Friday, November 30, 2012

Lemony Kale Avocado Salad, and DIY Legwarmers

I waffled about posting this recipe because it's so darn easy- but hey, when searching for it, I couldn't find anything like it, so maybe this will be helpful to someone looking for an easy kale salad!

Lemony Kale and Avocado Salad
1 bag washed and chopped kale (TJ's has a great product)
juice of half a lemon
kosher salt
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 avocado

In a very large salad bowl, dump your kale and pour about 3 tbsp of EVOO in and start massaging with your hands.  This will take probably 3-4 minutes until the kale has wilted a bit and is bright green.  Do not skip this step!  Then squeeze your juice from the half lemon and massage for another minute.  Sprinkle liberally with sea or kosher salt, then toss in cubed avocado and your pine nuts.  This is a delish salad that you CAN make ahead of time, as the kale is quite firm and won't get soggy very quickly.

In other news, I finally tried the DIY legwarmers for under your boots as seen on Pinterest.  DO IT!  Cut off the sleeves of an old ratty sweater and put them on under your boots for extra cuteness and extra comfort.  It's fun!  I have to careful I don't get carried away cutting up all my sweaters.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving Recap, Detox Update, and Tangy Bacon Brussel Sprouts

How was everyone's Thanksgiving?  Now that we are almost a week out- what were your successes and downfalls?  Any amazing recipes?  Any not so amazing recipes?  Hopefully regardless of the food you all spent a happy, healthy, wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.  I had quite the week, with my twin 3 year old nephews in town, Thanksgiving, and a quick trip to Chicago for a bachelorette party, it was definitely an eventful few days!

Before the food, just a few updates.

I got a gel manicure the day before Thanksgiving.  I believe the brand is CND Shellac?  Here is a pic a week later.  I don't think I would do it again- for one, it's pretty expensive.  And yes, I appreciate the no chip and I do like that it stays shiny, but the thought of wearing it for another week is a little tiresome.  Plus, by then the rest of my nailbeds are going to be prettttty worked.  Ew.  I have had a few little chips here and there, but nothing like what my normal manicure would be looking like by now.  I also really loved that it was totally dry by the time you left the salon.  But unless you are absolutely in love with your color, and your salon has a really good selection, you will probably be dunzo with your mani before it's done with you.  But hey, if you are a nurse/cook or use your hands a ton and can't deal with chipping manicures and have the extra $$$, go for it!

Detox Update:
I have 3 more days before I finish my sweetener/sugar detox and move on to Whole30.  Since giving up sweeteners, treats, and cutting out most starches, my blood sugar has been consistently lower.  I thought for awhile it might be due to my off-week on birth control pills as hormones can raise your blood sugar, but that ended over a week ago now.  While my sugars weren't necessarily out of control before, it's definitely been interesting to watch them go down.  The only modification I have made is cutting out sweeteners and eating minimal starches.  And my A1C was even lower, 4.9!  Crazy!  Are sweetener the devil?  No, not necessarily.  I still have the Whole30 to get through before I can even think about using them again.  But lower blood sugars are great.  And I really don't miss the treats too terribly much.  The one time I did, was over the weekend at my cousins bach party when everyone was eating tons of crap and candy.  But I got over it.  Have I snuck a few tastes of things here and there?  Yup.  I have.  I'm not perfect.  Am I totally in love with unsweetened coffee and tea?  Not really.  But we'll just have to see what happens after Whole30.  I will be cutting out cheese, all legumes including peanuts, anything with "gums" in them, and continuing to abstain from sweeteners, any kind of fruit, starches, treats, and anything else not Whole30 approved.  Looking forward to it!

