Gluten Free Fitness

What do you Mean You Don’t Like Veggies?


What do you mean it’s too hard to make them taste good? It’s really not hard if you keep an open mind and take advantage of what is available.

I am very lucky to have a nearby market where they feature locally grown and mostly organic produce.  I stop by there on the weekend and pick up whatever looks and smells good to me.

Last weekend, there was a bunch of beautiful bright orange carrots and some zucchini (aka summer squash-as I understand it summer squash can be either yellow or green, and the green variety is zucchini.)

It’s in season now, and was very reasonably priced.  I loaded up my basket with those and some other goodies.  Had I a clue of how I was going to prepare them?  Nope.  But, I knew I could figure something out.

In my opinion, that’s a key to preparing your own gluten free and healthful food.

Keep your options open if you are at a market such as this.

See what looks good and is reasonably priced.  When you start with fresh, local ingredients, generally you will have a much more flavorful start to your meal than if you are starting with something that has been shipped and/or processed.  You won’t need fancy sauces or preparation methods to make them taste good.

So here I am with my zucchini and carrots.  My Dad is in town for Fathers’ Day, and Jeff is at work, so it’s dinner for me and Dad.  It was Sunday, so it’s my cook ahead for the week day.

I had been marinating chicken breasts in lemon juice, fresh garlic, and lemon pepper seasoning (this is my favorite) for most of the day.  That would be our protein source.

I remembered seeing an idea to make pasta-ish ribbons from zucchini using a vegetable peeler.  I thought that sounded good, so I scrubbed my veggies with water and a veggie brush and pulled out the peeler.  2 peels into it I decided that would take far too long.  I am definitely not that patient.

I do have a mack daddy food processor which I love.  I pulled it out and gave myself a quick tutorial on how to use the shredding blade.  It worked fantastically.

I had a beautiful big pile of shredded zucchini and carrot.

Now what to do?

My theory is you can never go wrong with some fresh garlic.  Not in the amount that would protect you from vampires, but just a touch for some flavor.

Dinner is almost served…

I poured a tablespoon of coconut oil into my pan, and let it warm up over medium high heat.  Then I used my garlic press on 1 medium clove of fresh garlic and added that to the pan, stirring frequently as not to burn, just get that toasty garlic aroma floating through the house.

This is when my Dad was drawn into the kitchen by the smell of garlic, and I chased him off.

The chicken was in the oven cooking away while I was doing all this, and some sweet potatoes were keeping the chicken company in the oven.  Especially in Florida in the summertime, if you’re heating up the oven, you may as well make the most of it.

Add the shredded zucchini and carrots to the pan, and stir.  They cook quickly, about 5 minutes or so is all you need.  I added a couple shakes of sea salt and grinds of black pepper, and that was it.

We had a lovely meal of chicken, the shredded veggies, and sweet potato.  All naturally gluten free.  All wonderfully full of flavor, and easy to prepare.

You can see in the photo the eggy breakfast casserole in the background, and the pot in which I was cooking rice.  You can do this also, and get a bunch of good food prepared ahead of time.

What’s your favorite way to prepare vegetables?  If you have tricks, please share!

Why I Don’t Wear Shorts


Sometimes we teach best what we need to learn.

A good friend of mine told me this, years ago, as he could always tell what was going on in my personal life by the way I taught my Spinning class.  (This was back in the infancy of Spinning when it was a bit different than it is today.)  If I taught a very meditative, focused class, he knew it was because my own life was in turmoil.  By teaching with focus, and creating that internal quiet for my students, I could hope to quiet the chatter in my own mind.

I haven’t taught Spinning in many years, but I see that concept overflowing here in the blog to what I write.  If I write an article about awareness, it is because I feel that awareness slipping away from me.  If I write about being kind to yourself, it may be because I have been especially hard on myself lately.

So I continue to teach best what I need to learn.

I believe very strongly that we have everything that we need to succeed, that we have to simply draw it out and choose to use it.  I believe that celiac disease is a blessing in disguise. But sometimes I am overwhelmed, and scared too, and doubt fills me.

As some of you know, I have had multiple surgeries on both knees.  My knees are pretty torn up with scars and scar tissue.  Most of the time I look at these scars and bumps with a sense of pride that I’ve managed to overcome a few obstacles in my path.

And yet, why don’t I wear shorts?

I very rarely wear shorts.  Even though I live in subtropical South Florida, I generally wear pants, capris, or skirts.  I have returned to fitness competitions, and even though I wear a bikini on stage, I am acutely aware of the scars.  I recognize the scar tissue, and the way it deforms the lines of my legs.  I look at this picture from last year, and the first thing I see is the scars.

And on a more abstract plane, the scars and scar tissue are a reminder of my own weakness, of fallibility, of being imperfect in many ways.

So why is it so hard?

I’m not sure.  I know that I am a perfectionist by nature, and that sometimes that makes it very difficult to accept imperfections in myself, even when there is nothing that can be done.

Most if the time I can recognize that which I cannot control, and I can let it go.  But sometimes I cannot.

And so I struggle.  And so we all struggle from time to time.

A friend of mine is an incredible athlete, a wonderful empathetic person, a wife, and an emergency room physician.  She also is very hard on herself from time to time, and I remember encouraging her to be as kind to herself as she is to others.

So why is it so hard?

For some reason it’s easier to see the good in others.  It’s easier to remind someone else to be kind to themselves, to give it a rest.  To step back and observe, enjoy, and celebrate the accomplishments.

It’s hard to do for yourself.

So once again I am teaching best what I need to learn.  I hope you all choose to be kind to yourselves today.  Feed yourselves well, spend time with people who make you happy.  Please leave a comment and share one thing you will do to nourish yourself well today.

And me?

Well, I’m going to wear shorts.  And I’m going to be okay with it.