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I needed to eat all day. That’s all there is to it. Right up until I fell asleep I needed food. Probably not a metabolic need, but emotionally – food was standing in – and that’s okay for me today. I’m not crazy here – I work out (or try to) every day, I more often than not, eat healthy food that I prepare myself from fresh ingredients, I’m a nursing mother who has a small child who does not sleep through the night, and a four year old who loves to chat at 5:30am. All of these things are alright, but when my cycle comes along – all bets are off.

I tried to make choices that were still healthy and made an effort not to binge. I think that mission was accomplished with 6 meals today.

It is what it is.

day 15 of 30 Healthy Eating Challenge


Dying for Chocolate Smoothie


  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1.5 scoops Protein Powder
  • 1 tbsp Cacao powder
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1/2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp flax



1/2 cup Black Matpe Beans

4 oz grilled trout

sliced beefsteak tomato

Lemon-Dijon-Tamari Dressing



One Pot Sausage Skillet (recipe below)


2nd Supper:

2 cups apple cinnamon oatmeal

1 cup almond milk


Snack: (from Gimme Some Oven)

Energy Bites

  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flax
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (I chose a blend with raisins)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Refrigerate for 1/2 hour then roll into delicious balls.


Pre-Bedtime Snack:

Oven Roasted Curry Chickpeas

(A recipe shared with me last night, while I thought I was starving, from Lynn)

Coat a can of chickpeas in olive oil and whatever spices you like; I used curry, cayenne and salt. Pop them in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Shake the pan to turn them a bit, then cook for another 15 minutes. The result is a deliciously crunchy snack that was exactly what I needed just before bed.

Supper was the most delicious and satisfying meal of the day, in spite of my need to eat three different snacks after it. Over the weekend Erik and I had been reading a book put out by “Culinaria,” a cookbook series that specializes in exploring Regional cuisine. We leisurely leafed through the book’s extensive information on regional wines, food processes, local specialties and food technique in Italy while we had our morning coffee, with no real intentions about our food choices. It was just a book that was sitting around in our general vicinity. (I think my parents left it when they were here.)

Culinaria Italy

We randomly started to read about sausage and the curing process in Friuli, Italy.

To tell you the truth, we didn’t even know where Friuli was – it is an Alpine area that borders Yugoslavia. Apparently they are famous for their San Daniele del Friuli ham, bacon and sausages. All the talk about sausage had us scanning their regional pasta dishes and we ended up altering one (because, really, who has “trotters” on hand?). It is a “one pot” recipe meaning meat, pasta, water and all the ingredients go in at the same time and simmer together for a half hour. You certainly need to pick one of the heartier pastas so that it doesn’t break down into mush in the cooking process. We chose a large size gluten-free penne. (It is made out of quinoa).

One Pot Fruili-style Sausage Skillet

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 sausages thinly sliced (we chose a spicy blend with sun dried tomatoes)
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (we used some leftover bean stock)
  • 3 diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup marinara (it’s supposed to be homemade, we used canned)
  • 1 cup penne pasta
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and sausage, and cook, stirring frequently, until sausage is lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in stock, tomatoes, milk and pasta; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 20 – 30 minutes. Top with Parmesan and fresh cherry tomatoes sliced in half!

In the end our leisure leafing turned into a delicious supper that we all really enjoyed and would make again in a heartbeat because of its simplicity.

Bon appetit! I leave you with one of the most satisfying pages from the Culinaria Italy book. A bunch of different panini: