Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Food Ideas #4 - Easy to pick up meals and snacks

Ok, Keeping with our theme of food, I thought I'd make a listing of some easy to pick up meals and snacks. For some items will list the stores where they are easily found. Some items are only available at certain stores. Some things may be generic items. Some are just snack foods that are easy to grab when hunger or a sweet tooth strikes!!!

~ Fresh cut up fruit - we love watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew, grapes, strawberries, peaches, pineapple, bananas, organic apples, blueberries. No Grapefruit Please!
~Nuts and seeds- raw, dry roasted, salted. Pretty much any thing but peanuts. We love pistachios, almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews and pumpkin seeds.
~ Dried unsulphured, unsweetened fruits- mango, apricots, prunes, raisins, figs, apples, peaches. You name it, we'll eat it.
~Potato chips- plain with sea salt or flavored for Dave
~ Veggie chips - Snyder's brand or Whole Foods brand
~ Hummus -something mild/plain, with garlic, or spices. Most brands are gluten free.
~ Cut up fresh vegetables for snacking- bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, celery,
~ Unsalted almond butter- raw or roasted, for dipping and spreading. Trader Joe's has the best price
~ Sun nut butter - For dipping and spreading. Trader Joe's has the best price
~ Cashew butter- For dipping and spreading. Whole Foods brand is the best priced
~ Larabars - cherry is a favorite flavor, cashew cookie, and most any flavor will be eaten!

~ Rotisserie Chicken- Preferably from Whole Foods. I know it sounds picky but their chickens are minimally seasoned and never make me sick, while others from various locations have lots of additives and don't tend to settle well
~ Salad- we love romaine, spinach, arugula. Please no iceberg lettuce!
~ Frozen Pizza - Dave can eat any brand and loves a meat lover's. I require a little more specialty- Either Udi's brand gluten free pizza (preferable pepperoni) available at Whole Foods, Publix, and possibly Kroger or Daiya brand Gluten Free Dairy free pizza available at Whole Foods
~Deli Meat- Dave can have any brand, or kind. I have to be careful. Heywood's Meat Haus has a wonderful selection of deli meats that are gluten and msg free made in house. Lebanon Bologna and  Red wine and Fennel Salami are our favorites.
~ Hot dogs - Applegate Farms Nitrate free Grassfed beef. Available at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and most grocery stores.
~ ready to cook fresh sausages - Available at the meat counter at Whole foods (they'll walk you through gluten free options), and Heywood's Meat Haus Kielbasa is awesome!
~ Prepared foods from Whole Foods hot and cold bar- You'll have to read ingredients, but they are all listed and someone will help you if you ask!
~Say Cheez by Namaste- Cheese-less gluten free mac and cheese. I know it sounds gross, but it tastes good!! Available at Life Grocery, Whole Foods, possibly Kroger

Desserts and Sweets
~ Pamela's Simple bites cookies- we love the chocolate chip minis and the ginger snaps- available at Life grocery, Whole Foods, sometimes Kroger
~Snickerdoodles - Trader Joe's Gluten free, vegan. These are amazing! We always need more than one box!
~ Pamela's brownie mix- So good and so easy to make! Available at Whole Foods, Life Grocery, and Kroger. These beat out other brownies at parties when made with coconut oil. Always a hit!
~ Coconut Milk Ice Cream- Brands: Coconut Bliss and SO Delicious. Available at almost any grocery store. Favorites are anything chocolate, mint chocolate chip, or something with fruit.
~Strawberry real fruit popsicles - Trader Joe's
~ Coconut Bliss brand ice cream bars
~ Chocolate! Dark, gluten free, dairy free. Favorites include sea salt and almonds, peppermint, spicy.

coconut water
Almond milk- unsweetened vanilla
Herbal Teas
Grape Juice, unsweetened
Orange Juice with pulp
Real Lemonade- Newman's Own or Chik-fil-a

There you have it folks!! It sounds like what's normally in our pantry or refrigerator!! Again, I hope that this list can help someone other than us. It's a list of fairly easy to find relatively to very healthy foods!

Thanks for reading. I'll probably take a break for awhile as it's difficult to type while on bed rest!!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Food Ideas #3 - Gift cards

With my food limitations and peoples busy schedules, gift cards are a great way to provide a meal. I'm not including links here, just names of places or gift cards. Some are restaurants, some are stores nearby where we can purchase a meal. Some are available for purchase online. Some are easy to pick up at the grocery store.

Cracker Barrel
Whole Foods
Trader Joe's

Gift cards or certificates to any of the restaurants that have been listed before. Most of those probably have to be picked up at the location.

I hope this helps!

Not just us, but others!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Food Ideas #2- Restaurant Take Out

As I am currently on bedrest and we need help preparing meals for awhile I thought that some people may not feel comfortable cooking for us with my food restrictions or they may not have the time. I thought that a list of local restaurants and items from their menus may be helpful to some. This may also be helpful to those who live in the greater Atlanta area.

Here we go:
Williamson Bros Bar-B-Q - not known for being gluten free. But, I know which items work for me and which ones don't. Our usual takeout consists of: inside outside chopped pork, cole slaw, green beans. Dave enjoys their brunswick stew and desserts.

The Cuban Diner - This is a small family run local joint. The food is great! Kara's usual is the Mojito chicken with a side of Maduros and Moros. Dave loves their sandwiches! His favorites are the El Cubano, Croqueta, or Ropa Vieja - seved with a side of Maduras.

The Wing Cafe - hot wings! Need we say more? Our usual order is 20 wings hot and swimming! dave loves blue cheese with his wings. They also serve the Heywood's Bac-o-burger. This delicious meat comes from a local butcher. Order Kara's without a bun or cheese. Dave's without cheese.

Blue Moon Pizza - This is some seriously good pizza! Their gluten free crust is great. They offer take and bake as well as already baked pizza. Pizza is one thing that I will eat dairy on!! Kara's Favorite- Gluten free pizza with pepperoni, mushrooms and pepperoncinis. Gluten Free Bruschetta- Yum! We always like a greek salad- feta on the side please and hold the bread or sub GF bread! Dave will eat regular crust pizza- classic or jerk chicken.

El Ranchero Marietta - Our favorite place where you'll find us at least once a week, well except when I'm on bedrest! Our usuals include Sopa De Pollo, Fajitas De Camaron, Steak Mexicano, Tacos De Carne Asada, Pollo La Ranchera

Cracker Barrel - Our usuals: Kara- Grilled catfish with coleslaw, turnip greens and pinto beans. Dave's usual- Fried catfish with coleslaw, fried apples, and turnip greens

Marietta Pizza Co. -for Kara- Gluten free pizza with pepperoni, mushrooms and peperoncinis. For Dave - the works, by the pie or the slice, or a calzone with Italian sausage

I may think of more, but this is a great go to list. I may even send Dave to it to use to go pick up dinner!!! I hope this helps someone else out there as well!!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Food ideas #1- Recipes and Websites

Since I have so many food restrictions I thought that making some lists for those wanting to help out would be useful. We'll start with some links to other websites and recipes.


Elana's Pantry - I love this website. She has some really easy to make recipes including desserts and entrees. I believe that everything on her site is fine for me to eat. My favorite recipe of hers are her almond butter brownies!! Yum!!!

Whole Foods - this site has a lot of recipes. You can type in ingredients and it will pull up recipes. Type in gluten free and pull up recipes. It used to be a bit easier to navigate, but it should still be helpful. You can also buy gift cards online. This is helpful for us as there is a Whole Foods within walking distance from our house and they carry a nice selection of prepared foods.

Nourishing Meals- These are some recipes from one of my favorite cook books. Please look out for oats as I can not eat them. Otherwise, most of these recipes use easy to find ingredients and I haven't tried a recipe that I didn't like!


Lemon bars

fiesta bean salad

Coconut Ginger Soup

Coconut Pound Cake with Lemon Curd

Carrot Cupcakes

Tandoori Chicken And Rice Bake

chicken and sweet potatoes

curried rice and shrimp

honey savory roasted chicken

quinoa tabouli

penne with broccoli and mushrooms

There are so many more great recipes out there. This is just a sampling of recipes with ingredients that are pretty easy to find and don't seem very hard to prepare. I may add more in another post as time goes on.

Things to be on the lookout for in recipes when preparing a meal for us:
`Please make sure that any stocks or broths are not only MSG free, but also gluten free. These are easy to find at any grocery store.
`Watch out for soy sauce or tamari sauce. It is fine to use, but make sure that you use a gluten free one. These are now easy to find, affordable, well labeled and delicious!
`Just because something is labeled gluten free, doesn't mean that I can eat it. Corn is a very common ingredient. Please read labels.
`Dave can eat everything that I can't! Sometimes he may want a treat of cobbler or cake, lasagna or a sandwich. Feel free to make food for him, I just ask that there is something available for me to eat as well.

For those of you just browsing my blog I hope that you find these links useful and make some delicious meals for you and your family!

Next up: Take out meals

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Quick Update

I know it's been a long time since I posted here. There is good reason. Most of my followers are friends and already know the news- We're pregnant with twins!!! They are due to arrive the end of July, but could be earlier. Needless to say our third cycle of IVF worked and we are beyond thrilled. It was a wild ride, but we couldn't be more pleased.

Meet baby boy and baby girl!

Soon I'll be posting some of my favorite recipes, gift card ideas, restaurant take out ideas and easy pick up meals. I've been put on bedrest at 31 weeks and it's time to rally the troops for help!!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

IVF Update

Sorry that I haven't been up to date on our IVF process. Turns out that it is an emotional roller coaster. It takes a lot of time and energy. The hormones affect you even when you don't realize it.

