Crying in my Blender Muffins


Today is one of those days… Or actually, it’s been one of those WEEKS! 😡, where my scoliosis isn’t really healing all that “gingerly”. Ten days from now will be my one year mark, since my spine has been fused. Crazy right?? Gosh, how time flies!

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Last Saturday I decided to try swimming. Yeah, bad idea. Well actually, apparently it isn’t a bad idea and will actually be really good for my muscles… eventually. (Says the guy I dated for a hot second and my physical therapist. But to be clear, I tried it because my physical therapist said to. Not because the guy said to. He was a former swimmer and frankly I thought he was just being biased. Also, I’m stubborn like that 💁🏼👊🏼) Anyways, after I swam, my muscles froze up faster than a wet towel in a snowstorm. (I don’t know why you would have a wet towel in a snowstorm, but I thought it sounded poetic.) My physical therapist said that this was probably because the muscles were over-worked in a different way than they had been used to. (I think my back just SUCKS.) He said I need to ease into it more. I guess swimming 10 lapse for my first time back at it, wasn’t such a bright idea… (Caroline, being overzealous? Weird!)

So now, over a week later, my muscles are still feeling really F-ing stiff and good ol’ James is away on vacay. So I want to cry. I mean, I’m happy my physical therapist took a vacation – he’s a hard worker and deserves some down time – but James! Couldn’t you have timed it a little better?! 😜 (Kidding James, you know I adore you. Do you, boo, do you!)

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Anyways, I’ve had a few revelations recently and have accepted the fact that I’m going to be living with this for the rest of my life. But I’m tired. I’m tired of a lot of things, actually, but I’m also tired of always being positive. I am human after all, so I’m going to tell you that, right now, my back is so fucking stiff that I want to scream. Or cry. Whichever sound comes out of my mouth first.

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There must be some pinched nerves going on because the top of where my spine is fused (right around my T2 area) feels pinched. It’s shooting up into my neck and through the cranial area of my lower skull, then going through my mouth and causing the roof of my mouth, lips and upper teeth and gum area to feel numb and tingly. (Weird right? As uncomfortable as this feels though, I always find it fascinating how connected our bodies are.)

So yeah… Needless to say, I’m sort of feeling sorry for myself this week.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been healing great and I’m so much better off than where I was, but weeks like this really PISS ME OFF! I always ask my physical therapist, “Am I going to be stiff forever?”, “Will I ever get full feeling back in the muscles in my back?”… the list goes on with the questions I ask. (James is a saint.) Now, I don’t care about having limited range of motion. To be completely honest, I actually can’t tell that my flexibility in my thoracic is limited, unless I’m sitting and someone wants me to twist and contort my body to look in some direction that is quite frankly impossible for any human being to do unless they turn their chairs. It’s the stiffness that bothers me.

It was getting better… but I guess I’ve back-tracked a bit. Sigh…

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Anyways, thanks for listening to me vent. And again, yes I know this is a part of my life forever, and that it takes years for some people to feel fully like themselves again. But I’m allowed to have my “cry baby” moment from time to time, so this is mine. Deal with it. Or don’t?

But if you don’t, you won’t get to read the post that I originally started writing for this entry which was positive and happy and consisted of an amazing food recipe. Wait, what?! Yeah, I thought so. Mention food and you have just about anyone’s attention. Except for Kate Moss… “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” to her. 😆😋 Love ya, Kate! Well not really because I don’t know you and I think you sounded a little… let’s just say “weird”, in Calvin Klein’s new campaign on Instagram, but you feel me.

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So here’s the real entry. Thanks for listening to me bitch y’all. I appreciate it. And enjoy 😇😘✌

Hi y’all! Happy Friiiiyayyyyy!! 🍟🍟 (Because it was Friday when I started this draft. So pretend it’s Friday, you’ll be happier while reading it 😋)

So, I keep getting asked for the recipe for the Coconut Blackberry Protein Muffins I posted on my Snapchat last week (👻: carolineheinle), which I made for my brother to snack on during his flight back to Denver… He of course only took one and then asked my Mom in the car, “What IS this??” My Mom’s reply? “They’re actually really good.” (She’s not really into “healthy versions” of food either, but she LOVES these!) And guess what?! He gobbled the whole thing up! So booyah, people, booyah!We have a new recruit on our hands 😛 (Is it weird that I’ve said “booyah” now, two posts in a row? #NerdAlert!)

