Monday, November 24, 2014

Gluten Free Restaurant Concept

I have been thinking some time about a concept for a restaurant which I shared with my husband this weekend. He loved my idea and said I should put it in a blog post, so here it goes!

It would be an entirely gluten free restaurant where we focus on whole natural foods like meats, veggies and fruits, but also offer some gluten free breads, muffins, buns, and desserts as default. The goal would be to focus more on foods that are naturally gluten free rather than gluten free substitutes because these foods are healthier anyway, and by making everything in the restaurant gluten free you wouldn't have to worry about cross contamination.

Now, I've had this idea for a restaurant for a while and given some of the growing paleo and gluten free markets out there I am sure I'm not the first person to have it (though more people with this idea need to follow through!). Lately I've been thinking of taking it a step further which would make it truly unique.  You see, it would still be a restaurant focusing on gluten free food, and if you ordered a sandwich by default your bread would be gluten free, but we would also offer some "regular" glutenous options for those that wanted them.  The glutenous options would be listed as an "upon request" item for which we would have a surcharge. When you ordered this optional glutenous item the waitstaff will ask you if it's a preference or if you really need it.

Our waitstaff may also give you a hard time about your choice, accusing you of being "old fashioned," "difficult," "a picky eater," and tell you that it's got the same number of calories as the gluten free option.  If you think this is rude of them rest assured they're just joking, and your friends, family, and co-workers who are out to eat with you will likely tell you the same things anyway, so they're not doing anything your loved ones aren't already doing.

When your meal arrives be sure to scrutinize your food appropriately.  Our staff are only human so they may accidentally give you the default gluten free option. But don't worry, if you catch it it's totally our fault and we'll bring you out a glutenous replacement as soon as we can while your friends' food gets cold.  If you don't realize that you're accidentally served the gluten free option instead of the glutenous one, well look at it this way, it's not like you're going to be writing in pain and spending hours on the toilet later when you get home, so what's the big deal?

Finally, once you've finished your meal we'll kindly ask if you want dessert.  We know you just ordered glutenous bread but all of our desserts are gluten free and we're going to ask you if you've saved room for them anyway.

I know I'm being very tongue-in-cheek about this, and obviously no matter how much awareness about gluten issues grows people like me will always be in the minority.  That being said, I wish everyone would stop worrying so much about what everyone else is eating and worry about themselves. It is really rude to comment on other people's food.  I also know not all restaurants can cater to celiacs and people with other allergies (although some seem to cater to vegetarians just fine!) and so why buy gluten free products that are going to go bad before you can manage to sell them all? I totally get it.  However, I would love to see a little more of an effort where small changes can be made. It hardly makes sense that the $.69/lb turkeys at the grocery store have been injected with a bunch of junk, let alone "contains: milk, wheat, and soy." I mean seriously people, turkeys don't naturally contain milk, wheat, or soy! Let's not introduce allergens, fat, sugar, and chemicals where they're not necessary and let natural food shine.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fitness Competition

As usual I am neglecting this blog, but I decided to renew my domain for another year so I thought another post was overdue. To be fair, I am trying to put more effort into my Instagram & Twitter because those are easier ways to connect, but they are also more superficial.

I wanted to share that I received TONS of support for my first bikini competition, and even though I didn't come in as lean as I'd like, I won 4th place in my division and so I have a nice little medal to for my efforts and to motivate me to keep at it.  The only time I've ever won a medal for anything was a 5th grade math competition. I'm not even kidding.

I also wanted to share a picture of me from the competition for a few reasons. First, I think I look pretty darn good so who wouldn't want to share? One of my coaches who I've known for 6 months now didn't even recognize me when I had my hair, makeup, and tan all done! She was taking attendance and said 'what's your name sweetie?'; that was a huge complement.  Second, I do have at least one hater (that I know of) who asked me if I wanted to look like a man. Take a look at how manly I look.  Also, this person implied future employers could be turned off by my fitness endeavors. Dear future employers: if you don't like that I follow a healthy lifestyle of eating and working out, then don't even bother giving me a call because it's not going to work out.  This is who I am, this is a wonderful hobby of mine, and I don't plan on stopping any time soon. I'm healthy and happy, and always working hard to improve every aspect of my life, and if that's not the sort of person you want to be around, then that's okay because I only want to surround myself with the people who love me unconditionally.

Friday, August 1, 2014

7 Weeks Out

I am 7 weeks out from my fitness competition and I went to buy my bikini today. I had planned for it to be expensive (it is not like something you can just get off the rack), but it still hit me a little harder than I thought as I did the math of the suit, hair & makeup, competition registration, tan etc... and I thought about not doing it. However, my loving husband reminded me about why I started in the first place and why I had to do it (thank God for him), and assured me that we could make it work. I know that we can, and I'm going to work even harder these next 7 weeks to live up to the way he sees me, but I decided to humbly ask for some help.

