Mom’s Ham and White Bean Soup

Hello hello and happy Wednesday!

I’ve been dealing with some type of allergic reaction the past few days, so I am keeping a close eye on my food intake to see if it is a certain food that is triggering an allergic response or perhaps it’s from a medication. I’m in touch with my docs too so I am in good hands; no worries! It’s just really weird. I am feeling more and more inclined to have a food intolerance test done to see which foods I should really be staying away from.

I switched up my breakfast a bit from the usual and went with a bowl of mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries) with FAGE Greek yogurt, a touch of honey, and chia seeds. I gave it a good stir and thoroughly enjoyed this sweet breakfast.

fruit and yogurt

I snacked on a huge baggy of carrots to tide me over between breakfast and lunch, and there was a huge bowl of shelled peanuts at work so I snagged a handful of those too.

For lunch, I used celery stalks to scoop up freshly made egg salad. I was so inspired by the deviled eggs from Sunday that I went ahead and made this similar tasting, protein-packed meal right away on Monday.

egg salad

I attempted a run in the early afternoon but was hindered by some new pain, so I kept it short and made my way home.

I had a few snacks in the afternoon before heading over to mom and dad’s for dinner.

yogurt

Mom had made ham and white bean soup from the leftover Easter ham, per my request. She’s the best!

mom's ham and bean soup

I love this soup! It’s so simple yet so flavorful, comforting and belly-warming. It’s such a good way to use up the remainder of the Easter ham too. I would love the recipe for this one but I’m almost positive mom just does her own thing when she makes this soup and goes by taste, adding a pinch of this and that here and there. She adds her motherly TLC in there too so that’s probably why her food always tastes good. 🙂

It was the perfect meal for a very cool evening. It is supposed to be in the 50’s again today so I am super excited about that!

I officially saw my first robin yesterday which means that spring is definitely here. My mom and grandma always used to say that to me when I was younger and I would always look forward to it every spring, and I still do!

Happy Hump Day! I hope it’s a good one!

Question of the day: What are your favorite ways to use holiday feast leftovers?

Strawberry Chicken Salad with the Girls

Happy Sunday!

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

Saturday Recap

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

kefir with chia

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

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

strawberry chicken salad

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

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

swimsuits

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

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

salsa cabbage black beans

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

Moose was unimpressed as usual.

moose

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

Catch up with you all later! xoxo

Overnight Chia Berry Kefir Bowl

 

It’s Thursday! Happy day to you. 🙂

Yesterday I rolled out of bed (I literally do roll out of bed btw) at 5:30 and hit the treadmill for a very leisure 45 minute walk while reading a book and drinking a cup of coffee. Doesn’t that sound nice? It really was. It would be even nicer it I were outside on the beach with the warm sun on my back…ahh less than one month.

Wednesday was day two of my personal “get creative with breakfast” movement. The evening before last, I combined kefir, frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries, chia seeds, chocolate egg white protein powder, and a touch of honey. I gave it a good stir, covered it, and let it sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning I had a refreshingly sweet yet slightly tart chia berry kefir bowl! kefir chia bowl

For those of you new to kefir, join the club. This is my first week of experimenting with it. Kefir is a fermented milk product. It has the consistency of really thin yogurt and has a tangy flavor. It is a probiotic which has been show to help improve intestinal health by creating a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut and can improve digestion. I bought the plain version to try out but they have flavored versions at the stores now too.

kefir

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am all about natural ways to stay and get healthy, and after talking about the possibility of adding fermented foods to my diet with my chiropractor, I decided to give it a go. Here’s a link to more info if you are interested: kefir info.

It is 99% lactose free and gluten-free, a good source of vitamin D and calcium, has 12 grams of protein per cup, and only natural sugars. Sold.

kefir

Lunch was a hodge-podge of all things—chicken with marinara and cheese, sugar snap peas, carrots, and an apple. I had an afternoon snack of a banana and a clementine.

For dinner I was not in a cooking mood at all but was getting pretty hungry. We were running low on veggies so that was making my dinner decision even more challenging. Then I spotted the sweet potato on the counter that I had bought last weekend and the decision was made. I wanted to experiment with it to see how my body reacted to a more “starchy” vegetable and I really do like sweet potatoes.

I made it the cheater way in the microwave. After scrubbing it down, I poked a bunch of holes into it, placed it on a microwave safe plate and cooked it for 3 minutes on one side, and then 3 minutes on the other. This was a monster of a sweet potato, so I cut it in half and saved one half for another day.

I added cinnamon, honey, peanut butter and raisins, and dug right in.

sweet potato

It was a nice change of pace and I really enjoyed my sweet dinner. I didn’t notice any negative symptoms from it either, but I do want to experiment with it one more time before introducing it more often. Potatoes are a no-no on the SCD but they they may be okay on my Melanie’s moderated diet (MMD), and I want to find out for myself. 🙂

I broiled the second half of the sweet potato in wedges to crisp them up, and refrigerated them for another day. I also finished cooking the bone broth–it needs to simmer for 24 hours to leach the maximum amount of calcium from the bones into the broth.

bone broth sweet potatoes

For a snack later in the evening I ate a few dates and had a couple small handfuls of cashews.

cashews

Dana and I sealed the grout lines in the tile in the laundry room last night. Once it was dry we moved the washer and dryer back into place. We haven’t been able to do laundry since  last week and I haven’t miss it at all.

It is so exciting seeing the room come together. Next we will be finishing painting the shelves, assembling them, and moving storage bins in! We’re coming along! Don’t forget, once it’s ALL finished I will be sharing photos.

Have a happy day friends! xoxo!

Question of the day: What are your thoughts/experiences on kefir and other fermented foods? 

Morning Yoga and Food Art

Morning Yoga

Tuesday morning at 5:50 am my alarm went off and I can’t believe I rolled out of bed with the intention of getting a morning workout in before work. I had plans to either run or get my yoga on. I chose the latter mostly due to a cranky neck from sleeping. I figured yoga may help.

I changed into my gear, rolled out the magic purple carpet, and kept the room slightly dark while completing a half hour yoga on demand.

yoga

It has been way too long since I’ve completed a yoga session and oh how I’ve missed it. I love the way it stretches my body, calms my mind, and tests my balance. It makes me feel good and really helped me yesterday morning with the slight neck soreness.

Speaking of soreness, I am incredibly sore from that leg workout on Monday! I surely worked it! I used my foam roller to get things loosened up a bit, but even two days later I’m feelin’ pretty tight.

Breakfast

I finally broke the streak—I had NO peanut butter for breakfast and I can still hardly believe it. On Monday night I put together a bowl of frozen strawberries, FAGE 0% Greek yogurt, honey, a sprinkle of chocolate protein powder, and chia seeds. I gave it a mix and popped it in the fridge overnight. Then in the morning I gave it all a final store and had myself a fruity creamy breakfast bowl.

yogurt with chia and strawberries

It was a nice change of pace although I bet you can guess what I had for lunch?!  It definitely involved peanut butter in the form of pb and banana. Ha ha it’s a lost cause. I love the stuff and the protein does such a good job of filling me up and keeping me satisfied.

I found myself on the treadmill once again in the afternoon reading a book. There is something incredibly peaceful about it and I get so caught up in what I’m reading that I don’t realize how much time has passed until I glance at the clock.

Dinner

I sautéed bell peppers and onion in coconut oil then added black beans until they were heated through. I cooked up one over-easy egg and topped it on the sautéed veggies along with a quarter of an avocado, tomato slices, and a little salsa.

I then managed to take a series of photos that some might call art. I’ll name the piece, “The Yolk Progression.” I was really just trying to capture a good photo and find the right angle but the way these photos lined up worked out perfectly.

First, the dish is plated…

veggies with egg

Then, the yolk is broken…

veggies with egg

The golden yolk makes its way over the veggies and blankets the dish…

veggies with egg

Beautiful food art…

veggies with egg

Total nerd alert I’m fully aware.

I had one of those days yesterday where I was just feeling “off.” I am hoping today feels more “on”. Have a great “ON” day my lovely friends.

Question: Are you a morning exerciser? Evening exerciser? 

I know some people who wake up every morning so darn early to workout and I envy their motivation. It feels incredible to finish a workout before work and energizes me throughout the day, and being able to go directly home after a long day versus the gym puts the icing on the cake. We’ll see if I can continue this streak. 🙂