One Year

Today is the one-year anniversary of me being grain-free.  Back when I first started, I called it Primal.  But more on that in a minute.

I didn’t know what it was going to be like when I started.  I know this is crazy to say, because it seems obvious.  But when I started, it seemed crazy to me.  Even though I was doing it, I had NO IDEA what it would look like.

The first day of being Primal, I thought I was going to die.

Not really.

It turns out I had picked a really bad day to start, as it was a meal day at church that week.  I started the day with a smoothie, brought some carrot sticks to church with me, and then the only grain-free dishes at the meal were salads.  NO PROTEIN!  Man, I went home HUNGRY!

(Should I be worried that I can recall what I ate exactly one year ago?  You know, I won’t worry about it.)

For the first month is was difficult, and it was something I really had to think about.  I ate a lot of ground beef.  And a small amount of really dark chocolate.

The first time that I went “off” and had grain was one night when we went out for pizza.  I could have just ordered a salad, but I really wanted pizza.  So I ate the pizza.  That night, I woke up in the middle of the night, and didn’t fall back asleep for 2 hours.  I believe I had a mild stomach ache.  And I actually had to go look for my peppermint oil.

And that’s when I realized all of the symptoms that I had been having that had disappeared.

I was happier.  I slept whole nights.  I didn’t have nearly the number of stomach aches/upsets that I used to have.  I rarely, if ever, woke up in the middle of the night feeling sick.  I had forgotten the last place I had had my peppermint oil, since I hadn’t needed to use it in so long.  Previously I had always known where it was.  It had practically permanent residence in my room.  If it wasn’t there, it was in my purse.  Now it has taken up permanent residence in the basement.

Over the next few months I had times where I ate more grain, and times where I ate less grain.  I ate a lot of grain and other bad stuff in December.

So I decided to cut out all dairy, bad fats, seeds, nuts, nightshades, and berries (to aid digestion), in addition to being strictly grain-free and soy-free.  It was hard.  Very hard.  Although I felt better in some respects, I started eating more, and more often.  I gained the smallish amount of weight that I had lost.  I couldn’t go without snacking.

I only did that for three weeks before I started eating nuts, seeds, nightshades, and berries again.  It took me awhile to reteach my body not to crave food when I wasn’t hungry.

During this whole time I also struggle with the terms Primal and Paleo.

First of all, I wasn’t strictly either.

Second of all, I don’t agree with the philosophy behind either.

So I stopped saying Paleo/Primal (except, maybe, in regards to classifying and finding recipes) and started saying grain-free, and even gluten-free.

(I had really resisted the gluten-free label for awhile, since there is a difference between gluten-free and the way I eat.)

I try to be grain-free most of the time, and I have made it a goal to be gluten-free for six solid months.

Now I am contemplating going completely dairy-free for awhile.  I am still struggling with some eczema, and believe that the dairy may be the root of the problem.

But I am so thankful for the healing that the Lord has provided through being grain-free.

Love,
Allison

Learning

I am really enjoying listening to the Healthy Life Summit!  The talks that I have listened to have been AWESOME, and I look forward to listening to more.

Check it out here.

Healthy Life Summit 2013

NOTE:  Please use discretion when listening to things.  This may not be appropriate for all ages.  If you are under your parent’s authority, please make sure that they are O.K. with you listening to this before you do.  Don’t just listen to it because I recommend it.

I’m lovin’ it!

The Valentine’s Day Incident and Herbed Rolls

I was trying to be the “good” babysitter, even though I wasn’t really babysitting.  I had just made a fresh batch of chocolate cupcakes, and, since we were going to watch a movie while Mom and Dad watched theirs (Valentine’s date), I thought I would be fun and let my siblings have cupcakes in the basement.

But I had this feeling of apprehension as I put some cupcakes on a plate.  They were chocolate…but hey, we had eaten other desserts in the basement without incident.  What difference would cupcakes be? Still.

I even made Meiling and Noah use forks.  Just to be safe.  Little did I know…

I had unwrapped Meiling’s cupcake and given it to her on a plate, and was working on prepping Noah’s, when suddenly their was a commotion.

Lucy had a cupcake – a chocolate one, at that – in her mouth.  Drake was doing his best to prevent her from eating it, while holding her.

I hastily set down Noah’s cupcake and grabbed the cupcake top (she wasn’t lucky enough to grab the whole thing) out of her mouth.  I squeezed as much frosting out of her “beard” as I could, then let her go.

