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?

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
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

FriYAY Catch Up!

It’s FriYAYYYYY!

Let’s catch up on this past week, huh?

Did you know I was in Vegas last weekend celebrating with my little bachelorette, Betsy?! This was my first time in Vegas and unfortunately I got hit with a nasty cold on Friday (the day I got there) but I sucked it up and had an AWESOME time! I only lost $10. I’m too frugal to play anything but the penny slots! Hit a button, lose money, hit a button, lose money, etc. It was 114º F or something crazy like that while we were there but it was a dry heat so it didn’t feel so bad, especially when we were in the pool all day. 🙂

Betsy Melanie

Considering the heat, and the fact that I didn’t feel well, my appetite was way off. I managed to have two bigger meals over the weekend though at the hotel’s buffet. This is far from a pretty food photo but the food was really good! Check out my breakfast plate. It included: a fluffy pancake with a caramel buttery banana syrup, lots of bacon, fruit, pastries (took one bite and decided I could do better) and a crab leg! Yom yom yom.

Buffet Las Vegas

I’m one of those people who has a realllllly hard time sleeping in no matter how late I stay up. Vegas is two hours ahead of MN, so can you guess what time I was awake on both Saturday and Sunday? Ok, I’ll tell ya…6:15 am. Lucky me, right? On Sunday morning, I knew no one else would be up for a while, so I got up, pumped, walked to breakfast (above), and then took a long stroll on the strip. I didn’t get to all of the hotels on the strip because there are a lot, but I made it to quite a few! My favorite was the Paris hotel and the Wynn. I was reliving my Paris trip like crazy. I definitely want to go back to Vegas again when it is a little cooler and spend more time looking at all of the hotels. They are beautiful.

I managed to pump, eat breakfast, walk the strip, and go to the pool all before the other girls woke up. Do I wish I could have slept in a bit longer? Of course. But since I couldn’t, I’m glad I made the most of being awake!

Paris Hotel Las Vegas

Such a fun weekend with the girls and so many more fun wedding festivities to come! Love you bride-to-be!!

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I feel like I have been getting so spoiled lately. Applegate and Sir Kensington’s hooked me up with major swag (giveaway winner announced at the bottom of this post!), and recently, Steve’s Paleo Goods sent me a SUPER awesome goodie bag!

Steve's PaleoGoods

Steve's Paleogoods

steve's paleo goods

Steve’s Paleo Goods makes on-the-go clean eating snacks and OMG I am impressed. In the kit he sent to me was the paleo sampler which includes:

  • Apple PaleoKit
  • Ketchup
  • Cinnamon PaleoKrunch Cereal
  • Original PaleoKrunch Bar
  • Grass-Fed PaleoJerky (2.5oz)
  • PaleoJerky
  • Dried Strawberries

So far I’ve sampled the apple paleokit and the dried strawberries and holy cow you guys, this stuff is good.

I’m so inspired by this guy. If you have a second, read his story: https://www.stevespaleogoods.com/the-first-paleokit-s/1834.htm We need more people like this in our world! Thanks for the delicious samples, Steve!!!

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Switching gears….can you believe it’s the 4th of July weekend already?! I just don’t understand how that is possible already. We are having a fairly low-key weekend full of lots of family and relaxation. I need it. Ever since Bode has started daycare we have all been sick, so pretty much the whole entire month of June. Oh well.

Check out this fun and festive food post I put together a couple of years ago:

Independence Day Food!

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(UPDATED July 14th)

FINAL new giveaway winner announced because my 2nd winner never responded either! This is it folks.

The new winner of the Applegate and Sir Kensington’s giveaway is:

NATE E.!

Send me an email at beautifullynutty@gmail.com by tomorrow, July 15th! CONGRATS!!

Happy 4th of July to you all! What are your plans for the weekend?

I’m definitely hooking up with Katie today for Friday Favs!

Ham, Bacon & Potato Soup

What oh what to do with those delicious Easter leftovers from yesterday’s celebrations? Make some soup of course!

