Plexus Day 2



First Drink: 7:00am 



As I sip my pink drink driving to a professional development class I have a raging headache. The more I drink the more I get the unsettling feeling that I’m going to puke. I turn the ac on. I sip plain water. I breathe deeply. For 40 minutes this nausea doesn’t let up. I park my car and walk to class praying for relief. It finally subsides when I sit in the cold classroom.

I’m told by a friend this is not an uncommon side effect the first few days.

I’m dreading the second mix this afternoon. But I’m not a quitter so here’s to hoping I don’t feel quite so sick again.

Second Drink: 3:30 PM

This one goes down a lot easier. I’m waiting for the nausea to kick in and it doesn’t. My headache is still pretty gnarly though. As far as headaches go I tend to have a very high tolerance because I’ve experienced migraines with aura in the past so severe that I have lost my peripheral vision and vomited. Still this is a solid, consistent, pounding headache.

That being said I didn’t end up working out today. Instead I drink extra water and have plans to go bed early.

Recipe of the Month: PB Energy Bites

This is my favorite thing of all to make and eat. My boyfriend has me make a triple batch before his rugby tournaments almost every weekend and since I’m just so kind (aka since they are just so easy to make) I always oblige.


These are no-bake bites, so they are perfect for the hot summer days when you don’t want to turn the oven on. 

The ingredients (1 batch makes 15-18 small bites or 12 large bites):

  • 1 cup oats 
  • 1/4 cup honey (if you prefer less of a peanut butter taste, use 1/3 cup, but I prefer less sugar)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup shredded coconut (toasted if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds

Have a Tupperware container lined with wax paper or parchament paper ready for the bites to be placed in, because my method gets messy.

Using your hands, mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl until the oats are well blended. Take small sections of the mixture and roll into bite sized portions, then place the ball into the container.

Once all the bites are rolled, put them in the fridge for about an hour. I like to cheat and throw them in the freezer for 10 minutes so I can eat them right away!

These are great for on the go breakfast, a midday snack, or a pre-/during- workout boost. Enjoy!

Recipe of the Month: Mexican Bell Peppers

I saw a picture of what looked like a DELICIOUS stuffed pepper, and decided I would try to make my own.

I used:

  • 3 big red peppers (or 6 small)
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 2 cans corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with juice – I like Rotel … it’s a bit spicy!
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 red onion
  • Mexican cheese, shredded
  • 1-1.5 lbs lean ground turkey
  • Spices – chili powder, oregano, salt, pepper

First I cooked the turkey in a big pan. At the same time I boiled my rice. When the turkey was done I added the corn (drained), onion, garlic, and beans (drained and rinsed). I let those stew for about 5 minutes before adding the rice, tomatoes, and spices. I just eyeballed my spices, so if you like your food bland, don’t add as much spice… Or if you like spicy, put more chili powder. It’s your food 🙂

I let the mixture cook for 10 minutes. In the meantime, I cut my peppers in half and gutted them. I microwaved them in a dish with water for a few minutes to soften them up.

Once done, I set the peppers in a glass baking dish and generously spooned the finished mixture from the pan into the shells. I topped them off with the Mexican cheese and put them in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. 

They were perfect!! It was delicious. I ate the leftover mixture on bean chips with guacamole and salsa and it was also super good. This is a meal you definitely should try, as it’s pretty darn healthy!

Woe is Wheat

It has been a pain learning about my new wheat allergy. So many easy to grab foods contain wheat, and if they don’t contain wheat, I’ve discovered they likely contain nuts or something else I’m allergic to. And after agonizingly watching my family enjoy a cheesy pizza last Friday night without me, I was determined to do my research and find healthy snacks and meal recipes that…

  • A) aren’t super expensive
  • B) aren’t crazy complicated 
  • C) don’t taste like dirt, and 
  • D) actually keep me full!

…So that I don’t have to miss out on enjoying my food!

Here’s a list of foods and brands that I’ve purchased recently that have helped me transition to a diet that excludes all wheat, nuts and white potatoes.

  • SunButter and Quaker Oats Chocolate Rice Cakes (the big ones) have been my favorite breakfast. 2 cakes generously covered in the sun butter is delicious. Dare I say I actually enjoy the SunButter more than peanut butter because it’s not quite as dry….!?
  • Quaker Oats (flavored) Rice Cakes (the small crisps). I particularly like the cheddar and barbecue chip flavors. I love sour cream & onion, but the Quaker ones don’t quite get the job done for me.
  • Bean Chips are my new go to after work snack with some cheese and salsa. As the article image shows, I threw chili on them for dinner one night and it was so good! Yummm….
  • Chex Rice Cereal, raisins, and semi-sweet chocolate morsels make for one big stash of homemade trail mix that definitely gets the job done.
  • Kind Bars! This one flavor – chocolate quinoa and flax seed is absolutely AMAZING! I found boxes at Walmart for super cheap.

Of course I still enjoy my usual go-to’s like yogurt, oatmeal, bananas, and homemade smoothies, as well as normal dinner foods like grilled chicken, rice, and broccoli or other meats and veggies… But these few brands have proved worthy of my grocery cart and can remain in my kitchen for now.

Unfortunately, I’m still experimenting with different brands of Gluten free bread. So far all the ones I’ve tasted are very bland and it’s a whopping $6 for a half loaf of slices that are barely the size of my palm. Stay tuned.

I’ll be sure to add to this list as I continue to grocery shop and test my taste buds on my new wheat free life!

Recipe of the Month: Caprese Salad Lettuce Cups

This weekend I saw a recipe on Instagram to make caprese salad lettuce cups. I LOVE caprese salad so I decided to make it… As I prepped, I made a few changes to it to better suit my taste, but the original recipe can be found on @feelgoodfoodie’s Instagram (here).

In a bowl, I mixed 1.5 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette (with maple syrup flavor), 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp crushed basil, a dash of salt, a dash of pepper, and a dash of garlic powder.

Then I added the good stuff. I diced up 2 small tomatoes, 1 whole avocado, and about 1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese chunks.

I stirred it up until the dressing coated it all, and scooped it out onto big leaves of romaine lettuce. This made 3 (good sized) leaves. 

If you’re a cucumber lover (sadly I am not) then you’d enjoy @feelgoodfoodie ‘s original version on Instagram. But if you’re like me and choose to forego the cucumbers, this was still delicious!

  
 

Eating My Way Around Food Allergies

It was recently discovered that in the past few years, I’ve developed some bad food allergies. I guess stomachaches, cramps, and headaches have become such a routine part of my life that I hadn’t really considered being allergic to what I was eating. But my environmental allergies have progressed to a pretty severe level that I decided to look into immunotherapy, aka allergy shots.

The doctor and nurses were shocked I hadn’t come in sooner given how the testing went. So now I’m getting shots every week to help build immunity to basically everything God created on this planet – trees, grass, mold, dust, etc. and the food allergies I have developed work in tandem with those allergies to make my immune response way over dramatic. 

I’m allergic to hops. But I can live without beer, given how infrequently I drink and my preference for sweet anyway.

I’m allergic to melon and cantaloupe. But I rarely opt for those fruits over bananas or berries anyway.

I’m allergic to a few types of beans, but not black or kidney, which are the only ones I usually eat anyway.

I’m allergic to white potatoes, but I can deal with switching to exclusively sweet potatoes when I eat them.

But the last few actually upset me. I’m allergic to nuts. All the best ones I love. Peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios … my FAVORITE, my number one choice of snack on the go, the best blends of trail mix… But since I’ve developed a progressing allergy to these nuts, I have to remove them from my diet.

And last but certainly not least, wheat. 

Wheat!

American diet consists highly of wheat, right!? As I’m sitting here considering my options, I’m shocked at how much wheat even I – someone pretty conscientious of her nutritional choices and intake – consume. Forget the junk food I eat when I’m cheating, I now need to find alternatives when I eat any of my normal meals. 

Bread, pasta, granola bars, pretzels, dumplings, crackers, soy sauce, ice cream, prepared bake mixes, cereal, salad dressings, mashed potatoes, macaroni, most Chinese takeout (and New Years is coming 😦 ), pizza, soups…. So many foods have wheat or wheat flour used as its primary ingredient or as a thickener. I had no idea it was in so much.

Now, this wheat allergy is different than a gluten sensitivity, and it isn’t the same as Celiac Disease. This is a common misconception. While ingesting wheat causes me gastrointestinal discomfort – nausea, stomachaches, cramps, etc. – and headaches, it doesn’t make me vomit, it doesn’t affect the lining of my gastrointestinal tract, or any of the other more severe symptoms that Celiac Disease causes.

However, continuing to eat these foods is making me more sensitive to all the other allergies that give me symptoms. And those symptoms are pretty bad – seriously swollen eyes and lips, itchy hives and painful welts literally everywhere, and wheezing. And I’m told I will feel a lot better (bye bye to my daily head and stomach aches!) when I’m not eating these things.

So, from now on I really need to thoroughly read labels and start learning how to cook with some new ingredients: quinoa, different rices, sweet potatoes.

And I also need to learn what some good alternatives are to peanut butter, almond butter, trail mix, bread, etc. etc. etc.

So if any of you have advice or recipes to share, I would be eternally grateful if you’d comment for me!

Recipe of the Month – Froyo Berries

Not long ago I posted an article about foods that are season versus foods that are out of season. Since it’s summertime, most berries are currently in season and at their juiciest, ripest, and freshest. That being said, I have a great, simple recipe for you.

The best part of this recipe is that you can choose literally any berry you like. Blueberries are my favorite, but even raspberries or strawberries could work.

Once you pick your berries out, grab a tub of Greek yogurt and line a cookie sheet with wax paper. All you’re going to do is dip your berry in the Greek yogurt and place it on the wax paper. I like plain old Chobani or Oikos Greek yogurt since the tang pairs nicely with the sweet fruit.

For smaller berries, you can use a toothpick to dip them in the yogurt. Once your cookie sheet is full of berries, place it in the freezer until the yogurt hardens. Make sure to eat the berries shortly after you decide to take them out of the freezer, because the yogurt will melt fast. Enjoy this cool summer treat as a snack or dessert that you don’t need to feel guilty about indulging in!