Clean Eating Program Update

Hello! How are you all? I’m doing pretty well. Feeling pretty good. The laundry is almost all caught up from this weekend, now the house just needs to be cleaned a bit and we will be back in working order.

Clean Program Update

I wanted to give you an update on the Clean Eating Program I have been following for the last couple of weeks. For those of you who may have missed it, you can check out the clean program I am following by reading this post: Clean Eating Program.

If you will recall, the program offered the option of following the cleanse for 1-3 weeks. Along with the variation in length of time there was also an option of following the real cleanse which is smoothie/shake in the morning, solid meal for lunch, and a smoothie/shake for dinner OR you can simply follow along with the foods from the Elimination Diet OR you can try to do a combination of the two variables. The elimination diet removes dairy, eggs, wheat, caffeine, refined sugar, alcohol, red meat, strawberries, corn, and certain other foods that individuals tend to be sensitive to.

How I Followed the Clean Program

For the first 5 days I was following the cleanse to a T; a smoothie in the morning, a solid meal for lunch, a smooth blended soup for dinner. I would stop eating in the evening so that to allow my body 12 hours to digest and detoxify before my next meal in the morning. I was snacking in between meals only if I truly was hungry and would generally grab for raw fruits or vegetables if I did need something.

clean smoothie

Well, after day 5, I was starting to get real tired of all of this. I would dread eating smooth soup in the evening not only because it bores me having the same thing night after night but also because it was 90 something degrees outside and hot soup is just not appealing when it’s that hot. I’m not a fan of cold soup either. At this point I decided in order to save my sanity, I was going to continue the Clean Program, but would allow myself more solid meals from the elimination diet if I wanted to. This has been working out very well for me for the most part. Often I will still have a smoothie in the morning, a solid meal at lunch and a solid meal at dinner. I am trying to be careful with the snacking but have been finding myself grabbing for the jar of mixed nuts time after time. I believe it’s because my body was/is missing the extra protein.

It worked out really well to follow the modified version of the program while we were camping. There was no way I was going to be drinking 2 smooth meals while we were away. It could have been done, but it wouldn’t have been easy, or enjoyable. With a crazy amount of food preparation, I was able to make enough meals and snacks for us so that we could continue to follow the elimination diet while we were away.

spaghetti squash and meatballs

We went out to eat a couple of times and were able to mostly stick to the plan too. At the first restaurant we ordered a bison burger with a side salad. I just had to take the bun and the tomatoes off. The second restaurant I ordered whitefish with a side salad. I didn’t follow the plan exactly because I had their maple mustard on my salad. I couldn’t say no to that dressing when I was there, I mean come on. Again, I picked off the tomatoes, and the cheese and the strawberries, and enjoyed the rest of the meal completely.

angry trout fish dinner

Oh, and I enjoyed a couple of glasses of red wine too. That’s not in the plan. But for the most part, I did a pretty good job of sticking to the program.

How my body is responding

The intention of the cleanse is to remove excess mucus from the body and help to remove toxins as well. Our bodies are constantly working to remove toxins from the body but this just helps give the body a little nudge.

I can’t sit here and say wow, I feel incredible after doing that, but I can truly say I feel better. Quite a bit better in fact. I can’t really explain how I feel except for I do feel more “clean.” I will be anxious to follow-up with my naturopath and to find out how balanced my body is now compared to my last visit with her. I surely hope it has improved since last time! Otherwise I may be a little disappointed.

What I miss

Knowing that this cleanse was only temporary helped me when thinking of the foods I would need to remove from my diet. However, I am only human and I am really missing some of my favorite things: bananas, peanut butter, fresh summer corn, strawberries and tomatoes. Those are probably the main foods I am missing. Chocolate is another one but I have been able to make my own sugar-free version using raw organic cacao powder, coconut oil, almond butter, and stevia. I will be writing a post on this one soon! This has helped me a lot.

What’s Next

Three weeks is the maximum amount of time that one can continue on this cleanse (especially if following the option 1 plan with the two blended meals and one solid meal). After that time, it is recommended that you slowly wean yourself off of the cleanse and slowly reintroduce some of the foods you have eliminated. This is a perfect time to test specific foods for intolerances. It’s kind of like introducing new foods to infants: when you introduce a new food, you will want to wait a few days before introducing another new food to watch for any adverse reactions. Now that it has been two weeks, I am slowly reintroducing some foods. The first was raisins; my body tolerated them well. The next was wine, again my body seemed okay with it (my wine consumption is probably once every 2-3 weeks btw). Today, I will be reintroducing bananas which I am very excited about. I will continue reintroducing the foods back into my diet and watching for any adverse reactions until I am completely back to my normal diet.

