Treat Yourself Tuesday: Snacks & Girl Time

Today I am linking up with my lovely blend Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday.

“Do whatever feels best for you. Do something that will make you feel relaxed and loved and happy. Remember this is about treating YOURSELF – not your friends, not your family, not your spouse, not your dog – so make sure you really focus on you. Treat yourself well and treat yourself often so that you will become the best you possible and in turn be your best for others in your life!” source

Little treats, big treats…it doesn’t matter.

Little things like making homemade almond butter on a Sunday afternoon. This was made with raw almonds, unsweetened coconut, and a touch of stevia. It will never compare to my beloved peanut butter but I do enjoy it still.

homemade almond butter

Fruit strips from Target made with fruit juice; 45 calories a piece and 9 grams a sugar. It’s a nice little sweet treat.

fruit strip

A lunch date with my friend Kalley and homemade vegetable soup topped with parmesan cheese!

soup

Air-popped popcorn on #NationalPopcornDay seasoned with olive oil and salt.

popcorn

Girls day with my beautiful mama. Manicure, pedicure, shopping, coffee. Yes, it was glorious!

nails

Treat-Yourself-Tuesday-Badge

How did you treat yourself this week?!

WIAW: What I Have Been Eating Lately

Today I’m joining in on the fun with a round of Peas and Crayon’s, “What I Ate Wednesday,” but instead of what I ate Wednesday, I am renaming mine to what I have been eating lately.

WIAWbutton

Loads of fresh and sweet berries thanks to Driscoll’s berries!!

berries

Spinach salads with strawberries, black beans, avocado, chicken, sunflower seeds, and honey mustard dressing.

spinach salad

Fruit and Nut “Cereal”–blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, bananas, sliced almonds, cashew pieces, dried currants, cacao nibs, and almond milk! And I just decided that is what’s for breakfast today! Num!

paleo cereal

Leftover Four Bean Quinoa Chili from the freezer!

leftover chili

Two over-easy eggs with sautéed onions, fresh garden tomatoes, avocado, and salsa!

eggs

Blue Diamond Artisan Nut Thins. These things are crazy good! The box is empty.

blue diamond crackers

 

Dates for a little bit of a sweet treat.

dates and pb

And last but not least, homemade almond butter!

 

 

almond butter

 

I’d say I’ve been eating pretty darn well!

 

What have YOU been eating lately?

Health Supplements & Insanity Month One

I have bunch of little tidbits to catch you up on so I’m going to get right in there and be a little random today.

First off, I hope everyone is having a good week so far. We are half way through the work week already. These weeks have been flying by lately crazy fast.

Moose had his second tooth extracted on Monday and he is doing very well. They didn’t have nearly as much trouble with this tooth as they did his other one, and he didn’t have to be under anesthesia as long. We are happy that is over with, and so is he. Thanks again for all of your sweet comments.

Let’s see, Monday evening’s dinner was one you have seen a million times by now, my favorite salmon recipe, but I still snapped a photo because it’s always so pretty.

salmon

And breakfast yesterday: banana with almond butter, honey, and cinnamon = Num.

banana with almond butter

Insanity Update

Two days ago I finished Month One of InsanityIf you’re new to my blog, you can quickly catch up on my weekly Insanity reviews here:

Here is what went down this last week:

Body and Strength Changes

I don’t feel like I went through many body changes this past week although I do feel my core continues to get stronger day by day. I feel this has helped tremendously with my back pain. I continue to see my chiropractor for adjustments but we have been able to stretch out my visits to every two weeks now versus what began as twice a week visits. That is great progress that I am super happy about.

Besides that, I may have hit a bit of a plateau, where my strength isn’t improving much, and my endurance is at a standstill.

So, this week I have started the recovery workout. The focus of this workout is on recovering from all of the cardio madness, giving muscles time to relax, yet still working them so as not to fall back in your progress.  It is a slightly more mellow workout which focuses on core and balance. For the next six days the program has you repeating the same workout daily. I’m a little nervous that I will get bored from the repetition because I usually can’t handle doing the same workout day after day. That being said, the next week of recovery may take me longer than six days to complete because I may throw in some runs or other workouts here and there.

