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…how time quickly passes

October 16, 2010

Time has quickly flown by and it is already the Fall.
Sometimes you just need to throw some leaves around in all of the excitement 🙂

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I love the business of Fall after the relaxing Summer…the fresh start of a new school year…Chargers football games… the absolutely beautiful transition to cool weather… the comfy clothes of the season… soups/stews… and running in such comfortable weather.

Tomorrow my Dad and I are running the Nationwide Better Health Columbus Half Marathon!!!  This is the 31st annual race and it is a SOLD OUT event!! In 2006, my Dad ran the Columbus Marathon with Team in Training in support of the my boyfriend at the time, Doug, who was struggling through a diagnosis of lymphoma.  Tomorrow, Dad and I will run the half marathon together with our family and friends, including Doug, cheering us on.  It is incredible how much can change in four years and how miracles can truly happen.

Well I am off to pack for tomorrow race and start on some much needed GRE studying…

See you soon!


Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread

June 28, 2010

Oh what a wonderful morning….

Last night there was a huge thunderstorm.. lightening, thunder, slanted rain, the whole bit.  The radar had our town in the pink zone… apparently pink is a bad thing.

But this morning it was the calm after the storm.  I came home this weekend on a whim that I missed my family… anyway this morning I woke up at six and walked two miles with my mom.  It was cool and not humid at all! I even wore a light jacket!!

So Dad and I headed out for my five mile run around 8.  I was excited to run since my training hasn’t been very consistent here lately.  As soon as we started running the humidity started getting really thick… but with all of my strength we successfully finished our 5 miles!

On to gluten-free bread!!

To make the perfect whole-grain gluten-free sandwich bread follow these simple easy directions!

Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread


Makes one 8-inch loaf

2 tablespoons organic canola oil                   1/2 cup millet

1 1/2 cups warm (115 degree F) water          1 cup brown rice flour

1 cup soy flour                                                   1/2 cup teff flour

5 tsp active dry yeast (room temp)               2 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum

3 large eggs (room temp)                               2 teaspoons unsulfured molasses

2 teaspoons course salt

Step 1: Whisk together flours, yeast, and xanthan gum.

Step 2: Add 1/2 cup of millet to a skillet and gradually add 1/2 cup of water (115 degree).  Bring mixture to a boil, remove from heat, and let stand.

Step 3: Whisk together eggs, molasses, salt, and oil.

Step 4: Beat in 1 cup water (115 degree) to the prepared millet mixture.

Step 5: Add ingredients into the bread maker in this specific order:

1. Wet ingredients: Mixture from Step 3 then mixture from Step 4.

2. Mixtures of flours.

3. Yeast.

Step 6: Close bread maker and choice Gluten Free Bread option.

Step 7: Cut bread and enjoy!

Tips I have learned from making gluten-free bread:

1.  Slice the bread after it has cooled and place into individual freezer bags and then put into the freezer.

Gluten-free bread has a tendency to mold quickly due to moisture.   Freezing the bread allows for a    longer shelf life and the ease of toasting a few pieces at a time.

2.  Add wet ingredients followed by dry ingredients into the bread maker.  Add yeast last.

3.  Use a bread maker with a gluten-free setting.

The gluten-free setting allows the gluten-free dough to knead and rise once.  Over kneading causes the bread to not rise properly and leads to a flat, lifeless bread.

4.  Don’t substitute ingredients.

Gluten-free beads have been perfected with a specific type/amount of ingredients.  If you are wanting to alter the bread you can change ingredients but you will end up experimenting to get the same consistency.

5. RED STAR® Active Dry Yeast and RED STAR® QUICK•RISE™ Yeast are two types of yeast that can be used by gluten-intolerant individuals.

Final Product:

Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

A researching we will go…

June 25, 2010

A researching we will go, a researching we will go, Heigh ho, the dairy-o, a researching we will go!

For this post we should change the lyrics from hunting to researching because I have been doing lots of it!  Well let me back up a little bit…

In the Fall my Dad traded in his frequent flier miles for a few gadgets including a flatscreen tv, Garmin watch, wii, and a wii fit.  Typically these items would have been a little too extravagant for my families taste… but the miles were expiring… so why not?!

For the training leading up to the Cincinnati Flying Pig Half Marathon my Dad used the Garmin for our runs together and apart.  At first I felt like that watch was unnecessary but as the mileage began to add up I became increasing curious about our stats (mileage, pace, elevation, etc).  I liked knowing the exact distance and pace of our long runs together.

Since I have been staying at school over the summer (for my research position) I have been training  for the Spirit of Columbus Half Marathon on campus too.  There are the standard two and three mile routes that I typically follow but I am bored with the scenery and wishing I had the freedom to track my mileage/pace without having to run the same route every time.  So I have been doing a lot of research on Garman watches…

So far I really like the Forerunner205… the only difference between the Forerunner205 and Forerunner305(besides the colors) is that the 305 gives a heart rate and optional bike cadence sensor.


