The Easiest Cinnamon Applesauce

This morning the thermometer says 38° F. The fall weather is officially here which gives me such a cozy feeling and has me grabbing for my sweatshirts. When I think of Fall I think colorful leaves falling, pumpkins, sweaters, football, chili, cinnamon, cool long walks, and fresh delicious apples. On Sunday I dove into Fall mode.

I pulled out a bag of apples and got to working on some homemade applesauce. I used the Jazz variety because they happened to be on sale but you can use whatever apple you prefer really. I began by peeling 6 medium apples, cored them and sliced them.

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Apple peels remind me of childhood because when my mom would make apple crisp or baked apple slices, I would stand by her side and watch as she peeled the apples, and she would let me eat the peel. I loved the crispy treat.The simple pleasures.

I threw the apples into a large crock pot, sprinkled them with a large dose of cinnamon and a healthy drizzle of honey. If you don’t LOVE cinnamon you can go for a more conservative amount, but I really do love it. I’ve been using it like crazy lately. Good thing we bought a ginormous container of it at Costco.

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Cover that bad boy and set it on high for 4-5 hours. Stir occasionally.

And here’s what you get!

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I chose to keep mine chunky style but if you wish you could scoop this into a food processor and smooth it out. Chunky style doesn’t make for the prettiest photo ever but I promise you once you taste it, it won’t matter.

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It tastes wonderful just as is, but I’ve also discovered that it tastes awesome on top of a piece of zucchini bread. It’s kind of like apple butter but chunky style.

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I actually didn’t measure the ingredients (whoopsie) but I will do my best to give you the approximate amounts. Feel free to experiment with it on your own too!

Easiest Cinnamon Applesauce Crock Pot Style (recipe adapted from SkinnyTaste)

Ingredients

  • 6 medium apples
  • ~1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • ~2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 lemon wedge

Directions

  1. Peel, core, and slice apples.
  2. Place apples in crock pot, sprinkle with cinnamon and honey.
  3. Squeeze the lemon wedge into the pot before adding it to pot.
  4. Cover with lid and set on high for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally.

It’s as easy as that. Yes, really. And it’s SCD-friendly. Go make your home smell like Fall. I am out to take on the day. I hope you all have a great Tuesday.

French Onion Soup & A GIVEAWAY!

Well, I survived my Monday, did you? It is gloomy around here this morning which immediately puts me into a lethargic mood. I am going to get the legs moving on a walk to see if that can amp me up a bit.

Breakfast

I didn’t have a chance to snap a photo of my breakfast yesterday but I had a peach flavored Chobani with blueberries on top (Chobani hooked us up at the HLS with some great coupons btw). I learned that I don’t enjoy the peach blueberry combo and will probably never do that again. It wasn’t terrible but there definitely wasn’t the peanut butter-banana-combo love action happening in the least bit. I didn’t really think that one through. I was in a hurry. The peach yogurt would have been great by itself but I was trying to increase my fruit intake! Well, better luck next time.

Lunch

I booked it home for lunch and threw together a semi-sweet salad made of mixed greens, Driscoll’s raspberries, crunchy grapes, avocado, feta cheese, and walnuts. I topped it off with a light drizzle of Newman’s Own Lite Honey Mustard dressing.

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I finished lunch off with an apple and a bite of peanut butter before heading back to work.

Dinner

Dinner was wonderful last night for many reasons:

  1. It was VERY simple.
  2. It was ready for me when I got home from work and errands thanks to the crock pot.
  3. It is one of my all-time favorite soups.
  4. I got to use cute soup bowls that my co-worker gave me.

On the menu was French onion soup. Into the crockpot  went 3 yellow onions, 2-32 ounce boxes beef broth (reduced sodium), a splash of Worcestershire, a few cracks of black pepper.

I covered the soup and set it on high for 4 hours.

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The soup turned out great but I would change the cooking time next time. Instead of the short cooking time, I would cook it on low for about  7-9 hours. I couldn’t time it right with work to do it that way so I had to do it the high temp way, and the onions ended up a little crunchy. I like them to be more tender and ended up sautéing them for a few minutes in a separate pan on the stovetop and then adding the back into the soup.

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So, here is the recipe for you that I would use the NEXT time I made this soup, and it would turn out perfect.

French Onion Soup Crock Pot Style

Ingredients

Soup:

  • 2-32 ounce boxes of low sodium beef broth
  • 3 Vidalia onions, chopped into 2-3 inch strips
  • 1-2 Tbsp Worcestershire
  • 2 tsp black pepper

Topping:

  • Monterey Jack cheese, thinly sliced or shredded
  • Bagel chips, homemade croutons, or crunchy bread*

*I made my version gluten-free so I used thinly sliced almond bread which I toasted in the oven.

