I’m Totally Loving This… 5.23

Yeah. I’m obsessed.

5thingsfriday

1.  All things Chamisal.  Jaime and I are trying to pace ourselves, but we have almost gone through our entire wine club stash from the pick-up party at the beginning of the month.  One bottle of the Estate Chardonnay and one bottle of Estate Pinot left, plus the extra Quest 8N Pinot Noir we snagged that was just too good to pass up.

2.  Dual Metal Jewelry.  I used to be all about keeping it to one metal at a time.  Only gold, or only silver – no mixing aloud.  Well, throw that all out the window.  I am obsessed with this look.  Bring on the gold AND silver together.  So fresh.

3.  Bumble and Bumble Spray De Mode.  I have always admired the girls with the beautiful cascading curls, but I was never able to achieve the look for longer than half an hour.  Pretty much as soon as I walk out the door my hair goes flat.  Well, no longer!  I give my blow dried hair a quick spray before styling with my flat-iron, and I am good to go from 8 to 5.  This stuff is seriously magic.

4.  Crate&Barrel Cafeware Mugs.  These are by far the most perfectly sized coffee mug.  Big enough to get a decent jolt of caffeine from my morning brew, but not so big that you feel like you drinking from a soup bowl.  Lovin’ it.

5.  SoniCare Diamond Clean.  I have always been an electric toothbrush kind of girl, but I recently switched over to SoniCare and my teeth have never felt cleaner.  The timer helps me focus on all my teeth {plus the backs}, and I swear, they look whiter too, even without white strips!

Have a Great Weekend!

Tea-Infused Vodka + Six Inspired Cocktails

With summer right around the corner, the days of sipping sweet cocktails in the sun are soon upon us.  Now I love a delightful libation {or two} myself, but I am not a fan of the added sugar and empty calories that comes with imbibing.

Enter Tea-Infused Vodka.

spices and tea

So delightful and flavorful, you can, without question, slash that simple syrup, sip, and say, “ahhhhhhh.”

Tea-Infused Vodka

peach mint vodka

Here’s what you need to get started:
+ High quality Vodka {Costco-sized Skyy is what I used}, approx. 300 ml per Mason Jar.
+ 6 mason jars {buy here}
+ Loose leaf or bagged tea + add-ins.
+ 3 days of brewing time.
+ Fine mesh strainer.

Green Tea // Cucumber + Orange + Mint

loose leaf green tea

+ 1 Tbs loose leaf green tea
+ 1/3 cucumber, sliced
+ 1/2 orange peel
+ handful of mint leaves

 Cocktail Suggestion:  Cucumber Orange Spritzer – Serve 1 1/2 oz tea-infused vodka over ice + 1 cup seltzer and a squeeze of lime, float a thin cucumber slice on top and garnish with an orange twist.

orange cucumber mint green tea

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Chai Tea // Orange + Cinnamon + Vanilla Bean

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+1 Tbs loose leaf Chai Tea
+ 1/2 orange peel
+ 2 cinnamon sticks
+ 1 vanilla bean pod

Cocktail Suggestion:  Hot Chai Tea Toddy – Serve 1 1/2 oz tea-infused vodka + 1 cup hot water with a squeeze of orange.

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Black Tea // Habenero + Garlic

black tea garlic habenero

+ 1 Tbs loose leaf black tea
+ 3 small habenero peppers
+ 5 garlic cloves

Brew Time: 2-3 days, depending on how spicy you like it.

Cocktail Suggestion:  The Perfect Bloody Mary –  Serve 1 1/2 oz tea-infused vodka over ice + 3/4 cup V8, a dash of worcestershire, dash of hot sauce, squeeze of lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a celery stalk and stuffed olives.

black tea garlic habenero

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White Tea // Strawberry + Rhubarb + Vanilla + Mint

strawberry rhubarb vodka

+ 1 1/2 Tbs White Tea
+ 4 whole strawberries
+ 1/4 rhubarb stalk
+ 1 vanilla bean pod
+ handful of mint leaves

Cocktail Suggestion:  The Strawberry Shortcake  – Serve 1 1/2 tea-infused vodka over ice + 1 cup vanilla seltzer.  Garnish with a sliced strawberry and mint.

