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!

I’m Still Alive

Yes, I am.  Although I am tempted to say just barely.  🙂

This weekend was our annual Men’s Advance.  And it went really well (at least from my view of things it did).  I helped it the kitchen, which was great, as usual.  But it is all very, very exhausting.

Very exhausting.

And on top of that, a cold is going around our church, and I could tell last week that, although I wasn’t sick yet, I was going to be soon.  So I did what I could to ward off that cold, but I had it on Monday.

It is appearing to be a real mean one.  As in it isn’t going to let off easy.

*Sigh*

Well, I had several wonderful grain free things over this weekend, and now I have been wanting to make them, as well as several other things that I have been wanting to make, but just haven’t gotten around to.  So, instead of making a mental list (which I am probably going to forget anyway, since my brain is out of it), I am going to make a list here.

(I know.  Another food list.  But bear with me.  It is hard not to be able to make any of these things, due to no energy, and the fact that I don’t want sugar while I am sick.  So hopefully this will help me let off some steam.)

1. Quiche or egg casserole.  Probably quiche, since it has crust.  I want crust.

2. Grain-free scones.  A dear friend of mine had these at their home when we were there for brunch, and THEY WERE AMAZING.  And I put butter on mine.  ‘Nuf said.

3.  Grain-free chocolate chip biscotti.  Again, another dear friend of mine made these, and I had them while at there home for brunch.  AND THEY WERE REALLY AMAZING.  And I need some again.  I think they had walnuts and raisins in them too.

4.  Grain-free biscuits.  I got a new recipe from a friend, and it is even better that the recipe I had tried.  I need something to slather some butter on.

5.  I need to make an apple crumble.  I tried to make walnut flour, but due to unforeseen circumstances, my walnuts never made flour.  Just a moist crumble-y thing that reminded me of a crumble. 

 

So that’s that.

What are you making/craving/hoping to make soon?

Do you have a cold?

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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12/17/12–Ramblings

Heads up:  This is going to be random.  Over and out.

While I was doing school, my feet were cold.  So I went and put on a pair of socks, only to discover that both socks had holes in the toes.  But I have not bothered to take them off (too lazy/feet are to warm) so I am just walking around with an increasing number of toes sticking out of the front of my socks, all the while being slightly annoyed.  There are currently 3 toes sticking out of the left side, and 1 sticking out of the right.  I kind of want to keep them on just to see how much bigger the holes get.

I made pumpkin muffins this afternoon.  I had attempted to make some paleo pumpkin pancakes the other day, but they didn’t work.  And I still had leftover pumpkin in the fridge.  So I decided to make muffins with it.  But I didn’t use all the pumpkin, so I still had to freeze the extra.  So what was the point of making the muffins in the first place?

I discovered that I was multi-talented (is that a word?) while I was making the muffins:  I can lick the batter spoon while scooping the batter into the muffin cups (using a utensil, of course).  Pretty impressive, huh?  Oh, and by the way, what is SO attractive about the leftover batter in the bowl?  My favorite batter would have to be a good cookie dough.  Something with chocolate.  But everything I make has chocolate in it, doesn’t it?

*I break here to insert an idea I just had*  Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies?  I’ll have to think about that.

*Carrying on now*

I really didn’t need to make the muffins.  I need to try to chill on the sugar intake.  I have to start being firm.  Cause I have been a bit of a wimp in this area lately.

Let me invite you inside my head.

Voice #1:  Hey Allison!

Voice #2:  Ya?

Voice #1:  Listen, you need to chill on the sugar.  No more chocolate chips with that scoop of peanut butter after lunch.  You know that it isn’t good.

Voice #2:  I know that last part. But…*sniffles*

Voice#1:  What?

Voice #2:  I like the chocolate chips and peanut butter!  A LOT!  *Sniffles again, then bursts into tears*

Voice #1:  I like it too.  But sometime the good things are hard.  You know you used to be better about your sugar consumption.  So you know you can do it.

Voice #2:  *stops crying, sniffles*  Ya, I know.

Voice #1:  So let’s try again.

Voice #2:  I guess that would be good. *sniffle*  Do you have a tissue?

Voice #1:  Here.

Voice #2:  Thanks. 

Voice #1:  So are we on the same page about desserts?

Voice #2:  Oh, not having that peanut butter and chocolate chips everyday after lunch?

Voice #1:  Well, it’s a little more than that.  I’m going to put this very plainly:  WE NEED TO CHILL ON THE SUGAR INTAKE.  PERIOD.

Voice #2:  I’m not sure I have any tears left.

Voice #1:  So are we together on this?

Voice #2:  *sighs*  I guess.  But after the pumpkin muffins are gone?

Voice #1:  Well, you can still eat them, but s…l…o…w…l…y.  Not the whole of them in two days.  Got it?

Voice #2:  Yep.  Got it.  And now that I am all cried out, I am really with ya.

Voice #1:  Great.  Let’s hit it.

 

I put up Christmas lights on the house on Saturday.  Noah wrapped the back deck with lights, and I put the lights on the front.  The front has colored icicles and the posts are wrapped with colored lights.  But I have too many strands plugged in to each other, so they have blown two fuses already.  I need to go out and split them onto two outlets.  I will probably do that soon.

My brothers are flying airplanes, and Drake just flew one over my head.  He then proceeded to try to do it again, but this time it hit me straight in the head.  He says there was an air current.  Hm.

I am looking forward to this week:  Mom and I are going shopping.  Tomorrow it will be just the two of us.  I like when I get her to myself.  It doesn’t happen all the time.  And we have a lot of fun together.

