Weekend links and photos

The fact that I am only getting around to this list of weekend links at eight-o-clock on Sunday evening says a lot about how my week went: unproductive.

It started at 7am last Monday morning, when I went out to move the chicken coop with Danny, something I’ve done many times before. But this time, I pulled something in my lower back. A strain? A sprain? Whatever happened in that moment felt like my lower backbone had splintered. All symptoms (and Google) pointed toward a herniated disc.

The swelling started, the pain and numbness moved down my right leg and up to my shoulder. I could barely walk. The doctor declared it a bad sprain, ordered bedrest as much as possible, heat to relax the muscles, and prescribed anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants.

Talk about feeling helpless. Simply rolling over in bed was difficult and going to the bathroom an ordeal. I cancelled my plans for the week and focused on keeping the family home up and running as much as possible.

Planting seeds | Simple Bites

All laundry, cleaning and gardening went on hold. (My poor tomatoes are still in little pots and getting awfully leggy.) Danny and the boys stepped up to do the cooking. Thank goodness they all know a few kitchen basics.

Friends, teach your children to cook, if only to be able to fend for themselves should you be laid up sick. You can start with these posts:

It’s been a week now, and my back is slowly getting better, thanks to plenty of rest and help from loved ones. I’d love your advice on a full recovery and a good stretching routine for the lower back. I want to cautiously build strength, but I admit – I’m a little nervous now!

Weekend Links

Thanks to several days of bedrest this week, I had plenty of time to read. Here are a few favourite recipes and articles from around the web:


Bacon and Egg Pie :: Kitchen Heals Soul ~ Topped with a ramp pesto spiral crust, this pie is indeed a work of art. (pictured above)

Homemade Russian Sauerkraut :: Vikalinka ~ Here’s a recipe everyone could use in their back pocket.

The Unhealthy Truth Behind ‘Wellness’ and ‘Clean Eating’ :: Ruby Tandoh for Vice.com ~ Very interesting; very true.

How I Slowed My Family Down. Like, to the Last Century :: Pam Lobley for HuffPost ~ This is me, every summer.

10 food myths that are hurting your kids :: The Washington Post ~ Thumbs up for carrots & corn! Two favourites around here.

Anything from Hungry Girl pour Vida ~ She is my newest blog crush. I mean, seriously, the lady is talented.

Favourite Photos

Note that most of these were taken before I sprained my back!

Hamburger buns | Simple bites

This summer it’s all about the homemade hamburger buns. Did you know? These are our favourite, a soft, buttermilk oatmeal bun from my cookbook.

Asparagus & ramp pizza | Simple Bites

We love homemade pizza, be it spring, summer, fall or winter. In this version, the first of the local asparagus and the last of the spring ramps, married on a whole wheat crust pizza. So unbelievably good.

Harissa-grilled pork tenderloin | Simple Bites

I’ve been adding my homemade harissa to everything. It sure livened up a couple of grilled pork tenderloins. Together with a tray of oven fries and a salad, they made a fast and simple weeknight dinner.

Assorted waffles | Simple Bites

Dear Maritime friends dropped in for brunch last Saturday and I took the opportunity to make a double batch of waffles. We stuffed ourselves and I froze the remainder for snacking.

Rhubarb G&T | Simple Bites

Every time I look out into the garden the rhubarb is taller. I simmered a few cups with a bit of water and cane sugar, and then infused it for a blush pink simple syrup. It’s perfect for mixing cocktails, like this G&T which I finished with a spring of bruised lemon balm from the herb bed.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Scones | Simple Bites

I also used rhubarb and strawberries in a variation of my Triple Berry Scones. Talk about delicious!

What has inspired you this week? Have you encountered any setbacks as I have? I don’t know what the days ahead hold for me, but I’m just grateful to be walking. Everything else is merely details.

Here’s to a great week ahead. And wow – happy June!

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about your back! That sounds incredibly painful! I hope you feel back to your old self ASAP!
    I am glad to see you posting. . I feel like there haven’t been as frequent posts from you in my reader and I’m missing them!

  2. I’m glad you’re feeling a bit better, Aimee, after that muscle strain. Take it easy!
    I’ve only read half of the “clean eating” article, but as someone with celiac (diagnosed 11 years ago when NO one had heard of ‘gluten-free’), I can tell you right now I’d *never* eat gf if I didn’t have to. The taste is not as good, the price is exorbitant, and it’s just annoying to always eat a salad when I meet up for dinners out with friends, knowing that’s safe (usually). I can’t imagine why people want to follow this food trend if they don’t suffer from symptoms! And oddly enough, I’ve not been able to loose weight on the gf diet even though I work out vigorously 5X a week (spinning, kickboxing, hiking, canoeing, walking are normal activities) and I eat homemade….and gf. It’s definitely a lie that that is the case for everyone. I am all about eating healthfully, but I totally embrace the Google 80/20 rule, and enjoy my life and a dessert every once in awhile!!

