September Push-Up Challenge

Happy Labor Day! How was everyone’s weekend? Mine flew by as it always does but it was so relaxing which was just what I needed. This post is slightly random, but let’s get’er started.

In preparation for some fun colon excitement to come, I needed to be on a low-fiber diet starting Saturday afternoon, and all day Sunday.

So, here is my low fiber day yesterday…

Breakfast: gluten-free almond bread with smooth creamy peanut butter and honey, a bite of banana, and a cup of coffee. I ate breakfast while looking through the Sunday paper of course. Bummer, no coupons yesterday, but a nummy breakfast at least.

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Lunch: chicken breast with hummus and feta cheese, avocado, and canned green beans. It doesn’t look very appetizing, but it actually was pretty good. I finished lunch off with a little bite of peanut butter.

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Dinner: grilled turkey burgers with cheese, avocado, mustard and ketchup, and a side of green beans.

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For dessert, Dana and I whipped up a batch of chocolate fudge Jello (sugar-free) that we made with almond milk and we also ate some of our first candy corn of the season!

Now Back Track

Back track to just after lunch; Dana and I geared up for a hike. There is a trail alongside a major highway about ten minutes from our house that we have been wanting to explore for the longest time, so we decided that yesterday was the day to do it.

I grabbed the fuel belt and loaded it up with water, Dana grabbed the waist leash for Moose, and Moose grabbed his portable foldable water bowl, and we hit the trails.

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It was pretty warm out yesterday so we called it quits after about 2.6 miles. I was really impressed with the area though. It was gorgeous. I can’t believe I’ve never been there before. Dana and I decided that it would be a perfect place for a morning run. We will be going back for sure.

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Sangria Deliciousness

On Friday night before we left for Adam and Allison’s wedding, I invited Dana to join me in a happy hour in our kitchen so that we could try out a bottle of sangria I had been given to sample. I am a HUGE sangria fan, so I was pretty darn excited about this one.

The product is called Eppa Superfruit Sangria. 

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Eppa’s sangria is certified organic and is made up of antioxidant rich fruits including pomegranate, blueberry, blood orange, and acai. One glass of their wine has twice the amount of antioxidants than a standard glass of wine.

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The taste test verdict? Loved it. It is smooth, fruity, and refreshing. The perfect happy hour beverage, out on the boat beverage, or just “in need of a glass of wine after a stressful day” perfect beverage.

Eppa is starting to become available in stores (some Whole Foods carry it), but you can also order their product from their website. Of course you must be 21 years or older to order. Smile

Great organic product. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

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September Push-Up Challenge

On with my day….I have a few things to do around the house, some errands to run, and possibly a workout on the agenda.

Which reminds me, I almost forgot to mention that for the month of September, I have made the commitment to doing at least 10 push ups everyday. If I’m feeling more ambitious certain days, I will do more but every day I will complete at least 10. My push-ups are knee style, but I am hoping to build strength again to do normal ones again. Baby steps. 

Would you care to join me?! If you are on twitter, follow me @NuttyMelanie and use the hash tag #dropandgimme10 otherwise feel free to leave comments on my blog so that we can motivate and support each other to stay on track!

Have a great day!

Saturday with the Family

Wow, Saturday was a great day. It started off with a pretty amazing 3-mile run. It felt SO good to be running again. When I got home I made myself another green smoothie. This one was similar to yesterday’s but I also added in frozen peaches, a tiny splash of vanilla, and omitted the lime juice and splash of V8 fusion. I was happy to get some greens in first off in the morning. :smile:

In the morning we hung out with my brother and Nicole before we headed out to meet Dana’s parents for a belated Father’s Day celebration. We decided to go to lunch at  Captain Jack’s in Prior Lake. We’ve all been wanting to check this place out for a while and thought this would be the perfect opportunity. It is a casual restaurant with indoor seating, outdoor patio seating right on the lake and fun swings at the bar.

