The day in pictures

It was a long (but very good) day. My brain is toast, so I’ll keep it simple:

Chicken fajita pita

Grilled chicken sandwich with low fat balsamic (shredded carrots and onions removed)

Hangin’ with Hoku

Couch to 5K day 2 with Jack

Take and bake cheese pizza from Safeway, with turkey pepperoni, mushrooms, black olives

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Sometimes you gotta spice things up!

This was a CRAZY work day. The work phone started ringing early and I found myself still in my pajamas at noon, because I was too busy with  calls to stop and get dressed. (I did squeeze in time to make juice for breakfast . We did a mean green detox today,  and I made some fresh tea out of chopped ginger root, lemon wedges and agave syrup.) I flew out the door to make it to my 12:30 meeting on time, and picked up a turkey wrap for lunch. Beth had made homemade guacamole, so we snacked on that too. Afterward, I snuck over to Starbucks for a salted caramel mocha frappucino.

This falls into the category of self bribery.

Even though the day was chaotic, it was still good. My perspective has changed in the past few weeks and a lot of things are starting to fall into the “no big deal” category.  Normally I would’ve been annoyed that my phone started ringing at 6 am with screaming people on the other end of the line. Today though, I just went with it. I did what I could to help, and did so from my heart. I  got through the meeting and then headed to the beach for some quiet time.

I like to think of the beach as self medication. Something tells me this guy thinks so too.

I’m so grateful to be healthy enough to work, and to be doing it in such a beautiful, amazing place. Thankfulness is a state of being.

On the way home  I stopped by the store to pick up potato chips, chocolate and pretzels for my oh-so-nutritious Crohn’s diet. I had to laugh when I saw this in the parking lot:

A sign from the universe maybe??

Vea was waiting for me when I got home with a huge pot of “Fire In The Hole” Pumpkin soup. It was an experimental recipe, involving pumpkin, coconut milk,  coconut flakes, ginger, garlic, shredded chicken,  a carrot/veggie puree, turmeric, and a little too much cayenne pepper. Hence the endearing name. We ate it over steamed white rice. Halfway through, my nose was running and my tongue was burning, so I did what any desperately hungry person would  do – I scooped out half an avocado and mixed the chunks right in. What a brilliant solution. I never would’ve dreamed that pumpkin, chicken and avocado could blow my tastebuds up like that – this time in a good way. The creamy coolness of the avocado, the subtly sweet (yet wickedly spicy) pumpkin madness made for a party in my mouth. Especially when poured poured over a hearty mix of rice and savory chicken. This was something the restaurants charge the big bucks for. It’s the stuff starving people dream of. Trust me, I know. Well done, V!!

Yummy doesn’t even begin to describe this.

We’re already plotting what to do with the remainder, since she made a giant pot. I’m voting for adding cream cheese. Anyone want to join us for leftovers?

Stuffed to the gills

I continue to be thankful for being able to eat without pain and discomfort. If I didn’t know better, I would almost start believing I’m a “normal” person. The past month has proven to me that couldn’t be further from the truth though. While it was a good day, nothing went according to plan – so juicing, exercise and time with the boys fell to the wayside. 😦

Breakfast was pretty basic:

Eggo waffles with Brummel and Brown yogurt spread and Hungry Jack butter flavored syrup

I had a really late lunch at Burger King. They don’t advertise a grilled chicken sandwich on the menu, but if you ask, they do have it. It was a bummer to ditch the tomatoes. I really miss fresh fruits and veggies!

And dinner…. it was surprisingly good. Vea got all fancy with the salmon. I couldn’t begin to tell you what she flavored it with… lemon, garlic, paprika, cinnamon, lots of other sneaky ingredients. OMG…. it was YUMMY. Way better than boring, healthy fish.

Baked carrots, salmon, mashed potatoes and avocado

If I’m being honest, I’m actually uncomfortably full. It’s been so long since I felt that way, that the feeling is almost unrecognizable. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s new day. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…

Full day, full belly. Life is good.

Wall decoration I saw today at Target. It’s fitting… isn’t it?

What a crazy, busy day this was! I don’t remember the last time I packed a mix of errands, home improvement, shopping, socializing, phone calls to family, exercise, and work all into one day. I’m feeling mighty accomplished, and, to be honest, a little tired!

Everything I listed above was good, but the highlights of my day were 1) exercise and 2) work. Exercise ranks because it makes me feel like myself again.  I did some squats and then tried to do lunges. I say “tried” because I wasn’t able to complete a single lunge. I was shocked when my legs gave out as I was trying to raise myself up. I found myself lying on my back like a turtle.  I took this to mean that I lost waaaay more muscle tone than I had even realized. This only makes me more determined to get healthy and strong again. After a short rest, I did 30 minutes of walking / jogging on the treadmill, using a Couch to 5K app. As for work, I don’t have a lot to say about it, other than the fact that I love being able to help people and make a difference. It makes my heart happy.

Since it’s late, I’ll wrap this up, leaving you with some of the day’s tastier moments:

Kale, cranberry, apple, carrot juice. Looks gross, tastes awesome.

Our version of egg mcmuffins. Cheaper and tastier than Jimmy Dean de-lites

Leftover ground chicken burger on Punaluu Sweetbread (with seeds scraped off)

Dear Nutrients, I love you!

There are MANY great things about being home after nearly a month away, but at the top of the list is being reunited with the JUICER!!! Since surgery, I’ve been attempting to follow a low fat / low fiber diet, which doesn’t leave much room for fruits and veggies. My insides are SO SO SO happy to get straight up nutrients once again, and this is only the first day. As you’ll see below, I’m still eating a lot of stuff that’s traditionally considered “crap food”. It’s very strange to wrap my brain around the fact that empty calories, refined carbs, etc. are “good” for me. As I’m working on the mental shift, I have a feeling that juicing will be my saving grace.

This morning’s breakfast:

Celery, cucumber, Fuji apple, Meyers lemon, ginger root, kale

Mean Green – doesn’t that look yummy?

It was good fuel for a busy day. I’m finding that I need to strike a happy medium for calorie intake. The past couple of weeks I’ve been hoovering in 3000 calories a day (at least) with ease, but that can’t be sustainable long term. The enormity of my appetite is a little shocking. It’s hard to say if it’s a side effect of the prednisone, the lack of fiber (which is a filler) or if it’s a result of my body coming out of months of a sad starvation mode. Not that I’m complaining, but it’s such a contrast from life a month ago and I haven’t quite found a healthy balance yet.

Now that we’re home, I’m trying to rebuild some sort of exercise routine. I took Jack for a long walk and played with Hoku in the backyard. We did 5 laps of jogging, which was more effort than I was expecting, considering it’s a tiny yard. I did some lunges, squats, bicep curls and some tricep stuff. I’m dying to do pushups and some core work but I can’t get into that until 6 weeks from surgery. I know it might sound weird, but physical activity is one of the best ways to re-establish a sense of normalcy. I hope I never take physical strength and mobility for granted again.

I was starving again by the afternoon (and trust me, I ate a lot after my first juice)- so we made another batch. This time, cranberry, carrot, apple. It was GOOD!!!

Cranberries, carrots, Granny Smith apple; not pictured, Fuji apple

Pretty in pink! This was really tart, but good. Next time, I’ll add more carrots and swap the Granny Smith for 2 Fujis to balance the taste a little. It’s awesome served chilled on ice.

Other grub not pictured: Jimmy Dean DeLite breakfast sandwich with egg whites and canadian bacon, Keebler reduced fat club crackers, Oscar Meyer thin sliced honey ham, reduced fat Easy Mac, an ice cream cone from McDonalds, reduced fat Ritz crackers, and dinner… new york strip steak with the fat trimmed off, instant mashed potatoes and well cooked broccoli. Enjoyed with 1/2 glass of wine and followed with a piece of pumpkin pie. I was STILL hungry after all that, so opted for some hot tea. It’s probably a good idea to save the “fat pants”.

Black Friday, Sunshine style

Aaaaaahhhh, it’s good to be home!!! Yesterday’s flight from LA to Hilo was super smooth. Lots of empty seats (I guess most people don’t fly on holidays), so there was plenty of room to stretch out and rest. The plane landed an hour ahead of schedule, making for a darn good ending to a really great day. This is probably where I should confess that we had McDonald’s drive thru for dinner. Greasy fast food definitely wasn’t my first preference, but options are limited at 9:00 pm on Thanksgiving night. After a grilled chicken sandwich and some crackers with peanut butter, my tummy was happy and all was right with the world. Yes, in case you’re wondering, I was thankful!

Today was an errands day. We were out of the basics, so I braved the crowds – on the biggest shopping day of the year – and headed to Target. I couldn’t believe how great it felt to walk around in 70 degree weather in my baggy jeans, t-shirt, wild hair, and flip flops. No socks, people!!! I commented how “I feel so Hilo today” and Vea agreed – there’s such a laid back vibe here that’s so different from anywhere else we know. (Sigh. We love Hilo!) It was fun to pull it together and dress nice while we were gone, but… well, you know me. 🙂

Because it makes perfect sense to wear a knit hat on a day like today!

In case you’re wondering, my awesome hat is a shout out to Portland. I picked it up at the Athleta store, after a visit to Powell’s. It’s a reminder of a great day, and when I wear it, I can’t help but smile and feel the love.

Today’s highlight was a trip to KTA to stock the fridge. I picked up a bunch of produce for the juicer – but I was too tired to execute once we got home. A ton of kale, cucumber, apples, ginger root, carrots, cranberries are now living in our veggie crisper. I had some puny lemons in a bag, but Vea noticed that the Meyers’ lemon tree in the backyard is starting to produce fruit. For once we may have an actual use (other than “adult lemonade”) for all that fruit!

For dinner, we had ground chicken burgers on Punaluu sweetbread buns, with pumpkin pie for dessert.

A day late is better than never!


For being a beer drinking meat eater, Vea sure is embracing the dietary changes with love. She didn’t complain about swapping out chicken for beef; she didn’t bat an eye at the reduced fat mayo, which is courageous, considering that stuff has a weird texture; and she scraped the sesame seeds off my bun (following the hospital dietician’s advice), when I could have easily done it myself. For a day called “Black Friday”, mine was anything but dark.

“Eat, Pray, Love” was already taken

First things first: Happy Thanksgiving!!! And thank you for reading this inaugural post of “Hungry Girl Eats”. If you know me at all (and if you’re reading this, then you do), then you’re aware of my journey with Crohn’s disease, and the title of the blog needs no further explanation.

I’m starting this project for several reasons. First of all, it’s personal. It seems like a good way  to process the events of the past few months and eventually gain a deeper understanding of what the heck’s been going on.  I want to share openly what it’s like to be me. To be this vulnerable takes GUTS, my friends. (Uh oh,  I’m cracking the funnies already...)  If, in the process, someone learns something about how to support a co-worker, or relate to a friend better, then I’ll be glad to have helped. If someone with a health challenge reads this and walks away with a little more hope, or a brighter outlook on living life in a different lane, that’s priceless. I can only hope my words will find their way to just where they belong.

Some of the things you can expect to see as this little gem gets underway:

  • A day in the life… what crazy diet am I trying today??
  • When was the latest alien baby sighting my stomach region?
  • What’s the lesson, what’s the gift, in all this chaos and madness?
  • How do I accept and embrace reality -life with an incurable disease – while choosing to be defined by health and wellness? 
  • And maybe, most importantly, what good grub did I get my happy little hands on last???? 

Thanks again for stopping by, on this most celebrated culinary holiday of the year, to celebrate and share my joy: this hungry girl is now able to EAT!!! I leave you with images of our Thanksgiving feast from LAX airport.

We dropped $40 on this spread from Baja Fresh. (My jaw dropped as I forked over a wad of cash, but I quickly recovered – after all, it’s THANKSGIVING. I’m just thankful.)  Leftovers are boxed and will be our dinner on the 5 hr flight to Hilo.

I’m excited to write more, as I have so much more to say. A Thanksgiving post is in queue, but for now, I need to wrap it up and publish…. boarding soon.

Much love,

xoxo

The Happy (Not so Hungry anymore) Girl on the Go

 

 

 

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