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Sunday, April 21, 2013

21 day Sugar and Wheat Detox: results...

As most of my family and friends know I have tried a low carb and all natural diet for 13 weeks now. I decided to try it to see if it would help with my pain and inflammation from a chronic back issue and degenerating disks. I have been asked recently to describe the difference in my health, so here it is.

The first thing I noticed was I was totally addicted to carbs/sugar. If it wasn't for my husband supporting me by doing the detox with me, I never would have made it past day 3.

After 5 days, I was past the sugar cravings and started sleeping better. We both stopped needing daily heartburn medicine. I felt clearer in my head and a fog lifted. I didn't even realize I was in a fog until it was gone!

At the 1 week point noticed my tummy was shrinking. I noticed my swollen joints were feeling less bloated.

After 3 weeks I started my first female 'cycle'. It was shockingly short compared to my usual 9-20 day monster cycles. I was thrilled!

Now at almost 3 months, I am on half the pain medicine I was before. My monthly cycle is down to 4 days a month, no heartburn at all, sleep solid through the night and I've lost 21 pounds!

The secret????? Eat whole, unprocessed foods as natural as possible and avoid sugar. That's it. No crazy pills, tricks, binges or fads. I didn't count calories or watch fat intake. Eat the way God intended you to eat and the body will naturally heal itself.

Try it and see for yourself......

Friday, April 19, 2013

Broccoli and Cauliflower pizza crust

I have been looking at many ideas, blogs and recipes on making gluten free pizza crust. My dilemma is that I cannot have any flour so replacing wheat flour with bean flour isn't an option. I decided to try vegetable crust, after all I love the veggie used in it, so I should like it, right?

Here's what I did:

Take 1/4 head of cauliflower and stick it in a food processor to 'rice' it. Do the same with 2 large broccoli crowns. Microwave them for 5 minutes, stirring every 1.5 minutes or so to release and evaporate as much water as possible.

Purée 1/4 cup whole almonds in food processor and then add to the cooked veggies. Let cool slightly and then add 1 beaten egg and 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

Press 'dough' into a baking stone or pizza pan. Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes or until sides start to look toasted. Remove from oven. Top with pizza sauce and your favorite toppings. Bake as usual and enjoy!

It isn't the same as flour crust, but for those of us who want to eliminate flours from our diet, it's pretty dang good! If you hate the texture of 'Cream of Wheat', you won't like this either.

I recommend going all out on your toppings and picking veggies you love. I doubt my hubby will even try it, but I am thankful to have pizza without just eating the top for a change, so I covered it in mushrooms to ensure it all to myself ;)

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sausage Breakfast Casserole

My son asked me today (he's 9) if I would teach him to make this recipe, because it is the best in the whole world! I love him!!!!! I have been making this recipe since before he was ever born (10 years before to be exact ) but who's counting? It is excellent on Christmas morning :)

10 slices bread (cubed)
10 eggs
1 cup milk of your choice
1 lb breakfast sausage
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 cup shredded cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Brown the sausage in skillet, I don't drain the grease off, but you can if you want to. Cube the bread and place loosely in a greased casserole dish. Crack the eggs, scramble with the milk, vanilla and spices. Spoon sausage onto the bread, pour over the egg mixture, sprinkle the sugar and cheese. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes or until top is toasted. It is also great topped with maple syrup or ice cream!

Split Pea Soup

We had a ham recently and I kept the bone in the freezer for split pea soup. Today was rainy and cold so it seemed like the perfect day to make it. I doubled my recipe and froze half for another rainy day. Here's how I made it:

Boil hambone in a medium sized soup pot covered with water (about 8 cups) for 2-3 hours. Sauté in a larger soup pot 1 large chopped onion and 2 cups chopped carrots in olive oil until tender.

Remove soup bone from the smaller pot and put a strainer over the large pot with the onion and carrots. Pour the liquid through the strainer and into the pot. I went through the bone and pieces in strainer adding the good meat to the pot. I also added 4 pints of homemade beef stock to the soup since I doubled my recipe and needed more liquid for the dried peas.

Bring to a boil and add 3 packages of dried split peas (or 1-2 packages if you aren't doubling). Cook on low for 2 hours or until the peas are mushy and falling apart. Remove from heat and add 1 bag frozen peas (or 2 if doubling).

Blend in small batches in food processor or blender. (Would love it if all my readers would get together and buy me a Vita-mix someday ;). Here is where I poured half of mine into freezer containers and put them straight into the freezer. Reheat your soup in pot, serve warm with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream.

It was great! This is the first time I ever used the hambone for this soup. I must say I like it just as well without the bone broth. It seemed a bit salty to me, but my husband is going to love it!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

2 course Fondue: low carb dinner/dessert

It was my husband's birthday last week and I surprised him with an overnight at our favorite B & B, the 'Lazy Cloud'. (If you go please use our name for the referral so we can earn a free nights stay ;). Anyway, I was a little nervous about what we were going to eat to stay on our low carb, no sugar, gluten diet. Not to mention there is only a mini fridge and microwave in the suite. As I was thinking about it it came to me that I could make fondue, which is also terribly romantic, and stay on the all natural and non processed food path! Here's what I did:

First, I oven baked a large sirloin steak wrapped in foil and seasoned with our usual garlic salt and Cajun spices until cooked to med-rare. I removed it and sliced into chunks when cooled. I stored it in a microwave safe container with lid.

Next I made a large bar of my all natural and sugar free chocolate by melting 1/2 cup coconut oil and 1 Tbsp butter. Then whisking in 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 2 Tbsp honey, 1 tbsp half n half, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, vanilla and orange extract.
I poured it into a waxed paper lined dish and put it into the fridge to harden. I removed it when hardened and broke it into fourths, stored in a gallon Ziplock bag.

Finally I steamed broccoli for 5 minutes in my steamer, it was a little on the raw side but I knew we would be heating it up in the microwave and didn't want to over cook it. I also cut up all my red peppers.

I packed the rest of the ingredients into a cooler bag along with my sterno and fondue pot and off we went. When we were ready to eat I lit the sterno and started melting 2 cups of shredded Colby jack cheese, 1/4 cup half n half, 1 Tbsp butter, 2 slices Swiss cheese and 1/4 really good winter ale beer :). While the cheese was melting we warmed up the meat and broccoli. It took about 10 minutes altogether and we were ready to eat. It was so good! We filled up pretty fast, so we decided to save the chocolate fondue and fruit for breakfast. Have I ever mentioned how much I love chocolate for breakfast before????

In the morning while my coffee was brewing in the coffee pot we melted 1/2 of the homemade chocolate bar in the fondue pot over a candle. The sterno seemed to hot and I didn't want to scorch it. When the chocolate was ready we pushed the cinnamon rolls and muffins the B & B provide out of our way and started dipping! It was way better (I had one bite of a cinnamon roll ;).

I wasn't sure if this experience was blog material or not, but I hope I've encouraged you to think outside the box! We thought the meal was perfect and saved the normal $100 we would spent eating out. More importantly we saved precious alone time by not eating out in public. Alone time is what the whole B &B was about, after all!

Oh yeah, and as a thank you to the kids for letting us get away we gave them the rest of the chocolate and fruit when we got home.