Dana’s mom, Sue, and I split the Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich: teriyaki grilled chicken breast, pineapple, provolone cheese, lettuce, and tomato with a side of sweet potato fries.

We all split a brownie sundae for a sweet bite to end lunch.

The food was pretty good but the best part was definitely being able to sit outside right by the lake and of course catch up with my in-law’s. The weather held up just long enough while we were there because as we were leaving it began to sprinkle. Talk about good timing!

After lunch Dana and I tag-teamed the garden and weeded the heck out of it. The weeds had invaded our vegetable garden and I was not having it, so we slipped on our gardening gloves and got rid of those buggers. My biggest challenge was deciphering weed versus actual plant with the plants that hadn’t gotten too big yet like the peppers.

For dinner we headed over to mom and dad’s for a BBQ. We hung out on the deck and enjoyed the perfect summer weather. Eventually we fired up the grill and got to cooking up some mean burgers. We wanted to keep the meal very simple and planned on a “picnic” type of dinner. I plated myself up an awesome super lean hamburger, some chili cheese dip with pretzels (plus probably five more servings  of pretzels), mushrooms, and watermelon.

I had made a big batch of guacamole but completely forgot to put it out for dinner. Whoops! I realize my plate looks a little lame-o but I did my best to stay low-fiber and this is what I came up with. It sure was tasty.

Plus, I had to save room for dessert…

Rainbow sherbet with whipped cream and a lemon butter cookie. Num. When we got home we hung out with this booger and then called it an early night.

 

I had such a great Saturday with both sides of the family yesterday. I hope you did too. Now on to another day of fun. I’ll fill you in later!

Italian Dunkers in 5 Minutes

Happy Thursday, friends!

Do you know what makes my day? Receiving packages in the mail or at my doorstep. Especially ones like the one I got from Wild Harvest Organic yesterday. Wild Harvest is sponsoring a recipe contest in collaboration with the Healthy Living Summit 2012 and you better believed I signed up to be a part of that. Let’s just say as soon as I laid eyes on the contents of the box, my brain began whirling a mile a minute. Recipe creation is my passion. I am thrilled to be able to participate in this fun event. More to come on that!

After work I came home and I was not feeling very motivated to make dinner. You all know by  now that I love to cook, try new recipes, create new recipes, and have fun in the kitchen. But I am only human, and today I was just not feeling the gusto.

I was hungry though, so I was going to have to figure it out. What I really wanted was to dive into the raw broccoli and hummus, BUT I refrained because that is a no-no right now. I scanned through the cupboard, the fridge, and the freezer. Then I spied the nummy leftover Bolognese sauce from Sunday evening. Then I spotted the spelt bread, then mozzarella cheese, and my mind was made up. It was Italian Dunker time, baby.

I preheated the oven to broil, then defrosted the sauce in the microwave, and toasted up a piece of spelt bread in the toaster. Once the bread was toasted, I sprinkled it with garlic powder and topped it with a small handful of mozzarella cheese. I placed it on a piece of aluminum foil and set it under the broiler for about 3 minutes (making sure to watch carefully so it didn’t burn into a crisp). Once the cheese was melty and starting to brown slightly, I removed the dunkers from the oven, sliced them into three strips with a scissors, plated them up alongside the reheated Bolognese sauce, and got dunkin’!

Italian dunkers in 5 minutes? Um, ya!

I swear the sauce was even better this time around.

Oh the high school memories that come along with this meal. I remember how excited everyone would get in anticipation for Italian Dunker day. They would use thick french bread, loads of butter I’m sure, garlic, tons of melty cheese, and served them along with some simple marinara sauce, and usually a small side salad.

I wasn’t much of a hot lunch gal, I would often veer more towards the salad bar or bring my own bag lunch, but Italian Dunker days were a different story. The lunch line went on for a mile and if you were a senior, you didn’t have to wait, you got to budge to the front (according to the seniors at least). I was a little too nice and too much of a wiener for that though, so I would usually wait in line like the rest of the younger kiddos. What can I say? I believe in liberty and justice for all. :smile: They were always worth the wait but remember feeling a little sick in the afternoon from all of the grease. Anywho…

After dinner, I laced up the sneakers and headed down to the treadmill. It has been raining like crazy lately around here and I have felt very fortunate to have a treadmill right in the comfort of my own basement. I especially love that we have a TV hooked up to cable down there too.

I started walking while watching Wheel of Fortune, and then got carried away into watching my favorite show, “So You Think You Can Dance.” I ended up walking for an hour. Chalk that up with a morning yoga session, and I’d say I had a nice day of low-impact activity.

The rest of the night was spent relaxing and sleeping.

I am off to tackle my day. You go tackle yours!

Question of the Day: What was YOUR favorite lunch offered in school?

Increasing My Protein Intake

Happy Summer and Happy Hump Day! We are half way through the work week! That’s something to smile about.

I’m going to dive right in to today’s post because today I want to talk about protein. As many of you are aware, protein is one of the basic components of our diet along with fats and carbohydrates (vitamins, minerals, and water too). The ratio of these components that one needs in order to maintain a healthy balance depends on many factors such as sex, activity, strength training, illness, etc. I am not about to go into all of that today; today is just about the basics.

Protein is so incredibly important in the diet for a variety of reasons such as it is responsible for maintaining and rebuilding tissue throughout the body and it helps regulate the immune system and hormones. Simply put, protein provides energy we need to live and function properly.

Where do we get protein in the diet?

Animal Sources

  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Cheese

Plant Sources

  • Soy
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Vegetables
  • Whole Grains

Vegans and vegetarians have a more challenging time reaching their protein requirements because the body absorbs animal-based iron (heme iron) easier than the plant sources (non-heme). Oftentimes, supplements are just what it takes to help these individuals boost up their protein intake. Carnivores can benefit from supplements when needed as well.

Considering I am not a huge meat eater myself, and considering my current diet and health situation, I am in need of some protein help. I was really noticing that my protein intake was low as I was feeling hungry all.of.the.time. and pretty lethargic also. My body wasn’t getting the energy it needed, and still probably isn’t to be perfectly honest.  When I am eating my normal healthy diet, my proteins will typically come from beans, eggs, Greek yogurt, and nuts, but currently I have eliminated or at least decreased all of these items in my diet due to intestinal upset.

I needed some assistance, so I called in reinforcements, aka a protein supplement.

Nutiva Hemp Organic Protein Powder is made up of one ingredient: Organic Hemp Protein. This is a completely plant-based supplement and it does not contain any hexane, gluten, dairy, lactose, or sweeteners. For those of us who don’t tolerate lactose well, this is a better alternative compared to whey protein.

This particular protein contains a specific protein called edestin that is easier to digest than any other plant.

The Nutrition Facts Per 3 Tbsp:

  • 90 calories
  • 3 g fat
  • 9 g carbohydrate
  • 15 g protein
  • 8 g fiber*

*Currently, I am only able to use this supplement in small amounts (1 tablespoon or less) due to the fiber content. I realize that only using 1 tablespoon is only contributing to 5 grams of protein, but at this point, I will absolutely take all the help I can get.

The taste is very subtle, but does have a slightly plant-like scent. It presents itself in a very green fashion. Get it? Green like organic and also green in color. :wink:

They recommend you mix it into smoothies, but I have gotten more creative and mixed it into my Cream of Wheat, and pureed black beans.

I’ve only had it since Monday so I haven’t had much time to get too crazy with it. But I will. I’m thinking or adding it into soups and sauces maybe?

Until I can begin incorporating some of my favorite protein foods back into my diet, I am going to supplement when I can and have also been working on boosting my meat intake slightly. This is usually in the form of chicken or fish, but occasionally Dana and I will cook with ground turkey or ground beef.

