Friday Favorites.

This week I’m so ready for the long weekend. Actually we get two long weekends in a row! 3 day weekend this week because of Labor Day, work 3 days and then another long weekend. We are heading out to South Bend, IN to spend some time with TJ’s dad and stepmom and to go to a Notre Dame football game. We always have a great time when we go back there and get to see family and lots of friends. Can’t wait to see all the new babies too!

Here are a few of my favorite moments from this week:

I’ve been loving all the storms that have been blowing through each night this week. I swear I sleep 100 times better when it’s cool and breezy and rainy outside.

Last weekend we went to the Container Store and bought some new containers to store fresh fruits and veggies. The bottom drawers in our refrigerator that are made for produce are usually chock full of fruits and vegetables. The problem is that they are out of sight, out of mind. We will forget what we actually have in there and then when I got to check, half of the stuff has gone bad. So in an effort to put the good stuff front and center, we bought some clear containers to start storing our fruits and vegetables. I prepped everything when we got home and now that it’s Friday, almost all the fruits and vegetables have been eaten. Well we still have some veggies, like lettuce and asparagus that we kept in the drawer, but everything else has been devoured. Because it was all cleaned and prepped and visible as soon as the refrigerator was opened, we snacked on a lot more grapes and celery and cucumbers and carrots and watermelon. Less waste and more nutrition!


Relaxing at night. I’m pretty bad about needing a TV or podcast or video playing while I fall asleep. I tend to fall asleep much quicker when it’s not completely quiet. But I know that it really disrupts the restorative kind of sleep that I need. Whenever TJ is on his phone when I’m trying to sleep, I’ll (sort of) joke with him that he’s disrupting my melatonin production. I’m sure that he sometimes wonders how he married someone so weird.

This week TJ and I took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Here’s our videos, nothing else needs to be said about this.

Have a great weekend!

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Peach Smoothie.

I think everyone knows that smoothies can be the best choice on those busy mornings where a “real” breakfast just isn’t an option. I wake up almost 2 hours before I have to leave for work so I really have no excuse not to make breakfast. But my appetite doesn’t really seem to kick in until about 9:00 AM, so the idea of making a big breakfast just isn’t that appealing to me. And without toast or cereal as options, breakfast is a difficult task for me to check off my to-do list. My issues with smoothies until recently is that they are just not that filling. Fruit smoothies without any added fat or protein just aren’t a great option to keep me fueled until lunch…or later.


I’ve been having some issues with nausea related to some medicine I take for Crohn’s Disease, so eating in the morning has been even more difficult. Not eating anything makes me feel even worse later in the day, so I started thinking that smoothies would have to be re-introduced into my world. I went to Whole Foods one day and perused their protein powder section. I found one brand of powder that was 100% Whey and Grass-Fed, which is what I was looking for. They had individual packets so I grabbed two vanilla. So glad I just got the individual packets instead of the expensive, gigantic container. I made a smoothie the next day with it and thought it tasted great. But a few hours later I started to feel quite uncomfortable. Let’s just say I looked 5 months pregnant, no exaggeration. I felt terrible but thought it must have been something else I ate. So the next day I made another smoothie and had the same reaction.

I was pretty bummed thinking that I must be sensitive to Whey. A few days before I went to Whole Foods, I ordered a sampler set of Whey protein powder based on a recommendation from a Paleo blogger. I thought I might not be able to use it given my reaction to the first brand that I tried. But when I got my sampler set I started looking through the ingredient list and was happy to see that quite a few digestive enzymes, including lactase, where included. So I took a chance and mixed up one of the chocolate packets with some almond milk, drank it and…I felt great! My stomach felt good- no cramping or discomfort.


So for breakfast one day I decided to use one of the vanilla packets along with a peach that needed to be eaten. We’ve really been taking advantage of all the amazingly delicious Palisade peaches and I never want even one of the them to go to waste. So when I spotted a peach that had seen peachier days (bahaha!), I decided that a peach smoothie was just what I needed. This peach smoothie was so delicious and filling. Full of protein, some sweetness from the fresh peach and tartness from the yogurt, it was the perfect thing to sip on at work. It kept me full and did not upset my stomach.



Peach Smoothie
Serves 1
A sweet and slightly tart smoothie perfect for those busy mornings when a big breakfast isn't an option.
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  1. 1 peach, pitted and cut into large chunks
  2. 1 4 oz. container organic, lactose free yogurt (peach or vanilla flavor)
  3. 1/4 to 1/2 cup almond milk
  4. 1 packet or 1 scoop Formulx whey protein powder (vanilla)
  5. 4-5 ice cubes, optional
  1. About an hour before making the smoothie, put the container of yogurt in the freezer.
  2. Once the yogurt is slightly frozen, place the peach chunks, yogurt, protein powder and 1/4 cup of almond milk in a high powered blender.
  3. Blend everything together, adding a little more milk if necessary.
  4. If you like it extra thick or if you didn't freeze the yogurt, add a few ice cubes and blend until smooth.
The Ceravolo Life
This recipe calls for you to freeze the yogurt prior to making the smoothie. When I made this peach smoothie, I just put the yogurt in the freezer as soon as I woke up and let it freeze while I got ready for work. It wasn’t completely frozen but I didn’t need to add any ice to the smoothie and it was still thick and cold. You can customize this smoothie to suit your dietary needs. Substitute coconut milk for the almond milk, do a non-dairy yogurt for the organic yogurt. Whatever dairy (or non-dairy) you use, the fresh taste of the peaches will really shine through.


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The Ceravolo Life Updates.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve blogged, but in the busyness of life, sometimes something’s gotta give. Over the last month or so, we’ve been dealing with a new job (for me), traveling for work (TJ), medication and feeling sick (me), trying to get on a new schedule and in between all of that, getting out and enjoying summer.

We went hiking one day to Saint Mary’s Glacier.  I went to Yoga on the Rocks, which is a yoga class at Red Rocks. We’ve gone to the Farmer’s Market a few times. We spent some time at the pool, soaking up the sun and working on our tan. We went to another outdoor movie downtown with friends. We tried a few new restaurants and a few new recipes. We/I made the 3rd annual Notre Dame schedule chalkboard. We did a little shopping at the outlet mall- new sandals and a jeweled sweater for me; dress shirt, pants and a t-shirt for TJ. This weekend we got together with friends for a BBQ and brought a Summer-y fruit tray.

Here’s some our Summer Highlights in picture format:




{This picture was taken with the timer on the camera. I had to run down this little hill to get in the picture and almost fell over. So I’m half smiling, half laughing.}





{Will the man ever take a “normal” picture?}




{This weekend we went to a bakery, Sugar Bakeshop, in Denver that serves gluten-free and paleo baked goods. The gluten-free coffee cake was delish!}



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Summer into Fall Menu.

Although the temperatures certainly remind me it’s still Summer, everything else is making me feel like it’s almost Fall. Basically only one thing is making it feel like Fall to me. Football. Football season in our house is a big deal because my husband is such a die hard Notre Dame fan. He’s been asking me for a month to make the chalkboard that I’ve made the past two years. So I finally made it and it’s displayed proudly in our living room.


Fall is my favorite season so I’m ready for cooler temperatures, putting away my skirts and sleeveless tops and bringing out the sweaters and boots. I’m ready for soup and white chicken chili. Hot apple cider. The leaves changing colors. Going apple picking. And pulling out the Fall decorations and buying a few new things to bring Fall indoors.

This menu is a mix of things I love to eat in the Summer and things I love to eat in the Fall. We are trying to get our fill of all the delicious Summer fruits before we transition to warmer, cooked foods and fewer raw fruits and veggies.

Here’s our Summer into Fall menu for this week!


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21 Day Sugar Detox- Week 2.

This week marks the start of the 21 Day Sugar Detox- Week 2. I’ll be honest- I did terrible last week! Through the week I was pretty good, but the weekend came and I felt a little bit sick to my stomach. So I had some pop. And then later I ate 2 (!) almond milk ice cream bars…oy vey. What a failure! I’ve definitely seen a correlation between not eating enough fat and those sugar cravings that I just can’t ignore.

I got sick of eggs for breakfast towards the end of last week, so this week I whipped up some Banana Porridge from the Against All Grain cookbook. I’ve made this several times before and it’s really filling and comforting. And provides a good dose of healthy fats from all the nuts.

This week the menu has a good mix of chicken, pork, beef and fish. There are some favorites here as well as some items that I haven’t made in a while. The potato salad is the only potato salad I like. It’s a recipe from Bobby Flay and I was shocked when I found out that it had mustard in it. I hate mustard. I will probably only add a little bit of the whole grain mustard since it is less offensive than dijon. And I add celery to the recipe as well. It is the perfect summery side dish! {And no I don’t care that potatoes aren’t strict Paleo. I like potatoes and sometimes I eat regular potatoes.} The Thai Beef Salad is a recipe by Ellie Krieger. And it is by far one of the most flavorful salads ever! I will prep the marinade the night before and then in the morning before work, I’ll just add the meat to a plastic bag, pour in the marinade and refrigerate. When I get home, I’ll just grill the beef and put the salad together. I love having recipes that I can do a lot of the prep work the night before. It makes the mornings and evenings a lot more enjoyable!

21 Day Sugar Detox- Week 2

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Friday Favorites.

Here are a few moments from last weekend and this week. Last weekend we went berry picking took some pictures next to unripe berries. Although the berry picking experience was a disappointment, we had fun driving around Boulder, getting lunch and going to Trader Joe’s!

On Saturday night we joined all the cool kids in Denver and headed a few blocks down the street to watch…Frozen! I was pretty excited. TJ was not so excited. But he came with me and carried the chairs and bought me strawberry ice cream. I love all the free things that happen in summer here and I’m up for a free movie outside anytime. In a few weeks they are playing Father of the Bride. You can bet we will be there for that one!

On Sunday I did all the food prep for the week. And then the week began. We watched a thunderstorm roll through. There was some serious lightning happening.

It’s been an exhausting and fast week. There have been several nights this week I’ve come home and barely been able to keep my eyes open long enough to eat dinner. I’m pretty sure one night I fell asleep around 7:00 and woke up really confused at 10:00… Not smart to take a nap at 7:00 at night. Needless to say, I’m ready for the weekend. Naps for everyone!

Have A Great Weekend!

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Meal Planning.

Everyone has that one thing that is “their thing”. One of my things is meal planning. I can’t quite remember why or when I started meal planning but I can’t imagining not doing it. It does take a little bit of time at the beginning of the week, but I know that I get that time back with the structure and organization it provides. Not to mention it saves me from a lot of stressful situations during the week. Here are the steps I take to plan out our meals for the week.

3 Easy Meal Planning Steps

Step 1:

Gather all your materials. A planner or calendar and pen to write out your meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for each day. A notepad or paper to write your grocery list. Any weekly ads for the stores that you shop at. And some coffee or tea. Once you have your materials, take the time to think about what you want to eat that week. Write down your plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner for each day. I’m pretty strict about having something written down for the weekdays, but I’m much more relaxed about the weekends. I know we will probably end up eating out at least once so I generally use the weekends to use up any leftovers and fruits and veggies that might go bad. While this step can be the most time consuming, it does not have to be difficult. Think about your favorite meals. Think about things that will be easy for breakfast (smoothies, muffins), things that can be made ahead for lunch and then save the more elaborate meals for dinner when you might have more time to cook. Make sure to scan the weekly ads for items on sale. If you were planning on having chicken breasts one night, but pork chops are on sale, just make a swap! Sometimes I’ll be a little general when I’m writing out my plan for each day. For example, for breakfast I might write ‘eggs, bacon and fruit’. Then when I look through the ads, I’ll make note of which fruits are on sale and just buy those.

meal planning

meal planning

Step 2:

Once you have your meals planned out, start writing your grocery list. I usually make my list in this order– Write down any items that you buy weekly (coffee cream, seltzer, eggs, milk, etc). Then go through each day and write down EVERY item that you will need (don’t worry if you think you might have the items already, write them down anyway). Make note of quantities so that you purchase enough of each item.

meal planning

Step 3:

The last and final step is to take inventory. Take your list and go through your kitchen to see what items you already have. Cross anything off your list that you already have and therefore don’t need to buy. This step saves you from getting to the store and standing in the aisles thinking, Do I already have…? There’s nothing worse than buying a bunch of items only to come home and realize you already have them. Especially if they are perishable!

meal planning

And those are my steps for meal planning! Yes, I do this every week! Once you get the hang of it, it doesn’t take more than 30 minutes. The longest step for me is deciding what I want to eat. I like switching things up so I’m always looking for new recipes and ideas.  It’s a great idea to keep either a physical list or a mental list of all your favorite/easy meals.  If you have 10 or 15 “go-to” meals, you can just rotate them each week.  This helps make meal planning simple and keeps you and your family from getting sick of the same meals.  

Happy Meal Planning!

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21 Day Sugar Detox.

After the last week and a half of terrible eating and then finding out that a new group of people would be starting this 21 Day Sugar Detox, I decided to jump in. It starts today and lasts three weeks. I know that in the grand scheme of things, three weeks is nothing, but for someone who LOVES sugar, three weeks is forever. No grains, no legumes, no sugar (which means no honey, no maple syrup, no coconut sugar), limited fruits (green apples and slightly under-ripe bananas only!) and limited dairy for three weeks! This is really what I strive for on a daily basis but I’m definitely not as strict as I should be. I will eat small amounts of rice and beans on occasion and I don’t limit my fruit intake. If I want something sweet I will have honey or maple syrup. But I know that I can do this and I know that it’s okay if I’m not totally perfect for the entire three weeks. So many times people (myself included) never even start something because they are afraid they can’t do it 100%. Even if you start at point A, hope to get to point C, but only make a few changes and end up around point B, you still made progress. You are still further ahead than if you had never started at all.

So my goals for this 21 Day Sugar Detox is that I will greatly reduce my cravings for sugar and carbohydrates. That my joint pain and stomach pain will go away or at least be more manageable. That my blood sugar will feel more stable with fewer ups and downs during the day (which equals a more steady stream of energy). And of course I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for a few pounds to be shed.

Because I’m working again, I have less time to cook and do meal prep in the morning and before dinner. Last week was a little rough because I wasn’t prepared. At my new job everyone just eats at their desks and it’s a pretty quiet environment. So I needed to come up with some things that were quiet and easy to eat at my desk. There is a microwave and refrigerator so I decided I would make soup, beef with vegetables, and eat that all week. I made the soup on Sunday and then just portioned it out so all I have to do is grab the container in the morning along with a green apple and go! In an effort to make things easier on myself after work, I prepped all the veggies for dinner and have them ready to go. I made the enchilada sauce and have all the chicken prepped and individually wrapped.

Here are our dinners for the week. There’s not much different about this than our normal dinners. I think the next three weeks will be hardest at breakfast and after dinner. Usually that’s when I start craving something sweet. But I think after the first couple days it will start to get easier. I will be documenting my progress and my meals, so check back often!

21 Day Sugar Detox

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A Menu.

What a week.  Last week.  The beginning of this week. I’m so tired I couldn’t even come up with a title for this post. After a lovely flare-up last week, I’m physically exhausted.  And after my first day at my new job, I’m mentally exhausted.  I miss that feeling of being mentally tired though.  So often I only feel tired physically, so I’m looking forward to being challenged at work.  

Here is our menu for the week.  Only 4 days of dinners since Friday is July 4th and we might not be home. The week started off with Husband Delight, which is a Pioneer Woman recipe. She calls it something different but after reading the comments, I found out that this recipe is also called Husband Delight. And I like that name a lot better. And it’s true. This has quickly become a favorite dinner of my husband. I Paleo-ize this recipe by replacing the noodles with spaghetti squash.


The rest of the dinners in our menu were very intentional since this week was my first week back to work. I’ve gotten very used to having tons of time to cook dinner and now I don’t have that time anymore. So I’m utilizing the crock pot and making pulled pork. Veggies for fajitas and rice for chicken with rice and beans will be prepped the night before. Chicken will be marinated all day and quickly cooked when I get home. Even though it would be much easier to just eat out or make pizza or a sandwich, making dinner is one of my top priorities. Eventually I’ll get back into the swing of things and I’ll get my system down. My list making skills always come in handy when I’m busy!

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Friday Favorites.

I haven’t been feeling great this week (joint pain to the MAX!) so I’m just now realizing how few pictures I took of anything that happened. Sorry for the short post and lack of pretty pictures!

Random date to Pinkberry.

Pomegranate frozen yogurt + strawberries + pineapple + blueberries + watermelon juice. Yes, watermelon juice. TJ was skeptical at first, but it was basically like a fruit juice syrup. Instead of hot fudge or caramel, have some watermelon juice! It was quite refreshing.


Berries & Cherries.

It’s definitely summer time! Berries and cherries everywhere! I’ve seriously been chowing down on the strawberries, raspberries and cherries lately. Raspberries with coconut cream, plain strawberries and a cherry crisp. So delicious.


Peppermint Oil.

Peppermint oil has quickly become my new favorite essential oil.  I plan on doing a post dedicated to peppermint oil, but this stuff is fantastic for headaches, muscle or joint pain and relaxation.  I’ve been rubbing it on my knees and neck and it provides a cooling, tingling sensation.  It doesn’t last as long as I would like it to, especially on my knees.  And because Peppermint is such a strong oil, be careful about where you put it.  Use a carrier oil if you have really sensitive skin.


Weekend Plans:

A movie tonight (at the cheap theatre!), Saturday morning Farmer’s Market, Paleo bread-making & relaxing.

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