New Year Resolutions

I never make resolutions. I used to, when I was younger, but I quickly learned that most resolutions that I made were superficial (“exercise more”) and cheesy (“be more open minded” – I mean really, what does that even mean?) and it wasn’t long before I fell off the new year bandwagon and went back to my old ways.

But I have been thinking a lot over the last couple of weeks. Thinking about my previous year and this year ahead of me and what they mean to me. 2013 was my best year ever. And I can truthfully say that. It was incredible; not in some lame “best year ever” kind of way. In the honest-to-goodness, most genuine way possible. If I could relive 2013 over and over again, I would. To sum it up, here are some of the highlights of my last year:

I got married. To an awesome man who genuinely makes me feel like a better version of myself whenever we’re together. I cannot even remember what my life was like before I was his wife.

View More: http://chaophotography.pass.us/lindsayjason

Our family grew. With the addition of our six pound maltese, our baby girl Gracie became the center of attention in our home. What did we even used to do before we brought her home with us last April?

gracie2

I started this blog. That’s right, my blog less than 8 months old. But in those eight months, I’ve had the chance to share information with people all over the world. And joining the gluten free community has opened my eyes to so many new ideas, new people and let’s face it, amazing recipes, that I can’t imagine NOT being a part of it.

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I traveled. A lot. In 2013 I had the chance to visit St. Louis, Minneapolis, Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock, Tampa, Las Vegas, Austin, Seattle, St. Louis, Buffalo, Houston, Chicago, Niagara Falls, Orlando, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Dallas and did I mention Antigua?!

Beautiful Antigua

Beautiful Antigua

2013 was a whirlwind of a year surrounded by awesome customers, incredible friends and of course, my amazing husband. So when I think about 2014, I wonder how on Earth I am going to top last year’s awesomeness. The only way I can even think about coming close is to set some goals for myself. Not resolutions, because we know I can’t help but break a New Year’s Resolution. But instead, some reasonably attainable goals that won’t make me feel terrible about myself if I can’t do them every single day.

– I will travel. As far and as often as possible. You can’t see, learn and eat everything from Mississippi. There are too many incredible things (and incredible foods) in the world to sit around and miss it all. So get ready for some (Gluten Free) posts while I’m out exploring this year.

– I will write. More. Writing is more than just a hobby for me now. It’s cathartic. I’ve written a countless number of blog posts that never even get “published” but instead, just sit in my drafts as evidence of a crazy day at work, or an amazing trip or even a terrible dinner. Reading old posts never fails to make me laugh. And writing new ones never fails to make me smile.

– I will smile. As much as I can. Because not every day is perfect, but if there’s one thing that last year taught me, it’s that happiness is contagious and smiling in and of itself can make any day brighter.

– I will be more grateful. Let’s face it, we are all guilty of taking things for granted from time to time. This year, I want to focus my efforts on constantly staying grateful for all of the amazing things in my life. Whether it is a night out with friends, a simple dinner at home with the hubs, a wonderful vacation, or just a delicious piece of gluten free pie… Taking a second to appreciate things will surely help to make the year a better one.

Cheer’s to 2014! Wishing you a year that is as much of an adventure as I hope mine will be!

cheers-2014

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Eating Gluten Free on the Road

So I haven’t written in a few weeks… I am a slacker when it comes to my blog lately, but my work travel schedule has been insane! I travel a lot for work – sometimes, like this past month, a lot a LOT for work. And for those of you who travel, you know the hardships of eating Gluten-Free on the road. So I thought I would compile some of the highlights of awesome meals over my last few weeks.

1. Outback Steakhouse

Alright, so I am not normally a big Outback Steakhouse girl, but when I am on the road, I’ll eat pretty much anywhere I can. (And anywhere my customer wants to go!) So Outback it was. For starters, Outback has an awesome Gluten-Free menu. No – you can’t get their signature Bloomin’ Onion in a “Gluten Free” version. But you can enjoy their incredible Ahi Tuna in a GF version!!! They clearly highlight everything you can eat on a seperate menu. Check it out here: http://www.outback.com/menu/pdf/glutenfree.pdf (No, Outback doesn’t pay me any royalties for endorsing them to my 10 or so readers. Shocking, I know.)

But that isn’t the best part. The absolute best part is their flourless chocolate brownie. This cake will rock your world. I mean it! Delicious gooey gluten-free goodness topped with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge. I just about died while eating it. Just typing this makes me hungry.

2. Mexican Restaurants

If you are not a big Mexican lover, disregard this section. But I am obsessed with Mexican food. Sometimes I think I could exist solely on a diet of cheese dip and margaritas. So when I travel, I carry this obsession with me into my work life.

Things to eat at Mexican restaurants:
Corn tortilla chips (with cheese dip/salsa of course!)
Hard shell tacos
Fajitas with Corn Tortillas
Margaritas (should go without saying)

Or my favorite “Mexican” meal of all time: Chicken covered in cheese dip. If you are at a restaurant with chicken covered in cheese dip and a side of rice on the menu, jump on it. This stuff is glorious! Bonus – to make it “Atkins” friendly, just ask for it with no rice. 🙂

3. Bonefish Grill

Like Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish boasts a Gluten-Free menu. It is what you would expect – fish, steaks and salads mostly. But they do have some delicious fish and steak there, believe it or not!

Other menu items I am obsessed with include their edamame as an appetizer and their gluten-free brownie or creme brulee for dessert!!! Both are absolutely incredible!!!

There are so many incredible restaurants in every city nationwide. Whenever I travel, I tend to eat a lot of red meat and salad (can’t go wrong with a great steakhouse, I’ve always said). But chain restaurants like Outback and Bonefish have done an incredible job accomodating gluten-free customers! So next time you drive by one, stop in and try them. They might surprise you!