Citrus Rum Chicken & my Health

I find travel to be exhilarating and energizing but at the same time exhausting. Kind of seems illogical, huh! I also think it’s somewhat difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle while on the go. Not that it can’t be done … it just takes a little more forethought and planning.

sitting on the dock of the bay

Sitting on the dock of the bay, watching my diet slip away …. 🤣

Socializing and traveling …

When I add in a bunch of socializing along with our travels, I find myself getting easily derailed when it comes to my dietary restrictions and healthy eating plan. It’s easy for me to stick to my health plan when we’re hanging with friends that also focus on eating healthy and exercising, but unfortunately, some of our friends do not share those same goals, in which case, I get distracted.

I don’t have what I’d call food allergies, but I do suffer from food sensitivities. In essence, I can eat anything I want without the effects necessitating an EpiPen, but I do struggle with other less obvious aliments caused by eating foods I shouldn’t …. issues that can severely impact my energy, physical well being and ability to travel.

We spent the first three months of the year hanging with dear friends in Lake Havasu City, and as much as we thoroughly enjoyed our time with our friends and loved exploring western Arizona, we didn’t fair so well with our goal of healthy eating.

Unfortunately, Al and I both gained some weight during that visit which is always frustrating, and I started feeling less than ideal. Hmm, aren’t January and February the months when everyone starts a new diet and exercise regimen? I think we missed that memo!

Not everyone understands food sensitivities …. gosh, I’m not even sure I do. However, through a lot of trial and error, I’ve come to realize, it’s a lot like the straw that broke the camels back .… a cumulative effect of small actions which turns into an unpredictable large reaction.

great egret

No need to get your feathers ruffled

Not wanting to be a party pooper or ruffle anyone’s feathers, I try not to make a big deal about my food issues during social gatherings. After all, it’s not like I’m going to have a life threatening anaphylactic reaction to eating something I shouldn’t.

But after three months of socializing along with all the food indulgences, there was a final straw … the straw that broke this camel’s back. Sometime toward the middle of March, I started feeling like crap. My energy plummeted, I felt physically ill, and my mind was in a constant fog. I had trouble functioning, and I was not having fun!

Fast Forward …

Today, after focusing on diet and exercise the past few months, I’m fortunately feeling better than I have in quite sometime, and Al and I have even lost the weight we gained earlier in the year …. well …. Al more so than me.

One of the reasons (one of several) why we decided to curtail our travels this summer was so we could focus on our health. We wanted to look and feel our best for our son’s wedding this August, and the last thing I wanted was to experience his special day with my head in a fog.

picnic

Even while traveling, we try to stayed focused on our health by having healthy homemade meals and snacks prepared ahead of time, but it isn’t always easy. Sure, when we’re out exploring and hiking we get in plenty of exercise, but it’s also easy to fall into the category of I don’t feeling like cooking, or that restaurant we just passed looks interesting so let’s check it out, or let’s just grab some fast food (something we do our very best to avoid … but occasionally fail). I wish I was more “into” cooking. Perhaps I wouldn’t get distracted so easily and succumb to all those temptations!

During our stay in Page this past April, I got back in the kitchen and started focusing on meal planning. Since we were out and about regularly hiking and exploring in northern Arizona, we didn’t need to think about an exercise plan, at least not until we moved to Prescott.

Once Al and I were settled into a RV Park in Prescott, Arizona, for the summer, we formulated a regular exercise routine complete with the addition of a little yoga. I found this great beginners Yoga DVD that I started doing regularly and all was going great until ….

ducking doing warrior pose yoga

Warrior Pose – my version looked a little different from Mrs. Duck’s version

… until I pulled something in my neck while doing Warrior Pose. Seriously? Oh, but my luck didn’t end there. Oh no! The following week, I twisted my ankle while hiking which has left me unable to perform Tree Pose on my left leg 🤦‍♀️

Egyptian Goose at sunset

tree pose at sunset

Oh well, this too shall pass! After icing the neck and taping up the ankle, I’ve been hobbling over to the local library and returning to the RV with a stack of books on cooking and health … anything to help inspire my active brain while my inactive body recuperates.

With my exercise plan derailed, guess I’ll be wearing Spanx to the wedding. See, there are always options when things don’t go according to plan. RV living has a way of teaching one to be flexible and to expect the unexpected. Actually, flexibility is a prerequisite for RVing. Trust me, it’s in the rule book somewhere!

Back in the kitchen …

Okay, so the exercising hasn’t gone according to plan for me (Al’s doing great 🤬 and getting in all his steps every day), but while he’s out exercising, I’m excelling in the kitchen and feeling so much better for my efforts.

picnic

No, we didn’t eat all that! The muffins were for friends, but I thought they’d look pretty in the photo. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Food sensitivities are real!

