A Joyful Thanksgiving Weekend

For all those who celebrate Thanksgiving I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend!

You may have noticed I’ve once again I have fallen behind on this whole blogging thing…but lately I’ve been exhausted. I think my randomly breaking a rib a few weeks ago might have something to do with it, and my body is trying hard to recoup. Going into the holiday season I am looking forward to some much needed rest and relaxation! Eventually I’ll get back into a routine, but until then if you’d like to follow me on Instagram @justwaterplease89 feel free.

And for now, a Thanksgiving recap!

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On Thursday we got together at my Grandma’s house, here is me and my Mom.

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On Friday I was happy to host my Dad’s side of the family for the first time at my new apartment! We had a vegan and gluten-free feast with cinnamon coconut mashed sweet potatoes, mushroom millet stuffing, cornbread, cranberry sauce, BBQ dijon tempeh, and a side salad. So delicious!

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Afterwards we hung around, chatting and drinking, and letting my niece “bejewel” all the ladies with her jewelry sticker book :)

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Then on Saturday we celebrated my Mom’s birthday by going to a wine bar, out to dinner and then to a bar with live music and dancing. It was such a fun night!

Luckily each day I was able to sleep in so I could handle all the holiday fun! Have a great week!

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Lately

These past few weeks have been flying by. I’ve been busy with my health coaching program, and loving every minute of it! This week’s lectures were on vegetarianism, veganism, and other plant-based diets. And I can’t wait to get more into the actual coaching material soon.

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I’ve also been busy with a Rapid Rem Party :)

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Soaking up glorious fall walks!

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Trying new Thai restaurants! The Pad Thai I had was amazing.

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Exploring spectacular sculpture gardens!

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Cooking African Peanut Stew for my work’s annual fall luncheon!

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Snuggling with my kitty!

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And dressing up as Carrie Underwood for Halloween! I didn’t feel good most of the weekend, but I was determined to use this costume so my sister and I had our own party on Sunday afternoon and watched Children of the Corn while sipping apple cider with bourbon :)

If you’re Halloween plans don’t start until tomorrow, hope you enjoy!

 

A Fun Fall Week

We had a beautiful fall week here in Wisconsin, and I’m happy to say I enjoyed it to its fullest!

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I had this delicious breakfast last weekend of brown rice cereal, almond milk yogurt, almond milk, raw almond butter, chia seeds, coconut oil and raspberries. Lots of almond going on! My kitty was interested in the crackling sound of the cereal as well :)

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That same weekend my sister and I went to a nearby corn maze. It was small and cute, and fun for $5.00!

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Monday I came home from work to find a package at my doorstep. It was a welcome gift from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN)! IIN is the school I am enrolled in for my certified integrative nutrition health coaching degree. Such a fun surprise!

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I enjoyed a few walks with crisp fall weather and crunchy leaves! I can’t believe this is the view on my regular walking trail. So beautiful!

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I love the vibrant red colored leaves the most!

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Just this weekend while on a walk on the lakefront I enjoyed a coconut milk chai. Yum.

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And also went to a fall harvest festival with a friend! Lots of fun people, good music, and hanging out in the street. I had butternut squash soup and a mulled cider with brandy. So good.

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I finished off the week with some pumpkin cinnamon rolls from Trader Joe’s – good, not great.

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And a delicious almond milk yogurt with chia and raspberries. This is definitely my favorite non-dairy yogurt I’ve found thus far.

Hope your week was just as fun and delicious!

 

Living

This past Wednesday I decided to purchase last minute tickets to the Carrie Underwood concert in town. I’d known she was coming for months, and thought it would be fun to see, but never followed through and actually purchased tickets. The day before the show I thought to myself, I don’t have any plans for tomorrow night, I can afford a ticket, I love Carrie Underwood, so why not go?

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Since I didn’t buy tickets until the day of the show it was hard to find anyone to go with, so I ended up going to the concert by myself…And it was amazing! I am so glad I went and did something spontaneous just for fun! Don’t be afraid to do/experience the things you enjoy just because you don’t have people to do it with, sometimes you need to take yourself out on a date night :)

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Carrie, of course, was unbelievable. And the experience was so powerful and energizing!

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Luckily there were three nice girls sitting next to me and offered to take a picture of me living and loving life!

I don’t know about you, but I need to start doing things like this more often. In the words of Carrie Underwood “I don’t want to spend my life jaded, waiting, to wake up one day and find that I let all these years go by, wasted.”

Moral of the story: do something fun and for yourself! Bonus points if you do it on a weeknight :)

Twenty Seven

Last week I turned 27. I spent my birthday surrounded by friends and family in NYC, and am so lucky to have such amazing, inspiring, fierce and beautiful women in my life! These ladies have been there for me physically and emotionally while I’ve dealt with some health issues this past year and a half.

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And as you may have noticed, it’s been quite some time since I’ve posted here. Over the past year or so I’ve been struggling with everything from extreme fatigue and lower back pain, to weight loss, frequent trips to the bathroom, and severe bloating and distension after eating and drinking. [And all of this is apparently in addition to my Crohn’s disease].

When I say I am dealing with severe distension, this is what I mean. Upon waking, if lucky, my stomach has flattened out,  but as I eat throughout the day it becomes more and more distended, until it looks like I’m a few months pregnant.

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Needless to say, with all of these stomach issues I’ve also had a lack of appetite, which has led to my passion for food and experimenting in the kitchen to become practically nonexistent…And also contributed to why I haven’t blogged in a year.

I wanted to write this post today because as a blogger and a health professional I think it’s important to be honest about both your struggles and successes. I think sharing your personal story and journey towards health has the potential to resonate with others, and maybe even help them. At least to let them know they’re not alone, and that this too shall pass.

With all that said, entering my 27th year I want to focus on positivity, gratitude, and being present. Although the stomach issues are still a daily occurrence, I’ve had an empowering mental shift which makes me believe that the year ahead will be my best one yet.

One reason I’m excited about this year, is that I finally had the courage to invest in myself and my potential, and I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN)! In one year I will be a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach! For years now, I’ve let my fears drive my life. I focused more on the negative “what ifs…?” than the positive ones. Instead of being confident in myself and my abilities, I always found a way to convince myself they weren’t enough to really make a difference. Unfortunately, I think this mindset is quite common in women, and that is part of the reason I decided to go back to school.

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Ready to rock my first IIN class!

Being  a Certified Health Coach will complement my Master of Public Health Nutrition degree, and allow me to do what I’ve always wanted to: help people achieve greater health and happiness by guiding them through holistic processes specifically tailored to them as an individual. And also helping them to see how truly strong and invaluable they are.

In a nutshell, a lot has gone on this past year. But as this one starts anew, I hope to get back in the routine of sharing with you all the wonderful things I learn in school, delicious plant-based recipes, and life in general! Thank you all for following along and please reach out if you ever want to chat :)

XO,

Sydney

 

 

Avocado “Buttered” Chili Lime Corn on the Cob

A seriously simple and delicious summer staple! Sweet corn on the cob!

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This time it’s coated with a pat of creamy avocado, and spiced up with some chile powder, salt, pepper and fresh lime juice!

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Put that all together and you’ve got yourself a glorious corn on the cob with a little sweet heat!

Avocado “Buttered” Chili Lime Corn on the Cob

Serves 1

Bring a medium sized sauce pan filled with enough COLD water to cover the corn to a boil.

Once boiling place corn in water. Allow water to return to a boil, then turn off heat and let corn cook for about 5-7 minutes or until tender.

After corn is done cooking, allow enough time to cool to be able to handle.

Roll the corn in fresh, creamy avocado, just as you would in a stick of butter.

Sprinkle some salt and pepper along with a generous pinch of chili powder over the corn.

Finish by squeezing fresh lime juice over top! Enjoy!

 

What I Ate Wednesday #126

It’s Wednesday! And you know what that means! Another installment of What I Ate Wednesday. This time it’s WIAW: Camping edition.

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Last Saturday I got up early to run a few errands (the bakery and farmer’s market) before heading out to go camping with two of my best friends from Undergrad. At the farmer’s market I picked up tons of lovely fresh veggies, and also this almond croissant for breakfast. It was filled with almond paste and was delightful.

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Midmorning my stomach was feeling a bit upset so I snacked on some dry Chex cereal.

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And a few blueberries as well.

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Luckily I felt a bit better by the time we were driving to the campsite! Here we are at leg one of our trip, stopped at the park ‘n ride to meet up with our other friend!

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I also snacked on some graham crackers while we were waiting. I had to break into the s’more stash for the evening, but we still had plenty left!

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Once we got to our camp site we decided it would be best to pitch the tent right away. I’m not sure any of us had ever pitched a tent before so we thought that should be a priority in case we ended up being there until nightfall, haha.

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Although we had no instructions, we dominated the tent-pitching process! MU represent.

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Lunch was a tasty bagged lunch: pb sandwich, grapes, crackers, and trail mix. I haven’t bought trail mix in forever, but this Monster Mix from Target was delicious. Chocolate and peanut butter chips!

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We went for a hike around the lake that afternoon, and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.

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Look at those red pines!

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After our hike we went back to go start our fire. We weren’t sure how long that would take either! But after a little bit of time, patience, and nurturing, we had a beautiful fire! We were so proud of ourselves, and we decided to have some s’more appetizers before dinner. Best idea ever.

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Dinner was fun too! Pudgie pie pizzas. Yummy veggie filling! Placed in the coals for about 3 minutes and then you had a golden crusted, ooey gooey cheesy pizza pie.

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We also had a little wine by the fire. It was wonderful just hanging out and chatting by the fire!

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Later that evening we played some games, like Scattegories and Cards Against Humanity. I snacked on some plain mallows as we went along.

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Then it got too dark to see anything so we spent the rest of the night by the fire. It was so peaceful to sit around the fire and listen to all the summer sounds of nature! We had such a wonderful camping trip and cannot wait to do it again next year!

TGIW,

Sydney

What I Ate Wednesday #125

Wednesdays sure sneak up on me fast each week! I’m late writing this post tonight but still wanted to share a fun day of eats from last weekend. So without further ado, here’s the food!

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My morning started with sunshine and a farmer’s market. Glorious. I had this peach blueberry scone for breakfast while listening to live music at the market. So fun.

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I picked up most of my loot from this organic stand.

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Here is my haul! Lots of greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, veggie burgers, corn on the cob and okra. My first time buying okra!

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Lunch was made from many of my farmer’s market finds: a salad with apple cider vinegar, oil, and chia seeds, tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelon. Also finished up some leftover BBQ tempeh but didn’t snap a picture.

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That afternoon I had a coconut and pineapple popsicle. Cool, creamy perfection!

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I also had another piece of this hot and spicy bread I’ve been savoring from the Madison farmer’s market a few weeks ago. You buy it in one gigantic loaf, and I cut it up and froze it and have been enjoying it piece by piece ever since.

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Early that evening I headed over to my cousins’ house where we had fun out on the patio enjoying the summer breeze while playing cards and snacking on some carrots, celery, hummus and guac. I also had a glass of sangria.

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Dinner was delicious. Half of one of the veggie burgers I picked up at the market that morning, homemade pickles and fresh fruit salad.

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I ended the night with some scrumptious chocolate treats. Two different types of brownies, plus a billion more bites of the classic fudge brownies my aunt made. So good!

Hope you’re enjoying your day!

TGIW,

Sydney

Frosty Watermelon Mint Smoothie

Summer smoothie glory at its finest! This frosty watermelon mint smoothie is my favorite smoothie of the summer so far.

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It’s a creamy, frothy, refreshing smoothie, and I love the more frosty-like texture it has thanks to the frozen watermelon cubes. It’s different than the more shake-like consistency you get when using a frozen banana, and I really liked it!

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While you can still pick up fresh mint at the farmer’s market, try making this smoothie!

Frosty Watermelon Mint Smoothie

Serves 1

1 cup coconut milk

1 cup frozen watermelon (chopped into cubes before freezing)

1 ripe nectarine (fresh)

1 tbsp coconut oil

1/4 cup of oats

~3-5 mint leaves (depending how minty you like things!)

Simply place all ingredients in a blender and blend away! Enjoy!

What I Ate Wednesday #124

Happy Wednesday! Hope you’re having a wonderful week and soaking up these last few weeks of summer!

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Last Saturday I finally made it to the farmer’s market in my neighborhood, and it was great! I had a chocolate croissant that was flaky, doughy and simply scrumptious!

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I also bought a kombucha, chai ginger flavor, which sounded really good. Unfortunately I thought it had an odd aftertaste, so I didn’t drink more than a few sips.

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I went and got a haircut midmorning, then came home for a nice chilled, lunch. It was salad with lemon rice, boiled potatoes with BBQ sauce and fresh, juicy watermelon!

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That afternoon I snacked on the last of my fudge brownie I bought at a coffee house the day before. Still delicious!

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I also had some Mary’s Gone Crackers! Thanks for the suggestions Laura :) These are wonderful. Perfectly seasoned and not too salty!

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Later that afternoon I went to Starbucks and had a chai frappacino while I was going through emails. Is it weird that it felt so good to finally clean out my inbox!?

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Dinner was a lovely picnic outside. I had a veggie burrito with guacamole and some white wine mixed with sparkling water. Such a wonderful evening hanging out outside!

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I ended my night with chocolate chips and pretzels as I watched a movie on netflix. A sweet and salty treat to end the night!

Have a wonderful rest of your week!

TGIW,

Sydney