Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Skinny on the Skinny: Book Review

The Skinny, written by Dr. Aronne, a weight loss doctor in NYC,  is a diet book recommended to me  by my neighbor. The book includes a long scientific explanation of why certain people have increased appetites and super complicated hormone responses to food.

A lot of the book is typical of most diet books--suggestions to eat a whey or soy protein shake (which seems kind of old school and not at all cutting edge to me.)

The most interesting part of The Skinny was the recommendation for eating food in a specific order to increase satiety! If you are trying to lose weight or curb hunger hormones always eat lunch and dinner in the following order:

1) salad
2) vegetable
3) protein
4) starch/carbs

I have noticed that eating my meals in this order--and never skipping the salad and vegetable portion at lunch and dinner--does make me feel more satiated. Now when I go out I always make sure to order a salad to start and a side of vegetables and I always eat these items first. I notice that by the time I get to my sweet potato fries/rice/pasta finale I am surprisingly full. (I do make myself eat a small portion of healthy carbs because I don't do well on a low carb diet!)

Weight loss is not something I recommend focusing on too much because it is so hard to achieve meaningful weight loss and studies tend to report people gain weight after losing weight--but the health benefits of eating more vegetables and not craving sugar/carbs/desssert is certainly undeniable--and I have actually shifted my weight five pounds toward my lower set point weight very effortlessly by making a point of eating food in this order.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sunwarrior Cinnamon Protein Shake Recipe (sugar-free/GF/Dairy Free/Vegan!)

This cinnamon Sunwarrior protein shake recipe is gluten free, dairy free, raw, vegan and free of refined sugar! I was introduced to Sunwarrior natural protein powder when I was visiting a good friend who is vegan in Los Angeles this summer. Most protein powders I have seen  have too many ingredients and seem too processed to be part of a healthy diet. 

Sunwarrior natural protein powder is a cut above the other protein powders. It is vegan, raw and has  only four FOUR ingredients (a proprietary protein blend from Raw Organic Pea ProteinRaw Cranberry ProteinRaw Organic Hemp Seed Protein and Medium Chain Triglycerides from Coconut.) Sunwarrior natural protein powder is non-GMO and although it is not labelled organic, the website says it is 98% organic. 

Mostly, I fell in love with how I feel after I tried it! I have a scoop of sun warrior protein powder as part of my breakfast routine, it keeps me going until 1 pm  in the afternoon. This sugar-free, vegan shake recipe is sweetened with bananas and cinnamon instead of sugar. I am not usually a calorie counter but this shake only has 237 calories and really keeps you going for hours because of the protein blend which contains all essential amino acids in a complete, balanced profile.

  • 1 scoop Sunwarrior natural protein powder
  • 1 cup silk almond milk (Silk 30 calorie vanilla)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1.5 cups ice 
Blend all ingredients except the ice in a Vitamix or blender  for 1-2 minutes gradually increasing the speed. When completely blended add the ice. Enjoy with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg.

• Coffee: Add ice cubes made from coffee for a delicious coffee shake!
•“Milkshake”: Add a tablespoon of your favorite sweetener (agave or maple syrup) if you want it to be more like a milk shake! When I first started making this shake I added extra sweetener, but then I discovered I didn’t even need extra sweetener!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Back to School Calendars!

Other than my inability to tie a tie for my son's formal uniform day--the beginning of school has gone well. (I'm knocking on wood as I write this--as I always do when I say anything positive.) I have one child in third grade at a new K-8 school and another child who just started 8th grade which upper school.

It was my daughter's idea to make a calendar on her wall with sticky tape, but after we made her a calendar I realized that I'm the one who really needed a wall calendar to keep track of everything. After looking around, I finally decided to put my wall calendar on an underutilized round wall in my kitchen that I walk by a hundred times a day  on my way to my office where my computer is.

For families who have kids with allergies being organized is super important because food is involved in so many events. A large calendar is a great way to keep track of everything. Events that need extra thought or food preparation can be starred or highlighted.

Here is a link to a calendar you can make with vinyl washi tape that is just like the one we made!

In case you need something more portable, here is a link to my favorite AT-A-GLANCE FASHION MONTHLY PLANNER which goes from July to July a second AT-A-GLANCE academic monthly planner which is a January to December Calendar.

