The Power of Positive

On January 1st, my mom sent me a link to an article written by Harvey Mackey in the Star Tribune (our local paper). It’s about the power of the positive. You can read the whole article in the link below, but I plan to highlight my favorite bits (which is basically the entire article) in this post as well.

http://www.startribune.com/harvey-mackay-sees-the-power-of-being-positive/503632552/

I read this, and re-read it, and then saved it to my favorites so I could go back to it whenever I needed a boost of positive reinforcement. His message is so right on I could only dream of being able to say it so well. On this gloomy day, and after a sleepless night, I revisited these words once again because I needed a pick-me-up. Once again, it did the trick.

So, without further jibber jabber from me, I present to you some of my favorite pieces of his article…

“With the new year upon us, I have a challenge for you. Stop worrying about that which you cannot control.

Many years ago, this advice came from Robert Jones Burdette, an American humorist and clergyman: “There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept from fear and apprehension. One of these days is yesterday with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone.

The other day we should not worry about, is tomorrow with its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise and poor performance. Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow’s sun will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.

This leaves only one day — today. Any person can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities — yesterday and tomorrow — that we break down. It is not the experience of today that drives people mad — it is remorse or bitterness for something which happened yesterday and the dread of what will happen tomorrow.”

Let that sink in for a minute. Today is the only day we can take action. Sure, we learn from yesterday. And of course, we plan for tomorrow. But unless we approach each day with a renewed positive outlook, we are wasting enormous potential.”

He then goes on to write about a fellow writer, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, who published a bestseller in 1952 titled, “The Power of Positive Thinking”. Some of the highlights of the book:

“You do not need to be a victim of worry. Reduced to its simplest form, what is worry? It is simply an unhealthy and destructive mental habit.”

• “The way to happiness: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Fill your life with love. Scatter sunshine. Forget self, think of others. Do as you would be done by. Try this for a week and you will be surprised.”

• “When you expect the best, you release a magnetic force in your mind which by a law of attraction tends to bring the best to you.”

• “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. But with sound self-confidence you can succeed. A sense of inferiority and inadequacy interferes with the attainment of your hopes, but self-confidence leads to self-realization and successful achievement.”

Wow, just wow. Every time I read it I once again feel incredibly empowered. Sometimes WE are the only ones in the way of our own success. So get out of the way. Self-doubt is NO GOOD so let it go!

Celebrate National Toast Day!

For those of you who have been following with me for a long time, you know about my history with ulcerative colitis. When I was diagnosed at the age of 12, we (thanks, mama) began experimenting with diets to help with my symptoms, noting my trigger foods and also enlisting the help of naturopaths and other medical professionals. This, along with some other factors, swayed my decision to become a Registered Dietitian. I have been practicing as a RD since 2011.

Throughout the experimentation process, I learned a WHOLE LOT about myself and the foods/ingredients/etc. that triggered my symptoms to flare. When I was younger, it was harder for me to have the willpower or desire to manage these symptoms by eliminating certain foods from my diet, but now, it’s pretty much a no-brainer. I’ve learned that for me, my biggest trigger is gluten, followed by dairy and processed sugar. I know that if my gut is beginning to feel “off” that I need to really cut these foods back or out for a while until I get back on track. Sometimes I can eat these foods and feel perfectly fine, other times not so much.

I generally follow a low-gluten, low-dairy diet. My sweet tooth loves it’s chocolate but I am incredibly mindful when I am eating my sweet treats (which I do daily). I also work with a naturopath and take a variety of natural supplements.

I could go into this whole ordeal in full detail but this post would completely derail from the main intention of this post, so I’ll have to save it for another day.

Little Northern Bakehouse and National Toast Day

Recently, I was approached by Little Northern Bakehouse, a bakery that proudly uses non-GMO, whole-food, quality ingredients, to create delicious, certified gluten-free and vegan bread loaves. They asked me if I would want to help them celebrate National Toast Day on on February 23rd and offered me the chance to try their bread. Um….HECK YES!

I have fond memories of my mom making me toast with melty peanut butter and honey drizzled, or cinnamon sugar sprinkled over the top. MMMMMmmm. Even today I still love that snack and so do my kids.

Little Northern Bakehouse sent me two of their loaf varieties to try: Whole Grain and Cinnamon & Raisin.

Other products they offer: White Wide Slice Loaf, Millet & Chia Loaf, Seeds & Grain Loaf, Millet & Chia Hot Dog Buns, the Millet & Chia Buns and just recently added Sprouted Honey Oat Bread and Sprouted 7 Grain Bread (I REALLY want to try those ones). Learn more about their products on their website!

Cinnamon and Raisin Loaf

I jumped on the first chance I had to get that cinnamon raisin bread toasted up for myself and the kids. In about three minutes, I had the bread toasted up, and slathered with peanut butter. I gave the boys the option of banana slices as well, which Bode (now 4 years old) happily accepted. He adorned his with a single blueberry too, because why not?!

You could top this beauty with chia seeds, coconut flakes, nut butter of your choice, or vegan cream cheese and grapes (or full dairy cream cheese if you’re not vegan). My family is not vegan, so I am hoping to use some of this bread for French toast in the near future or a sweet and savory toasted egg sandwich?! YUM.

Whole Grain Wide Slice Loaf

Next, it was time to experiment with the whole grain bread. I gravitate towards the peanut butter always, but wanted to branch out and be more creative, so I grabbed myself a container of vegan cream cheese and got busy…

The delightful end-product included a heavy slather of cream cheese, English cucumber slices and everything but the bagel seasoning to finish it off. I cut it into four triangles before crunching into it because triangles are THE BEST way to eat bread. The creaminess of the cream cheese coupled with the crunch of the bread and the coolness of the cucumbers…absolutely perfect. I would love to use this toasted bread as a dunker for soup too. Tis’ the season for soup after all. Just kidding, any time of the year is soup season for me; my favorite!

I am always happy to find gluten-free products that I can enjoy without sacrificing flavor or texture. I am thankful that I was able to give these products a go and give my approval too!

Try it!

If you want to try some for yourself, you can use their handy “store locator” on their website to find out where to buy: Little Northern Bakehouse

Also, follow @BeautifullyNutty and @LittleNorthernBakehouse on Instagram to enter the sweepstakes for an opportunity to win a $1,000 gift card for “Brunch for a Year”!

Disclosure: I received free products from Little Northern Bakehouse for review. The review and opinions of the products are solely my own.

How are YOU going to celebrate National Toast Day?

When in doubt, veg it out.

It’s no secret I love my veggies. I have been really getting after it lately with taking more food photos again so I thought I would share, and maybe inspire you to get your veg on too.

Pictured: a bed of baby spinach (I went raw, but could have been deliciously wilted), roasted sweet potatoes, sautéed onions, two over-easy eggs, avocado and everything but the bagel seasoning! I had prepped the sweet potato ahead of time so this lunch only took about 6-7 minutes to whip up when hunger struck. That’s manageable in my opinion!

Pictured below: a revised version of these baked pretzel chicken fingers. I used almond flour instead of regular flour, omitted the chili powder and added mustard powder. I want to make this again so I can share the exact recipe with you all because it was a HIT. I served it on top of a mix of spinach and romaine, avocado, mandarin oranges (kids are obsessed with those!), grapes, feta cheese, sliced almonds and a drizzle of strawberry vinaigrette. This was indeed restaurant quality. I served it with a whole grain baguette and BUTTAh.

PERFECTO MUNDO.

This last photo isn’t as pretty as the others (taken on my old phone) but it was equally as delicious and worth sharing. This is from a “vegged up” taco night I had with some of my girlfriends. I piled spinach on my plate and topped it with tomatoes, black olives, corn, black beans, guacamole, sautéed bell peppers and onions, taco chicken, cilantro, crushed corn tortilla chips, salsa, and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Ok, right? Yea I know.

Tell me about your latest and greatest veggie-lovin’ meals! Inspire me!

Every Day Smoothie

It’s FRIDAY! My favorite day of the week, by far.

Way, way back in the day (like four years ago?!?!), I shared my every day breakfast smoothie. This is the smoothie I have almost every single day. I am a person who likes variety when it comes to my food, so to say I have this bad boy almost daily is kind of big deal. There’s no way I would choke down a nasty smoothie no matter how good it was for me. Okay, maybe I would, but I promise you this one is delicious.

This is a super simple way to kick-start my day with fruits, veggies and protein. I have changed and adapted it over the years to amp up the amount of protein because this girl NEEDS it to maintain my energy, as we all do.

