Let me tell you, if there is something I do not enjoy, it is packing. When it comes time to pack, I do everything in my power to not do it. I distract myself with snacks, internet, exercise, cleaning, dancing, and anything else I can possibly think of to keep me from the daunting task.
I think when it comes down to it, the reason I don’t enjoy packing is because it takes me so darn long to figure out what I want to wear on any given day, so having to plan for an entire weekend or a week full of outfits becomes so grueling. Inevitably I end up packing too much of everything, but it’s because I just don’t know what I will want to wear at any given moment.
(FYI this was a photo taken during packing struggles before Colombia)
I also have to take into consideration how I might be feeling… bloated, normal, tight jeans, loose jeans? Am I going to be walking all day or can I wear heels? What’s the weather like? All of these things a woman must consider as she is packing. My husband will never understand as hard as he tries.
Needless to say, last night as I was finishing up packing for my trip to Atlanta, I first ate dinner (that’s usually a priority), it looked something like this but different since this is a recycled photo…
I then cleaned, tried packing, gave up after 2 minutes, worked out on the treadmill, distracted myself on the computer, tried packing again…you see the pattern. Poor Moose was probably so confused as I tore around the house. He may have offered me a chill pill at one point, but I wouldn’t know. I was too busy distracting myself.
Does he not look GINORMOUS kangaroo in this photo? No offense to him or anything.
The good news is, I am all packed. I am SO ready to take on Georgia. Bring on the southern accents, peaches, and Coca Cola.
Cocoa Cookie Bars (Gluten-Free)
A couple of days ago I flashed a photo of a dessert I made. Remember this?
The original plan was to make cocoa cookies (gluten-free style), but as I mixed away, the dough was actually more of a batter, so I rolled with it and came up with what I like to call Cocoa Cookie Bars (since they were supposed to be cookies after all).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat 9×9 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
In small bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
In medium bowl, beat together remaining ingredients except peanut butter.
Add dry ingredients gradually into wet ingredients. Mix until combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of pan comes out clean.
Drizzle with creamy peanut butter (place in microwave for 30 seconds and give it a stir to help with drizzling).
I hope you all have a fantastic day! I may or may not be checking in this weekend. If I don’t get a chance, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to filling you in on my latest adventure to Georgia when I return.
The crisp weather is here. The leaves have fallen, the furnace is on, and the home turned from summery and breezy, to cozy and warm. I love fall.
I am realizing that I am falling more in love with this season as I get older. It brings so many comforts. I thought it would be fun to put together a list of some of my favorite fall comforts…
1. Fires in the fireplace
2. Sweatshirts and sweaters
3. Soup cooking on the stove or in the crock pot
4. Baking and eating warm homemade cookies and treats
6. Warm over-sized bathrobes
8. Dinners in with the hubby
9. Rainy or snowy days where you don’t have to go anywhere
10. A clean warm home
11. My mom and dad’s house
13. A big soft blanket
14. Reading the Sunday paper
15. Reading a good book
That’s the short list. I’ve said this before but if I had one day this fall where I could do whatever I want with no plans whatsoever to go anywhere, I would get a fire going in the fireplace, bake cookies in my sweats, drinking a big cup of coffee, watch my fair share of Food Network, read my book snuggled in a blanket, do some yoga, and have soup for dinner. That sounds dreamy.
Good day to you all! I hope everyone’s weekend is off to a great start.I’m pretty sure I have deemed Friday as my favorite day of the week. At the end of the work day it’s so nice knowing that I have the whole weekend ahead of me to do as I please.
I started my day with a banana pancake topped with honey and PB2. I made it the night before so that all I had to do in the morning was pop it in the microwave and add some toppings. I’m all about anything that make early mornings easier for me.
I am attempting to wean back on the nut butter a bit because I was seriously getting out of hand and eating it by the spoonfuls. I think it was a combination of factors: I may have felt slightly deprived from the diet, I don’t love meat, and I felt like it was something that actually satisfied my belly. Now that I am starting to incorporate more of my favorite proteins again, quinoa, beans, and eggs, I am able to cut back on the nut butter. I will not be cutting it out however!
After work, I headed straight to the gym yet again. I hit the elliptical for 20 minutes, then moved to the treadmill for a mile run all while watching the Olympic women’s 10,000 meter race. Holy cow those ladies are speedy! It was great motivation to keep me moving. After cardio, I moved to the free weights to pound out a chest and tricep workout. I finished with some core work. Strength training two days in a row! It has been a while since that has happened.
For dinner I made a taco salad.
In the mix:
and ranch dressing
I debated whether or not to top the salad with salsa, but have found in the past that I am usually disappointed if I use salsa as my dressing, so I opted for one I knew I would like.
After dinner I wanted dessert. I found a Paleo chocolate chip cookie recipe from Delighted Momma and decided to give it a whirl.
I made a few changes though of course as I always do. Instead of the coconut oil, I used organic applesauce and instead of using 4 whole eggs, I used 3 eggs plus 1 egg white. For the chocolate chip part, I bought carob chips from the natural food store in town. I have never used them before but know they can be substituted for chocolate chips and are a healthier option. The ones I bought were dairy free.
Chocolate Chip Cookies Paleo Style
1/2 cup organic applesauce
3 Tbsp. honey
1 egg white
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup carob chips
Preheat oven to 375°.
In mixing bowl beat together applesauce, honey, eggs, egg white, vanilla, and salt until well combined.
Next, stir in coconut flour, coconut, and carob chips.
Roll into balls and flatten slightly*; place on parchment paper or non-stick baking mat.
Bake for 15 minutes.
