3 Simple Reasons to Cook at Home

fresh ingredients for italian pastaAre you someone who enjoys preparing and cooking a meal?

Or, would it be more accurate to say that cooking isn’t your favorite pastime – that, given a choice, you’d prefer someone else did the cooking for you?

Or better still – why not dine out?

Well, here are 3 simple reasons why it’s always a good idea to prepare your own food and eat at home.


You’ll Save Money

Do you balk at the price of organic produce?

Have you convinced yourself that only the ‘elite’ can afford to eat “that way”?

First of all, I want to stress that organic food is not a fad.

It’s not a food snob or an elitist thing – it’s a straight-up health thing.

Also – it’s the way food used to be grown. (Your grandparents will likely agree with me here.)

Think about that!

Second, if you frequently eat out (or rely on frozen or packaged foods for easy, quick meals) – you’re definitely not saving money!

[Read more…]

Life Lessons From Downton Abbey

Downtown Abbey smallDownton Abbey is back!

Are you one of the many fans who’ve waited in anticipation for the start of Season 4?

Perhaps, like me, you tune, in every Sunday night without fail, eager to be transported into the drama-filled lives of the show’s characters.

(Did you know you can actually visit Highclere Castle – the British mansion made famous on this hit series? Located just outside of London, it’s open for public tours 70 days each year – you can be sure I’ve added it to my list!)

Personally, here’s what I really enjoy about the show:

  • I love seeing history unfold in the moment & learning what life was like “back then”.
  • I love the interior décor of this mansion studded as it is with antiques and old master paintings gracing the walls.
  • And, of course, I’m immersed in the characters themselves, and their privileged, fictitious lives.

But what can the average person like you or I glean from a TV show like Downton Abbey – as it relates to our own lives?

Quite a lot, as it turns out!



At Downton Abbey, the kitchen is the hub of the home.

In fact, most of the ‘downstairs’ scenes take place in the kitchen – not too surprising since Mrs. Pattmore  and Daisy are hard at work from the crack of dawn preparing meals for the entire household.

You may have a similar responsibility in your own home – with the added bonus of many modern conveniences!

Yet, how much time do you spend in your kitchen?

If you’ve just learned you suffer from food sensitivities – the kitchen is even more important – it’s truly the [Read more…]

Hitting The Road

Cargo OverloadI’ve just wrapped up a ten-day vacation in Eastern Washington.

The great thing about a road trip, in my humble opinion, is that you can take everything you need with you – without having to deal with limits on excess baggage, or airport security.

For anyone who is Celiac, or dealing with food allergies, that makes a road trip ideal.

Whatever you need, you can bring it along, relying on local grocery stores to stock up on fresh produce and whatever else you might need.

Of course, that also means you might not exactly be traveling light.

In fact, if you’re like me, the words “travel light” might not be in your DNA.

But that’s exactly what makes a road trip so ideal!

For this annual escape, we always stay at the same place – a comfortable time-share condo, that is ours for exactly one week.

When we arrive it is always sparkling clean, and tastefully furnished – and that includes a well-stocked kitchen.

Even though the condo comes with a fully equipped kitchen, in the last couple of years, I’ve started bringing more and more of my own equipment.

Perhaps you can relate.

The big concern here, is cross-contamination.

[Read more…]

5 Ways to Fine Tune Your Ingredients

Carrot SoupWhether or not you are new to the gluten-free lifestyle, it’s easy to fall prey to less than wise food choices.

Perhaps even more surprising, you can follow a gluten-free diet religiously and still be eating poorly.

How is that possible?

Well, just because your diet is gluten-free – or vegan, vegetarian or something else entirely – it doesn’t mean your diet is healthy.

After all, temptation is everywhere.

And regardless of which diet you follow, processed, sugary foods are often pervasive.

However, fear not.

Below are some easy tips that could easily get you back on the right track.


Embrace Whole Foods

There is joy to be found in eating low on the food chain.

That means embracing the foods that come directly from the earth, with little to no processing.

In fact, that is the very definition of a whole food.

The fewer ingredients, the better off you will be.

Plus, you can be sure that none of these products contain gluten or any other suspect ingredients.

[Read more…]

My Top 3 Rules For Dining Out

Dining OutA few months ago, my husband bought a book called “Younger Next Year”.

(The title alone is intriguing).

He took it along on our vacation to Hawaii this past June, and read it cover to cover.

Chapter 3 was titled “How’s Your Wife?”

What the authors were getting at was whether or not your spouse, or significant other was also on board with any lifestyle changes you might be contemplating.

To drive home their point, they were strongly recommending that your partner in life also read the book.

So I did!

Because really, when you think about it, change is hard enough – but if we don’t have the support of our loved ones, it can be that much harder, right?

The book focused mostly on exercise and lifestyle changes, taking an extensive look at the science behind human behavior.

(The authors, Chris Crowley & Henry S. Lodge M.D., have also written a companion book for women – “Younger Next Year for Women” – which you can be sure is next on my list).

Of course, I especially enjoyed the chapters on food!

Even though being gluten-free wasn’t part of the conversation, it didn’t matter.

That’s because the rules sometimes apply across the board – regardless.

And when it comes to eating sensibly, well, that’s something that most of us can benefit from. In any case, their advice for dining out was spot on, which is how I came up with my own, slightly altered version:

[Read more…]

Celebrating Easter -Gluten-Free!

Rough stroked easter eggsEaster Sunday is just around the corner.

Are you gearing up for a day of celebration, and the arrival of Spring weather?

Whether your Easter celebration is religious in nature, or a reason to gather with family and friends – this is one more occasion where the gluten-free among us might be wondering:

What is there to eat?

A perfect Spring feast might revolve around a roast lamb or chicken, with fresh asparagus and baby potatoes on the side.

So, the bigger issue, is really about dessert.


For the kiddies, there are Easter egg hunts and baskets full of chocolate goodies.

But what about us bigger kids?

[Read more…]

Do You Eat Mindfully?

I once tried to explain the concept of eating mindfully to my son, as I watched him devour a plate of spaghetti.

He looked at me like I’d really lost my marbles and with a voice full of disdain said “Mom, I think I know what I’m eating.”

However, eating mindfully goes beyond knowing what’s on your plate.

It’s about recognizing when you feel satisfied, rather than eating to the point of feeling ill.

It’s the difference between acknowledging that you’re indeed holding a plus-size bag of potato chips and realizing before you’ve eaten the entire bag, that you:

A)  Don’t care all that much for the flavor

B)   Aren’t particularly hungry

C)   Could have stopped after the first handful

That’s what we call being aware, as well as mindful of what we’re putting in our mouths.

A frequently cited example of mindful eating, asks that you focus on a single raisin.

The idea is to really taste it.

To notice it’s sweetness, the chewy texture – even the wrinkly brown color, before you pop it into your mouth.

You might even realize – after years of eating raisins – that you don’t even like them that much, or that they’re much too sweet for your taste buds.

Moments like that create a huge aha!

[Read more…]