I figure it is time to share the revamped recipe with you all and then you can decide for yourself if it is a yay or a nay!

Here ya go…

Do you like the pine needles on the front porch? Merry, merry Christmas!

Cutting to the chase, here’s the recipe:

Every Day Smoothie
Print
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 smoothie
Ingredients
  • ¾ of a medium frozen banana
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 heaping scoop protein powder (I prefer Orgain Chocolate Fudge)
  • ¼ cup powdered peanut butter (PBfit)
  • 3 small handfuls of greens (kale, spinach, chard, etc.)
  • 1-2 tsp chia seeds or flaxseed (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place ingredients into blender as listed. Blend until completely smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to an hour.

It feels great to be back by the way!

xoxo

New! Nutrition and Wellness Services!

Beautifully Nutty is open for business!

There’s been a lot going on over here within the last week. I was hired by a local spa as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist! I am an independent contractor so I have my own business, but I am working in the spa and we are all a team.

Ecstatic, nervous, grateful, giddy….these are just a few of the emotions that I have been experiencing throughout this week.

So what does this mean exactly? This means I will be meeting with individuals and groups (either in person, or via “telehealth” calls) to help them meet their health and nutrition goals. I will also be holding cooking classes, wellness workshops, going to events and so much more!

This.is.a.dream.

I still can’t believe this is all transpiring.

Here’s the thing, I want to work with YOU. Whether it is to help you reach your health goals, to be your accountability coach, to listen to your health or nutrition concerns, to ignite a passion for cooking, to help you to feel better, let me be your person! Everyone has their own personal health goals, and I would love to be the person to help pave the way for you to reach those goals.

I can’t wait to hear from you!

Email me at: beautifullynutty@gmail.com

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued support!

xoxo

Melanie

He’s Here!

Hi friends!

I just wanted to pop in real quick to let you know that we are one man closer to our very own basketball team.

Baby Blake arrived on July 14, 2018. 7#1oz, 19.5 inches long. Dark brown hair and lots of it!

As always, active labor was muy rapido for us and he came flying out to greet the world. The nurses named him Rocket, short for Rocket Man because he was lightning fast.

He is everything we dreamed of and more. The boys are adjusting beautifully and they adore their baby brother.

Life is obviously a bit crazy but all in all, I feel pretty good with where we are at! Heck, I even had a breather to type of this blog post!

I hope you are all well! Hope to check in again soon.

xoxo,

Melanie

Here’s something for ya!

Well, hello strangers! It’s been a very long time!

I’ve been having some issues with uploading photos into the blog, most likely because it’s been so neglected and could use some serious housekeeping. BUT, instead of spending my time googling how to fix it right now, I decided I would write a little post instead.

I miss writing. I really do. I’m not giving up on the hope that someday I will get back writing and posting more often.

I have been cooking up a storm, mostly recipes that I find on Pinterest that I end up tweaking. Lots of wins lately. My favorite soup right now is this cheesy vegetable chowder from 12tomatoes:

http://12tomatoes.com/vegetable-chowder/

I cut down on the butter just a bit and it turns out great every time. It makes a big batch so we are able to make it last a few meals. Go make it, you won’t regret it!

Our Minnesota “Spring” continues to look more and more like winter. We just got some snow last night and are supposedly getting 10 more inches by tomorrow. Hence the reason why I’m still making soup. Who am I kidding? I love soup any time of the year.

Let’s see, what’s been keeping me busy lately…oh yes, my energetic beautiful boys.

Bode is 3.5 years old. Spunky, hilarious, curious, cautious and very much a three-year-old. So far he has dabbled in swimming, gymnastics, soccer, and dance. He is looking forward to starting up gymnastics again hopefully this summer. He is my mini me in terms of looks.

Benjamin is 1.5. Sweet, fearless, so happy, and always has that twinkle in his eye. He is definitely the instigator between the two boys. I think Ben will be the one looking for trouble and Bode will be the one questioning if it’s a good idea. Time will tell! Ben is looking more and more like Dana every day.

The two boys love to play together and love to fight. This is the beginning of a long road of boy battles I realize.

Our latest house projects have included redoing our mudroom. We took out the closet and knocked back the wall and replaced with paneling, hooks, and shelves. Our little family can all fit in there when we are coming in from the garage. It’s AMAZING!