Soreness, Fatigue, or Aches

The sore elbow that I mentioned last week which has been persistent for the last month or so is no longer an issue. Who knows what that was I’m just happy it’s gone!

Every now and then I will get a little tenderness on the top of my feet and occasional knee discomfort. When this happens, I try to take a day off to rest and then get back into it the following day once the tenderness has subsided.

Overall Thoughts and Feelings

I can’t believe month one is complete! I did take before and after photos but I think I may keep them to myself (I haven’t 100% decided either way yet), but what I can tell you is that I see some great results. My stomach is flatter, leaner and stronger, my legs are more toned and much stronger, my arm strength has increased greatly and I am now able to do hands and toes push-ups much more easily. I see more definition in my arms and my shoulders, and I have less back pain! Besides training for the half-marathon, I don’t know if I’ve ever been so diligent with a workout program before, especially with one this intense. I am very proud that I have kept with it this long. Time will tell how the second month goes. If I feel it is too intense for my body, I may scale back. We will see though.

I’m happy to have this week to “recover” before starting up with the even more insane workouts to come. My body could use a little rest, plus I am missing running and hope to get some of that in this week.

To any of you contemplating the Insanity program, I will tell you right now that it is not easy, but it is so worth it! The results are worth it. The way I feel about myself and the strength I have built, is so worth it. If you want to see results and build a stronger body, absolutely complete this program.

But first…Please consult with your physician before you begin this program if your health is compromised or if you are hesitant about the intensity of the program. 

A Sneak Peek at Last Night’s Dinner

I’m hoping to share this barbacoa recipe with you all sometime this week. It was a spicy one and SO good!

beef balcacoa

Health Supplements

Last topic of the day I promise. It has been a little while since I have given an update on my current health supplements I am taking in the journey towards my total wellness. I want to share this with everyone in case there are others out there who are fighting for wellness (in my particular case Ulcerative Colitis), and to give others some hope that alternative medicine can really truly make a difference! I plan to go into this in further detail another day, but today I would just like to keep it to a brief update.

Again I want to reiterate that I truly believe that if you are eating a healthy and balanced diet, and if you are completely 100% healthy and not fighting any type of disease, that you may not need to take supplements. You can get the nutrients you need from foods (Vitamin D is a probable exception) and your body is able to utilize those nutrients properly, but for those of us with compromised health, supplements can be a very good option in helping to find balance. I continue to work with my chiropractor and naturopath, who are working with me to find proper supplements to suit my particular health needs.

Last time I checked in with you all on this subject, I was taking:

  • cod liver oil
  • a multivitamin
  • calcium plus vitamin D3
  • probiotic

Today, I am taking these:

  • cod liver oil
  • multivitamin
  • folic acid
  • calcium plus Vit D3
  • probiotic
  • digestive enzymes

Digestive Enzymes are enzymes that break down food molecules in our body, which helps the body to digest and absorb food and nutrients from foods. I don’t take the enzymes with every meal as recommended, but I take them when I feel my body may need extra help in digesting a meal. For example, if I am eating a meal with broccoli or cauliflower, I will most likely take one beforehand. They really do seem to ease the digestion process for me and they make me feel better and able to tolerate more foods.

I had a terrible experience with the cod liver oil a couple of days ago however. The one I currently have is a liquid cod liver oil with cinnamon tingle flavor. Apparently I coughed right as I was swallowing the liquid and it got caught in my throat. For the next couple of hours my throat burned and all I could taste was fish. It was terrible. I continued to feel nauseous well into the afternoon. I asked my chiro about other options and thankfully there is a gel that has a chocolate flavor and there are also tablets available. The only downfall to the tablets is that you have to take 7-8 a day. I am going to try the chocolate one next and hope that I can tolerate it better because my cinnamon experience totally ruined any chance of me taking that one again. My body LOVES this stuff though. It’s like liquid gold. It’s full of omega-3’s, and Vitamin A and D. Before I take it I imagine it coating my intestines  like a cozy blanket to protect them. That’s weird, huh? Then I chug a gallon of water to get the taste out of my mouth.

