Category Archives: Trim Healthy Mama

Herbed Goat Cheese Spread

A post or two ago, I shared with you a recent event I did for our Women’s Ministry in which I brought a little bit of the beach to the desert.

Seaside-Beach-Themed-Buffet

In planning the food for the event, I kept imagining a picnic on the beach. Blanket spread out on the sand, a shady umbrella and a gentle salty breeze.

But what would I want to eat?

Something delicious and satisfying but not too heavy and easy to pack and transport.

Something perfect for a picnic. In this case, I also needed something that would easily feed a crowd with little effort.

As I thumbed through my Barefoot Contessa cookbooks (which is one of my favorite event/party planning rituals) I came across a recipe for “Herbed Goat Cheese Sandwiches” from Ina Garten, Parties!

Hmmmmm.

At first read they seemed more like a tea sandwich, with cucumbers and the crusts cut off, but as it is with so many things, it is all in how you see it. And I saw these little sandwiches in a picnic basket nestled next to chilled grapes, freshly baked cookies and iced tea; all ready for a day at the beach. Or an evening as it were.

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For the Know Event, I doubled the recipe and made the sandwiches on a whole grain bread and a soft potato bread. While I couldn’t enjoy the sandwiches (no bread for me), the herbed goat cheese spread was another story! I made a batch for home and couldn’t get enough of it. I ate it on everything I could think of. Daddy and the big kids loved it too but Mr. Picky wouldn’t go near it; which is in fact a good sign that it is absolutely delicious – unless of course you too currently only eat  grilled cheese sandwiches and chocolate pudding.

Mr.-Picky

“Ewww! I CAN’T like that! It is eesgusging!”

Herbed Goat Cheese Spread

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The recipe is not “eesgusging” and is very simple to throw together and holds up well in the fridge for at least a week; if it lasts that long. Click the link above (the one under the picture of the picky 5 year old) and it will take you right to it.

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It whips up easily in a stand mixer but be sure to finely mince or even smash the garlic into a paste as it is pretty potent and no one wants to bite into a big chunk of raw garlic. My husband thought the spread was a little heavy on the garlic so you may want to start with just one clove and see how it tastes to you.

The recipe calls for parsley and thyme, which is fantastic, but I am going to get a little creative with the herb combinations next time. Basil, tarragon, chives, maybe even olives or tapenade and sundried tomatoes; endless possibilities! I also think a bit of lemon zest would be delicious.

Barefoot-Contessa's-Herbed-

Recently, I made this spread as an appetizer for dinner with friends and served it with baguette slices that I drizzled with a little olive oil and toasted in a 425 degree oven for about 5 minutes. They didn’t last long and the tantalizing crunch of those baguettes slathered in that rich goat cheese spread was almost more than this girl could take.

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So I toasted up some low-carb Joseph’s pita wedges and shared in the joy. Admittedly, it was not the same as a crunchy French baguette but it was still pretty darn good.

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For all of you Trim Healthy Mamas out there, this spread is fantastic rolled up in a Joseph’s lavash for a snack or just  add a little turkey and veggies for a satisfying lunch wrap.

One word … omelet.

My husband is the resident omelet maker around here and he’s pretty darn good at it. He makes one for me just about every weekend and I was most delighted to find rich and creamy herbed goat cheese pooling from every nook and cranny of this perfect Saturday morning treat (another good THM/low-carb breakfast).

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He also brought me a good strong cup of black coffee. I am a blessed woman indeed.

There are so many ways to enjoy this versatile spread, I’m thinking about piping it into cherry tomatoes or on top of cucumber slices the next time I need an appetizer.

I hope you will give it a try and play around with your own herb and ingredient combinations. Be sure to let me know what you come up with and as always …

Enjoy!

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Cauliflower Shrimp Fried Rice; AKA Cauli-Rice

Is there a more recognized American Chinese takeout dish than fried rice? I can’t think of one. Okay, well maybe Chow-Mein but today we’re talking rice.

Fried rice.

