In On the Yoga Action

Last night I couldn’t get enough of this guy.

Moose

Lately I’ve really been into doing some relaxing yoga moves before bed to calm me down and relax my mind and body. Last night Moose wanted in on the action.

He plunked himself down right beside the left side of my yoga mat for about half of the stretching, and then moved himself to the right side of the mat for the rest of it.

Moose yoga

Okay, I’ll be honest, I did more photo taking than I did yoga last night because he was so darn adorable!

melanie and moose yoga

melanie and moose yoga

moose

moose

 

He’s super good at downward dog.

moose

And does a great job with controlling his breaths…

moose     melanie and moose yoga

This guy steals my heart! My little yogi puppy!

Yoga For Healing

In my efforts to chill out from intense workouts as prescribed by the doc, I have taken to a lot of walking; every day I walk for at least 30 minutes either outside with Moose, by myself, with Dana, friends, or on the treadmill. As much as I love to walk, I am in need of more, so I turned to my old friend, the yoga mat. We have an inconsistent relationship with one other but I really do miss her.

ellie review

My friend Kalley actually inspired me to pick it up again when she mentioned that she does relaxing yoga before she goes to bed. I thought that sounded really nice so the next night I pulled out the yoga mat and did just a short five minutes of some relaxing yoga poses. I immediately felt relaxed and fully ready for bed (which was my intention). I slept soundly that night. Last night, I did it again, but this time with a full 30 minutes of relaxed yoga (there’s actually a Yoga on Demand that I followed called Relaxing Yoga). Afterwards I felt cool, calm, and collected and I was really diggin’ this feeling. I slept amazing last night and woke up with no back pain. Now I can’t guarantee 100% that this was all from the yoga, but I do think it helped! I would really like to increase my yoga’ing again.

Now, I tend to have a pattern when it comes to yoga. I will do it for a short while, absolutely love the way I feel, but then completely forget about it. Maybe because I sign up for a road race and then my focus turns to running? I’m not sure. But since I will be cooling it for a while with the intensity, I would really like to make this part of my routine again.

I am officially bringing yoga back into my life. 

I’m debating whether or not to continue doing it in my living room using videos I find on Xfinity on Demand on TV, using Apple TV to follow yoga sessions I find online like on YouTube and such, or joining a yoga studio. The only way I would join a studio is if the classes offered fit my schedule, if it was in a convenient location so I would actually go, and if it wasn’t super spendy. I keep checking out Groupon and LivingSocial and other coupon sites, but haven’t found any yet. Any locals know of any deals happening right now? 

Either way I’m going to get my yoga on; for healing and for health.

I really wish I could be yoga’ing here…

yoga 2

 

Isn’t it serene?! Beautiful.

 

yoga 1

Namaste my friends. Happy weekend to you all!

Do Something for You.

Happy Thursday! It’s time to for some normal posts again.

Yesterday morning I had tentative plans to get a run in on the treadmill, but when I started my walk warmup, my hip was hurting and I decided not to press my luck with the race coming up on Saturday. So, I hopped off the treadmill and headed upstairs to my yoga mat. I haven’t done yoga in a very long time and I know I say this every time but whenever I get a yoga session in again, I always remember how much I love it.

I chose a yoga/pilates OnDemand. It was about a half hour and was pretty fast-moving. Afterwards I felt so refreshed, energized, and stretched out. My body must have been telling me I needed that yoga. Now, don’t forget that feeeling! :smile:

For breakfast I pulled out a gluten-free pumpkin waffle from the freezer. I made a big batch of these last month and froze a few of them for a later time and I’m so glad I did!

I microwaved the waffle to thaw it, and then topped it with some peanut butter and a teeny drizzle of honey. I could swear it tasted better this time around! Probably because I didn’t have to do any cooking this time? FYI I took a couple of bites before I took the photo…I just couldn’t wait!

gf pumpkin waffle

For lunch I had an apple and leftover salad which was made of mixed greens, artichoke hearts, olives, tomatoes, zucchini, parmesan cheese, and olive oil dressing.

salad

The second part of lunch was a banana with peanut butter. Go figure.

Before I went back to work I snapped this photo of Moose because he looked so darn precious. This is his favorite spot to sit and look out the window and snarl at anything that walks by or anything he thinks he sees go by. He’s my watch dog.

moose

I have gotten myself back on this no extra sugars bit now that I am back home and back to reality.