Directions

  1. Place soup ingredients into large crock pot. Cover and turn on low for 7-9 hours, or until onions are tender.
  2. Ladle soup into microwave safe bowls. Top with crunchy bread of choice, then cheese. Microwave for 1 minute or until cheese is melted.

ENJOY!

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Sneaky Pete’s Oatstanding Giveaway

Now, sound the horns. It’s time for my very first giveaway on Beautifully Nutty!

When I was at the Healthy Living Summit in Cambridge, I sampled a beverage from  Sneaky Pete’s Beverage Co.  called Oatstanding which is an oat-based beverage. Oats have been shown to have many health benefits. The soluble fiber in oats can help to lower cholesterol, can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, and can help to improve overall heart health.

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One bottle of Oatstanding has 3 grams of fiber (2 grams of soluble fiber) which is equivalent to about one bowl of oatmeal. The majority of people do not get the recommended amount of dietary fiber daily, so this is another way to help increase your fiber intake.

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Besides the health benefits, this product also tastes good. I am a gal who enjoys a sweetened beverage now and then, and this one was refreshingly light, and had just the right amount of sweetness to it (only 5 grams of sugar). It is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up and also great for on the go.

They offer 5 different flavors: Apple Away, Grape Escape, Mango Mystique, Peach Perfection, and Raspberry Beret.

They have a great site full of even more information on their product. If you would like to learn more, click here.

They are so excited about their product, that they want to giveaway a sample of all 5 of their flavors to one of my lucky readers (U.S. residents only).

Enter to win: Simply write a comment on this post about your favorite on-the-go drink or snack. The winner will be chosen at random and will be announced Friday morning. Good luck!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. A WINNER HAS BEEN SELECTED.

Have a great day. :smile:

Note: I was not paid by Sneaky Pete’s for the opinions in this post, however I did receive the beverages at no cost for this giveaway. The opinions expressed about this product are solely my own.

I’m a Saucy Gal

I am happy to say I survived yet another Monday. I hope you all did too!

I am still doing my best to stay on track with the SCD intro diet, but did deviate slightly from the plan mentioned yesterday. I started it off right with two hard-boiled eggs and pineapple juice jello. I know that jello in the morning sounds totally weird, but I was limited for options. I didn’t even give myself my morning cup of coffee and being that it was Monday and that I was trying to follow the intro diet which generally makes me feel a little low energy, it made for a pretty lethargic day.I felt the same low-energy back a few weeks ago when I had started the SCD. The only difference was, I started it on a Sunday and didn’t have to be at work which can of course be draining (I also had that Monday off). Needless to say, yesterday was a little rough, but I did my best to not let it show.

It was obvious to me that I was missing my morning mojo, when I was on my way to work and realized I forgot my lunch in the fridge at home. Womp wompppp. Luckily, I only live about 9 minutes away from work so I was able to come home during my lunch break, but I had originally had intentions of running to Target on break and scoping out the women’s clothing clearance rack. Maybe another day.

My food for the day was extremely lame. Lunch and dinner were basically identical.

Lunch: Crockpot chicken with honey mustard, cooked carrots with cinnamon, and applesauce.

Dinner: Crockpot chicken with honey mustard, carrots with cinnamon, and a piece of SCD cheesecake which I still don’t like, and a bite of peanut butter.

I had told myself I was going to lay off the pb for a couple of days (this is where I deviated), but I am finding it very difficult to do that. It is such a major part of my diet and I love it oh so much. During the first couple weeks of the diet, I was doing a great job of keeping a food and symptom diary, but since then have kind of forgotten about it. I know it would be a good idea for me to start it up again so I can really track my trigger foods. I should probably do that.

I plan to continue the SCD, and continue to slowly introduce foods into my diet. Eventually, I would like to adapt to a SCD/Paleo/more personalized type diet. For one thing, I don’t want to live a life without chocolate; one of my absolute favorite foods. Life is too short and I want to be able to enjoy that little piece of heaven on earth. Second, I want to adapt the diet to my own life and needs. Everyone is different and reacts differently to foods, and I will continue to experiment and learn what my body is able to handle.

Slightly off-subject, but before dinner, I met up with a new friend (I sound like I am in first grade I realize). Our mutual friend, Kalley introduced us. Her name is Marissa and she is a fellow dietitian. We met at Centennial Lakes in Edina and went for a nice warm stroll around the lake. It’s always great to meet other dietitians and hear about the different jobs in the field and talk about our experiences with education and dietetic internships. We had LOTS to talk about. Thanks Kal for introducing us, and Marissa can’t wait to meet up again!

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I mentioned yesterday that I was a very busy girl in the kitchen on Sunday. I had prepared a laundry list of foods including homemade BBQ sauce and guess what? You’re going to hear about it. You all know I am a saucy gal. I love sauce and dips whether it’s for chicken, fish, broccoli, whatever, I just love sauciness. I know that if I want to survive this SCD bit for much longer, I need to step it up in the sauce department, so I got to work on a BBQ sauce. My inspiration came from this recipe. Here’s what I threw together.

BBQ Sauce (SCD-friendly, Gluten-free)

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-46 ounce can tomato juice
  • 1 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • a touch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey

Directions

  1. Over medium heat, saute onions and garlic in oil until transparent, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add remaining items. Stir and turn to medium-low.
  3. Let simmer uncovered for about 2 hours; stir often. Sauce will thicken as the water evaporates.
  4. Once sauce has thickened and reduced down, place in food processor and puree to smooth.

That’s it! Okay, two hours plus later, and that’s it. I have only tasted it off of a spoon so far, not on any meat or in a meal yet, but it is definitely tasty.

I am feeling pretty lethargic yet again today; but I think it’s due to the weather. It is rainy and gloomy here; the kind of day where you just want to snuggle on the couch with some reality TV and great snacks. Oh…if only. :smile:

I hope you all have a great day. Catch up with you soon.

Question of the day: What’s your favorite condiment?

Mine is probably ketchup if you can believe that. I really love honey mustard too though, especially Newman’s Own Lite Honey Mustard. I miss that stuff!

Food Prep Sunday

Well, I still can’t believe the weekend is over. It was a good one as they always are. Saturday was spent celebrating Kari and Tony’s wedding and relaxing in the evening.

And Sunday…

We slept in until 8:30 which felt amazing. It was so nice to have a relaxing morning and not have to rush to get up, or set the alarm. Once I rolled out of bed, I got to work on a fruit smoothie.

In the mix:

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Banana
  • Spinach
  • Yogurt
  • Sweetener
  • Splash of water (to get things moving)

I also had a cup of hazelnut coffee. I drank my liquid breakfast while flipping through the Sunday paper and cutting coupons.

After a leisurely morning, we got out and ran our standard Sunday errands. We made a trip to the co-op for freshly ground peanut butter (we priced it out and it was cheaper to buy it this way than make our own), then we went to Target, and lastly Costco. By the time we got home at 12:30 I was about to eat my hair. Our fridge was fully stocked.

I whipped up a batch of scrambled eggs seasoned with salt and pepper. I wanted to try incorporating some Dry Curd Cottage Cheese (SCD talks about this stuff all the time). It took me 2 weeks to find this cheese–I thought I had the right kind during the intro diet, but turns out I bought the wrong stuff. Anyway, I mixed in a spoonful of DCCC into the eggs with high hopes of a cheesy nummy egg, but it turned out to be a flop. It tasted like cottage cheese mixed with eggs (duh) and I should have known that it would come out that way. I guess I thought the cheese would sort of melt into the eggs a little better. The texture was a little too funky for me. I topped it with salsa which made it taste a little better, and I choked down a couple of bites before moving on to something else.

After my failed DCCC eggs, I went on to eat cooked carrots, watermelon, and almond butter. Then, I hit the road to go meet mom for a hot and humid walk. We walked around mom and dad’s neighborhood for about a half hour and we looked like wet noodles by the time we got back because of the humidity. It was a great walk though! After the walk I hung out with mom, dad, and Abbie before coming home to get to work in the kitchen.

I think Sunday can officially be deemed food prep day. Lately, it has been working out well to spend a few hours on Sundays preparing food for the SCD so that I am able to continue to stay on track throughout the week. It can be slightly exhausting but it’s always worth it in the end.

Yesterday I made…

  • Cooked carrots
  • Applesauce
  • Cheesecake (SCD)
  • Crockpot Chicken
  • Tilapia
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Pineapple gelatin
  • Homemade BBQ sauce (recipe to come)
  • And I cut up fresh strawberries from a Costco-sized container

Cooked carrots: place organic baby carrots in a large bowl with about a cup of water, cover and microwave for 8-10 minutes or until carrots are fork tender. I have been eating these like crazy and wanted to have plenty for the week ahead.

Applesauce: Peel, core, and slice your apples. Place in pot with an inch or two of water in bottom of pot. Bring to a boil and let boil for about 10 minutes or until apples are fork tender.

Let the apples cool slightly, then transfer the apples (not the water) to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Refrigerate and enjoy plain or with cinnamon. That’s what you call all natural applesauce!

Next up was SCD cheesecake and I used this cheesecake recipe right from the book.

Crock pot chicken: I placed two boneless skinless chicken breasts into the crock pot with ground mustard, salt, pepper, and a touch of honey. I set the crock to low and let it go for 4-5 hours. Once the time was up, I removed the chicken and placed into my Pyrex so that it would be ready to eat for lunch or dinner this week.