Thanksgiving was strangegoodbadfun.  I loved having some time off work.  I spent some quality time with my super cute little nephews, and S had a great time playing with her COUSINS all week.  I enjoyed some great QT with me, myself, and I on Wednesday, and went on a date with MKG.  I slept in once or twice and we had great weather.  It was nice!  I also had a very strange doctors appointment, where I learned more about my 57 autoimmune diseases, and was two hours late (due to said doctors appointment) for family pics with my in-laws.  Thanksgiving day was kind of weird.  I was home by myself most of the day cooking and packing for my trip, which is kind of an odd way to spend T-Day! I got to my in-laws in the afternoonish.  I know I am picky and have a modified diet and yes I guess I am a bit of a snob when it comes to food, but seriously- if you are ever going to bring out the big guns and put 100% into your food, put your heart, soul, and complete effort into it, it should be Thanksgiving right?  If you aren't going to do that, then you should really leave the cooking to someone else.  That's my honest opinion.  No one wants to eat an afterthought.  Or a a table full of afterthoughts. Ick.  Ok, that's off my chest.  I made a couple items- Kale salad which I may or may not post, pumpkin bars which were good but just your run of the mill paleo pumpkin bars which you can surely make on your own, and a DELISH brussel sprout dish, which I share below.

Tangy Bacon Brussel Sprouts
2 lbs brussel sprouts, trimmed and quartered
2 shallots, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T dijon mustard
8 ounces bacon, chopped into lardons

Roast your quartered sprouts in some EVOO, salt and pepper in a 450 degree oven until they are nice and browned.  20 min or so.  Remove and transfer to a large bowl.  In a saute pan, fry up your bacon lardons, and remove lardons when crispy.  Cook shallots in the bacon fat until translucent and starting to caramelize.  Add in your garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Add your mustard and red wine vinegar and cook for just another minute until well incorporated.  When ready to serve, toss your sprouts with the dressing.  This is best served warm but it's still quite good at room temp!

The morning after T-day I was on a plane, Chicago-bound for my cousins spa bachelorette party in Lake Geneva, WI.  We stayed at the Grand Geneva and all enjoyed some amaze spa treatments.  If you are ever in that neck of the woods, I definitely recommend it!  Lake Geneva is a quaint, sweet old resort town just an hour and a half outside Chicago.  The six of us had a blast, and I even was able to squeeze in a haircut!  And I'd like to mention, that if someone wanted to build me a steamroom, I probably wouldn't say no.  #justsayin

Ok folks.  Hope you have all recovered from T-day.  I am happy to report I seem to have made it through the detox.  Now, on to Whole30!  Who's with me????

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Detox Updates, Eats, Thanksgiving Planning

Hey GFGs!  We are T-minus two days until the big day.  Being dialed in to all the blogs/tweets/posts in the paleosphere is fun and super informative, but I have to say I am reaaaaally starting to tire of the Thanksgiving recipe roundups, advice columns, turkey talk, and the same recipe for mashed cauliflower over and over again.  I am getting sick of Thanksgiving and it's not even here yet!

So I am going to spare you another recipe roundup.  God knows if you need a recipe there are seriously thousands and thousands of paleofied treasures to be had.

Instead, I'll give you a little update.  The coming week will be the true test of my detox powers.  Will I survive?  Nobody knows.....  haha actually, I'm not too concerned.  I am preparing well by making two GFG approved Thanksgiving sides so I know if nothing else, I'll have some yummy veggie side dishes to snack on.

I am still kind of just plugging along.  Because phase 1 of my plan isn't about eliminating potential irritants/inflammatory/allergenic foods, I don't really feel any different, nor did I expect to.  It is really more about just purging myself of all the sweeteners in my diet and trying to sever the ties I have with them.  Like I said last week, I think it's been a great lesson for me in learning to elevate meals from just food I stuff down my throat, to something that's wholesome, enjoyable, well-rounded, nutritious, and satisfying enough that I don't feel like I need a GFG treat afterwards.  I am also finding that over the last week my blood sugars have been lower and not as up and down, which is nice.  I'll keep watching to see if there is some discernible trend to this.

So what am I eating?  A lot of hard-boiled eggs for one.  I finally made the perfect hard-boiled eggs last night, complete with easy to peel-off shells.  It has taken me years and years to figure this out, I wish I were lying.  I put 6 eggs into cold water with 2 teaspoons of vinegar on the stovetop, brought to a boil, and then removed from the heat and let sit for exactly 9 minutes.  I then rinsed them in very cold water and peeled them, while submersed in cold water.  The shells came off super easily.  Yay! The whites were hard-cooked (which is essential as I am allergic to undercooked egg whites) and the yolks were not quite cooked through, but not runny either.

