Grainless Pumpkin Pancakes

I have been searching for a good recipe for paleo pancakes for a while (for the kids, not me!) and haven’t been very happy with the bitter after taste with the coconut flour pancakes we’ve found recipes for.

I had some left over pumpkin puree and lo and behold this recipe kicks butt:

Ingredients:

* pinch of baking soda
* pinch of salt
* 1 tsp cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
* 1/2 cup almond flour

* 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
* 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
* 1 tbsp honey
* 2 eggs

Combine the dry ingredients together in one bowl, then in another bowl combine the wet ingredients. Then toss the wet ingredients into the dry and mix thoroughly. Let mixture sit for 2 or 3 minutes.

Cook in a pan on medium-high like a normal pancake.

Makes 6 medium sized pancakes.

You’re welcome.

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Whole30 Recap

Well. Today is my first official non-Whole30 day. How did it go? 

First, the stats:

 

27-Aug

26-Sep

Weight (lbs)

122.6

115.6

Pant size

4

2

Chest (in)

31.5

31.5 (thank goodness!)

Waist (in)

27

26

Hips (in)

35

34

Thighs (in)

22.25

21.5

Am I surprised? Yes. (About my weight, anyway – I knew I was getting smaller)

Am I happy? Yes.

I was prepared for my weight to not have gone down. It was more important to me that the inches and dress size shrunk. 

Enough about the shrinking, here’s what I’ve gained:

  • Really really really deep sleeping
  • Waking up refreshed in the morning
  • Reduced sinus inflammation
  • Reduced post-workout recovery time
  • Increased energy
  • More consistent energy throughout the day
  • Increased stamina on long hikes
  • Greater awareness of what I’m eating and how it affects my body (good and bad)
  • Reduced cravings for sweet foods
  • Eliminated habit of drinking wine at night when watching tv
  • Eliminated need to weigh myself every day
  • A wicked addiction to kale chips

What’s next? 

I don’t think I’m going to change my food choices very much. It will be nice to be able to make a salad dressing that has a bit of honey or maple syrup in it. 

I am going to put the bathroom scale away again. I don’t need it. I don’t want to judge myself based on those arbitrary numbers anymore. There are better ways to measure my progress.

What’s my first off-roading adventure?

Actually – I already had it. We sold our house last night (finally!) and we opened a bottle of champaign to celebrate. It was nice, but my head hurt a bit this morning and my sinuses are inflamed. I don’t like feeling like that.

I enjoy drinking my carbonated spring water out of a wine glass and it doesn’t make me feel crappy in the morning, so I don’t think I’ll be partaking much in the future. Plus, carbonated water is a lot cheaper than wine and beer.

What would I do differently if I did a Whole30 again?

  • I would have tracked some fitness metrics. Like my weight lifts or my hiking pace or distance. 
  • I would try more new recipes. I don’t cook much (my husband is such a good cook and really enjoys it) but the couple of times I did, I enjoyed making and trying new things. Very empowering.
  • I would have used the Whole30 forums. During my last failed attempt I used the forums and it was great. Lots of supportive people. I’m not sure why I didn’t do it this time.
  • I would have purged my house of dates and Larabars to make it easier on myself. Nuff said.

Last words

I admit that a few days ago I thought that the Whole30 hadn’t really changed my life (as advertised!). I was wrong. I was just evaluating it through the wrong lens. I was so busy evaluating how it was changing me physically (and it did) that I wasn’t focusing on how it was changing me mentally. And that’s where the magic really happens. When I started this journey I thought it was going to be a long 30 days. And it was at first. But now, it just seems like the right thing to do for myself and my family. Not for 30 days. Forever. 

Last Day of Whole30!

So today is the last day of my Whole30. I haven’t written for a while, but I’ve remained complaint. I was in the hospital for a few days with suspected appendicitis (it wasn’t – not sure what it was), so I got to fast for two days which made it pretty easy to stay compliant. (They think I passed a kidney stone, but I don’t really know).

Observations

I was really expecting the Whole30 to change my life, as advertised. I told my husband that I didn’t think it really had changed my life and he was surprised. He said it has totally changed his life. I was astounded, because I’ve been with him the whole time and his life is pretty much my life, so when did this life-changing happen? OK, so he had to retire his belt from high school because it’s too big now. That is pretty cool. His size 32 pants are pretty loose. That’s nice. He’s been coming up with some primo recipes that taste great and are super-good for us. That’s awesome!

And what does “change your life” mean anyway? I don’t know what I was expecting, actually. I was already eating paleo, so some of my life-changing happened before I ever started the Whole30.