Anyway, that was my rant about protein. I am really missing my normal raw-food diet full of salads and raw veggies. I am trying to be patient with this whole colitis deal and let my body work to heal, but I wish it would work faster. I am so ready for fresh strawberries, fresh salsa, big old green salads, broccoli and hummus, black beans, corn on the cob, sugar snap peas, carrots…Come on body. FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT.

Thank you all for being so patient with me and still supporting me and my blog even though my diet hasn’t been the most exciting lately. I have to remember that this is only temporary. Soon enough I will back to my old self. I can’t wait.

I got in a quick yoga session this am (second time this week). I want to get one more session in by Friday so that I reach my weekly goal in the June Yoga Challenge. I am loving the yoga!

Have a great day!

Question for YOU: Do you use protein supplements? Which one(s)? Do you like them?

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Haaapppy Hump Day! I AM so happy because I just found out last night that will be attending my first ever healthy living conference this August! I will have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful healthy living bloggers who I have been following forever, meet fellow blogging friends, learn about how to improve my blog, talk about healthy living and food, and soak up every other bit in between! I am on cloud 9 seriously. I cannot wait. WOOOO!

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Yesterday I briefly mentioned how I will be gearing my workouts towards lower impact activities, at least for a couple of weeks until I get my colitis under control. I notice that my body doesn’t respond well recently to running and jumping which makes sense as I am putting a lot of impact on my body (organs included I guess). This might explain my not so beautiful half-marathon experience.

I absolutely will continue to be active through this all. My activities can include: walking, biking, yoga, elliptical, swimming, strength training and more. I will just be limiting my running and jumping exercises for a short time.

Let’s talk about yoga for a second shall we? I haven’t always been a huge fan of it, and I think the one of the reasons why is because I’m not good at it. I am embarrassed to say as a former dancer that I can no longer touch my toes without bending my knees and have lost all flexibility whatsoever. Well, what’s the best way to get better at something? Practice.

Yesterday, I flipped to OnDemand yoga on the TV and found a workout called “Gentle Yoga.” That sounded nice, and guess what? It was nice. It was a little slow moving at first which is something one has to get used to when you’re used to doing majority cardio type exercises. I focused on my breathing like the woman was telling me to do, and took the 36 minutes to really relax and stretch and listen to my body.

Wow. If I can actually let myself be patient enough to ease into yoga, I think I could really benefit from it and even enjoy it! I would love to regain flexibility and I KNOW yoga would help me with this. Also, I believe that if I can learn to manage my stress more effectively, including yoga and breathing exercises, I can heal faster. I am really hoping to try and add yoga into my weekly routine. Maybe start off with a goal of one time per week, see how I am liking it, then increase to two times per week. Huh, I like this idea! A fellow blogger Courtney at Sweettoothsweetlife, started a June Yoga Challenge and although I’m a little late on the ball, I just may join in. I never thought I would say it.

After my relaxing yoga, I headed out for an easy 30-minute walk, and then it was time for breakfast. Do I even need to tell you what I had? You could look at my last whole entire month of breakfasts practically and learn real quickly that breakfast was indeed a bowl of Cream of Wheat cereal mixed with cinnamon, stevia and just a touch of brown sugar. This is my ‘makes my tummy feel fine’ breakfast and it’s a must on days I have to work; for now at least.

We had a potluck meeting at work over the lunch hour and I didn’t snap any photos mostly because my plate wasn’t very colorful or pretty. Continuing to stick with the low-fiber meals, I managed to find a few options that I was able to enjoy: tuna noodle salad, turkey wrapped mozzarella (courtesy of moi), and a piece of the most fabulous homemade lemon blueberry bread.

I had an evening shift at work and managed to munch on five handfuls of peanut butter M & M’s (my absolute favorite alongside Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups OMG) throughout the course of the afternoon. I ate a banana around 5:30 which held me over until I got home at 7:30. I’ve mentioned this before but whenever I work later, I can never figure out what sounds good to me for dinner when I am home. I am in deed hungry, but I just can’t put my finger on what it is I’m hungry for. So I usually end up having a few small snacks.