I will most likely continue having smoothies for many of my breakfasts because it’s summer and a cold smoothie in the morning is pretty fantastic, but I am excited to be able to include more fruits like strawberries and bananas which were not allowed on the elimination diet.

My meals will become more exciting again! Wooo!! This means new recipes and fun food photos.

flounder and salad

I am very glad I completed this cleanse. Although I modified it slightly to fit my lifestyle and the events of summer, I do feel proud to say I followed it closely enough to feel the effects. I would highly recommend this Clean Program to anyone who is feeling they need a little detoxifying. Talk with your doctor first though, please!

Feel free to ask me questions about the program. I’m not expert but I did read the whole book and have been researching quite a bit about it the computer.

I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday!

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4th of July Photo Recap

Happy day my friends! I’m still unwinding from what was one incredible 4th of July weekend. Dana, Moose, and I went camping in beautiful Northern Minnesota. We ate great food thanks to loads of food prep, did quite a bit of hiking, saw some spectacular views, relaxed at the campfire, watched local fireworks, and savored the fresh air. Here’s a photo recap of our weekend!

Hiking & Sights

Silver Bay

silver bay

Gooseberry Falls

camping food

Eagle Mountain–the highest natural point in Minnesota at 2,301 feet! The hike was 7.2 miles. I was struggling towards the end of this one but the view was completely worth it.


eagle mountain DSCN6741

Judge C.R. Magney State Park and Devil’s Kettle


devil's kettle

Moose camping


The Campsite on Lake Superior



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Waiting for Fireworks





Homemade clean food

camping food

Fresh whitefish dinner at Angry Trout in Grand Marais


grand marais

It was one seriously amazing weekend.

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Clean Eating Food Menu For Camping

Happy 4th of July to all of my fellow Americans! I hope your day is full of celebrating with loved ones and BBQ! In case you missed it, yesterday I compiled a list of 10 patriotic recipes that would be perfect for a picnic or BBQ today.

Kitchen Mayhem

Over the past few days I have spent many hours preparing food for our camping weekend. Typical camping food for us is usually kabobs, burgers, chex mix, and s’mores, or something close to that, but this time around we will be eating a little differently. With my hopes to keep up with the clean eating while I am away, I planned out a whole clean menu for us. I don’t even want to know how many total hours I truly spent in the kitchen. All I know is it is a lot more time than what I usually spend when preparing food for a camping trip. I knew it would be a lot of work to plan a “clean” menu, but also knew it would be so worth it! I enlisted the help of some clean eating recipes that I found online to help ease the process. In case you are interested, I thought I would share with you my clean eating food menu for camping.

On the menu for the weekend:


  • Cooked buckwheat with cinnamon, a touch of stevia, almond butter and dried fruit. I am incredibly excited for this. I taste tested it after I made it and it’s awesome! To prepare it, I cooked it per directions after letting it soak for 24 hours to aid in digestion. I then added coconut milk, cinnamon, and stevia. I let it cool and then packaged it in a canning jar to bring along with us. We can either eat it cold, or warm it up at the campsite for breakfasts.

buckwheat buckwheat


  • Baked Falafel with salad and homemade (dairy-free) ranch dressing. I used my falafel recipe and also added carrots, red onion, and flaxseed. I baked them at home so that they would be all ready to go when needed. I’m excited to see how they turned out! I used Healthy Blender Recipe’s recipe for the ranch dressing. It’s pretty tangy and should be really good on a salad with the falafel.
  • Lunch out somewhere
  • Leftovers



ranch dressing homemade vegan


  • Asian turkey meatballs over sesame spaghetti squash. I mixed and formed the meatballs and then froze them raw. We will cook them once we get to our campsite most likely on the first night so that we can have them for leftovers for lunch the next day. I got the meatball recipe from Queen of Quinoa but also added garlic and coconut aminos. I used a recipe from Family Fresh Cooking as my inspiration for the spaghetti squash but made a couple of tweaks to it as well. I used coconut aminos instead of wheat-free tamari paste and red wine vinegar instead of rice vinegar. Trying sandwiches from a very famous joint by Jimmy John Owner is also a good idea.
  • Black bean quinoa burgers with roasted veggies. I also formed these patties and froze them uncooked. I used a recipe I found online but am not super happy with them. I taste tested one and they tasted okay but they are pretty crumbly. I like my version better but couldn’t make them this time around because they have tomatoes and eggs in the recipe which are not allowed on the clean program. *Remember this is VERY short term!* For the roasted veggies, I roasted them halfway to start the process and will finish toasting them up at the campsite.
  • Leftovers or out