I sleep like the dead now. I have a handle on my cravings. I think a lot about the food choices I make. I listen to my body more. I proved to myself that I don’t need to drink alcohol, and that, in fact, having a glass of wine isn’t nearly as awesome as sleeping really, really well. Things that I used to think were healthy (like dates) I now see as a decadent treat. I’ve got lots of energy. I am not sore after my workouts. My size 4 pants fit really loose. My nails are growing super fast. Are any of these things life changing? Not really. But together they definitely make my life better.

Plus, it’s really did change our family (even though the kids weren’t really doing it). My kids speak the same food and health language as us now. When I came home from the hospital, my 12 year old daughter commented on the length of my fast and said, “Well, you are definitely in ketosis now!” How cool is that? They understand when they are “splurging” and evaluate if it is worth it or not. 

Tomorrow I step on the scale and measure my waist, chest and thighs. I don’t think I lost as much weight as I was hoping that I would at the beginning of this journey. If I could have stayed away from the dried fruit and nuts a little more, I might be seeing a smaller number tomorrow. But, I got more out of it in other areas than I had anticipated.

What happens from here? Well, I’m not going to go out and eat an entire pizza or anything. I really like the way I feel and I really like sticking to the rules of Whole30. Other than having a glass of wine with my husband on Thursday to celebrate our anniversary I’m not sure much else will change. I like sleeping really, really deeply and waking before my alarm at 6:30. I like not being bloated and not being sore after working out. And I like fitting into a size 2 dress.

Tomorrow I’ll post my results and maybe recap the good, bad and ugly of my journey. I’ll look at what I could have done better and what worked well for us.

Day 22 Progress Report

For some reason I’m really full today. I had to get up at 5:20 AM this morning to take the husband to the train station. When I got home I couldn’t sleep so I made some coffee and made bacon and scrambled eggs (with coconut oil and chicken stock – not a great combination actually) for the kids and me.

There was no snacking at my desk today since I didn’t bring anything, and I forced myself to have tea today instead of coffee. Maybe that helped? I went home for lunch late and had homemade chicken soup for lunch. It was sooooo good. Husband saves the drippings when he cooks 3 lbs of chicken thighs every week and uses them in the soup. So yummy.

Anyway – it’s now going on for 4PM and I am truly stuffed still. Truly puzzling. Usually I am hungry at this time. Perhaps my body knows that with the husband gone, I have to make dinner tonight and it’s just rationalizing that I’m not hungry? I can’t say. But tonight, I am making the nut butter stir fry one way or the other.

I am also planning on doing the P90X Legs and Back workout tonight. By myself. I was going to go for a run, but it’s raining and I don’t find that very pleasant. So Legs and Back it is.

Only 8 more days left. It has gone by really fast. I’m not sure that I’m going to change much once it’s over, other than having an occasional glass of wine or maybe a piece of dark chocolate now and again. I’d also like to be able to eat one of these chocolate chip cookies once in a while.

Speaking of that, I am more keenly aware that when most of us say that we treat ourselves “once in a while” it’s a whole lot more often than we actually think. I am AMAZED at how often treat opportunities present themselves on a daily basis in my life. I only noticed it now because I had to say no to them. I wonder how often I forgot I even had that “little something” an hour after I had it. Or even realized that what I had was actually a treat! It just sort of creeps up on you and before you know it you feel like crap and you’re achey and you’re not sleeping well, and you’re all bloated and farty and you don’t even know why! And for what, really? To fulfill a moment’s craving that you may or may not have even enjoyed while you consumed it. No thank you!

Day 21 and going strong

It’s been a busy life here in the Food Freak Clan. Lots of scurrying here and there, with various members home here and there with a virus that seems to be going around. In between we’ve taken up P90X workouts again, lots of really long hikes, and the husband and I are both back to volunteering – me as Co-President of our Home and School Association, he as VP of Fundraising for our local political riding. Plus a crap-load of house showings (did I mention our house is up for sale?). Busy busy busy.

But in the midst of it all we have stayed compliant! Which has not been as hard as I thought it would be. I think I’ve got a handle on my dried fruit consumption – which I am eating with nuts only when we hike. I’ve got a serious addiction to kale chips now, though!

I’m still not sure if I’ve lost any weight, but I have definitely toned up and my waist seems pretty tight. Awesome! Plus, my boobs haven’t gotten any smaller, which is nice for a change.

I continue to be amazed at what a big role food plays in every day social interactions. On the plus side, that means that we’ve actually saved a lot of money instead of going out to movies, dinner, and socializing with non-paleo people. Instead, we’ve been doing an incredible amount of hiking, walking and working out. In between we do a lot of food buying, food prepping, food cooking, and soup-canning. It’s been great, actually.

I feel really good and most of the time I sleep really well, too. I’m still not jumping out of bed in the morning. Maybe I should go to bed earlier? I have noticed that I’m not as sore after workouts and I feel like I could go for a run when we go for walks around the neighbourhood.