I began with a piece of toasted Spelt Bread from Trader Joe’s with peanut butter and jelly.

After that I moved on to a small serving of Fage Non-fat Greek Yogurt with maple syrup, a half of a pair, and one more spoonful of peanut butter. That would have to do. I crawled into bed and read my book but the strangest thing happened to me last night…I could not get tired for the life of me. I read and read and read and instead of getting my normal droopy eyelids after about five pages, I just got more energy as I went along. At about 11:00 (already one hour past my bedtime), I decided I should shut off the lights and try and sleep. I laid in bed for almost 3 hours before finally falling asleep. Then, every time I woke up in the middle of the night I felt like I was ready for the day and full of energy. Is this what insomnia feels like? I didn’t like it. I hope I survive my day today, keeping in mind I am off the caffeine. Yikes.

Recipe Time!

Moving on….I mentioned this past weekend that I was busy in the kitchen whipping up a batch of pureed butternut squash soup. Well, here it is ladies and gentleman. Enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (makes about 4-6 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups butternut squash, skinned, seeds removed and cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 48 oz. reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage
  • salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. If you have an option for convection roast, use that, if not standard 350 roast or bake is perfect too.
  2. Lightly grease large baking pan with olive oil; place squash, carrots, celery, onion and garlic on pan; use hands to stir and coat veggies with olive oil.
  3. Roast or bake in oven for 25-45 minutes. Baking times vary greatly depending on cooking method (convection roast, roast, bake, etc.). You should be able to pierce the carrots easily with a fork when roasting time is complete, and onions start to take on a sweet scent.
  4. On the stove top, in a large soup pan, add vegetables and broth; cover and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add thyme and sage; stir.
  6. Using an immersion blender or standard blender, puree soup until smooth.
  7. Return to pot; add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Spoon into bowls,  garnish with fresh herbs and serve with whole grain bread or croutons.

After the soup was cooled, I ladled the soup into 6 Ziploc baggies and froze them for an easy and healthy meal in minutes.

Have a great day!

Unattractive Food Photos

Happy Tuesday friends.

I’m going to start off by saying that yesterday’s day of eats was flat-out U.G.L.Y. I ain’t got no alibi, it’s ugly, yea yea it’s ugly.

To begin with the series of unattractive food photos, we’ll begin at breakfast. I decided to try something new for breakfast: sweet potato with peanut butter. I have been loving this combo for lunch so I figure hey why not try it in the morning? As much as I enjoy my boring old bowl of Cream of Wheat each morning, I thought it would be fun for all of us if I jazzed it up a bit. Enter: the ugliest food photo I think I have ever taken.

The verdict?  I don’t know if it was just the particular day that I wasn’t feeling this combo for breakfast, or if the texture was too much for me to handle in the morning, or what it was; all I know is that I wasn’t havin it. Not one bit. I ate a few bites before pitching it. That was me trying to eat outside the box in the morning. Outside the cereal box that is.

Speaking of cereal box, on to breakfast #2. After my first failed breakfast attempt, I wasn’t feeling very motivated to get creative, plus I was running out of time before work, so I poured myself a bowl of Rice Chex with almond milk and a little sugar. Very boring but simple and tasty, and just what I wanted.

I’m not giving up on the whole sweet potato in the morning bit just yet, but I will go another route next time; maybe puree them and add them into pancakes? We’ll see.

I met up with my mama and miss Abbie for lunch yesterday for a picnic during my break. I packed a Greek inspired low-fiber dish consisting of white rice, chicken, hummus, feta, and avocado. I sprinkled the whole thing with lemon juice and a touch of salt.

