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Good morning, all!

Why am I awake?  Whyyyyy?

I curse this sight:

Already been up twenty minutes at this point.

(Please don’t judge my disgusting microwave.  No, I have no idea why it has cat fur up that high.  I didn’t realize that beast fuzz could travel that far, either.)

And I embrace this sight:

Tons o' peanut butter, banana, brown rice cake.

I could never grow tired of that combination, ever.

I could grow tired of being up at five a.m., though.  Yep, definitely.

Anyway, I gotta haul my tail into the kitchen and scrape up some eats.  The house is wonderfully silent right now, and I’m secretly relishing this “me-time”…but why does me-time have to occur so darn early in the morning?

I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday!

❤ Kaz

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Whoa!

Where have I been?

Seriously.

Okay, I’m still sick, but I’m like, a content sick.  Being chronically ill sorta forces you to go through the stages of grief, curiously enough.

First, I was in denial.  No, I’m not sick.  I eat tons of veggies, lean protein, whole grains!  How can I, the model vegetarian, be sick?

Then there was, of course, the anger.  I was — and still am, occasionally — livid at my body and even at God for putting me through this.  Why me?  What have I done to deserve this?

Then bargaining.  Okay, I’ll give up soy.  Okay, dairy.  Now gluten.  Nightshades?  C’mon body: I’ll do anything!  Just make me well!

Then the depression struck.  I cried.  A lot.  And I sat on the couch, eating too much chocolate and peanut butter, and only ventured out of the house for doctor’s appointments and work.

And now?  Acceptance.

I’m sick.  Now to get better!  Easier said than done, but I’m determined to do everything I have to in order to properly heal my body.  I have an appointment with a social worker in a couple weeks, and she’s going to help me get insurance.  Then, a couple weeks after that, hopefully they’ll start some tests for me.

Gotta keep my chin up, right?

Today, my appetite has been through the roof, but it was definitely warranted.

First!  Return of the salads!  (Can you tell I’m excited by this?)

My lunch (more on that in a few) held me over an amazing seven hours.  That’s including four insane hours of yard work.

When I came in, I immediately hopped into the shower, scrubbed off about ten pounds of grime and dirt, whipped up a quick dinner for Amor (going seven hours without eating, for him, is no big — for me?  it’s epic, yo), then threw myself together the largest salad the world has ever seen.

Oh, how I missed you, my beloved salad!

I stopped eating salads there for a while.

Without nightshades, they just weren’t fun.

But now, they’re back — I still have awful edema, but I haven’t noticed any improvement after making dietary changes (taking out eggs, taking out legumes, taking out nightshades — still sick, so adding them back).

And salads are yummy again!  This one contained an entire head of romaine, half of a large tomato, a crimini mushroom, a cup of peas, tons of steamed green beans, half an avocado, two or three huge blobs of hummus, and a generous splash of hot sauce.

Ate. It. Up.

Two ripe, juicy plums.

Since I had done four hours of intense yard work and went an entire seven hours without eating, my appetite caught up with me with a vengeance.

For the record, I also ate two rice cakes smeared with tons of applesauce and peanut flour (higher fat, not that low-fat rubbish) as I sat down to type this.

I inhaled two plums, then went into the kitchen for more.

Peanut Butter Pandas and Chocolate Koala Krisp, shoved into my mouth by the fistful.

As I prepared another snack of dates stuffed with peanut butter and dark chocolate, I ate a few handfuls of cereal.

Nothing tastes better than delicious, filling food after working all day, that’s for darn sure.

I love this chocolate forever and ever.

Okay, funny thing about this chocolate.

I really need to do a post called, “A Bajillion and One Reasons I Love Amor.”  While we were at the natural food store, I spotted this chocolate on the shelf, picked it up, and pined for it.

Then I remarked that I didn’t need any more chocolate, and put it back on the shelf.  Without missing a beat, Amor said, “Yes, you do,” plucked it off the shelf, and threw it in the cart.  I love this man.

Then, I ate a piece, enjoyed it…then promptly forgot about it.  I found it tonight while desperately scrounging up some chocolate.  It was hiding under a box of baking supplies, obviously hiding in wait for a day that I truly needed it.

That was tonight, clearly.

Dates + peanut butter + chocolate = match made in Heaven

After I snapped this awful-no-good-very-bad picture, I threw these dates into the microwave for about fifteen seconds.

I let them cool for about a minute, and then enjoyed every single drippy, melty bite.

My shirt enjoyed it, too.  Oops, sorry, Amor.  Was that your shirt?  My bad.

More chocolate was consumed, of course.

Okay!  Backtracking now.

Breakfast.

