Thursday, November 20, 2014

Austin the Trip, thoughts on wheat-free travelling

I have a couple blog posts about our trip to Austin coming up, it was pretty fabulous. But returning to normal life has been hectic so they've had to wait. Taking a trip 2 days later to the Island didn't help that either, but oh was it nice.

Healthy eating while travelling is certainly something to think about; probably could have used a lot more thought about it before going. As someone who doesn't eat wheat or rice (90% of the time) it's hard to know what will be available that isn't a sandwich or bagel, but also isn't continual salads (which can be pretty lame at airports). While my wheat-free/rice-free lifestyle is voluntary (I'm thankfully not celiac or anything like that) the choice is not without reason, and not purely for helping lose weight. The biggest reason I have made this choice is that I feel better in almost every way when I avoid these types of food. The moment I eat wheat or rice my eyes start to sag, they get sleepier and sleepier. My belly feels fuller than full and I feel sluggish. While travelling feeling these ways is less than ideal, especially over a longer stretch. I'd like an alert mind as I navigate airports and such. I can speak from experience as I forgot my lunch at home today and felt a huge craving for a subway sandwich, something I haven't had in over 8 months, actually since long before I cut out wheat. Having made the choice to indulge I can say that I don't regret eating it - the taste and flavour, texture, etc is so rewarding. BUT my eyes are now dropping, my stomach feels full to bursting and I feel so sluggish and tired, not a great way to set myself up for an afternoon of work. Generally, for me the alertness is worth the sacrifice (outside of the occasional craving, like this one), and the extra effort. 

So back to the point: What to eat when you aren't eating wheat and rice and are travelling (and are pregnant, therefore needing good amounts of food)?

Friday -  Breakfast (at the airport) - I grabbed a yogurt and a banana to eat on our first flight.
                  Lunch (between flights at SFO airport) - I found a super boring salad for $9. Seriously, so boring, it was just lettuce, 4 tomato wedges & sliced deli turkey with half a packet of italian dressing. It was enough food for me and it was a healthy choice, but man it was not satisfying in a taste or experience sort of way. 
                  Dinner (in Austin) - Once Nancy picked us up we went to Chuy's Tex-Mex. Thankfully they serve corn tortilla's with their creamy dip, and my favorite menu item (the flautas) are served in a corn tortilla. No Wheat for me! I avoided eating the rice served on my plate, but made sure to eat the beans as well. Mexican is often a great choice for avoiding wheat, especially if you have the willpower to skip the rice. 

Saturday - Breakfast (Taco Deli) - Mexican again is a saving grace, I had two Migas Taco's on corn tortilla's, lots of eggs & veggies in these tortilla's!
                      Lunch (Whole Foods) - We were picking up some groceries in Whole Foods and grabbed our lunch there - I picked a healthy little salad with some hard boiled eggs & tuna, as well as lots of veggies. Filling but not heavy.
                      Dinner (Fogo de Chao) - This was the big birthday dinner out for Nancy and Paul - I grabbed some salad stuff from the salad bar and the rest of the meal was meat only. Very easy to avoid wheat and rice here! Plus they served gluten free cheese bread balls that were to die for, especially since it had been at least 4 months since I'd had cheese biscuits.

Sunday - Breakfast (at Home) - Nancy scrambled us up some eggs, simple & filling.
                    Lunch (Jester King Brewery) - Given that I'm pregnant (not beer) and not eating wheat (making pizza a basic no-no) this brewery and pizza place was a bit tricky, but a very tasty caprese salad (the best I've ever had) and one piece of pizza seemed to go down well. We'd walked and explored a lot that day, so the pizza didn't seem to make me as sleepy as I feared. 
                     Dinner (at Home) - Nancy made her famous Sunday night Nachos (with corn tortilla's) and it was a perfect way to enjoy mexican food without getting totally stuffed. 