The kids aren’t really doing anything close to a Whole30, but they have been eating pretty strict paleo with some added dairy and the occasional small amount of honey or stevia, and I’m very proud of them for that.

Days 11-15 Progress Report

Hoo boy. It’s been a busy life. Thanks for waiting around for me. You’ll be happy to know that my lack of posts hasn’t been because I’ve been nutritionally off-roading! In fact, I’ve been 100% compliant during my radio silence.

FYI – I’m half way through! Woo hoo!

Food Log

Oh good grief. I did not record my food in FitDay, but I have been incredibly disciplined. Lots of delicious vegetables, steak, chicken, avocados, salads, eggs, and bacon. Plus some dates, nuts, and kale chips (I love them so much!). I reduced my coffee consumption on Friday and ended up going home with a wicked migraine. I’m retreating a little bit from that battle. Apparently I need my afternoon coffee for now. I’ll revisit coffee reduction after my Whole30. Also – I’m now addicted to kale chips, as are my daughter and husband. Son is not convinced.

Exercise Log:

Thursday: a really good 8 km walk with husband
Friday: nothing (had a migraine)
Saturday: 21 km hike through Wildwood Conservation
Sunday: 5 km walk through neighbourhood
Monday: nothing (I’m coming down with something)

Observations:

Body: I feel like I might be gaining weight. I don’t know, though because I have dutifully put away my scale. I guess I’ll find out when I’m done. My pants aren’t any looser, though.

Alcohol: I am not missing alcohol at all, which is still really surprising for me. Delightful, but surprising.

Outside Food: We went to Bayfield, Goderich and Grand Bend on Sunday and we noticed what an enormous part of our lives are normally spent entertaining ourselves with food. Let me tell you what I mean. We were walking along the very touristy streets of both of these towns, and what struck us was that it was all fudge shops, ice cream parlours, outdoor patios full of people having wine and drinks and bakeries as far as they eye could see. We actually struggled to find a good coffee shop with just coffee (we ended up getting our coffee from an ice cream place (awful coffee btw)). And normally, we would have sampled the ice cream, had a little piece of chocolate and stopped in for a pint at the patio pub. And we probably wouldn’t have remembered to track any of those things later on. We would have congratulated ourselves on how complaint we were with our paleo lifestyle and totally not thought at all about all of those little off-road adventures. In fact, I’m a little surprised at how often I likely “treat myself” when I’m not doing a Whole30. Quite honestly, other than hunting for used cookbooks and meat sticks in Goderich there was very little to do on the main streets of any of these tourist towns. The real fun in those places is having some fun at the beach.

Advice: The best advice I’ve gotten on this Whole30 was from Holly’s blog: #7 “Keep Dining Out/Food Related Socializing to a Minimum”. It’s so true. Whole30 is not really hard at all as long as you are preparing all of your own food. The minute you step out your door and expect to find food along the way you are setting yourself up for failure and making it super-easy to fall of the rails. Great advice. Actually, it’s all great advice. Go read that blog.

Day 11 Progress Report

Day 11 was pretty uneventful.

Food Log

Breakfast: Coffee, 2 slices bacon, 1 egg, fish oil
Lunch: 4 slices bacon, 2 eggs, 2 barn dates (I know – they’re dried fruit!)
Snack: tea
Dinner: chicken & green pepper fajitas with guacamole & tomatoes wrapped in boston lettuce
Snack: apple, a few strawberries, a bit of salami and homemade kale chips (and tea)

Disclosure: I had a cup of coffee around 5 PM, which I said I wasn’t going to do. BUT – that’s still way less than I usually drink, so that’s good. I will not have one this evening.

Exercise Log:

NOTHING. David was under the weather so we didn’t do much. I just read and relaxed which was really nice.

Observations:

I was thinking that the Whole30 hasn’t shown any dramatic results for me yet. My pants are not looser, I still don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, and I got a pimple a couple of days ago.

[Boys – you might want to stop reading now]

PMS: Then I got my period this morning and realized that I hadn’t had any of my usual PMS symptoms this time. Usually “parts” of me are very tender and sore and off limits to the husband, I can’t pooh, I bloat up, and I’m just an emotional mess. I didn’t get any of that. I did get a little pimple. And my pants are not looser, but usually they are tighter this time of month. So maybe more is going on than I realized.

[Ok – boys can read again]

Aches and pains: I’ve also noticed that I haven’t been sore AT ALL after my workouts and hikes. NOTHING. So, that’s interesting.

Sleep: Holy crap. I can’t believe how deep I am sleeping. But I still don’t want to get out of bed in the morning.

Coffee: I’m pretty pleased with myself about reducing the coffee consumption. That is no small thing – I drink A LOT of coffee normally. I have replaced some of that with green tea and some with water.

