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.

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.