Restore My Health

Well I am just so excited it’s Saturday. Anyone else? We have big plans to finish up the laundry room today and it’s the perfect day to do it because it is pretty cold outside again today. It will be nice to stay warm and cozy inside.

You’ll be so proud of me because yesterday I once again did NOT have a banana with peanut butter for breakfast. It was a smoothie morning instead. In this green madness was kale, kefir, banana, Jay Robb egg white protein powder and a small spoonful of PB2. I wasn’t in love with this one but it was okay. Maybe I really wasn’t in a smoothie mood?

green smoothie

I had a chiropractor appointment in the morning which went really well and then it was time to bring the car back into the shop. The back left blinker keeps going out and this was the 4th time we had been in to get it fixed. Very frustrating. I packed an apple for a snack and tossed back a few cashews before we left the house.

We dressed warm (long underwear pants, multiple layers on top, two pairs of gloves, two pairs of socks, hat, coat, boots) and walked over to the grocery store near by to pick up some carrots while they were working on the car. Yes, we went just for carrots. For some reason we didn’t do a very good job last weekend of stocking up on veggies and I was really wanting some more around the house to tide me over until Sunday when we go grocery shopping again.

melanie jump melanie jump 2 melanie jump 3

After waiting around for TWO hours we finally got our car back and fixed. It better stay fixed this time!

On the drive home I snacked on our purchase.

carrot snack

Once home I made myself a banana with peanut butter. Creative right? 😉

pb banana

Then I got to work on my February Fitness Challenge. I turned on Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred workout DVD and completed one of her workouts. There are three levels in this DVD and I went with level one yesterday and was already feeling the burn. I really like how she combines multiple muscle groups in each movement, like doing a squat and then a dumbbell overhead arm press (probably not the correct terminology but you know what I mean).

I have a long way to go with this challenge, but that’s okay, it was day one after all. After Jillian, I completed my plank-a-day and finished off with a 20 minute walk on the treadmill.

I reopened my workout log page to keep track of this challenge. I had it up on the blog for a while but always forget to update it with my workouts so I took it off, but I would like to track my workouts again so we shall see how well I do remembering. It may not stay up long. 🙂

Last night we met up with a bunch of our friends and watched/danced/sang to my cousins Tara and Amber’s band perform live. The show was part of a fundraiser for a hockey team and if we wore hockey jerseys to the event we were entered into a raffle, hence the reason we are all wearing hockey jerseys. We didn’t win that particular raffle but Brian and Amanda did win one of the many prizes that were given away: a giant basket of snacks!

melanie amanda stacy

My cousin Amber (one of the singers) cozying up with Dana…

dana and amber

And the award for best dressed for the night goes to Adam…

Adam

I had SO much fun last night. Maybe too much fun. We danced our socks off.

girls dancing

I’m hoping to restore my body today and get it back to its normal self. We got back home around midnight and my internal alarm clock woke me up at 7:00 this morning and would absolutely not let me go back to sleep. Seven hours is enough for a good majority of people, but not for me. It’s a good thing we have a low-key day today.

I just refueled with a protein packed breakfast and am drinking plenty of water, so cross my fingers I come around soon.

Have a fabulous day my friends.

Question of the day: What’s your remedy for restoring health after a night out?

Banana Almond Bread (Gluten-Free)

Howdy howdy howdy haaa…HAPPY WEDNESDAY! We are halfway through the standard work week! I hope everyone is having a good week so far.

In an effort to amp up my breakfast creativity, I have called on a little challenge with myself to limit my usual banana with peanut butter breakfast to every other day or less often. I love my pb and banana so much but am eating it so frequently in the morning that even I am getting bored of it. I am always up for a good challenge—so there you have it.

I switched it up yesterday and made myself a smoothie.

This is a kefir (first time trying kefir btw), egg white protein powder, strawberry, banana, and kale smoothie. The verdict on kefir? It made for a slightly tart yet sweet smoothie and I really liked it. I’m on the kefir train.

I ate my smoothie in a bowl with a spoon like soup. It makes the moment last longer than drinking it through a straw, and since I truly enjoy the eating experience, it’s a good way to prolong the enjoyment. If I’m in a hurry or running out the door though, it goes straight into a cup with a straw.

Who says you can’t have a cold smoothie in the dead of winter?

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For lunch I ate a bunch of sugar snap peas and carrots, followed by leftover chicken salad from the night before with peas…chicken salad with avocado

An apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter…

apple with pb

And I finished lunch with a small handful of cashews and a bite of applesauce. Very random and very satisfying.

After work I headed to the gym and snacked on two clementines. I am lovin’ those little cuties these days. I wasn’t feel super great at the gym which made for a quick trip. I fought my way through 20 minutes on the elliptical and then called it quits. Besides not feeling good, the gym was PACKED, and I just wasn’t feeling the ambiance at all.

At home I completed the rest of my workout which was the 30 Day Abs Challenge circuit.

Next up…dinner. I made a veggie scramble made of red onion, black beans, kale, one egg, cheese, cilantro, salsa, and avocado. It rocked my socks.

veggie scramble

For “dessert” I had two dates and a small handful of raisins.

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Banana Almond Bread–back tracking

Back on Friday, I threw together a mean gluten-free, SCD-friendly banana almond bread. I’ve been meaning to share it with you since I first mentioned it, but kept having other things I needed to share! Well now’s the time.

I realize now that I didn’t do a very good job of snapping a photo of the finished banana bread product. All I really have to show for it is this…

banana almond bread

It didn’t get the photo recognition that it deserves because it did turn out great! Here is that recipe for you finally.

Banana Almond Bread
Gluten-free; SCD
Ingredients
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup apple sauce
  • 2 cups ripe bananas (about 3 small bananas)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spritz a standard bread loaf pan with oil. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl combine remaining ingredients and beat until thoroughly combined.
  4. Slowly add in dry ingredients into wet, and mix until completely combined.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into center of bread comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool before slicing. It will continue to set after it is removed from oven.
I enjoyed the bread plain, or with a little smear of peanut butter, almond butter, or with a little bit of butter. It’s best to store it in the refrigerator and lasts for about one week.
I hope you have time to get fun in the kitchen! Have a HAPPY day.
Question of the day: What is your favorite homemade bread?

Baked Vegetable Marinara

Well hello again ya’ll! Did everyone have a fantabulous Friday? Mine was pretty great and very productive.

It started out with a couple of errands and appointments. I made myself a green smoothie super loaded with kale, egg white protein powder, almond milk, and a banana to begin fueling the fire (aka breaking the fast, getting the metabolism revved up).

green smoothie

Dana and I made a trip to Starbucks while we were out. I decided on a light roast with a splash of half and half and a shot of hazelnut flavor. This really got me “revved up.”

On the way home from our errands I was starving. I am always prepared with food in my purse and had a delicious apple turnover Uberbar calling out to me, so I dug right in.

uberbar

LARABAR, marry me? I love these things.

Within another couple of hours I was hungry again, but was planning on getting my workout in at that point, so I made myself a small snack plate to tide me over yet not fill me up too much.

Turkey breast with avocado, and sugar snap peas and hummus.

snack plate

Next on the agenda: the treadmill. I did the same combo as the other day alternating between running on the treadmill and the ab challenge circuits. I was feeling very fatigued yesterday so ran at a very easy pace. I was nice and sweaty by the time I was done.

Enter another snack: microwaved apple with cinnamon and coconut oil:

apple

Followed by a spoonful of almond butter. Then it was time to change into my painting clothes and get to work on the laundry room. That is where you found Dana and I for a good 3-4 hours. Jammin’ out to music and painting the laundry room. It is amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to a room. I am so anxious to see it when it is all finished. Tiling the floor is on the agenda today!

Dinner

I was SO glad I had prepared our meal the day before and had it waiting in the fridge to go into the oven, because by the time dinner rolled around we were both exhausted.

I created a concoction I am going to call Baked Vegetable Marinara. I can’t figure out why I haven’t thought of this creation until now, because it was stellar.

I began by roasting my chopped veggies in the oven for about 20 minutes. I chose to use broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms, onion, and garlic. I spritzed them with olive oil and sprinkled them with a little salt and pepper before they went into the oven.

Roasting the vegetables before baking them in the dish helps to remove some moisture from the vegetables so that you don’t end up with a watery dish.

baked vegetable marinara

While the veggies were roasting, I made the cheesy topping. I combined shredded Monterey jack, parmesan, almond flour, dried oregano, dried basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper and gave it a good stir. 

baked vegetable marinara topping

One the veggies were done roasting, I added two big handfuls of baby kale. Next, I poured the veggies into a bowl and added about 2/3 of a jar of no sugar added Ragu marinara sauce and stirred together.

baked vegetable marinara

I poured the veggies into a lightly sprayed 9 x 9 baking dish.

baked vegetable marinara

And then topped them with the cheesy mixture.

baked vegetable marinara

I baked it in a 400ºF, oven covered with aluminum foil for about 40 minutes (cooking time will vary!). I then removed the foil, and broiled on low until cheese melted and turned slightly golden brown.

baked vegetable marinara baked vegetable marinara baked vegetable marinara

Please, please, do me a favor and make this dish. It is so unbelievable tasty and comforting. Dana and I and our ravenous appetites finished this whole dish except for about four bites. MMMMmmmm.

And more MMmmmmm….I made banana almond bread. Oh yes I did. It was the perfect bedtime snack. I WILL be sharing this recipe with you all soon. I am very excited about it. I had a hard time keeping my animal paws off of it last night.

banana bread

Off I go to another productive day! I hope you all have a beautiful Saturday.

Baked Vegetable Marinara
(these are not “exact” measurements, but they are pretty darn close!)
Ingredients
  • 4-5 cups roasted vegetables–broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, onion, garlic, zucchini
  • 2 cups baby kale or chopped kale
  • 2/3 jar of marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated monterey jack cheese or mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 TBSP almond flour
  • 1/8 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp basil
  • sprinkle of garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9 x 9 baking dish with olive oil.
  2. In a medium bowl combine roasted veggies, kale, and marinara sauce. Pour into prepared dish.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the cheeses, flour, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Sprinkle cheese mixture over vegetables evenly.
  4. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  5. Uncover and broil on low for 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted and golden brown.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Question of the day: What are your favorite dishes to make in the winter?

