Don’t Discriminate

It is no secret that I love the Food Network. I want to be on it, I watch it constantly, and I could probably tell you more about the lives of the chefs on that channel than I can about Oprah Winfrey or George Bush.  Some people are obsessed with movie stars and famous athletes, while I’m busy stalking Alex Guarnaschelli, Aaron Sanchez and Giada DeLaurentiis on Twitter.

I want to secretly discover an invitation to participate on Chopped in my mailbox and would likely have a panic attack if I ever got into an elevator and saw Bobby Flay standing there.  But I have to be honest – the FN chefs like some gluten in their cooking.  I’ve tried to mentally come up with gluten-free versions of all the recipes that I see made, but the truth is, a channel devoted 100% to cooking is a shitty place to go when you can’t eat many of the things you see prepared.

What if a GF chef wanted to be a judge on Iron Chef? Or a contestant on Hell’s Kitchen or Top Chef? I just don’t think it’s possible. Imagine being a child of Paula Deen’s and having Celiac Disease? Would she acknowledge them?  I wonder if she’s got a secret daughter hidden off camera that was ousted for never being able to eat fried chicken or biscuits and gravy. Would Mario Batali disown his child for having to stay clear of pasta?

And so it got me thinking – why don’t we see chefs with Celiac Disease? Granted cooking GF is a niche thing, but there are plenty of shows on cooking for the vegetarian lifestyle that I’m sure non-vegetarians watch. I want to see something that I can enjoy! I want it GF and I want it now!  (And yes, that last sentence should be said with your best Veruca Salt impression.)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

Why is All-Purpose flour the thickening agent choice for every chef that has a cooking show? Why not try corn flour or rice flour? Why can’t Rachael Ray dredge her chicken in cornflake crumbs instead of panko? I seem to remember a low-carb show….a low calorie show. How about a GF show? Hire me to do it!!

Stop discriminating against us!!! (Ok so I’m not saying it’s discrimination…just saying it would be nice to cater to all dietary needs every once in a while.) I will continue to watch the Food Network like it’s my job…and continue to secretly dream that it really was.

And while on the topic of cooking…I have a recipe that you really must try…if you’ve never had quinoa – this is certainly a great way to eat it!

 

Big thanks to Gluten Hates Me for the recipe! Amazing GF recipes and a fantastic blog as well!

____

As for the weigh-in – although slight, there was another loss this week.

 

Getting closer and closer to being under 200 for the first time in a long time…looking forward to celebrating that milestone with you!

 

Until then, you can find me in the kitchen…

 

“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.

– Harriet Van Horne

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Supersize This!

I’m not currently a member of Weight Watchers, but have been in the past…After seeing a really cheesy commercial for it, I decided to come up with the Things You’d Really Like to Say in Your Weight Watchers Meeting: 
  • “Weight Watcher’s frozen pizza is delicious… if you like fake-cheesy cardboard.”
  • “This is what I get for losing 25 pounds? I’ve won better stuff playing Skee-Ball.”
  • “I believe that scale needs to be re-calibrated and I should know because I’m a full-time scale calibration technician.”
  • “Dip my fork in salad dressing? Lady, that’s just crazy-talk.”
  • “Is there a Weight Watchers iPhone app that shocks you when you try to eat pie?”
  • “Yes, that’s a five-pound gain, but I have a good excuse: there was a weekend in there.”
  • “A Big Mac only has fourteen points? Let’s ride!”
  • “That’s right… this week I’ll be using my ‘Get Out of Weigh-In Free’ Card.”
  • “I suppose it’s just a coincidence that “leader” rhymes with “eater.”
  • “We’re watching a movie at this week’s meeting: ‘Diethard with a Vengeance.’”
  • “Weight Watchers yogurt is fantastic… for grouting tile.”
  • “I can’t have gained weight! I haven’t eaten in 96 hours…”
  • “Order a pizza with no cheese? What kind of sick maniac are you?”
  • “No, I didn’t track all my points, but I did DVR every episode of ‘Top Chef’.”
  • “DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND? EVERYTHING’S SO DAMN DELICIOUS!”
  • “My family really let me down. They just sat there and watched me eat that can of Crisco.”
  • “I just don’t think “rice cakes” should be allowed to use the word ‘cake’ in their name.”
  • “Let’s ditch this bitch and go get some ice cream.”

Kind of a blah week weight loss wise….

I know…having consumed a zillion ounces of adult beverage this weekend probably didn’t help.

I do have one particular gripe this week…well 2 but they’re similar…

What in the world is wrong with society?!  I irritates the crap out of me that people blame places like McDonalds for their obesity. That children are fat because McDonalds doesn’t have healthy options. I’m sorry, but when did children start driving themselves to McDonalds?!  That theory is like blaming a bullet for someone being shot…there’s a person involved that has to complete the action. If you go through the drive thru 6 nights a week and get chicken nuggets, fries and a coke and then you shouldn’t wonder why your child is larger than average.  Trust me…I’ve eaten fast food plenty of times in my life.  But I have NEVER ordered a Big Mac, large fry and a Coke and thought “This is good for me!”

Now people sue these fast food places because of their obesity? Seriously?!  It’s not like it’s the only option for lunch or dinner. Is it faster than cooking something at home? Yeah, sometimes.  But that all boils down to poor planning in my opinion.  I’m fat because I ate poorly for too long…Ate poorly by choice – not by requirement. I chose the crappy food, and now have the crappy physique.

And my other gripe deals with our backwards society as well.  We’ve got a debt crisis, crazy unemployment, phone hacking scandal, Carmegeddon, and Casey Anthony is free…and what was the media worried about last week…What Michelle Obama ate at the Shake Shack.  The woman is absolutely beautiful. She’s in shape, she’s fit…yes she runs a campaign to fight childhood obesity – but who cares if she consumed a meal consisting of 1700 calories. Moderation is key to every diet. One meal doesn’t lead to obesity.  An occasional indulgence should be fine, and is what keeps most people on track with their diet.  The problem is that most Americans do this more than “occasionally.”  Eating should be about balance, not perfection.

If she wanted a cheeseburger, fries, a chocolate shake and a diet coke, by god I think she should be allowed to have it without it being broadcast on every news program in the United States. What’s next? Are they going to say that she holds her cell phone too close to her head or is she going to be vilified because she buys non-biodegradable tampons?  She’s the wife of one of the most powerful men in the world…in my opinion, it makes her more relatable to know that she’s not only eating a small salad with no dressing.  Everyone needs a little Shake Shack in their life. You can’t diet on lettuce alone, with or without the balsamic vinaigrette. Well, you can, but it probably won’t last very long.

Afterall…as the first lady reportedly once said, “Life would be boring without a burger and fries.” And I agree…as long as it’s infrequent…and gluten-free.

“Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance.”  ~Epicurus

Would You Rather…

Happy Monday! Get ready…this is a good one!

Here are the 100 Things I’d rather do than gain my weight back…..

  1. Lick a mile of asphalt
  2. Tape grapefruit halves to my knees and wear them around for a month
  3. Begin each day listening to an hour-long audio of Snooki explaining why Sarah Palin is right on the money
  4. Swallow a 9V battery
  5. Play strip poker with all my aunts and uncles
  6. Flush my credit card down the toilet
  7. Have my portrait taken at Walmart
  8. Get sprayed in the face with Easy-Off oven cleaner
  9. Forever believe that stepping on a crack would actually break my mother’s back
  10. Be either person in this conversation: “Hey, whatcha doing tonight?” “Boozin’.”
  11. Develop an irrational fear of Chapstick
  12. Drive a Duke blue minivan
  13. Go see the world’s most boring opera
  14. Fish
  15. Go see the world’s most exciting opera
  16. Have all my sentences mysteriously start ending with the phrase “Boy, howdy”
  17. Get kicked in the head by a donkey
  18. Be pen pals with a death row inmate
  19. Know only 75 words
  20. Start speaking like James Earl Jones
  21. Always have to answer the phone: “Yello”
  22. Develop a taste for cilantro
  23. Wear a “Home of the Whopper” belt buckle to a job interview
  24. Eat (GF) pancakes with no syrup or silverware
  25. French kiss a buffalo
  26. Constantly forget the words to the “Happy Birthday” song
  27. Have a 4-hour conversation with Keanu Reeves about guacamole
  28. Ski topless
  29. Get a tattoo of Popeye giving Bluto a lap-dance
  30. Eat a slice of real bread – and pay the Celiac-y consequences
  31. Drink cold hot chocolate with no marshmallows
  32. Make out with Rick Flair
  33. Have all my teeth yanked and replaced with gummi teeth   
  34. Listen to Barry Manilow singing Snoop Dogg’s greatest hits
  35. Give myself hourly wedgies for a month
  36. Be the designated driver at an Oktoberfest party
  37. Drink warm milk straight from the cow
  38. Get a tetanus shot in the forehead
  39. Listen to my dad tell a story about losing his virginity
  40. Wear a thong made of steel wool
  41. Clean a men’s public restroom with my toothbrush
  42. Watch a reality TV show about the making of a reality TV show
  43. Be a telemarketer for a year
  44. Pick up every piece of a Costco-sized bag of rice after a spill– one kernel at a time
  45. Take LSD and watch open-heart surgery on the Discovery Channel
  46. Eat a kitty sandwich at a PETA convention
  47. Spend a Saturday afternoon at Wal-Mart
  48. Cough up my own liver
  49. Carry a giant bag of bark wherever I go
  50. Think that I’m speaking Spanish when I’m really speaking gibberish
  51. Watch old people dance
  52. Go back to dial-up internet connection
  53. Wear Victoria’s Secret PINK brand sweatpants
  54. Vacuum my eyeballs with a Shop-Vac
  55. Get a full-body massage from Roseanne Barr
  56. Wear a Speedo to church
  57. Have my colonoscopy broadcast on network TV
  58. Be stuck in an elevator with a troupe of flatulent mimes
  59. Randomly call numbers from the phone book and demand “Who dis?!”
  60. Wax off 85% of my hair
  61. Do a 10,000 piece puzzle of a dozen polar bears break-dancing in a blizzard
  62. Put a sticky note on every object in my house, identifying its purpose
  63. Watch sausage and/or babies get made
  64. Wear Elton John glasses for three months
  65. Ask Tom Cruise about Scientology
  66. Glue my mailbox shut 
  67. Run barefoot across a construction site
  68. Watch nuns knit
  69. Repeatedly bang my knee on coffee table
  70. Create a flag that will represent my own nation
  71. Go to a toy store and try to purchase a Monopoly game using Monopoly money
  72. Go to Vegas and boycott drinking and gambling
  73. Pour boiling water up my nose
  74. Invent a new language consisting only of variations in the tone of armpit farts
  75. Develop an allergy to mittens
  76. Whenever I meet someone, announce that I’m the one who coined the phrase “coin the phrase”
  77. Sleep wearing a fur unitard and ice skates
  78. Tell Paula Deen she’s banned from using butter
  79. Go through a car wash with my windows rolled down
  80. Fit Rush Limbaugh for assless chaps
  81. Drink water out of toilet in Mexico City
  82. Call 4-11 and shout “Oh my God! He’s trying to kill me!”
  83. Pierce my lady parts
  84. Inadvertently be the cause of Coca-Cola going out of business
  85. Be a Pro Bowling Tour groupie
  86. After getting my drink on, wake up in a jail cell in a foreign country wearing a wedding dress that doesn’t belong to me
  87. Lose my CareBear
  88. Eat Coco’s dog food
  89. Drive with my seat scooted all the way up
  90. Go to Dollyworld
  91. Live in one of those houses where everything’s slanted
  92. Have the navigational system in my car start talking in an Aussie accent
  93. Super Glue a gerbil to my forehead
  94. Inherit the national debt
  95. Take a job as a change-maker in a video arcade
  96. Be glow-in-the-dark for six months
  97. Eat a plate of abalone, haggis, chitlins and head cheese
  98. Milk a cat
  99. Eat less and exercise more
  100. Write a list of 100 things I’d rather do than gain the weight

What a week! After a stomach virus (which I would have thought was a strange gluten conspiracy if it weren’t for the fever) – and I didn’t lose that much.

And I’m going to apologize ahead of time…but I need to vent this week.  I’ve managed to find some pretty decent substitutes for gluten-heavy items. Crackers are an easy substitute, broth has been and easy switch – but damn…after over a month I am dying for some good starchy goodness.

Sitting around celebrating Father’s Day yesterday, my amazing soon-to-be brother-in-law (holy hyphen that was a quite a sentence!) and I were talking about food. He’s quite the food connoisseur, which I love. A man that understands the beauty of the pork belly like I do….Mmmm!  (Sidenote: That ‘mmmm’ was in reference to the pork belly, not the man. Not that he isn’t handsome…he’s just already reserved by my little sister.)

Sorry, I digress….Ok, so we were sitting and talking about food…he brought up Price’s Chicken in Charlotte. If you’ve never been there, it is worth a trip around the world. My great grandmother (God rest her soul) had nothing on this fried chicken. It’s the stuff dreams are made of.  And I can’t have it anymore.  Not only can’t I have it anymore, but as a girl tipping the scale at over 200 pounds, I shouldn’t even be considering fried chicken. Nonetheless, I’d kill a man for the opportunity to sink my teeth into that greasy, crunchy piece of poultry euphoria.  So there’s one thing I miss.

Another thing…Nilla Wafers. Why? Duh…I live in NC and what do we eat for dessert in the South? Banana Pudding.  Once again, my culinary whiz aunt made the most delicious looking tray of BP for dessert last night. I was tempted…so freaking tempted to just lick the spoon. Alright, I lie. I wanted to stick my face in the entire tray but it was, as it should be, filled with Nilla Wafers. There was part of my Cool Whip-loving self that almost took the bait last night, but I would have been too sick to function for a few days.  Speaking of being sick…needing some gastric relief last week, what settles your stomach? Saltines. Sesame seed crackers on an upset tummy = FAIL.

I want some Carolina Treet BBQ sauce (stupid wheat flour as an ingredient), some lo mein, an authentic meatball, an everything bagel, gnocchi, a flipping beer!!

Not sure why this seems to be getting harder and not easier. I’m slowly finding some good replacements (Elizabeth’s Pizza has a great crust but I’m unsure of prep caution)…my sister made some great fresh spring rolls (sans cilantro just for me!)…but there is still so far to go with some of these “Celiac Friendly” foods out there. Get with it food industry! No one likes to eat cardboard! At least I hope not…and if they do, I’m sure there’s a rehab for that.

And…deep breath.

Thank you for allowing me to bitch for a minute.

Hope you all have a fabulous (and tantrum-free) rest of your week!

“A diet is the penalty we pay for exceeding the feed limit.”  ~Author Unknown

A Lesson Learned…

First off…I want to thank all of you for your continued support. As of this morning, I’ve had over 3,020 visitors to my site and the number keeps growing! All the support, comments and encouragement I’ve received have me incredibly humbled. I feel like I’ve got over 3000 therapists out there waiting for me to spill my guts.  I may not always reply to each message I receive – but trust me, I read and reread them often. Thank you again for making this journey so worthwhile.

And now…a few mistakes I’ve made and lessons learned…

  • For some reason, almost all overweight African-American women get upset when you call them “Precious”
  • Only one person to a treadmill at the gym
  • It doesn’t help to get salad dressing on the side if you get three cups of it and use it all
  • All your clothes didn’t suddenly shrink in the wash
  • Brushing your teeth with Dr. Pepper isn’t such a good idea
  • A caramel apple a day doesn’t necessarily keep the doctor away
  • If you eat a meal replacement bar, you need to NOT eat a meal
  • There is no such thing as one bite of movie theater popcorn
  • Wheatgrass is a superfood; Peanut M&M’s are not
  • Personal trainers generally don’t like to be paid with a bucket of loose change
  • Playing on Facebook for eight hours is not the same as sleeping for eight hours
  • You’re probably supposed to eat 2,000 calories per day, not 20,000
  • Free samples aren’t necessarily free
  • Most employers don’t recognize a “Vitamin D break,” so I guess you need to take up smoking in order to get a little sunlight during the day
  • Despite the word Diet in its name – the Hot Dog Diet is not effective
  • Standing up while eating does not make your food digest faster – it makes you look stupid at dinner parties
  • Even though hemorrhoid/hydrocortisone cream is often used by body builders and fitness models to tighten up their abs before a photo shoot – it does not work if there are no abs to rub it on…But it does relieve itching
  • Fun-size candy bars = No-fun-size thighs

I did lose weight this week…a little bit anyway. So close to the 30 pound mark!

But this week was extremely tough for me. I am in the midst of severe meltdowns. Yes, I’m feeling sorry for myself. I’m so pissed off that I my convenient life is gone. I’m ticked off that I have to be so OCD about everywhere I go – questioning what idiot line cook might have touched my food immediately after grabbing a hamburger bun. I’m feeling like I’m going to have to be a hermit. Feeling like family functions are going to be impossible unless I’ve sat every family member down for a 2-week seminar on what I can and can’t eat and ways to avoid cross-contamination. So yes, I am pouting. I just want a freaking Ritz cracker!!!

In the back of my mind, I know I need to get over it. I know this could be much worse. (Thank you Wx DA for reminding me of that this weekend.) I can still live my life with relative ease. There are soldiers back from Afghanistan who have lost limbs. Their lives will never be the same. I can eat rice crackers to get over my poutiness about gluten…they don’t have an alternative option. Cutting gluten out of a diet has not killed anyone (that I know of anyway). Time to put my big girl panties (ugh – can’t believe I just used that word) on and keep going. Bitching about it night and day is certainly not going to change the diagnosis. And thus…another lesson learned.

Despite being accidentally gluten’d on Friday night – I have found that going places where I’ve got a personal relationship with the cooking staff makes a huge difference. I’d like to give props to one chef in particular, who despite thinking I was doing this gluten-free diet for fun at first (not sure who the hell does this for fun), has since made me some amazing gluten-free treats.  If you’re ever in Greensboro – Alex at Natty Greene’s makes some amazing dishes on the fly. Favorite so far: Greek chicken, homemade cucumber sauce (best I’ve ever had), and sliced cherry tomatoes on top of a cucumber slice…you will seriously want to slap your momma!

Ok…so after reading that last paragraph…maybe this isn’t so bad after all. Despite my occasional Dorthea Dix worthy tantrums, I’m being forced to eat better…my weight is dropping…I’m at the receiving end of a few amazing test dishes at a restaurant…and I still feel more amazing than I have in a long time. So Celiac…Bring. It. On.

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” ~Unknown

If I’d Only Known Then What I Know Now…

My, how time flies. It seems just like yesterday that I was a 10 year old kid, going for bike rides in Sardis Woods. Time was spent playing outside and daydreaming about boys in Teen Bop magazine. Summers were spent on the beach with no care about what was poking in or out of my bathing suit. Those were all good times and my only dread was finding out that we were having something gross for dinner.

Me - Around age 10.

Then one day it dawns on you that you’ve made quite a few mistakes over the course of your life, only now you’re wise enough to label them as “experience” instead of “mistakes”.  Whether your mother sits you and your sister down for an EE (educational experience) on an article she read regarding an uptick in deviant teenage behavior or you find out on your own in 8th grade that sneaking out at 1am with your best friend will lead to you being grounded – you learn. Hopefully. This weight loss journey thus far has let me to reflect on a lot of the lessons I should have learned a lot sooner in life. And with that I present you with another list of…

The 40 Things I Wish I Had Known When I Was Younger:

  1. Don’t do anything to lose weight you can’t continue for life; the weight will just come back and HUNT YOU DOWN!
  2. Food isn’t a best friend, soother, lover or caretaker. It’s just food. Energy. Fuel.
  3. If berating myself really worked, I’d be thin as a Pixie stick. It didn’t. I wasn’t. Stop it.
  4. What other people might think of me is none of my business.
  5. Fat-free is not the answer. Snackwells will expand your @ss.
  6. Self-esteem is an inside job.
  7. Don’t let high school PE classes sour you on physical activity. Exercise is AWESOME. Those tacky gym suits are not.
  8. Eat whole, real, identifiable food. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.
  9. When you find yourself in a hole, put down the shovel.
  10. You are enough. Just as you are. Today. Treat yourself like it.
  11. Prioritize your spending. A good pair of athletic shoes that you use will make you look better longer than a Brazilian blow-out.
  12. To thine own self be true. No one else will ever care about you as much as you do.
  13. Be charitable. There is always something you can give away – be it your dollars or your time.
  14. Be present in your own life. This is it. Now. Don’t wish it away.
  15. Don’t lose weight to get attention or please someone else. The only person involved in weight loss is you. (And anyone who treats you differently because you’ve lost weight isn’t worth your time.)
  16. There is life after high school/college. Don’t let those successes or failures determine the course of your life. Don’t rest on your laurels nor wallow in your failures.
  17. Even if it is all screwed up now, it doesn’t have to be that way forever.
  18. Never cosign. Ever.
  19. In consciously seeking healthy foods we like (or better yet love) to fulfill our real hunger, we’ve chosen to create opportunities versus destroy abilities.
  20. Learn boundaries – your own and others.
  21. Hard times, bad situations and bad moods will ALWAYS pass. ALWAYS.
  22. Drinking alcohol can be lots of fun, but hangovers really, really, really suck.
  23. Crying is a sign of strength, not weakness.
  24. Love is sometimes neither kind, nor patient, and especially not gentle. Love hurts. There is no getting around it.
  25. Disappointments are very often blessings in disguise.
  26. What people remember about you most is how you made them feel.
  27. You only have one family. Yes they are yours and they are not going away. Get used to it.
  28. Champagne, vodka, gin and beer don’t mix well.
  29. If he’s not ever calling before 11 p.m., he’s not interested in a real relationship.
  30. If you don’t have the money to pay cash for it, don’t buy it.
  31. Box dye jobs look like box dye jobs (especially if you’re going for blonde).
  32. Eyebrows really don’t grow back if they’re overly tweezed.
  33. Nude underwear is really the only acceptable color to wear under white pants.
  34. This moment — however good or bad it is — will be just a blip on the radar two years from now.
  35. A teaspoon is not the same thing as a tablespoon.
  36. Buying it one size too small won’t make you lose weight any faster.
  37. Learn to appreciate the contrast in life. If every day was Saturday and I could eat chocolate cake and pizza for every meal, wouldn’t that lose its appeal after a while?
  38. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
  39. Being fat doesn’t mean you’re defective, broken or damaged. It just means you haven’t learned how to take care of yourself yet.
  40. What matters is not where you start but where you finish.

Making more and more progress! Being forced to eat differently because of my celiac disease is definite doing wonders for my waistline – and my bad habits.

I’ve got things under control at home but out and about is a different story. Went to a wedding this past weekend, and I got angry. Soooo angry! All around me were plates of mac & cheese, rolls, chicken fingers and stuffed mushrooms. People were laughing over beers and cake pops. I was banned to the raw vegetable tray while sipping wine. Yes, I do feel much better so it’s definitely for the best. As my first event since diagnosis, it was hard. I was sad. I was pissed off. Yes there were tears shed. I didn’t have a chance to prepare ahead of time and research each and every ingredient before I got there. I felt like I was on a float in the middle of the ocean…Overwhelmed. My world was spinning.

I shouldn’t let food have this effect on me. And in actuality, it’s not all about the food. I’m in mourning. I’m mourning the care-free attitude I can now have at events. I can’t just go and toast with friends over fondue or throw back a beer at a football game over Bojangle’s chicken. I know I can make “arrangements”. But I don’t want to make arrangements…I want to just go and not worry about it. Those days are gone…and while I’m making it work, it isn’t without grief.

Nonetheless, I’m still feeling better than ever. Even my joint pain has disappeared! This has solved a lot of problems I’ve been suffering from for years. At the end of the day, this may not be an easy road, but it sure will be worth it!

Until next time…

“The years teach much which the days never knew.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson