My Life in Boston

💫 by Lillian Lee

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Lebanese Food at Shawarma Falafel

My go-to spot for falafel, shawarma and/or roll-ups when in the Downtown Crossing area has to be Shawarma Falafel, which also happens to be a shop or two down from Sam LaGrassa’s sandwich shop.

The people are super nice and the food is delicious. I usually order a plate special, but since I’m under strict orders to chill it with the rice, I opted for a chicken shawarma roll-up combo instead.

by LILLIAN LEE

The combo came with French fries and a drink and was under $10. Had I known that they stuffed French fries into the roll-up, I would’ve skipped the fries.

It was super yummy especially with the addition of garlic butter and pickles.


Shawarma Falafel
26 Province Street
Boston, MA 02108
857-265-3017

World Famous Sandwiches at Sam LaGrassa’s

I have lived in Boston all my life and it wasn’t until the other day that I experienced the sandwich deliciousness of Sam LaGrassa’s.

The Mister and I happened to be in the area and decided to give Sam LaGrassa’s a shot. I’ve only every heard amazing things about the place as well as the fact that it gets jam-packed.

We got there a little before noon and already there was a line. We chose to split the Pastrami Corned Beef Combo which has Rumanian pastrami and “fresh from the pot” corned beef with swiss cheese, russian dressing and cole slaw served on light rye with a pickle for $13.95.

by LILLIAN LEE

It’s a great sandwich, tender and mild. I’d probably opt for the coleslaw on the side next time only because the coleslaw did overpower the flavor of the meats a bit.

I would definitely try to hit them up before the noon lunch crowd because the line can get long and you might not be able to find a seat.


Sam LaGrassa’s
44 Province St.
Boston, MA 02108
(right in Downtown Crossing)

I Heart E.L.F. Lipsticks

Ever since I came back from my Arizona trip, my lips have needed some serious moisturizing. I don’t even know if wearing matte liquid lipsticks in Arizona is even possible. The few times I put it on it felt as if the dry Arizona air just sucked everything out of my lips. I’ve never had lips that chapped before.

Anyhow, since then, I’ve been wearing more regular lipsticks. The ones that I’ve been wearing on the daily? E.L.F. Velvet Matte lipsticks. They ARE amazing and cost only $3 – I even got one of them for $1 when it went on clearance at Target the other day!

by LILLIAN LEE

My favorite colors? Blushing Brown and Ruby Red. I still haven’t tried out the Moisturizing lipstick in Ravishing Rose because I’ve just been wearing the other two day in and day out.

My only one complaint is that there is a sweet taste to them, which can be off-putting when you’re eating something savory. Other than that, these are the ones I have on my person at all times.

How I Manage Gestational Diabetes: The Diet (Part 1)

Up until I failed my blood glucose tests, I thought I had free reign to indulge in carbs. So, I started eating more bread, baked goods, chocolate – a lot of hot chocolate with marshmallows – and even started baking bread.

I cut all that out as soon as I found out I’d failed. It wasn’t too hard for me since I’d limited my carb intake prior to pregnancy. And, it worked. My blood glucose levels came out well below the recommended max number of 140 mg/dL – except for my fasting blood sugar level before breakfast. For some reason, I kept testing in the high 90s when it should be no more than 90 mg/dL.

Enter my date with the nutritionist.

I just wasn’t eating enough and/or the right combination of foods for my bedtime snack, which I needed to eat whether I was hungry or not. She also instructed me that I needed some carbs for each meal and showed me the best choices and, most importantly, the appropriate serving size and amount.

For example, I can still eat that banana, but I can only eat half at one time. And, if I do eat that banana then I need to pair it with some protein to slow down the impact of the sugar being released.

Since then, I’ve figured out my ideal bedtime snack – absolutely no carbs, but a mixture of raw nuts and protein. By keeping a log of my numbers and what foods I was eating at specific meals, it was easy to figure out what was working and what wasn’t.

Feel free to download my Gestational Diabetes Log Google Sheet I created to keep track of everything including carb counts to hit (although, yours may be different from mine so definitely check with your nutritionist).

How I Manage Gestational Diabetes: Testing

When I first found out that I’d failed my 3-hour blood glucose test, I was crushed. I was further crushed when the nurse told me that I’d have to test my blood sugar on the daily – four times a day to be exact.

But, after the nurse showed me how easy it would be, it wasn’t so bad anymore. Don’t get me wrong. It still takes me a second or two to prepare myself mentally to press the button to prick my finger, but I get it done.  Really, it doesn’t hurt…much.

After having done this for the past few weeks, I’ve gotten the hang of it. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way.

by LILLIAN LEE

What you’ll need to carry:

  1. The OneTouch carrying case. It holds the device, test strips, lancers and has a pocket to store either alcohol wipes or cotton balls.
  2. Testing strips. Make sure you have plenty available. I’ve mis-tested a few times and have had to use new ones. What you want to do is insert a strip with the 3 bars at the end facing up into the device to properly test.
  3. An empty case. Any case will do – a plastic container, Altoid tin or, in my case, a Nudestix cosmetic tin to store all the used lancers and test strips. You do not want to store them in the carrying case. I did that in the beginning and accidentally stuck my finger with an exposed lancer. That was not pleasant.
  4. Lancers. These are the needles. You’ll insert one into the testing device and then twist the top off to reveal the needle – keep the top because you’ll be “capping” the used needle with it.
  5. Alcohol wipes or cotton balls with a separate squeeze/travel-size bottle filled with alcohol. You just want to make sure the area you’re going to poke is clean.
  6. Tester + lancer (inserted). My tester is set to 3 but it goes all the way up to 7. This indicates how deep the prick will be. Anything less than 3 probably won’t puncture enough to draw blood. You want to make sure that after you’ve inserted a lancer that you pull back on the switch until you hear a click so that it’s ready.
  7. OneTouch device. My nurse set the device up for me, but all you really have to do is insert a test strip in and wait until it tells you that it’s ready. Once ready, you can test your blood.

How to do it:

I was told by my OB/GYN to take the test an hour after my last bite. However, the nutritionist was of the belief that it should be one hour after my first bite of food. Given that it may take up to an hour for me to eat sometimes, I’m continuing with the one hour after my last bite.

  1. Wipe area with alcohol. You want to aim for the side of your finger and not directly on your finger tip so that it’s less painful – there are more nerve endings on your finger tip vs the side.
  2. Massage from the bottom of your finger up to get the blood going.
  3. Insert lancer into testing device. Place cap back on, pull switch back until you hear a click, and press the button to prick your chosen finger.
  4. Squeeze enough blood out.
  5. Place testing strip with the 3 bars at the end face up into the OneTouch device. Wait for the device to be ready and then dip your blood onto the strip.
  6. To remove the lancer from the tester, pull both switches down and then push up. Record your number and you’re done until the next time

Where to do it:

The first time I had to test myself out and about, I wasn’t sure where was an appropriate place. The bathroom? But that’s kind of gross. In the end, I did a poll and people said my work desk was fine as long as I disposed of everything responsibly. Hence, carrying a tin case to store all the used needles and testing strips.

I will say that the hardest part is when I’m at the gym, a restaurant or bar. I’ve gotten the hang of my diet more or less so I make sure I’m not loading up on carb heavy food when I’m eating out. This way I can get away without having to find a place/remember to hit the timer to test.

Roast Beast in Allston for Delicious Roast Beef Sandwiches

Just a few blocks from my workplace is Roast Beast and whenever I get the chance, I try to make my way down there for a lunch treat. It’s located right on the corner and down some steps.

by LILLIAN LEE

The roast beef sandwiches are amazing. Whereas other places will serve you dry slices of roast beef sandwiched between some stale bread, Roast Beast serves up tender, juicy slices on a toasted bun with your choice of fixings and sauces.

by LILLIAN LEE

by LILLIAN LEE

My first Roast Beast sandwich – large size on an onion roll with lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar cheese and pickles with the secret beast sauce.

The first time I went, I ordered the large sized sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, cheddar cheese and their signature sauce on an onion roll. It was good, but the sauce was on the sweeter side and since I’m more into savory sauces it fell a bit flat for me. But, that’s just me. I still really enjoyed the roast beef itself.

Since then, I’ve discovered my perfect Roast Beast sandwich – a regular size with lettuce, tomatoes, and mayo on a plain deli roll. That’s it. Basic AF but that’s all I need to fully enjoy the sandwich and keep me coming back for more.

by LILLIAN LEE

My go-to Roast Beast – regular size with lettuce, tomatoes, and mayo on a plain deli roll.

The shop also serves up turkey and chicken if beef isn’t your thing. I haven’t tried them yet because the roast beef is so good.


Roast Beast
1080 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617.877.8690

The Great Bukowski Tavern in Boston

This is my favorite spot in Boston (especially around the Back Bay Area) for really good beer and really amazing tater tots in a low-key, casual atmosphere. Just find a seat at the bar or a free table and park it.

Bukowski Tavern
50 Dalton St
Boston, MA 02115
(21+ and cash only)

by LILLIAN LEE

And when this place says 21+ only, they really mean it. The Mister and I were sitting at the bar one time and the bartender/server asked this couple with their baby to leave. No exceptions.

So now that I’m pregnant, we’re getting in as much Bukowski Tavern time as possible 🙂

by LILLIAN LEE

A visit must always – always – include an order of the white trash poutine tater tots. I wish they offered a bucket-sized portion cuz I’d order it.

It’s a great classic menu of burgers, hot dogs, chicken tenders, sandwiches and specials. You can’t go wrong.

Bobby Q’s BBQ in Phoenix, AZ

We tried some Bobby Q’s BBQ at Biltmore at the newest location in Phoenix.

We sat at the bar and split a plate of baby back ribs and brisket. I’m always on the search for brisket that’s as good as the ones in Texas. Unfortunately, this was not the place for such a brisket.

The bartender prided themselves on making a lean brisket. Lean brisket? Who wants lean brisket?! That should’ve been a sign.

The food was ok…just ok.

Bobby Q’s
3154 E Camelback Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85016

by LILLIAN LEE

Free cornbread which was ok. I like mine to be griddled up with the sides getting that crispy crunch. Alas, this was not griddled.

by LILLIAN LEE

The brisket and baby back ribs were ok. The Mac and cheese was not for me. I like mine southern style. This was way too rich and creamy for me.

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