipe like crazy lately, Gluten Free, Blueberry, Cottage Cheese Pancakes. My friends made them for me when I stayed with them in DC a few weeks back, and they were a hit. Easy, delicious and with extra protein, so I figured, why not try them with my own spin!

Here are the ingredients:

1/2 Cup Gluten Free Pancake Mix (I used Bisquick)
1 Large Full Egg and 1 Egg White
1 tbsp, plus 1 tsp of Canola Oil
8 ounces of 1% Cottage Cheese
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Vanilla
3/4 Cup Fresh Blueberries

**I'm sure these can easily be made with regular, non-Gluten Free pancake mix as well.

Now here is the most important step, you must put all these ingredients (excluding the blueberries) in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Simply whisking or stirring will not break down the curds from the cottage cheese.

Then, place the batter, in however large you want them spoonfuls in a hot pan or griddle, and immediately plop the amount of desired blueberries on the still batterful pancakes.

The finished pancake should look something like this:

It may not be the prettiest thing, but man they are delicious! And you can store leftover batter in the fridge to use the next morning if you want. I've found it's good for about 24 hours, so you can even make it the night before ahead of time if you want.

Here are the nutrition facts for one pancake, should you make four servings out of the above stated ingredients, according to Spark Recipes:

Nutrition Facts

User Entered Recipe

4 Servings

Amount Per Serving
Calories 170.6
Total Fat 6.6 g

Saturated Fat 1.1 g

Polyunsaturated Fat 1.6 g

Monounsaturated Fat 3.4 g
Cholesterol 48.5 mg
Sodium 538.7 mg
Potassium 91.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 16.4 g

Dietary Fiber 1.1 g

Sugars 4.0 g
Protein 10.4 g


Monday, August 1, 2011

The one where I tell you I'm moving to Virginia...

I've written this post over and over again in my head over the last two weeks or so since I found out. I've thought, "what if my close friends find out from the blog? That's not right." But in all honesty, I can't cover everyone in phone calls, e-mails, etc. so I'll just say it, Ben and I are moving to the Northern Virgina/Washington D.C. area.

The reason I have been so busy lately, with so much travel, and little time to blog, has been because of flying out to interview for the job (it's still with my current company, which I love, yay!) and finding a place for us to live.

I'm a Midwestern girl, who's never left the Midwest in my life, but we're very lucky that we have friends in the D.C. area, and love the area, so we're really looking forward to what lies ahead for us.

Of course I'll miss my friends in Minnesota, and the memories I've made here. I went to college here, so naturally, a lot of my friends are still in the Twin Cities. My parents aren't a long drive away, and most notably, the memories of meeting and marrying Ben are here. But, I have to say we're SO excited to move to Virginia and all that comes along with it, and ready to make new memories out east.

So now, join me on this journey, one where I move across the country with my husband, and blog about what it's really like. Also, if you have any advice, or words of wisdom, whether it's about moving, the DC area, staying healthy during a big move, etc. I'd love to hear it!

Stay tuned, because I'm sure I'll have many updates to come, and thanks in advance for your support!