Chicken Curry Salad in Endive Boats

Happy MAY day! 

tulips

 

This is obviously not a MN scene but I think this is such a gorgeous photo and it makes me smile looking at this photo and thinking about the day when flowers will be popping up around here. Hopefully soon. For now, we are in a Winter Storm Warning. Yup…but anyway!

Some exciting news! Today is the last day you will see the old butcher block countertops in my photos because today we are getting NEW KITCHEN COUNTERTOPS! You know you are grown up when you get so incredibly excited about home improvements.

The butcher block countertops have been in the house for goodness knows how long, and they are terrible when it comes to stains and I don’t want to even think about any possible bacteria in the crevices.

banana pb

After much price shopping, stone shopping, and style shopping, we have decided on granite countertops. We went with a gray with specks of gold and red. It will be done by the time I get home this afternoon and I am ecstatic. I can’t wait to show you the refurbished kitchen later this week!

Lunch yesterday was a bunch of small meals throughout the span of 11:00 and 2:00. Here’s one of them…

egg

The afternoon included a lot of food prep time. In the morning I started two large chicken breasts (thawed) in the crock pot, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder, and a cup or so of homemade chicken bone broth. I covered the pot, set it on low and the chicken was done in three hours.

On the dinner menu: Chicken Curry Salad in Endive Boats!

Once the chicken was cooled I pulled it apart and set it aside. I got started on my curry sauce experiment; adding a sprinkle of this, a touch of that, and tasting along the way. This was part of my other small lunch meal. After some time, I came up with what I think is a VERY delicious Chicken Curry Salad recipe!

The chicken and the curry sauce before it was mixed together (not the most appetizing photo). Later I mixed in cilantro, green onions, and raisins too.

curry chicken

The kitchen sure took a beating with all of this food prep!

Note the white backsplash next to the yellow paint–we removed the wooden backsplash to prepare for our new counters and the new backsplash of course. Also, Dana loosened the countertop in preparation of removal so that all we had to do last night was pull it up and out of there. This ended up being a bigger task than we were expecting, but we got it out of there nonetheless.

kitchen mess

After the chicken was mixed with the sauce, I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for 4-5 hours. This helps the flavors blend together and “get to know each other.”

Once dinner rolled around, I gave the chicken one last stir, added in the celery and almonds at the last minute because I didn’t want to risk them getting soggy, taste tested it one more time, and scooped it on to some beautiful endive leaves. We went super classy with the Dixie paper plates last night because of the kitchen demolition.

curry chicken salad curry chicken salad

You could enjoy this chicken salad on a whole grain wrap, in a lettuce cup, with endive boats, celery, zucchini, or on a lettuce salad. It was a really nice change of pace dinner!

Chicken Curry Salad
Print
Ingredients
  • 3 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. green onions, diced
  • ⅓ cup raisins
  • juice from ½ a lime
  • ¾ cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp. Light Mayo
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 1½ tsp. honey
  • 1½ Tbsp. curry powder
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. ginger powder
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup celery, diced
  • 3 Tbsp. almonds, sliced
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine chicken, cilantro, onion, and raisins. Set aside
  2. In a small bowl mix together lime juice, yogurt, mayo, vinegar, mustard, honey, curry, garlic powder, ginger, and salt and pepper.
  3. Pour over chicken and stir until chicken is evenly covered in sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3-5 hours.
  4. Remove from fridge, add almonds and celery, stir, and test for seasonings. Adjust if needed.
  5. Serve in endive leaves, in a whole grain or gluten-free wrap, whole grain or gluten-free bread, in lettuce cups, or on top of a lettuce salad.

 

This was super tasty and what’s great about it is all of the prep can be done ahead of time so that once dinner rolls around, all you need to do is throw it on a wrap and eat it up! Also, research is showing that curry (namely the main ingredient turmeric) may have some health benefits such as aiding in alzheimer’s prevention, reducing inflammation, easing digestion, boosting immunity, and more.

Have a happy Wednesday my friends!

Do you ever cook with curry? How do you usually use it?

