Sunday, September 30, 2012

Creamy Spinach & Avocado Pasta

spinach avocado pasta

A while ago Marlow posted this recipe for Creamy Spinach & Avocado Pasta over at Gluten Hates Me and I immediately pinned it to my Dinner Ideas board and have been meaning to make it for dinner ever since. I finally had the chance tonight with all of the ingredients on hand. I also kicked it up by adding chicken which I had marinated in dairy free caesar salad dressing dressing all day. I can't believe I waited this long to try this dish with two of my favorite foods, spinach and avocado. Thankfully I made a ton so there are plenty of leftovers!! I used some free samples of Jovial pasta that I had received a while ago and it was also delicious. It cooked up in 9 minutes and was the perfect texture and flavor. Sorry my photos lately are terrible, I have been using nothing but my old iPhone and it's just garbage. I'll have to move my big camera downstairs so I have it on hand!

Before dinner I got in a quick 5K. Ok well not really, it took me forever, my legs felt like lead, and I walked a good chunk of it, but at least I did it! It was nice to look at the fall foliage, I love New England!

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

CrossFit at Home

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I'm really trying to get back into exercise, but the thought of going to the gym and riding the elliptical machine for 30 minutes and then going through a round of strength training just doesn't appeal to me at all. I've been reading a lot of Paleo blogs and many of these also talk a lot about CrossFit and as much as I like the CrossFit model, I simply cannot afford to join a CrossFit gym right now. The other day I saw on PaleOMG that a new WOD (workout of the day) Genius app had been launched which would generate workouts based on what workout gear you have access too, such as a bike, dumbells, a bench, a step, running, etc. So even with minimal access to workout gear, you can get in a good workout. Yesterday I entered that I had access to running, a bike, a stair/step and the above workout was generated for me. I mapped out 1 mile around my neighborhood on gmaps pedometer and set off to do my workout. I loved being able to do this workout at home at my own pace. It wasn't super hard, but I still felt like I had a good workout when I finished and I had biked 5 miles, and done 60 of each, jumping jacks, push ups (NOT hand stand pushups, are you kidding me??), and walking lunges.

When Bill got home from archery he made us a delicious dinner of Alaskan Cod, I had some acorn squash roasting in the oven, and then some corn on the side. It was so delicious! We have started having fish once a week and I'm loving it. I never used to buy it because I hated the smell it left in the house but so far it hasn't been bad and it's worth it for the variety we've added to the dinner routine. As far as dieting goes, I just am not into it right now. I'm just trying not to eat too much junk and ramp up the workouts. Do I want to lose weight? Yeah, but it's honestly just not a priority for me right now. Frankly, trying to lose weight is a lot of work and it's just not something I want to focus my energy on. My focus is to eat foods that make me feel good and exercise to keep my body from breaking down. Besides, Bill happens to like my big ole butt!! ;)

Most importantly, I just want to enjoy the fall and get in as many fall activities as possible. And we have Bill's 30th birthday coming up so we have some fun things planned for that. And if some gf pumpkin poppers make their way into my oven, I won't be too upset about that either!

Friday, September 21, 2012

In the end, it was worth it.

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In my town there is this hill. It's a good sized hill and people like to go hiking there. I went hiking there once about 10 years ago and I forget most of the experience, that should've been my first hint. When I started working at my current job back in 2010 I thought I should start hiking that hill again since I drive by it every day, but I never did. A year and a half ago when I started dating Bill I thought we should start hiking that hill, it would be fun, and he lived in that town. How convenient. But we never did. And then I moved in with Bill in that little town with that little hill and I thought, well now we'll definitely start hiking that hill, how could we not? But we didn't. Until about a month ago when Bill went hiking there with a friend and had a nice time and thought we should try it together.

Well you know, I haven't done much exercise in quite some time. To say I'm totally, utterly, completely out of shape would be a fair assessment. But I want to get back into shape! And I want to hike that hill!! I've done it before, once, ten years ago, so it can't be that bad right? So we did. We went and hiked the hill and I tell you, not 50 feet up that bastard I started huffing and puffing like I was about to take my very last huff and/or puff and my face turned bright red and Bill might have laughed at me a little bit until I almost bit his face off. But he pushed me on and didn't let me give up and I made it to the top of that little hill without murdering him and we were happy! And he tried to find this little spot that looks out over our little town but he's not so good with directions so we didn't find it that day.

A week or so later we went back and tried it again and I huffed and I puffed until I almost blew that little hill down, but I made it to the top again. This time I didn't want to murder anyone at all. And we found that little spot that overlooks our little town and it was glorious. This week I tried it again all by myself after work one night and I am good with directions so I found that little spot that overlooks our little town with no problems, and do you know what? I got to see this sunset and it was amazing and I was so happy that I was able to push myself, huffing and puffing all the way, to the top of the hill.

Then I made the trek back down the bottom and the sun was falling behind the trees and it was starting to get dark under the branches and I might have been a little bit afraid. Then I saw the guy with the members only jacket and the 80's style glasses and I thought I might have made a bad choice in hiking by myself at sunset, but I made it back to my car and drove home safely and decided not to do that all by myself again, at least not that late in the day, but I did it. And I was proud. And it was so worth it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pancakes!

photo A little while ago I met my girlfriends for breakfast at The Friendly Toast in Cambridge, MA. Of course before we went I checked out the menu online and was so excited to see that they offer gluten-free pancakes!! I'm a huge breakfast fan and most of the time you'll find me eating eggs over easy and bacon, so I was looking forward to a change of pace. Before we ordered, we were checking out the other diners' plates and I could see that the pancakes were huge! You can order 1 cake, 2 cakes or 3 cakes and add blueberry crumbles, toffee chips or chocolate chips, they also have specialty pancakes like coconut cakes, king cakes, and pumpkin (not available GF). I was curious about the size compared to the "real" ones so I asked the server. He said they are just as round, but a bit thinner based on the batter. I said, sign me up for 2! (And a side of bacon please!) These pancakes were so delicious, I couldn't even finish half of my plate. Unfortunately I said no to a to-go container thinking I didn't want to have the calories later but I wish I had taken them home. I can't wait to go back, next time I'm getting one cake and a side of home-fries, I stole a few from my friend Katie and they were unbelievable! All the girls ordered something different and everyone was picking off each others plates, the servings were massive! I definitely recommend this place, but be prepared to wait to get in, it was featured on Travel Channel's Man vs Food Nation, and also Good Morning America. There is always a bit of a wait, the restaurant has a funky vibe with lots of retro decor and really cool staff. I can't wait to go back!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Guest Post: Preventing Cancer Through Better Nutrition


Today's guest post comes from Jillian McKee who works and writes for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. I was excited when she contacted me about writing a guest post, as I feel that proper nutrition is important no matter what the health issue is, but I don't think it gets any more important than when we're talking about Cancer.

Bringing a wealth of personal and professional experience to the organization, Jillian McKee has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009. Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment.

Check out here blog posts at the mesothelioma.com blog!

Preventing Cancer Through Better Nutrition

There are a variety of different diseases that are linked to poor nutrition. This includes heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and even some kinds of cancer. Many Americans think that they can simply pop a few multivitamins and solve all of their problems. It’s not the case.

Various types of cancer are going to create a number of problems inside the body. The treatment, too, is going to alter the way the body functions. Whether it’s radiation therapy, surgery or even alternative mesothelioma treatment options, there are ways that the body can manage through these treatments better than if nutrition wasn't a focus.

Before one considers nutrition to deal with cancer, it’s possible that one can prevent cancer altogether by focusing on nutrition from day 1. The National Cancer Institute released a tip sheet on diet related diseases that included cancer.

A healthy diet, according to the National Cancer Institute, is 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables. While this may seem high in comparison to what the average person eats on a daily basis, it is very easy to do with fruits and vegetables as substitutes for snacks throughout the day as well as a garden salad for lunch or dinner.

This healthy diet is going to reduce the risks for a variety of diseases, including cancer. Fruits and vegetables contain high levels of disease fighting phytochemicals and fiber that are often missing from the multivitamins that people take every day. Even if the multivitamins do contain these, they aren't at the necessary levels, which is why people must get these vitamins the good old-fashioned way – by eating the foods that contain them naturally.

There is no miracle food that’s going to prevent cancer. However, there are a number of research reports that indicate various types of cancers are linked to nutrition and obesity. When a person who is suffering from poor nutrition or obesity has another factor that is contributed to cancer, they run a higher risk of getting cancer as well.

Cancer isn’t something that anyone plans on getting. In fact, many people assume they will never get cancer, despite the alarming number of people who are diagnosed with some form of cancer every single year. People are ignorant to the symptoms and do nothing in the way of preventing it – which is also why America is fighting higher obesity rates than ever before.

The average American may consume one or two servings of fruits and vegetables in a single day. This is about a third of what they should be eating. In addition to fruits and vegetables, a person should be concerned with maintaining their ideal weight. Those who maintain their ideal weight are healthier in general and run a lower risk of getting a variety of different cancers.

You can never be too safe. When you want to live a healthy life and better prepare yourself for being disease-free, you need to make nutrition a top concern. Eating the right amount of vitamins, minerals and proteins will help to boost your immune system. You will find that you have more energy and are sick less often throughout the year.

Should you ever be diagnosed with cancer despite eating a healthy diet regularly, you will be better prepared to face the treatments that you will have to endure. The side effects from the treatments can result in nausea, dry mouth and a variety of other symptoms. When you are eating the right foods, however, you can experience fewer symptoms as well as less drastic versions of all of the symptoms.

Cancer is nothing to play around with. Depending on when the diagnosis is made and what kind of cancer it is, many people experience a prognosis of 5 to 10 years. You can improve this when you eat healthy.

There’s no sense waiting until you are diagnosed with cancer to start thinking about proper nutrition. When you maintain your ideal weight and begin eating more fruits and vegetables, you take a step in the right direction. You’ll feel better and you will reduce your risk in being diagnosed with many kinds of cancer.