Home ยป Yay, nay, and a Q&A

Yay, nay, and a Q&A

…TGIF! 😀

My garden is doing well, as you can see! March snow fall and monsoons are yet to kill off my veggies! Warriors! 😉

I used my Back to Basics Blender Express Plus from Kristen for the first time yesterday! Loved it! I made a delicious smoothie with cherries, strawberries, papaya, blueberries, and pineapple blended with Lemonade from our Soda Stream! Yumm! Thanks, Kristen! 🙂

And granola bars turned granola…

This recipe as granola bars…was a flop. They didn’t hold together AT ALL. So, I turned it into granola after baking it a bit…

No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars adapted from fANNEtastic Food

1 & 3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup crisp puffed brown rice cereal
3/4 cup seeds (I used 1/4 c. pepitas, 1/4 c. pumpkin seeds, and 1/4 cup wheat berries)
1/4 cup finely ground flaxseed
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 1/3 cup brown rice maple syrup
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350º F.

Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl. Mix them together.

Whisk together wet ingredients in a separate dish. If they are not combining with ease, microwave the bowl of wet ingredients for 20-30 seconds.

Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until well combined. Put the mixture into a shallow pan and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350º F, stirring halfway through. Yield: 10 servings (1/2 cup each)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 223 calories; 11.5 g. fat; 26.3 g. carbohydrate; 4.6 g. fiber; 7 g. protein

Result: Good, but not my favorite granola taste-wise or nutrition-wise. I won’t be making this again, but I figured I’d share anyways! I would recommend the Coconut Cherry Granola or Power Granola I’ve made in the past, however! Yum! And if your heart is set one granola bars, these BIG Muesli Granola Bars are excellent…and really easy!

And a short(ish) Q&A for the week: kidney stones & (probable) soy allergy…

Mary of A Merry Life: As you know, I have kidney stones right now. I have been reading online about preventing future kidney stones, since I already have a high risk to develop more. From what I’ve read I really need to change my diet. What I’ve been eating seemed pretty healthy and I’ve been losing weight, but a lot of the stuff I like to eat is recommended I eat less of it to prevent kidney stones. And because of that I’m really not sure what to eat at all now! So I need some help from someone, preferably a dietitian to help show me what I should be doing.

Prevention RD: Water is really important – up to a gallon a day and water throughout the night, as well (up to a 1/3rd of the recommended daily intake). Adequate calcium from diet and supplement is recommended – at least 1,000 milligrams a day. The UL (tolerable upper limit) for calcium is 2,500 milligrams a day. I would recommend an intake between 1,200 and 2,000 milligrams each day from food and supplements combined. If your stones are of calcium oxalate descent, limiting animal proteins, foods with oxalates, Vitamin C, and sodium may be helpful. Foods with oxalates include: rhubarb, spinach, beets, swiss chard, wheat germ, soybean crackers, peanuts, okra, chocolate, sweet potatoes (high content)…as well as, grits, grapes, celery, green peppers, raspberries, fruit cake, and strawberries (medium content). Sodium should be limited to 2,300 milligrams (1 teaspoon) or less each day. Because animal proteins can cause a build up of uric acid, decreasing meat and seafood intake helps prevent kidney stones many times (~15% of your calories from protein). This will probably result in an increased mono and polyunsaturated fat intake – nuts, seeds, nut butters, etc, and carbohydrates should comprise 50-55% of your intake. Adequate fiber intake (at least 25 grams a day for women) and potassium (2,800 milligrams or more – there is no set upper limit on potassium) are also recommended. Vitamin D may need to be decreased – but this is the least important change in most instances. Vitamin D-containing foods are antacids with a calcium base would be recommended to decrease. Mary, this is a LOT of things to keep in checks and balances each day. I would focus on the water and limiting the high oxalate foods. Opt for low-sodium everything and omit the salt shaker whenever possible. I hope this helps some…and good luck! Hope you get to feeling better SOON!

Julie of Pickley Pear: Have you ever researched the correlation between soy and acne? I googled it and noticed there are multiple reports, and many conflicting. The past month or so, I have been breaking out much more than usual. The past two weeks it has been really bad – not just a pimple here or there. I have not changed my makeup, face creams, washes or masks, or my routine in any way. The only thing I can think of is my intake of soymilk in the past month has increased. I have taken soymilk out of my diet for the week, so I will see what happens. This is really starting to bother me, and I cannot for the life of me figure out why!

Prevention RD: I’ve heard of this, but wanted to do some research. Soy is a common allergy in kids, and not as common to show up in adults. However, as children, we are often not exposed to soy milk unless we have a lactose allergy. When adults introduce soy into the diet, allergies can surface. The #1 symptom of a soy allergy is skin problems, including acne. If it is an allergy, removing soy from the diet should resolve the acne. If its does, bingo! If it doesn’t, I would make an appointment with a dermatologist or allergist. Great question!

Random question: If you could make a daily schedule/time line (money aside!), what would it look like? For instance, what time would you get up? Would you workout? And if so, when? What time would you go to bed? Would you work part-time? Full-time? What else would you want to do?

My ideal “schedule” would include waking up at 7am and bouncing around the house with a cup of joe til work at 9am. I would want to work part-time as a dietitian in the mornings and spend my afternoons working out, writing a book, and being wannabe healthy chef extraordinaire! I would head to bed around 10:30/11pm.  It’s nice to dream, right? 😉

Have a great weekend, everyone! Make it a healthy one!!

Share With Your Friends!


  1. March 26, 2010 / 6:55 am

    Your garden is doing great — your veggies are such little warriors! Oooh, homemade granola is amazing…this sounds delicious with the pb! I’ve been wanting to make granola bars lately but I haven’t gotten around to it…maybe I’ll make granola instead. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a wonderful Friday, Nicole!

  2. March 26, 2010 / 9:38 am

    I would probably wake up around 7:30 and have plenty of time for a workout and nice relaxing breakfast, then work part-time and be able to be in bed by 10:30. Sounds like a nice fantasy haha!

  3. March 26, 2010 / 9:45 am

    Glad your garden is resilient! My schedule would look much different since I’m so not a morning person. Since this is a fantasy I’ll pretend I don’t need too much money so I can sleep in. So I get up at 10 a.m., go to the gym for an hour, come back home and write my book, do some work on my freelance articles, meet a friend for coffee because I don’t have a “real” job to go to. Come home and write more, watch LOST every night (hey, it’s my dream) and go to be somewhere between midnight and 1 a.m. I’m a night owl and much more productive then.

    Too bad that’s so far from reality. (Hello, 6 a.m. alarm.)

  4. March 26, 2010 / 10:03 am

    Glad your garden is doing so well! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great Q & A info! And your perfect day sounds perfect to me, too…

  5. March 26, 2010 / 10:03 am

    I haven’t yet reintroduced soy into my diet (after my cleanse) but I believe dairy is causing my acne. I have started to breakout since I reintroduced it. I was really surprised when I googled diary+acne and found that they are related. I had no idea!

  6. March 26, 2010 / 10:22 am

    I love your ideal schedule- I feel like mine would be similar. Getting to pursue all of my passions!
    And the granola looks delicious!

  7. March 26, 2010 / 10:33 am

    Yay! So glad that your garden is still doing okay!

    Have a great weekend, Nicole! That dream schedule definitely sounds like a nice one ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. March 26, 2010 / 10:40 am

    I love this question! I would probably wake up around 9 and have time to make breakfast/drink coffee/check email. Then hit the gym and make it to work by 11. Work 11 – 2, then have time to shop/run errands/have some quality time with myself. Then go home and cook a wonderful meal, and be done eating by 7 or 8! Then more free time! Yay!

  9. March 26, 2010 / 10:40 am

    Yay, I’m so glad your garden pulled through the snowstorm! Those are some tough plants!

    Turning your granola “bars” into granola is definitely the way to go – besides, granola is more flexible anyway, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Your ideal schedule sounds like my ideal schedule, too – maybe someday!

  10. March 26, 2010 / 10:54 am

    My ideal schedule would definitely include getting up early, before everyone else (I love having that quiet time), and reading, sipping tea, etc. Then some exercising, and then working as a freelance writer for the afternoon. Plenty of time for cooking a healthy dinner, and then relaxing with my husband in the evening! Asleep by 11. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. March 26, 2010 / 11:11 am

    I’m so glad to see that your garden is fighting through the weather!

    My ideal schedule… hmm, my answer is different depending on whether or not I take my husband’s sleep schedule into consideration… but since this is ideal, I’ll just pretend that he’s not a super late owl and that I can go with my own internal clock. I’d get up around 6am, spend the morning with the dogs, head into work, work around 9am, work 80% days, spend the afternoons on other projects including cooking up new recipes. Afternoon bike ride with the puppy, then dinner with the hubby, and bed by 10pm.
    Now, in my imaginary ideal world, I’d love to work part time and stay at home with my as of now imaginary kids. But that will have to wait a bit… at least until my husband finishes up his program and has a job.

  12. March 26, 2010 / 11:27 am

    i LOVE the q and a’s!! i feel like i always learn something new!
    you make me want to start a GARDEN!

  13. peanutbutterfingers
    March 26, 2010 / 11:38 am

    i have a black thumb & cannot successfully keep any plants alive! yay for a successful garden!

  14. March 26, 2010 / 11:42 am

    Thanks a lot for your message, Nicole. I am doing a lot better….
    Wow, your veggies really are warriors! So glad to see they survived!
    And thank you so much for enlightening us with your Q and A. My husband suffers from kidney stones and always asks me what he should do nutrition wise to prevent another attack. I’ll forward him your post! So helpful!

  15. March 26, 2010 / 12:02 pm

    I love my current schedule, like today went to work at the middle school from 8-11 am, then gym, ran some errands, can home and did 4 more hours of work for my other job. This is my schedule every other day.

    Looks like you have been getting good questions. I am so glad your garden has survived this recent attack.

  16. March 26, 2010 / 12:03 pm

    Granola everything sounds great to me! Glad to read your garden is hanging in there!
    My ideal day…4am wakeup, big breakfast, blog, snack, workout, blog, hang with my kids, cook, no meltdowns, eat 6 meals, drinks lots of coffee, melt at 9am into my bed ๐Ÿ™‚ Repeat

    • Nicole
      March 26, 2010 / 1:09 pm

      4am!? Oh my goodness!

  17. March 26, 2010 / 1:04 pm

    oh i love your ideal schedule! if only…….
    great q and a
    glad you garden is doing well ๐Ÿ™‚
    have a great friday!

  18. March 26, 2010 / 1:21 pm

    Sounds like your garden is doing well and your granola looks super yummy! Have a great weekend!

  19. March 26, 2010 / 1:32 pm

    Oh, how I wish I had a garden ๐Ÿ™‚ I am happy the freeze didn’t ruin everything!

  20. March 26, 2010 / 1:43 pm

    Anything Peanut Butter, i’m down. I NEED to make these granola bars!!

  21. March 26, 2010 / 2:15 pm

    Glad your garden is doing well!!

    I would LOVE to go back to my bankers hours. 10-3 five days a week. Works for me!! I had time for working out, sleeping in (until 8) and having a life. Oh how I miss that!

  22. March 26, 2010 / 3:04 pm

    Interesting to learn about the soy. I’ve never heard about soy causing skin reactions before. However, I have heard that milk is a trigger of acne.

  23. March 26, 2010 / 3:17 pm

    That’s a cool lookin blender!

    Fun question! ๐Ÿ™‚ Like you, I’d wake up at 7:00am, make a healthy and yummy breakfast for the husband before he goes to work, sip some green tea while blogging, eat a nice, healthy breakfast, workout a couple hours later, a smoothie for lunch, go shopping, get my nails done, make a healthy and delicious dinner ready for Andrew when he gets back, and go to bed around 11:00. I would not want to work, but I would like to volunteer to help kids who are struggling with reading. I love helping kids learn how to read and improve their reading.

  24. March 26, 2010 / 3:25 pm

    My friend recently had kidney stones….the thought of that pain scares the you-know-what out of me!

    Hmmm…..I would wake up at 7:30 every morning if I could. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d hang out in my pj’s, watch Regis & Kelly, workout, come home and make lunch, then go do something – anything – that involves kids. Just being around kids lightens up my whole mood. My dream job would involve them somehow. And yes, it is nice to dream!

  25. March 26, 2010 / 3:26 pm

    I’ve never made my own granola or granola bars. But your recipes look great! I’m sorry the one you tried on this post ended up being not the greatest. But at least you were able to salvage it. Your advice and expertise is amazing. You really are great at what you do. Keep up the awesome work! Have a nice weekend!

  26. March 26, 2010 / 4:37 pm

    Thanks Nicole!! It has gotten better, slowly, as the week has progressed. No more soy milk for a while (if that was the culprit or just a coincidence??!). I talked to my derm (she couldn’t get me in, and really no need to). I started taking the pills again and using topicals so that may have helped also. Regardless, it’s going away, and I thank you very much for your research!!

  27. March 26, 2010 / 5:24 pm

    Yay the snow didn’t do too much damage in your garden! I can’t wait to see all the yummy veggies growing =)

  28. March 26, 2010 / 6:41 pm

    Scrappy plants you have there! My ideal schedule would involve no work and the time I slept or woke would depend on what I planned on or ended up doing each day.

  29. March 26, 2010 / 11:24 pm

    I made the same recipe.

    Double up on the liquids then leave them in the fridge till they are hard. That’s when you cut.

  30. March 26, 2010 / 11:52 pm

    Hmm ideal schedule.. that is far to difficult for me to answer but probably wake up around 8:30/9 and sip coffee while getting ready for work at 10 until 4… go to the gym, have an awesome dinner, read for pleasure, catch up with friends, occasional happy hour, bed time around 11

  31. March 26, 2010 / 11:53 pm

    and ouch kidney infections are so not fun.. i had 2 the past fall so my doctor finally just prescribed me Bactrim to take whenever I feel like I have one coming on.. bah ouch!

  32. March 27, 2010 / 8:04 am

    The title of this post is catchy! hehe ๐Ÿ™‚ Too bad you had bad luck with the granola bars…you just never know till you try!

  33. March 27, 2010 / 9:17 am

    Your garden is growing so fast!!!! Congrats!

  34. April 3, 2010 / 10:21 pm

    yay! I’m glad you like it ๐Ÿ™‚ I was wondering how it’s going because I may have to get one of those myself. My blender seems to be on it’s last leg. How does it do with frozen fruit? Oh I have a very similar ‘dream schedule’! Wake at 6:30-7, go on a killer bike ride, blog, test recipes, cooking classes/consulting, read and study and hang out! ok wait, that’s a little far fetched, but boy that would be great!

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