Category Archives: Gluten Free

Friday Roundup: Fun, Raw, Sober News

Another Friday has come, HOORAY! We all know my favorite days of the week are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Because, let’s face it, the majority of the fun I have been having lately happens on the weekends.  Tonight Caron and I are going to see Bridesmaids (finally!). That’s right – we are finally seeing it. It got 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, so it should be hilarious. I am envisioning a female version of The Hangover. Let’s hope it holds up to our expectations.

It is extra-special of course since I was Caron’s bridesmaid a few weeks ago and I will be a bridesmaid again in September for my bestfriend from high school! I love weddings so much it’s hard to describe. And being a bridesmaid is not only an honor and a big responsibility it is incredibly fun. Luckily my 2011 bridesmaid dresses are both beautiful, check out those awful pink ones in the movie poster above!

Raw Foods Update: Things are going well. The best part about it is the fruit. Smoothies (sans juice and milk/yogurt) are so good I almost forget I can’t eat candy. Almost. I’ve been working on a raw chocolate bar for the past week or so that is a nice replacement as well. I also learned online today that there is such a thing as Raw Ice Cream!  The best part is that it’s available in NYC – I have to get to one of the stores this weekend to buy it.

I also found a fun restaurant called Pure Food and Wine to try – it’s fully raw, vegan, organic and in Union Square. Just need to get Leo to want to try it with me this weekend. If my proposal fails, they have a small version of the restaurant in Chelsea Market where his favorite Gluten Free restaurant is. I would love to buy a bag of raw macaroons!

Sober News: After almost a year of being in two fellowships I have decided to fully transition from NA to AA. My life has been in AA for a while now and I’ve found it hard to go to AA meetings and do service in AA but have an NA sponsor and do NA stepwork. I was torn for a while because I really identify more as an addict than an alcoholic but the real solution in NYC (for me) is in AA and as much as I like the NA literature better, I knew I couldn’t continue to have one foot in each fellowship. So my plan is to work all twelve steps in AA, continue to do AA service and someday have AA sponsees. I even have an new AA sponsor! I am incredibly grateful that she offered to take me through the steps! I better go buy an AA Big Book…

I will always be grateful to NA, I’ll still call my NA friends and I will still hit up NA meetings every now and then, but I know that if I want to get through my stepwork and be of service to those newcomers who show up at the meetings I go to regularly, I need to be fully in one program. It’s been a long and tough decision making process but I am excited for the journey I am embarking on.

How’s your weekend looking?


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Filed under Food, Fun, Gluten Free, healthy Living, Movies, Recovery, Studying

Time to Clear Out the Toxins

Gratitude week is coming to a close today as I will be out of town tomorrow, Friday, for my bestfriend’s wedding!  Last but not least: Today I am grateful for my own openmindedness and the knowledge/experience of others.

Caron has been raving to me about her strong belief in eastern medicine for the past year. She sees our friend H frequently for acupuncture and has suffered no chronic health issues since she started. Now that I have endured these headaches for months and months and western medicine has failed me one doctor at a time, I decided I was ready to go to any lengths.

Turns out making an appointment to see a friend in sobriety for acupuncture treatment wasn’t hard at all!  Last night after work I headed over to H’s office and we got started. I admit I was nervous, but because I know H personally I felt way more comfortable than maybe I would have with a stranger. We went over my medical history and my diet and she could tell just by looking at me that my head felt heavy, my eyes were tired. She explained to me all sorts of fun earthy ideas which I would botch if I tried to replay them for you here, but they made sense to me last night. It is very much about the balance of energy in the world and in our bodies. She pointed out my imbalances and said that basically my body has a lot of built up toxins, and that the headaches are most likely caused by excess phlegm (yum), which in turn causes the sinusitis and other issues.

She said this can all be cleared up with a simple, yet completely radical change in my diet. I have to flush all the toxins out of my body. It made perfect sense to me. Who knows what toxins are still in me from my using days! And to do this: Eat a Raw Foods Diet. Holy crap in a pita! I started to watch all my favorite foods being dropped off a cliff like anvils in Wiley Coyote cartoons. 

Lucky, H explained that my transition to raw foods would be a gradual change in my eating habits and by the summer I would be fully raw.

Then she went ahead and did all the fun acupuncture things with needles and such and let me tell you: it felt amazing. I got to lay in the dark with these tiny painless needles sticking out of me for 20 minutes, listening to the sound of waves, meditating by focusing on the path of my breath. So calming. When I woke up, the headache I walked in with was barely noticeable.

I called Leo to tell him the news of my new diet and he just laughed and said, “Well, watching you attempt this is going to be entertaining.” I am really nervous I won’t be able to do it, but I believe in H and I want to feel better, so I am willing to do it. And to put it in perspective, I gave up drugs and alcohol which I believed I couldn’t live without, so it shouldn’t be hard to give up…all things white, bread, sugar, chicken, cheese, basically 98% of what I currently eat today. Raw veggies and nuts here I come!

To say goodbye to all foods that scream Clarissa, I had a BBQ Chicken Pizza for dinner after my session. Sorry, H, I had to go out with a bang. My task for the next week: eliminate bread and all things bread-like (basically gluten-free), replace one meal with raw veggies and one with raw fruit and do what I please for dinner.

Have you ever gone raw?


Filed under Food, Fun, Gluten Free, Headache, healthy Living, Recovery

S’Mac and Other Things

Happy Monday friends! My weekend was pretty decent, how was yours??

Friday night I stayed late to finish up some work and then took a third practice exam and I did super well! It turns out I am not a Hopeless Harriet afterall. Then, I caught up on Private Practice and Grey’s and then headed to bed. Um, excuse me Prime Time Medical Dramas, please refrain from creating Musical Episodes. The House and Greys musical bombshells were horrendous this season. The problem is, if I don’t finish watching the episode I can’t find out what happens! Note: I do not read about television shows online or elswhere, that doesn’t seem to be the point of television for me. Ha! Just realized you’re reading about TV right now… ok, I’ll stop.

Saturday I had my last class and then our teacher took us out for a “boozey brunch” to celebrate. I love how I always sit silently smiling as the people I’m with gab on about the best clubs and bars to go to in NYC. I never have anything to add, but that’s ok – it helps me practice listening to my peers instead of interrupting – which I do frequently.

After brunch I came home and watched Away We Go with Jim from the Office. CUTE movie! Plus Alexi Murdoch dominates the soundtrack and that makes my heart sing.

Jim from The Office

Saturday night I met Leo at S’MAC down in the East Village. It’s a restaurant that only serves Mac ‘n Cheese. I was in love. It’s a pretty hole in the wall type place and you have to do some serious table stalking to get a seat. The best part about S’MAC is that you can ask for the gluten free version of any of their dishes. This made my gluten-intolerant boy very happy. We both chose the Buffalo Chicken S’mac and it was delicious. It’s like baked Mac n’ Cheese and Buffalo Chicken Dip all in one bowl. Spiiicy.


We then proceeded to enjoy the nice weather and walked around for a bit and then ended up at 16 Handles. It’s like Pink Berry but a million times better. You walk in and there are 16 different flavors of low-fat / non-fat soft serve ice cream / frozen yogurt. You can put whatever kinds you want in your bowl and then you get to pile on all the toppings you want yourself! I got a variety of flavors of froyo and piled on mochi, butterfinger and caramel sauce. Mmmm it was awesome. Sorry no pictures – we ate as we wandered back down to Leo’s apartment.

Sunday was filled with studying for both of us and a class at Spring St with the amazing Tanya at Physique (for me).

That brings me to Monday…I just got out of a 6 hour work meeting, so apologies for the late post! Do you want to know the only benefit of my day so far? This:

The deli right near my office sells it and it’s incredibly hard to get anywhere else in NYC! Believe me, I’ve looked. I lived on this stuff my last few years in college and the Vanilla just makes it taste like a zero calorie dessert! I bought two today.

I’m chairing a meeting tonight and am currently without a speaker, so you want to qualify tonight, let me know!!

How was your weekend?


Filed under Exercise, Food, Fun, Gluten Free, Love, Movies, Physique57, Studying, TV

Headache, Headache, GO AWAY!

Happy Monday!

I am sad to report that my weekend was sub-par due to another horrific headache that peaked on Saturday. I had to cancel my Physique class but since it wasn’t 6 hours before the class…I got charged the $30 as if I had attended the class. Physique has such a smart business model, I just wish I hadn’t had to waste a class on account of a debilitating headache. I kept holding out, hoping I would feel better, but I didn’t. Looks like I will be scheduling a CTscan this week to get my head examined. Jokes are welcome here, folks.

I’ve been getting low-to-high grade headaches since mid-fall. These headaches are not cured via Advil, Exedrin Migraine, hydration, caffeine, lack of caffeine, nicotine, lack of nicotine. Nothing works. Not even reading WebMD. Finally, thinking the headaches might be caused by sinus issues, saw an Ear Nose & Throat (ENT) doctor a few months ago. She gave me some decongestion spray and I’ve been doing the NeilMed Sinus rinse everyday too. But she said if these headaches didn’t go away with the use of those products I should get a CTscan. I’ve been putting off the scan because either I think they won’t find anything, I am terrified they will find something or because a lot of the time I feel fine. Last week was a low-to-high grade constant headache lasting 6 days. That’s just not normal. I feel a bit of relief today, but time to go in and get a scan done.

UGH! I did not get sober to be sick.

Needless to say, my weekend was not filled with fun. I did bake Leo a gluten free pumpkin pie that turned out horrifically even after baking for over an hour past the expected cook time. Here’s a picture of the ingredients:

I found the gluten free pie crust at whole foods. I followed the instructions on the Libby’s pumpkin can but after an hour of baking it was still a soupy mess. More sugary than the organic filling I used for a pumpkin pie for New Year’s but it never solidified. Either my oven is a sad mess or I’m an awful pastry chef.

On Sunday we attempted to study for a while before heading out to a really nice dinner in Connecticut at Leo’s club. My veal scallopine was amazing. I should probably apologize to all my health-nut readers for eating veal, but I’m not going to. It was delicious. Plus, it’s the only thing that made me feel good all weekend.

On a more positive note, I am in third place in my basketball pool. Unfortunately, so are two other people… at least I will get back 80% of my original investment!

Have you ever had an unexplained, unrelenting, untreatable headache?


Filed under Exercise, Food, Gluten Free, Headache

Friday Funk

Happy Friday kids! Apologies for the following less-than-exciting post, I’m in a funk today.

Last night I met up with Leo and his friend who had entered a beerpong tournament at one of the University clubs here in the city. Note: this is in no way whatsoever a sober activity. I remained sober of course, but I don’t recommend this as “sober fun.” I hung out with Leo’s friend’s girlfriend while the boys lost twice to two female teams. The females were apparently cheating but since I don’t play beerpong anymore I don’t know all the rules nor do I care to learn them. I saw a friend from high school at the tournament – newly engaged…awesome. There was free food, so that was about the only highlight of the event. Then we wandered over to a local pub and watched some March Madness. I am still in first place in my pool! Except I only have one team left in the Final Four so there is no way that I will win the pool. No fun.

It’s not easy dating someone who drinks. Some days I deal with it well and sometimes I don’t. I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m jealous he can drink and I can’t or if I simply don’t like how drunk people act. Luckily he rarely gets “drunk” in front of me anymore but last night was borderline. I could ask him to stop drinking because I don’t like it, but he’s not an alcoholic and that’s not really fair of me. I also know that controlling someone else’s actions only leads to resentment. So for now, if he drinks I require him to brush his teeth and rinse well with mouthwash before he kisses me. And if he wants to go out and act like a crazy 21 year old with the boys, he can go without me!

Weekend plans:

Tonight: Gluten Free Chinese Food and baking gluten free pumpkin pie with Leo.

Saturday: Bridesmaid dress alterations and Physique57. No plans for the evening yet, anyone want to hang out??

Sunday: Studying in the morning and then dinner at Leo’s club in the suburbs.

Last but certainly not least: HAPPY 4 YEARS of Sobriety to Nic!

What’s your sobriety date? I’m going to put together a page of anniversaries (pseudonyms of course)!


