Zucchini Bread & Adjustments for Health

Goood morning to you all. Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start.

I have some news to share. After my colon “procedure” vaguely mentioned a couple of weeks ago here, I have not been feeling well on the U.C. front. My body is having a hard time recovering from the invasiveness of the procedure and I feel like my progress in feeling better was set back about a month. Besides that, I have deviated further than had planned from the SCD and/or Paleo diet, specifically on the added sugar part.

After Friday’s absolutely amazing date night, I woke up Saturday morning feeling pretty darn sick. I felt awful all day. My body was not happy with me.

It’s time for change folks. I am regaining control and made a decision Saturday morning that I was going back to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I am not starting at day 1 and beginning the whole thing from scratch, I will beginning somewhere around 1 month in. My body is used to the significant amounts of fruits and veggies. The biggest part I will be focusing on is watching the added sugars and starchy ingredients on food labels.

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For any new readers, I tried giving the SCD a try a couple of months ago. You can read about some of it here and here. I did my very best to stick with it, but then decided to go the gluten-free route instead because I felt like I wasn’t seeing the progress I had hoped for especially given all of the effort I was putting into it.

This diet involves A LOT of food prep, and I think with all the activities of summer, wanting to be outside all of the time (versus in the kitchen), and the immediate stress of beginning the diet, I just couldn’t keep up with it.

I am going into it this time with a different mindset. I already know what I “can and cannot eat,” I am aware that more time will be spent in the kitchen, I learned last time that I need to make large batches of foods and freeze them to cut down on future kitchen time, and mostly, I need to remember WHY I’m doing this. I want to be healthy again. This flare has lasted way too long.

This time around I will not be so hard on myself if I slip once and a while. I’m not perfect and it’s bound to happen. I also am going to be aware that this diet may not work for me, and if it doesn’t, then that’s okay, I will continue to adjust my diet so that I figure it out one day. I sure hope it works though!

Prior to the colon procedure a couple of weeks ago, I was feeling so much better. At that time I was following a mostly SCD and slightly Paleo diet, the only thing I was slipping up on was the chocolate. I was eating it daily. It’s one of my favorite treats and I’m hoping in the future I will be able to incorporate it into my diet again.

So that’s what’s happening over in my Beautifully Nutty home. Basically I spent a lot of time in the kitchen Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday

On Saturday Dana and I went grocery shopping, went to the Farmer’s Market, got the car washed, did laundry, and cleaned all of the windows in our house inside and out. It was a busy active “rest” day. I also made some “fauxmeal” raisin cookie bites. Num.

Breakfast: 1 egg and egg white omelette with sautéed bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms, topped with avocado, cilantro, and salsa.

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Lunch: Sugar snap peas, an apple, and homemade zucchini bread (SCD) with homemade cashew butter and honey…recipe at bottom of post!

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Dinner: almond crackers that I burnt to a crisp(!) and tomato and olive bruschetta topping that we bought from Target a while back. All ingredients on the label are SCD friendly.

Such an ugly photo! Bleh! But it tasted great!

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Sunday

Breakfast on Sunday looked like Saturday’s with another piece of zucchini bread with cashew butter and honey.

I made my way to the gym (haven’t been there much lately) and jogged for 35 minutes on the elliptical then hit the weights for a back and bicep workout. I managed 6 hands and toes push ups yesterday! Just 4 more to go to reach my goal of 10 normal (non-knee) push ups before the end of the month!

Lunch: Apple carrot salad with a homemade rosemary honey mustard vinaigrette. Then a large spoonful of cashew butter.

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While I ate my salad I got to working on making some homemade apple sauce. This was so incredibly easy and I will share the recipe with you soon.

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In the afternoon I brought up the fall stuff from the basement and realized I have about 5 fall items to decorate my house with. Lame. I just may need to hit up the craft store with my coupons and get some more??!

I took the pup for a 3 mile walk around our neighborhood in the afternoon.

Dinner:

For dinner I headed over to mom and dad’s which is always such a nice treat. Mom and dad made pork chops, asparagus, and summer squash. I made myself a honey mustard topping for my pork chop.

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It was a really amazing weekend once again. I have the day off work today and plan to do some more food prep, hopefully relax a bit so I can HEAL, and run a couple of errands. I had planned on running today but am going to keep that tentative and see how I feel. I need to learn how to RELAX.

Here is the SCD Zucchini Bread Recipe!!

