Morning Cuppa Joe

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpgI had posted a few weeks ago about my experiments with bullet proof coffee and how that was all going. Fast forward one month and my opinions have largely shifted. I am what some might called addicted to Wellness Mama’s strange coconut, butter concoction now. It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning, truth be told.

You may recall that I had said that I was trying to cut down on my coffee consumption and thought that the recipe might help because I really didn’t want a second cup of the stuff! Well, the tables have turned. My coffee consumption is seriously down, but it’s because I don’t really enjoy drinking coffee that isn’t “special recipe” anymore. Whoa!

Anyway – I have a bit of a twist on Wellness Mama’s recipe, so I’m sharing it with you now:

Chuck all of this in your Ninja for 10 to 20 seconds until it’s all frothy. Throw it back into your cup and enjoy! Wash down your probiotics and fish oil with this lovely drink.

I make a variation on this for the kids to make sure they get a good start to the day. At first they didn’t like it, but now they are disappointed when they don’t get it.

  • 1 tbsp organic virgin coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tsp of unsalted organic hand churned butter (I wish I could find raw milk or grass-fed in Ontario) (melted)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2-1 tbsp of raw organic honey
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 8000 I/U vitamin D drops

Chuck all of this in your Ninja for 10 to 20 seconds until it’s all frothy. Throw it back into your cup and enjoy!   Wash down your probiotics and fish oil with this lovely drink.

What odd thing do you have in the morning to do your body good?

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Vanilla Custard

Last night my daughter and I made Nutty Kitchen’s Vanilla Custard recipeImage

I had a bit of it last night to see how it was setting in the fridge. It is delicious. You know it is good because we have all been thinking about eating it all day. I wish I’d brought it to eat for lunch, to be quite honest. I can’t wait to eat it after dinner. Great job, Jo and Henry!

This recipe is based on Mark Sisson’s frozen primal custard. I cannot possibly recommend this recipe enough. It satisfies that sweet craving without going crazy. YUM! For those of you not big on clicking on links, here are the two recipes:

Mark’s Dairy-Free Frozen Primal Custard

To make six servings of Primal custard, you need:

  • 5 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups Original flavored almond milk
  • 12 teaspoons (1/4 cup) light blue agave syrup* (or honey)
  • ground cinnamon or nutmeg
  • six petit creuset pots or other small stoneware dishes

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a saucepan, combine the milk and agave syrup. In another saucepan, heat 1-2 cups of water. Bring both pans to a simmer. Remove the milk and agave from heat. Lower the heat on the water and keep it warm.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla until yolks are very smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the warm milk and syrup to the eggs, whisk together until well combined.

Using a sieve, pour egg mixture so it evenly settles in each dessert cup. Make sure to use oven safe dishes.

Place dessert cups in a baking dish big enough so the dessert cups don’t touch one another. Pour hot water from the warm saucepan into the baking dish so that it comes up to the level of the custard on the outside of each individual dish. This water is to prevent the custard from burning. This step is very important.

Slide the pan into the oven and bake until custards are set around the edges, about 40 minutes. Allow custards to further set by refrigerating for at least 2 hours. Or serve them right away, warm.

Nutty Kitchen’s Vanilla Custard

Fabulous ingredient line-up:

  • 5 eggs (farm fresh & local if you can get them)
  • 2 tsp vanilla, organic
  • 2 cups milk, we use raw from our local dairy
  • 12 tsp or 1/4 cup local raw unfiltered honey (we used less, as we don’t like things sweet)
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon & fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest, a sprinkle of lemon juice

Pe-heat oven to 325 F, and get 6 oven safe custard dishes ready.

Slightly heat milk and stir in the honey until well dissolved; Beat eggs, vanilla and spices until frothy and perfectly blended – then add milk and honey. Stir well. On a deep baking sheet place your custard dishes and fill baking sheet with warm water – should be half way up the custard dish and at custard line. Then fill custard dishes and bake for 40 minutes until you see the custard get a beautiful golden brown. Be very careful not to burn them, remember the waterline needs to be where the custard is, and you’ll be ok.

Grainless Pumpkin Porridge

I try to mix it up for the kids in the morning. This recipe is a nice change for them. This is from Vanessa at Healthy Living How To with a couple of ingredient swaps.

Prep Time: 3 Minutes
Cook Time: 2 Minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. Coconut Milk
  • 1/3 c. Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • Chopped Walnuts and coconut milk to top it up

Cooking Directions

1. In mixing bowl, whisk eggs.
2. To eggs, add 1/3 c. pumpkin, 1 Tbsp. coconut milk, vanilla extract, spices, sea salt & maple syrup. Whisk until smooth.
3. In small saucepan, on medium-high, melt butter or coconut oil.
4. Add egg mixture to saucepan and whisk constantly until mixture resembles cottage cheese. This takes less than 2-3 minutes.
5. Remove from heat quickly and spoon into bowl.
6. Top with coconut milk and chopped walnuts if desired.

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.

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.

Day 2 Progress Report

Today was better, I think.

Food Log:

Exercise Log:

P90X2 Core workout (50 minutes)
5 KM walk

Observations:

We seem to have trouble avoiding dairy in my household. I’m not going to stress about it. I’m not the one who does the cooking, so when it gets added to my food without my knowledge, there’s really no reason to have a freakout. I will do a better job of asking about making sure the food I’m eating doesn’t have stuff in it that I’m avoiding, but I don’t consider it a failure on my part  – just an oversight!

My daughter has decided to start her Whole30 on September 1st. My son is not participating, and that’s ok. I think my husband is doing Whole30 (mostly, except for the butter thing). It has been very liberating to divest myself of everyone else’s agenda.

BTW – I slept really well last night. That’s what I liked best last time I tried the Whole30, the sleep!!!!!

Whole 30 Redux

Back in May the clan and I started our first Whole 30. We started out strong, but it began to unravel after the first week, recovered briefly, and then fell wildly off the rails by Day 15 (at which point I was so embarrassed I’d stopped chronicling our (I thought) colossal failure.

Well, we are at it again. Sort of. Last time, I dictated that our kids (12 year old daughter and 17 year old son) had to be fully compliant with us and that if anyone cheated, then we all cheated and had to start over again from the beginning (harsh!).

Things are a little different this time around.

My goals are different, for one. This time around, I’m doing the Whole30 for me, and me alone. To prove to myself that I can and to form some better habits. If anyone else wants to jump on board then that’s cool, but I’m not policing it. They are responsible for their behaviour and accountable to themselves alone.

I’m not pre-planning for failure. Last time, I went in knowing that husband planned on drinking during his boys fishing weekend. In my twisted mind that meant that I had a cheat day (or two or three) in my pocket. Which I used. And then encouraged the kids to cheat to allay my guilt. NICE!

I’m not stressing it. I can get obsessed with stuff. All the time. Yes, I’m doing a Whole30. Yes, it’s a commitment to eating and living well. But that’s it. It doesn’t have to consume every waking moment of my life. It’s just something I’m doing right now.

This is what you can expect from this blog:

  1. I’ll post every day 5 days per week.
  2. I’ll discuss observations, motivations, and challenges along the way.
  3. I’ll list out my eats.
  4. I’ll list out my workouts and activities.
  5. I’ll be honest.

Thanks for sticking around and I hope you enjoy the journey!

Kale Chips – Yum

I just made some kale chips and am currently dehydrating apple rings for the kids. I have bought kale chips in the past and found them absolutely gross, but these homemade ones are pretty good. I thought I’d give you the recipe.

Kale Chips

  • Bunch of Kale
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
  • Sea Salt

Cut off the stems of the kale and cut into small bit size pieces. Try to make them about the same size – err on the side of small.

Place the melted coconut oil in a bowl with a good amount of sea salt and add the kale. Mix until covered (but not sopping). Place as a single layer on cookie sheets and stick in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes or so. Wait until the kale turns really dark green, maybe a bit brown. Taste one and add more salt if necessary. Let cool, put in a bowl and eat.

Apple Rings

  • 2-3 cored, peeled apples
  • bowl of water with lemon juice
  • cinnamon

Using a mandoline or apple peeler slice the apple rings very thinly. Place them flat in the lemon water. Remove from water and place in single layers in your food dehydrator. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

For chewy rings leave for 6 hours, for crispy leave for 8-12 hours.

I would give you the recipe for sweet potato microwave chips, but I burnt them while I was writing this post, so I’m not sure if it works. Maybe next time!

Whole30 Day 11

I was just re-reading my goals from my first post and realized that my non-compliant behaviours on Days 8 and 9 actually fulfilled one of my goals – I’m now very aware of where I get derailed: social situations where I’m not accountable to anyone. Especially after I’ve had a glass of wine.

I’m going to go ahead and say that this was a productive derailment, then. I learned something about myself and now I can actively manage those situations. So that’s good, I guess.

The Chief is leaving tonight to go fishing with the guys for the long weekend. That’s part of the reason that I let myself slip at my conference. When we decided to do the Whole30 in May The Chief knew he had this trip booked and admitted without guilt that he’d stay food-compliant, but drink would make an (significant) appearance.

So I’ll be cooking dinner for the next four nights. I NEVER cook dinner unless The Chief is gone. My plan is to look through the Primal Cookbook with the kids tonight and pick out some meals that we think we can make. The Chief and I have a weekly routine of picking up all of our food at 2 markets and an out of town organic greenhouse on Saturdays. I’ll take the kids with me instead and we’ll pick up everything we need. I’m thinking steak will feature prominently. As will Whole30 compliant sausages. And bunless hamburgers.

It’s good for the kids to be involved in food preparation. It gets them ready for real life and also increases their confidence in the kitchen (and in themselves). I didn’t do this as a kid and I’m just now getting quasi-confident with cooking.

Another thing that didn’t come up in my house was the connection between what you put in your mouth and how it fuels your body. You wouldn’t pour water in your gas tank and think that your car will work, but most people don’t seem to think that their day to day performance is impacted by what they did or didn’t consume. I’m glad that I’m helping my kids learn this lesson. It’s foundational, in my opinion.