This is the very first installment of my new series titled Super Sunday. I love sharing recipes, but there’s so much more to a gluten free life than just food. Especially for those that are dealing with chronic illnesses, a healthy lifestyle needs to incorporate so many more elements such as fitness, wellness, life balance, stress management, and other things. Each week I’ll share with you what’s working for me, what’s not working for me, anything new I found or learned, plus my personal weekly dinner plans with a shopping list. I hope you enjoy getting to peek into my life in addition to the recipes I post every week!
Health & Wellness
This week was super busy with several appointments. On Monday I received a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s, which is an autoimmune thyroid disease. Basically the autoimmune system attacks the thyroid gland and (over time) destroys it. Since my early 20’s I’ve had thyroid function tests come back slightly elevated, indicating hypothyroidism, but it’s never been significant enough to warrant treatment. Unfortunately, my early prenatal lab work came back high enough that it was finally time to see an endocrinologist. Untreated hypothyroidism in pregnancy can lead to lots of complications, including miscarriage, second trimester loss, placental abruption and cognitive developmental delays, among others. Fortunately I responded quickly and adequately to the dose I was prescribed and my thyroid levels are at the lower end of normal. The doctor also ordered antibody tests and they did come back positive for Hashimoto’s. People respond in various ways to diagnoses of chronic conditions, and I suppose for me, it doesn’t seem like too much of a big deal. However, my antibody levels, while above normal, are not nearly as high as many I’ve seen in discussion boards and posts. So perhaps I’m just lucky right now that not too much damage has been done. As far as lifestyle changes, the first recommendation is usually to stop eating gluten, which I’m already doing. Other food groups can become problematic, so I’ll address those things if I need to down the road.
I also had a prenatal checkup with my midwife this week. Everything is looking perfect and right on target with our baby GIRL. This is my fourth pregnancy and child, and the fourth time we’ve chosen midwifery care instead of traditional obstetrics care. I can’t talk enough about what a huge difference this is. My first child was born in the hospital, in spite of planning a home birth, and even though I had an amazingly easy experience overall, there is really no comparison in the two home births I’ve had since. I enjoy being in my own home, not being pestered by nurses and doctors to do things their way and on their schedule, not being poked and prodded and starved unnecessarily. Plus there’s no traveling in labor or after pushing about a baby! I’m looking forward to another (hopefully) healthy and simple birth at home. Here’s a picture of my most recent baby born at home, at a whopping 10lb 5oz!
I also made my goal of 3 workouts this week! I did not exercise during pregnancy #1 or #2, and I did during #3. It made the biggest difference, I swear! I even gained 60lb during that pregnancy, but because I was exercising regularly it was not as troublesome as it should have been. Losing it though was a beast. If you’re a mom with littles, I have nothing but love and praise for the national franchise Fit4Mom. They have several different programs for different phases of motherhood, but my favorite one is the Stroller Strides/Barre classes, where you bring your kiddos in the stroller. It alternates walking/running and interval training for an hour long workout. The bonus is the friends that both you AND your littles make. Motherhood can be lonely and finding a village makes it so much better!
It was tax free weekend here in Texas, and like some crazed lunatic I actually attempted to do some shopping. *insert eye roll AND face palm* My first trip was to the nearby outlet mall. After 2.5 hours of dragging my children around I left with a pair of shoes, 2 shirts, a pair of pants, and a dress. Oh and let’s not forget the fortune I spent at the Disney store. Trip #2 was a bit better, I scored all my daughter’s fall clothes and shirts for my oldest son. My poor youngest son just gets the hand-me-downs, although I do usually grab a couple new things so the brothers can match. I still need to buy some pants, but I’ll probably just do it online, because I couldn’t find anything I wanted in person.
What else did we do this week? I finished a nutrition class that sucked my time like crazy. It gave me some things to think about, but I do truly believe that nutrition is very personal to each person’s health and goals. More vegetables though is the main idea! We committed my daughter to one more year of gymnastics, and she may be moving to pre-team. Overall it was somewhat of a relaxed week with family time. We start our homeschool co-op in 2 weeks, my son has a birthday next week, and I feel like now is a good time to rest and recharge before things get crazy busy again.
Personal Meal Plan
As always, this is my “real life” plan for dinners this week. We have a slightly unusual schedule because of my husband’s job, so my plan starts on Sunday. You can easily shift it back a day and start on Monday. We also frequently eat out on the weekends, so the calendar will reflect that and mention ideas for eating out. I’m a big fan of leftovers and not cooking every single day so you’ll see that noted in the calendar. This only includes dinners, which is the main meal I cook daily. I’ve added below breakfast and lunch ideas I’m digging this week, plus notes on some of the dinners I have planned. Feel free to print the menu and fill in your shopping list!
- Breakfast: I really don’t like heavy food in the mornings, nor do I like to cook every day. I’m usually too busy drinking coffee. I do add collagen powder to my coffee for extra protein. I also have really been enjoying a quick protein shake with Horizon 1% chocolate milk and vanilla whey powder (Jay Robb is gluten free). Our mornings always seem to be busy and on the go so that’s what works for me.
- Lunch: I’m going to make some more Super BOMB Salads to eat. I also enjoy cottage cheese and avocado for lunch.
- Chicken Chili with Quinoa: This is a freezer meal I created when I overshopped last month for produce. Unfortunately I haven’t posted the recipe yet. It’s got chicken, beans, and a gluten free grain blend with some seasonings. I’ll be tweaking it this week to get it ready to post in the near future.
- Mexican Quinoa: I can’t take credit for this one. I found this one several years ago when I first discovered quinoa. It’s a lovely one skillet meal with black beans, corn, and tomatoes. I add some ground turkey for additional protein, and use Rotel instead of tomatoes. It has quite a bit of bite from the Rotel, so we serve it with sour cream and cheddar cheese. It’s so good and the leftovers are just as tasty.
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Lasagna: This is a BRAND NEW recipe I haven’t even started to develop. This will be my first go testing it out so wish me luck! I’ll either enjoy the leftovers for lunches or I’ll toss it and start over!
- Chipotle: Most of the food at Chipotle is gluten free as is, just beware of cross contamination from gloves touching tortillas. I always order a burrito bowl with carnitas, black beans and white rice, lettuce, guacamole, cheese, and sour cream. We have family in town this coming weekend so I know we’ll be on the go all day and wanting something quick for dinner.
- Smashburger: I really enjoy this chain because they have a gluten free hamburger bun, and sometimes I just want the full hamburger experience. The only downside is that I have 3 kids and they don’t have a drive-thru window! So it’s a perfect choice when my mom is in town because I can run in to grab the food and leave her in the car with the kids. We’re attending a child’s birthday party Saturday afternoon, which is always temptation city. So we’ll probably finish out the day with a tasty burger.
You made it this far! I’d love to know about your week! Did you have any triumphs? Any disappointments you want to share?