Going Gluten-Free

My friend, Laura, has been after me (for years) to try to get me to change my diet, in order to improve my health. She is very persistent. And I’m very stubborn. I’ve always resisted the thought of eliminating wheat from my diet. I can hardly imagine a life without it!

But here I am, at the point of no return, actually seriously considering this craziness. I’m pretty scared and intimidated about facing life without wheat (all you Celiac sufferers must have no empathy for me, but hey, no judging), but I believe I need to give it my best try. One of the scariest thoughts is that I’ve read and heard that once I give up wheat, I will not be able to go back to it. Chances are it will make me very sick. So I think that by “trying” to see how I feel without wheat, sort of means that I will never be able to tolerate it in the future. Yikes.

I guess if it helps me with my “foggy brain”, reduces my aches and pains (I sound like I’m ancient), improves my acid reflux, and helps me fight against diabetes, it will be worth it.

So please feel free to share your favorite recipes and tips with me. I am at an absolute starting point, so I’m terribly ignorant about everything I might need to know. So far I’ve gone 3 days without gluten, and I’m still smiling, but I need all the help I can get.

PS. I’m a pretty lazy cook, which means I like recipes that are simple to prepare. Also, I’m on a budget, so I cannot go overly fancy. Any recipe or tip that meets this criteria will be readily welcome 🙂

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Morada Bay Beach Cafe, Islamorada

A few months ago my friends Gene and Liz traveled to South Florida and asked us to recommend places to visit. Juan and I gave them a packed list of things to do in the Miami area and recommended they visit Key West as well (I mean, traveling through the Seven-Mile bridge is quite the experience). When they asked us where they should stop and eat along the Keys, we didn’t have a specific recommendation for them. I wish I would have known then what I recently discovered (thanks to my amazing girlfriends who took me there), because I would have suggested the Morada Bay Beach Cafe, located on Islamorada on mile marker 81.6.

I was there during a beautiful summer day. It was a bit overcast, especially towards the early afternoon (typical of South Florida), so the weather was very pleasant. The best part of my experience was the ability to sit and relax and have good conversation with friends overlooking the open water.

I give this restaurant 4 out of 5 starts for the following reasons:

The Atmosphere: Beautiful place, full of vibrancy and color as well as open spaces with a great view of the water. The tables sit on white sand for a great sea-side experience. After our meal, we sat under the palm trees by the sea wall and had a fantastically relaxing time.

The Service: The staff was very friendly and accommodating.

The Food: It was good, but not amazing. They do not have a gluten-free menu, making it hard for my friend, Laura, to find something to eat.

Overall: This beach cafe captures the taste and feel of the Keys. I also hear they have live music, which I didn’t get to enjoy (in fact, I heard my friend Cliff Stutts plays there in the evenings, and he happens to be one of the best bass players I’ve ever known :)) I would go back in a heart beat.

      

    

On a more comical note, here I am hugging a palm tree. This now Virginia girl really misses palm trees! Gotta hug them when I see them!

Regarding the beautiful ladies pictured here, I recently wrote a post about their friendship 🙂

After our meal, we decided to drive next door (we could have walked but it was about to rain) to the Bass Pro Shop Restaurant. My friend Carmen and her wonderful new hubby Dave had previously done their research. They discovered this place carried the best key lime pie in the area. If you go, make sure to ask for the best server, Bobbie. Tell her that Silvia sent you 🙂 Sit in the back porch and enjoy the view.