  3. So sorry to hear about your back. I’ve had a similar injury and the best advice I can give is to find a good Physio and work with them to regain your core strength. Recovery takes a while though and it’s not worth trying to rush it. Safest exercise other than what a professional recommends is walking but only as far as you can do comfortably. Take care.

  4. Back pain is truly miserable? Have you considered doing Pilates? I’ve had intermittent back trouble and decided to take action. Excellent for core strengthening and the physio who leads our class applies our moves to everyday physical situations. Has made me think about how I move and protect my back. So far, so good! I wish you well for a full recovery.

  5. I hope you are recovering well from your sprain..Please be careful next time Aimee..The Oatmeal buns and the waffles looks simply delicious..Take care of yourself and keep posting these amazing food recipes…

  6. Sorry to hear about your back pain! I injured mine once pretty badly falling down slick steps after it rained, and waiting as it healed was a huge bore. I hope you are strong again soon!

    Thanks for re-posting the links for kitchen tasks for children. Too bad we readers can’t drop ours off at your kitchen for a while to learn firsthand. Like a Simple Bites apprenticeship. I’m sure the Food Network would go for it!

  7. Lyn Deardorff says

    Hi Aimee,
    Thanks for sharing – the downs and the ups! I have a chronic back problem and found over the years that the best prevention is Yoga – not the twisting, aerobic kind (fine if you can do it) but the kind called “Restorative Yoga” which aims at stretching and using muscles while protecting your back. Everything is done from a supported position (floor, chair, sitting on mat, etc.). And it feels great, calms the body and mind while improving everything! I don’t know if it’s popular up there but sure is here in Atlanta. Much good luck – and take care of yourself while you are taking care of all of us!

  8. Hey girl Glad your doing better! I’ll be praying for you! I’ll be going camping with some church ladies this Friday morning.We leave from the pastor’s house at 5:30! Ha crazy. We will be going to a diamond mine in Arkansas( where I’m from) It’s almost a 5 hour drive! Any advice on camping?

  9. Glad you’re on the mend! And, I totally blame you: I’m seriously ravenous now having looked at all of your snaps and it’s only 10:30 a.m.!

  10. Debbie Donaghue says

    Hope you are on the mend! I am a physical therapist and definitely agree with the other comment about going to a physiotherapist and possibly gentle yoga when you are ready. Take your time and make sure you are getting enough sleep. The body does a lot of healing while we sleep! Love, love, love your site and IG…so much inspiration and help for feeding our families! Thank you!!

  11. Karen Harris says

    Hi Aimee,
    I enjoy your blog, and am sorry to hear about your injury. Back pain can be scary and debilitating (in my experience). Everyone is a bit different, and what is helpful can be personal – I’ll share what has been helpful for me. 1) A good chiropractor. This is mainly for their knowledge of all the parts of the back and how they work together, and for advice on healing, strengthening and prevention. 2) Yoga, specifically Iyengar yoga. This is a very alignment focused practice, which has helped me immensely (posture, strengthening). 3) Swimming – only once my body had healed and was ready. I hope you find what is helpful for you, all the best!

  12. Sorry to hear about your back. I have had some problems myself, on and off. I agree with Lyn about restorative yoga (but once you’ve healed, of course).
    Any gentle yoga is good, a beginner class if you can’t find a restorative yoga class nearby. I have an excellent dvd (although it’s no longer available), specifically for back and neck, that I use due to a neck/shoulder issue. But most yoga will improve back issues/posture which carries into daily life.
    Best of luck with your recovery.

  13. I cannot stress how much I absolutely adore your blog. I am only sixteen years old and spend my spare time trying your recipes or reading your blogposts. I’ve been following this blog since last August and religiously read each post. Thank you so much for the great content! Get better soon 🙂

  14. Thanks for sharing those links. I checked out Hungry girl por vida and I can see why you love her blog as I’m also a fan as well.

  15. So sorry about your back sprain! That is horrible and no doubt very scary. I slipped down a marble staircase in Rome yesterday and slid down 4 steps while hitting my back, then sat on the plane for two hours. I am not nearly in as bad of a shape as you, just bruised but I remember fear spreading the second it happened. Praying your family is looking after you and you are recovering nicely.

  16. Hi Aimee!
    I’m so sorry to hear about your back dear! 🙁 I’m a bit late on the news but I hope you are feeling all better now. I don’t have a tip per say for this type of injury but I have bad backaches because of repetitive tasks and doing yoga every day has proved very helpful, even if it’s just a tiny 10 minutes of simple postures before bed.
    Wishing you all the best,
    * Maxime *

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