Archives for October 2012

WIAW #19 – New Gluten-Free Finds + Brew & Grill Run

Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

Hi everyone! I hope this Halloween Wednesday finds you and your loved ones well, dry, and safe, especially if you were anywhere near the path of Sandy. In Austin, we’re lucky that it was just a little colder than usual, and the only effects from it we had were the cancelled flights, and delayed mail and packages.

This week’s WIAW is going to be a little different… instead of posting what I had to eat yesterday {Honey Fage yogurt, soup with crackers, and curry chicken}, I decided to post a few new gluten-free finds.

I was surfing the Internet last week and came across  Wild Wood Bakehouse & Cafe which is totally gluten-free!! Not only that, they were having a gluten-free brunch on Sunday! I invited my GF pal, A, and the boy, and of course they said yes! Three of us went running early Sunday morning {it was pitch black and it felt like 39F yikes!!} and after our 8+ mile run, A and I decided we wanted to go to brunch after our run… so we went back to our house and picked up the boy and we made the trek down to Guadalupe and 31st St.

We got there a little early and A and I were still frozen from our run, so we had a tea. Then I had migas, black beans, potatoes, tortillas, french toast, and bacon; it was all delicious!! It was just awesome to be able to walk in and have whatever you wanted, and have it be good too! After our meal, we went to check out what they had up front, and I took home some of Mama’s Bread {which had carrots, zucchini, and nuts}  Pumpkin Spice mini cupcakes, and some white rice buns {not pictured here}. We’ll definitely be going back again.. there’s so much on their menu I want to try!

While at the grocery store {H-E-B} last week, I saw their GF frozen aisle… which was lacking a little bit.. I couldn’t find the bread.. but I saw these and I couldn’t resist.

Kinnikinnick’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Dipped Donuts

These donuts were about $6 and they’re a little on the small side. It’s recommended on the package that you heat frozen donuts up for 20 seconds . I found that it was not  enough time on my microwave, so whenever I heated them up, I did it in 15 second intervals. One time, I tried to do 40 seconds and it burned the inside.. so beware. The donut itself was on the dense side, it reminded me of Hostess donuts, but don’t hold me to that since I haven’t had them in forever! I did like them, so I’d probably give these an A-.

Yesterday, I had my follow-up appointment with the Endocrinologist, and I just wasn’t feeling well at all. On my way home, I stopped in at Natural Grocers to pick up some GF chicken noodle soup and I got some of my usual {Gluten-Free Cafe} and I was really excited when I saw this other brand Wolfgang Puck. It was organic made with free range chicken.

Unfortunately, it just didn’t have much flavour, and it very much tasted like canned soup {what else could I expect, right??}, but even some lemon juice didn’t save it. I gave this a C.

So that’s it for my gluten-free finds… and since it’s Halloween, let me tell you about Rogue’s Brew and Grill Run last week. At the downtown store, they have pub runs where they will run to pubs nearby and have some beer, however, up here, we’re 2.5 miles away from the nearest bar, so 5 miles round trip for one beer just isn’t a great idea. Instead, they had a Brew and Grill Run where we were encouraged to wear costumes, and we ran to 4 houses which were awesome to host us. We played games at each one and won raffle tickets. I didn’t win anything :( The boy couldn’t run, so he was our Woodchuck Cider taxi and drove to each of the houses with cider for A and I {since we can’t have regular beer}… such a good sport!! Lesson learned: don’t try to drink most of one cider at the first house.. not good for running!! All in all, we had a great time, and I hope Rogue hosts more events like this!

A {banana} and me, Top 10 Spooky Things for Runners, enjoying a cider at the first house

Cannibal Hot Dog, A beating me in a race, and the Costume contest winner Jem, and our coach {he was a Trooper}

What are your plans for Halloween? Did you do something Halloween-y this past weekend?

We haven’t decided on anything for tonight; the boy is a huge horror movie buff, so I may let him put a scurry movie on. This weekend, our friends are having a “Carnevil” themed party, and we’re really looking forward dressing up!

Caribbean Vacation – Part 2

Hello everyone! I hope you had a great weekend!

Just in case you missed it, the posts about my vacation are:

Last I left you, we were in St. Thomas and we’d come back from our Ecotour. After lunch, we headed to a bar nearby… the boy had seen they had swings for chairs, and he had to get a drink (or two) there.

Mojo’s… just look at that smile!