Baked Santa Fe Spring Rolls

Hi there my loves! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I have some catching up to do so here we go….

Saturday

I cracked open the Parkers Farm Crunchy Honey peanut butter and let me tell you, I was in heaven. The slight sweetness of the honey mixed with the crunchy and smoothness of the peanuts paired with a good ol’ banana made me one happy little girl.

parkers farm crunchy honey parkers farm pb

After breakfast I hopped on the treadmill and did one sweaty and very nonboring routine:

  • 10 minute walk to warm up
  • 1 mile run at 6.0 mph
  • 2 minute walk at 4.0
  • 1 mile run at 6.5
  • 2 minute walk at 4.0
  • 1 mile run at 7.0
  • 10 minute recovery walk

I was really sweating after this one and the best part was it went by very fast.

After the run I completed my second session of the Ab Challenge circuit. I’ll be completing my third session today so that I reach the weekly goal of 3-4x a week. Tomorrow begins the second week with a new ab workout. I’m loving it.

I wasn’t very hungry for lunch but knew I needed to eat, so I whipped together a smoothie with Jay Robb’s chocolate egg white protein, almond milk, kale, strawberries, half a banana, and blueberries. Very satisfying.

smoothie with jay robb

Then I got to work on what I love doing oh so much…experimenting in the kitchen. Later in the afternoon I had plans to go to my mom and dad’s for dinner. They were going to be making chicken and I told them I would bring a salad.

My wonderful aunt introduced me to a deli-bought salad couple of weeks ago that I absolutely adored, and I had decided I needed to try to recreate it. The salad she had was made with chickpeas, but I wanted to use black beans instead. You could definitely substitute with chickpeas if you would like.

Here is what I came up with!

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black bean citrus salad

5.0 from 1 reviews
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Ingredients
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup bell peppers, diced
  • ⅓ cup red onion, diced
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • Sauce:
  • juice of ½ of a lime
  • juice from ½ of an orange
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In medium bowl combine beans, peppers, onions and cilantro.
  2. In a separate small bowl mix the sauce.
  3. Pour the sauce over the bean mixture and stir gently to combine.
  4. Serve cold as a salad or with corn tortilla chips.

I snacked on a small handful of Driscoll’s blackberries in the afternoon. I realize now how much fruit I ate that day!

driscolls blackberriesThen off to mom and dad’s for the evening for church, dinner and the Viking vs. Packer football game.
chicken black beans brussels sprouts

Abbie chose the right move by sleeping instead of watching the Vikes lose so terribly.

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Sunday

I was a cleaning machine in the morning not to mention we hit the coupon jackpot. I swear the coupon books (all four of them) were made specifically for me. There were coupons for so many things I actually use. I was psyched.

I headed to the treadmill again on Sunday this time for a long walk (4.0 pace). I walked for about 50 minutes while watching who knows what t.v. shows. Okay, I watched the Kardashians. Guilty pleasure. I also completed my 1-minute plank from the challenge.

Dinner:

I used the leftover bean salad to make Santa Fe Spring Rolls! I added about 3/4 cup of corn and 1/4 cup of shredded cheese into the black bean salad recipe.

The spring rolls I used are made from rice flour, water, and salt. They come in a round package and are very hard. To soften them you simply take one and turn it in a bowl of warm water. It softens right up and is pliable to work with.

Santa Fe Spring Rolls:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375°F and prepare a baking pan with parchment paper. Once rice paper is pliable, place on flat surface and spoon in bean mixture just off-center.

santa fe spring roll step 1

Step 2: Fold up bottom end of paper to cover mixture.

santa fe spring roll step 2

Step 3: Fold in both right and left sides of paper.

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Step 4: Gently roll up the paper into a roll and place on prepared baking pan and spray the tops with olive oil.

santa fe spring roll step 4

Here’s the kicker…since this was my first time ever working with rice paper, I had no idea how long to bake these. We baked the rolls for about 20 minutes and then switched the oven to low broil where they sat for another 10 minutes. Since the inside did not need to be cooked for any reason, our biggest intention was to crisp up the rice paper.

If I were to do it again I would still probably bake it for 20 minutes, and broil for 10, but I would flip the rolls half way through the broiling process to crisp up both sides.

But anyway, the result was a very tasty sinless meal. I served the rolls with a side of Parkers Farm mild salsa.

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They were definitely very crunchy too! This was a fun change of pace meal for us. BTW before I prepared these rolls I devoured a load of broccoli and hummus, so that was part of my dinner too.

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The rest of the evening was spent being pretty lazy on the couch. I made myself a bowl of FAGE 0% fat Greek Yogurt with fresh Driscoll’s strawberries and blackberries.

It was a nummy day!

Fage with driscolls berries

I have some fun plans on the agenda today including a hot date with a girlfriend of mine!  I am super duper excited. I hope you all have a fabulous day and I will check back in with you very soon.