Another staple that I am finding I just couldn't live without is frozen shrimp and frozen seafood.  Trader Joe's has a blend of different frozen seafood, squid, little scallops, shrimp, that are terrific with some sauteed diced tomato and garlic, shown below with a side of lemony organic spinach (also frozen).

Another great staple to have on hand is The Clothes Make The Girl's Whole30 compliant Paleo Chocolate Chili.  Good lord this was good!  I was not expecting it to be as delicious or as easy as it turned out.  I would advise you to make a double batch and freeze half to thaw as needed.  It is so good.  I served mine on top of steamed (again, organic/frozen) cauliflower for a complete balanced meal.  Lastly, one night last week when I was beyond tired I simply threw together some diced cucumber, sliced grape tomatoes, boiled eggs, avocado, and green onion with some salt and pepper.  Salad doesn't always need lettuce people!  As you can see, detoxing/whole30 doesn't have to mean bland boring chicken and broccoli every night.  Explore your organic grocer's freezer section and stock up on seafood and veggies.  You'll be just minutes away from a healthy, satisfying, and fun meal every night of the week.  And unless you are doing an autoimmune protocol Whole30 there is no reason to hold back on spices.  I am shocked at the rate I go through cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, oregano, and seasoned salt.

So what am I making for Thanksgiving anyways?  After lengthy deliberation and tonnnns of recipe hunting I have settled on these three dishes:
-Roasted Brussel Sprouts with a mustard, bacon, and red wine vinegar dressing
-Massaged Lemony Kale Salad with Avocado and Pine Nuts
-Pumpkin Pie Bars with a Pecan and Walnut based crust and a custardy pumpkin filling.  Easier than pie and a little less conventional.  Sadly, this dish is not one I'll be indulging in.  No worries though, more kale for me!  

I'll post the recipes later this week.  I'd love to hear what you are cooking for the holiday.  Share your GFG/Paleo recipes with us!  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

This week's Paleo/Sugar Detox Eats

I am plugging along with my detox.  Unsweetened coffee, treatless evenings, and no tasting the baked goods I make.  Meh.  It's not that big a deal.  I have some peanut butter after dinner instead of a GFG cookie or whatevs (only until Dec. 1 when I start Whole30- then no PB! eek!!!)

I am the tiniest bit bummed that I will not be able to eat the pumpkin pie bars I am so excited to make next week, but that just encourages me all the more so to make sure the foods I make that I CAN eat are  super delicioso.

That's the interesting thing about this detox that I have figured out.  Because I can't rely on treats, I am spending more time and thought on my actual meals.  Before I would just scarf down some raw veggies and deli meat because what I really wanted was my paleo dessert, but now I am putting a bit more effort into what I eat, to make sure it's nutritious and super yummy.  It's kind of neat!  It's an unexpected effect of this detox, and I'm really digging it.

For instance, here are two recent detox meals:

These are not elaborate meals by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, the top meal was a total last minute, just got back into town and have no fresh food spur of the moment thing.  Everything you see pictured was frozen.  Well, not everything.  The fish, green beans, and cauliflower were frozen.  Then I had some sad looking baby carrots that I knew we wouldn't eat, so I decided to puree them too for some lovely orange mashed cauli.  Below are some romaine hearts with smoked oyster salad.  YUM.  If you are like me and can't get too excited about tuna salad, try an oyster salad.  Open a tin of smoked oyster, mush it up with a hard boiled egg, some sliced green onion, salt, pepper, and top with grape tomatoes and you're done.  In the past, I probably would not have taken the extra time to make a little salad to eat on a cute little romaine taco, but given the fact that there was no dessert to be had later, I had to get creative and make dinner more fun!

So that's been a great lesson in all this.  Maybe if I spend more time and energy on healthy meals, I won't care so much about the sweet snacks for after the meal.  I am going to concentrate on this and see where it takes me.

Another fun detox takeaway so far?  This one is also a very welcome side-affect.  In the past, any deviation from my normal routine would cause a fair amount of anxiety on my part.  Holidays, travel, family gatherings, etc.  How would I adapt?  How would I avoid the incessant comments and remarks from well-meaning but obnoxious friends and family?  How would I would summon the will power NOT to eat forbidden foods and so on.  Well, after traveling home last week at the last minute for a funeral followed by days of being surrounded by crappy SAD food, I can say that this detox is incredibly helpful in navigating the minefield that family gatherings can present.  Not only should I not eat that stuff, because you know, I'm diabetic, I follow a more ancestral, unprocessed, gluten/grain/sugar/starch free diet, all the usual stuff, but I CAN'T eat that stuff.  I am doing a detox!  It's not allowed!  That is the whole point of this detox!  It's not just, oh gee, I shouldn't.  It IS the whole god damned point.  And if I slip up, that erases the weeks of detoxing I've already done!  This works for me.  It may be counterintuitive to others, but for me, this really works.  I have a very real and tangible reason to say NO.  It's like that part of my brain that says to just have a bite, a taste, is turned off.  I wouldn't recommend doing a 2-phase, 8 week detox over the holidays to anyone, but if you are the kind of person that appreciates structure and rules and doesn't have emotional attachments to food, this might be a good way for you to avoid a lot of the frustrating aspects about the holidays.  And it's also a great way to ensure excellent blood sugar control and weight control over the holidays.  Rather than freak out about getting into shape after the new year, losing those couple pounds you put on, why not just buckle down a bit and prevent the entire situation to begin with?

So, those are my findings so far.  As for the cravings, I still miss treats.  I miss a little sweetness in my coffee.  I'm not sure if those things can be overcome.  Ask me on January 1st.  But I am enjoying the extra care I am putting into my meals and I am finding that I get more excited about meals than I used to, which is cool.  I don't know if I can live my whole life like this, if for no other reason than I truly enjoy baking and experimenting with different ingredients, but a little palate-reset now and then certainly can't be bad.

Until next time GFGs! Xoxo

Monday, November 12, 2012

Double Peanut Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies, & a Sugar Detox Update

We just had a whirlwind week.  Full of happy, sad, strange, funny, experiences.  My 92-year-old grandfather passed away last week, and we traveled to Chicago where my family lives to take part in the funeral, shiva, and Friday night Shabbat services that he dutifully attended every single week for the past, I don't know, 50 years or so.  Of course everything was sad, I hadn't truly said goodbye, the last time I saw him was in July, but it was also a relief, to know he was at peace and no longer suffering.  We were surrounded by family and loved ones, and were able to grieve in comfortable surroundings.  The trip wasn't all grieving and tears though, we had some fun along the way, and I would like to think we were honoring his memory (and my grandmother's too) by the good times we shared with our family.  We were able to spend lots of quality time with family from California, I was lucky enough to be able to go to a floral appointment for my cousin's upcoming wedding, we tried on flower girl dresses for S and got to visit a few of our favorite haunts.  All in all, an exhausting trip, but worth every minute.

Yikes- being away from home AND at a funeral/shiva is NOT the place for someone doing a detox.  My parents didn't have much time before we arrived to get supplies for my GFG family and once we got there, it was go go go.  I won't lie, being away from home, without all my GFG gear and food items, surrounded by tons and tons of crap food was rough.  So how did I do?  Ok.  I had one major fail- a diet coke friday night.  I was super stressed out, it had been a long tough week, I was struggling. Am I going to cry about it?  No.  It happens.  Given the other slip-ups I could have had, I say, no big deal.  Other than that, the sugar detox is going pretty well.  I really like not fixating on what treats I am going to bake/consume.  The hardest part is actually beverages.  I would pretty often have sweetened beverages (no sugar of course) and that has been a bummer to do without.  But desserts, snacks, and treats are surprisingly easy to give up I am finding.  Especially if there is plenty of yummy protein lying around.  And speaking of yummy protein- we were able to sneak in a quick visit to my FAVORITE deli in the entire world, where a plethora of amazing protein choices abound.  If you are ever in the Skokie area, stop in to Kaufmans, you will not be disappointed!  Duh, bypass the pastries/bagels and head straight to the meat/fish.  Have you ever smoked whitefish?  It is a delicacy beyond description.  I can pound through a half pound of fish in a couple minutes.  And the lox?  It makes the junk we eat here in Kansas downright embarrassing.  Ahhh!!  So good!  And don't get me started on the "new pickles" or "half sours" as they're called.  They are still bright green and have a strong cucumber taste, rather than just vinegar and garlic like regular pickles.