Our second cycle of IVF was cancelled at day two of the cycle. I had cysts on both of my ovaries. They had not appeared to be there before and grew larger than doctors like to see them for IVF. Cysts can affect egg maturation as the type that I had seem to "steal" the hormones from the follicles that are trying to develop. I was devastated! More so than I ever imagined that I would be. It happened on a Sunday and thankfully I had some friends who ugly cried with me after Sunday School, prayed for me and gave me chocolate! It just seemed like when things were supposed to go right, they kept going wrong!!

My doctor put me on a very strong birth control pill to see if the cysts would shrink. She said that we would know within two weeks if they were shrinking or not. So, I started the pills and waited. I had never been on one so strong and now I know why people don't like taking them!! My emotions were much more variable than usual! It was quite an adjustment.

It seemed like two weeks was the longest time ever!!! I went in for another ultrasound of my ovaries to discover that the cysts had not shrunk. They had not grown, but they did not reduce in size. The doctor recommended surgery. It was the only way to take care of the cysts quickly and keep the process going. I wasn't too upset about the decision for surgery. I think I knew that my body wasn't cooperating.

I spent my 35th birthday drinking chicken broth and preparing for surgery. No cake for me. Surgery was the next morning.

Everything went well during surgery. Cysts were removed from my ovaries, growths from inside my uterus, endometriosis from my bladder, and a lot of tissue that was connecting my uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. A lot was done!! Much more than during my previous surgery. The Doctor said that there was no way we would have become pregnant on our own. My fallopian tubes are not in good shape. If we had gotten pregnant, that connective tissue could have caused major growth restriction of my uterus which could have been very dangerous. We are so thankful to have everything cleaned out and in seemingly good working order. My recovery has been so much better and easier than last time around! We are so thankful for the prayers of our friends and family!!

So, we start IVF again very soon. We are excited. I will try to do  a better job of blogging!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Oops...... She's a Girl!!

Well we were wrong in guessing the sex of our kitten. She's a girl! I took her to get fixed and got the surprise call that it was a girl, not a boy. We still love her and still call her Bitey. She doesn't bite quite as much as she used to, thank goodness. She is growing up fast!

Bitey a few weeks ago

Bitey keeping me company during a nap this weekend

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Our Newest Addition!

It's a boy...... cat! I guess baby fever hit. We adopted this abandoned boy. He was left at my cousin's house. How could we resist? He is so cute! A name still hasn't stuck to him. We are working on it. He is super playful and very sweet. If only he would learn to not bite our toes and hands! We'll work with him on it.

And now for your viewing pleasure..... a very cute kitten.

Who could resist those eyes?

I had to put him in my pocket while he could fit in there!

He loves his stripes!

Waking up from nap time on the bed. He's so cute!!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Human Pin Cushion

The human pin cushion. That is what it feels like, anyway. Once the IVF process gets going there are needles, needles everywhere. Shots daily. Blood drawn almost daily. It is an odd feeling to be in a doctors office full of women with bandages around their arms at their elbows. It's an odd sisterhood. You know you are all there to achieve the same thing. Maybe you have different issues, but you all need the help of doctors and science to become pregnant. You wonder how long they have been trying. Second marriage late in life? Hoping for a first or fourth child? Is she a surrogate or an egg donor? Some people share their stories. Most don't.

You go to the same office so many times that four days feels like a month. Your arms bruise from blood being drawn daily. You hope that no one thinks that you have a new drug habit. Do you wear 3/4 length sleeves just so that no one can see the bruising? You wonder if you can possibly replenish all of the blood that they have taken out of your body and then become pregnant! And on top of it all the hormones give everyone a slightly different reaction- weight gain, weight loss, hot flashes, fluid retention, insomnia, nausea. Thankfully my side effects have been minimal. Mostly a bit of sleep interruption. I wake up really early. Annoyingly early. Afternoon naps become a must.

All of the blood work and doctors appointments are to monitor your egg growth. First they look at how many follicles you have. Those have potential to make eggs. These are seen through ultrasound and not the warm jelly on your belly kind. Let's just say that you get real familiar with that ultrasound tech! the blood work watches different levels of hormones and your medications are adjusted accordingly. It is really amazing what they can do and see. By about day 5-6 of your cycle it can be determined how many eggs your body is going to mature. Amazing!!!

For me, my first cycle of IVF ended there. My body was not producing the amount of eggs that it should be. When you are going to be put under anesthesia for a doctor to retrieve tiny eggs from your follicles you want it to be worthwhile. I was not producing enough to make it worthwhile. It was devastating. But now, a few days from that point, I know that it was a good decision. We'll start again with my next cycle. In the meantime I get to take hormones orally. That is much easier than a shot! But I know that those shots will be there to greet me soon.

Here's hoping for more eggs next time around!
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