Cabbage Roll Casserole–Give it a Chance!

Happy Saturday you beautifully nutty readers!

My Saturday is off to a great start because I woke up feeling SO much better. I can actually breathe through my nose today which is a good thing since we have plans to meet my mom, dad, and grandpa for breakfast this morning. I don’t know about you but I do enjoy tasting my food. :wink:

I’m going to make this short and sweet for you all and focus right on in to dinner last night. After lying on the couch until 3:30 yesterday afternoon feeling completely groggy, I forced myself into my tennis shoes and hit the treadmill for a nice slow walk. The walk did wonders. I felt slightly less groggy and more energized. I made sure to utilize that slight energy surge by preparing dinner.

Dinner was something out of the box, and out of my comfort zone: Cabbage Roll Casserole

I had planned earlier in the week to make cabbage rolls, but kept putting it off since I wasn’t feeling good and the process seemed a little tedious. Then I got to thinking, there’s nothing saying I have to make the cabbage rolls into actual rolls, I could just chop it up and bake it like a casserole. I went with it…

And here is what I came up with! I know cabbage may not be #1 on many people’s list of favorite foods, but give it a chance. I promise you this turned out to be such a great and SUPER healthy dish!

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It was comforting, savory and satisfying. Both Dana and I really enjoyed it!

Cabbage Roll Casserole
Recipe Type: Gluten-Free; SCD
Ingredients
  • 1/3 lb ground lean turkey
  • 1 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • 1/2 jar of no sugar added marinara sauce
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, chopped into shreds
  • 3/4 cup bone broth (chicken, turkey, or veggie broth would work fine)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a pan on the stove top, brown the meat.
  3. Then add onion and bell pepper and saute for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, oregano, chili pepper flakes, basil, salt and pepper; stir.
  5. Add tomatoes and sauce and stir. Turn off the heat. Add cabbage and stir to combine.
  6. In a 9 x 13 oven-safe baking pan, pour cabbage mixture and spread evenly in pan.
  7. Pour broth over cabbage.
  8. Bake covered for 45 minutes and then remove cover and bake for an additional 35 minutes.
  9. Enjoy this delightfully healthy dish warm!

The rest of the evening was spent relaxing on the couch and watching the majority of the movie Valentine’s Day which was on TV. Of course I naturally got into it since it was the definition of chick flick and it has a great cast. We had to DVR the end of it though because I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. Stay awake until 10:30? Not a chance when I’m sick.

Moose had a relaxing evening as well.

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The evening was complete when Dana came home from a run to CVS for cold medicine for me and also brought home one of my favorite dark chocolate bars. I’m only allowing myself one piece a day at max. I can’t believe my will power with sweets these days. It’s incredible how taking yourself off of sweets can change your will power for them so drastically. I like having control. Now I have to work on my peanut butter and date control.

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Okie, doke friends. I’m off to get ready for our breakfast with the family. I hope you all have a relaxing and fun-filled Saturday. Catch up with you soon.

Question of the day: Do you have any foods that test your will power?

Birthdays, 5k, State Fair

Yes, it was a jam-packed full of fun weekend.

It began Saturday morning. Dana and I hit the gym together (the what?!) and we worked through a back and bicep strength training routine. I left feeling very disappointed because I have noticed how weak I have become lately due to the U.C. and the limited energy I have had.

“But you gotta keep your head up….” and then laugh a little. I was pretty mopey after the gym but Dana cheered me up with this:

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My mood improved after that. I know I need to get through this, and will get through this, and I will slowly begin to rebuild my strength. After my little moment, I cheered up thinking about the fun day ahead.

Dana and I headed to my grandpa’s house to visit with him, my mom and dad, and many of other family members who were in from out of town. We were only able to stay for a short while, but I absolutely loved seeing each and every one of them. I miss them all so much.

While we were there I felt the need to explain to them why we were looking all gnarly that day in our 80’s outfits. We were heading to an 80’s themed birthday party…

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For our dear friend, Stacy.

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The day was full of lots of laughs, big hair, neon, Glen Gulia, creepers (Nate and Nate) and great “rad” friends. We had a blast celebrating Stacy’s big day with her. Today is her ACTUAL birthday so…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY STACY!!! Love ya!

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Sunday

On Saturday morning Dana and I participated in our 3rd annual Minnesota State Fair Milk run. It is a 5k race which takes place just outside of the state fair grounds and starts at 7:45 am.

