Friday Finds

I’m going to make this a regular Friday thing.  Just a random hodgepodge of ‘finds’ and likes from the week.

This week I HAVE so share this fun blog I checked out after they liked one of my posts.


Now first let me say that I do not have a foot fetish at all and that’s not what the blog is about either.  🙂

They post pics of ‘feet’ visiting different places all over the world.  The part of me that had dreams of traveling the world enjoys checking it out.  🙂

Another good find this week was this meat

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This one is Southwest flavor and they had a couple other flavors too – Italian and something else.

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I served it with cheese-y corn and rice plus some left over refrieds.

Any interesting finds in your world this week?

Weight Loss, Lupus, Food Restriction and Celiac

(Just a heads up for those not into lots of words – a lot of bloggers roll with wordLESS Wednesday but I’m going with wordY Wednesday today. This is wordy instead of my usual picture posts.) 🙂

My celiac diagnosis was tough for all the obvious reasons but it’s also been hard in another way.

At the end of 2006 I went into a major Lupus flare that lasted until October 2008. During that time I took 14 courses of high dose steriods / ate like a grazing cow with even less activity – and gained almost 120 pounds. 😦

As I started to come out of the flare my rheumy told me I should try to lose the weight to help with my joint pain. She actually recommended Medifast (gave me some coupons and everything). I tried that but couldn’t handle it because of the soy. So then I tried calorie counting using an online program. That worked OK for about 15 pounds but I was starving all.the.time and becoming more and more obsessed with making things as low cal as possible. Next, I did a websearch and found low carb. After researching and finding out that not only could it help with weight loss but inflammation as well I jumped in headfirst.

I actually kind of enjoyed it at first. I started losing weight instantly and was NEVER hungry. I missed all my beloved carbs but the results kept me going. My joints started feeling better and I worked up to walking 4 miles a days at a local walking path. The biggest problem for me was that because of my (undiagnosed at the time) digestion issues and inablilty to digest vegetables I was left with a diet of mostly meat / eggs / mayonnaise / cheese and nuts. Much like my childhood spent Country When Country Wasn’t Cool – I was freakin’ Paleo / Primal (whichever one allows dairy) before it was cool. 🙄   I would read online message boards daily. The ‘leaders’ everywhere preached all the time that you just could not mix carbs and fat and they had me scared to death of the tiniest amount of carbs. I was becoming a restrictive nutcase.

Durning the entire weightloss process I was also taking Methotrexate – a strong medication for joint pain / inflammation that you take once a week with a large meal. I had no problems with it until going low carb. I guess my stomach needed the starchy carbs to absorb / blunt some of the side effects. I ended up with a torn up stomach / extreme acid reflux and later an ulcer.

Up to this point I’d lost 90 something pounds but when the ulcer came along I had to give up on low carb. It took 7 month (and a ton of medication) to heal the ulcer. During that time I gained back about 40 pounds.

When the ulcer finally healed it was time to restart the weight loss but I knew I’d never do low carb again. I had no interest in low fat either as low carb had taught me to throw out processed margarine and oils in favor of real butter / coconut oil / nut oils / creams / etc and I was never going back to the fake crap again.

Before I could get started on any kind of weightloss ‘plan’ I got pneumonia and was pretty much stuck sitting / sleeping in a chair for 2 weeks. One sleepless night I was watching Oprah and she was interviewing Portia de Rossi about her book. She talked about her lifelong struggle with restrictive eating disorders and about how she healed them by stopping to demonize food. Now granted she’s a vegan and I have no interest in that at all – I mean I am from Texas after all. I’m pretty sure not eating meat is a jailable offense here. 😉 But the whole interview resonated so much with me and if I were ever going to contact a celebrity it would be her to say thanks for sharing her story. I decided right then and there that as soon as I was well I was going to just eat and live. I bought a bunch of measuring spoons / cups and a food scale and never looked back. I started eating / drinking whatever I wanted but only one serving. If the package said 1 oz or 1 / 2 cup or 10 pieces was a serving that’s what I ate. I never counted calories or carbs or fat or protein and I lost the 40 I’d regained during the ulcer plus about 25 more.