Absolutely delicious. I also ate a banana and some nummy Aussie licorice bites mom brought for dessert. I loved spending my lunch break with mom. We ate outside at a nearby park and enjoyed the sun and a cool breeze. I wish we could do that more often!

I mentioned yesterday that I was wanting and needing to get back on the workout wagon. It’s been a little difficult for me lately since I haven’t been feeling very well due to the colitis, and I am finding that lower impact exercises like yoga, walking, and the elliptical are agreeing with me better than higher impact activities like long runs. If I do want to run, it has to be right away in the morning when I don’t have much food in my system yet, and this just hasn’t been happening lately. My body has been favoring sleep and I have really been trying to listen to my body. If that is what it needs right now to heal me faster, that is what it is going to get. I do want to keep moving and I will keep moving, I will just be switching up my activities a bit for now.

With that being said, I headed to the gym after work. I started off with 20 minutes on the elliptical, followed by 10 minutes on the stair stepper, and finish off with 10 minutes walking at an incline on the treadmill. I didn’t have any new magazines to read so instead I watched The Real Housewives of Orange County. Some chick was getting married and it kept me entertained for the duration of the workouts. I finished off with my favorite core move on the bosou ball. I really need to get back on my game in the strength training department too. I so easily fall off the wagon on this one.

I headed home to the boys and began contemplating dinner.  While I pondered, I snacked on Special K Sea Salt Cracker Chips with hummus.

When planning meals, I often try and decide on the protein source first, and then build off of that. Last night our main protein source was going to be eggs.

In a pan on the stove top, I sautéed diced mushrooms, added cooked spinach,  and low-sodium deli turkey. In a separate bowl I whisked together two eggs and about 1/2 cup egg whites for Dana and I. Once the mix-ins were finished sautéeing, I poured the eggs onto the pan and began the scramble. During the last minute of cooking I sprinkled in about 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese until it was gooey and melted into the eggs.

I plated them up and sprinkled the dish with salt and pepper and a little squirt of ketchup and enjoyed a proton packed dinner that came together in just minutes.

I told ya it was an ugly day of eats. I guess this one isn’t too bad. Besides my first shot at breakfast, the meals were all very tasty which goes to show that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. I especially enjoyed our scrambled egg dinner.

The rest of the evening was spent watching the drama unfold on the bachelorette.

I loved that Emily told one of the guys off after finding out he was referring to her daughter as baggage and saying some other cruel things about her. What a jerk! He was a nasty one. I’m glad he’s gone. My favorite is still Sean; has been since the beginning. He is sweet, smart, kind, and very handsome. If it were up to me, Emily would choose him. Why do I get sucked in to watching this show every season? Why?

 Later I needed a little snack so I made myself a small bowl of Fage Non-fat Greek yogurt with frozen blueberries and honey.

I also stumbled upon two Milano cookie melts that I saved from an airplane snack during one of our last vacations. For being a packaged cookie, they were pretty darn good. I still prefer homemade of course.

Off to get ready for the day! Peace and love.

Question for you: Have you ever made a dish that turned out completely unappealing to the eye, but tasted awesome? Tell me about it!  I would love to hear from you!

A Quiet Date Night

Happy weekend!

Recap from yesterday…

My day started off with a follow up appointment with the gastroenterologist regarding my current colitis flare. To give you a quick update, I’m still not feeling very well. The doc is going to amp up the dosage of my medication and has recommended I stick to a low-fiber diet as best as I can, reminding me that some small salads here and there will probably be fine, just don’t go crazy. I told her I had tried to stick to a very low-fiber, low-residue diet, but couldn’t stick with it very long because my body was craving greens so bad, and I wasn’t feeling well because of it. I am going to continue to experiment with my diet, but have decided to only allow myself to experiment at night or dinner time, so that if I do have a negative reaction, I won’t be stuck at work with it.

