What to Pack for a Caribbean Vacation

The moment has arrived…we are on our way to Turks and Caicos! I plan on taking a break from the computer this week but I still have a few posts that will be coming your way! So while I’m away, everyone behave. :smile:

As much as I love traveling, I always have the hardest time packing. I don’t want to over pack but I don’t want to under pack. The whole process turns into a bit of a fiasco and I wind up packing things I don’t need. You know what they say though, practice makes perfect. I guess we’ll just have to keep traveling in order for me to figure it out! :wink:

Once again I did my best and packed what I thought was “necessary”, and I’ll find out very soon if I did a good job.

Lucky for us, the weather in Turks is 80′s during the day and mid to high 60′s in the evening, so we don’t have to pack warm clothes by any means. This means I can pack more light clothes! Kidding, I truly did try to be realistic packer.

Here is a list of items I put together that one should remember to pack when traveling to the Caribbean or any other tropical destination…

What to Pack for a Caribbean Vacation

1. Apparel

  • Swimsuits
  • Swimsuit cover-ups
  • Shorts
  • T-shirts
  • Tank tops
  • Workout type clothes
  • A few “nicer” outfits in case you go out to eat
  • One long-sleeve cardigan or shirt
  • Flip flops
  • Tennis shoes

clothes turks and caicos

2. Sun protection and LOTS of it

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm with sunblock
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats

sunscreen turks and caicos

3. Hygiene items

  • Safety kit (Neosporin, alcohol wipes, ibuprofen, tweezer, etc.)
  • Body wash
  • Deoderant
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Razors
  • Face wash
  • Body lotion
  • Bug spray (the bugs really like me unfortunately—I learned this from our trip to the Dominican)
  • Hairspray if needed
  • Hair dryer

3. Games and Entertainment

  • Card games
  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Snorkel gear
  • Hand paddle ball
  • Nerf footballs
  • Music

books turks and caicos

snorkel turks and caicos

flippers turks and caicos

4. Miscellaneous

  • Camera
  • Camera charger
  • Underwater camera
  • Tri-pod or camera gorilla
  • Backpack for day trips
  • Garbage bags to keep inside of backpack dry on day trips that involve water
  • Beach bag
  • Zip-loc bags to bring snacks on day trips
  • Water bottles
  • Amenity kit for airplane–eye mask, toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm, lotion, antibacterial, ear plugs
  • Beach towels if not provided

bags turks and caicos underwater camera turks and caicos

 

I hope this helps at least one person out there who’s frantically trying to pack for a Caribbean getaway!

This is definitely just what I needed to do to make sure I had everything packed that I would need for this trip. We also packed food, and a lot of it. Watch for that post coming your way soon!

Check in with you later!

A Quick Health Update

Hello there! How is everyone’s week going? Mine is going FAST which is a great thing because vacation is just right around the corner.

I don’t have too much to share with you in terms of food photos from the past couple of days. I have been trying to stick to the basics and keep my digestive tract an easy ride for a little while.

Here’s a quick run down of my eats over the past couple of days….it won’t take long!

Leftover french onion soup:

french onion soup

Cooked apple with cinnamon:

apple

Scrambled eggs with avocado and SCD ketchup:

eggs

Turkey burger with avocado (I LOVE avocados!), and roasted zucchini:

turkey burger and zucchini

 

Not pictured are some random lunches, bananas, and spoonfuls of peanut butter. See, not much to share on the food front.

But, I do want to give you an update on my health. Knock on wood, but I have been feeling SO darn good. First of all, my chiropractor is really happy with my progress and I am sleeping so much better due to less back pain. Sleep is a glorious thing and I’m not one to do well without it. It is so important for our overall health! Nutrition, sleep, and activity are all very connected!

Second, I am continuing to limit my white sugar and processed food intake. I am following the SCD (short-term) and my colitis is making some headway.

I am taking my vitamins religiously:

  • Multivitamin and cod liver oil in the morning
  • Digestive enzymes with meals
  • Calcium + Vitamin D and probiotics in the evening

So overall, I am feeling good. There’s just a few other components of my health I need to get worked out, but if I’ve learned anything through all of this it’s that healing takes time. I have also learned to be very patient with my body. I have learned to listen to my body and  to make changes in my life to reduce stress.

I am reminded with all of this that I have to take care of myself because I am the only person who truly can. This is the only body I have.

