Monday, March 28, 2011

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You know what I'm loving these days??  That's what I love.  This is the first diet to work for me. is about creating a personalized profile, tracking what you eat/exercise and losing weight.  I never counted calories until I joined  I know most people say counting calories is so hard.  And when I started a few months ago it was.  But now? it's fun.  I have learned so much about what is crap and what is not.  I have had to google almost everything I eat to find out how many ounces it may have, and what the calories are per serving.  At first a drag, but now-so helpful!

I don't think I ever realized what I was actually putting in my mouth.  Some cake here and a cheese doodle or two there.  Cookies, chips, cheese, crackers, frozen yogurt and more.  I never ever thought I had to count.  But after a while I started gaining more weight then I desired.  I went to the gym, but only maintained.  Then when I had ankle surgery I stopped all together.  I didn't think to ever diet, and when I did, I never stuck with it.  All I wanted to lose was about 12 pounds.  But 12 pounds on me might as well have been 20.  It's hard to lose weight, and I know anyone who is reading this will agree.  It's been about 3 months and so far I am down 8.6 pounds.  For me this is a major accomplishment!  I am so happy that finally something has worked. allows you to simply add your age, your height and how many calories you would like to lose per week.  It then calculates a personalized plan for you and everyday you track what you eat, your servings and ounces, how much you exercise and what you do while exercising and what you are losing or gaining.  It let's you add all your information in the designated areas.  Then you simply create a profile.  You can win badges and this helps with motivation.  There is an area to put in your weight, and it tracks you with a graph.  This entire site is pretty much graph oriented.  It tracks your diet.  And many of the brands you eat or the foods will automatically be in their data base.  What isn't you research on your own and input it in yourself.

You can even "friend" people on this site.  Though I choose not to for privacy reasons.  You can post things on your profile and personalize it with a picture.  It's a friendly site.  Now when I don't sign in, I rush to a computer so I can input my info.  It feels good to learn how to eat and have it documented.  I swear for 1 straight month I didn't lose any weight, I actually gained, but while I gained I was learning, and once I learned I starting dropping the weight.

For the most part if you are starting to diet, know that veggies and fruits although listed with calories is really limitless like on the Weight Watchers diet (give or take an avocado).  Once you start losing weight, you will notice that your calorie intake will decrease.  This does not mean eat less, it means eat well.  If you are out of calories for the day have an apple!  Eat veggies and fruit.  Or learn to balance your calories.  Know that fish and shrimp are less then chicken and steak.  Know that steak is a once in a while thing, while cheese-even just an ounce (size of your thumbnail) is over 100 calories!  Know that chips and cookies are most likely not worth it.  I tried a GF Oreo Cookie that was 50 calories alone! For one!

I actually walked into Hale and Hearty Soups for a quickie.  I was in such a rush to get back to work, that I decided soup would be fast and efficient.  I thought it might be lots of calories, but I figured I could deal with a 350 or 400 cal soup.  I asked for a large Tomato Cheddar.  As she was about to pour, I casually asked how many calories a large would have.  She said 740!  I was like SAY WHAT??? I said "Don't you dare fill that cup!".  I went and got a salad.  There was NO WAY I was going to down almost 800 calories for a Tomato Soup!

And that is what I learned from  Prior to this site, I would have had that soup any day!

Want to join

xoxo Julie

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Just Because...

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I think one of the most confusing parts of Celiac Disease is reading labels and understanding the brands you buy. 

Tid Bit-Just because one product from a specific manufacturer is gluten-free does not mean another product will be. 

So you always have to be careful and on your game.

Never assume.

Always read the labels.

xoxo Julie

Friday, March 18, 2011

I lied, I loved them! Go KinniTOOS!

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Yes, yes.  I loved them.  These crumbly oreo creme cookies!  Look at how many we ate...and now? After I took the picture there are only 4 left!  I posted about these earlier and I said at first I didn't like them.

My entire office dug them!  We gobbled these babies up!

I changed my mind too.  They are addicting.

I have tried other gf oreo cookies and they are hard and small.

These are just delightful.  I just ate about 300-400 calories in COOKIES!  I'll let it slide this time back tomorrow.

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Kinnikinnick GF Oreo Cookies

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Just one is 50 calories!!  Sad face.  I was on my way home from work and stopped at the local health food store on 34th street between Park and Lex.  I wanted an oreo cookie.  Period.  I went in and found Kinnikinnick's brand called Kinnitoos.  This is a chocolate sandwich creme cookie that happens to be gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, casein-free, lactose-free, tree-nut free and peanut-free.

Lot's of free's.  That must be why they are so many calories for one!

But I brought them into work and gave one to my co-worker Gina and one to myself.  For Breakfast.  Yeah!  What a healthy breakfast.  ; )

At first I was disappointed.  I didn't think they were that good.  But as I chewed, I really like the aftertaste.  Then I decided they were really good.  Gina really dug them too.  The creme is a little off in taste, but the rest of the cookie was good.  It was crumbly, and not too hard.  Kinda melts in your mouth.

Overall, I say if I wasn't on a diet, I would have eaten at least 10.

Kinnikinnick also makes the most AMAZING GF Donuts!!

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hale and Hearty-EEK!! Major Calories!

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Did you know that a large Tomato Cheddar Soup from Hale and Hearty is a whopping 740 calories?

I was running around today and figured to save time I'd grab a soup from Hale and Hearty.  I already knew this soup was gluten-free.  When I approached the lady at the counter I asked if she knew the calories for a large.  She said yes, because they are all written on the soup covers.  She mentioned 740.  And I screamed!  Totally aghast that it could be sooo much!  I said, don't you dare fill that soup cup! I'm going to get a salad!

When you are on a diet and calorie counting a soup option like this is a waste!

I'm blogging this because I actually always thought it was wayyy less!  Guess I was wrong!

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pret A Manger's GF options

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One of my favorite lunch spots to go during work hours is Pret A Manger.  I always know that some of their salads are gluten-free, but I am never sure with their dressings.  According to Pret's website 3out of 5 dressings are gluten-free, wheat free and suitable for vegetarians.  And only two salads at Pret are not gluten-free.  Go Pret!

Pret has various locations all over and a plethora in NYC alone.

Pret's Wildberry Salad Dressing is gluten-free, dairy-free, wheat-free and suitable for vegetarians and Vegans.  The sad part?  Just one serving is 160 Calories!  And the dressings come with 2 servings, so be careful if you are watching your weight!

Pret's Lemon and Shallot Vinaigrette Dressing is gluten-free, dairy-free, wheat-free and suitable for vegetarians.  The sad part?  Just one serving is 100 Calories!  And the dressings come with 2 servings, so be careful if you are watching your weight!  (This is my favorite dressing)!

Pret's Classic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing is gluten-free, Wheat-Free (tho it is not listed), suitable for both vegans and vegetarians.  The sad part? Just one serving is 180 Calories!  And the dressings come with 2 servings, so be careful if you are watching your weight!

On another note...other items that are gluten-free at Pret?  I always thought nothing else would be, but since we are on the topic...

Pret's Yoga Bunny Yogurt Pot is gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians.  (This contains nuts).  The sad part? Just one serving is 280 Calories!

Overall, a salad is a salad.  It's natural and fresh.  All except the salad with the Cous Cous and the Caeser Salad is gluten-free.

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Click here for LOCATIONS

Monday, March 14, 2011

Luxe Dining-GF Beauty and Essex

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*Store front of Beauty and Essex

 Entrance to lobby of restaurant.  Past the door and enter an elegant presence...

I just went to one of the most amazing brunches EVER!  Not your traditional brunch, but amazing Brunch Tapas!!  I had heard such good things about Beauty and Essex.  I heard it was glam, a hotspot, trendy, a scene and fun.  I had to try!  My friend Nicole came into the city to take me out for my belated birthday.  I immediately thought of Beauty and Essex.  This new dig is another one of Chef Chris Santos's creations.  Overall? It was fantastic! And NOT what I was expecting.  The space is an old pawn shop which starts off looking like a store front where you can actually buy pawned outdated electronics like mint condition guitars, boom boxes and Walkman headsets! Upon walking inside you are introduced to a more plush dining experience with crystal chandeliers, checkerboard floors and spiralling staircases.  Walking through the restaurant it is as if you are in a Jazz lounge with mood music and plush couches during the Prohibition Era.  It's quite a wild experience.  Further inside is a huge dining room filled with open sunlit skylights and woven twine.  There are two bars and a lounge in this 10,000 square foot space that can seat up to 300! Though you will never feel on top of your neighbors or overcrowded.  I was so glad I didn't bail on my friend and opt for the neighborhood Josie's Restaurant.

The lobby after the Pawn Shop Store Front
The Lounge
The Dining Space

I loved their menu.  Their side dishes had titles like "Accessories", their sweet items like Ricotta Pancakes were listed under "Sweet Things and Starters" and anything on bread was called "Jewels On Toast".  The headers/catergories on the menu are listed in elegant script.  The actual menu feels like leather and it is tinted red.  And lucky for me there was a gluten-free menu.

I knew the gist of the menu because Stanton Social is similar.  It is Tapas, but I always order my own dishes.  I do not share.  I mostly can't because of my gluten sensitivity.  To my surprise Beauty and Essex had a GLUTEN FREE menu!  I was so happy!  And shocked! But I should have known because Stanton Social also owned by the same owner has a gluten free menu.  And it's a fancy gluten-free menu.  Their menu's are written in curly script writing and are so elegant you'll be glad to order off this menu.