Happy Back to school everyone! (And make sure to put apple picking on your calendar if you have apple picking in your area!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Join Erica Dermer of Celiac and the Beast for a Twitter Party tonight!!! There will be a bunch of free giveaways and Erica  is always super fun in person and online. I can't wait to be part of this fun event to kick off the Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest next weekend in Indianapolis.

Gluten Free and More Twitter Party
Date: Wednesday August 13th
Time: 5-6pm PDT (8-9pm EDT)

RSVP HERE to join and win prizes!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Gluten Free Superstar: Lynn Shuter of G-Free NYC

Lynn Shuter from G-Free NYC is our 1st Gluten-Free Superstar!  In 2011 Lynn opened her gluten-free store on the upper west side of Manhattan and she has been a positive and helpful part of the NYC gluten free community ever since. I got a chance to interview her this summer...

What is your gluten-free story? How did you find out you couldn't eat gluten?
"I started to have stomach issues when I was in college in the early 80s. The doctors said it was IBS but they didn't give me any solutions.  I continued to have problems in my twenties.  In my late twenties I developed blisters on my elbows and face.  I went to a dermatologist and was diagnosed with Dermatitis Herpetiformis.  At that point, I started my gluten free journey."

What inspired you to open G-Free NYC?
"For almost 25 years I have been "gluten free" or as gluten free I could be at the time.  Back then, I had to constantly explain myself at restaurants, the work place and any where else I was eating outside my home.  I remember being glutened many times.  I also had to learn to cook and bake since I wasn't happy with the gluten free products available.  I'd say I've tried 90% of the gluten free packaged goods available today.  I ended up ordering products like Canyon Bakehouse because they were not available in NYC.  My belief was, and is, that I didn't have to eat bad tasting products.  There were ways around it."

What is the best thing about your GF life?
"Well, the fact that I don't need to go far for the best gluten free products is very nice.  Otherwise, I really don't think my life is different than anyone else.  That is part of the G-Free NYC philosophy...you don't have to change your lifestyle.  It's just a matter of adapting it and shopping at G-Free NYC of course :)"

What is the hardest thing about being gluten-free? And how do you handle it?
"When I was in my twenties it was very hard on a social level.  I never wanted to be difficult and bring up my diet.  When I went out to eat I would order things that were naturally gluten free.  If someone offered me a cupcake at work I would just say I wasn't hungry.  Nowadays, everyone knows what "gluten free" is.  When I hear people complaining about how hard it is to be gluten free I laugh."

What food/product would you take with you to a desert island? 
"I'm torn between Laurie's Bagels and Yummari Chia Chargers (these are two products I always have in my freezer and in my purse).  The Chia Chargers are healthier but the bagels are so good.  If the end was near I'd go with the bagels but if there was a chance of rescue I'd go with the Chia Chargers.  You only live once."

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Benefits of Sleep Away Camp

summer, camp, lake, Adirondacks, New York, kids

I am still pinching myself that I have two kids on special diets at sleep away camp--and a much needed break.  My daughter is at her fourth year at a seven week girl's camp in the Adirondacks and my son did his first two weeks at a coed camp an hour south of Montreal. I'm thrilled my kids get to escape the city (and electronics) and sleep in a cabin on a lake with water skiing, tennis, swimming and all the usual camp activities.

Both camps have gone to great lengths to accommodate their special diets and provide gluten-free food.  Rebecca, a unit leader at my son's camp  even made sure that there was gluten-free, dairy-free food available for him “find” during the "kitchen raid" when the campers took over the kitchen! (It's a  well supervised camp that plans all sorts of crazy, fun activities.)

For me, sending them to camp is also a break from cooking and meal planning.

I haven't been blogging. Instead I bought a bicycle and have tried to relax as much as possible. It's been THIRTEEN years since I had this kind of vacation from raising kids.

While sleep away camp is not for every child, for social and independent kids it's a great opportunity. And for parents of kids who are on a gluten free (or gluten-free/dairy-free diet) it is an opportunity to relax and take time off from cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner. Giving kids with allergies  the opportunity to manage their diets with the support and supervision of someone else besides a parent is also an amazing preparation for college and life when they will be on their own.

And while I'm happy to get a break I'm actually even happier to get them back at the end of it!