Anyway, this is getting a bit lengthy. I do want to write another post about my experience with the naturopath and go more into detail about the specific brands of supplements I am taking, what they are primarily used for, and other health changes I have made to aid in my healing process. But for now, I am going to call it a day.

Happy Hump Day!

What are your thoughts on supplements? 

Sweet Orange Chicken

Well this weekend just like every other weekend, flew by very quickly, but it was packed with a lot of productivity and relaxation too!

A few scenes and tidbits from the weekend

A little change-up to my standard pb and banana breakfast. I made bananas with strawberries with a spoonful of homemade almond butter. This batch of almond butter turned out perfectly and I am so diggin’ it.

fruit and almond butter

Throughout the course of the weekend I munched on a couple of these ALT bars by LARABAR which they so kindly sent me last week. This is their new protein bar made from pea protein that has 10 grams of protein. These bars are absolutely delicious and satisfying. So far I’ve had the peanut butter cookie (obviously I chose that one first) and the lemon pound cake. I let Dana taste test too and we both gave them two thumbs up.

 

larabar alt

 

Oh the joy of finding a package of these bars on your front step when you aren’t expecting it! I don’t think I could ever get tired of it.

larabar ALT

Dana and I actually sat down and watched a movie on Friday night. We have been wanting to see Silver Linings Playbook for quite some time, and by chance I checked out our local RedBox and it was actually there!

Holy cow, have you seen this movie? If you haven’t seen it, please do. It was a little dark but there was humor throughout the entire movie which lightened it, and the ending made me happy. I seriously loved it. And I love Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.

bradley

 

This weekend we worked on the yard: we pulled weeds, cut the grass, planted flowers in the window boxes, mulched around one of our front trees, painted the exterior trim that needed touching up, planted herbs in pots, and hung up a decorative piece above our garage door. It felt great to be so productive and the house is really shaping up!

This weekend we celebrated my father-in-law’s birthday. The weather was beautiful that evening. We grilled burgers and sat outside for a while and soaked up the sun. It felt like a summer evening finally! We finished off the birthday celebration with Dairy Queen ice cream cake which I thoroughly enjoyed.

 

 

burger dinner

To end the weekend, I threw together a sweet and tasty dinner in the wok…

Sweet Orange Chicken!

In the wok I cooked one large chicken breast in a touch of sesame oil. I then added the veggies, some orange juice, coconut aminos, ground ginger, garlic, rice wine vinegar, honey, and salt and pepper. I let it all cook through for a while (more detailed recipe below) and then served it up!

I was going to chop up some iceberg lettuce and have that as a base under the orange chicken but I completely forgot. You could serve this just as I did, or with cooked quinoa or  brown rice.

orange chicken orange chicken orange chicken orange chicken orange chicken

It was sweet with a little hint of salty which is a flavor combination I adore.

Sweet Orange Chicken
Print
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast, or 2 small, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup carrot, diced
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, chopped
  • 1½ cups broccoli
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • sprinkle of dried ground ginger
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1-2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
Instructions
  1. In a wok or large sauce pan, heat sesame oil. Add chicken and cook for about 6-7 minutes until almost completely cooked through.
  2. Add vegetables and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add in remaining ingredients; let cook and boil for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat, use microplane to grate 1 tablespoon of orange zest over the chicken and veggies. Serve warm with brown rice, quinoa, or enjoy by itself!

 

You can use up whatever veggies you have on hand for this recipe. It is truly so easy (like the majority of my recipes) and it was something fun and different from your standard stir-fry!

Did you cook up anything nummy this weekend?

Tex Mex Plans Turned Thai

Sunday mornings in the wintertime are so darn cozy I just love them. I was out of bed by 8:00 am this morning, made my way to the kitchen, put on a pot of coffee, and toasted up a piece of banana almond bread.

banana almond bread

Such a great way to start the day.