Chocolate Truffle Cupcakes

Hi my friends! I really don’t mean to rub it in, but I am currently on a white sandy beach enjoying the warm sun SOOOO…..I have a guest post for you to enjoy and it’s sure to leave you wanting a cupcake. Thanks to Becky for a delicious guest post! NUM!

I’m hoping to check in with you at some point soon! I hope everyone is well. xoxo. Melanie

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Hi! I’m Becky from over at Olives ‘n’ Wine - a blog where I share my passion for keeping a balanced life through eating well, tasting great wine, staying active, and traveling to new places – and I’m excited to be doing a guest post for Melanie today :smile:

Becky in Cali

Back in December, Melanie hosted a giveaway of Parkers Farm peanut butter and I was selected as the winner! It is a good thing that Kyle (my husband) and I looooove peanut butter! We’ve been consuming our fair share of peanut butter and jelly, peanut butter toast, grilled peanut butter sandwiches and peanut butter with bananas and apples – YUM! Mitchell (our black lab) has also benefited from Melanie’s giveaway. He’s been spoiled with extra peanut butter Kong treats and he loves licking the empty Parkers Farm peanut butter containers :)

As you can imagine, I have been busy finding ways to use an entire case of peanut butter the past few months and I’m excited to share one of my favorite peanut butter recipes with you today!

Chocolate-Truffle Cupcakes 5

Today, my friends, I present you with: Chocolate Truffle Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting! This recipe is, to say the least, delectably perfect.

Chocolate-Truffle Cupcakes 1

Creamy, rich and chocolate-y cupcakes topped with a salty yet sweet peanut butter frosting. The combination is as delightful as it sounds.

Chocolate-Truffle Cupcakes 3

Chocolate cupcake dough stuffed with a chocolate truffle and baked until perfectly gooey. Then coated with a luscious peanut butter frosting and a dusting of peanuts and chocolate chips.

Chocolate-Truffle Cupcakes 4

Chocolate Truffle Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting (Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart)

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

- Cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup flour, plus 1/4 cup extra for truffles
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 12 chocolate truffles (I used Lindt Dark Chocolate)

- Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 TBSP milk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips and/or peanuts, optional toppings

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tin with liners. Combine cocoa, 3/4 cup flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, individually, beating well after each addition, then mix in vanilla. On low speed, mix in flour mixture in two batches, alternating with sour cream. Pour batter into cups, filling approximately 3/4 full. Next, roll truffles in 1/4 cup extra flour (this keeps the truffles from sinking to the bottom of the cupcake) and push one flour-coated truffled halfway into each cupcake. Bake approximately 20 minutes. Remove cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

While cupcakes are baking/cooling, prepare the peanut butter frosting. Beat together butter and peanut butter until smooth, slowly add in powdered sugar and milk until creamy. Once cupcakes are fully cooled, spread frosting onto cupcakes and top with chocolate chips and/or peanuts. Enjoy!

Chocolate-Truffle Cupcakes

Yes, this really happened in my kitchen and it was A-MAZ-ING! And, in case you’re like me and hate extra candy and treats around the house, this recipe is a fabulous way to use up some of those leftover, tempting Valentine’s Day truffles. :wink:

Chocolate-Truffle Cupcakes 2

Other peanut butter recipes that I love include:

SWAT Treats

Reese’s Peanut Butter Bark

Homemade Chocolate + Peanut Butter Granola

Salted Peanut Butter and Fudge Brownies

A HUGE thanks to Melanie for allowing me to post on her blog today. :smile: I hope you’ll stop by Olives ‘n’ Wine and see what I’m all about!

A Relaxing Sunday & One of My Favorite Soups

This weekend flew by just as fast as last weekend if you ask me. We had a very low-key weekend and I loved every second of it.

Sunday

I was feeling incredibly energetic Sunday morning and just in an overall good mood. That was most likely due to the excitement of our upcoming vacation and a good night’s sleep. I was feeling good.

