Gluten Free in the Florida Keys

Uggh… that’s so close to rhyming… ‘gluten frees in the Florida Keys’?  Nope…. it’s kinda making me crazy. Maybe I should just change it to ‘What I Ate on Vacation.’ Boring, but the almost rhyme wouldn’t bother me then. *sigh*

Anyway… so Gluten Free Stuff That I Ate on Vacation in the Florida Keys. 

The first day as we drove down the A1A (between St Augustine and the first Keys) we stopped for a picnic lunch along the beach. (Because there are sandy beaches along that stretch, but not IN the Keys.) We’re back on track with our much healither GF lunches… lunch meat, nuts, fruit and water. It’s easy to pack, way healthier, lower carb and travels nicely in the small cooler. 

The Florida Keys are filled with Gluten Free Friendly resturants. You could walk around and eat forever…. which I strongly considered… and tried to argue for, but Brian wanted to be ‘healthy’ and sight see and stuff.  ūüė©

Thank heavens for the Find Me Gluten Free App. I don’t know how any GF person can survive without it!  FMGF was filled with recommendations all throughout the Keys. 

For lunch we stopped at Marker 88 in Key Largo. They had good reviews on FMGF  and the sales guy from the Visitor Center gave us a card for 10% off. 

The food was really good and the staff was polite and helpful with ordering GF safely. They had a separate GF menu and I appreciated that the GF menu was posted on their website. It’s nice to see what’s available before you get to the restaurant. 

Brian and I were even able to stay on our Arbonne Detox plan (a little longer). Except for the Coconut Crusted Deep Fried Ice Cream that we shared for dessert…. umm… but I had to order that for you guys, right?!  I have a responsibility to my readers! 

Brian got the Shrimp Zoodles. My mom has been telling me to make zoodles for forever, but I kept resisting… they just didn’t sound yummy…. Mom was right (As usual) the zoodles were delicious! 

I ordered the Alligator Reef Salad. There’s no alligator in the salad…. but the crab, shrimp and hearts of palm were super yummy. It was served with a Mango Citrus dressing that really complimented the shrimp and crab. 

The Coconut Fried Key Lime Ice Cream sounded better than it actually was.  The coconut crust was good, but the ice cream was super frozen. Obviously it had to be really cold so it could be fried, but it made it really difficult to eat.

Marker 88
88000 Overseas Hwy
Islamorda, FL 33036

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By dinnertime I didn’t care about keeping to the detox…. I wanted pizza!  Off the Hook Grill was well recommended on the GFMF app…. for a good reason! ūü§§

Brian got the Duck BLT… made with duck bacon. OMG! Sooo good. 


I got the Lobster Pie.  It was good… but also kind of odd, but good…. I liked it, but it wasn’t my favorite pizza ever.  The bits of fig and balsamic vinegar gave it a slightly sweet flavor. Not bad, but I prefer more savory pizzas. The crust was fabulous though! 

Our waitress brought me a sample of the blueberry cider from Slim Pickens Cider and Mead. (A local brewer!) I’m not normally a big cider drinker, but I couldn’t pass up blueberry. It had a nice berry flavor, but not overly sweet…. crisp.   Perfect with pizza. 

We liked the restaurant so much that Brian and I went back the following morning for breakfast. 

Brian ordered the GF pancakes. He liked them, but they weren’t my favorite. They were thick and a bit ‘biscuit’ like. 

Since we were going out on the Sailboat / Snorkel / Kayacking tour that day I didn’t want to eat anything that might upset my tummy. 

I ordered scrambled eggs and duck bacon with a side of potatoes and gf toast. The waiter was great and told us that the potatoes themselves were gf, but since they’re fried there could be cross contamination… but since we were the first customers that morning and they change their oil every day the potatoes would be safe.  I appreciate that he took the extra step to warn me that they were safe this time, but might not be next time. 

The toast seemed to just be Udi’s… I should have told them to skip the toast, but every once in a while I come across something new and yummy. 

Word of warning: the restaurant is tiny.  Seriously tiny… 18 seats at tables and about 8 at the bar. Make reservations! 

Off The Hook Grill
728 Simonton St
Key West, FL 33040
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After a fun / tiring day on the sailboat, snorkeling and kayacking we were starved. (They fed us a good lunch on the sailboat, but I tried to stay out of the after lunch snacks… and a day in the water will wear you out!) 

Brian had been craving BBQ. I argued for Mexican, but I caved when I heard that the BBQ place was closer. I was just ready to eat and then go back to the room and get cleaned up. 