Next on the agenda is grocery shopping. I can’t believe how fast we go through fruit and veggies around here. Just one week ago our fridge looked like this, now it is practically empty!

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

Last night Dana and I had planned on going out for a casual date night. We had a gift card to Baja Sol, a Tex Mex restaurant, and decided it would be a perfect night to use it. So we cleaned up and got ready to go.

dana and melanie

The restaurant was about 20 minutes away and when we pulled up we realized that it was more of a super casual dining restaurant, like Chipotle style, where you place your order in front, and they bring you your food. On any other day this would have been just fine and we would have gone in and enjoyed our very casual Tex Mex meal, but I had my mind-set on a sit-down restaurant, where the servers come and take your order and bring you your food.

So we continued our date night journey and wound up at a Thai restaurant called…

tum rup thai

Tum Rup Thai is located in Minneapolis. I had eaten there before but it had been years, but I remembered how stinkin’ good the food was, and I wanted Dana to try it.

We started with an order of the salad rolls which were loaded with carrots, cucumber, cilantro, chicken, shrimp, some rice noodles I think, and who knows what else. The rolls by themselves were full of flavor but they were also served with an incredible peanut oil dipping sauce and they turned from absolutely delicious to incredibly outstanding.

salad roll tum rup thai

We also ordered the chicken satay appetizer which again, tasted wonderful by itself but paired with these insane dipping sauces, took them to another level. There was a peanutty dipping sauce and a sweet cucumber sauce. They were both rock stars.

chicken satay tum rup thai

For dinner we split an order of broccoli and spinach with chicken in a sweet and spicy peanut sauce. That’s a lot of peanut sauce, right? Of course it’s right up my alley. I got full very quickly which isn’t a surprise considering the amount of protein I was consuming.

When we ordered the entrée the waitress asked us how spicy we liked our food on a scale of 1-5. I immediately said “1” because I can’t handle much spice, and I am SO glad I did because even the 1 had a bit of a kick.

peanut chicken and broccoli tum rup thai

My favorite was definitely the salad rolls, go figure, but I really enjoyed it all. So although we had planned on Tex Mex, Thai ended up winning over our tummies and I’m so glad it did. Delightful!

On the drive home we passed a White Castle and Dana pointed out the sign. I tried snapping a photo but it was too bright. It said: Valentine’s Day Reservations and then provided the phone number of the restaurant.

white castle

I couldn’t help but chuckle and feel bad at the same time. White Castle for Valentine’s just doesn’t sound very romantic, but again, to each their own.

Date night with my honey was wonderful as always.

(BTW if you are noticing random color changes in the background of the blog it’s because I am trying to decide on a new color, so bear with me!)

What did YOU do last night?

How to Make Almond Butter

Happy Thursday and happy National Peanut Butter Day! This week has gone by fast but the days have gone by slow. Does that make sense? I’m just happy we are almost to the weekend!

Dana and I have some major laundry room renovation plans this weekend. Tonight we are going to prime the walls, tomorrow we are hoping to paint, and then this weekend we are hoping to tile the floors!

The color we picked out for the walls is called fresh air and it is a very light subtle blue. I would show you the paint sample but to be perfectly honest I am just too lazy to go downstairs and get it. You will see it eventually. It will brighten up the room a lot. We will be painting the shelves white.

Okay, I wasn’t going to do this but how about I give you a quick snap of the laundry room before just to show you how much work it really needs.

laundry room

 

Can I get a womp womppp? I’ll spare you the rest of the before photos until the end of the project, then I will compare before and after photos and stun you all. 😉

It just needs some TLC, and that is what we are giving it. Imagine light blue walls, tan tile, white shelves, and a clean dust-free room! I am pretty pumped about this if you can’t tell! Oh how we change. I never would have imagined five years ago being so excited about revamping a laundry room.