For dinner, we cooked up tilapia seasoned with fresh dill from our garden, fresh lemon juice, and pepper. I ate mine with ketchup (obviously), and I had a side of cooked carrots with a sprinkle of cinnamon and honey.

I LOVED the carrots with the cinnamon and honey holy cow. They tasted like a dessert to me! I finished the meal off with a piece of cheesecake pictured above. Hmm…well, it tasted better than the last time I made it but that’s because I had used the completely wrong cheese! The taste was alright, but I had a hard time getting past the texture. It wasn’t smooth like I was hoping. Oh well, I can’t say I didn’t try, but probably won’t be attempting to make that again.

There you have it; my busy day in the kitchen. The next couple of days I am going to be cooling it with introducing new foods into my diet. My body has been a little off lately and I this past weekend I wasn’t feeling too well. I plan to eat a modified version of the intro diet for a couple of days to get me back on track.

This is what I’m tentatively planning to eat (I am basing these foods off of the SCD Intro Diet and modifying to fit my needs):

  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Lean beef (if necessary)
  • Fish
  • Fruit Juice Gelatin
  • Cooked carrots
  • Applesauce
  • Bananas

Basically, I’m just adding applesauce and bananas on to the intro diet. Since I have already improved tremendously, I know I will be able to handle both of those foods just fine yet still give my system a bit of a break. This will only be for 1 or 2 days, then I should be able to move on again with adding foods back in slowly. That’s the plan as of now.

Once I was all done with the food prep, the rest of my Sunday night was spent watching the Season Finale of The Bachelorette. I am pretty surprised with the outcome. Have a great day everybody! I’ll catch up with you soon.

She’s a Maniac in the Kitchen

I was a machine in the kitchen yesterday. I mentioned that we were going to be heading to my uncle’s cabin this weekend, and since we are following the SCD, we decided it would be easiest for everyone if we just brought our own food for the day. That means I had to get busy.

Friday Recap

Friday morning started out with a purple smoothie. I decided not to bore you with yet another nearly identical smoothie photo. It looked like this and was extremely tasty. While I slurped my smoothie, I attempted to blog, but our internet was moving at snail speed and I was getting extremely a little impatient. I decided I would hit the gym and run my errands in the meantime while the computer took an hour to upload one photo (exaggerating only slightly).

At the gym, I started off with a two-mile run while listening to Pandora. I am a little disappointed in the television show selections at the gym these days. They used to always have one TV that played Bravo/E! shows like The Real Housewives, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, you know, all of those thought-provoking shows. :wink: I would always make sure to plunk myself in front of that TV. Lately, I’ve had to settle with Fox News. Anyway, the run felt pretty good, the entertainment not so much. Then, I hit the weights for some bicep and back work. Once I was done with the weights, I hopped back on the treadmill to finish off one more mile. I was sweatin’ big time by the end of this workout!

After the gym, I had to make a few stops to pick up some last food items for the weekend. Back at home, I attempted blogging again. This time around the internet was working much  more efficiently, thanks to the hubs. I ate a completely random lunch before getting busy on food prep. If I recall, I ate cooked carrots, pulled chicken, half of a banana, a couple bites of peanut butter.

Then it was food prep time. I started by making our dinner meal which was turkey and vegetable lasagna. I used zucchini as the noodles. To prepare the zucchini for the lasagna, I cut the zucchini on a diagonal to give long 1/4 inch thick or less strips. I threw them into a strainer, sprinkled them with salt, and let them sit in the sink for about 20 minutes to help remove excess liquid. After 20 minutes, I blotted each strip with a paper towel then got to layering my lasagna. I didn’t measure exact proportions but I can give you some idea of what I did.

Layers from bottom to top:

  • marinara sauce (homemade SCD)
  • zucchini
  • ground turkey, browned
  • a sprinkle of oregano and basil
  • spinach leaves
  • sauce
  • repeat
  • top with cheddar and parmesan cheese
I baked this in a bread loaf pan since I was only making the lasagna for Dana and myself. I baked it at 357° for about 55-60 minutes. I finished by turning the oven to low broil to lightly crisp up the top.

I placed it into the fridge to let it cool. Once it was cooled I cut out to large pieces and packed them up for the weekend.

Then I got to making a loaf of almond bread but am using a different recipe now than the one I posted here. The new recipe comes from livinglavidamama and I like it better than the other one because it doesn’t have butter. The taste is nearly identical to the other recipe.

