What Am I Eating?

I thought I would take a minute to show you guys some things that I’ve been eating!  These are all recipes from a book by Dr. Amy Myers called The Thyroid Connection.  While I’m not following her 28 day meal plan (I don’t have time to cook that much!), I am using her recipes for all of my dinners and most of my lunches.  Each meal I make serves four, and some serve six.  So Matt (my husband) and I will eat it for dinner and then we each will eat it for lunch a couple of days later.  So I’ve only been cooking for dinner, which has been nice.  And when I have time, I will prep some of the items on the weekend so they don’t take as much time during the week.  So far, everything I’ve made hasn’t taken long to cook, it’s just the cutting of veggies and such that seems to take the bulk of the time.  Oh, and I should also say, I’ve actually really liked the majority of the recipes, which I’ve kind of been surprised by, I must admit! Below are a few that we’ve had!

Citrus Shrimp over Red Leaf Lettuce Salad – We really liked this!

Pineapple Taco Salad with Grass-Fed Beef – This was one of my least favorites, only because I felt like it needed dressing or more oil.  I think if I made it again, I would actually crush some of the pineapple and throw it in a blender with some olive oil and apple cider vinegar to make a dressing.

Pear and Parsley Smoothie – I was VERY surprised by this because it tasted so good!

Apricot Chicken Salad – this did not call for a tortilla or wrap but it was really good on one!  I used a coconut wrap from Thrive Market.  The ingredients for the wrap are coconut meat, coconut water and coconut oil so it’s Stacy approved!

Turkey Meatballs over Spaghetti Squash with Tuscan Kale Pesto – another really good one but I also added a little extra olive oil to my “spaghetti”.

Seabass and Cucumber Seaweed Salad –  so I found out with this that what kind of seaweed you get actually matters… definitely make sure you use wakame seaweed!!

Blueberries and Cream Smoothie

Sweet Potato and Green Breakfast Hash – hands down my favorite!!

Mint Chocolate Brownies – these are actually not from Dr. Myers book, I got this from one of her social media outlets, just can’t remember which!  These have become a staple!  I get one each day as a dessert.  😊

Also, not pictured but a few other things that I’ve loved:

Grass-fed Beef and Veggie Breakfast Scramble

Coconut Chicken Curry (I had never had Curry and this was  SO GOOD)

Salmon with Zucchini Noodle Pesto and Garlic Butternut Squash

Wild-Caught Cod with Sage Parsnip Mash and Asparagus

Greek Lamb Burger with Coconut Tzatziki and Zucchini Half-Moons (I was so surprised at how much I liked this!! I’ve never had lamb before and this was really good!  The coconut tzatziki sauce was so delicious!)

I will post some more recipes as I go through the 10 weeks.  I’m also going to use some recipes from The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott, NTP.  There are several in there that look really good! I look forward to trying new things throughout the 10 weeks!  And I can’t wait to share them with you!

Do you have AIP recipes that you love and are willing to share?  Or do you need help navigating your nutrition for your autoimmune disorder?  Shoot me an e-mail!

Day 1 of the Rest of My Life

So day 1 of my 10 week journey has come and gone…

Here’s what I’ve learned so far!

1. I LOVE coffee even more than I thought I did 🙌🏼

2. I rely on my bulletproof coffee…even more than I thought I did 😩

3. I don’t eat as well….as I thought I did…LOL

4. A dollop of coconut cream on my smoothie is nothing like a dollop of whipped cream 🤨

5. I love fat and I love nuts and it’s SO hard to not grab a homemade treat made with them 😬

6. I’m kinda better in the kitchen than I thought I was… I make a killer homemade apple and cinnamon turkey sausage patty, some pretty fabulous homemade yogurt, and a really good shrimp salad 🥗💃🏼

7. I see why people don’t think twice about grabbing convenience food items or eating the same thing every day for lunch and breakfast… actually making a different home-cooked meal for every meal and snack takes a lot of time….but I WILL master and simplify the process by the end of the ten weeks! (and I will share tips and tricks along the way) ✅

8. Deciding to clean up your eating while simultaneously being sick has proven to not be so easy… I just wanna eat what I wanna eat 🤧😷😩

9. I can already tell that I will be doubling, at the minimum, each of the recipes that I make cause I ain’t got time to cook a dinner-type meal three times a day 😳 (I believe this is one of the MANY reasons that Americans eat the way they do…. women used to be at home all day to cook meals so convenience food wasn’t necessary.  Now-a-days it may be more common for women to work than not, so convenience food is in high demand)

