Crusty Country French Bread

Hey all!

I’ve been doing lots of research on my stomach symptoms, and I’m 99% sure that I have some type of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).  This hit home when I read over the list of “trigger” foods (those that set off IBS) and totally did a – “THIS IS ME!!!”

For example:

1. Fatty and fried foods (I LOVE nut butters, but they make me feel bloated and terrible, most of the time)
2. Anything with artifical sweeteners or sugar subs (if you give me anything with splenda/fake sugar, I am running for the bathroom within 30 minutes of eating it)
3. Alcohol (beer makes me the most sick, though more than one glass of wine gets me, too)
4. Dairy products (this one should’ve been a no-brainer, seeing as most things with cream either make very sick or just feel crappy)
5. Insoluble fiber like wheat, bran, starchy veg, brown rice, bulgur, dark leafy veg… (of course, all of the things I love, but I have noticed that after eating less wheat-heavy things, I feel better)
6. Carbonation (if I drink a soda, I’m running for the bathroom or have horrible cramps soon after)

Bingo.

So, I’m going to really concentrate on not eating these trigger foods.  I’ve been doing this since only last night’s dinner and today’s breakfast and lunch, and I already feel 100% better.

I haven’t eaten bread in quite awhile because I was straying away from wheat, but most of the websites I’ve read about IBS say that French bread is pretty safe.  I’m obviously not going to eat the entire loaf (okay, this might be a struggle, so I promise I won’t).  I also love baking bread.  Perfect excuse to make this beautiful, crusty country French bread!

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I used one packet of active, dry yeast, mixed with 1/2 tbsp of white sugar in warm water.  Stir, then let sit until it gets foamy, like the above picture.  This usually takes about 10 minutes.

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Stir in about 2-2.5 cups of AP flour or bread flour, with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and about 1 teaspoon of salt.  Mix with fork.

Confession: I hate getting my hands dirty.  I refuse to knead things.  This bread was made entirely by whipping the dough about with a fork.

Cover the bread with a moist towel and let it double in size.  I believe this took roughly 15 minutes.  Pour into bread tin and place in a 375F oven for 30 minutes.

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Ding Ding!

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Note: I added a handful of rosemary sprigs to mine, because I’m obsessed with rosemary.

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I couldn’t just eat bread for lunch (I totally would, but let’s be real, that’s not the best choice on my part…), so I whipped up some tricolor bell peppers, onions and spinach.

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Mixed with some basil, pepper and salt.  I made an open-faced sandwich with Sara Lee basil encrusted chicken.

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Bon appetit!

Workout note –

My TFL (both sides) is absolutely killing me, so I’m just suiting up for a 60 minute walk/fast walk interval around my country roads.  I checked out The Great Gatsby on audiobook from the library, so I’m excited to give audiobooks a try!  I already know that I love the story, so we’ll see if the narrator is any good.  I’ll also do some free weight upper body exercises when I return, as I have two 10lb dumb bells in my basement.

Flaxseed Pizza Crust!

I’ve been greatly reducing the number of grains I’ve been eating, and my stomach/lower gut feel ten times better!

I’ve also had a mad craving for pizza.

Cue flaxseed!

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6 tbsp flaxseed meal (I use Bob’s Mill)
1/2 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp egg whites
sprinkles of your favorite spices: rosemary, oregano, garlic powder

Bake in a greased pan (I used a shallow 10×10 pan) at 350F for approximately 10 minutes.  Remove and place desired ingredients on top; place back in the oven until ingredients are warm and cheese is melted.

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We didn’t have any marinara sauce, but that’s totally fine – I’m more of a “white” pizza person, anyhow.  I’m that strange girl who likes “dry” things, too.  I topped mine with a few spritzes of butter, pepperoni and reduced-fat swiss.

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Delightful! 

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The crust has a nice, chewy texture, and a mild, nutty flavor.  If you want a crispier crust, bake 15 minutes instead of 10.

You could easily eat this whole pizza if you’re extra hungry (as I did, since I didn’t have breakfast).  This recipe (with my additions) came to ~440 calories, 33 grams of fat, 14 grams of carb and 27 grams of protein = damn good for a pizza.  The crust itself is ~270 calories, 19 grams of fat, 11 grams of carb and 8 grams of protein.

 

Pure Protein Pancakes

Triple P!

I’m trying to eat less flour/wheat/processed wheat for the wellbeing of my stomach – which has been on a damned war path recently – and thus this idea was born!

1 heaping scoop vanilla protein powder
3 tbsp egg whites
dash almond milk
1 tbsp flaxseed meal
heaps of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg

Cook over medium/high heat… they cook quick!

I like mine with a few spritzes of spray butter and a glob of Sunbutter.

I apologize for the quality.. I ate them too fast, so I snapped a blackberry picture!

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They were a bit on the dry side, so I want to alleviate that later.  However, this is a great start!

I’m headed up to my favorite place in the world… Put-in-Bay, a beautiful island on Lake Erie!

Heineman Winery, here I come!

Friday Night Lights

I’ve been out of high school for quite a long time, but my dad still announces the football games… and so I decided to pay a visit to my old stomping grounds!

Before I headed off, I was pretty hungry and didn’t want to stoop to eating concession-food.  Yuck.  I made a power-packed salad that I literally couldn’t finish.

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In the mix:  hummus (best dressing ever), baby carrots, green olives, slivered almonds, chunked chicken breast, hard-boiled egg, mixed leaf lettuce, dill pickle and a dash of sweet peas!

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I also drink the equivalent of four of those water bottles a day.  I take it with me everywhere.

Right, moving on to the football!

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Hey, Dad!

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Trying our best to be really, really excited… (I think it’s working)

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Work it out!

My legs are a bit stiff from yesterday’s workout (which had me a sweaty, sweaty mess).  I ended up doing 10/8/8/8lbs for the step-ups, 15/20/20/20lbs for the swings and bodyweight for the squats.  On the elliptical, I was at level 7 for sprints, and 4 for moderate.

Today’s looks like…

Strength/Cardio
Intermixed!
1 minute, each exercise:

  • Starjumps
  • Kettlebell/DB Swings
  • Skaters
  • Squat with medicine ball
  • Plank jacks
  • Bicep curls
  • Back lunge with kick
  • Bicycle crunches
  • Knee-ups (30sec each side)

If you have any questions about the form of each one, let me know!  I felt like combining my strength and cardio today, so here’s to interval training!

Zucchini Flax Muffins

It’s been a good while since I posted a recipe!

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After grillin’ out (with the company of Hunter, the ”old man”), I whipped these babies up because we received a MASSIVE zucchini from a friend’s garden.  Oh man, I love baked goods with zucchini.

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6 cups of grated zucchini
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup unflavored, 0% Greek Yogurt
1 cup sugar substitute
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
4 whole eggs
4 tsp vanilla
4 tsp baking soda
5 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup ground flax
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven.  When fork comes out clean, remove and cool.  Makes roughly 18-20 muffins!

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My dad is diabetic, so I always try to halve the sugar in recipes.  For health benefits, I always halve the butter, and if I have egg whites on hand, go half egg-white and half whole eggs for a recipe.

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Best served warm with a bit of butter/margarine.

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Aren’t these little “muffin buttons” cute?  Makes an extra ‘muffin top,’ which we all know is the best part of the muffin, anyhow!

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Happy eating!

Run!

I haven’t been able to run without pain for close to four years.

Tonight, on my 40-minute walk, I decided I felt up for the challenge.  I did intervals of walking and running (with a sprint thrown in here or there.. I’m telling you, it was crazy) between telephone poles and mailboxes!  Quite entertaining.

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I live in country-ville, so you can see how nice and flat my roads are, and how pleasant of a distance the poles are apart!

Convenient.

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Jet says hello, too.

Before my run, I met a friend for Starbucks and a movie (The Campaign).  What an obscene movie – very funny, and playing up the American stereotypes like no other.  Can’t wait to watch it with some British friends in England.

At Starbucks, I had one of their new Refreshers (berry hibiscus), which I’m totally obsessed with.  Delicious.

I had a nutella and ice cream binge earlier today (no, really; it was bad), so I’m still recovering and getting my head back in the game.  I wasn’t hungry at all, even after my run, but ate a hard-boiled egg for protein.

The goal tomorrow is to focus on getting more veg and protein in!  I have a tendency to carb-load, so I definitely want to make sure that protein and veggies are the main staples of at least two of my meals, if not all!

Power to the veg and fruit!  Night folks!

Foggy Mornings

I woke up this morning feeling 1) sick to my stomach and 2) like it was October.

The first was caused my horrible eating last night, so that’s my fault.  After a cup of tea and tums, I was finally hungry for breakfast after being awake nearly 2.5 hours.

The second made me really happy and influenced my breakfast choice toward pumpkin oatmeal!

This consisted of a heaping 1/4 cup of rolled oats, a dash of SO Delicious Coconut Milk, 1 cup of water, heaps of cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg and about 1/4 cup of pureed pumpkin.  I stirred in a touch of vanilla protein powder and vanilla extract at the end. I topped the oats with a dash of grape-nuts.

About to hop on a conference call with the Red Cross to do a presentation, then into town to workout, get some fingerprinting done for a silly FBI check for grad school, and back to have a lovely Skype session!