Anyway, I am continuing my research on different allowable foods and plan to get creative. I got busy in the kitchen later and whipped up (literally) a batch of roasted butternut squash soup for my lunches or dinners next week. People with U.C. can often tolerate cooked veggies; squash, carrots, sweet potato, but are continued to be advised to stay away from cruciferous types of vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, because they often cause GI distress. I will be posting this recipe soon! It turned out fantastic.

We made a stop at Trader Joe’s to pick up a few things since we were in the area. I L.O.V.E. LOVE Trader Joe’s. We especially love their Three Buck Chuck.

For lunch…I had some snacks and then made myself one of my most favorite lunches of all time. Spelt bread in this case, with peanut butter, honey and bananas. In my younger years, whenever I got sick with flare-ups, my mom would buy me spelt bread and I seemed to tolerate it well. I thought I would give it a go again.

So beautiful. I actually used PB2 on this one today because I am needing to watch my fat intake right now. Since PB2 only has 1.5 grams of fat per serving, it was a good decision today. I could probably eat this lunch every day and never ever get sick of it. Num.

I made my way to the gym but really wasn’t feeling the best so just hit the elliptical for an easy pace and easy resistance for a half hour.

Dinner and quiet date night….

For dinner I pureed a can of rinsed and drained pinto beans with garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and a touch of chicken broth. This was an experimental dinner btw to see if I can handle brown beans in the pureed form. We cooked up some white rice, and chopped up tomato, cilantro, and avocado, and piled it on a plate. We melted cheddar cheese on the deal and called it one quick and easy dinner.

Whoops, forgot the cheese.

There it is. How could I forget the cheese?!

I was hoping that we had mild salsa on hand to top off the dish but we didn’t, so I ended up seasoning my dish with a little dash of salt and a splash of lemon juice. I didn’t miss the salsa at all. I actually think I prefer the lemon taste (would have used lime if we had it and that would have been great too!).

Dana and I had a quiet date night planned for last night. We waited to finalize any date plans until I knew how I was feeling and since I wasn’t feeling great, we decided to make ourselves a healthy dinner, rent a movie, and stay home.

A while back I read ‘The Help’ and have wanted to see the movie ever since. Well, it just so happened redbox had it for us.

We spent the evening cuddled on the couch in our cozies watching ‘The Help.’ That is my idea of a perfect date night.

Now I am off running here and there today. Have a great Saturday everyone!

Every BODY is Different

Happy Memorial Day!

This weekend has been extremely productive. It has been nice to spend a weekend at home to catch up on things around the house.

How about a recap from yesterday?

Breakfast: Cream of Wheat with maple syrup, cinnamon, and brown sugar. On the side, some cinnamon apple decaf tea.

We did our usual Sunday morning gig of browsing through the newspaper, but unfortunately we didn’t get to cut any coupons because there were no coupons in the paper yesterday! I was incredibly bummed. I love coupon cutting on Sunday mornings. We then went to the grocery store and then home to work on the yard.

It was finally time to plant our vegetable garden. This year we planted: zucchini, 4 different varieties of tomato including 1 grape tomato plant, bell peppers, onions, jalapeno, green beans, and kale.

We decided to buy the pre-grown tomato plants this year because our tomato plants were extraordinarily late last year. When all of my co-workers were bringing in tomatoes to share, mine still didn’t come up for at least another month after that. We are hoping these work out better. We also moved them to a different area in the garden, so we’ll see what happens.

On the deck in separate containers we planted a few herbs: Basil, Dill, and Mint. I have a strong desire to make mojitos this summer if we get our mint to come up!

We worked on the yard all afternoon; trimming bushes, trees, cleaning the gutters, etc. It was a hot and steamy day here in MN at about mid 90′s and very humid, so I was a sweaty mess.

I snapped a couple of photos of some beauties in the yard.

For dinner we bought very lean pork tenderloin which I had marinated in the fridge using this lovely Lawry’s Hawaiian sauce.