Related posts:
Wendy in NYC at Camp Experts
2013 Sleep Away Camps for Kids on a Gluten-Free Diet
List of Sleepaway Camps for Kids on a GF Diet

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth of July!

It is pouring rain today—which actually gives us time to make  glazed baby back ribs, homemade ice cream, brownies and chocolate chip cookies for our Fourth of July celebration. Fireworks in Amagansett  happen on Saturday, the fifth-- so we are headed to a beach barbecue and fireworks tomorrow.

Even if you aren’t making a big Fourth of July barbecue—you can still celebrate Fourth of July with a flag, decorations and Kraft marshmallows--which are naturally gluten free and dairy free. Kids love marshmallows and they are easy to find at most supermarkets and something kids with allergies can enjoy  makes them a great summer treat.

If you don’t have Fourth of July decorations—get out red and white crayons and markers and kids can make their own decorations using stars and stripes!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Our GF Family FAVORITES: June 2014

Make your trip to the beach or the park (or your backyard!)  super special with these fun finds!
1. Jennifer's Way: My Journey with Celiac, Jennifer Esposito's first book, is an amazingly honest account of how Jennifer discovered she had celiac and how it changed her life.

2. This OXO Cherry Pitter makes eating cherries a fun summer activity for kids and adults!

3. Kids love straws and a glass of these fun red and white Paper! Straws makes a fun  summer centerpiece.

4. Dana's Bakery Watermelon Macarons don't "seem" gluten free but they are made with almond flour and naturally gluten free!

5. You can have Fourth of July all summer with this Stars and Stripes Table Runner from Sur La Table.

6. This Ribbon Braid Hat is stylish and lightweight  and folds up for travel.

7. Sanuk Yoga Mat Flip Flops are made from yoga mat material are SOOOOO comfortable!

8. This Green Goddess Sunscreen is available through Amazon Prime! Order a few bottles of this organic sunscreen to avoid the toxic ingredients in most sunscreens.

9. These Red and Blue Jacquard Star Napkins are a great hostess gift that don't won't up a lot of space in your suitcase.

10. Red Woven Plate Holders, on sale for $1.99, will brighten up any barbecue!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fun Friday: Little Miss Glutenless GF Stickers!!!

These Little Miss Glutenless Stickers are ADORABLE! My 12 year old  found this sticker from Red Bubble. Little Miss Glutenless is also available on t-shirts and hoodies! The scoop neck style t-shirt is my favorite style of t-shirt--but the stickers are a deal at $2.40. And if you buy more than 5 stickers you get 50% off!

For camp parents--great to stock up on stickers to send with letters and care packages! They have a bunch of cute designs at Red Bubble Stickers.

Happy Glutenless Friday!!!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Gluten-Free Watchdog: Lays Oven Baked Barbeque Not GF

Gluten Free Watchdog, run by Tricia Thompson,  is an organization that does third party testing of products and then gives members access to the testing results. It is a great organization to join if you are gluten free. Gluten Free Watchdog does a good job of letting people know when something labelled gluten free contains gluten. I am a member of Gluten Free Watchdog and this came through my email today...Usually I don't repost info but I was inspired to "spread the word" about this and to let people know the great work that Gluten Free Watchdog is doing for the gluten free community.

"At least some snack size bags of Lay's baked barbecue chips are mislabeled with the GF icon.

Many of you have been following this saga on Gluten Free Watchdog's Facebook page. Here is a brief recap for those of you who are not aware of the situation:

Frito Lay confirmed to me via phone late yesterday afternoon that a select number of their Lay's baked barbecue chips were inadvertently labeled with the GF icon. This was a mistake in the printing process. These chips are NOT gluten-free. I alerted Frito Lay to this issue on Sunday May 26. However they are not prepared to issue an official company statement at this time. Please help spread the word about this chip. At least some snack size baked BBQ chip bags are mislabeled based on photos sent to me. For more information and to view photos please go to Gluten Free Watchdog's Facebook page. This discussion has been going on since May 26 so you will have to scroll down the page to get the full story and view all pictures. I will be writing a comprehensive post about this issue but wanted to alert all of you hosting or attending gatherings this weekend.
Thank you,

Tricia Thompson, MS, RS

Owner/Founder Gluten Free Watchdog, LLC"