Delicious, yes. Healthy, not so much. Sadly traditional fried rice is loaded with sodium and high-carbohydrate, insulin spiking white rice. Not exactly top of the menu for anyone wishing to drop a few pounds or clean up their diet. Which is sad business if you are like me and absolutely love the stuff.

“The next time you’re at a Chinese restaurant, back away from the fried rice … many dishes are loaded with sodium, oil and carbs,” says Jayne Hurley, a senior nutritionist for the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “Those dishes are basically three quarters of a day’s calories, and you’re just getting four or five cups of white rice with oil and a sprinkling of vegetables,” Hurley says. They’re especially dangerous because they’re often served alongside people’s main orders, she says, and deliver “not much more than a smattering of vegetables or protein from the meat.” Unhealthy Chinese Food Choices,

Bummer.

But all is not lost because in steps cauli-rice to the rescue. Cauli-rice is something I have been eating a lot of lately and am absolutely loving. If cauli-rice is unfamiliar to you, I am about to expand your healthy option horizons. What is it exactly? It is “rice”, made out of cauliflower.  Or cauliflower grated to mimic rice in just about everyway.

Did you just close your eyes, sigh and shake your head in a skeptical fashion?

Okay, you may not believe it but I am asking you to trust me here and go with me on this … it looks, tastes and acts like rice; except for the fact that it doesn’t raise your blood sugar and spike your insulin. Really, it does. Still skeptical? Here, let me prove it to you.

Cauliflower Shrimp Fried Rice

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large head of cauliflower, grated
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth or stock
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 12 ounces shrimp, cooked, cleaned and chopped
  • 6 ounces cubed lean ham
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Scallions, chopped for garnish

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Directions

Chop your shrimp into small pieces.

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I thawed these pre-cooked and cleaned shrimp and then cut them into three pieces.

Use a box grater to grate raw cauliflower into “rice”.

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It is a messy business but well worth it!

Sauté the cauli-rice in chicken broth for 3 to 5 minutes.

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Add in the remaining ingredients, just to warm them, starting with the peas, then ham and shrimp and finally scrambling in the egg whites by making a well in the center of the rice and pouring them in. This will only take about another 5 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

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Top with a sprinkling of chopped scallions and a splash or Bragg Liquid Aminos in place of soy sauce (it tastes the same and is far better for you) and you’ll have a healthy shrimp fried rice dish that you can fill up on – guilt free!

If you are following the THM lifestyle, you know it is not always easy to come up with truly satisfying “FP” (fuel pull) or even “E” (energizing) meals. This fried rice fits the bill perfectly. I am an “S” loving girl and this has become one of my absolute favorite meals for lunch or dinner.

If you want to make it a bit more hearty, you can fry it up in a few tablespoons of coconut oil and use whole eggs for a satisfying S meal.

My goal with this dish was to make it as “Chinese takeout” authentic as possible. Put skepticism aside, give it a try and let me know how I did.

Enjoy!

Baby Portabella Sliders

I have had my eye on these babies for a while. Baby portabellas that is. As the name would suggest, they are smaller than a full grown portabella but a bit bigger than a cremini. So technically, they are really more of an adolescent portabella.

Baby-Portabellas

So, while that very important distinction has been made, the question what to do with them? remains.

Hmmmm. Slice and sauté or stuff like a cremini? No.

Marinate and grill like a big portabella? No.

More creative. Must be more creative.

They are the perfect size to replace the burger in a slider.

No, that’s not it either. Think. Think. Think.

Does anyone else out there have similar conversations with yourself?

Okay, yes, but do you have them about mushrooms?

Marinate and grill. Burger. Slider. I like it but not the burger. The bun? Oh, now that is intriguing.

The bun. Hmmmm. Sliders with baby portabella mushroom buns.

No bread, low carb, sounds delicious. I like it. I like it very much.

Baby Portabella Sliders it is!

Now, who else should we invite to the party?

Blue-Cheese

Ahhhhh, blue cheese. My favorite party guest.

Applewood-Smoked-Bacon

And applewood smoked bacon. Come on in!

Let’s get this party started!

Baby Portabella Sliders

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Prepare slider sized burgers.