I resisted the Easter jelly beans at work yesterday which was a proud moment for me. There’s something about jelly beans that I really enjoy. It’s not the taste because they don’t taste ALL that great to me, unless they are jolly rancher or starburst jelly beans, but I think it’s the texture. The hard candy coating and the chewy sugary center. It really does something for me. Anyway, I resisted this time.

On vacation I packed one dark chocolate candy bar for Dana and I. Each night we would each have one square for our dessert. Well then things escalated from there. We went to dinner at the Silver Palms and had the most delicious and decadent chocolate cake with coconut ice cream. Then on the plane we got cookies. Then in Colorado we celebrated Dana’s uncles birthday so we had ice cream cake. Not to mention I also nibbled on girl scout cookies, jelly beans, and chocolate.

No one was forcing me to eat any of these things, but I had decided that since it was vacation that I was going to go all out. Well, my gut reminded me why I had decided to get rid of the sugars in the first place. I set myself back a couple of days, but it didn’t take long for me to get back on track and I am feeling much better now. Although, I must confess that I had a few chocolate chips last night out of a trail mix bag last night. But all in all, I am doing a VERY good job of staying away from the sweets for now, until I get back on track with all of my health shenanigans.

For dinner I had a bowl of the veggie soup I made on Monday. I sprinkled some parmesan cheese on top just to give it that somethin’ somethin’.

veggie soup

For dessert I had a few too many dates with peanut butter, and then those chocolate chips. I watched Glee and opened the insane amount of mail we had accumulated from being away; 90% of it was junk of course. No, I do not want another credit card. Thanks.

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Have you ever read a book that inspired you to be a better person? While I was on vacation I read the book, The Happiness Project, By Gretchen Rubin.

Gretchen writes about finding true happiness in everyday life. She admits that she is indeed a happy person and happy with her life, but she wonders if she could be “happier.” She spends a year working through happiness resolutions, each month focusing on a new project. Some projects bring her happiness, others leave her feeling the same, but all of them make her think about her life and simple changes that can be made to make her be a better person and make her happier.

She realizes that making herself happy will in turn help to make others happier.

This book struck me big time. All I wanted to do was get home and start making my own resolutions chart and happiness project. So, that’s what I’m going to do. Gretchen provides a free template on her website to help start your own project. I don’t know if I will go as extensively as she did, but I do want to make changes in my everyday life and think that focusing on projects on a month-to-month basis is a good way to stay in check.

Nothing is set in stone yet, but once I do decide on my happiness project, I will probably keep it to myself, at least until after it is complete. There will more than likely be more on this in future posts.

I bring this book to your attention because I feel that all of us deserve to be happy. So often we forget about ourselves and get so wrapped up in our busy lives, that we forget to stop and smell the roses and forget to do something for ourselves purely because we want to. And to do something special for ourselves and NOT feel guilty about it.

This is just something to think about. If you haven’t read her book I highly recommend you do. Who wouldn’t want to be happier?!

Question of the day: When is the last time you did something for YOU?

I Prefer Small Meals and Snacks

First and foremost, I want to wish you all a…. valentine's day

I am such a lover, so this Hallmark holiday really puts me into an EXTRA lovey dovey spirit. Whether you celebrate Valentine’s day or not, I hope you all have a wonderful day full of love and joy! I’ll be doing my best to spread the love today.

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Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which means it was a day to fast in between meals (it means a lot more than that but I’m not getting into that right now). Being that I am not one to eat big meals, I am more of a small meals and snacks throughout the day kind of gal, this is always a little challenging for me. It involves some planning to make sure I build significant meals to keep me energized throughout the work day and not hit any slumps. Like most of us, I need A LOT of energy to get through the day.

In the morning I unrolled the yoga mat and put on a Yoga/Pilates OnDemand. The workout was about 25 minutes and it felt GREAT. My body was pretty sore and tight before the workout, but once I was done with the session, I felt much more relaxed and less tense. After yoga, I walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes and then finished with a plank.

Then it was time to get breakfast going. I cooked up a batch of quinoa, topped it with kale, a little bit of cheese, salt, pepper, avocado, and an egg.

quinoa and egg breakfast

quinoa and egg breakfast

How’s that for breakfast creativity? That was definitely a bit out of my breakfast comfort zone (aka banana and peanut butter). And as if that wasn’t enough, I gobbled up some lemon blueberry bread. Multiply this bite in my hand times about six.

blueberry lemon bread

I was set.