The above menu pics are from their dinner GF menu.  But I went their for Brunch.  I didn't actually get to order from the GF Menu, as their brunch menu is interchangeable with their regular gluten menu.  Their wait-staff is extremely educated in the gluten allergy and your server will advise you upon your arrival.  There were great options.  And everything looked so good!  It tasted good too!  It was divine.  Heaven.

*For the life of me I have forgotten the name of my dish.  It was
from the brunch menu, and I believe it was called Chicken Chilhuae 
(or something like that).  It had tortilla chips, a sunny side up egg,
pulled chicken, greens and pickled onions.  Sounds odd right? It 
was truly divine.

  I decided to try Kale for the first time, a leaf simular to Spinach.  
This salad was amazing.  This salad had the perfect balance of
leaf and fruit.

The food was fantastic.  There was so much to choose from.  The cocktails were inventive.  The ambiance was luxe.  It's a downtown scene. It's a scene you want to be a part of yet you can show up in jeans and Converse.  It's a hipster casual scene with an elegant ambiance.  Overall my dining experience on a scale from 1-10 was a 100+++!  I cannot wait to go there again!  I have already told so many friends via email, text and BBM that they must try this place!

Beauty and Essex is located on Essex Street between Stanton and Rivington in the Lower East Side, NYC.  Try calling for a ressie (212) 614-0146, and if you need easy and are not near a phone make sure you book a ressie online at

The one thing I do recommend is to only order 1 dish and share the second with a friend.  The dishes are a lot bigger then those at Stanton Social.  I believe the portions are of bigger large tapas plates.  My friend and I were so full as we both ordered two dishes.  Wow, we left drunk and utterly stuffed!

My friend Nicole and I.  Nicole just got engaged! Congrats Nic!!

Enjoy!  xoxo Julie

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Hidden Gem-Bread Restaurant NYC

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Hello, hello!  It's been a while hasn't it?  This weekend was a lovely weekend in NYC.  It was actually on the warmer side, so I was out and about.  Yesterday I took a stroll to Soho to visit my friend at the The Young Designers Market on Prince Street (an indoor venue where you can buy one of a kind pieces from local designers like my friend Dina Yoel founder of City Jewelz).  While I was there I ran into a co-worker who wanted to go to her favorite restaurant in Nolita, called Bread.  Bread is a hidden gem.  It's super small and homey and has amazing wine and cocktails right in the heart of Nolita on Spring St. near Mulberry St..  The moment we walked in I assumed there would be no gluten-free.  I wasn't that hungry anyways, and figured I would just have a salad.  To my surprise their menu stated that they had gluten-free pasta AND GF Pizza.  Wow, yippity do da! Jackpot!

GF Pizza with Proscuitto  

I'd like to say great find Rachel!! I have been going to SoHo and Nolita for years, and never knew of this hidden gem great eats!  For those of you shopping in the Nolita area, this is a great spot!

Written up by NY Magazine with a whopping 21 reviews this is a place where I will return!

**Just know that their menu states that they cannot guarantee no cross contamination!  So use your judgement.

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

Retraction! Tu Lu's Bakery 400 Calorie Cupcakes

My friend Carmen at my Bday party

Hello my fellow readers!  Recently I posted an article on Tu Lu's Bakery, formally known as Tully's Bakery.  You see...It was my birthday last week.  My co-workers and friends ordered Tu Lu's cupcakes for my celebration (xoxo so sweet)!.  Since I am on a diet, I called the bakery and inquired about the calories in a Tu Lu's cupcake.  The employee who answered the phone said she was not sure, and put me on hold.  She then came back and said that they were around 400 calories, and to round up.  So I posted this tid bit.

As it turns out 400 calories is not the case.  Tully herself contacted me to find out where I had gotten my info from.  When I told her, she was surprised, because there has never been official testing on their cupcakes.  She mentioned that her employee should never have guesstimated the nutritional value, and would like everyone to know that her cupcakes are around the same amount of calories that a standard gluten cupcake would be. 

Since there has been no official testing, she could not quote an exact number.

My apologies to those that read my previous post and swore off to Tu Lu's cupcakes and baked goods! 

Enjoy!  And again, my apologies!

xoxo Julie

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tu Lu's GF Bakery-Big Calories EEK!

As most of my readers know, Tu Lu's GF Bakery in the East Village in NYC is my FAVVV!!! GF bakery.  Every year for my birthday I do special orders for my friends.  This year my friends ordered the Red Velvet Cupcakes for me, So sweet!!

To my surprise, a small cupcake from Tu Lu's is a whooping 400 calories!

I notice that when I eat home-made baked goods that are GF, I never stop to think about CALORIES.

But I'm stopping now.  400 calories is A LOT! on 1 small cupcake.  For my birthday it was worth it, but I will have to keep this in mind going forward.

Sad face.

Enjoy this tid bit!