The weather was perfect. It was overcast, cool, and humid so I felt like my legs warmed up really fast but the cool temperature kept me cool. Duh?

Anyway, it felt like a great run. I am really curious to see our times which haven’t been posted yet. I felt like we were running at a pretty good pace but I’ve been wrong before so we’ll see.

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After the race we headed to the great Minnesota get-together, aka The Minnesota State Fair. Those of you who aren’t from MN, the state fair is a BIG deal around here. I frankly don’t think it deserves all of the hype, but I do enjoy going every year.

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It’s mostly a food fest, but there are other activities such as carnival rides, farm animals, sky rides, an agriculture building, a health building, etc. I do enjoy checking out a lot of those things, but I can’t handle crowds very well, so the visits are usually short lived.

Dana’s one item that he gets every year is the Pronto-Pup, or a corn dog if you will. I pass on the wiener on a stick.

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Since I know we never stay long at the fair, and I have a limited stomach capacity, I try to choose my foods wisely. My first choice was falafel on a stick which I shared with hubs.

Next, was our free malts that we got from the Milk Run.

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Mashed potatoes on a stick. These were actually very good. I was craving salty and this was definitely that. It was mashed potatoes, cheese, and bacon, all deep fried. Again, “says the dietitian.” We split these as well.

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The last item we wanted to try was the bacon ice cream. The ice cream had a maple flavor and the bacon added a touch of salty bite to the combo. Meh, it was okay. We both agreed we wouldn’t get it again, but were glad we tried it.

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Food fest 2012. I’m not proud of what I ate, but it only happens once a year so I know I shouldn’t feel too bad about it.

Sunday afternoon led us to celebrate yet another birthday, this one for my amazing brother Kevin. His birthday was last week but it worked out best to celebrate last night.

We had a very relaxing evening outside where we chatted, gave Kevi his birthday presents…

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Ate delicious turkey sliders with chili cheese dip courtesy a la madre…

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And birthday cake courtesy a la Melanie.

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Kevin loves chocolate and peanut butter just as much as I do, so I decided to make him a chocolate peanut butter cake (inspired by Courtney).

I cheated and used a boxed gluten-free devil’s food cake mix. I baked two round cakes, and made a homemade peanut butter frosting to glue the layers together (don’t think I didn’t taste test the frosting as I was making the cake). It was peanut butter, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla all whipped together.

I then topped the cake with store-bought sugar-free chocolate frosting and finished it off with chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups.

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I completely forgot to snap a photo of the inside of the cake! It was beautiful too. Oh well. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. I can’t believe I was able to scarf down a piece of cake after all of the sugar I had already consumed that day. Blah. Dana and I both left feeling Thanksgiving stuffed, but it was well worth it. I loved celebrating with you Kevi! Love you all so much.

What an amazing weekend. Now, it’s time to detoxify my body from all of this extra sugar it’s not used to, and try to give it the rest it needs.

Have a great day everyone.

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

Happy Hump Day! Hope everyone is doing well on this mid-week day .

Breakfast

Breakfast yesterday was a smoothie-on-the-go packed with strawberries, blueberries, banana and unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I love how the vanilla almond milk tastes in the smoothie.

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Lunch

A seriously rockin’ salad. Mixed greens with mango, blueberries, strawberries, avocado, almonds, feta cheese, and Newman’s Own Lite Raspberry Walnut vinaigrette.

Honestly this salad rocked my socks.

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I worked a half day yesterday, so afterwards I headed to mom and dad’s. I ate dessert when I got there (I always raid the cupboards upon arrival), which was peanut butter and chocolate chips while I said hi to Abbie (mom and dad’s sweet little Yorkie-poo who I adore).

Then I changed into my workout gear, laced up the ol’ sneakers, and hit the pavement. I jogged/walked their neighborhood and covered 4.5 miles. It was mid-80’s and sunny while I was out and I have determined I am a weenie when it comes to running in the heat. I melted and ended up running 70% of the time and walking 30% of the time, and that may be a little generous even on the running side.

After the “wun” (walk/run), I headed to the basement to cool off. I still had some mojo left, so I hopped on their elliptical for 10 minutes while watching Giada at Home. Finally, I finished with the bench press.

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I gave Abbie one last kiss and headed out the door back home to my own big puppy and hubby.

Snack

For an afternoon snack I had a bowl of cooked carrots with cinnamon and sugar.

