Sunday, March 15, 2015

Almonds, Strawberries, and Coconut Flour.

This week I have been adding Almonds, Strawberries and Coconut Flour to my diet.  Almonds and Strawberries I am having no problems finding recipes to use them in.  Coconut flour is proving to be a little harder because finding a recipe that has coconut flour without eggs in the recipe is practically impossible.   I still need to work eggs into my life.   I was given the go ahead on eggs months ago.  But I wanted to wait till I could cook them into something.  I am pretty sure that Eggs mixed into foods will not cause me problems,  but psychologically wise I am afraid of Eggs.  I haven't eaten them in about 4 years.  I honestly don't even remember what problems they were causing me before I went off of them.  But every time eggs enter my mouth my stomach will instantly hurt, and I haven't even swallowed yet.  I have thought to have people trick me into eating eggs. BUT I know that won't work.  I HAVE to know what is in every recipe I eat.  And I am pretty sure I would recognize the texture of eggs.  I think I may just have to jump into both at the same time.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Taco Salad

 Salads are my friend.  When I first started out I was unable to eat lettuce or uncooked veggies.  After my first 12 weeks at this diet.  My first request for foods being added back in was SALADS.  Since then I eat a salad 1-2 times a day every day, and I still love them.   

For a basic Salad I like to have 4 main ingredients:

Romain Lettuce
Colored Bell Peppers
Locally bought Carrots (local because then they are not as old and have more flavor.)

The nice thing about Salads are they are so versatile and yet at the same time they are familiar.

To make a Taco Salad.   I start by making my basic salad.  Then I use:

1 whole Avocado per plate.  (remember Good FAT is Good.  So eat it.  besides avocados work as a great replacement for salad dressing.)
Ground Turkey
Green Onions
Diced Tomatoes
And touch it off with a bit of Cilantro.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Paleo Chocolates

In November My husband and I celebrated our 19th anniversary.  During this time frame I was at the strictest part of this diet.  The total heal your gut stage.  My husband hadn't quiet join the diet yet.    While I was upstairs he looked up a recipe for Paleo Chocolates and he made me the most delicious treat.  It was nice to have some form of a desert for our anniversary celebration.  But the sugar content was high enough that I was only able to eat 3 small pieces of this heavenly concoction.
I soon came to realize that my taste buds had changed enough that I didn't need that much sweetness to enjoy foods anymore.

So I changed the recipe.  I started adding less honey.  The result was a rich dark chocolate that I was able to eat more of.  Yum! 

To make this recipe you will need:

1/2 Cup Coconut oil
1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 TBS Raw Honey
10-15 drops of peppermint oil

Heat the pan on a burner.  Remove hot pan from the burner and add the coconut oil.  Allow Coconut oil to melt. Add honey.   If the honey does not dissolve you may need to put in on the burner for a minute, but I prefer not to have to heat the coconut oil if at all avoidable. Add cocoa powder Stir.  Add peppermint oil.  Leave pot on the counter and allow time to cool (about 15-20 min).  The honey likes to separate from the chocolates so stir.  start adding the liquid to molds.  Stirring ever so often to avoid getting a chocolate with no sweetener.  (it isn't too yummy without honey)  Another option is to line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and dump all the concoction onto the parchment paper.  Place in freezer until it has hardened.   These need to be stored in the freezer.  

In this recipe there is 1 Tbs of honey.  1 Tbs = 3 tsp.  So you can eat a 1/3 of the chocolates made a day to equal the sugar limit.  

Honey Roasted Cashews

Everyone needs a treat sometimes and these tend to take that sweet tooth of mine out the window.  The only problem is I do have to limit my daily amount as to not exceed me teaspoon of honey I am allowed.

To make this delicious treat you will need a Cast Iron Skillet.  

3 TBS Coconut oil
2 TBS Raw Honey
3-4 Cups Raw Cashews
1 tsp Nutmeg
2 tsp Chinese 5 spice
1/4 tsp salt

In the Cast Iron Skillet melt coconut oil.  Then add the honey and let it dissolve and mix with the oil. when it gets a bubbly add the Cashews.  Add Seasonings and salt.  Constantly Stir with a Metal spatula until the nuts are a nice light brown color.  