Prior to the celiac diagnosis I still wanted to lose maybe 20 – 30 more (I don’t actully have a scale in the house – just weigh at Dr / blood appointments) but I’d already decided that if this was as far I could go without resricting then this is where I’d happily stay. I just did not want to go back to being that obsessive nutcase worrying about (or crying) over restricting food.

But here I am – having to restrict and not even by choice (complete with the occassional tear).

It was really hard at first. I had worked so very hard at not demonizing food and now I have to demonize a whole class. On top of the diagnosis I was scared of regaining the weight but so far so good – I’m just holding steady. I’ve stuck with measuring out portions really well for everything except soft drinks. I gave myself some leeway with that since the diagnosis was such an emotional shock. Prior to the diagnosis I was having 1 – 3 soft drinks a week and now it’s pretty much a 1 a day thing. I do hope to rein that in someday soon but for now I can live with it.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

Weekend Roundup

Last week was really boring food wise.  I ate the same exact main meal all week long (Chopped BBQ / Potato Salad / Pintos) and my Green Juices were the same too – Spinach / Banana / Chia Seeds.  I really do eat like a picky / repetitive 3 year old a lot of the time.   🙂

I also didn’t feel well most of the week.  Terrible sinus and allergies plus major Lupus fatigue no doubt exacerbated by the heat.  😦

The only baking I did all week was making another Dr. Pepper Cake.  That and the Monster Cookies are the unanimous Gluten Free favorites of everything I’ve made so far.

Here’s a few pics from the last few days

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Left over Tamales plus Doritos with Cheese.  Homemade White Corn Tortillas with homemade Refrieds / Cheese and Green Sauce.

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Homemade refrieds.


Saturday Massage.  🙂

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Bad pic but it’s post massage Gringos.  🙂  Chili con Queso / Green Sauce.  Refrieds / Ground Beef / Ranchero Sauce / Rice and Corn Tortillas.

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Another slightly shaky pic but does anyone remember these little glass animals from the late 70’s / early 80’s?  Particularly from the Sonic kids meals?  I vividly remember getting these in my kids meals when I was little.  I still have a red monkey and a purple giraffe somewhere in storage.  (Yes, my name is Jennifer and I’m a pack-rat.)  😉  After my massage I stopped at Cracker Barrel to pick up some more of that delicious Cream Soda and they have a whole rack of these nostalgic glass animals.

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What’s left of the second Dr. Pepper cake.  🙂

Not sure what’s on the menu this week.  Still feeling a little fatigued.  Anything good / interesting on your menu?

My First Gluten Free ‘Failure’

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I’d been really fortunate and all of the gluten free recipes I’d tried since my diagnosis had turned out really well.  Some were definite keepers and some were just OK but until now none had been trashcan worthy.

This was my attempt at a Danish Pancake.  It looks pretty good right?  It looked good and smelled delicious but the texture was horrid and there was an overwhelming egg taste.

If you have a tried and true Danish (or German) Pancake recipe (that doesn’t taste like an omelet) and feel like sharing – please do.  🙂

Weekend Roundup

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Dump Nachos – Taco seasoned Ribeye / Refrieds / Cheese / Green Sauce and Doritos.  I call them Dump Nachos because I cannot stand soggy chips so instead of putting everything on the chips I layer it on the plate and then put on each chip as I eat.  Prep time is a lot faster too.  🙂

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Chopped BBQ / Potato Salad / Pintos / Onion Dip and Chips.  Plus the best Cream Soda – Olde Brooklyn Coney Island Cream Soda.

I found it at Cracker Barrel – yes I eat like a repetitive / picky 3 year old and shop like a Grandma.  🙂  I can’t really eat at CB anymore since everything I’d want would be full of gluten but they have a great selection of old school candy and drinks so I’m always picking up something to try.  This Cream Soda was delicious and I’m definitely picking up some more the next time I’m in town.