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread (SCD Legal): Makes 2 Loaves

Ingredients

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. all spice
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 cups zucchini, shredded and drained of liquid
  • 2 over ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease two standard bread loaf pans; set aside.
  2. In medium bowl combine dry ingredients.
  3. In large bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Add remaining wet ingredients; mix until well combined.
  4. Gradually add dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
  5. Divide batter into each prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 55-60 minutes until toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean and top of bread begins to brown.

The bread tastes great toasted, plain, with cashew butter, peanut butter, butter, apple butter…get creative!

Have a happy, healthy day.

Health Update & Goals

Happy Wednesday to you all! The weather is a little gloomy here this morning which makes me want to do this all day…

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But no such luck. This girls gotta make money money, make money money money. So off to work for Melanie. A girl can dream though, right?

Health Update

It’s been a little while since I have updated you all on the gastrointestinal status. For those of you who are new to Beautifully Nutty, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at the age of twelve, and dealing with “flares” and long lengths of remission since then. I am in a current “flare” state and have been since the beginning of May or so. You can read more about it here as well.

I have been receiving medical help since the moment I knew I was starting to flare back in May. I have tried various medications, I have made changes to my diet, but I am still sick. In the past it was normal for me to be sick for this longer period of time, but I feel like now that I have better control over my diet, activity, and try to decrease stressors in my life, that I should be able to regain control faster, but no such luck so far.

This past month, my doc (who I really do like and respect) has been doing some further investigation in the forms of lab tests and procedures, frequent follow-ups, etc. He has casually concluded that I have “indeterminate colitis” meaning my signs and symptoms appear to look like ulcerative colitis as well as Crohn’s. Since he can’t exactly distinguish between the two in my case, because they are so much alike, it’s called indeterminate and he can hardly say it is a definite diagnosis. The good news is my small intestine is healthy and unaffected otherwise my treatment options would have changed dramatically. With the consensus of my doctor and I, we have decided to continue me on my current treatment. Prior to the “intrusions” last week in my colon, I was starting to feel a lot better on that treatment, and I think it will work again. The colon was just reirritated after all of the investigating happening.

The good news: My energy level has improved greatly. A month ago, I wanted to rest my head on my desk at work around 2 pm, now I am completely fine until the end of the day, and even at night-time, I’m not crashing as hard as I was. The other good news is I am continuing to follow a gluten-free diet which I REALLY feel is helping me to feel better. I plan to continue on it for a while. Who knows, maybe I’ll follow it forever. I honestly don’t find it challenging at all. I am okay with skipping on breads and crackers, that means more fruits and veggies for me!

We continue to experiment with my what works and what doesn’t which sounds kind of scary when put into those words, but I do appreciate my doctor’s approach. He is all about preventative care, which being a Registered Dietitian, I am too, and I like having that common ground. He presents his knowledge to me and offers options for the next steps. Together, we decide on the next plan of action, and he would never say, “this is what we’re doing and you don’t have a say in it.” It is my body after all.

My last rant…

Over the past couple of months, I have decreased the intensity of my workouts. I didn’t have the energy to lift weights, to run often, etc. I had enough stamina for low-impact activities like walking and light calisthenics but not a whole lot of energy for much else. Now that I am starting to feel better again, I am beginning to increase intensity in my workouts but only slightly. I am noticing how much strength and stamina I have lost. I know I will get it back.

I began the September push-up challenge to encourage myself to do at least 10 push-ups a day. I have done 10 or more every day except for one, when I had an intensive doctor appointment. This is one way I am rebuilding my strength.

I went for a 3 mile run this morning. It was not easy, but I pushed through. I realize it will take me time to rebuild, and I by no means want to push myself so hard that I get sick. One thing I have learned about myself through this current flare, is that I now know how to listen to my body, or at least have gotten a lot better at it. If I’m not feeling up to a run, then I will walk. If I don’t have the energy to do strength training, then I will do yoga.

Goals for the future:

  1. Get healthy and into remission. Ideally off of the meds, and continue to treat myself through natural remedies.
  2. Increase my running stamina and participate in a 10k.
  3. Continue my daily push ups and soon switch to normal hands and toes push ups versus knees.

How about I start at that?

I am sorry for the long and somewhat scatter-brained post. I just wanted to give you all a heads up on my health and putting it all out there again makes me feel oh so good.

I am a woman on a mission. Mission get healthy(er).

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Have a great day and give it your all!

Motivate Me

Hi there to my wonderful readers!

I’ve had a few set-backs on the workout front lately. This is mainly attributed to the U.C. and associated appointments, but it also the summer coming to an end which has played a roll in my lack of exercise lately. Social gatherings have taken precedence over the gym, and for the time being, considering my health situation, I was okay with that.

