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!

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?

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!

 

 

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.