 

strawberry rhubarb vodka

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Lavender Tea // Lemon + Mint

lavender lemon mint vodka

+ 1 Tbs lavender tea
+ 1 Tbs loose garden lavender
+ 1 lemon rind
+ handful of mint leaves

Cocktail Suggestion:  Lemon Lavender Spritzer - Serve 1 1/2 oz tea-infused vodka over ice + 1 cup seltzer water and a squeeze of lemon.  Garnish with a lemon twist and mint.

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Peach and Ginger Tea // Peach Slices + Mint

peach mint tea

+ 1 peach oolong tea bag
+ 1 ginger tea bag
+ 1/2 peach, sliced
+ handful of mint leaves

Cocktail Suggestion:  White Peach Sangria - In a large pitcher, add 1 cup tea-infused vodka + one bottle sweet white wine {Moscato or Reisling works great}, 1 sliced peach, 1 sliced apple, and 1/2 cup grapes, halved.  Let chill for at least 2 hours before adding 2 cups chilled seltzer water and serve.

 

infused vodka

peach  mint tea vodka

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Did you know that vodka is just as good as a stress reliever as red wine?  Science proved it.

And did you know tea contains boat-loads of antioxidants?  If you hadn’t heard, antioxidants are those awesome compounds that fight against free-radicals that contribute to aging, cancer, and other chronic disease.

I’m not saying that drinking tea-infused vodka will help cure cancer, unclog your arteries, or make you look 10 years younger… but it will certainly taste refreshingly delicious, save you calories, and at the least, make for a fun summer afternoon!

Recipe ReDux InLinkz Link-Up

{Guest Post!} Cheating to Survive

Hi everybody! I have a special guest post today from Christine Ardigo, Registered Dietitian and Novelist!  Give Christine a warm welcome, and go check out her book!  I mean, come on, it features clinical dietitians!  

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Hello! My name is Christine Ardigo, I’m a Registered Dietitian and a Personal Trainer but my love has always been for writing. Sure I wrote for high school and college newspapers, and yes I even created and contributed to many Hospital Nutrition Department’s Newsletters but my love for creating stories (basically lying about events for fun and getting away with it) was not happening.

I sat down behind my computer two years ago and began writing. I ditched two whole books, learned how to do it correctly and started over. I was devastated at first. Now what do I write about?

Then it came to me. So many Contemporary Romance novels had the lead women as lawyers and journalists, or some didn’t work at all. Why were there no dietitians in any novels? Well except for this one:

amorous dietitian

(I tried to buy it, by the way – it’s not available)

What if I wrote a book about us!

Cheating to Survive was created from this. The three lead characters, Heather, Victoria, and Catherine are all co-workers at Norlyn plains Hospital, working as dietitians. I had fun working their daily life into the book and enjoyed showing everyone what the life of a clinical dietitian was really like.

Christine Ardigo

Book Blurb:

Can Cheating on Your Husband Bring Unimaginable Pleasure or Completely Destroy Your World?

To her three daughters, Heather is a fun-loving, silly mom. Her co-workers at Norlyn Plains Hospital think she has it all, including a handsome lawyer husband.

But when a flirtatious new doctor chooses Heather to spend his down time with, he reminds her of the man she regrettably gave up so many years before. Each interaction breathes new life into her and she gives in to the doctor’s seductions, threatening her fifteen-year marriage.

Her co-workers Victoria and Catherine, are stunned by her actions, but when they see the positive transformation in Heather, and question their own crumbling marriages, they wonder if she has the right idea.

Can cheating on their husbands bring the three of them happiness? Or will they be destroyed by the consequences?

 

Find out more about the book, and read all the great reviews it’s receiving here: http://amzn.to/1uMO3wW

I hope you love the book as much as I enjoyed writing it. There’s lots of humor in it as well.

 

Author Bio:

Christine Ardigo

I’m a registered dietitian/personal trainer who writes contemporary romance novels in my spare time. When weight lifting, rock climbing, white-water rafting and jumping out of airplanes wasn’t enough, I decided to fulfill a dream I had as a child: to write a book.

I’ve lived in New York my entire life and can’t imagine living anywhere else. I have the beaches, the bay and the city, all a half hour away. I’ve built memories here with my husband, two silly daughters and a bunch of crazy friends, all whom I love very much.

Author Website: http://christine-ardigo-author.com/

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Christine.Ardigo.Author

Nutrition & Exercise Smoothie Website: http://christineardigo.com/

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Thanks Christine!  Check out “Cheating to Survive” available on Kindle for $3.99.  Can’t wait to read it!  