Spaghetti squash…

spaghetti squash

Raw turkey meatballs…

turkey meatballs

Uncooked black bean quinoa burgers…

black bean quinoa burgers

black bean quinoa burgers

Halfway roasted veggies (zucchini, onions, garlic, kohlrabi, and turnips)…

roasted veggies


  • Raw veggies: snap peas, carrots
  • Raw fruit: watermelon, cherries, apples
  • Dried fruit: no-sugar added dried cranberries, mango, and pineapple
  • Mixed Nuts
  • Brown Rice Cakes
  • Rice Crackers
  • Homemade sugar-free dark chocolate (lightly sweetened with stevia)

I made insane amounts of the burgers, meatballs, and falafel which is why I am planning on having leftovers for 1-2 meals. As you can see, I was a busy, busy bee. I even have callouses on my hands to show for it. I can’t wait to go relax and enjoy all of this wonderful food now!

I hope you all have a fabulous holiday weekend! Catch up with you later gators!

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Snowshoeing & Celestial Seasonings Tour

I didn’t get to wish you all this yesterday so, HAPPY SPRING! One would never guess it’s spring around here however. The snow and freezing temperatures really don’t go along with what I picture to be spring.

How about a little humor to kick off this chilly Thursday? It’s 7°F here right now as I type. Woof!

Question: What do you call a nosey pepper?

Answer: Jalapeño business!

I just realized I added another pun into the mix….this “chilly” (aka chili) Thursday! Peppers are in chili….get it?

Well anyway, I have a long overdue post for you all today. So, after our incredible trip to Turks and Caicos, we headed back to the states, but not home to Minnesota, instead we headed to Colorado to celebrate Dana’s uncle’s birthday.

We stayed with his aunt (my “aunt-in-law”) in their quaint neighborhood right outside of Boulder. I feel so at home when I am in Colorado and I’ve only been there twice.

I love everything about Colorado: the view, the people, the health enthusiasts, the fitness opportunities, and all of the great food companies! LARABAR, Justin’s Nut Butter, Celestial Seasonings Tea, Food Should Taste Good, just to name a few, are produced in Colorado. Those are some of my favorite companies!

If I weren’t such a homebody, I would think about moving out there, picking up skiing, and enjoying a “greener” life out there, but I am a total homebody. I love that my parents live just 15 minutes away and couldn’t imagine being away. So, I will stick to lots of traveling instead.

When we first got to Colorado, I struggled a bit with adapting to the altitude change, and had an upset stomach and a headache. Not to mention, I didn’t get much sleep that night because our flight got in pretty late. We all laid low on the first morning but once the afternoon rolled around I was aching to get out and get moving. I still wasn’t feel the greatest, but Dana and I drove out to Eldora Ski Area anyway do some snowshoeing.

colorado 2013

The last time I went snowshoeing was in my senior year of high school for a class called Lifetime Activities. I remember enjoying it but I’m pretty sure the routes we took back in Southern Minnesota didn’t stand a chance to the Colorado Rockies. Actually, if I recall correctly, I’m pretty sure we just did the snowshoeing outside on the school lot.

We were expecting the mountains to be in the 30’s based on our Weather Channel research, but it turned out to be in the mid-40’s and maybe even 50’s. We went totally decked out in winter coats, long underwear, snow pants, two pairs of socks, snow boots, mittens, and hats….

colorado 2013

We took the two-hour route that wove us through the tranquil mountains.

colorado 2013

We made a couple of stops to admire the views!

colorado 2013

The incline of the hike really had us heatin’ up and we ended up shedding our coat layer, plus our hat and mittens.

colorado 2013 colorado 2013

This definitely got the heart-rate going!

colorado 2013

We followed the orange arrows marked on the trees until we made our way back to the chalet.