“Take her upstairs!” I said to Drake, as I protected the cupcake-laden area of the floor.  Of course the cupcake had landed frosting-side down.  I sent Noah upstairs for a bowl (also, the frosting-side-down had landed right in the middle of the toy cars and road rug that were all over the floor) to put the dirty cars in.

And then we started laughing.  And laughing.

“Well,” I said to Drake, “At least her breath smells better now!”

There was just something so funny about the whole business.  I had to go interrupt Mom and Dad.  And, laughing, tell them the whole thing.

Lucy had hopped up on Meiling’s lap, since Meiling was sitting on a low chair, and snatched the cupcake right off the plate.

The little stinker.

Lucy didn’t ingest enough chocolate to make her sick, and we got the ensuing mess cleaned up quickly and got our movie rolling shortly.

 

Recently I picked up The Joy of Gluten-Free Sugar-Free Baking at the library.  I was really thrilled, since it uses all sorts of nut and seed flours.  I tried one of their roll recipes, and they turned out wonderfully!  Their waffle recipe was AWESOME, also.  I am hoping to try another recipe before I return the book, and before the week is out.

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My rolls

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Snow and Paleo Biscuits

Here is another “mixed” post – food and something else.  Funny how that happens.  But I guess that is the way my life is.  🙂

I saw a recipe for Paleo biscuits a few months ago.  I was intrigued.  But 6 egg whites?  I really don’t like using only half of the egg.

I was reminded of these last week when I made some regular biscuits.  And today I tried them.

And I was pleasantly surprised.

They have a different texture, and a different flavor than regular biscuits, but I still really enjoyed them.  It was lovely to have something to spread butter and jam on again.  Mmmm…

When I had the dough all mixed up, I didn’t think that it would work.  It didn’t really stick together.  Even when I scooped it into the muffin pans and tried to press them together, they still crumbled.  But once they were baked, they stuck together fairly well.  As my family can attest, they were a bit crumbly, so I just spread the butter and jam on top instead of putting it inside.  (They were enjoying watching me eat one at dinner, as I tried as hard as I could to have it crumble only into my mouth.)

Here is where you can find the recipe.  I might try to add some salt next time, but I am not sure how that will alter how they rise.  Note:  I am not familiar with this website, and do not claim to know or endorse the other content on this site.  Over and out.

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Yep.  Pretty good.

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See?  All gone.  🙂

It snowed on Saturday.  A good, thick snow.  Lovely.

But, as usually happens here in the Midwest, the temperature rose to 50*F, and it was melting.  *Sniff*  I like the snow.

Anyways, I was able to take a few photos of it before it totally melted away.

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What I Want to Eat When it’s February (and More!)

Hi!

It’s me, Allison!

(It feels like so long since I have been on here that feel like I need to reintroduce myself.)

I’m still here.

Really.

What’s up?

Not a whole lot exciting or new here.  Just school.  And my midwifery course.  It has been so wonderful!  I love it.  I am wrapping up (or should be – but I am blogging :)) the first nutrition module, and enjoying it heartily.  It’s been great.

A few days ago I came down with a little bit of a cold (this is starting to sound like the story of my life, isn’t it?  It really isn’t, though).  I have a little sore throat and a little congestion, and a LOT of tired.  So this afternoon I ended up taking a nap.  Hopefully it will help me feel better faster.

When I woke up, I glanced at the clock, and it was time to start dinner!  Still rather groggy, I got up to head to the kitchen.

Then Mom came in.  And she basically said, “We have all these leftovers.  I would be so much happier (and I think it would be better) if you didn’t make dinner and we just ate those.”

So I am not making dinner.  Which makes me really happy, since I am still a little groggy.

So I thought I would post.

 

I have been thinking.  (Again, I try to do this once in a while.)  About what I want to eat when I am back to eating “normal-ish” things.  After I introduce the things I haven’t been eating slowly.  And these are some of the things I have been craving/wanting/thinking about.

1.  Brownies.  A whole pan (NOT!).  There is an AWESOME looking recipe in Practical Paleo.  I really want to try it (both making and eating!)

2. Baconaise.  Again, another recipe that is in Practical Paleo.  We went to a friend’s home, and they made an AWESOME broccoli salad with it.  And I want it again.  And it might be fun to try some other things with baconaise. (Tuna salad?  Egg salad? Any suggestions?  It has to be grain-free.)

