Hello followers - this is Casserole Gal Kristen! CG Rhonda (my mom) recently posted her healthy living for 2017 post here & now it's my turn to share!
To be honest, this has been an incredibly difficult post to write, as I am opening up (just a teeny bit) about health problems I've had since I was a teenager. These past couple of years, the issues aggressively attached my body & brought about major changes in my life. They're kinda private.
This is me - October 2015 - ecstatic about the purchase of vintage camper, destined to become my food truck. I'd been having serious monthly complications, but based off the past 20 years of my life I figured...this was just my life. Earlier that month, I had an ovarian cyst rupture. The weekend after this picture was taken, my husband & daughter witnessed a horrific tragedy that killed 4 people. I was struggling to work, struggling to take care of my family, just struggling. I made an appointment to see a specialist.
By December (after tests, ultrasounds, appointments....) I was scheduled for a laparoscopy exploratory surgery and a DNC, as well as tissue sample collection to test for cancer. Afterwards, my doctor confirmed that I had Dysfunctional Uterine Syndrome and Endometriosis (along with PCOS and a couple other already known problems) but I was cancer free!
We hoped I would heal, we hoped to have another kid...I hoped for a normal month. Within a few months, however, my conditions had become almost unbearable and I could feel another large cyst had developed.
The doctor told me that if untreated, uterine, ovarian or cervical cancer were inevitable, and that it was highly unlikely I could have another child. Even if I became pregnant, chances were very high that myself and our child wouldn't survive. It is a miracle I had one baby, let alone two beautiful, healthy kids! So I decided, at the age of 34, to have a complete hysterectomy. In the 6 months between my two surgeries, the endometriosis had grown around my uterus, engulfed a tube & attached to my body cavity wall, grown in my intestines attaching a section of them to a different area of my body cavity, and I did have another large cyst.
It has now been 7 months since my 'hyster' and I feel like a completely different person. There are still lingering issues and pain however, so a friend recommended I try the AIP or Autoimmune Protocol Diet. It can help those suffering with chronic illness, inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
With AIP, you eliminate all gluten, grains, dairy, beans, legumes, eggs, nuts, seeds and nightshades. Buh-bye coffee, chocolate and sugar! After a period of time, you slowly add certain foods back into your diet and see if there are reactions.
My body has endured a lot of trauma this past year and a half, so I'm hoping this diet helps heal my wounds, restores my gut health and helps as my body adjusts to surgically induced menopause. (Can I just say.... night sweats & hot flashes are serous business. Wowzer.)
Keeping with our 2017 theme - Less is More - I have a list of goals!
1) Obviously I'm eating less - haha - and while I am following the diet for my health, I would be thrilled if I WEIGHED LESS too!
2) Less stuff - areas of my home are clutter mine fields! Plus, I saved all the baby stuff I could in case we had a 3rd kid - I need to take the time to emotionally and physically sort thru the boxes and keep only the truly special items. We plan to donate as much as possible to local shelters.
3) Less stress - I'm having fun & starting back old hobbies like crochet, embroidery and sewing. Working on my stress and emotional health is very important to me this year - I need to achieve balance and peace with myself.
4) Exercise - 2 babies, 10 years in an office job, 2 major surgeries and a LOT of bed rest & lack of movement, plus menopause has seriously changed my body. As I regain strength and endurance, I plan to take exercise and weights classes, walk, run, row and be active again!
Thank you for letting me share! If you know anyone with PCOS, Endo, cysts, fibroids, etc.... and they would like to talk with someone, please send me a private message thru our facebook page. I will gladly share my experiences & provide encouragement!
Sharing this post to these blog parties.
Pictures of roasted whole heads of cauliflower keep floating around the internet, popping up in my instagram and pinterest feeds --- I finally decided to try it myself!
There are so many variations, but I had these ingredients on hand - so why not?
Lemon Caper Roasted Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower
1 Tb minced garlic
2 Tb capers
Salt & Pepper
1. First prep the cauliflower by trimming any greens still attached, and carefully cutting out a bit of the core.
2. Rub olive oil over the entire head - get dirty! Sprinkle top and bottom with salt and pepper.
3. Place cauliflower in a cast iron skillet and cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.
4. Remove foil & increase oven temperature to 425 F. Continue baking cauliflower till it is slightly browned on top and it is fork tender on the bottom.
5. Carefully remove the head from your skillet and set aside. Move skillet to stove top and medium heat. Saute garlic in a couple teaspoons of olive oil, till soft & fragrant. Add capers & lemon juice. Add cauliflower back to the skillet and spoon the pan sauce over the whole head.
6. Serve hot! You can remove it from the pan to slice and serve - or bring the skillet to the table!
Review?? My husband and I LOVED this! We almost ate the entire head in one setting -- and it was a side dish. This is now in regular menu rotation and I'm playing with different flavors. Also, it could easily be the main part of the meal- not just the side dish!
We will be sharing this delicious dish to these blog parties, check them out!
I remember the days I could eat pretty much what ever I wanted and not gain weight, well those days are long gone. I am now over 50 and have gone thru menopause, which means that extra weight hangs on me like a toddler that is afraid of Santa Claus.
Part of it is my fault for 2016, I didn't eat that well and slacked off on exercising. Plus, we ate out often and every time we went by a Quick Trip I got a Cappuccino. Not only was this not healthy it isn't being money wise.
My husband and myself challenged ourselves to eat a healthy diet, lose some weight and save money during 2017. We are going from January 1st to February 14th, without eating out, eating ice cream, chips, candy and my favorite, a Cappuccino from Quick Trip. After, Valentine's Day we will eat out and buy a Cappuccino and then set another goal, probably April Fool's Day. This isn't easy when we both have a sweet tooth and I love to bake!
To help us with our goals purchased a used Elliptical, it takes up a lot of room but, I am determined to get on it at least 4-5 times a week. The good thing about this machine is, I can do it no matter the weather. I love to walk outside but, so many days the weather doesn't cooperate.
Keep moving is key when you are over 50 and the elliptical is easy on your joints, not my lungs or my thighs, both of those burn like fire!
I have been slowly learning more about Linda Melone and researching her site http://lindamelone.com/ I follow her on Facebook and have listened to a couple of her Web Cam posts. Any motivation helps.
Another goal is to unclutter and organize our home, we plan on moving in 3 years and I want to have Less to Move.
All of this goes with our theme of Less is More. I will share more on what and how I am accomplishing my goals.
What are your goals for 2017?
Our youngest child just graduated college. To celebrate the moment and the transition into our new role as parents, my husband and myself came up with this cocktail. We really aren't frequent drinkers but, we felt this accomplishment needed a celebration and recognition.
There is a lot of meaning going into this drink, as you can see it is colorful. The rim is dipped in salt or sugar, representing the tears you have during the years as a parent and a child. The red maraschino cherries represent the heart that we put into parenting. The green lime represents the money we have invested in our children. The orange and orange juice represents the color of Oklahoma State University, the college that all three of our children have a degree.
The Empty Nester Recipe:
Use a 2 cup glass, rub lime juice on lip and dip in salt or sugar. Put a couple of hands full of crushed ice in glass. Set Aside.
1 Tblsp Grenedine
2 Tblsp frozen orange juice, slightly thawed and right from the can
1 Tblsp Simple Syrup
2 oz Rum
Using a pint size canning jar (one with measurements on the side) Place first 4 ingredients in jar and shake until the orange juice has dissolved.
Add 7UP to 2 cup mark. Pour into your glass, garnish and enjoy!
Blog Parties: Made by You Monday, Mix it Up Monday, Full Plate Thursday,
Foodie Friday and Everything Else, Weekend Potluck, Thoughts of Home on Thursday,
Cooking everything in casserole dishes!
With busy lives & sometimes quick meals, we mom & daughters team are always looking for healthy, tasty & convenient dishes to serve our family. So, please join us as we share everything from appetizers to main dishes & desserts!