For some reason my appetite has been a little “off” lately. I’m thinking this may be because of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I was hungry for breakfast but couldn’t decide on anything that sounded good so I put myself together a combo that I know is easy on my tummy and usually pretty appealing : peanut butter and banana of course.

banana peanut butter

 

We went about our standard Sunday errands, came back home and put groceries away, and by 11:00 I was hungry again. I was hungry but again, nothing sounded good to me and my highly energetic self from the morning was starting to take a nose dive.

I pulled out a bowl of homemade turkey veggie soup from the freezer.

turkey veggie soup

It was simple and comforting to my belly. I also had a microwaved apple…

apples

 

Later in the afternoon I had a banana, a bite of peanut butter, and some pistachios.

I have been in a bit of a workout rut this past week. I just haven’t had the highest amount of energy. I was full of energy yesterday morning but once the afternoon hit I was definitely losing it.

I wanted to at least move a little bit, so I headed down to the treadmill for a half hour walk. I  did do a few other strength exercises, but I really wasn’t feeling up to it, so I stopped.

Maybe I just needed it to be a low-key day.

Later in the afternoon I headed over to mom and dad’s for dinner. I got my cuddle time in with the little one which always does a great job of boosting my mood.

melanie and abbie

 

Dinner was one of my all-time favs: French Onion Soup.

french onion soup

I went with the SCD version without the bagel chips and cheese and it was STILL outrageously delicious. I had two bowls and asked if I could take one home for leftovers this week! I swear I could try and make this duplicate recipe at home and it wouldn’t taste the same. Mom has to make it. :wink:

french onion soup

After dinner we got cozy on the couch and sipped on hot water with ginger and honey while we watched the Oscars, and then later called it a night. I really like the hot water with ginger and honey, like REALLY liked it. Could this be due to the fact that my dad made it for me? It really is true that food tastes better when someone else makes it for you.

tea and oscars abbie

 

It was a very relaxing Sunday and I feel like more Sundays should be like this one.

Now we are onto Monday and I have a list of things to do as tall as the Eiffel tower, SO I better get a move on!

Happy Monday to all!

Question of the day: Do you think food tastes better when someone else makes it for you?!

February Fitness Challenge Review

Happy Saturday! Today’s my second favorite day of the week after Friday, so I’m a pretty happy camper today.

Considering I don’t have many food photos to share (the SCD is fairly redundant right now), how about we talk about fitness instead?

At the beginning of February I set a goal for myself to complete three strength training workouts each week. They could involve free weights, machines at the gym, workout videos, whatever, as long as they involved improving my strength. I also challenged myself to complete one plank a day for at least one minute.

I am a cardio junkie and love getting my heart rate ramped from the cardio which is also great for overall health, but all-to-often slack on the strength and I wanted to do something about it. I called this challenge, my February Fitness Challenge.

Although I know there are still five days left in February, I have decided to reflect now.

I am happy to say that even though I was struck with a head cold for a solid week this month, and felt very low energy due to the SCD intro, I still managed to stick to my goal each week. I tried to keep it spicy and exciting so that I wouldn’t get bored with it.

Some of My February Strength Workouts:

  • Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred: Level 1 and Level 2
  • This leg workout incorporated with dumbbells
  • This arm workout plus other arm exercises
  • Ab workouts (from the January Abs Challenge)
  • Most of the time I just did my own thing and mixed up different exercises

I have done my plank-a-day every day too!

I have noticed that with the combination of eliminating white sugars from my diet, and increasing my strength activities, that I do feel stronger. I even feel it when I’m doing cardio. When I’m running my core helps carry me and makes me run lighter.

I definitely feel stronger overall, however I have a looooooonngg way to go to get my strength to where I would like it to be. But it takes time. I’m going to continue to work on it.

I already have a March fitness challenge brewin’ in my head! Be on the look out. :wink:

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I can’t leave this post complete photo-free because that’s no fun, so I do have a couple to share.

Yesterday I couldn’t eat meat (Lent), which is a main component of the SCD. I was thrilled about it because I am SO TIRED OF IT and completely tired out of eggs too, so it was time to introduce a new food. Peanut butter. I’m not talking boat loads of pb, but enough to satisfy my hunger and give me some protein.