Ham, bacon, potato, veggies…..you know you want to.

ham bacon and potato soup   ham bacon and potato soup

I whipped this together in about 45 minutes and was SO pleased with the end result!

After I snapped these photos I sprinkled a generous handful of cheddar cheese on top so that it melted into this perfect bowl of soup. Um, YUM!

Recipe adapted/inspired from: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/cheesy-ham-chowder

Ham, Bacon & Potato Soup
Print
Serves: 3-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 5 pieces of bacon (I used turkey bacon)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • 1½ cups potato, chopped into about 1 inch pieces
  • ½ cup corn
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup ham, diced
  • cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • green onions, chopped (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon until crispy using your preferred method. I cooked mine on the stove top in a large pan. Remove from heat once cooked through. Let cool. Once cool, chop into small pieces. Set aside.
  2. In that same pan, saute onion, carrots, and celery in butter. Cook for 3-4 minutes until tender.
  3. Add potato, corn, chicken broth, water, and black pepper to the pan. Simmer for 25 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
  4. Add cooked ham and cooked bacon to the pan. Stir. Let simmer for 10 more minutes.
  5. Serve hot with cheddar cheese, sour cream and green onions (all optional).

Go get busy in the kitchen.

Chocolate Chip Date Cookies

Happy Friday! I’m keeping it short and naturally sweet…

MAKE THESE NOW!

chocolate chip date cookies chocolate chip date cookies

 

K, that was a little bossy but seriously, you should make these. These cookies are sweetened with dates and dark chocolate chips, are grain free and insanely delicious in my opinion!

Chocolate chip date cookies recipe courtesy of:  https://cheffingit.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/date-sweetened-chocolate-chip-cookies/

This girl knocked it out of the park.

YUM.

xoxo

Clean Eating: Back At It

Helllllooo! How are you all?!

I finally found my way back into the kitchen and I am stoked about it. After 11 weeks of eating whatever the heck I wanted, including loads of chocolate, ice cream, and Christmas goodies, my body was less than thrilled. I was starting to just feel pretty blah. I decided it was time to get back on the clean-eating train.

I’m doing a bit of a “cleanse” where I am removing caffeine, alcohol, dairy, soy, peanuts, processed sugars and gluten for a little while. I plan on sticking to this for at least a few days to give my body a jumpstart, and then I will continue with a much cleaner eating plan versus what I had been eating! I will definitely add soy back in eventually and a little bit of dairy, but I do know that I am somewhat intolerant to cow’s milk so I will continue to moderate my dairy intake.

Here is what I have been eating these last few days!

Egg salad: This time I left out the capers though because I forgot.

egg salad

Raw “brownies”–I can’t keep my hands off of these.

fudgy brownie bites

A lentil salad from the book, “Clean” by Alejandro Jungers. I wrote a bit about the Clean diet back when. It’s full of lentils, veggies, and pineapple. It’s definitely different; not my favorite but not terrible.

Homemade gummy snacks with grape juice, gelatin, and a drop of lemon essential oil. A nice little treat!

grape juice gelatin

Katie’s buffalo chicken quinoa which I made for dinner last night! This was so delicious and so easy to make! I used red quinoa which is why it look different from Katie’s.

buffalo chicken quinoa

I stocked up on veggies and made sure they were cut up and ready to go:

  • bell peppers
  • carrots
  • celery
  • broccoli
  • asparagus
  • spinach
  • romaine lettuce

Mini mini burgers with grass-fed beef from the local co-op.

Cashews to snack on as well as brown rice cakes. I also made sure to buy a bunch of brown rice tortillas.

Almond butter and sunflower seed butter. Not as good as peanut butter but just wanted to give my body a bit of a break from it.

Frozen fruit, frozen spinach and almond milk for smoothies.

We have LOTS of good food around here!

Needless to say our grocery bill was a little high this week but it is SO worth it. I need to get my body back into a clean state. I’m already feeling better after just a short time of eating better. The saying is true, “you are what you eat.”

What are your favorite healthy whole food snacks?