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New to me Gluten Free products.  Glutino Lemon Wafer Cookies.  LOVED these.  Plus Goldfish Puffs.  Liked these a lot too especially the Cheddar Bacon version.  They’re kind of like a little fish shaped puffy Cheeto.  I would absolutely buy both of these products again for myself.  The non gluten free eaters didn’t enjoy them though.

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Fresh batch of Monster Cookies.  A hot cookie on one of my cute mini plates from last weeks shopping trip.

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One of new favorite things – Container of Yogurt / 1 Cup of Almond Milk / Chia Seeds (soaked in this mixture not separately).   I mix it all up with a spoon and let it sit for a couple hours so the seeds gel.  This one was Dannon Light and Fit Greek Orange Cream so I added a couple squirts of Orange Tangerine Mio.   I also love this made with Blueberry yogurt.   These remind me of those liquid yogurt drinks they market to kids but with much less sugar.

I didn’t take new pictures of them but I also had my usual Spinach and Fruit Juices for Greens.  I’m still juicing 5 days a week.

How was your weekend?  Any good eats?

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to the best dad ever – Papa Lupiac.  🙂

Dad and Us

From the cradle he’s always always made us laugh.  That’s a good thing in general but especially when you’re stuck in seemingly never ending heath h3ll.  Love you Dad.  Hope you have a good day.  🙂


Today I thought I’d offer up some proof that I do cook and eat ‘real’ food and not just ‘junk’.

I’ve been wanting some Italian for awhile so one day this week I made what I like to call Béchalfredo sauce and garlic ‘bread’.  The sauce isn’t as thick as a Béchamel sauce but not as thin as Alfredo either.  It’s right in between the two.  The Italian seasoning I used in everything is called Tuscan Seasoning (or Tuscan Bread Dipping Seasoning) from The Spice House in Chicago.  They sell my favorites spices ever.  And they’re good for Celiac’s too because they don’t use fillers.

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Cream, Butter, Cup4Cup, Chicken stock and Italian seasoning.

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Awhile back I made this bread and put 2 of the mini loaves in the refrigerator to see how they’d hold up.   I pulled them out for this meal and sliced them in half – lengthwise to make garlic bread

Baked Loaves

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Butter with Italian seasoning baked for about 5 minutes then topped with parm and mozz and baked again until bubbly.

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Normally I’d eat this with shrimp or chicken but because of my iron issues I’m trying to really incorporate beef into my meals right now.  I had mine with Italian seasoned beef and the rest of the family had theirs with shrimp.  The pics really don’t do the meal justice. I threw this all together in about 35 minutes.  The bread held up really well too.

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Also had – a Spinach, Beet, Cherry, Almond juice plus a Spinach, Raspberry, Gelled Chia juice and a couple of of these cookies.   Made a fresh batch for Papa Lupiac (and Father’s day).  They’re still super delicious.  🙂

Hope you’re getting ready for a nice weekend.  Thanks for reading.  🙂

Visit with the Vampire

My fellow Lupies will no doubt relate to todays post.

Today was blood drawin’ day.  😦


Every 3 months I have a comprehensive panel done to see how my disease management is going.

I call it a trip to the Vampire.  Now granted I know nothing about vampires other than the modern day feminist in me wants to cry every time I see a young girl identifying herself with Bella from Twilight.   But since she is imaginary I’ll try really hard to limit my social commentary on that.  🙂   Back to the Vampire.  I don’t even know if a Vampire would suck arm blood or not but since it feels like my phlebotomist takes every drop I have I find Vampire to be an appropriate title.  🙂  Today she had to draw 9 large tubes and one small tube.