Recycled reused photo:

While the bread was baking, I cut up a perfectly ripe cantaloupe. Cantaloupe isn’t usually my first choice of melon, I prefer watermelon and honeydew over it, but being the loving wife that I am and knowing the hubby likes it, I went with the cantaloupe this time. I munched on a few pieces while I cut it up and enjoyed it. It’s not that I don’t like it, I just don’t prefer it. It will be a perfect snack for us today.

Okay, so lasagna done, bread done, cantaloupe done (I learned how to spell cantaloupe today btw, yet another perk of blogging), next on to lunch.

In the morning I started up two chicken breast in the crock pot. At around 2:00, I removed them and cut about 1 1/4 of the two chicken breasts into chicken salad size bites. I added one peeled and chopped apple spritzed with lemon juice, mustard, celery seed, and pepper and mixed it all together. I then prepped a handful of lettuce cups. For lunch: chicken salad lettuce cups. Easy! Lunch, done.

So what was left? A veggie with dinner perhaps and breakfast.

After I cleaned out the crock pot, I thought I would do a little experiment. We have a bag of sugar snap peas that had been in the fridge for quite some time. They weren’t bad yet, but since I’m not able to eat them raw at this point, I wanted to try to use them up before they went bad. I wanted to try to “steam” them in the crock pot. I added the bag of snap peas to the pot, added a cup or two of water, a squeeze of honey, covered them, and set them on low. I let them go low and slow for 2-3 hours. The result was a sort of smoky snap pea. They definitely taste different, but I kind of like them and so does Dana. I added a little salt, packaged them up, and voila.

Last prep was breakfast. I made us both banana egg pancakes like the one I had on Thursday. This time I added cinnamon, a touch of nutmeg and allspice to the batter before pouring it on to the sauté pan. Once they were cooked, I packed them up and also packed about 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (1 Tbsp each) for us to add to the top of our cakes.

Are you ready for the entire day’s worth of meals in one photo?! Get ready…..

Ta da!

Lunch: Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps with Cantaloupe.

Dinner: Turkey and Vegetable Lasagna and Slow-Cooked Sugar Snap Peas.

Breakfast: Banana Pancakes with Peanut Butter.

She’s a maniac, maniac…in the kitchen! I am pretty proud of my work. That is how you do camping SCD style.

Oh what was that? I still need to make dinner? Darn it! I decided to go real easy and made myself an omelete with one egg and one egg white, and topped it with leftover veggies from the other night, a sprinkle or parmesan cheese, and served it with a big dollop of homemade ketchup. MMmm ketchup!

It came together in less than 5 minutes which was just what I needed. I spent the rest of the night relaxing, packing, and painting my toe nails. Today is going to be a GREAT day. I am super duper excited. Can’t wait to fill you all in. Have an amazing day friends!

Honey Mustard Zing Chicken

This morning I had a real big craving for coffee. I have given up caffeine due to my current health status, because it acts as a stimulant to the intestines and can cause unneeded distress. The only coffee we have at home is caffeinated so I contemplated whether just to make tea again as I have been in the mornings, or to head out in my comfies and get me some decaf coffee. I chose option two. I headed out to Caribou and got myself a medium decaf french roast. I also got 10¢ off my coffee because I knew the answer to the trivia question.

Trivia Clues: “I am a child actor. I’m not home alone anymore.” Who is it?!

I got it home, poured the coffee into my own mug, added cream and stevia, and lovingly sipped away.

I have decided that this weekend I am going to buy decaf coffee from the grocery store. I know coffee is acidic and I probably shouldn’t drink it everyday, but every once in a while it will be a nice treat.

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Now, backtracking to last night. I had company! My long time friend, Kalley was coming over for dinner and a chill night. I wanted to make a tasty dinner for the both of us, while still keeping it low-fiber. I scanned the fridge and cupboards and came up with what I’m going to call Honey Mustard Zing Chicken.

In the crock pot (recipe for two):

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 carrots, chopped into medium rounds
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 Tbsp lower sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt and Pepper

Simply add all ingredients into your crock pot, cover it, set it, and forget it. My instructions for you all would be to set this in your crock pot on low for 5-6 hours. This little girl on the other hand, accidentally let it go for nearly 12 hours and it came out a teeny bit dry. Still delicious, but yes definitely a little dry. My bad, sorry Kal.

I truly enjoyed this meal and was so happy that I had made a dinner for the both of us that was still tasty, yet kept it low-fiber so it wouldn’t upset my stomach. I kept my portion on the smaller side because I knew there was dessert coming. Kalkal brought us over a new treat to try: Ben & Jerry’s Greek Frozen Yogurt in Strawberry Shortcake.

OMG, we fell in love. This tasted like you were literally eating a piece of strawberry shortcake. It was AWESOME. I would recommend this to anyone seriously! I am usually a chocolate mix-in type of frozen yogurt girl, but I may have to reconsider my froyo decisions in the future because this was the bomb.