Monday Breakfast (Taco Deli) - Breakfast was Taco Deli again (because it is awesome) and the corn Migas tortilla's were fabulous. 
                     Lunch (Chick-Fil-A) - We were out at the mall maternity clothes shopping when lunchtime hit. Thankfully Chick-Fil-A was offering grilled chicken nuggets, no wheat! So I grabbed a little container of those and some waffle fries. Turns out I don't love their fries but the little grilled chicken bites were great, and more than filling enough. 
                     Dinner (Rudy's BBQ) - For our final Texas dinner we hit up Rudy's for Texas BBQ. This was also pretty easy to navigate - I stuck to the (very unhealthy but oh so tasty) creamed corn, coleslaw & baked beans, as well as all the BBQ meat choices we had. I just skipped the wonderbread that was offered. On our way home we stopped for Ice Cream cones and I got mine in a cup, which I've always far preferred to cone. 

Tuesday - Pre-breakfast (3am, on route to the plane) - Greek Yogurt, Granola bar & Snack Pack (from Nancy)
                     Breakfast (9am on the plane) - I was starving by the time we got on our second plane 6 hours later so I grabbed their protein meal - hard boiled egg, grapes, cheese & bread roll (which I gave to Paul). The hard boiled egg was a lifesaver - there's no protein like it. I wish I'd thought to whip up some of those for both directions of the flight! 
                     Lunch (2pm in Seattle) - As soon as we'd picked up our car and Paul's sister we headed for the nearest Olive Garden - Paul was so hungry, and I wasn't far behind hunger-wise. We both got the all you can eat soup, salad and breadsticks combo. I skipped the breadsticks but feasted on soup and salad. Filling, warm and tasty. So perfect. 
                     We must have eaten something else on our way home, but I'm not able to remember at all anymore. We definitely enjoyed some coffees and teas and other drinks along the way to fill in the hunger gaps when they came. Thankfully Olive Garden was so filling I'm not sure we needed another meal. 

All in all I found it not too terrible to be wheat free on our adventure. I got to enjoy food (a lot!) and still managed to make some healthy choices. This would undoubtedly be a different story if I was fully gluten free (thankfully I can handle ice cream, soups and sauces that have gluten in them). I came back happy with how I'd chose to eat, which in itself is probably a miracle, that didn't used to be how I felt after travelling. Wheat-free (especially when you don't substitute wheat based items for potato or rice based items) forces me to think critically about what I put in my mouth and how it affects me. I'm thankful for that. 
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Menu Plan, November 19th

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie

Upcoming week: 
MondayPotato Skins, half pulled pork, half shredded chicken. 
Monday night was an at home evening - I swung by IGA and Costco on my way home, and while at home I prepped potatoes for the following night, shredded chicken, put broth on to cook and did a bunch of other kitchen stuff, as well as put all the groceries away and make lunches. Busy but needed! We had a guest in town from Calgary so she helped me with my work, and it was lovely to spend time with her! I love spontaneous guests, especially from our sister EN church. 

Tuesday: Ham, roasted golden beets & sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes & side salad. 

Tuesday was lifegroup - I threw a ham into the oven (always easy), roasted some golden beets & sweet potatoes, heated up mashed potatoes, baked some other potatoes & pulled together a side salad. It was most tasty. Lifegroup itself was lovely - we were in small groups and it was such a sweet time. People stayed around chatting a while, and I prepped the next days lunches and dinner. 

Wednesday: Spaghetti, and a side salad. 
Today I am very tired, I need me some sleep! Thankfully dinner is partially prepped, so I can rest between dinner (after making lunches) and a meeting at our house at 7:30. At 7:30 we have our womens ministry meeting, which will be done by 9 and, I write this on the internet for all to see, I intent to go to bed then. Right then. 

Thursday: YOYO
Thursday we are out at John & Lindsay's place for dinner - it will be lovely. Thursday is my Friday so I will be feeling footloose and fancy free. We'll chat and play board games and it will be lovely. 

Friday: Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

Friday we have friends coming over in the evening after dinner, and I have different productive things to do throughout the day. 

Saturday: YOYO
Saturday we have lunch plans in Langley with our friends Josh & Shannon, then we head to Surrey for a family dinner. 

Sunday: Crockpot Chicken Teriyaki

Sunday we HAVE NOTHING TO DO. I am going to sleep in. Hear that body, let me sleep! I will lounge. I will rest. It will be glorious. I need it, quite badly at this point. Also after church in the evening I will decorate for Christmas with our two students Sam & Xiao, pumped!