I introduced baked apples into my diet two days ago and my body responded well. My girlie girl Kalkal said one of her favorite breakfast combos lately is cut up apple, with pb and cinnamon. I usually do that combo with banana, but often forget about the lovely apple. I gave it a whirl, but used a slightly cooked apple instead (to aid in digestion for now).

apple with pb

I honestly think I could slather peanut butter on anything and it would taste good. This was a very nice treat! I would prefer it with a raw apple like Kalley had suggested, but for now this will have to do!

The REALLY good news is that peanut butter is sitting very well with my system. Like I said I have no plans of going crazy with it like I tend to do, but one serving a day and I should feel just fine. I am really missing my legumes and lentils however. Soon enough!

The evening was spent:

  • getting some more vacation stuff together
  • doing some food prep for vaca
  • vacuuming
  • mopping
  • planking
  • core strength
  • running around the house and up and down the stairs with Moose
  • and cleaning up broken links on the ol’ blog (this is quite the task)

We also picked this guy up from the groomer after getting a nice intense brush-out. He looks so handsome.

moose

I have plans to get a little run in this morning and then we have some more packing to do!

What’s on your Saturday agenda?!

Back to the Gym & A Happy Cup of Tea

Okay, good morning! How did everyone sleep last night? I slept really well except for some crazy dreams this morning. Our brains are so incredible. They take our thoughts and wishes and fears and turn them into some very interesting dreams. Some seem so vivid and real like the one I had last night, and some are so completely out there you wonder how your brain even came up with them. Or how about when you randomly see someone in your dream who you haven’t heard of or seen in ages?! That always blows my mind too.

But anyway…let’s get back to reality.

Monday

I’m starting to lose my creativity again and falling back into the pb banana breakfast again. I have still been trying to incorporate more smoothies in though. It’s a work in progress. We’ll leave it at that.

banana pb

I was out all morning running errands and hitting up the gym. Oh yea, I seriously went to the gym. It had been a long time since I had been there because I was sick last week and because I have been doing a lot of my workouts in the comfort of my own warm home. I’m still debating putting my membership on hold, but something keeps holding me back from doing it.

At the gym I planted myself on a treadmill directly in front of a TV showing The Price is Right. I began with a light jog, then decided to make this run a HIIT kind of run. I ran for 3-4 minutes at an intense speed, followed by 1-2 minutes of recovery walking, then amped up the speed this time higher than the sprint before, ran for 3-4 minutes, recovered for 1-2, and so on. I did this sprint/walk drill for 3 miles. I was dripping sweat by the time I was done with it.

Next, I moved over to the mats and worked on strengthening my abs. I feel like ever since the January 30-Day-Abs Challenge, I have learned so many great workouts for my abs that really target all areas. This abs workout was the 2nd session of my February Fitness Challenge.

I packed a large bag of carrots to munch on while I was out and about. By the time I got home around noon, I was more than ready for lunch.

I snacked on a few dates with peanut butter while I got lunch ready.

date pb

I roasted broccoli, brussels sprouts, and butternut squash in the oven with coconut oil, salt, and pepper. I really wasn’t feeling the sprouts yesterday but ate a few of them anyway.

roasted veggies

I finished lunch off with a small snack bowl of mixed nuts and raisins.

In the afternoon I had a cup of green tea kombucha and fell in love with the inspirational words on the tea tag.

tea

“Happiness comes when you overcome the most impossible challenge.” We all have challenges and obstacles in our lives, but we must remember that we will get through them as we always do. Also, we always need to remember to enjoy life each day and show love to the people in our lives each day. That will bring us happiness. At least that’s what I took from it. I’m sure everyone has their own interpretation. I felt happy even before I drank my tea just by reading those words.

Dinner was salmon again! Once a week is still salmon week and let me tell you, I am really starting to like this healthy fish. We made it the same way as we did last week with a little butter, almonds, capers, and sesame oil mixture drizzled over the top of grilled salmon with green beans and asparagus.

salmon salmon

I can’t get over how much more I prefer salmon when it is grilled on an outside grill versus inside. It takes any potential fishy taste out of it and gives it a very subtle smoky flavor. I am happy to say the salmon is growing on me!

The rest of the evening was spent in our cozy home watching the Bachelor and celebrating when someone on there FINALLY got sent home (I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t watched it yet). The second person he sent home though however I wasn’t too happy about. BUT, it’s down to the last four now which means home-town dates, and it looks like it’s going to be drama-filled! Again, this show sucks me in every season.

I made myself a snack of blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries with a dollop of FAGE Greek yogurt and honey.

greek yogurt with berries

It was the perfect sweet snack to end the night.

Don’t forget to enter my Intelligent Nutrients Organic Shampoo and Conditioner Giveaway! You have until Wednesday to enter. :smile:

Have a great Tuesday!

A Typical Day of Meals & Snacks From My Childhood

Happy Thursday to you all. I hope everyone is having a good week. I’m still fighting to feel well today. I got nearly 9 hours of sleep last night so that will hopefully help me heal faster. Sleep is so powerful.

Yesterday I went into work, fought through the morning but then felt so miserable that I ended up going home in the afternoon. I planted myself on the couch and that is where I stayed all afternoon and evening minus getting up to get food and drink.

I hesitate to even share my eats yesterday because they are not the most appealing or exciting, but I’ll do it anyway.

Breakfast was an old favorite of Parkers Farm peanut butter, banana, cinnamon, and a light drizzle of honey.

Lunch was seasoned bone broth with chicken and carrots, applesauce, and raw carrots.

bone broth

Snacks: Cashews, raisins, and almonds…

nuts and fruit

And dates with peanut butter which is my latest obsession…

dates and pb

I spent the afternoon trying to nap which was turned out to be an unsuccessful attempt  (why is it so hard for me to nap?!), watching Food Network, reading, and catching up on blogs. Pretty much I sat on my rear all afternoon and rested.

When dinner rolled around I was very hungry, but had no clue what I wanted. Eventually, with the help of Dana, he made up a plate of roasted broccoli with parmesan with a piece of cooked turkey deli meat with an egg on top. It was very random but it ended up being a nummy combo.

roasted broccoli with turkey and egg

I spent the rest of the evening watching an episode of Glee that I had recorded, Whitney, and Modern Family. I love those shows oh so much.

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Switching gears now…

After reading a post from the blog A Dash of Meg, who wrote a post about what a typical day of meals and snacks looked like for her growing up, I thought it would be fun to walk down memory lane as well. Shall we?

A Typical Day of Meals & Snacks From My Childhood

Breakfast

In the morning I would stumble down to the kitchen and pour myself a bowl of cereal with  milk or make a warm bowl of Cream of Wheat. Mom always had the cupboard stocked full of good cereals, but some of my favorites were Cinnamon Life and Honey Nut Cheerios. Num! Many times I would sit next to my mom while she read the paper and crunch away at my bowl.

honey nut cheerios

A bowl of cereal now with no additional protein on the side (besides the small amount of milk on the cereal) definitely wouldn’t tide me over very long any more these days, but cereal does make a great snack or you could pair a bowl of cereal and banana slices with a protein rich egg on the side and call it a more well-rounded meal.

I don’t recall snacking very often between breakfast and lunch, so when lunch time rolled around, I was always very hungry. Sometimes I would buy a juice from the soda machine, but not too often.

Lunch

Most of the time I preferred to bring a bagged lunch aside from those random days when I chose to have the taco salad bar or italian dunkers. It’s funny how I always seemed to have a tummy ache after eating the white bread and cheese loaded italian dunkers. I have learned so much about my body and health since then!

Mom made my lunch for the longest time which I am so thankful for, and my usual comfy tummy lunch was peanut butter and jelly on whole grain bread, baby carrots, an apple or a banana, and then usually one little treat like a cookie or fruit snacks or pudding.

pb j

Snacks

After school I was always ready for a snack. Often I would go over to my aunt’s house (Betsy’s mom and dad) and hang out there for a while. Betsy and I would practice our dance steps, and then we would have a snack. My favorite afternoon snacks at her house were freshly popped popcorn and graham crackers with peanut butter and mini chocolate chips!

superbowl parmesan popcorn

graham crackers

At home, my favorite snacks were probably another mini bowl of cereal or pretzels. I was quite the carb loader back then. :smile:

Dinner

Later in the evening I would either go to dance and then come home and eat dinner, or eat dinner and then go to dance. As I got older I had more and more classes. Mom did a great job of having dinner ready for all of us, even though we were all going out the door here and there to practices, classes, study groups, etc. If someone wasn’t home for dinner, mom or dad would always plate up a serving and put it in the fridge for when they got home.

Some of my favorites were taco night, spaghetti, fajitas, and lasagna.

8006_ground_beef_soft_tacos

spaghetti with meatballs

But truly, I loved everything my mom made. I was never a picky eater and still am not to this day!

In the evening on special occasions, mom would whip us up a batch of orange julius which I believe was made with orange juice concentrate, milk, vanilla, and ice. I’m pretty sure that was it but don’t quote me on that.

orange julius

It was such a tasty treat and I always got so excited about them. I may need to try to recreate that bad boy.

So, there you have it! I was definitely a carb queen. I needed a lot of energy and brain fuel to get me through the activities of the day, and still do of course, I just get it in different forms now.

I remember many “tummy aches” growing up. I wonder if they can be attributed to dairy products and gluten? It is quite possible I guess. I remember having to plug my nose in order to finish my milk. My mom spent a lot of time researching gastrointestinal problems and we tried many different approaches to get me to feel better. At 12 years old I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.

It’s all very interesting to me. I am learning more and more about myself every day and I continue to be amazed by the human body. It’s a good thing I decided to become a dietitian! Now my mom (who went to school for nutrition as well) and I really have good nutrition conversations.

Alright, time to go get ready for the day. I hope you had as much fun strolling down memory lane as I did.

What did you eat growing up? 

A Day of Comfy Tummy Snacks and Meals

Well, happy Sunday!! I am happy to report that I am feeling MUCH better today. Yesterday was very restful; I was in need of some quiet relaxing time after having a blast on Friday night.

I felt super motivated in the morning and actually made myself a savory breakfast of eggs with cheese and kale. This doesn’t happen very often where I actually crave savory versus sweet in the morning, but I did line my plate with a handful of cold sweet carrots to “balance” the meal and add a touch of sweetness. I can’t tell you the last time I ate carrots in the morning, but I actually really enjoyed them. Weird things are happening over here. :wink:

eggs

I had a great appetite first thing in the morning and these eggs did a great job of satisfying my hunger. After I ate in the morning though, my appetite spiraled downward and I did not feel well.

I found my spot on the couch from around 10:00-1:00. I nibbled on a banana and drank water while my body tried to recover. Finally I fell asleep for a short while watching Bridesmaids (love that movie) and when I awoke, I felt 80% better!

This is not Bridesmaids on TV if you didn’t notice. This was after I woke up and was feeling better, so clearly I default to Food Network. And don’t let those weights deceive you, they unfortunately didn’t get touched yesterday.

couch time relax

I made myself a light snack/mini lunch…

apples with peanut butter

In the afternoon I was actually able to be slightly productive. I painted the shelves for the laundry room, went to Menards with Dana, shoveled the driveway, cranked out my plank-a-day, and then made some super easy on the belly soup.

I used the bone broth I had made the other day to throw together a quick soup with carrots, onion, garlic, peas, broccoli, and chicken. I seasoned the soup as I went along with salt, pepper, savory seasoning blend, and garlic powder. I topped it with fresh cilantro.

bone broth soup

It wasn’t a soup that made me want to go run and scream and tell the whole world about, but it was perfect on my still unsettled tummy.

I did have a few other random snacks throughout the day, but overall it was a pretty low-appetite day for me, and I was listening to my body as best as I could.