Do you have a Garmin watch? What would you recommend?

After a day of MCAT studying I am thankful that it is Friday! I have been craving cupcakes so I reached for a quick and easy solution:

Just lined:



And Baked…

Yummy 🙂 Dark Chocolate Chips on my Gluten Free Cupcake!

Have a great rest of your Friday! I am off for more MCAT studying…

Africa love

June 18, 2010

I hope you have had a terrific Thursday everyone 😛

This morning began with a very large green monster smoothie 🙂 The monster contained:  3 cups Spinach: 1 tbsp Peanut Butter: 1 cap Protein Powder: 1 cup skim milk: 1/2 frozen banana.

After drinking my GM this morning (with star-shaped ice-cubes..hehe) I felt energized and ready for my day.  It amazes me how good and full I feel after I drink a green monster.  If you haven’t tried one… you should. Enough said.  I was powered up for a little MCAT studying and then it was off to work!

Now… it’s on to Africa love

June 16th last year I boarded a plane to take me from Ohio to Johannesburg, South Africa.  After a 20 hour flight we landed and then took a 10 hours bus drive to Lesotho.

Lesotho is a land locked country surrounded by the enormity of South Africa and has the third highest HIV prevalence in the world. Due to the fact that so many adults are dying, the number of orphans is growing every day.


I traveled, worked, and lived with 30 of my peers as well as my professor and his family.  We focused on providing sustainable projects for the Basotho people that they themselves had asked for.  We planted 200 apple trees, dug pit latrines, built houses and green houses,  dug an irrigation system, dug and planted vegetable gardens, drew educational paintings on walls & floors, built a chicken coup, and most importantly played with children.  I don’t think I have ever been more exhausted or more rewarded in my life.

Africa has impacted me in so many positive ways.  This tiny country has wonderful culture and history but it was the people who touched my heart ❤

I was amazed by the Basotho people.  I have never been so humbled.  There honestly is not a day that goes by where I don’t think about the people I met there. I am so blessed to have met them.  One of the most striking thing about their culture is how positive they are.  The Basotho people are genuinely happy who have nothing to their name. Everything is used and nothing is wasted.

The village where we stayed was packed with orphans. It was winter while we were there (and yes I did see snow in AFRICA.. .who would have thought?). We had worked all day and I was exhausted and cold. One of the most humbling moments was getting off the bus that day and seeing all of the children. One of my friends came up to me laughing and smiling and I picked her up. She had on shorts and a tank top and couldn’t stop shaking.

I wonder how different the world would be if we truly saw what it was like to live in a country like Lesotho. How would the world be impacted? Would we buy as many useless items? Throw away as much food? Complain about how many things we have?

Ok..Ok I will get off of my soapbox. But I believe it is so important to be informed and know what it is like to live a day in someone else’s shoes.  Also, it’s important to remember that we do not know what is best for a country more than the people who live there.

For Christmas my Mom gave me a gift by donating to Heifer International.  This is an organization that I fully support as they provided sustainable resources.  I know you have heard the proverb before: “If you give a man a fish, he will have food for a day.  If you teach him how to fish, he will eat all his life.”  Heifer International provides the livestock resources and the training these individuals need to be able to use these animals efficiently.

Ah… I could talk about Africa all day:)


June 16, 2010

This weekend was a complete blur.  Friday I took a half day at work and headed out-of-town for my brother’s graduation.  Steve started university six years ago, which is crazy to even think about.  What started as a major in Classics changed in his junior year to Education. So he basically had to start over with his required class list.  But today he is a graduate.  I am so proud of him 🙂 This fall he will be heading to Costa Rica for student teaching and then he will be moving to South Carolina.  I have always admired Steve and I will miss him a ton when he moves out-of-state.  Sometimes these things are bitter-sweet.

So Saturday consisted of a four-hour graduation and a GREAT graduation party.  We had charcoal grilled brots and hamburgers.  There was fruit salad, bean salsa (I will post the recipe soon… it is DELICIOUS!), tortilla chips, and lots and lots of veggies. It tasted so so good 🙂

Sunday we had a surprise birthday party for my grandfather who actually turned 80 today! He has had such an incredible life- living on Alcatraz island to being a university president.  I wish that I could write down every story that he has told me.  I admire the man who my grandfather is and I am honored to be his granddaughter.

Today has been very productive thus far.  I woke up and studied an hour for the MCAT.  My new goal is to study 30 hours a week (I know.. it is a lot) until I take the exam July 16th.  I went for a three-mile run… but my blisters (from the shoes I wore to graduation…opps) ripped. Looks like I will need to use mole skin for the first time. A new trick I learned 🙂

Insert eight hours of work.

After work I headed to the grocery and by the time I got back to my apartment.. I was starving.  Quick and easy spaghetti it was!  I added canned pasta, minced garlic, carrots, spinach, EVOO, ground pepper, and parmesan together and added it to a bed of gluten-free spaghetti noodles and spinach.

The ingredients..

The result...

Although I would love to sit here and let you know it was the most amazing meal I have ever had… that is not exactly true. It was quick and easy but not nearly as good as my families spaghetti recipe. Perhaps I am just biased 😉

June 15, 2009 I headed to Lesotho, Africa for a study abroad experience.  I can not believe that a year has already passed.  Within the next few posts I will write an Africa reflection.. there is so much to cover. But until then.. here is a tiny glimpse.


Have a wonderful Tuesday!

The new addition to my pantry

June 11, 2010

I hope you have had a wonderful Thursday! I am so thrilled that tomorrow is Friday 🙂  We are heading to my brother’s college graduation tomorrow and I can not wait to spend time with my family.

This morning I was about to walk out the door and I noticed there was something wrong with my shoes… what’s wrong with this picture??!

You guessed it! I had two different shoes on! Good thing I change into tennis shoes when I get into the research lab. Hehe 🙂

Last night I went to the workout facility on campus after work.  Typically I run outside but yesterday I knew I needed to lift weights as well so I decided to run on a treadmill. To my surprise it was such a great run.  Before I knew it I had run three miles and I was ready to lift weights.  I didn’t notice the time but the front desk man walked up and let us know we had ten minutes before the gym closed.  So needless to say my lifting was cut a little short.

I have some VERY exciting news for you!

Dondadadon… the first GOOD gluten-free bread found in supermarkets.  While on a family trip to Atlanta, Georgia my Grandma Joyce saw Nature’s Own Gluten Free Bread and decided to pick me up a loaf.  The bread doesn’t fall apart when toasting and is excellent sandwich bread.  I love the crisp taste and the strong similarities to bread I ate growing up.

Also, here is a little coupon so you can go buy yourself some 🙂 Nature’s Own Gluten Free Bread Coupon.  Currently the bread is only being sold in the Atlanta; however, after the rave reviews I know it deserves it should be in other local supermarkets soon.

Here are some of the perks:

  • All natural
  • No artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors
  • No high fructose corn syrup
  • 5 grams of whole grain per serving
  • 3 grams of fiber per serving
  • 0 grams of trans fat
  • Low fat
  • No cholesterol


I recently signed up for  I haven’t been receiving the local newspaper so I have been missing the weekly coupons. I am very excited to save a few bucks here and there 🙂 When the cashier asks if I have any coupons I can hand them right over.  That is where the coupon came from above.   The coupons are free and you just type in your zip code.

Have a great night 🙂

Lazy mornings

June 5, 2010

Today is one of those wonderful lazy mornings, which completely reminds me of the song Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer by Nat King Cole.

The song was played in a Gilmore Girls episode, one of my all time favorite tv shows. I would watch the episode and I would continue to sing this song for days after. I just have a good feeling about today! It is supposed to get up to 82! Wahoo! Summer is finally here.

The training schedule has a 4 mile run today; however, I am going to do a little switch and trade my run for tomorrow. It is so important to switch the training schedule to fit your needs but still get in the correct mileage. Today I am planning on hiding from the rain : )

This afternoon I am heading home to have a date with my long time best friend. She is the type of friend where you can talk for five hours straight and you have no idea how much time has actually passed. We are planning on going to see Killers. It looks like a cute movie. Sometimes it’s just nice to be able to watch fluff : )

I have been meaning to explain to you about my particular health and wellness story.. there is no time like the present 🙂

For as long as I can remember I have had severe stomach problems. The pain that I experienced each time I ate lead to a weight loss of 40 pounds in high school. At the age of 16, I weighed under 100 pounds (I’m 5’8″) and I was completely miserable. The road to becoming a healthier individual became a huge struggle as the doctors were not able to tell me why I was experiencing so much pain. The final diagnosis was IBS, severe acid relux, and a possible unidentified allergy; however, my stomach problems were not going away when I was being treated. My weight continued to drop.

On my 20th birthday I decided to take my life in my own hands. I removed all gluten from my diet. Let me tell you gluten free is the way for me : )

I have learned how to make my own breads and treats and in the process removed most processed foods. I learned that I needed to listen to my body. I am beginning to feel healthy again.. it is certainly a wonderful feeling. For my New Year’s goal I decided that I wanted to run a half marathon, which is the half I ran with my Dad in May.

The other day I was running and I realized that I have the ability to make my life something great. I was listening to the song ‘Good Life’ by OneRepublic and the line ‘This could be a really really good life’ kept running through my head. The road to becoming a healthier individual is realizing that you are making the switch for yourself. I want to run and eat healthy. The turning point was taking my life in my own hands and realizing how certain foods affected me. Each day is another step to becoming a healthier and happier individual.