Breakfast held me over into lunch and then some. For lunch I made a Greek yogurt bowl with chia seeds, FAGE non-fat Greek yogurt, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries.

fruit and yogurt bowl

And last and maybe least (dinner isn’t too impressive), for dinner I made a salad with cabbage, lettuce, beans, peas, feta cheese, sunflower seeds, and honey mustard dressing. I snacked on carrots while I threw the salad together. I was really hungry by the time dinner rolled around.

salad

Part two of dinner was trail mix with some raisins, peanuts, almonds, and dark chocolate chips.

trail mix

After a day of eating only three solid meals, versus my regular small meals and snacks, I am absolutely sure that I prefer the more frequent small meals and snacks. I felt pretty blech all day.

I am fully aware that some cultures fast all day long for different reasons, and I tip my hat to them. That takes incredible willpower and dedication which is why I refuse to complain about having to do this one day. Making any changes to a typical daily intake, also really makes me realize how fortunate I am to have food available to me at all times.

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Intelligent Nutrients Giveaway Winner

Switching gears here, once again. It’s time to announce the winner of the Intelligent Nutrients shampoo and conditioner!

The winner has been randomly chosen. Congratulations to…

Alicia @ The Wannabe Foodie!!

I’m very excited for you to try these products! Send me an email at beautifullynutty@gmail.com with your address information. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you to all who entered! If you follow me on Twitter, be on the lookout for another giveaway coming your way. My twitter handle is: @NuttyMelanie

Happy Valentine’s Day my friends! xoxo I hope your day is filled with love.

Question: Whether you are dating, married, or single…Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Anything fun planned for today?

Morning Yoga and Food Art

Morning Yoga

Tuesday morning at 5:50 am my alarm went off and I can’t believe I rolled out of bed with the intention of getting a morning workout in before work. I had plans to either run or get my yoga on. I chose the latter mostly due to a cranky neck from sleeping. I figured yoga may help.

I changed into my gear, rolled out the magic purple carpet, and kept the room slightly dark while completing a half hour yoga on demand.

yoga

It has been way too long since I’ve completed a yoga session and oh how I’ve missed it. I love the way it stretches my body, calms my mind, and tests my balance. It makes me feel good and really helped me yesterday morning with the slight neck soreness.

Speaking of soreness, I am incredibly sore from that leg workout on Monday! I surely worked it! I used my foam roller to get things loosened up a bit, but even two days later I’m feelin’ pretty tight.

Breakfast

I finally broke the streak—I had NO peanut butter for breakfast and I can still hardly believe it. On Monday night I put together a bowl of frozen strawberries, FAGE 0% Greek yogurt, honey, a sprinkle of chocolate protein powder, and chia seeds. I gave it a mix and popped it in the fridge overnight. Then in the morning I gave it all a final store and had myself a fruity creamy breakfast bowl.

yogurt with chia and strawberries

It was a nice change of pace although I bet you can guess what I had for lunch?!  It definitely involved peanut butter in the form of pb and banana. Ha ha it’s a lost cause. I love the stuff and the protein does such a good job of filling me up and keeping me satisfied.

I found myself on the treadmill once again in the afternoon reading a book. There is something incredibly peaceful about it and I get so caught up in what I’m reading that I don’t realize how much time has passed until I glance at the clock.

Dinner

I sautéed bell peppers and onion in coconut oil then added black beans until they were heated through. I cooked up one over-easy egg and topped it on the sautéed veggies along with a quarter of an avocado, tomato slices, and a little salsa.

I then managed to take a series of photos that some might call art. I’ll name the piece, “The Yolk Progression.” I was really just trying to capture a good photo and find the right angle but the way these photos lined up worked out perfectly.

First, the dish is plated…

veggies with egg

Then, the yolk is broken…

veggies with egg

The golden yolk makes its way over the veggies and blankets the dish…

veggies with egg

Beautiful food art…

veggies with egg

Total nerd alert I’m fully aware.

I had one of those days yesterday where I was just feeling “off.” I am hoping today feels more “on”. Have a great “ON” day my lovely friends.

Question: Are you a morning exerciser? Evening exerciser? 

I know some people who wake up every morning so darn early to workout and I envy their motivation. It feels incredible to finish a workout before work and energizes me throughout the day, and being able to go directly home after a long day versus the gym puts the icing on the cake. We’ll see if I can continue this streak. :smile:

A Christmas Full of Family, Friends, and Joy

Well hello there my beautiful friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday full of family, friends, and the joy of the season.

