The Toiled Life

I reckon a great story of a trip out of town for the weekend to visit family or the beach is what most people will be sharing as they return to work tomorrow; however, that is not the case in my life.  All of my family lives here and with my hubby and I trying to save up to remodel our house, we don’t do much traveling these days.  It doesn’t help that we have two dogs either; so it is not like we can just pack up and get away for a few days.  I indubitably look forward to a time when we will be able to do just that.  All pity aside, I did enjoy my three day weekend spent with the hub  accomplishing much in our backyard.

We spent some time toiling in the yard–cleaning it up, setting up veggie gardens, and putting together a compost pile.  The hubby has become big into gardening and we are still getting bell peppers, cayene peppers, and eggplant from our summer harvest.  Additionally, we have sweet potatoes, squash, brussel sprouts, and sweet basil cultivating.

Home Grown


Early this morning I woke up and wanted the other half of my smoothie that was made last night after dinner using frozen bananas, strawberries, and milk (intended to be a “milkshake”).  But when I took it out of the fridge this A.M. it was more like a fruity soup.  So I topped it with about 1/3 cup of granola and chowed down.

Original from Last Night

Cold Strawberry-Banana Soup Topped with Crunchy Granola Anyone?

Shortly after breakfast I made a stop to pick up a heating pad since my left hip has been causing me some pain for over a month now and seems to be getting worse.  It all started when I decided to take a short, but fast (@ 9.0 mph) run on the treadmill in the middle of my walking routine.  Perhaps, I should have gradually worked up to that, but figured the occasional jog was preparation enough.  Now I can hardly walk without the pain on my side, but have still been going strong during my workouts.  I also picked up a Clif Bar for some pre-workout fuel.

I ate 3/4 of the bar and gave the rest to Mom.  Mom and I headed to the gym for some light cardio today.  I did 25 minutes on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the stationary bike, and about 10 minutes of stretching and abdominal work.

Once home from the gym, I felt a need for some food in my belly.  So I made a large Cobb Salad of sorts using lettuce, corn, a sliced boiled egg, 1/4 of an avocado, grape tomatoes, cucumber, squash, and 1 tbs. light ranch dressing and 1 tbsp. light italian dressing.


Oh yeah, I also threw on some chopped Sargento Reduced Fat Colby Jack, but it completely got lost with all of the other flavors.  Hence, my reasoning for leaving it out up above.

❤ Colorful Salads

After lunch, the hubby and I headed out for an afternoon treat–Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt. My froyo cup included cake batter, coconut, and strawberry field with a few cheesecake pieces, shredded coconut, pineapple, kiwi, and mango.  It is just soooo gooood!

After my froyo craving was conquered (hub did not even want a bite!), we headed to Whole Foods to pick up something to grill for dinner.  Hubby decided on pork loin chops.  So when we got home I seasoned them with salt and pepper to marinate in the fridge until grill time.  For the side dish, I wanted to use up some of the eggplant from the garden.  So I made an eggplant and shrimp casserole.

Often eggplant casseroles include eggs, butter, and heavy cream.  However, my healthified version came out just as tasty and includes the hubby stamp of approval.

Eggplat and Shrimp Casserole


3 cups peeled, chopped eggplant

2 tbsp. olive oil (divided)

1 small onion, diced

1 small bell pepper chopped

1 tbsp. garlic, minced

1/2 cup italian bread crumbs (divided)

15 shrimp (cooked)

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350*.  Spray casserole dish with nonstick spray and set aside.  Heat a pot of water to a boil.  After peeling and chopping eggplant, put in colander and sprinkle liberally with salt.  Allow to sit 15 minutes and then rinse eggplant thoroughly.  (This removes some of the bitter tasting moisture from the eggplant.)  Next, boil the eggplant in water for 15-20 minutes until tender.  Meanwhile, saute onion, bell pepper, and garlic in 1 tbsp. of olive oil.  Once eggplant is drained, add tender eggplant, sautéed veggies, and pre-cooked shrimp to casserole dish.  Add 1/4 cup of bread crumbs and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well.  Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of bread crumbs and parmesan over the top of mixture.  Drizzle the top with 1 tbsp. of the olive oil.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

This casserole is traditionally served as a side dish, but I think it would also be great served over a grilled fish, or as a meal on its own with a side salad.  We ate it along with the grilled pork loin chops and grilled peaches.  The peaches were brushed with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper prior to grilling.  This meal was restaurant quality made at home.  The toiled life isn’t so bad after all! 😉

My Plate

Check Those Grill Marks

I’m apparently having some techno difficulties, but hopefully it will be fixed soon!  I’m off to prop a heating pad on my hip and get some rest before a long day of work tomorrow.  I’ll be at work late for Open House, so I’ll see ya’ when I see ya’.  🙂

Question:  Does anyone have advice on healing hip pain related to running or exercise overuse?  How do I overcome this?  What do you recommend for beginning runners?

I would like to get into running and perhaps complete a 5K by the end of the year, but don’t know if that will happen with this hip injury.  Please help!



3 thoughts on “The Toiled Life

  1. Our weekend wasn’t anything too special either. It was nice though to have time to do more basic things though. Like last night we went for a walk as a family and then just watched a movie. Perfect.

    I hope your hip feels better and I wish I had some advice for it!

  2. Pingback: Acts of Kindness « The Healthified Haven

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