Take charge of your health and be an advocate for yourself.

If something doesn’t feel right, get a second opinion. I have chosen to follow a more holistic approach to my health and wellness and have deviated slightly from original recommendations because I didn’t feel they were right for me.

I am working closely with my chiropractor to figure out the best way to help my body heal. Also, I have done a lot of research on my own and learned from my personal experiences what works for me and what doesn’t.

Each and every person is different therefore there is no cookie cutter treatment or answer to reach optimal health. It is all about trial and error and listening to our bodies. I can’t say that enough.

What have YOU done for your health lately?

 

A Relaxing Sunday & One of My Favorite Soups

This weekend flew by just as fast as last weekend if you ask me. We had a very low-key weekend and I loved every second of it.

Sunday

I was feeling incredibly energetic Sunday morning and just in an overall good mood. That was most likely due to the excitement of our upcoming vacation and a good night’s sleep. I was feeling good.

For some reason my appetite has been a little “off” lately. I’m thinking this may be because of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I was hungry for breakfast but couldn’t decide on anything that sounded good so I put myself together a combo that I know is easy on my tummy and usually pretty appealing : peanut butter and banana of course.

banana peanut butter

 

We went about our standard Sunday errands, came back home and put groceries away, and by 11:00 I was hungry again. I was hungry but again, nothing sounded good to me and my highly energetic self from the morning was starting to take a nose dive.

I pulled out a bowl of homemade turkey veggie soup from the freezer.

turkey veggie soup

It was simple and comforting to my belly. I also had a microwaved apple…

apples

 

Later in the afternoon I had a banana, a bite of peanut butter, and some pistachios.

I have been in a bit of a workout rut this past week. I just haven’t had the highest amount of energy. I was full of energy yesterday morning but once the afternoon hit I was definitely losing it.

I wanted to at least move a little bit, so I headed down to the treadmill for a half hour walk. I  did do a few other strength exercises, but I really wasn’t feeling up to it, so I stopped.

Maybe I just needed it to be a low-key day.

Later in the afternoon I headed over to mom and dad’s for dinner. I got my cuddle time in with the little one which always does a great job of boosting my mood.

melanie and abbie

 

Dinner was one of my all-time favs: French Onion Soup.

french onion soup

I went with the SCD version without the bagel chips and cheese and it was STILL outrageously delicious. I had two bowls and asked if I could take one home for leftovers this week! I swear I could try and make this duplicate recipe at home and it wouldn’t taste the same. Mom has to make it. :wink:

french onion soup

After dinner we got cozy on the couch and sipped on hot water with ginger and honey while we watched the Oscars, and then later called it a night. I really like the hot water with ginger and honey, like REALLY liked it. Could this be due to the fact that my dad made it for me? It really is true that food tastes better when someone else makes it for you.

tea and oscars abbie

 

It was a very relaxing Sunday and I feel like more Sundays should be like this one.

Now we are onto Monday and I have a list of things to do as tall as the Eiffel tower, SO I better get a move on!

Happy Monday to all!

Question of the day: Do you think food tastes better when someone else makes it for you?!

Getting Back into Outdoor Running

Well, I did something yesterday that I haven’t done in a while…went for an outdoor run. The weather around here has been pretty nasty the last few weeks with cold temps followed by snow, so I have been taking my runs (albeit few runs) inside on the treadmill lately.

Yesterday morning I was planning on just that; running on the treadmill. I told Dana my plan and he said okay, but just so you know I am running outside today. Usually the only way I will run on snowy, icy, streets in the winter is if I’m running with someone else, that way if I were to fall, I’d have someone there to help me out. I made the decision to run with Dana and Moose outside.

I got all geared up and wore the same outfit as I did at our January 1st Polar Dash 10K run (photo from the polar dash), except no neck warmer:

dana and melanie polar dash 2013

 

It was 19°F when we were out. The first mile was really cold on my face, but not too long after that I was warming up real well.

The sidewalks in our neighborhood were kinda wishy-washy as far as being clear of snow and ice. Inevitably, the uphill sidewalks were the ones covered in snow so I felt like I was running in sand, uphill. Those hills made me feel pretty out of shape.

At mile two, my legs were feeling like a light load of bricks. The cold was getting to them but they kept moving. We completed our three-mile loop and I am happy to say I finally got an outdoor run in again.

