Weekend activities and my first recipe with bacon

This past weekend was all kinds of awesome.  We hung out with new friends who I’m certain will become old friends.  P got a taste of his first slip ‘n slide.  I ate a vegan ice cream sandwich that blew my mind.  And we got to enjoy some quality family time before Kyle went away for work.  Summer is his busy season so the sporadic posting often has to do with me being a solo parent while he’s off at random solar sites.
That’s a separate mexican layered bean dip for the lactose free folks (!!!!).
We forgot a swim suit but he didn’t care that he was soaking wet.  On the contrary, it probably helped him beat the (100+ degree) heat.
P helped me harvest  (and eat) the first yield from the garden (green beans!).
I’m happy we are in Davis.  It’s a good place.
I also got to do lots of stuff that others may deem “chores” over the weekend, but they are the kinds of things that make me happy.  In addition to doing our grocery shopping, I vacuum religiously every weekend, and clean the house from top to bottom, while Kyle and P have their boy time (pacman is scared of the vacuum).  I also make hemp milk, quick breads, and prep whatever else.  This especially has to happen when Kyle is going out of town because if I don’t have him to pack meals/cook dinner for I often get lazy and eat whatever (because by the end of the day I’m wiped).  Let’s not analyze what it says about me that I’m willing to put in the extra time to make food for everyone but myself.
So this weekend I made a massive tub of veggie and salmon pasta as well as tuna salad (for quick lunch options).  And I baked a russet and sweet potato.  And I made some overnight oat/chia/seed bowls.  And I made bacon and (the following) brussels slaw salad.  And a batch of decaf chai tea.  Definitely helps to go into the week with a stocked fridge.
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I’ve blogged about this pasta dish before (and made it tons since adding fish back into my diet) because it’s so easy and so good.  I just use whatever veggies I have on hand.  Sometimes I bake the salmon and sometimes I cheat and used canned salmon.  Sometimes I make my own vinaigrette and sometimes I cheat and use bottled dressing.  Either way, it’s good stuff.
That’s a big freakin tupperware – so the pasta will last for dayssss.
1 can tuna + 1 can salmon + 2 stalks celery + 1/4 cup dried cranberries + 1/4 cup salted sunflower seeds + 1/4 cup mayo + 2 tbsp dijon mustard + salt + pepper
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Good on a bun or atop greens.
Happy dance.
Let’s get back to the recipe at hand.
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Bacon and fig Brussels Sprout Slaw Salad [gluten free, dairy free, soy free, nut free]
  • 10 oz shaved brussels sprouts
  • 4 slices of bacon + bacon fat (~1/4 cup)
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 7 figs, chopped
  • salt + pepper (to taste)
For the bacon-
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place foil on a large baking sheet, then line up the bacon slices on the foil.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let rest while you prep the rest of the salad.
For the slaw-
Shave the brussels sprouts (unless you cheated and bought them shaved like I did – yea for TJ’s) and add them to a large mixing bowl.
Fold the foil with the bacon in half, so as to form a little spout, and pour the bacon fat directly into the bowl of sprouts.
Toss until the sprouts are coated in hot oil, then add in the mustard and vinegar and toss again.
Finally add the chopped figs and crumbled bacon and fold until combined.  Salt and pepper to taste.
Try not to die of taste bud spasm.
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If you don’t want to use the bacon fat that’s fine you can sub another oil of your choice (olive, canola, etc.) but it’s kinda amazing to infuse bacon flavor all up in the sprouts.  Also the hot oil helps wilt the sprouts so you may need to work another (colder) oil into it a bit more to achieve the same softening effect.
Tempeh bacon, turkey bacon, etc. could be swapped to honor dietary choices.
I used green figs because my friend’s tree is booming with them, but any figs will work – probably dried figs too!
Sorry I don’t have too many great pics of this, it was DEVOURED by my face.
I’m pretty proud of this recipe because it’s the first one with animal products that I’ve created on my own.  Since meat re-entered our diets, I’ve been sticking to the experts’ recipes (Bon Appetit, Food52, and fancy pants blogs).  This was a solid win.
P likes figs so-so and bacon a LOT.  Dijon mustard is usually safe for people with food allergies, but be sure to check the kind you buy because there can be wheat in some (I know!).  Also, mustard seed allergies do exist (they’re the same family as chia seeds so if you react to one, you’ll likely react to the other) but they are pretty rare.

