Nutty Gluten-Free Bread

Happy Wednesday!  Are we really already half way through the week? Thank goodness, it has been an exhausting one.

Not that I like to wish time by, but I am seriously so excited because… I leave for the Healthy Living Summit tomorrow! I can’t believe it’s here already. The agenda looks AMAZING and I am so looking forward to meeting everyone and having a fun weekend with a bunch of new friends! I will be snapping mega photos and taking notes so that I can keep you well-informed of my adventure.

Monday

I didn’t get to blog yesterday, and really only have one photo from Monday I want to share. I earned the best wife award for Monday night because I made hubby a beef pot roast in the crock pot.

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In the morning I placed 4-5 medium carrots, chopped, into the crock pot, along with 5 mini onions from our garden, beef roast which I believe was a “round” cut but now I don’t remember, a packet of Lipton’s Onion Soup mix, and 3/4 cup water. I set the crock pot on low for 10 hours and it was ready to go at the end of the day!

Being that I’m not much of a meat lover, this actually tasted pretty darn good, and my body could probably use the extra protein and iron these days.

Tuesday

On Tuesday morning, Dana and I set out on a 4-mile run. I haven’t fully run this distance in quite some time due to the UC, and during the run, I remembered why.

My body is working in overdrive right now to fight and heal the inflammation happening inside, therefore I become fatigued fairly easily. I try so hard to push myself because I want to be able to endure activities at the level I was at before when I wasn’t sick, but it’s just not in the cards right now.

With the motivation of Dana at my side, I was able to pull through 4 miles, but I could feel my body grumbling at me as I ran. I am very proud to say that I accomplished that run now.

I have noticed that some days are better than others when it comes to my stamina and activities. Friday for instance, I ran 3 miles and it seemed to be a much more enjoyable run. My body wasn’t fighting back like it was yesterday, but  I still felt fatigued though towards the end.

I not only feel this way with running, I feel it with any type of activity: weights, elliptical, and even every day tasks. I find myself becoming very tired quickly. The docs are investigating my situation full force to make sure I am doing alright and doing their best to “fix” me when they can.

I will continue to keep you posted as I learn more. I know my limits and am doing my best to stay within those limits and not push my body further than it can go right now. I have open communication with my body and we keep each other in the loop. :wink: I listen to it when it says cool it, and it listens to me when I say keep it comin’.

Breakfast

For breakfast, I turned to another old favorite, overnight chia seed yogurt bowl! We were running very low on yogurt so I had to use a little more almond milk than usual but it still turned our great, just a smaller bowl of goodness than I would have liked. I added heaps of blueberries and strawberries to add to the volume.

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A smaller bowl but still oh SO tasty.

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That is the end of my photos for the past couple of days.

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I think this is the perfect opportunity to share with you a gluten-free bread recipe I have been making for Dana and I since we began the SCD/Paleo diets.

I experimented with a few different recipes over time, made my adjustments, and have come up with my favorite version of the bread. It uses Greek yogurt so doesn’t fall perfectly into the SCD or Paleo diets, so I will go ahead and just call it Gluten-Free.

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Nutty Gluten-Free Bread (makes 2 loaves)

Ingredients

  • 5 cups almond flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 egg white

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Mix together all ingredients (I use a hand-mixer).
  3. Pour into two lightly greased bread loaf pans.
  4. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Bread is done when toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.

This bread is dense but not crumbly like some of the other recipes that use SCD homemade yogurt. The Greek yogurt really helps to make it stable. It cuts perfectly, and tastes great toasted with some nut butter! Dana has also used his for turkey deli sandwiches, or as a base for a couple of over-easy eggs.

NUM!

I did post a bread recipe here that fits perfectly into the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Feel free to check it out!

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

Chicken with Cherries & Olives

Hi again! After yesterday’s more serious post about modifying the SCD to fit my lifestyle, I thought I would make today’s post very light, including a couple of awesome recipes. But first…

Monday Recap

Breakfast: Almond bread with almond butter, honey, and banana slices. I went back for a round two slice without the bananas though.

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Run: Breakfast did a great job of fueling me for a great 3-mile run around the neighborhood. I took it nice and slow and it actually felt like  good run for once. It’s been a long time since I could say that. I am excited to start incorporating more of it into my routine again. My next race is a 5k at the end of August, and I am going to be ready!