The waitress gave us a separate GF menu (single sheet of paper). She didn’t seem very knowledgeable about what was GF or not. I asked if the potato salad was safe and she said she thought it should be safe because potatoes are gluten free. Ugh. We ordered the BBQ Plate for Two. All of the sauces were Gluten Free and we decided to stick with green beans for our sides since they were listed on the gf menu. 

Despite asking for a Gluten Free menu, talking about Gluten Free choices and SAYING that we were Gluten Free they still brought us a basket of cornbread. What?!? (Strangely, the only mention that I can find on their online menu about gf is that the cornbread isn’t Gluten Free… but no other mention of what is or isn’t gf. So why bother?) 

The food was good and we didn’t get sick…. I’m not confident that they had the best understanding of GF…. it seems more like the meats and sauces are gf and if you stick to those you’ll be okay. 

Charlie Mac’s 404
404 Southard St
Key West, FL 33040

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I read some delicious sounding reviews for Le Petit Paris and had insisted that we weren’t leaving Key West until I got to go there for breakfast. 


Cinnamon Rasin French Toast with cinnamon butter and walnuts. *gasp* It was syrup coated heaven! I should have asked what brand of bread they used, but I was so busy stuffing every last bite into my mouth I never managed to ask. It was absolutely delish!  


Brian ordered the GF pancakes. They were…. cute?  Four very small, strawberry decorated pancakes made up Brian’s breakfast. It was almost comical compared to my heaping plate of French Toast. Fortunately for me, Brian doesn’t like raisins, so I didn’t have to share! 

Breakfast was not inexpensive. There was a $4 up-charge for all GF orders… which seems a bit steep to me…. but, the food was delicious. So just go in knowing that you’re going to pay an arm and a leg. (It’s worth it though!) The pancakes were $12 and the French Toast was $11 before the extra $4. Strangely, my French Toast got the upcharge, but Brian’s pancakes didn’t…. I took a bite of his pancakes and didn’t have any issues, so…. 

Le Petit Paris
825 Duval St
Key West, FL 33040

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I also made an extensive search of Gluten Free Key Lime treats, but that’s a whole other post. It was challenging, but I love my readers…. Diet be damned!  I ate every gf Key Lime treat I could find…. ’cause I love you guys! ūüėĀ  Post coming soon 

Present Moment Cafe

Vegans are tricky.

Last week I had the chance to visit the Present Moment Cafe in St. Augustine. ¬†Someone had recommended it to me… with the warning that I shouldn’t let the “vegan-y” stuff scare me away. ¬†We’d been discussing gluten free restaurants and she told me that I just had to try the Present Moment. ¬†Almost everything on the menu is gluten free. Everything is dairy free… and meat free too….. It sounded like something I’d like to try eventually, but… but no meat? ¬†Ummm….

I’ve had Mom and Brian on this Arbonne Thirty Day Detox… forever…. a week. ¬†The Protein Shakes are good and dinners are easy enough, but dining out is a challenge. ¬†No gluten, dairy, soy or corn is really hard at a regular restaurant…. but not at a vegan restaurant!

The Present Moment Cafe is really cute with colorful, eclectic decorations. ¬†It’s not a very big place, but there are lots of little tables, perfect for visiting with friends and enjoying a Detox Smoothie.

The three of us chose a low table near the window, surrounded by two cushy couches. The menu is clearly labeled if the food contains wheat or soy.  Everything is obviously egg and dairy free since the food is vegan.

We ordered drinks while we decided what to eat.

Purple Haze Acai, blueberry, banana, cashew milk.

Detox Cooler Pineapple, cucumber, mint

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After a bit of arguing over who was getting what… we all have to try something different and share… we finally placed our order.

Tacos of Life Pine nut and walnut pate, with fresh
salsa, Mexican “cheese” and guacamole in two romaine
shells topped with cashew sour cream and jalapeno
vinaigrette. Served with two dehydrated corn chips…10

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Mom enjoyed the tacos. ¬†I tried a bite of the Pine Nut & Walnut Pate that was the “meat” of the dish. ¬†It was good. ¬†I’m not giving up meat anytime in the near future, but if I had to… this was a pretty tasty alternative.

Pad Thai Sweet and spicy Asian vegetables, served
over kelp noodles with a sesame garlic sauce, and topped
with curried cashews… 16

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The Pad Thai was delicious. ¬†The kelp noodles weren’t what I was expecting… I was thinking of something green and… sea-weed-ish… The kelp noodles were a bit chewy, but in an enjoyable way. ¬†They had a definite “bite” and “crunch” to them. ¬†We liked the noodles enough that we bought a bag to take home and experiment with.

Okay…. so what would you think if the day’s special was a carrot hot dog? I mean, they had “burgers” that were made out of beans and stuff… and an “Un-Tuna” sandwich. ¬†It’s not crazy to think that the carrot “hot dog” ¬†was made from carrots and other stuff smooshed together to resemble a hot dog, right?

WRONG.  Vegans are tricky!

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It was a damned carrot on a hot dog bun! ¬†I kid you not.. a carrot… smothered in sauerkraut… on a hot dog bun.

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Here’s the really crazy part…. it was actually pretty tasty. ¬†Yes, of course I ate it! ¬†I’d ordered it, I was going to try it. I’m pretty sure those Vegans were laughing at me for paying $10 for a carrot on a bun, but I’d show them…. I’d eat that damn carrot and like it!

It actually was pretty good though.

I only took a few bites of the bun because I am trying to avoid all the fake-y gluten free stuff while I do this detox, so I tried a few bites… (Yummy GF bun!) and then ate the rest of my sauerkraut covered “hot dog” with a fork.

The sweet potato salad was delicious and I’m planning to take a shot at duplicating the recipe soon. ¬†They had a cookbook of restaurant recipes for sale, but of course, that recipe wasn’t in it!

We’d made it this far and not broken many of the detox rules, so we decided to treat ourselves to desert. ¬†(The sugar was a no-no, but I¬†think everything else was okay..) We ordered one Banana Split to share.

Classic Banana Split¬†Homemade vanilla cashew ice cream, fresh berries, bananas, raw vegan vanilla and cacao creme topped with candied pecans… 9.5

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The cashew ice cream was delicious! ¬†I’d rather not have to give up dairy, but I certainly wouldn’t mind having cashew ice cream if it turns out that dairy is one of my food¬†nemeses.

I don’t think I’d like to become vegan, but the food at the Present Moment Cafe is certainly delicious enough that I don’t mind being vegan-ish for a meal or three. ¬†The staff was sweet and great about answering any food allergy/ingredient questions. ¬†The cafe itself is cozy and comfortable; perfect for a quick bite or a leisurely lunch with friends.

 

The Present Moment Cafe

224 West King Street
St. Augustine, Florida 32089

Arbonne 30-Day Detox ‚Äď Day Three

Still alive!

Most of us anyway….. more or less.

Brian’s having a bit more trouble with the whole ‘detox’ thing today. ¬†I think partly he’s just being a bit pig-headed and letting himself get hungry. ¬†I also think he’s having a bigger letdown from the sugar than I am. ¬†I’ve been trying to limit my sugar for a while now, so I don’t think I’m having such an issue with detoxing from sugar.

We tried to mix it up a bit at breakfast this morning with unpleasant results. ¬†Brian is of course blaming Pinterest. ¬†I saw a recipe for Pancakes using the Arbonne Vanilla Protein powder and thought they looked… interesting. ¬†The only thing in the recipe that was different from the shakes was the addition of one egg. One egg doesn’t add many calories and then you’ve got all the good things in eggs, so it seemed like a reasonable substitution. ¬†Too bad it didn’t taste so good.

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Yep, that’s a side of bacon. ¬†You just hush!¬†

Arbonne Blueberry Vanilla Pancakes

Ingredients:

2 scoops Arbonne Essentials Vanilla Protein
1 scoop Arbonne Fiber Boost
1 large Egg
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Swerve Sweetener ¬†(I’D SKIP THIS)
1/2 cup Blueberries
2 TBS Almond Milk

Directions:

  1. Combine protein powder, fiber boost, egg, and stevia, stir to combine. Add almond milk and whisk until smooth. Gently fold in blueberries.
  2. Grease griddle with coconut oil or spray with cooking spray. Heat griddle to medium.
  3. Pour batter onto heated griddle and let cook for 2 minutes or so until bubbles start to form. Flip over and let cook for another 2 minutes.

I think it was the sweetener that made them taste so… funky? ¬†The texture was perfect and they cooked just like regular pancakes, but there was this bitter aftertaste. ¬†I think I’m super sensitive to stevia and¬†erythritol. ¬†I’ve added it to other baking in the past and Mom and Brian say they can’t taste it, but I think it’s overwhelming. ¬†So maybe it’s just me. ¬†I’d like to try the pancakes again, but leave out the sweetener next time. ¬†I’ve also seen a recipe for muffins using a similar recipe that I’d like to try with the chocolate protein mix.

The tea is dull, but my Arbonne rep said no to honey, so it’s just going to have to stay dull for the time being. ¬†I may try to find some mint leaves to add to it… I’d just like a bit more flavor. ¬†I think it would be good iced though.

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I like the Citrus Fizz Sticks with the Digestion Plus. ¬†It turns an ugly color, but it tastes pretty good over ice. ¬†I’ve been using the Fizz drink for an afternoon snack. ¬†Today I had some cashews and a bit of sausage too. ¬†Since Brian and I split a serving of the pancakes we were both hungry earlier today.

Dinner was awesome, if I do say so myself. ¬†I found a recipe on (where else?) Pinterest that was similar to a recipe I already make… so I tweaked it just little to come up with something in the middle.

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Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

Ingredients
  • 2.5¬†lbs¬†Chicken, shredded*
  • 32 oz Chicken Broth
  • 2¬†cans¬†Great¬†Northern Beans
  • 1¬†8 oz Cans¬†Diced Green Chilies
  • 1¬†Onion,¬†diced
  • 1¬†Tbl¬†Garlic,¬†minced
  • 2¬†tsp¬†Cumin
  • 1/4¬†tsp¬†Pepper
  • 1¬†Tbl¬†Salt
  • 2¬†Cups¬†Chicken Broth
  • 1¬†Cup¬†Coconut Milk
  • 1/3¬†Cup¬†Cilantro,¬†chopped
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken, beans, chilies, onion, garlic, cumin, pepper, salt, chicken broth, and coconut milk in a crock pot. Cook on high for 5-6 hours, or until chicken is very tender.
  2. Add the cilantro to the soup just before serving.

*You can use frozen chicken breasts and just shred them in the pot with a pair of forks once they’re cooked though.

———-

I wasn’t real sure about the whole coconut milk thing. ¬†My original recipe didn’t call for coconut milk, but I have seen other similar recipes use coconut milk…. so… maybe? ¬†I didn’t want to ruin a whole batch if it was gross, so I made the chili without the coconut milk and then added a little to one bowl. ¬†It was actually really good. ¬†Even Mom and Brian liked it. The coconut milk has a light flavor… almost more of a smell than a taste… like Thai food. It works really well with the green chilies, surprisingly. ¬†The coconut milk also adds a slight creaminess to the chili. ¬†Don’t worry that this is going to make the chili sweet… it doesn’t, but it does add another interesting note of flavor.

So three days down… I’m doing okay with this whole detox thing. ¬†I like the Vanilla Protein Shake Mix and the Fizz Sticks. ¬†The tea isn’t exciting, but it certainly isn’t bad. The Fiber Boost and the Digestion Plus can be added to either the shake or the Fizz drink and they are hardly noticeable. ¬†There are enough components to the detox that I feel like I’m¬†doing¬†something, but not so much that it’s overwhelming or confusing like some of the other programs that I’ve tried.

I’ve tried Weight Watchers and it felt like such a chore… I did it before the app came along, so everything had to be looked up and logged by hand. ¬†I found it ¬†time consuming and frustrating. ¬†I liked that it gave me a better understanding of the amount of calories that I’d been consuming, but it still seemed tedious to calculate every Point. ¬†It was also easy to get into the habit of ‘banking’ Points (ie starving) and then blowing all your point on ice cream later. ¬†Not the healthiest meal plan… but technically, I was keeping within my Points.

I’ve also tried Slim Fast…. “Drink these shakes, don’t eat food!” Easy to follow, but boring as hell. ¬†Not a life change… just something to survive until you drop a few pounds, but then gain them back instantly when you eat food again. ¬†(Great business model though.)

I did pretty well on Atkins… it was basically a Gluten Free diet and the High Fat/Low Carb lifestyle mixed. ¬†I wish I’d understood the effect that wheat had on me back then and I’d probably have saved myself years of health issues.

I’m enjoying this detox because it’s giving me some structure and a routine to help get me back on track. ¬†I know I need to lay off the sugar and the carbs… I don’t think my alcohol consumption is so frequent that it’s an issue, but sure… while we’re at it, lets knock that out too. ¬†The dairy… I miss cheese… cheese makes the world better… but maybe that’s just the allergy cravings talking. ¬†Once the 30 days is up I can see keeping up with the shakes for breakfast and occasional lunches. ¬†Hopefully, too, I’ve gotten back in the swing of making healthier meals again. ¬†Living in that RV and traveling really let me go off the rails.

So…. so far so good. ¬†Follow on Facebook and Instagram to see weird and interesting updates throughout the day!

 

Arbonne 30-Day Detox – Day One

Technically, we’re not supposed to start until Monday if I’m playing along with the Facebook group…. but I’ve never been good about waiting for the group. ¬†Besides, my Arbonne box arrived yesterday and I’m motivated today.¬† So we’re starting today.

Wanna see the unboxing video?  Click HERE  I posted it on Facebook.

I’ve convinced my hubby to actually do the full 30 day detox with me. ¬†Mom has been a harder sell… she says she’ll just follow along, but skip the shakes and… well, most everything except the Digestion Plus powder (Prebiotics, probiotics and enzymes help support optimal digestive health.) I guess she figures as long as I’m not obsessively baking for a month, she should be fine.