In the evening, we went to a seminar at the gym, and there was an announcement we were turning around as there was a medical emergency onboard, and the US Coast Guard was coming to get a passenger from the ship. We went about our business, then made our way back to our room.. we were looking to see how far out from land we were when we saw the Coast Guard approaching.

They came, got the passenger, and went, and while we were having dinner, they came back to get the family. I hope all is well.

After dinner, we decided to lighten things up a bit, and went to play Bingo… we didn’t win.

We didn’t win.. but it was a good distraction

Day 5: Our only at sea day – I got up early to go do my Quality workout {if you’re wondering, the boy is nursing shin splints, so he’s not able to run until told otherwise} as we had a Body Composition Analysis appointment at 10am. I went up to the jogging track where each track was 1/10th of a mile.

It was very windy and I decided to head down to the gym and finish my run there. We got our analysis done, which didn’t really tell us much. They were just trying to sell us some detox supplements and bath items, but we declined as I needed to do my own research. We relaxed for the rest of the day and I dressed up for elegant night for dinner.

Day 6: Barbados – I was really excited to see the sea turtles and we booked a catamaran tour. We got to see them during the first half of the trip. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a lot of photos as the boy had loaded the wrong card into the camera and had to delete a lot of photos while we were with the sea turtles.

Sea turtles weren’t shy

It’s feeding time!

We went to a different spot and while we had lunch onboard while traveling, and then we went to a different beach. After snorkling for a bit, we went on a short walk on the beach.

Oh so romantic!

We had a lot off fun on the tour.

Day 7: St. Lucia – We booked a tour of St. Lucia on bus and catamaran.

One of the stops along the tour

On our way to Soufriere, we stopped at a botanical garden… I seem to have been really attracted to the red and pink flowers.

Once we got to Soufriere, we boarded a catamaran and stopped at a beach.

The sand was dark because it was lava particles

It started raining while we were there, and then we left.. We got a tour of some of the resorts nearby. It cleared up a bit.. the colour of the water was amazing!

We had a great time on the tour.

I think I’ve sucked enough of your bandwidth for the day ;) so I’ll stop here. Part 3 will be posted later on this week.

How was your weekend?

Caribbean Vacation – Part 1

You ready for takeoff? I finally finished editing the photos, but since there are so many photos, I’m going to split it 3 days!

Day 1: We flew into San Juan via Ft. Lauderdale and checked into the hotel in the evening. We had dinner at Lemon Grass, which was a restaurant on the hotel grounds. After dinner, we went to Oasis – one of the 2 bars that claim to have invented the Piña Colada. The boy ordered a Piña Colada and I ordered the Mango {Piña} Colada. They were really good but really heavy too!

Piña and Mango Coladas

Day 2:  Saturday, I got my 5 mile run in on the treadmill. I was totally dreading it, but because the treadmills had TVs, I was able to watch one of my favourite shows on HGTV, Bath Crashers. After I showered and got ready, we decided to check out the Bacardi Rum factory. They had free tours along with free samples.

Bacardi – “Bat in Flight” pavilion and the gift shop

Pick your poison

The Bacardi distillery and the aged barrels with the logos throughout the years

 We didn’t do much the rest of the day… we contemplated going into town to get an authentic Puerto Rican dinner, but the cabs drivers are a little shady {in the sense that they charge what they want}, so we decided to stay at the hotel and had dinner at Morton’s Steakhouse. It was delicious! We went back to Oasis and had more drinks.

Day 3: On Sunday, we slept in, I got my recovery run in, and then we had breakfast. Before we knew it, it was time to check out and head to the port. We got there and got processed.

Carnival Victory

Got our ship cards, and we went to check out our room, explored the ship a bit.. had lunch, went to the spa {I needed to get my nails done, and the boy needed a haircut}, we then went to the intro session to the ship, then dinner, an intro session to the gym, followed by the safety  session. Then we were off! We went up to the Sail Away party.

Sail Away party

Day 4: We got to St. Thomas and it was a beautiful view.

View from our balcony

We had a big day ahead of us so we showered, had breakfast, and headed out. We were doing an ecotour of Cas Cay Island… so we kayaked about a mile to get there

When we got there, we had a hermit crab race. We all grabbed a crab and brought it into a circle for a race and mine won!!

