Monday, December 26, 2016

Monday Motivation 12/26/2016

"Success isn't overnight. It's when everyday you get a little better than the day before. It all adds up."

~ Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Monday, December 19, 2016

Monday Motivation 12/19/2016

"A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done."

~ Ralph Lauren

Monday, December 12, 2016

Monday Motivation 12/12/2016

"If I quit now, I will soon be back to where I started... and when I started, I was desperately wishing to be where I am now."

~ Jolene Roberts

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Monday Motivation 12/05/2016

"Success is no accident, it is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing."

~ Pele

Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday Motivation 11/28/2016

"The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice."

~ Brian Herbert

Monday, November 21, 2016

Monday Motivation 11/21/2016

"Surround yourself with people who make you hungry for life, touch your heart, and nourish your soul."

~ Unknown

Monday, November 14, 2016

Monday Motivation 11/14/2016

"I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence but it comes from within. It is there all the time."

~ Anna Freud

Monday, November 7, 2016

Monday Motivation 11/07/2016

"My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose - somehow we win out."

~ Ronald Reagan

Monday, October 31, 2016

Monday Motivation 10/31/2016

"Take pride in exactly what it is you do and remember it's okay to fail as long as you don't give up."

~ Dan O'Brien

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

My Blood Glucose Meter Said What?

A Blood Glucose Meter is an important tool for diabetics and anyone with glucose issues. I have been struggling with hypoglycemia and finding a glucose meter that is close to accurate has been a challenge. I can't imagine trying to figure out an accurate dose of insulin using a glucose meter as many diabetics do on a daily basis. 

I wore a Dexcom meter for a week, which I found very informative. I could never quite catch my highs and lows on my glucose meter. Plus, the Dexcom consistently read lower than my meter. 

I recently spoke with a representative of a glucose meter company who told me that their meter could read as much as 20 points higher than actual. The problem with that is for diabetics, they may over medicate a high number and for hypogylcemics, they could be much lower than they realize, leading to coma or death. 

The photo above shows my two meters and the numbers they gave me when I tested at the same time. The meters were 11 points apart! That is a huge difference. I find that the meters I have tried never read really low, even the Dexcom (calibrated with my meter) read lower than my meter.

Have you had trouble finding an accurate glucose meter? What have you found to solve this issue? Recommendations on good glucose meters? Let me know!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday Motivation 10/17/2016

"Make a decision to keep pressing forward. Keep believing and keep stretching until you see your dream fulfilled."

~ Joel Osteen

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Monday, October 3, 2016

Monday Motivation 10/03/2016

"Success means having the courage, the determination and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be."

~ George Sheehan

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Drink Up! It's Time For Glucose Tolerance Test

Yuck! Drink quickly, I was told at the start of my recent Glucose Tolerance Test. This gross orange liquid is suppose to give the doctor a good idea on my hypoglycemia symptoms I have been having. I had to show up fasting, eating nothing for the past 12 hours. A blood draw was done prior to the drink. After drinking the substance, I had my blood drawn every hour for three hours. Three hours of sitting can be excruciating for someone as active as me. 

I was concerned at first with the drink since it had dextrose (corn) in it. For those of us with food allergies, it is tough to know you are eating/drinking an allergen. I never knowingly eat anything I am allergic to (no cheats), because I feel much better not eating them (and the symptoms of doing so are no fun at all). However, in order to get an accurate reading and get enough glucose in my system, I agreed to drink it, despite the upcoming days of brain fog, headaches, and bloating. I need to find out what is going on!
By hour two, my blood glucose was so low, the nurse had to treat it. Out came my Glukos for a quick boost. Three gummies later and a blood draw 15 min after hour two's draw, I was back up to normal range. Hour three's reading was ok as well and I was sent on my way. Still waiting on specific results and instructions from my doctor. 

A note: If you are having hypoglycemia symptoms and taking the Glucose Tolerance Test, be aware that if you have been treated during the test, you will crash hard afterwards. I barely made it to lunch before I was shaking and sweating. My glucose monitor said I was LOW. My lunch got me back up to the 70s, but I find I function best in the mid 80s to mid 90s. That way, if I have a dip, I am not at 70 or lower.