I have less than one month until our 7K run and as long as I start running outside a little more often, I should be just fine. Who knows anyway, the weather could be pretty nice mid-March. Last year it was unseasonably warm. You just never know! You have to be prepared for anything.

From here on out, I’m hoping the weather will only improve and get warmer so I can really start to enjoy outdoor runs again! I’m ready for it.

When we got home I did some stretching, core exercises, and my plank-a-day. Then we got busy packing for our trip and working on some more food preparation!

I wanted to bring some dried fruit on our trip to snack on, so I placed apricots, peaches, pineapples, and bananas into the food dehydrator, covered it, and left it on for a long time; about nine hours.

food dehydrated

*I used canned fruit (in its own juice) for this and rinsed them thoroughly and dried them in the sink

For lunch I ate a grilled salmon fillet with zucchini. I ended up adding some honey dijon mustard to my plate because I’m not into plain salmon yet.

salmon

I finished lunch with a microwaved apple…

baked apple

Later in the afternoon before we left to run errands I snacked on a banana with peanut butter…

banana with peanut butter

Dinner was a grilled turkey burger with avocado, SCD ketchup, and mustard, and cooked carrots. Why do grill burgers taste SO much better?! It was delicious.

turkey burger with avocado

Finally at about 9:30 pm, the fruit was done dehydrating. We laid them out on the counter to cool down.

dried fruit dried fruit

And then bagged them up for the trip!

dried fruit

 

We do plan on visiting a local farm/farmer’s market to pick up fresh produce while we are in Turks and Caicos, but it’s nice to have other options too.

When we were in the Boundary Waters last May with my brother Scott and his girlfriend Nicole, Nicole had made a huge batch of dried fruit and I loved it so much that I went and bought a food dehydrator for myself. Dried fruit is one of my favorite treats, but I don’t like all of the sugar and additives that is often added to the store-bought kind (dried fruit has enough sugar on its own), so I try to make it myself the majority of the time. No additives here!

I have lots to do today so I better get to it. Have a great day!

 

February Fitness Challenge Review

Happy Saturday! Today’s my second favorite day of the week after Friday, so I’m a pretty happy camper today.

Considering I don’t have many food photos to share (the SCD is fairly redundant right now), how about we talk about fitness instead?

At the beginning of February I set a goal for myself to complete three strength training workouts each week. They could involve free weights, machines at the gym, workout videos, whatever, as long as they involved improving my strength. I also challenged myself to complete one plank a day for at least one minute.

I am a cardio junkie and love getting my heart rate ramped from the cardio which is also great for overall health, but all-to-often slack on the strength and I wanted to do something about it. I called this challenge, my February Fitness Challenge.

Although I know there are still five days left in February, I have decided to reflect now.

I am happy to say that even though I was struck with a head cold for a solid week this month, and felt very low energy due to the SCD intro, I still managed to stick to my goal each week. I tried to keep it spicy and exciting so that I wouldn’t get bored with it.

Some of My February Strength Workouts:

  • Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred: Level 1 and Level 2
  • This leg workout incorporated with dumbbells
  • This arm workout plus other arm exercises
  • Ab workouts (from the January Abs Challenge)
  • Most of the time I just did my own thing and mixed up different exercises

I have done my plank-a-day every day too!

I have noticed that with the combination of eliminating white sugars from my diet, and increasing my strength activities, that I do feel stronger. I even feel it when I’m doing cardio. When I’m running my core helps carry me and makes me run lighter.

I definitely feel stronger overall, however I have a looooooonngg way to go to get my strength to where I would like it to be. But it takes time. I’m going to continue to work on it.

I already have a March fitness challenge brewin’ in my head! Be on the look out. :wink:

******************

I can’t leave this post complete photo-free because that’s no fun, so I do have a couple to share.

Yesterday I couldn’t eat meat (Lent), which is a main component of the SCD. I was thrilled about it because I am SO TIRED OF IT and completely tired out of eggs too, so it was time to introduce a new food. Peanut butter. I’m not talking boat loads of pb, but enough to satisfy my hunger and give me some protein.

I introduced baked apples into my diet two days ago and my body responded well. My girlie girl Kalkal said one of her favorite breakfast combos lately is cut up apple, with pb and cinnamon. I usually do that combo with banana, but often forget about the lovely apple. I gave it a whirl, but used a slightly cooked apple instead (to aid in digestion for now).

apple with pb

I honestly think I could slather peanut butter on anything and it would taste good. This was a very nice treat! I would prefer it with a raw apple like Kalley had suggested, but for now this will have to do!

