Saturday, December 20, 2014

Paleo Italian Dressing

1/2 cup EVOO
1/2 cup White Balsamic Vinegar
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
2 tsp Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Dried Oregano
2 tsp Dried Basil
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Combine all ingredients and whisk until well mixed.
This Italian Dressing has been a favorite of ours since early this Summer. 
Mom found the recipe online and started keeping it on hand for salads all summer long. It also makes a great quick marinade.

I, of course, didn't bother getting the recipe and just went home and whipped up my own version of what I remembered about it. It tasted just like it (hard to mess this one up) but it just seemed to keep upsetting my stomach whenever I ate mine, but was fine eating Mom's. I think it must have to do with the fact that I typically use the deeper yellow EVOO in the green bottle; she uses the clear lighter EVOO in the clear bottle. 
Aside from this difference, I've been using more along the lines of the following:

2 to 1 EVOO to White Balsamic Vinegar
Drizzle of Honey
Italian Seasoning Blend

The Reader's Digest version.  :)
I also recently found, when incorporating fresh Basil into my dressing, that it's even better when chopped up and tossed right in with your salad greens. SO light and refreshing!!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Still Playing with My Spaghetti Squash

It's been a whole month since my last post.
How the time does fly.

However, this does not mean that I haven't been in the kitchen. Actually, at times, I feel like I'm always in the kitchen (which would be great, had I only a bit more time and motivation during the week). 

I will say though, despite all the monotonous, thankless dishwashing... I have discovered some new favorites (and re-discovered a few others).

I have really come around to embrace the Spaghetti Squash as my new 'filler'. Even though it isn't anything that you could fool anyone into thinking is actually pasta, with the right pairing... it's actually quite delicious. And doesn't leave you feeling at all the way that actual pasta does afterward.

When you first cut it open, it's very similar to a pumpkin. Scraping all the stringy, seedy innards out.
Not very promising, if you ask me.

But, once you drizzle it really well with some good olive oil and sprinkle it with whatever seasonings you prefer... I had only used sea salt and ground pepper on the previous ones, but this time, knowing I was going Italian with it, I doused it with some good Italian seasonings... Looking better already!

And after another round or two of pairing it up with chicken stew...

(So simple to reheat - Get some olive oil heated up really good, throw the leftover squash in, begin to brown it up some, throw a little more seasoning on it, then take it all to one side and throw in your stew (or whatever) right next to it, let both heat up good - Then, toss it all together and throw a little cheese on top. Once it's good and melted, remove from heat, plate up and enjoy!)

I finally tried it with actual spaghetti!  :)

And it was good!

And, I mean, how stinkin' cute is that. It even serves as its own little bowl. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Banana Pancake

Okay. So, I know I've covered (2 ingredient) Banana Pancakes before.

This post is just to brag on my ability to make one jumbo sized one, the size of my medium sized skillet... and flip it over without it breaking.


Enjoy.  :)

Roast... Part III ...

Okay, so the chicken roast was much more to my liking than the beef roast.

Especially with yet another hearty helping of asparagus. 
Gosh, I just love that stuff.

And I don't mind eating the same thing several times in a week. (Which is very beneficial with this lifestyle of eating.)

However, I just kept wondering how this lovely chicken and its flavorful robust sauce might taste on spaghetti squash.

So, thought "What the hay. Don't know until you try."

I've still only had spaghetti squash the one time, a while back, when I made a fresh pesto to mix in it and then, with the leftovers, added some tomatoes and chicken to it. And it was quite tasty.

I think the thing that keeps me from messing with spaghetti squash too often is the cutting of it. It can be a bit of a pain; though not as difficult as I had remembered. 
It's comparable to cutting a pumpkin in half. But, not half as messy.

So, I gave it another crack. And was really glad I did.

I think I did a better job of cooking it this time (was a little more generous with the olive oil and cooked them cut-side up for the first 30 minutes, then faced down the remaining 30). And I really enjoyed the heartier sauce over it than just the pesto like I had done the last time.

Sure, it tastes like clean-eating. You know it's not pasta. But, it's funny... I swear, sometimes, you can just about actually hear your body thanking you. Knowing you're eating what you were intended to eat all along. 

The evolution of Chicken Stew. Top Right: Roasted Chicken / Vegetables, Bottom Left: Chicken Stew (just the chicken all pulled off the bone in bite-sized pieces, thrown back in with the original sauce and vegetables), Top Left: Spaghetti Squash (cut in half, drizzled with Olive Oil and sprinkled with s/p and cooked at 375 deg for an hour), Bottom Right: Strained Chicken Stew over Spaghetti Squash and sprinkled with a bit of Swiss Cheese - YUM!

Roast.... Part II

Okay. So, I wasn't all that crazy about my beef pot roast the other day, but still saw real potential in all the other ingredients (sans the carrots). I just couldn't help but think it would be much better over a nice slow-cooked chicken.

So, I went back to the store... got all the same ingredients... this time with chicken (and no carrots). 

And this time, was much more promising.

Though, this time, even though the chicken had been in the crock pot for over 4 hours, it still was hardly warmed, let alone cooked.

So, I finally got tired of waiting for it and threw it in the oven for an hour.

Much better!

This time, the stars aligned a little more perfectly and all just felt a little more right in the world.

It was delicious.

And all the more so, with another heaping helping of asparagus.  :)

I just pulled some chicken off, enough for my portion for dinner and enjoyed it with big yummy chunks of tomatoes and peppers and onions.

Good stuff.

Beef Roast

I have been having so many hamburgers and sautéed chicken lately that I thought a nice slow-cooked beef roast sounded good. And would be nice to come home to one day after work.

So, I got busy looking for one with lots of flavor, no longer able to just throw a can of soup or two in there. Found one in Danielle Walker's original cookbook "Against All Grain".

Then, in an effort to 'thank myself later', I got up at 6:00 before work one day, gathered all my fresh ingredients together and I sliced, diced, seared and poured. And man, did it ever look good.

Thankfully, I came home for lunch that day, because even though it had only cooked on 'low' for 4 hours or so by that point, the beef was already well-done. So, I cut a little bit off and tried it with a little spinach salad. It was alright.

Having been cooked already, I went ahead and just threw it in the fridge for the remainder of the day and just tackled it when I got home. 

And even though it was chockfull of all kinds of delicious vegetables, I still wanted a side with it, so revisited my old favorite, asparagus. I had binged on that quite a while back, but hadn't had any in awhile, so it sounded pretty good.

Sliced the meat up. Just short of tough as leather, but thought 'Well, maybe if the gravy/sauce is hearty enough..." So, followed her direction of pureeing some of the veggies and pouring the puree back into the sauce as a thickener for more of a gravy. I might not have even attempted this part, as it doesn't sound as good as a standard beef gravy, but I really didn't mind the carrot puree this Spring when I added it to my chicken broth, so thought "What the hay." 