Diet Changes During Pregnancy

My appetite currently in pregnancy is great! I’m nearly 28 weeks now. I wake up hungry or famished most mornings, eat breakfast, sometimes eat a snack mid-morning, always eat lunch, a snack in the afternoon usually, dinner, and a snack before bed.

Baby and I get pretty lethargic if we don’t get food when we are hungry, so I try and remember to always pack snacks when I am out and about.

I learned quickly that the snack before bed is a must otherwise I wake up insanely hungry in the middle of the night. My go-to bedtime snack is Greek yogurt with honey. Protein and carbs to tide me over for a while.

My diet has changed a few ways in pregnancy. I am eating more whole grains and not all of them are gluten-free. My body is tolerating the gluten and although I’m not going overboard with it, I am still eating regular bread, cereal, and snacks sometimes.

Also, I never know what I’m going to want to eat which makes planning meals ahead of time nearly a thing of the past. Dinners are usually pretty spontaneous these days. I’m still trying to clean out the freezer too! It’s going well!

Another thing I’m starting to notice, is that I feel much better when I eat smaller meals frequently opposed to large ones less often. This isn’t always completely doable with work, but I do my best.  My stomach is getting smooshed and appreciates smaller quantities at a time.

What I’ve Been Eating…

I think this baby gets some pretty tasty eats. Time to check out what I’ve been eating lately. I’m linking up with Jenn today!

One day I was suffering with terrible allergies and had no inclination to make food but I knew I needed food. I had pulled up pizza delivery on the computer and was all ready to order. Then the light bulb went off and I decided I would make my own mini healthier pizza instead, and that it wouldn’t be that much work either.

I topped a gluten-free brown rice tortilla with leftover meaty spaghetti sauce, mozzarella, onions, and green olives. I baked it for 5-10 minutes or so and then broiled it. As simple as it was, it tasted so good. Sometimes simple is best.

tortilla pizza

I’m STILL drinking this smoothie every.single.morning. Not sick of it yet! This is a record for sure.

 

chocolate peanut butter smoothie

We had a perfect green bell pepper from our garden waiting to be used so I bought some farmer’s market tomatoes (we didn’t have enough ripe tomatoes in our garden yet) so that I could make a batch of fresh salsa.

homemade salsa

And it was delicious.

I can’t get enough of the frozen spinach cooked to steaming hot with a little butter and salt. Popeye would be so proud.

salsa shrimp spinach

I’m really enjoying my egg sandwiches still slathered with yellow mustard some time type of cheese.

egg sandwich

The southwest salad made an appearance this week! It’s as good as I remembered.

southwest salad

Yesterday I made myself a heaping veggie wrap. I packed it with cucumbers, red onion, banana peppers, pickles, Muenster cheese, spinach and arugula, tomatoes, mustard and mayo. This thing was massive, messy, and SO good!

veggie cheese wrap

 

There’s been a fair share of sweets being consumed lately. My go-to has been ice cream and frozen yogurt. Summertime just screams, “eat ice cream!”

 

frozen yogurt

 

There’s been no lack of good food consumed over here per usual. I haven’t been super creative in the kitchen, but find ways to make do. We’ve been going out to eat more often than before pregnancy too. I’m okay with this though since it’s at most once a week.

What are some of your favorite quick summer meals?

Thai Chicken Quinoa Salad

It’s BBQ season. That means lots of potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, and hamburgers  (there’s nothing wrong with that from time to time). But why not switch it up every once in a while and bring a delicious and healthy gluten-free salad to share instead?

Today I’m guest-posting for the sweet and talented Kim who blogs at Hungry Healthy Girl. Head over to her blog to check out my Thai Chicken Quinoa Salad recipe!

thai chicken quinoa salad.jpg

What’s your favorite dish to bring to a BBQ? 

 

Cheesy Broccoli Soup and BBQ Chicken

Happpppy hump day to all!

I’ve got a few food pics to share with you on this Wednesday for my rendition of WIAW….What I’ve Been Eating Lately.