We’ve also been working on getting Bode’s room ready to share with Benny. Ben will be moving in within the next few months to make room for….

A NEW BABY! We are excited to announce that baby boy #3 will be joining our family in July! Upon finding out I was having another boy, I was terrified. Talk about being outnumbered. But you know what? I grew up with three older brothers, growing up I had a ton of guy friends, and now after having two boys already plus being married to one, man alive, I feel like I’m doing pretty well with figuring out how the male work. I’ve had a lot of time to learn. They are much less complicated than girls I hear?

So yes, bring on the cars, trains, and superheroes, I am ready. Also, my boys love to play dress up in my old dance costumes and play with dolls and barbies and I adore that. I’m about to pull out my old barbies for them to play with. It strengthens their masculinity. 🙂

I will be updating the nursery because I am so tired of the old nautical stuff from when Bode was a baby.

So that is my latest creative outlet. Planning and decorating the nursery for sweet little boy. I am hoping to work with this color scheme:

I GOT A PICTURE TO UPLOAD! Whoop whoop!

I am working on a decoration for the wall that says: Be Brave, Be Kind, Be True.  I am very excited to see it all come together! I have a long way to go though!

Alright, the boys are up and it’s time for me to get a truckin’.

I hope you are all doing fabulously well! I would love to hear from you!

xoxo,

Melanie

Oh, HI?!

I really wanted to come on in here and say hi so…

HI!!!

I WILL be returning at some point to write posts again! I miss it. I miss you all. How is everyone?

Quick updates:

-I KILLED the half marathon in May! Hopefully I can recap it at some point.

Ben is almost ONE! How on earth is that possible?

Bode is almost THREE! Again, how on earth?

-We enjoyed summer so incredibly much and still can’t believe it’s over.

I LOVE FALL and am SO EXCITED for it!

-Still obsessed with essential oils. Errrrr-day.

_______________________________________________

Alright, that’s all  for now. It’s bedtime for Bode man (and for me).

Check in with you all soon again I hope, hope, hope!

 

A Four Month Old, a Two Year Old, and a Half Marathon

Oh my gosh! HIIII!

I have been itching to write a post but have totally been prioritizing holding Benny while he naps instead. I contemplated using my phone to verbally dictate a post but I knew I would just get P.O.’ed and give up on it! Ha ha. Anyway, here I am! How are you guys?

Catching up on life…

Bode turned two years old on October 27th. He is a full-on two-year old now. We never know when his mood will flick a switch and 180 on us but it definitely keeps us on our toes. He is so full of life and a pretty funny kiddo. He loves to learn new magic tricks from grandma and grandpa, is obsessed with his grandparents, loves to go to “school”, do art projects, read books, puzzles, play with trains, cars, Thomas, and play outside. He is totally falling in love with Ben.

Benny is now four months old, TODAY! He is the happiest baby ever!!! He can now roll from tummy to back, giggle, and loves to watch his brother running around. I still can’t believe I have TWO boys. Life is good.

I went back to work a few weeks ago and transitioned fairly easily. Ben and Bode both go to daycare and also have time at grandma and grandpa’s each week. I am part-time and it seems to be the perfect balance for us.

What else?

Dana and I have registered for another half marathon in May! My first half was five years ago which is crazy! It was a rough run for me, mainly because I was in quite a bit of a colitis flare, so I am hoping to redeem myself this time around and really enjoy myself more.

This time I am trying to not stress about time. The race requires a minimum of a 14-minute mile. I know I can manage this. I would be happy with 11-minute miles (or faster).

Having two kiddos definitely makes “training” more challenging. I am still trying to figure out how to balance being a mommy, going to work, and finding time to workout. Ben isn’t into the idea of me running on the treadmill while he chills, so instead I try and do strength exercises when I am home with him. The gym doesn’t allow babies until they are three months old, so last week I finally brought him in after much hesitation. He did great of course and I LOVED having a little mommy time. I even got to shower. Woo woo!

Each week I would ultimately like to get 1-2 short runs (3 miles or so) in during the week days and a longer run on the weekend. Each week I plan to increase the length of my longer runs by a half to one mile, depending on how I feel. So far, so good. I am up to five miles.

I am finding running much more enjoyable these days. I think a big part of it is that it is my time. Also, I am motivated to keep running when the run is outside because I know the fastest way to get back home to my warm house is by running versus walking! Jazzy has been a great little running companion. I look forward to the spring when Ben is old enough to ride in the double running stroller and we can ALL get out and run.  It has definitely been strange this time around not being able to run with Dana at all yet.