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I started today with a Vanilla Shake… okay, fine…. I had a cup of coffee first. ¬†I never said I was giving up coffee! ¬†I’ll cut back to a cup in the morning, but I’m not giving up the morning cup…. nope, nope nope. ¬†But after the cup of coffee…. which made it safe for people to be near me and for me to operate the blender….. I had a vanilla shake with frozen strawberries and a few pineapple chunks. ¬†It was actually really good. ¬†No… I swear… it enjoyed it.

The chocolate shake that Brian had….. well…. it wasn’t the yummiest thing on the planet. ¬†He tried it plain first – 2 scoops of powder, 8 oz of water and some ice then I zipped it around in the Ninja Blender until the ice was smooth. ¬†It wasn’t gritty, but there was just an aftertaste. ¬†I added some frozen blueberries and that helped, but I still wouldn’t have called it yummy. ¬†My Arbonne Rep mentioned that she had some ‘recipe’ recommendations for the shakes. ¬†I just need to message her and ask for some ideas.

By lunchtime I was hungry, but not starving. ¬†I ate a couple of steak & avocado lettuce roll ups and had a Citrus Energy Fizz Stick with a Digestion Plus pack mixed in to drink. ¬†I liked the Citrus Energy Fizz Stick and I don’t think the Digestion Plus pack changed the flavor noticeably.

What a kickstarter. When you start to feel the afternoon sleepies, stir in a fizz stick to create a refreshing bubbly drink when you start to feel tired to temporarily help promote alertness and enhance cognitive performance◊, help promote endurance and enhance motor performance◊, and help reduce fatigue.◊ Contains antioxidants and a botanical blend of green tea, guarana and ginseng, combined with B vitamins and chromium, to help support energy.

Lunchtime was a bit more of a challenge for Brian. ¬†He’s missing his potato chips and the cheese that he normally has with rolled up deli sliced ham.

We had roast for dinner with a side of baked squashes. ¬†Squashes? ¬†Um… you know… those yellow squash that are¬†everywhere¬†all summer and people keep giving them to you and it’s fun at first and then you have to start yelling ‘NO’ when people even mention their garden and then you find they’ve hidden a bag of the damn things in your car when you weren’t looking and now you have to figure out something to do with them before they go bad and God forbid you throw the damn things in the compost pile ’cause before you know it you’re a squash farmer too…. you know… those squash. ¬†Except apparently I’m not in the right crowd now that I’ve moved to Florida. ¬†I’ve actually had to¬†buy¬†yellow squash at the¬†store. ¬†That really makes my brain twitch to have to pay money for the damn squashes that I used to have to hide from.

I tried the Arbonne Detox Tea later in the evening with an Avocado Brownie¬†. ¬†It was fine… tasted like… tea. ¬†Nothing special, nothing awful. ¬†I’m going to have more trouble remembering to bother to drink it… it tastes like plain ‘ol tea. ¬†Maybe with a bit of honey…. can I have honey? ¬†Another question to ask my rep.

Well, for the answers to this and other exciting questions, tune in to Facebook, Instagram and be sure to follow along on the blog!

 

Detoxing (again)

If you have been following this blog for a while you know that I went gluten free after a variety of health issues combined to make life miserable. ¬†(If you haven’t read my Gluten Free Living Story you can see my 1.5 year review here.)

I’ve been Gluten Free for…. five years?¬†(Did I do the math right? ¬†December 2012 – June 2017 = 4.5 years… WOW!)

Okay, so four and a half years… and yes, life is absolutely better without the wheat and the awfulness that come with eating it. ¬†The food world has changed quite a bit in the last 4.5 years. ¬†Gluten Free food is available nearly everywhere and many restaurants have gluten free menus, or at least have a vague understanding when you tell them that you can’t eat gluten. ¬†Grocery stores have dedicated Gluten Free isles and more and more products are clearly labeled. It makes finding food so much easier…. and I think that may be part of my problem. ¬†I’ve found a lot of gluten free replacement foods… high in carbs and sugar and low in real nutrition.

You see…. I’ve been feeling ‘off’ for a while now. ¬†I’m so tired. ¬†Even though I think I’m sleeping through the night I have zero energy during the day. ¬†I’ve been having more headaches and my tummy has been making random comments about food again. ¬†It’s not the gluten, I know I’m not getting into that…. but there’s something that’s messing with me. ¬†I’m just not sure what….

I know what I need to do… eliminate the ‘big uglies’ and detox. ¬†Then reintroduce foods and see what is causing the problem. ¬†I know I need to do it…… but….

