My transition to eating Gluten Free: My favorite GF recipes and snacks

Happy Saturday friends! I thought Saturday would be a perfect day to share this long story of mine, so here we go…

I recently discovered that I should not be eating any gluten. It not only upsets my stomach, but it also causes rashes and eczema breakouts on my body. I’ve always had eczema. When I was younger it was all over my arms and would get worse in the heat. I remember going to the doctor countless amounts of times to get new creams and advice on what to do to help me to stop itching. My arms were torn up. I got made fun of in elementary school because I would never take my sweatshirt off even if it was 85 degrees out. I was so embarrassed by this rash on me. Around 6th grade, I finally decided to start wearing short sleeve shirts and then the comments started. “What is THAT?! Do you cut yourself???” I started to sleep with socks on my hands because I knew that in my sleep I scratched my arms the most. Eventually, around 10th grade, the eczema on my arms miraculously went away and all that was left was scars. My skin is extremely sensitive and I seem to always have some sort of eczema but nothing as bad as what I experienced during my childhood.

This past January I started noticing these tiny little bumps under my nose. It started as a cluster of 2 little bumps and rapidly turned into probably 12-15. I changed my skin care routine multiple times thinking that it was because of something that I was using on my face. I got a second opinion and narrowed it down as being a reaction to something I was eating… it was not from anything that I was using on my face. At this point, I had started a food log and would try to keep an eye on the rash as best as I could to see if it would change depending on different foods I had eaten. The rash wasn’t getting better, it was getting worse. The only thing that I could narrow down was gluten because it is in SO many things that we eat every day. I spoke to my Mom, who is a nurse, and to my doctor and BINGO… gluten allergy!

It’s been about a month now and the rash has cleared up tremendously. The transition hasn’t really been as hard as I expected it to be. When you first hear “gluten free” your mind kind of freaks out, but it has not been bad at all. In fact, I’ve never felt better! With help and advice from my friend who is gluten and dairy free, I was all set. I have always had pretty good eating habits thanks to my Mom but of course, the one thing I was worried about during this transition was pasta… I could live with out bread, to be honest, but not pasta. Pasta has always been my bad habit. You can do so much to a pasta dish and it’s quick and easy! I have tried many different brands of gluten free pasta and have found only one that I really love! Other than gluten free pasta, I eat a TON of fruits and veggies, salads with grilled chicken or fish on top, and popcorn or corn chips sometimes for snacks. As long as I can still eat pasta and my most favorite meal of all time, tacos, I’m alright! Eating out can sometimes be a challenge but many restaurants these days have gluten free options. If the restaurant I’m at doesn’t have any gluten free options I tend to stick with a salad. I’ve been looking up gluten free recipes and trying them one by one. I have a few favorites that have been excellent that I’ll share with you a long with my go to snacks because let’s face it, we’re all “snackers” at heart…

*** Most of these recipes are from http://skinnytaste.com … Skinnytaste is an amazing website! My family has been using this website for years. My Mom and Grandparents are on Weight Watchers and Skinnytaste is super convenient because all of the recipes are WW approved and even have the number of WW points on the recipe.  Skinnytaste has options for everyone! They have a “special diets” tab where you will find recipes and options for, GF, paleo diet, slow cooker meals, low carb, vegetarian, and many more!

Before I get into my favorite recipes and snack ideas, here’s my favorite gluten free pasta that I was talking about… https://www.barilla.com/en-us/product-results/pasta/range/gluten-free/?sort=alpha

My favorite GF recipes:

http://www.skinnytaste.com/taco-stuffed-zucchini-boats/

http://www.skinnytaste.com/gluten-free-dairy-free-blueberry-oatmeal-muffins/

http://www.skinnytaste.com/asian-peanut-noodles-with-chicken/

http://www.skinnytaste.com/roasted-cauliflower-rice-with-garlic-and-lemon/

http://www.skinnytaste.com/shrimp-scampi-tacos-with-caesar-salad-slaw/

 

My favorite GF snacks:

-Cold cuts wrapped around a pickle

-Boom Chicka Pop popcorn – THE BEST! https://boomchickapop.com/

-Corn tortilla chips with homemade salsa

-Fruit salad

-Carrots or celery with hummus- My FAVORITE hummus (If you like a kick of heat and sweetness, you’ll love this!) https://www.cedarsfoods.com/pineapple-jalapeno-hommus

– And we can’t forget about pretzels… http://www.snydersofhanover.com/products/gluten-free-pretzels.html These are THE BEST! Even if I wasn’t eating gluten free I would choose these over regular pretzels.

Obviously, these are just MY favorites (and the list is growing)… There are so many other recipes and other snack ideas out there that are just as good. Check out Skinnytaste! You will not be disappointed! Thanks for reading… enjoy your Saturday!

xoxo,

Stephanie

Hmm… Poetry?!

Hello hello again and welcome back!

A few days ago I came across a poem. It was a poem one of my followers had written and it was REALLY good! I was actually shocked. It was so beautiful. Me being me, of course, I got the idea in my head that I needed to take a shot at it too because, why not?!

I was sitting at the beach the other day staring into the water and started to really think about how the ocean makes me feel. I got in touch with my emotions and wrote every detail down, and what do ya know?! I ended up writing my first poem! I am pretty pleased with it. I've debated sharing it at all because there are always going to be negative comments and people trying to bring you down, but I am deciding now that I really don't care what anyone thinks. As Manny would say, "If you don't like it don't f*cking watch it!" Same applies here if you don't like it don't continue reading… There is no RIGHT way to write a poem.

Here's my first take on poetry…

Crashing waves: 

The ocean is deep

It sometimes makes me feel weak

When I stand with my feet in the sand

I could sink

Let it all flow away

In the ocean waves

That ease my pain and make me crave

What I can not see

But I know that I need to stand and be brave

For there are so many waves left to take

I breathe in the ocean

And feel whole again

With the sun in my face

Ready to conquer what comes next

In this crazy game,

we call life

Don't be afraid to try new things and put your creative self out into the world! You never know who you could inspire…

 

xoxo,

Stephanie

 

Betrayed…

Ya know, it's really a hard subject to touch on, but let's be real… being betrayed by someone you thought was true to you is the most hurtful thing ever! Am I right or… am I right??? I was betrayed. The person doesn't even know that I know what I do… crazy right?! I know something that has broken my heart and made me feel almost every emotion and the person that caused this is just going on with life as if nothing happened. I felt helpless, angry, and honestly, very confused. It just felt like someone that I truly cared for literally stabbed me in the back. Have you experienced something like this? If so, I'm sure you've asked yourself, "what am I supposed to do?" I've contemplated my reactions multiple times. The answer is nothing. Don't think about it, don't act on it. Going any further will make you more of an emotional mess and let's be real (again)… is this person really worth your tears?! The answer is HELL NO! If they're hiding something from you that you had to find out from someone else then why would you even want them in your life? You don't. It's hard to cut ties and move on, especially if there is a lot of history involved, but you don't need the confusion and bad vibes in your life. Take a deep breath and let it go…

Take a yoga class (healing benefits), write about it, create a song inspired by hard times, take a drive, or even take a hike. Whatever it is, just keep your mind off of the negative because it will only drag you down.

After being through this multiple times I didn't listen to any of my own advice until this very last time. I'm at a point in my life where I can choose which route to take. Should I dwell on this and make my life miserable over something or someone I can't change? Or should I stand up, wipe my tears, and forget about it and MOVE ON? A year ago I would've chosen #1 but I'm happy to tell you that today, I choose #2. There's no point worrying about something you can't change. This person hurt me…1,2,3 strikes you're out! Buh-bye!

Until next time,

Stephanie

Hello world!

Welcome, welcome! My name is Stephanie Denny and this is a blog about my life. I’m 22 years old and I have SO much to say! I feel like my life is a constant roller coaster of highs and lows. I’m sometimes so lost that it feels like there is no way out and at other times, I feel as if I’m on top of the world. I struggle with what career path I will choose, what I look like from other peoples’ perspectives, making my family and friends proud,  my weight and body image, listening to my heart, and much much more on a daily basis. Sure, I’m 22 and I should be out enjoying myself with friends, getting drunk, and dancing the night away (which I do) but after those nights I seem to feel more confused and more off balance than before. We are in the hardest and most complicated stages of our lives. We have choices laid out in front of us every day. Should I take the dream job or travel? Should I pursue what I love or go to school and get a degree because it seems like the right thing to do? Should I stay home or move away? I’ve been realizing lately that there is no right way. No one can tell you how to live your life and no one can tell you what path to take. I’m trying this new thing… I’m going to do whatever the hell makes ME happy. It’s a work in progress, well, I’m a work in progress, but happiness is key and I’m learning this every day. So… If you’re 22 or 20 something and can relate to any of this confusion, stay tuned because this is for you!

Check out “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero to gain a “no fucks given” look on the life you’re creating. https://www.amazon.com/You-Are-Badass-Doubting-Greatness-ebook/dp/B00B3M3VWS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1501090654&sr=1-1&keywords=you+are+a+badass

xoxo,

Stephanie