Some Good & Bad News

Hey everyone! I have some good and not so good news to share with you!

Let’s start with the good. I have been wanting to start a food/travel blog for a few years. I finally bought my own domain name: thymeandlove.com. It is still a work in progress, but I am really excited to share it with you! This is my passion in life and I am looking forward to pursing it! I will mostly be posting here from now on!

Some bad news is about my running. I haven’t been running a lot for one big reason: my hip hurts really bad. It has hurt since June, but the pain comes and goes. I was born with hip dysplasia and was treated with triple diapers. {Apparently I was really cranky with all those diapers!} I haven’t had any pain since I was a baby until last year when I really starting upping my running milage. I finally went to go see an orthopedic yesterday and he basically told me that I shouldn’t be running if it is painful, which right now it is. I also have raw cartilage on my knee and will never get any cartilage back. {Scary!} I do have a shallow hip socket, which is the dysplasia. I can do an MRI and see if I have a fracture. I just don’t like the idea of a needle going into my hip bone. So I am not sure if I will get that done just yet.

He said that I can’t do any weight baring activities like squats, lunges, etc. The best thing for me to do is pool jogging and the elliptical. I need to build my strength back up and then start running and see how I feel. I also should only ride my bike in moderation. I guess that I will have to join a gym! I just need to focus on being healthy right now and not worrying about complete any races.

What does this all mean? I am going to build my strength back up and them try running a low amount of miles later on this year. I am taking action now because I don’t want to really injury my hips later on in life and have to get a hip replacement. I am suppose to be running the Disney Marathon Sunday. Well, I know that I can’t finish it. Being a marathon runner just isn’t meant to be, at least for the time being. I might start that race, but I don’t know yet. I really wanted to do this race, but it just isn’t meant to be. I am trying not to think too much about it right now. {Tears were shed last night.}

This is really frustrating, but I am trying to be grateful for what I do have and that I can walk and overall my legs are not in that bad of shape.

I will still post here and update you on anything running/exercise related. I will mostly be posting over at thymeandlove.com.

For those that live in Chicago, do have any inexpensive gym recommendations? Have you had an MRI before & how was it?

 

Friday Things

I can’t believe that it is already Friday! I hope that everyone is having a great week! I have had a pretty normal week, but a couple of exciting things to report!

This week was my last week of classes for the semester! I am glad to be done and next semester I only have one class, my thesis! I can’t wait to graduate in May. It has been a long time coming!

I made two cakes for Hector’s advanced typography class this Wednesday. I love to bake for others & this was a fun project to do! His group had designed a logo for this idea of growth & decay. They came up with a bunch of different projects that related to growth & decay. It was very artistic! I baked the cakes & made the frosting, but he did the cut-outs and frosting. Everyone in the class said that it was great & asked if I was a pro. I will take that compliment for sure! ;)

logo for growth & decay

Last night for dinner I made roasted acorn squash & black bean enchiladas. I also made homemade green tomatillo sauce to go on top! I used my favorite tortillas, El Milagro. I have been able to find them at my Whole Foods on some days and always at the local Mexican grocery store & also they are at my Target. After having fresh tortillas from the local tortilleria in Mexico, these are the next best things! They turned out really yummy!

thursday's dinner

The Disney World Marathon program is now available! This marathon is getting really close & I am both scared due to my lack of being properly trained, but I am also getting super excited just to have fun!! Plus, we are spending a week in the parks! I love Disney World. Plus, I get to spend time with my parents.

best family photo ever.

Speaking of my parents, they are coming this Sunday!! They are staying downtown & I might be staying with them. I’m not quite sure yet. I expect that we will be doing some very touristy things. I will be heading back to Michigan with them next Wednesday. I will miss Chicago because I won’t be back until after Disney.

Have a great weekend everybody! :)

Vegan Gingerbread House Party

After decorating cookies Saturday afternoon, I headed back to the apartment to pick up Hector who just got home from school. We headed to Megan’s for our December Post Punk Kitchen {ppk} potluck. This month we decided to make vegan gingerbread houses. The kit that you can buy isn’t vegan but Megan made the cookies for the houses and figured out how to hold the pieces together!

Before we got too much sugar into our system, we had a lentil cauliflower soup that Megan made. It was really delicious. A perfect way to start the evening.