Have a bowl lined with parchment paper ready before roasting the cashews.  Dump the Cashews into the bowl.  ( I also like to scrape the caramelized honey out over the cashews mix it into the nuts)  Wait about 5 min, pick up the parchment paper and dump excess oil out.    Place the nuts into the freezer and allow time to cool.  (I usually just can't wait and start snitching the cooled nuts on the top of the bowl after 10 min)  I store these in the fridge.  


Saturday, March 7, 2015

DO's and Dont's

So I figured I would use this post to explain the Do's and Don'ts of this dietary changes

  • Don't use Canned Foods.  Canned Foods are processed and have Chemicals that are not good for our bodies.  I avoid cans as much as possible but in the interest of time I will occasionally use BPA liner free Canned items.  
  • Don't use Artificial Sweeteners. 
  • Don't use Items that have dyes in them.  (Check every thing) 
  • Don't eat Potatoes or Corn.  
  • Don't Stress
  • Buy all items in there most natural form.
  • Buy nuts either Raw or DRY roasted.  
  • READ every label
  • Cook in Bulk.  It saves you time later.  Warming something up rather then make it from scratch is so much easier.
  • Freeze Meals or leftovers for later.  (I actually don't use this idea because having such a large family means leftovers don't stick around for long. )  But if you are working pick a day cook lots of extras and freeze them for the week. 
  • Buy  Organic when you can.  Know what the "THE DIRTY DOZEN" is and put extra effort into buy these Organic if you can.   
      • Peaches,
      • Apples, 
      • Sweet Bell peppers,
      • Celery,
      • Nectarines, 
      • Strawberries, 
      • Cherries, 
      • Pears, 
      • Grapes, 
      • Spinach, and 
      • Lettuce. 
      • These with the inclusion of Potatoes are considered "THE DIRTY DOZEN"
  • Buy Bulk where you can.  Sam's Club and Costco are making great attempt to carry more organic produce.   I can easily go through 2 bags of Fuji apples on my own each week.  So buying in bulk saves.  
  • Shop around for cheaper Prices.  Raw Cashews at our locale Fredmeyers are $10 a pound.  With shopping around I found Raw Cashews at about $6.50 a pound on  Cashews

Friday, March 6, 2015

Leek Soup

In my search for foods that fit all our dietary restrictions I have found that soup just hits the spot.  

This soup is one a friend found and gave to me.  I have altered it as I always do.  We love it.

1 Tbs Olive Oil
2 C. chopped celery
1 large onion Chopped
1 C. thinly sliced leeks
2 Cloves Garlic  Crushed
2 Cups finely Grated Zuchinni
1 1/2 Coconut Milk
32 fl oz Imagine Organic Free range Chicken Broth.  (this one contains no dyes, sugars or yeast)

In a large pot sauté Onions, Celery, garlic and Leeks in Olive oil.    Add Chicken broth and let soup boil till celery is softer.  Then add finely grated zucchini.  Boil and additional 5-10 min till zucchini is at desired texture.  Add coconut milk.  Add pepper to taste.  


Coconut Milk

Because finding Coconut Milk without guar gum or other additives is a hard or expensive when one has lots of children.  So I figured I need to learn to make my own.  Thought it isn't nearly as good as this one I found on Amazon it is still pretty good. Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk is fairly easy to make,  In a Vitamix or another awesome blender combine

2 Cups  Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
4 Cups  Water

Blend for about 5-10 min.

Using cheese cloth strain the coconut milk removing all the grit from the milk

To add Fat to the Coconut milk blend milk through blender with 1 Tbs. Coconut oil.

Introduction To A Life Change

Hi.  I am Jenny.  I live in Alaska where the winters are long, cold and dark.  And the Summers are short and vibrant.   I live here with my Family.  I have been married to my husband for 19 years.  We have 6 children.  Our oldest is in college and our youngest is just about to start kindergarten.  We started our dietary adventures 5 years ago when our youngest was born with an intolerance for wheat.  Since then I discovered that I have Crohns disease and I have high levels of candida.  My children all have food intolerances and therefore we became a gluten free, dairy free and egg free family.  These changes helped but I continued to deal with high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, hormonal fluctuations, weight issues, and depression. In October of 2014 I went and saw a Naturopathic  Doctor that asked me to try out a VERY strict dietary plan.   In the 6 months that I have been on this diet I have been able to gain control on my Crohn's disease.  I have lowered my blood pressure and have been able to stop taking medicines to control it.   I have regulated my hypothyroidism and no longer need medications for this issue.  I have regulated my progesterone and estrogen levels.  I have been able to control my candida issue.   On top of becoming healthy I have lost 53 lbs and finally fit into a size 12 dress.   It has not been an easy road.  But it has been well worth it.  The diet that she put me on does include a limited amount of Brown Rice and Quinoa, but I have found myself navigating more toward the Paleo diet so I named this blog Paleo Darlings.   If an item is NOT Paleo I will specify in each recipe and try to suggest an alternative.

My Husband, Seth joined me on the diet in Jan. 2015.   The doctor with the aid of Homeopathic remedies is hoping to get him off of the testosterone shots he requires.  Already he is feeling better.   For him because his stress levels are high he has been asked to refrain from Chocolate as it is a stimulant for cortisol.

I invite you to join us in our dietary adventure.

So to start out we started HEALING our GUTS!

This was the hardest stage the list of food that I could eat was so much shorter then the list of foods I needed to stay away from.  I started out with a great advantage as we had been Gluten Free for 5 years and Dairy Free and Egg Free for the past 3.

Since it is easier to focus on what you can eat versus the Don't that is where I will start my list.   My list was for a severely damaged gut and to the tolerance that I could handle.  My husband was given a broader list as his gut was not in such a bad state.  I will include his differences at the bottom of the list.

1st the most important rule to live by NO CANNED FOODS.  (though I will admit I cheat and buy canned pumpkin and tomato sauce but ONLY when they say NO BPA LINER)

GRAINS- I was allowed up to 1 1/2 C. of either Brown Rice or Quinoa a day.

MEAT- Ground Turkey, Chicken, Halibut, and Salmon

LEGUMES- up to 1/2 C. White Beans, or Black Beans.  (These need to be soaked for 24 hours and then prepared to decrease gas in the gut.)

VEGETABLES- Yams, Sweet Potatoes, Cucumbers (these can be eaten raw but peeled), Spinach (steamed), Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Colored Bell Peppers, Onions, Peas, carrots, Spaghetti Squash, Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash,  (Basically ANY SQUASH)
---------Vegetables in the beginning stage NEED to be cooked.  Avoid Potatoes, and Corn.  Temporarily avoid Broccoli, Cauliflower,  Kale, Lettuce, Tomatoes) ---------------

FRUIT- Avocados

SWEETENERS-  Raw Honey (daily limit 1 tsp.)

BEVERAGES- Water,  Unsweetened coconut milk (no added Sugars or Gums)

OIL/ FATS- Cold Pressed Olive Oil, Coconut Oil.

SEASONINGS-  Herb Seasonings.  Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper,  (Just NO added Dyes, sugars or additives.)  One of my favorites is Weber Garlic and Herb (natural flavorings in this product is Garlic Juice)  When in doubt call the Company =).

EGGS- Because I had been off of eggs for so long I was unable to start this diet off eating them.  Most of my friends that have seen this NP where able to start out eating Eggs.  With eggs the doctor told me that a damaged gut was unable to handle eggs.  It is a great indicator that your gut is extremely damaged when you have a reaction.

And there you have it the list of Can Do's

So Seth's list to start was a little more gentle easing into the new lifestyle.

In addition to the foods I could eat, Seth was able to start out eating Lettuce, Tomatoes, Strawberries, Blueberries, Apples,  RAW Almonds and  RAW Cashews.  Also he wasn't required to cook all the vegetables.   He was also directed to keep his grains at a limit of 2 Cups a day, he was given more grains because he was a carboholic.  After the 3-4 weeks he was able to cut down to a lot less.

After staying on this diet for 8 weeks I added Lettuce,  Raw veggies,  White Vinegar, Balsamic Vinegar and Apples.   I was also told that I could add tomatoes and Eggs.

With each item that I added I would try it and wait 48 hours to see if it affected me.   Eggs I was not able to eat them plain.  I tried mixing them into a pumpkin pie like custard and was able to handle them but at this point in the diet there isn't much to mix eggs into.  So I will be adding them back when we are able to eat Coconut flours and Almond.  Tomatoes I was afraid of because they had caused me so many problems so I waited another 15 weeks before adding them in.

An Additional 8 weeks later and I added  Raw Cashews and Blueberries.

I have an appointment on Monday.  I am looking forward to adding more foods to my diet.

I invite you to join in as we perfect our diets to a healthy new lifestyle.