I gave the food photos a break this weekend, and really the camera in general as well. I soaked up every moment of the celebrations. I’m feeling a bit groggy today so I will be short-winded, but still wanted to recap the events for you all and relive them for myself.

Sunday: Extended family get together on my mom’s side. There were LOTs of people there (I have like a million cousins). We all hung out, caught up, enjoyed some great food and great company.

These photos weren’t taken at the party but they were still fun to share:

A beautifully festive bouquet from my sweetie…

DSCN6285

 

My not so festive outfit…

DSCN6296

 

And my oh-so-festive nails…

festive nails

Christmas Eve: Gift wrapping at the Children’s hospital in the morning and then shuffled off to my mom and dad’s for appetizers, gifts, dinner (french onion soup, tortilla soup, oyster stew, bread, and veggies), and 10:00 pm church service. We actually had my whole immediate family home and of course I had to make sure we got a family photo. I’ll be posting it soon—-very special to me!

In the meantime, another family photo…

christmas eve

 

Abbie girl…

abbie christmas

 

Papa and Dana with some gifts…

papa christmas   IMG_1193

 

Christmas Day: A lazy morning and a yoga session (we opted out of our run given it was –15°F windchill) followed by Moose asking nicely if he could open his Christmas presents…

moose so cute

 

I made homemade monkey bread made gluten-free with almond flour…

christmas breakfast

 

Our baby boy opening up his stocking stuffer…

 

moose christmaschristmas moose

 

“Man, only one present? I must not have been a very good boy this year.” :smile:

christmas moose

 

Kidding, he LOVED it! Plus his auntie Abbie gave him another toy too…

IMG_1198

 

She may not always act like she loves him but I think secretly she does. She’s just playing hard to get.

Next, off to Dana’s parent’s house for a celebration full of gifts, food (ham, beef roast, scalloped potatoes, asparagus, etc.), and again, wonderful company. I did not snap one single photo at Dana’s parents house but I can tell you we had some great food and lots of time to relax.

We got home around 8:30 and after putting away a few gifts, cleaning up the kitchen, and washing my face, I hunkered down on the couch with my new slippers as we watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas and continued planning a future vacation which is yet to be revealed!!

 

christmas relaxing

 

I had the most incredible Christmas. I am so very grateful for my amazing family and friends who fill my heart with so much love and whom I love unconditionally. I hope you all had an equally delightful holiday.

Now, it’s time to get back into the clean eating!

I’m off to do about 5 loads of laundry and clean up this house a bit! Happy day to all!

 

 

 

 

What has gotten into me lately?

Happy Saturday!

I’m backin’ up the train to Thursday night.

After work Dana and I headed out to run a couple of errands. It was a super gloomy cold day, oh and did I mention it snowed on Thursday?! All I really wanted to do was stay snuggled up in our warm house, but life does go on even when the cold weather strikes…so off we went to get a few things done.

By the time we got home we were both extremely hungry but neither of us were any mood to cook, so I cheated. I opened up a can of fat-free refried beans, heated them up and topped them on a romaine salad along with corn, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, cilantro, onions, and salsa.

A burrito salad. So simple. So delicious. The only thing missing was avocado which we HAD but wasn’t quite ripe. Womp womp…Aw well, next time.

Now to Friday (yesterday)…

I had the day off and started the day with a little experiment. I wanted to see how my body would react to Greek yogurt for breakfast. This used to be a breakfast staple for me back in the day but this colitis business has been throwing me off a bit.

I dished up a bowl of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, banana and FAGE Non-Fat Greek Yogurt sweetened with a touch of stevia.

It tasted glorious ANNND my body seemed to accept it just fine. It’s nice to have this as another breakfast option again.

After breakfast and a cup of coffee, I vacuumed the living room to get ready for some yoga. I found yet another OnDemand yoga session that was geared towards athletes. Not to say that I’m an athlete by any means, but I like to be active, so I thought I would give it a go. It turned out to be one of my favorites so far. The instructor explained the moves very well and I really enjoyed how he kept the session flowing with lots of different poses.

After yoga I set out to run a few errands including trying to find the last piece of my Halloween costume for a party we are going to tonight. The store I wanted to go to didn’t open until 10 and I arrived ready to go at 9:40. I’m not one to sit around so I decided to head on over to the local natural food store and see how much money I could spent in 20 minutes. Kidding.

When I walked in the door I was immediately greeted with this sample set up. Angie’s White Chocolatier Peppermint Holidrizzle Kettle Corn. Are you serious?! I sampled two delectable kernels and they rocked my socks off. I have plans to try to recreate this in the future for the holidays, or else just go buy a bag. One or the other.

There were some more errands run…and now we are on to dinner (I skipped ahead a bit).

Earlier in the week I had prepped a spaghetti squash by cooking it, scraping out the spaghetti strands, draining some of the liquids, and freezing it in a Ziploc bag. All I had to do last night was defrost it in the microwave, drain off excess liquid and do whatever I pleased with it.

I sautéed some onion, mushroom, and kale in some olive oil. I seasoned the veggies with oregano and basil. Once the veggies were cooked down, I hollowed out a spot in the pan for the squash. I placed the squash in the center and spread it out like a pancake. I cooked each side for about 1-2 minutes. It “toasts” the spaghetti and I really like it better that way. Plus it helps to rid of any excess liquid.

Next, I plated up the squash with the veggies, topped it with spaghetti sauce and parmesan cheese.

Dinner was finished in less than 15 minutes. How about that?

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Now it’s Saturday morning and Dana, Moose and I just got back from a 4-mile run. It felt AMAZING! It was 27 ° F when we headed out this morning so I broke out the long underwear, ear-warmers, and gloves. The sun was out so that helped to keep us warm. I felt like I could keep running and running and running. What has gotten into me lately? I am loving it.

Off to tackle a few projects including appetizer prep for the Halloween party tonight, and finding the last piece of my costume. I always thought I wasn’t a procrastinator, but now I’m starting to wonder. I think I’m just really picky or have something envisioned in my head, so it takes me a long time to find the perfect piece that fits that vision. Yea, we’re going to go with that.

Have a splendid Saturday! Excited to catch up with you all again!

Tropical Green Smoothie

Morning Run

Tuesday morning started off with another enjoyable 3-mile run. Just like my run on Saturday, the weather was absolutely perfect. It was 61° and mostly cloudy, with a light breeze. I struggled a bit with the hills but that is pretty typical for me. I kept running and didn’t stop until I was home.

Breakfast

Breakfast yesterday was a refreshing and satisfying  smoothie. I finally remembered to measure and write down the ingredients in my smoothie concoction so I can finally share it with you all.

Tropical Green Smoothie

  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 1/2 cup mango (frozen)
  • 1/2 cup peaches (frozen)
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 2 Tbsp strawberry puree
  • 2 Tbsp protein powder (I used Hemp Protein)
  • 3/4 cup milk

Blend all ingredients until smooth and ENJOY. In case anyone is wondering, I calculated this smoothie to be around 250 calories.

After breakfast I ran a few errands, worked on a secret recipe for a big chunk of the day (more to come soon!), and took Moosey for a walk around the neighborhood.

We actually had a good walk together. Usually when I try to walk with him, he decides not to listen to me, or there happens to be a dog on the loose, or something frustrating happens that makes me turn around and head back home. But he did a really great job of walking next to me even when we passed two yellow labs. We made a big step in the right direction there, Mooser.

Lunch 

I ended up munching on my kitchen creations so I won’t be able to tell you EXACTLY what I ate for lunch and an afternoon snack yesterday. You will find out soon though! It sure is delicious. It ended up making up about 75% of my food intake for the day. Sorry for the lack of food photos.

I can tell you that I snacked on some mushrooms and hummus.

I had to make another Target run in the afternoon because I was running low on a few ingredients I needed. I swear I go to Target everyday. Here’s what’s funny. I only needed 3 things, and guess who had to make a list? Yea, I had to make a list for 3 measly items. What is happening to my mind? I don’t know if it’s a bad memory or if it’s just the fact that Target sucks me in and completely washes my brain of the reason why I’m actually there. Probably the latter. I know I’m not alone on this one. You go there for 3 things and you walk out with 10. The good news is, with my list I remembered everything I needed AND I only bought those 3 items. I pat myself on the back for that one.

Afternoon Yoga

I turned on Metal Yoga from Sportskool On Demand. I felt warm and loose as I conquered the “beginner” session. I really disagree with the beginner status on that one. The instructor has us resting in plank. Holding a plank is not considered rest in my opinion.

It was a really great work out though. Something wonderful happened during the session yesterday. I was able to touch my toes without bending my knees! That is proof that my flexibility is improving! WOO!!

That was yoga session #2 for the week so far. I still have three more days to get one more in order to reach my June Yoga Challenge weekly goal. It’s the last week of the challenge, so I am making sure to make it a good one.

Dinner

It was time to experiment with the veggies. I made myself a very small salad that included Boston Bibb lettuce, the tops of broccoli (!!), shredded chicken, avocado, shredded cheese and honey mustard dressing. I can’t tell you how good this tasted to me.

I was a little nervous to include broccoli as it tends to be a veggie that commonly upsets the digestive system, but I wanted to try it and see how I felt. Also, I removed the stem which I would imagine is slightly more difficult for the body to break down.

(FYI: After eating the broccoli, I think I feel the same as any other day. It’s hard to tell with just one experiment meal. With that, I may start to incorporate more salads into my diet again, but will probably continue to cool it on the broccoli).

I also ate a couple handfuls of Wild Harvest’s amazingly addicting animal crackers.

And dipped them into honey PB2.

I was sleeping by 10:10 pm last night; I was exhausted for some reason.Happy Wednesday! Hope you all have a great day.

Tilapia Fish Sticks

Friday is such a wonderful day. I love Friday. But first, we have to recap Thursday.

The day began with a warm bowl of Cream of Wheat with cinnamon, brown sugar, and PB2.

For lunch, more peanut butter, but the real stuff this time. A piece of spelt toast with natural peanut butter and banana. I also ate some watermelon and insanely addicting Barbecue Pop Chips.

After work, Dana, Moose and I hit the pavement for a long walk around the neighborhood. The weather was absolutely perfect yesterday and I was so grateful we were able to get out and enjoy it at least for a little while. We cruised for about 3 miles.

Dinner was a fun one. I must be in a “dipper” food type of mood this week considering Wednesday I made Italian dunkers, and last night I made….tilapia fish sticks!

Assembly Line Preparation (in this order)

  • Plate: Cut two defrosted tilapia filets into 1 inch strips, cutting with the lines of the filet. Season the fish with cracked black pepper.
  • Bowl: In a wide bowl pour about 1 1/2 cups egg whites.
  • Plate: Pour a heaping pile of almond flour, salt, and pepper. **
  • Baking pan: Spray with non-stick cooking spray
**Notes: If you like a little kick you could add a pinch of cayenne to the almond flour. If you don’t have almond flour, you could use breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs instead. I picked up a bag of almond flour at Trader Joe’s and this was my first time using it. Almond flour is completely gluten-free; the only ingredient is almonds. It also packs 7 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup. I am anxious to use it in baking in the future.

Assemble:

Dip fish sticks into egg whites.

Roll and cover in almond flour.

Place on prepared pan. Once all of the filets are on the pan, lightly spray the tops with non-stick cooking spray.


We had plans to grill these bad boys outside but our plans were halted when we realized we ran out of propane. Hence the reason you see the fish filets on our outdoor grill pan versus and indoor pan. We moved the process indoors to the oven but I didn’t feel like dirtying up another pan so we left it on the other pan.

In a preheated 450° oven, bake for 12 minutes, turning once. Finish by broiling for 3-5 minutes until the fish sticks begin to crisp (keep an eye on them!). Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. In my case, ketchup.

These reminded me of childhood in such a huge way. They are perfect for adults and kids alike. You feel like a kid when you eat them. It’s wonderful. They are slightly crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. They are a very healthy alternative to frozen fish sticks!

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Now, back to Friday. It’s that time to check in on the June Yoga Challenge. Just a reminder to you all that my goal is to complete three yoga sessions per week. Time and intensity do not matter in my challenge, only completion of the sessions.

  1. Sunday: Gentle Yoga by Sportskool On Demand
  2. Wednesday: Back Challenges by Sportskool on Demand
  3. Friday: Metal Yoga by Sportskool on Demand

The session from this morning was by far the most challenging to me. I am still working at beginner level but am hoping to step-it-up to intermediate in the future!

I am loving yoga more and more each day I practice. I am continuing to notice that I am able to better control my stress now that I have added yoga into my routine. If my day is becoming stressful, I will remind myself to breath and slow down. I still have a LONG ways to go on increasing my flexibility, but I have already noticed a slight difference and it’s only been a short while. I can’t wait for another week!

Happy Friday to you all. I have two special guests coming to stay with me this weekend, my brother Scott and his girlfriend Nicole (our Boundary Water tour guides). I have to decide what to make them for breakfast tomorrow morning. I’m off to go brainstorm, run errands, and get some stuff down around the house.

Increasing My Protein Intake

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

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

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

Where do we get protein in the diet?

Animal Sources

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

Plant Sources

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Nutrition Facts Per 3 Tbsp:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great day!

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