Wednesday, February 23, 2011

OH NO - the big three oh.

February 28, 2011 - Yep, the dreaded 30.  Not sure how I am feeling about all of this...
There is a little fear that I have with this number.  I mean, what does this day have that the day before does not?  Not sure, but I do know that my 20s were short - or long - depending on how you look at it.  When I really analyze all of things that happened during that time, well it was A LOT.  But it passes so quickly and many things changed.  The way that I view life is completely different now - I am older and wiser, with a few more wrinkles (and more to come).  I am also glad that I made it out on the other side (trust me - there were moments).  

There were some really rough times; my father's diagnosis with cancer, my diagnosis with MS, lost loved ones, and the reality that my youth was just a set-up to real life (man I wish I had not complained on all of those late teens/ early 20s stresses - little did I know).

There were also so many amazing times; hiking the Appalachian Trail (with my sister),  meeting my soul-mate and marrying him, becoming a runner-kayaker-climber-hiker-biker- triathlete (huh, when did all that happen?), traveling, graduating college, laughing A LOT, getting my first real job and (not to pat myself on the back) excelling at it.

It is something that I can look back at with little remorse, I have and WILL always say that the choices that I have made only allowed me to become the person I am today.  AND DANG, I am woman hear me roar...I feel confident and ready for the next step...

Wait, do I feel ready? Depending on the moment and the day I am never quite sure of the answer.  Reality is that I have a chronic disease that is likely to hit hard sometime in the next decade - reality is that I will likely lose some more loved ones - reality is that things will happen that I cannot even fathom right now...but I do not want to focus on that.  I want to focus on me and where I am right now!  I am doing pretty well, maybe because I am less emotional about everything that has happened.  Maybe because those life lessons that I experienced in my 20s have allowed me to calm down.  Maybe because I am me and no one else is.  The days that I am down, the days that I am up...only I really experienced them and know what truly they are and mean.  Or do I?

So I will leave you with this quote that I read recently and that just rang true to everything that I am experiencing...
"True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us." - Socrates
Here is to another decade, if God (or whoever the world reign is) allows it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

1 year anniversary

Ok, so it has been one year since I have been gluten and dairy free.  Still learning, still mentioned before.  So I want to take the time to list some of my favorite meals and pre-made foods that have made this year easier than I thought.
Yummy Pretzels (Glutino Pretzels)

I love these pretzels, taste just as good as regular.  Not missing a thing.

Favorite Bar (Kind Bars)
So tasty and so good for you!

Favorite Bread (Udi's Sandwhich Bread)
Taste & Texture are almost the same as regular bread and they do not need to be frozen!!!  Yummy :)
Favorite Granola (Udi's wins again with their Cranberry Nut)
For some reason all other gluten free granola's have a weird texture... this taste like the real thing!
Favorite already prepared frozen food (Tandoor Chef Pad Thai)

The flavors are sooooo good and for only $3.50 I have a meal for lunch!
Favorite Pasta (Tinkyada - only pasta that taste's like the real thing, DON'T try any other brand)
Sometimes you need to 'carb' up and man, these are great!
Favorite Restaurants (There are quite a few; Altieri's, PF Changs. Chipolte, Rusty Bucket & Vegiterranean)

OK, so all of these offer GF/DF options and that makes it worth it on my part!
Best place to find recipes (CooksIllustrated - my mom bought a membership)

They are not all GF/DF recipes, but they test them and perfect them.  Many of them are GF/DF by nature or can be adapted)

Best Cream Substitute (Light Coconut Milk)
The only thing that really gives a creamy texture and no it does not taste like coconut!
Best butter sub (Earth Balance)
I have tried lots, not butter but pretty dang close!
Favorite Bakery & Food (Mom's)

My sis, mom and I - My sister made awesome GF/DF soft pretzels and my mom - well what doesn't she bake for me (She perfected the GF/DF pie, breads, cakes, dumplings, cookies, soups, main dishes, sides...phew, she should go into business).  Their love and effort has just made everything easier.  LOVE THEM!!!