Modifying Original Recipes to Fit Your Needs!

A blog about healthy eating, healthy living and happiness. Join me and I'll show you how easy it is to substitute, modify and enhance your favorite recipes to accommodate your special diet, all without missing a thing!

June 29, 2012

Update on life, food and happiness

My oh my... it has been FAR too long that I have written to you! The last few, well actually the last several months of my life have been busy, overwhelming at times, so much fun and filled with new challenges and adventures.

While today's post is a little out-of-the ordinary for me, being that it doesn't contain any recipes, I feel that you should get a little explanation as to why I've been apparently...missing!

Let's rewind a bit... scroll through your mind back to March...

Through networking (yes, people really do that) I was able to meet a wonderful woman at school who allowed me the opportunity to attend the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California.

It was phenomenal.

Never in my life have I been surrounded by so many different natural and organic products, all most of which I could actually eat! The event held over 5,000 vendors from across the U.S. - it was a short trip but one that I will never forget.

Next on the list... Well, I graduated!

I earned my Bachelors in Business Administration with an Emphasis in Marketing from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado.

How amazing it is to be able to come home and not scurry around trying to get a workout in, dinner made and homework completed all before going to bed at 10:30pm to get my 8 hours of precious sleep (I told you I wasn't a traditional college girl haa).

My boyfriend, Tony, also graduated from CU with a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering -- yea, I'm a lucky gal ;-)

We spent about a week soaking up this new graduate life before heading to the British Virgin Islands for a wonderful vacation with my family. Yes I know, lucky again :) We spent one week living on a sailboat, cooking nightly meals on the water and enjoying plenty of rum punches, snorkeling, tanning and well, you guessed it... truly relaxing.

Ooops... I skipped something. The day before we left for our much-earned vacation, I paid a visit to my doctor to go over the test results of my GI Panel test. You see, the last few months of school my stomach returned to the feelings I experienced about 2 years ago when the heart of my "stomach issues" occurred. Everything I ate was upsetting my stomach, shooting pains here and there, headaches, serious fatigue, low appetite.. you get it -- not good. Anyway, back to the test results.

Turns out... I tested positive for a parasite (not exactly sure what kind, the "positive" result was enough to signal I need some treatment). The bacteria levels in my gut, the good bacteria that everyone has, well, mine are all out of whack. One is extremely low while the other is much too high. I also have some sort of colitis -- a.k.a intestinal inflammation. Oh an don't forget about this one, my body is basically rejecting the fat from foods. My doc actually said I have "malabsorption of fats" - hence, the reason I can't gain wait no matter how hard I try. Whew! What a whirlwind!

The good news is, I am being treated for all of the above with natural remedies - no antibiotics for me! Hopefully, I'll see a change in the coming months and finally get some of these issues cleared up.

Okay, now that I've brought you down a bit let me bring you back up!

I have not only one but TWO internships! I am a digital marketing intern at Rudi's Organic Bakery and am also the client services intern at a Denver marketing agency, Red Door Interactive.

It's awesome! I love the difference between the two and am certainly getting a ton of experience and really figuring out what I love to do :)

So now I've caught you up a bit on the life of Melaina. But you may be wondering.. what about food??? The recipes.. the pictures.. Well, it just so happens that I have a few pictures of successes and one or two failures regarding my time spent in the kitchen over the last few months. Take a look...

 You've heard all the rage about "mug brownies" right? 

I've been trying my hand at it and while all of my attempts have been delicious, I have yet to get it just right.

And.... failure #1: Garbanzo crackers. Not enough oil on the pan leaves for a very tough clean up. I'll let you know when this one works out...

Foodie Pen Pals!!!

It is the most fun thing I've been a part of in a while and I highly recommend that you join! Check out what I had to say about last month's goodie box and keep an eye out for my description of this month's delicious delivery...

It even came with a recipe map using the ingredients I was sent! How amazing is that!?

My boyfriend and I also recently celebrated our 4 year anniversary! I'm such a lucky girl to have such a wonderful man :) We went to a restaurant called Root Down in Denver. Such a cool place! I enjoyed the oh so creative "Beetdown" cocktail alongside house-made Lamb Sliders on gluten free buns, plus some of the best sweet potato fries I've ever laid my hands on.

Hmm what else... 

animal crackers! 

I bought the cutest animal cutouts from amazon and was finally able to make this recipe from Healthful Pursuit that I had stashed away for quite some time. They are so good! (The only change I made was subbing protein powder for the coconut flour) Now go on.. make some for yourself.. I know you want to ;-)

We also must not forget the yeast free sandwich bread from The Essential Baking Guide Part II by Brittany Angel and Iris Higgins. *Sidenote: these cookbooks are truly amazing! The price is a steal for the amount of information you get and the amazing variety of recipes that are included.* I halved the recipe and made my own version of ciabatta bread and it turned out perfectly! Crispy crust but a soft chewy center, the slightest hint of sweetness and a whole grain taste. MMMmm mmm mmm!

Since the weather has been heating up... over night oats have been my best friend. I pack these babies full whenever I make them and and up splitting it to I have two breakfasts.. the first right when I get up and then I finish my delicious creation once I'm at work. Lovely idea isn't it? You can steal it if you want :)

Last but not least... homemade dark chocolate filled mini cups. Yup, you heard that right. What are they filled with you ask? Some have sunbutter, some have fresh raspberries, a few have dried blueberries and cherries and the last few have the strawberry lavender jam that was given to me in the first foodie pen pal box. I know you're already jealous, so here's a little taste...

I know it's not very nice of me to post all of these pictures without recipes so I promise that soon my friends you will see these recipes and you can try them out on your very own. Until then, enjoy the pictures :)

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