 

Weekly Round-Up

Here’s a look back at last week…

Beat the Heat

H.O.L.Y. smokes it was hot.  Here on the central coast we are known for our year-long sunny and 75 weather, but Mother Nature decided to mix things up and send us a scorcher.  We were in the upper 90’s and 100’s.  Very few people have air conditioners, so needless to say, the beaches were packed.  Jaime and I decided to beat the heat by heading out past Lopez Lake to Big Falls.

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Hello perfect swimming hole.

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We brought lunch, and other necessities…

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Caught a one-eyed salamander. {not my arm…}

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Saw Bambi.

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Can I just gush?  I love where I live.

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The Moves

The heat definitely put a damper on my workouts, which really shouldn’t be an excuse.  I did get up early to run a couple of times this past week, but lifting got left behind… oops.  Two 4 milers and a 6 miler.  That’s it.  That’s all she wrote.  Better than nothin’ I suppose.

Here’s the plan for next week:

+ Monday :: 3 mi + arms
+ Tuesday :: 4 mi + abs
+ Wednesday :: 4 mi
+ Thursday :: Legs
+ Friday :: Rest
+ Saturday :: 7 mi + abs
+ Sunday :: 3 mi + arms

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Giving Back

This Saturday was the Coastal Tri-Counties Dietetic Association’s Spring Fling event.  This year’s theme was,“Giving Back to the Community,” spotlighting food insecurity.  I think it’s important to share the work of dietitian’s at the local level, especially in light of the Mother Jones controversy.  [Check out this article for some good insight - more on all this later.  I have lots of opinions.]

Our featured guest was Dave Schmit, former “Chef to the Stars.”  Chef Dave is dedicated to serving meals utilizing rescued food for the patrons of the Maxine Lewis Homeless Shelter.  Dave presented a lecture on his service to the homeless shelter, as well as provided a cooking demonstration with take home recipes.

I think the most important take home message was that the homeless are not starving; they are malnourished, and still need healthful food.  The needy don’t need our leftover boxes of ridiculously salt-filled mac and cheese {although all donations are appreciated}; we need to feed our homeless wholesome, nutritious foods that will help them feel and think better. 

As a clinical dietitian serving many homeless here in San Luis, this really struck a note.  If we took a look at the lab values of the homeless population, most likely they would be prescribed some sort of therapeutic diet for chronic conditions.

Chef Dave is an excellent model of nutrition for the homeless in our community, making use of 200-300 lbs. donated produce, and about 20-40 lbs. of meat to prepare balanced, nutritious meals!

If you’re here in the San Luis Obispo area, learn more here on how you can volunteer and get involved serving your community.

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FODMAPs Update

This past weekend, I competed my Fructose and Special Case Fruits {containing fructose and sorbitol} challenge.  Let’s just say, it was fun or pretty.  My belly was about the size of a basketball for the majority of the weekend – so bubbly, crampy, and bloated.  I definitely do not tolerate dried fruit, as well as mango and HFCS.  I think I could possibly handle small amounts of raspberries, apples and pears – just as long as I don’t go and have the whole piece of fruit for a snack or part of my meal.  I may revisit this challenge once again more methodically – one fruit at a time while eliminating things I just know don’t sit well with my tummy.

I am back on the strict Low FODMAPs for the next three days, and then I challenge Fructans – wheat, garlic, onions; and Fructan/Polyols – brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, snow peas.   My plan is to extend this challenge to be more methodical the first time around.  Instead of a two day free-for-all, I’m going to spread things out over 4 days like this:

Day 1 :: Wheat
Day 2 :: Garlic
Day 3 :: Onions
Day 4 :: Fructan/Polyols

I’ll keep you updated!

 Have a Great Week!

Polenta Three Cheese Pizza

know how hard it is to bake a gluten-free pizza crust.  Sticky, dense, or rock-hard… You might as well serve up melted cheese on a cardboard box.  Bleck.

But never fear, Polenta Pizza to the rescue!  Crisp, fiber-full, and just the right density.  I don’t even miss regular wheat pizza!

polenta

This was the perfect vehicle for my FODMAP “cautious” lactose challenge.  Bring on the cheese, baby!  {BTW, this girl tolerates milk products just fine!}

Polenta Three Cheese Pizza

Gluten-Free
Serves 4
Adapted from Living FODMAP Free

gluten free

Ingredients:

  • 36 ounces (2 packages) pre-cooked polenta
  • 3 Tbs water
  • 2 Tbs corn starch
  • 2 Tbs gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs green onion, chopped {omit white part for Low FODMAP friendly}
  • 1 C tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbs green onion, chopped
  • 1 C shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 C shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 C goat cheese
  • pepperoni (if desired)
  • 1/2 C spinach

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place one package polenta in Kitchen Aid Mixer, using whisk attachment to break apart.  Repeat with second package.  Add water, corn starch, gluten-free flour, and 1 Tbs green onion.  Mix until smooth and forms dough ball.  Add additional water by the tablespoon if necessary.
  3. Press dough out evenly on to a pizza pan and bake for 35 minutes {Or until cooked through. Test this by using a toothpick – if it’s cooked, the toothpick will come out clean}.
  4. Mix green onion and tomato sauce together.  Spread over cooked pizza shell.
  5. Add cheese, and other desired toppings, and place in oven for an additional 25 minutes, or until cheese turns golden brown.
  6. Remove and let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

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gluten-free

This crust is to die for.  Crisp and light, not too dense.

I chose to add some green onions to my tomato sauce, because I wanted a little extra flavor.  I am still avoiding garlic and onion, so my tomato sauce contained the basics – tomato and basil.  I used Pomi, which took me forever and a day to find at the grocery store.  Next time you are at the grocery store, just try and find a pizza sauce without garlic and onion.  Practically impossible!

Low FODMAP

gluten free salad pizza recipe

And please don’t forget to add some veg to the pizza.  Let’s be civilized, here.

spinach pizza gluten free recipe

polenta pizza gluten free recipe

gluten free pizza slice

Ohhhh yes, yes, yes.  That’ll do!

Enjoy!

 

Moves. Menus. FODMAP update. And other business.

Happy Monday!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  I was little under the weather {allergies/sinus infection?}, but that made for a fairly productive couple of days for blog updates.

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New Things On the Blog!

First off, I created a new Facebook page!  I decided it was time this site got its own little corner of the social media giant instead of tagging along on my personal page.

Stephanie RDN facebook

Next up, I’ve joined the fabulous ladies at Recipe ReDux.  It’s a recipe challenge site created by RD’s to improve or create healthy, delicious tasting dishes.  Each month we are assigned a theme or special ingredient for recipe development inspiration.  I’m so excited to take part!  Keep an eye out May 22nd for what I’ve conjured up!

Recipe ReDux

Lastly, you can check out some of my favorite recipes on Healthy Aperture- another site founded and moderated by RD’s.  Think of Healthy Aperture as an image-based recipe box filled with nutritious recipes developed by Registered Dietitians and the like.

my healthy aperture gallery

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FODMAPs

After spending two weeks removing all FODMAPs out of my diet {and feeling great!}, I have now progressed into the Challenge Phase of my FODMAP Elimination Diet.  Yesterday was my “Lactose Cautious Challenge.”  I had a little cream cheese on my morning toast and cream in my coffee, goat cheese on my polenta pizza {recipe coming soon!}, and a cup of vanilla froyo – for science, of course!  No GI problems!  Not that I really expected any issues anyways…

Today I throw caution to the wind and go full-out lactose heavy.  As I write this, I am sipping on a glass of fat-free milk {something I never do…}.  I’m also thinking Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and ice cream {once again, for science!} will be on the menu.

The difficult part about the Challenge Phase is making sure you consume only lactose and no other FODMAPs.  For example, I need to choose yogurt that doesn’t contain honey, HFCS, inulin, fruit juice concentrate, or any other FODMAP.

Tomorrow I go back to strict elimination for 3 more days before I methodically repeat the process with fructose, fructans, polyols, and galactans.  Wish me luck!

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Moves

Week 3 Run on the Sly Half Marathon Training:

Monday :: 3 mi Legs + Abs
Tuesday :: 4 mi + Arms
Wednesday :: 4 mi + Legs + Abs
Thursday :: Shoulders + Tri’s
Friday ::  Rest!
Saturday :: 6 mi + Legs
Sunday :: 3 mi

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Menu

I’m thinking something along the lines of these recipes, which coincidentally are all brought to you by the Healthy Aperture recipe gallery!

+ Ginger-Soy Glazed Salmon
+ Rice “Krispy” Popcorn Chicken
+ Berry Chicken Salad {+ apples, pears and dried fruit for my Fructose Challenge}

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That’s all folks!

Have a great week!