10. Trying to do two “lifestyles” at the same time is not as easy as it looked on paper!  I am an integrative nutrition health coach, as well as a macros nutrition coach, so I follow a macros diet set individually for me (meaning I have to hit a certain number of fat, protein, and carbohydrates each day).  Trying to follow Dr. Amy Myers 28 day meal plan, using her recipes, while trying to make them fit within my macros, isn’t quite as easy as I thought it would be! So my priority for now is to eat the proper foods and then if I can make them fit within my macros, well that’s just a bonus. 😊

THOSE are probably my top 10 things that I’ve learned today!  I know that each new day will pose challenges that I wasn’t prepared for but I also know, with each new day, I will be healthier than the day before (I have to be, as sick with a cold as I am now! 😂) and I will be stronger than yesterday (as we say in the Crossfit world).

Until tomorrow when I have my first IV!!

**What I ate today (all recipes from Dr. Amy Myers, The Thyroid Connection):

Sweet Potato & Greens Breakfast Hash with Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Sausage

Blueberries and Cream Smoothie

Citrus Shrimp over Red Leaf Lettuce Salad

Miscellaneous AIP friendly snacks, tea, and lemon water

Can’t Have Pizza on an Elimination Diet?? 😩 Well, of course you can! Here’s how!!

While I’m a huge supporter of eating good, whole foods as much as possible, sometimes you need a little something fun, a little “cheat”, especially if you’re just getting used to eating for your health, not eating for fun!

My daughter is on an elimination diet which takes out several things including gluten and dairy. So when movie night shows up at school every couple of months and they are serving pizza, she can’t have it…and it breaks my heart and I hate it for her. 😥 So I have started making her a version of pizza that she CAN have. This “elimination diet approved” pizza has allowed her to feel normal! Check this video out to see how I make it!! (**Not all elimination diets are the same. Check with your doctor or health coach to see if this would work for you.)

https://healingmyhashi.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/img_1322.mov

If you need help navigating the waters of an elimination diet, e-mail me here. I would love to help and support you!!

Spring is in Bloom and Summer is Just Around the Corner!

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With Spring finally here and summer around the corner,  I wanted to talk about seasonal crops and their nutritional value.  (*Little side-note, these are mid-western crops.) Some of the ones that are going to be popping up and ready to go in June are arugula, radishes, mustard greens, kale, lettuce, spinach, green onions, kohlrabi, zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli, beets, parsley, and chard.  Wheew!!  That’s a lot of veggies and greens!! 🙂  I LOVE this time of year because there are so many greens to choose from!

I know several of these, especially the greens, can be overwhelming at first.  You don’t know how to use them, they don’t sound appetizing, etc.  Because greens can be the most intimidating, we’re going to talk about those today.  There are two easy ways you can enjoy some of these greens.  First is in a smoothie.  I love throwing together some frozen berries, mix in Sun Warrior’s grain free plant-based protein powder, add in some superfoods (like cacao nibs/powder, flax/chia seeds, maca powder, etc.), throw in some sea vegetables like nori or dulse (you can’t taste them and they are good for those with thyroid conditions), and then of course, add in my favorite greens!!  However, I highly recommend you pick a piece of the green leaf first, taste it, and decide if the flavor is too strong for you.  Most of these will taste the exact same way in a smoothie.  For example, I will not put arugula or kale in my smoothie.  They both have pretty bold tastes that I don’t care for.  Spinach is PERFECT in a smoothie!  It doesn’t have much of a taste when eating it raw so you can’t taste it at all in a smoothie!

The second easy way is to saute them.  My favorite of all the greens mentioned above is spinach and chard, although I haven’t yet discovered a green that I don’t mind sauteed.  Even the ones that have pretty strong smells and pretty bitter tastes raw, have a much milder taste when sauteed.  Here is a quick and easy recipe:

EASY GREENS RECIPE
1/2 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
1 tsp Better than Bouillon, chicken flavored
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
2 cups greens, diced, stems separate from leaves IF the stems are a hard stem (like a chard).
Salt & Pepper to taste

Turn your burner to medium, add in the oil.  Once the oil is hot, add in your onions and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.  If you are working with a green that has hard stems, such as a chard, you’ll want to put those in next.  Let those cook about 3-5 minutes (I prefer five because I prefer mine to be a little softer).  Then add the rest of the ingredients, cooking for another 3 minutes or until the leaves are wilted.  Bam, you’re done!  You can eat these as a side dish or throw additional vegetables on top.  I like to eat spinach with my sweet potato and eggs in my pre workout but I love to eat chard by itself.  If you are making some homemade soup, you can always add ins some spinach and kale, adding a lot of nutrients without changing the taste of the soup!

As always, enjoy finding ways to add in some of these delicious crops whenever you can.  It’s always more nourishing to your body to eat crops that are in season.  Oh, and there’s the added benefit of it being cheaper on your pocket book! 🙂

For additional benefits of eating in season, check out this link!!
https://www.rebootwithjoe.com/benefits-of-eating-seasonally/

Struggling to Give up Soda Pop? Try this!

It’s been years since I had my daily Diet Coke! I could go into all of the reasons why I gave it up, but I don’t think I need to! Now-a-days, we all pretty much know that pop isn’t good for you. (Just in case 😂 causes dehydration, plaque build-up on teeth, SUGAR, ASPARTAME, phosphoric acid, caffeine, possible heavy metal toxicity, and high fructose corn syrup 😳) But, I’ve always missed the carbonated beverage. I got hooked on Zevia (a “better” pop) and I have been drinking that in the afternoons for a couple of years. But, fighting an autoimmune disease, I wanted to give up drinking out of an aluminum can because of the possible toxicity exposure. So, I did some research and found out I could basically make my own beverage! Check out this video to see how you too can give up your pop and make your own healthy version!

Are you looking for support on your autoimmune journey? E-mail me here!

This Can’t be Grain-free! It Tastes too Good!!

“Your child needs to go through an elimination diet.”

These words can be devastating for a lot of people to hear.  You get this long list of foods your child needs to avoid and if you eat all of them on the regular, you could be in freak-out mode!  Especially if you have no idea how to replace some of your child’s favorite snacks, breakfast and bakery items. Well, this blog is about to help you out when it comes to replacing some of those gluten containing items that our kids love!

Cassava might be one of my new favorite things!!  For a family that is trying to avoid grains, Cassava flour can be a lifesaver when wanting a bakery-type item!! Cassava, or yuca root, is a starchy, tuberous root that can be eaten whole by baking, boiling, or frying.  You can also ferment them.  They have been compared to a white potato but they are known to be low on the glycemic index, making them ok for diabetics.   But, my personal favorite is cassava flour.

You can use cassava flour as a substitute in any recipe calling for regular flour, which is what I love!  We’ve made tortillas or wraps with the flour and they have turned out perfect!  We make our own “chicken nuggets” for our kids to have for lunch or dinner.  We use a combo of almond flour and cassava flour to make them.  I’ve always used almond flour but adding the cassava gives it more of the “fried chicken” breading that we like.  It also has the added benefit of being lower in fat than the almond flour.

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My FAVORITE tortilla chips! They are so light and crispy!! They also have lime, but I’m out! 🙂

And thank goodness for the companies that are amazing at creating products made from cassava flour!  Siete’ Foods makes the best tortilla chips!!!  I buy three bags a month from Thrive Market and usually get one in each flavor.  And yes, I 100% take these chips with me when we eat at a Mexican restaurant…no shame here!  While eating out isn’t the best for you, I also don’t want to be a recluse and always stay home!  So taking these chips has allowed Paisley and I to enjoy chips and salsa (we don’t eat corn), which we both love.

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Mine and Paisley’s favorite snack chips!

Plant Snacks makes some amazing Cassava Crunch chips that I LOVE to snack on!!  They come in a couple of different flavors but the plain ones are probably my favorite.  However, I have to be honest and say that I haven’t tried all of the flavors yet.  They have become my go-to Friday and Saturday night snack and I’m lucky if I don’t eat the whole bag in one sitting.  Paisley loves these chips as well, so they are PICKY-kid approved!  I also get them from Thrive Market.

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Simple Mills oh how I LOVE thee!!!!  This company saved me when my daughter first went on her elimination diet!  They use cassava, but also include some other ingredients in their mixes.  But every ingredient, which isn’t many, is something you know and is of quality.  This company has so much to offer, from crackers and bread mixes, to cupcakes and muffins… they even have frosting!!  If you follow me on insta, then you know how Simple Mills’ cupcake mix and frosting saved my butt on the day of Paisley’s school Valentine’s party!! (See pic above!)

Bottom line, if you or a family member needs to be gluten, even grain-free, try out cassava flour and companies that use it!  It’s wonderful for giving you options when you don’t always want meat, fruits, veggies, and plants and comes with the added benefit that it’s not high in fat like an almond flour.

Oh, and did I mention that cassava has nutritional benefit as well?? 🙂  It can help with inflammation and helps to balance your gut flora, among other things.  So, not only can you enjoy some treats but you can do it in a health way!  Who doesn’t want that?!?!

 

For help and support with leading a gluten and grain free life, shoot me an e-mail!  I would love to chat with you!

Experimenting for Paisley’s Elimination Diet & Props to Some Companies

My eight year old, Paisley, has started an elimination diet. 😩😩😩 (This is where I try not to blame myself for the genetics that I seem to have passed on 🙄🔫) She has a couple different kinds of rashes, gets sick fairly easy (as in the throw-up kind of sick 😷 🤢) and has been dealing with acid reflux since she was a baby. Her doctor has ran some labs but because her immune system is so hyped up and completely focused on something else going on in her body, her labs came back almost spotless. We already know that she has issues with dairy and we’re pretty positive that she has an egg allergy. So for those things to come back spotless, we knew it wasn’t right. So… Welcome to the wonderful world of an elimination diet. 😭

I knew that we were going to have to do this so around the holidays I tried to start pulling out some of the foods that are on the common allergens list. Those are gluten, soy, corn, dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, oranges, and bananas. Basically anything that a kid wants to shove in their mouth has at least one of these ingredients! (I was so surprised by oranges and bananas!! Who knew?!?!) We are choosing to allow her nuts for now. The only exception is peanuts because most children who have an egg allergy are also allergic to peanuts. We’re not 100% sure she has an egg allergy but we are pretty positive. So for precautions, we are avoiding peanuts. We don’t think she has an allergy to any other nuts but more importantly, all the things I want to make her that will help her feel somewhat normal, seem to include almond flour.

When the holidays were here, I knew treats were going to be involved. So I decided to try to make a cookie. I also wanted to make it be a little bit better for you so that I wouldn’t feel so guilty eating it myself or allowing my kids to eat it.

Now keep in mind, I never encourage anyone to eat a bunch of sugary treats. Even though these cookies are a little better, they are still full of sugar so they’re still not something that I would encourage anyone to over eat on.

At Christmas, the peanut butter blossom cookies are one of my absolute favorite. I wanted to make them this year so I decided to experiment. I made a batch following the exact recipe (for those who have no dietary restrictions) and I made a batch that had better ingredients. These are the regular recipe.

Sooooooo good!!!!

But for Paisley’s dietary restrictions, I changed out several ingredients. I swapped out white flour with cassava flour (my new favorite), applesauce for the egg, coconut sugar for granulated, almond butter for peanut, almond milk for milk, and sea salt for salt. Only thing I might try next time is butter for shortening or Nutiva’s shortening made with palm fruit oil and virgin coconut oil. Unfortunately, I did not have either on hand. These turned out pretty amazing and you wouldn’t know the difference by looking at them!

But because Paisley isn’t able to have the Hershey kisses, I substituted those with Enjoy Life chocolate chips. These turned out pretty well too and Paisley approved!

Before I move on, I have to give some props to a particular company, SIMPLE MILLS! I cannot tell you how much easier it’s been to do this diet because of them. I love that there are only a few ingredients in each item they sell, and more importantly, you know what every ingredient is. There’s nothing that you can’t pronounce on the ingredient list and I absolutely love that! They make their foods with none of the common allergens (with the exceptions of almond flour, of course) and that has been huge for us! When you are someone that is used to eating grains, it’s very hard to remove them cold turkey. Simple Mills has made this process so much easier!!

Their company sells things like muffins, pizza dough, cookies, pancake and waffle mix, crackers, etc. All things that typically you would have to give up on an elimination diet. But this brand has been huge in helping me substitute some of the items Paisley was having on a regular basis.

Bob’s Red Mill…another company that I should give props too. We use their almond flour, coconut flour, pizza crust mix, pancake mix, and the best, their egg replacer. There are some recipes that I just can’t find the right substitute for eggs and their egg replacer is my saving grace! Another thing that we’ve experimented with is pancakes. Both of my girls love them so figuring out a way to make them without gluten and eggs was a must. I’ve used both Simple Mills and Bob’s Red Mill and truly have enjoyed them both.

This particular time, I used Bob’s for my pancake mix. I used coconut oil for my oil, added a little vanilla, and for the eggs, I used a combination of things. I used the entire mix so it called for multiple eggs. For half of the eggs, I used applesauce. Because we were out of actual applesauce, I used my kids applesauce pouches and they worked just fine! For the other half of eggs, I used 1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon of white vinegar per egg.

My girls like chocolate chip pancakes so I opted for the Enjoy Life dark chocolate morsels. Enjoy Life also makes their products with none of the common allergens… Which makes this mom super excited! For syrup, I would love it if my girls would use 100% pure maple syrup but, of course, they have to be picky and won’t eat it. So, I use the Log Cabin brand and use their all natural table syrup. It tastes like pancake syrup but does not contain any corn syrup. The pancakes turned out great and we all love them!

I’ve actually enjoyed the challenge of making things that Paisley can eat that aren’t made with any allergens. It’s forced me to be a little more creative than normal and I actually get excited when I make something and it turns out! 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 I would prefer that she eat lean meats, nuts, vegetables, and berries and then cooking would not really be required (except for the meat, of course). 😬 However, she is an American kid raised in the American culture and we definitely have not enforced good eating habits. 🤷🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️ I am hoping that we can continue to work on better food choices but in the meantime, finding substitutes for the common allergens, and choosing better ingredients for the treats that she likes, will help us continue to make steps in that direction.

Until next time…

Morning Coffee ☕️

I love coffee. I mean I really LOVE coffee. So when I felt like my morning cup of joe was potentially a driving factor for my anxiety, and after a couple of years fighting myself on it, I gave up and decided to stop drinking I️t.

Not drinking coffee only lasted for a few days. I literally found myself walking in circles not knowing what to do because my coffee, and my morning routine, was gone. At that point I decided I wasn’t giving I️t up.

So I started drinking my coffee again, but I opted for decaf instead of caffeinated. I cannot begin to even tell you how much this helped my anxiety from day 1 of giving up the caffeine! I️t was crazy! Yes, I miss the boost in the morning (but I️ don’t miss the crash after) and sometimes I will have a half-caf in the afternoon, but how much less anxiety I have makes I️t completely worth I️t! ** So giving up caffeine was half my battle. The other half has been decreasing my sugar intake as well. And one of the places I was getting excess sugar was in my creamer. So lately, I’ve been doing my own version of Bulletproof coffee. *** I️ call I️t Bulletproof coffee but I️t really isn’t all that close. 😂 I thought I would share my version of this because I know lots of people who have a hard time giving up their lattes and their creamers. I️ love sugar so if I feel this is sweet enough, I promise I️t is!

My recipe:

I️ love a lot of coffee, I’m not going to lie. So I make about 20 oz of coffee. I fill my Yeti up and then have some left for a cup. My Yeti stays perfectly hot while I drink my first cup. 😊 But you can make this for any amount of coffee. Speaking of, as far as coffee goes, picking an organic, whole bean is best. Unfortunately, I don’t always have the time (or the patience), so we have ground coffee and a Keurig. After my coffee is brewed, I put I️t in a blender. I use a Vitamix and to be honest, I could write a whole blog on my Vitamix and what I do with I️t! And yes, before you ask, I️t has to be blended, not just stirred. That’s what helps to give I️t it’s “frothiness”.

Once I have my coffee in the blender, I add a tsp of coconut oil. I usually use Nutiva coconut oil. You want to make sure you use virgin or unrefined, cold-pressed. You can add up to 1 Tbsp, which I would much prefer, but as I said, I do count my macros so I keep an eye on my fats. Plus, adding much more than my 1 tsp would prevent me from wanting to eat (fat helps with satiety), and food is fuel! As you see above, I also put in a half scoop of PlantFusion chocolate protein. I always feared plant-based proteins because I thought they would taste “grassy” but this doesn’t at all! I️t actually is really good.

Once I have both those added to my coffee, I blend I️t on high for about :30. As it’s blending, I add a little bit of almond milk to it (I used to love lattes and this make me think of a latte). I don’t have an exact amount, but if I had to guess, I would say it’s about 1/4 of a cup. Turn the blender off after about :30 and you got yourself a fabulous cup of morning coffee!

Let me know if you try this or what your version of Bulletproof looks like! My next version, I will be adding Young Living’s peppermint oil to make a peppermint mocha! I can’t wait to try this for Christmas!!

** I should mention that coffee wasn’t the only thing that I changed. I also reached out to MacrosLab to change my nutrition. That also had a powerful affect on how I fueled my body creating more energy. Reach out to http://www.macroslab.com for more information and ask for Coach Stacy

*** For the actual recipe for Bulletproof coffee, click this link https://blog.bulletproof.com/how-to-make-your-coffee-bulletproof-and-your-morning-too/