Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Best Writing is Done at 12AM!

After a demanding intersession,  I made the decision to head home and spend the weekend relaxing before my final semester of college. I laid in bed last night unable to fall asleep. My mind was going in a million directions thinking about all that lies ahead. Hence the title, and why I wrote this post!

Before I started this school year the thought of graduating really had no meaning to me. As it was I was already starting my first semester of graduate school (as part of a combine bachelors/masters program), and felt at ease knowing that my plans for the next two years were put in place.

A lot has happened between now and then, and I have since realized the reality of graduation. I am at a point of two transitions. It’s like I have to be two people at once. At times I’m an undergrad, who is finally healthy enough to enjoy college, and on the other hand, I’m a first year graduate student. These transitions both take on two very different levels of responsibility, and I’m just realizing how challenging it has been for me to be “stuck in the middle” of the two.

I’m emotional right now, as I write this post. Feeling upset that I think of the past four years as being a time that I dealt with the ups and downs of medical conditions, yet I am thrilled and elated that we have moved past this point, and that I’m at a much better place in my life. When I started this school year, I told myself you need to embrace all the final experiences of my undergrad career, and do what makes me happy. In a sense I feel like I’m trying to make up for lost time.

I quickly found that finding balance was a challenge. On top of the “typical stressors of college”, I had an internship, found that grad school came with different expectations, and most importantly, I had to ensure I was managing my exercise programand the GF diet. Despite dealing with this all, my experience last semester on my school retreattaught me to take a step back, and breathe. This is a shift in mindset that has begun to help me in so many areas of my life.

I’m sure many of you who had a long road to find a diagnosis may look back on time in your life, and realize that you missed out on a lot. From time to time, you might get angry, feel resentment or want to cry. That’s ok, you are allow to. Let yourself  truly experience the mixed emotions, but then take a deep breath, and do something to allow yourself  to step in the “forward direction.”

Monday officially marks the first day of 2nd semester. Lucky for me I have one more day, and officially start Tuesday morning. I wrote this post not knowing its direction, but hope it will serve as a reminder for myself (and you) in the exciting and challenging moments of transitions. Enjoy your weekend.

Always Remember…
A Deep Breath is Powerful
It’s OK to cry
Acknowledge, but don’t dwell on the things you cannot change
Do the things you LOVE
Move forward, and follow your heart
Find support in the ones you love
Be grateful for all the wonderful experiences you have in front of you
“Right here, Right now”
And make sure you alway remember….
Laughter is the best medicine

Not Your Traditional Pancakes!

I love breakfast and I use to love to eating breakfast at a local cafe called Toast. Toast is an adorable cafe located in Port Jeff. I haven’t been back to Toast since I went GF, but have been inspired by many of their creations.

Toast offers typical breakfast items, like Omelets, Pancakes and French Toast, however they have a unique twist; including Cinnamon Raisin French Toast, Peach/Raspberry Pancakes, and Banana Cinnamon Walnut Pancakes to name a few.

I have blogged a lot about pancake mixes before. Currently my favorite mixes are King Arthur’s GF Mix and GF Bisquick. Not only are the mixes GF, but I easily make them DF. I have also been on a pancake fix lately, and have been developing unique combinations, just like Toast!

Last week I made blueberry/raspberry/ banana pancakes! I made the mix as directed (using water instead of milk), added a mashed banana, a touch of vanilla, and cinnamon to the mix. After I put the mixture on the skillet, I added the desired amount of blueberries and raspberries!

Last night I made my friend and I breakfast for dinner. She is also from Long Island and loves to dine at Toast (gluten-eater), she often talks about how much she loves Toast’s peach/ raspberry pancakes.

I had never had them, so I figured it was time to give this combo a try. Again I made the pancakes as directed, and added a touch of vanilla and cinnamon. I sliced the peaches up, placed the mixture on the skillet and then added the desired amount of peaches and raspberries to the pancakes.

I think this picture shows how good the pancakes were.

So my challenge to you is: Next time you miss a particular restaurant or food item, don’t dwell on it and get down. Instead, try creating a GF alternative. It may take you a few times, but once you get it, you will feel so empowered!

Sweet Sin Bakery!

My Mom is the reason why I inherited such great baking skills. At work she is the “go-to-baker” and her co-workers always count on her to make delicious cakes for office birthdays. She is always looking for new recipes to try out, but her most famous desserts include, Crumb Cake and Raspberry Squares (both of which I have converted to make GF/DF!)

My mom is also Italian. She comforts people with food, welcomes people with food, and celebrates with food. There is something with the sharing of food that brings people together. This is where we are different. I love to bake and cook, but don’t find comfort in food. My relationship with food has gotten a lot better over the past few years, but I still just look at food as the thing that fuels me, as my medicine to keep me healthy. (This is not to say I don’t celebrate with or enjoy a few sweets on an occasional basis, it is just the way I look at food.)

As you know two weeks ago I celebrated my blogiversary. It was a special day, and I wanted to do something special to celebrate it. I had plans to try out a new recipe from a new cookbook, but this quickly changed when I got sick, and then got glutened by the medicine. My mom being the mother she is, felt terrible. I was up at school all alone, and she wasn’t there to take care of me. I told her, I was OK, and there was nothing she could do ( I literally was sleeping all the time). However, no matter how old I get, when I’m sick all I want is my mom!

My brother had a swim meet down in DC, so on there way to the meet my parents stopped at Sweet Sin Bakery. I had never heard of this bakery before (leave it up to my mom and google to find a GF bakery!) My parents picked-up some goodies for me, and my mom posted an adorable video on my Facebook wall that made me smile and laugh, hoping that this would cheer me up!

Sweet Sin Bakery is a gluten-free bakery that offers a wide variety of products, many of which are dairy, casein and soy-free as well. My parents got me, muffins, cookies and two cupcakes. After being “glutened” the last thing I wanted to eat was sweets, so I froze everything except the cupcakes (I didn’t think frosting would freeze well). I was finally feeling better later last week, and was able to enjoy a cupcake. My friend and I split each cupcake. I wanted to try both, but there was no way I could eat two. They were both great, and both my friend and I gave it our approval!

The other day I also tried the blueberry muffins. These too were very good. I definitely could taste the lentil flour in the muffins, but I did not mind it at all. This made them different from any GF/DF muffin I have had, and I enjoyed it. The muffins defrosted well and weren’t dense like many GF muffins, light and airy! I always like to have something on hand, so I  kept the Snickerdoodles stored in the freezer. I can’t wait to try them.

Sweet Sins Bakery is actually in the process of changing their name! “Like” them on Facebook, provide them a suggestion, and if they choose your name, you will get 1 dozen cupcakes and dinner for two! Sweet Sins Bakery is located at 127 West 27th Street, Baltimore, MD. To learn more about this bakery visit their website!

Thanks Mom and Dad for the delicious treats and for alway seeking out new GF options!!