Go with the flow (WIAW)

Happy Wednesday friends!

Did you catch my post yesterday? Delicious black-eyed pea burgers are you new lunch idea. Today I am sharing my eats from this weekend. Head on over to the What I Ate party for more inspiration.

Weekend days meant going with the flow. Since I don’t work on Sundays, I rarely worry about planning our meals for the day. Part of a healthy relationship with food is being able to be spontaneous and cook up what you’re feeling! During the week I usually have to plan so I don’t end up starved or stressed or spending money when I don’t need to, but weekend days, I take as they come.

For breakfast I woke up craving something sans-oats. I made a coconut flour pancake (2 tbsp coconut flour, 1 egg, 1 egg white, 1/3 cup liquid, dash tsp baking soda) with some blueberries mixed in, topped with peanut butter. Finished with a piece of dark chocolate.

Plus lots of water and coffee… does coconut flour make anyone else really thirsty?

Later in the morning, we went to church (had a great service!), and came back home very hungry. I wasn’t really sure what to make and my initial idea was going too long so, I went with real simple. Luckily we had some leftover crock pot salsa chicken so I decided on tortilla pizzas and sauteed cabbage. The pizzas had a layer of salsa, chicken breast, and cheddar and were topped with sour cream.

Cabbage is one of those foods I LOVE but have to limit myself from eating too much. So many bellyaches have occurred thanks to too much of the stuff.

After lunch, Terry and I went for a leisurely 3-mile walk. Walks are really nice because we’re in a situation where all there is to do is to just talk to each other. While we do plenty of this, it’s good to only have that option sometimes.

Later in the afternoon, I hit the kitchen. Ever since getting my job at the cupcake shop, I’ve done very little baking. However, after seeing the recipe for these dark chocolate cheesecake thumbprint cookies (recipe), I knew I needed to change that! 

I didn’t have any plain Greek yogurt, so I subbed some of Siggi’s strawberry yogurt for it. It worked great! Alongside the cookies (plus one more), I had some grapes and iced coffee (with almond milk and stevia).

After a little more food prep, I cleaned the kitchen and headed to our night service. Someone had left the teens some leftover cake. I was going to pass it up, as I can usually take or leave cake. Alas! It was not just any cake- it was Publix Bakery cake! Y’all. I had a small piece but then had another small piece because a small piece just doesn’t cut it with Publix Bakery cake.

For dinner, I wanted an easy, veggie-rich meal. I sauteed finely chopped veggies (bell peppers, carrots, onions, radishes), added some ground turkey, brown rice/quinoa blend, and marinara sauce. A little hot sauce on top!

After dinner, we had to go to the store, but I convinced Terry to go on another walk with me first. Summertime is meant for spontaneity!

We settled in on the couch to watch A League of Their Own and I finished off the Siggi’s from the thumbprint cookie recipe with some fresh blueberries. The movie was a fun one, I’ve been wanting to watch it for years. Thanks, Netflix!

Then I went soundly to sleep. It was a good day.

So you tell me-

Is your eating style less structured over the weekends?

 

Black eyed pea burgers

Sometimes most the time, I want something that’s quick and easy. Something that doesn’t involve meat but will be filling with protein. I like to make veggie burgers every now and then, but usually see them as somewhat time-consuming and I don’t always need a huge batch. Sometimes I want a single burger. One day before work when I was rushed to make some lunch, I threw together this burger with all the fixings.

Black bean burgers are good I make those from time to time, but one day I wanted something different. The only legume in my cabinet at the time was black-eyed peas, so I decided to make black-eyed pea burgers. Black-eyed peas are something that I’ve always loved, even as a kid. Iris I’m especially fond of them with some collard greens and cornbread. That’s a meal I love.

This recipe is for a single burger, but it’s so simple it can easily be multiplied to meet your needs. One day for lunch I made Terry and I “patties” instead of burgers and served them with corn and sautéed zucchini. Terry gave his approval and said that next time he wants them rice. Got it!

This burger is less than 5 ingredients and takes less than 10 minutes to make. If you’re usually in a rush like me, you can probably appreciate that. I love new and different lunch ideas, so if you have a favorite, throw it at me!

Black-Eyed Pea Burger

Ingredients
1/3 cup canned black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp flour (whole wheat, all purpose, almond, corn, gluten free)
1 egg white
2 tsp of water
Dash of salt, pepper, and garlic powder

Directions 
Spray a skillet with non-stick spray and place on medium-heat. In a small bowl, mash the black-eyed peas with the back of a fork until most are flattened. Add the other ingredients and mix well together. Pour the batter on the skillet, pouring to fit the size you desire. Allow to cook for 2 minutes and then flip, and cook for two more minutes. Remove from the pan and serve. (The time needed to cook may vary, depending on how thick you make your burger).

Throw it on a bun, and you got a quick and easy meat-free burger!

What are some of your quick lunch standbys?

Physical to mental health

Annnnd we’re back to Monday. Why do weekends fly by? I hope yours was a good one. I worked a good bit, but I also got some friend/Terry time in. Super happy to say I’m a darker shade of pale now after hanging out by the pool with my friend Kelly.

Today I’m linking up with the lovely Julia for Mental Health Monday, a new link-up that I am loving! Other bloggers will be sharing bits and pieces from their own perspective on mental health, so be sure to go check them out.

Mental-Health-Monday-Logo-1

*This post is mostly word vomit, FYI. It’s simply me putting words out there. If that’s more messy than you’d like, come back tomorrow for some delicious black eyed pea burgers!

There is no denying that one’s mental health is intertwined with one’s physical health. When one is down, the other has trouble staying up. Chronic illness often lead to depression and depression often leads to either poor self-care or physical manifestations of the stress and emotional pain. Sometimes it is really hard to determine which one came first either way.

My life is really sweet right now. I have an awesome husband, great friends, and I’m where I want to be on my career path. However, my mental health suffers because of my physical health. I’ve dealt with GI issues for 7+ years now. My issues have been on and off, sometimes not as bad and sometimes all consuming.

I was diagnosed early on by doctors with IBS-C (C for constipation). The problem started during my anorexia recovery at age 16. While my overall health got better, the problem just got worse. I’ve seen many doctors, tried almost every medication/over-the-counter treatment out there and have had little to no success.

It took years to be given anymore advice than “eat more fiber, drink more water, exercise.” Three things that I never had any issue with at the time. And there were some doctors who simply didn’t believe me when I told them how bad my issues were. I don’t know why, but it’s not abnormal for doctor’s not to trust their patients. I’m sure there are people who exaggerate their symptoms and I do not think it’s a bad thing to be hesitant to give out prescriptions, but no one knows someone’s body better than the owner.

Much of my body image issues I’ve had in the recent years have been related to my constantly bloated stomach. I know this because on “good days” my confidence would be higher and I’d feel physically better. I’ve tried to fight these feelings of “fatness” and I’ve gotten to the place where I know I can’t trust my pants size, but it’s been challenging.

This past year, I finally had a physician take me serious. He wasn’t the best listener (over booked, more than likely), but he ran tests and encouraged me to try different things. When none of those things helped, he sent me to a larger hospital for more tests. The test revealed that I didn’t have pelvic floor dysfunction as suspected, but a colon that barely works. My physician  explained that I had two options: remove my colon or continue to live with it cycle through medications. (Cycling is typical in people with colonic inertia because medications often work briefly and then stop working).

When I first heard this, I was thinking “sign me up! Take this colon out of here.” Yet, in my second meeting with a different physician, I was told the surgery could potentially affect fertility. Well… that changes everything. It’s no longer an easy decision.

My emotions range from guilty to frustration. I feel guilty because it’s hard not to blame myself for the problems I suffer. My constant restriction and diet of only healthy foods (i.e. high volume) in the past caused stress on my GI system. I don’t regret many things, but it is hard not to blame myself for those decisions. I feel frustrated because there’s been many times that I felt hopeless. Like no solution exists. I’ve been afraid to try anything too drastic with my diet because 1) there is no scientifically based diet for colonic inertia and 2) in most cases I am against restrictive diets. I didn’t have any luck with the low-FODMAP diet, but I question if I did it as “good” as I could have. And now that I finally have a solution (surgery), it’s not risk-free.

Most days I can look past my frustrations and live carefree, but other times it’s all I can think about. Sure, I can have the surgery after I have kids, but I don’t want children anytime soon, so it’s hard to imagine waiting so long for a solution. Yet, I know in my heart I need to wait. Making the decision to risk my fertility isn’t something I can do right now. 

I’ve told myself I’ll give myself a year at least. I will cycle through the medications as suggested and I will commit to completing a quality elimination diet. I can do those things.

Right now I’m focusing on little steps rather than the big picture when it comes to my GI issues. When I think too far in the future, I get overwhelmed with frustration and anxietyu. I begin to feel hopeless. So for now I’m thinking of the immediate. I’m thinking of the small steps that I can take to feel better on a daily basis. It’s the best advice I can offer to someone else doing with chronic illness. Take it day by day. Focus on the things that bring you joy and less on the things that bring you pain. Realize that not everything about your physical health is in your control, and you’re probably doing the best you can. 

And pray for peace often. 

Do you find your mental health to be intertwined with your physical health?