Filed under Beverages, Food, Fun, Gluten Free, March Madness, Recovery

Celebration, Customized Chocolate and Celiacs

Anyone got a case of the Mondays? I think NYC weather does. It was pouring rain as I walked to work this morning and then blizzarding during my 9:30am meeting. How does the temperature just drop 10 degrees in an hour? I am in protest of such flagrant changes.

Rather than focus on Monday, how about that weekend?!?!

Saturday I had class and then celebrated with some friends at Caron’s Bridal Brunch at a Bistro on the east side! It was a nice intimate gathering and the food was delicious! The Maid of Honor and I made customized chocolate bars as secret party favors. I really wish I could show you pictures because the bars turned out fabulous. Anonymity strikes again! Here are a few shots of other wedding bars from the Chocomize website so you can picture it:

Since I can’t include a picture of the ones we made, I’ll describe them instead. We started out with dark chocolate, had Chocomize create an edible image on the chocolate using one of C’s professional engagement photos and then imbedded in the dark chocolate are 23 karat gold flakes. The chocolate was encased in a ivory box (pictured above) and I ordered pre-made stick-on navy blue bows from a DIY wedding invitation site to stick on the front.

The label on the back read something humorous alluding to the gold in the chocolate as well as the gorgeous rock on Caron’s finger. Overall the bars were well-received! I couldn’t believe the MoH and I were able to keep them a secret for so long. I cannot wait for the wedding, it’s going to be beautiful.

Saturday night Leo and I went to a gluten free Italian restaurant on the Upper West Side: Sambuca (W 72nd and CPW). I found it on a google search last week and made us reservations. Leo is a celiac so we try a lot of gluten free restaurants around the city so he can eat things other than plain meat. To be supportive, I will order gluten free as well so that he can eat what I don’t finish. Our favorite gluten free chinese restaurant is Lili’s 57 and we order from there at least once a week! Most restaurants will have a regular menu and a gluten free menu – we have yet to go to a place that only has gluten free.

When I arrived at Sambuca, Leo was at the bar having a Red Bridge (one of the only gluten free beers on the market) and some gluten free bread. He was in heaven. Although he doesn’t particularly like the taste of Red Bridge, he always likes when a bar has it because he feels supported in his battle with celiacs. We’ve found Red Bridge at Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium too – you just have to search for the International Pubs. Remember, Leo isn’t an alcoholic like me. His drinking only bothers me if he’s drunk. I don’t mind if he has 1 or 2 drinks in front of me but it took me a few years to get used to this.

We ordered a chicken dish, spinach ravioli, pesto pasta and a caesar salad to share. The pesto dish and chicken dish were very good. The ravioli was not as good – the rice pasta that they used was just a bit too…chewy for me. You always have to discount a dish that’s made gluten free, but I wouldn’t order it again. For dessert we had gluten free chocolate cake and it was to die for! I highly recommend Sambuca for anyone who isn’t eating wheat anymore.

In related news, The Dakota was on right near Sambuca and when I win the lottery I am determined to live here:

After the movie I used my LivingSocial gift certificate ($9 for two tickets instead of face value $28)so we could go see Take Me Home Tonight

We had to go to a theater in the Flat Iron district which we never go to because the movie has been out for a while and not a lot of theaters are hosting it anymore. The movie was pretty hilarious and I give it too thumbs up minus Barry’s blatant use of white powder throughout the bulk of the film. It’s remindes me of a slightly updated version of Can’t Hardly Wait which was Leo’s all-time favorite movie in high school. Plus it stars Topher Grace from That 70’s Show and he’s awesome.

Sunday morning we both studied for our respective financial exams and then he went to hit balls at Chelsea Piers when I went to Physique’s Spring St Studio for my weekly class. I have always taken classes at their midtown studio but since I was in Soho at Leo’s apartment I switched my class to Spring St. The Spring St studio is much bigger than 57th Street and it has more showers! I was impressed. On top of that, Tanya was my instructor (she founded Physique) so I had a great class!

We watched basketball for the rest of the day and Leo made tacos with Fresh Direct groceries for dinner. Overall this weekend was pretty stellar.

What cool Bridal Shower gifts have you given/received?


Filed under Exercise, Food, Fun, Gluten Free, Movies