Lentil Soup

We all brought cookies to share with each other. All of them were really yummy!

gluten free chocolate chip cookies

chocolate crinkles

biscotti Megan warned us that once the sugar was heated, we had to act fast and start building. Nissa & Hector tried really hard to figure out their game plan! {Hector & I shared a house, which was pretty comical}

getting read to buildWhile we waited to start, we enjoyed some So Delicious Nog.

so delicious nogOnce Hector, Megan & Nissa began making the houses, I could not stop laughing. I will blame that from the sugar, but it was so much fun to witness the making of these houses.

construction begins!

DSC_0275

will it stand up?

DSC_0289We had to get some string reinforcement to hold the houses together. It worked!

string reinforcementNissa’s dog, Oliver, wanted some sugar! He is too cute!

Oliver!We finally finished building the houses and decorated them. They turned out really unique!

Our house may have some flaws, like a hole in the roof, but we just incorporated that into the house as a skylight. The additional awning really adds a nice touch to the house.

our house!Megan’s house was amazing. The best part would have to be the boarded up windows!

Megan's HouseNissa’s house lives in a different neighborhood. It is well taken care of and color coordinated. Just look at that roof!

Nissa's HouseI really had so much fun Saturday! I am really for more holiday related things! :)

Have your every built a gingerbread house before?

Christmas Cookie Decorating Party

This past Saturday was filled with lots of holiday activities. In the morning I finished baking cookies to bring to the Chicago Healthy Living Blogger’s Christmas Cookie Decorating Party. I haven’t decorated cookies in a very long time & I was really looking forward to it!

Bethany graciously hosted the cookie decorating at her apartment. She had a table set up with lots of cookies and decorating supplies. It was very festive!

Decorating SuppliesI made two gluten-free vegan cookies from Manifest Vegan. The Russian Tea Cakes turned out yummy. I also made the candy cane cookies but didn’t shape them into candy canes. I was just happy that they held together without falling apart. I thought that gluten-free baking was going to be intimidating, but it wasn’t so bad!

russian tea cakes

It was so much decorating cookies! This definitely jump started my holiday spirit!

decorating cookies

time to decorate!

cookiesAfter decorating cookies, I went to a gingerbread house making party. That was a lot  of fun & tomorrow’s post will showcase my wonderful house making skills! ;)

Do you decorate cookies for the holidays? What is your favorite Christmas {holiday} cookie?

Christmas Cookbook Wish List

I already own many cookbooks, but I am always on the hunt for more! There are cookbooks that I haven’t even cooked from, but I am always wanting to add to my collection! It might be an addiction, but I am ok with it. I find recipes online, but sometimes they don’t turn out. I have much better luck with recipes in cookbooks!

Since I am newly gluten free, I have a whole new cookbook genre to explore! I have complied a list of gluten-free cookbooks that I would like to own. Maybe my list will help you find a cookbook for someone who is gluten-free and vegan!

Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats: Cut Out the Gluten and Enjoy an Even Healthier Vegan Diet with Recipes for Fabulous, Allergy-Free Fare By Allyson Kramer

glutenfreeeats

{Via Amazon}

Allyson Kramer is the author behind the popular blog Manifest Vegan. I have been reading her blog for awhile and have really been intrigued by her gluten-free recipes. This cookbook looks like it would be great for beginners. I really love that the nutritional information is included. This book is at the top of my list!

Review from VegNews Magazine:

“Top-notch photography, interesting-yet-not-overwhelming recipes, and an affable, approachable style are the hallmarks of Manifest Vegan, and each of these qualities shines through in the 200-plus page Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats.”

Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays: Celebrating the Year with Simple, Satisfying Recipes and Menus by Jennifer Katzinger 

glutenfree and vegan holiday

My eye caught this book because it is geared towards the holidays. Finding vegan and gluten free recipes that can be enjoyed during the holidays can be difficult and having recipes in one book is a great resource to have all in one place! I am especially interested in the holiday cookies, cakes, and bread section! I have been struggling to find really good gluten free christmas cookie recipes!

Review from VegNews:

“Katzinger’s expertise sets this book apart. As founder of the Flying Apron Bakery in Seattle and author of Flying Apron’s Gluten-Free and Vegan Baking Book, Katzinger bucks the stereotype of gluten-free baking as boring and tasteless.  Her recipes…would be welcome on anyone’s holiday table, whether the host is vegan, gluten-free, or just hungry. Katzinger also includes tips on where to source specialty ingredients (just in case your local supermarket doesn’t regularly stock teff), and organizes her recipes into complementary menus for each holiday that make planning out your meal a breeze.”

The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook by Cybele Pascal

allegen free baking

 I like the idea that this book focuses on baking for those with all the common allergies  It can be hard to find a baking recipe that doesn’t call for wheat, eggs, soy, etc. 100 recipes are included!