The rest of the night was spent catching up on life, laughing about the past, and completely soaking up each other’s company. Thanks for coming over Kallio. Love you so much.

Now, I am off to ponder breakfast. I then plan to clean the house a bit, finish up on laundry, run some errands, and possibly purchase items for our garden. We have plans to plant our veggie garden this weekend and I am stoked. Whoop whoop!

Happy Friday everybody!

Limiting the Roughage

Hello friends. I hope everyone has recovered from the weekend and is back into the grind of the work week. In case you missed it, here are the highlights of my weekend:

Will Run for Cake and Powerade

A Perfect Mother’s Day Weekend

Breakfast yesterday was an ol’ fav: Blueberry Overnight Chia Seed Yogurt Bowl. I snapped this photo out on our deck and wish I could have enjoyed it out there because it was oh so gorgeous, but unfortunately I had to eat it while doing my makeup. Always a super classy way to eat breakfast. It was super creamy and wonderful as always.

That was as much fiber as I could handle for the day. My body has been going through a bit of distress lately and my stomach has been pretty sour. I have some intestinal issues that I’ve been dealing with since I was young. Over the next few days, I am going to do my best to eat low residue foods, lower fiber foods, and limit the “roughage” types of foods. This means limiting my salads, raw veggies, blackberries, beans, and basically all of the foods I love and eat on a daily basis. But it’s only temporary.

I did a good job at lunch with sticking to the food plan. I forgot to take photos but will use a recycled photo. The only difference is my pb banana was much more rustic today. I did the scoop and spread on the nanner today.

I also ate an apple minus the peel, and some leftover birthday cake. Whoopsie. It is low fiber afterall, so it sat okay in my belly. It just wasn’t the healthiest choice.

After work I headed to the gym. I’m surprised I remembered where the gym was because it’s been so long since I’ve been there. Actually come to think of it, it hasn’t been that long, but I am noticing it has been less than normal lately because I have been amping up the outdoor running. Yay! I warmed up for 10 minutes on the elliptical before hitting the weights to work on leg strength. I finished up with some core work on the Bosu ball.

I stopped at Target on the way home to pick up a couple of sweet potatoes for dinner, and just so happened to stumble upon the clearance rack in the women’s clothing section, and found this adorable dress for just $7.48! Are you serious? I L.O.V.E. bargain shopping. Now let’s hope it fits. I love bargain shopping, but loathe the fitting room. I would rather bring it home, try it on, and bring it back to the store, than go into the fitting room. It’s one of my weird quirks.

For dinner I made homemade sweet potato fries. I washed the sweet potato, poked it all over with a fork, and cooked it first in the microwave: 5 minutes, then flipped them over and another 5 minutes. I cooked two at a time because I wanted leftovers which made for a longer cooking time. I then cut the sweet potato into fry size and baked in a 350° oven for about 10 minutes, then realizing the fries were already cooked from the microwave, I switched the oven to broil and let them crisp which was my intention of the oven in the first place. They didn’t get super crispy like I like them, but they were still real tasty.

I also made pulled chicken in the slow cooker. Put two and two together, add a squirt of ketchup and a squirt of BBQ sauce, and you have yourself a boring dinner. :smile:

Boring, but tasty.

But I have a confession. This whole staying away from “roughage” type foods is really difficult for me. I’m like a magnet to a fridge when it comes to my greens. So….I got into the leftover veggie salad from our get together with Dana’s family yesterday.

Not a lot, just a couple of bites, and it was good. Oh, so good. I realized I missed a bunch of the ingredients from the salad when I mentioned it the other day. Let’s see if I can get it this time: Mixed greens, edamame (mukimame), celery, bell peppers, water chestnuts, banana, bacon bits, some type of mayo mixture, and shredded cheddar cheese.

I couldn’t resist. My whole fridge is packed with things that I should really avoid right now including a brand new container of Costco-sized mixed greens with spinach, sugar snap peas, broccoli, fresh berries, and more. Let’s hope this is short-lived. I do feel better today. I think my body may have been a little shocked from the activity this past weekend and may just need to recover.

Anyway, I am off for now. I plan to get a little run in today after I make some dollahhhs. Happy day!

Keeping Sugar Intake Under Control: Mind Over Matter

Happy Good Friday to you all!

After work yesterday I headed to the gym. I rowed on the row machine for 5 minutes as a quick warmup, then headed to grab some free weights. I headed to the back to my favorite area of the gym for privacy, and plowed through the Pyramid Arm Workout. I don’t think “plowed” is necessarily the most accurate term to use though, because that makes it sound like it was a piece of cake for me when in reality, this was pretty challenging for me today. I was feeling exhausted with low energy. I always figure though, at least I’m doing something which is better than nothing.