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Dinner

Not long after my snack, both Dana and I were getting super hungry, so I figured I may as well start dinner instead of more snacking.

For dinner I made Black Bean Quinoa Burgers.

To the food processor I added 2 cups of cooked black beans, 1/4 cup diced onion, 1 minced garlic glove, 1/2 cup quinoa, 1 tablespoon of cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 cup salsa, 2 tablespoons egg whites, salt and pepper, and a miniature pinch of red pepper flakes.

I pulsed these ingredients until combined, leaving it slightly chunky and making sure not to let it turn into a hummus paste.

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I chilled the mixture for about 5 minutes. We got too impatient to wait any longer, plus the mixture was still cold from using cold ingredients so it was easy to handle.

I formed the mixture into 7 patties and placed them on a lightly sprayed piece of aluminum foil. Before they hit the grill I sprinkled them with garlic and onion powder.

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We grilled them over medium-low heat for 20 minutes; flipping halfway through.

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I topped my burger with salsa and avocado, and served it alongside a simple green salad with cheddar cheese and Western dressing.

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Talk about a great meatless meal and perfect for the summer because I didn’t have to use the oven at all. Niiiiiiice.

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

Ingredients

  • 2 cups black beans, cooked
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • a dash of chili pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup salsa, heaping
  • 2 Tbsp. egg white

Directions

  1. Preheat grill to medium-low.
  2. In food processor, lightly pulse all ingredients and keep chunky.
  3. Form into patties and place on lightly sprayed aluminum foil. Place on grill.
  4. Grill for 20 minutes; flipping on foil halfway.

Dessert

While watching the Olympics, we whipped up a wonderfully creamy dessert that I have grown to LOVE. Cocoa banana soft serve baby; cocoa powder, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and frozen bananas.

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So good.

I’ll leave you with that beautiful sight. Have a great day!

Chocolate Banana PB2 Cookies

Good morning/afternoon/evening/night….depending on what time you read this post and what time zone you’re in. :smile:

Yesterday was another good restful day for me. I was feeling extremely sore, particularly in my back, but still managed to get some things done around the house and ran a couple of errands.

For lunch, I continued with my experimental diet, and made a big salad full of mixed greens, blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, avocado, almonds, and strawberry basil balsamic vinegar with a spot of olive oil.

The salad was pretty darn good, but how about my stomach? Not too bad, but not too peachy either. I am getting to the point where I don’t even know what I “should or should not eat” anymore with this current flare. When I was following the low-fiber diet, I felt okay, but felt nutritionally deprived. My body craved my usual salads, fresh fruits, beans, etc. So, I slowly began incorporating some salads back into my diet to experiment with and to note how my body reacted.  As of now I am concluding that I can have salads in the evening, but am not ready for them during the day based on how I felt yesterday after eating a salad at lunch time.

Later in the afternoon my beautiful cousin/bestie/maid of honor, Betsy, stopped by to visit. I do not see that girl nearly as much as I wish I could and cherish every second I get with her.

Prior to Betsy coming over, I had begun a cookie experiment. I had a large urge to bake, but really struggled with deciding what to make. I know it’s weird that I hard time making a decision (sense the sarcasm). That never happens. I knew that whatever I was going to make was going to have to come from ingredients we had already on hand, because I wasn’t going to go make a special trip just for this particular urge.

So, I began the cupboard raid. I found PB2, cocoa powder, oatmeal, and other baking necessities. I pulled out my bowls and my hand mixer and started mixing and measuring. I still wasn’t 100% sure what I was making as I was starting the process, but I knew I would pull something together. Here is what I came up with folks.

Chocolate Banana PB2 Cookies

Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp stevia
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup PB2
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 small ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp chopped dark chocolate (I used Dove Dark Chocolate)
Directions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugars, egg whites, vanilla, honey, water, PB2, and cocoa powder.
  2. Add banana.
  3. In a separate small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, and oats. Mix into wet ingredients.
  4. Stir in chocolate pieces.
  5. Place dough in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes so that dough is easier to work with.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove dough from fridge and roll into 1 inch balls (or larger if you wish). Place on baking pan sprayed with cooking spray and press down on cookie to flatten slightly keeping about an inch in between each.
  7. Bake for 9-11 minutes.

And there you have it. A healthy version of such an amazingly awesome cookie!

These cookies are so gooey, chocolatey and nummy, and they’re low-fat too! You wouldn’t even know it because there is no sacrifice in flavor. That equals a success. I LOVE creating healthier version of sweet treats. It’s such a passion of mine. Someday, this may be my job. A girl can dream, right?

However, I would need to learn to have better constraint when it comes to the “taste-testing” part of recipe creation. I ate a few too many bites of dough, and a one too many of the cookies, and managed to completely ruin my appetite for dinner. Whoops. I should say I know this skill, I just chose not to use this skill yesterday. I truly enjoyed every bite of these chocolate goodies.

I had planned on making a spinach and mushroom fritatta for dinner last night, but it was going to have to wait for another night. Maybe tonight? I ended up having some snacks a couple of hours later: sugar snap peas and carrots with hummus, a small salad (really craving the greens today), and a rice cake with a light swiss Laughing Cow wedge.

I hope you all have a happy Tuesday. Catch you later!

Running in the Rain

Yesterday morning we headed towards the lakes for our run. On our way we spotted a coyote! Can you see it? We have heard so many people saying they have seen coyotes around the cities this year. They are sort of creepy looking.

We planned our run around three lakes in Minneapolis: Lake of the Isles, Lake Harriet, and Lake Calhoun. We parked a half mile away from our starting point so that we would complete 11 miles.

The radar wasn’t in our favor, as there was definite rain heading our way, but we knew we needed to get our run in. Here is our before the run photo, so nice and dry.

About half way into our run, the thunder began, then the lightning, and the downpour. I’m not talking any sprinkles here, we’re talking sheets of rain. We looked like we had jumped into the lakes and swam 20 laps as we were completely sopping wet. I have to admit though, there was something about running in the rain that was exciting and enjoyable. It’s not like we were running to get to our car because we had the chance of staying dry. Instead, since we were already soaked, why not bask in the moment because how often do you really get the chance to do this? Not very often.

Our after photo in the car…

Eleven miles is the farthest distance either of us has ever run before. All in all, the run went pretty well. We were ecstatic to have completed this distance and are feeling excited about our half marathon NEXT WEEKEND! This will be the farthest distance we will run now before the race. This week will be 1 or 2 small runs and some strength training as well.

While I tend to love stormy weather (as long as no damage is done), Moose on the other hand has different feelings. I took these photos from a storm last week. I was home with him in the morning getting ready for work. As he followed me around the entire morning,I was contemplating whether he was protecting me, or really just terrified of the storms.

Moose in the kitchen while I made breakfast. It looks like I put him in the corner for a time-out.

Moose under the table by my feet while I ate breakfast.

And Moose sitting directly behind me while I did my hair and makeup.

I’d like to think he was protecting me, but let’s be real here, he is a super huge baby when it comes to storms. I think it is the cutest thing.

After our run, I immediately hopped in the shower to warm up. I then iced my knees as they were feeling a bit sore from the run. Then, we were off to the in-laws to celebrate Greg’s birthday. They made us super juicy delicious cheeseburgers which were a great recovery meal for us. Bring on the protein, baby. I had to opt out of the veggie salads, but munched on some chips on the side instead. Who am I? This does not sound like me. It WILL be short-lived. I want my veggies.

Birthday dessert followed. Chocolate Mousse Cake from a local Bakery called Wuollet. OmG, this stuff was heavenly. What’s ironic is I had just told Dana that I wanted to lay low on the sweets this week before our race. But, are you kidding me? Like I’m going to say no to this. Yea right. DIVINE.

After our get together we went home, hung out with the doggie, watched a recorded episode of Glee (when they go to Nationals), and relaxed. I snuck in a handful of sugar snap peas. I know I shouldn’t have but I had a serious craving for something green.

Now, it’s Sunday morning and I am clipping coupons with the hubs before we head out for our usual errands. We are hoping to plant our veggie garden today! Catch up with you later.

I’m Still Delicate

It’s someone’s big day…

Our funny, sometimes annoying, very entertaining doggie, Moose turns 4 today. Also known as Mooser, Moosebear, Big Bear, Booboo. He has big plans to lay around the house and dream of chasing squirrels and eating flies. Who knows he may even get to go running with his uncle Kevin. My brother Kevin is going to be staying with the big bear this weekend because Dana and I are heading up north to the Boundary Waters. We are meeting up with one of my other brothers, Scott, and his girlfriend Nicole for an adventurous weekend full of backpacking, canoeing, portaging, camping, fresh air, and wildlife.

