Tunnel to Towers Run NYC

t2t

“If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.” –unknown

9/11 is a day where we reflect back on the day that changed our lives forever. We think about the people who are no longer with us and of all the people who risked their lives (and continue to do so every day) and who fought to save the lives of people they have never met. One of my good friends lost both her father and uncle on 9/11. Every year, her family participates in the Tunnel to Towers run and this is the first year that I went. It is a 5K that honors 9/11 First Responders in honor of Stephen Siller.

t2t

Stephen Siller had gotten off the late shift and was on his way home from work. After he heard the news, he turned around and got his gear. By the time he got to Battery Tunnel, it had been closed. He strapped on all 60 pounds of his gear and ran through the traffic in the Tunnel all the way to the World Trade Center. He risked his life to save others, the ultimate sacrifice.

t2t

t2t 6

This year they had a record high of over 30,000 people participating in the run. You run the route that Stephen Siller took. It was such a beautiful event to be a part of. As you come out of the Tunnel, the streets are lined with Service men and women, the FDNY, and NYPD. They are cheering you on and high fiving you as you run by. They are thanking you for running. I was astonished. They are thanking me… for running. No, thank you. Thank you for risking your lives every day to protect ours. Thank you for leaving your families and for keeping ours safe. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

t2t

Words cannot describe how special this day was and how honored I felt being in the presence of such amazing people.

t2t

t2t

t2t

If you would like to donate or participate in a run, please visit http://tunnel2towers.org/.

t2t

Advertisements

Sunday Dinner

I love Sunday Dinner. It is a staple in many Italian families, everyone getting together, laughing, and eating delicious food. What I have found hard with Sunday Dinner is making food that is safe for me to eat but enjoyable for everyone else. This recipe is loved by my family and approved by my grandma!

Turkey Meatballs and Sauce or Gravy

(depending on where you live)

Turkey Meatballs

What you need (Meatballs):

-1 lb dark turkey meat and 1 lb light turkey meat

-1/2-3/4 c gluten free bread crumbs

-1 egg

-1/4 c parmesan cheese

-2 cloves garlic, crushed

-fresh basil and parsley

-salt and pepper

-1/2 package of spinach (sautéed in olive oil and chopped)

Turkey Meatballs

What To Do:

-Mix all the ingredients (except the spinach). I like to mix it with my hands; it incorporates the mixture better! It shouldn’t be too dry or too moist. You want to be able to form it into a ball and have it stay together.

-After mixing the spinach in, I form into balls about the size of a small baseball. You can make them any size you want. In a skillet, drizzle some olive oil and heat it up.

-Place the meatballs in the pan and cook for about 5 minutes per side. You want them to get nice and crispy on the outside.

Turkey Meatballs

What you need for the Sauce:

-2 cans of San Marzano crushed red tomatoes

-1 small can of tomato paste

-2 cloves garlic crushed

-olive oil

-fresh basil and parsley

-salt and pepper

Turkey Meatballs

What to Do:

-In a saucepot on medium heat, add 1 tsp of olive oil and put the crushed garlic on top of the oil. Cook for a few minutes until the garlic is fragrant and soft.

-Pour in the tomatoes and tomato paste and mix in the fresh herbs. Add about 1 tsp salt and pepper. You want to let the sauce cook for a while and if you think it needs more salt, add it in slowly, let it cook and then taste. If your sauce is too bitter, you can add a carrot in to cook with it or a sprinkle of sugar.

-Let the sauce bubble and turn it to low heat. Add the meatballs in and cover with the sauce. Let it cook for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. The longer your sauce cooks, the tastier it becomes!

Turkey Meatballs

Mangiamo!

Pan Fried Zucchini

Pan Fried Zucchini

zucchini

Zucchini is such a versatile vegetable. I use it in many dishes and in many ways like zoodles (zucchini noodles) or in salads. One of my favorites is when it is pan fried with salt and pepper.

zucchini

Slice the zucchini really thinly and put it in a pan with a little bit of olive oil. Make sure you do not overlap the zucchini.

zuchinni

Cook the zucchini on medium heat and after 10 minutes flip the zucchini over. You want the underside to be brown.

Cook for another 10 minutes and sprinkle with some parmesan cheese.

zucchini

Zucchini is full of dietary fiber and rich in flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants. These antioxidants help get rid of harmful oxygen-derived free radicals that can cause aging and various disease processes. Zucchini is also really good for your heart!! It’s full of vitamin C which helps the lining of your blood cells to function better!