If you get a chance, check out my Go Fund Me account. There's a slightly lengthy but very personal video about why I'm asking for help. You can also check out my previous post about body image to get some more of my thoughts. It's really difficult for me to be open like this, but I hope that while trying to help myself and my own self confidence, maybe I can inspire someone else too.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

10 weeks

I know it's been yet another long time since I've posted, but I 110% blame it on how busy things got with closing school at work, and getting so close to the wedding.  Now that I've fully recovered from the stress surrounding those things (but let's be clear, I've got plenty of other stresses in my life right now!) I am focusing on my next big thing: a fitness competition!

My goal is to compete on September 20th: I have some uncertainty about if I'll be ready in time and how difficult it will be to stay on my eating plan with school opening (the most chaotic time of year), but I am determined to stick with it.  It helps that I have 10 weeks to prepare.  If I follow through with my plan, I may not be able to win but I will be able to make a good showing, and I know I will be proud of myself.  Hopefully, the September competition will be a kickstart to a healthy off-season (November - February) where I can continue to build muscle and then lean out again in time for another competition next spring.  That's the plan anyway.

I think this will also give me some things to blog about; I really do like talking about the realities of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and obviously sharing some of my healthy and indulgent meals.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Body Image

I'm going to share with you part of something I wrote in my journal today because I just feel in the mood to share it.

I haven't been comfortable with my body since I was a kid.  Pretty much since I was 12, I've been trying to lose weight.  I still have some body fat to lose and muscle to gain, but I'm already in the best shape of my adult life.  I have size 4 pants that are already fitting a little loose, and I'm not used to all that.  I really have a hard time starting to see myself as this fit, sexy, confident, desirable person.  I want to be a fitness competitor and live that lifestyle, but it is different from how I've ever seen myself.

I'm the girl that loved to play volleyball in middle school and high school and played for 5 years.  But in my 6th year, senior year of high school, I didn't make the team.  Realistically I never got invited to the summer camp that the varsity and some of the JV girls (the skinny/athletic ones) went to so I wasn't all that surprised that I wasn't considered one of the better players, but seniors had to be on varsity so I was excited to finally make it that year.  I was really cheated by not being on varsity my junior year as it was.  But that year I didn't make the team because my coach was a monster.  She asked me if I would be happy sitting on the bench all season.  We both knew I wouldn't be so I didn't make the team.  A couple of girls who were total pushovers and even worse than I was made the team because they were okay with it.  And they did sit on the bench the whole season.  My monster of a coach favored mediocre freshmen with "potential" over my proven mediocre consistency.  I knew I wasn't super fit or athletic but I pushed myself hard and wanted to be a part of the coach just reenforced that I wasn't super fit or athletic and so I wasn't meant to do things like play volleyball.  I was 18 years old and attended a dinky little high school with less than 500 students; it wasn't exactly the sort of place where winning mattered a whole lot anyway.  What mattered more to me would have been being a part of the team, but my coach didn't care about our development in that way.

This is just one of many stories I have about bad fitness and gym class experiences.  It's these stories that have me realizing that creating my new body isn't as simple as just do this workout and eat/don't eat this food.  It's kind of funny how the workouts are actually the easy part: the hard part is sticking to the diet in the face of feelings that I'll never be good enough, and trying to see myself as a thin, fit, and beautiful woman.  When I look at myself in the mirror, as small as I am (a size 4!!!) I still see fat, and flaws.  I don't want my body image to become unhealthy and there's part of me that knows I should be seeing myself in the fit/beautiful way, but that's a lot easier said than done.  Changing your mind is a lot harder than changing your body.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

My Very 1st PB&J

I am 28 years old, and 2 days ago I just had my first peanut butter & jelly sandwich (on gluten-free bread of course).  Now I know, again, not paleo but it was on my bucket list which I've been diligently trying to check things off of (hello Mt. Rushmore!) and I thought one PB&J wouldn't kill me.

Why did it take me this long to try it? As a kid I liked peanut butter, liked jelly, and was not a huge fan of bread but obviously I ate it.  I liked peanut butter on bread, liked jelly on bread, but the idea of combining the two textures completely grossed me out.  And so, I managed to avoid ever eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as a child.  If you think that's weird then I'm fine with that.  Have I told you that I never put milk in my cereal (back when I ate cereal)?

Anyway, now that I'm an adult, the thought of the sweet and salt combination of PB&J intrigued me, so I decided to hit the dining hall for dinner on Tuesday when I was exhausted and Geoff was hungry enough to go for all-you-can-eat, and we both liked the idea of it not costing us anything.  Behold my first PB&J!

Nothing fancy, but definitely something I'd eat again.  I wanted them to put it in the panini press for me so it'd be melty and gooey, but Geoff told me to take it slow, lol.