I don’t have much to share on the food front from yesterday. For breakfast I got real crazy and had a banana with almond butter (NOT peanut butter–can you believe it?!).

banana with almond butter

To make homemade almond butter:

  1. I use unsalted raw almonds from Costco which I roast in the oven myself. Once they are 100% completely cooled, I pour 2-3 cups of almonds into the food processor.
  2. I cover the processor and let it go for 15 minutes, stopping 3-4 times in the process to scrape off the sides.
    1. If I want to sweeten the almond butter, I will add 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1-2 tablespoons of honey about half way through the processing. 

almond butter

3.  For best results, I let the almond butter sit in the food processor for a couple of hours to   allow to cool again completely. After it’s cooled I process it again for 5 minutes, or until it has a smooth spreadable consistency.

almond butter

4.  I then pour it into a canning jar or covered Tupperware, and use it on bananas, dates, almond bread, celery, etc!

almond butter

I am really loving having it around the house. I really haven’t met a nut butter I haven’t liked! Cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, peanut butter, almond butter. It’s all good.

Skipping ahead to dinner…I was NOT feeling creative in the least bit. I was starving though and knew my body was craving nutrients, so although it didn’t sound amazing to me at the moment, I threw together a big salad.

salad

And what do you know, it tasted great. My body thanked me. I snacked on a handful of dates with almond butter a couple of hours later, then hit the hay around 9:00.

Have a great day!

Question of the day: What is your favorite nut butter? Have you made any of your own?

Turning Into a Carrot

Happy Thursday!

So, this post is ALL over the board. I missed a day of blogging so I’m going to try to catch you up on anything I feel is important enough to share.

First of all, this arrived on our doorstep yesterday. My very own food dehydrator. No more spending mega dollars on dried fruit and veggie chips at the store, I’m making my own. You better believe there won’t be any preservatives or added sugars in my dried goods. I can’t wait to get this up and running. I am particularly excited to try to make veggie chips. They will be a great crispy snack, or at least I am hoping they will be.

For dinner Tuesday night I made myself an egg scramble with 1 egg, 1 (or 2?) egg whites, cheddar cheese, and diced avocado. I topped it with Wild Harvest’s Mango Salsa and had a tasty meal in no time. I also ate cooked carrots–I think I am officially turning into a carrot the way I have been eating those bad boys lately.

Wednesday Breakfast

I started my day off yesterday with a cup of coffee and a bowl of cinnamon and honey yogurt.

I was at a conference for work all day and since lunch wasn’t provided, I brought my own of course. I packed cooked carrots, and a banana pancake with almond butter. I also brought an extra banana in case I needed something else, but it turned out that I didn’t eat the banana but should have eaten it, because by 5:00 I was not feeling so hot. I know that if I go too long without eating I tend to bloat, but the conference setting we are in doesn’t make snacking very easy. First of all food and drink are technically “not allowed” in the auditorium we are in, so if I did want a snack I would have to have one outside of the auditorium, and second, it’s so cramped in the stadium seats, that reaching into your bag to dig out a snack makes for quite the tricky task.

 

I don’t want to deal with the bloating again today though, and since I am at the conference again, I’m going to do my best to have snacks in between meals to help tame my gut.

During lunch break, my co-workers and I set out for a walk. It was incredibly humid and hot here yesterday, so we walked at more of a leisurely pace than we normally would. It felt great to stretch the legs for a while after being cramped so long.

After the conference, I had plans to meet up with my girlfriends, so I packed myself a little snacky dinner: cheddar cheese, a hard-boiled egg, more carrots, and honeydew melon.

I headed over to my friend Julie’s house along with my friends Kate and Amanda. We caught up, laughed a lot, watched SYTYCD and completely enjoyed eachother’s company. I love all of those girls so much. Girlfriends are so amazing. Oh, and I cannot forget to mention we also hung out with her two adorable Maltese pups, Ava and Bella. Seriously the cutest little furballs.
This old lady (moi) had to leave the party at 8:30 to get home and pack her lunch for today so she could make sure to hit the hay by 10:00 pm. I need a lot of sleep these days.

I am out of here for the day, unless Moose decides to jump on my computer and write a guest post. 🙂 Have a great day every one! It’s looking like a beautiful one around here.

