Friday, November 11, 2016

Low Fat Peach Pineapple Cream Cake

Whether you just had your gallbladder removed or you are looking for a low-fat, low calorie dessert, I promise you will not be disappointed! This recipe is EASY and only has 5 ingredients!!!

1 box angel food cake mix
1 can sliced peaches
1 small can crush pineapples
1 tub of fat free cool whip
In a medium sized bowl, empty your can of peaches, juice and all. Use a fork to mash up your peaches to reduce chunks. Add you angel food cake mix, stir until completely blended. Bake the cake according to the boxed instructions. You can use cake pans, glass pan, or an angel food cake pan. Watch your oven closely to avoid it bubbling over the top. I like to turn my heat down after a few minutes to prevent it from spilling over the sides of the pan.
Once the cake is done, take it out and allow it to cool completely. Get a glass pan and crumble your angel food cake in to the dish. Drain your pineapple, and measure out around 1/2 cup of the crushed pineapple. Pour the fruit over the crumbled cake and top with your cool whip. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve!

Low Fat Banana Pudding Cupcakes

My friends birthday was approaching and she asked for Banana Pudding cupcakes. I had a few ideas on how I wanted to make these, but with my recent gallbladder removal and my new low fat diet I had to change up my game plan a little. The base of this cupcake has only 2 ingredients. YES ONLY 2!!!!! I have made something similar to these before and they always come out pretty good! These are a great dessert for any occasion and they are low-fat!!

1 box yellow cake mix
1 can diet (or regular) cream soda
1 large banana
1 box instant banana cream pudding with fat free milk to prepare
1 can fat free whipped cream
1 box mini low fat vanilla wafers
Mix your cake mix and soda. Bake according to the directions on the box. In a medium bowl, mix the banana pudding according to the package, set in the fridge .Once the cupcakes are done, let them cool completely before assembling. Scoop a small hole out of the top of the cupcake, and place a big drop of banana pudding on top. Place a small slice of banana on top of your pudding, spray your whipped cream and garnish with a wafer. Don't spray the cream until you are ready to serve, it wont hold for long. You can also try to pipe with cool whip for a longer hold. Enjoy!

Gallbladder Surgery Week one : Recovery and what to eat

I have been struggling with digestion issues for over a year now. I had been putting off going to the doctors, for fear it was all in my head. After most things I ate, I was plagued with chronic bloating and stomach ache. After months of complaining, my husband finally made me go to the digestive and liver disease specialist. We did a few test with blood work, endoscopies, and ultra sounds. We found an excessive amount of sludge and polyps in my gallbladder raising some concern. The polyps and sludge can give symptoms similar to gallstones. I met with a surgeon and they decided it was best to take it out. After sending the gallbladder to pathology, it was determined that the lining was diseased and not working property.  I am now 1 week post surgery and trying to get my life back and adjusting to a low fat diet. I did an extensive research about removing my gallbladder and what it would mean for my health. What can I eat? Will I still be sick? Will I loose weight? I am sure some of you will have those concerns as well, so I am going to document my journey and write some of my favorite recipes while recovering from surgery.

The first few weeks, you are recommended to stay on a low fat diet. This generally means no dairy, processed food,  and fatty meats, but there are also healthy fats you need to be careful of such as avocados and nuts. Generally try to keep your servings around 6-8 grams per fat if not less.

Day 1-3 post surgery:
It was hard to get anything down after surgery. I had a lot of low fat chicken noodle soup and saltine crackers the first few days with several bottles of water. Keeping hydrated and getting rest is crucial for your recovery.

Day 4-7 post surgery
I finally had an appetite on day 4. The pain meds and anesthesia can decrease your appetite quite a bit, so when you finally are ready to eat, try to keep it small and frequent meals. A lot of my breakfast consisted of toast and some jam. Lunches were salads (but be careful, some salads are loaded with fat) and soup. Dinners were a mixture between lean meats and vegetables. I also made a few low fat desserts for my sweet tooth craving!

After surgery, I lost 10 pounds!! The picture below is me 1 week before surgery vs. 1 week after. While most of the weight was water weight, I can tell the difference the low fat diet has had on my body. I am feeling so much better and thankful for the surgery. I have listed below some ideas of meals and snacks to have on your low fat diets after surgery listed below. I hope you enjoy these meals as much as I did and feel better soon!


Mornings are the hardest for me to digest food from no longer having the stored bile. I like to keep it light with either toast, fruit, or half a baked sweet potato. I also have a hard time with dairy, so I use an almond milk creamer for my coffee.

If I don't have any left overs from the previous night, I will either have a low fat lean cuisine (some are as low as 2 grams of fat!) or I will have chicken noodle soup. Panera has a few low fat options as well (Chicken noodle soup, Garden Salad, and Wonton Broth Bowl)
While I am on a low far diet, the rest of my household is not. I have tried to be conscious of making meals with low-fat options but don't force my husband to be on a diet.

The first real meal we had after surgery was seasoned pork chops on the grill with baked sweet potatoes and asparagus. Simple, clean, and easy.
Another night we did a steak salad. On mine, I had lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, low-fat steak, and salsa. My husband added avocado dressing with cheese and red wine vinegar to his.
One of my favorite dinners was the steak and eggs night! Eggs can be a litter higher in fat so I limited my self to just one. We sliced up some potatoes, boiled them, and finish frying them in the pan with just pam (to avoid using higher fat oils) and seasonings. I seared the steak in a cast iron pan and baked it to cook it thoroughly and topped with an egg and steak sauce.
I love a challenge, especially when it comes to baking and desserts. I played around with a few ideas for delicious low fat desserts. Recipes are listed below.
                       Peach Pineapple Cream Cake                   Low Fat Banana Pudding Cupcakes
You can also have froyo! Ben and Jerry's has an awesome collection of low fat frozen yogurts.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Weekend fun in Harrisonburg VA.

They say laughter is the best medicine, mix that with a relaxing weekend away in the mountains and you an cure just about anything. The hubby and I decided to take a spontaneous trip to Harrisonburg VA, home of JMU college, and wow. Was is one of the best weekend trips we've ever had. It was packed full of fun activities, relaxation, and some top qualify food. If you are looking for a fun weekend trip in VA read our blog for the many activities and best places to eat in Harrisonburg.

We started out weekend trip early Friday morning. We stopped for lunch at the Cross Keys Vineyard in Mt. Crawford VA. Its beautiful landscaping was quite a sight on the drive in and made for a beautiful view while eating lunch.

The venue would make for a beautiful wedding.
We sat out on the patio and enjoyed a delicious lunch. Johnny got the bbq sandwich while I got the crab cake. It was so moist and full of flavor. It paired perfectly with my chardonnay.
After our meal, we went inside for their tasting. They have several different tasting options with a fun and friendly staff. My favorites were the chardonnay and the red blend named after the owners best friend! They also have a wine flight option where you can enjoy 4 different wines out on their patio!

About 2 miles down from the winery is a lavender farm. Being from Virginia Beach, we don't run into many specialty farms so we decided to check it out. It was so cute! It was set up similar to a small town with the lavender shop, winery, and farm in the back. You can enter the farm to pick fresh lavender and view their shop with many hand crafted items made from their lavender. They have bath products, edibles, and WINE! Yes, they sell lavender infused wine so naturally we had to do a tasting !


 They have over 8,000 lavender plants on the farm. It was quite the site.

After looking around the farm and buying some items from the shop we grabbed some of their lavender infused ice-cream (we chose the pumpkin flavor! )

After the lavender farm we headed to our bed and breakfast. Since we waited until the last minute we couldn't get any bed and breakfast in Harrisonburg so we chose the Cave Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast which was right outside of town, about 20 minutes away.
The house was originally built in the 1800's and filled with history!

It was furnished with many antiques and artifacts.

They even turned downstairs into their own private civil war museum.
We stayed in the Gold Room which was a private room at the end of the hallway.

We had a fireplace (which with the 100 degree weather, it's safe to say we did not need to use it). We also had a private bathroom with a shower/bathtub.

The best part about a bed and breakfast on the farm would be... the COWS! Yes, there were cows on the fields next to the farms.
So naturally I had to cow selfie!

We also had a nice view of the mountains from the from porch.

We had dinner downtown  at a local southern kitchen and whiskey bar called Jimmy Madison's.
We enjoyed their meatloaf and the shrimp and grits. They have tons of whiskey choices and flight options!
The event that inspired our whole trip was an indie country artist that was playing in Harrisonburg, Chris Knight. After dinner we went to the Clementine where he was playing and enjoyed drinks and his acoustic set.
After the show we made a pit stop at Kline's for some ice cream! Nothing says vacation like ice cream! 
We started our Saturday with breakfast at the inn. They served fresh fruit,  yogurt, sausage/egg casserole with fried potatoes.

