Thursday, February 16, 2012

So About Those Promises...

Here I was promising the stars and back saying I would post all these wonderful posts that I've been wanting to share and then I go and get extremely sick. You can read about it here. I promise to return and post everything as soon as I'm better. 


Thursday, February 9, 2012

An Apology and A Promise!

I apologize! Not only have Britt and I been swamped with homework this last two weeks (seriously Tuesday night we pulled an all nighter!) but my camera that I used to take a lot of pictures for our posts, once again is being serviced. And ironically the CF card is telling me that I need to reformat and it won't let me pull the pictures off before reformatting but if I reformat it, it will delete the photos... I am praying to the electronic gods that another CF reader will allow me to pull the photos, there are a lot on there that I want to keep! Anyway, I promise to post consistently for the remainder of the week and the upcoming posts should make up for our serious negligence. 

A few things to look forward to this week (CF card permitting):
Restaurant Reviews:
     ^ Subway's new-ish GF menu items
     ^ Baja Fresh  
Homemade Dinners:
     ^ Mexican Tomalito y Tomales
     ^ Italian turkey burgers - Jamie Eason's style. 
     ^ I successfully made a GF rainbow drop cake and cupcakes and they were insanely good
     ^ Almond Ice Cream review

For now I'll leave you with these bad boys:

These have quickly become my favorite cracker, I pair them with semi soft goat cheese. So delicious. The best part? For 3 crackers it's only 160 calories and these crackers are huge. Longer than the palm of your hand huge...


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Girl's Night

Every week I get together with two fabulous ladies for a much needed girls night of stories, food and a fantastic activity. Tonight we took it easy and stayed indoors at Miss Cassie's house. The girls asked about my health challenge and catered dinner and dessert to me being GF. 

Their willingness to contribute to my challenge made me think about the importance of having a support system. Especially if you are going GF for health reasons and not just a challenge. Being GF is difficult; you have to look at every label sacrifice a lot of delicious foods. Having family and friends to support you make the lifestyle change makes a world of difference. 

The dinner Cassie made us. I'll have to ask her for the recipe and share this upcoming week.

Kate brought exotic organic chocolates. The most interesting? 
A coconut curry milk chocolate bar from Theo.

And just because these are the cutest salt and pepper shakers I have ever seen.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Gym Relief

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8am to 8pm I have 12 hours straight of work and then school. My only "break" for the day is the 1/2 hour window I have driving from work to school. I literally have 10 minutes to make it from one class to the next. I'm not complaining, just setting the groundwork to say: on those days I am tempted to skip the gym. BUT there's nothing quite like a gym workout after a long day. If you also have a busy schedule and are lacking energy at the end of that day, go to the gym anyway. 

It will actually improve your energy and it realigns your body. 

I am fully aware that this has nothing to do with the GF challenge this month but it a part of our 12 week challenge to be posted in April.Thus, it has relevance. 


Monday, January 16, 2012

Gluten Free, Take Two

As mentioned in the last post; with the restructure of our blogging we decided to get a little more technical in our posts. There's always room to improve right? So let's kick off our GF challenge extension but this time the right way. ;)

What is gluten?

Gluten is the protein composite made up of gliadin and a glutelin found in wheat, rye and barley. Gluten produces the elasticity in wheat, barley and rye products. Basically, it's what makes bread rise, stretch and hold it's form. I.e. the fluffiness of French bread.

So why are people going gluten free and eliminating all the delicious products that are derived from these glutinous grains?

Let's start with a bit of intestinal anatomy. The small intestines are the main site for absorption of nutrients, like amino acids and simple sugars. The intestinal villi that line the epithelium of the intestinal wall are the main structures responsible for this absorption. These highly vascular, finger-like projections increase the surface area of the intestines and allow for maximum and efficient absorption into the blood stream.

For people with Celiac disease (also known as Celiac sprue) their bodies cannot properly absorb nutrients when foods with gluten are consumed. The body creates "antibodies" to gluten, which help the immune system identify gluten as a "foreign invader" and respond in a way to eliminate this threat. Essentially, the immune system reacts to gluten like it might react to a bacteria or a virus. This reaction attacks the intestinal lining and damages the villi. An attack on the villi leads to malnutrition regardless of the amount of food or vitamins a person consumes. This is just the beginning - if left untreated, malnutrition can lead to unhealthy weight loss, constant fatigue and weakness, anemia, osteoporosis, easy bruising, nerve damage, infertility and so much more.... 

Our GF Challenge Motivation

We both have friends and family who suffer from gluten intolerance which is why we decided to go GF for (now) 6 weeks. We hope that by going GF we can understand more about this intolerance, gain a deeper respect for those with Celiac and learn how to make delicious GF options to serve at gatherings. Plus, any healthy nutrition challenge has benefits; clearer skin, increased energy, shiny hair, beautiful nails and much more. We just couldn't pass those benefits up!

Ashley & Brittany


Sorry I couldn't help it... that song is stuck in my head. Anyhow after a marathon meeting/planning session/grocery shopping trip with Brittany we have decided to extend the gluten free challenge half way into January! We hope you don't mind but it's taken me the last two weeks to get a feel for being GF and Brittany just joined the GF challenge. Plus, we also wanted to get a little more in depth than just posting recipes so the extension seemed like a great idea. Also we want to announce that tomorrow we are starting a 12 week fitness program! (LiveFit - Jamie Eason's challenge.) We will be posting in April about our experience and look forward to sharing our results then.

Other challenges to look forward to this year: 
Clean Eating
Mixed Marshal Arts
Training for a 5k+ run

If you would like to pose a challenge for us to try please send it our way!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Homemade GF Pizza

 After a day at Mt. Hood Alex and I were starving. On the way home we stopped at our local Safeway and grabbed ingredients for homemade pizza. I made the pizza dough using this recipe but of course made a substitution due to what was available. I used all-purpose GF baking flour and the recipe turned out great.

Prepped station, waiting on the dough to rise.

Rolling out the dough:

Alex doesn't have a rolling pin so I used a wine bottle. Simple solutions.

Added toppings, baked and enjoyed!