Friday, June 29, 2012

Feeling Defeated

Sorry that I haven't posted much recently. The middle of June got busy and then this past week has been hard. Since I'm trying to keep my blog a little happier, I haven't really felt like posting. But I've decided I need to give an update for those of you who don't know what's going on.

I don't remember if I mentioned this back in April but I had made an appointment with a doctor of internal medicine. It was made for June 25th, this past Monday. I was looking forward to it and counting down the days and feeling a little bit hopeful that maybe he would be able to help me. I figured the least he would do was run more tests and look for things that my normal doctor had missed. Well, I was disappointed. He basically told me I had all the testing that could be done and there wasn't anything else he could do for me. He is scheduling me a CT scan just to be sure but he said he would "bet money" that nothing is going to show up. So I have been given the unnofficial diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Which I have heard is what they tell you if they don't know what else is wrong. Woot woot.

So since Monday I have felt discouraged and depressed and defeated. I have no idea what to do now or where to go or what my next step is. I had been holding out hope for this appointment, deep down I really thought that he would be able to help me. But now that he can't, I don't know what to do. I don't want to live like this for the rest of my life. I don't want to feel nauseous and have cramps and diarrhea. I don't like it one bit.

I've been laying low and wallowing in self pity. To top it off, I got a bad head cold on Wednesday and am still feeling like complete crap. What a great week it has been. I will try and get back into the swing of things next week and maybe post a garden update or some more baking stories.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Crockpot Freezer Cooking

I am proud of myself. After many months of procrastinating, I actually froze four crockpot meals. I've had it on my to do list for a couple months and kept thinking how great it would be to have meals in the freezer for those days when I don't have time to cook something but I never got around to it. First, I wanted to do it with a friend. I figured it would be more fun that way and many hands make light work. But after that fell through, I put it off even longer. Then, I was too cheap to actually pay full price for the meat needed in the recipes so I wanted to wait until they came on sale. Long story short, I finally prepared four meals this weekend. Ideally, I would have preferred to do more than four but alas, only chicken was on sale so my other recipes will have to wait.

It was so easy and fast! I probably spent a total of an hour, if that, in the kitchen preparing these meals from start to finish. And I feel so accomplished now! I would highly recommend doing this. I can't say anything about the recipes yet since I haven't actually tasted them but they looked good. So I'm sure they'll be delicious.

I made two bags of each recipe. I made Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken from Mama and Baby Love and Chicken Teriyaki from Ring Around the Rosies. I do plan on trying some more recipes down the road but for now, these are the two I started with.

Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken, ready for the freezer!

All the ingredients for chicken teriyaki

Chicken Teriyaki ready for the freezer
***UPDATE***
I just wanted to pop back in and say that I have now tasted one of the recipes. I popped the Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken bag into the crockpot yesterday and we ate it for supper. Once it was all done, I realized it was a lot more watery that I had thought it would be so I made the impromptu decision to serve it over rice. Which tasted fine to me. I did find it to be a little lacking in flavour so I may try adding more spices next time. But overall, I was pleased with how it turned out.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Thank heavens for buddies

Today, I am going to write a post about my buddies. What is a "buddy" you ask? Let me tell you. On The Bump, I am part of an online community of fellow loss ladies. I've been part of this group for way too long and while I've been there, I have been a part of different buddy groups.

My first buddy group consisted of four of us and while I don't know how close the other ladies got to each other, I got close to each of these ladies. They were there for me and supported me through some really hard days. I had my second loss while a part of this buddy group and these women understood and let me cry and vent to them. All three of them have since been blessed with their rainbow babies and while I am beyond happy for them, I'm also a little sad that having a baby takes them away from me. I understand, I really do. It's hard to get online and chat and send emails when you have another little human being to take care of. I still keep in contact with them though, even if it's not as often as it used to be. To my first three buddies, you know who you are, I love you all so much. So so much. And I wish that we could all meet one day. But in the meantime, I will continue to stalk you on Facebook and The Bump and enjoy looking at pictures of your little ones.

I then became part of a second group of ladies, or buddies as we call them. This was a TTA group. There were three of us who had to TTA for varying reasons so we formed our group to support each other during a difficult time of frustration and impatience. Once again, these ladies were there for me during a hard time and they could understand what I was going through. Back in the spring/summer of 2011, we were united! They were given the go ahead to TTC again around the same time and were blessed with their rainbow babies this past April! Two beautiful little girls entered the world into awesome families with amazing moms. Once again though, having a baby limits your time online so we haven't been in touch as much as before. But, I can stalk them on Facebook. Good thing we have Facebook eh? To my two TTA turned TTC buddies, thank you for your support and encouragement over the last year. You are awesome!

Which brings me to my third, and current, buddy group. The Terrific Threesome. Yup, that about sums us up. :P These ladies make my days more bearable. I love our chats and the support and encouragement that you both offer me. I'm still determined that my baby luck will rub off on both of you soon and you will be on your way to your rainbow babies soon! I have a pretty good track record of my buddies having babies. Thank you both so much for understanding and being there for me. Always.

So that sums up my post of buddies. I am so thankful for these seven ladies that I have never met but feel like I've known forever. This past year and a half has been made easier thanks to you and I can't really write out all my appreciation. Just know that I love you all!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Clean Eating Meal #1 = Success!

I have decided that I need to start eating better. Since I'm coming up on a year of being sick, I'm willing to try just about anything. So I researched and read blogs and dug a little deeper and decided I'm going to start eating clean. What is clean eating you ask? Well, to me it means eating more organic healthy foods, eating more vegetables, fruits, grains, etc. I'm also trying to cut out refined sugars and flours and processed foods. But I am doing it slowly. None of this cutting cold turkey or throwing out all my food in order to start fresh. I'm slowly replacing things with healthier options and trying not to buy any more junk. So far so good. I've been cutting back on desserts and trying to find healthier options to my snacking habits and my meal plans.

All this to say, I tried a delicious recipe last night that I found on The Gracious Pantry's blog. Here is the link to the recipe, Chicken Kabobs.

It was amazing! I will definitely be making it again. Also, if you have the time, check out her blog for a ton of resources on Clean Eating! I'm addicted to it and keep going back to find more resources and recipes.

And now for your viewing pleasure...

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Super Amazing Zucchini Muffins!

I'm on a muffin kick, can you tell? They're just so easy to make, easy to freeze, easy to grab and easy to eat. And I'm all for easy. I'm also trying to use up a bunch of stuff I have in my freezer before summer comes and I have fresh stuff to freeze again. So after taking inventory of my freezer, I realized I had quite a few bags of zucchini left. Normally I would make chocolate zucchini cake en mass but since I'm trying to be a little healthier, I figured there must be better options out there. So I did what every  mature adult does, I called my mom! She gave me one of my sister's recipes from our childhood that was titled Super Amazing Zucchini Muffins. Humble right? I chuckled at it and started baking.
This is me, the gourmet goddess

Frozen zucchini and a scribbled recipe
Way too much sugar!
Here is where I would like to chime in and say that if (more like when) I do make this recipe again, I will definitely be putting less sugar. It called for 1/2 cup of white sugar and 1 cup of brown sugar. To me, that's a little too much sweetness for 18 muffins, not to mention I'm trying to cut back on my sugar. Maybe I'll try substituting honey for the sugar next time, who knows. I really should have cut back this time but I forgot until I was mixing it in and it was too late. Live and learn I guess.

Grated carrot

Some of the dry ingredients
 Another thing I did was mix brown and white flour into the recipe. I'm trying to slowly wean myself off of refined flours and sugars (what do mean you can't tell???) so I put more brown than white this time. Maybe all brown next time?

Muffins cooking in the oven

Cooling off

Can you say Delicious!
All in all, I'm very pleased with how these muffins turned out. I plan on making them again and experimenting with healthier options in place of a lot of the not so healthy ingredients. But in the mean time, I will enjoy my sweet little treats while I can.

For those who care or if you want to try this recipe yourself (I highly recommend it), here is the recipe! And I've added my notes and tweaks at the end.

Super Amazing Zucchini Muffins
1/3 c. oil                                          2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar                                     1/4 c. powdered milk
1 c. brown sugar                             2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. applesauce                            2 tsp. baking soda
1/3 c. orange juice                          1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla                                   1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 eggs                                             1/2 c. oatmeal
1 c. chopped pecans
1 c. grated carrot
1 c. grated zucchini

Mix wets and veggies, add drys and mix well. Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake at 350 Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes. Cool on wire rack and enjoy!

Now here are my changes. I didn't have any orange juice on hand so I just added more oil in place of it. I also didn't add the chopped pecans since I had none in the house but I will be adding those next time! I mixed brown and white flour and skipped the powdered milk altogether since I'm off dairy right now. Oh, and I only put 1 tsp of salt since 2 seemed a little much. And like I said earlier, I will be adding less sugar next time. Feel free to try them and play around how you please. They're pretty flexible. Enjoy!