I will be learning a lot this weekend. I am not the most “outdoorsy” person. I have always been what my family calls a delicate doily. I have always liked wearing dresses and jewelry. I hate killing bugs. I cried all the time in basketball. I cried all the time in general when my feelings were hurt. I was delicate then…

And delicate now…I can handle a lot more now than I used to though. I am realizing I am capable of a lot more than I ever thought I could be. I never in a million years would have thought I would be signed up for a half marathon that is now two and a half weeks away, but I am. This weekend will be very good for me. I am truly looking forward to it.

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Tuesday’s Breakfast

Gluten free english muffin with grape jelly on one half, and peach preserves on the other half. I ate one bite off one, then the next bite off the other (I ended on a peach bite).

Lunch

A half of a large precooked sweet potato with a sprinkle of cinnamon, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Please make this! I am contemplating eating this for breakfast even. It is SO good. Either bake or microwave your washed sweet potato, mash it, microwave it, sprinkle with the condiments listed above, and devour. Melty peanut butter would probably be really good on this too. Yum.

Dinner from last night is almost too embarrassing to post. I didn’t snap any photos of it because it was truly nothing to be proud of. In fact, I am a little ashamed considering I am a healthy living blogger. We all know, no one is perfect. I just have to say that given my current health status, junky foods have the tendency to sit better in my system lately. This is no excuse for what I ate for dinner. Okay so I bought a medium bag of pretzel M & m’s at the grocery store today, and half the bag is gone. Foods that are made with enriched white flour like pretzels and Cheez-its are very tolerable for me right now too, and some of those were consumed as well. Yup, that’s just peachy.

Anyway. Guess what? Remember that dress I mentioned a few days ago that I bought at Target for $7.00? Well, it fits! I wore it to work yesterday.

Such a completely awkward loner photo but I had to show you. That photo actually really reminded me of the first day of school photos that mom and dad would take.

Sporting the jean skirt with the lace trim, ruffle socks, and purple and pink backpack (my favorite colors of course). I was all set for preschool and 21 some years of school after that. He he.

Alright, I am off to the North Country. I plan to capture some moments on camera and cannot wait to share my experiences with you when I get back. Don’t miss me too much while I am gone. :smile:

Safari Tour in the Dominican Republic

While we were away on our trip, we decided that the majority of our vacation was going to be spent relaxing, lying on the beach, reading books and sipping piña coladas, however we did decide that we would do one excursion. We signed up to go on an “Outback Safari Tour” thar involved taking an open air shuttle bus into the countryside which included a tour of the waterfalls.

We brought along a disposable underwater camera and tried to capture our journey, however most of the photos turned out pretty dark, as the day we went was very rainy. But I still want to show you them so you can get an idea of our tour.

We were picked up at our hotel in the morning then headed to three other resorts along the way to pick up other couples who had signed up for the tour. On our bus were two gals from Canada, a couple from Russia, a couple from Germany, Dana and I (U.S. of course), and our tour guide who is a Dominican native. We had quite the diverse group which was wonderful!

Our first stop was at an area where men were working, making beautiful figurines which they carve out of native woods and stones. I was fascinated by these men and their carving skills. The first stage of the carving process involves shaping the material with a machete. I was really hoping that no fingers would be spared as they got so close each time they made a cut. I am such a worrier. I know they are very skilled with their tools. After the machete phase, the next guy works with a small knife to do the intricate carving, the third works on sanding the edges, the fourth uses water and sand paper to smooth it out, and sometimes a fifth man will paint or stain the figurine. Talk about manual labor. One figurine usually takes about three days to complete.

This photo turned out really dark, sorry about that.

The next stop on the tour was to learn about how coffee beans are made into usable coffee grounds, and how cocoa beans are made into usable cocoa. The coffee beans are picked, dried out in the sun for at least a week, roasted, and then ground. We were able to muddle the coffee beans ourselves. They placed straw hats on our heads, told us all to hang on to the mallet, and they sang as we danced around in a circle and stomped the coffee beans. It was pretty comical yet efficient!

First the ladies.

Then the men.

We then got to taste the coffee (after it had been properly brewed) and the cocoa. They were both incredibly delicious and obviously as fresh as it gets. We bought some coffee to take home with us.

