Monday, February 24, 2014

No Bake Cookies... Healthier

So I have been eating sugar free for a while.  Meaning no sugar, no honey, no agave or stevia, no sweetener of any kind.  I've been branching out into different more "natural" sweeteners to see how they react to my body and this was the recipe I chose to try out honey.  I like it.  I liked it a lot.  Almost too much.  They are in the freezer hiding from me so I don't eat more today.  (So much for breaking my "sweet's addiction.")  I'll keep working on that one, while you enjoy this dessert.

Coconut No-Bake Cookies
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey (next time I'll reduce that to 1/3 cup, but I'm sensitive to sweet)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup almond butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flaked unsweetened coconut

Melt honey and coconut oil together.  Add in the cocoa powder and almond butter and stir until smooth.  Add vanilla and coconut.  Scoop into small balls.  Freeze for a couple minutes to set.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

What Is Up With Me

I happen to be a normal person.  Well almost.  Sort of.  Well, besides being "awesome," I have struggles, just like you.  Down days (months), health problems, annoyingly amazing children and the like.  We all have it.  It is part of being human.

I've mentioned before that I have struggled with depression for years.  I've actively sought help for that depression for the last 13 years with meds, counciling, exercise therapy, and light therapy.  You know I'm down, when I can't muster the energy, or motivation to write, dance and create.  (Oh did you notice that I didn't post anything here from November - mid January.   Well it was a tough time. Thanks for sticking around!)

My awesome doctor combines neurology and homeopathic care and suggested that one reason I might not doing as well may be because I have some underlying food intolerance causing my body to resist healing.  The suggested plan?  One month clean eating.... No dairy, No sugar, No grains (wheat, corn, rice, quinoa, chia...), No legumes.  No soy.  Really it is a "Paleo" diet designed to allow the body a period to heal and be well.

I'm not here to advocate or argue the merits of this "diet" but I do know how I feel.  My moods are stable for the first time in who knows how long-- I don't feel compelled yell and swear at the slightest problem.   I don't crave food-- I feel hungry and I eat, but that need to eat (fill in the blank) doesn't exist anymore.  The bonus is weight loss and inches lost-- my "holy schnikeees those pants are too tight to wear" jeans are now comfortably loose.  I recognize moments of irrationality, where before that irrationality was too real to argue with.  I feel good, balanced, healthy.

So take it for what it is worth.  You'll be seeing more Paleo style recipes here, although I will include substitutions for non-Paleo friends.

For my fiends who worry about my health and whether I am getting enough nutrients from the 4 basic food groups, I am not planing to live this way for life.  But if eating clean is the price I pay for my sanity, I am willing to make that sacrifice.  In the next few weeks I will be introducing foods back into my diet to see how they work in my body.   I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Pumpkin Apple Pancakes

These pancakes have become a go to on-the-go snack for me recently.  They boast a good balance of protein (from eggs), vitamins and fiber (from pumpkin) and natural sweetness (from apple slices).  They are sugar, grain, and dairy free too.  I can eat until I am full and not feel guilty about what I put in my mouth.

On the down side, they do take longer to cook than traditional pancakes and can be slightly temperamental when flipping-- reducing the heat and cooking a little longer solved the problem. Just warning you.

Apple Pumpkin Pancakes
1 apple thinly sliced
4 eggs beaten
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted

Heat a skillet to medium to medium low heat.  Grease the skillet.  Slice the apple.

In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin, extract, spices, baking soda and melted oil.

When the skillet is hot, place apple slices directly on the skillet.  Let the apples cook for 2 minutes or until they begin to soften.  Spoon the batter over the apples covering them completely.  Allow to cook 2-3 minutes more or until bubbles begin to form and the surface is less shiny-- see pictures below.  Carefully flip the pancakes and cook 2 minutes more.

Serve warm (or cold), plain or with apple sauce for a yummy treat.  You could also smother these in almond butter and sliced bananas too.

Makes 12 pancakes.  For a sweeter pancake you can add 1 mashed banana to the batter.  Adding the banana will increase the yield.

Not ready to flip

Ready to flip