You can grill or pan fry them. Right now, it is about 482 degrees outside so I opted for the cast iron on my stovetop in my air-conditioned kitchen. If you are using ground beef at an 80/20 ratio, you don’t really need to do more to it than add a little salt and pepper. I had a leaner blend on hand so to one pound of ground beef, I added one egg as a binder and a dash of cream for moisture (about a tablespoon) along with a bit of freeze-dried parsley just for fun. Season on both sides with salt and pepper. As always, be sure your pan is good and hot before you put the meat in! I am a medium-rare kind of gal so I cooked the burgers on medium-high 4-5 minutes per side.

Marinating-Portabellas

For the “buns”, I pulled the stems out of the mushrooms and then brushed both sides of the caps with Drew’s Rosemary Balsamic Dressing (I absolutely love the stuff) and seasoned both sides with salt and pepper. Use whatever dressing you like or even just a bit of olive oil or coconut oil.

Frying-Portabellas

I adore my cast iron grill pan and it worked perfectly for “grilling” up the mushrooms. Make sure your pan is hot before you put the mushrooms in. I cooked them on medium-high for 2-3 minutes a side. Don’t move the mushrooms after you’ve turned them and you will end up with perfect grill marks.

Now, to build the sliders.

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I selected the least attractive mushroom caps to use as the bottom “bun” and set each on a leaf of butter lettuce. The sizes varied but still worked out just fine.

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Next, the burger patty.

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Blue cheese crumbles.

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Applewood smoked bacon.

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Just a bit of thinly sliced red onion.

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And finally, the second mushroom cap. See those grill marks?

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Buns? What buns? Who needs buns? Not when you’ve got baby portabellas!

These were delicious! The mushrooms were flavorful and juicy and perfect. Messy but perfect.

I can hardly wait to make them again. In fact, I can’t stop thinking about them.

Oh, the possibilities …

Ground lamb with feta crumbles and tzatziki. Maybe a little olive tapenade?

Smoked Cheddar. BBQ sauce. Jalapenos. Caramelized shallots. Garlic aioli. Brie. Pesto. Mozzarella. Roasted red peppers. Goat cheese. Avocados. Serrano ham. Monterey Jack. Pickles.

Infinite possibilities that beg the question … what are your favorite burger toppings?

I would loved to know!

Enjoy!

This Trim Healthy Mama approved “S” recipe is happily linked with other Trim Healthy Tuesday recipes at Stacy Makes Cents and Gwen’s Nest.

Key Lime Pie – a Perfect Summer Treat!

Tangy & Tart. Creamy & Rich.

Key Lime Pie. I love you.

With that slightly crunchy buttery crust and smooth velvety filling. I can’t imagine a summer without you. But alas, I am no longer an eater of  gluten or sugar.

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And the limes on our lime tree are starting to ripen.

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And they are gorgeous and are just begging me to use them for Key Lime Pie.

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Can you just hear them? Pick me! Pick me! I was made for Key Lime Pie! You won’t be sorry!

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Yes, fragrant little lime, you are indeed destined for a pie. And no, I won’t be sorry because this won’t be just any pie. No, this Key Lime Pie is very special. It is gluten, sugar and guilt free.

Insert Hallelujah Chorus here.

GUILT-free.

As in no worry over calories, carbs, blood sugar spikes, tummy bulges or the need to spend 45 minutes on a treadmill just for a little indulgence.

No guilt. Zero.

But wait, it gets better.

There is no compromise here either. No rub. No sacrifice. Because this Key Lime Pie is delicious!

D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S.

As good as any I have ever had and that is saying something because I used to always make Barefoot Contessa’s Key Lime Pie, which is fantastic but sadly, not guilt-free or on plan for a gluten-free/sugar-free lifestyle.

No need for despair, there is hope!

Aand there will be Key Lime Pie thanks to Lauren at Healthy Indulgences.

I love Lauren and she doesn’t even know it. Her blog has been a lifesaver as I learn to use new ingredients and concepts in the effort to become good at this whole gluten-free/sugar-free baking thing. She has really mastered the craft and has created some very special recipes. I am looking forward to the day when I can venture out confidently on my own but for now I’ll stick to her stuff and will share her Key Lime Pie recipe with you.