The last portion of this stop was taste a drink of the Dominican Republic called Mama Juana. It is a mixture of rum, wine, and honey that is soaked in a bottle with tree bark and herbs. The taste is sweet and can be compared to a port wine. It is a rumored aphrodisiac but is also used for medicinal purposes in their culture. They referred to it a few times as “the baby maker” which I thought was hilarious.

Back on to the bus we went to grab some lunch before hitting the waterfalls. We ate a fairly typical Dominican lunch of rice and beans, fresh salad, meat (I opted out of the meat again), and fresh fruit.

Next stop was the main event: The Waterfalls. This particular tour involved climbing up 7 of the 27 waterfalls, and then jumping or sliding down them.

Upon arrival, we suited up in our gear.

And were led by our tour guide on a 20 minute hike towards the waterfalls. It began pouring as we hiked through the jungle which really added to the excitement of the experience for me. Once we reached the falls we got right to it and hopped into the water.

And began our hike up the falls.

It was actually a very challenging tour as the rain was pounding on us, and the rain was causing high waters and extremely strong water currents. Swimming against the current is never easy no matter how strong you are. We got through climbing up three of the falls before the tour guide told us we would not be able to complete the other four due to the excessive rain and high waters. It would be too dangerous. So, back we went down the three waterfalls.

We jumped. A pretty graceful jump if I do say so myself being that I was terrified to jump off the ledge.

And we slid. Can you see me?

After we hopped down the falls, we headed out on another hike back to the bus. We had a rainy ride back to our hotel but the closer we got to the ocean, and the further we got from the countryside, the more it began to clear up. We headed to the beach once we got back to our hotel and I fell asleep on the lounge chair. That’s probably when I got so many of my bug bites. They still itch.

It was a really great tour and I would recommend it to anyone visiting the Dominican Republic. We had a wonderful tour guide who taught us many interesting facts about the culture and history of their country.

Writing this made me very sad thinking that it was exactly a week ago that we went on this tour. I love vacation and want to be back there!

I hope everyone has a wonderful hump day.

Monster Cookie Makeover

Happy May Day everyone!

How about I start your month off right with a recipe for COOKIES! I am a cookie monster, and I happen to LOVE monster cookies.

I decided to put my own spin on a recipe for monster cookies to lighten them up a bit. Here is what I came up with!

Monster Cookie Makeover

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. In small bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, and oats. Set aside.
  3. In large bowl, cream together peanut butter, yogurt, and sugars.
  4. Beat in vanilla and egg.
  5. Mix in dry ingredients by hand.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips.
  7. Drop cookies about 2 inches apart onto cookie sheet lightly coated with cooking spray.
  8. Bake for 9-11 minutes.

Um, yum. How do you like that? I cut out a whole stick of butter. You’re welcome. I had made my dough over the weekend and shaped it into a log in plastic wrap, placed in the freezer, and that way I could bake the cookies whenever I wanted them. When I was ready to make the cookies, I removed the dough log from the freezer and sliced it into 2 inch wide cookies, about 3/4 inch depth.

Note: I did not let the cookies thaw before cooking them in oven so the cooking time took me more like 12-15 minutes. If I were to do this again, I would let the dough thaw before baking.

I placed them on my cookie sheet, popped them in the oven…

and came out with delicious gems.

A little non-conventional looking, but hey I like to be different and the most important part is that they taste good (and they are healthier compared to the standard monster cookie). MMmmmm…nom nom nom.

ENJOY.

Nacho Apple Nachos

Hello, it’s Thursday which means tomorrow is Friday. Not only is Friday my favorite day of the week for obvious reasons, but it is also the day we leave for our trip to paradise. Dana and I will be flying out to the Dominican Republic for some major R and R and we are more than a little excited.

But first things first. I had a rocky day yesterday. Let’s just say my digestive tract was a little “off” throughout the entire day. I brushed it off as a nothing in the morning and hit the treadmill for a 3 mile run. It was rainy and dark outside so I nixed the outside run idea plus, given my stomach issues at that time, inside in the comfort of my own home was probably a better idea on many counts.

After the run, I ate a fairly usual breakfast: an overnight chia seed yogurt bowl with blueberries and banana. It tasted better than normal today.

The stomach issues continued, and then came the body aches, chills, and slight fever. Really? Right now? Right before vacation? It’s inevitable though. I rarely get sick and of course it happened to me right before an amazing vacation. But guess what? I am a fighter. I am kicking back the Emergen-C and zinc, staying hydrated, trying my best to eat a healthy diet although our refrigerator is getting fairly sparse, and getting adequate sleep.

