Friday, May 25, 2012

Relax - For Your Health's Sake!

 With so much going on in our lives - the demands of work, family and managing all the other areas of our lives, it's no wonder our minds and bodies can become stressed.

  According to webMD, 40% off adults suffer adverse effects from stress. Our bodies are built to cope with stress but ongoing stress can be very harmful.  75 -90% of doctors visit stem from stress related ailments. 

 The effects of stress

Some of the effects of stress are headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, upset stomach, anxiety, weight gain or loss and chest pains.
With a few changes in our lives, we can learn to manage stress effectively, which can lead to a  healthier happier life. Relax, relate, release!

10 Simple ways to  relax

1. Take a relaxing bath, bubbles, candles, the whole works.

2. Go to the gym.

3. Go to the spa.

4. Listen to your favorite music.

5. Read a book you enjoyed as a child

6. Take  a long walk

7. Call a good friend. You know, the one that makes you laugh.

8.  Meditate.

9. Eat healthier. Even a simple cup of green tea can work wonders.

10. Take a nap. There is nothing like sleep to heal the mind and body.

Of course, you can always partake in your favorite hobby like paint, draw, cook, whatever you know can help you to relax.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mother's Day

I hope all you moms out there enjoyed your Mother's Day this past weekend. I had a blast preparing a cute little lunch for my mom. I won't be posting any recipes yet but I'll just post some of the food that was prepared.  I kept the menu really light and simple. Needless to say, she enjoyed every delicious morsel.

Green bell peppers stuffed with fresh basil and Italian Sausage rice.

Walnut cranberry Tart

 Pork chops stuffed with garlic sauteed spinach.

 Vanilla cupcakes with shaved white chocolate curls.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Gluten Free Granola Bars

 Warning: These bars are seriously addictive!

In fact, I think it's the cause of my recent 2lb weight gain. I simply cannot stop snacking on them.

 When you're on a restrictive daily diet like I am, there is always a challenge in finding healthy snacks.  Around 3 pm, I get so woozy and have a serious craving for anything sweet.  One day, I went to the kitchen, rifled through the panty, gathered ingredients and made granola bars. Since then, I've been experimenting with different recipes, all gluten free and dairy free. This recipe that I'm posting so far is my favorite. It's crunchy and sweet and delicately flavored.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Domino's Add Gluten Free Pizza To Their Menu

Domino’s recently announced that they have now added Gluten free pizzas to their menu in stores across the US.  The crust is made from rice starch, rice flour, potato starch, olive oil and water.  Oh happy day Right? Wrong!  Domino’s has stated that while the pizza is safe for people with mild gluten sensitivities, like myself, it is not recommended for people with Celiac disease. They have concerns that the crust can become contaminated from being processed in the same facility as products that contain gluten.

Now my question is this, is it wise or fair to say that this is gluten free Pizza? If you are using the same tools to dip the gluten-free flour as you are using to dip regular wheat flour, mixing the dough on the same board with wheat flour, how can you call it gluten free? I liken it onto making a batch of peanut brittle, then making a dish in the same pot, roll it on the same board and cut it with the same knife you used to make the peanut brittle – without washing. That would be instant Anaphylaxis for someone with a peanut allergy. We definitely won’t call that peanut free.

Domino’s worked with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness to verify the GF-friendliness of product and train its staffers on issues related to gluten and those with sensitivities. The company’s efforts earned it an NFCA Amber Kitchen Designation, a standard developed by the Ambler-based foundation to help consumers identify restaurants that have taken steps to accommodate gluten-free eaters. The rating means ingredients are verified gluten-free and restaurant staff has been trained to understand issues of gluten sensitivity. But the NFCA website states: “Kitchen practices may vary with this designation … meaning those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity should ask questions and exercise judgment when dining at an establishment with an Amber Designation.”

I think it’s a good thing that Domino's has tried to accommodate those of us who cannot tolerate gluten. I commend them for trying. If you’re the pizza eating sort and mildly gluten sensitive, then this is a good thing for you.  My one advice… when eating out anywhere, eat at your own risk.