IMG_8590                                                      I also made a few muffy's with chocolate chips... Because a little dark chocolate never hurt anyone ;)

If you know me well, then you know that I’m a skinny girl with a fat person at heart mentality. My eyes are always bigger than my stomach and I have a HUGE sweet tooth. BUT I’m also really healthy and have really great self control. So basically, I am balanced. But what I love to do now, is discover new healthy recipes and tweak them to my liking… Basically I peruse Pinterest and drool over a picture of a comfort food dish at night, and then tweak the recipe to make it healthier the next morning – HA! (I’ll replace sugar with Stevia or low-glycemic coconut sugar or honey, replace wheat noodles with zucchini or sweet potato noodles, and so on… But then, I’ll balance it with a “go big or go home” game plan. Come on people, there’s nothing like a REAL bowl of ice cream, a “the works” gourmet cheeseburger or an authentic bowl of Italian pasta every now and then. Let’s not kid ourselves.)

But for the days when we are trying to be healthy but don’t want to compromise our taste buds, these delicious, but good for you muffins are perrrrfect! There’s no flour or sugar and they’re chock full of protein and fiber… A perfect “breakfast on the go” or enticing way to start your day (for you non-breakfast eaters). I on the other hand never have a problem eating breakfast. It’s my favorite meal!! (Aside from dinner… and dessert… and snacks. Basically I love it all, who am I kidding?)

I get most of my protein “treats” recipes from Chocolate Covered Katie’s Blog. If you don’t follow her, you should! She’s known for her “healthy versions” of chocolate desserts, but she has other amazing recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well – Check her out!

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I’ve always known that protein is important but I didn’t really understand how much your body benefits from it (and healthy carbs), until I went through the healing stages of my surgery. Your body will tell you what it needs or is lacking. (Remember what I was telling you in my last post about my recent ice cream and Watermelon cravings?) My body was literally growling, “Give me pancakes!!” “ROARRRR!” “Gimme a big ol’ beefy burger!” 🍔 “Rarrr!” (Can you hear me cat – “rarrr-ing”? 😹) So I listened, but I also wanted to be healthy about it… Hence my new passion/ hobby in making “healthy comfort food” 😊 Because honestly, life’s too short, people – Enjoy it! Plus, I’m an actor, not a 98-pound Super Model. (Shout out to all the models out there!! I’m not hating by any means – y’all are GAWGEOUS dawlings! #StayFlawless)

Okay, so for my version of Chocolate Covered Katie’s Blender Muffins, I added 2.5 scoops of Nutritional Frontiers Vanilla Protein Powder and a carton of Blackberries. (Be sure to add the blackberries after you’ve scooped the mixture into the muffin tins, though. If you mix it into the bowl, the berries tend to bleed too much, so I highly recommend waiting to add them so you still get a full bite of blackberry when you’re ready to eat 😉 ) I topped it with unsweetened coconut flakes and cinnamon for a final touch.

IMG_8588                                                  Follow me on Snapchat for more fun and recipes: carolineheinle

Voila! SO DELISH!

I’m SUPER into blender muffins right now. They’re so quick and easy and really are a great way to start your day.

Enjoyyyyyy! 😀

 

Til next post,

You’re Little Fighter and now Cookie Cutter ;P <3

Sugar Baby

Hi again! 🙂  Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas holiday with their friends and family! Mine has been awesome- days and evenings loaded with family, friends, singing, viewing Christmas lights, seeing plays, watching movies, big dinners, Holiday flavored cocktails and lots and LOTS of sugar- oyveigh! I was telling a friend the other day how last Christmas, I was convinced I had Candida and that that was the cause of all of my health issues. I didn’t allow myself any holiday treats or goodies that year, which in and of itself was depressing. This year, I decided to get my fill and went a little sugar crazy. If I didn’t stop, I was going to turn into a holiday cookie 😛 Welp, now my stomach has been acting up a bit, probably because I’m not used to eating all that sugar… but the difference is that this year I’m not freaking out about it. I’m sure once my diet has been back to normal for a week or two everything will balance itself back out. And the key is balance. Which I’m proud to say I have a lot more of in my life now- whether it be my diet, my work life, my social life or whatever!

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Kristin Chenoweth posted this on Insta and I loved it so much I had to share… (She’s amazing too btdubbs <3 ) The end of the year brings up all of the insecurities and “stuff” (as I like to call it) that we are still struggling with or working on accomplishing… But you should know that this is normal and natural and a part of life. In life we move forward and then we take a few steps backwards. Our journey is constant and isn’t just made up of one straight rode forward to our destiny. It’s made up of hills and forks and mountains and slopes and rivers and desserts that cause us to take new turns and sends us flying backwards or sometimes cause us to take a rest. But that’s what I believe life is all about. Not the destination but the journey in getting there. And I think we are all working on being happy along our excavations… and not just looking forward to obtaining it once we get there. Cuz once we get there, I think our life is over.

