Turning an Experiment Into a Committment


Back in August when I went to Vida Vegan Con in Portland, I came home with a desire to explore gluten-light living.  Over the course of the past 3 months, I’ve done my best to minimize or avoid it altogether.  The last 4 weeks, I’ve had very, very little gluten, and I can honestly say – this is no longer a trial.  I feel better when I have no gluten.  My stomach is more settled, I have more energy, and I feel more alert and focused.  And to add some TMI – my PMS symptoms were nearly non-existent for the first time in a LONG time (mostly stomach problems).  I’m convinced, and will continue to root gluten out of my life as much as possible.

So again I had a week with pretty much no postable pictures!  It’s not that I haven’t cooked…but I just sort of neglected to take any shots!

I ended up coming down with a wicked head cold on Wednesday, so much of my week has been fresh juices.  There’s something awesome about juicing in the winter.

I’ve made a few vegan chilis, lentil soups, tofu/potato/lime/cilantro tacos, and even gravy-baked mushroom tofu “steaks” this week though.  Sad I didn’t bust out the camera for that!  Here’s a recipe though.

Crissie’s Gravy-Baked Mushroom Tofu Steaks


*1 block pressed tofu cut into 6 steaks

*8 ounce container of baby bella mushrooms (or those of your choosing)

*2 tbsp Earth Balance (or vegan margarine of choice)

*2 tbsp flour (I used chickpea flour to keep it gluten-free)

*1 1/2 cup non dairy milk (I used unsweetened So Delicious plain coconut milk)

*3 cloves garlic

*1 tbsp soy sauce (I used the gluten-free tamari)


*preheat the oven to 350 degrees

*in a medium saucepan on med-high, melt the Earth Balance, and then saute the mushrooms and garlic until the mushrooms start releasing their liquids and are well cooked.  Mix in the flour.  Slowly add the coconut milk, stirring until thick.  You may have to bump the heat up until the sauce becomes bubbly.  You’re essentially making a cream-of-mushroom soup!

~hint – my eldest daughter “thinks” she hates mushrooms, so I used my immersion hand blender to smooth out the mushroom chunks.  It’s not necessary – unless you’re trying to hide the ingredients the way I did!

*add the tamari/soy sauce.  Simmer for a minute or two.

*dust the tofu steaks with sea salt and fresh pepper.  I did a quick sear in a non-stick pan for 2-3 minutes on each side before placing in a baking dish.  Once in the dish, cover the steaks with the mushroom soup mixture.

*bake – uncovered – for 20-25 minutes

I served with vegan mashers (the gravy from the dish drenched on top), a salad, and steamed veggies.


Another two days of strength training sessions at the Y this week!  5 am classes are early, but I admit to love getting it done and out of the way so early in the day.  Now…if I can only extend that to cardio workouts, I’ll be set!

This week’s sessions were different, but no less grueling.  Wednesday was a lot of leg and butt work, and I will admit to my tush being quite sore.  We did some torturous thing with a band and single leg squats that I thought were going to kill me!  I do like the small person trainer session though.

I ran one day and swam one.  Until I got sick 😦


It’s been a busy, but mostly good week.  Work was great.  I either delegated off most of my meetings, or blocked my calendar around the ones I couldn’t avoid.  By the end of Monday, I had read, color coded, filed, and sorted ALL of my inbox at work.  That was almost 1000 emails.  WOO HOO FOR UBER PRODUCTIVITY!!!  I was in the office by 8, had no meetings (other than a quick 15 minute huddle with one of my teams), and stayed until 630 or so (aside from a quick lunch with D at Jason’s Deli), but it was a really good day.  After being off for a bit, it was nice to get in and feel so focused.

Tuesday I had my weekly VP meeting at a different location, grabbed a quick lunch, and then was back in my office kicking ass.  I had a to-do list for each day of the week, and pretty much knocked it all out.

On Wednesday, it all went downhill.  I finished my workout, showered, and was on the way to work when the snot monster struck.  Hard.  By the time I was in my office, I was hunting down my co-worker DS who always has Sudafed and Advil (she’s an allergy monster like I am).  I felt like hell all day, but got through it.  I was home by 430 though, and feeling sorry for myself.

Thursday and Friday was tough, and I felt like dirt.  The Neti pot wouldn’t even break through the clog (sorry for the visual).  I eventually took a hot shower, and then used it right after that.  Miraculous.  It didn’t do much for the ear ache, but certainly helped the drips.  My insomnia tends to double up when I’m sick, so I didn’t sleep much after Tuesday.  Thank goodness for Twitter, Facebook, iBooks, Kindles, and my iPad.  I probably would have gone nuts without those!

Today I feel MUCH better.  Still a bit clogged and itchy eyed, but I can breathe again and itching to get out and about!

On a totally fun note…one good thing about being sick was my ability to catch up on 2 weeks of Vampire Diaries, CSI:NY, and to make massive headway on my knitting.  I also signed up for a hat class at Knit Wits the next two Monday’s!  My goal is to finish my scarf, and make a matching hat!

Speaking of….time to go work on that!

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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

4 thoughts on “Turning an Experiment Into a Committment

    1. I’m learning as I go with this GF life. I find it eliminates icky stomach and IBS issues, which always flare up that time of month. Without gluten in my body behaves normally.

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