Lunch: I salivate over these salads. Mixed greens with grilled chicken, strawberries, avocado, mandarin orange slices, feta cheese, and raspberry walnut vinaigrette (Newman’s Own). Insanely delicious. These are the salads I have been missing all summer. It’s time to make up for lost time.

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After lunch, my mom and Abbie came over and we hung out and girl-talked it up for a while outside. As always, I love my family time. :smile:

Dinner: Quinoa with kale basil pesto.

For the pesto: food process two small handfuls of fresh kale, about 2-3 tablespoons (I used 7-8 small leaves) of fresh basil, 1 1/2 tablespoons of garlic olive oil, garlic powder, and salt until well blended. Mix the pesto in with cooked quinoa, top it with parmesan cheese, and you have yourself a winner winner quinoa dinner.

 

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Our evening was spent watching the Olympics. My favorite is still gymnastics, but I am really loving the volleyball (except it makes me so nervous), and synchronized diving. I love it all though, really. My husband’s crazy love for the Olympics is starting to rub off on me a little bit.

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The second recipe comes from Sunday night. I scanned our fridge for dinner ideas and after seeing the cherries and olives, I thought hmm…I could do something with that.

I remembered a chicken dish that Dana’s mom had made for us a while back that had dried cherries and olives, so I thought I would try to make something of that sort except use fresh cherries instead, since that is what we had on hand.

Ready to see what I came up with?

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Baked Chicken with Cherries and Olives

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and cut in half
  • 1/4 cup green olives, sliced
  • 3/4 cup red wine (I used a red zinfandel)
  • 3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp honey

Directions

  1. Season chicken breasts with garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper.
  2. Use cooking spray to lightly coat a large non-stick skillet; cook chicken over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side, or until the inside is no longer pink; remove from pan.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the hot pan, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Let boil until liquids reduce and you are left with about 1/4 inch of sauce in the bottom of the pan.
  4. Return chicken back to pan, allow to heat through for 5 minutes, and serve warm.

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This dish paired well with quinoa and would be great with a side of steamed green beans as well. It could be made for date night, a dinner party, or even just a casual Sunday evening. Have fun with it!

Happy Tuesday!

Question of the Day: What is your favorite go-to summer lunch?

Cute Little Turkey Meatloaves

Oh, happy day, oh happy day! Let’s give a woot woot for Friday! I have a ferocious appetite this Friday morning–I don’t know what’s up with that, but I’m feedin’ it. I have a great recipe to share with you all from last night, but first I want to share a few bits and pieces from Thursday.

The past couple of days I was at a conference for work. The conference was held on the U of Minnesota campus and believe it or not, I had never really been on campus. I’ve been to the U of M but never actually walked around the campus. It is beautiful and BIG!

On the first day, I slightly underestimated the amount of traffic there would be, and was running a twinge late. Then, when I made it to my destination, I had the challenge of finding the parking ramp. I finally found the parking ramp after making a couple of rounds around the area. Once I parked, I made sure to record where I had parked by snapping a photo.

Does anyone else do this? It’s especially essential for me to either take a photo or write down where I parked when I’m in a bit of a frenzy as I was that day, otherwise I will never remember where I parked, and ramps are incredibly confusing to me. I actually wasn’t planning to post that photo but it turned out to be kind of neat. The photo was from day 1, and on day 2, I made sure to park in the exact same spot.

On Day 2 (yesterday), I was in a much calmer mood walking onto campus since I was now familiar with where to park, which building to go to, and which room the conference was in. I even packed a backpack to carry all of my stuff so that I didn’t have to look like the crazy person about to drop a purse, a lunch bag, a binder, and a sweater as she sweats her way to the parking ramp at the end of the day, which was me the day before.

I definitely looked like a student, and felt like a student again, walking on to campus with my backpack, and confidently knowing right where I was supposed to go. It felt great.

In that ol’ backpack of mine (Dana’s actually), I packed all of my running gear and my lunch. Once we got let out for our hour-long lunch break, I quickly changed into my running gear and hit the road. There was a sidewalk right along the river that I ran right along, and the views were gorgeous. I got a couple of stanky wiffs of dead fish, but even with that, it was beautiful.

I’m not used to running mid-day or afternoon for that matter, so it felt very hot to me, but there was a nice breeze that helped to keep me cooler. It couldn’t have been a more perfect afternoon.