3.  Egg casserole.  And quiche.  Something different for breakfast.  I’m getting a little tired of leftover meat.

4. Cheese.  Cheese sticks.  I miss it.

5.  Sun-dried tomatoes.  I have a jar in the fridge, and I think they would be good on a salad.

6.  A faux-Chipotle meal.  Keep thinking about it.  And I really want to try to imitate their steak.  I will say it again:  I LOVE CHIPOTLE!  Especially the cheese.  Don’t ask.

7.  Zucchini linguine noodles with tomato sauce.  And cheese!

8.  Cake.  Not sure where this craving is coming from, because I usually am not that big on cake.  Maybe because I want a baked good?

9.  Paleo French toast, like I made 2 days before I started this.  It was good.

10.  Chocolate chip cookies.  Need I say more?

11.  Peanut butter cookies.  Maybe with chocolate chips added in.

12.  A peanut butter spoon.

13.  A large peanut butter spoon with chocolate chips.

14.  Quinoa.  I want it again.  This has been even longer – several months since I had it last.

15.  Cookies, in general.  I haven’t made that many grain-free cookies.  And I need some.  (Yes, I do know the difference between “want” and “need.”  This IS a need.)

16.  Some sort of really good bar thing with a bunch of ooey-gooey toppings.  With caramel.

Well, that is it for right now.

If you have ANY suggestions of things that I should make (and eat!) when I get off this diet, I would LOVE to hear!

Well, off to work on that nutrition module.

Love,

Allison

Well, That’s Just What Happens

I was hoping/planning to post a great post about the new year, and new stuff in the new year.

But that just isn’t going to happen.

Today, at least.

So you are going to just get this (whatever “this” turns out to be).

After reading a Paleo cookbook, I decided that I should go on a short-term stricter diet.  It consists of this:  no grain, legumes, nuts, seeds, nightshades, and eggs.  Oh, and low sugar.  And good oils.

(And all that jazz.)

I started yesterday.  January 1st, right?  Great time to start these things.

But.

I am craving sweet.

Let me rephrase.

I am REALLY WANTING something chocolaty/sweet.

REALLY BAD.

Well, I was just plain wanting something chocolaty, like a chocolate pudding.  But I don’t have any avocados.  So I was looking online for a coconut milk based chocolate pudding that doesn’t have eggs.

And I looked, and looked.  But I didn’t see one.

So I started scrolling through LOTS of amazing-looking dessert recipes.

Looking at all that dessert (and thinking about it, too) made me want it even MORE.

That’s how I ended up at the above state.  (REALLY WANTING something sugary/chocolaty.)

That’s what I get for looking at all those dessert pictures and recipes.

I guess that’s just what happens.

And the only thing that I found that is semi-fast, is all of the above free, and that I have the ingredients for, is chocolate fudge.

(My brother Drake just went over to get a drink, and picked up the tall orange cup that is often his.  He asked whose it was, but no one answered that it was theirs.  Right after he had taken a mouthful, Noah pipes up.

“Oh.  That one’s mine.”

Drake immediately spat the water out and dumped the cup,  and then grabbed his own.

It was really funny.  Truly.  You would have had to been here, though.)

So I want to make chocolate fudge.  And I want to eat it, too.

But the chocolate chips that I have aren’t exactly paleo.  Basically, they are not great.  They have whey.

BUT I REALLY WANT SOME CHOCOLATE!  And not plain chocolate.  A CHOCOLATE DESSERT!

And now let’s mix in complication #2.

My family has been passing around the flu.

Drake just got over it, Noah has it now, and two others may be coming down with it (not including me).

And I should be trying to NOT get it.

I am still thinking about bending the rules on my diet to take some Master Tonic (it has peppers – nightshades).  And I know that the sugar will weaken my immune response.  And I am still fighting to get over a cold.

Life can be a bit difficult, and crazy.

 

I think I am going to go make me some fudge.

 

Love,
Allison

Branson, Winter 2012–Part 1

We spent a long weekend in Branson, and arrived home this Monday.  We went to a few shows, some of us rode a zip line, and we hung out.  It was a lovely time, just getting to chill together.

We drove down to Branson on Thursday, arriving around 4 p.m.  After unpacking and having dinner at Red Lobster, we went and saw the Chinese acrobats at the Shanghai Circus.  Very fun!

While we were at Red Lobster, I decided that it would be fun to take pictures of the food that I ate out at restaurants.  A fun thing to do for somebody who loves food, right?  Well, I followed this up by forgetting my camera the next day (which meant that I didn’t get any photos of that meal), and eating my entire meal at the next restaurant before I remembered that I should have taken a picture.  The third time I didn’t even think about taking a picture.  In fact, I didn’t realize that I missed the third meal until now.  I’m real great at remembering to take pictures of my food, eh?  I wonder what would happen if I tried to do a 365 – it would turn into a 100, if I remembered that often!  😛

On Friday, we went and saw Twice Adopted (it was great!) in the morning, then spent some time walking around downtown Branson.  We had lunch at a place down there, and I shared some AWESOME tomato basil soup with Mom.  I have to recreate that soon.  It was so good.  We spent the evening at our condo being together.

We also bought some Pop-Tarts.  Now, for all my trying to eat healthy, I LOVE POP-TARTS!  I so greatly enjoyed eating Pop-Tarts over the weekend.  Mmmmm…

Now for the photos.  I forgot my camera on Friday, for which I was most sad.  😦  Most of these are from Thursday, and a few are from Friday night.  During intermission at the New Shanghai Circus, Drake and I entertained ourselves with self-portraits, portraits, and random shots.  I sure had a blast with those, and I hope you enjoy them, too!

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Waiting for food

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I ordered the four-course feast, or something like that.  It was SO GOOD!  Creamy potato soup to start it off…

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…and then a salad

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The faces Drake often makes for me when I point that camera at him.

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What?

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ARRRRGH!

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Love him – he’s just so funny

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Meiling being funny – I’m not sure how to caption these

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I think they speak for themselves

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My main course, minus the shrimp, which I ate before I remembered to take a picture.  Sound familiar? 🙂

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Dessert – a brownie.  It was very good, despite the fact that it had too much chocolate and caramel syrups

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We drove through a Christmas light display before going to the Chinese acrobat show

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Meiling 🙂

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At intermission

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One of those moments

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Fun with the lights

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Little Peanut hands

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Toe shoes

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Now here begins the random self-portraits

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Siblings

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I know I said this before, but he is SO MUCH FUN

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Helooooooo

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Rows of chairs, red ones specifically, are fun

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Drake had a turn with the camera and took a few photos of yours truly. 🙂

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Now, photos from Friday night.

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Dad purchased this kit to mix your own chip flavors.  He likes chips.  I like him. 🙂

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Drake, making his epic face

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The chips, all ready to eat

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Playing games

Grain-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

I should be blogging about our recent lovely trip to Branson.  We had a great time – seeing several shows and just hanging out (and we bought POP-TARTS!  I LOVE Pop-Tarts!).

But.

(Isn’t it interesting what a big difference that one little word makes?)

I cooked a lot of food this afternoon.  French Onion Soup.  Chicken Marsala. And Grain-Free Chocolate Cupcakes.

I have recently gotten several Paleo cookbooks from the library and have had fun perusing them.  When I saw a recipe for Avocado Mocha Frosting in The Food Lovers Make It Paleo, I decided I needed to make it (as well as something the put the frosting on).

So I made the frosting, as well as their chocolate cupcakes.  I am SO HAPPY with how they turned out.  Mom thought they were a bit dense, and Drake wasn’t a big fan of the frosting, but I liked them.  I will probably make a different frosting next time, as the coffee flavor isn’t that strong.  It also tastes like the avocado pudding, so to me it tastes like pudding.  I’ll try a butter-based frosting next time (I think).  Or something slightly different.

But I love them.  And I would recommend the recipe.

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Two Paleo Tortilla Recipes, Compared

I learned something the other day.

I learned that you can TOTALLY eat enchiladas without tortillas.

I had this little mental glitch that I needed to have tortillas to make enchiladas.  When I first went grain-free, enchiladas were one of the things that I thought I was really going to miss. 

I haven’t thought about it too much since.

But when I saw a recipe in Paleo Comfort Foods for coconut flour tortillas, I had to try it.

And I did.

I wasn’t impressed.  The tortillas ripped and crumpled really easily, and they were difficult to manage.  They also had a very egg-y taste.

So I tried to make these almond flour tortillas.

And they were a little stiff.  A little thick.  They would be PERFECT if you were going for a tamale-like breading.

So when I made my enchiladas, I layered part of the meat between two of the almond flour tortillas, and I put the rest of the meat between pieces of the coconut flour tortillas.

And I ended up just picking the tortillas out and eating the meat.

I might try to make tortillas once more, seeing if a mixture of flours and starches works better.

But now that I know I don’t need the tortillas, I think I can do without.

You learn things every day.

🙂

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My tortillas

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The almond flour tortillas

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The coconut flour tortillas

Ever Onward,
Allison

P.S.  It looks like others have made the coconut flour tortilla recipe with success.  Hmmm…:)