I am so ready to figure out what is going on with my hypoglycemia and will update. Anyone else having extreme hypoglycemia symptoms? Please share your experiences. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday Motivation 09/26/2016

"Success in golf depends less on strength of body than upon strength of mind and character. "

~ Arnold Palmer, Professional Golfer (September 10, 1929 - September 25, 2016)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Motivation 09/19/2016

"Do not let someone else talk you out of your greatness. Do not let someone else cloud your dream with their limited vision."

~ Steve Maraboli

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Monday Motivation 09/12/2016

"At the end of the day it's not about what you have or even what you've accomplished... it's about who you've lifted up, who you've made better. It's about what you've given back."

~ Denzel Washington

Monday, September 5, 2016

PLAY: Glukos Energy Products

I have struggled with low blood sugar for a while. I find it very difficult to manage while playing my sport. Having balanced blood sugar is crucial for any athlete. As an athlete with food allergies, I have had a hard time finding glucose tablets that are corn free. Most are filled with dextrose (a corn derivative).

Then, I found a product called Glukos! Glukos makes Energy Gummies (my fav), Bars, Gel, Tablets, and Powder. I always carry the Glukos Gummies in my golf bag in case I have a low out on the course. They are easy to eat and come in three flavors: Orange, Fruit Punch, and Lemon. They enable you to recover faster, making them perfect for diabetics and athletes, alike.

Glukos are gluten free and contain no high fructose corn syrup, caffeine, or artificial sweeteners. It does contain glucose and electrolytes like potassium, which are great for balancing blood sugar and fueling your body to succeed. So whether you are training for an Ironman, running a marathon, playing in a soccer game, teeing it up in a golf tournament, or just trying to keep your blood sugar in check, try out Glukos.


EAT: Las Casuelas Quinta, La Quinta, CA

I don't know about you, but when the temperature gets above 100 degrees, I find I am less hungry. Spending 5+ hours on the golf course in that temperature can do that to you. When you are in the California desert, head over to Las Casuelas Quinta in La Quinta for a great meal. From the patio, complete with misters to the expansive dining room with super cool chandeliers hanging everywhere, it is a great place for lunch, brunch, or dinner. I had brunch and the live music was a welcome addition. 
Seated in a quiet booth, the heat outside called for a margarita. Las Casuelas Quinta's Cantina Quinta Margarita was very tasty and I really liked the allergy free ingredients. A good #cornfree margarita is hard to find with all those corn syrupy mixes available. When a restaurant makes a homemade mix with real juices, it is hard to pass up. 
Our server was knowledgeable about food allergies and checked with the chef about the grilled chicken marinade. I ordered the Chicken Cilantro Salad minus the tortilla strips and added black beans. The gluten free and paleo friendly salad complete with grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato, avocado, cilantro, jicama, and tossed in a mango jalapeno vinaigrette was a large portion and very good. I highly recommend adding the salsa the server brings out with the tortilla chips. Who else declines the tortilla chips, but asks them to leave the salsa?!? I know I always enjoy the funny looks I receive.

Las Casuelas Quinta is a great healthy option for those with food allergies. The menu was extensive with all types of Mexican cuisine: enchiladas, tostadas, tacos, burritos, tamales, fajitas, etc. The restaurant provides a welcoming and relaxing environment, and I highly recommend the live music. Be sure to check it out the next time you are in the California desert!
Las Casuelas Quinta
78-480 Hwy 111
La Quinta, CA

Monday Motivation 09/05/2016

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Saturday, August 27, 2016

New Product Review: Simple Mills Pumpkin Muffin Mix

The Simple Mills products have been spotted on more shelves recently at Whole Foods Market and health food stores. I finally decided to try them out and was excited to do so since they are so food allergy friendly. Gluten free, grain free, dairy free, soy free, and paleo friendly, Simple Mills has only eight simple ingredients. I tried the Pumpkin Muffin mix, which contains almond flour, pumpkin, coconut sugar, coconut flour, arrowroot powder, spices, baking soda, and sea salt. I added chopped walnuts. I love pumpkin muffins and they always remind me of fall, but these muffins (made as directed on box) were not as pumpkin-y as I expected. They were dense and baked quickly (less than 30 min). I was disappointed, as I have not had muffins since going grain free earlier this year. With the limited grain free options, I was hoping the mixes would offer a tasty, convenient option for home or travel. This particular one left me wanting more and the price ($7.99) was hard to swallow based on the blandness. My mix made 12 medium size muffins, which is not a lot, but expected with gluten free mixes. 
Try adding pumpkin, cream cheese, or other desired ingredients to enhance flavor. What are your favorite gluten free, paleo mixes?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Monday Motivation 08/22/2016

"Let today be the day you love yourself enough to no longer just dream of a better life; let it be the day you act upon it."

