sweet and savory [two recipes]

Hello my loves!

I hope everyone is having a great week. I come to you today with some fun new recipes. Yes I said recipes. I know I have been slacking in that department lately, but my cooking lately has basically been throwing random things together and calling it breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But with that being said I am trying to create new and different things. Basically because I was getting bored with my same ole meals I had been having. Yes I am a creature of ruts and convenience, but this girl needs some variety!

So I have a a little sweet and a little savory to share.

First the sweet! A new breakfast for me.

Nothing too new and nothing too fancy, but those are the best sometimes.

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Banana Protein Pancake

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I see protein pancakes all over Instagram and always want to make them, but honestly, I have never been a huge pancake person.

I mean don’t get me wrong, the impressive pancakes stacks people post get me drooling.

I finally decided to cave in and started with a pretty simple pancake recipe.

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Ingredients

(serves 1)

- 1/2 banana (mashed)

- 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Growing Naturals Pea Protein – Vanilla Blast)

- 1 tbsp coconut flour

- 1/3 cup liquid egg whites

- 1 tsp ground flax seed

- 1/2 tsp baking powder

- cinnamon and vanilla stevia to taste

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Directions:

- Blend all ingredients together – allow batter to sit for a few minutes

- Cook on heated skillet over medium heat for approximately 2 minutes per side

- Top with desired toppings

I topped mine with a lemon spiked greek yogurt, trail mix and coconut chips.

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I loved the banana in this pancake and since I love the Growing Naturals pea protein so much, the combination was pretty much meant to be in my opinion. Am I a pancake convert? Jury is still out, but this was definitely a nice switch up!

Next up is the savory.

Since I have nixed the sandwiches for lunch I have been having a lot more salads. Salads can be boring, but they don’t have to be!

I made this delish little combination to help me get some protein into my salads and also add some more flavor!

This can be used as a side dish, a dip for chips or a topping for a salad!

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Balsamic Black Bean Salad

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Ingredients

- 1 can drained and rinsed black beans (can use kidney, garbanzo, pinto or a combination)

- 1/2 red onion – diced

- 1 red/yellow/green pepper – diced

- 2 cloves garlic – minced

- 4-5 cherry tomatoes – chopped

- 1 handful cilantro

- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

- 1/2 tsp chili powder

- 1/2 tsp paprika

- Optional red chili flakes

- salt and pepper to taste

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Directions

- Prep first 5 ingredients and combine in a large bowl.

- Whisk together remaining ingredients to make marinade and pour over bean mixture

- Serve immediately or store in fridge to allow flavors to blend and marinate.

Can be served warm or chilled.

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I tend to think that these types of dishes taste better after allowing the flavors to marinate, the longer the better!

As mentioned I used this on top of my salads, it’s a great way to not only add protein to the salad, but I also didn’t need to use any dressing due to all the flavor in the bean salad.

It also makes an amazing chip dip as well!

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This black bean salad really has endless uses, Matt also used it on top of nachos one night! With that being said it would be a great taco or burrito filling! Or really a spoonful straight from the container works too!

I loved the slight spiciness of this salad and it gave me the idea to make a sweeter version of it by adding fruit…

So be on the look out for more fun creations and variations.

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What’s your favorite breakfast food?

Do you prefer sweet or spicy?

snapshots and highlights

Hello loves!

I hope you all are having a relaxing weekend. I’m sure I sound like a broken record when I say how they seem too short, but it seems like my weekends are a broken weekend as well!

Time seems to be flying and I can’t believe July is almost over, however with the crazy heat we have been having here in Phoenix, I am welcoming August with the hopes that summer will soon be gone. Because seriously, record breaking 116 degree days are getting pretty old pretty quick.

Life other than work has been pretty mundane, but I figured I would give you guys a few snapshots into what has been going on lately.

Something not so new is I have been on a huge sushi kick lately. I swear I never get sick of the stuff!

It started with a dinner out with a friend.

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I love a good classic rainbow roll and we found a sushi spot that just always hits the spot and their rolls are huge, so one roll (plus sashimi and a seaweed salad) fills me up. This girl can eat.

But having good sushi always does one thing to me.

Makes me want more.

So bad that I even settle for grocery store sushi.

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Not once.

But twice.

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Then Friday when you would think I had enough sushi.

No. I asked made Matt meet me at Whole Foods for dinner.

With one thing in mind.

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More sushi.

Last time we went they were out of my favorite roll, which made me super sad, however it did give me the opportunity to discover that they had an amazing sesame glazed tofu that was a pretty tasty substitute.

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The sauce was so amazing that I asked for extra on the side.

Tofu never looks super appetizing, but goodness, this tasted amazing.

More repetitive eats from the week have been amazing salads I have been making lately for lunches.

I use to always have some sort of sandwich for lunch, but in trying to cut some wheat/gluten from my diet I started making salads.  So I didn’t want to admit this, but I really think I was having some sort of reaction to wheat because once I started having salads (making sure to always include a protein and healthy fats) I noticed such a change in my energy level. I use to get the typical 3pm crash, but I noticed I don’t anymore and that I still have plenty of energy. Dun dun dunnn. I loved my sandwiches so even though I welcomed the fact that I no longer had that crash, I was sad to give up my sandwiches. Well, I kind of take that back, I don’t miss them all that much.

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Huge salad with a base of Cruciferous Crunch mix from Trader Joes topped with tons of veggies, pecans and avocado for my healthy fats. For my protein I usually have chicken or turkey on the side. I’m not completely sure if it’s the increased amounts of protein and fat or lack of wheat/gluten that is helping with the energy, but regardless the combination seems to be working for me. And although not completely gone, my bloating has gone down dramatically.

So those have been some highlights on what’s been going on. Sushi, sushi, sushi and a salad. Seriously, that’s my life.

I also have some breakfast highlights to share with you as well, but we’ll save those for another day.

Enjoy your weekend loves.

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Do you get the 3pm crash?

Is there a type of food you crave and could eat endlessly?

 

i’m alive…barely

I’m alive. I promise. But barely.

Work has been insane. Usually during the summer time we slow down, but we have been going strong so far.

Good for business, but it makes tired doctors and techs.

Thankfully I have these cuties to keep a smile on my face.

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Puppies really do make everything better.

So I think it can be assumed my eats and activities has been a bit boring lately.

Dinners have been take out and eaten on the floor.

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More Whole Foods sushi eaten on the comfort of my floor. You know it’s good when you have a kitty stalking your food.

I love how I can just run into Whole Foods, grab some tasty food and be able to enjoy it in the comfort of my home.

They were out of my usual tuna roll, but I got the salmon instead which was just as good. And extra good with the addition of my Little Soya soy sauce. I love it so much better than the little soy sauce packets they give you.

Friday was my day off, however I feel like most of my days off turn into get every single errand done days.  In between trips however I met Matt for lunch and to watch the World Cup. I’m not huge into soccer, but he is and it was a nice chance to see him.

We met at a bar close to Matt’s work that was playing the games and while we were watching we were offered a sample of their salmon and chive cream cheese crosanti’s.

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There is something about smoked salmon, cream cheese and a toasted baguette that is just always good.

And these were good.

I wish I was able to have more.

I had eaten a late breakfast, so I wasn’t all that hungry, but it was Matt’s lunch break so he ordered some food.

Let’s just say I had a little food envy.

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He ordered a steak sandwich with caramelized onions and fries.

Don’t worry, I quality controlled those fries. They were up to par.

As we were just about to leave we were treated with another freebie.

Cake pops!

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Who doesn’t love free cake pops?

Crazy people.

And I’m not crazy.

However, I do think that cake pop set off my sweet tooth.  Because after dinner I was craving more sweet.

Thankfully I have an amazing fiance who caters for my sweet tooth and took me out for some gelato!

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Chocolate Banana for me!

I just love all things ice cream.

Well loves I’m off to melt into my couch and wish I never had to get up.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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Are you watching the World Cup?

 

 

slow down, relax and enjoy life

Hello friends, happy Wednesday!

I hope the week has been treating you all well!

Things are just as crazy as usual over here, but I am starting to accept that that is just my normal.

But once in a while we all need to just slow down, relax, take a deep breathe and take in all that is beautiful around us. Because there is too much beauty in the world to be constantly go go go.

With that being said, for What I Ate Wednesday I wanted to spot light some of the moments that I was able to just relax, have fun, and enjoy life.

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With work being so busy, sometimes I just want to go home, change into sweat pants and not leave the couch.  And lucky for me I have a agreeable fiance who gives in to my wishes. Matt get’s off work before me and after a particularly rough day at work I requested if we could have a movie date night in.  For some reason I had been really wanting to watch Despicable Me 2 and he was such a sweet heart and went to a Red Box and got it for me for that night.  My other request during the movie?

Frozen Yogurt.

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We are so lucky to live within a block from Yogurt Land, so we ran down real quick, got our frozen yogurt and settled in to watch the movie.

It was a perfect relaxing night on the couch, in my sweat pants, with my love and frozen yogurt…

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And a kitty photo bomb.

Even though I worked Saturday Matt and I made the most of our weekend by staying pretty active.  We had the intentions of going to a spring training game since the season was ending, but the ticket prices + food + drinks, well it just wasn’t in our budget.  So instead we decided to do lunch out and a little day drinking (to be honest we probably ended up spending just as much as we would have had we gone to the game, but owell.  We still had a good day together)

One of Matt’s co-workers had suggest a burger joint called Rehab Burger in our neighborhood that we had never been to, so we decided to start there for lunch.

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We stayed classy and had PBR’s with lunch. Be jealous.

For lunch I ordered the chicken sandwich which came with lettuce, tomato, onion, sprouts, Havarti cheese, avocado and I added a pineapple BBQ sauce.

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Holy mountain of goodness. This thing was huge. And delicious.

After lunch we walked around a bit to help our food babies digest and in wandering around town we found a new bar that we didn’t even know existed.  All I have to say is it had skeeball games in it. I was sold.

They also had this amazing grapefruit Hefeweizen beer that I just fell in love with.

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And I probably had a few too many of them.

Let’s just say this day ended with Matt and I passed out, and dinner was a pb&j, because that’s about all I had the energy or coherency to put together.

No shame. We had a great day together.

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So loves, I hope you are able to take some time to slow down, relax, and enjoy life. Because even though 99% of the time my life is high stress and go go go, I really embrace that 1% and enjoy every moment I can. Life is too short and sometimes I need to remind myself to enjoy all the small moments. Because they matter the most.

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How do you slow down and enjoy life?

what i ate when my parents were in town

Hello my love bugs!

I first want to remind you that there is still time to enter my Great Low Carb Bread giveaway.

It’s so great to see how excited you guys are about their products, and as I’ve said before, you won’t be disappointed with anything you choose from them. Make sure you head over and enter for your chance to win some goodies!

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With that out of the way, on to more fun things.

I gave a few sneak peaks at some of the happenings while my parents were visiting. So since it is time for  What I Ate Wednesday, I thought I would put a little twist on things and do a little feature of:

What I Ate When My Parents Were In Town.

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If you don’t remember, my parents drove out here to bring me my late grandmother’s car. Although I would much rather still have my grandma in my life, one blessing was having the opportunity to inherit her car.  My car was on it’s last leg, so things just seemed to fall into place.  My grandma was always so giving and has continued even though she is physically no longer with us.  It was also so nice that my parents were able to make the trip out here and we were able to have the opportunity to spend some time together. If you’ve followed my blog you may know that my parents and I went through a very rough patch when I first started my recovery, but have since started to build a relationship again and it’s been great. So having them out here on a more casual leisurely visit was great for us.

( and if you guys want to know where I get my dorky-ness from, this is a big clue…)

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A little explanation. When I was younger my grandma would come over every Sunday.  We typically would take a trip to the mall, or some sort of car ride.  For some reason she always called this “Sneakers“. Kind of like we were sneaking around and doing fun stuff without my parents. So I thought it was so cute that my mom put this on the car.

See. We’re all just one big family of dorks.

But even though getting a new to me car is super exciting, let’s get on to more exciting things.

All the delicious food.

My parents actually got in a day earlier than planned. I had to work that day, which kind of worked out because they took the evening to get settled in their hotel and relax a bit.  We did however want to meet up for a bit that night, so what did I suggest?

Frozen Yogurt.

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It was only right to introduce them to my latest obsession.

We chatted and caught up a bit and made plans for the next day.

I actually had a doctors appointment and a few errands to run and Matt had some work to do so during the day my parents window shopped and explored the town a bit.  They were still a little tired from the long drive in and being out all day, so they ended up heading back to their hotel to take naps, but we made plans to meet up later for dinner.   We also were going to meet a family friend who happens to live out here and met half way at one of our outdoor shopping centers.
We met up, shopped around a bit, then headed to dinner at one of Matt and I’s favorite pubs, The Thirsty Lion.

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I love this place because they have the most amazing ahi tuna salad.

They also have 40+ beers on tap.

Dinner was delicious and it was great that we were able to catch up with some old family friends.  After dinner we were all pretty beat so we headed our separate ways for the night.

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The next day was a busy day of switching all of the car information from my parents to me. Everything went smoothly, but I swear is the DMV ever not insanely busy?

After all the car stuff was taken care of, we headed to another outdoor shopping center; we did a little more shopping and worked up quite an appetite for lunch.

I had never eaten at any of the restaurants in this shopping area, but we chose a place called TK’s Urban Tavern.

It did not disappoint.

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It was a very cozy restaurant and the food, wine and service were excellent.  I ended up ordering a salmon salad with honey vinaigrette.
The salmon was cooked to perfection.

My parents wanted to head back to the hotel and relax and freshen up before dinner, as did Matt and I so we parted ways for a few hours.

Dinner was at a local favorite Mexican restaurant as per my parents request.  I love taking people who visit to smaller, family owned restaurants, and really when it comes to Mexican food, those are always the best.

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Mexican food however typically does not photograph as well.  But when doesn’t guacamole look amazing? I’m pretty sure I ate about half the bowl. I can’t control myself when it comes to guacamole.

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For the last day’s adventure we headed to a local winery that we had taken my parents too the first time they came out to visit. When I had asked my parents if they had anything specific they wanted to do on their visit, this was their one request.

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It turned out to be such a beautiful day.

Good wine. Good company. Good conversation.

Since they had to fly out early the next morning we did a very low key dinner for our last night together.

They found a great pizza place close to their hotel called Boston’s that Matt and I had never been too.

We will for sure be going back.

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The pizza was seriously some of the best I have had. Perfect crust, not too thick, not too thin and the sauce and toppings were amazing.

Pizza and beer, a perfect way to end our visit and time together.

Overall the visit with my parents was great.  It is so nice to be able to build a new relationship with them, forgive and forget the rocky past.

Oh and to end on a sweet note. Like I could go a week without getting frozen yogurt twice…

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I mean really who would I be?

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Do you tend to eat our more on weekends?
What’s your favorite type of food to go out for? It’s always so hard for me. I love everything! Sushi, Mexican, Thai…

getting spoiled

Oh happy Wednesday my loves and happy Thanksgiving Eve!!

I don’t know about you, but I am so excited for a day full of good food, family and a day off work!

Mostly the family, but being the foodie I am, I’m not going to lie I am pretty excited about all the food!

One thing that I’m kind of worried about though is my stomach is still not completely back to normal after last’s weeks sickness.

It just goes up and down with being upset to being fine, but as long as I’m not throwing up, I can work with it.

With that being said meals have still been pretty bland and boring, but thanks to my amazing clients, I have some deliciousness to share with you still.

Let me just tell you. We have been spoiled at my clinic.

 

It started off when my co-worker made not one but two home made pies.

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Apple pie and pecan pie.

I have never had pecan pie, but she raved about hers being the best, so I of course had to be the judge.

Let me tell you, I am a pecan pie convert. It was ah-mazing.

Then all the gifts from the clients started piling in.

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Friends, this happened in just one day.

We have a client who brings us fresh fruit every week for boarding his dogs, it just so happened on that day we also got two boxes on See’s Chocolates, chocolate donuts, and an edible arrangement.

The chocolate arrived first and around our clinic, it’s never too early for chocolate.
So this happened.

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I somehow restrained myself and only had one piece, which is a good thing considering how much more was to come.

This edible arrangement didn’t stand a chance.

Especially the chocolate covered fruit.

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I immediately took a piece of the chocolate covered pineapple and thought I had died and gone to heaven. But really anything covered in chocolate is good in my book.

Which is why a chocolate covered apple was soon plucked off. Chocolate doesn’t last long in our clinic so I had to cease the opportunity.

After I put myself in a chocolate/fruit coma, I needed something to wash it all down.

Thankfully another amazing client came to visit.

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I love Starbucks passion fruit tea as is, but when it’s free, it’s just that much better.

I swear I felt like I was going to explode that day, but it was all worth it.

It’s the holidays,  I’m going to take advantage of it.

Well loves I hope you all have a wonderful Turkey day and I can’t wait to see all the recaps on the delish dishes everyone is enjoying.

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Are you making a dish for Thanksgiving?

What are some of your traditional dishes?


what i ate recovering from food poisoning

Oh hello loves.

This week has already seemed like a very long one, but because of very unwelcome reasons.

I believe I had gotten food poisoning over the weekend, and with trying to spare you the very gross details, I have never felt that sick, been in that much pain, and thrown up that much in a very long time. You know those pains where you just cry because it hurts so much and there is nothing you can do about it?

Yup. That was me.

I have no idea what could have caused it, however I have a few suspects in mind, but I will say those were the longest 3 days of my life.

Thankfully I feel like I have overcome it and even though my stomach is not 100%, I definitely have my appetite back, but I am playing it safe and sticking to bland foods.

So with that being said, I bet you are wondering how this What I Ate Wednesday is going to work this week.

Well for once I can actually give you a look at a days worth of eats, but still keep it themed.

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What I Ate Recovering From Food Poisoning

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After I was done emptying all the toxins from my body it took awhile for me to even begin to think about eating.

I woke up feeling decent, and made the mistake of having a normal breakfast.

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Since it was one of my only days off, I almost always feel like I need to make plantain bread because I don’t get the opportunity that often.

Well big mistake. my tummy was not up for all that and I’m sure all the protein frosting didn’t help either.

Let’s just say I was in a lot of pain that morning and paid for my mistake.

When lunch time rolled around, my body knew it was hungry, but I had absolutely no appetite or desire to eat.  I also had no intentions of getting off the couch.

Insert best fiance ever.

He cooked me up some soup served with fancy saltine crackers on the side.

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Amy’s Organic Vegetable Barley Soup is one of my favorites, but sadly I could only eat about half of it before my stomach started to fight back.

I did however finish the saltines. Those seemed to help soothe the belly a bit.

I basically avoided food like it was the plague the rest of the day and after eating what I thought would be stomach friendly foods and failing, that night I took a risk.

Back when I was in college when I had horrible hang overs and was nauseous my secret cure was Taco Bell.  I can’t explain it, but it was the only thing I could eat when I was sick. Well, I didn’t really want Taco Bell, but I thought greasy food might actually be worth a shot.

So yes kids, we ordered pizza.

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I kept my toppings light though, I did half with feta cheese and half with green peppers.

I played it smart and even though I was starving I ate one piece just to see how my stomach would react.

Things started off good, but about 10 minutes after I ate it, the tummy started talking again.

It may have only been 8pm, but I just went to bed. I was sick of feeling sick and sleep was really the only way to avoid it.

I ended up calling off work the next day which I hate to do, but if I was going to be in any shape as I had been the last two days, I would have been worthless anyways.

That morning I felt a lot better than I had the previous days, but I still decided to play it safe.

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Breakfast was simple toast topped with Earth Balance spread and a drizzle of local honey.

It was so simple, and so delicious.

I didn’t take a picture because it just wasn’t that photogenic, but instead of risking eating dairy (and me being the habitual dipper I am) instead of my yogurt I whipped up a chocolate banana soft serve. Which was ah-mazing.

Finally around lunch time on day 3 I started to get my appetite back. Oddly though I was craving simple and for some reason veggies have seemed repulsive to me. Which for me is odd, because I always crave veggies.

So for dinner, I went with a craving and had a simple dinner of roasted kabocha squash.

It was all I wanted. So I went with it.

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Brushed with coconut oil, sprinkled with cinnamon and roasted. Then topped with my coconut cookie dough.

Nothing fancy, but it hit the spot and I didn’t get sick. Yay!

And with that I am happy to report I believe I am almost back to normal, and let me tell you how happy I am for that, because not having an appetite is no fun for this food loving girl.

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Have you ever gotten food poisoning?

What do you eat when you have an upset stomach?

food lately

It’s been awhile my loves and I apologize.

But I’m not that sorry, because I have been having a really good few last days.

A few personal things happened that I haven’t really shared on here, so to not go into a long back story, let’s just say things are going really well around here!

So I am typically pretty bad at following the What I Ate Wednesday rules, and this week will be no different.

One of these days I really will document a whole days of eats, but I just really like to link up, touch base, and participate so I hope another round of food’s lately are ok with you guys. And ok with the wonderful Jenn who hosts this get together for us every week.

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I haven’t been too lucky lately in having any legit almost empty jars to use for my overnight oats so I’ve been making due with what I do have and making my own.

I did happen to have an almost empty jar of homemade maple pumpkin puree.

Gotta work with that you have and it was a nice addition to my overnight prOATs.

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Overloaded and topped with 1/2 frozen banana, chopped nuts and hemp seeds.

All out of once filled jars, I just created my own.

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Just a boring empty jar filled with chocolate coconut overnight prOATs topped with mixed berries and chopped walnuts (a few white chocolate chips may or may not have been slipped in there).

Might be a little bit boring, but was still pretty delish.

I soon got sick of being boring and tried to spark things up a bit the next time around.

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Pretty sure chocolate and sprinkles makes everything better.

I added a healthy chocolate sauce swirl on the jar, filled the jar with banana cream prOATs  and then topped it all with more chocolate sauce, chocolate chips, trail mix and sprinkles!

It just makes breakfast a little more fun.

Then it’s off to crazy work.

Things have been a bit hectic around the clinic lately… luckily for me I have a few stress relievers within arms reach.

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snacks

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It’s a blessing and a curse having a Starbucks right next door to our clinic. But red cups have been getting me through my work days like no other.

(Ps. peppermint mocha’s with soy are the best thing ever.)

And co-workers who bring in bagels are the devil and angel in disguise.

This was totally a second breakfast by the way. No shame.

Dinners have been needing some assistance lately.

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Take out seaweed salad. I wish it was more sushi, but this was a great appetizer while I cooked up some dinner.

Does anyone else go out for a food they were craving only to want it even more? That’s how I am with sushi. Once I have it, it’s all I want.

Another problem I have is I go to a place with one intention, but something else always seems to happen.

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I swear we went for just a beer.

But I just love chips, salsa and guacamole.

We weren’t even hungry and probably ate the whole basket of chips in 5 minutes flat.

And just in case you were wondering. The beer did happen. (like you had any doubts)

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4

(Matt said he is Jesus in the picture due to the crazy intense sun coming in the background. I just let him think what he wants.)

‘Jesus’ wasn’t able to help the Colts that day though. Horrible horrible game.

But moving on.

I actually made a fun dinner one night too!

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7

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It’s amazing how the simplest ideas are something times the best.

This is just a simple BBQ chicken and veggie quesdailla drizzled with more BBQ sauce and Daiya cheddar cheese shreds.

Deeeeelish.

(Trader Joe’s Bold and Smokey Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce is the best BBQ sauce ever.)

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Well loves I actually have so much more to share with you, but it will have to wait until a later time.

So until then, have a wonderful rest of your week.

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What food/meal do you constantly crave? Seriously, I could eat sushi every day and never get sick of it. No really. We’ve already gone twice this week.