Homemade Gummie Vitamins

Wish I could take credit for this awesome recipe, but it is totally from Wellness Mama. My advice on this one is to use grape/blueberry juice or something like that. This is stolen from Katie’s site. Really – just go there for the recipe – and then read the rest of her blog. I added it to my blog for easy reference for me later. ūüėČ

Ingredients
  • 8 teaspoons gelatin powder (basically 3 packets)
  • ¬Ĺ cup organic fresh juice. Don’t use pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons of honey (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons of vitamin C powder OR magnesium powder OR probiotics¬†
Instructions
  1. In a small sauce pan over low heat, mix the juice, gelatin and honey and whisk to incorporate.
  2. Heat slightly until gelatin is completely dissolved- it will be thick and somewhat syrup-like.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in vitamins, if using.
  4. Very quickly pour into molds or even a small glass dish (oil with coconut oil) and put in the freezer for 10 minutes to harden.
  5. Remove and pop out of molds. Cut into squares if needed.
  6. Serve.

Grain-free, dairy-free Almond Pumpkin Cake w/Avocado Chocolate Frosting

I’ve been craving cake for a while, and under the pretence of my daughter’s upcoming birthday, I thought I’d try out a recipe. This one seems to work well. Obviously the whip cream is not dairy-free.

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Cake

I took the grain-free pancake recipe and doubled it.

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

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

Mix the dry. Mix the wet. Mix them together and pour into an¬†8×8 cake pan lined with parchment. Put it in a 350 degree oven for about 20 – 30 minutes (I wasn’t paying attention – just watch it).

Icing

1 ripe avocado
3 tbsp of raw honey
2 tbsp cocoa powder
pince of salt
2 tsp vanilla

Mix it all together in a food processor and ice that cake. Yum!

Bone Broth Ninja Moves Needed

Beef marrow stock MEDIUM

picture courtesy of US Wellness Meats

I am trying to incorporate more bone broth into the family’s diet because of all the health benefits, and specifically as part of a regimen to heal some minor tooth decay that was reported by the dentist last visit.

For similar reasons I give the kids this recipe (the second one!)¬†in the mornings. They love this drink. Unfortunately, there isn’t a¬†tasty¬†way to incorporate bone broth into this particular recipe. This morning I heated up some homemade beef bone broth with some coconut oil, salt and unsalted organic butter for the kids (and me). It’s a very rich drink, and while I find it somewhat satisfying the kids are barely able to gag it down.

They do have homemade soup for lunch regularly, but I would like them to have bone broth several times a week. Does anyone have a tasty recipe that I could feed them at breakfast or as a snack after school or before bed? They make their own lunches and dear old dad makes dinner nightly, so the recipe needs to be either breakfasty or snacky in nature…

Thanks peoples of the internet!

Bulletproof Coffee

I’ve been trying to ween myself off of coffee. Can you believe that? I’ve known for a while that I drink too much coffee, but I was focused on dealing with other things and just ignored that particular demon until recently.

Then I read Melissa and Dallas’s¬†coffee manifesto¬†and I had to come to grips with the fact that a) I’d cleaned up so much of my diet already that I was short-changing myself if I didn’t look at my coffee consumption as well and b) I am such a tightly wound individual that I really don’t need to consume stimulants in mass quantities as I was doing.

This week I’ve cut down to only drinking coffee before work and then switching to water, white tea and green tea after that. It was going well. In fact, I broke my rule last night and had a cup of coffee (ok, 2 cups) after work and boy, did I feel my heart rate increase and my husband will attest to my general level of agitation. So – clearly I do not need coffee beyond the morning.

I had also read a while ago about how¬†Katie¬†at¬†Wellness Mama¬†drinks¬†her coffee. It sounded interesting, but I didn’t really do anything about it. I’ve been forcing my kids to drink coconut oil mixed with coconut milk and a bit of raw honey lately and once in a while I would add a little coconut oil to my coffee, but it didn’t taste very good to me. Then a fellow at work mentioned the bulletproof coffee thing again and that got me thinking that I should probably try¬†Katie’s recipe.¬†

I tried the recipe this morning (I forgot the vanilla, though and didn’t use stevia, and added vitamin D drops in). It was oddly satisfying, but not something that I could drink much of – I guess that’s the point!

I’m thinking that if I start drinking my coffee like this every day, then not only will I be doing my body good, I’ll also easily ween myself off of drinking any more coffee during the day, since I really would never want more than one cup of that concoction!

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.

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!