Then we went hiking for a little bit and took some photos

We then went snorkling… the current was really strong and I didn’t get out as far as most people did. Snorkling still makes me a little nervous; I don’t like depending on an apparatus to breathe.

 Once we got back, we noticed that the hermit crabs were all walking making their way away from the shore. The tour guide explained to us earlier that they get away from the water and climb trees when a storm is coming. It reminded me of little zombies walking in unison… it was really freaky!

All the little white shells are the hermit crabs

After kayaking back to the shore, we took a bus ride back to the ship, showered, and had lunch.

And this is where I’m going to stop for today…I’ll upload more photos tomorrow or Monday. Hope you guys have a great weekend!

Have you ever been to the Caribbean or on a cruise ship?

WIAW #18 – Back to Regular Programming Edition

Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve been well while I’ve been away. The boy and I got home from our vacation on Monday evening. We flew to San Juan, Puerto Rico on Friday, October 12. We boarded the Carnival Victory on Sunday, October 14, and we docked in St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten. We returned to San Juan on Sunday morning, and flew back on Monday. Since today is WIAW, I’m going to post a few photos of the food I had while we were away.  Just a warning: I didn’t take a lot of photos of food as we had most of our meals on the ship, and I didn’t bring a camera or my cell phone as we didn’t have internet access on our phones from the time we left St. Thomas until we got back to San Juan.

We flew Jet Blue from Austin to San Juan via Fort Lauderdale; I hadn’t flown Jet Blue in maybe 6 years… they either weren’t flying where we were going (like Toronto) or their schedule didn’t fit our needs. However, I’m a fan of Jet Blue and I always suggest it whenever we travel. While we were on the plane, I looked at the inflight information pamphlet with our snack, drinks, and entertainment options.  They had a GF snack pack you could get, and they also had POPCorners chips in Caramel flavour. I didn’t buy the snack pack, but I did try the corn chips and they were really good. I’m going to look for the other flavours.

On our layover, we went to Chili’s and I was pleasantly surprised to find out they had a gluten-free menu. I chose the Sweet and Spicy chicken and it was delicious!

Our first night in Puerto Rico, we went to Lemon Grass, which was a restaurant on the hotel property. There wasn’t anything on the menu that was gluten-free {even though when I called, I was told there were GF options}. I had to get a garden salad and plain salmon.

For our second day in PR, I had an omelette with veggies and ham, a couple of fries, and some bacon.

Our second night in PR, we went to Morton’s The Steakhouse which was also on the hotel grounds. I was impressed with their gluten-free menu. I chose a mixer with filet mignon, shrimp, and bacon wrapped scallops, and along with a salad {not pictured}.

Our first night on the ship, I had the flank steak with veggies:

In Barbados, we were on a catamaran that served us lunch… I had the bean salad, regular salad, rice, and curry chicken

I don’t remember which night this was, but I ordered seafood pasta on the ship. I believe it was corn pasta, and the pasta wasn’t very tasty; I think I’m just used to quinoa pasta.

On the cruise, my breakfast consisted of  eggs and bacon, and  yogurt with fruit. I wasn’t impressed by the eggs, so when we had a chance, I grabbed an omelette. The scrambled eggs tasted a bit powdery, and i’m used to Greek yogurt, so I wasn’t a big fan of the one available on the ship. Lunch mostly consisted of salad, potato salad, and some sort of meat. In regards to dinner, we had a bit of an issue at first. When the boy booked the cruise, they told him that there would be gluten-free items I could pick from the menu. On the second night we were there, we were told was that the best thing to do was to tell the hostess that I am gluten-free. However, on the 3rd evening, we found out that I could preorder for the following day. This made things a lot easier and it relieved a lot of stress in regards to food.

The meals I enjoyed the most on the cruise were the ones that didn’t have gluten to begin with, such as the steak, or the seafood. When I tried to have something that would’ve had gluten, such as pasta, or bread, is when I was disappointed. The service from the hostess that helped me with preordering my food was great!

We had an awesome time on our vacation; stay tuned for the photos!

BRB…

Hello everyone!
This post is coming to you from San Juan, Puerto Rico. The boy and I are on vacation so I’m going to take a little break from the blog while we’re away. I’ll be back in less than 2 weeks!

See you soon :)

p.s. I’ll be adding photos to my Instagram and Facebook page during our trip, so if you don’t already follow/like me, please add/like me :)
IG: csansgluten
FB: http://facebook.com/MyLifeSansGluten

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