I'm a Christian wife & homeschooling mama, saved by faith through grace. I changed my family's diet from SAD (Standard American Diet) to healthy, delicious & nutritious traditional foods. I've recently discovered there's a name for the way that I eat. It's called Primal or Paleo (I like the diet and think of the men and women who worked hard from sunup to sundown, constantly on the go, eating meat, berries they picked, cheese they made. I do not believe in evolution). No grains, legumes, refined sugars, and no/limited dairy.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Calcium & Nourishing Foods on a Budget

Something that is a factor for us, in our whole foods journey, is our budget. We've made healthy, nutrient dense foods a priority, so I'm picky about what I buy for us to eat. It's better to buy something that will be filling and nutritious, than "food" that is completely processed, won't fill you up and can be detrimental to your health (boxed mac n cheese comes to mind). Eating foods that have vitamins and minerals is the best way to get them, but supplements have their place in our society, where we don't eat a complete diet that gives us all that we need.

We can't drink cow's milk in our house, due to intolerances. If we were able to drink it, it would be raw, as after pasteurization the total of soluble calcium is very much diminished as well as other vitamins. We use coconut milk and almond milk instead, usually. Milk is usually associated with calcium, although there are other ways to get calcium in your daily diet. One that I recently learned about is sardines. They're really high in calcium, and have other great vitamins/minerals as well. I bought a can yesterday, so I will post when I've tried them! Some more are bone broths - using the bones of chicken, beef or fish, adding apple cider vinegar (preferably raw) to make the bones release the calcium (bone broths also help heal intestinal inflammation, so when my stomach is upset, especially from a food, I try to drink some hot broth), dark green, leafy vegetables, & eggs, to name just a few.

Kimi, at The Nourishing Gourmet, has the Pennywise Platter every Thursday and also has great posts on eating nutritiously on a budget. Here's a post on frugal nutrient dense foods. A few foods she highlights are eggs, soaked oatmeal, dried beans & soups.

What if I can't afford organic everything?

I sure can't! And I don't try. Not everything we eat should be organic. When I'm talking to people about food, sometimes they are apologetic about not buying organic everything. First off, I'm not judging, secondly, I don't either!

There is a great list of the Dirty Dozen, it shows the fruits & veggies that have the highest pestidical residue and  should be bought organic, if you're going to eat them, and they are:

12 Most Contaminated

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes
12 Least Contaminated
  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn (Frozen)
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas (Frozen)
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Everyday meals

Delicious and nutritious doesn't have to be hard!
I sent the following to a friend, discussing meals and recipes:

Our meals are very simple - meat, fruit (usually) & veggie. I get bags of organic frozen green beans, corn, broccoli and a stir fry mix (not organic, but delicious). I use my crockpot a lot - it's easy and makes the food taste good. Roast in the crock pot with carrots, salt & pepper. A chicken with carrots, salt & pepper and sometimes organic Italian herb mix (from Costco). Steaks fried on the stove with veggies. Fish fried in coconut oil in a pan. Hamburgers (from a mostly grassfed, local cow) with chili powder, salt & pepper are a big staple here. Steaks and hamburgers are great take along food. Also, when I cook a chicken in the crockpot, I add extra water and it makes broth (thus my gelled broth), the carrots give it a really great flavor, and are very juicy. Then I take the meat off the bones and put it in a container, to be used with mayo, mustard and relish for chicken salad, plain for the kids on the run, or fried with carrots or other veggies in coconut oil.
I used to do recipes from the $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook and Make it Fast, Cook it Slow (slowcooker book) the website & book are gluten free, modifying them to be safe for my family. A lot of recipes can be modified to fit our dietary requirements, or if there's some flavor you're going for, a way to make a recipe for it. If you need help converting recipes, just lmk!
My good friend, Holly, has been doing the meat & veggie thing for a long time, I couldn't quite believe that's how she made dinner every day, but she'd go to her freezer and pick some meat out, lol. It works, and is pretty easy. The biggest challenge can be changing it up, so we're not having hamburgers all week.
Tonight we're having chicken stirfry, with the chicken I cooked the other day and Costco's stir fry mix.
We also use small plates, so it feels like we're getting more food, but we're actually getting portion sizes.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cream of Mushroom Soup (free of the top 8 allergens, and then some)