So back to my food issues … When a person has a severe food allergy or a medical condition like Celiac disease, Western Medicine seems to know exactly what to do, but food sensitivities are not so clear or easily diagnosed.

For many, the journey can be a roller coaster ride, as it has been for me. Ultrasounds and CT Scans were inconclusive and provided no answers for my pain. Several years ago, a visit to a Functional Practitioner was helpful and enlightening. There has been a lot of trial and error along with note taking on my part and the journey continues.

look in the mirror a journey of self-discovery

Looking in the mirror and being honest with myself is the best thing I’ve done for my health.

What might work for me, may not work for another person. One thing I know for sure …. I can’t ignore the fact that I can’t eat what others can. Yes, such a bummer and very frustrating, and when I do ignore that fact, it’s the beginning of a downward spiral for me. Food sensitivities are real regardless if other’s disagree.

Let’s talk food …

So let’s talk about what I can eat …. Yay, I won’t starve! Chicken, my favorite protein and my stomach is never bothered by chicken. Whether it’s grilled, roasted, or sauteed … dark meat vs. light meat, doesn’t matter, I like it all.

One of my favorite things to do is marinade and grill a bunch of chicken one day and then use leftovers for the following day – cook once, eat twice, or sometimes even three times. I quite often plan this before a travel day which deters any urge for going out to eat. Not only does this help keep my diet in check, it helps keep us on budget.

Here’s my favorite chicken marinade recipe. The amount listed here is about right for 4 chicken thighs or 2 boneless chicken breasts. If you’d like to make more chicken, just double the recipe. You’ll want to marinade the chicken for at least 2 hours and more is even better. I prefer to then grill the chicken, but baking also works.

Citrus Rum Chicken Marinade recipe

In a large ziplock bag combine:
1/4 cup of lime juice
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of rum (I like to use Captain Morgan spiced rum)
1 Tablespoon of honey
salt and pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves of minced fresh garlic
a pinch (or two) of cayenne pepper (optional)
chopped cilantro (optional)

Once all the ingredients are well combined, add the chicken to the ziplock bag and place in the refrigerator to marinade, turning occasionally.

Food photograph of chicken with a side salad

Citrus Rum Chicken

Let me know if you give this chicken recipe a try and what you think about it! I like to grill up a double batch of chicken and use the leftovers the next day to make chicken and lettuce wraps with a drizzle of homemade honey mustard dressing. Yum! The wraps can be seen in the picnic photos further up in the post. Having healthy meals prepared ahead of time for our travel days makes the world of difference. We maintain a higher level of energy and clarity throughout the day. No junk food for this gal!

One thing that has become very clear to me these past few months is staying healthy, active and mobile is the key to an enjoyable life … the key to enjoying our adventurous lifestyle of full-time RVing. Happy noshing!

 

(affiliate links)
Gentle Yoga: 7 Beginning Yoga Practices
The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity

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75 thoughts on “Citrus Rum Chicken & my Health

  1. i love what you share with us and you are allowing us to self promote too this is a very great way to build good trust
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  2. Ingrid, I don’t think it matters whether you’re busy due to full time traveling (you and Al) or living in sticks and bricks and dealing with business commitments and still having one kid at home (me and Alan). Let’s face it – modern life in any form can easily distract us from healthy habits. A number of years ago, I gradually moved our family toward lean protein, whole grains and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and that made a huge difference in my energy level and how I felt, in general. (If we can eat well 90% of the time, I’m happy. Life without its special treats would be much less fun. I just have to keep Alan away from the Pop-Tarts aisle in the grocery store. He’s incorrigible.) A regular exercise program has been more difficult for me to master. When we’re traveling, we’re naturally active and we don’t spend a lot of time sitting and socializing. At home, it seems that there are countless distractions, chores and projects that battle for my attention. There are a few things, however, that help me keep a healthy lifestyle at the top of my priority list. One was reading a book by Dr. Michael Roizen called “This is your do-over: the 7 secrets to losing weight, living longer, and getting a second chance at the life you want.” I know the title sounds like an infomercial, but what Dr. Roizen writes about is what’s actually happening in your body when you’re stressed out, don’t eat well, don’t sleep well and don’t exercise. I thought it was an excellent book and it’s written in easy to understand language. Really understanding for the first time how and why my poor lifestyle habits were harming my health made it much easier to stick with the habits I knew were good ones. Second, because I’m a detail-oriented, list-making person, I include my exercise goals for the day on my short “To Do Today” list. Seeing them right there in black and white and being able to cross them off when I accomplish them reinforces their importance and helps me stay focused. Third, I try to spend some time thinking about the day’s meals before I get hungry. If I wait until I’m tired or starving, then all is lost. And last, I work at mindfulness and kindness. Being mindful while eating helps me realize just how delicious those fresh berries on top of my oatmeal really are, and being kind to myself when I slip up reduces my stress level and allows me to re-focus on my goals more quickly and happily. Maintaining healthy habits is challenging for most of us, I’d say, but each new day – or each new hour, for that matter – provides a clean slate and another chance to get it right.