I absolutely LOVE snowshoeing! It’s fun, relaxing, and it’s such a great workout too! I want to do more of it. I am so glad we went albeit not feeling 100%.

A good majority of the weekend in Colorado was spent relaxing and hanging out with the family, but on Saturday morning we planned on one excursion:

The Celestial Seasonings Tea Tour!

Celestial Seasonings is located right in Boulder and it was only about five minutes from where we were staying.

colorado 2013

Upon arrival we were handed “teakets,” which was a package of CS Peppermint Tea along with a sample mini mug to bring over to the testing area.

At the test bar, I was able to try ANY and every tea that I wanted.

celestial seasonings


I tried the Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride, The Nutcracker Sweet, Sweet Harvest Pumpkin, and a few more. We also tried their energy shots as well as there kombucha drinks. I didn’t know they made either of those! My favorite of the teas was the Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride which I ended up buying and bringing home to enjoy.

cs colorado 2013

After our free tasting and chit-chatting with the “barista,” we headed in to the screening room to watch a 10-minute video about how Celestial Seasonings began, their morals, beliefs. I found it all fascinating.

cs colorado 2013

Then we threw our hairnets on and headed into the production area. Photos were not allowed inside of this area but I can tell you that it was pretty neat inside; kind of magical if you will, like Willy Wonka. Each room you went by had a different scent. My favorite was the peppermint and spearmint room. This one has to have a door closed to block out the smell because it is so intense that it could migrate into other teas. They opened the door to the room, and as soon as you walk in the mint invades your nostrils, makes your eyes water, and is slightly intoxicating, but in a good way! It cleared my senses and made me feel calm. They call it free aromatherapy, and it’s very fitting!

We learned about all of the different kinds of teas like black, white, herbal, caffeinated, decaffeinated, etc. Our tour guide was great. She explained the process very well and added her touches of humor. I felt like I learned so much while I was there and I truly devoured every second of it.

After the tour we were led into their gift shop. This was the place to shop if you were looking for something for someone who has everything. Did that make sense? They had so many fun gifts, beauty products, treats, and of course teas!

cs colorado 2013

This was the perfect way to spend our Saturday morning, plus it was sleeting outside so it  made it even that much more cozy inside.

We had a little time to spare before we needed to head back home for lunch, so we drove to the shopping area to do some window shopping. Again, it was sleeting and pretty darn cold out at this point, so we enjoyed this as much as we could. The mall is set up so that you walk outside in between stores. If it were nice out this would have been fantastic, but since it wasn’t so great, we spent most of our time in the shops.

colorado 2013


I loved all of the athletic stores in the area. I refrained from buying anything though! After shopping we headed back home and stayed cozy for the rest of the day.

This Colorado stop was the perfect way to end our glorious vacation. If you’ve never been to Colorado, I recommend you put it on your list of places to visit, because it is truly beautiful.

I hope you had as much fun reading this post as I had reliving it.

Now, back to reality. I hope you all have a fabulous Thursday!

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Activities and Adventures in Turks and Caicos

I could seriously go on and on and on about our trip to Turks and Caicos, but I’m going to make this my last post about it. I’ll finish the recap up with our activities and adventures from the trip….

I’m not one to sit still for too long. I love to be active. There was most definitely a lot of rest and relaxation on this trip, but we did a lot of fun activities as well!

One morning we walked about 25 minutes to a nearby beach called Three Marys Cay which we read had some decent snorkeling.

beach tc

Not to mention it was very pretty!

tc three marys cay tc snorkel

The waters were fairly choppy while we were there so we couldn’t get out too far without being swept back in, so we stayed in shallow water.

We saw a handful of fish and a barracuda! I’m not a fan of those barracudas…they scare the living daylights out of me. It wasn’t the best snorkeling we’ve ever experienced, but still fun!

tc snorkel

JODO provided stand up paddle boards to use at our leisure. We got out on these a few times and I REALLY enjoyed them. The water needed to be fairly calm in order for us to use these properly. I’m sure the pros could handle a few more waves than I could. 😉 I’m hoping to do this back home on the lakes this summer!

tc sup turks and caicos stand up paddle board

JODO also provided a two person kayak (I’m almost positive they have other single kayaks as well). We used it a couple of times to explore the water near our villa and took a longer trip over to a nearby island called Parrot Cay. Although the islands are technically public around there, security does a good job of making sure Parrot Cay stays private. People spend the big bucks to stay in those villas. Although security didn’t approach us when we paddled up to Parrot Cay, we didn’t take any chances and literally just got out of the kayak long enough to snap a photo and then turned back around.

tc kayak tc kayak

We also went for walks on the beach…

tc beach

We had one day of rain but had a blast inside playing games, reading books, magazines, and chit-chatting.


We rented a car one day and took a drive over to Middle Caicos. We stopped at Mudjin Harbor which was probably the most beautiful island, beach, and water I have ever seen.

tc mudjin

We have at least twelve photos of this place. It was spectacular.

tj mudjin

It was super windy on the day we drove to Middle Caicos, which made for slightly unpleasant beach experiences. It’s not fun having sand whip into your eyes. But we wanted to check out one more beach before we drove back to our place.

We stopped at Bambarra Beach. Gorgeous. We didn’t stay long because again, the wind was insane.

tc beach

One night, we got all prettied up and headed out for a dinner out at The Silver Palms Restaurant. We met the owner, Karen, who is originally from Canada. She was so sweet and made EXCELLENT food! This is where Dana and I shared fresh lobster and fresh conch stew. Oh, and the chocolate cake. Can’t forget the chocolate cake. We licked that plate clean.

tc Silver Palms

We also packed along some other outdoor entertainment like a frisbee, a nerf football, and hand paddle boards which we played with in the water a few times.

We went for a run along the beach one morning which is alway an intense workout. All in all I’d say we stayed pretty active.

I am working on getting back into the workouts again now that I am back home. Vacations have a tendency of putting me back just a little bit. I have a 7k run coming up next weekend and I haven’t been running a whole lot. Yikes. I am hoping I will be fine though.

I ran 2.5 miles yesterday and felt great and then walked for a while in the afternoon. I am hoping to get a run in today too.

Anyway, that is the end of my Turks and Caicos recaps. I have SO many more photos but I think I will stop there. However, I DO have to recap my weekend in Colorado still. Be on the lookout for that very soon.

Happy Wednesday my friends!

Question of the day: Have you ever tried stand-up paddle boarding? Kayaking? Do you like it?

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Our Villa in Turks and Caicos and My First Video

Well after a full day of being home from vacation, I am feeling pretty settled. All of the laundry is done, clothes are all put away, the fridge is restocked, and the house is semi-organized. It feels good.

For some reason my appetite was totally off yesterday (Dana said the same thing too, actually). We didn’t have any groceries in the house when I woke up, so for breakfast I just scooped myself a big ol’ healthy scoop of peanut butter. It was more than what I wanted which was nothing, but I had an appointment to go to and errands to run, so I needed fuel.

When lunch time rolled around, I still wasn’t hungry, but munched on some carrots while I whipped up a huge smoothie. In the blender I threw strawberries, blueberries, bananas, kale, kefir, aloe vera juice , and a touch of water to help it all whirl.


It was tasty and very filling, but I wasn’t in it like I usually am. I just ate it t nourish myself.

What I was craving was some comfy veggie soup, so I dug through the freezer and found my last bag of garden tomatoes and my last bag of bone broth and got to work.

garden tomatoes

In a large soup pot I sautéed onions, celery, carrots, and garlic in some coconut oil. Then I added savory spices, dried parsley, a bay leaf, salt, and pepper, followed by the thawed tomatoes and bone broth. Last I added in a bunch of chopped rutabaga (what I feel is the forgotten vegetable). I covered the pot and let it simmer for a good hour. At the end of the cooking time, I added in frozen peas and frozen green beans.

This soup was very similar to this veggie soup recipe I made a short while back.

It turned out fantastic! I had a bowl for dinner while watching the THREE hour finale of the Bachelor. Lucky for me living in central time, it was on from 7-10 pm so I didn’t have to stay up as late as you eastern timers. I was very shocked at his decision and admit I got pretty choked up over both the break-up and the proposal. They seem very happy together. Let’s just hope they stay together!

veggie soup

Moose was super pumped that mom and dad were home from Turks. He spent most of the day catching up on sleep and totally veggin’ out.


When I see him after being away for some time, I am always blown away at just how big he is!

That was my little spurt of normal life; now back to recapping the Turks and Caicos vacation…today I want to show you where we stayed!