Now that I am starting to feel better, and major doc appointments are out of the way, it’s time to get back on track. I know I feel better when I am active, not only physically, but mentally as well.

I have been feeling weak, and I am ready to rebuild my strength.

I thought I would look into Pinterest to get a motivational post up for myself, and maybe for some of you who may be in the same “rut.”

Pinterest, motivate me.

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I could have gone on for pages but I’ll stop at that. Every day is a new day and a new start to something good. We’ve got this.

I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday.

Love,

M

Question: What motivates you?

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!

Prescribe Myself Some Rest

Hi friends! I had so much fun reliving my weekend at the Healthy Living Summit, but I am happy to now be back to normalcy again. In case you missed it, you can catch up on my most recent HLS Boston trip.

Destination Boston HLS12

Shake Out the Nerves: HLS Day 1

Cheers to New Friends: HLS Day 2

Decisions, Decisions: HLS Day 3

It’s time to get back into the groove. You remember how this works right? It’s time for a breakdown of my Wednesday. Here we go.

Breakfast

Overnight Chia Bowl made with:

  • Fage 0% fat Greek yogurt
  • Silk unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • chia seeds
  • stevia
  • blueberries
  • strawberries

I let all of the ingredients except the strawberries mingle together over night, and topped the bowl with fresh strawberries in the morning.

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Lunch

Curry turkey salad over a bed of lettuce. I wrote down the recipe for this one but haven’t decided if I want to share or not because I wasn’t over the top thrilled by it. It was good though don’t get me wrong.

In the mix: celery, onions, turkey breast, grapes, Greek yogurt, and spices.

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Dinner

I stopped at mom and dad’s after work to hang out with them before heading over to meet with some girl friends for So You Think You Can Dance? I munched on some trail mix while relaxing, and then made my way to the table for dinner.

I had a very random, yet delicious dinner: spinach, green beans, and tomato…

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And a half of a banana with peanut butter for some protein which went unphotographed so I used an old photo instead. Perfect!

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The rest of the evening was spent with my girlfriends Amanda, Jules, and Sara. We girl-talked it up, watched SYTYCD, and ate M & M’s (BTW I have been over-doing it on the chocolate lately) while lounging on the couch. I had a great time with them, and always do. Kate, we missed you!

U.C. Update

I was going to end this post with a recipe, but decided to wait on that and give you an update on my Ulcerative Colitis instead. It has now been 3 months that I have been sick and unfortunately, I have to report that I’m still not feeling well. Certain symptoms have subsided such as bloating, which I can mostly attribute to removing gluten from my diet, but other symptoms (which I’ll spare you the details of) are still not under control.

I go through peaks and valleys where I am feeling fairly well for a few days, and then something happens whether it’s stress or a busy weekend, and I am thrown off again.

I am finding my energy level to be very low, so much as I am not working out nearly as much as I used to and it’s becoming less and less of a priority. Sleeping has become the priority, and I am truly trying to honor my body’s request for it.

I am seeing the doctor regularly, eating a very healthy diet, taking my medications as prescribed, sleeping, being active when I can, but the one thing I know need to work on is rest. With the summer being so busy, it is hard to rest. Maybe I should give myself a prescription to rest, then maybe I’ll do it? I’ll work on that. I think this is something that most of us could probably work on, am I right?

My mom reminds me that in the big picture of life, this time in my life is just a small little nick in the frame. With that being said, I must remind myself that not working out is not a big deal right now, and that rest is okay and saying no to invites is okay and that friends will understand. It’s hard to remember that when you are so used to the opposite.

I don’t mean to be a downer but I really wanted you all to get an update because it’s been a little while since I’ve given you one. I continue to try to stay positive, but this is really taking a toll on me. I won’t be sick forever, I can promise you that. I was just hoping to have fought this off already. I’m still me, just a more delicate me. I can’t wait for the day when I can tell you I am in remission and feeling fabulous. Let’s hope it’s soon.

Thank you all for letting me vent. I feel much better. I hope you all have a great Thursday and I look forward to catching up with you again soon!

Shake Out the Nerves: HLS Day 1

Hi friends! I am home sweet home from my trip out to Cambridge, MA for the Healthy Living Summit 2012. I have A LOT to tell you. I was going to try to do a recap of this weekend in one post, but there is absolutely no way I would be able to do that without writing you a novel. So, I’m going to break it down day by day. Bear with me.

Last time I left you I had recapped my day with Dana in Boston. Moving on to Friday….

Friday morning, I was one lazy lady. I slept in, eventually rolled out of bed (I do literally roll out of bed), made myself a cup of joe, and plopped myself in front of the computer for a couple of hours. It felt phenomenal to just sit and relax.

I even ate breakfast in my room. I picked up a vanilla bean non-fat Greek yogurt from Trader Joe’s the night before and enjoyed (a few too many) cinnamon almonds from TJ’s as well.

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Then came the activity

I decided to make something of myself around 11:00, so I jumped into my workout clothes, laced up the ol’ Asics, and made my way to the river. I used MapMyRun to track me through 4 miles. I jogged and walked while enjoying the beautiful views of Cambridge.

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Back at the hotel, I had my first mini mingle with some of the HLS ladies. A fellow blogger Aundra, led a group of us in an outdoor Zumba class. She scoped out a nice shady spot for us just outside of our hotel, and there was a nice breeze to keep us cool as we broke it down.

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Image courtesy of Aundra

She got me sweatin’ and was the cutest, happiest, Zumba instructor I’ve had yet. Such a fun time!

After Zumba, I showered up and headed to the HLS registration tables to pick up my bag-o-swag, and then sat in on a presentation and discussion led by Derek of the blog Greatist.

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Derek emphasized the importance of being your best self, and staying true to who you are in life, and in your blog. His presentation was a great way to kick off the conference, and was a great opportunity to mingle with other bloggers, and discuss ideas with one another.

Let’s talk about this swag bag.

Holy cow I was a little girl on Christmas when I got this bag. Thanks to wonderful sponsors and donations, the gift bag that each attendee received was overflowing with great products from workout headbands and a t-shirt from Five Bamboo, to Organic Granola from Cascadian Farms, Odwalla bars, SoyJoy, and many other great products.

We were also loaded up with coupons for products from Almond Breeze, Wild Harvest ( a HUGE sponsor for this event), Laughing Cow, Stonyfield, and more. Such generous donations and swag bags!

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Oh, and did I mention Reebok? Um, hello! They gave us all a pair of absolutely adorable RealFlex shoes. Are you kidding me? That is amazing! They are so much fun, come in lots of different colors and are very comfortable.

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Thank you for all of the generous gifts!

After scrounging through the goodies, it was time to meet up for another “mini mingle” which was a photo walk around Cambridge. We walked our way to the very famous Fenway Park. Unfortunately we couldn’t look inside, but it was still neat to see the outside of it, and more importantly I had a chance to chat with so many sweet ladies.

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That marked my third sweat session of the day.

Once we got back I was drained, but knew I needed to gather up some last bits of energy because I had a cocktail partAY to attend to.

I neglected to really take any photos of the cocktail party, except for this awkward one which was taken in my room beforehand…

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I was all nerves walking into the cocktail party as I did not know a soul except for a few people I had spoken with throughout the day. When I am placed in situations where I don’t know anyone, I tend to get shy. It forces me out of my comfort zone and I realize that sometimes this is the only way a person can grow and get over the uncomfortable feeling. It’s good for me.

I approached the first friendly welcoming person I could find, and within minutes I was engaging in conversations left and right with fellow healthy living enthusiasts. Being that we all have so much in common, it was very easy to keep conversation flowing. I was meeting so many great people with interesting things to say!

The only thing weighing me down was that my energy level was at a 3 out of 10. My body was working over time to keep me going. I wanted to enjoy the moment though so I kept pulling through. 

At around 9:00, I managed to spill my glass of red wine all down the front of my tan skirt. I was that girl. Womp wooooommmmp. I used my clutch to cover it up as I quickly made my way up to my room. Embarrassing.

A little cold water and white bar soap, and I worked that stain right out.

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So here I am in my hotel room at 9:00 pm, the party is still going on downstairs, I’m debating what to wear if I go back down to the party, I’m feeling very cozy in my gorgeous Hyatt room, and little Ms. Melanie is completely spent.

I made an executive decision right then and there that I was going to stay in the rest of the night. I took the wine on my skirt as a sign that my body was ready to call it a night. After all, I had a very busy day ahead of me, and wanted to be in good shape for it.

I snuggled into bed, and slept sound. I had survived day one, which is the most nerve-racking of them all. SO much more to come. Please stay tuned!

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.

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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.’

The Modified Diet

Hi there! How is everyone holding up this Monday? More importantly, did everyone have a great weekend?

I already filled you in on my wonderful Friday dinner date and Saturday Farmer’s Market adventures, so that leaves us with Sunday.

Breakfast

Toasted almond bread with almond butter and honey, eaten while reading the Sunday paper and clipping coupons with my honey. Eating honey with my honey! Ha!

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It was a rainy morning, and we were feeling pretty lazy. It took us a while to get up and moving, but eventually we pulled ourselves together and hit up the grocery stores for our usual Sunday shenanigans.

Lunch

Running errands really gets my appetite bumping, so when we got home I immediately started heating up leftover Pablanos in the microwave. I dolloped mine with salsa and had a side of cooked carrots with cinnamon on the side.

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I also had an apple without the skin, and a bite or two of almond butter for dessert.

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Then I was off to the gym. I jogged on the elliptical for 40 minutes, changing the incline and resistance every 5 minutes to keep my body guessing. I watched the Olympics and read my magazine during commercials. How perfect!

Dinner

I made baked chicken with cherries and olives in a wine sauce. I’m hoping to share this recipe with you soon; most likely this week at some point. It was very good!

My cooking process could be tweaked a little bit, because it can be made faster than the way I made it, so I think I will provide you with the revised version of the recipe; the way I would make it if I made it again.

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With dinner, I served myself a side of quinoa, yes quinoa a whole grain which is not SCD legal, which leads me to my next topic…

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Specific Carbohydrate Diet and My U.C.

Moving on to more serious matters. If you have been following my blog lately you know that I have been trying my darn best to follow the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) to try to help regulate my current ulcerative colitis flare. If you are new to my blog, welcome!, and you can get caught up on this U.C. stuff real quick (click on the hyperlinks below):

Starting the Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Day 2 of the SCD

Feeling Overwhelmed with the SCD

I am going to be completely and 100% honest with you. My journey with this diet has been has been a bumpy one. After deciding that I was going to give this diet a try, I dove in headfirst. At only 1 week in, I was feeling about 80% better compared to before I began the diet. I was thrilled to be feeling so much better, and although I was finding meal and snack preparation very tedious and challenging being that I leave the home for work, I had decided it was worth it and I was going to stick it out.

Over the course of time however, I had multiple breakdowns. It was mostly because I was absolutely exhausted from all of the food prep and finding myself spending every minute, no more like hour that I had, in the kitchen when I would have much rather been hanging out with Dana or enjoying the weather outside. There were multiple times where I said I can’t do this, but then I continued on with it.

At about week 3-4, things really started to fall apart for me. My symptoms beginning to worsen, and I was beginning to feel very sad and down. I felt like that with all of this work with maintaining this strict diet, that there should be no reason for me to be digressing with my healing. But, I have done plenty of research on this diet and know that these symptoms are very common around this time while on the diet, and that they get better. I do believe this, but I also know that I need to make some changes, because this is not working for me.

What I’m realizing now, is that this diet is actually stressing me out more than I can handle. I have become lethargic and finding myself hesitating to reply to social obligations because I don’t know if I will have enough energy at times. The preparation and strict guidelines are exhausting me and also not fitting in with my lifestyle.

I have tried so hard to stay tough, but in the big picture, I need to make decisions for my body based on what my heart is telling me and what my body is telling me, not what I am reading from an online forum. Everyone is different and everybody reacts differently. I have said it a million times.

I truly support and believe in the SCD and all of the science that backs it up, but for my happiness and sanity, I have decided to deviate very slightly from the SCD. I am still going to follow a very low-carb diet and follow the SCD mostly, but I will explain my modifications.

My Modified Diet

1. Gluten-free Grains: I am going to continue to live as gluten-free as possible and eat minimal grains. On occasion, I will be including gluten-free grains such as quinoa, into my diet. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein and will help me and my non-loving meat ways, to help amp up my protein intake, and hopefully improve my energy as well. This will be the biggest change I make to my diet.

2. Fruits & Veggies: These will continue to make up a large portion of my diet. I am going to continue to experiment with adding fruits and veggies back into my diet. I will see how my body reacts, and progress gradually as I feel appropriate. I may start to include soy back into my diet as well.

3. Meat & Dairy: Nothing will change from the meat category as pretty much all meat is legal. As far as dairy goes, I may be switching to non-fat Greek yogurt or a soy-based yogurt. I may also begin to incorporate store-bought Almond milk. I will mostly stick to SCD cheeses.

4. Sauces and Misc: I will continue to be cautious of ingredients listed on store-bought sauces, however I am not going to limit myself completely to every last legal ingredient in the sauce. I will do my best to find simple sauces with limited additives so as to continue to live a clean diet.

Chocolate! I am going to allow myself to eat chocolate just not in excessive amounts. It is one of my very favorite foods and treats, and it is something that I no longer want to sacrifice. I swear, one bite of chocolate every day will be what heals me eventually. Winking smile

Beverages. I am not much of a “drinker” so this one hasn’t been difficult for me. I enjoy an occasional glass of wine, and this is allowed being that I like “legal” wines for the most part. I may begin to include flavor waters again such as Vitamin Water and Powerade Zero, as I have two full bags of it sitting in the basement from prior to the diet.

Heart on the Line

Writing this plan out for you all to see is slightly terrifying. The last thing I want is for those of you following this diet to think that I am a failure because I’m not following it completely as prescribed or haven’t given it enough time. I just know in my heart, that this is not a good fit for me. I understand that with the addition of some of the illegal foods back into my diet, I am reintroducing some bad bacteria into my gut that my body doesn’t like. I really feel that with these slight modifications, and being that I am still going to stick to a very clean diet and limiting the “bad” stuff, that my body will still continue to heal and I will be able to stick this diet out and feel like myself again.

Food is my passion. I am a foodie. Having to be so selective with my diet isn’t something that fits my lifestyle. I will continue to do my best and make wise choices and will continue to fill you in on my health status along the way. I want to reiterate that I will still be following the SCD most of the time only with slight modifications.

I am tired of being an emotional rollercoaster, and not acting or feeling like myself. I need to take care of me and make decisions that support my best well-being. It’s time to be me again.

This is by far the most challenging post I’ve written thus far. Thank you for supporting me and bearing through this lengthy post. My vulnerable heart has been poured out to you.

I will catch up with you all soon. Enjoy your day!

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:

 

Turning Into a Carrot

Happy Thursday!

So, this post is ALL over the board. I missed a day of blogging so I’m going to try to catch you up on anything I feel is important enough to share.

First of all, this arrived on our doorstep yesterday. My very own food dehydrator. No more spending mega dollars on dried fruit and veggie chips at the store, I’m making my own. You better believe there won’t be any preservatives or added sugars in my dried goods. I can’t wait to get this up and running. I am particularly excited to try to make veggie chips. They will be a great crispy snack, or at least I am hoping they will be.

For dinner Tuesday night I made myself an egg scramble with 1 egg, 1 (or 2?) egg whites, cheddar cheese, and diced avocado. I topped it with Wild Harvest’s Mango Salsa and had a tasty meal in no time. I also ate cooked carrots–I think I am officially turning into a carrot the way I have been eating those bad boys lately.

Wednesday Breakfast

I started my day off yesterday with a cup of coffee and a bowl of cinnamon and honey yogurt.

I was at a conference for work all day and since lunch wasn’t provided, I brought my own of course. I packed cooked carrots, and a banana pancake with almond butter. I also brought an extra banana in case I needed something else, but it turned out that I didn’t eat the banana but should have eaten it, because by 5:00 I was not feeling so hot. I know that if I go too long without eating I tend to bloat, but the conference setting we are in doesn’t make snacking very easy. First of all food and drink are technically “not allowed” in the auditorium we are in, so if I did want a snack I would have to have one outside of the auditorium, and second, it’s so cramped in the stadium seats, that reaching into your bag to dig out a snack makes for quite the tricky task.

 

I don’t want to deal with the bloating again today though, and since I am at the conference again, I’m going to do my best to have snacks in between meals to help tame my gut.

During lunch break, my co-workers and I set out for a walk. It was incredibly humid and hot here yesterday, so we walked at more of a leisurely pace than we normally would. It felt great to stretch the legs for a while after being cramped so long.

After the conference, I had plans to meet up with my girlfriends, so I packed myself a little snacky dinner: cheddar cheese, a hard-boiled egg, more carrots, and honeydew melon.

I headed over to my friend Julie’s house along with my friends Kate and Amanda. We caught up, laughed a lot, watched SYTYCD and completely enjoyed eachother’s company. I love all of those girls so much. Girlfriends are so amazing. Oh, and I cannot forget to mention we also hung out with her two adorable Maltese pups, Ava and Bella. Seriously the cutest little furballs.
This old lady (moi) had to leave the party at 8:30 to get home and pack her lunch for today so she could make sure to hit the hay by 10:00 pm. I need a lot of sleep these days.

I am out of here for the day, unless Moose decides to jump on my computer and write a guest post. :smile: Have a great day every one! It’s looking like a beautiful one around here.