When I was little I always thought about the day when I’d become a famous singer. (Yes, I sing. Not so much anymore because my main focus is on my acting, but I can still carry a tune 😉 ) I wanted to be the next Britney Spears (during her “Hit Me Baby One More Time” and Justin Timberlake days… not her I’m crazy so I’m going to attack the papparzi and shave my head off days. Although I do think she had good reason to attack them. Leave the celebrities alone already! They’re people too, not zoo animals.) Anyways, I look back and think about how often I wished for the day when I’d be famous, or when I got married to my “soul mate” (I no longer believe in soul mates. Instead I believe in the timing of our lives. I’m still working on trusting the timing of mine 😉 My life that is, not meeting someone)… or when I moved out of my house and made my own rules (my parents were crazy strict and I snuck out a lot- whoopsies!) or the day when I turned the real age of 21, not the fake age on my East Lansing, Michigan fake ID. Ha! But I think back on those days and think about how I should have savored my childhood more. Savored my high school and college years when the things I was “stressing” over were so minute in comparison to the responsibilities and stresses you accrue as you grow older.

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I read something the other day that said Depression exists when someone’s mind set is constantly living in the past and Anxiety happens when one is constantly living in the future. This made a lot of sense to me. Dwelling on the past is simply that, dwelling. And looking to the future is a waste of time because it rarely turns out to be what you think it will (and even when it does, it’s still not as “film-esque” or picture-perfect as you pictured it would be)… So what’s the point? Why do that to yourself? You might as well live in that very moment and enjoy it while you have it. That’s why it’s called the “present” after all, isn’t it? Because when you are really present, and alive and experiencing it, it can be so exhilarating! I literally get high when I’m on a hike or a long walk, listening to amazing music and taking in the colors of the trees or streets or people around me. I’m sure when exercise is involved, those spiking serotonin levels definitely play a part in that high… but how about when someone kisses you for the first time and you didn’t expect that to happen? How amazing is it to be caught off guard? It really grounds you into that very moment, doesn’t it?

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These are some of the things I’ve been thinking about this holiday season and end of the year. My family started a new tradition last year, where instead of buying crazy presents for each other, we go into the city, have an amazing dinner and go see a play on Broadway. This year we had my aunt, uncle and cousin join us, which has definitely been trying with all of us under one roof (don’t get me wrong), but on that day, it really was beautiful to be able to enjoy all of that with them. And I’m so thankful to have such a big family and people in my life that care about me, a father that has his own business that I can work for in between acting gigs and just a roof over my head in general! So anyways, I thought I would share that with all of you and just reflect on it 0:)

Oh! And going back to the sugar thing… for those of you that went a little sugar happy this Christmas like me, here’s a treat for you… Try cutting out sugar in entirety for the next five to seven days. Sugar causes cravings for more sugar and can be very addictive. BUT natural sugars, such as fruit, can be very beneficial. Try only eating fruit when your sweet tooth acts up and it will retrain your brain, and your pallet for that matter, to enjoy other foods and rely on different things for energy. *Stevia is okay too, but try only using it to sweeten your coffee. Your main source of energy and “sweet treat” should be coming from the fruit.

Here’s a great smoothie recipe to help! When I first moved back to Jersey, one of my biffle’s hooked me up with an AMAZING Nutritionist. (She was the health professional that got me back on the road to good health.) We did a two week cleanse to help correct my gut flora, which I damaged from too many colonics and cleanses (I know, I know, I’m cray. I literally was the health food industries perfect, brain-washed customer. But hey, ya live, ya learn. Am I right? Okay! Glad we agree on that 😀 )

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Anyways, these smoothies were part of the cleanse (although I doctored mine up a bit) and now I try to have one once a day. They’re packed with nutrients and they’re soooooo gooooood! I have it in the morning to start my day and sometimes I don’t even need coffee after it. (But usually I still do cuz I love my coffee. I gave it up for far too long and realized it is part of the balance in life, to allow myself to have it. PLUS it has it’s health benefits! Coffee contains antioxidants and is a natural laxative for cleaning those dirty bowels. Haha! 😉 And come on, ya know y’all love your coffee too!)

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*Also, Alicia McDonough is the name of my amazing nutritionist- for those of you that are interested in doing a cleanse, need help with weight management or are dealing with food allergies or health problems of your own and want to go the holistic route. She helped me get to the balanced place I’m in right now with my diet and nutrition, so she’s not that cray nutritionist that wants you to just drink green juice for the rest of your life… if that’s what you were thinking 😉 Check her out at Shore Nutrition and Wellness! She’s amaze-balls 😉

So here you are! Enjoy and happy sugar cleansing y’all! 😀

INGREDIENTS:

Frozen Strawberries and Blackberries

Spinach

1/2 Banana

Tumeric powder

Aloe Water

Low Fat Sugar Free Greek Yogurt (I like Fage)

Protein Powder of choice (*I like Nutritional Frontiers Vanilla Flavored Protein in my smoothies. The flavor blends best with the other ingredients but it comes in lots of different flavors including Chocolate, Strawberry Banana, Peanut butter and more! I also get the dairy free protein blend. It uses pea, rice and pumpkin as the source of protein so it’s great for people with dairy and other food allergies! It also has a lot of other vitamins and nutrient-deanse ingredients, including MCT oil, which I’m SUPER into right now!)

Greens Powder (I like Nutritional Frontiers Pro Lean Greens. It’s assists with detoxification, cleansing and rejuvenation and is also nutrient dense.)

Cinnamon

No Sugar Added Coconut Flakes

*You will also need an appliance to blend the ingredients. I like using my NutriBullet because you put it all in the cup and then it’s ready to eat and you can even take it on the go!

INSTRUCTIONS:

Start by putting the frozen berries in the bottom. This will weigh down the other ingredients and helps everything to blend nicely (when dealing with NutriBullet).  *Also, I use frozen strawberries and blackberries because berries are packed with antioxidants and are low on the glycemic index. Strawberries and blackberries are some of the few fruits that are okay to eat if you are dealing with Fructose Malabsorption- which is what I was dealing with. A very dear to me friend, whom is extremely knowledgeable about health and wellness, helped me figure this one out… Thanks “Giving Tree”! 😉  Anyways, if you don’t know what it is, don’t worry about it, I won’t bore you. But if you’re interested you can read about it here. (If you think you have it, don’t panic. I only cut the “problem foods” out for a month or so and slowly weened most of them back into my diet. However, I still have to be careful with my sugar intake… slap on the wrist for my Holiday Sugar binge :P)

Next put in a handful of spinach. I usually do a big handful to up my daily greens intake 🙂 But if that isn’t your thing, you can skip the spinach since there is plenty of nutritional greens in the Lean Greens Powder.

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Next slice half a banana into the mixture. (Bananas are high in potassium and fiber, but they are also higher on the glycemic index so I only do half unless I’m really hungry or had/about to have an intense workout. If I want the other half, sometimes I’ll slice it up and put it on top of the smoothie to eat when it’s ready.)

Then pour in the aloe water so it’s about 1/2 an inch to an inch high. Aloe is great for your digestive tract and helps the ingredients blend smoothly.

I sprinkle tumeric powder in next. (Turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory which was beneficial for my spinal surgery and my intestines.) Then I blend all of those ingredients in order to create more room in the Nutribullet.

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Next I top it with the Fage low fat sugar-free yogurt. (I choose to do low fat because fat helps to fill you up and keep you feeling fuller longer.)

Then, I put a scoop of protein powder and a scoop of greens in and blend the last of it.

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I top it with lots of cinnamon (cinnamon is especially great for diabetics and anyone watching their blood sugars because it helps in stabilizing your blood sugars and glycemic index spikes) and coconut flakes. Sometimes, depending on how hungry I am or what my body is craving, I top it with some low sugar granola and fresh sliced strawberries (extra vitamin C! Mmmmm!)

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I’ve found that if I don’t top my smoothie with something hard or crunchy “to chew”, I end up being hungry again an hour or so after eating. I read up on this and it was explained that our brains don’t recognize smoothies or juices as food because we are not chewing them. When you eat and chew your food, your brain ends up getting a signal that you are full and then sends it to your stomach which helps it to stay fuller longer. If you are just drinking your food, your brain never receives that signal and then your belly will send a signal back to your brain saying, “Hey, what’s up? I’m still hungry!” Get it? SO… add a little crunch to your smoothie and make sure you chew it. You’ll feel more nourished next time- TRY IT!

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*(That’s not a smoothie above, it’s juice, but same applies to those green juices!)

Happy blending!! 0:) … and chewing!