First off, gluten-free spaghetti with meat sauce. I tossed in some kale, spinach, onions, and ground beef into the spaghetti sauce. And of course, I had to top the whole thing off with parmesan. I love this meal.

spaghetti

Lunch in New York: A burger. Go figure. My body really craves the iron from the red meat. Although my gut hasn’t been appreciating the greasy food.

burger

A side of super amazing brussels sprouts to try to “balance” my meal. These were so incredible. I’m guessing they were roasted in olive oil and seasoned simply with salt and pepper but if that’s all it is, then why can’t I make them this good at home?

brussels sprouts

I was so absorbed in the events of the wedding that I neglected to take a single food photo. There was A LOT of food and a lot of GOOD food! Take my word.

Saturday morning I was wiped. This girl just can’t stay up until midnight like she used to in the old days. Room service was a must. Oatmeal for me, with a side of fruit.

oatmeal

Back at the ranch home, I tried getting back on the healthy food train after my 29 hours away with a big ol’ green salad. Unfortunately I had to do everything in my power to get this down. Like I mentioned, these days sometimes nothing sounds or tastes good!

salad

On Monday I made Peas and Crayon’s Broccoli Cheese Soup. Coincidentally, she is the one who hosts the WIAW link up!

broccoli cheese soup

This soup was pretty darn tasty if you ask me. I learned my lesson though to make sure and measure seasonings such as cayenne in a soup, because apparently my “eye-balling” it method made for a soup with a bit of a kick! I had to add extra broth and half and half to try to tame it down.

IMG_1434

I really enjoyed it though.

Last night I made a cranberry BBQ chicken (recipe to come soon). I melted monterey jack over the chicken and served it alongside a baked potato and green beans. After eating almost this entire plate of food, I remembered why I really shouldn’t eat big meals anymore. I just felt nasty. Smaller meals is the way I need to go these days. It’s just tough to do with work!

chicken potato green beans

I’ve been a cereal eating machine lately. My latest grocery grab was Honey Nut Chex.

honey nut chex gluten free

And lots of blueberries have been consumed in the last week as well.

blueberries

Y.U.M.

Lots of good eats once again! Thanks to Jenn for hosting WIAW!

Do you prefer small meals or large meals?

What’s your favorite cereal lately?

Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread

Remember how I told you I treated myself this weekend to some time in the kitchen baking, cooking, etc.? Well one of my goodies that I baked up was two loaves of gluten-free sandwich bread.

I used my nutty gluten-free bread recipe but substituted in some brown rice flour for the almond flour (recipe is below). The end product was a loaf of bread which wasn’t quite as dense or moist as the full almond flour bread. It has more of a sandwich bread consistency. I was pretty pumped about this! At first bite it tasted a bit to me like corn bread, and to me, that was a good thing!

gluten-free sandwich bread.jpggluten-free bread gluten-free bread gluten-free bread gluten-free bread

It would be perfect with some deli sliced turkey, mustard and veggies, and of course you can’t go wrong with a pb and j.

What I love about this recipe, and the nutty gluten-free bread recipe, is that they are SO easy. You literally put everything into one bowl at one time, mix it all together, and bake it. That’s it. No need to dirty up any extra bowls for this one.

Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread
Print
Makes two small loaves.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups brown rice flour
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 egg white
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix together all ingredients (I use a hand-mixer).
  3. Pour into two lightly greased bread loaf pans.
  4. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Bread is done when toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.

You could try making this in one loaf pan for a taller loaf, but I can’t make any guarantees how it would turn out and of course baking times would vary. Feel free to experiment though!

Enjoy and happy Thursday!

What is your favorite sandwich? 

I love a good old turkey sandwich from Subway with all of the veggies (minus jalapeños) with a little bit of mustard. That is another thing I have actually kind of been craving during pregnancy but since I am staying clear of deli meats, I will have to wait another five months. I am PERFECTLY okay with that! Hehe. I also really like any sandwich with melted cheese. Pb and J is a fav too. Oooo and Cubans. NUM!