Gluten Free For Good


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What does the future hold?

Can you see down that long (hopefully) and winding road that makes up your life journey?

No, none of us can. But I’m going with the intention of living a long and healthy life so I want to make sure I’m positioning myself to do so. And in style.

January 1, 2010.

No better day to start than today.

I have trouble considering myself as anything other than early-middle-aged (oooh, that seems strange), so to have that play out chronologically, I need to make my way to the other side of 100. And as I said before, do it with style. I want to be one of those old ladies doing handstands on the beach (or the only one), telemark skiing and climbing mountains with Colorado’s “over the hill gang.” Perhaps sporting an antique blond (also known as grey) ponytail and wearing chic and groovy clothes. Even golden girls can feel good, look good and be full of life. I want to eventually be that golden girl.

Thriving in style.

No time to waste. I need to be preparing for that now. I got sidetracked with the holidays and have been baking (and eating) muffins, cookies and cakes. Drinking red wine and eating dark chocolate. Not exercising enough. My metabolism is off-kilter and I’ve gained 6 pounds. Okay, I know I should know better and I’m not going to mention any names, but it’s not entirely my fault.

Now that the holiday roller coaster ride is over, I’m ready to get back on track with a healthy eating and exercise program. If you’re remotely interested, read on. Here’s what I’m going to do to lose that 6 pounds, reset my metabolism and get back in shape before this uptick in weight becomes the norm. That’s how it happens, my friends. Before you know it, this slow, inauspicious cookie-creep becomes an accepted part of your backside (or spare tire for the guys).

I don’t want to go there. I want to be able to do cartwheels when I’m 80 and each extra pound makes stuff like that sooo much harder to do. Pretty soon playing upside down is longer an option. And that’s not in my plan.

Your plan may be different, but the bottom line is the same. We want to stay healthy for a variety of reasons, whatever they may be.

This isn’t a cleansing protocol, that will come in the spring. This is my basic weight loss protocol. Nothing complicated, but after the sugar rush of the holidays, certainly not easy.

Onward, with resolution resolve!

1. I’ll eat a good, healthy and relaxed breakfast each morning. Something like a bowl of GF oatmeal, a smoothie, a sliced apple with almond butter and a cup of goat kefir, or poached eggs with greens on teff toast. The best thing right now is something fairly substantial, but not high in calories – and with a mix of protein, carbs and fat.

2. No snacking in between meals. I’ll stick with herbal tea or water.

3. Exercise every day. I will either go to yoga, go for a long walk, ride my bike (or indoor trainer), go skiing – anything that gets me moving, stretching, breathing and thriving.

4. Eat my main meal at lunch – something like a healthy bowl of soup or stew, a side salad and a few flax crackers.

5. Eat a light dinner before 6 PM. No snacking after dinner. I’ll drink some nice mellow herbal tea with honey before bed.

6. Drink lots of water throughout the day. Have an occasional glass of red wine on the weekend, but not during the week. No sugar, no processed foods, smaller portions, no snacking in between meals.

That’s a start. I had a bowl of oatmeal (see recipe below) for breakfast early this morning and now I’m going to go ride my bike trainer and listen to 80s music on my iPod.

Hearty and healthy GF oatmeal to usher in 2010 *
what you need

2 cups water
3/4 cup certified GF oatmeal
2 tablespoons teff grain
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup chopped nuts (or a mix of nuts and seeds)
handful of raisins

what you do
1. Bring water to a boil, slowly add oats and teff, stir well and turn heat to low (the lowest setting).
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, blend well, cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes. Check and stir occasionally. Add a touch more water if you need to.

Serve with brown rice milk and raw honey. Makes 2 hearty servings.

* Some people with celiac disease  or a gluten sensitivity don’t do well with oats even if they are pure and uncontaminated, so check with your health care provider before adding oats to your diet.

Music to ride by – 80s iPod play list
1. Start Me Up (The Rolling Stones, 1981)
2. Total Eclipse of the Heart (Bonnie Tyler, 1983)
3. I Love Rock & Roll (Joan Jett, 1982)
4. Billie Jean (Michael Jackson, 1983)
5. Love Shack (The B-52s, 1989)
6. Straight Up (Paula Abdul, 1980) Sorry about this one, but who can resist singing along?
7. Thing Called Love (Bonnie Raitt, 1989) Go, Bonnie, go!
8. I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues (Elton John, 1983)
9. Super Freak (Rick James, 1981)

It’s 2010, let’s get moving!

30 Responses to “what’s in store for you in 2010”

  1. I love lists(good thing, this time of year;-)esp. yours… from oats to Joan Jett.
    Happy New year, Melissa. I look forward to many more delicious and provocative posts!

  2. Alta says:

    Best of luck to you in 2010! I love herbal teas as a substitute for an in-between meals snack. Especially rooibos tea – seems to curb the “snackiness”.

  3. melissa

    I loved your playlist 🙂 nothing like some 80’s tunes to get you moving!

    Thank you so much for this motivating message. I feel inspired – – like climbing a mountain right this very moment 🙂
    I have a whole 8 pounds of baby weight still to lose (truthfully, I will worry about that when I’ve finished nursing my babe). But, it doesn’t stop the yearning….I sort of have the double whammy of “post-holiday-yuckiness/new-year-fresh start” AND “post-baby-I-am-feeling-SO-unfit right about-now” Started back on my yoga this morning.
    I’ve been drinking a ton of herbal tea too. Stir some Manuka honey in there (one of my favorite finds). So good. And so good for you!

    I am so looking forward to all the things 2010 will bring – Happy New Year!

  4. Terrific post, Melissa! Love the photo and all the inspiration. I have lots of plans/goals, too. Yours seem really reasonable and I will do my best to follow them because they just make sense. Some things like breakfast I almost always do, but others like no sugar, etc. are much harder. Yet, I know I feel MUCH better when I do follow those guidelines.

    Thanks very much! Happy New Year to you and best of luck on all your goals! I want to be that healthy old lady, too. 🙂


  5. Kay says:

    Happy 2010, Melissa! I wish you health, luck and grace.

    Since going gf, I found I no longer need snacks. Three balanced meals a day is plenty for me. I made it through the holidays with just a couple of sweets – meringues, yum! I’ve also been indulging in whipped honey from my honey guy at the farmers market. I can pile it up on my morning toast! So good! So bad! Ha ha!

    I’m off to the winter farmers market this morning. Then I get to deliver my eggs. Can you believe I finally make a whopping $30/week off my flock?!


  6. Cid says:


    Like your other readers I feel inspired by your post. You are quite right of course, we’ve probably all gained a little weight during the holidays and are now wondering why we don’t feel so well. I haven’t been feeling great for a while and some of that is due to a high carb diet of seasonal goodies, not to mention too many late nights. I too have it in mind to exercise more and eat my way back to health (let’s not count the cookie I just scoffed with my cup of after-work tea 🙂 ). Good advice about a decent breakfast…. we should all know that by now. No snacking between meals is another. Onwards then to a fitter 2010. There are so many clothes I want to get into for spring and summer and I’m really looking forward to achieving that. Speaking honestly I fear I’m going to have to shift at least 14 pounds because as you say, left alone these odd pounds here and there add up and stick around looking for company. Mine have almost taken root so it’s high time the eviction orders were enforced!


  7. Melissa says:

    Hi Karen,

    Thanks and Happy New Year to you as well. Loved your recent beet soup recipe. Yum!

  8. Melissa says:


    Herbal teas are great, especially at this time of year (it’s cold here!). I also like making green tea to keep on hand for smoothies. I have a recipe for a green tea smoothie in the works.

    Happy New Year!

  9. Melissa says:


    I love “post-holiday-yuckiness! Yes, that’s exactly what I’m feeling and I have no “recently had a baby” reasons. Mine is simply overeating treats and stuff that I don’t normally eat. I’m inspired and serious about launching into 2010 with good intentions. Eat less, exercise more!

  10. Melissa says:


    Loved hearing from you and love connecting with you on Facebook! A “couple” of sweets?? Are you serious? Just a couple. Okay, that must have been my downfall. I was having a “couple at a time.”


    By the way, congratulations on your eggs. Wish I could be a recipient. And your farmer’s market honey sounds delightful. I could go for some of that piled on toast right now!

    The best to you and your farm in 2010!

  11. Melissa says:


    You always have such a keen way with words! As usual, I laughed out loud while reading your comment. You’re right, I don’t want this extra weight searching for company or taking root as you so aptly put it. That’s what happens. A few extra pounds become the baseline, then it’s on from there. No, we must nip it in the bud (or bum).

    Love my bookmark, absolutely love it. Wish I could send a proper thank you! One of these days I’ll meet you at Table #4 or #6 and buy you a glass of wine and some wonderful flourless chocolate cake that Miles will no doubt add to the menu before I arrive.


  12. Happy New Year Melissa!
    I too am in need of a body-realignment… too much chocolate and red wine the past month and my body is definitely off-kilter. Here’s to getting back on track and doing cartwheels when we’re 80!

  13. Sounds like a great plan-smart, sensible, and moderate. Good stuff.
    I also am “early middle age”-I turn 36 in a week, and am a child of the 80’s-great playlist!
    “Superfreak” will always remind me of Little Miss Sunshine henceforth-and she bore great resemblance to my younger self!
    Best wishes with your goals and happy 2010!

  14. Melissa says:


    It’s amazing how quickly you can get out of sync during the holidays — and how long it takes to rebalance. Or, as you so aptly put it, body-realignment.


  15. Melissa says:


    Thanks for your comment, but I have to admit, we are in parallel universes when it comes to “early middle age” perspective. You’re just a kid.


    I don’t feel anywhere near my “real” age, so I always go with this “middle aged” thing and that doesn’t even “feel” real. I’m not trying to “hide” my age, it’s just not that important.

    BUT, having said that, to keep on feeling good, we need to make our health a priority all the time.

    P.S. Thanks for the chuckle about Little Miss Sunshine. Funny movie.

  16. Melissa says:


    I don’t know what it is with your comments, but they end up in the strangest places! At least now I know to look in my “blog closets” when I don’t hear from you.

    The sugar thing is such a hard one to deal with, especially when you fall off the no-sugar (or at least low-sugar) bandwagon. We just aren’t meant to be consuming processed sugar, especially in copious amounts. I ate way too much during the holidays and I can really feel the dip in my health because of it. Time to reset my metabolism and get back on track. I’m determined, but it’s not easy!

    Hopefully we can get together in 2010! We definitely need to make that happen one of these days.

    Happy 2010!

  17. Miles says:

    Happy New Year, nice to see you back. What a great and thought provoking photograph, the writing isn’t bad either 🙂
    Some good points there, like your breakfast recipe-it’s a perfect start to the day.


  18. Peter says:

    first off Happy 2010 and I certainly relate although my slacking of exercise and good eating habits started early November and I can feel it. My wife told me this morning that my shirt looks tight and it was bought 2 months ago when I started a new job. so alas, New Years resolution is to eat well and get moving. it’s amazing how quickly metabolism slows and that spare tire grows after 40! we have ground teff would that work or just make a muddy mess in the oatmeal? and looking forward to your green tea smoothie recipe.

    cheers and good health!


  19. Melissa says:


    Thank you, it’s good to “be back.” It’s funny, blogging takes so much time and it’s definitely secondary to my work and life, but I miss the people when I’m out of touch for awhile. It’s good to hear from you!


  20. Melissa says:


    I wondered where you’ve been. I appreciate you stopping by and Happy 2010 to you as well. It really is amazing how your metabolism shifts with age. It doesn’t have to, it’s just that there is less room for error! What you could get away with at 25 can become a problem later in life. We’re all on this journey together though. We can cheer each other on.


    Cheers and good health to you, too!

  21. Peter says:


    It’s good to be missed and I look forward to your posts and to contributing more in 2010. “less room for error” is so true. Here’s to reigniting that metabolism and keeping healthy. I would also like to be on that beach doing handstands in my 80’s!


  22. Cid says:


    I’ve just made a batch of banana/hemp seed muffins. The recipe actually called for bran to be added to conventional flour but I didn’t have any so I added chopped pecans instead. For the vegetable oil I used half hemp seed oil, half sunflower. The bananas were really so ripe they were on the verge of fermentation but I got there just in time. The recipe calls for an icing made from freshly squeezed orange and icing sugar which if you’re not following a strict calorie controlled diet, sounds like a nice topping…. could use lemon juice. Aren’t muffins great, quick to make and often much nicer than a normal sponge mix. I love the fact that you can throw in seeds and natural flavourings…. perhaps matcha green tea? Quick breakfasts or healthy snacks for the kids, you can’t go wrong.

    We’re back to your subject of ‘can a muffin be lusty’….well ours will be because there’ll be about a tablespoon of lust in every muffin… and organic too. I’ll send a box to Patrick Rafter to see if he’ll be the advertising ‘face’ of the Soup Sirens Lusty Muffins 🙂


    p.s. I’m still enjoying your toasted brown rice porridge recipe, excellent on these freezing cold winter days.

  23. Melissa says:


    Handstands on the beach at 80 can be done! Well, I’ve got a ways to go, but I hope to be doing something of the sort. I figure, if I can do it today, I can do it tomorrow. And on I’ll go.

    Thanks, again. Nice to hear from you again. Best in 2010 to you and your family!

  24. Melissa says:


    Please pass the muffins. On second thought, I’m foregoing muffins, cakes and cookies until I drop these few pounds that came to visit (hopefully they are just visiting) during the holidays. Once I get back on track, I’ll bake and eat goodies with a little less exuberance!

    I must say though, your creation sounds wonderful and yes, a bit lusty with the hemp seeds and pecans. I’ve been thinking for some time to try a quick bread with an herbal tea as the liquid. I’ve been making the most wonderful smoothies lately with green tea.

    I have to tell you, Cid, I have a new target for our “lusty muffin” advertising campaign. His name is Jamie something and he’s a gardening guru from Australia. I’ve been riding my mountain bike trainer (a contraption so I can ride my bike indoors without going anywhere) and watching the House & Garden network on TV. Just a little something to bide the time while I burn off the muffins. I recently discover Jamie’s new show on converting outdoor spaces. Well, lets just say he gives Patrick Rafter, et al, a run for the money. And he’s on the House & Garden Channel! Seriously, what more could you ask for?

    P.S. I haven’t had any rice cereal lately. Thanks for the reminder. I’ve been stuck on steel cut oats (guaranteed gluten-free of course) and teff porridge. I’m still waiting for a clue to where I can send a thank-you to that friend of yours who sent me the bookmark. 🙂

  25. Cid says:


    I’ve seen green Matcha tea added to macaron dry so I suppose you could add it to quick bread recipes. Not sure whether this type of tea is higher in caffeine than other green teas though, but it is rather expensive so we’ll have to use it sparingly.

    As for the lusty muffins (and ours will be world famous as the lustiest of all 🙂 ) I fear we risk upsetting one of the boys so reluctantly we may have to hire both for the good of the campaign.


    p.s. not sure I could manage to stay focused on my mountain bike trainer while watching Jamie or Patrick…. (as in the background ‘Wheels on Fire’ quietly plays 🙂 )

    I’m off to research Australian Jamie and and his outdoor spaces….

  26. Cid says:


    …. hold on to the handlebars of that trainer woman…. Jamie Durie is the missing link in our already packed list of traveling plates. How did we ever manage without him? He’s got his own website and would you believe it, he’s from a place called Manly 🙂 I certainly couldn’t agree more and are there any other Manly men we should know about?

    Amazon sell his books but alas no cardboard cutouts… I checked 🙂


    p.s. I’ve got a fairly new patio but that’s not to say it couldn’t do with a little update. I’ll enlighten him as to our plans after he’s installed the swing and hot tub 🙂

  27. […] Free for Good is going to lose weight, and she has laid out a specific plan, with a recipe for a healthy […]

  28. Melissa says:


    As is often the case, I almost choked on my organic, Bolivian coffee while reading your comments early this morning. I laughed out loud at your discovery of Jamie Durie (and am still laughing as I look back over your comments). There’s actually a town called Manly? Inhabited by manly men? Fascinating.

    If nothing else, we’re creating quite a fine list of potential full-sized cardboard cutouts to sell in our gift shop. Shall we call it the Plates and Dates Boutique? The place to get all your dining accessories.

    Giggling again thinking of the hot tub and swing.

  29. You are so right about the sugar, Melissa. Maybe you can come visit and give me a consultation and then do a tax write-off … I’m not completely joking.

    Re: my comments, I’m trying my other ID I’ve created to avoid this issue … let’s see if it works.


  30. Melissa says:


    Sounds good to me! I’d love to get together — somehow, someway! It will happen. I’m sure of it.


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