2015, so far….

Buckle up.

It started in September. I just wanted to simply establish myself as a patient at a primary care doctor. Because I was told I can’t keep using my obgyn as my primary everywhere I went. I’ve never been one to go to the doctor for much other than a yearly and when I was feverish and sick as hell. The new doctor I met in September was super nice. We just chatted about my general health and she ordered blood work just to get an idea of where I was at. Standard procedure. I got a phone call that my white blood cell count was through the roof. And they said I had to be sick. I wasn’t. I reported back in a month to get more blood work to make sure it was just a fluke. Again, my white blood cell count was high. Not as high as before, but still too high to be normal. Again, I was told come back in 4-6 weeks for a re-check. Ugh, fine. So I did what I was told. Again, they were high. They said I probably need to go to an oncologist who specializes in blood disorders and cancers, but let’s just check ONE LAST TIME before we do that. At this point it was comical to me. Check check check check. $20 $20 $20 $20. I started to lose the desire to see a doctor at all. I just thought these people are nuts, I am fine. I have terrible allergies, that has to be why my blood work is showing abnormalities. LEAVE ME ALONE. I didn’t care about going anymore.

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Some people close to me said I was being stubborn and silly and I needed to see this through, so I did. So. It’s a few weeks before my appointment at a local cancer institute. I was getting big pamphlets in the mail from the cancer institute about cancer, how they will do everything to make the transition comfortable, etc. I was pissed. I mean, no one has ever even remotely mentioned anything that serious, as a matter of fact I was told this wasn’t a big deal, but somehow the cancer institute felt the need to scare the shit out of me, Mike and my close family. Not cool, cancer institute. Also, the week before my appointment, I noticed some blood in my bra. Again, me being the way I am, I brushed it off and chocked it up to dry skin. A few days later, it happened again. I half assedly mentioned it to the oncologist at my appointment as she was wrapping up with a plan to see what’s wrong with my blood. She flipped out. Made an immediate appointment 2 days later for me to see a breast specialist.

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To truly end your suffering of reading the most boring post of your life, I’ll try to give it to you in a nutshell. 500 appointments, 2 ultrasounds, 2 mammograms, 40 vials of blood, and 4 different women squeezing their damn hardest on my boob later, I still know absolutely not a lot. The only thing I am for certain of is that I am severely anemic, severely vitamin b12 deficient, my body is in a constant state of inflammation (with no idea why) and I’m wearing a really weird, clear plastic film over my right boob until a week from now when I have a terrifying procedure known as a ductogram, so they can find the growth responsible for my boob problems. Once located, they will surgically remove it and it will be biopsied. *Long, deep breath.*

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Needless to say, I haven’t been giving 2 craps about my diet. I haven’t been giving a crap about much of anything. I only see a few friends as of late. I truly just want to sleep most of the time. And I’ve been the worst person to be around because I’m a grumpy gus about everything that is going on. I haven’t told anyone about what is going on really. Only those who need to know. And I know I don’t have a ton of readers but I want to be as honest with myself and you as possible. I’m sick of being bogged down and letting it all get to me. So I’m trying to be proactive in getting back to normal.

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I’m going to talk to a therapist who my doctor recommends to people in these types of situations. Which I believe is witch craft. But she is very persistent so I’ll try it. I’m also going to be proactive in eating right. I eat pretty great most of the time, but I put weight loss on hold. And it can’t be on hold anymore. I have to put it first. I worry more about letting my friends down for not being around and worry about missing work for appointments more than I actually worry about my health and I know it’s not healthy.

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So, I guess I’m just writing this all out as a first step to coming clean. Getting it all out there. And starting over with what I was setting out to do in the first place. I’ll update you all on the rest of the appointments and procedures. I’m not worried that it is anything serious. I’m more worried about the annoyances and pain from all of the procedures than the actual outcome. I’m a huge sissy baby. I said it. Did all of the photos of food I’ve been eating lately help you through this terribly boring post? I sure hope so!

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Shout out to this guy for being my rock through everything.

Time to get back to it! A few new recipes coming your way his week!

Xo

Sweet Potato Chorizo Hash

Hash, man.

I’m devouring this as we speak. I’m speechless. Never, in a million years, could you convince me ANYTHING tastes better at home. I’m a “go out” kind of girl. But this. My hash at home > hip brunch places. And brunch for dinner? Let’s pretend it’s Saturday morning. Always. Why the hell not.

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Also, Mike isn’t a fan of eggs. I KNOW, RIGHT!? And he INHALED two servings of this bad boy. Dreeeeeamy.

Hash, mannnnn.

You will need:
3 small sweet potatoes (or 2 large)
1/2 pound chorizo
3-4 eggs
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pinch salt
Pico, hot sauce and avocado for toppings

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Roughly chop sweet potatoes until they’re whatever size you prefer. Put them in a big bowl, or a large ziploc bag. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to and a pinch of salt and shake up, coating all of the sweet potato pieces in olive oil.

Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, spread as evenly as possible. Bake for 30 minutes.

When the potatoes have about 5 minutes left, take your oven proof skillet (cast iron) and put it over medium-high (6-7 on dial) heat with the other tablespoon of olive oil. Add your teaspoon of minced garlic. Add chopped onion and chorizo. Cook until chorizo is all nice and browned. About 5-7 minutes. Stir in potatoes. LEAVE OVEN ON. Once all mixed, scoot some of the mix around with a large wooden spoon to make little holes for your eggs. Crack your eggs directly into the holes in the pan. Pull off of the heat and place skillet in the oven. Bake until eggs are set, or about 5-7 minutes.

Take it out. Freak out. Be proud. You are a cooking God. Aw yeah.

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Top with pico, avocado and hot sauce. Nom. Now. For real. Stop. Wasting. Time. Oh, and $15 a weekend at that cool hipster brunch spot.

*Side note: these can be made vegetarian with soyrizo or whatever it’s called. This is also insanely healthy. I’m not an expert but I feel like this meets the requirements of primal, paleo and several other diets. So, eat without guilt, yall.

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Coconut Chicken

Look at me being all healthy.

But seriously, this is probably the healthiest thing I’ve eaten in weeks.

To say I love coconut shrimp is the perfect definition of an understatement. I could live on it. And who doesn’t love chicken? Oh, why not cross over the coconut shrimp idea to chicken? Okay. I will. And I did. And it is magnificent. And not only is it delicious, it is also paleo, primal, caveman, gluten free, clean eating, voodoo, witch doctor approved! My eyebrow is already growing together as one…

This is an easy weeknight dinner that I assure you, everyone will approve of. And your gut will thank you for not feeding it complete crap.

I’m back bitches.

You will need:
6 thawed chicken tenderloins (or equivalent to a pound)
2 eggs
1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup of almond flour
1 cup of unsweetened coconut
Coconut (or your favorite) cooking spray

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Gather two bowls. Put your sprayed baking sheet next to them. In one bowl, add your eggs and almond milk. Whisk well. In the other bowl, combine the almond flour and coconut, mix it up well.

One tenderloin at a time, dip it in the egg wash. Let it drip off a few times. Lay chicken tender in the dry mix. Flip it over a few times to get it nice and coated. Lay tender on greased baking sheet. Repeat until all tenders are ready to go!

Bake for about 15 minutes. (Ours took exactly 15.)

Turn broiler on low and let them sit under it for about 2 minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t burn.

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Aren’t they beautiful? My love for chicken tenders is real and deep. I’m that kid who got chicken fingers at Mexican and Japanese restaurants until my buds matured. You could say I’m a chicken finger connoisseur. While trying to lose weight, it’s kind of impossible to eat traditional tenders and see results. So, I am beside myself happy at how delicious and crispy these babies are. Cheat clean? Isn’t that a thing? Oh yes. I’m obsessed with ketchup but please, get creative with your dipping sauce. I’m boring. Enjoy!

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Copycat Alice Springs Chicken

When I was in high school, I lost 50 pounds by eating super strict low carb and playing sports. And thanks to my loving family who took me to Outback Steakhouse once a week to feel indulgent while on this crappy ass diet. Alice Springs Chicken became one of my major tools for success. It will forever have a special place in my fat loving heart.

If I could eat at Outback every night, life would be grand. But there are many pitfalls to that plan. One includes the temptation of their mystery brown bread, a second being their delicious, crispy croutons and lastly, well, that would cost a fortune.

I figured there was no way re-creating this dish would be hard. And boy was I right!! This tasted JUST as good. And I didn’t have any yummy bread sitting on the table singing me love songs, begging me to just listen to my heart and eat it.

While I definitely do not do super strict low carb, I definitely don’t eat any past 5pm. And this, my friends, was the perfect dinner for us.

Wanna Be Alice Springs Chicken

You will need:
-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
-8 slices of bacon of your choice (you can use turkey, but being as I eat lower carb, I allow fat in my “diet”)
-2 cups of raw button mushrooms
-4 large slices of medium cheddar cheese (use fresh, organic cheese. Trust me.)
-low sugar honey mustard either homemade or store bought
-salt and pepper

Serves 4 (or three, if you have a really hungry boyfriend.)

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This was the honey mustard in our local grocery store that had the least amount of sugar! And it was damn tasty.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Take a glass baking dish and spray lightly with cooking spray.

Lay completely thawed chicken breasts down in the baking dish.

Massage some salt and pepper into the chicken.

I then poured the two cups of raw mushrooms all over the top of the chicken and around the pan. You can be more precise and “fancy” if that’s how you roll.

Splash some honey mustard onto the chicken breasts. As much as you prefer. But remember, you will be dipping the chicken in the mustard as well when you’re eating it so you don’t need a lot!

Top each breast with two slices of bacon. Then add a large slice of cheddar cheese on top to finish off the chicken!

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At this point in the game, I imagined how beautiful this was going to be when it was finished. Because cheesy melty anything is a work of art to me. Am I crazy?

Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, depending on how thick of a cut your chicken is. Ours took about 30-32 minutes!

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Plate em and eat em. Simple as that! Dip it in honey mustard or pour more on top and it will truly remind you of being at Outback!

Serve with your favorite roasted green veggie for a delicious, balanced and low carb meal! Guys. Seriously trust me on this one. Omg I’m so full and I’m feeling good about it. DELICIOUS.

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And that concludes day one of Healthy Eating until the Holidays! Which is basically my own version of primal/paleo with cheese. Because people who don’t eat cheese are crazy. Seriously. Come back next week and see if I’ve turned into a cave woman. I’m currently monitoring my brow line. So far no change.

Xo

It’s been awhile.

Hey guys! How is everyone?

I’ve been quiet, I know. But I’ve been doing REALLY well!

I’ve been keeping my net carbs under 50 a day and eating around 1,200 to 1,300 calories. Boy, did it pay off!

We leave for South/North Carolina today and I’m 15 POUNDS LIGHTER!

If you have the willpower to cut out some carbs, and only have natural sugars (found in fruit and truvia for coffee) then I highly suggest it!

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I haven’t been blogging much because I SERIOUSLY hurt my back a couple weeks ago. No idea how I did it. But it got really swollen and the doctor put me on muscle relaxers. Which means the last week I was pretty useless. Hence the hot dogs and pickles. Too lazy to cook some nights.

Spaghetti squash, meatballs, mozzarella and basil tomato sauce has been my favorite thing while watching my carbs. We eat it for dinner and lunch often! It tastes soooo naughty. But it’s so very nice.

Every morning, I’ve been making a protein smoothie with spinach that tastes like a peanut butter shake. No joke.

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And we had pies galore at work this week for the partner’s birthdays and instead of having a slice, I just got a good size bite every day and I didn’t feel deprived at all!

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I even had a few days where I ate what I wanted. Like at our friends Chad and Kate’s engagement party! OMG they had fried chicken, Mac and cheese, meatballs and chips. Basically all the stuff I love. And I still didn’t gain!

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And last night we went to a wedding! I was nervous. About the food. And I promised my work mom, Paula, that I wouldn’t eat the cake. Not worth it. And I held up my promise! And luckily, the food was perfect! The most delicious broiled chicken, green beans and I even had a yeast roll. When we left, we were still a little hungry. So we stopped at Rallys. I was dying. Their fries are my jam. But I got a cheese champ. Took one bite. Then threw away the bun and just ate the burger! I woke up this morning and was still down a pound! Oh yeahhhh!

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The gorgeous bride, her husband and I grew up together. It is the coolest thing in the world that they are now married. She has been my friend since I was about 2 years old. They came out to “I’m so fancy” which is my jam. And she walked down the isle to Guns and Roses. Best wedding ever!

Off to pack for our trip! Will update with beach pictures! 🙂

Oh, and here’s Bo and my friend Meg’s dog Todd. Being adorable.

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Xo

Basketti Boats

When I was a kid, spaghetti, or as I called it, basketti, was a super regular on the menu. Mom made it because it was easy. Who can blame her. We were a handful. I used to get tired of it, we had it so much. Which is CRAAAAAZY. Because now, well aside from just plain trying not to eat pasta, I crave spaghetti like there’s never going to be spaghetti ever again. Like I’d wake up one day and I was like oh spaghetti sounds good, and mike said what is spaghetti? What are noodles? WHAT IS SPAGHETTI SAUCE?! Oh, the horror.

Luckily, I’ve discovered spaghetti squash, 10 years after it was popular. So what. I discovered it. And I feel like Christopher Columbus of spaghetti. Stretch? Maybe. Not to me.

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And who eats spaghetti WITHOUT meatballs? Jokers. That’s just insane behavior.

I, Christopher Spaghetti Columbus, give to you the greatest, heartiest, cheesiest week night meal that is perfectly Italiano-esque but is also low carb. You’re welcome. Put that shit on a steel sign and hang it as you enter the city. Let it be known. It is here.

Serves 2

1 spaghetti squash
1 cup basil marinara
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
10 meatballs – we used frozen meatballs from trader joe’s (hey, I’m eating lowish carb, I can eat 10!)
Garlic powder
Olive oil

Follow my simple, how-to for spaghetti squash here!

Once the spaghetti squash is complete, FORK ITTTT. Shred it up every which way. Then fluff it up and add it back to the “squash boat” where it came from.

Follow the directions for your meatballs. You can microwave them to save time, or cook them IN the basil marinara until fully cooked through.

Turn oven to broil after the sauce, balls and squash are all ready to go!

Sprinkle garlic powder on the inside of the spaghetti squash. I’m liberal with garlic powder.

Top each of the fluffed spaghetti squashes with half a cup of sauce and 5 meatballs each. Then top that with shredded mozzarella. Half a cup each!

Pop them in the oven on broil. Keep an eye on them, broiling is serious biz. Let the cheese get bubbly with a hint of brown and then they’re all set!

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Take them out. Pine over it. Look at it lovingly. Blow it a kiss. Drool. Then devour. Straight out of the boat!

Followed by not feeling bloated and sleepy like pasta makes us all feel!

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Then lay around a bit. Then take your dog to the park to walk. Or cat. Or significant other. Boyfriends need a good walking, too.

Xo

I’ve been eating… And losing… And eating.

I feel AMAZING!

I’ve lost 6 pounds since Sunday and I haven’t felt deprived at all! I even ate A LOT of tortilla chips and queso blanco two nights ago. It’s all about balance, right?!

I’ve been keeping my carbs under 70 grams a day and REALLY watching my sugar and my god, what a difference it has made.

I think my protein smoothie every morning has something to do with it too!

You know when you get in that mindset? And nothing will stop you? That’s how I feel right now! Won’t let it fade!

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Here’s what I’ve been eating for dinner and lunches in no particular order! I’ll be back with the recipe for the delicious frittata!

I did Zumba at home and walked Monday night. Tuesday nothing. And last night I made Mike do Taebo! It was fun/funny! 🙂

SPOILER ALERT for tomorrow’s weigh in: I’m already down 6 pounds this week!!! So yeahhhhh. I’m very excited for this weigh in!

You can do it you guys! Thanks for hanging in there with me! Love you all!

Oh, and here’s a picture of Bo for Cassy and because I know you all love him! 🙂

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Xo