Spiced cooked apples, peanut butter, and creamy buckwheat groats.

Breakfast may be a new favorite, but the jury’s still out.

While they deliberate, I’ll share the details of what I had for breakfast.

I bought some raw buckwheat groats at the store when I had stocked up on my kasha, but after googling it, I found that some people didn’t like them, claiming that they had a bitter taste.

Since I’m getting a wee bit burnt out on kasha, I decided I might as well try something new.  If I don’t like these untoasted groats, I can always have a bowl of cereal, right?

Could be my new favorite hot cereal, this.

Okay, first off, raw buckwheat groats take longer than kasha to cook.

These took fifteen minutes, about the same as quinoa.

However, they were far more voluminous than quinoa, but not as fluffy as kasha.  The taste, however, was fantastic.  No bitterness whatsoever.  It actually tasted mild and sweet, like oats!

I’m thrilled!  After being oatless for several months, I may have found a suitable replacement for my favorite breakfast staple.

I cooked my groats with a cup of water, vanilla, cinnamon, one whole egg, whisked in some almond milk, then topped it with spiced apples (cooked with a teaspoon of cornstarch, to thicken it like a pie filling) and two tablespoons of peanut butter (turned onto a sauce, with almond milk, and a bit of nuking to get the right consistency.)

I know what I’m having for breakfast again soon!

Okay, now here’s what I’m all excited about, guys.

Lunch.

Oh, boy: lunch.

What is this?

I recently contacted Nogurt, a company that produces a vegan, soy-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and gluten free probiotic yogurt alternative, and expressed interest in their product.

They replied back quickly, and generously offered to send me a few flavors to try.

This is insanely perfect timing, especially with my doctor recommending me to start taking probiotics to restore balance in my tummy.

Well, those samples arrived today.  (Just to clarify, these are free samples given to me from Nogurt, and my review of them is merely my own opinion of them.  There — hopefully I haven’t incurred the wrath of the FCC.)

Wooks: What is it? Oso: Can I eat it?

I immediately tore open the package.

Their arrival couldn’t have been better — they arrived a few minutes before my typical lunch time, so I was more than ready to try one.

Nogurt was extremely generous, and sent me four samples to try out.

Thank you, Nogurt! 😀

Unfortuntely, the pomegranate one had asplode in transit, and I had to throw it out.

However, being the weirdo that I am, I smelled it before tossing it, and it smelled delicious.  If I were slightly less OCD, I would’ve ate it anyway — I almost did, thought, but prudence won out for the time being.

However, that left me with two chocolate and a blueberry to enjoy.

Want to guess which one I went for?

Chocolate, of course!

Psh, chocolate, of course!

No doubt, ever, of that.

Check out the amazing nutritional stats:

Short, simple ingredient list? Check.

As you can see, it doesn’t have a lengthy ingredient list full of weird gums and stabilizers.

This is awesome for me, since I’m very sensitive to gums.  I tried another brand of coconut milk kefir once, if you recall, and had to give it away because all the stabilizers they put in it tore my poor tummy to pieces.

Nogurt doesn’t have any weird stuff in it, which is like, uber-bonus points to me.

Talk about dedication!

I also liked that it’s sweetened with cassava syrup and banana puree.

Anyway, I’m rambling.  I made a long list of my initial thoughts of Nogurt, which I’ll share with you guys tomorrow.

The question is, how did it taste?

Chocolate Nogurt.

As you can see, Nogurt is not yogurt.

The texture is more like kefir than yogurt, which I am fine with.  You’ll see in a moment how I put it to use.

The taste was, in my own opinion, very good.  Delicious, even.

Here’s why I liked it: it was sweet, but not too sweet.  Yes, it has 9 grams of sugar per serving, but as you can see, much of that sugar is probably from banana puree.  I also could taste the banana, but it was very mild and faint.  However, I love the combination of chocolate and banana, so that was not a problem for me.

I also liked that it had a strong chocolate flavor — it wasn’t just sugar with a hint of chocolate, which you might find with other products.

Another thing: it wasn’t tart.  It didn’t taste like yogurt — it was almost like a lightly sweetened chocolate-banana pudding, with emphasis on the chocolate.

I ate about half of it, liking it more and more with each bite, before I realized I had better incorporate it into my lunch lest I spoil my appetite.

Oh, I love dessert for lunch.

Since I wanted my lunch to complement the chocoatey-banananess of the Nogurt, I went ahead and prepared a quick microwave muffin.

I threw together 3 tbs peanut flour, 2 tbs cocoa, 1/3 cup applesauce, 1/4 tsp baking powder, and an egg, then nuked it for about two minutes.

I sliced it up, then layered it onto the bottom of a bowl.

The muffin soaked up the Nogurt like a yummy chocolate sponge.

I topped it with a small banana, sliced, then drizzled the rest of my Nogurt all over it.

I topped it off with about a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter sauce.

Dude.

This rocked, seriously.  The muffin soaked up the Nogurt, and each bite was a chocolate-peanut-butter-banana explosion in my mouth.

And, like I said, I ate this at 2:30 and didn’t get around to eating dinner until 9:30, and this in including four hours of hard manual labor in the yard.  No sugar crash or anything.  Score!

Melty, drippy, delicious, sweet yumminess.

I can’t wait to try the blueberry one!

The other chocolate Nogurt is in the freezer, by the way.  I have evil plans of running it through my food processor with a banana and seeing if I can’t make a wicked banana soft serve out of it.

Okay, so I’m rapidly approaching 2000 words here, and haven’t really talked about what I’d like to do with thisere blog.

I know this sounds selfish, but I’d like to make this blog more about me, if you guys can dig that.

I felt guilty for being sick, which I think is not entirely atypical of many people.  I worried about dragging you down, but you guys rock.

Thank you, each and every one of you, for the warm and kind comments you left on my last post. I smiled as I read each one of them, and felt so cared for and loved!  You guys are awesome!

But yes, I’d like to personalize this blog.  The fact is, you guys know virtually nothing about me, and I think I’d be more interested in sharing myself with you guys.

Is there anything you’d like to know about me? Or am I being a total narcissist?  Feel free to hit up my FAQ page and ask/tell me about stuff you’d like to see me talk about on this blog.

For starters, if you guys are cool with it, I want to talk a bit more about how I recovered from my ED (binge eating disorder).

I’d also like to talk about any discoveries I make about myself as I journey forth to heal my sick body.  For instance, I think I may have figured out one major factor in why I’m so sick: low stomach acid.  It’s just a hypothesis, though, and I can’t wait until the doctors start testing me.

I’m also perhaps going to reduce my posts to twice a day: perhaps a quick morning post, if my breakfast so fancies me, then a nighttime post to highlight my lunch and dinner.

I need to figure out a way to streamline commenting, too.  It takes me like, two hours each day to comment, because I actually read everyone’s blog before commenting.  I’m not part of the tl;dr crowd.

How do you budget your time for blogging/commenting?

Anyway.  It’s late — after 1 am, and I work tomorrow.  Today.  Yikes.

I’ll be up early tomorrow to catch up on you guys.  I missed you!  All of you! ❤

Thanks for reading!  And thanks for being so awesome!

❤ Kaz

Good afternoon!

I apologize for taking off yesterday without warning, but I had a pretty emotionally harrowing evening yesterday, and needed time to reflect on it.

I’m sure you all understand, and I appreciate it.

Today’s breakfast was huge and delicious, and was exactly what I was craving.

This was the most flavorful breakfast, ever.

I woke up hungry, which meant that things kept jumping into my cereal bowl without my knowledge, and by the time I was ready to assemble it, I realized that my typical 22-oz cereal bowl wasn’t large enough to hold it all!

These pictures do not do this breakfast justice.

After transferring the entire mess to a larger bowl, I was more than ready to dig in.

Chocolate, peanut butter, and banana in every bite.

I admit it, this is just a larger version of yesterday’s breakfast, with the addition of coconut-milk yogurt.

I added a thick layer of peanut butter to two brown rice cakes.

I filled each layer with chocolate MIM crumbs (2 tbs peanut flour, 2 tbs cocoa, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 cup applesauce, 1 large egg) and slices of a huuuuge banana.

I want to eat this every day.

I added well over a cup of almond milk, then topped it with tons of coconut milk yogurt (a half a cup-ish?).

Seriously, after I added the milk, the rice cakes and muffin soaked it all up, and I had a brimming bowl of delicious chocolate-peanut-buttery-banana bliss.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I ate like, 99% of this before my tummy was begging for mercy.

Are your eyes ever bigger than your tummy?  Have you ever filled your plate only to realize that there was no way you were going to be able to finish it? Yep.  Happens to me all the time.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

And, further proof that I just make up titles as I go: yes, rice cakes do make better breakfasts.

Good morning!

I love Saturday mornings.  I always have — something about it simply exudes “me time” and despite having to get ready for work in a few minutes, I feel no great rush or urgency.

Saturdays are awesome.

My breakfast, too, was awesome.

Chocolate cake, peanut butter, and banana. Yes, I love breakfast.

I did not want hot cereal this morning.

I feel like perhaps I’m getting in a food rut with my kasha.  Now that I’m working again, sometimes I don’t have time to think.  I just sorta have to go on autopilot and get my meal started so I can start getting ready for work and/or school.

(School starts on the 30th — yikes!  I’m feeling nervous, to say the least.  It’s my first semester as a full time student AND working part time.)

Delicious crumbles of chocolate cake to soak up the almond milk.

Fortunately, I planned ahead and made myself an extra MIM last night.

I know.  I planned ahead with a MIM.  Who does stuff like that?

“Oh!  It takes an entire minute to make!  I better make it the night before!”

Yep.

Chilly-good almond milk rounded out this perfect meal.

Neveryoumind, I threw it in the microwave this morning for about fifteen seconds to take the chill off it, so my planning-ahead efforts only bought me thirty seconds, max.

Omigosh, guys, it was Seriously. So. Good.

I smeared three brown rice cakes with a liberal slathering of peanut butter, and layered them in my cereal bowl.  Between each layer were banana slices.

Make this! Now. Do it. You won't regret it.

Then I dropped warm crumbles of chocolate cake onto it.

When the warm cake hit the peanut butter, the peanut butter melted ever-so slightly, transferring its yummy goodness onto the chocolate cake.

There’s something about eating chocolate, peanut butter, and bananas first thing in the a.m. that makes everything just seem right with the world.

Plus, the almond milk turned everything into mush, which made each spoonful a homogeneous conglomeration of peanut butter, chocolate, and banana mush with both hot and cold textures.

I love breakfast.  I love eating.  Food is awesome.

Do you prefer hot cereal or cold cereal in the morning?  Or are you not a cereal person at all? I’m a hot cereal kinda gal, but something about cold cereal on a Saturday morning makes me feel like a kid again.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Good morning!

How is everyone?  Good?  Good.

Today should be interesting, or at least, I hope so.

I have my doctor’s appointment, which is somewhat anxiety-inducing, but I’m going in with optimism and hoping that maybe we can figure something out.

Oh, and it might be my birthday.  Who knows?  I don’t feel older, so I might be wrong on that one.

On another note, breakfast this morning was a wonderfully healthful and balanced event.

Perfectly ripe banana.

I started with a banana, since I woke up feeling rather hungry.

Then, when I put part two of what I thought was my breakfast on the floor then turned away to grab my camera, I realized that Oso had been watching me the entire time.  The moment the breakfast touched the ground, and I was no longer keeping a close eye on it, he zeroed in and made a beeline for it.

He was kind enough to share his breakfast with me today, though, for which I am terribly grateful.

Mmm, is this for me? Oh, Kaz, did you want some?

Yep.

Oso is just like me — forget the cake, let’s have some frosting!

This is a gluten free chocolate cupcake that I whipped up last night, with a coconut-vanilla buttercream frosting on top.

I accidentally melted it, unfortunately, when trying to bring it to room temperature to frost the cupcakes.

Neither Oso or I minded, though, since the taste was what it was all about.

You can't go wrong with cake for breakfast.

Don’t let the pictures deceive you — these weren’t tiny cupcakes, by any means.  My entire batch made only six, but they were six huge (delicious, gooey, chocolatey, nomtastic) cupcakes.

And I ate almost an entire batch of frosting this morning.  Seriously.  There are four naked cupcakes now in my kitchen and no frosting left to dress them.

If I’m extremely hyper this morning, that’s why.

Now, I must shower, for my doctor’s appointment hails me.  Wish me luck!

Would you eat cake for breakfast? In. A. Heartbeat.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Evening!

Tonight, Amor and I watched The Hangover.  I saw it several months ago with a friend, and recommended it to Amor.  However, after tons of futile searching at Target and the like, we finally caved in and bought it online.

I was anxious, because I had suggested it, and now with all the hype, what if he didn’t like it?

He loved it.

Dinner was a simple affair.  I was craving sauteed kale and beans like crazy.

So simple, but so yummy!

I sauteed some onion in olive oil until fragrant, then added about a cup of butter beans and some garlic.

I added the kale, a bit of water, and let it cook down.

Then I added a splash of vinegar.

Easy, fast, healthful, and yummy.

There's a cookie shark in my soft serve!

I smeared a gluten free chocolate chipper with peanut butter, then dunked it in some banana soft serve.

Does it not look like there’s a cookie shark in my dessert?  Dun-da.  Dun-da. -cue Jaws music-

It was so good, I ate three more.

Yum.

I added a handful of chocolate chips two two frozen bananas for my soft serve.

Now, I go to bed.

Have you ever had a movie so hyped up that it wound up disappointing you when you finally watched it?

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

(By the way, thank you for all your comments on my post from this morning!  I’m so grateful and appreciative of all of your thoughtful replies!  I’m thinking about everything you guys said, and I’ll respond accordingly tomorrow. <3)

Morning!

Another speedy post, courtesy o’ me.

Sick again all night (Chinese food sat like a lead weight in my tummy), felt fine this morning, so I think I’m getting better, yay!

Craving hot kasha:

Simplest breakfast ever, but so satisfying!

1/4 cup dry kasha, about a third cup of almond milk, cinnamon and vanilla.

Topped with a whole banana, sliced, and two huge heaping tablespoons of peanut butter.

Totally what I was craving.

Nothing fancy, but who needs fancy when you've got yummy?

I don’t think this breakfast will hold me over long, so I’ve thrown some pistachios into my purse and I’ll probably snag an apple or something as I head out the door.

Now I must shower and get dressed — is it weird that I sort of look forward to going to work?  My summer has been unremarkable and slow, so having work to break up the monotony is a welcome diversion.

Maybe I need a hobby.

Do you have any hobbies? I love to draw, but I don’t get to very often.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Good morning!

I have come up with a new sport for the Olympics, or perhaps, an Ironman/woman Competition.

It’s called “The Flu Eating Challenge” and the point of it is a bunch of people with tummy bugs are forced to face bowls of bland food and whomever cleans their plate first without having it make a reverse journey back up their esophagus is the winner.

I submit my entry into the contest:

Peanut butter, plain brown rice cake, banana.

I ate one, and when my tummy didn’t reject it, I prepared another.

Still working on it, but I think I’ll get there before too long.

The problem?  I’m famished but my stomach keeps clenching and fighting me every time I take a bite of something.

Off to work!

If you had to come up with a challenge for an imaginary competition, what would your entry submission be?

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Afternoon, everyone!

I slept until noon today, and lemme tell you, it made a difference.

I still feel slightly nauseous, but when I hopped out of bed this morning, it’s the closest thing I’ve felt to normal in over a month.

Delicious creamy quinoa, layer of bananas, almond milk, and tons of peanut butter.

I chose the most mild and “safe” thing I could think of for breakfast this morning.

1/3 cup (dry measurement) of quinoa, cooked in 1 cup of water, then stirred in with about 2/3 cup of almond milk, and topped with peanut butter sauce and a whole banana, sliced.

I also added in a teaspoon of vanilla and cinnamon.

There's quinoa underneath there, I promise!

However, as I sit here now, eating it between paragraphs, I can feel my stomach already starting to reject it.

I guess I’m still a bit nauseous and weak, and very tired, even though I think I feel fine.

A couple of you asked about food poisoning, and I think you’re onto something.  I started to feel sick almost immediately after leaving the buffet Saturday night.

Yum!

But here’s the thing: everything that I ate, Amor ate, too.

Except, I had fruit (oh, and potato salad), and he didn’t.

My guess is there was something on the fruit, the potato salad sat out too long, or I’m reacting adversely to an ingredient in something.  I’m pretty sure there was dairy in the custard, but I didn’t think too much into it.  The sudden mood swings I had on Sunday, though, makes me think I might have been reacting either to gluten or casein?

Who knows?

I just want to feel better now, okay, body?  We can be friends again?  Please?

I’m going to try to eat a few more bites of my porridge, but I don’t know if my tummy will let me.

What’s your favorite grain? I love my pseudo-grains: amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Afternoon!

I’m sorry for posting so late, but I just woke up an hour ago.

Yep, you guessed it.  Still sick.

Sicker than ever, if that’s even possible.  If I thought I felt like rubbish before, this new pain is eye-opening, for sure.

On top of the edema, I now have flu-like symptoms, but no loss of appetite.  In other words, I’m hungry, but everything I want to eat sounds nauseating.

To be gentle to my stomach, I decided to whip up some kasha and pray that it’s not part of what’s making me ill.

Delicious!

I cooked 1/3 cup of kasha with 1 1/3 cups water.

I stirred in cinnamon and vanilla at the end, and smashed in half of a huge banana.

So yum!

I stirred in about 1/4 cup of vanilla almond milk at the end, as well.

Good news: finally slogged my way through the last of my Sweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze.  Oh, for the small mercies!  Ne’er more!

Comfort food at its finest.

I topped it with the other half of my banana and two heaping tablespoons of peanut butter.

Now I’m debating on crawling back into bed, but the thought of sleeping the day away makes me feel anxious.

What I think I really might do is get my legs moving to see if I can shake some of that edema out of them, and pack a lunch and spend a few hours wandering the mall.

We’ll see.

Do you take naps?

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz