Thursday, July 31, 2014

Vegetable Lasagna - Gluten Free

Ok my mouth is watering just looking at the beautiful lasagna!  I made this the other night and my boyfriend said: "If you don't make this again in the next two weeks I'm going to be mad". He LOVED it so much.  

Here's what you need:

  • 1 box De Boles Gluten-Free Lasagna (the kind you don't have to pre-cook)
  • 3 beautiful medium tomatoes
  • 1 medium zucchini (optional but delish)
  • 16 oz Lamagna Part-Skim Ricotta cheese
  • 1 24 oz jar Marinara sauce
  • 2 cups of reduced fat shredded italian cheeses (romano, asiago, parmasean...)
  • 2 cups parmesan cheese - grated
  • 2/3 oz fresh basil (12ish sprigs)
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 4 TBSP Parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 9x13 pan

What to do:
  • Set oven to 350* 
  • Mix the egg, parsley, garlic salt, few shakes of black pepper, 1 cup parmesan cheese, almost all of the italian cheese, & ricotta cheese together
  • Cut up the tomatoes into slices 1/4" thick"ish" (like you're going to put them on a hamburger) 
  • Shred the basil - or keep whole your choice!
  • Place a layer of lasagna noodle, then cheese mixture, then tomato (and zucchini) and place basil over top, then marinara sauce - keep doing this until you get to the top of your pan.  
  • At the top place your final layers of tomato, basil, & sauce - then spread the rest of the parmesan and italian cheeses on top
  • Bake at 350* for about an hour.  With 15 min. to go - if the cheese is getting brown, lay a sheet of foil on top to prevent burning
  • enjoy!
Let me know how you like it!

with love,

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Your New Favorite Body Wash: EO Everyone Soap

I've tried it all... Bath & Body Works, Dove, Ivory, you name it.  I was a huge Bath & Body Works fan and always got their shower gel when it was on sale.  Back around 2006 I was so excited to try their new formulated lotion when I got out of the shower.  I put on the "Sea Island Cotton" lotion and bam.  My arms broke out.  Now I must say I never break out from products.  This startled me.  It wasn't until then did my eyes open to what is actually put in products.  Think of when you get a cut.  You put ointment on your cut and it helps it heal... thus the same goes when you put on lotion or body wash... your skin soaks in whatever you put on it.  Looking at the ingredients in a Bath & Body Works product... what are these ingredients?
The average consumer buys products and has no idea what's in them.  Working in corporate retail, I know products are made cheap cheap cheap.  Negotiations take place and it's all about margin and making the most money.  The consumer is thought of but it all comes down to profit.  

Ok enough of scaring you about what's in your products...

Being consumers ourselves, we want a good product at a great price.  I no longer buy from B&BW for lotions and shower gels, and have moved on to buy mostly gluten-free and NON-GMO. [learn more about GMOs from my earlier post: NON-GMO]

I've been pleasantly surprised by EO Everyone's Soap.  It's NON-GMO, Gluten-Free... the works... and, it smells amazing.  Check out the back of the bottle below:

It's $9.99 and you can find it at Whole Foods, Amazon, Target, and probably your local grocery store.  It literally lasts for months.  Just as you want to put good IN your body, you should put good products ON your body.  Their body wash is a natural plant-based soap.  All you need is 1-2 pumps of the body wash on your bath puff and you are set.  I even have the boyfriend hooked on their men's line.  Check out their products on their website: EO Everyone

Here's the link to purchase from Amazon: Soap
Use Ebates to get cash back shopping online: Ebates

I use their shower gel, lotion, and their hand soap.  It is an amazing price for an amazing product.  Trust me, you won't go back to your body wash again.  Pair it with their lotion and you're set. 

Let me know what you think!

with love,

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I have Celiac Disease

So today is the official day!  So I decided to write about it...

Almost two years ago now [September 2012] when I realized something was going on inside with bloating and feeling terrible, I decided to go to the doctors.  I asked to get a blood test to see if gluten was the culprit.  My results came back "borderline".  That was enough for me.  I had to do something to feel better.  I gave away/took back all of my glutened food and started my gluten-free journey.  I heard of people getting their intestines biopsied but thought, "Woah that's too much for me I'm going to see if this works".  And, it did.  After a few weeks/months of de-tox mode and feeling tired and sick, I started to heal.  My diet before was mostly gluten.  I only ate pasta when I'd go out to eat, and when I'd go out to eat I'd only want to go to Italian restaurants.  I had a lot of de-toxing to do.

Fast forward two years later, totally gluten-free, I still have bloating.  Even if I have the tiniest bit of gluten, my stomach grows, hurts, and it gets to be miserable.  I decided to see a gastroenterologist to see what's going on.  I had my first endoscopy this month.  I was scared beyond belief.  I knew I had to find out if I just have an allergy or if this is the real deal.  It took a couple weeks and I just got my results today, I officially have Celiacs Disease.  It gives me answers and now I know those minor cross-contaminations at the local restaurants are a big deal.

I recommend anyone who has been recently diagnosed with gluten problems to get an endoscopy when they first find out they need to go gluten-free.  This way, you can track your villi in your small intestine to see the healing process.  Also, listen to your body.  My results from a blood test came back borderline.  I knew something was greater than those tests show.  Even getting tested recently after eating all gluten free,  the blood test showed that the antibodies were gone.  Yet, there was a much bigger hidden issue the blood test couldn't see.  Listen to your body.  If you have a family member who has Celiacs or gluten problems, it's best you see how your body is responding and get tested too.

So... the big debate.  Celiac Disease vs. Gluten Intolerance/Allergy:
-Source: WebMD
  • 1/100 people worldwide have Celiac Disease
    • Only treatment is to eat totally gluten-free
    • Even the smallest amount of gluten can trigger your immune system attacking your small intestine - which can lead to malnutrition
    • It is inherited
      • Direct family members of a Celiac Disease patient should be screened to see if they too have Celiac Disease
    • Increased risk of GI Cancers
  • 6/100 people have Gluten Intolerance
    • Doesn't run in families
  • Both have:
    • Bloating in the abdomen
    • Pain
    • Fatigue
Remember, you're not alone!  I'd love to hear your story.  Many people have no idea they even have Celiac Disease - so I'm spreading the word.

Here's My Story from the beginning: My Story

Here is more gluten-free information: Information 

with love,

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The BEST Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip... the perfect dip.  It's great for football games, office parties, or just nights spent in with the family.  Pair it with corn chips or your favorite vege - it's sure to be a crowd pleaser!  And... it's totally naturally gluten-free.

What you'll need:
  • 2 Organic Chicken Breasts - Cooked [I boil mine for about 20 mins from being frozen]
  • 2 cups Sargento Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese [do not use Kraft...]
  • 1 8oz block Philadelphia Cream Cheese 
  • 1 cup Ken's Ranch Dressing
  • 3/4 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
  • 9x13 baking dish

What to do:
  • Preheat oven to 350*
  • Finely shred your cooked chicken breasts and place in mixer.  [I boil mine and put them in the mixer and this makes the perfect shred!  Using 2 forks to shred works well too.]
  • Add the cream cheese and blend together.
  • Then add the shredded cheese, ranch dressing, and hot sauce. Mix.
  • Add to the 9x13 baking dish - cook at 350* for about 20 mins.
  • Pair with your favorite chips and enjoy!

With love,