The description: “An enticing combination of pure honey, soy sauce and ginger blends with tangy pineapple, papaya and a touch of mango to unlock the flavor secrets of the islands.” I was sold.The pineapple from the marinade also serves as a natural meat tenderizer. I would definitely recommend this sauce.

Nutrition per tablespoon: 20 calories, 0 fat, 250 mg sodium, 5 g sugar. Although I prefer making my own sauces and spices whenever possible, I think it’s okay to “cheat” every once and a while too.

For those of you who have been following my blog recently, what you see on my plate in this next photo may surprise you due to my current health situation and low-fiber, low-residue diet that I had said I was going to try to follow. Enter: greenery.

Alongside my (awesome) grilled pork tenderloin, I made myself an experimental small side salad. No toppings except for a little of my fav Newman’s Own Lite Honey Mustard. I wanted to see how my body would feel after eating one of the most missed components of my normal diet.

Lately, I have been following the low-fiber diet, but the truth is, I am feeling totally crummy and it’s not just from the colitis. My body is craving green veggies and I am getting burnt out of canned green beans real fast. I have been thinking that if I feed my body a little bit of the foods that make me feel good normally, and the food my body is craving (greens), that maybe this will help me heal (as long as I don’t get too extreme about adding fiber back in). I don’t plan to slam down the raw broccoli, beans, and cabbage, but slowly incorporating some side salads and other greens may possibly be the best medicine for me. There is no significant evidence that proves that any particular diet really helps people with U.C., so why not experiment and see how my own body reacts?

I wanted to see how I felt this morning after my salad experiment and guess what? I feel no different, and that’s a good thing. Like, I said, I’m not condoning a veggie smack down by any means, but I am going to continue to experiment and learn how my body reacts to different options. Every BODY is different. I will be very careful and also continue to be cared for by medical professionals.

I am off to make a potato and chive salad (thanks for the chives, Nicole!) for a get together with some of my family and some of Dana’s family later this afternoon. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Have a great day!

A Successful Day of Low-Fiber Meals

Hello! Is the anticipation of hearing about my boundary waters trip really driving you crazy? Well, you’re going to have to wait, because I didn’t get it around to putting it together yesterday. Tee hee. Sorry. I’m sure you’re all going to be okay.

How about a recap of yesterday’s low-fiber intake?

Starting with breakfast: Cream of Wheat with maple syrup, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Holy cow this was great. It sat very well in my tummy too, which is very important being I was at work and no one likes to be uncomfortable at work.

I snacked on a banana mid-morning. For lunch I ate the innards (didn’t realize that was actually a word until right now) of a sweet potato with a scoop of natural peanut butter. Ah are you kidding me? Why I have I waited so long to make this beautiful concoction. Love. Meal numero dos = success.

I also ate some honeydew melon, and a handful of pretzels.

After work I headed to mom and dad’s. I decided to hop on the elliptical for a half hour lag to stretch my legs out. I got real sweaty hence the shiny face in this photo below. Abbie doesn’t seem to mind. Mom and I took her for a quick walk around the neighborhood before we hunkered down to work on dinner.

fettuccine noodles and marinara sauce with mushrooms, spinach, and italian spices. On top of ol’ fettuccine were two meatballs. On the side, green beans (canned because they are easier for the body to digest). Meal three was also a success and I got to eat it with mom, dad, and Kevin which made it that much better.

For dessert I munched on dark chocolate and mint chocolate chips and a few mini marshmallows. What is with me lately and having to eat dessert every night? Mmm, I love my sweets.

After dinner I came home to the boys and threw the ball to Moose for a while before a storm rolled in. Check out these peonies blooming in our backyard. Beautiful! I wish they lasted longer than they did.

The day’s eats in combination with starting my medications, made for a pretty good day on the colitis front. I did not feel bloated today which is such a glorious thing. I will fight this fast, I know it.

I am out. I have company coming for dinner tonight and have plans to make something nummy, and I will be keeping it low-fiber. I will be sure to fill ya in later.

Happy Thursday!