Back to the grind!

Houston was such a fun weekend away! We finished off the weekend with the AIDS 5k walk. Here’s some shots. There was such a great turn out for this event, I was really impressed!!

And as soon as I landed back in Tulsa, it was back to the grind. With just a brief evening before the start of the work week, I spent time preparing. I made Yogurt Carrot Muffins to take for breakfast this week and Mediterranean Barley Salad to take for lunches. I sampled both, and yummmm! Feeling ready for the week now! And trust me, grocery shopping and meal planning was the last thing I wanted to do after a weekend getaway, but success entails planning and if that’s what you gotta do…that’s what you gotta do! And come tomorrow morning, I’ll be really glad I did πŸ˜‰

Yogurt Carrot Muffins adapted from Cupcakes in Paris

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour + 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
Β½ tsp baking soda
ΒΌ tsp salt
2/3 cup agave syrup
2 cups grated carrots
1/4 cup canola oil (was out of applesauce)
2 beaten eggs
Β½ cup plain Greek yogurt (non fat)
ΒΎ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 325Β°F. Β Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the agave syrup and carrots.

Beat in the oil, eggs and yogurt and stir in the walnuts. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool the muffins in the pan for 15 minutes.

Yield: 12 large muffins

Nutrition Information (per muffin): 162 calories; 4.9 g. fat; 35.8 mg. cholesterol; 136 mg. sodium; 26.5 g. carbohydrate; 2.5 g. fiber; 3.6 g. protein

Mediterranean Barley Salad from Cooking Light

2 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup uncooked pearl barley
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
8 pitted kalamara olives, halved
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted


Bring water and barley to a boil in a saucepan. Cover, reduce heat, and summer for 25 minutes of until tender and liquid is almost absorbed. Cool to room temperature.

Combine lemon rind, lemon juice, olive oil, and mustard in a bowl; stir well with a shisk. Add barley, fennel, and next 6 ingredients (through beans); toss gently. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Garnish with walnuts just before serving. Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition Information (per serving): 313 calories; 16.1 g. fat (1.9 g. saturated fat; 7.5 g. monounsaturated fat; 6.2 g. polyunsaturated fat); 6.6 g. protein; 38.9 g. carbohydrate; 8.2 g. fiber; 0 mg. cholesterol; 2.9 mg. iron; 643 mg. sodium; 79 mg. calcium

And all ready for lunches this week…


Today’s NNM Topic: Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia

Ideally, we want to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, the 7th leading cause of death in the US.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are diagnosed based on groups of systems which show intellectual and social decline that interfere with their standard living, along with memory loss in most cases.

Risk factors for dementia and Alzheimer’s include many nutrition-related factors, including: alcohol intake, atherosclerosis (heart health), blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, homocysteine levels, and exercise.

Among individuals diagnosed with dementia, a balanced, healthy diet is important to maintain energy and proper nutrition. A high-fiber diet to prevent constipation is also recommended. During meal times, distractions should be eliminated so that the individual can stay focused on their eating. Eating should be at a slow pace with small pieces to chew and swallow for safety reasons.

In my experience, as dementia procresses individuals can disassociate food from eating — they no longer understand that food is to eat and many people need full feeding assistance. For some, swallowing ability declines and a modified texture is required — chopped, pureed, etc. This helps the individual safely swallow foods and prevent aspiration. Most individuals would not expect dementia patients to require extensive nutrition modifications, but it is not the case. Dietitians are in great demand in nursing homes and dementia units.

Looking forward to catching up on everyone’s blogs this week. πŸ™‚ Sorry I’ve been a bit MIA with my weekend travels!

Question #1: What’s for breakfast today? And lunch…? πŸ˜‰

Question #2: Do you know someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia? What symptoms do they display showing their disease?

Make it a healthy one!

P.S. I’ve received several Q&A questions for this week! Send your questions on over –!! πŸ˜€



Filed under breakfast, cholesterol, Cooking Light, dementia, dietitians, exercise, fiber, friends, heart health, hypertension, lunch, memory, physical activity, racing, recipe, sodium, travel, weight loss, weight maintentance

33 responses to “Back to the grind!

  1. Planning is definitely key to maintaining a healthy weight. It’s when you let yourself get too hungry that hte cravings start to hit and the bad choices start to be made! I love the sound of those yogurt carrot muffins…amazing. And I’ve recently become a barley addict. I like the texture it has as compared to brown rice!

    Congrats on the 5K walk! Sounds awesome.

  2. My friend’s father in law had dementia. One of his first symptoms was losing his balance frequently.

  3. I’m so glad you had an awesome weekend! Love the photos from the 5k! πŸ™‚

    Both of your recipes sound amazing – I’m definitely going to fix both this week! Thank you for the healthful yumminess! πŸ™‚

    My grandmother had dementia, and primarily has trouble with short term memory loss, which is gradually getting worse… It’s tough for her at times. Thank you for the great info…

  4. breakfast: smoothie with a banana, hemp protein, flax meal, almond milk and fish oil.

    lunch: smoked salmon, an apple, and some parsnips with hummus.

  5. Yogurt carrot muffins?! Yummmmm!

    What an awesome race turnout! Love that!

  6. Those muffins sound delicious! I would definitely have slipped one in to breakfast. instead it was yogurt and oatmeal, and lunch will be a burger! Wahoo!

  7. So so true what you said about planning. Sometimes it can feel like such a drag, but it ALWAYS makes life easier (and healthier!) in the end.

  8. Breakfast was a smoothie, lunch was a sweet potato and cereal!

  9. I love making food and then prepping it in individual containers for lunches all week. It makes it so easy.
    Glad you had a good time in Houston.
    Breakfast today was cereal, and lunch was a yogurt, a kiwi, and some leftover rice. My mid morning snack was baby carrots and my afternoon snack was a piece of my leftover omelette. Who knows what will be for dinner.

  10. Oh my those cupcakes look good! They are on my list to try now =)

  11. What a fun weekend! I’ve never been to Texas….but I am dying to go.

    My grandfather had dementia, and passed away last spring. It’s such a horrible, ugly condition. 😦

  12. Sounds like such a fun event! Group energy like that always feels so amazing. Those muffins sound good…I’d like to top them with some cream cheese icing! I had some GoLean cereal, soymilk, and an apple for breakfast…not too exciting, but not bad.

  13. That barley salad looks great! I just bought some last night, and didn’t know what I wanted to do with it.

  14. Hey Nicole…glad Houston was fun!! πŸ™‚ I just finished lunch and not ashamed to say I busted out the old kiddo standby..PB&J on gluten-free bread! Who says you have to be a kid to eat that?! NOT ME! Happy Monday!

  15. Those yogurt carrot muffins look great!!

    Breakfast was yogurt, fiber one cereal, 1/2 banana, strawberries, grapes, and pineapple. Lunch was a low carb wrap with a veggie burger and broccoli on the side. Been a little lighter – not too hungry after eating too much this weekend… :-/

    My great grandmother had alzheimers and she had a lot of childlike behaviors and didn’t really know who any of us were. She asked questions constantly and had a very blank stare. So heartbreaking. 😦

  16. awesome walk, such a great cause! yogurt muffins are amazing, i love this lemon zucchini one, really good

  17. Glad to see Houston was so fun!! The muffins and barley salad look great.
    That info on Dementia is so sad, but very interesting. Food is essential, losing the ability to eat and understand eating is scary.
    I firmly agree on the mindful behaviors you encourage here…..carefully chewing our food is essential.
    The oats I am giving away are the same ones. They sent me 50 packs and I couldn’t handle mailing out 50 packages, so I split up the giveaway!! πŸ™‚

  18. While in graduate school, I had a job doing alzheimers and dementia assessments. very, very sad. I love those muffins! I’m muffin obsessed and want to make every muffin I see.

  19. I’m so tired, I didn’t even plan. Hopefully, I still have a healthy week! The Mediterranean dish looks delish!

  20. We have a friend who is rapidly falling into dementia and it is so very sad. Thanks for the information.

  21. What a great turn out for the AIDS walk!

    Today I had OIAJ for breakfast and a yummy wrap filled with beans, cheese, avocado, and salsa for lunch

  22. I just made those muffins today…got the recipe over at Biz’s. Delish! Great job on the marathon!

  23. Smoothie for breakfast and lunch as normal:
    1/2c yogurt
    1/3c oatmeal
    1/8c sunflower seeds
    1/2c strawberries
    1sc protein powder
    1c water

    I really love the sunflower seeds in my smoothies now!

  24. lovely cakes congratulations..

  25. What a great cause to walk for…and it looks like it was so much fun! One of my mom’s (much older) friends has Alzhiemer’s…she was always such a sweet lady, but she’s lately she’s been not herself…more short-tempered. It’s really very sad to watch because she’s not her sweet, happy self anymore.

  26. Congrats on the 5k walk!

    You are always cooking up something that always looks so good.
    I agree about planning. I have been journaling everyday and it seems to be helping.

  27. I do not plan out my breakfast or lunches.. however each morning I tend to have the same breakie because I LOVE IT: oatmeal, cream of wheat, pb & banana with a side of coffee/soy milk :o). Lunch depends on the day and what I have going on!

    As a graduate student for Speech Pathology I know a LOT about dementia and Alzheimers due to their cognitive-communication deficits. Thankfully this does not run in my family.

  28. Those muffins look so delicious!!! Great job on the 5k!

  29. That’s so great that you made time to prep for the week! You’ll be so happy you did. I usually put a serving of leftovers in tupperware for the next days lunch. It saves me so much time in the morning.

    My grandmother passed away with dementia. It was sad seeing her deteriorate. I know that her health wasn’t the best since she had diabetes too.

  30. My grandpa just passed away and he had Louie Body Disorder – which includes dementia. Eating was a struggle for him these past few years.

    What a huge turnout for the race! πŸ™‚

  31. Hey Nicole!
    Thanks for featuring my muffin recipe on your blog! This is so cool! I think the small changes you made to the original recipe are great! I was actually thinking of trying that recipe again without the oil! Probably made the muffins more airy!

    As for Alzheimer’s… None of my relatives have ever suffered from it. But being a neurologist, I have met a lot of patients suffering from dementia…

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