—Review from Cookbook Digest “Somehow, without using wheat flour, dairy, soy, eggs, or nuts, Pascal finds that baking ‘possibilities are endless’ and with recipes for Chocolate Chunk Brownie Bars, Classic Yellow Cake, or Brandied Peach Tart, she is very convincing.” “the kind of advice that can make you an intuitive, allergen-free baker.”

The Gluten-Free Vegan: 150 Delicious Gluten-Free, Animal-Free Recipes by Susan O’Brien

the gluten free vegan

The beginning of this book has an introduction to eating vegan and gluten free. I love when cookbooks provide information, especially if you are new to vegan/gluten free cooking. It is really helpful. It also looks like most of the recipes call for real, whole foods, which is very important for me!

Gluten-Free and Vegan Bread: Artisanal Recipes to Make at Home byJennifer Katziner

artisan bread

I will be honest. I am intimidated by gluten free baking, especially with bread recipes. Maybe this book would help with my fear of gluten free bread making? This book looks wonderful and would be a great addition to a cookbook collection!

These 5 gluten-free & vegan cookbooks are definitely on my Christmas wish list this year! If I do get any of these books, I will do a more in-depth review!

Do you own any of these cookbooks? Do you have any cookbooks on your list this year?

Monday Happenings & Eats

Happy Monday everyone! I hope that your week is off to a great start! I can’t believe the weather. It is really warm here in Chicago & I am wondering if this winter is going to be mild.

For breakfast I tried a new frozen waffle: Nature Path’s Buckwheat Wildberry Waffle. I really loved that these were gluten free! I normally make my own waffles, but I wanted to have something that was easy & didn’t take a lot of time to make. I have been eating oatmeal for breakfast almost everyday for the past 5 years. I am really sick of it & looking for new options!

nature's path waffle

This morning Chicago was extremely foggy. I haven’t rode my bike to school in a few weeks & it felt really nice to get out there again! I really love riding the bike, except in the wind. For some reason I really struggle when I am riding against the wind.

foggyride

foggy bike ride

For lunch, I had an African sweet potato & peanut stew from The Vegan Table. It was yummy! I love the combination of sweet potatoes and peanut butter. {Sorry for the crummy photo! It just didn’t turn out with my phone!}

African Sweet Potato & peanut stew For dinner, I made my own version of Mexican rice using brown instead of white. It was really yummy! I have made a chili rub tofu before & it has been really good. While I was making it today I ran out of mild chili pepper and had to add some really hot pepper! The tofu was so spicy, but the avocado helped cool it down!

Mexican rice & tofuI really want to start posting here on the blog a lot more! I also want to show my eats on a more regular basis. I am now off to read some articles for my thesis project.

Have a great night! :)

Healthy Eating {Gluten Free}

This past few months I haven’t been eating as healthy as I should be. This needs to change asap. One thing that I have been noticing and paying close attention to the past few months is my gluten intake and how it makes my body feel. I have discovered that I tend to have these side effects when I consume gluten: my head hurts, joint pain, stomach issues, tingling and numbness in my hands & bloating. These symptoms only arise right after I consume gluten. I don’t really want to be tested to see if I have a gluten intolerance. Plus I don’t have a doctor here in Chicago and I am not sure where to go. I know that “gluten free” has become a popular diet and I think this is why I haven’t tried to go eliminate it from my diet.

My stomach issues have become more of an issues & I have decided that now is the time to try and eliminate it from my diet. I have done some preplanning & hopefully shouldn’t have any problems finding gluten free foods in my kitchen!

One thing that I am worried about is the fact that December is filled with lots of holiday get togethers. Also, my family isn’t too accommodating with my vegan eating. I will be bringing my own dishes to pass! Another thing that is a concern is gluten free vegan baking. This will be something that I need to try. I have found quite a few recipes, so I will have to try them out! Plus, it isn’t like I need to have baked goods all the time.

The rest of December I plan on testing out a gluten free diet and see how I feel. I also would like to cut back on my sugar intake. I want to feel lighter & my best by the time I run the Disney World marathon in January. I definitely want to keep a detailed account & plan on blogging a lot more about my eats. This is something that I have been wanting to do for awhile anyways.

I am really nervous about posting anything about eliminating gluten from my diet, but I really want to share this with everyone. It has been a couple of days without gluten and I feel really good! A lot of the symptoms that I have been having lately are gone. Hopefully this keeps up!

**Disclaimer: I am not advocating that going gluten free is best for everyone. I just feel it is best for me to try it right now. These are just my opinions that I write here on the blog.