She calls it Scrumptious Sugar-Free Key Lime Pie … and she’s not exaggerating.

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It is indeed scrumptious (and no, it is not green). I have made it twice now and it has been a huge hit with everyone who has tried it, including my husband who is still a bit of a gluten-free/sugar-free skeptic. I’m starting to win him over though and this pie certainly didn’t hurt.

It does require a few ingredients that you may not have heard of or have on hand but I promise, it is worth heading to the health food store or Whole Foods to pick up what you’ll need to give this a try. I know you’re curious. Don’t be afraid, give it a shot!

If you’ve been a “Trim Healthy Mama” for a while,  you’ll most likely already have everything you need.

GFSF-Baking-Essentials

Next week, I will talk a bit more about “Trim Healthy Mama” (THM) and the changes that have occurred in my pantry but for now I’ll let you know that Xylitol has become my favorite sugar substitute. Lauren uses erythritol in her recipe and either one is fine. A note about xylitol, while it is healthy and fine for humans, it is very bad for dogs so make sure too keep it away from your furry babies.

The recipe calls for NuNaturals NuStevia pure stevia extract which is not easy to find. I had to order it online. It is a highly concentrated sweetener. You can find a similar version at Trader Joes but it is not quite as good (a little bitter). If you don’t have it, you can use 8 packets of an easily found stevia product such as Truvia. The combination of sweeteners results in a better flavor.

I did make one other change to the original recipe and added a whole lot more lime zest. Lauren’s recipe calls for 1/4 tsp. and I add 1 heaping tsp. because I LOVE the tart flavor the zest.

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The crust is so delicious and so much more nutritious with a blend of almond and pecan meal. Almond meal or flour is easy to find. As for the pecan meal, I just grind up pecans in my mini-food processor until they are a fine texture. Don’t go too far or you’ll end up with pecan butter.

One final note. The pie tastes best at room temperature but slices easiest right out of the fridge. When you go to serve it, slice it right away and then let it sit at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes – if you can wait that long.

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Now go grab yourself some limes and get baking!

Even if you are not normally a gluten-free/sugar-free kind of gal (or guy), I urge you to give this a try. The only thing you have to lose is dessert guilt!

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I photographed this gorgeous piece of pie this morning.

And then I ate it for breakfast. Guilt-free!

Enjoy!

This Trim Healthy Mama approved recipe is happily linked with other Trim Healthy Tuesday recipes at Stacy Makes Cents and Gwen’ Nest.

Good Girl Moonshine

So, a few days ago, I revealed a few big lifestyle changes to you. If you didn’t read that post, no, I am not joining the circus, dying my hair purple or taking a year-long sabbatical from my life to backpack through Europe to find myself.

Please.

This is far more shocking.

I have gone gluten and sugar-free.

Gasp. I know, shocking.

But surprisingly, not as hard as you might think.

And before you traditionalists go running for the hills, stick with me. I promise there will still be regular stuff too and you might find a few strange new things you’d like to give a try.

Strange new things.

Boy have I got something for you today!

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and research and much of the inspiration for the change (the change – that sounds so ominous) comes from the book Trim Healthy Mama by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett. If you are interested in making … “the change” … or just some changes in your diet or learning more about some incredible super foods and healthy additions to your eating habits, I HIGHLY encourage you to invest some time in this book – it is 600+ pages but it is filled with some eye-opening and thought-provoking stuff!

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I hate and hesitate to call it a diet because it really is a lifestyle change (I know, cliché’ – but true) and should be a focus on health and wellbeing rather than just on losing weight. That being said, a healthy weight is foundational to a healthy life and I must tell you that in two weeks of following this plan and making these changes, I am down a full size and am starting to see the healthy athletic shape I know and love emerging from the layer of over-indulgence that has been hiding it for too long.

I can’t tell you how much actual weight I have lost because I HATE scales and won’t step foot on one unless dragged onto it completely against my will. I close my eyes and plug my ears at the doctor’s office just in case the nurse can’t help but let out a gasp or tsk! tsk! when the dreaded number flashes red across the tiny display window that somehow feels more like the Times Square JumboTron.