For some reason my body was majorly craving sweet all day. My breakfast was sweet as shown above, lunch was a peanut butter banana wrap without honey, also sweet. And dinner….

Sweet again. Apple nachos. I small apple sliced, drizzled with natural peanut butter, and topped with walnuts and chocolate chips. This is the toned down version of the big plate of Apple Nachos I made for a work meeting in February. This time I made it single serve. Who’s apple nachos are they? Nacho apple nachos.

An hour later, after some more packing, I grabbed a banana to munch on. Then an hour after that, I ate a plain sandwich thin, and then some Greek yogurt. Random and unexciting dinner by far.

I realize 80% of my intake yesterday was from sugar (albeit mostly natural sugars), but I had decided to listen to my body and that is definitely what it was asking for. I aim to please. As much as I would have loved a big bowl of broccoli, my body would not have been okay with that. Sugar and peanut butter only says the dietitian. KIDDING. But I do really believe in listening to your body.

I am out for my last day of work for a bit! Enjoy your Thursday.

More Corn Please

Breakfast

Tuesday morning began with a spin on one of my current breakfast favorites. Overnight chia seed yogurt but instead of blueberries I substituted 1/4 cup pureed pumpkin, and added cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, stevia, and a bit of brown sugar right before I was about to dig in (because I love brown sugar).

It was like a bowl of pumpkin pie, sort of. I definitely prefer my original blueberry yogurt mix more than the pumpkin, but I would make this one again. It’s fun to try something different anyway.

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Workout

After work I headed to the gym. I completed 32 minutes on the elliptical while reading Runner’s World. The last 5 minutes I back-peddled to work different muscles which I found to be super awkward until I got the hang of it.

After the elliptical I headed to the weights to work out the triceps, chest, and core.

The gym was pretty quiet when I was there, so I decided to try some new things on the big ball near the mats. Is it called a fitness ball? An exercise ball?

This was a golden opportunity to experiment with new moves since 1. there weren’t very many people around for me to make a fool out of myself in front of, and 2. not a lot of people in the area for me to nail with a runaway ball.

Here is what I did.

I was shakin’ and sweatin’ and feeling good at the end of the ball workout. :smile: I felt a little silly when trying to get balanced on the ball but tried to act confident like I really knew what I was doing and had total control. I will do it again. I wish I had one at home. They’re so much fun!

I finished off my workout with a quick 1-mile run that I clocked at 8:10 pace, which is way faster than my norm. I am usually a 9:15 to 9:30 minute mile gal. I felt the need for speed apparently.

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Dinner

Dana cut up a fresh pineapple to snack on while we worked on preparing the rest of dinner. The pineapple was perfectly sweet and so juicy and was a great appetizer.

For dinner we had grilled corn on the cob which was INCREDIBLE. I couldn’t believe how fresh and sweet it was being we are not in corn season around here. I am not sure where it came from? I may need to do my research.I can’t wait for more! I love corn on the cob.

We have been making good use of our grill lately. Tis the season. When I say we, I mean Dana, because I usually let him take charge over the grill.

Alongside the corn, I prepared an Italian/Greek, inspired broccoli slaw. I started with a packet of Good Sense Italian Seasoning which I mixed with balsamic vinegar, just a touch of olive oil, and water. I whisked these ingredients together in the bottom of the bowl creating the dressing, then added a whole bag of broccoli slaw. I added a can of drained and rinsed garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas), and topped the salad with feta cheese and tomatoes.

The salad was full of flavor and a fun healthy side dish. Actually come to think of it, that was the gusto of our meal. That was our main dish and the corn was the side? It doesn’t matter who takes the main stage because either way, it was a party on my plate.

For dessert, a cookie dough ball from Sunday’s cookie making episode that I rolled and froze. Pretty tasty!

Fun fact: I usually prefer dough to actual baked cookies.

I finished off the night with some more laundry (seriously does it ever end?) and a new episode of Glee. We also began sorting through a potential bedroom in our basement which is full of wedding stuff: tulle, cards, decorations, invitations, etc. It is an extremely overwhelming room so I am sorting through it little by little to help get me through it.

Off to a work. Have a great day!

Question of the day: Anyone have any embarrassing gym moments? I would love to hear from you./strong>