I have noticed that I am not in the best running shape anymore. I haven’t been running as much lately due to minimal energy and discomforts from the U.C., but small runs here and there have been feeling okay. I will get my running juice back, I just need to work up to it again.

Yesterday on my lunch run, I covered just under 3 miles. Then, I headed to my car to blast the AC, cool down, and eat my lunch, before heading back to the conference. I was so proud of myself for going for a run during break. It helped to keep me feeling warm(er) during the afternoon in the freezing cold auditorium, and also helped keep me awake. Another plus is that I didn’t have to go to the gym afterwards which is really great because I didn’t get home until nearly 6:00, and I was HUNGRY.

Dinner

My foodie brain had wandered during the morning portion of the conference, and I had created our dinner meal in my head. I texted Dana, “Mini turkey meatloaf and grilled zucchini and artichokes?” His reply, “num.” When I got home Dana had done a lot of the prep work for me already: chopped the carrots, onion, green olives, zucchini sticks, mushrooms (I added this idea later after that first text), and lastly artichoke hearts. I got to work on the rest of the prep and came up with a seriously tasty recipe for you all. No need to dilly dally, here it is!

Cute Little Turkey Meatloaves (makes 7 muffin sized loaves)

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup carrots, diced finely
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced finely
  • 1/4 cup olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • a dash of cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • ketchup or BBQ sauce (I used homemade SCD BBQ sauce)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°**. Prepare 7 muffin tins by spraying with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In medium bowl, use hands to combine all ingredients except ketchup/BBQ sauce. Do not overmix.
  3. Press mixture into prepared muffin cups, leaving 1/4-1/2 inch on the top.
  4. Spread 1-2 heaping tablespoons of sauce over each loaf.
  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes**.
  6. Broil on high for 3 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy these cute little loaves.

**I used the convection bake setting on my oven and baked the loaves for 35 minutes. Since convection can contribute to shorter cooking times, I extended the range of cooking time from 35-45 minutes because I realize not everyone has the convection option. Keep an eye on your loaves. Since they are in miniature sized versions, they don’t take too long to bake.

 

Of course I smothered my turkey loaf with even more sauce, but they don’t necessarily need more! Alongside the turkey we served grilled zucchini, mushrooms, and artichokes sprinkled with a touch of salt.

 

I went back for another loaf. This dinner was the bomb, like tick tick. LOVED IT. Please make these. They are perfect for kids too!

For dessert, this happened…

Dana made us up a batch of strawberry banana soft serve and it was just what I needed to end my night.

I am off to get a workout in as well as a couple of errands. Tonight I have plans with my girlies and I am pretty pumped about it! Catch you later gators. :wink:

 

I’m a Saucy Gal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BBQ Sauce (SCD-friendly, Gluten-free)

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Banana Cookies & Feeling The Love

Could we please slow this weekend down a bit? It is FLYING by and I’m not okay with that!

We had a great day yesterday…

I set my alarm for 7:00 am with the hopes that I would be motivated to get out of bed and get a run in to begin the day. Well, the alarm went off at 7, but I just wasn’t having it. Although I think I only slept for another 15 minutes after that, I was happy with my decision to skip the workout yesterday. I officially declared it a rest day.

After I rolled out of bed and showered up, I made myself a tasty comfy belly breakfast: banana with homemade almond butter and a touch of honey.

Then it was time to finish getting all prettied up before hitting the road for our friend’s Kari and Tony’s wedding. I’ve been friends with Kari since 1st grade. She is one of the most genuine, kind-hearted, and thoughtful people I know. I was very excited to help them celebrate their special day.

The Ceremony

As I mentioned yesterday, the morning started off very rainy, and it was still sprinkling when we were walking into the ceremony at 10:00 am, but after the ceremony, it started clearing out. The ceremony was beautiful. Kari was glowing with happiness and Tony was cool, calm, and beaming as they exchanged vows. They chose a song called “I Will Be Here” to be sung during the unity sand part of the ceremony, and this was a song that Dana and I had also chose to be sung at our wedding ceremony. I couldn’t help but be brought back to my own wedding. I teared up several times because 1. You could see and feel the love between Kari and Tony and it was so real, and 2. I was able to reminisce about my own wedding and remember the joyful moments. I am such a sap, wow. I love weddings.

