September 27, 2013

Nutty for Coconut!

Coconut oil....how can I write about you without sounding like an overenthusiastic nut....lol....well, I can't so I won't even try!  Coconut oil has quickly become like liquid gold in our house, yes, we kind of worship it LOL.  The health benefits aside, its yummy!!!!  Yes, yummy! If in doubt give it that first day or two, a week if you're fussy, and it becomes an addiction, it replaces all cravings for sweets and junk foods and you become healthier in the process!  

Coconut oil is not absorbed the same way as other oils, its quickly converted by the liver into energy to be used by the brain and muscles, not stored as fat! Yes, you read right, a fat you can eat and it won't end up on your bum!  I feel the energy hit pretty quickly once I've eaten my dose and become brighter eyed and clearer of thought, nice feeling! I have also found I have more energy to burn since I've started taking it.  Not only that, but it is a superfood, it does amazing things for your body.  Just read from some of my favourite informative links...



I started off with 1 tablespoon for a week, and then 2, now I take between 2 -3 per day, depending on how many meals I smother it on.  There are so many recipes for using coconut oil.  But to make sure I've had my daily dose, I melt it a little in the jar, in hot water, measure out my dose, mix it with dedicated coconut, a little honey and some nuts, and yum!!!!  Such a satisfying treat!  Yes, I do mean treat!  I really do, don't worry, I had my doubts too, surely I'd gain weight, its going to be SO hard to eat that much oil every day...  Its why I had a jar of coconut oil sitting in my cupboard for 3 years, I threw it out when we moved house thinking I'd never use it, you know, one of those fads I bought the stuff for but never started and a year later, present day, it dawned on me....uh duh...coconut oil!!!



I'm a Pinterest addict, too, hehe, I've been pinning loads of healthy recipes to my board Delish and Nutrish, if you would like to take a look at some ideas feel free...

I smother it on baked potatoes, use it in pop corn, on my gluten free toast, recipes, meals, anything....its such a good replacement for the vegetable oils and butters I don't eat anymore as they add to inflammation levels in my body.
I've already lost kilos, and I'm eating more food, in just over a month of starting taking it! I'm on prednisolone for my adrenal gland failure, and haven't been able to shift my weight gain for the last 6 years, it is now shifting!  My blood sugars have dramatically decreased even though I've had type 1 diabetes these past 18 years since I was a teen, I have more energy, and my skin is so smooth, without applying moisturiser!  

Here is more detailed information. http://coconutoil.com/coconut-oil-weight-loss/

So coconut oil is free in our house, along with coconut milk, shredded coconut, coconut cream.  The big problem with going on restricted foods is not being able to cook a lot of things because key ingredients are missing, this has become a problem of the past.  Coconut can replace just about any form of dairy or fat in cooking, and it tastes great!!!  I honestly can't even tell its coconut anymore, I tasted the mild coconut flavour for about a week and then I was used to it, it tastes as good, or better than what it's replacing.  After eating a heavy, rich, fatty meal or dessert, I would always feel icky afterwards, or just plain guilty!!  I've said goodbye to that, those things don't exist when you use coconut, you just feel wonderful!!!!

I have started learning about oil pulling, but have only done it a couple of times and can't hold it for more than about 5 mins so far. I will let you all know how I go with it.

http://www.thewellnesswarrior.com.au/2012/04/oil-pulling-my-new-morning-ritual/

Some more great information, because coconut oil has so many other uses




TTFN and let me know if you are a coconut nut too :-) 

September 22, 2013

chocolate banana ice cream!

I'm addicted.... I need a bigger freezer or more mouths to feed lol. Making healthy ice cream and experimenting with different recipes is so much fun!

Soo here is today's effort, from this blog...

Vegan, dairy free, gluten free, and my version is sugar free.

http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/2011/04/28/vegan-almond-milk-ice-cream-3-recipes/

I substituted the sugar with Stevia granules but you could also add 1/4 cup of honey or maple syrup....there's an idea, yum!

It tastes yummy, smooth and delicious, but you do taste the banana in it.  I'll look to make a truer chocolate soon!
Probably tomorrow....teehee



Scrummylicious Coffee Ice Cream


One of the things I love about my new way of eating is I can make loads of desserts, cake, ice cream.....and eat them!  They taste as good as the real thing, only they are healthy and actually add to the process of nourishing and healing my body, reducing inflammation instead of adding to it..how good is that!  I grew up without desserts, Haha, I know, totally deprived!  My Mum was wanting the best for us, and limited sweets, we ate really well, but not rubbish foods or too much sugar. Its so twisted that I ended up with multiple chronic illnesses and spent a lot of my childhood sick with one thing or another...  But, I'm sure I would have been a lot worse if I hadn't been packed full of healthy meals each day, and looking after myself responsibly now, using moderation, would have proven more challenging without my nutritionally sound beginnings. Thanks Mum and your love of carrots teehee - you always made and still make the best meals xx

So, having type 1 diabetes these past 18 years, it wasn't a stretch to eat less sugar and fat, but the tragedy was, I love to bake!!!  Sooo much!!!!  I was in the kitchen from a child onwards, I made all the birthday cakes, so although I still baked occasionally,  but not a lot because of the blood sugar issues, and no matter how well my insulin pump works, I just wouldn't pack myself with sugar and overload my system.  So, back around to the point of this story, I loooove this new way of eating!!!  I can bake, I can make ice cream and experiment with recipes, I can do all the fun stuff I always wished I could without harming myself!

Here is my coffee ice cream, perfect for the anti inflammatory diet it's sugar free, gluten free, dairy free, don't let that fool you, its delicious!!!!  Much better than store bought, even the expensive stuff.  Its easy to make and cheap!!!!  I'm not sure if I am so used to coconut now (I worship the stuff, another story another time...) But I can't even taste it, it just tastes like a creamy gelati to me.

I started with the recipe on this site http://divinehealthfromtheinsideout.com/2011/04/chocolate-coconut-milk-ice-cream/
And I see she started with a recipe from another site, lol...its so much fun to re create...

Here is mine....

In a saucepan on low heat melt...
1/4 cup coconut oil
Then whisk in,
400 ml can coconut cream
1/4 cup honey
1 TSP vanilla
Pinch of salt
3-4 tsp instant coffee

Take off heat and whisk in 2 egg yolks, quickly, you don't want them to cook!  You can leave out the egg if you are keeping things egg free.  Next time I'll be brave and add another as the original chocolate recipe had up to 4.

Let this mixture cool in the fridge, really cold!  I learnt the hard way, chronic impatience and all!  My ice cream didn't set in the mixer for two reasons, the first being - because my ice cream maker is brand new, I was impatient to use it and even though the instructions read to freeze thoroughly, if you hear liquid inside, its not frozen....I chose to ignore the swoosh sound... *Looks the other way....* secondly, my mixtire wasn't chilled thoroughly, so I had to stick the half frozen ice cream in the freezer overnight! I make it a habit to learn from mistakes lol

When cool, pour in ice cream machine until ready! Yum!

Enjoy!  Make sure you chill your mixture! Lol Patience is a virtue my Mum always said :-)






September 20, 2013

another lemony coconuty concoction...

Its the season for lemons, and our neighbours are giving them away, literally, wheelbarrows on driveways, free lemons, lol. Luckily I love lemons and they go so well with coconut!  So, this slice is also delish, or maybe I'm just hungry, lol, honestly this new way of eating has me feeling hungry for the first time in....um....since I was a kid!  It's a weird feeling actually....I used to eat to feed my illnesses, or comfort, to feel good..well, taste bud good anyway.  I'm actually able to eat more of this sort of stuff and feel good about it so I'm in no way deprived, it's just spurring me on to research and make new recipes..the inner naturopath/dietitian in me is having a ball!!!  It's what I dreamed of doing when I was in high school when chronic auto immune illness interrupted... So, I'm loving learning and doing this now!  But who would have thought these healthy sweets could actually taste good huh!

Gluten free, dairy free, simple sugar free



I found this recipe at this site...

http://thecoconutmama.com/2013/09/triple-coconut-lemon-bars/

And for anyone looking for an excellent source for recipes and information, the coconut mama is awesome :-)

So, I did exactly what she did, except - I soaked my cashews for an hour in hot water.... Why? Hunger issues... Lol
I used dried dates, tripled the quantity and soaked them too.
I used a tablespoon of honey
And
A half cup coconut.

I baked it at 180C for 15 minutes fan forced oven

I also didn't wait till it had cooled.... Lol!

I bought a nifty little mini chopper from Big W yesterday for $15, the brand is Abode and it worked really well for this.  Saves me pulling out the big one and also saves the hassle of washing it all up too!

PS notice the sunshine streaming through the window on the slice? Yes you say? :-)  It's so nice to see some sun! I've been outside every moment its been out today, come on Spring, you can do it :-)

TTFN...off to think about dinner lol x S





September 18, 2013

Veggie Burgers...Mmmm

I've been making these veggie burgers for awhile now, they are sooo good for you and taste yummy too. I have one for lunch most days and feel so good for it.  I make up a big batch and freeze them so I can defrost them as I need.  Of course, the first day I make them I have them for dinner with a baked potato smothered in coconut oil, yum!!

Gluten free, dairy free, 
Veggie Burgers!

Ingredients...

375 g Bag of dried chick peas, soaked overnight and cooked
1 TBS Olive oil
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
Vegetables - you will need about 6 carrots or a half a butternut pumpkin.  Plus, I use whatever I've got in my kitchen that needs to be used...  In this version I've used 6 carrots, a red capsicum and 3 celery stalks, but zucchini would be wonderful too, anything that you enjoy eating really, just not anything too watery.
3 egg whites
1 tsp Paprika
1 TBS Mixed herbs
Salt and pepper to taste or a vegetable stock powder

How to make...
I pull out my Bullet Express food processor and on the grate side, blitz up the chick peas.  If you can mash them with a potato masher, do that, the burgers will hold together better this way, but, food processors are made for people with arthritis so I'm not ashamed to put mine to work or of my slightly grainy looking burgers :-)



Put them aside, and then using the same food processor, shred up the onion, garlic, and vegetables.

Heat the olive oil in a big fry pan, and cook up the onion, garlic and vegetables until soft.  Add the paprika, herbs and seasonings and let cool

Once cooled, mix in the chickpeas, and egg whites, mix well.



Grab medium sized handfulls of the mixture and form into balls.  You should get around 20.  Put them on a plate and refrigerate for at least an hour.



You can either fry these in a pan with a TBS of olive oil, about 5 minutes each side or grill them on high, about 8 mins each side.  Either way, press them down a little, but not too thin, you want them to be a little chunky otherwise they will fall apart on the first turning. Cook until brown and crispy, turn over and cook other side.

Done :-) :-)  These are such a yummy addition to my day, packed with vitamins, protein and sustained release energy, hope you enjoy!  xx S

September 16, 2013

coconut lemon bars...with a story...

Coconut Lemon Bars
Dairy free, Gluten Free, Nut free
I've been slowly adjusting to an anti inflammatory diet the past month.  After my rheumatologist basically told me I was a totally insane person for trusting in anything natural, I was even more determined to walk further down the natural path....take that rheumy! Lol.

Its funny, I began with psoriatic arthritis at 19, other auto immune problems at 14, and I've been told by so many well meaning people along the way, to change my diet, add coconut oil, loose the dairy and wheat...I think I'd been disillusioned so many times by wacky and expensive cures, I started ignoring...plus, what would I eat to comfort myself during pain and illness? And, I was really ill wasn't I, blood tests positive, worried doctors, serious medications, surely people this diet worked for weren't really sick like me....  I sure wish I'd listened earlier...so much of what we are told by doctors we take as truth huh.... Amazingly, I don't need the comfort food, I'm busier doing things, learning, and feeling empowered.  I feel more satisfied with food that is healing me instead of adding to my inflammatory immune response...

So, my synovial swelling has been intense, present and progressing and damaging joints for three years now since stopping the chemo cocktails. I will never go back to that way of life, they may have kept damage at bay, but made my life an all round hellish experience, and ironically, my entire pain levels more extreme, so, having accepted the lesser of two evils, sigh, willingly, I never said I'd lost my fight:-) Anti inflammatory diet....

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/21/inflammatory-foods-worst-inflammation_n_2838643.html

Within a month, my swelling has halved....I'm in tears of joy seeing creases in my fingers again, my stomach feels so good, its like I've unbloated and didn't know I was bloated, I'm not talking weight, even though I have lost weight, I'm talking inner slim, I can't help patting my stomach area it feels different, and like I'm standing taller or something too...my face is less puffy...

Energy, I have so much more!!!  Its incredible!  I have so much healing to do, a lot of years have gone in to the damage done, but I honestly didn't expect this sort of result...  Anyone who knows me, knows I'm about the full mind body spirit connection, its a lot of work, any of this sort of thing is, taking charge, responsibility for your own health, seems like a lot at first, but trust me, you feel so good, its worth every second, and you have more time to do more things, you aren't wasting time looking after yourself, its worth it, I realised I was worth it and you who are reading this, are worth it too :-)

So, after a month, I'm feeling a bit like something sweet!  I made this up today....its super yum!  I dare you to stop at a slice:-)

Ingredients for crust
2 1/2 TBS coconut oil
1 1/2 TBS rice malt syrup
1/2 cup gluten free flour, mine consists of maize, tapioca, and rice flours.
1 cup dessicated coconut
1 egg white
Pinch salt

Melt coconut oil over low heat in the stove.
Add rest of ingredients, except egg white, and mix well remove from heat.
Add egg white, stir well.
Press into a 9×9 inch baking pan lined with baking paper and give several stabs with a fork.
Bake at 180 C for 10 mins or until you see it browning a little, remove from oven.

Ingredients for filling
3 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
2 TBS rice malt syrup
2 TBS honey
2 TBS Stevia granules
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 TBS lemon zest
3 TBS dessicated coconut
1 TBS gluten free flour

Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and yolks until frothy, add rest of ingredients and whisk for another 2 or more minutes, you will need to use a spatula to help mix the sticky sugars from the base of the bowl.
Pour over crust base.
Bake at 180C for 15-20 mins, you will see it firm up and the sides begin to brown, its done:-)  My middle raised and cracked a bit, but the rest was smooth and lovely.

Let it cool....you won't though, so make sure you have another piece when its cool:-)

I had high doubts when putting this together, I'm really pleasantly surprised :-)  its not overpoweringly sweet and since I'm a type 1 diabetic, it doesn't make my blood sugar rise drastically, so doesn't make me feel tired and gross like other sweets do. There is no dairy, or wheat, or gluten, and only complex sugars.  Wonderful!

Credit.....
These are the recipes I adjusted mine from :-) thank you ladies :-)

http://flaxandhoney.com/2013/02/25/lemon-bars-grain-gluten-dairy-sugar-free-paleo/

http://www.againstallgrain.com/2013/05/10/luscious-lemon-bars-nut-free/

September 1, 2013

Suddenly it's Spring...

I do love winter, but since moving to a cooler climate, winters are longer... I was actually beginning to miss the sun and warm days!  This year has been especially cold and gloomy, so I've been really happy to see spring here. It's funny how suddenly it appeared, our flowering cherry tree has come into bloom literally over the last few days, it's truly magical to see :-) 
Here are some of my beauties, I love being able to grow these cool climate bulbs down here, I can't wait to see the tulips!
Wherever you are, enjoy this season of change, remember to stop and take some time to notice and enjoy it.
Springtime blessings x S








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