What is your favorite way to eat zucchini??

xoxo Jenn

Power Talking, I mean Walking

I love being downtown! It is beautiful and there are so many things to do. One of my favorite things is to go power walking (as my friend Jackie calls it)/slow jogging. I am trying to slowly get back into running but struggling with chronic pain and inflammation can make it hard to regain that control.downtown

Today we went power walking about 3 miles downtown and along the waterfront. Our pace wasn’t too bad if you think we were talking the whole time and running into tourists. Our goal is to get it down to 15 minutes a mile while talking!

downtown

Isn’t it beautiful down here, even on a cloudy day!

downtown

We stopped in to our favorite juice spot at Vela Juice Bar. I got a Down and Dirty Flu Fighter since I have been feeling a bit under the weather and Jackie got a Big Island Smoothie with spinach. In my juice, there was grapefruit, orange, green apples, lemon, ginger, carrot, turmeric, and garlic.

downtown

I know, garlic! Actually garlic is a great way to prevent infections and cut down on the duration of a cold. Raw garlic that is cut or in my case juiced, has two chemicals called alliin, which is a compound and alliiase, an enzyme. They get together and form allicin. When allicin is digested in your body, it produces sulfenic acid, a compound that fights those dangerous free radicals. Not only does it fight antiviral sicknesses, it attacks antibacterial and antifungal illnesses. So when you start to feel under the weather, try to add raw garlic into your lifestyle!

xoxo Jenn

Gluten Free Yogi

I love yoga! It is one of my favorite activities to do. I have been trying out some different yoga studios but there is one literally steps from my apartment.  I went with my friend Jackie and we had a blast!

yoga

Yoga has so many health benefits besides being relaxing. I have a bad back and yoga has helped it tremendously. It helps stretch not only your back but your whole body. Your posture improves by building muscle strength. Yoga does help you relax but it is also good for your heart. It can lower your blood pressure and slow your heart rate. My favorite reason I like to do yoga is that it calms my mind. I feel more focused and clear minded after a session. So even if you have never tried yoga before, don’t be scared to start!

yoga

Namasté

The light within me honors the light within you.

yoga

Mediterranean Cucumber Salad

Mediterranean Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Salad

I love Greek food! It is probably one of my favorite cuisines and easily adaptable to gluten free cooking. My grandma recently told us (within the past few years) that we are part Greek, so let us enjoy some great food!

This cucumber and tomato salad is quick to make.

Cucumber Salad

What you need:

Cucumber diced (I used ½ very large English Cucumber)

Two Tomatoes diced (I used vine tomatoes)

Feta Cheese (1/4 block, broken up with a fork)

Garlic Vinaigrette (I got this at a local supermarket)

Salt and Pepper

Cucumber Salad

What to do:

  1. Dice cucumbers and tomatoes.
  2. Salt and pepper to your liking (Remember the feta is kind of salty, so you might not need as much salt. You can always add more, not take any away).
  3. Add feta and drizzle on some garlic vinaigrette.

Cucumber Salad

Tomatoes are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients. Vitamin A, C, folic acid, beta-carotene, and lycopene are just a few of the important health benefits we receive when eating tomatoes. Choline is a super important nutrient found in tomatoes. Studies have proven that choline helps reduce chronic inflammation! When you have Celiac Disease or Inflammatory Disease (or both), you struggle with chronic inflammation. It is important to make sure your diet is rich with anti-inflammatory foods and incorporating tomatoes is an easy way to help support decreasing chronic inflammation.

How are you going to incorporate tomatoes into your lifestyle?

xoxo Jenn

Watermelon Bowl

Watermelon Bowl

How cute is this watermelon bowl? I went to a cookout this Labor Day Weekend and wondered what to bring. Cookouts or BBQ’s are sometimes a scary place to be when you have Celiac Disease and food allergies. You don’t know what food is going to be there, will you be able to eat anything, or are things cross-contaminated?

To make this cute watermelon bowl, get a watermelon and cut the top off. Don’t cut through the middle because you want your bowl to be filled with the cut watermelon pieces. Since I did not have a melon baller (which you could use to get those cute balls of watermelon), I took a knife and cut around the edges in the inside. With a large spoon, I scooped the watermelon out and cut it into chunks. I put the watermelon chunks back into the watermelon bowl.

This was a big hit at the cookout! You could also make a fruit salad with different types of fruits and use the watermelon bowl to hold it.

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful Labor Day Weekend! xoxo