Reception

We had about an hour in between the ceremony and needing to be to the reception, so we headed home and hung out with Moose. On our way to the reception, we dropped him off at the groomers’ to get a full on doggy shampoo and brush out. OMG he was stanky…and I mean so bad that I couldn’t even touch him. Poor dog. I think it was from all the swimming the weekend before. He’s just not used to it, and his skin and body oils couldn’t keep up. I don’t know. That’s just my guess. But he was rank.

At 12:30, we made it to the loading dock on Harriet Island in St. Paul. Their wedding reception was on a boat on the Mississippi! How cool right?

But first, we had to get a photo in front of the building behind us because this is where our dear friends Adam and Stacy had their wedding reception. I boogied the night away right inside that building. A lot of great memories there.

Next, it was time to board.

We boarded at 12:30 and took our seats.

For lunch, a “brunch” style buffet was served. There was french toast, muffins, potatoes, eggs, bacon, and fresh fruit. Another first wedding experience for me was having a brunch. Very cool! I was even able to stick to SCD by eating scrambled eggs, bacon, and fresh fruit. Bring on the protein!

However, I will not tell a lie…I ate a piece of wedding cake. That is not SCD legal, but I decided I wanted to live a little and went for it. I didn’t have any repercussions but this isn’t to say I will eat cake every day. I will admit though, that cake was TASTY! Num.

After lunch and the speeches, Dana and I made our way to the top of the boat where there was open air and a nice cool breeze. At this point, the sun was completely out and it was just perfect outside. We cruised the Mississippi for three hours.

Then it was time for the first dance. We made our way back down to watch. Isn’t she stunning?

Then back outside we went to cool off again. I had the chance to catch up with my long time friend, Malia who I have known since I was 3 years old. We met at dance class and ironically, my dad and her mom went to grade school together. After we met in dance, we went to school together through 6th grade and have been friends since. We still keep in touch and I love her to pieces. It’s always great to see that gorgeous girl.

We deboarded the boat at about 4:00, and wished the newlyweds well once more before heading home. We picked up Moose on the way home. He looks like a stud, and no longer smells at all. We have our boy back. Now I can hug him and kanoodle him again. :smile:

Dinner?

I wasn’t really in the mood for anything in particular for dinner, so I made it a snacky kind of night. I ate watermelon, cooked carrots, almond butter, and then I made these…

This was definitely a cookie experiment as I wasn’t using a recipe. I threw some ingredients into a bowl, baked them up, and crossed my fingers for a decent outcome.

Banana Cookies (Grain-free, SCD)

Ingredients

  • 2 very ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick cooking mat.
  2. In small bowl mix to combine flour, baking soda, and cinnamon; set aside.
  3. In medium bowl beat together bananas, egg, vanilla, and honey.
  4. Add flour to banana mixture; mix until combined.
  5. Drop cookies onto baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 19-21 minutes. Cookies will be lightly golden on the bottom and tops are firm but soft.

I immediately said that these would be 100 times better if they had chocolate chips in them, but since that’s a no-no with the SCD, I opted out. But even without the chocolate, they were pretty good! They taste like a softer, lighter version of banana bread. Dana and I ate half the batch last night if that tells you anything. If you are looking for a gluten-free, SCD-friendly cookie recipe, I would give this one a shot! It was super easy too.

Alright, it’s Sunday Funday which means we have some grocery shopping to do. Catch up with you all soon! Happy Day!

Kiss Me, I’m Nuts

Oo la la looky what I have! Fresh green beans from our garden! They are so crisp and wonderful. The tomatoes are popping up like crazy too but not quite ready to be picked. I love having fresh veggies right in the backyard.

In the back I pulled fresh beans, in the front I snagged a box full of almond flour from nuts.com. By snagged, I mean I bought a box of almond flour; 25 lbs to be exact. Check out the awesome box it came in. This should be a theme box for my blog; so cute and nutty. :wink: I especially love “Kiss me, I’m nuts.”

I priced it out and found that it was a better deal to order the almond flour in bulk, versus buying smaller individual packages from the local stores (which wasn’t surprising). Also, I really wanted almond flour, not almond meal, and buying individually packed almond flour in the store is ridiculously expensive, so this was definitely the way to go.

That is quite the load of flour!

With the help of my trusty assistant Dana, we bagged the flour into gallon freezer bags and placed all of the bags into the freezer except for one. Thank goodness we have a large freezer in the garage.