The REALLY good news is that peanut butter is sitting very well with my system. Like I said I have no plans of going crazy with it like I tend to do, but one serving a day and I should feel just fine. I am really missing my legumes and lentils however. Soon enough!

The evening was spent:

  • getting some more vacation stuff together
  • doing some food prep for vaca
  • vacuuming
  • mopping
  • planking
  • core strength
  • running around the house and up and down the stairs with Moose
  • and cleaning up broken links on the ol’ blog (this is quite the task)

We also picked this guy up from the groomer after getting a nice intense brush-out. He looks so handsome.

moose

I have plans to get a little run in this morning and then we have some more packing to do!

What’s on your Saturday agenda?!

The Next Phase

Yesterday was the third day of the SCD intro diet. Since my symptoms were so minimal to begin with, I decided to start incorporating some foods back into my diet after two full days on intro diet. I am choosing foods that I knew my body would normally handle well. Yesterday I reintroduced the banana.

After eating only eggs, meat, cooked carrots, and grape juice gelatin, I was ready for more variety. Eating a banana was such a treat! It was like eating candy.

My body reacted very well as I suspected it would. I will continue to slowly reintroduce easy to digest foods.

I apologize for the food photos, but here they are…

Breakfast looks like carrot puree but it was really a totally botched carrot and egg pancake. I also drank a glass of diluted grape juice.

carrot egg pancake dcd

For lunch I heated up some chicken breast, a turkey meatball, and cooked carrots. I couldn’t stomach the chicken some reason so that went back into the fridge.

scd lunch

I grabbed an egg…

egg scd

And finished off lunch with grape juice gelatin.

For dinner I ate another bowl of the carrot and bone broth soup and another banana.

carrot soup scd

I also had a very small diluted glass of grape juice. I think I drank too much juice yesterday, but my body was completely craving it.

I’ve been taking it easy on the workouts the past few days because I know my food and calorie intake isn’t where it should be. I am truly doing the best I can with the SCD intro and trying to eat as much of the allowable foods as I can stomach. I am very happy that I can reintroduce some other foods again because it is not healthy for me to continue on with this minimal amounts of food. I know that I can’t eat “as much as tolerated” of the allowable foods in the intro diet, but when you already have a slight distaste for meat, it is really challenging to force it down.

I continue to do my plank-a-day though as part of my February Fitness Challenge. Today is the last day of week three which means I need to get one more strength training activity in today. I’m hoping I feel up to it this afternoon!

Thanks for sticking by my side through this diet. I am very anxious to eat more of my “normal” foods again and to be 100% healthy!

Happy Thursday!

Flashback: Our Proposal Story

How about some lovey dove reminiscent memories to help us get through this freezing cold Wednesday? Sounds good to me!

On Sunday night, Dana and I met up with Betsy and Matt at Stella’s Fish Cafe for dinner. I mentioned in a previous post that we were coincidentally seated in the same booth that we sat in the night Dana proposed to me. I realized I had never shared the story of our engagement proposal, so…..it’s share time!

Flashback to January 29th 2010. 

Dana and I had plans to celebrate our one year anniversary. Dana had made reservations at Stella’s. I remember getting all dolled up in my blue sweater dress, saying bye to mom and dad, and driving over to Dana’s house.

As I waited for him to finish getting ready, I browsed the cupboards for a snack and found some Sweettart Valentine conversation hearts. I snacked on a couple of those while I waited, and then off to dinner we went.

We were seated in a booth upstairs and I was giddy the whole time. I was so happy and felt so lucky to be celebrating an anniversary with this man. We ordered our food and a bottle of wine and thoroughly enjoyed eachother’s company as we always do. Dana was cool as a kitten. I had not the slightest idea he had anything up his sleeve.

After dinner we made our way to the parking lot. Once we were in the car, and waiting for it to warm up, Dana handed me an envelope of photos that he had printed off from Walgreens. I had given him a photo album a year prior to this as a gift with the intention of filling it up with photos of all of the fun things we do together. He told me that he had printed some photos for the album.