I believe that sort of behavior is often referred to as denial.

Making “the change” is enough for me. I don’t need to know the numbers. At least not until they are in a range that won’t put me in bed with the covers over my head. For the time being, I’ll continue to cling to my quirks and idiosyncrasies, thank you.

Denial.

I can’t wait to tell you a bit more about what I’m learning about a GF/SF lifestyle and some of the incredible super foods I had no idea were out there; but today, it is all about moonshine.

Yup. MOONSHINE.

But this moonshine is for good girls. And guys. No backwoods distillery required. Baptist approved. I read that somewhere and couldn’t resist.

This drink has quickly become a favorite for me. And I must say, it was an unlikely favorite because, well, when you read the ingredients, it really just sounds kind of gross.

But that was before I tried it and got hooked. Now I can’t get enough of it. Truly, it is tasty, tart, refreshing, has a bit of a bite and as far as I’m concerned gives the best lemonade a run for its money. Even my beloved lemonade and Prosecco. I can’t believe I just said that. But it’s true.

Intrigued?

Here goes …

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Good Girl Moon Shine

This is a recipe developed and posted by Serene Allison, co-author of Trim Healthy Mama. I have added my own “tweaks” too. Play around with it and see how it tastes best to you.

Ingredients

Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar, Ginger (fresh or powdered), Stevia Sweetener, Water, Ice.

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Directions

Fill a quart sized jar with water and ice.

Add  a generous drizzle of raw apple cider vinegar. The original recipe suggests 1-2 Tbsp. but I add 3-4 Tbsp. Yes, it has a bite. I like that. Just ask anyone who has ever had my coffee.

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Sorry, in the picture I did the ginger first.

Now, add 1 tsp. of  ginger powder (found in the bulk food section at Whole Foods  Market). This is from the original recipe. I like to put in fresh ginger, grated on a microplane so that it has a stronger ginger flavor. I grate in about a 1 inch knob.

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Sweeten by adding a few shakes of Nustevia Pure Extract Powder to taste. I only use 3-4 shakes because I don’t like things too sweet but you can play with  sweetness and try more. If you use Truvia – try 3-5 tsp. Again this is from the original recipe. I like to put in 10 drops of Stevia liquid.

Put the lid on and give it a good shake and then enjoy.

But not with a straw unless you like sucking up little bits of grated ginger. I just swig it straight from the mason jar. Moonshine style.

I know you guys are thinking I’m crazy, probably for many reasons at this point, but this stuff really is good. And just listen to what Serene has to say about the healthful properties and benefits of ginger and apple cider vinegar …

“Since I have been enjoying such copious amounts of my new favorite drink, I decided to do some studies about ginger. What do you know? I read that ginger actually dulls the appetite. But, I noticed this first hand before I even read this merit of ginger. Ginger heats up the thermogenic temperature of the body the metabolism which gives a double punch alongside apple cider vinegar’s own weight loss talents.

Ginger is a potent digestive aid and fires up the digestive juices. It reduces flatulence and eases tummy cramps. It improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body. Ginger clears the micro-circulatory channels of the body including the easily clogged sinuses. It clears throat and nose congestion and is a wonderful immune stimulant along with apple cider vinegar. Ginger is up at the top of the list with the most potent anti-inflammatory supplements on God’s green earth and can relieve common aches and pains and even help with more serious arthritic conditions.

Here are just some of the goodies Apple Cider Vinegar offers you:

It is abundant in potassium which is imperative for growth and building muscles, the transmission of nerve impulses, heart activity and preventing brittle teeth and hair loss. It encourages weight loss by breaking down fats to be used instead of stored in your adipose tissue. It is loaded with acetic acid which slows the digestion of starch and lowers the rise in glucose levels that occur post mealtime. It is anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial due to its high levels of malic acid. It is super alkalinizing though being rich in ash. It lowers bad cholesterol and helps to regulate blood pressure. It is a powerful detox tool and improves bowel function. It clarifies the skin. New research reveals it shows strength in killing cancer cells or slowing their growth.” Read more here.