Our Villa in the Turks and Caicos

Upon arrival to the airport in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, we had to take a taxi to catch a ferry to get to North Caicos where our villa was. Unfortunately we missed the ferry by 10 minute and the next one wasn’t leaving for another two hours. So, we changed into our swimsuits and shorts and hung out at the pier while we waited.

I was so antsy and anxious to see our place and just relax, so inevitably the waiting time went by real slllooooowwww. But, alas the ferry arrived and we were transported to our island!

ferry tic


Upon arrival, we were greeted by another taxi driver, Mac, who brought us to our resort.

The resort we stayed at was JODO resort at Sandy Point on North Caicos, and I have nothing but incredible things to say about this place.

We were greeted by Mark, who manages the resort. He walked us through the villa and gave us some info, suggestions for things to do, and answered some of our questions. We were also greeted with a bottle of wine and a CD full of island music to get us feeling the island life.


We unpacked, showered, and hit the hay early. We woke up nice and early the next day and were showered with sunshine! And so began our vacation!

The JODO resort has two homes; one is the main house and one is a guest house. We stayed in the guest house which was more than enough space for the two of us.

The front porch:


The living room:

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I loved all of the vaulted ceilings.


One of the bedrooms…(this bedroom had AC which was super nice for sleeping)


Washer and dryer in the bathroom…

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The kitchen…which was fully stocked with everything you could ever need. We were so happy we were able to do all of our cooking (except a couple of meals) while we stayed there.


The front entry way and steps that lead up to the second bedroom…


The second bedroom which overlooks the ocean and opens up to a walk-out balcony…

DSCN6496tc tc tc

Here is the main villa…They are still in the process of finishing it up but it will soon be available to rent. This would be an awesome place to bring a bunch of friends.


We sat in the front of the main house most evenings and watched many beautiful sunsets!


They provided plenty of toys…stand up paddle boards (photos to come soon), kayaks, snorkel gear, water floaties, beach chairs, boogie board, an electric car, etc etc etc! Everything was so well thought out.

sup and kayak

nemo tci

We pretty much had the entire beach to ourselves which is something I have never experienced. I felt like we were VIP!


The people of JODO were so accommodating and we felt so at home in our gorgeous villa. Everyone on the island was super friendly and welcoming. Our villa and the people over-exceeded my expectations. It was hard to say good-bye.

This is a very new place; we were only the third group to stay in the guest house. The main house should be open in a year or so. I really want to spread the word on this place because it is seriously so wonderful. They thought of everything!

We put together a little video of the villa to give you a better look. This is my very first video so please be kind! Enjoy!

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Food and Drink in Turks and Caicos

I’m back! It feels SO good to be home after quite the incredible vacation to Turks and Caicos followed by a weekend in Colorado.

I don’t even know where to begin in recapping, but I have to start somewhere so I how about I tackle the food part?!

As I mentioned, while we were in Turks and Caicos we stayed in a villa complete with a full kitchen (serious reviews to come on this villa because it was extraordinary). We did all of our own cooking at our place and went out to eat only a few times.

I loved having our own kitchen and have decided that I prefer it over staying in an all-inclusive resort. Reasons: 1. We can eat whenever we want 2. It helps my digestive system to stay somewhat on track while away from home  3. I know exactly what’s going into my food and 4. I don’t have as many temptations (i.e.: millions of desserts).

We used my meal planning chart as a guide to help with packing food for the trip as well as meal ideas while we were away, and did a pretty good job of sticking to it.

Here come the food photos!

turks and caicos breakfast

We did our produce shopping at a little market near by. There were only a few small markets on our island but we were able to find everything on our list!

turks and caicos market turks and caicos market turks and caicos market

Chicken caesar salad…

chicken caesar turks and caicos

Veggie and turkey bacon omelets…

eggs turks and caicos

Lentil taco salad…

lentil taco salad turks and caicos

My comfy tummy breakfast…

fruit turks and caicos

Homemade piña coladas with pineapple juice, coconut milk, and local rum…

pina colada turks and caicos

Freshly caught red snapper which Dana fileted for us…

red snapper turks and caicos


Grilled romaine with olive oil and grilled red snapper…

red snapper turks and caicos

One of our lunch’s out was at a beach called Mudjin. There was a very small menu (and nothing healthy to choose from) so we went with conch fritters and french fries…

conch fritters turks and caicos fries turks and caicos

Romaine salad with carrots, quinoa, olive oil, salt and pepper…

salad turks and caicos

I’m thinking a full-on review is in order for one of the restaurants we went to called The Silver Palms. So, more on the restaurant later. The food was outstanding!

Dana and I split the conch stew….

conch stew turks and caicos

And the lobster tail…

lobster turks and caicos

Both of our dishes were so fresh, simple, and absolutely delectable.

I can’t forget to mention the homemade double chocolate cake with cream cheese chocolate frosting and homemade coconut ice cream on the side….

chocolate cake turks and caicos

My mouth watered just looking at that photo again!

We bought plantains which we drizzled with rum and olive oil and placed on the grill…

plantains turks and caicos

They were SO good!

On our last day we had to be out of our place by 10:00 am or so, and caught a ferry over to the main island Providenciales where the airport was, so we stopped at a beach restaurant for lunch. I ordered the Chicken Caesar Salad (I really didn’t get too creative there did I?) and Dana got the fish tacos.

chicken caesar salad turks and caicos

There you have it! Our vacation food in a nutshell. My belly did a pretty good job holding up to the food while we were away, however I am VERY happy to be home where I can really eat completely normal again.

I have so much more to catch you up on but this will have to do for now! I have mungo loads of laundry and unpacking to do.

I can’t wait to tell you more about our trip!

Hope your week is off to a great start! I missed you all!


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Meal Planning for Vacation

Hello hello from Turks and Caicos! How’s everyone doing? I’m sending warm weather wishes your way.

While we are away in Turks and Caicos, we are staying in a villa complete with a full kitchen. This is our first time ever staying in a villa and are super excited about it. We usually go to all-inclusive hotel resorts which typically entail lots of great food, fruity cocktails, too many desserts, and an unhappy tummy.

dominican dessert

dominican dana pina coladas

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy an all-inclusive hotel as much as the next guy, but given my digestive system has been “off” for a while now, it’s a good idea for me to try to stick to more typical food and beverages as much as possible while I’m away. The last thing I want is to regress with my progress because I a feeling gooooood!

Being that we do have access to a full kitchen while we are in Turks, we have decided to prepare most of our own meals while we are there. We were told that groceries are pretty spendy over there, so we did A LOT of food planning, and brought the majority of our food from home. The only food that we are not allowed to bring from home is fresh produce, so we will be going to a local farm/farmer’s market while we are there to stock up on the fresh fruits and vegetables. I can’t wait to see what they have!

We packed all of our food in a cooler, which was duct-taped shut after inspection. The meat we brought was packed frozen solid, and stayed cold enough (and in the safe zone) until we reached our destination. Once we got to the villa, it went right into the fridge and freezer.

turks and caicos food turks and caicos food turks and caicos food

turks and caicos food

We plan on going out to eat a couple of times while we are there to enjoy some of the local food, and we plan to purchase some fresh seafood and cook it in our villa couple of nights as well.

Here is what our meal plan looks like for the week:


Weekly Meal Plan for Turks and Caicos

Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Thursday x x Turkey Burgers
Friday Banana w/ peanut butter Chicken Caesar Wraps and veggies Lentil Tacos
Saturday Eggs w/ turkey bacon and fruit Leftover tacos or pb wraps Fresh seafood and veggies, quinoa
Sunday Oatmeal or eggs Leftover chicken caesar Out to dinner
Monday Banana w/ peanut butter, eggs, or oatmeal PB banana wraps Veggie hash
Tuesday Oatmeal or eggs Salad Veggie something?
Wednesday Eggs w/ turkey bacon and fruit Leftovers Seafood and veggies
Thursday Leftovers PB wraps x
Snacks Dried fruit, fresh fruit, fresh veggies, pistachios, Chex Mix, date/nut bites, chips and salsa
Beverages LOTS of water, wine, tea, coffee, fresh juice?

I’ll be excited to fill you in how all it all turned out!

Catch up with you later gators!

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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. 🙂

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! 😉

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

2. Sun protection and LOTS of it

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm with sunblock
  • Sunglasses
  • A pair of contact lenses (see website where I bought them from)
  • Hats

3. Hygiene items

  • Safety kit (Neosporin, alcohol wipes, ibuprofen, tweezer, etc.)
  • Body wash
  • Deodorant
  • 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

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

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!

Continue Reading What to Pack for a Caribbean Vacation