I am also looking forward to this week:  Cooking.  Lots.  Stuff for Christmas – gingerbread dough.  And Mom is having a party, and I am cooking for it.  Not going to say what I am making, because some people who are *hopefully* going will possibly be reading this.  But for those of you who are curious, I will probably post about it post-party.  (I just used “post” with two different meanings in the same sentence!)

Counting down the days until my mom and I go to the symphony.  For my Christmas present,  we are going to see Pirate of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl at the symphony.  They will have the movie on a big screen, and they play all the music LIVE!  IT IS SO AWESOME!  We went and saw Lord of the Rings:  Fellowship of the Rings when they did that, and it was SO WONDERFUL.  I always said thought that if they were to do Pirates music, I would want to be there REALLY BAD.  I am really excited that we are going (if you couldn’t tell).

Oh, and I ate a pumpkin muffin not a full minute after I finished the above dialogue

Well, I think that is all.

Now off to fix those Christmas lights.

From toes-sticking-out, batter-spoon-licking, multi-talented, too-much-sugar, Christmas-light-loving, excited,

Allison

Love ya!

P.S.  And if you read all of that, I am amazed.  You persevered.  🙂

Last-Minute Munchies, Milky Way Bars, and Ramblings

I had a bad case of last-minute munchies this evening (actually, I am still dealing with that, since my satisfaction is still in the oven).  I had made some grain-filled chocolate cookies the other day for a party we were going to, and we came home with quite a few left over.  The rest of my family have been eating them, and I wanted a cookie, but didn’t want to subject myself (or my family) to me, post-grain consumption.  It’s not pretty.

(I have been cheating a bit lately, having grain here, sugar there.  This is probably the reason for the bad cravings I have been dealing with.  I need to be better and stick with my grain-free and low-sugar stuff.)

So I wanted a cookie.  An easy cookie, that I could throw together in a few minutes and eat a few minutes later.  I pulled up this recipe that I had seen a few days ago, and decided to give it a spin.  I used butter instead of macadamia nut oil, and honey.  We’ll see how they turn out.  They have been baking for at least 10 minutes (quite a bit longer than the recipe directs).

I know I said I would post about the Milky Way Bars, but due to some unforeseen circumstances, I was unable to start the bars until almost dinner time on Thursday, so I didn’t post, since they were only 2/3rds of the way done.

Here’s the run down of what I did:

I found this recipe for “Silky Way Bars,” just a homemade version of Milky Ways.  I used it as my basis for creating the bars.  I then found this recipe for marshmallows and marshmallow cream.  I made it according to the directions, except that I used coconut sugar instead of stevia, and I didn’t use marshmallow flavoring oil. (I also forgot to add the vanilla, but I would definitely add that next time.  This is a common occurrence with me.)  Once it was whipped, I added the 12 oz. of melted chocolate chips.  I then poured this mixture into a well-greased 8×8 pan (next time I will just line the pan with parchment paper – this will make the removal of the bars just that much easier).  Then I put it into the fridge until it was solid.

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All hardened, and ready for the next layer

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They are quite firm, and very fun to poke

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It seemed to pull away from the sides quite easily

Meanwhile, I whipped up a half-batch of the same caramel that I used for the Twix bars (leave a comment if you need the recipe).  Actually, I whipped up two half-batches because I burned the first batch.  I only cooked it until it registered 238*F, instead of 248*F, because it heat up too fast after that.  This resulted in runnier caramel, but not that bad.  Again, add this to your pan of marshmallow/chocolate mixture, and put back into the fridge until hardened (for me, this was overnight). 

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With the hardened caramel

The next day I sliced the bars, then stuck them back into the fridge to harden for awhile. 

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All sliced

Later in the day, I melted and tempered some chocolate. (Tempering is awesome, as it makes the finished product not as prone to melt.  Usually home-dipped chocolate things melt as soon as you touch them.  If you temper the chocolate, they don’t melt as easily.  It isn’t that difficult to do, but does require patience and a good food thermometer.)  The next step was eating all the melted chocolate with a spoon dipping the bars and sticking them in the freezer to cool.  Ta da!

(Again, I didn’t take a picture of the finished product.  They looked basically the same as the Twix bars, and you can see a picture of them here.)

My review:  I thought they were pretty good, but the marshmallow part was way too rubbery for my taste.  If I make them again, I will only use 2 packages of plain gelatin in the marshmallow cream instead of 3.  I took them to church, and a whole bunch of people tried them, and they all liked them.  So whatever you want – just the way they are, they are about the consistency of a regular marshmallow, maybe a bit firmer.  If you want them a bit softer, try only 2 packages of gelatin – and let me know how it turns out!

 

As for the chocolate chip cookies that I just made – I am not impressed.  I baked them for about 13 minutes or so, but they were still raw in the center.  They have an almond-flour flavor, which may not bother everyone, but it does bother me.  I’ll have to figure out a good chocolate chip cookie recipe.  (We have an AMAZING regular chocolate chip cookie recipe, if I do say so myself, which we got from ATK, which I should be able to make to being grain-free.)

 

I need to take a break from making desserts – I have been getting a bit crazy with them lately.  I am going to try to make more savory dishes (basically, anything that isn’t dessert).  Mom picked up a few paleo cookbooks for me at the library, and I am looking forward to trying some of the recipes.  Wow, some of the recipes are SO creative! 

 

On a completely different note: I am so happy – our Cowgirl Dirt order came today (well, most of it did – one thing was backordered).  I chose a few new eye shadow samples, and I am enjoying one right now, and looking forward to the others.  I also just tried their mascara, and I LOVE IT.

Have a lovely evening!

~Allison