It felt like she took every drop I had and to make it worse my blood didn’t want to flow.  She thought I was dehydrated so she gave me a bottle of water and I had to wait 20 minutes to try again.  Then after the draw three other ladies and I almost got stuck in the elevator.  It started making this crazy high pitched whining sound and the doors were rattling.  They finally opened up and I thought we were going to jump over each other trying to get out of there.

I had such high hopes for today when I saw this on the way to the appointment

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These pretty blue flowers randomly intertwined in some trees.  Yes, I have officially become a ‘blogger’ now.   Stopping to take pics of random stuff on the side of the road just because it seems blog worthy.  🙂

After the blood draw I went to one of my favorite places 59 Diner where I had 2 hamburger patties (to replenish iron) / fries and mayo.

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It’s a local chain of throwback diners.  They have several locations in the area.  Red booths.  Red / Black and White Checkered walls.  Standup Elvis.  Jukebox.

The whole time I was there today the Jukebox was playing quite possibly the second best soundtrack ever – Dirty Dancing.  Can’t argue with a little Cry to Me as background sound for lunch.  🙂  I was there a while back and this cute little couple – probably in their 70’s – started doing The Twist when the song played on the jukebox.  It was adorable.  I was also there once when a crotchety old dude screamed at the workers demanding they turn down the jukebox because quote “This isn’t a damn honky-tonk”.    Uhmm no, dude it’s not.  It’s a throwback diner.  You want quiet – go to the library.  🙄

I did a few errands while I was in town then capped the trip off with a Vanilla / Sprinkles Milk Shake.

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So it was a mixed bag today – drama with the blood draw followed up with some good grub and music.   How was your day?

Weekend Roundup

This was an ‘easy’ weekend – food wise.  I did bake anything (shocking – I know) and most of my meals were all quick thr0w-togethers.

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Homemade Tamales, To-Go Green Sauce / Chile con Queso from Casa plus Strawberry Crush.

Frito pie.  (Chili was thickened with Masa (corn) flour.)

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Ice box ‘goulash’.  Meatloaf / cheese / corn and bacon.  Plus my go-to juices right now Spinach, Beet, Cherry, Almond.  And Spinach, Banana, Soaked Chia seeds.

On the menu this week?  More Monster Cookies (Papa Lupiac has requested them.)  Blueberry Muffins and something Italian (haven’t decided for sure yet).  I want to try the Chebe Pizza Dough I got last week so maybe that.

How was your weekend?  Cooking anything good this week or for Father’s Day?

Friday Hodgepodge

Papa Lupiac turned the big Six-Five last month so today I had to go with him (and Mama Lupiac) to the Social Security office to help get his benefits in order.

Did y’all know they share vital information with you while you wait?  Today we learned that Frank Sinatra gave Marilyn Monroe a dog named Mafie – after the Mafia.  Thank  you so much Social Security Administration.  I don’t know how I’ve made it this far in life without that vital piece of information.  For good measure they also told us how much the capital dome weighs.

After trivia hour at the Social Security appointment we went to eat at Casa.  🙂

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They were super packed today and I forgot to get the camera out so I only have a couple pics.

Green and Red Sauce plus Chile con Queso.  I had Cheese Enchiladas / rice and beans.  I want that plate off their wall so much.  Sadly they’ll never let me have it.  😦

After lunch we did some shopping at a larger grocery store.  Some new to me Gluten Free finds

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Chebe Bread and Pizza mixes.  I’ve heard / read good things – especially can’t wait to try the pizza.

These cute mini plates

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And a dress.  That’s right.  A dress.  At the grocery store. 

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It’s a super light and airy Coral / Brown and Teal maxi dress.  I love it.

Also saw this dude who got out of a car with a big ol’ sign that said something like ‘training king hire me to melt your abs $250 / week’.  Uhmm no thanks, Hammer Time.  I had to covertly snap the pic as he was walking away but I kid you not from the front those pants were so baggy and high up above his waist it looked like he raided a closet trapped in the 80’s.

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Wrapped up the trip with some DQ.  Vanilla DP and a single serve in a cup.

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How was the start to your weekend?