~ Steve Maraboli

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

EAT: Gamekeeper Restaurant, Boone/Blowing Rock/Grandfather Mountain, NC

A trip to the mountains can bring you back to nature, leaving the hustle and bustle of city life behind. Gamekeeper Restaurant in Boone (convenient to Blowing Rock and Grandfather Mountain, NC) enhances the experience. A plethora of interesting wild game offerings makes Gamekeeper a great dining choice. 
Our server was knowledgable about food allergies and even checked with the chef on several questions to ensure safe options. 

We started the meal off with the Chef's Selection of Meats appetizer. A variety of grilled elk, grilled duck, and wild boar sausage complete with dipping sauces was a great start to the meal. The app was suppose to come with fries, but after inquiry, we found out they were not fried in a dedicated frier. We were able to sub roasted potatoes and onions instead. The grilled elk was by far the best. Lean, it does not have a strong gamey taste at all. 

I ordered the Grilled Peking Duck Breast with Honey Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Wicked Weed Black Angel Sour Cherry Demi. It was delicious. The duck was grilled to a nice medium and the greens and sweet potatoes that accompanied were a perfect compliment. 
My dinner companion ordered the Grilled Bison Flank Steak with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes (minus the Horseradish Sour Cream - contained gluten). He said it was tasty, but preferred the meats on the Chef's Selection of Meats. 

If you love meat and want to try some different types of meat, check out Gamekeeper Restaurant. Their meats are properly raised with no antibiotics and hormones, and local when possible. It is by far the most unique restaurant in the area. Located outside of town near Crestwood Resort and Spa, the atmosphere was fantastic. It felt like you were in a treehouse on a mountain!

Gamekeeper Restaurant
3005 Shulls Mill Rd. 
Boone, NC 28607

Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday Motivation 08/15/2016

"Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn."

~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

Friday, August 12, 2016

EAT: TopGolf, Chicago, IL

When in Chicago or any major city, you must go to TopGolf. And not just for the fun golf games, but also for the food. I was surprised at how good the food is at TopGolf. In fact, I went back a few days later, just for lunch!

Fear not those with food allergies, TopGolf can accommodate. In fact, they  mark gluten free items on the menu and even have gluten free buns available upon request. My server was knowledgable and even checked with the chef about dedicated fryer. It was a no-go, but I ordered the Sunrise Burger sans bun (no grains for me) and a side of fruit. The burger had bacon, cheese, and egg on top and was a delicious choice pre-golf practice. The fruit was great as well, not that frozen stuff I regularly encounter at restaurants. 

The manager stopped by my table to check on us. A fellow Paleo follower, he said they work hard to accommodate all allergies. In fact, he eats the Sunrise Burger sans bun daily.  

After a tasty lunch or dinner, be sure to check out the golf activities. TopGolf in Chicago (Naperville) has three levels of tee boxes and can handle large groups and parties. Each hitting bay rents by the hour and can accommodate up to six people. If you forget to bring your clubs on your trip, they have some you can borrow. With more than 25 locations around the country and more opening in the next couple of months, TopGolf is a great family friendly activity. Rain or shine, they are open (I hit golf balls during a torrential downpour!).

TopGolf Chicago
3211 Odyssey Ct. 
Naperville, IL 60563

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Monday Motivation 08/08/2016

"Start shaping your own day. 
Start walking your own walk. 
This journey is yours. 
Take charge of it. 
Stop giving other people
the power to shape your life." 

~ Steve Maraboli

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Great Resources for Dining Out With Food Allergies

TI came across two great Web sites that have a comprehensive list of dining options for people who are:

Dairy Free

Gluten Free

Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday Motivation 07/25/2016

"Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don't see it yourself."

~ Edmund Lee

Monday, July 18, 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016

Monday Motivation 07/11/2016

"I really think a champion is defined not by their wins, but how they can recover when they fall."

~ Serena Williams

Monday, July 4, 2016

Monday Motivation 07/04/2016

Happy 4th of July!

"The freedom to be your best means nothing unless you are willing to do your best. "

~Colin Powell

Monday, June 27, 2016

Gluten Free Find: Crispy Coconut Rolls

A new gluten free find! I found these delicious treats at Costco. The Crispy Coconut Rolls are made of Coconut milk, tapioca flour, sugar, egg, water, salt, and black sesame seeds. Light and crunchy with a nice coconut flavor, they are perfect for a snack or dessert. I will warn you though, they can be addictive!

Monday Motivation 06/27/2016

"A winner is a dreamer who never gives up."

~ Nelson Mandela

Monday, June 20, 2016

Thursday, June 16, 2016

EAT: Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches

Traveling and eating out regularly with food allergies is not easy. I tend to be selective on my restaurant choices, as I hate to feel deprived when the only thing I can eat on the menu is a plain piece of grilled chicken or a boring salad. I recently rediscovered Jimmy John's as a great option for lunch. Jimmy John's is a national chain, but highly concentrated in the Midwest and where I first discovered the sandwich shop pre-gluten free. 
Jimmy John's is a gourmet sandwich shop, but the one item that makes it my favorite sub shop is the Unwich. The Unwich is any sandwich on the menu sans bread and wrapped with lettuce. My Unwich of choice is The Country Club with turkey, ham, provolone  cheese, and tomatoes. No need for extra lettuce. 
Those with food allergies, especially gluten allergies, should notify the staff of your allergies. Ask them to change their gloves and prepare your Unwich on fresh paper. Also, if you want mayo on your Unwich, be sure to ask for the mayo packets and add it yourself. The spatula for the mayo touches bread every time it is used. 

For a great, fast, gluten free, grain free, paleo lunch, check out Jimmy John's. Just be sure to give exact instructions for your allergy needs to make sure you have a safe meal. 

Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

#glutenfree #grainfree #paleo Breakfast of Champions

When I first found out that I have multiple food allergies, I was at a complete loss on what to eat for breakfast. No bagels, no toast, no cereal, etc. My doctor, a former college athlete, also has food allergies and recommended a variation of my now favorite breakfast. 

Start with grass fed ground beef and then go wild with additions. Tomatoes. Avocado. Spinach. Kale. Green peppers. Red peppers. Shredded cheese. The possibilities are endless. I can't eat mushrooms, but add them if you like them. Homemade salsa would be great too. I usually make mine with heirloom tomatoes, avocado, spinach, and Monterey Jack cheese. 

This gluten free, grain free, paleo breakfast will keep you full for hours. Let me know your favorite combination!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Monday Motivation 06/13/2016

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

~ Confucius

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

My first attempt at Spaghetti Squash...

was better than I expected. I purchased a spaghetti squash, thinking it would be a great alternative to pasta for my now Paleo, gluten free, grain free lifestyle. It can be found in the produce section of the grocery store and is a large round yellow squash. For some reason, I thought the insides would look like spaghetti, but it looks like a normal squash. With a little Internet research, I found out it is supposed to be baked, then you will see the "spaghetti." I dug out the seeds and cooked mine for 30 min at 400 degrees covered with foil, but I recommend baking it closer to 45 min, unless you want a little crunch to your spaghetti. The fun part begins after it has baked. You take a fork and scrape the insides of the melon. The insides come off in strings! It was quite tasty served with tomato sauce and sausage, almost like real pasta. It will definitely stay in the food rotation and will be great added to salads, one bowl meals, or as a side item. Let me know if you have tried spaghetti squash and your thoughts!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Monday Motivation 06/06/2016

"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."

~ Muhammad Ali (1942-2016)

Monday, May 30, 2016

Monday Motivation 05/30/2016

"If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning. "

~ Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday Motivation 05/23/2016

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

~ Thomas Edison

Sunday, May 22, 2016

EAT: Fresh Kitchen, Tampa (Hyde Park/SoHo), FL

If you are in Tampa, FL in the Hyde Park/SoHo area, run, don't walk to Fresh Kitchen. It is a gluten free restaurant that focuses on the Whole Food/Paleo movement and part of the Ciccio Restaurant Group, owner of several restaurants in the area. It is easy to find on South Howard Ave., but the parking can be tricky. The whole area is hip, trendy, up and coming active, and healthy. I spotted Fresh Kitchen one evening during a stay in Tampa and vowed to return the next day for lunch. I was leaving that day and needed to grab lunch early, so I arrived around 10:45am as instructed by one of the staff members the night before. Fresh Kitchen opens at 11am, but she said they usually have everything ready to go by 10:45am. Apparently, many other people had the same idea! We stood in line and the place was packed the whole time I was there. Even the local firemen stopped by for lunch.
How can one go wrong in a restaurant where everything is gluten free?  There were so many options, it was hard to choose. The format of the restaurant is you order at the counter as you walk down the serving line, a la Chipotle. First, you choose your bases, then your veggies, then proteins, and finally sauces. The hardest part is deciding what to order.

Your choices are determined by the bowl you select. The choices are varied and some I had never heard of before. Sweet Potato Pasta (gluten free, of course) was one choice I had to try. The servers were all helpful and more that happy to tell you the ingredients of each item, which is great for those who have other allergies besides gluten.
When complete, my bowl was so full I knew my eyes were bigger than my stomach. The flavors were great of each item. I had the Sweet Potato Pasta and the Coconut Rice as my bases. Brussel sprouts and eggplant were my veggie choices. I decided on the Beef and Pesto Chicken for my proteins. I decided against any sauces with my other food allergies, and the food did not need it. So tasty and filling!
My lunch companion ordered a similar bowl, but tried the Almond Chicken as his protein with a sprinkle of cheese on top. He was very pleased with his bowl as well. He said the Coconut Sriracha sauce was very good.

Fresh Kitchen also has a nice variety of beverage options, from fresh pressed juices to interesting teas. The fresh pressed juices were tasty (grabbed on the evening before to save for breakfast that morning) and the teas were flavorful without being too sweet.

I would highly recommend checking out Fresh Kitchen the next time you are in Tampa. The ease of ordering a safe meal for food allergies and everything being gluten free is a great option for those who struggle to find tasty gluten free meals out. The best part is that your non-gluten free friends will enjoy the flavors and options as well. Wish Fresh Kitchen had more locations!

Fresh Kitchen
1350 South Howard Ave.
Tampa FL 33606

Friday, May 20, 2016

EAT: The Katherine Brasserie and Bar, The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel,Winston Salem, NC

The Katherine Brasserie and Bar is located in the old RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company Headquarters, the building the Empire State Building is modeled after, in Winston Salem, NC. The Headquarters is now a boutique hotel called The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel and Private Residences. Being a native to Winston Salem, I was excited to try out The Katherine and to see what changes were made from the original building.
The Katherine does not have a gluten free menu, but our server was very knowledgeable about ingredients and was happy to check with the bartender and the chef on ingredients. The menu has a great selection of appetizers. I know many times based on my food allergies, I do not even have one appetizer option, so to see so many was great. We started out with the Seared Sea Scallops, complete with Black Truffle and English Pea Risotto. Very tasty and the scallops were cooked to perfection.
We also started with the Trio de Pates, but as you can see from the picture, only two of them were gluten free. Also, no crostini. The Rabbit Rillettes and the Foie Gras Torchon were gluten free, but the chef recommended against the Wild Boar and Fig Terrine due to Bourbon. I know many people can consume distilled grain alcohols with no problems, but unfortunately, I am not one of them, so I avoid them. The dish was finished with a Plum Puree, whole grain mustard, and pickled vegetables. The pates were delish! Would definitely order them again and wish the portion size was larger. I am not sure I have ever eaten Rabbit before, but I was pleased with this pate. Also, this is the best foie gras I have had other than in Las Vegas.
Our server was so helpful that she mentioned that the French Fries were gluten free and fried in a dedicated fryer! Of course, this meant we had to order them! I ordered the Dry Aged Burger, which came with the fries. I ordered the burger without the bun, and while I was told they dry age the burger in house, I was not blown away by it. The fries were the winning part of that dish!
My dinner companion ordered the Grilled Poulet Rouge (chicken) with Asparagus and Cherry Vinaigrette. Instead of the Olive Oil Crushed Potatoes, he went with the French Fries. He was not blown away by the dish, but said it was very good. He said the Pates and Fries were the best.
I really appreciated the care our server took to make sure we both had gluten free and corn free meals. I always appreciate when a server does not know an answer, but gladly asks the chef. Those of us with food allergies appreciate that level of care.
If you get a chance to visit The Katherine, named after the matriarch of the RJ Reynolds family, but sure to check it out. Reservations on Open Table are a must, unless you want to dine in the bar. Be sure to also check out The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel while dining to see that the history of the RJ Reynolds Headquarters building remain.

The Katherine Brasserie and Bar
Inside The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel
51 East 4th St.
Winston Salem, NC 27101

Retested For Food Allergies

Yesterday, I received the results of my Food Allergy tests. I was retesting after several years to see if any of my food allergies have changed. This is so important to make sure you are not developing new allergies and if you can add back food previously allergenic. Of course, my severe allergies have not improved. Those will be foods I will avoid for the rest of my life. They include wheat, gluten, and corn. I had several mild allergies improve, but that may be from not eating them for several years. I will add them back slowly to see how I feel. I have several new allergies that will now make me live a more Paleo lifestyle. I am now allergic to rice and oats, so now no grains at all. Unfortunately, I ate those as my carbs, and now, I will have to clean up my diet again to make sure I am not eating foods I am allergic to. Also, allergic to cocoa?!? Not fun! A piece of dark chocolate was a great and easy gluten free, corn free option for dessert when you need a sweet treat. I will have to regroup and find some alternatives.

I will be posting new recipes as I find them, but let me know if you have experience with the Paleo Diet. I would love to hear from you!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday Motivation 05/16/2016

"Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray."

~ Rumi

Monday, May 9, 2016

Monday Motivation 05/09/2016

"On the razor-thin edge of your fear lies the portal to a vast ocean of opportunity. Go ahead and step through."

~ Becky Vollmer

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Monday Motivation 05/02/2016

"Follow your passion, be prepared to work hard and sacrifice, and, above all, don't let anyone limit your dreams." 

~ Donovan Bailey

Monday, April 18, 2016

EAT: Latitudes, Sunset Key/Key West, FL

When in Key West, FL, you must make a reservation for dinner at Latitudes on Sunset Key. It requires a short boat ride over to the island, but be sure to eat outside at sunset. The views are spectacular! We sat at a small table amongst the palm trees overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Reservations are required, so book through Open Table.
Our server was very knowledgeable about food allergies, even though they did not have a gluten free menu. A nice side note, as it got darker, it was neat to be able to read a menu that was backlit. After chatting with our server, who checked with the chef on safe menu items, we started dinner with the Tasting of Beets, roasted beets, beet foam, goat cheese, pistachio crumbs, and black caramel pepper. Very tasty.
I decided on the Seared Sea Scallops for my entree. It included Mushroom Risotto, piquillo pepper coulis, truffled arugula salad, and balsamic reduction. The scallops were cooked to perfection and the risotto was a nice compliment.
My dinner companion took our server's suggestion of the Yellowtail Snapper with no corn. The snapper was accompanied by sweet baby peppers, chive risotto, and jicama lime salsa. It was very good and the salsa added to the flavor of the snapper.

If you have a special occasion or just want a nice dinner overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, go to Latitudes. The setting is fantastic. The boat runs continually to take you to and from Key West. Well worth the trip! I can't wait to go back during my next trip to the area!

245 Front St.
Sunset Key, FL (Key West, FL)

Monday Motivation 04/18/2016

"Leaders inspire themselves and others to do, be, give and become more than they ever thought possible."

~ Tony Robbins

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Monday Motivation 04/11/2016

"The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling."

~ Fabienne Fredrickson 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Monday Motivation 04/04/2016

"Don't worry if you are making waves simply by being yourself. The moon does it all the time."

~ Scott Stabile

Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday Motivation 03/28/2016

"The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience."

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, March 21, 2016

Monday Motivation 03/21/2016

"Only undertake what you can do in excellent fashion. There are no prizes for average performance."

~ Brian Tracy

Monday, March 14, 2016

Monday Motivation 03/14/2016

"Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway."

~ Earl Nightingale

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Suzie-uie Allergy Friendly Sweets

Found a new gluten free product while in Key West a couple of weeks ago! Suzie-uie Roundabout Brownie is free of gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, corn, soy, msg, artificial ingredients, fish, shellfish, and sesame! I love how allergy free the product is, but how does it taste? Delicious! Most products taste like cardboard when all the "good stuff" is missing, but those of us with food allergies are limited. 

The brownie was super tasty and large in size. I recommend heating it up before eating! It was fudgy and had Dutch cocoa and a gluten free flour blend of rice, sorghum, tapioca, and potato. I found the brownie at Key West Key Lime Pie Co., but they can be found in other locations as well, mainly in New England, California, and Florida. I can't wait to try more of Suzie-uie's other items!

Susie-uie Allergy Friendly Sweets

Monday, March 7, 2016

Monday, February 29, 2016

Monday Motivation 02/29/2016

Happy Leap Day!!

"Let this be the day you LEAP into the life you're meant to love... ready, set, fly!"

~ Unknown

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

EAT: Key West Key Lime Pie Company, Key West, FL

When in Key West, FL, one must eat Key Lime Pie! Many places sell great looking key lime pie, but what if you have food allergies? If so, head over to Key West Key Lime Pie Company. They have the most delicious handmade gluten free and corn free key lime pie!
It was great to see this note in the store. Taking extra care to make sure food preparation is safe for us with food allergies is appreciated. I inquired about the gluten free flour since I have other allergies and was told it is tapioca flour. 
The Key West Key Lime Pie Company has a great selection of gluten free candies in addition to the Key Lime Pie. Many of the candies are made with sugar and are corn free (so great to be able to read the ingredients on the canister). Also, they carry sugar soft drinks without corn syrup. 
The gluten free Key Lime Pie was amazing! I have not had Key Lime Pie in years and this one did not disappoint! I was told that they regularly serve the gluten free version. They also sell a gluten free Chocolate Dipped Key Lime Pie, but I did not want to mess up a good thing (and the chocolate contained corn). Definitely stop in on your next trip to Key West!

Key West Key Lime Pie Company
511 Greene St. 
Key West, FL 33040

Monday, February 22, 2016

Monday Motivation 02/22/2016

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."

~ C.S. Lewis

EAT: GlutenZero Bakery, Las Vegas, NV

I was excited to find a dedicated gluten free bakery during a recent trip to Las Vegas, NV. I have found Las Vegas to be pretty gluten free friendly (hello In-N-Out Burger!), but had not discovered a gluten free bakery until now. GlutenZero is located on the south side of Las Vegas, not far from Paradise and Henderson. 
GlutenZero is a small, quaint bakery with a large map on the wall. Each visitor can leave their "mark" on the map. It was fascinating to see that people from all over the world have visited the bakery! The owner, Clarissa, was in the bakery during my visit and was very friendly and helpful. I had a great conversation with her and another customer whose husband is gluten free. Clarissa is a great resource and she is dedicated to offering tasty gluten free choices. 
My visit was during late morning and I decided on a huge cinnamon roll as a late breakfast. Very tasty. Clarissa even heated it for me. I tend to be limited with my corn allergy, but Clarissa knew exactly which items I could and could not have. I was disappointed with the limited seating, as the bakery seems to be more of a grab-and-go instead of a sit down and enjoy. Clarissa was busy making a delicious looking gluten free birthday cake, so if you are celebrating in the area, be sure to order yours!
I also ordered a couple of chocolate chip cookies for my flight home. They were also large in size and were more crunchy than gooey.

Be sure to check out GlutenZero Bakery during your next visit to Las Vegas. The portion sizes were generous and prices were pretty average compared to other gluten free bakeries I have visited across the country. Clarissa really knows her stuff with gluten free baking and being a Celiac herself, wants to make sure great gluten free options are available to all. Definitely stop in and check out the bakery and tell Clarissa I sent you!

GlutenZero Bakery
9500 S Eastern Ave. 
Las Vegas, NV 89123

Monday, February 15, 2016

Monday Motivation 02/15/2016

"Your role as a leader is even more important than you imagine. You have the power to help people become winners."

~ Ken Blanchard 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Monday Motivation 02/08/2016

"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe."

~ Anatole France

Sunday, January 24, 2016

My First Attempt at Gluten Free Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats are all the rage. Convenient, tasty, and healthy, overnight oats are a great addition to your breakfast options. They are made the night before and refrigerated, ready for your on-the-go morning. I like using a mason jar, as it has an airtight top, perfect for overnight storage and even portable to enjoy your breakfast at work.

There are tons of recipes online for overnight oats. This was just my first attempt and it was pretty tasty.
Gluten Free Oats (I like Trader Joe's Gluten Free Oats)
Milk or dairy free alternative
Plain Greek Yogurt
Maple Syrup

The great thing about overnight oats is that you can use any combination or make to your desired taste. The key is to cover the oats in liquid so they set overnight. I layered the greek yogurt for a little more protein and added a dash of maple syrup for a little sweetness. I used blueberries, but you can use any fruit you prefer.

I plan to experiment with more variations and will post what I come up with, but what are your favorite kind of Overnight Oats?