It wasn't my favorite.

Now, I liked the overall flavor, sans the carrots, but it just didn't 'work' for me. To me, the flavor took on more of an Italian taste and should've been chicken. But, went ahead and plated up what I had looked forward to all day... along with my beloved asparagus.

And I ended up eating the ENTIRE BUNDLE of asparagus! (I had cooked enough to have leftovers the next day for lunch.) 

So, although the beef roast was lacking, I ate asparagus to my little heart's content! 

And it was as yummy as ever!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Community Rewards

I'm not exactly thrilled with how my food budget has sky-rocketed with all my dietary changes these days. I easily spend $60 - $80 just running in 'for a few things'. Things like grassfed beef, wild salmon or organic produce. (It's well more than that should I actually need a $10 bag of almond flour or $8 jar of coconut oil.) Ouch.

But, if you weigh that against pharmaceutical bills or doctors' bills you'd be facing withOUT eating this way... it's worth it.

And, I've found another way to make it all worth it!

A while back, the United Methodist Children's Home posted on Facebook how you can actually help support them by shopping at Kroger. 

And honestly, I used to be a devout Publix girl. Just kind of the difference between Target and Wal-Mart. But, I've come around to really appreciate Kroger lately for what they have to offer. They have a much larger health food section (What I wouldn't give to have a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's in town!) and their prices are generally much better than that of Publix. And even though they aren't the same friendly faces I've grown accustomed to seeing at Publix, the staff has always been friendly there as well.

AND... they have the Community Rewards Program!

Anyway - I can't think of a better cause for my money to help support than the UMCH. They are doing some life-changing things over there. 

So, I would encourage you... if you have a Kroger nearby, please consider using the Kroger Plus Card and signing up to support this cause with me! 

And if not this one, maybe one that you feel prompted to support.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Homemade Green Beans ~ Yum!

Man. I had forgotten just how much I love some good old homemade Southern Style Green Beans.
I was hooked on these long before I ever started a Paleo or Specific Carb lifestyle. I may have just had in my mind that they were 'illegal' as a legume? But, when I looked at my 'legals' list, they were on there. Woo hoo! Just no canned variety. I can do that! I love making fresh green beans!

I mean, just look at those beauties. Canned are no where near as pretty as that right there.

I start out just frying up some bacon in a big stock pot. Once that starts to brown up, I throw some diced onion in with it. While those continue browning, I rinse fresh green beans and trim up the ends. (I usually go ahead and snap most in half, too.) When I'm finished rinsing and trimming, I throw the beans into the pot, loosening up and mixing in the cooked bacon and onion. Continue turning over periodically to get as many beans possible browned a bit. Once they've begun to brown up some, I add enough water to not quite cover the beans and continue to cook medium-low heat. Once the water begins to evaporate a good bit, I turn down the heat and just let them sit on the stove for an hour or more, stirring every now and again. Cook to desired tenderness and add desired amounts of salt and pepper to taste.

Then, spoon out and enjoy with your favorite main dish!  :)

Here they are with some bun-less cheeseburger sliders I concocted up one night for dinner.

L'oeufs and Turf

Splurged this week on a couple nice steaks - not grass fed, but hopefully, that won't prove all that detrimental just this one time.

Pack of two... Cooked both that night and enjoyed one with sweet potato and homemade green beans (yum). Next day, I cut the other in half and sautéed it in a hot sauce pan just for a minute or two to brown a bit and take the chill off. Threw that in a spinach salad with some Swiss cheese, tomato and vinaigrette for a quick tasty lunch.

Still had the other half in there today, so threw it in a pan for a minute, then scrambled some cheesy eggs to go with it, for brunch. Yummy! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lunch... and Learn

One of the toughest things at my job now is having to coordinate some sort of catering with Lunch and Learn on-site meetings for the boss. 
It's not so much the coordinating as it is the having to go online and looking at all this yummy food that's 90% illegal now and deciding what to order for them to have catered in.

Last time, it was submarine sandwiches and chips... Today, it was recommended that we order from a place in Nashville called Swanky's. A cool looking little taco shop that's right across the street from where the upcoming meeting will be held. 

So... I pulled it up online: and man, did it look good. Did I mention that I probably miss Mexican more than any other ethnic food? Tortilla chips... queso... rice bowls...

Anyway. I digress.

Well, one of the delicious looking dishes I was slightly drooling over on their website, I actually had to stop myself over and say "Hey, wait. That one would totally be legal." So, was inspired to try it at home.

Tequila Lime Shrimp.

Now, I only stopped by Kroger on the way home, so didn't get any tequila, but figured some white wine would be close enough, so went with that.

And it turned out pretty tasty!

This is my Chardonnay Lime Shrimp version, with Spinach Salad (that I've grown pretty accustomed to, as of late).

I just took some white wine and added to it: fresh lime juice, chili powder, cilantro, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. And a little bit of EVOO just to help it 'stick' a bit better. Marinated the shrimp in that for about 30 minutes. Then, heated up about 1 tbsp EVOO in a hot skillet before adding a splash of the white wine (remove from heat to do this), then added the marinated shrimp (draining off the marinade  first). Tossed around and cooked well for at least 5-10 minutes. I added a little more lime juice before plating up, then once plated, I added a dash more chili powder and cilantro just for garnish.

Threw together a quick little side Spinach Salad... and it was a go!

Very yummy!

And you know, when you make a meal like this and actually give it a little 'presentation' - you don't feel deprived at all! You actually begin to feel a little spoiled!  :)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Playing with my Food... Again

So, while eating my yummy quiche last week, I began to wonder if that might not become a possible base for a noodle-free lasagne. It set up nicely like lasagne and was really just missing the tomato part and the Italian seasoning.

And, since I'd bought 2 lbs of sausage last week and only needed one for the quiche... and I still had a remaining can of Hunt's crushed tomatoes and a can of tomato paste left in my cabinet that I'd resisted throwing out or giving away.... I just went for it.

    (Not quite sure why I took the picture so caddy-wampus.)

It actually turned out pretty good! I pretty much still browned the sausage, browned some bell peppers and onion in the sausage grease, then threw those back together and added in some crushed tomatoes and paste to thicken up a bit. Added a good amount of Italian blend seasoning. Then added about 6 eggs, mixed together really well, mixed in some Swiss and Cheddar (since I'm not supposed to have Mozzarella). Poured the mixture into a lightly greased casserole and topped with a little more cheese. Baked for about 40 minutes.

I think next time, I'd like to try an actual Paleo lasagne recipe... but this one wasn't too bad for an improvisational / trial sort of dish! It was definitely a welcome change from all the hamburgers I had the rest of the week!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Pollo Stir-Fry

Threw this together one night, in more of an effort of mixing things up a bit than anything else. But, it turned out being really good.

I just had some leftover bell peppers to use up, so threw those, along with a sweet onion, in a hot skillet with some good ol' EVOO. Meanwhile, in another hot (non non-stick) skillet, I browned up some boneless, skinless chicken breasts. 

Married the two when they were each good and browned. Added some baked sweet potato 'fries' and it was as good as a meal!

And one I plan on making again!

(I added a little bit of Colby Jack, too - just because.... well, just because I could.)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Breakfast of Champions

Although I'd say the food I've missed the most is probably pasta, I would have to admit that there have been many times this summer that I've missed a good ol' bowl of cereal. 

Now, I never have been one for all the sweet, blatantly sugary cereals... My favorites were more along the lines of: Blueberry Morning, Smart Start and even some good old fashioned Rice Krispies with some strawberries or bananas on top. 

Honestly, I never imagined I'd ever miss cereal more than donuts or coffee bread. 

But, in the summer, a lot of times, I would enjoy a nice little bowl of cereal in the evenings, just for something quick, light and refreshing to eat. 

And then, on Saturdays... I mean, what child of the '70s didn't grow up eating cereal while watching cartoons on Saturday mornings?

And I mourn a little for my past culinary life. *sighh*

Until I actually take the time to prepare a nice full complete breakfast. 

And then I think... Wait. Cereal? What cereal?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Grain-Free Cookies... Take Two

So, I was pretty excited about the chocolate chip cookies we've been enjoying (and that I finally got around to making myself this week). 
But, I may actually be more excited about them now.

The other day, when I made mine, they seemed to turn out more 'nutty' than Mom's have been. Not a bad thing necessarily. Just kinda like the difference between chunky peanut butter and creamy. (Though my cookies weren't that chunky!) But, I just kept thinking they were more like an oatmeal cookie than a chocolate chip cookie.

So, I gave that a go tonight.

And believe me when I say... They. Are. Sooo. Good! 
Especially warm out of the oven.

They taste just like an old fashioned oatmeal cookie. 
Though no oats were used at all. 

I just replaced the chocolate chips with about 2 tsp's of cinnamon and about a half-box of golden raisins (probably close to a cup or so?). And all the rest was in keeping with the Grain Free Cookie Recipe  we've been using.

Again... SO good!

Trust me.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Breakfast for Dinner

One of my favorite memories from childhood is whenever Dad was left in charge of dinner.
That meant one thing.... Breakfast for dinner.

Nothing is better than having breakfast for dinner. I don't know why. But, it's just.... better.

So, as I struggled tonight to come up with something different and tasty for dinner, I remembered seeing a crustless quiche earlier that looked pretty good... and decided to go for it.

And it was good!

This is actually my first time eating sausage in months. I love sausage, but it's just easier to find sugar-free bacon. Not so much with the sausage, unfortunately. So, I was excited tonight to come across a package of sausage that's actually locally produced and didn't have sugar listed in the ingredients... Yay! So, got it home, anxious to brown some up for my quiche and wasn't 'til then that I noticed that it said 'glucose' instead of sugar.... Rookie mistake... Boo. 

Oh, well. I'll be all the wiser next time around. And I figure I'm still on enough meds to buy me that much grace. So, went ahead and made my quiche.

Browned up the pound of sausage while dicing up some leftover red, green and yellow bell peppers and onions I had stir-fried with some chicken last week. Removed the sausage from the pan and threw the peppers and onions into the grease. Browned those up really good, then tossed it all together with 8 or 9 eggs. Threw in some shredded Swiss and Cheddar for good measure. Poured the mixture into a Pyrex, topped with a little more cheese and baked at 375 for about 30-40 minutes. Drained off some of the excess grease that had gathered on top and plated some up with some fresh fruit!


And I even 'enhanced' my Welch's original grape juice with some fresh-squeezed orange juice as an added bonus.  :)

Very tasty! And I didn't miss the crust (or even the heavy cream) at all!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Mid-Week Chuckle

That's funny.

But, just makes ya wonder... how many people would second guess their objects of addiction, were they just packaged a little more honestly. Hmmmm.... 

B.C.S. (Bacon Chicken and Swiss)

Back when I first started this journey, I discovered bacon-wrapped chicken as one of my 'safe' foods (with the help of Adam Shuerer (at

And wondered why I had never discovered this winning combination before!

It was delicious. The bacon kept all the good chicken juices wrapped inside. And well, you can never go wrong with a little bacon. So, that quickly made it into my steady rotation of 'safe foods' before I really got to feeling better.

About the same time, Mom had found a recipe that's similar, where you cook the chicken, then simply top the chicken with Swiss cheese, bacon and sauteed onions.

Again... Yum.

So, I've begun to make more of that style than the initial one I was doing. For the simple fact that I prefer the bacon all nice and crispy on top as opposed to bacon that stays soft and juicy. And you can never go wrong with a little Swiss cheese! Especially with bacon!

Lately, I've been cooking my chicken in a pan instead of the oven. It's just quicker that way. And I have really begun to better appreciate my non-nonstick frying pan. The meats just brown up so much better in it. And is, undoubtedly safer than ingesting all that nonstick stuff.

To give some added flavor, I've just been sprinkling a generous amount of mixed seasoning on my raw chicken and then throw it in with some heated up olive oil. Cook for about 10 min's on each side (depending on the thickness of the chicken). Fry up a little bit of bacon while that cooks and boom! You've got a pretty tasty little meal! 

And the leftovers are great on a bed of spinach as a salad, with a little bit of oil/vinegar dressing drizzled on top! 

Speaking of which, I believe there is some in there calling my name now...

Sunday, August 3, 2014

My Foray into Banana Pancakes

I finally broke down and made some Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies last night... and they turned out pretty good!

So, today I decided to finally try the ever popular Paleo pancakes: Two-ingredient Banana Pancakes.

1 large banana (I used two smaller organic bananas)
2 eggs

That's it, folks. 

Mash up the banana really well.
Add in the eggs.
(I also added a pinch of baking soda and some ground cinnamon.)
Pour into a hot lightly greased pan.

Very quick and simple.

Our Best Bites also offers some good feedback and options.

And drizzled with some Grade B maple syrup and a side of bacon and fresh fruit... not bad!
Will definitely be a quick go-to now whenever I have ripening bananas!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Paleo-Abiding Chocolate Chip Cookies??... Yes, Please!

I enjoy cooking.
Notsomuch with the baking though.

With cooking, you can throw things together, mix it up however you want... play with your food, as it were.

Baking is much more particular. Everything has to be measured out just right. Precise temperature. Precise time. Stars have to be aligned just right.

Mom, on the other hand, is much more comfortable staying within certain parameters. Being told exactly what steps to take.

So, she's been great about trying new Paleo baked goods over these past few months and letting me sample them.

So far, my favorite is the Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies that she found at SO yummy and the recipe makes a bunch of them! And all totally Paleo! Yay!

I might even break down and make a batch or two of these myself!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tossed Together

I found myself with some leftover spinach (from my sauteed version I now like to top my salmon off with) and leftover hamburger this week, so decided to build upon my yummy lunch at Terry O'Chele's and just throw the meat into my spinach and toss it together with a little bit of olive oil and vinegar dressing.

Granted, it looks a bit bland here, but hey, I only have about 30 min's at home for lunch, I only had a few things on hand and I was desperate just to dress up the hamburger a bit... (and use up my spinach before going bad.) But, it had true potential.

So, a few days later, I had some leftover chicken and tried to improve upon it some.

Definitely better. (Changed up the cheese to Swiss and threw some bacon in there, too.) But, still a little lacking. (Inspired as I was, I wasn't inspired enough to go get more stuff at the store to go on it.)

So, this weekend, when I headed to the grocery store, I actually picked up some veggies to further enhance my new concoction. 

Hard to tell from the picture, but I diced up some fresh tomato, avacado, red onion and banana peppers. And mom has been making a good vinaigrette lately that has honey in it, so I tried that version for my dressing and stuck with the Swiss cheese this time. 

.... Yummy! It's definitely come a long way in one week! It should be dang near perfected by the end of summer!  :)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Support Local Business!

I've read where several sources have indicated that smaller, local businesses make it easier to stay on a more tailored diet. They tend to prepare food on site as opposed to the larger chains that have so much pre-prepared food. And generally more accommodating and understanding.

And I'm finding this to be true. 

But, some even go above and beyond.  :)

There's a sweet little place just up the street from work that several of us have really come to appreciate and enjoy for the past year or so of them being there. 

It's called Terry O'Cheles and they are always sooo nice in there... And have pretty yummy food, too! 

My favorite was once their best selling Bacon Lettuce and (Fried Green) Tomato on flat bread with an order of zucchini pasta. Yum. 

Unfortunately, the zucchini is about the only thing left that's actually 'legal' for me now. Boo.

But, I joined a couple of friends there for lunch a few weeks ago and I was able to get the burger (sans bun) and it was really pretty tasty! Served on a bed of greens and simply topped with veggies (tomato, peppers, avacado, onions, pickles). So tasty that I went home and (somewhat) replicated it that night! 

The fact that they'd prepared theirs in the design of a smiley face only served as sweet encouragement.  :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

As Seen on TV...

I've been wanting to try the whole Zucchini 'Pasta' thing.
So, when Mom saw the Veggetti at the store, she thought of me. And she gave it to me as a token for watching over the house, pool and yard while they were out of town a couple weeks ago. 

I'll admit, I've actually been a little intimidated by it, but decided I would give it a whirl this week. I bought a bunch of zucchini last night and finally opened the Veggetti up tonight. I found a little inspiration from for a Pesto Zucchini 'Pasta'. 

I thought just a plain pesto would need a bit more jazzing up, so roasted some cherry tomatoes... and it worked! Made the pesto I had done for the Spaghetti Squash a while back, stirred it in with the zucchini 'pasta' and sauteed that, just to warm it through and soften it up a bit. Then tossed in the tomatoes. (Topped it off with my old favorite 'Six Cheese Blend', though I don't plan on buying anymore of that. I just had a little bit left from my 'old culinary life'.)

It was pretty good! Very light and refreshing and what little bit is left will be good with some chicken tomorrow night. I think next time, I might throw it in the oven, because I'd still prefer a more tender 'pasta', but will definitely be revisiting this one!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Swimming Upstream... With Wild Salmon

I've never been a huge fan of fish; however, I do enjoy a good salmon every now and again. Which is lucky for me, since salmon is chock full of good stuff, namely Omega 3's. But, I have learned that you do want the wild variety, as opposed to the farm-raised. The wild is not only good for you, but the farm-raised can actually be bad for you. Where the wild has the Omega 3's, the farmed has Omega 6's. Not the same thing. ...or so I read.

Good enough.

So, I've been on a hunt for wild salmon. Had trouble finding it in my local Publix (aside from the kind in the bag in the freezer section) but did find it in Kroger. So, I've been on a kick lately with my new find.

First, I just grilled some and served it up with some sweet potato fries (fried in coconut oil - smelled overwhelmingly coconutty, but really wasn't too overpowering in the taste and crisped up nicely).

Then, I stumbled upon a picture of Crystal Evans Hurst's sautéed spinach and thought that sounded good, so gave it a try. Oh. My. Goodness. SO good! Since then, I've been on a sauteed spinach kick, too.

I just brown some fresh garlic up in olive oil. Once that gets good and browned, I throw in a handful of spinach (it reduces down to nothing in no time at all!) Then, right before it's about ready to come off and be plated up, I squeeze a shot of fresh lemon juice over it. SO good! Rich and yet refreshing. And balances out the salmon quite nicely. 

And all of it SOO good for the body! Win, win!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Spaghetti Squash - God's Answer to Pasta-free Living

Okay. I'll be honest. I've seen them in the produce department at my local grocery stores for years. But, they always just appeared to be more of a Fall decor item than a potential dinner item.

I'm talking about the Spaghetti Squash.

And I had never given it a moment's thought - its name or its culinary potential... until I had to go pasta-free. And I came across this pesto version on Pinterest, so finally relented and gave it a second look and a serious try.

And although it was rather a task to cut into the darned thing, I will say I was more enamored with what it beheld inside than anything. It is seriously just like spaghetti noodles... all up one side and down the other. It was amazing! I still can't get over it. It's just one of those things you can't really picture in your mind until you actually see it for yourself. But, sure enough... you scrape the cooked squash down from the sides and it is every bit as much like spaghetti as anything you'd ever seen. Amazing.

And not hard to cook at all. 
Once you get past the cutting in half, you just scrape out the seedy innards and add some good ol' olive oil to either side of it, place them in a pan and bake. (I wasn't sure whether to cook them open-side up or down, so did one of each and it seemed to me that the one that was faced down held the moisture in it better.) Mine was still a bit crispy when I ate it, so not sure if that's how it always is or if I could've cooked it longer, but with some pesto thrown into it and served alongside some chicken with tomatoes... Mmm Mmm Good. I even made the pesto myself, too! So, it was very fresh and beautifully bright green from all that good basil! I just left out the pine nuts, because I didn't feel like I should add those back in quite yet.

But, I recommend trying this amazing often overlooked item in your local produce department! It really might surprise you!  :)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Lots of Catching up to Do!

Wow. Another six weeks, almost, since my last post.
Actually seems longer than that.

So glad to be able to say that I have been doing really well during this time. Much better than April and May.

The best part though is that I was able to make my trip to Boston! Three weeks ago now. (sighhh...) 
And it was SUCH a great time! Just as awesome as I had remembered it. We were blessed with beautiful weather... again. It was so good to have more time to spend there this time around. And we walked. And walked. And walked. And I didn't have to keep my sights set on public restrooms at all times. Yay! I was actually able to relax and take in all the rest of the sights!

I did manage to eat pretty well while there (wasn't sure what would be available for me to choose from while away from home - and my own kitchen - for 4 days). However, when we ended up staying at the Omni Parker House Hotel - home of the Boston Creme Pie - and they brought us each one up to our room upon arrival.... Well, I was strong and picked off the fresh berries that garnished the plate... at first. But, a while later, I caved. I thought "If I can't even try the original Boston Creme Pie at the Omni Parker House in Boston... well, then, why bother?" So, took some preemptive Prednisone and ate every last bite. And it was good.

But, I did try to be wise in any subsequent dining selections. 

The first evening there, we hit the Beantown Pub and I was able to get some delicious marinated steak tips and carrots. (Wish I'd gotten a pic of the carrots - those things were HUGE!) And I believe I had a salad in place of any carbs they offered. But, it was all very yummy.

That night, we found what's got to be the best little pub in town... the Hub Pub. It was great. We knew we'd found a good place when we were serenaded by the bouncer into the place, a Journey classic hit. {haha} Alcohol, in general, is a big no-no with Colitis, but again, I thought "Why even bother if you can't enjoy a little splurge now and again?" And I had taken the Prednisone. So, I ordered the driest white wine they had. And we had such a good time there. Everyone was so friendly. We (unknowingly) happened to come into town during their big Pride Week and the guy next to me was actually gay, but said "I'm gay, but I'm not proud. I tried to shut the whole thing down, but..." {haha} He was originally from upstate New York. The bartender was kind, too. When he heard that I had to watch what I intake, he even guessed "You have Crohn's?" I told him, "Close... Colitis." "Oh, that's the one where you can't have nuts and seeds." "No - That's diverticulitis." "Oh, yeah." {hahaha} So, he brought me water after that.  :)  Then, of course, the ever-entertaining bouncer periodically serenaded throughout the night. And everyone joined in on the classics. I had to laugh when a Bon Jovi song came on and only a few belted out that one and a guy behind us said "Wha? Am I the only guy from Jersey in here?!" {haha} It was great. Just so delightfully 'local'. We loved it.

Next day, upon the recommendation of our new friends, we had brunch at the Granary, over on Milk Street. I did good getting the eggs, but they came with homestyle potatoes that I just had to try. They were delicious, but I was careful not to overdo it and left more on the plate than I really wanted to. We also splurged and had sangrias. (We were sitting on the patio on a 75 degree morning - it just felt right.) Didn't finish the sangria though. Drank my probiotic grape juice and then carried the leftover sangria around with me the rest of the day, sipping on it.  :)

That evening, we had dinner at the Chart House, outside by the harbor. Again, beautiful weather and good food - I had a salmon with steamed broccoli. Service and 'work atmosphere' could've been a lot better, but aside from that, it was enjoyable.

The next morning, our very gracious hotel Manager suggested our hitting the Paramount for brunch. So, we did. It was in a section of town that we just love and the people there were so great. Had a yummy western omelette with bacon. And again, had brought along my probiotic-laced grape juice. (I was glad to have a Walgreens right around the corner from our hotel - where I was able to get my Welch's original to drink on those couple of days.) 

Meandered over to Charlestown (an area we had not made it to before) and then back down to the harbor-side to have one last late lunch at Joe's American grill before heading out. Another patio dining on yet another gorgeous day. I ordered their chicken sandwich, with no bun and sweet potato fries. (No mayo either, which is huge for me. But, the homemade pickles helped.) The fries were delicious and I just loved how they presented my bun-less sandwich.  :)

SO much more I could share about Boston!!! I love it every bit as much as the times I'd been before! Probably even more! But, these were the food highlights of the trip. And though I'm sure that my jumping back on some Prednisone had to have granted me an extra measure of grace, I can't help but believe that my eating better has allowed them to work all the more for me.

At any rate, I am SOOO grateful that it was a good trip. That my body held up. That I could walk endlessly (though not 100% painlessly - my feet took a beating!) for 3 days straight without having to worry about bathroom availability. That the weather couldn't have been any more amazingly beautiful. That I was able to enjoy some great food with a friend who has the same affinity for that city. And we met some of the nicest people Boston has to offer. 

So grateful.

Already looking forward to going back...

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Forty and.... Faring Well

Wow. Three weeks since my last post. 
That's good though, because it means I've had better things to do than obsess over my gut.

I had begun to consistently branch out and add more to my diet over these last weeks... more sweet potatoes, some Mexican fare (fajita makings w/out the tortillas, rice, beans or sour cream...), Chick-fil-A grilled chicken nuggets, worked a good bit of fruit back in and have been enjoying cheese more frequently again.

However. I began to feel like maybe I was starting to overdo it a bit, so have started to rein it back in. I don't want to lose all the progress I've made up to this point. And besides... I've got a trip to Boston coming up in 3 weeks!!! And I cannot afford to have a flare-up that weekend! I've waited 13 years for a return trip up there and I want to enjoy it as much as possible!

So. This week, I plan on cutting out any cheeses again. Cutting back on any fruit (except maybe a well-spotted banana here and there). Cut out the sweet potatoes... for now. Cut back on any additional seasonings I've been using on my chicken and beef. Continue to stay away from any nuts. (I just don't think I was doing well with those for a time.) And no sweets. For now anyway. I have GOT to at least maintain for the next month!

I have started to consistently take my Mercaptapurine (6MP) again, just to help reinforce as much as I can. And although they had started to lose their effectiveness last summer, I believe they've helped grant me some grace in what I've been eating lately. And I have to believe that my eating so much healthier this year, has had to allow the meds to do their job better.

I've also been taking daily doses of VSL#3 heavy duty probiotics, in the sachet (even stronger than the pill form). I only took my L-Glutamine for 2 or 3 days before taking a break from that because I didn't want my stools to swing to the other extreme. And it seemed like that stuff really worked. Tried the Valerian Root one evening, but it was hard to tell if it had much of an effect. Also got some tasty Mango Tango Omega 3 supplement from my supportive drug-dealing cousin (who shall remain anonymous...ha). This mixed well into my smoothie and the best part? ...No low-tide aftertaste!  :)

Have ordered some Magnesium oil to give that a shot. I feel like I'm probably pretty deficient in that, based on things I've read. And until that comes in, have been soaking in Epsom salt baths again in the meantime. 

The other thing I feel sure I'm deficient in is good ol' Vitamin D. So, heading outside to take advantage of this beautiful sunny day (before the GA humidity sets in!)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday Evening Treat

Had to go to the grocery store today to pick up a few things for the week...  more chicken breasts... more zucchini... more ground beef... (It really is a much quicker errand when you don't go down any aisles.) I was excited to see that Publix has expanded their grass-fed beef section! So, I treated myself to a steak tonight.

And as badly as it made me want a loaded baked potato and a nice glass of wine along with it, it still ended up being a pretty decent meal... smothered in some onions and garlic along side of some steamed cauliflower. And a nice glass of Welch's grape juice laced with some lovely L-Glutamine.  :)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Only Human

Know what I miss? Having an accompanying playlist on my blog/s. If I could choose a song for this post, it would be the one that's been running through my mind since last night... Billy Joel's "You're Only Human".
Just like a boxer in a title fight
You got to walk in that ring all alone
You're not the only one who's made mistakes
But they're the only thing that you can truly call your own

Why has this been going through my mind? Well... last night I caved. After weeks of deprivation and daily self-denial, I finally succumbed... to a banana/blueberry smoothie and about 8 handfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips that had somehow remained in my cupboard. And you know what? ... It was good. But interestingly enough... I believe I actually enjoyed the smoothie more than the chocolate chips. 

I fully expected to pay the price first thing this morning, but so far... so good. Though, it may be something that I pay more gradually for. I don't know. I just know that last night... it was worth it.

I've resolved to do better today. Back to the usuals. The basics. And starting on my L-Glutamine and heavy duty probiotics. 

Today is a new day.

Don't forget your second wind
Wait in your corner until that breeze blows in

And tomorrow is, too.


We're only human, we're supposed to make mistakes

... Right, Billy?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

No News is Good News

Just realized it's been almost a whole week since I've posted anything on here. And glad to report that it's because there hasn't been much to post about!

Still eating roughly the same foods as I have been. And have actually maintained since Saturday! I pretty much just had broiled beef patties for dinner Friday night, Saturday lunch and Saturday dinner. I had an egg with some bacon Saturday and Sunday mornings (replacing the OJ with diluted grape juice). Sunday, I had a favorite of mine that I've discovered in this journey: bacon-wrapped chicken and zucchini 'chips' (still working out the kinks on those, but they're even good when they're mushy).

The exciting part is the fact that I worked in sweet potatoes with my burgers Friday and Saturday. And even slid in a couple slices of Swiss cheese, too! And enjoyed a little juice glass of some fresh-squeezed strawberry lemonade Sunday!

Monday, I just continued with much of the same diet as I'd had over the weekend.

Tuesday, I had a couple of fried eggs and bacon, but added in some cheddar cheese and switched up the bacon to a more smokey version (though, still same brand and same ingredients - need to be sure there's no sugar added). And due to a nagging sweet tooth, had a little swig of orange juice right before bed.
Not sure if it was too many new things at once or if it was just one of them, but I did go back to having a little bit of blood Wednesday morning, but not much at all. And that was the first time since last Friday. And I felt good the rest of the day!

Last night, I wanted to change-up my chicken a bit, so threw it in a bowl of olive oil, red wine vinegar and Italian seasoning and (apparently because my appetite is back with a vengenance since I've been feeling better) I ended up eating an entire head of cauliflower with that! I had also used some grass-fed butter for that. So, again, not sure if it was throwing new things into the mix (even though it was all technically 'legal') or overindulging or what.... but had a little greater amount of blood this morning. So, trying to reel it back in today. And not get so carried away with quantity or new items. Just hard to rein it in when you miss food! And your appetite comes back so heartily!

I am excited that I've put about 6 lbs back on in a week's time! Feels good just to keep something in me again!

I've also gotten some good supplements in that I'm anxious to get going on... L-Glutamine, which is supposed to work wonders... and I also got the hook-up with some VSL#3, which is one of the top probiotic products on the market! (Thanks, Gary!) I also got some Valerian Root, just to have on hand, because I read several accounts that claim that it's a good herbal supplement for those restless nights... I just hope I don't need that one too badly or too often - as it smells like the strongest, smelliest feet that ever walked the earth! Blech! I can't imagine choking those down!

Been finding lots more good recipes on Pinterest, too. Mostly Paleo and all very promising. Just hopeful now to get to the point of being able to try them out soon!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ending on a (Relatively) Good Note

After such a lousy Thursday, Friday did turn around a bit. The ground beef does tend to help temper the bleeding for me. It's just that you don't have any of that yummy bread or potato helping to soak up some of that grease, so you're left feeling rather 'bubbly'. Not exactly the best feeling in the world, but it sure beats going to the bathroom every 5 minutes and losing so much blood throughout the day.

Tried a few hard-boiled eggs yesterday mid-morning, but this time took the yolks out. My little pitiful whites were definitely missing their counterparts, but with enough salt and pepper, it wasn't too terrible. And I felt better after having them. 

For lunch, I had a new favorite of mine I found on Pinterest a few months ago and just love! It's Quick Lime Cilantro Chicken and it is so easy and so yummy! And a perfect blend with some steamed cauliflower!

*If you have enough of that delicious browned goodness from the chicken juices, the olive oil and the garlic left over, it seasons your cauliflower just perfectly without the need to for any butter. Make sure to use your trusty old pan for this one; not your non-stick pan, or you won't get it good and browned.*

Rounded the night out with some more beef patties. But, bravely (or dumbly - jury's still out) paired them with a sweet potato. (Sweet potatoes are Paleo-friendly, but not SCD-advisable.) Not sure if it has compromised my progress at all or not at this point, but I haven't seemed to have had too much trouble since then. Still very minimal bleeding. Which is HUGE for me. And have been much less 'bubbly' since then.

So, planning on more leftover chicken breasts and beef patties over the weekend, with a handful of different veggies and we'll see how I am by Monday.

I did get a helpful email from Adam Scheuer this morning, from over at I Have UC, that shared this post with us from a girl who's found help with a great herbal sleep aid, Valerian Root. She also listed several other supplements that have worked for her, so have placed an order for some of these on Amazon this morning myself. (Have already been doing Fish Oil and B-Complex, but not the others.)

So thankful for the great community of UC'ers out there! Who, once they DO find success, take the time to turn back around and lend those of us still stuck in the mire a hand of support!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Long Week

Sure wish I could say that I felt as good this week as I had at the beginning of last week, but...

Monday, I actually had a decent day at work. No real major flaring. However, after I got home and put some squash on, I sat down for a minute and began to get sooo nauseous. What the heck?? Like I don't have enough going on in my body? It got so bad, I spent about an hour and a half on the floor in the bathroom just waiting for the inevitable. But, nothing happened, so I finally lined a trash can, plopped it by the couch and laid down. Went to sleep, scorched my squash and never did have dinner.

Next morning, I felt better, but knew I needed to eat something before lunchtime, so grabbed a handful of cashews and then ate a banana mid-morning. And I don't know if it was just the nuts... or the combination of the two... or what, but I had a horrible morning! I literally would just get back to my desk, sit down in my chair, and think "Aw, man.... not AGAIN! This is ridiculous!" Literally, the whole morning. But, got home for lunch and made some meatballs and actually did better the rest of the day.

Yesterday was alright. Certainly not as bad as the morning before, but still didn't feel great. Had leftover meatballs for breakfast, but they didn't seem to behold the same magic as before. But was just glad that I wasn't experiencing the same frequency as the morning before.

.... No, that would be saved for today. Ugh. Same thing this morning as Tuesday morning. Just had bacon-wrapped chicken last night with some squash for dinner, but did have some cashews this morning to hold me over 'til lunch (I didn't have anything else I could take with me for that). And I'm thinking it must be the nuts that keep killing my gut. Will definitely be giving those a rest now. So, again, I came home for lunch and whipped up some more meatballs and felt better the rest of the afternoon. And had the rest for dinner with some sautéed zucchini. We'll see how that goes.

One more day of work and then I can rest again and be on my own schedule. Just praying for a better day tomorrow.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hittin' a Wall

Back to work tomorrow, after having had a nice, relaxing 9 days off. And honestly, I was really hoping to be feeling at least a little bit better by this point.

The yogurt maker I had ordered, in order to try my hand in that, never came, so didn't get to give that a go. But, I ate completely accordingly all week and allowed myself plenty of rest and, though I did feel better for the earlier part of Thursday...  I'm just not seeing any improvement. Which, I realize, is part of this process. It can just be so discouraging sometimes.

And I just want a quick fix.

I want a permanent fix.

I want a fix.

I want to feel better.

I want to feel free to go somewhere (anywhere) and not have to be concerned about restroom locations or how long I can travel by car.

I want to read something other than dietary information or research about this stupid disease, in my spare time.

I want a full night's sleep.

Heck, I just want some 'normal' food.

But... I want to succeed in this.

I want to keep pressing on.

I want to retain hope for a better, healthier future.

I want to be better for it.

And even stronger for it.

It's just that some days are harder than others. And this is just one of them.

*Any prayers for sustained hope and improved health welcome.*

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Back to Square One

Well - it's back to chicken / broth, beef and zucchini today. I either got oveconfident with the yellow banana (they should be brown-spotted), the glass of OJ, the scrambled egg or the tomato these last couple of days... and since I mistakenly tried too many 'new' things all at once and it's never an immediate reaction, there's no way of telling which one wreaked such havoc on my colon yesterday. But, it has definitely set me back. Back to where I was about a week ago. Ugh. Just so easy when you do start to feeling good, to get excited or comfortable with adding more back in. And at this point, I feel like I'm going to be living on chicken broth the rest of my days. But, hopefully not. Maybe it was just one of those items that my body wasn't ready to process yet and when I get better about trying one thing at a time, I can just eliminate that one item, and keep the others in my diet. Just going to be a very long, tedious process. 

In the meantime, Mom and Savannah and myself came across a pretty good video last night of Jeff Foxworthy recounting his experience in getting his first colonoscopy. 

(For some reason, I can't seem to get the video to load, but whatever... I've posted the link below.)

If you don't laugh, you'll just cry. So, might as well laugh a little, right?  :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Aye Yai Yai...

A couple weekends ago, I read a great book by Tucker Sweeney called 'Two Steps Forward, One Step Back', documenting his struggle to overcome life with UC.

What a fitting title. So much of this journey, with all its trials and errors and changes going on in your body... so much of it is exactly that: two steps forward and one step back.

Yesterday, I felt SO great! I couldn't believe how big a difference one week could make!

Until about 3:00 in the afternoon. And then, I couldn't believe what a difference a couple hours could make.

I'm not sure if I just caught a bug (though, not sure where I would've picked it up from) because my body has a weak defense right now? or if it was my body's reaction to such a suddenly active day? I don't know. But, about 2:30, back at home and jacket still on, I noticed I was getting chilly. By 3:00, I knew I wasn't just a little chilled; it was the chills. By 4:00, I had a full-blown 100.9 temp. And not just the temp either... the whole nine yards - achiness and all. Guess I'm glad I enjoyed the pretty day while I had. The rest of the day was spent bundled up on the couch.

 But, thankfully, though I don't recall my fever breaking, I woke up this morning temp-free. And am feeling better. Not 100%, as I hadn't eaten very much before I finally called it a night... but better.

Now, to take that step forward again....

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spicy Meatballs & Zucchini Stir-Fry

So, I may have rushed the whole banana thing this morning... but hopefully, I'll have better luck working tomatoes back in. All these meatballs lately have just left me wanting a good tomato with them. And when I saw them in the store the other day, I couldn't resist. So, I tossed one into my zucchini and onion today for lunch... and man, was it good. All 3 were so sweet, they almost made me forget about my poor neglected sweet tooth for a second. And being paired with the spicy meatballs (I may or may not have gotten a little carried away with the red pepper flakes today) ... very tasty combo! Looking forward to the day that I can add some Swiss or Provolone!

Tastes like summah'time!

Not Quite out of the Woods...

Didn't end up going to Turner Lake yesterday, because I ended up running some errands first and then decided to come home and have some broth before doing anything else... and then just stayed home instead. 

So, got up early this morning and set out to enjoy more of the outdoors today. Had to get my oil changed, so knocked that out first. That only took 30 minutes, so I was out at the park long before noon and spent a good hour out there. It was great! It's been so long since I'd been out there and I just love it. Especially this time of year.

So pretty out there.. and so peaceful. 

And it really is amazing how much stronger I feel than just a week ago! I had intended on just keeping to the loop and then hanging out in some sunshine for awhile. But, once I started, I couldn't help but hit the trails once again. And even got a brief jog in a time or two. Felt so good just to be out there again and be active again - and just feel good!

Of course, I no sooner got to the home stretch and my tummy reminded me that even though I may have come back off the trails and hit pavement, I'm still not 'out of the woods' quite yet. So, as much as I had dreaded their port-a-potty and hoped I wouldn't need it... I did. However - I must say, this time, it was one of the cleanest ones I've been in. And never more thankful to see it. So, there ya go.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Consumed... with Health, Healing and HOPE

I have no doubt that there are those out there who think that I've just let all this 'diet stuff' become somewhat of an obsession.

And you know... I think I would have to agree.

I think in order to have any measure of success in treating a disease in your body through diet alone... you have to go all in. In mind, body and spirit.

There is soooo much to learn. So many amazing resources out there to tap into. And in many cases, so much un-learning to be done. I have a list of roughly 130 foods that are 'legal' for me to consume at this point. And a counter-list of roughly 130 'illegals' (according to the SCD).  Sure, it all pretty well narrows down to a handful of 'good things' and a boatload of not-so-good. But, then you have varied degrees and different forms of many of them to consider. You've got grassfed this and pastured that; fermented something else and wild that.

Oh. And don't forget to drink all the water that you can.

It is a lot to take in. And retain. At least, for this feeble brain of mine.

Then, once you begin to get a grip on what you need to do... you have to truly 100% commit yourself to this thing. It's all or nothing. Either you do the SCD or you don't. It only works when you are totally committed. At least in the beginning stages. And in this day and age, when you are surrounded by foods of convenience (processed, fast food, frozen...) and friends and family who can still indulge in whatever foods they desire (be it at home or dining out)... it. is. hard. Your mind has to be made up. As good as all that other mainstream food out there still looks, smells and sounds, you have to resolve to eat differently than everyone else. And now, you must pay close attention to every-thing that goes into your mouth.

We won't even talk about the ads on tv or photos that show up in news feeds or conversations that come up... all about food in our society, on a daily basis. Or trips to the grocery store. (Why, oh why Lord, must we walk through the deli and all its delicatesseny goodness to get to the produce section?! I'm only human! Have I mentioned how badly I miss mac-n-cheese? And the bakery?? What're you trying to do to me here?!)

Anyway. I digress.

Then, there's the reactionary part once you do start. You are now no longer giving your body what it had gotten accustomed to. So even though you feel better overall, with the new healthy foods, you've got cravings and overall shock to your system to deal with.

And last, though certainly not least... if you do suffer from Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's, you know full-well how consumed you really become when in the midst of a flare. That you must know the exact locations of pretty well any restroom, at all times, wherever you may go. You're also wise to consider whether it's a one-stall or multi-stall (can't chance it being an already occupied one-seater) and the walking distance to each in advance. No time for second-guessing. Time is not on our side during a flare. And 'fair warnings'... well, they don't exist.

So, yeah... you could say that I'm consumed with this diet. With my health. With this whole lifestyle change.

I have to be.

I've determined to be.

In the hopes that it will all be worth it in the long run.

I owe myself that much.


Well. I haven't really improved in the last several days, but I haven't gotten worse either. So, I'll take it.

Still not having nearly the amount of trips to the loo that I was having last week (once every 45 min's, on average, last week). And not quite the degree of urgency as I had been experiencing either, which is good. But, still more blood than I'd like and nothing very 'productive' at all. Ever.

However, I can tell that my energy level and stamina are both improved, so that's exciting! And, I've been able to maintain my weight, which is a relief. (I was steadily losing a pound a week, and then had begun to lose one every day or two before plateauing.)

Made up another big batch of broth from the chicken carcass I still had left from the other day. So, I'll  try to get more of that going in me the next couple of days. Cook up some more meatballs, because my body does seem to be okay with the grassfed beef. And I am really enjoying them more in meatball form. I shredded some onion and fresh garlic and threw in some red pepper flakes, and they were almost more like sausage balls - very tasty! Also have some leftover bacon-wrapped chicken thighs from last night, so will work in one of those today, too.

I feel 'funny' having taken a whole week off work just to stay home and relax (I don't typically take off for any reason) but I'm truly glad I have. Just to be able to take it easy and really focus on what my body needs and not have to be somewhere by a certain time and worry about what I can have on hand at work just to get something in me, and worrying about how that'll 'set' with me, and then rushing home for lunch to prepare something and worrying over what that should be ahead of time and then rushing back to work... let alone the job itself. Just such a relief to get a break from that whole factor. And just rest.

Today is a pretty day. No wind. No rain. And I think I'm finally back at a point to where I feel comfortable going out to Turner Lake Park for a period of time (I'd have gone before now, but as much as I love that place, they have got the most disgusting port-a-potty that I have ever had to experience.). It's been awhile since I've been out there and I just know it'll do my body and soul some good. And this is always the most beautiful time of year to be there.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Two Steps Forward.....

You know... I'm actually starting to feel like this whole lifestyle change might work after all.

These last couple of days, I've pretty much just stuck with baked chicken / chicken broth, meatballs and, of all things... bacon. Decided to try cutting out the eggs for a few days, just to see if that helped. Not sure if it did, or if it was just coincidental, but... I'm really beginning to feel somewhat normal again. And even though all sorts of things (from the illegal list) still sound good, I'm finding that my body really doesn't want any of that anymore.

Will work some squash with onions back in tomorrow. And maybe an egg again for breakfast, just to see if it seems to set me back at all and go from there. But, I'm VERY hopeful at this point!

If all goes well, I might even get really wild and crazy and add a banana or two back in after that!

As badly as I started off craving my sweets at the beginning of this journey, I now look forward to the day I can eat cheese again!

Funny, how you really begin to appreciate all the things that you are still able to have. Once you take your eyes off all the stuff that you can't.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mmmmm... Soup

Well. I will say that my chicken broth has already improved since the beginning of all of this. And that's a good thing, what with it being the core meal in which all other things SCD are built around. 

Now, this serving does have too much fat still in it (which you can see beaded on the top), but I didn't have the patience to wait and let it cool down before digging in. 

Nothing special really. No great profound secret ingredient or unconventional way of preparing it. I've just begun adding a whole heap of onion into it. And even though I'm not keeping them in there for the time being, as they can be too fibrous at this point in my healing, they leave SUCH a rich yummy taste! 

So, basically, I just take a whole organic bird. Clean it up and put it in the crockpot. Add at least a half of a sweet onion (for the rich yummy goodness). Add carrots (if you choose to). Add any seasonings that you like. Fresh parsley is good. Oregano is also tasty. Top it off with water. Cook on high for at least 4 hours. Scoop the chicken and veggie/s out. (If not on SCD, by all means, leave the carrots and onions in it!) Pour broth into a pot and ideally, put in the fridge to cool (if you can hold out that long). Once the grease has congealed on top, gently scrape the fat off and discard, then you're ready to warm it back up! You can top it off with more water (filtered, if possible) if too dense, stir well and heat on medium heat until ready to indulge!

* Do what you like with the cooked chicken. It is very juicy and fall-off-the-bone tender while still hot. This is when it's easiest to manage. You can add back into the broth (though, to me, this really toughens the meat up), enjoy warm and juicy as a meal unto itself or save for the next day, cold. *