    I apologize for the long comment, but your post has really been on my mind since I read it a couple of days ago. I hope your ankle is feeling better and better every day and, by the way, you definitely deserve an A+ in Creative Photo Selection! Have a great (and happily healthy!) day, Ingrid!

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    • Thanks Mary for sharing your insightful information. You’ve offered some good tidbits to consider. I’ll definitely check into Dr. Roizen’s book and glad you liked my collection of photographs!

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  3. A great post accompanied by perfect captures, Ingrid, what fun! Glad to hear you’re feeling healthier, I think that was one thing that worried me was to stay healthy while RVing. We did and now look at me. Argh! Anyway, how exciting for the wedding, I know it’ll be a wonderful time. And I copied/pasted your recipe, sounds like a real winner for us! Thank you for sharing!

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    • I do hope you enjoy the chicken. Thankfully the ankle should be better in time for me to be able to wear cute shoes for the wedding 🤞 Hope you’ve healed from your ‘injury’. This getting old stuff sucks 🤣

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  4. Hey did you train those ducks to do yoga poses 🙂 I do feel sluggish if we cant hike and that’s my worry once we are out of hiking country. I will try that recipe it looks very appetizing. It’s true you are sly in watching what you eat during the social hour, and I thought you just did not like the food i brought 🙂 Hope you are feeling better now that there are no more socializing (except coming up big event). Will your ankle be ready for those high heels in August?

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    • Why yes … I’m the duck whisperer 🤣 Ah, you know I like your cooking. I just have to be careful with ingredients. The ankle is getting better everyday and I’ve started walking just a little around the RV park. I’ll stay off the trails until after the wedding so I make sure I can handle the high heels 😎💃 Not exactly the summer I planned but adjusting is the name of the game!

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  5. Love how you incorporated all of these photos into your post, the tree post is hysterical! Definitely going to give your chicken a try!

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    • Thanks Lynn. While going through my photo archives, I came across some fun photos including the bird ones. Too funny not to use in a post somewhere.

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    • So funny, huh! I quite often shoot in burst mode when photographing birds, and sometimes the poses don’t make for a ‘good’ image but they make for a funny one.

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  6. So excited to try this chicken! Grilled chicken is probably my fav. So versatile. I don’t have the food sensitivities but I know many who do and it’s always a struggle for them. My struggle is “see-food’. I see food and eat it. Thanks for sharing.

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    • I share in your “see food” diet which is why the socializing thing is so challenging for me. Sometimes I just don’t feel like embracing self-control. Chicken is my favorite protein and if it weren’t for my husband, I probably wouldn’t make anything else. Thank goodness for him, we keep the diet varied 😄

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  7. We’re feeling and showing, the effects of not exercising as much as we should have, good thing we don’t have a wedding to go to this summer. Being back in the humid Midwest now isn’t helping but we’re trying, too bad my knee doesn’t want to cooperate. Here’s to being healthy and feeling good come Logan’s wedding time.

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    • Our time in Havasu didn’t do us any favors, but I’m getting there. We’ve cleaned up the diet and Al has been working out regularly at 5 in the morning 😲 and again in the evening. I’m hoping to get back to walking next week, but gotta go early or once the sun goes down … too hot during the day!

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  8. Sorry to hear of your injuries. We eat healthy as often as we can. Traveling and then socializing sometimes causes us to just SIT! That’s the part I dislike.

    I do a lot of yard work when at the LakeHouse. A lot is actually not the verb… I do an enormous amount… as we have put in many gardens that need weeded and pruned. I love, love, love, yardwork so I am not complaining. It’s great exercise!

    This recipe looks delish!

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    • Your love of gardening shows. You’ve done wonders with the Lake house yard not to mention the beautiful backyard in AZ. Enjoy all those wonderful flowers! Oh how I miss a yard filled with flowers … but do NOT miss the weeding 😆

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  9. Ol’ gluten-free me would love that recipe! I’ll tell you what, Ingrid…eating at a restaurant (for me) is like rolling the dice in Vegas. And it doesn’t matter how celiac friendly they say they are. One bad move in the kitchen will mess me up for days. Soy messes me up also. When we cook at home, I feel like a million bucks.

    Best of luck getting healthy!

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    • I thought of you when writing this post. Your situation is more serious than mine and I’m sure it is a struggle for you especially with socializing and eating out. We rarely go out to eat and when we do, we stick with a few of our tried and true franchises. As much as I’d love to try the local shops, I’ve experienced way too many issues. With a chain restaurant I know what I can order. Cooking at home is still the best … best for our health and budget!

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  10. We have definitely been finding it hard to stay on an exercise plan when we’re on the road, not only because of the disruption of simply being on the road, but also the weather we’ve been dealing with, and finding it hard to get motivated when there are few interesting places to walk. When we were at Zion and Bryce and the mountains of Colorado, we were hiking tons of trails every week. But in the middle of Pocatello, Idaho, options are a bit limited. Hopefully we’ll find some good stuff going forward, but it’s definitely a struggle….And I know how it can affect how we feel overall, even without the food allergies you suffer from. It’s definitely a downer, but hopefully things will get back on track soon.

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    • Getting in regular exercise can be a challenge especially traveling as much as you guys do. Add in unusual locations and uncooperative weather and things are even more difficult. Hopefully you’re heading further into Idaho and taking in Stanley and Red Fish Lake – gorgeous country, hiking opportunities and cooler weather. But be sure and stock up on groceries in the bigger towns.

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      • We’ve got a reservation next month in Ketchum, but we’re thinking of adding Redfish Lake as well. That whole area is gorgeous! We’re also hoping to do a lot of hiking at Yellowstone. From what we hear, most visitors stay close to their cars, so there are lots of lightly used hiking trails. You just gotta get to them…

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        • Definitely visit Redfish Lake and Stanley. Picturesque landscape! I’ll be interested to hear your take on Ketchum. Sounds like you’ve planned some beautiful destinations.

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  11. It’s interesting how different foods affect me, especially as I get older. I’ve been working towards better health for several years and have taken a big plunge this summer with the total replacement of my right knee. It has slowed me down a bit, but I am slowly building back strength and endurance in my right leg. Eating right is important, too. I am going to give this recipe a try, looks interesting. And I love chicken grilled and chilled for topping an afternoon salad. Stay well and enjoy your son’s wedding. No one will know about the spanx except you and maybe Al. Enjoy the week ahead.

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    • Thanks Clay. Sometimes being forced to slow down and sit is just what we need. I’ve actually been enjoying the downtime and getting caught up on projects that don’t require a lot of physical activity. But I’m looking forward to getting active again soon as I’m sure you are as well!

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  12. You are so right about how hard it is to maintain a healthy weight with this RV lifestyle. The socializing, & there’s plenty of that, always seems to center around food. I struggle mightily with that especially since not only am I a super foodie but I also have an under active thyroid. I do take medication for it but weight is still an issue. I accept the fact I’ll never be svelte again but I do try to be healthy. Good luck to you in obtaining your goal. With your positive outlook I’m sure you’ll get there. BTW, I too often marinade & grill chicken. I will definitely try your recipe. It sounds delicious!

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    • Yeah, it can be a challenge when there’s too much fun to be had. For me it becomes easier when we slow our travels and that’s our goal these days. I think that’s a natural evolution of the full-time lifestyle as well. Could it be travel burnout? Not sure. Enjoy the chicken!

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  13. I agree it is harder to maintain a healthy diet on the road. We made the mistake of not bringing a scale. A scale has always helped me know if I’m getting off track weight wise and can adjust. So we have a scale again. And we have always made smoothies in the morning which starts our day out right. Hope the leg heals quickly. That doesn’t help! You’ll enjoy the wedding. No matter what! We moved into the house last week and moving boxes is helping me get rid of those extra pounds we accumulated during the cold wet winter in the South. Yay!

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    • We too travel with a scale. My husband uses it faithfully. Me? I don’t want to know 🤣 Congrats on getting those boxes unpacked. You’ll no sooner be all settled in and you’ll be itching to hitch up!

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  14. So sorry to hear about your injuries. Your chicken sounds wonderful – and it’s something I should be able to eat. It’s hard to stay healthy on the road. I know, I’m a diabetic. It’s easy to control when I’m the one in charge of the cooking, it’s another matter on the road. With your determination, I’m sure you will look and feel great for your son’s wedding.

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    • Every time I’ve had my glucose tested, the results are borderline. I know it’s something I need to keep a close eye on, which isn’t easy with my sweet tooth. Hope you’ve enjoyed some fun summer travels and will blog about it. Your posts have been missed!

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  15. I’ve been feeling really sluggish lately too, while I’m supposed to be getting in shape and upping my hiking distances in preparation to walk the Camino. I’ve also been experiencing weight gain and low energy. I need to reverse this! You’ve given me food for thought, Ingrid. I know socializing and going to restaurants leads to poor eating habits, at least for me. I’ll have to focus on cooking healthy meals and avoiding restaurants in the next couple of months.

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    • After your active excursion out west, it’s no wonder your feeling sluggish. I’m sure after a little downtime, you’ll regain that energy. And if you focus on healthy meal choices, you’ll be ready for that Camino walk in no time 🚶‍♀️

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  16. Sorry you’re going through all of these little frustrations… I’m all about my healthy food – but have been where you are, more often than I like… “Back on the wagon,” and I’m grateful it only takes a few days to feel great again!
    Im sure you’ll be gorgeous for the wedding!
    XO Donna

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    • Awe thanks Donna, but if this ankle doesn’t get better soon, the Spanx will need to do the trick 🤣 We’re back on the wagon and feeling better for it, but the lack of exercise is driving me crazy. All in time!

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  17. Ahhhhhhhhhhh girlfriend I feel your pain… no really I do! I’ve had allergies to foods and things all my life so going out to eat is a “don’t put that in there and what is in there?” with servers going back into the kitchen to qualify. I know some of my problems are caused by inflammation and just poor eating habits in general (and mood) so that’s something I need to work on. We can do this!

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    • However did you manage on your Scotland trip? I can’t imagine the difficulties. I have enough problems in this country. I’m hoping to get back to regular walking next week, but will stay off the trails for awhile. Yep, we can do this!

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      • Actually in Scotland it was much easier for me. Porridge, fish, haggis and tea cause no problems. Sadly the foot is acting up again (think it was me trying to do too much and wearing “cute” shoes) so back to the PT exercises like I should.

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  18. I’m going to try your marinade, Ingrid. I have all the ingredients in the kitchen. Hope your body parts heal and good for you for being healthy. It’s hit and miss with me. Lovely bird follows to accompany your article. Nicely done!

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    • Thanks Cindy. Since the ankle is keeping me chair bound, I’ve been having fun going through my photo archives and finding some fun photos including the ones of the birds. I’ll keep plugging away in the kitchen until I can get back out on the trails.

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  19. I too have an intolerance for Gluten, out daughter has celiacs disease and it is hereditary. It is amazing how I feel when I take out of my diet all processed foods and limit my carbs to 30 a day. But staying on track for the long term has been and up hill battle for me. And have the same problem when we are at our home base at Jojoba. Staying on track is a real challenge sometimes. This is what I do sometimes to stay on track….I eat before I go to socials, and for dinners I bring my own food….that way no one is stressed over my problems and we are free to just hang out together.

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    • Oh, I feel your pain – so challenging when in a social environment. I’m glad you found a way to stay on track. Unfortunately, my will power goes out the window in those social settings and I get derailed. Enjoy your time in the PNW and hopefully we’ll join one of those crabbing-rangs one day.

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  20. Sounds yummy and I will definitely give it a try. It’s similar to mojo marinade i’ve Made but mine didn’t have the rum. It’s got to be better with rum added! Ingrid, I can relate to food sensitivities. Over the years I have discovered some things that I just have to avoid. Have fun preparing for the wedding.

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    • Also try switching out the lime juice and replacing with orange juice. That’s one of our faves. I should be able to walk around the RV park next week. The trails will need to wait a little longer 😏

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  21. Good for you guys, keep at that healthy eating going. Hope it becomes a habit. We have been watching our carbs lately (slowly lost 8 pounds) and hope the eating style becomes more normal than when we ate junk food so much. Was funny once I started reading labels on containers I became more aware of those eating around me, …, watching and wondering why? And telling myself the same when giving in to my own temptations. Food sensitivities are another thing. Good for you going after it.

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    • I read labels religiously. Preservatives are my biggest enemy. When we stick to fresh, real food, we feel our best. You’d be surprised how many Frankenfoods are out there…. scary what those ingredients might do to our insides. I’m plugging away and on the road of recovery 😊

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  22. Sorry about the injuries, nothing worse when you are all ready to exercise, and can’t. We do pretty good with keeping healthy, but we certainly have times, and or places that make it harder.

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    • I’m sure my camera is in shock having not been touched in quite some time 😄 Oh well, the upside is I’ve been going through my photo archives and having fun in the process. The downtime has also given me the opportunity to clean up the blog. A little house cleaning is always good!

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