Apparently the Universe has had enough of my whining and not working on a solution. ¬†I was roaming through CostCo when I saw a giant box of energy drink fizzies… you know, the kind you add to a bottle of water… ¬†and I was reading the label to see if it was GF and if there was possibly enough caffeine to get me through an afternoon. ¬†A lady stood across from me reading the back of another box of fizzies… “I just wanted to see what they use for the caffeine,” she said, leaning past me to stick it back on the pile, “Arbonne sells something similar.” ¬†Before long we were exchanging business cards, chatting about Yoga and Gluten Free Living and discovering that we live in the same neighborhood. ¬†(I knew that CostCo has everything, but I didn’t know that you could go there to find new friends!)

I left our first Starbucks date with a bag of Arbonne goodies, a scheduled Jamberry play date and an order of the Arbonne Detox Kit.

Did you know that Arbonne has a Detox Program? ¬†I didn’t… I thought Arbonne was just skin care. ¬†So the Universe has sent me a friendly neighbor to tell me to shut up a figure out what is the problem. ¬†(The Universe told me to shut up, not my neighbor.)

I liked that the Arbonne products are all Gluten Free. ¬†(Yay, one concern already covered.) I also liked that everything came together in one kit/program. ¬†Yes, I could find a protein drink and a tea and vitamins and fizzies and whatever else on my own and possibly save a bit of money (Arbonne isn’t cheap), but I’m tired… so so tired. ¬†I also like that it also comes with a person. ¬†Someone I can text and talk to… someone who knows I’m supposed to be doing this detox and will probably ask me how I’m doing… and could quite possible catch me stuffing a cheeseburger and fries in my face….. They call it “accountability,” but we all know they mean “guilt.” There’s also a private Facebook group to chat with other people who are starting the program at the same time….. ¬†that could be good… of course, we all could be really bitchy at the same time since we’re eliminating a bunch of foods…. which is why its better that its an online group and not a face to face meeting.

STEP 1 – Eliminate common allergens and non-healthy ingredients. ‚ÄĘ Wheat/gluten ‚ÄĘ Dairy ‚ÄĘ Refined sugar ‚ÄĘ Alcohol ‚ÄĘ Soy ‚ÄĘ Corn

I’m really not excited about eliminating Dairy…. I like cheese… no, I LOVE cheese. ¬†Cheese goes in everything. ¬†(Which is probably a sign that dairy is a problem for me.) ¬†I’ve already eliminated Gluten, so I’m ahead of the game. ¬†Alcohol is a bummer, but really I just drink an occasional glass of wine, so its not a huge deal. ¬†Sugar is gonna suck. ¬†If we’re eliminating Soy and Corn too, that pretty much means anything that comes in a box. ¬†Which I know is a good thing….. did I mention that I’m just so damn tired? Fortunately Brian and Mom are going to give the program a try too, so I won’t need to make different meals for them. ¬†Its only 30 days and hopefully I start to perk up quickly like I did when I quit gluten. ¬†After the initial 30 days I can start to reintroduce foods and see if there was a specific food (I really, really hope it’s not cheese) that was bothering me.

Have you tried the Arbonne Detox Program?  Got any tips for me?

Okay, here we go…. cross your fingers for me and follow along on Instagram and/or Facebook for photos and updates.

 

 

 

I Tried Third Love (and now I want to punch someone)

This is a follow up post to my original Third Love Review, so read that post first, okay?

First of all, you guys are awesome! ¬†Thank you for using my referral code to try Third Love Bras. ¬†A bunch of you used my link to check out Third Love and several of you purchased a bra. (I’d love to hear your experience!) I was pretty excited to receive the emails from Third Love thanking me for the referral and telling me that I had $15 to use. Cool….. I’d wanted to try one of the other styles.

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I got five referral codes. ¬†Yay! ¬†Except that you can’t use more than one code per order, which would be okay…. but one bra isn’t enough to get free shipping (and you guys know how I feel about shipping), underwear doesn’t count and you have to spend $100 to use the code….. ¬†By the time I’d clicked around on the site I’d also talked myself into a couple more bras in a few different colors. ¬†I really should have just used the one code, ordered two bras and been done with the whole thing, but I was thinking 5 referrals seems like maybe they could at least let me combine two on an order…. maybe something?

Here’s what I sent:

I wrote a review of my Third Love experience on my blog and I have gotten 5 referral codes since that post. I’d like to order a couple more bras, but I can’t seem to combine the codes in my shopping cart. I don’t need 5 bras and the codes are only good for 60 days. Can you help me? https://phoenixrize.blog/2017/04/05/i-tried-third-love-bras/

I thought I’d send them a (private) message on Twitter because I’ve had good luck with reaching other customer service reps there before. ¬†(April 21st)

Hmm…. maybe Facebook? ¬†(April 22nd)

Or…. email? (April 25th)

Okay, now I’m getting ticked. ¬†I finally started getting a few replies, but they were basically to just blow me off.

Twitter CS took five days to respond and basically said “Yep, doesn’t work. Bye.” ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†*sigh* Fine

Facebook CS took seven days and sent me this:

Hello there Stephanie. Thank you for sharing your experience with us on your blog! We are thrilled to hear you received 5 referral credits. Be advised that referral codes cannot be combined and that the subtotal of the order must be $100. You can read more about the policy here: https://help.thirdlove.com/hc/en-us/articles/229380368-How-does-Give-15-Get-15-work- If there is anything else we can do to further assist, don’t hesitate to write back.
I’m not sure if they didn’t expect me to read the policy, or if they hadn’t read it themselves.
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Did you read that last line? ¬†The one about “if you refer 5 friends and they all place orders with us, you will receive a code for 50% off one Standard Collection bra….. Yep. I hadn’t even realized that was possible. ¬†Apparently they hadn’t either.

I asked repeatedly, Facebook and email (I’d given up on Twitter) how do I get the code for having referred 5 friends. ¬†(The Facebook CS quit replying and I gave up on them because the Email CS was replying… slowly, but at least they responded.)

I asked if I was misunderstanding… maybe I didn’t have the right kind of referral? Or maybe I’d earned the code, but I had to do something special to get it. I was asked for the codes I’d received. ¬†I sent them and also the link to the policy that Facebook CS had sent me.

Honestly I was just ticked at this point and hated to let it go.  A saner person might have just given up.

Eight days passed and apparently a manager was brought in at some point. Finally, on May 9th, Email CS sent me a code for 50% off one standard collection bra.  OMG!

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It was absolutely NOT worth the time and aggravation that it took to receive this one bloody code. ¬†Really, all I was hoping for when I sent the first message was maybe a Free Shipping code…. or a straight up “nope, sorry” but then they gave all the run around… and I do NOT like being ignored… especially when I’m trying to give you my damn money!

Code in hand, er… copied, I went to the Third Love site and tried to find the Standard Collection bras. ¬†Ummm…. that’s not a category. ¬†Can’t find anything that says Standard Collection. ¬†Fine…. I put three bras that I liked in my cart and decided I’d order whichever one the code worked on…… and I got 50% off all three.

I still can’t figure out which one of us wasn’t understanding the whole thing. ¬†Was I being unreasonable, or were they being dense?

——

So my final review of Third Love bras is this:

They are awesome bras (dammit).

If you are an easy size, forget it! Go to Victoria’s Secret and buy all the cute shit you can get your hands on.

If you are a busty, difficult to fit gal…. you’re gonna love Third Love…. but only if you don’t have any interaction with customer service. ¬†Order the size you think you are and the next size up. ¬†Return the one that doesn’t fit for a refund, not an exchange. ¬†Now that you know what size you are with Third Love you can order whatever else you want.

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So are you one of my five referrals? ¬†How did it go for you? ¬†Love? Hate…. somewhere in between? ¬†Tell me!

Kamiya86 

Boo was sitting on my lap the other morning, trying to wheedle a few more nibbles of omelette from Brian. ‘She needs to get her teeth cleaned again,’ he said, falling prey to her big brown eyes and feeding her a bit of egg.

I’m not sure which one of us growled at him… honesty it could have been either one. Boo is a Pomeranian, and they’re prone to bad teeth. I try to brush her teeth, but she hates it and… well, I’m a terrible mommy.

Boo actually handles it all better than I do… I’m the one that needs to be sedated during her appointments. (I’m a Helicopter Pom Mom.) Once I dropped her off for her cleaning I had to keep myself distracted until it was time to pick her up, so Mom and I went shopping and out to lunch. Food and Retail Therapy are my solutions to most everything.

I’ve driven past Kamiya86 a dozen times and wanted to try it out, but when I’ve actually had the time Mom wasn’t feeling up to trying sushi (I’m still working to convince her that raw fish is yummy) or Brian was in the car (he’s going to take even more convincing). This time Brian was at home and Mom was feeling brave, so relying on the one review on the Find Me Gluten Free app we decided to give it a shot. (And we were only 20 minutes or so from home, so if we needed to, we could go home and die.)

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I asked the hostess if they had a Gluten Free Menu. ¬†She said they didn’t have a specific GF menu, but most everything could be made gluten free.

Our waitress was very sweet, but didn’t have the best English. ¬†She nodded confidently when I said that we had a gluten allergy and said ‘no problem.’ ¬†She returned with our drinks and a bottle of gluten free soy sauce then peered at the menu with me. ¬†We started off simple and ordered Summer Rolls as an appetizer. ¬†The hostess was hovering nearby and made sure that I was getting the Summer Rolls and not the Spring Rolls, which are deep fried. ¬†She stayed close while we made our order and reminded the waitress to bring us the sweet and sour sauce instead of the peanut sauce.

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Pad Thai is usually safe so I figured I’d go with an easy choice. ¬†The waitress nodded and agreed that it was gluten free. ¬†Mom wanted to be more difficult. ¬†She pointed at several different dishes that I was pretty sure weren’t safe for us.

“Please just order the Panang Curry, Mom,” I tried again.

“What about the Pad Thai? Do I like Pad Thai?” This is an old conversation.

“You hate the Pad Thai…. its noodles.”

She made a face, “I don’t like all those noodles.”

“I know! ¬†Order the Panang Curry.” ¬†Fortunately there weren’t many other diners in the restaurant to think that I am a horrible daughter for yelling at my sweet mother. ¬†(She just looks sweet, btw.) ¬†We have this conversation¬†every time we order Thai. ¬†I think she’s just messing with me.

Mom finally settled on the Panang Curry….. shocker! ¬†She and I have very similar taste except where it comes to noodles/pasta. ¬†I guess throw her off when I order things with noodles.

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I was actually a little jealous, the curry smelled delicious. Mom let me sneak a taste and it was very good. Surprise, surprise, she didn’t want to try any of my noodles. ¬†I did make her try the chicken from the Pad Thai though. So often the chicken in Pad Thai is dry and chewy, but it was nicely seasoned and juicy. ¬†The sauce was fabulous with just a hint of lime. The addition of bean sprouts added a nice fresh crunch. ¬†I wished for some crushed peanuts on top, but all in all, this is my favorite Pad Thai in Florida so far.

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I got a text from Brian after lunch that Boo had finished her dental cleaning… no cavities! and would be ready to go home in a few hours. ¬†Such a relief! ¬†Mom and I shopped until it was time to pick her up. ¬†Apparently I was still really wound, I shop a little wildly when I’m anxious…. because I bought a giant cat-cube-tower-thing at the pet store and then went a tiny bit bizerk in Home Goods (that store is SO dangerous!).

Boo was not the least bit amused with me when I picked her up. ¬†She did give the vet a couple friendly licks before we left, so I’m taking that as a sign that she was okay with them. ¬†Boo isn’t the most…. well, she’s a bit anti-social. ¬†She’s not mean, it just takes her a long while to warm up to people and other dogs. ¬†Until she decides if she likes you she not going to let you touch her… she prefers to just watch people from under the couch. ¬† She’s a distrusting little introvert…. like her momma. ¬†(Too bad I can’t fit under the couch.)

She whined a little on the car ride home until I turned the air conditioning on full blast and pointed all the vents at her. ¬†She’s not impressed with the Florida heat. (She didn’t like Missouri winters either though!) At home, she ran straight to Brian even though I reminded her that it was his idea to send her to the vet in the first place. ¬†Snot.

—-

A week or so later Mom and I drug Brain to¬†Kamiya86 for lunch. ¬†He was hesitant, but I promised that we’d just try a small sushi sampler and he could have Fried Rice for his meal.

We had a different waitress this time who seemed much more confident about the gluten free items on the menu. ¬†She said the Miso Soup was gluten free, and since it came with our meal anyway I figured I’d try it. ¬†(I did a quick google when she left and confirmed that while some Miso soups have barley they can be made gluten free.) The soup was interesting. ¬†It was a nicely flavored broth with bits of tofu and wide leaves of seaweed.

We picked a small sushi appetizer that our waitress assured us would be safe and give us a nice variety to try. ¬†I tried to use the chop sticks, but mostly ended up flinging raw fish around the table. ¬†Brian had better luck with the chop sticks and the waitress gave Mom a set of kid’s chopsticks to take home and practice.

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The sushi was delicious. ¬†Mom and Brian even enjoyed it and agreed that we’d need to come back soon and try a few more of the different options.

Full disclosure: I did have a bit of an upset tummy later. ¬†I didn’t feel like I’d been glutened, that’s a faster reaction and hurts more and usually comes with a headache. This was just more like something didn’t entirely agree with me. ¬†The Miso soup could have been to blame, maybe it wasn’t GF(?), but Brian did some googling and read that some people have trouble digesting the raw fish. ¬†I’m going to lean toward the raw fish theory…. or maybe just too much rice for me. ¬†Sometimes I have trouble when I eat a lot of rice. ¬†I will definitely go back, but I’ll go a little easier on the sushi and skip the Miso all together (it was good, but not something I’d crave).

1286 3RD STREET SOUTH
JACKSONVILLE, FL 32250