I don’t know about you but … sign me up! In addition to the weight I’ve lost, I also no longer have any joint pain or inflammation. Not any. And I was having a lot.

More moonshine please.

I know it also has a lot to do with dumping the gluten and sugar but I’ll have some more moonshine anyhow.

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I spend a lot of time poolside in the summer because it’s hot and my kids are fish. This has become my poolside drink of choice – it is that refreshing.

And I like drinking “moonshine” from a mason jar.

Just a couple of disclaimers before I go …

One. As you know, I am not a doctor, nutritionist, dietician or expert in any way. I just read a lot (which is something like “I’m not a doctor but I play one on TV”) and know that this tastes really good and I feel better. Do some reading and research and decide for yourself.

Two. My husband absolutely hates this stuff and refuses to drink it. He likes to call it snake oil. But that is only because he is picky and because he thinks he’s hilarious.

Jokes on him. He’ll see when I’m running a marathon like a 20-year-old. Okay, well that’s never going to happen – I’ve done a marathon before. Never again. Never. I’ll have to come up with something else to convince him to try the moonshine again. He’s gotten used to my coffee after all.

Be brave. Give it a try and run a marathon or hangout by the pool. Your choice.

Either way, enjoy!

And let me know what you think. I just have to know!

Muffin in a Mug

It is confession time, my friends. Seven months of baking and blogging have taken their toll. Well it really isn’t the baking or the blogging, it is the over-consumption of the baking that has led me to today’s post.

I have pretty much always lived a healthy and balanced life. Exercising, sleeping well and eating right kept me on track. I have never had the luxury of being able to eat whatever I want in whatever quantity. I have always had to be mindful of maintaining a healthy body and weight. And for the most part, I always have – with a few slips here and there like when I spent the majority of my twenties living low-fat/high-carb and obsessively exercising. I was skinny but very unhealthy inside and out. Thankfully, my body (and my husband and my mom) forced me to come to my senses and I found balance again.

Taking good care of yourself isn’t hard when you only have you to think about. Add a husband to the equation and it doesn’t change things too much as they are usually fairly self-sufficient and the nurturing required in their care leaves a decent amount of time to maintain some personal focus. My husband is rolling his eyes.

Enter motherhood. Ahhhhh, motherhood, the game changer. And for me, not just motherhood but children with special needs and the deep wounds and challenging behaviors of severe trauma and loss. Every bit of my time and energy was focused on their healing and needs. My life was no longer my own and changed dramatically.

So did my habits.

I have always loved to cook, bake and eat but my kitchen became my therapy and my escape. Food became my comfort. It also became an important way for me to nurture and comfort the little people in my life.

Fast forward a few years, over 40, well over my ideal weight, not sleeping enough, out of balance again.

I have no regrets.

I love being a mom, even on the hard days.

Every sacrifice is worth it and leaving “all about me” behind is a journey we all have to take as we mature and gain perspective.

Especially if we become parents.

Unfortunately, what we tend to do is completely forget about ourselves. We accept the expanding waistlines, dark circles, wet ponytails and stretchy black yoga pants as part of motherhood. An outward sign of our personal sacrifice. After all, it isn’t about us anymore.

Or is it just me?

Still no regrets but it is time for me to find balance again. My children are healthy and happy, healing and thriving and growing up. I don’t have babies anymore. My youngest will start kindergarten in August and I will just be with me again a lot of the time. Well, Ethel’s youngest starts kindergarten too so I’ll be with her at Zinc Bistro lunching on French food. And I’ll probably be in Nathan’s classroom a lot just so I can be near him helping out. But you get where I’m going with this.

It is time to find and focus on me again.

This blog has been a huge step in that direction and I love it so much. I love sharing family recipes and stories with you and that will continue but I do have to make some changes. My body is demanding change and balance.

At the risk of giving you way more information than you could possibly ever want to know, I will tell you that I have a pretty significant wheat sensitivity that I like to ignore. I tested negative for Celiac but it is still an issue for me. It isn’t too big of a problem for me if I am careful but I can be reckless … my high-carb/low-fat 20’s and now the somewhat obsessive amount of baking I’ve been doing since I got my hands on my grandmother’s recipes.

Reckless.

I also have to tell you, crazy things happen to you over the age of 40 and your body doesn’t bounce back and recover like it once did. At least mine doesn’t. I needed to start listening and being more mindful of my health and longevity. It is amazing what we take for granted and can get away with when we are younger.

A friend recommended an incredible book to me that I can honestly say has opened my eyes to health and nutrition in new and inspired ways. It has also spurred me on to do further reading and research into a low glycemic and gluten-free lifestyle.

Many of the principles in this book are not new to me as over the years I have read just about everything published on diets, health and nutrition. But this is different. This is not a diet or a fad. This is biblically based and just makes sense to me; a “where have you been all my life” kind of sense.

It is how I truly like to eat and how my body feels and functions best and I am adjusting to the loss of flour and sugar. Counting and tracking calories, fat grams, carbs, points, etc. and logging every morsel I put in my mouth throughout the day; I hate that and I won’t do it. That is about weight loss – this is about a strong, well-nourished, healthy body and a healthy weight is a happy side effect.

Listening to my body and making a few small changes to nourish and care for it. That I can do. That I have to do.

So, I have made a few small changes and I have been gluten-free/sugar-free for almost two weeks now and I feel like a new woman. And I have to tell you, almond and coconut flours are incredible. I am still working out the “sweetener” to my liking but have a few recommended Stevia products on order that should be better for baking.

I promise, I will still post traditional recipes but will be working on healthy tweaks and modifications as options. And I and will soon have pages atop my blog with indexes for traditional recipes and low-glycemic recipes (as I test and post more and more of them).

For now, I would love to share with you one of my favorite discoveries from Trim Healthy Mama by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett – you didn’t think I was going to forget to give you the name of the book did you? – Muffin in a Mug.

The best thing about these muffins is that my kids LOVE them and are eating them just about every morning. They are so simple to make and are loaded with flax meal. It makes me feel great knowing that with every bite, they are filling their bodies with healthy life-giving foods that taste like a treat. I have taken the basic recipe in the book and tweaked it into two versions that we absolutely love, pumpkin and chocolate.

Sugar-Free/Gluten-Free Muffin in a Mug

Pumpkin

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Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. golden flax meal
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. almond flour
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 packets Truvia or other Stevia based sweetener (adjust to your sweet-tooth)*
  • pinch of kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. unsweetened pure pumpkin puree

*Note on Stevia – the small amount of Truvia used here does not leave the bitter aftertaste that it does when baking in larger quantities. I’m still working on that.

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Crack the egg into the bottom of a coffee cup and whisk with a fork.

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Add your dry ingredients.

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Add then the pumpkin puree and mix ingredients together vigorously until well combined.

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Here’s the crazy part. Put it in the microwave for one minute.

I know.

I’m still trying to get my head around it.

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Turn it out onto a plate and you have a pumpkin muffin. An ugly pumpkin muffin, yes but a healthy and delicious one. Add a little whipped cream and berries and it gets prettier.

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My husband and my kids LOVE the pumpkin muffin and I think it is delicious but the chocolate – it tastes like cake. Truly, like rich chocolate cake.

Chocolate

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This muffin is made the same way but with a slight tweak to the ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. golden flax meal
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. almond flour
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (I added this as I love what a hit of cinnamon does for chocolate)
  • 3 packets Truvia or other stevia based sweetener
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of kosher or sea salt
  • 1 level Tbsp. coconut oil

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Add the ingredients in the same way you did for the pumpkin muffin and pop it in the microwave for 1 minute.

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It is so good, I promise. The coconut oil adds a little more fat and calories than the pumpkin puree but it is a good healthy fat. Coconut oil is something I have been reading up on and I am impressed. Take a look at The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife if you want to learn more about this incredible super food.

Flax and almond flour can be found at most grocery stores now and they are just the beginning of the incredible possibilities available in gluten-free cooking and baking. I can hardly wait to experiment and share more with you!

Enjoy!

And be sure to let me know what you think!!