Someone asked for mushroom soup brands without msg in them, and I said I have a good cream of soup recipe. She asked for it, and I thought, hey, I'll try my hand at making a Cream of Mushroom soup. It worked out! This was my first try at making my own recipe for something like this, as I hate to waste food. My first inclination was to use Arrowroot Powder for the thickener, but I've read that it doesn't work when heated to higher temps, so that probably wasn't the best idea. I thought about using Coconut Flour, but that can be a little grainy sometimes, and I didn't want that consistency for my soup. Then I realized, I'd just bought Tapioca Starch! That's a thickener as well, and it should be stable at higher temps. It worked, and was amazingly delicous.

(There is a picture, but my card uploader thingymajig decided not to work. Pics when it's functional)

Mary's Free of Everything Cream of Mushroom Soup 

1 8 oz package mushrooms, cleaned & finely chopped
4 Tbsp butter/coconut oil/ghee/safe butter (I used Earth Balance shortening sticks)
4 cups chicken broth
1 can Coconut Milk (not light!) or whole milk
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
4-5 Tbsp Tapioca Starch or Flour

Sautee mushrooms in the butter.
Add 3 c broth and coconut milk to the mushrooms.
In separate bowl, whip 1 cup broth with the flour/starch.
Slowly add starch mixture to pan, stirring.
Add salt & pepper to taste.
Heat until almost bubbling, then remove from heat.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Peanut Butter Banana Kefir Shake

This was super good. I was very excited when I tasted it!
I'd frozen some overripe bananas (peeled & smooshed together in a ziploc) right after Thanksgiving, and they were perfect for the shake.

 Makes 4 servings.

Blend together:
1 1/2-2 c frozen banana pieces
1/3 c unsweetened peanut butter
2 Tbsp raw local honey
1 tsp cinnamon
3-4 cups Coconut Milk Kefir, vanilla flavored

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cumin Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Two of my favorite things to eat are Sauteed Mushrooms & Cumin Roasted Sweet Potatoes from Whole Foods, hot off the deli bar. I've been meaning to look for a recipe for a long time, but my friend, J, inspired me to find one today. So I made it.

Recipe can be found here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Bean Cake

Kelly, of The Spunky Coconut, has some pretty awesome recipes! She even has a new cookbook that I hope to get in the next couple months. I made her Pumpkin Spice Bean Cake for my dear friend, Jennifer's, bridal shower Saturday, and of course, had to make some more, so the kids and I could have some :)
I used my mini food processor on the walnuts the second time, and much preferred the texture of the frosting that way, not too small - perfectly chunked walnut frosting.

Roast Beast & Carrots

I put a (mostly) grass-fed cow roast in the crockpot with carrots, salt & pepper, and water. For some reason, it turned out dry. So I sliced it up and put it in the fridge.
The next day, I fried them and the carrots in coconut oil. DELICOUS!!!!! It was tender (I think it soaked up the oil) and with the crispy outside, just perfect. Coconut oil fixes everything!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Perfect for a "Chili" Day

One of our favorite meals is Chili. It's super easy and super yummy.

1 128 oz diced tomatoes
1 lb ground beef, browned
1 lb beans - I do black and kidney (soaked 24 hours with a splash of apple cider vinegar, rinsed)
water to cover everything

Put all in a pot and cook on med-low until beans are cooked through. This can also be done in the crockpot.
Serve and add seasonings.
We like to put Chili Powder, salt and I just tried Cumin in it and it was very good!
I also top it with coconut oil or my "butter" to add fat to it. Since it's pretty lean, I find I get hungry soon after eating if I don't add a fat to help keep me satiated. (Excuse the appearance of the picture, I had already dug in :) )

Tapioca Pudding

MMM!! Did you know that Tapioca Pearls, also called boba, come from the cassava root? It's the easiest form of tapioca to find, but also comes in sticks, powder, flakes, etc. It's used for thickening liquid foods. It has a LOT of carbs.