Week in Review: 
Tuesday: YOYO / Olive Garden
Tuesday was Travel Day! We woke up at 2am pacific time, traveled until 12pm pacific time. We were tired but it was  a safe and productive day, including a lovely lunch at Olive Garden. 

Wednesday: Crockpot Cheesy Potato Soup Costco Tortilla Soup
Wednesday was my only night at home. I reheated Costco Tortilla Soup and served with shredded cheese and chips, repacked for my weekend away and cleaned the fridge. After a week away with students running the show, the fridge was in need of some organization!

Thursday: Crockpot Italian Chicken Crockpot Cheesy Potato Soup

Thursday I left this soup in the crockpot for my students to dish out, I worked then headed straight for the ferry. After a long busride (thankfully I'm preggers so I got a seat), I made it to the ferry and had a salmon salad...tasty and healthy. I got to hang out with my nana for a bit before bed. 

Friday/SaturdayYOYO - Tara in Victoria, BC

Friday I spent a lovely day with my Nana, visited with my aunt, and then met up with all the girls at the Condo for the weekend. It was super lovely. It was a very refreshing weekend. 

Sunday: Crockpot Chicken Teriyaki Pulled Pork Nachos

Sunday I got back JUST in time to go to church - I didn't have time to put anything in the crock pot but that worked out ok, as I had some leftover pulled pork and managed to pull together some very tasty pulled pork nachos after church instead. Lovely!
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Of Robin Mitchell, 60!

Posted December 2013 (blogger has hijacked it and reposted it November 2014 for unknown reasons)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Menu Plan Monday, November 10th

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie

Upcoming week: 
Final Austin Day! Taco Deli, Maternity Shopping, State Capitol Building Tour and Rudy's BBQ!
Visiting the "Mean Eyed Cat" in Austin

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Travel Excitement!

And with that (that being a super busy week at work and at home) it is 1:45 and at 2:45 I will be leaving the office to skytrain to Paul, so we can leave in our car at 3pm on route to America! We'll be staying with our wonderful friends the Rivisto's overnight and then they will drive us bright and early to the airport for our 7:15am flight towards Austin, TX! I'm so excited. 

Austin is awesome. I have only been there once but I loved it. So much great food! Warmer weather! We're going to have Mexican, Chuy's & BBQ. We'll go to Hobby Lobby! On top of that excitement we're going to be seeing some of our School of Ministry friends from summer 2012, which is a treat! Not only are those things exciting, but to top it off we get to spend the weekend with Paul's Mom (Nancy) and her husband, Cris. We get to see their new place and enjoy time with them. I'm really looking forward to it. Nancy and I are going maternity clothes shopping (I've been putting off buying anything until this trip with her - it seems like something that is more fun done together, than alone). It's perfect timing really as my belly has finally started to pop - I had my first "are you pregnant" question since being pregnant. It took me a moment to realize I didn't need to be offended, that in fact I was pregnant. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

I don't know what I'd do without you

I don't know what I'd do without you: An ode to my iPad mini

I LOVE my iPad. This has not always been how I have felt about the iPad. I recall a time when the iPad was first announced, a time where I scorned it's very existence. See, to me, this invention seemed repetitive. You already have a laptop and a phone - why would you need something in between them? Our friends Nick and Laura bought one the same day we were playing board games with them and as I watched Nick play with his, it still confused me. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mounted Menagerie in Gold

Last year I made something beautiful. Then I put it on my wall and meant to blog about it and totally forgot. Then part of it fell apart in the summer sun and I was glad I'd forgotten to blog about it. Then I found a better solution, fixed the issues and rehung the item and was reminded to blog about it. This is that story. 

I love gold. I love things that are random and look pretty but can also make you laugh (like my sister, she's beautiful but also is hilarious). I love to have a house with fun and random things. You can see the upstairs of our house here to get a feel for our style. Exciting; you can even see this project on the wall! When I first saw a similar project over at Harper's Happenings  I was smitten. It looked easy and fun. I bought all the items needed then didn't do anything for about 4 months. 


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