Lastly, one of my favorite subjects: food.

BTW Ben is starting to suck on my arm so I may need to end this post sooner than later.

I would say I have been doing a fairly good job with meal planning for the fam. Some weeks are obviously better than others. After going on a salmon hiatus during pregnancy, I am starting to dig it again! Yay! We still love our veggie hash, kabobs, tacos, burgers; ya know, the basics. Pinterest continues to inspire me for meal planning and I try and make one meal from Pinterest each week.

I can’t remember the last time I snapped a photo of my food. My phone is FULL of the boys. Go figure. 🙂

OK, speaking of food, Benny is ready for his! I gotta jet. I would love to hear from you all.

What has everyone been up to? Any delicious and quick meal ideas to share?

A Beautiful Surprise!

Not long after I wrote the last post announcing my pregnancy, we had a big surprise!

Benjamin Thomas was born on September 24th, 2016 at 11:41 am. He decided 36 weeks was a long enough wait and he just had to come meet us! His birth weight was 6#1oz and he 19 1/4 inches long.

He is a sweet and healthy rock star and has been from the start.

Labor and delivery was just like with Bode’s in a sense: quick. I woke up with back pain from what I thought was just a bad sleep position but then started noticing contractions fairly frequently. I was thinking these were Braxton Hicks contractions and began to time them out; about 10 minutes apart. I called the midwife and gave her the low-down. My options were to go into the hospital and have baby monitored for a couple of hours to see what was going on, or to first try to sit down and relax with a cup of water to see if the contractions and back pain would subside. Since I hadn’t had anything to eat that morning and had been on my feet since I woke up, I wanted to try to relax with a big cup of water first, and see if I was just dehydrated. As some time passed, the back pain was progressively getting worse and the brunt of it was coinciding with the contractions. Dana and I decided that it was time to go in to the hospital.

Backing it up a bit…

My plan was to deliver at a small birth center with two beautiful suites, and my hope was to try for a water birth again. Because I was potentially going in to labor at 36 weeks, which is considered premature, I was not going to be able to deliver at the birth center. The good news was, my midwives could still deliver the baby at two local hospitals. I chose one of the two (one that we hadn’t toured) and that was that. It wasn’t what I had planned but such is life.

Again with our “plan,” the plan was to pack for the birth center/hospital that particular weekend. As a couple who likes to be prepared, this whole surprise threw us off our rockers a bit!

Okay back to the story…

We tossed a suitcase together. We hustled and rounded up my neighbor and then my parents to take care of Bode so we could head to the hospital. The drive there wasn’t so bad. I made a couple of phone calls and had a snack since I hadn’t eaten breakfast.

When we got to the hospital, we spent a good 10-15 minutes just trying to figure out where to park and where their labor and delivery floor was. By the time we got there and got into triage, I was having contractions 3-4 minutes apart and I was 3-4 centimeters dilated. At that point, the nurse told me I wasn’t going anywhere. The flood gates opened and my emotions drowned me. I was ready, I wasn’t ready, is Bode going to be okay?, am I going to be a good mom to two kids?, am I mentally prepared?. It didn’t matter if I was ready or not, because this baby had an entrance to make! I pulled myself together and started getting into my “place” so that I could mentally prepare myself to get this baby into our arms.

After the midwife arrived, I walked myself to the labor and delivery room.Just as with Bode, Benjamin was in the “sunny-side-up” position which equals terrible back labor. And just like his brother, he turned himself just enough before making his way down the birth canal. To speed things up a bit with the story, I transitioned very quickly and had that baby about an hour and a half after arriving into that room. People were serious when they said the second time pushing baby out tends to be easier! The pushing part lasted all of about five minutes. Not complaining about that.

When baby was placed on my belly, I looked down and saw a head of thick dark hair! Dana got his mini me! All of his screenings came back perfect. We got to go home 48 hours later.

I am so blessed to have two beautiful and healthy boys. Bode is adjusting and we are beginning to notice some behavioral changes with him. I know this is all normal and we are all learning how to be a family of four.

That is the birth story in a nutshell! Life is so good.

And just for fun, a couple of my last pregnancy pics:

img_0978 img_0983