We made some delicious tapioca this morning! E2 & BabyE liked it, but E1 didn't want to try it, so I didn't make him - more for me and the girls! I soaked the pearls overnight, per the instructions, then followed the back of the bag using Almond Milk instead of cow's milk.

Monday, November 29, 2010

What happens if...

I eat something BabyE is intolerant to? Snot, lots & lots of snot, crankiness, recently all the snot caused a bad double ear infection, & NO SLEEP!!! The past week, she's been reacting to rice. 3 out of 5 of us were sick last Sun-Mon, and toast sounded really really comforting, so I had some, however it was rice. Add to that the fact I'd just tried rice crackers the night before to see if she could it & BabyE's tummy did not appreciate it. Then I made some Vanilla Bean Cake, unthinkingly using a conout flour blend that has rice flour in it. Doh! So now we're dealing with that reaction. Poor little baby! I know, when BabyE cries at night, she's in pain
& not being manipulative. If I let her "cry it out", she would be in pain & alone, so I can't do that.
My iPod touch has been a huge help through this time of reactions, it's self lit with adjustable brightness & I have a lot to do on it.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I am thankful for my salvation through Jesus Christ alone, by grace. We're all sinners. The penalty for that is eternal death. Jesus came to take that penalty for us. If we accept Him and turn from our sin, we can have a free gift - eternal life. If we refuse Him, hell is our eternal destination.  ~Romans

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pie! Glorious PIE!!!

Last fall, I had a thing for pumpkins. I made pumpkin everything. I was already gluten, soy, dairy and by that point, corn free, so I had to bring my own food to Thanksgiving dinner. It was yummy! I had roast chicken, Sweet Potato Casserole (coming soon), other things and Gluten Free Pecan and Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie! Shirley, at gluten free easily, even mentioned me by name, because we were talking about how to make a crustless, gluten free Pecan Pie.

I tweaked Erin's recipe at $5 Dinner Mom:
4 eggs
1 cup Sucanat (I'd like to try honey instead next time)
1/2 cup maple syrup
4 Tbsp coconut oil, unrefined, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup halved pecans (1 cup chopped, or beaten with my salt container, because I just now remembered I could have used my mini food processor to chop the suckers)
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
2-3 Tbsp Chia seeds

Mix all except 1/2 cup of pecans. Put in oiled pie plate. Top with concentric circles of halved pecans. Bake at 350 for 25ish minutes, until knife inserted is mostly clean when pulled out. Taste if you like ;) My dumb oven is taking a very long time to heat and bake, so my edges got a little burned, but it still tastes awesome.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pecan Roll Quinoa

Quinoa is a wonderful gluten-free food. It's a seed and a complete protein. It needs to be soaked, to remove the bitter saponin coating, then cooked. You can cook it with broth for a savory taste or water for a neutral, or with dried berries/raisins for a sweet treat.
I made a super yummy breakfast this morning! The kids weren't as impressed as they should have been, but they'll come around. :)

Andrew, The Spunky Coconut's husband, wrote an interesting post on Quinoa. Check it out.

Pecan Roll Quinoa

Quinoa, soaked overnight, rinsed very well to remove the bitter saponin coating
Golden Raisins
Almond milk, vanilla (or milk you like)
Organic Grade B Maple Syrup

Cook the Quinoa with a bit of water and milk until it's bubbling a bit, add golden raisins, then lower heat and let some of the liquid steam off.
Put in bowls, add Maple Syrup, Pecans and milk as desired.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sweet Potato "Fries"

My husband, E, makes excellent food. One of the yummy things he makes is Sweet Potato fries.
Take a couple sweet potatoes, wash them well, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then slice very thin.
Toss with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, then salt & pepper.
Arrange on a baking stone, bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes (check periodically)
For a delicious mixup, sometimes I sprinkle cinnamon on top instead of salt and pepper.