I immediately start flipping through about 20 photos, commenting on each memory along the way. As I got to the last photo, I had to do a double take. At first it looked like an advertisement or a coupon from Walgreens, but as I looked at it again I noticed some very special words spelled out for me…

marry me 3 i think this is the one

I was in total and utter shock. I looked over at Dana and there he was with tears filled in his eyes (although he may deny this), and he had a gorgeous engagement ring in his hands. He asked me to marry him and I’m pretty sure he said some other things but my head was in a cloud of love dust (I am such a corny lovey person—I won’t apologize for it) so I don’t remember.

I muttered yes and as I tears began pouring out of my eyes, still in total shock mode. Yes I absolutely want to spend my life with this man. YES YES YES! But omg, I’m engaged!

We called our parents on the way home to tell them the incredible news. This is when I found out that my dad already knew because Dana had gone over there earlier that day and asked for his permission to marry me. My dad knew but he hadn’t told my mom because my mom and I have this weird connection with eachother  and I immediately would have known something was going on if she were to have known.

Our parents were beyond ecstatic. After our parents knew I started calling my brothers and some of my friends (the ones I knew I wouldn’t be able to tell in person). Then it was time to celebrate.

Once we got back to Dana’s place, we celebrated with his roommates and a nice bottle of wine. I told Dana I had snacked on a couple of the Sweettarts while he was finishing getting ready in his room and we both had a good chuckle. Little did I know!

We didn’t snap any photos at Stella’s or in the parking lot, so of course I had to make up for it when we got back home.

engagement night 10 engagement night 18 engagement night 2

It was an unforgettable night and the beginning of forever with the most amazing man.

Fast-forward: Engagement Photos

For our engagement photos, we chose to relive the memories of the day by having our photos taken at Stella’s. I remember being so incredibly nervous before the photo shoot. I really don’t like being the center of attention. Eventually, I warmed up and had a blast! Our photographers from Erin and I photo really helped ease any nervousness.

Here’s our booth (the same one from the other night too!).

DSC_0583 DSC_0576 DSC_0662a

The night before our engagement photos, I want to say it snowed about 9 inches. The snow was so fresh and perfect for photos. It was extremely cold on the day of our photo shoot as well, so we did the outside photos as quickly as possible.

Our outside photos were taken at Lake of the Isles.

DSC_0869 DSC_0881 DSC_0898

DSC_0891

We had to make sure Mooser got in the photo action!

DSC_0970

He was made for the camera.

DSC_0947

 

I can’t believe our engagement was three years ago already. Time flies. Soak up every moment of life because it does go by so fast!

I hope you enjoyed this flashback as much as I did! Oh, and in case you are wondering what my food intake looked like yesterday, take a look at Tuesday’s post and it was pretty much an exact replica except for I also added lean ground turkey into the mix. I am going to be introducing banana today. How exciting! :wink:

Have a happy Wednesday!

 

SCD Intro Diet Day One

 

Hello there friends!

Morning Run

Yesterday morning I actually ran on the treadmill for three solid miles. I haven’t done that in quite some time but figure since I have a 7k coming up in just about a month, that I should probably get on that. Besides from being bored, the run went pretty well.

SCD Intro Diet

There’s no sugar-coating it, the SCD intro diet is not easy, especially for someone who doesn’t enjoy meat.

If you are new to Beautifully Nutty, please check out this post to find out why I am currently on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. This post does not depict a typical day of food intake for me, it is only temporary.

Day one is complete. I felt hungry and lethargic pretty much all day. The good news is, I only have one more day of the intro diet and then I can move on to the next stage of introducing more foods. I really miss my other veggies and fruits.

Here is what my SCD Intro day one looked like…

 Breakfast: Two hard-boiled eggs and grape juice gelatin

eggs

A haircut appointment which was a really nice distraction from my hungry tummy. I really enjoyed the hair wash and the blow dry. It relaxed me completely.

Before….

hair melanie

 

After…

melanie hair

She chopped about two inches off of the bottom, reestablished my side swoop “bangs” and added some light layers. Nothing too drastic but it felt so good to get it cleaned up!

Snack: steamed carrots

carrots

Lunch: plain chicken breast with a light drizzle of honey

chicken with honey

And grape juice gelatin.

grape juice gelatin

Snack: Carrot pancake made with steamed carrots and one egg. I pureed them together in a mini food processor and then cooked the pancake on the stove top. It was a very easy and this snack helped tide me over for a while. 

I snacked on my pancake while listening to a podcast about tips on surviving the intro diet. :smile: My biggest takeaway was to remember WHY I’m doing it and that is to finally be 100% healed.

carrot egg pancake

For dinner we went over to mom and dad’s. I packed myself a bowl of bone broth with cooked carrots and chicken.

scd carrot soup

 

The soup actually wasn’t too bad, but I would prefer it without the chicken in there. The hardest part of this intro diet is the fact that I don’t like plain meat. I can enjoy chicken in a taco with salsa, or a burger with ketchup, but plain old meat, no, not my thing AT ALL, and you know that if you have been reading my blog for a while.

Also, I can’t find Farmer’s Cheese anywhere, which is the one cheese that is allowed during the intro. Dana and I looked at about six different stores yesterday with no luck.

As hard as they may be for me right now, I MUST remember that this is only temporary and I know in my heart this is what it will take to finally be done with this U.C. I truly feel soooo good in general, but it’s just a matter of healing a couple of “wounds” still.

Also, I want to remember that I am lucky enough to have ANY food to eat. There are so many starving people in our world that don’t have enough food, so limiting myself to these specific foods for a couple of days should be nothing I should complain about.

My usual meals will be back on the blog before you know it, so bear with me as I go through this SCD intro phase.

If you want to learn more about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, check out my post from this summer: Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

I hope you all have a great Tuesday. I’m trying very hard to stay positive today! I’ll stay positive if you will!

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (again) & Lobster Madness

Oh boy I have a lot to say today. Grab a seat and let’s get to it!

On Sunday we had a fairly leisurely morning. We woke up, made some scrambled eggs with cheese, looked through the newspaper, cut a couple of coupons, and finally got ready to run to the grocery store.

scrambled eggs

When we go to Turks and Caicos, we will be staying in a villa and will be cooking the majority of our own meals on our own, so this weekend we spent a lot of time getting food together for our trip. We planned out each meal and snacks, wrote out all of the ingredients that we need for each dish, and then went shopping. I think we now have the majority of our food. Next, I will just need to work on the food prep. I will absolutely be sharing this with all of you once it gets a little bit closer.

Changing gears a bit…

If you have been following me for a while, you know I have been dealing with some ongoing health issues, namely Ulcerative Colitis. I am working towards holistic ways of healing and living, and am SO close to finally being healed. It’s like a loose tooth that’s just about ready to fall out. I feel like I need one last final nudge to really heal my gut.

Therefore, I have decided to follow the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for the next week or so before our trip. I followed the SCD this summer but could only handle it for so long because I drove myself absolutely crazy. I know this will be a more short-lived experiment, and have prepared myself mentally for it.

I will begin with the intro diet for 2-3 days and then after that progress as the plan says.  I will limit myself on raw fruits and veggies for the week, and instead eating primarily cooked veggies and fruits. The plan states that you can be stay on the intro diet for up to a week as needed, until symptoms subside, but since I don’t really have many symptoms I have decided to give the intro only 2-3 days.

It will give my colon time to relax, kick up it’s feet and HEAL. I have a really good feeling that this will be what it takes to finally heal.

You can read about my journey through SCD this summer:

You will definitely notice a change in my food intake over the next week.

The SCD involves a lot of food prep, so yesterday afternoon I was in the kitchen efficiently working away.

I made SCD ketchup, hard-boiled eggs, bone broth soup with pureed carrots, cooked carrots, baked chicken, and grape juice gelatin. Farmer’s cheese is also allowed in the intro diet but I was not a fan of it, so I’m leaving it out.

kitchen food prep

eggs

 SCD Ketchup Recipe

SCD ketchup

For the soup: I used homemade bone broth and added a bunch of carrots. I covered the pot and let the soup simmer with the carrots for 20 minutes or so, until I was able to pierce through the carrots with a fork. Then I used an immersion blender to puree it all together.

SCD ketchup and bone broth with carrots

I munched on some mini meals/snacks while I cooked away…

banana and pb

Let the SCD begin. I’m ready.

When we were out at Target yesterday doing our grocery shopping, I just so happened to walk by a clearance shelf and notice this little gem of a Christmas ornament.

It’s Moose with a scarf on! Of course I had to buy it. Again, he’s totally unimpressed, but at least he humors me for a photo.

moose ornament

Double Date Night

Last night we got all prettied up to get ready for a date night with Betsy and Matt at Stella’s Fish Cafe.

dana moose and melanie

Stella’s is actually the restaurant Dana and I ate at right before he proposed to me! So each time we are there I can’t help but reminisce. I’m thinking an engagement flashback post is in order….but not today!

stellas

Bets and Matt were waiting for us in the same cozy booth Dana and I sat in three years ago on engagement night. What are the chances, right? I had to let everyone know how excited I was about that. :wink:

We chit chatted away, sipped on some wine, and got ready for our lobster dinner. On Sunday evenings Stella’s has a special where you can get a whole lobster for $19.99. That’s a pretty good deal if you ask me. ALSO, Bets and Matt had a gift card that they wanted to share with us, so we really got dinner for a steal!

betsy and matt dana and melanie stellas lobster stellas asparagus stellas

This was my first time ever tackling a whole lobster. Dana had told me about his first experience eating one and explained that the inside of the lobster body is this nasty looking green stuff. Supposedly, it is a delicacy to some and the people of Maine told Dana that about half of people eat it, and half leave it alone.

Well, I wasn’t expecting to see what I saw when I opened up the body of that lobster. I definitely eat with my eyes so as soon as I saw the green goop, I knew there was no way I was touching that body. I handed Mr. Lobster’s body over to the garbage pail. I had to get that image out of my mind in order to enjoy the rest of the lobster.

dana melanie matt betsy

It was a messy double date but SO much fun! I love those two so incredibly much. Thanks for a great night you guys! xoxo

On the way home I got the idea into Dana’s head that we should stop at Cherry Berry for frozen yogurt. Most of our date nights end this way and I am totally okay with that. Considering I knew I would be starting the SCD the next day, I decided it would sort of be like my Fat Tuesday.

I went fairly easy on my serving size along with my toppings (compared to what I usually do). I went with Chilly Nilly and Cookies and Cream and the added just a few brownie pieces, cookie dough, one mini Reese’s peanut butter cup, one Oreo, one frosted animal cracker, two maraschino cherries (yum), and a cherry gummy. Yes, that’s keeping it minimal for me.

cherry berry frozen yogurt

As always, Cherry Berry never fails to please me.

What an amazing day!

I have a big day planned today as well. I better get to it. The treadmill is waiting for me. Dun dun dun…

How was YOUR weekend?!

Strawberry Chicken Salad with the Girls

Happy Sunday!

I have some coupon cutting and horoscopes reading to do, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

Saturday Recap

Breakfast: Kefir with chia seeds which I let soak for 10 minutes to soften the chia. I then added agave nectar to sweeten it up (because kefir is pretty tangy) and added a banana on top!

kefir with chia

After breakfast I hit the living room for a leg workout and glute which felt GREAT!

For lunch I had a date with one of my girlie girls, Heidi. She was in town so she stopped by for lunch and to catch up. I made us a strawberry chicken salad with blueberries, almonds, avocado, and feta cheese. It was light an perfect.

strawberry chicken salad

After we ate lunch we called Kate on FaceTime (Kate is living in Georgia–I went and visited her on my birthday last year). It was like the three of us were truly having a girly chat together right in the same room. It made me miss her even more but I feel so lucky to have the option of calling her and talking to her “face to face.”

In the afternoon Dana and I had a couple of errands to run. We stopped at TJMaxx and I found another new swimsuit (the one on the bottom right is the newest addition)! I usually don’t have good luck at TJMaxx with swimsuits because the tops and bottoms are sold together as a set, so you aren’t able to mix and match sizes, but this one actually fit me like a glove! Plus, it was only $12.99. Bargain!

swimsuits

We will be spending the majority of time in our bathing suits, so I need to be sure and bring enough plus I like to have options. :wink:

For dinner I whipped up a random mix of black beans, onion, garlic, salsa, and cabbage with cheese on top. I wasn’t sure how it would all come together, but it was surprisingly good! I think what made it good was the Parkers Farm Roasted Garlic Salsa. It was so flavorful.

salsa cabbage black beans

We finished off the night watching Glee from last week. Man oh man it was a juicy one. Lots of unexpected events unfolded!

Moose was unimpressed as usual.

moose

I hope you are all having a relaxing weekend. I have a super fun double date tonight that I am so looking forward to!

Catch up with you all later! xoxo