View the video below to hear what Domino’s has to say about their new gluten free pizzas. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Gluten Free Beef + Apple Burgers

This weekend I had a serious craving for a homemade (my favorite kind) beef hamburger. So of course I decided to put my stomach out of it's misery and make some. I headed to the local organic market for some ground beef and fired up the grill - the stove top grill that is.-
Anyway, the result was this delicious Gluten-Free Hamburger that put my cravings to rest. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Gluten Free Cupcakes

I haven't baked in over 8 months due to the fact that I have been watching my diet and I'm off so many foods. Today I decided to give myself a treat ( and a little sugar rush) by baking some cupcakes. I decide to try out the gluten free cake mix I had sitting in the pantry. 

I chose Gluten Free Dreams yellow cake mix by Cherrybrook Kitchen. It can be purchased at Whole Foods.

I followed the directions on the box except for one substitution. Instead of margarine I used vegetable oil in an attempt to keep it dairy free. I didn't want to alter it too much until I know just how the batter performs.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Chicken + Dumpling Soup


1 12oz can chicken stock
3 cups water
1 lb chicken
6oz andouille sausage (sliced)
1 small sweet potato (diced)
Chopped scallions
1/4 cup peas and carrots mix
3 tbsp chicken boullion soup mix
pepper to taste


Clean, cut and season chicken. 
In pot, add chicken and fry for 5 minutes stirring constantly to avoid sticking or burning. You can use a little oil if you wish but I prefer not to.
Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Combine all the ingredients and let cook for 30 minutes
Add dumplings to pot lastly and cook for 5-7 minutes.

For dumplings, a simple way to  make it  is to use Bisquick mix and follow the directions on the box.If you are gluten sensitive, there are several gluten free pancake mixes that will work well.  I like to add spices and a bit of sugar to mine to make it more flavorful.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Potato Chips - A Great Mid - Afternoon Snack

When most people think of potato chips, they automatically think 'unhealthy', but for me, potato chips serve as a great mid-afternoon snack. Living with GERD, potato or potato chips are an easy option for me. It digest easily and gives me an energy boost. Best of all it provides me with potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc, minerals that PPIs can block the body from absorbing.

I prefect  kettle cooked chips, the ones with the blue, sweet and russet potatoes combination. When selecting them I look for chips that are cooked with Olive Oil -which is a heart healthy fat-, contains very low sodium and 0 trans fat. The key to eating snacks such as potato chips is to eat it with moderation. Stick to the suggested serving size on the label and eat them with another healthy food like hummus.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

8 foods for a healthy heart

Lets face it, without our heart, we'd be ...well...dead.  With daily cardio exercise and eating the right foods, we can keep our heart healthy. Here are a few super-foods that with regular consumption, will keep your heart happy, healthy and ticking.

Berries, such as raspberries, strawberries or blue berries are full of anti-inflammatories, which reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.  Black berries and blue berries are especially wonderful for vascular health.


With a high content of lutein, folate, potassium and fiber spinach can help keep your heart in good shape. Eat 2-3 servings of vegetables daily to ensure you body is getting the desired amount of nutrients.


Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can help to reduce blood pressure and prevent clotting. Eating 2 servings a week may help to reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack by up to one-third. Salmon contains the powerful antioxidant  carotenoid astaxanthin. Choose wild caught salmon instead of farm raised, which can be packed with pesticides and heavy metals.


Packed with monosaturatede fat, avocados can help to lower your LDL cholesterol levels while raising the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body. Avocados allow the absorption of beta-carotene and lycopene which are essential for heart health.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Gluten Free Pasta + Andouille Sausage Salad

I cooked my first gluten free pasta dish last Sunday and it was delicious. It's so much fun experimenting with this stuff. There are a lot of things I do not eat right now so it can be challenging to create a dish that is tasty. I do miss cheese as I haven't had it in almost 5 months but thankfully, I love lite pasta salads. This one is a classic and I made it the same way I would if I were using wheat pasta....well except for the cheese and lots of hot pepper.

Recipe after the jump