I gotta stop pushing it these weekends

This weekend was full of relaxing at home.  Thank goodness!


Last weekend I came down with mastitis and was way too ambitious for my own good.  We went to a football game with a couple and their 6 month old on Saturday.  And then traveled to the East Bay for a baby shower on Sunday.


It was really fun, but I my suffer-in-silence-and-just-push-through-it approach completely backfired.  Come Monday I felt like crap and it was just me and pacman left to our own devices.

Raise your hand if you’re surprised by my stubbornness…nobody?  Yeah that’s what I thought.  Typical Elise, in denial about how much resting it would take to conquer mastitis without antibiotics.


Lots of easy food.  Like steel cut oats in the rice cooker.  And Halloween candy (yikes…that spiraled way out of control).  And popcorn.


I just sprayed the kernels with olive oil (using my mister) in a brown paper bag and microwaved until the popping slowed.

It took me until Wednesday to recognize that setting my alarm to work out first thing in the morning was a really bad idea.  Determined?  Or bull-headed?  Oh Elise.

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God bless the crock pot!!

On the left: tempeh braised with figs and port wine over brown rice

On the right: green curry tofu & veggies

The tempeh and fig recipe is from Kathy Hester’s (amazing) book, The Vegan Slow Cooker.

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Napping baby means it’s time to get chopping!


We just re-started our Tobin James wine club membership (it’s been on hold for the past 1/2 year because we were broke) and the shipment came this week.  With port!  Perfect!


The figs were harder to track down because the season is coming to a close.  Neither the co-op nor Nugget market had them.  But the Farmer’s market came through.  So I got a bunch for this meal and for snacking.

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I even had fresh thyme, thanks to the herb stash I took home from my mom’s garden last week.

The only change I made was doubling the amount of tempeh.  Because Kyle and I are pigs.  It was supposed to serve way more than two people but there were no leftovers.


Definitely tasted better than it looks.

This tofu and veggie curry was just as popular for our taste buds.


Guess who finally made it to the Trader Joe’s in Davis!?!

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This thai green curry simmer sauce is one of several awesome products I came home with.  Unfortunately I still have to go to the co-op for a few random things they didn’t have, which is a bummer.  I wish I could do all my grocery shopping at one place.  As it is I already do monthly Costco runs in addition to the weekly co-op trips.  Too much!  I don’t have time for this business!

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I cooked the veggies in the slow cooker (broccoli, yukon gold potatoes, celery, mushrooms) and baked the tofu in the oven.  [I could have thrown the tofu in the crock pot too, but I wanted them to be extra firm and baking them for a long time really gets that dense texture that I like.]  Then I combined them and poured the sauce all over.  Kyle’s was served over couscous, mine was over forbidden rice.


This sauce is great!  Awesome complex flavors with just a bit of a kick.

I finally started to feel a bit better on Thursday, thanks to the newest additions to Netflix (I’m looking at you Sister Wives).  Couch time is good for mama, but boring for baby.

I did manage to get a few park visits and some arts and crafts time in.


These were more of a hilarious disaster than they look.  Rather than press his hand down to make an impression, P kept grabbing the flour dough and squeezing it between his fingers.  In the end I got one decent ornament.  I’ll take it!

FYI, the recipe I used was 1/2 cup flour + 1/4 cup salt + 1/3 cup water.  Flattened into circles with handprint pressed.  Baked for 3 hours at 200 degrees F.

Anyway, like I said before, this weekend was mellow.

Lots of football and park time.

I had peanut buttery oats for breakfast.  Then we went to the farmer’s market to grab some stuff for dinner.


Back at home, I had leftovers for lunch.  I made this hemp pesto earlier in the week, which I added into TruRoots brown rice penne.


I topped it with two fried eggs.

Dinner revolved around this guy…


My sister sent it to Kyle as a congrats, so we did our al fresco thing (minus the outside part since it gets dark way early now).


Milton’s crackers, olive oil roasted almonds, carrots, Fresh N Nova cilantro hummus, Mary’s Gone crackers, grapes, and Redwood Hill Farm goat bucheret cheese.


The highlight for me was the cheese.

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It’s so tall!  I also saw it being made when I toured their facility a few months ago.  So cool seeing it go from fresh milk to curds to a moldy block of cheese to the product in my fridge.

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It says to top it with honey, so I followed the suggestion.  I used the local honey I bought at the Santa Monica farmer’s market.


Oh.  My.  Gahhhhhh.

I could have had this and the bubbly alone.  Okay, that’s basically what I did.  I love snack face dinners.


Sunday started pretty much the same way.  Peanut butter-y steel cut oats.


Daylight savings really effed us because patty-cakes doesn’t really sleep past 7 am anymore.  On the plus side, he is finally starting to nap a little bit better.  I shouldn’t really complain since he still sleeps for 14+ hours.  Uninterrupted.


For lunch I scrambled two eggs and topped them with pumpkin sage cashew sauce (recipe coming).  Mary’s Gone crackers and carrots on the side.


Pumpkin banana smoothie as a snack.  Also, (unpictured) kale chips.  They’re so $$$ but so goooood.

For dinner we made Vicolo pizzas.  I ate 3/4 of the large size making my dinner kcal count in the upper 900 range.  I think I’m going to breastfeed forever.  It’s awesome for my metabolism.

And now that I’ve gotten in all the rest I should have gotten last weekend and my mastitis has seemingly resolved, I’m excited to get back on the fitness wagon this week.  Wahoo!

Ruts and reining it in

And just like that, my accountability went down the drain.  Wah wah.


Even though I spoiled my dinner with the above yog from cultive, it was so necessary.  I had just finished loading my groceries into the car when I noticed my (new) iPhone was nowhere to be found.  I usually keep it in the cup holder on the stroller, so I figured it either fell out when I pushed P over a bump or crack in the sidewalk…or…someone stole it. 

Since I live in Davis, I figured it was my fault.  So I retraced my steps all over downtown Davis…all the way back to the Co-op.  Unfortunately, nobody had seen my phone, but someone let me borrow their phone to call mine.  And someone answered it!!  A nice guy found it on the ground and was only a few blocks away so I raced over to meet him and reunite with my mobile.  Phew! 

All that running around town worked up my appetite.  Hence the fro yo.  It has live cultures though, so that means it’s healthy.  😉


Most people don’t follow up a frozen yogurt feast with a nacho platter, but as you probably know by now, I’m not most people. 

I have a nacho problem.

In the past 2 weeks I’ve had nachos for almost 50% of my dinners. 


Seriously Elise. 

Anyway, I’m going to cut myself some slack (advice from my husband) since I just got off a killer stretch of night shifts. 

Here’s a few of the other meals I did manage to capture.  Not sure what meal was what considering I was doing the zombie thing – 2 breakfasts and 2 dinners per day is my norm (and snacks aplenty obvs).


Toppings = peanut sauce (PB/almond milk/stevia/cinnamon) + strawberries


Wildroots GF pancake mix is seriously the sh!t.

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I make no apologies for the repetition of pancakes.


That’s almond butter straight up.


And that’s chocolate cherry bread.

I guess I did mix it up a little.


I also made pumpkin gingerbread.  It was loosely based on Emily’s recipe but I made it gluten free and added molasses (and made a loaf not muffins).  It’s tasted fantastic but the consistency was a fail so I’m not going to bother posting the recipe. 

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The texture was super dense and not very bread-like, so I almost think the dough would have worked better as a cookie.  It has an awesome ginger and molasses kick though.  And it made the house smell like Christmas.  Mmmm…


Suzie’s corn thins, Mary’s Gone crackers + strawberries + carrots + an avo/egg/sour cream mash.

I feel like ever since Greek yogurt came on the scene, sour cream has gotten seriously neglected.  I never actually ate it before greek yogurt was all the rage, but I definitely use greek yogurt in all recipes that call for sour cream.  No longer!  Sour cream is awesome.  Green Valley organic lactose free sour cream is SO thick and amazing I’m especially smitten at the mo.  It’s nothing like greek yogurt and anyone who thinks differently is in denial. 


More avo/egg/sour cream.  This time with carrots, corn thins and figs.


The same avo and egg mash but with goat chevre instead of sour cream.  On the side were Mary’s Gone crackers, cornbread, carrots, and a little wedge of Redwood Hill Farm goat cheese camellia.

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And so on and so forth.  You get the idea.

Obviously I’m in a food rut.  My breakfasts are all the same.  My lunches are all the same.  And my dinners are all the same nachos.


The only outlier last week was this quickie dinner I threw together.  Kyle was working late at the shop but I had to go into the hospital, so my dad came over to hang at the house while P slept.  Saved by grandpa!  Since my dad was so great to cover us, I couldn’t exactly leave him high and dry for dinner so I scrambled to find something around the house. 

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The vegetable drawer was pathetic (all I had was scallions!).  I ended up making cod with a scallion sesame brown rice dish.  It was decent, but nothing I’d rave about.


For the cod, I simply rubbed them with miso paste, then sprinkled coconut sugar on top and baked it for ~15 minutes.  I had mine with some leftover squash.

Desserts?  Yeah, they’ve been a bi (tri?) daily occurrence.  Eek.  Gotta rein it in!  I was much more thoughtful and intuitive with my eating when I was taking pics of everything. 

So that’s that in the food department.

I owe you a patty-cakes pic don’t I?


Going on 8 months…boy does time fly…

I (finally) have a stretch of days off, so I’m hopefully going to actually cook something this week.  Stay tuned!

Now that’s a lot of food

Turns out I eat a lot.  🙂

Ha.  As if that’s a surprise.

Here’s my 99% complete documented eats (second helpings noted). 


Breakfast: fried egg + 2 slices of chocolate cherry quickbread (half of one was eaten during the cooking process)


Lunch: 3 slices of GF bread toasted and topped with avocado/egg salad + carrots + grapes + strawberries

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I get questions if I eat fruit (because I rarely show those little snacks) and the answer is YES!  Of course!  I tend to eat seasonally – so lately it’s been grapes, figs, strawberries, raspberries, and bananas (always bananas).  The main change (fruit-wise) since I started watching my fodmap intake is that I don’t really eat apples or stone fruit much anymore.  Or at least not nearly to the degree that I used to.  Cooked apples don’t seem to be too difficult on my gut and so I made a huge batch of applesauce in the crock-pot yesterday.  But it will mostly be used in baked goods or for P. 


Lunch dessert: 3 TJ’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups + candied ginger


Dinner: nachos


Dessert: chocolate chip banana cookies (double the amount shown)

The next day I was out and about, so I had a quick slice of chocolate cherry bread at home, followed by a slice of GF toast + peanut butter + 1/2 banana (the rest was P’s).

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Lunch was packed (for me and Kyle) and included:

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  • sandwiches (Redwood Hill’s goat smoked cheddar with avocado and mustard)
  • grapes
  • crackers + Laughing Cow cheese
  • nuts
  • cookies


We took a family trip to Sebastopol to tour the Redwood Hill creamery and dairy (and meet the goats!!!).  It was so fun I’ll tell you all about it later.

Afterwards, we picnicked in the orchard with the eats I packed.  I wish I’d brought more food for me, I’m not sure what I was thinking with just a sando and grapes. 


Snack: lasagna (I dug in as soon as we got home…hangry status).

Miraculously I didn’t spoil my appetite for dinner (it was ~4 pm when I ate it).


Dinner: Viccolo roasted tomato goat cheese & basil pizza (I had seconds and thirds) + carrots

Italian cravings like whoa!  If I didn’t know better, I’d say I was preggo again (remember how I wanted to molest tomatoes for 9 months?).

We get this pizza every time we go to Costco and I love love love it.  Even though Kyle and I each end up eating a whole pizza each (they come in two packs), they’re too good to pass up.  PS One pizza is like 1500 calories.  Don’t quote me, but I’m pretty sure that’s more than “normal” people eat in one meal.  Breast feeding FTW!!


Breakfast: GF pancakes + peanut butter sauce (PB + almond milk + cinnamon + stevia)

I went back for two more pancakes.


Lunch: Suzie’s corn thin cakes + avocado/egg salad + carrots + grapes

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These corn cakes are a first time buy and I kinda like them more than rice cakes.  They’re thinner (obvs) and therefore easier to pile high with stuff.  Plus they’re cheaper than other GF carb options (like bread) with fewer ingreds.  Win.


Snack: Mary’s Gone crackers + Redwood Hill Farm’s goat cheese camellia (tastes super similar to brie but doesn’t harm my GI tract at all!)


Dinner: baked sweet potato + falafel patty + carrots + celery + Fresh ‘n Nova hummus (original and roasted red pepper)

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Fresh ‘n Nova provided me with a lot of samples (even more than shown) and I am SOOOO obsessed. 

They knew I was already a fan because of several posts I wrote way back when,  So when they reached out to me to tell me about their expanded product line…ummm…yeah…I think I’ll give them a shot.  ;) 


I cannot WAIT to share them all with you.  Someone may get a shot at winning some too…[hint hint]


Dessert: frozen grapes (probably 3 times the amount shown)

Moving on…


Breakfast: GF pancakes + fried egg + pumpkin almond milk coffee


Lunch: GF toast with peppercorn chevre + fried eggs (and more peppercorn goat cheese) + carrots + figs


Hellooooo favorite goat cheese!  I love how it can go either way – sweet or savory – and this has just enough kick to take an average egg and cheese combo to the next level.  Mmmm.


Lunch (cont): banana chips


Lunch dessert: chocolate chip banana cookies (all gone!)


Dinner: pizza leftovers

Night shift eats: coconut, banana, banana chips, roasted nuts, Nature Valley bar (what. a. shift.)


Breakfast: chocolate cherry bread + fried egg

After this I took a nap from 8:30 til 10.  Good but not great. 


For lunch we were at the Farmer’s Market with Kyle’s brother’s family.  Kyle got a vegetarian corn dog from the Hotdogger + vegetable samosos from Kathmandu Kitchen.  I got the goat classic from Fat Face.


Lots of sriracha, please.

Snack: melon from the market

Dinner: Mermaid sushi


All that for the two of us, but mostly me.  🙂

Dessert: frozen grapes (no pic)


Breakfast: smorgasbord (GF pancake + chocolate cherry bread + leftover waffles from a brunch we hosted a few weeks back) + fried egg


Lunch: Suzie’s corn thin cakes + Mary’s Gone crackers + carrots + strawberries + avocado/goat cheese/egg mash


Dinner: spinach and veggies topped with salmon pasta salad


Dessert: strawberries + melon

Not too bad eh?

Accountability day by day

I’ve been aggressively snacking between meals and all the nibbles are going undocumented.  This bothers me because I want to have a better handle on my eats.  I get frustrated because I don’t always have time to eat well so  (excuses excuses) I just grab the easiest and fastest thing and shove it down my gullet between diaper changes, laundry, and all that jazz (the joys of motherhood I guess).  But I want to be accountable for what I’m putting in my body. 

I used to take photos of everything I ate and that not only made me more mindful of what I was eating, but it made me way more sensible with my food choices.  Since this blog is my space to journal, I’m going to do just that.  I’m going to attempt to take pictures of everything I eat again.  Hopefully this will help me get back on track because, seriously, eating a bowl of nuts, and then another, and then another, and then another will be harder to do once I have to take photos of it again and again and again.  I don’t think it will be a long term thing, but maybe a week or two of it will re-focus my health.  I’m tired of feeling like crap at the end of the day and wondering why I wasn’t more on top of it with my diet.  The random bites of this, that, and the other have got to go. 

Here’s all of what I’ve captured thus far.  Not in entirety…yet…but I will be soon. 


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This GF pancake mix (soooo in love – thank you Costco!).


I had 5 pancakes with sweet peanut sauce.  I made the peanut sauce by thinning out a really big spoonful (maybe 3 tbsp?) of peanut butter with some almond milk, cinnamon, and maple syrup. 

I saved the rest of the pancakes for the next day.  I like making double batches so I don’t have to think about anything the next day and I just know I have a super yummy breakfast ready to go.  I should do that with all my meals, but I often don’t have the self control to save the second portion.  Ok, that’s not true.  The real problem is that I am not good at judging how much Kyle and I will eat and I don’t make enough to begin with.  We pretty much NEVER have leftovers.  I have to start making bigger portions so there’s more food in the fridge and each meal doesn’t have to be a new thing. 

After breakfast Kyle watched P so I could go for a quick run.  Once I got back I nursed P and took him to the nail salon with me while I got a pedicure.  He was a dream baby and sat on my lap the whole time just playing with my hair and checking everything out.  I was happy he was a good kid because I know the employees as well as the other patrons were not thrilled when they saw me bring him in.  But his beautiful big blue eyes and good manners won them all over by the end. 


I got [Mermaid] sushi to further treat myself. 


First time trying inari.  It is GOOOOOD.  New fave fasho.  I had about half of the 3 rolls above and saved the rest for dinner.

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In the afternoon I had several figs and a grapefruit citrus zevia but that didn’t quiet the hungry monster, so I had a bowl of nuts.

For dinner I had the rest of the sushi.  And then I had an unpictured slice of banana bread for dessert. 


I got up early to do level 3 of Jillian Michaels 30 day Shred. 


Breakfast was the rest of the pancakes with more of the peanut sauce.  If it aint broke…

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Lunch was 3 pieces of GF toast topped with egg/avocado/goat cheese mash and carrots.


My afternoon snack was vegan hazelnut cocoa spread with figs.


I made the most bomb dijon tempeh spinach casserole for dinner that totes deserves it’s own post.  It is literally the best thing I’ve made in months.  I may re-make it a few seconds from now.  Or sooner.


I had (a lot) scooped atop a steamed sweet potato.  I didn’t mean to eat it all but I did.  And I’m relaly glad I did too because from there I went straight to night shift and it was a doozy.  I didn’t have time to grab a snack until midnight-ish. 

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I had the rise bar (above) and it was legit.  And I had the salty sunflower seeds (below) and some dried coconut meat. 


The next morning was rough.


I got home from night shift and immediately showered, nursed P, and passed out.  I woke up 2 hours later to an empty house.  Confused.  Turns out Kyle had taken P on a walk to keep the house quiet while he took a business call.


More pancakes!!!!  Can’t stop.  So good.  With a fried egg.  Yolk porn followed.

I wanted to go back to sleep but I couldn’t.  I had to much shiz to do and I felt like crapppppp. 


I guess I forgot to take photos of lunch (or whatever you call the next meal after my breakfast at noon).  I don’t remember what I had.  But I had a macqui mojito kombucha as my drinkable dessert.

Kyle had a meeting and I was supposed to go in for another night shift but I literally couldn’t make my brain or body work properly so I called in sick.  Instead, I put P in the baby bjorn and walked a few blocks down to Nugget market.


We needed milk and tamari, but I impulsively bought strawberries, salmon, and Justin’s chocolate.  So my dinner had all of those things. 

Spinach salad with carrots, strawberries, avocado, and soy ginger salmon. 

Best.  Strawberries.  Ever. 


Rice works chips afterwards = accountability for my snacking.  I was going to have another bowl full too, but I stopped because I realized I didn’t actually want it.  I’ll chalk that up to the fact that taking another photo of the same thing would have been annoying and lame.  Go me.

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Justin’s dark chocolate PB cups for dessert.  They changed the packaging and now they are softer and more melt in your mouth yummy.  I had a few in a row that were hard and cracked and crumbled (not good), so I’m glad they sorted things out.