So, we're home now.  What was the first thing I did?  Whip up a batch of cookies for my little angel, who spent most of the week treat-less due to a less than stellar selection of gluten-free goodies.

Double Peanut Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies- Gluten, Grain, Sugar Free
3/4 cup peanut flour
pinch of salt
2 tbsp organic peanut butter (just peanuts!)
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
5 tbsp preferred SF liquid sweetener
1/4 cup SF chocolate chips, homemade or otherwise
2 pieces of cooked bacon, chopped

This was a great recipe because I seriously threw everything in a bowl at once and mixed it up, well, except for the chocolate chips and bacon which I added at the end.  I chose this time to omit baking powder, as I knew they wouldn't spread much regardless.  This made 12 good sized cookies, which I baked at 350 until the bottoms were just starting to turn golden.  I wanted them underdone so they'd still have a little under baked taste, but the outside is crispy.  And no, I am not eating one!

It's hard to believe we have one full week ahead and then Thanksgiving week will be upon us!  What recipes will you be making?  Anything new you'll be trying?  I'd love to hear!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ground Beef Fajita Bowl

You know those nights when you have no fresh food, practically no food to speak of, you're stumped on what to make, you don't want to go to the store, you don't feel like making anything difficult, you're tired, hungry for nothing in particular, and need to to please an adult and a picky toddler?  No? Really? Geez I thought everyone had nights like that!

Gorgeous pic isn't it?  Maybe not.  But it's a slam dunk recipe, using minimal ingredients, all of which were frozen/pantry ingredients.

Have you tried Trader Joe's grassfed ground beef?  It's in the frozen meats section.  Ummm, hello awesomeness!  It's delicious!  Great to have on hand for nights like these.  This meal could not have been easier, all it used were the items to the right- ground meat, frozen fire roasted peppers, guac, salsa, and beans.  For those of us adhering strictly to whole 30/primal protocols, please abstain from the beans.

Ground Beef Fajita Bowl
1 package grassfed beef
1 bag Trader Joe's fire roasted peppers and onions
some guac, or just some sliced avo
some salsa
some beans (or not)
shredded lettuce if you have any (I didn't, no bigs)
and the following spices, to taste:
onion powder
garlic salt

Brown your meat and spice accordingly once it's browned.  Remove meat from pan onto plate.  Sautee thawed veggies in your leftover fat from the meat, and spice to taste.  Warm up your beans.  Throw everything in a bowl and enjoy!  Easy peasy.  Dinner done in 20 minutes or less.

This post is admittedly not very fun, truthy, or challenging.  We are in chicago for my grandfather's funeral this week, and so at the moment I am not feeling up to digging deep.  Rather, I'd like to dig deep into my bed, snuggle in, and not get up until I damn well please.  But, LGO right?  However, look for a sugar detox update soon.  Is anyone doing it with me?  Or something similar?  Don't be shy!!  And if not now but you are planning to, let me know too!  I am anxious to hear how everyone does.

Thanks a bunch, XoXoGFG

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Carrot Cake Breakfast Muffins- Grain, Sugar, Gluten, Dairy Free

Told ya I wasn't going to stop posting #faileo type recipes!  Actually, these are little nutritional power houses, which is great because typically for breakfast, S will have a muffin every day.  Or, a nuffin as she calls them.  I make them every weekend because they are fast, portable, and delicious, and she can eat them once she gets to daycare/preschool.  This particular muffin is really great because it's full of carrots (I am having a rough time getting her to eat veggies these days) but they taste and smell pretty decadent.  No, I did not eat one.  I'm sticking to my sugar detox guns!

Carrot Cake Breakfast Muffins- Free of sugar, grain, dairy, gluten
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
3-4 tbsp preferred liquid sweetener
1/4 cup oil, like walnut or melted coconut
2 eggs
2 4 oz. containers organic carrot baby food
1 tsp vanilla
handful of raisins- optional

Mix the first 5 ingredients together well, get out any lumps with a fork.  In a separate bowl, combine your eggs, oil, vanilla, carrot, and sweetener.  Mix well, and add wet to dry.  Fold in your raisins, and spoon into lined muffin tin.  This made 8 good sized muffins for me.  Bake at 350 until the tops have browned nicely.  These will be pretty dense little guys.  Feel free to replace raisins with chopped nuts, chopped apple, chopped pineapple, or just leave out entirely!  These do not have a cakey consistency whatsoever, these are unmistakeably muffinish in texture, so don't be fooled by the name.  They just have that familiar, warm, and lovely carrot cake flavor profile.  But, feel free to have one for dessert, with some coconut cream frosting!  That is, unless you are detoxing along with me!  I should probably call this detox what it really is- a sweetener detox, since I don't technically eat sugar anyways- but sugar detox just sounds so much cooler doesn't it?

Regardless, this is a health snack or toddler breakfast you can feel good about.  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Changing Things Up!

As I alluded to last week in my Aspen Recap post, I think it's time to make some changes 'round here.  More transparency, less pump and dump recipes, more variety, more fun, and more challenges!  By fun, I mean, this is a blog about my GFG lifestyle, so if I want to do a post about nail polish, or shopping for toddler shoes, or shit I want to buy, or shows I watch, or whatever, I'm going to do it!  I am more than the sum of my recipes!  And by challenges, I mean, I want to grow through this blog.  And hopefully, you want to grow too.  Recipes one after another aren't going to help anyone grow.  Sure, they are a great resource when you're in a pinch, but emotional, mental, psychological growth?  Uh uh.  I want to challenge myself, challenge myself to be healthy, to embrace a healthier lifestyle, to put my health first!  To stop justifying poor choices I make because of this or that, to stop letting little things slide all the time when I know I shouldn't, but am too lazy.  I can be better, I can do better!  And this isn't a vanity thing, (well, partly it's allllways a vanity thing isn't it?) it's a make-positive-sustainable-changes-now-before-it's-too-late thing.

So in reference to more transparency- here's some truthiness for ya.  I was recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes- LADA.  It's a rare form of diabetes, making up a very small amount of total diabetics worldwide.  It's also relatively newly discovered, and many people are either misdiagnosed, or undiagnosed until disaster strikes.  So I am extremely lucky to have been diagnosed early, and correctly.  Regardless, it was quite a shock, and I'm still processing.  It also came on the heels of a few other diagnoses, of which I am also still processing.  I need to think about my life and my health in a totally different way.  I need to come up with new mechanisms, find new tools and resources, and challenge myself to grow, change, and adapt so I can live my healthiest life, be my best self.  I am going to successfully manage my chronic illnesses, I will NOT let them manage me.  I am going to have a life!  These things will not become my life.  I am going to overcome and have fun doing it!  There's more to this story (there always is) but that's for another day.  Today is about getting the ball rolling on these changes, being more truthful, more accountable, and upping the fun factor.

So- truthiness, check.  Next up- accountability.  I want to be more present when making food choices.  I want to make wiser decisions.  I want what I eat to have a positive impact on my overall health.  I want what I eat to be essential to my health.  I know this sounds a bit high and mighty, I'm totally aware.  I'm not saying I'll live the rest of my life like this.  But for now, I really feel like I have some big changes that need to be made.  I have been thinking about this for awhile and finally came up with a plan today.  Probably not the best time of year to be making some fairly radical changes, but hey, don't want things to get too dull around here do we?  Here is my  8-week plan:

This plan was designed in stages.  The first stage is just really about eliminating sweeteners.  This is going to be rough!  I love my paleofied/gfg'd treats as much as the next blogger.  So stage 1 is entirely about tackling this issue.  There are some supplements I lean on for extra protein that I'll still be relying upon until I begin Stage 2, but other than those, I am going to be pretty stringent.  In Stage 2 I'll tackle a few other pesky problems.  Dairy (I looove cream in my coffee), legumes (peanuts and peanut butter ahhhhh!  and beans etc) and I'll get into the nitty gritty of food additives.  All the while reducing my intake of unnecessary starches and carbs that are wreaking havoc on my blood sugar levels.  I am hoping to achieve a number of things here.  First- I really feel like I am too attached to my sugar substitutes and sugar-free treats.  Haha perhaps you've noticed?  I'm ready to cut the cord.  For now anyways.  I'll still be posting recipes for treats (yes I'm aware I'm doing a sugar detox right before the holidays) and I'll still be making healthy snacks for my family, but I feel that as a diabetic I need to keep sweetened foods at an arms length.  For the time being.  I'm currently not on insulin, managing this on my own, so I just don't have the luxury of being lax with my diet right now.  Second- I'm hoping to identify some food sensitivities I may have.  Does dairy bother me? Does it cause blood sugar spikes?  Are legumes responsible for intestinal upset?  Is fructose? (This I already know is a big fat yes.)  And thirdly- I am always on a quest to banish bloat for good.  Eliminating grain and gluten was a biggie, but I could still make some improvements.  I'm not crazy enough to think anyone is going to want to do this with me.  But just in case you are interested- Jenna at The Paleo Project has also just begun a 21 day sugar detox- so pop over to her site and join in on the fun!  It's actually a really great time to do the 21 day detox because it will end right before T-Day.

Alrighty- truthiness, check.  Accountability, check check.  Now for something fun/frivolous!  We had a fun Halloween with my little Fairy Princess!  And as you can see, I think she had fun too!  (And no, S did not have any candy.  I did however let her have a pretty junky "dinner" of celery and peanut butter, and squash chips.  I figure it's still better than a sugar coma.)

That's it for today folks!  Hope you dig the changes I'm making, and if not, I apologize!  But I want to live my best life, and squeeze every ounce of joy and contentment and success I can out of this one.  Join me!  Tell me how you are going to try to live your best life!  XoXoGFG

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Spicy Cinnamon Roll Cookies- Lower Carb Recipe

A few months back I posted this recipe, for reaalllly yummy pecan cinnamon roll cookies.  They were sooooo yummy.  But, a bit too carby for me these days unfortunately.  So, back to the drawing board.  These new and improved cinnamon roll cookies have the same yummy smell and taste as a cinnamon roll, with none of the guilt (or mess/time in the kitchen) and would be great with coffee.  It makes four hefty sized cookies, and they are super low carb.  So diabetic folks out there, don't you worry!

Grain-Free, Sugar-Free Spicy Cinnamon Roll Cookies
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tbsp oil
1/4 cup preferred liquid sweetener
2 tsp vanilla

Mix your dry ingredients, and in a separate bowl, mix your wet.  Add wet to dry and form into balls.  Bake at 325 until golden brown.  Like I said, these get better after a day or two.  But you can't beat this recipe in terms of carbs and ease of preparation that's for sure!  As usual, I suggest baking on a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet.  Of course you could add pecans or another nut to this, or even top with some coconut cream icing.

What else is new chez GFG?  Well one of our favorite weekends of the year, KU Homecoming, was last weekend.  We had a blast enjoying the homecoming parade friday night, and even better was our trip to THE BEST PLACE ON EARTH, The Burger Stand at The Casbah in downtown Lawrence.  OMG.  Get yoself to The Burger Stand immediately if you are anywhere in the midwest region.  You will not be disappointed.  Want some delicious, local, 100% grassfed organic burgers?  With like, totally original combinations like avocado and habanero cactus jam, or brie, barbecue sauce, and bacon?  Or a to die for falafel burger?  This place is crazy.  They have duck fat fries people.  'Nuff said.  Here is a piccy of my amazing protein style kobe burger on a beet salad.

S thoroughly enjoyed herself and has been talking about "big floats" all week. 

Lastly, a no-recipe recipe for green bean salad. Pictured here. 
Throw green beans, grape tomatoes, blanched sliced almonds, chopped red onion, mayo, dijon, salt and pepper together, and you've got an awesome side dish, best served cold.

Adios gfg's!