Monday, November 21, 2011

Inspiration for Monday

Happy Monday!  I don't know about you, but my Monday is going to be a long one, so today's post is more of a mini post.  So, I wanted to share some inspirational images that I absolutely love that I've seen on pinterest :)  Enjoy!

What inspires you?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lazy Girl Pasta

Hi friends! I hope you're having a terrific Sunday.  Mine has been pretty low key - it's included brunch at this awesome restaurant that serves only locally grown organic food, followed by lots of laundry and now lounging around and preparing for the class I teach on Monday evenings.  I'm disappointed that Pan Am and Once Upon a Time aren't on tonight!!! Whatever am I going to do with myself.  Probably make a new pasta recipe... because well....

Sometimes, a girl just needs pasta.... but sometimes a girl is just way too lazy to spend tons of time on dinner.  So, a few weeks ago, I threw together this completely random combination of ingredients and ended up with one of the best pasta dishes I've ever made.

To start, I decided to try this new to me pasta by Mrs. Leepers that I picked up at the grocery store.  I loved how the pasta was colored using various vegetables and it added tons of color to this pasta dish.

Lazy Girl Pasta


1 cup gluten free pasta of your choice
1/4 cup prepared pesto
1/2 cup shelled edamame (frozen)
1/2 cup baby bella mushrooms

1. Boil the pasta according to package ingredients.  Meanwhile, saute the mushrooms in a pan sprayed with olive oil spray over medium heat about 5-7 minutes.
2. During the last minute of cooking time, add frozen edamame to boiling pasta.
3. Drain pasta & edamame.  Combine with pesto and bella mushrooms.

What's your favorite thing to add to pasta when you're feeling lazy?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Current Love List

Happy Saturday everyone!  I don't know about you, but I'm ridiculously happy the weekend is here.  My agenda today includes making a chocolate chip tofu cheesecake, gluten free ravioli and then going to the gym.  I seriously think Saturday is my favorite day of the week.  Don't worry, I'll be sure to blog about those items :)  I've made chocolate chip tofu cheesecake and it's incredible.... the gluten free ravioli will be a new attempt and I've never made ravioli before so we'll see how it goes. Stay tuned.

So, last night I saw Breaking Dawn.... Team Edward anyone?!  Also, I still can't get over the creepy and almost laughable scene with the werewolves talking to each other.  I have to admit, I was kind of disappointed in the movie.  There was so much that I felt they left out or could have added in, (spoiler alert!) like Bella's dreams about the baby in the beginning of the book.  What did you think?  Were you a little disappointed or was I the only one?

swoon. move out of the way bella.

Anyway!  For Saturday, I wanted to share a list with you of everything I'm currently loving on the web... including of course recipes I need to make ASAP.

Angela's Eggplant Parmesan at Oh She Glows

Nicole's Red Velvet Cake Doughnuts at Prevention RD

Veronika's post on dealing with negativity at Veronika's Blushing

Katie's Deep Dish Cookie Pie at Chocolate Covered Katie

This pinterest look on The Look 4 Less

Celebrity gossip from here

This pink polka dot sweater from Madewell

Whole Foods online ordering for Thanksgiving!

What are you loving on the web today?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Snow Pizza

Hi everyone :)  I don't know about you, but I love pizza.  Before going gluten free, I used to make pizza using all sorts of things.... naan, whole wheat pita bread, tortillas.  I had a few teff flour tortillas in the freezer, so I decided to pull one out to test out a new pizza recipe that was in my head.  Have you ever tried pizza blanca, also known as white pizza?  It's a nice change from tomato sauce and is a cheese lovers dream.  Usually, pizza blanca uses a white sauce but I used a pesto base and then topped it with a few different cheeses....hence the new name :)  You could add any toppings that you want to personalize this pizza. 

This recipe comes together in literally minutes, which makes it the perfect recipe for those days when you just have no time to cook.  Not to mention the fact that it was INCREDIBLE. 

Individual Snow Pizza


1 large teff flour/brown rice flour tortilla
1/2 cup skim ricotta
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp prepared pesto

1. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray.  Place tortilla on cookie sheet, spread with pesto
2. Spread ricotta on top of tortilla, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
3. Top with items of your choice - I went with black olives!
4. Bake in a 400 degree oven until cheese is lightly browned.

There are no words.

What's your favorite non-traditional pizza crust?

Ask the RD: Gluten Free Diets & Weight Loss

Hi everyone!  Your probably reading this blog for one of the following few like it (I hope so!), you know me, you/someone in your family follows a gluten-free diet or you're curious about a gluten free diet.  Awhile back, I had a comment in one of my postings about whether a gluten free diet would help someone lose weight - what an awesome topic for a post - so let's dive in.

Do you need to follow a gluten free diet to lose weight?  The answer to that question is no, you do not need to follow a gluten free diet to lose weight - unless of course you have Celiac Disease (CD).  If you aren't familiar with CD, people that have it follow a gluten free diet for the rest of their life because consuming gluten is damaging to their intestines.  Will a gluten free diet help you lose weight?  The answer to that question is..... maybe.

So, let's talk for a second about why a gluten free diet might help you lose weight.  Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye and oats (oats themselves are gluten free but they are often contaminated).  When you remove gluten from your diet, you also, by default, remove all sources of processed garbage food.  You say adios to any fried foods since they're breaded - you say adios to french fries since they're fried in the same oil unless you want to risk it which I *might* occasionally do.  You won't be able to eat brownies when someone brings them into work.  When you eat at most restaurants, you're forced to be a healthy eater - your menu is normally limited to salads, grilled chicken/fish and vegetables.  You can say goodbye to your favorite tempura sushi roll - I'm still mourning that loss btw.  Any foods that you miss, well you're forced to recreate gluten free versions yourself, which helps broaden your cooking skills.  You welcome into your life the healthy grains that you can have.... gluten free oats (look for ELISA tested), brown rice, quinoa pasta - all rich in fiber and nutritional value.  You can increase your intake of fruits and vegetables to keep yourself full.  You start eating more flaxseed as a way to get more fiber into your diet.  So now you're probably thinking that a gluten free diet sounds like a great way to shed a few pounds... well....

Now, let's talk for a second about how a gluten free diet could make you gain weight.  Remember how in the previous paragraph I said going gluten free forces you to remove processed garbage food from your diet?  Well, what I'm going to say here is that they make gluten free versions of all those processed foods..... gluten free cookies, gluten free brownies, gluten free candy....  They also make gluten free bread and gluten free pasta - but the problem is 9 out of 10 times they aren't made with whole grains, they're made with white rice flour, corn flour or some other kind of low fiber flour.  Also, gluten free processed foods are notoriously higher in fat and calories than the foods they replace.  I could buy a whole wheat english muffin and it would probably be around 100-120 calories, but a gluten free english muffin of the same size is going to be around 200+ calories.  If by going gluten free, you just swap out one for the other, you'll probably gain weight.

Also, it's important to take into consideration that over the long term a gluten free diet can be low in B12, folate, niacin, iron, calcium, phosphorus and zinc.  The reason for this is the fortification of most wheat flours - so you're removing those things from your diet.  Not to mention, you have to be pretty cognizant of your fiber content each day to make sure you're getting enough.  Gluten free diets can occasionally leave you feeling deprived I hate to say it but it's true and if you're not someone who truly needs one, I'm sure there are a million people that do that wish they could be in your shoes.

So, if you're looking to lose weight and you don't medically need a gluten free diet, what's a better option?  First, throw out all of the processed garbage food in your home.  Replace those products with 100% whole wheat products.  If you don't like the taste of whole wheat pasta, try quinoa pasta instead.  Start eating oatmeal for breakfast and I don't mean the prepackaged kind, I mean the quick oats in a can.  Top it with 1tbsp dried fruit/nuts and ground flaxseed.  Increase your fruit and vegetable intake, the easiest way is start out with the ones that you like and branch out to similar ones - aim for at least 5 servings per day- about 2.5-3 baseballs.  Use the internet to find alternate methods of preparation - I love roasted vegetables. Stop buying artificially flavored foods and drinks - you wouldn't fill your car's gas tank with water would you?  Add your own fruit to plain yogurt.  If you skip meals, STOP and your metabolism will thank you - try to eat every 3-4 hours before you become ravenous.  Focus on whether or not you are truly hungry.  If you aren't hungry for breakfast, then stop eating earlier at night.  At restaurants, don't order fried food and choose things that are grilled with vegetables sides - better yet, cook your own food and pack a lunch.  If you don't know how to cook, research cookbooks for beginner cooks and order it from the library - remember, everyone had to start somewhere.  Finally, exercise is key.  You don't have to be crazy.  The National Weight Control Registry keeps track of the habits of people who have kept >30 lbs off for >1 year and the most common exercise is walking for an hour.  Finally, remember the most important key is taking care of yourself.  You only get one body, so take care of it :)

Did you lose or gain weight when you became gluten free?
Any future topics you want to see on "Ask the RD"?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Oh My Gosh I'm Back Again

Surprise!!!  I'm finally back and ready to blog better than ever.  Can you believe you haven't seen me in over a month?!  I though my hiatus would end when I defended my thesis, but unfortunately it was a pretty stressful and draining process.  I'm finally finished with graduate school though - it feels completely unreal - maybe it won't feel real until actual graduation?  Has anyone had this happen to them?

Anyway,  let me fill you in a little bit on how the past month has gone......

First, I defended my thesis.  I must admit, I was pretty nervous about the process.  Basically, this is how it all goes down..... you meet with your committee and anyone else who wants to come along for the ride - in my case some of the other students that I work with and some of my friends from school - then you give a power point presentation on your thesis project.  After you're done presenting, it's question and answer time!  I was most nervous about the questions, but surprisingly no one had any for me - ummm thank goodness.  The people that came to watch leave and then you defend in front of your committee - my committee asked me some questions about my statistics (why I used those particular tests etc.) and then they give you comments for improvement.

Unfortunately, it doesn't end there.  You make the comments for improvement and send them back to your committee - then they decide that you can submit your thesis to the graduate school.  Now, let me just say the graduate school is pretty picky.....they sent my thesis back because my introduction was missing a page number!!! Yikes bikes!  Luckily, I fixed the issue, resubmitted and now my next stop is graduation :) 

Fortunately, I'm a very lucky girl and having amazing friends definitely helped in this process.  If you're working on a thesis in graduate school, my biggest tip to you would be to take breaks.  They make everything so much better and you'll find that you have more energy to get back on track with your work - I like to spend my breaks with my friends, working out or cooking.  Do whatever works for you!

In the meantime, I'll be working in the lab where I've worked through graduate school and I'll keep doing consulting at my other job where I see clients and teach a weight loss class while I begin my search for full-time employment.  Everyone keep your fingers crossed for me!

Also, can I just say that I am totally and absolutely in love with pinterest? Leave your pinterest name in the comments and I'll be sure to follow you :)

What have you been up to while I've been MIA?