*The cookies do not change their shape from pre-cooked to post-cooking so flattening them makes them more cookie like.
Thank you Delighted Mama for the inspiration! I loved these cookies. They have a coconutty chocolatey flavor, a soft texture, and are slightly addicting.
I hope you all enjoy! I am off to soak up the weekend. Hope you are too.
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.
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.
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.
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)
2 very ripe bananas, smashed
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp honey
1 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick cooking mat.
In small bowl mix to combine flour, baking soda, and cinnamon; set aside.
In medium bowl beat together bananas, egg, vanilla, and honey.
Add flour to banana mixture; mix until combined.
Drop cookies onto baking sheet.
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!
Well, hello there! How is everyone’s Tuesday rollin’ out so far? I’m going to give you a quick run-down of my day yesterday and then I have a super amazing recipe I want to share with you from Sunday evening.
I started off my morning lacing up the sneaks for a 3.5 mile run around the neighborhood. It was a hot and sweaty run, but there was a nice breeze which helped keep me comfortable. Post-run, I attempted to model my new strawberry cup I bought at Target the other day. It matches my strawberry plate! I also bought a lemon cup to match my lemon plate. The summer dishware was 70% off and I just couldn’t pass it up.
For breakfast, I whipped up a smoothie, made my to-do list, and hit the road. My most recent smoothie obsession is a smoothie made with a frozen banana, a splash of pineapple juice, 1/4-1/2 cup SCD yogurt, and a dab of honey. It is so creamy and tropical tasting. I am loving it.
I got home from running my errands around 11:00 and I was starvin’ marvin. I pulled out the watermelon from the fridge and snacked on some of that while I pondered my lunch options. I really couldn’t decide on anything substantial so I chose to start with a bowl of seedless english cucumber slices. I peeled the cucumber, sliced some of it up, splashed it with vinegar, a pinch of fresh dill, and salt and pepper. This was my experimental food for the day. I am hoping I can tolerate it okay. The salad was very refreshing and I would love to make a big batch of it.
And so began my see-food diet day. I saw food, I ate it.
I ate some peanut butter and honey.
And some SCD crackers. I made one batch of crackers and then split it into two batches: one cinnamon and sugar (saccharin) batch, and one salt and pepper batch.
I also snacked on a handful of cherries. I am making sure to chew the cherries very thoroughly to help aid in the digestion process. I realize that cherries may be slightly “advanced” at my stage in the SCD, but I have decided I will not go all summer long without eating cherries. They are in season right now and the season is so short-lived and I have been eating a few here and there. They don’t seem to bother me at all. I am enjoying every perfect bite.
I was wanting something dessert-like yesterday, so I searched around and found a SCD gummies recipe on Comfy Tummy’s site. The only ingredients are 1/2 cup grape juice (or whatever juice you have on hand), 3 unflavored gelatin packets, and 1 Tablespoon of honey. I just followed the directions right from Comfy Tummy’s recipe, and this is what I got.
In the afternoon I met up with my girly Kate for a walk around the neighborhood. It was going to be a walk around the lake but when I found out we would have to pay $6.25 for parking, we made other plans. We headed to a nearby neighborhood and hit some beautiful trails around there. We walked for an hour which, in the 100° heat, turned us into hot sweaty messes. As always, it was SO good to spend time with her and catch up on life. I love her, love her, love her.
By the time I got home at 6:30, I still wasn’t hungry for dinner. I think it was a combination of snacking all day and over-heating from the walk. I actually felt nauseous for a little while. Eventually I came around and ended up eating a bowl of cooked carrots, a couple of cinnamon cookies, a bite of muenster cheese, and a few more cherries.
Okay, I have got to move on to the long awaited recipe I have been so excited to share with you (drum roll)…
Butternut Squash Nachos!
Butternut squash SCD legal nachos. I kid you not. These are na cho average nachos. To begin, I peeled a large butternut squash.
I used the long neck of the squash to make “chips” on the mandolin. I sliced these very thin so they were chip-like. I steamed the other portion of the squash in the microwave and pureed it in the food processor. I bagged up the puree and placed it in the freezer for another day. You know I wouldn’t waste food. Haste makes waste.
Okay, so once the chips were sliced, I placed them into a pot of boiling water and boiled for two minutes. After two minutes, I placed them into a colander in the sink and rinsed with cold water until the chips were cool enough to handle.
Then came the tedious part. I used a paper towel to dry each individual chip and placed them onto my baking mat (I used two baking sheets). This took me a while but considering the end result, it was so totally worth it. Once all of the chips are placed onto a baking mat or parchment paper, spray with olive oil or canola oil, sprinkle with salt, and place in a preheated 375° oven.
I wasn’t sure how long they would take to bake, but it ended up taking about 30-35 minutes, turning the pans and switching shelves half way. I ended up flipping the oven to high broil at the end so that I could try to crisp up the top a bit.
While the chips were baking, I prepared the toppings. I took one avocado, diced it, added a splash of lime, cilantro, cumin, and salt and pepper. I gave it a stir and had guacamole in a flash. I grated cheddar cheese to melt over the chips. I seasoned some leftover pulled chicken with chili spices.
When it was time to assemble, I placed a layer of chips on the bottom of the plate, topped them with cheddar cheese and chicken and popped them in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Then I topped the nachos with organic salsa and a heaping spoonful of guacamole.
Holy moly you guys will not believe how insanely delicious this was! I didn’t want it to end. Can you believe this is SCD friendly? I am very proud of this dish. It was worth every bit of effort and Dana agrees. These nachos are the bomb.
I am going to leave you with that to drool ponder over. I hope you all have a great Tuesday. I will catch up with you soon!