I dip the savory ones in Spicy Brown Mustard, and it tastes like a soft pretzel!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Grain Free Baking Powder with Arrowroot

I made my own Baking Powder, because E3 seems to be sensitive to corn products, and most baking powders have Corn starch in them.

Grain Free Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Cream of Tartar
2 tsp Arrowroot Powder

Store in airtight container.

Pumpkin Spice Gluten Free Pancakes

I had a hankering for pancakes this morning, and the kids LOVE pancakes, so I whipped out my Mama's Coconut Blend Flour, used Hemp Milk, eggs, Grain Free Baking Powder, salt, and homemade pumpkin pie spice. Extremely easy, and extremely yummy!

Gluten-free Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
1 cup Mama's Gluten-free Coconut Blend Flour
1 tsp Grain Free Baking Powder
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
sprinkle of salt

1 cup Hemp milk (or any milk will probably do)
1 egg

Mix all together. Pour on hot pan until cooked.
Pour Organic Grade B Maple Syrup on top and enjoy!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Raspberry Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

The Nourishing Gourmet has amazing dessert recipes using natural sugars like honey, maple syrup, and palm sugar. I've been wanting to make a coconut milk ice cream for awhile, so finally did it! On the recipe, it says to use a little vodka to keep it from freezing hard in the freezer. I have raspberry vodka for cosmos, but no plain, but I figured the flavor wouldn't come through if I used just 2 tsp. It did. But it's good! Surprise!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Yummy Brussels Sprouts!

No, really! They are yummy! And, as my sweet mother-in-law said, "Someone has to eat them." Well, I will happily do my part to keep the world from being overrun by Brussels Sprouts! Credit for starting me on Brussels Sprouts goes to my gal pal, Holly!
I made these the other day, had them in the fridge for awhile and needed to do something with them. Super easy! I cut the stems off (because they were brown from being in my fridge a smidge too long) and cut them in half. Threw them with garlic in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, sauteed lightly, then added a bit of salt. Delicious! Easy! Quick!

Monday, November 1, 2010

"I would DIE if I couldn't eat cheese..."

That is the comment I got from a kid making me a burrito last year (when I was only off of milk & soy). . I wasn't new to food restrictions, so it didn't bother me as much as it might have. I could have replied, "
Really? Are you sure? Because I used to think that, and I haven't died yet..." but I didn't. I shrugged, smiled and said it's not necessary. We waaay overcheese things.

I think it's really important to be careful of how one speaks to those who can't eat certain foods, especially when it's not by choice. I didn't choose for me or my baby to have food intolerances. I prayed for self-control and God gave me food intolerances. I am thankful for these intolerances, because I have put into practice traditional eating/food prep that is healthy, delicious, and good for my family and me. I am thankful to now be at a healthy weight, to look and feel good, even being told I have a "glow". I am thankful that I am now modeling healthy habits for our growing children in a country where healthy habits are appallingly lacking. I am thankful that I get to share how the Lord has blessed me, and the way I eat and look at food, now with others. Almost everytime I'm with people who knew me 56lbs ago, I get asked how I did it. I've written before about attitude. I choose to have a good attitude about my restrictions. It can be really hard sometimes, when everyone around me is eating brownies (a former favorite) or pizza or I smell the nacho cheese food dip on the salad bar. I have hissy fits about it sometimes, when I am focusing on myself and not on God's will for my life. I have a wonderful friend who I text for encouragement and she also reminds me of why I don't eat certain things. I used to have bad GI tract problems. I'd have diarrhea, stomach pain, bad gas that felt like knives, felt icky, greasy skin, and lots of other stuff I don't remember right now or have blocked out. I would have to take Imodium AD if I wanted to eat something greasy, like french fries or onion rings. There was a nagging thought in the back of my mind that if my body was reacting this way and I had to take a drug to counteract the reaction, it probably wasn't the best idea.