Dinner last night came together in a pinch thanks to the help of the crock pot. At lunch break, I placed two chicken breasts in the crock pot (without any seasonings) and set the crock pot to “high” as it was already lunch time, and wasn’t going to have quite as long of a time to cook as usual. I love the crock pot because you set it, and forget it!

When I got home from the gym the chicken was cooked through in the crockpot. I removed it and placed into a round bowl, grabbed two forks and began shredding. I removed about half of the shredded chicken, covered it, and refrigerated it for use another day. This is the reason I don’t like to season the whole batch, because I like to use it in several different dishes. The other half of the chicken was for our dinner.

I mixed the chicken with KC Masterpiece Original Barbecue Sauce and placed it on top a bed of baby kale, diced tomatoes, diced avocado, red onion, cilantro and corn.

I then added reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese and Newman’s Own Lite Honey Mustard. I have made this combo before and I must say, I really struck gold again. This combination was fantastic! My inspiration for this combo was from a salad I had eaten at Famous Dave’s that was loaded with pulled chicken and honey mustard. NUM!

After dinner we headed out to run a couple of errands. We needed to buy another photo album for our wedding photos because we ran out of room on the first one. Is it bad that it’s been six months since our wedding and our wedding photos still aren’t all in an album yet? Meh.

After errands I plunked down in front of the computer because I needed recipe ideas. I told mom I would bring desserts and a fruit salad to Easter Sunday at their place. Yes, you read right, DESSERT. I haven’t had dessert since February 22nd, when Lent began. It has been great to get my sugar intake under control again especially after the holidays. My body does not crave sugar like it used to.

When re-introducing sweets back into my life, I am going to continue to be very mindful of my eating, and want to make sure not to fall into an over-indulging of sugar stage again.  I will need to remember to keep sweet treats, indeed a sweet treat every once and a while, not a sweet snack everyday. Knowing me and my sweet tooth this will probably mean keeping sweets out of the house for the most part, and if I really have a hankering for something , I will have to go out and buy it, which will slow me down.

I don’t want to “crave” sugary treats and I have a big vacation coming up in a few weeks which involves being in a swimsuit. I am hoping this motivates me to stay smart. My goal is to keep my sweet tooth under control, and it’s mind over matter.

Anyway, after browsing many photos and recipes, and drooling on my shirt, I think I have decided on two recipes, possibly three that I will be making.

1. Chocolate Caramel Bars or Carmelitas; something like these

2. Lemon Bars

3. Homemade Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (I haven’t for sure decided on this one yet)

I thought these all looked so good! I could waste so much time looking at recipes and food photos. I find it so fun and relaxing. I am such a foodie.

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Breakfast this morning was cinnamon flaxseed oatmeal with bananas and PB2. I added in a small amount of egg whites towards the end of the cooking process to add more protein to the dish. I decided to top it off with a little bit of maple syrup. It was muy delicioso.

Now, my computer is really starting to test my patience so I think this post needs to come to an end. I hope everyone has a beautiful Friday!

21 Beautifully Nutty Questions

Dinner last night came from a crockpot. In the morning I threw together leftover Adzuki beans that I had cooked up (without seasoning), a half of a can of crushed tomatoes, diced onion, chicken stock, garlic powder, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, barbecue sauce and a little bit of salt. I set it all to low and let it go from 8:00 am til 7:00 pm. It didn’t need to go that long but that’s just when we happened to be ready for dinner. The crock pot transformed the ingredients into a thick “baked” bean type of dish. I served it along side a cabbage and broccoli salad and Dana served his on top of brown rice.

Definitely not the most glamorous looking meals, but it did turn out really well. I ended up mixing everything together on my plate and it reminded me of an outdoor barbecue. I went back for seconds.

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21 Questions

Anyone remember those emails you used to get in middle school that asked a bunch of random questions that were a fun way of getting to know your friends even better? Well, let’s reminisce shall we? I gathered some random questions off of a google search, and had some real good old fashioned fun with them. I kept it light-hearted too.

1. Are you a morning or night person? Definitely a morning person, once I’m up.

2. Ninjas or pirates? Pirates have a better sense of humor.

3. What was your favorite childhood television program? We had so many great shows growing up but if I have to pick just one, I would say The Bozo Show. I always wanted to play the game where you throw a ball into the baskets and if you make it to the 10th basket, you win a one-hundred dollar bill. WHOA.

4. Any food dislikes? Any fishy tasting, chewy or slimy seafood.

5. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Teleportation; I would travel ALL of the time to different destinations and spend a day here, a day there. Fiji, Thailand, Australia….

6. What is usually your first though when you wake up? Thank goodness there is fresh coffee waiting for me in the kitchen or aw man, I’m supposed to go workout right now, but it’s really early. Maybe I’ll just go after work. Yea, I’ll do that.

7. What is your favorite color? This changes every day depending on my mood. Right now this very second it is sky blue but ask me again tomorrow.

8. Do you believe in ghosts? Yes.

9. Have a any bad habits? No, I’m perfect. Kidding! I would say having to check my curling iron or other hot hair tools one million times before I leave the house. It’s not a “bad” habit, but it’s a little bit OCD.

10. Biggest pet peeve? When people are late for no good reason.

11. Any celebrity crushes? Gerard Butler, Bradley Cooper

12. Clean or messy person? Just two days ago I said, “I thought I was a clean person until I started living with Dana.” He is very clean (which is awesome!) but I am a fairly clean person too.

13. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? I would have vacation homes all around the world because I wouldn’t want to stay in just one place. I would have enough money to fly my family and friends out and stay with me wherever I was currently living too.

14. Name 1 thing you miss about being a kid. Your biggest worry then, was smaller than your smallest worry now.

15. Name 1 thing you love about being an adult. Being in love and being married to my best friend.

16. Any regrets? In keeping with the light-hearted theme, it would be spotting Missy Elliot at the airport and not stopping to ask for a photo with her. I like Missy Elliot, so what?

17. What was one of your favorite foods as a kid? Mom’s tacos

18. What would be your dream job? Travel throughout the country testing different foods, and offering advice on improvement (food critic?), recipe creator or tester, or my own cooking show.

19. What would your last supper be? A half of a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter slathered on, an extra large ice cream sundae with multiple toppings including hot fudge and cookie dough, a slice of veggie pizza, a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup, and a brownie. Ha ha I don’t really know actually. I am just really craving sweets again today.

20. Ever wish you were born the opposite sex? If so, when and why? Yes, while camping I often have this thought, and when I’m not feeling well for womanly reasons.

21. Name 1 thing not many people know about me. I can’t watch the news before bed. It started back when I was little and there would be stories of kids being kidnapped. I would have nightmares and end up sleeping on the floor in mom and dad’s room. Since then, no news before bed.

So there you have it. A few things you maybe didn’t know about me! Have a great Thursday. Keep on a truckin’.

Healthy Carrot Soup

My computer is being very SLLLOOOOOWWW today. It definitely tests my patience! I have the day off and started it off right by heading straight to the gym.

I mowed through 30 minutes on the elliptical at an incline range of 7-10. I debated heading to the stair-master but vetoed it and headed to the weights instead. I completed this arm workout which I adapted from Julie.

Exercise Reps Sets
Chest press 10 3
Lat pulldown 10 3
Push ups (knees) 10 3
Overhead press 10 3
Bicep curls 10 3
Tricep extensions 10 3
Shoulder exercises 1 minute 1
Bicep curls 1 minute 1


After the gym I headed out to run a billion errands. I am now contemplating what to eat for lunch as I finish writing this post. Before I go I want to share a go-to soup in our house. It is a carrot pumpkin soup. Here are some ingredients in the mix!

The best part about this recipe is the only chopping involved is the carrot and onion. Not bad at all! I threw all of the ingredients into my beautiful red crock pot. I set it to low, and let it simmer away for about 7 hours while I was out and about at mom and dad’s and running errands.

After 7 hours, I used the immersion blender to puree the soup.

I then added in a few last ingredients, gave it a stir, ladled the soup into bowls, and topped it with fresh cilantro.

I changed the recipe slightly this time by adding curry powder. it was still good and tasty, but I will probably omit it again next time and stick with my original spices. Here is my original recipe.

Carrot Thai Soup

Ingredients

  • 48 oz low-sodium chicken broth (vegetable broth would be fine too)
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 5 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in crock pot through soy sauce
  2. Set crock pot on low for 7-8 hours
  3. Use immersion blender or standard blender to puree soup
  4. Stir in almond milk
  5. Salt and pepper to taste
  6. Top with fresh cilantro

I will sometimes add croutons or crackers to top the soup if we have them on hand which adds another depth of texture to this otherwise smooth soup. I made a large batch because this soup freezes very well. I poured the remainder of the soup in a Ziploc freezer bag and into the freezer it went. It will be a perfect weeknight dinner in the future. Enjoy this very healthy and easy Thai soup!

I have got to go. This post literally took me three times as long as it usually does. I’m hoping a good restart will do the trick to get back up and running.

Dana and I are heading over to mom and dad’s tonight to celebrate Dana’s birthday with them. Mom is making chicken lettuce wraps with peanut sauce and I am very excited! Should be a nice relaxing Monday evening. I hope yours is as well!