Archive for January, 2012

Fall & Winter Reading…sort of

Posted in favorite things, pregnancy, reading on January 30th, 2012 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

During my four months of morning sickness, I also developed an aversion to reading.  This was perhaps one of the saddest parts of those months for me.  I was afraid I would never want to read again.  Slowly and steadily over the last 17 weeks, I made my way through three books.  I thought I’d share my most recent reads with you:

Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me (and Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling: If you enjoyed the humor of Bossypants, you should check out this memoir written by Kaling, a writer, producer and actor on The Office. (She plays the hysterically self centered and petty, Kelly, on the show.)  Kaling makes clear from the beginning that she is not trying to be like Tina Fey nor will she ever be as funny as Tina Fey.  I thought she came pretty darn close.  Any woman in her 20s and 30s can identify with Kaling’s thoughts, rambles, battles with weight, and other random concerns.  My personal favorite story was when she auditioned for the musical Bombay Dreams without any dance background.  While it took me a month to read this one, it should be a fast read for anyone who’s a normally functioning human being.

Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman: Written about a fictional boy named Harrison Opoku, who emigrated from Ghana to the London projects, this story deals with a range of topics, from the simple to the complex.  Opoku loves pigeons and spends much time trying to catch them, but a great deal of his life is spent trying to catch a murderer and avoiding run ins with a local gang.  It took me awhile to get into this one, but I love the message I took away from it, that childhood can be so simple yet many children are forced to come face to face with harsh uncontrollable realities that are better suited for someone way beyond their years.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: Beautiful, poignant and moving, this book blew me away.  I read the entire book in about a week and enjoyed every sentence.  I’ve never seen words fit so beautifully on a page.  While The Book Thief is classified as “young adult fiction,” this should not deter you from reading.  The story of a girl named Liesel, who moves in with a foster family outside of Munich during World War II, this is the story of her journey and life and the people around her.  She is not Jewish and this is not The Diary of Anne Frank. In an interview, Zusak said he wanted his characters to be unforgettable and they truly are.  I wept, smiled, and connected with these characters, both adults and children.  I don’t want to share too much of the story because The Book Thief is so complex and so special.  One unique note that might intrigue you: death is the narrator.

So what did I do while I wasn’t reading? Um, I became addicted to the Ellen Degeneres Show. I slept. I played lots of Settlers of Catan which is an awesome board game and iPad game if you have never heard of it.

Bye bye Oprah, hello Ellen! Ellen grilling Bachelor Ben on his choice in women.

PS: I promise this will not become a baby blog.  I promise.

What I ate…

Posted in advice, favorite things, GF product, pregnancy on January 26th, 2012 by Betsy – 10 Comments

The first trimester of pregnancy can be a little rough.  At least it was for me.  That’s what I get for thinking morning sickness doesn’t really exist.  I had to learn the hard way that yes, in fact morning sickness is real.  As you know from my last three years of posts, I love vegetables, whole grains, freshly baked desserts, and fresh food.  During my first 16 weeks of pregnancy, however, my routine eating habits were thrown out the window, due to constant nausea, exhaustion and a general apathy towards cooking.

Most of the foods one “craves” during morning sickness tend to be bread, crackers, and other gluten-filled items.  With my new taste buds, I had to entirely rethink my trips to the grocery store and alter my grocery lists.

Here’s a list of what I semi-successfully ate for the first 16 weeks of morning sickness:

Udi’s plain bagels and cream cheese: Normally I’m a cereal girl but Baby Metcalf did not appreciate my morning cereal routine.  Fortunately, I found a good substitute.  Udi’s bagels taste so similar to the real thing.  Toasted, they are delicious with cream cheese.  I think I’ve had at least one every day for the last four months.  I even traveled with my own bagel stash over Christmas.

Chik-fil-a French fries: Chik-Fil-A uses a separate fryer for the fries so I don’t have to worry about contamination.  Their waffle fries are delicious and could serve as an entire meal for me.  Warning: don’t try to steal any off my tray.  (David learned this the hard way.)

Ruffles potato chips: How did I not know before how darn good these chips are?  Deliciously salty, with amazing texture I’ve been converted from kettle cooked to ruffle.  I don’t know if I’ll ever go back.

Lucy’s Cookies: These were the only sweet thing I had any desire to eat besides fruity candy during my first trimester.  I think I liked them because they weren’t too sweet and I could nibble on them throughout the day.  I bought the variety pack on amazon on a very regular basis.

Mike & Ikes: I normally enjoy all things minty: brushing my teeth, chewing gum or enjoying a mint.  Well, mint flavored anything just made me throw up so I resorted to Mike & Ike’s to get bad tastes out of my mouth.  I know.  It’s disgusting.

Spaghetti: I couldn’t eat bagels and chips for every meal so I found that my body really liked spaghetti.  (Thanks to my sister-in-law, Heidi, for that suggestion!)

Canada Dry Ginger Ale: No longer did I want a glass of cabernet at the end of a long day but a fizzy, sugary soda to ease my stomach.  Canada Dry is definitely gluten free.  I’ve had mixed findings in researching other brands.

Fruit: This was the one healthy thing that I could eat.  I loved blueberries, strawberries, pineapple and grapes.  I also drank a lot of orange juice which I’ve never been a big fan of before. (I would get the OJ with extra calcium since I wasn’t really getting it anywhere else.)

The good news is that everyone is right: morning sickness goes away.  I’m thrilled to be (sort of) back to my old ways.  I’m still not cooking up a storm in the kitchen, and I find myself toasting a bagel every morning for breakfast but I have had salad in the last week.  Baby steps, right?

For those of you gluten-free moms out there: what did you eat when you were battling morning sickness.  I never found a gluten-free cracker that tasted good to me.  I tried Glutinos for awhile but got tired of them.  Would love your thoughts.


Exciting Changes in 2012

Posted in Uncategorized on January 23rd, 2012 by Betsy – 11 Comments

Hi Friends!  Hope the new year is treating you well.  Life has been busy for us, hence the absence of posts.  I wanted to share with you a little news.  (Hopefully this explains my lack of posts a little better.)

Needless to say, we’re very excited about 2012!


Highlights of 2011

Posted in event, favorite things on January 6th, 2012 by Betsy – 3 Comments

This year was quite a year for me.  Lots of travel, adventure and really calling Atlanta home.  There are many highlights so I thought I’d take a little walk down memory lane (clearly in no particular order)…

Bachelor Brad won, and broke, Emily’s heart.

Richard Blais brought home the “W” in Top Chef All-Stars

Articles published on my travel tips for Wyoming/Montana, Washington, D.C. and Charlottesville

Surviving an earthquake and tsunami in Japan, while also getting to spend such a special time with my brother, sister-in-law and nephews.  (I really wouldn’t take back the trip, even if I could.  I promise.)

Dinner at Bacchanalia…always makes the highlight list!

An amazing trip to NYC full of gluten-free yumminess.

Ashley lived up to expectations as a disappointing Bachelorette (but we still watched)!

Rice Krispies went gluten free!

A trip to Nashville to meet my new niece, Anna

A week in Laguna Beach with the love of my life…so awesome.

Rob, Alden and boys visit us in Atlanta

Filming a “Sizzle-Reel” for a TV show pilot in Vail, Colorado

Wow!  What a year!  While it’s sad to say goodbye to 2011, there are many good things to come in 2012.  Thanks for all of your support and continuing to read Gluten Freedom.  Apologies for nearly two months of being MIA.  Let’s just say I needed a little rest…