So, please be careful how you speak to those who are restricted with their food. It can be really hard to see people eating things you used to love. It is also important for those of us who are restricted to have a good attitude about our restrictions and find new things we love to eat. I've made chocolate cupcakes (when I could have chocolate, lol), now I make Vanilla Bean Cake (yum!) and Cherry Smoothies. I eat  humanely raised beef and free range local eggs! Coconut Oil is not only the healthiest oil, imo, it's decidedly a treat to eat!


I love fat. I eat a LOT of it. Everyone is always quite surprised, especially since I've been losing the fat on my body.
I don't eat just any fat, but healthy fats - coconut oil, olive oil, mayonnaise, avocados. I don't limit myself on these fats, and fry most foods in Extra Virgin, cold pressed, unrefined Coconut Oil. I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil for salad dressing, along with Red Wine Vinegar, salt & pepper. If I could do dairy, I'd eat butter. I plan on trying to make ghee (clarified butter) eventually, but right now, I just put coconut oil with salt sprinkled on top (tastes like butter!)
Healthy fats are ESSENTIAL for our bodies and brains. Katie, at Kitchen Stewardship, has done lots of great research on fats and posted her findings. I recommend reading her posts on the subject, may as well not reahash what she's eloquently stated already!

The Weston A. Price Foundation has this to say about fats:
Contrary to the accepted view, which is not scientifically based, saturated fats do not clog arteries or cause heart disease. In fact, the preferred food for the heart is saturated fat; and saturated fats lower a substance called Lp(a), which is a very accurate marker for proneness to heart disease.
Saturated fats play many important roles in the body chemistry. They strengthen the immune system and are involved in inter-cellular communication, which means they protect us against cancer. They help the receptors on our cell membranes work properly, including receptors for insulin, thereby protecting us against diabetes. The lungs cannot function without saturated fats, which is why children given butter and full-fat milk have much less asthma than children given reduced-fat milk and margarine. Saturated fats are also involved in kidney function and hormone production.
Saturated fats are required for the nervous system to function properly, and over half the fat in the brain is saturated. Saturated fats also help suppress inflammation. Finally, saturated animal fats carry the vital fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K2, which we need in large amounts to be healthy.
Human beings have been consuming saturated fats from animals products, milk products and the tropical oils for thousands of years; it is the advent of modern processed vegetable oil that is associated with the epidemic of modern degenerative disease, not the consumption of saturated fats.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chai Tea

I love chai tea. Unfortunately, I found out that green and black decaf teas still have some caffeine in them. It bothers the baby, and she can't sleep with ANY caffeine. Not even chocolate. I know, right? But I'll have a blast when she can either have a little caffeine or when she decides she's done nursing. Anyway, I heard tell of a chai tea made from Rooibos (pronounced ROY-boss), made from an African bush plant. It's red, pretty cool looking tea. So I found some Uncle Lee's Cinnamon Chai Tea at Azure Standard! I like to put a drop or two of Liquid Vanilla Creme Stevia and some Coconut milk into it. Makes a very nice Chai tea.


What do I eat for snacks you ask? Well, no one really asked, but I'm sure you're all sitting on the edge of your seats wondering ;)
I'll eat apples, carrots with hummus or guacamole, pan fried apples in coconut oil, fried baked sweet potato (baked sweet potato, peel open skin, plop sweet potato in hot coconut oil, salt lightly), Cherry smoothie, other delicious things I can't think of right now...

Pan Fried Apples in Coconut Oil

Friday, October 22, 2010

Halloween Olive Thing

I was having a craving for Olives and was hungry, so I threw some Kalamata olives, olive oil & garlic into the mini food processor and whipped up Olive Dip or "Olive Thing", as I texted Holly. Heehee. It's yummy, and I dipped my organic baby carrots in it.
It's a hand! Coming out of the dirt! (E1 saw the hand, too, while I was taking the picture, so I know it's not just me ;)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Roast Mushrooms & Kale over Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Wow. This was really good. The Hubs even gave it 4 out of 5 stars!

It's from Every Day with Rachael Ray, the Thanksgiving Edition. I looked online for it, but I couldn't find it on her website, so I'm going to type it out here, for anyone who's interested. I made several changes, so my changes are reflected here.

Roast Mushrooms & Kale over Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4 as main dish & 8 as side (Hubs recommended making it a side dish next time, as he's not a huge vegetarian meal fan.)
2 lbs mixed mushrooms (I just used the normal ones I got from Costco) wiped clean, stemmed and sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
A few sprigs fresh thyme, chopped (I sprinkled some ground thyme, because that's what I had)
5 Tbsp EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil or just drizzle liberally, like me)
Sea salt & pepper
5 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/2" thick
1/2 cup chicken stock (good thing I made some earlier!)
1/2 cup coconut milk (or whole or half & half)
1 tsp paprika
1 lb Kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
Freshly ground Nutmeg (or sprinkle, as I did)

Preheat oven to 450. Toss mushrooms in a bowl with EVOO, garlic & thyme. Spread on a stone or baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Season with sea salt & pepper after removing from oven. Place in a bowl.

Meanwhile, put Sweet Potatoes with water in a pot and bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash with stock and milk. Season with sea salt, pepper, and paprika.

While potatoes are cooking, toss kale with EVOO and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Spread on baking sheets or stones and roast until crisp at the edges - 10 minutes.

Combine mushrooms and garlic with kale and serve on the mashed sweet potatoes.

Not all roses...

My friend, Holly, was very open about how her life is not all roses, in fact, struggles with some very hard and real problems. I do, too. Everyone does, it's a part of being fallen sinners, in need of a Savior.

I generally have a good attitude about my food restrictions, but sometimes I throw temper tantrums. Not out loud, or so that people can see or even notice them, but in my mind. I have thoughts that are very unglorifying to my God, and I have to repent of them.

Eating with restrictions is about good recipes and attitude. Being thankful for what I CAN eat, and the benefits that the nutritious food has brought me, are what get me through. I choose to have a good attitude (mostly!) about what I can and can't eat, and when I'm craving something I can't have, I try to figure out if my body needs something it's not getting - fat, protein, vitamins, etc. If I'm craving something sweet, I'll eat an apple or make a cherry smoothie with coconut milk, etc. I do have some special things that I don't eat often, like Terra Veggie Chips Originals or Black Cherry Zevia Soda (made with the herb Stevia instead of an artificial sweetener). If I'm having a sweet craving and am restless and can't figure out what I want, I'll eat protein and fat together. I keep a jar of Kalamata and often green olives on hand for quick, easy fat fixes. Avocados are portable and yummy - I keep plastic spoons & forks in the car, and salt in my purse to scoop & sprinkle.

There's a recipe for a substitute for almost everything out there! I'm so thankful I live in the age of the internet!

Strawmelon Smoothies & Soup

Last night for supper, we had a slow-cooked chicken from the slow cooker, and I simmered the bones with a splash of apple cider vinegar (to draw the minerals out of the bones), water and carrots. Before lunch, I strained the bones from the broth, sauteed some celery, garlic and ginger with olive oil, added the broth & carrots back in. I sprinkled some salt on top, and served it up. The kids asked for straws for theirs (I had already set it out to be cool) and then used their spoons when their broth was gone. E2 (oldest daughter) & I had two bowls!

And the baby, enjoying a carrot

My mother sells Pampered Chef, so she gets all the new products, including the cookbooks. She showed me a Strawberry Watermelon Slushie recipe, so I'm going to make it, but instead of using white refined sugar, I'm going to use Coconut Sugar. YUM!! It turned out quite well :D I think I might do it without the sugar next time, I think the strawberries would be sweet enough.

Strawberry-Watermelon Slush
1 pt. strawberries, hulled & halved
2 c. watermelon, seeded & cubed
1/3 c. coconut sugar
1/3 c. lemon juice
2 c. ice cubes
Combine strawberries, watermelon, sugar &
lemon juice in a bender. Blend until smooth.
Gradually add ice & continue to blend. Serve
immediately. Makes 5-6 servings.

Vanilla Bean Cake!

Oh. My. Word. So delicious!! A friend told me about Kelly's blog, The Spunky Coconut. It has healthy, delicious foods and lots of yummy desserts that are healthy enough to eat for breakfast!
I made her Vanilla Bean Cake yesterday, I used Navy Beans and, in place of vanilla, Maple Syrup. It turned out scrumptious and the kids LOVED it! I need to work on my skills getting the cake out. I oiled the stone bundt pan, but I didn't flour it, will do next time!

This morning, the kids and I had it for breakfast, and I put unsweetened Coconut Cream and frozen cherries on mine. I'm planning on making the cake again, and blending cherries with the coconut cream to make a frosting. I hope I have enough beans left for the cake!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Trial & Elimination

I get asked how I know what E3 (my baby), who I breastfeed, or I am intolerant/allergic to. It's trial & error and instinct. I usually have a feeling when E3 or I am not going to respond well to a food, and I try to really listen to those feelings, because I'm usually right. Just like I usually know if E3 is going to stay asleep when I lay her down.

When I was pregnant with E3, I became intolerant to  dairy. My body just couldn't handle it. I noticed that after I ate any dairy, I would have GI problems, so I stopped eating it. Then it seemed to be gluten, so I stopped eating it. Eliminating gluten took care of most of my problems, but there was still something not quite right, and I kept losing and regaining the same four pounds, which, during pregnancy, probably isn't a great idea. Finally, I noticed that when I ate things with corn in them, my stomach hurt, and I would have GI episodes. It took a couple weeks where I was working through denial, I LOVE corn tortilla chips, before I decided I really did need to stop eating corn. Problems solved!

After E3 was born, things were good for awhile, her poop was normal for a few weeks, then it started getting green and mucusy, which means an intolerance to something. When I ate something she couldn't handle, it would cause damage to her intestines, making the mucus that we would see in her diapers. I tried doing the Total Elimination Diet aka TED, where the mother eats only rice, potatoes, carrots, pears, and chicken/turkey. However, after a little while, the damage got worse, and we started to see blood along with the mucus. As soon as I saw the blood, I called MilkWorks to get in to see Dr. Leeper, an amazing pediatrician and Breastfeeding Consultant. She and I discussed E3 and her poo issues and what I'd been eating. Dr. Leeper knew I already had experience with MSPI (Milk & Soy Protein Intolerance) with my previous baby, as well as not being able to eat them myself.
However, she told me something new, that some studies were showing that in countries where lots of rice is eaten, there seems to be more blood in babies' stools. I had started eating a LOT more rice recently, because I was trying to get rid of the mucus, and cut out some other things to find the culprit. I stopped eating rice and the blood went away! I also hadn't been preparing it properly. Rice, and all grains, need to be soaked with a little vinegar and water for 12-24 hours before cooking.

E3's poos have never been the normal kind since she was a newborn, but I've done the best I can at eliminating what bothers her and she's a happy little baby. I did realize, after a particularly hard weekend, that if I had almonds, she wouldn't sleep, and would scream when she cried. Very sad :( I cut out all nuts and peanut butter, and she did a little better, but there was still something keeping her from sleeping well. Finally, I realized that it was caffeine, even decaf coffee or tea - there's still too much caffeine in it. There's about 30mg of caffeine in 8 oz of regular coffee and 2mg of caffeine in decaf black tea, but even that 2mg is too much for E3. So I drink herbal (naturally caffeine free) teas now, if I want a hot drink. My favorite is Peppermint!

I think she's having issues with processed corn, like dextrose (corn sugar). So I'm going to make sure to avoid that. I had been, but recently just had a little bit in some turkey sausages. While delicious, it's not worth her tummy hurting and not sleeping to have a little sausage or coffee or even chocolate, and I LOOOVE chocolate!

Next up to trial - Carob!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hamburgers, Eggs & Zucchini

For supper the other night, we had mini hamburgers from organic beef I got at Costco - it wasn't as good as the grassfed beef we just ran out of from our portion of a cow last year. Bummer.
Anyway, I fried them, then in the drippings, fried some farm fresh eggs, I get locally, to put on top. Delicious!!
To round out the meal, I fried Zucchini slices in Coconut Oil with a little salt. SOOO delicious!!!
The picture isn't very appetizing, but it tasted really good.

And last night, we had dinner at my parents. Delicious grass-fed beef hamburgers (no buns for us), sauteed in olive oil aka EVOO mushrooms, avocado slices, tomato slices, mayo & mustard. YUM!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hot Pumpkin Pudding with Apples

For lunch, I made one of the last flank steaks we got from a grassfed cow, last year. We have another portion coming soon! I ate it with mayo and stone ground mustard, Ella ate hers with ketchup.

We don't normally eat apples with every meal, it's the end of the shopping section, and I'll be getting some more groceries tomorrow :)

I made this yesterday, and did it again today with some variations, turned out very well.

Hot Pumpkin Pudding:
1/2 can pumpkin puree
1/2 can 365 or A Taste of Thai Coconut Milk, shaken
1 Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (I'm out, so I threw in all spice, nutmeg, ground cloves, and cinnamon)
1 egg
2 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp organic Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp Coconut flour (fun fact: coconut flour expands in moisture)
1-2 organic apples, sliced, for dipping

Blend together and pour into a 4 cup baking dish. I used a glass pyrex storage dish we have.
Bake at 350 until mostly done, about 25-30 minutes.

Slice apple and serve with the pudding for dipping!

Dinner & a Smoothie

Last night we had chicken with green beans & apple slices! MMMM

and the kids and I had Cherry Smoothies - canned 365 brand coconut milk, frozen cherries, chia seeds, hemp seeds & hemp protein powder - SUPER yummy:

"What DO you eat?!?!?"

A question I hear regularly, it usually amuses me. I eat quite well, thank you very much! Very simply, I eat whole foods. The things that God made - meat, fruits, veggies, oils.
My baby is intolerant to a lot of things - caffeine (I can't even do decaf coffee or tea), dairy, soy, rice, corn, and probably other things. I breastfeed her, since my milk is the safest we can give her to eat, and it's free. So I avoid the things she can't eat, plus some things of my own I'm intolerant to.
Altogether, I eat free of gluten, dairy, soy, most corn, rice, caffeine, tree nuts, cashews, and currently not eating peanut butter, but I plan on trialing it soon, as well as sunflower seeds.
When people hear what I can't eat, they can't think of a single thing I CAN eat and pity me. I'm very happy with my food, most of the time. It's 90% attitude and 10% finding new and different things and ways to eat.

Don't pity me, I eat better than most of America, and I've lost 56 pounds to show for it!! I was obese before getting pregnant with my third child, the one I'm currently nursing, and I am now in my range for my height. Haven't been here in 10 years!

Anyway, people keep asking me what I eat, especially as the results of my weight loss are pretty dramatic, when compared to my old self. I'm also asked for links of blogs and sites I like to use for recipes, information, etc. so this will be a nice place to keep it all together, and I can send someone here instead of trying to tell them every link.

I try to eat mostly whole foods, the very few processed things I eat are Zevia - a soda made with the herb, Stevia, ocassionally salsa and pasta sauce, & Terra veggie chips.

So a usual dinner at our house is a meat, veggie and fruit. (Thanks, Whitney!) I try to keep organic apples & baby carrots (dipped in peanut butter or hummus) on hand, we eat them for snacks and at meals. I have organic frozen green beans and corn from Costco, super inexpensive for very yummy veggies.

The other day, we had stir fry heated with coconut oil, it comes in a bag from Costco and is delicious. I do pick out the onions for my husband, because they bother him.