Alcohol: Not drinking wine or beer has not been the struggle I thought it would be, either. I just switch to carbonated spring water with lots of ice in a wine glass. In fact, the thought of a martini seems genuinely unappealing at the moment. I’m going to have a glass of wine for our anniversary at the end of the month, but other than that I am not sure if I’m going to drink much anymore.

Attitude: I also think that my results would be a little more dramatic if I wasn’t being so laisez-faire about my protocol. I’m eating bacon and if I eat a bit of dairy I’m not having a cow. I’m doing this so that I don’t get all wound-up and stressed about being perfect like I did last time – which is usually what sabotages me. So – I’m not going to change those things. But, I do admit that bacon is not a Whole30 item nor is it health food so I should adjust my expectations accordingly.

Cheers until next time!

Day 10 Progress Report

I didn’t track my food in FitDay yesterday. And before I tell you what I ate, I should probably fess up. I didn’t eat anything that isn’t Whole30, or anything, in fact I went out of my way to find stuff that didn’t have any crappy ingredients. But, almost the second after I’d written my post about reducing caffeine and limiting dried fruit, I went on a dried fuit and nut rampage and ate about 100 grams of organic walnuts followed by about 100 grams of dried apricots! It was about 1000 calories I scarfed down in 1/2 an hour. Then I had horrible gas and passed a lot of wind for about 5 hours. Lovely.

If it had happened to someone else, I would think it was really funny. Today is a new day, however.

Food Log

Coffee
2 sliced yum yum peppers
2 pork-stuffed peppers wrapped in bacon
1 peach
1 apple
1 coconut larabar
100 grams of organic walnuts
100 grams of dried apricots
a serving of coconut curry chicken thighs with shredded cauliflower “rice”

Exercise Log

We went for a quick 4.7 km walk yesterday. Monday-Wednesday it’s so hard to get a workout in after work with the kids’ activities and there always being house showings (we have our house up for sale). Thursday we are committed to a P90X2 workout.

Observations

So – obviously there is an opportunity to learn from the apricot debacle. I thought I was exorcising my demons when I wrote about the dried fruit and coffee issue I was having, but apparently all it did was make me fixate on snacking and sweetness. I can tell you that I have zero interest in dried fruit now, though. The flatulence cured me of that! Today is my first day with decreased coffee. But it is only 9:17 AM and I’ve just finished my coffee for the day, so I don’t think I’m in a place where I can really comment on how that’s going. I’ll let you know later today.

My son, 2 days into his own Whole30 is already questioning the wisdom of doing a Whole30. His theory is that we have a limited amount of willpower and that he’d like to use it towards his studies. He wanted me to decide if he should keep going.

I am not falling for that anymore. It’s on him what he wants to do and that’s what I told him. Turns out the cafeteria cookies have been calling to him. I told him go ahead and buy them if that’s how he wanted to spend the little money he has (he doesn’t have a job or any income). We also discussed the fact that he wanted to assert more control over his cravings and snacking and giving up two days into his Whole30 might be selling himself short. He was going to sleep on it, so I’ll see what he decided when he gets home tonight. Poor guy. He really is a crappy-carb hound. We made the curry chicken last night since that’s one of his favourites to help him see that it’s not all bad. I guess we’ll see.

Caffein and Sugar Demons

The more I clean up my diet the more I see that there is room to clean up my diet. Coffee, for instance. I’m a coffee lover. Love a many cup(s) of the black stuff. I know I need to cut down, but I haven’t made a real effort to do so. Which is funny, because I’m already a very tightly-wound individual. I don’t really need coffee and I’m sure my co-workers would be thrilled if I drank less of it.

And, now I have another reason to. I’m realizing that when I have my coffee, I suddenly want something sweet to go with my coffee. Normally, that would have been a nice piece of dark chocolate. In fact, this morning I moved some papers on my desk that had been there a few weeks and some chocolate crumbs fell out. I had to talk myself out of hoovering them up like a human vacuum cleaner. #humiliating

Since I’m doing a Whole30 the new weapon of choice is a Larabar. I had vowed not to eat a lot of dried fruit on this Whole30, but man oh man, I loves me my larabars. The longer I do my Whole30 the more they taste like candy. And the problem with the statement “not to eat a lot of dried fruit” is that I didn’t quantify it. What’s “a lot” anyway?

And down the rabbit hole we go. I get a sweet tooth when I drink coffee after breakfast. So, the solution seems simple. Stop drinking coffee (after breakfast).

Now to quantify both goals a little better than I did before:

  1. Just the one cup of coffee in the morning and then no more. [Sigh] That sucks.
  2. NO dried fruit, except as part of the fuit/nut mix we use for our hikes. [Dammit] That also sucks.

But, it’ll be good for me long term, I think. Wish me luck peoples!