Banana Cookies & Feeling The Love

Could we please slow this weekend down a bit? It is FLYING by and I’m not okay with that!

We had a great day yesterday…

I set my alarm for 7:00 am with the hopes that I would be motivated to get out of bed and get a run in to begin the day. Well, the alarm went off at 7, but I just wasn’t having it. Although I think I only slept for another 15 minutes after that, I was happy with my decision to skip the workout yesterday. I officially declared it a rest day.

After I rolled out of bed and showered up, I made myself a tasty comfy belly breakfast: banana with homemade almond butter and a touch of honey.

Then it was time to finish getting all prettied up before hitting the road for our friend’s Kari and Tony’s wedding. I’ve been friends with Kari since 1st grade. She is one of the most genuine, kind-hearted, and thoughtful people I know. I was very excited to help them celebrate their special day.

The Ceremony

As I mentioned yesterday, the morning started off very rainy, and it was still sprinkling when we were walking into the ceremony at 10:00 am, but after the ceremony, it started clearing out. The ceremony was beautiful. Kari was glowing with happiness and Tony was cool, calm, and beaming as they exchanged vows. They chose a song called “I Will Be Here” to be sung during the unity sand part of the ceremony, and this was a song that Dana and I had also chose to be sung at our wedding ceremony. I couldn’t help but be brought back to my own wedding. I teared up several times because 1. You could see and feel the love between Kari and Tony and it was so real, and 2. I was able to reminisce about my own wedding and remember the joyful moments. I am such a sap, wow. I love weddings.

Reception

We had about an hour in between the ceremony and needing to be to the reception, so we headed home and hung out with Moose. On our way to the reception, we dropped him off at the groomers’ to get a full on doggy shampoo and brush out. OMG he was stanky…and I mean so bad that I couldn’t even touch him. Poor dog. I think it was from all the swimming the weekend before. He’s just not used to it, and his skin and body oils couldn’t keep up. I don’t know. That’s just my guess. But he was rank.

At 12:30, we made it to the loading dock on Harriet Island in St. Paul. Their wedding reception was on a boat on the Mississippi! How cool right?

But first, we had to get a photo in front of the building behind us because this is where our dear friends Adam and Stacy had their wedding reception. I boogied the night away right inside that building. A lot of great memories there.

Next, it was time to board.

We boarded at 12:30 and took our seats.

For lunch, a “brunch” style buffet was served. There was french toast, muffins, potatoes, eggs, bacon, and fresh fruit. Another first wedding experience for me was having a brunch. Very cool! I was even able to stick to SCD by eating scrambled eggs, bacon, and fresh fruit. Bring on the protein!

However, I will not tell a lie…I ate a piece of wedding cake. That is not SCD legal, but I decided I wanted to live a little and went for it. I didn’t have any repercussions but this isn’t to say I will eat cake every day. I will admit though, that cake was TASTY! Num.

After lunch and the speeches, Dana and I made our way to the top of the boat where there was open air and a nice cool breeze. At this point, the sun was completely out and it was just perfect outside. We cruised the Mississippi for three hours.

Then it was time for the first dance. We made our way back down to watch. Isn’t she stunning?

Then back outside we went to cool off again. I had the chance to catch up with my long time friend, Malia who I have known since I was 3 years old. We met at dance class and ironically, my dad and her mom went to grade school together. After we met in dance, we went to school together through 6th grade and have been friends since. We still keep in touch and I love her to pieces. It’s always great to see that gorgeous girl.

We deboarded the boat at about 4:00, and wished the newlyweds well once more before heading home. We picked up Moose on the way home. He looks like a stud, and no longer smells at all. We have our boy back. Now I can hug him and kanoodle him again. 🙂

Dinner?

I wasn’t really in the mood for anything in particular for dinner, so I made it a snacky kind of night. I ate watermelon, cooked carrots, almond butter, and then I made these…

This was definitely a cookie experiment as I wasn’t using a recipe. I threw some ingredients into a bowl, baked them up, and crossed my fingers for a decent outcome.