As for that bag of flour I left out, I had baking plans. I wanted to see how the SCD bread would bake up with the almond flour compared to the almond meal that I have been using. I made two loaves so that I could freeze one for another time.

And the verdict? I like the bread better with this almond flour. It is less crumbly which makes it easier to eat. The taste is pretty much the same though.

That was a quick recap from a couple of days ago…now on to yesterday.

For breakfast, I sliced myself up a big ol’ piece of that fresh loaf of bread, topped it with homemade almond butter and a drizzle of honey. Almond on almond…mmm love it.

 

Lunch at work was nothing to write home about. I made myself a bowl of SCD yogurt with a banana, and cooked carrots. After work I headed to the gym and snacked on watermelon on the way. At the gym, I hopped on an elliptical and sweated it out for 35 minutes or so.

Not long after I got home from the gym, I was pretty darn hungry. I grabbed a couple of handfuls of cherries to tide me over. I used our cherry pitter to help me enjoy the delicious reds even more. Eating a cherry without the pit in there is fantastic! With the pit is fine too you just can’t enjoy it as much because you are weeding out the pit. The cherry pitter was a wedding gift and it was a great one at that.

 

Dana and I were both hungry at about 5:00 so we decided instead of more snacking, we would just go ahead and make dinner. We fired up the grill and cooked up two very lean round steaks (I think that’s what they were). We also cooked some mushrooms to top our steaks. I served myself another helping of cooked carrots, which btw are really starting to grow on me, and Dana had a side of broccoli.

What’s that red stuff on my plate you ask? It’s ketchup of course. I like ketchup with steak sometimes.  Is that weird? My homemade ketchup actually kind of tastes like Heinz 57, so it wasn’t weird to me at all.

 

It was a simple, nutritious, and tasty meal. Simple is definitely the way to go on a Friday night. Success.

The rest of the night was spent hangin’ with the boys, painting my toe nails, and getting ready for a wedding we are going to today. Right now it’s raining out, and I’m hoping for the bride’s sake that it stops by the afternoon. No matter what though, it will be a beautiful celebration! I am excited to help celebrate with them today.

I hope you all have a great Saturday! Catch up with you soon dudes.

 

Feeling Overwhelmed

Happy Thursday to all!

Let’s talk about this Specific Carbohydrate Diet for a second. I’d be lying if I said the SCD has been easy. It hasn’t quite been two weeks yet but I can honestly say I am exhausted from it already. The biggest issue I’m having is simply finding enough time to do all of the food prep, not to mention clean up afterwards, especially since I am still going in to work. This diet looks into every last ingredient in a food item, which means I have to make all of my dressings and sauces from scratch and then there’s the meals of course, snacks, bread, crackers, etc. This is obviously pretty time consuming, and not the most practical in my life. I may be speaking out of sheer exhaustion right now, but I am thinking I may convert to a more modified version of the SCD. I have some thinking to do.

First things first. A recap from yesterday.

In the morning I wasn’t feeling the best, but I still wanted to attempt a run. I went into the run telling myself it was okay to walk if need be. I started off in a slow jog and continued that pace for a couple of miles. I kept my route real close to home in case I needed to make it home quickly, and towards the end of the 2nd mile, I really wasn’t feeling too well, so I made my way home. I still managed to work up a nice sweat in that short period of time. Although it was only two miles, like I say, two miles is better than no miles at all.

I wasn’t hungry for breakfast which rarely happens. I think it can be attributed to my cookie monster fiasco the night before. I knew I had to eat something before work and it needed to be substantial enough to hold me over for four hours until lunch. I made cinnamon honey peanut butter alongside a banana. That did the trick.

For lunch, I still wasn’t very hungry (again, cookie monster), but I made myself a plate of cooked carrots, pulled chicken, and topped it with homemade honey mustard.

I had to work late again last night so once I got home, I was finally hungry. It was just a matter of making dinner that sounded like the biggest task in the world. Not only could I not decide what sounded good, I also didn’t want to be spending the next 45 minutes in the kitchen, so I needed to choose wisely. We still had lettuce cups leftover from the Thai lettuce cups, so I started off with that idea in mind. Then, I began sautéing carrots, zucchini, spinach, and mushrooms which I spiced up with basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Once they were thoroughly cooked, I placed a heaping spoonful of veggies on top of three lettuce cups and topped them with pulled chicken.

I thought I would leave it at that, but the meal was tasting pretty bland to me (I feel like this has been a common theme lately), so I topped the remaining two lettuce cups with a small dollop of peanut butter.

I am starting to think I could add peanut butter to anything and I would enjoy it: a sock, a shoe….anything. :wink:  This minor addition to the meal improved the dish a little, but this still wasn’t my most favorite ever. But, it wasn’t so bad either. I am just really missing my sauces, especially soy sauce in this case. I am a saucy gal. Dinner tasted very  fresh and healthy, I just don’t think it was really what I was in the mood for.

For dessert, I controlled myself and had only two of the cinnamon cookies. I also made up a batch of honey almond butter and had a few samples of that, you know, to make sure it tasted okay.

Today is my Friday of work because I have tomorrow off. I am really looking forward to it. I feel like after vacation, the week back is always so exhausting and really wears you out.

Back to the SCD.  I will be updating you soon on my decision to possibly deviate slightly from the plan. It is important to remember that each person and each case is different, and each individual heals differently and at varying rates. I know this may not seem like a good idea to those of you reading this who have been following the diet for quite some time, but it may be what I need to do in order to maintain my sanity, control my stress level, and enjoy my summer fully. If anything I would continue to eat grain-free, but I may look into buying some store-bought dressings and sauces. I would scan the ingredient labels carefully and try to stick to ones that were the closest to “legal.” I am trying to remain as stress-free as possible, but this diet is really starting to exhaust me, and I think these minor changes would help me to not feel so overwhelmed, and would help me to heal.

I don’t want to discourage anyone out there who is following this diet exactly as it is supposed to be followed. I strongly admire those of you who have been following this for years or even months. Your dedication is truly something that should be recognized. I will continue the SCD and continue to support all of you who are following the SCD.

I am off for the day! I’m keeping my head up, and I hope you all are too. The sun is shining, and I just finished my morning cup o’ Jo. Have a great day.

Kabobs and Family Time

Well, we survived Monday! I always feel a sense of accomplishment from making it through my least favorite day. :smile:

Breakfast

For breakfast I made a bowl of yogurt with honey and bananas and drank a cup of weak coffee (that’s allowed!).

Lunch

Pulled chicken with honey mustard dressing and cooked carrots with a touch of honey and salt.

And a half a ‘naner with peanut butter, plus 2 more bites of peanut butter with some homemade SCD crackers.

Dinner

After work, I headed to mom and dad’s to enjoy our last evening with Jeff before he headed back to Colombia.

Kevi and I were wearing the same shirt last night so of course my nerdy self had to snap a photo. Wooo Warriors! Thanks for humoring me so often, Kev. You’re such a good sport.

For dinner mom and dad were busy making and grilling shrimp and chicken kabobs. The copious amount of food looks like they were feeding an army, but in reality, I would say all but one of those bad boys got eaten. There were a lot of men at our house! We had Dad, Grandpa, Jeff, Kevin, and Dana all there, and they were hungry. Mom and I didn’t do so bad ourselves either. This is basically what our food quantities looked like growing up with three teenage boys and my dad around the house. Mom would always joke that her paycheck went right to the groceries.

I asked mom and dad to keep mine and Dana’s separate because we have to be careful with our sauces and seasonings with the SCD. I found a “jerk seasoning” in their cupboard that had all legal ingredients, so I sprinkled our kabobs with that prior to grilling. The seasoning definitely had a kick but it wasn’t too spicy that I couldn’t handle it.

On the kabobs: bell pepper, mushroom, shrimp, zucchini (no skin thanks to mom), chicken, and onion.

I had at least one and a half of these plus a whole lot of watermelon. We had so much fun together last night. We sat around for a couple of hours and chatted away, and amidst our conversation I came to the conclusion that if I were stuck on a deserted island and could only have one food item, mine would totally be peanut butter. If I had two food items, it would be peanut butter and banana. Dad’s would be hot dogs. That still cracks me up! Grandpa’s would be roast beef, Dana’s would be a club sandwich on sourdough but everyone decided that was too complex and that’s cheating, mom would want lobster, and Kevin and Jeff both were being too difficult to give me a straight answer. Jeff said Whole Foods Market and Kevin said a sandwich full of steak and chicken and meatballs,and veggies, etc.

After our imaginative conversations, it was time for us to hit the home-front .We said our good-bye’s and Jeff gave us a gift he brought from Colombia: Colombian coffee. Oh yes. I am excited to break into that! It’s always hard saying good-bye, but this one was a little easier knowing I was going to be seeing him in the Fall, and being that time has been absolutely FLYING by, I know it won’t seem like long. We sure love having him home though!

It was such a great night with the family, we were just missing our Scotty. Jeffrey, can’t wait to see you in the Fall but feel free to come home before that if you want though. :wink: I love my family so much I can’t even begin to explain. I feel so lucky.

Have a terrific Tuesday. I’ll catch up with you later. Oh and btw, not too happy with the Bachelorette outcome last night…

Question of the day: What one food item would you choose if you were stuck on a deserted island?

Not Quite a Warrior, More Like a Pansy

Hello there! Happy Sunday to all. I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend. Mine has been busy, but a lot of fun.

Saturday Morning: Warrior Dash

It was Warrior Dash morning which meant I was going to have my typical pre-race meal: perfectly ripe banana with a light smear of Smart Balance peanut butter.

I gathered the first set of troops for a “I-just-got-out-of-bed-but-let’s-do-this” pre-race photo.

We made our way to Afton Alps and picked up some of our friends on the way. Parking cost $20 so we figured we would pack everyone in to one vehicle to cut the cost, and hey, we were going green too. The parking scene was an obstacle in itself–driving through farms, weaving around cones, riding over some seriously bumpy terrain; it was actually hysterical. Once we parked, we took a shuttle bus over to the race.

Here is my brother Kevi, and our friends Matt and Steph.

Dana and I, and behind us are our friends Adam and Stacy. Peace.

We arrived super early, which I love. We went and picked up our bib numbers, timing chips, t-shirts, and warrior headgear. We then had plenty of time to relax, pin our numbers on, use the facilities a couple of times, and snap some clean pre-race photos with our group.

Being that I have not been feeling my best lately, I was slightly nervous that this race wasn’t going to be a good idea. I become fatigued very easily, I feel weak, and my stamina isn’t where it could be, and mostly, I was afraid to be far from the restrooms. That’s the ugly truth. Not only that, I felt very sick the night before. I woke up Saturday morning feeling pretty good though, and mornings are usually better for me than night-time when there isn’t a whole lot of food being digested yet, so I decided to give it a go.

Off to the race we went. The first obstacle was a bunch of car tires tied up in a bunch, and you had to run through them kind of like you were playing football and knocking through everyone. I liked that one but that’s probably because I was the first one to run through and didn’t get knocked in the face by any of the swinging tires. :smile:

Let’s see the rest of the obstacles from what I remember:

  • Balance beam that slanted up down up down.
  • Climbing wall with uneven foot holdings and a slanted top which made it challenging to climb over.
  • Cargo net wall
  • Snow blowers set with water that basically blind you as you run through
  • Crawl under barbed wire on rocky grounds
  • Slightly slanted wall with rope to pull yourself up and over
  • Grassy steep hill and rope to pull yourself up
  • Hurdles and barbed wire so you had to go over a hurdle and then under a barbed wire, over a hurdle, under barbed wire, etc.
  • Water slide!
  • Jumping over fire twice
  • Mud pit
But the most challenging part of the race wasn’t the obstacles, it was BY FAR the insane amount of hills. In between the obstacles was 3 miles of “running” through the grassy, truly beautiful views of Afton Alps, but I would say (and I don’t think I’m exaggerating) that 60% of the running part was uphill. And I don’t mean little bunny hills, I mean crazy steep hills that even the most incredibly in-shape person would struggle to run up. My team walked most of the hills and even walking them was hard for me! I kept losing my breath and had one scary moment where I couldn’t catch my breath at all and felt like I was beginning to hyperventilate. This happened to me during the half marathon as well. I think what happens is when I begin to feel so short of breath, I begin to panic and the panic only makes the breathing more difficult. It is such a scary feeling though, not being able to catch your breath. The group I was with was so supportive and everyone kept cheering each other the entire way.
The race ends with the mud pit where you have to crawl on your elbows in 1-2 feet of wet mud under a barbed wire. This year they sprayed us with a hose while we crawled, which made it even more messy (but so fun!). Dana and I were very cliché thanks to me, and held muddy hands through the finish line.
We all finished in one piece. Kevin completely tore it up and finished probably 25 minutes before we did. Next year I tell ya, he is taking the prize. Seriously. (BTW the guy on the left in this photo is Stu, and he is Matt and Adam’s uncle and a friend of ours as well. He wasn’t in the previous photos).

After all the muddy shots, we headed to the rinse area where they had a snow-making machine shooting out a thick mist of water. It was very cold but felt good to get all the muck and dirt off! We then donated our shoes, dried off in the sun, and headed home.

I don’t know if I’m a true warrior. I’m more of a pansy, but I still finished the race. :smile: Intestinally speaking, I was fine during the race, but I could tell my stamina wasn’t where it used to be. My body is fighting hard right now and I understand that, so just completing the race at all was a big accomplishment for me.

Wedding Reception

Dana, Kev, and I had a wedding reception to get to. We showered up, making sure to clean out the mud in the ears, and headed to my cousin Mike and Jess’ wedding reception. They got married in Mexico in March and are having their reception back home to celebrate with everyone. It was set up in a large outdoor shelter near a public lake. It was so nice to be outside; it was a little hot, but I kind of liked it. They had the reception catered with the great classic barbecue foods: burgers, brats, chicken, beans, watermelon, pasta salads, and lettuce salad. I didn’t snap a photo of my lunch but I had a few bites of chicken, a half a burger, and a huge lettuce salad with mustard.  Mike and Jess did a wonderful job planning for the reception. Thanks for a great time!

At this point in time, I was completely beat, but Dana and I had a few errands we needed to run. It started with what was going to be a quick trip to our nearby natural food store, but we ended up having to make a trip to Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s in search of almond flour among other very particular items. If you’re looking for almond meal/flour, Trader Joe’s has the BEST deal. The other stores had the almond flour as well but it was about double the cost.

For dinner, I ate 1 1/2 leftover turkey burgers from Friday night with a side salad.

I think the burgers tasted even better the second time around!

The rest of the evening was spent with some food preparation.  Tomorrow’s post is going to be a big one. I am beginning a new way of eating, I don’t like the word diet so I am going to try and not call it that. It is going to heal my colitis, I know it is. I have already begun to feel better and I have only just started the process. I can’t wait to break it down for you, so check back tomorrow! I don’t mean to leave you high and dry, but there is a lot that goes into it, and I want to make sure I have adequate time to tell you everything I need to tell you. I have tomorrow off of work so it will be the perfect opportunity.

Alright, off to hopefully cut some awesome coupons. Have a great Sunday!

Sweet and Savory Burgers

Warriors, unite. It’s time for the Warrior Dash!

I am going to be tearing up hills, climbing over walls, crawling through mud, and running through the grassy course at Afton Alps today. I cannot wait to fill you in and hopefully share some good pictures with you.

Friday Breakfast

A classic of mine: banana and PB2.

Lunch 

I was at a conference for work, and they served an impressive taco bar. I didn’t take a photo unfortunately but I can tell ya it looked and tasted great. I loaded my plate with chicken, lettuce, cilantro, tomato, corn, black beans, onions, and salsa. For dessert I ate a small serving of sweet compote with blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries.

In the afternoon we ran a few errands and I munched on sugar snap peas and almonds. I am really anxious to tell you about the “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” book I mentioned to you yesterday. Melanie is going to be cleaning her gut, in a very healthy way. More to come so soon!

Dinner

Sweet and Savory Turkey Burgers (I didn’t measure exactly)—recipe idea from this site.

  • lean ground turkey*
  • 1 small apple peeled, cored and grated
  • 1/4 cup or less onion, grated
  • celery seed
  • dried sage
  • chives
  • black pepper
*You can substitute lean ground beef or ground chicken

I crunched on some watermelon before dinner. Note my fashionista outfit I’m sporting. You can usually find me in something of these sorts while I am home. I am all about the comfies.

I assembled the burgers, and Dana cooked them to perfection on the grill.

Such a great team. I plated my burger up with a small salad with olives and honey mustard, and two slices of cheddar cheese. Look, it’s a Christmas tree!

The rest of the night was spent getting ready for the Warrior Dash, painting my toe nails, and playing with the pooch.

We have a busy day ahead of us. Can’t wait to tell you about it! Have an AWESOME Saturday. :smile: