J & J Diner reopening!

Hold the gluten….

Sadly over the past 8 weeks we haven’t been creating and cooking amazing meals. We absolute love cooking together and eating healthy meals at home.

Sadly my immune system was attacking my body for reasons we don’t know. Rashes, abdominals pain, asthmatic issues, racing heart, dizzy spells, had become the new normal. Several visits to the ER. Many doctor visits. Blood work. CT scans. Heart monitor. X-rays. No answers. Finally we got smart and switched from university hospitals over to the Cleveland Clinic. I found the most PCP who got me in immediately to see an immunologist. The universe finally aligned! Through what seemed like a billion more blood test, we maybe had an answer 😂. Most of my tests were normal which was bitter sweet. Nothing was giving us that home run answer we were looking for. We did discover i had Hashimoto disease, but my thyroid functions are normal. So now we have discovered i have an autoimmune disease. What the doctors think happened is i had some sort of virus (possibly even Covid) and it caused my immune system to flare and my entire system went out of whack. Basically for weeks i was reacting to anything and everything. It was absolutely miserable. So after living on gluten free bread, gluten free noodles and vegan butter, my body started to heal. So now I’m a week in to introducing real food to my body. I’m not in the clear by any means because I’m still dealing with stomach aches and my body relies heavily on antihistamines every 12 hours.

Bottom line between being gluten intolerant and having endometriosis and now Hashimoto disease, i need to keep gluten out of my diet like 99% of the time. I use to be able to incorporate it more often but that’s not the case anymore. I also need to watch my dairy intake. Anti inflammatory foods are the key to feeling my best!

So with all that being said, we are back to cooking together again. Just this time around we will hold the gluten!

We love salads
Homemade gluten free chicken nuggets
Local farm fresh eggs 🥚 from Jimmy’s chickens
Fresh walleye caught today, rice, asparagus
Grilled chicken salad, rice, asparagus

J & J Diner

We continue to live a healthy lifestyle. We concentrate on low calorie and high protein. We also eat gluten free when possible. Obviously we love to cook and bake at home which also makes staying healthy much easier!

Soup and grilled cheese
GF noodles and veggies
Turkey burger and potatoes
Salad and turkey wrap
Ham salad
Stuffed apricot squash
Roast beef and potatoes
Protein banana bread
Stuffed jalapeño
Steak salad
Pork chops
Protein muffins, eggs and shake!

Spring is that you?

Hooray it finally felt like a spring day in Northeast, Ohio. The sun was shining. The temps were in the low 50’s and the birds were chirping! We went for a 3 mile hike in the metroparks. The trails were filled with people of all ages. We saw so many kinds of wildlife. The trees are starting to bloom and flowers are starting to grow! It was just absolutely perfect and a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Fresh food, fresh air & fitness!

This past weekend northeast Ohio experienced a fake spring. The weather was high 60’s/low 70’s. Absolutely perfect. My goal is always to get my bonus daughters outside and just enjoy nature. Unplug and get your bodies moving. My youngest was enjoying taking photos of the beautiful sky!

As well as moving our bodies and getting outside, we really try to get them to eat healthy. Both of them suffer with health issues and i want to teach them how much our diets effect every area of our lives. For the few days a month they are at our house we only eat at home. We don’t keep any junk food, processed food or prepackaged food in the house and we encourage lots of fruits and veggies. The girls always eat really well and always seem to enjoy what we cook them. Healthy food is delicious and cooking at home is sooooo much healthier than eating out. Even if it’s the exact same meal!

Walleye bites
Chicken and sweet potato chips
Sometimes the girls don’t want to go but we still make sure we get out and enjoy the beautiful day. Can’t push, just encourage!

Destressing after a busy week!

This week my oldest bonus daughter turned 16! We celebrated with family! Elizabeth chose sausage biscuit and gravy for her birthday meal and cobbler for her dessert. My husband made everything from scratch and it was delicious as usual!

This week at work started off normal but mid week my nanny boy fell ill. He was miserable and it broke my heart. My nanny girls and i stayed busy, while the little guy rested upstairs with his mom. He went to the doctor and we found out he had strep. Never fun at any age! Friday the oldest had her valentines party at school and she was so excited to show me all the treats and cards she received.

Mom completed part 2 of her cataract surgery. Both parts went great and she can already see so much better!

John and i continue to workout daily. We try to have a good mix of cardio, lifting and stretching. As always we continue to cook healthy and fresh food!

We also celebrate our 3 year dating anniversary by just hanging out and enjoying doing what we love together!

Mahi Mahi tacos
FF ground turkey, peppers, GF noodles
Cheesy chicken ranch
Stuffed acorn squash
Beef tips, veggies, GF noodles
Spaghetti spaghetti squash, GF baguette
Protein coffee after morning workout
New healthy snacks. Jury is still out on these 😂

Endometriosis 🎗Warrior

I was diagnosed almost 20 years ago with endometriosis. I am by no means a doctor or an expert in this field. I actually didn’t start “suffering” from endometriosis until the last few years….or so i thought!

So recently i have entered stage 3/4 of endometriosis and i decided to really learn about the disease. I have read several blogs, medical websites and brochures. Again, i am not an expert or a medical person, just a victim of the disease that has no cure. Through my readings i have learned just how much endometriosis has been effecting me for two decades and i had no idea it was all related! It’s quite fascinating and I’m mad at myself for not educating myself sooner. Also kind of mad for my doctor not encouraging me to learn more or letting me know just how serious it is. I was in my young 20’s and just kind of shrugged it off. I thought oh well i have some irregular cells on my cervix, no big deal. WRONG!!!!

I have learned that 1 in 10 women suffer from endometriosis which is a condition where tissue, similar to the lining of the uterus, is found elsewhere in the body! There is no cure and ultimately having surgery is the only way to ease the pain or eliminate it.

Side effects that i suffer from are extreme pelvic pain, lower back pain, leg and hip pain. Also fatigue, bloating, nausea, infertility, anxiety, migraines, and allergies. Phew that’s a lot! Some things that help (a little) are rest, ibuprofen and a hot water bottle. Also regular exercise has really helped, yet some months are still rough.

People with endometriosis are significantly more likely to suffer from allergies. A study published in the journal Human Reproduction found that 61% of people with endometriosis live with allergies. This includes environmental, food and medication. All things i suffer from.

Another major thing i suffer from is bloating. We aren’t talking just a little bloat once a month, we are talking internally. I’ve learned this can last hours, days of weeks. They actually call this SIBO which stands for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Hmmm was this the pain that caused me to go to the ER? Was this the mystery stomach pain that had me in the hospital for several days in 2008? I’m 100% sure it was. Endometriosis tissue swells and because it isn’t where it should be, it gets trapped and causes digestive problems. Because i suffer from a comprised gut, it causes a histamine intolerance and allergies.

What this tells me is i need to adjust my diet, even though i really eat pretty healthy. Diet improves the response to pain. The wrong kinds of foods, like high fat foods, increase the level of circulating estrogen in the body. I just need to be conscious of inflammatory foods such as red meat, gluten, dairy, alcohol and caffeine. Strangely enough a lot of people with endometriosis have a gluten intolerance, which i discovered i do over a decade ago. For the most part i do avoid inflammatory foods but i love me some coffee 😬! I need to look into a low FODMAP diet more and also increase my fiber, which also could help with the “Endo belly!” Fresh fruit and organic foods are best and of course avoiding processed foods! Berries are good because they are high in antioxidants!

As you can see this disease is way more powerful than i ever knew. It’s not just a “once a month issue,” it’s completely unpredictable which makes it extra fun 🙄! I’m learning, but I’m also realizing how much it has affected me for decades. A lot of questions have been answered, yet i have a long way to go!

Staying healthy at home!

Well life has really been “different” these last few weeks. I’m still off work due to my nanny family having Covid. My coach is finally back after 2 weeks off for Covid. I’m missing my nanny kids like crazy. I’m super stressed with all the work we need to do to get ready for our first baton twirling competition. But on a positive note I’ve had lots of me time. I’ve basically just been at home. The house is super clean and I’m running out of things to organize! I’ve done a lot of home work outs because it’s been so cold and snowy but i have made it to the gym a few times! We continue to cook our healthy meals at home and i do enjoy making a hot lunch! All in all life is good despite everything going on! The most important part is all my loved ones are home resting with Covid and no one has needed medical attention!

Shoveling is great cardio
Adding weights to my workouts has been really great!
Protein pancakes and eggs is a favorite breakfast around here!
Strawberries and sugar free syrup
Another yummy breakfast! Low calorie muffin, a slice of toast and fruit & yogurt!
Low carb wrap, fat free salsa, chick pea and veggie salad for lunch!
After a crazy week we decided to get subs for dinner! I added some veggies and skipped the chips!
Hot lunch at home!
Pork, brown rice and asparagus
Sweet potato and pork!
Found some ritz crisps that are dangerously good but i made sure i portioned them out!
Snack buffet when i can’t decide!
High protein breakfasts are needed some days!

Sunday Funday with J&J

Well the first “big” snowfall is heading to northeast Ohio. We are just on the line of expecting 6-9” overnight. Now we don’t have to work tomorrow so that takes some of the anxiety away. As for today, the weather was beautiful. The temps were just in the 20’s but the sun was shining bright. We were able to sleep in (7am) and enjoy a slow morning and a warm breakfast.

I did another low impact workout at the gym and my husband did his cardio on the track with me! We listen to our music and don’t communicate with each other, but just nice to have a walking buddy sometimes.

After cardio John wanted to focus on shoulders. I used the lightest dumbbells again and while he did some additional workouts, i just stretched!

After the gym we started prepping our chili dinner so it could simmer (torture me) all afternoon. This is me wearing a pot lid in my hoodie so the onions would stop burning my eyes 🤣. Ridiculous but effective!

While the chili “got happy” i cleaned the kitchen and bathrooms. We made lunch and kind of just relaxed all afternoon. We are bunkered down and going to enjoy the snowfall inside our warm home!

Five hours later and the chili looks and smells amazing!

I added some fat free shredded cheese, homemade ranch, and some low calorie oyster crackers. Oh my goodness i had to stop myself from eating multiple bowls of this 😋

The snowfall has begun and we are in for the night!