After breakfast we head over to skyline drive. We drove around a bit at looked at some of the overviews.

The trails were a little crowded so we decided to head to the Luray caverns and hit the trails up on the way home.
If you have never been to the Luray caverns, I absolutely recommend it. It is nature at it's finest. I can't even begin to describe the beauty underground in this hidden gem.


After Luray, we went over to a local BBQ food truck, Triple Crown BBQ. Can I say OH MY GOD. I have had many barbecue sandwiches in my life and hands down this one takes the cake. It was so moist and flavorful. Johnny got the sampler and it did not disappoint. It was so amazing we stopped her for lunch on Sunday too! If you are anywhere near Luray Virginia please do your self a favor and stop by to try their food.

After lunch we headed back to the Bed and Breakfast for some relaxation and down time.
(Perfect time to use the bath bombs and massage oils from the lavender farm!)
We had a very nice dinner at the Local Chop House and Grill.
 It has a warehouse design with an upscale service and excellent food quality. If you are going on a weekend it's best to make a reservation or you will have over an hour wait. We made the mistake of not having a reservation so we ate at the bar, which to my surprise was still an excellent setting. We received excellent service and still had the privacy for a romantic setting.

Yes, that does mean we were same side sitters! I promise Johnny had a good time!

For dinner we had the fillet minion with their duck fries, asparagus, and collards, oh and champagne of course!
With our anniversary in a few weeks, we decided to turn this dinner into a celebration. Our waiter brought us out 2 of their best desserts  with "Happy Anniversary" written on them. I got the honey butter cake with their pomegranate pineapple ice cream. Johnny got the fudgy brownie cake with their sweet cream ice-cream and caramel popcorn. So Yummy!

After dinner we headed to a local brewery, Pale Fire, for some beer flights and to wind down.

Sunday we had breakfast at the inn and head to Skyline Drive for a morning hike before the trip home. We took a short hike down Dark Hallows to see the waterfall.

It was such a fun trip! We cannot wait to plan our next visit to explore Harrisonburg. Hope our mini vacation gave you some fun ideas for your next trip!



Thursday, June 30, 2016

Green Smoothie Bowl

Green smoothies were never something that used to interest me in the past. I'll always try something at least once and make it once. Well, the green smoothie I had a few weeks ago was awful. It was so bland! I could get more flavor from chewing on a piece of kale! So, I decided to take it into my own hands and try to make one of these smoothie bowls and it was perfect! It's great for most diets or if you want something packed with nutrients to start your day, and it's pretty! This recipe is Paleo and Whole 30 friendly! Enjoy!

1 frozen banana
1/2 ripe avocado
1 cup Kale
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp coconut sugar
Banana slices
Strawberry slices
Chai seeds
chopped pecans

Blend your frozen banana, pineapple, avocado, coconut sugar, kale, and almond milk until smooth. Pour into your bowl and top with your favorite toppings!

Paleo Sloppy Joe Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Its day 4 and I am LOVING this Paleo diet. I feel better and I can already start telling a difference with how I am looking ! I can only imagine what I will be feeling like in a few weeks! I did a diet similar to Paleo earlier in the year, Whole 30. It's a little stricter than Paleo but you can find many recipes that compliment both diets. I originally found the recipe on  Hope you enjoy this as much as we did! My husband (who is not on the diet) added sour cream and cheese to his!

4 baked sweet potatoes
1 1/2 lbs grass fed ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
14 oz can organic diced tomatoes
6 oz can organic tomato paste
1 Tbsp coconut oil


Prepare your sweet potatoes before you begin (bake/microwave). Heat coconut oil on medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and celery. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Once your vegetables are ready, brown your meat in the same skillet. Start adding your spices, sugar, and bell peppers. Pour in your tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer your skillet for 15-20 minutes. Finish with salt and pepper to taste. Cut your cooked sweet potatoes in half and scoop out a small portion. Fill your potatoes with sloppy joe and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Raspberry Lemonade Champagne Punch

Summer is here! Barbecues, beaches, sunshine, and drinks! Any one who knows me knows that I love champagne. Skip the orange juice, just pour me a tall cold glass of champagne! I decided to change it up for a barbecue we had last night and put some things together for a punch. It was a hit! This punch is light, refreshing, and not too sweet!

1 bottle Raspberry Lemonade
1 bottle Champagne
4 cups Vodka
1 cup raspberry
2 limes, sliced

Mix your ingredients and serve with ice. It's so fresh and light you can't even tell there is alcohol in it! Drink with caution and Enjoy!