Banana Cookies (Grain-free, SCD)

Ingredients

  • 2 very ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick cooking mat.
  2. In small bowl mix to combine flour, baking soda, and cinnamon; set aside.
  3. In medium bowl beat together bananas, egg, vanilla, and honey.
  4. Add flour to banana mixture; mix until combined.
  5. Drop cookies onto baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 19-21 minutes. Cookies will be lightly golden on the bottom and tops are firm but soft.

I immediately said that these would be 100 times better if they had chocolate chips in them, but since that’s a no-no with the SCD, I opted out. But even without the chocolate, they were pretty good! They taste like a softer, lighter version of banana bread. Dana and I ate half the batch last night if that tells you anything. If you are looking for a gluten-free, SCD-friendly cookie recipe, I would give this one a shot! It was super easy too.

Alright, it’s Sunday Funday which means we have some grocery shopping to do. Catch up with you all soon! Happy Day!

Kiss Me, I’m Nuts

Oo la la looky what I have! Fresh green beans from our garden! They are so crisp and wonderful. The tomatoes are popping up like crazy too but not quite ready to be picked. I love having fresh veggies right in the backyard.

In the back I pulled fresh beans, in the front I snagged a box full of almond flour from nuts.com. By snagged, I mean I bought a box of almond flour; 25 lbs to be exact. Check out the awesome box it came in. This should be a theme box for my blog; so cute and nutty. 😉 I especially love “Kiss me, I’m nuts.”

I priced it out and found that it was a better deal to order the almond flour in bulk, versus buying smaller individual packages from the local stores (which wasn’t surprising). Also, I really wanted almond flour, not almond meal, and buying individually packed almond flour in the store is ridiculously expensive, so this was definitely the way to go.

That is quite the load of flour!

With the help of my trusty assistant Dana, we bagged the flour into gallon freezer bags and placed all of the bags into the freezer except for one. Thank goodness we have a large freezer in the garage.

As for that bag of flour I left out, I had baking plans. I wanted to see how the SCD bread would bake up with the almond flour compared to the almond meal that I have been using. I made two loaves so that I could freeze one for another time.

And the verdict? I like the bread better with this almond flour. It is less crumbly which makes it easier to eat. The taste is pretty much the same though.

That was a quick recap from a couple of days ago…now on to yesterday.

For breakfast, I sliced myself up a big ol’ piece of that fresh loaf of bread, topped it with homemade almond butter and a drizzle of honey. Almond on almond…mmm love it.

 

Lunch at work was nothing to write home about. I made myself a bowl of SCD yogurt with a banana, and cooked carrots. After work I headed to the gym and snacked on watermelon on the way. At the gym, I hopped on an elliptical and sweated it out for 35 minutes or so.

Not long after I got home from the gym, I was pretty darn hungry. I grabbed a couple of handfuls of cherries to tide me over. I used our cherry pitter to help me enjoy the delicious reds even more. Eating a cherry without the pit in there is fantastic! With the pit is fine too you just can’t enjoy it as much because you are weeding out the pit. The cherry pitter was a wedding gift and it was a great one at that.

 

Dana and I were both hungry at about 5:00 so we decided instead of more snacking, we would just go ahead and make dinner. We fired up the grill and cooked up two very lean round steaks (I think that’s what they were). We also cooked some mushrooms to top our steaks. I served myself another helping of cooked carrots, which btw are really starting to grow on me, and Dana had a side of broccoli.

What’s that red stuff on my plate you ask? It’s ketchup of course. I like ketchup with steak sometimes.  Is that weird? My homemade ketchup actually kind of tastes like Heinz 57, so it wasn’t weird to me at all.

 

It was a simple, nutritious, and tasty meal. Simple is definitely the way to go on a Friday night. Success.

The rest of the night was spent hangin’ with the boys, painting my toe nails, and getting ready for a wedding we are going to today. Right now it’s raining out, and I’m hoping for the bride’s sake that it stops by the afternoon. No matter what though, it will be a beautiful celebration! I am excited to help celebrate with them today.

I hope you all have a great Saturday! Catch up with you soon dudes.