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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Stand back, vegetable!

Quote

“The failure of fruit and veg to sustain is also why my eyes roll upwards when I here [sic] weight loss experts or health professionals recommend that people eat plenty of vegetables and fruit because “the fibre helps fill you up and keep you full for longer.” My experience, as I’ve said, is that this is largely bullshit.” – Dr. John Briffa

Since we went paleo a couple of years ago, I have failed to share my husband’s verve for lunch salads, nor do I consume near the amount of veg that he does at dinner. Not that I don’t eat a lot of vegetables – I do, but just not nearly as much as he does. And I always felt a little bit bad about that for some reason.

carrots

But the truth is, a big salad just doesn’t cut it for me as far as lunches go. If I have a salad for lunch, but 1:15 I’ll be hunting around for something else to eat. I need a big hunk of animal protein and fat (preferably warm) in my belly before I feel sated.

I guess that’s why Dr. John Briffa’s recent blog post resonated with me today. Sure, it’s important to make sure you consume a variety of dark and bright vegetables to ensure you’re nourishing your body (yesterday I had carrots, celery, brussel sprouts, sweet potato, swiss chard and onions, plus an apple and banana) but you also really, really need high quality protein and fat (yesterday I had eggs, bacon, ground beef, beef shank, gravy, coconut oil, fish oil, butter and probably too many spiced nuts).

I’m not sure how people on low fat diets get by, actually. Probably by eating a lot of bread, if I had to guess. Anyway – for whatever reason, this blog post made me feel better about my love/hate relationship with vegetables. I admire them, and they are a side attraction for sure, just not the main event as far as I’m concerned.

What do you think?

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.

Cold Water Plunge

After reading the blog post from Mark’s Daily Apple about the benefits of cold water plunges, I have been toying with the idea of doing them myself.  I hadn’t done anything about it until I recently watched the documentary No Impact Man. I stumbled on a post there about how Japanese homes don’t typically have central heating, which totally blew my mind. I immediately told my husband, who didn’t believe me, even though it’s true. He believes me now because one of his friends who lives in Japan happened to post something on Facebook about it. Figures!

Anyway – one of the things that I liked about No Impact Man and that post in general is that North Americans have gotten used to being comfortable ALL THE TIME! Hot showers? Check! Soft beds? Check! Remote control everything? Check! The list goes on and on. We complain endlessly when we aren’t comfortable. But the thing is, it’s not really a natural state of things and short term discomfort, really makes us stronger and makes us appreciate our comforts.

So – that’s a really long-winded way of saying that it seemed like it was time to start trying out cold water plunges. I want to see if they benefit me in any discernable way. So, yesterday I had a semi-cold shower for one whole minute! Today I had a freezing cold shower for one minute.

From this tiny experiment I did notice that a) it woke me up really well b) I tensed up almost immediately, but then caught myself and tried to relax and [ahem] enjoy the experience, c) I really appreciated switching to the hot water shower afterwards and d) that I felt really invigorated and refreshed when the shower was over. I also have found that I it is too hard to try to jump into a cold shower – it’s a lot easier to start with a warm shower and then turn the temperature down once I’m in.

Next time, I’m going to see if I can have a semi-cold shower for a little longer and then work my way to making the water a little bit colder. I’d also like to see if I get different benefits from having the shower at a different time of day.

I like the idea of being uncomfortable sometimes. It reminds me that being uncomfortable once in a while doesn’t kill us, and that really, we can’t grow as a person if we stay in our comfort zone all the 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.

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 7 – Mother’s Day

My older sister, daughter, and I took my mom to Port Stanley for the day. As kids, my parents always rented a cottage at Port Stanley on Lake Erie for two weeks every summer. We have a lifetime of memories there and it’s nostalgic to visit every once in a while.

We had lunch at a great little restaurant called Me & Suzie’s. They pride themselves on serving fresh, locally sourced ingredients. It wasn’t hard to stay Whole30 compliant -the smoked salmon and asparagus frittata fit the bill – I told them I was celiac and lactose intolerant. I had brought my own salad dressing just in case, but I didn’t need it. We had mineral water and lemon while my mom and sister enjoyed beers (mmmm. I miss that).

My daughter opted for the Lake Perch fried in a light gluten-free dusting. Not technically Whole30 complaint. Neither were the fries that she had with it. I let it slip, though I probably shouldn’t have. I was hoping it might legitimize the glass of wine that I envisioned having at the work conference in Toronto. I’m so bad.

If we were playing by our original rules, we should have technically started the 30 days over after that meal. But we didn’t.

Lesson 1: the Whole30 is easy until you get into typical social situations that involve food and drink, or where you don’t have control over the menu.

Lesson 2: I can rationalize just about anything. 🙂

Whole Family Does Whole 30

When I first heard about the Whole30 over at the Whole9Life.com blog a little over a year ago, I thought they were crazy. I mean insane. Truly. No one but no one gives up ALL dairy, ALL grains, All sweetener (artificial and natural), ALL alcohol, and legumes and white potatoes. Who would do that? There wouldn’t be anything left to eat!

Fast forward a year and not only am I in the thick of my first Whole30, but I’ve also dragged my family along for the ride. The Chief was a willing enough participant, but my 16 year old son and 12 year old daughter, not so much.

What changed in year?

For the past year I’ve been following the primal principles of Mark Sisson, possibly the coolest ancestral health advocate in the blogsphere. The Chief has, too. And we’ve both seen awesome results. We look better, we feel better, we sleep better, and we do a couple of other non-PG things better (or at least more often), too.

Our goals for the Whole30 were simple:

1. Get the kids eating better and see if eliminating specific food groups in their diet would make a perceivable difference in their health and wellness.

2. Empower our family to realize how much they are capable of and the amount of control they have in their lives.

3. Make us more aware of our food behaviours and where we derail ourselves. My son has a pretty wicked carb addiction that we were specifically hoping he could exorcise.

4. Plus, I’ll admit it, I was hoping to maybe get down one more pant size…

This blog chronicles our experiences over the next 30 days. I hope you enjoy it!