After dinner we got to work again on the laundry room. We are now in the process of moving all of our junk stuff into the laundry room where it will be permanently stored. Since our basement is unfinished we have just been storing everything in the living area, but since we would like to work on finishing the living area, we needed to move the junk out of there.

The laundry room is nearly finished. It looks smaller now because we have put so much more stuff in there, but it is definitely cleaner looking and more organized! Photos coming soon!

Just before bed, I whipped together some Paleo-friendly waffle batter so that this morning all we have to do is crank on the waffle iron and cook them up. Dana’s patiently waiting for me as I write right now, so I am going to end this so I can get my breakfast on.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

What are your go-to comfy tummy snacks and/or meals?

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? :wink:

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. :smile:

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?

My February Fitness Challenge

Happy February 1st! What?! That blows my mind.

You know what else blows my mind? The fact that I stuck with an entire month of the January 30 Day Abs Challenge. Just a reminder, the challenge was to complete ab circuits which were given to us weekly, three times a week and to try to do a plank for at least one minute on the off days. I think throughout the entire month there was only one day where I didn’t do the plank, besides that I stuck with it entirely.

What amazes me is how much our bodies can change in just one month. I noticed a significant change in the strength I feel in my abs and not only in my abs but in my legs and arms as well. The circuits involved our entire body which I appreciated so much.

If this is what can happen in a month, imagine what could happen during a longer time frame. This was just the push I needed to begin including core work not only more frequently into my workout routines, but more heavily. I know now that I can be pushed further than the ab workouts I was doing before this challenge. I am so glad I accepted it!

However, I still have a lot of work to do. I really like setting monthly goals and fitness challenges because one month isn’t daunting, it isn’t intimidating, and it keeps me focused on a particular activity for a month.

In an effort to continue building up my strength, I have decided to make a fitness challenge for myself for the month of February.

February Fitness Challenge

  • Incorporate strength training activities into my routine three days a week–this can be free weights, simply using my body weight, weight machines at the gym, fitness classes which include weights,workout videos, etc. and will target different areas of the body. I will continue to mix in my cardio when I please and complete at least a one minute plank daily.

There it is. I know I have mentioned it before, but strength training is my weakness and it’s something I am always wanting to improve upon. I know the benefits and can feel the benefits, and I want to continue my journey in the right direction. I’m a little nervous about this one because I really don’t want to fail, but hey, it’s only 28 days!

Bring it on February!

And now we’re going to back track. Yesterday I let myself have my peanut butter and banana breakfast. I’m still working towards “livening” up my breakfasts.

banana and peanut butter

Mid-morning I crunched on some snap peas and a clementine.

snacks

And for lunch I ate a big salad with mixed greens, chicken, avocado, peas, sunflower seeds, and hummus. Dessert was an apple.

After work I headed over to mom and dad’s to hang out. Right away I threw back a handful of baby carrots and a few almonds, but then wanted to get a quick workout in so I got changed, completed my “last chance workout” from the 30 Day Abs Challenge, and then finished with 20 minutes on the elliptical.

Then I got to the hanging out part of my visit.

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For dinner I had requested some sort of red meat. I realize I hadn’t had any in a really long time and don’t mind it every now and again. We had surf and turf (steak and shrimp), a big ol’ salad, and green beans. I made myself a side of honey mustard dressing for both the salad and the steak made from Dijon mustard and honey. I loved that stuff.

surf and turf and salad

It was a great dinner and felt so nice to be cozy and warm with madre y padre. It was ridiculously cold last night and continues to be extremely cold today.

Later in the evening I came home, fed the pup, and called it a night.

moose

I am constantly amazed at the size difference when I go from being with Abbie, an 11 lb Yorkie Poo, to Moose, a 90 lb German Shepherd. Just a little bit of a size difference there. :wink:

Okee doke friends. I am OUT of here for now. I definitely have some fun plans on the agenda for the night. Catch up with you later gators.

Question of the Day: Do you have any fitness challenges planned for February? If so what are they?

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?

DSCN6418

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?